The Royal Rumble is one of WWE’s signature events. Held annually since 1988, the pay-per-view (PPV) spectacle is headlined by the Royal Rumble match in which 30 competitors vie for the right to compete for a championship title at WrestleMania. The last four Royal Rumble PPVs have included two Royal Rumble matches, and the WWE began organizing a women’s match in 2018. Below is a look at the winners of the men’s and women’s matches in each of the last four years.
Edge and Bianca Belair (2021)
The 2021 Royal Rumble was the first show of the annual event to be held without fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas past events have been held in stadiums and have attracted more than 40,000 people, the 2021 PPV was held at the WWE ThunderDome with roughly 1,000 fans watching virtually via a large LED wall. Those watching on the screen at home on PPV saw Edge and Bianca Belair win the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble match, respectively.
Edge returned to WWE at the 2020 Royal Rumble after a nine-year absence from the company due to a neck injury. Thereafter, he had a match with Randy Orton, but was again injured in June. However, the 47-year-old was able to recover from torn triceps in time to make another return at the 2021 Royal Rumble. He was the first entrant in the match and outlasted 29 others to win his second Royal Rumble match. He also won in 2010. Edge lasted nearly an hour in the match and eliminated Braun Strowman, Seth Rollins, and Orton.
Meanwhile, Belair was the third entrant in the women’s Royal Rumble match and eliminated four superstars, including 2020 winner Charlotte Flair, to win the match. She eliminated Rhea Ripley to win the match and set a new record among women for the longest time in the ring during a single Royal Rumble.
Drew McIntyre and Charlotte Flair (2020)
The 2020 men’s Royal Rumble match featured several memorable moments. In addition to Edge’s shocking return, Brock Lesnar eliminated a record 13 superstars, which tied a record previously set in 2018 by Braun Strowman. Only four others have eliminated 10 or more competitors since these matches began. Lesnar was the first entrant in the match and eliminated superstars including Strowman, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Keith Lee before finally meeting his match in Drew McIntyre. The Scotsman eliminated Lesnar and five others in a star-making performance en route to winning his first Royal Rumble match. He then defeated Lesnar at WrestleMania 36 to win the WWE Championship for the first time in his career.
Earlier in the PPV, Charlotte Flair became the third winner of the women’s Royal Rumble match. “The Queen” entered the match at No. 17 and eliminated four women to win the match. It came down to Flair and Shayna Baszler, who eliminated eight superstars in the final two. Flair, standing on the ring apron, won by wrapping her legs around Baszler’s shoulders and pulling her over the ropes.
Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch (2019)
The 2019 men’s Royal Rumble match headlined the PPV and was won by Seth Rollins, who overcame being thrown through the announcers’ table outside the ring to re-enter and eliminate Strowman to win the match. He did so with his signature move, the curb stomp, alongside the ring apron. Rollins entered the match at No. 10 and previously eliminated Elias and Bobby Lashley. The match also stood out for its final entrant, Nia Jax, who became the fourth women to ever compete in the men’s Royal Rumble match.
Meanwhile, Becky Lynch won the women’s Royal Rumble match after losing to Asuka via submission in a match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship earlier in the night. She was a surprise entrant at No. 28, replacing Lana, who experienced an injury during the Royal Rumble kickoff show. Lynch eliminated Jax and Flair to win the match. Rollins and Lynch announced they were engaged later that year in August. Lynch announced she was pregnant in May 2020 and gave birth to the couple’s first child in December of that year.
Shinsuke Nakamura and Asuka (2018)
Up until the 2018 Royal Rumble, no Asian superstar had ever won the Royal Rumble match. Yet, two had done so by the end of the night, as Shinsuke Nakamura and Asuka won the men’s and women’s matches, respectively. Nakamura entered the men’s match at No. 14 and eliminated three superstars, including John Cena and Roman Reigns, to secure a victory. Nakamura unsuccessfully challenged AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 34.
Meanwhile, Asuka had the pleasure of winning the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match. She entered at No. 25 and eliminated Ember Moon and Nikki Bella en route to victory. The PPV ended with the surprise debut of former UFC champion Ronda Rousey.