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Top 7 Random WWE Royal Rumble Entrants

January 29, 2022 | Posted by Steve Cook
Royal Rumble Image Credit: WWE

Last time, we took a look at some of the biggest surprises to shake the Royal Rumble match over the years. This time, we’re taking a bit of a different tack. These are surprises, but not in the “OMG IT’S JOHN CENA” kind of way. More in the “What the heck is this guy doing there” vein.

You’ll notice most of these are from the mid-1990s. As much as we note WWE’s seeming inability to find thirty people to fill a Rumble match here in 2022, it was even more of a problem back in the day. They found all sorts of random folks to run down, get thrown out, make some money and never be seen again.

Here are the seven most magnificent random Royal Rumble entrants.

7. Takao Omori (1996)

Omori got his start with All Japan Pro Wrestling in 1992. Like most young boys, he had to pay his dues for a couple of years. He eventually got over in tag teams with Jun Akiyama & Yoshihiro Takayama, scoring tag team title reigns with both men. He made his way to America in order to compete in the 1996 Royal Rumble. Now, I was 11 years old at the time and hadn’t seen any Japanese wrestling outside of New Japan workers appearing in WCW. Maybe other WWF fans were more well-schooled than I, but I had no idea who Omori was, and the WWF did nothing to educate the audience.

Omori entered 11th, and did little of note before getting eliminated by Hunter Hearst Helmsley & Jake Roberts. His entire WWF stint lasted 2:48, as Omori never appeared for the company again. Omori did return to America multiple times during the 2000s, including a match with Ken Shamrock for the NWA championship on a TNA weekly PPV.

6. Mil Mascaras (1997)

It was long said that if you wanted to draw a crowd near the border of the United States & Mexico, you had to book Mil Mascaras. I don’t know for sure how true that was, but Mascaras’ appearance in the 1997 Royal Rumble took place in front of 60,477 people. Some would say that Shawn Michaels was the main reason a show in San Antonio drew that many people, others would say it was Mascaras!

OK, not very many people would. It was still interesting to see the Man of 1,000 Masks make his first WWF appearance since 1978, when he was an intermittent attraction at Madison Square Garden. He appeared alongside other AAA wrestlers who were being used to help fill out the card. Mascaras entered the Rumble at #11, eliminated his countrymen Pierroth & Cibernetico, then eliminated himself after 7:28 by diving onto Pierroth on the outside. Most assume that’s the only way Mascaras would have agreed to be eliminated, as he’s known by his peers as having a bit of an ego. In Mascaras’s defense, most top stars do.

5. Doug Gilbert (1996)

“Dangerous” Doug was best known as the younger brother of “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert, but he made a pretty solid career for himself in the business. He only had one match in the World Wrestling Federation, and I’m wondering if he used that to get himself booked as “WWF Superstar “Dangerous” Doug Gilbert”. Seems like something he’d do. Gilbert actually earned his way into the 1996 Rumble by winning a Rumble match on a USWA event in Memphis. This wasn’t mentioned during the match, or anywhere in the build to the Rumble that I’m aware of, so very few people watching the Royal Rumble had any idea who Doug Gilbert was.

Doug entered fourteenth and lasted 2:59 before Vader dumped him out in unceremonious fashion. Doug would later become somewhat infamous for a promo he cut on Memphis television where he discussed Randy Hales’ crack habit, Brian Christopher being Jerry Lawler’s son, and Lawler having unwanted intercourse with a 13 year old girl. Look that one up on YouTube if you’ve somehow missed it.

4. Carlos Colon (1993)

The 44-year old youngster had last appeared in the WWF when it was known as the WWWF. He wrestled the likes of Johnny Rodz & Lou Albano back in those days, before he became the God of Puerto Rico wrestling. He actually got his start up in New York, training at the gym Antonino Rocca & Miguel Perez frequented. Colon spent a few years in the Northeastern US & Canada before returning to Puerto Rico and starting a promotion that became the WWC. He was a bit busy with that, so he didn’t have time to return to the WWF until the 1993 Royal Rumble.

