The Royal Rumble has been a January tradition since its inception in 1988. Each year, the anticipation for the Royal Rumble match has been a highlight for many WWE and professional wrestling fans. The unique 30-man affair is the perfect way to kickoff the Road to WrestleMania season, and serves as a great tool in laying the foundations for the Grandest Stage of Them All. Some may argue that the Royal Rumble is a more highly anticipated than WrestleMania itself, while some say the Royal Rumble is either second behind WrestleMania, or third behind WrestleMania and SummerSlam. Either way, the Royal Rumble is a widely admired event who many, like myself, look forward to each year.
Since 1993, the winner of the Royal Rumble has been granted the opportunity to fight the WWE Champion, or in some cases during the 2000s the choice of the World Heavyweight or Universal Championship instead, at the Showcase of Immortals – WrestleMania. Prior to 1992, the Royal Rumble match was a hollow victory. Similar to how the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal is today or the last few editions of the King of the Ring tournament, the victor may have garnered a slight push, but never earned a concrete title opportunity or reward.