MLW Owner and former WWE writer, Court Bauer, has detailed how WWE decided upon their Royal Rumble iron men each year.
Since the beginning of the Royal Rumble’s history, there has always been that one star who puts in a performance worthy of remembrance and lasts longer than anyone else. It has become a tradition for the bout to have it’s iron man as said star attempts the break the overall record.
In 1990, ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase lasted 44:47 and the following year Rick Martel topped that performance surviving an impressive 52:17. ‘The Model’ was closely followed in the same bout by Greg Valentine who managed 44:03.
1992 saw Ric Flair put in a 60:02 shift en route to lifting the WWF Championship, while 1993 saw former WWF Champion Bob Backlund top that feat with a reign of 61:10. While it’s impossible to note down thirty years worth of iron men, other notable inclusions are:
Bam Bam Bigelow 30:12 (1994), Shawn Michaels and Davey Boy Smith 38:41 in one of the shortest Royal Rumble Matches in history (1995), Hunter Hearst Helmsley 48:04, 60:16 (1996 and 2006), Chris Benoit 61:35 (2004) and Rey Mysterio 62:12 (2006).
Now, Court Bauer has sat down with Fightful for their ‘Inside the Royal Rumble’ feature to discuss how the company decide who will be the one to outlast all others each and every year:
“They’ll go through it, a lot of it is very impressive. There will be some red flags, some fine-tuning, Vince might say, ‘Hey, hold on for a second.’ They’ll go through that whole process and you’ll know what they’re going to showcase in a guy and tell a story and he’s the iron man guy. He’ll go the distance. Then you’ll go out and ask if he’s going to break any records? What records are there? You fire up Google and you go ‘hey!’ because there is no in-house system that has all the records.”
With the 2021 Royal Rumble on the horizon, fans are gearing up to see who, if anyone, will be able to top the impressive performance of Rey Mysterio in 2006 which took him to WrestleMania 22 and ultimately the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Credit for the interview and transcription: Fightful