Colon entered twenty-fourth, and eliminated the immortal Damien Demento. Yokozuna would toss him out after seven minutes & twenty-five seconds. It’d be Carlos’ last WWF in-ring appearance, but his sons would become regulars for WWE in the twenty-first century. Obviously they were all born after this match given how young Carlos was at the time.

3. The Great Kabuki (1994)

Kabuki was a pretty big deal in World Class Championship Wrestling under the management of Gary Hart, then as part of Skandor Akbar’s Devastation Inc. He was the first wrestler to blow colored mist into his opponents’ faces, and also one of the first to utilize the superkick as part of his offensive attack. While he was a legend in the Metroplex, he never made an appearance with the World Wrestling Federation.

Until 1994! Mr. Fuji was allowed to recruit a couple of entrants into the Rumble in exchange for agreeing to Lex Luger entering the match, and Kabuki was one of his choices. Genichiro Tenryu was Fuji’s other entrant, and both men also assisted in Undertaker’s assassination during his casket match with Yokozuna. No wonder they weren’t invited back. Kabuki’s sole WWE in-ring appearance lasted all of two minutes & forty six seconds, as he entered twenty-second and was eliminated by Lex Luger in short order.

2. Dick Murdoch (1995)

Murdoch hadn’t regularly appeared for the WWF since February 1985 when he made his grand return at the 1995 Rumble. This was a strange little run, as Murdoch was featured in a couple of interviews & segments on TV tapings leading up to the event, but none of them ended up making the air. One can surmise that WWF brass either wasn’t impressed with the quality of the productions or Murdoch didn’t rub people the right way backstage. Or maybe a little of both.

Instead of Murdoch getting another chance with the WWF in 1995, he got a pretty random Royal Rumble appearance. He entered twenty-seventh, helped Crush eliminate the Smokin’ Gunns, then got eliminated by Henry O. Godwinn after 5:08 of action. If you were a youngster like me that had no idea who Dick Murdoch was, you still had no idea who he was after he left. Murdoch would end up having a match with Wahoo McDaniel at WCW Slamboree four months later, and passed away in June 1996.

Honorable Mention: Dory Funk Jr. (1996)

One year after Murdoch’s random Rumble entry, they decided to bring back another Texas-based wrestler that worked for the WWF in the 1980s. Dory is of course more well-remembered as an NWA World Champion, but had a brief run with the WWF alongside his brother Terry as “Hoss” Funk. Vince McMahon has never been big on Juniors, so that was a thing that happened. Along with Dory lasting 10:53 in the 1996 Rumble before getting eliminated by Savio Vega.

Dory had a match with Bob Holly on the Raw taping the night after, but that was it for his in-ring activity with the WWF in 1996. He ended up training people for the company a couple of years later, so he impressed some people with his work anyway.

1. Drew Carey (2001)

Why was Drew Carey in the 2001 Royal Rumble match? Great question! Drew was at the event plugging his upcoming PPV special, Drew Carey’s Improv All Stars. He was looking to get advice from Mr. McMahon on how to put on a successful PPV, but got distracted by Trish Stratus. Understandable. McMahon offered Carey a spot in the Rumble, and Carey accepted in order to plug his PPV and impress Trish. I’m pretty sure he knew he wasn’t going to impress Trish, but at least he could plug his event!

Things went as well as Carey could have hoped for, really. Not the best draw at #5, but he got in right when Matt & Jeff Hardy eliminated themselves. The Kane thing looked scary for a minute, but Kane’s never been accused of being the quickest of individuals. Drew was able to kill enough time before Raven could come out and make the save. Maybe Raven was a big Whose Line Is It Anyway fan, or he was hoping to get Mimi Bobeck’s number. In any event, Carey was able to get out of the match after 2:54 without a scratch, and move on to host The Price Is Right several years later.

Thanks for reading! Hit me up on the Twitter or in the comment section with your thoughts, suggestions & concerns.

article topics :

Royal Rumble, WWE, Steve Cook