Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!
Which WWE Superstars Have Won Multiple Royal Rumble Matches?
Cody Rhodes wouldn't be the first person to win two Royal Rumble matches if things go his way in 2024.
On January 27, Cody Rhodes attempted to do what only nine other WWE Superstars have ever done – win the Royal Rumble for a second time. It's an accomplishment that's easier said than done given the competitive nature of the match (after all, who wouldn't give their all in an attempt to main-event WrestleMania), and only the most legendary WWE Superstars have won it all on more than one occasion. But as the WWE Universe knows all too well, Cody's path to WrestleMania was littered with roadblocks – especially in the form of CM Punk:
Who Won the 2024 Royal Rumble?
As it turns out, Cody turned in a career-making performance at the 2024 Royal Rumble and did what many in the WWE Universe considered impossible: He won the Royal Rumble again. It was an evening full of surprises, and when the Rumble field was finally whittled down to the last four WWE Superstars (Cody, CM Punk, Drew McIntyre, and Gunther), the drama was off the charts.
Ultimately, it came down to (who else) CM Punk and Cody, and The American Nightmare topped off his performance by tossing an increasingly-cocky CM Punk over the top rope to seal the victory.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eqD5D00FDIg?si=1KVR0llNySC2mKve" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen></iframe>
In celebration of Cody's historic back-to-back Royal Rumble victories, USA Insider thinks it's the perfect time to turn back the clock and look at the WWE Superstars who have paved the way for someone like Cody to win two times in a row. Here is every WWE Superstar who has won the Royal Rumble at least once!
Royal Rumbles Won: 1990, 1991
As one of the most influential and iconic WWE Superstars of all time, Hulk Hogan's Royal Rumble success in the event's early days shouldn't be surprising. Hogan was on top of the professional wrestling world in the 80s and 90s, and his dominance crossed over into the Rumble matches themselves, officially marking the point in the Royal Rumble's lifespan as the de facto event that the top Superstars wanted to headline. However, in the early 90s, the Royal Rumble winner was not granted a title shot at WrestleMania, so we guess the Hulkster just wanted bragging rights!
Royal Rumbles Won: 2008, 2013
As the undisputed face (pun intended) of WWE for the past two decades, John Cena won two particularly memorable Royal Rumble matches, highlighted by his performance in the 2008 match. We here at USA Insider called Cena's shocking return from injury in 2008 one of the greatest Royal Rumble moments ever, and Cena going on to win the entire thing made the iconic moment even sweeter.
John Cena's legacy is unequaled – from his record-tying 16 world championships to the out-of-the-ring contributions he's become famous for, he's made his mark on the WWE Universe in the most impactful way. Unfortunately, Cena has recently alluded to his time in WWE winding down permanently.
Royal Rumbles Won: 2005, 2014
Big Dave has found success in every aspect of his life, so it's only fitting that he ranks as one of the greatest Royal Rumble performers with two lifetime victories. Like other Superstars on this list, Dave Bautista's Rumble wins came at two distinctly different stages in his WWE career. In 2005, Bautista was the emerging future world champion looking to dethrone the likes of Triple H, while in 2014, Bautista was the grizzled veteran looking to reclaim that aforementioned throne. As the WWE Universe knows, all versions of Dave Bautista are fantastic, and he parlayed that staying power into two astonishing Royal Rumble victories.
Although both of Bautista's Rumble wins were fantastic, we have a soft spot for his 2014 victory – which came at the expense of none other than Roman Reigns. There aren't many WWE Superstars who have stopped Reigns' momentum in its tracks!
Royal Rumbles Won: 2009, 2017
Make no mistake about it: Randy Orton knows his way around a ring come Royal Rumble season!
With victories in 2009 and 2017, The Viper is always in the mix to main event WrestleMania (although, to be honest, Orton has traditionally found ways to interject himself into the WrestleMania main event mix even without winning Rumbles). We have a soft spot for the ending of the 2009 Royal Rumble match, which saw Orton winning after tossing Triple H. Eagle-eyed viewers of the WWE Universe can also spot a young Cody Rhodes being eliminated second-to-last, an admirable effort in its own right!
