20 Quickest Royal Rumble Eliminations in History
It's fairly common knowledge that Rey Mysterio holds the record for the longest amount of time ever spent in any Royal Rumble match, clocking in at a whopping one hour, two minutes, 12 seconds.
While this impressive feat is remembered as one of the greatest performances in recent years, this article intends to look at the 20 entrants who will go down in Royal Rumble history as having the most embarrassingly short tenures in the big one.
Expect to see familiar names like Santino Marella and Bushwhacker Luke—as well as some who might come as more of a surprise to the seasoned WWE fan.
Remember when viewing this list that the official timing of an entrant begins the moment they enter the ring and not at any time while they are on the outside.
So then, let's take a look at those Superstars who had us talking about them at the Rumble for all the wrong reasons.
20. Golga, 1999
Time: 15.7 seconds
In 1991, Golga, then under the ring name Earthquake, would come a close second to Hulk Hogan in the Rumble match.
Under his new billing as a member of the eccentric group "The Oddities," Golga would be the first man to unsuccessfully try to dump out Stone Cold Steve Austin for the $100,000 Vince McMahon had offered.
A steep decline in fortunes across the eight years for man under the mask, the late, great John Tenta.
19. The Brian Kendrick, 2009
Time: 15.2 seconds
"The" Brian Kendrick was an annoying little squirt.
Having broken away from a popular tag-team partnership with Paul London, Kendrick would make an instant heel turn—repackaging himself altogether.
In 2009, his one and only Rumble appearance didn't exactly go to plan, when he ran right into the path of The Game, Triple H.
If it weren't for Kendrick botching his initial elimination somewhat (forcing Triple H to have to Irish whip him a second time), Brian would be even higher up this list.
That being said, Kendrick did at least manage to eliminate Kofi Kingston before being tossed out.
This stat means that, although having spent a career total 15 seconds in the match, Brian Kendrick still has more eliminations than the majority of entrants in Rumble history.
18. The Goodfather, 2001
Time: 14.1 seconds
Sadly for The Godfather, or as he was packaged during his "Right to Censor" days, "The Goodfather," this is not his only appearance on our list.
In 2001, WWE's token pimp had a change of heart, joining up with a band that sought to ban the sexual smut from the company.
In that year's Rumble, The Goodfather ran straight into an irate Rock, who quickly dispatched of his former Nation of Domination cohort.
17. The Sandman, 2007
Time: 13.4 seconds
The Sandman was pretty much the prime example of how pure violence and X-rated behavior was enough to earn you top billing back in the days of ECW.
A cult figure who couldn't resist a drink or two before matches, The Sandman fell prey to Booker T in the 2007 Royal Rumble after his trademark entrance from the crowd.
Initially using his bamboo stick to flatten the majority of his opponents in the ring, Booker would spring from behind to dump the maverick out of the match.
16. Billy Gunn, 1994
Time: 13 seconds
Billy Gunn had some great moments in the WWE, including his 1999 King of the Ring victory.
However, in 1994, Mr. Ass wasn't so lucky in the Royal Rumble match, entering into the ring with only Diesel as a competitor.
There was no place to hide for the then rookie, and Big Daddy Cool soon dumped Gunn out of the match.
15. Tom Brandi, 1998
Time: 12.7 seconds
Having come in to face off against the psychopathic duo of Cactus Jack (Mick Foley) and Chainsaw Charlie (Terry Funk), No. 3 entrant in the 1998 Royal Rumble Tom Brandi never really stood much of a chance.
The wrestler who also went by the ring name Salvatore Sincere for a short period never really took off in the WWE.
This was, sadly for him, probably his defining moment.
14. Bushwhacker Luke, 1995
Time: 12.4 seconds
If this list had been extended to the top 30 shortest eliminations, then Bushwhacker Luke would be appearing three times (and his brother Butch would also get an entry).
As it is, narrowing it down to 20 has at least spared him some embarrassment. He only appears twice.
In this short foray in the 1995 Rumble, he was one of six men who spent less than 20 seconds in the ring.
His greatest failure is still yet to come, however.
13. Shawn Michaels, 1990
Time: 12.1 seconds
I told you there would be some surprises!
Shawn Michaels may have two Rumble victories under his belt, but as a young rookie in 1990, he spent a measly 12 seconds in the match before being dumped out by The Ultimate Warrior.
In a sense, it's a testament to Michaels that he was even competing in a match like this all the way back at the start of the '90s.
However, I'm sure this is one Shawn will want to be forgetting about quickly.
12. Epico, 2012
Time: 11.7 seconds
In truth, the 2012 Royal Rumble was probably one of the worst actual matches in the history of the event.
While Sheamus' eventual victory was a huge plus point for me, the Rumble match itself included: Michael Cole, The King, Booker T (aged crazy commentator Booker that is), Mick Foley (comic relief), Santino Marella, Ricardo Rodriguez, Kharma and a whole heap of jobbers.
Epico was one of the latter.
Probably the most lacking Rumble in talent for years, Epico's short stint in the match will not live long in the memory, much like the event.
11. Tazz, 2001
Time: 10.3 seconds
Tazz was one of Kane's infamous 11 victims in the 2001 Rumble.
The man who made more of a name for himself as a commentator in his later years than as an in-ring performer made the grievous mistake of running straight into the path of the Big Red Machine back in '01.
Within moments, Kane had lifted Tazz onto the turnbuckle before sending him flying onto the floor below with a hard right hook.
In the words of his future commentary colleague, "So long Tazz! Thanks for coming!"
10. MVP, 2010
Time: 7.3 seconds
In fairness to MVP, unlike most people on this list, he took himself out of the Rumble rather than being tossed out in embarrassing fashion.
