Great Britain

From Kofi Kingston’s handstand save to Maven’s dropkick on The Undertaker, more of the greatest WWE Royal Rumble moments

THE ROYAL RUMBLE remains for many fans the highlight of the WWE calendar year thanks to its stream of surprise entrants, returns, debuts and winners.

The annual men's and women's over-the-top-rope extravaganzas is regularly packed full of top superstars to kickstart the road to WrestleMania.

SunSport revealed seven of the most memorable moments from Royal Rumble's history but the sound of the 90-second buzzer means it's time for a few more...

1. Kofi Kingston handstand save 2012

The New Day star’s jaw-dropping athleticism over the past decade has secured his place in Royal Rumble folklore.

His escape antics have become eagerly-anticipated since he performed his first-ever miraculous handstand save in 2012.

The 38-year-old’s nifty gymnastics meant he narrowly avoided elimination by keeping his feet levitating off the floor after being thrown over the ropes by The Miz.

Kofi walked backwards to safety on the steel steps and there’s no doubt he’ll have another spectacular trick up his sleeve this year.

2. The Rock flips the Big Show over the ropes 2000

No one thought any man could go one on one with the Big Show and survive until the Rock faced him in the first Rumble of the millennia and sparked one of WWE’s most controversial feuds.

It was smooth sailing for the Word's Largest Athlete who was so certain he’d beaten the People's Champion that he toyed with the crowd over which rope to power slam him over.

But just as Show went to flip the Rock over, Dwayne Johnson grabbed the top rope, reverse flipped Show and scrambled back into the ring to be declared the winner.

Big Show presented video footage of the Rock’s feet actually touching the floor first but the decision was set in cold hard stone.

3. Santino breaking the record for the fastest elimination in 2009.

Santino did the unthinkable and made history for all the WRONG reasons in 2009.

The Italian flop wears Royal Rumble’s fastest ever elimination time of 1.9 seconds like a badge of honour.

He fired towards the ring with his monobrow in full force and was instantly flipped out by Kane.

A shell-shocked Santino claimed “he wasn’t ready” – sadly for The Cobra, there are no do-overs in the Royal Rumble.

4. Stone Cold being thrown over the ropes in 1996, slipping and eliminating himself.

Sometimes things go wrong and thanks to a lot of baby oil it went really wrong for Steve Austin.

Stone Cold was the Rumble’s new kid on the block and was then known as the ‘Ringmaster’ before earning his iconic nickname.

He was doing a spot with 400 plus pound wrestler Rikishi who was smothered in oil.

The Samoan swung the Texas Rattlesnake over the slippery top rope, and despite Austin attempting to grab it, he lost his grip and fell on his backside - eliminating himself.

Luckily the mistake didn’t prove too costly for the WWE Hall of Famer who later that year switched to his ‘Stone Cold’ persona and would go on to win three Rumble matches throughout his career.

5. Roman Reigns breaking the record in 2014.

The Muscle of the Shield proved he is a force to be reckoned with on his Rumble debut in 2014.

Reigns eclipsed Kane’s previous record haul of 11 with a dozen eliminations, and even flipped three men at ONCE over the ropes.

He officially broke the record when he sent Sheamus packing deep into the match – but Batista turned the tables and went onto win after four years away from the ring.

6. Ric Flair’s epic match in 1992 which saw him win gold.

Throughout the decades, most diehard WWE fans would pick out this moment as their favourite in Rumble history.

The Nature Boy arrived at then WWF as the new kid on the block and at a career-low point having been deeply disillusioned with life at WCW.

Flair entered at number three and produced a masterclass of resilience and sweat-soaked stamina to climb to the top of the wrestling food chain.

He stayed in the ring for over an hour and overcame the likes of Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and Sid Justice to win the Championship.

In his promo afterwards, he said: “I'm going to tell you all, with a tear in my eye, this is the greatest moment in my life.”

7. Underdog Maven dropkicking The Undertaker and sealing a shock win in 2002

In the words of Jim Ross, “that is the biggest shock I have ever seen in Royal Rumble history”…

The elimination of The Undertaker by a baby faced Maven has got to be wrestling’s biggest upset.

The Dead Man was taking souls and digging holes with such ferocity he had the ring to himself when Maven made his entrance.

Everyone had written off the youngster before he had even entered including Taker who allowed himself a smirk.

The Dead Man was midway through yelling “Get your asses out of my ring” to the Boyz and Maven drop kicked him in the back, sending him crashing over the rope.

8. John Cena’s return in 2008 after a torn pectoral muscle, where he eliminated four wrestlers to win his first Royal Rumble.

At that point, the former Dr. of Thuganomics was a distant memory after tearing his pectoral clean off the bone three months prior.

His surprise entrance at number 30 with a sly smirk on his face caused the place to explode.

He won that year by eliminating bookies favorite Triple H last and punching his way to a WrestleMania championship.

9. The two biggest names in WWE, Hogan and Warrior, lock horns in 1990 for the first time.

This Rumble built towards a Hulk Hogan v Ultimate Warrior showdown and the place erupted when both giants eliminated every mere mortal to be left one on one.

They were so evenly matched they actually clotheslined each other, with Hogan eventually besting Warrior in a test of strength to win his first-ever Rumble match.

This moment was so memorable it will be seared in wrestling fans’ minds forever.

10. Asuka wins first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble plus Ronda Rousey’s debut in 2018.

With Asuka on a roll going into the show, she conquered the Rumble by dragging Nikki Bella on the apron and kicking her off to elimination.

This led to a major moment where the two women’s champions, Charlotte Flair and Alexa Bliss entered the ring to size Asuka up.

Suddenly, “Bad Reputation” rang out and UFC starlet Rousey stepped out to make her mark on WWE known.

WWE Royal Rumble is available to watch this Sunday night at 12am on PPV from BT Sport Box Office, or you can watch via the WWE Network – sign up now and get your first month free.

Royal Rumble's longest lasting WWE stars from 1988 to 2019 with Triple H and Stone Cold in top 10

Football news:

Hazard has an ankle problem and may miss the game with Alaves
Agent Fedele: Manchester City are very close to buying Coulibaly
West ham Moyes can sign Lingard and Jones from Manchester United, if not relegated from the Premier League
Ennio Morricone's heart belonged to music and rum. The composer was asked to write the club's anthem, and Totti went to his hit
Leipzig have signed forward Hwang Hee-Chan from Salzburg. He took the number 11 that Werner played under
Inter wants to sign Kessie. Milan previously refused to exchange for Gagliardini
Showsport supports the journalist Ivan Safronov, accused of treason. This is a very suspicious case