The tagline for the 1996 Royal Rumble was “You’ve been Warned”. The tagline is ever so appropriate since looking back on this Rumble, you may think to yourself, “wow, I wasn’t expecting that”. The ’96 Rumble may not be one of the rumbles that are initially mentioned in conversation about great past events, however, when you give it another look, the pay-per-view comes across as a solid entry to the Rumble’s history. There was an improvement in the star power that was a part of the Rumble match, in comparison to the previous year’s lackluster rumble roster. Speaking of improvements made, the undercard changed drastically from the year before. One fun stat that stands out is Duke “The Dumpster” Drose has a victory of Triple H – next time yo want to stump your friends in some trivia.
The ’96 Rumble took a different direction down a familiar road. This would be a night of repeats, as Razor Ramon would once again lose the Intercontinental Championship at the Rumble, but this time it would be to his unique rival, Goldust. The previous year, Ramon dropped the belt to Jeff Jarrett. In addition to repeats, this would be the 2nd year in a row where Bret Hart would not be the sole victor in the WWF Championship match. He went one-on-one, defending his title against the Undertaker. Taker would win the match via disqualification, but not the title. In the last example of the repeats, surviving 29 other men, “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels would stand alone and tall as the winner of the Rumble match, and stamping his ticket for a Wrestlemania 12 main event for the WWF title. Michaels was the the 2nd man in history to win back to back Rumbles, next to Hulk Hogan.
Maurice D. Proffit is a writer for Rant Sports