Royal Rumble 1998 was the eleventh annual Royal Rumble professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). It took place on January 18, 1998 at the San Jose Arena in San Jose, California.
The main event was a casket match between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker for the WWF Championship. The main matches on the undercard were the Royal Rumble match, which Steve Austin won after last eliminating The Rock to win the match, making it his second Royal Rumble win, The Legion Of Doom (Hawk and Animal) versus The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn) for the WWF Tag Team Championship and The Rock versus Ken Shamrock for the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
In the weeks leading up to the pay-per-view, Ken Shamrock had been facing various members of the Nation of Domination ahead of his booked match against Intercontinental champion Rocky Maivia (The Rock), defeating Kama Mustafa and Faarooq with his ankle lock despite interference from other Nation members. The Raw is War before the Rumble saw Shamrock team up with Mark Henry against Maivia and D'Lo Brown, but just as Shamrock looked set to lock his submission on The Rock, Henry turned on him, joining the Nation in giving him a post-match beat down.
After winning their first tag team title, the New Age Outlaws further humiliated the erstwhile champions, the Legion of Doom, by shaving one of Hawk's mohawks and, with the help of D-Generation X, powerbombed Animal through the announce table, damaging his back. Although he was advised not to compete by doctors, Animal rested through the first few weeks of the year while the Outlaws ran roughshod through the tag division before this pay-per-view.<
The buildup to the Royal Rumble match itself focused almost entirely on Stone Cold Steve Austin. He declared that before the match he would be living by the motto "Do unto others, before they do unto me" interfering in matches regularly on Raw is War, or appearing just as matches finished, delivering the stunner to anyone in sight as well leaving other wrestlers back stage buried under tables and chairs. In the final segment of the Raw preceding the event, all competitors of the Royal Rumble were in the ring, waiting to draw their number of entry when Austin ran in through the crowd and began throw punches all over the ring, sparking a brawl between the various wrestlers feuding in the ring, and kicking the number generator out of the ring.
The main event for the WWF Championship was a rematch between champion Shawn Michaels and challenger The Undertaker, who had previously fought at Badd Blood in the first Hell in a Cell match which ended with the debut of Undertaker's (kayfabe) brother, Kane, giving Michaels the unfair win by delivering a tombstone piledriver on Undertaker, allowing the almost beaten Michaels to steal the match. To mock his opponent, Triple H and Chyna brought a casket to the match only for Michaels to appear from inside and spray paint it in D-Generation X slogans. The following week, while Michaels was delivering a promo, the same casket appeared again but this time Undertaker appeared from inside, grabbing the champion by the throat and dragging him into the coffin. Undertaker made his full presence known the following week, interrupting an interview in which Michaels was claiming to introduce the newest DX member: Kane. Undertaker told his opponent to leave his family out of the feud, before attacking the stable and being outnumbered. Kane made a surprise appearance and helped Undertaker, fighting DX up to the ramp before turning and reaching his hand out in an Undertaker-like salute which his brother returned.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Vader defeated Goldust (w/ Luna) (7:47)
- Max Mini, Mosaic & Nova defeated Battalion, El Torito & Tarantula in a Six Man Tag Team Midget Match (Special Referee: Sunny) (7:49)
- The Rock (c) defeated Ken Shamrock by DQ to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship (10:53)
- The Legion Of Doom (Road Warrior Animal & Road Warrior Hawk) defeated The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn & Road Dogg) (c) by DQ in a WWF World Tag Team Championship Match (7:56)
- Steve Austin won the Royal Rumble Match by last eliminating The Rock (55:24)
- Shawn Michaels (c) defeated The Undertaker in a Casket Match for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship (20:37)
Royal Rumble entrances and eliminations
A new entrant came out approximately every 90 seconds.
|1||Cactus Jack||2||Chainsaw Charlie||9:41|
|3||Tom Brandi||1||Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie||0:12|
|8||Blackjack Bradshaw||15||Dude Love||35:45|
|9||Owen Hart||10||Triple H and Chyna||12:00|
|12||Kurrgan||5||8-Ball, Phinneas Godwinn, Bradshaw and Shamrock||3:38|
|16||Mankind||7||The Artist Formerly Known As Goldust||2:40|
|17||The Artist Formerly Known As Goldust||23||Chainz||26:04|
|18||Jeff Jarrett||8||Owen Hart||1:05|
|19||The Honky Tonk Man||17||Vader||19:55|
|20||Ahmed Johnson||11||Henry and Brown||3:18|
|22||Skull||-||Unable to compete due to injury||0:00|
|30||Vader||21||The Artist Formerly Known As Goldust||2:16|
Other on-screen talent
DVD & Video Releases
- Royal Rumble 1998 Offical Website
- Royal Rumble 1998 on WWE Network
- Royal Rumble 1998 at CAGEMATCH.net
- Royal Rumble 1998 at Online World of Wrestling
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|1998 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views|
|Royal Rumble • No Way Out Of Texas • WrestleMania • Mayhem in Manchester • Unforgiven • Over the Edge • King of the Ring • Fully Loaded • SummerSlam • Breakdown • Judgment Day • Survivor Series • Capital Carnage • Rock Bottom|
|1997 World Wrestling Federation pay-per-views|
|Royal Rumble • The Final Four • WrestleMania • Revenge of the 'Taker • A Cold Day in Hell • Canadian Stampede • King of the Ring • SummerSlam • Ground Zero • One Night Only • Badd Blood • Survivor Series • D-Generation X|