Still, it goes down as an early exit and as such, he has to be included.
Following a feud with The Miz (earlier at the same event they had battled for the U.S. Championship), MVP would be assaulted on his way to the ring, being unable to enter into the Rumble match.
Or so it seemed anyway. Apparently Montel Vontavious Porter was really just waiting for Miz to arrive.
At that point he sprinted back to the ring (entering officially for the first time) and instantly eliminated himself and The Miz (who himself only lasted 17 seconds).
9. The Miz, 2007
Time: 7.1 seconds
Speaking of The Miz, he gets his very own slot on the list as well.
In 2007, Miz was an annoying little punk who nobody liked. Not a whole lot has changed, except at least now he seems to have some more in-ring ability.
Entering at the No. 29 position should have given Miz a huge advantage in the match. As it turned out, his entire entry comprised of sprinting down to the ring, right into the hands of The Great Khali, who instantly dumped him over the top rope.
It was a crowd-pleaser to say the very least.
8. Gillberg, 1999
Time: 7 seconds
Ah, Gillberg. The creation of Vince McMahon to parody the then top Superstar on rival promotion WCW, Goldberg.
The initial idea for Gillberg was for the lackluster performer to go out and lose 100 straight matches—inverting the feat of a similar nature where Goldberg went on a ridiculous unbeaten run.
In recent years, WWE has tried to copy rather than lampoon those efforts, with figures more recently like Ryback having the touch of Goldberg about them.
In 1999, Edge swiftly removed Gillberg from the Rumble.
The character was soon forgotten about and confined to the WWE archives forever.
7. The Godfather, 2013
Time: 4.5 seconds
The Godfather would probably be a lot closer to rivaling the No. 1 slot on this list had he not got such amazing hangtime following a drop-kick from Dolph Ziggler.
At this point in the proceedings, the gaps between eliminations really do become tiny (as you can see by the seventh-place ranking only clocking in at four and a half seconds)
The Godfather, real name Charles Wright, had a fairly torrid time in the Rumble in general. In 1995, under the guise of Papa Shango, Wright would again go on to only last a matter of seconds before being tossed out.
That being said, I would happily sacrifice a shot at headlining WrestleMania for an evening with the Godfather's "lady friends."
6. Jerry Lawler, 1997
Time: 4.1 seconds
"It takes a King...to know a King."
Jerry Lawler didn't have the best Rumble showing in history, but he was a member of the commentary team at the time, so he can be forgiven.
What I loved most about the '97 Rumble event was how King mercilessly ripped on Vince (then billed simply as a commentator) throughout the entire event.
Two years later in '99, McMahon would join the team again at ringside (despite officially being an entrant). This time around Lawler sucked up like there was no tomorrow. Funny how characters change and develop so much in just a couple of years. McMahon would eventually go on to win the match.
In 1997, Lawler didn't really recover from the hard right from the "Hit Man" Bret Hart for the rest of the night, continuously babbling on about how he would soon be entering the match—despite the fact he had already done so.
King at his finest.
5. Bushwhacker Luke, 1991
Time: 3.9 seconds
For some reason WWE persisted that this time, set by legendary Rumble flop Bushwhacker Luke, was the record for shortest appearance for the better part of a decade. The real record (at least then anyway) was actually the No. 2 slot on our list, but was inexplicably always ignored.
Whatever the case, this elimination still earns itself a worthy mention on the list for the sheer nature of how Luke marched his way down to the ring, through it, over the top rope and then all the way back to the locker room. Boy, did the Bushwhacker like to do that crazy marching nonsense. What baffles me more is why the crowd lapped it up time and time again. Ah, simple pleasure.
Fun fact: That large fellow eliminating Luke in the video is Earthquake—or as we otherwise know him, Golga, from the first slide on our list in his glory days.
3 and 4. Mo and Owen Hart ,1995
Time: 3 seconds
Both of these men fell victim to the rushed and rather shoddy 1995 Rumble match.
Cutting down entry times from 90 seconds to a minute may have seemed like a good idea at the time (especially making Shawn Michaels' victory from No. 1 far more believable), but in reality, it just pushed the match along far too quickly and meant that storylines were unable to develop in much detail.
Owen Hart at least had the excuse that he was assaulted by his brother Bret before entering the ring and being tossed out by the British Bulldog.
Mo, on the over hand, just ran right into the path of King Kong Bundy, who stooped and flipped him right over the top rope.
2. The Warlord, 1989
Time: 2 seconds
(Note: for the Warlord skip the video to 40:22)
This was the real Royal Rumble record that stood for precisely 20 years before eventually being beaten.
The Warlord was unlucky to find himself entering the ring during one of Hulk Hogan's trademark "Super Hulk" streaks, as he became one of five victims to be dumped out within the space of about 20 seconds.
I was trying to think of something else to add to this slide, but really, all that comes to mind is: "I wonder if the guy that played The Warlord (Terry Scott Szopinski) is happy that his record got broken so people stopped going on about it, or sad that he now no longer has a major claim to fame in the WWE?"
I imagine more likely the latter.
1. Santino Marella, 2009
Time: 1.5 seconds
In 2009, Santino did the unthinkable, as he made Rumble history for all the wrong reasons.
If anyone was ever going to better The Warlord's dubious record, you could probably have bet your house that it was going to be this man.
Relegated to no more than a figure of comic relief for the most part, Santino Marella obviously didn't read the Royal Rumble handbook thoroughly enough before coming down to the ring in 2009.
If he had done so, he would have seen in big bold letters:
- Rule No. 1: If you see Kane in the Rumble match, stay away from him.
You'd have thought people would have learned this by now.
Will the 2014 Rumble provide us with an even quicker elimination?
Probably not. It would be near impossible.