10 Things WWE Fans Should Know About Royal Rumble 1998

The seventh annual Royal Rumble set the Attitude Era into full swing. The year was 1998. Shawn Michaels was the top guy at the company, Vince had just screwed Bret, and “Stone Cold” was about to be a television star. Mike Tyson also showed up to the party.


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Although the 1998 Royal Rumble is not often remembered as one of the greatest Rumbles, its place in history cannot be argued. It was instrumental in setting the tone for the years to come. This list will examine ten things fans should know about the event that put the WWE on course to win the Monday Night Wars.

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10 Steve Austin Dominated The Rumble

The 1998 Royal Rumble was the night Steve Austin became a legend. He won a second consecutive Royal Rumble in dominant fashion. Not only did he look excellent, but he also eliminated seven wrestlers from the bout.

It was clear he was on course to be the top guy at the company. No one, not even The Rock, seemed to be at his level. It wasn’t the last Rumble he would win (he won again in 2001), but it might be the most special including the 1997 Rumble where he entered at number five.

9 Eight Wrestlers Lasted Over 25 Minutes In The Rumble

For the most part, the big names or the wrestlers receiving a huge push from the company spend the most time in the Royal Rumble. In 1998, eight wrestlers spent more than 25 minutes in the ring. Most of them were not big-time names either.

Wrestlers like D’Lo Brown, 8-Ball, Phineas Godwinn, and Headbanger Thrasher were among the eight that lasted longer than 25 minutes. The ring was packed to the max throughout the Rumble. Austin entered and cleared out the packed ring.

8 Was The Last Rumble To Feature The Legion Of Doom

Legion Of Doom are one of the most well known tag teams in the world. Despite competing for the WWE for more than half a decade as a unit, the pair only competed in two matches at the Royal Rumble event. The first was a WWE tag team match where the pair lost to The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon).

The second (and last happened) in 1998. In a pretty average match, LOD defeated The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn & The Road Dogg) via DQ leading to the titles staying around the wastes of Billy Gunn & The Road Dogg. Hawk never competed at another Rumble, while Animal returned at Royal Rumble 2006 as a participant in the Rumble match.

7 Triple H Was Replaced By The Honky Tonk Man In The Rumble

Although he wouldn’t have been booked to win the Rumble over Austin, Triple H would have definitely made an impact in the event. Unfortunately, Triple H suffered a knee injury a few weeks before the show, which led to him being sidelined.

Honky Tonk Man replaced Triple H in the Rumble. Although many would assume Honky Tonk would have gotten quickly thrown out of the ring upon arrival, he lasted nearly twenty minutes before Vader eliminated him for the match.

6 Mick Foley Competed Three Times In The Rumble

Mick Foley has adopted multiple famous gimmicks in the WWE. Three of his biggest gimmicks all competed in the Royal Rumble. His oldest gimmick, Cactus Jack, entered the Rumble first.

Jack was thrown out and Mankind entered at number 16. After only two minutes in the ring, Mankind was thrown out and Dude Love entered at 28 lasting less than eight minutes before Farooq tossed him from the ring. It was the last Rumble to ever feature Mick Foley with his past gimmicks.

5 For The Third Straight Year, The Rumble Wasn’t The Main Event

Although the first Royal Rumble in 1988 did not feature the Royal Rumble as the main event, for five years after the inaugural event, the Rumble became the last match of the pay-per-view. Since CM Punk Vs The Rock at the 2013 Royal Rumblethe 30-man Royal Rumble has been the main event of the show.

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From 1996-1998, the Rumble preceded the main event. After Steve Austin won the 1998 Rumble, Shawn Michael competed against The Undertaker in a Casket match for the WWE Championship.

4 A Referee Ended Up In The Hospital

Jack Doan was outside the ring during the Royal Rumble match. Although he was mostly watching with little action outside the ring, Phineas Godwinn’s massive leg accidentally hit Doan in the head so hard that he was rushed to the hospital. He ended up being diagnosed with a concussion and did not return to the show.

3 First Pay Per View With The WWE, IC, And Tag Titles On The Line

Although it seems the mid-card titles might be back to their prestige of the 90s, for the most part, they’ve become an afterthought in the WWE. He said 1998 Royal Rumble, every major WWE title (WWE, Intercontinental, and Tag Team) was all on the line. It was actually the first time a pay-per-view event featured the three belts on the line.

The Rock, The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn and Road Dogg), and Shawn Michaels retained their belts, but it was a great moment for the fans that has been repeated multiple times since.

2 Shawn Michael’s Suffered A Major Injury

Although he had various injuries throughout his career, Shawn Michael’s back issues are what led to his disappearance from the ring from 1998 to 2002. His main event match with the Undertaker led to the herniated discs that caused him to miss No Way Out of Texas: In Your House which followed the Royal Rumble.

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Michael’s struck his lower back on the edge of the casket after a back body drop out of the ring. It took days for Michaels to feel the pain from the two herniated discs he suffered. The injury led to his below-average match at WrestleMania 14 and his departure from wrestling for years.

Other than the first 20-man Royal Rumble and the 2011 event (which featured 40 wrestlers), the Royal Rumble is a “30 wrestler event.” Some wrestlers are sometimes attacked before entering the ring, so the number sometimes fluctuates, but it had never been as low as 27 since the first royal rumble.

Mick Foley competed three times as Dude Love, Cactus Jack, and Mankind, and Skull (who was injured) never entered the ring. It is still one of the lowest participant numbers in the history of the WWE Royal Rumble.

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