The Fate of the Royal Rumble Winner

John Cena celebrates winning the 2008 Royal Rumble. © 2008 World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Starting with the 1993 Royal Rumble Match, the winner was entitled to receive a main event title shot at . In some cases, the winner of the Rumble went on to win a championship at WrestleMania while others have lost their title match. On several occasions, the Rumble winner never even got to use their title shot.

1993 Rumble Winner: Yokozuna
Yokozuna fought Bret Hart for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania IX.

Yokozana beat Bret for the championship and then put the title on the line against Hulk Hogan minutes later. The Hulkster wound up leaving the event as the new WWE Champion.

1994 Rumble Winners: Bret Hart and Lex Luger
This was the only time that there were co-winners of the Rumble. A coin toss was used to determine who would get the first title shot. Lex Luger won the toss and fought Yokozuna first. He was disqualified in that match by special guest referee Curt Hennig. Later in the show, Bret Hart, who lost to his brother Owen earlier in the show, beat Yokozuna to walk out of Madison Square Garden as the new champion.

1995 and 1996 Rumble Winner: Shawn Michaels
Shawn lost to WWE Champion Diesel at WrestleMania XI. The following year, he beat Bret Hart to win his first WWE Championship.

1997 Winner: Steve Austin
Stone Cold was the first Rumble winner that did not cash in his title shot at WrestleMania.

Shortly after the Rumble, WWE Champion Shawn Michaels vacated the title. Due to the controversial finish of the Rumble (Austin was eliminated but the refs didn’t see it), the vacated title was filled by a four man elimination match based on events that took place at the Rumble. Bret Hart beat Steve Austin, the Undertaker, and Vader to win the vacant title.

The following night, Austin cost Bret the title. At WrestleMania 13, Bret beat Austin in a submission match.

1998 Winner: Steve Austin
Steve Austin went on to fight Shawn Michaels in the main event that featured Mike Tyson as a special enforcer at ringside. Steve won the match to win his first WWE Championship.

1999 Winner: Vince McMahon
The night after winning the Rumble, Vince gave up his title shot so that his friend the Rock didn’t have to defend the belt at WrestleMania. Commissioner Shawn Michaels declared that since Vince vacated the title shot that Steve Austin would get the title shot since he was the last man eliminated from the match. The controversy was settled in a steel cage match between Vince and Austin. Austin won that match to get the title shot and used it to beat the Rock.

2000 Winner: The Rock
The Rock lost his title shot to Big Show at No Way Out. The main event was later changed into a match that featured a member of the McMahon family represent one of the wrestlers in that match. WWE Champion Triple H successfully defended his title at WrestleMania 2000 against the Rock, the Big Show, and Mick Foley.

2001 Winner: Steve Austin
Steve used his title shot to win the title from the Rock at WrestleMania X-Seven.

2002 Winner: Triple H
On the Road to WrestleMania, Triple H lost and then regained his title shot to Kurt Angle. Triple H then went on to beat Chris Jericho for the undisputed championship at WrestleMania X8.

2003 Winner: Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar went on to win the WWE Championship from Kurt Angle at WrestleMania XIX.

2004 Winner: Chris Benoit
Chris was the first Rumble winner to switch brands. By doing that, he also became the first wrestler to use his Rumble victory to try and win the World Heavyweight Championship. Shawn Michaels was not happy about this and knocked out Benoit. He proceeded to sign Benoit’s WrestleMania contract. A ruling determined that Shawn Michaels would be added to the title match. At WrestleMania XX, Chris Benoit beat Triple H and Shawn Michaels to win the World Heavyweight Championship.

2005 Winner: Batista
Batista used his title shot to win the World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H.

2006 Winner: Rey Mysterio
Rey lost his title shot to Randy Orton at No Way Out. SmackDown GM Teddy Long decided to add Rey to the World Title match at WrestleMania 22. In that match, Rey Mysterio beat Randy Orton and Kurt Angle to win his first World Heavyweight Championship.

2007 Winner: The Undertaker
The Undertaker used his title shot to beat Batista at WrestleMania 23 for the World Heavyweight Championship.

2008 Winner: John Cena
John decided to use his title shot early and has challenged Randy Orton to a WWE Championship at No Way Out. He won that match via DQ but not the title. At WrestleMania XXIV, John lost a triple-threat match against WWE Champion Randy Orton and Triple H.

2009 Winner: Randy Orton
Randy Orton lost to WWE Champion Triple H at The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania.

2010 Winner: Edge
Edge lost to World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XXVI.

2011 Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio lost to World Heavyweight Champion Edge at WrestleMania XXVII.

2012 Winner: Sheamus
It took Sheamus only 18 seconds to win the World Heavyweight Championship from Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania XXVIII.

2013 Winner: John Cena
John Cena won the WWE Championship from The Rock at WrestleMania XXIX. That victory made him the only man to win a world championship at four different WrestleMania events.

2014 Winner: Batista
Due to the popularity of the "Yes!" movement, Batista never got a one-on-one shot at the title against WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton.

The match was turned into a Triple Threat Match with Daniel Bryan earning a spot in the match by beating Triple H in the first match of the evening. In the main event of WrestleMania XXX, Daniel Bryan forced Batista to tap out to the Yes Lock which resulted in Orton losing the title to Daniel Bryan.

2015 Winner: Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns fought Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31.  After Brock and Roman had beaten each other up, Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank title shot and pinned Roman in the ensuing Triple Threat Match to win the title.