Royal Rumbles Won: 1995, 1996
In the mid-90s, Shawn Michaels made it his personal mission to deliver unforgettable Royal Rumble performances – and we can't argue with the results. After finishing third in the 1994 Royal Rumble, The Heartbreak Kid finally put the pieces together in 1995, emerging victorious after entering the match from the #1 position. Unfortunately, he fell short at WrestleMania that year, failing to capture the WWE Championship from Diesel.
However, in 1996, Shawn Michaels did what only Hulk Hogan had done before him: Win the Royal Rumble in back-to-back years. After a well-placed superkick to the jaw of Diesel, HBK outlasted all other Superstars en route to another WrestleMania main event, where this time, the WWE Title would not evade him.
Royal Rumbles Won: 2010, 2021
The Rated R Superstar recently made his exit from WWE, but his lasting contributions are still appreciated today. With Rumble wins in 2010 and 2021, Edge has proved time and time again that age is just a number. Although his victory in 2010 was impressive in its own right, his win in 2021 was even more historic, as it punched his ticket to WrestleMania, cementing his comeback effort after his initial WWE put his future in jeopardy.
The Thunderdome era of WWE still blows our minds – we can't believe how many iconic WWE moments would've been even more memorable if they occurred in front of actual fans instead of LED screens!
Royal Rumbles Won: 2002, 2016
Taking nothing away from his 2002 Rumble win, Triple H's victory in the 2016 Royal Rumble is one of the most incredible performances in WWE history, especially when you factor in the unprecedented situation the WWE Universe found itself in.
For the first time, the WWE Championship would be defended during the Royal Rumble match itself, meaning that reigning champ Roman Reigns had a near-impossible task ahead of him that evening. In the end, successfully defending the title proved too much for Reigns, as Triple H and Dean Ambrose found themselves squaring off as the final two – with the WWE Championship unexpectedly hanging in the balance.
After a valiant effort by Ambrose, Triple H ultimately walked out of the arena that night as the new WWE Champion, securing his second Royal Rumble victory in the process. And, for what it's worth, we appreciate Triple H winning the Royal Rumble once with long hair and once with a shaved head – it's the little things that matter most!
Royal Rumbles Won: 2003, 2022
Make no mistake about it – Brock Lesnar will perennially be one of the odds-on favorites to win any Royal Rumble match he's involved in. When he's not bringing farm equipment into the ring, Brock Lesnar throws bodies over the top rope during Royal Rumbles. With two victories a jaw-dropping 19 years apart, Lesnar has proven time and time again that he can insert himself into any period in WWE history and dominate the competition.
Lesnar's 2022 Rumble win is notable not for how he won (he entered at #30 and steamrolled every Superstar in the ring) but for the Beast's mood that evening! Thanks to a Paul Heyman double cross, Lesnar had lost his WWE Championship to Roman Reigns earlier in the evening – so to say he was furious as he walked down the aisle to enter the Royal Rumble is an understatement! Whoever stood in Lesnar's path that night had their night end earlier than expected – including, believe it or not, Bad Bunny, who was unceremoniously ejected from the Rumble after a particularly devastating Brock Lesnar F5.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Royal Rumbles Won: 1997, 1998, 2001
No, your eyes aren't deceiving you – Stone Cold Steve Austin has not one, not two, but three historic Royal Rumble victories under his belt! That mind-blowing statistic is a testament to Stone Cold's unbelievable dominance during WWE's Attitude Era – he was the unquestioned top dog in WWE (with all due respect to The Rock).
Winning the Royal Rumble three times is impressive enough, but to do it three times in five years is astounding. While Brock Lesnar going nearly two decades between Royal Rumble victories is stunning in its own right, Austin's accolades in the event are arguably even more historic. When you consider who was part of the WWE at the time – Kurt Angle, The Undertaker, Mick Foley, Triple H, and The Rock come to mind – it makes Austin's three Rumble wins all the more legendary.
Of course, hardcore fans know that Steve Austin would have won a fourth Royal Rumble if it hadn't been for Mr. McMahon's antics in 1999. Regardless, we're sure in 2024 that ol' Stone Cold is content with his three Rumble wins.
Originally published Jan 23, 2024.