The unsung hero of the Royal Rumble event is the golden spinning tumbler that holds the numbers drawn randomly to determine the order of entry into the Royal Rumble match. The luck of the draw is so important because the higher the number, the higher a wrestler’s chances are of victory. Back in the day, the actual drawing of the numbers was focused on a lot more because it gave fans a clue as to what spot the wrestlers drew without revealing the actual point of entry.
The drawing shenanigans of the 1989 Royal Rumble were interesting for various reasons. “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase didn’t like the original number he pulled, and… let’s just say everyone has their price. Luke and Butch, the Bushwhackers, drew their numbers and decided to trade for some wacky reason no one will ever understand.
Jake Roberts and his pet python, Damien, were strangely optimistic about the number they pulled while the Honkytonk Man threw his number down in disgust, and then there was Bad News Brown, who got some good news for a change.
Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty, The Rockers, drew their numbers and wished each other good luck just as a well-oiled tag team would do while Ax and Smash of Demolition truly had no idea how long their night was going to be.
Demolition, the tag team champions at the time, were the first two entrants in the rumble. Ax drew #1, and Smash drew #2 and duked it out until Andre the Giant came in as the third entrant. By some stroke of “luck,” Ted DiBiase was the thirtieth and final entrant. It didn’t do him any good as he was eliminated six minutes later by the eventual winner, Big John Studd.
Ric Flair and Eddie Guerrero had a bit of a conflict during the 2005 Royal Rumble’s drawing process. One minute, Flair was ecstatic about the number he drew; the next, he was beside himself over a different number that was now in his possession.
The Nature Boy was convinced his original number was stolen and believed the perpetrator was Latino Heat. Well, he was right. Teddy Long was the voice of reason, and Guerrero gave back the stolen number. It was a smart move on Guerrero’s part to attempt the switch considering he drew #1 and Flair drew #30. In the end, it didn’t do either of them any good since Batista won the rumble.
This may be the old-school fan in me, but I enjoyed watching these moments as it added a little something extra to the suspense of it all. Watching the wrestlers pull their number from the tumbler and seeing the look on their faces gave us some hints as it reinforced the idea that anything can happen in the Royal Rumble.
You can see various superstars drawing their numbers for the 89 Rumble at the 20:43 mark of the video below.
This next video shows the first six minutes of the Rumble match where Demolition drew the first two numbers and proved it is every man for himself.
Here is the video of their wonderful exchange