Similarly to the previous year’s Royal Rumble, the 1996 was another rebuilding era. The focus was put on the debuting Vader, who had his first match in the federation and had a strong showing. However, important attitude era competitors such as Steve Austin and Triple H also made debuts in the match. There’s less churn than last year as well – as WWF was beginning to find it’s footing after a disasterous start to the new generation.

In the match itself it was seen as the coronation of Shawn Michaels as a main eventer, last eliminating Diesel and getting the most eliminations in the match. Shawn Michaels would then go on to win the title against Bret Hart in the first Iron Man match at Wrestlemania 12.

Promotional poster for Royal Rumble 1996

21st January, 1996

Fresno, California

Selland Arena


  • You've been Warned!


Notable Records

Record Individual
Winner Shawn Michaels
Iron Men Hunter Hearst Helmsley (48:05)
Least time in Match Squat Team #2 (00:24)
Most Eliminations Shawn Michaels (8)
Potential Winners (wrestlers in the ring after last entrant) 6 (Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Kama, British Bulldog, Duke Droese, Issac Yankem D.D.S.)
Number of debutants 14 (Triple H, Dory Funk Jr., 1-2-3 Kid, Takao Omori, Savio Vega, Vader, Doug Gilbert, Squat Team #1, Squat Team #2, Hakushi, Kama, Steve Austin, Barry Horowitz, Issac Yankem D.D.S.)
Last Rumble Appearances 14 (Dory Funk Jr., Yokozuna, 1-2-3 Kid, Takao Omori, Doug Gilbert, Squat Team #1, Squat Team #2, Hakushi, Aldo Montoya, Barry Horowitz, Fatu, Issac Yankem D.D.S., Marty Jannetty, Duke Droese)
Average Time in match12:47
Number of individuals with at least one elimination43.33%

Did You Know?

  • This was the first Royal Rumble to have entrance music for all participants, rather than just for entrants #1 & #2
  • This was the first Royal Rumble since 1988 not to main event the card. The Undertaker vs Bret Hart match was the main event.
  • This Royal Rumble saw a change of the logo that had been present since 1989. The triangular logo would remain in place until 2000.
  • Outside of the pandemic era Royal Rumble, this is the lowest attended Royal Rumble.


Number of Entrant Wrestler Name Time in Match Finishing Position Eliminations Eliminated By Other Facts
1 Hunter Hearst Helmsley 48:05 12 0 Diesel

Hunter Hearst Helmsley lost a pre-show match to decide who would enter #30, and who would enter #1 against Duke Droese.

2 Henry O. Godwinn 16:27 29 0 Jake Roberts
3 Mr. Bob Backlund 12:22 30 0 Yokozuna
4 Jerry Lawler 36:03 15 0 Shawn Michaels

Jerry Lawler hid under the ring for a large part of the match.

5 Bob "Spark Plug" Holly 39:35 13 0 "The Ringmaster" Steve Austin
6 King Mabel 12:15 28 0 Yokozuna
7 Jake Roberts 14:40 25 2 Vader
8 Dory Funk Jr. 10:53 26 0 Savio Vega
9 Yokozuna 19:15 19 3 Shawn Michaels
10 1-2-3 Kid 17:40 18 0 Shawn Michaels
11 Takao Omori 02:49 27 0 Jake Roberts

Omori’s only WWF/E apprearance. He had The Orient Express’ music.

12 Savio Vega 12:28 21 1 Vader
13 Vader 11:04 20 4 Shawn Michaels
14 Doug Gilbert 02:58 24 0 Vader
15 Squat Team #1 01:11 23 0 Vader

Not really identified which is which, both him & Squat Team #2 were identical twins.

16 Squat Team #2 00:24 22 0 Yokozuna

Not really identified which is which, both him & Squat Team #1 were identical twins.

17 Owen Hart 20:47 10 2 Diesel, Shawn Michaels

Owen attacked Bob Holly (a legal entrant) before entering the ring, so the time is taken from then.

18 Shawn Michaels 26:08 1 8 Winner
19 Hakushi 01:53 17 0 Owen Hart

After Vader was eliminated, he beat up all current competitors, so Hakushi didn’t enter the ring until after the beatings finished.

20 Tatanka 04:08 14 1 Diesel
21 Aldo Montoya 01:52 16 0 Tatanka
22 Diesel 17:50 2 5 Shawn Michaels
23 Kama 15:57 4 1 Diesel
24 "The Ringmaster" Steve Austin 10:57 8 1 Fatu

Steve Austin, on his podcast, later confirmed he wasn’t meant to be eliminated so soon but he slipped.

25 Barry Horowitz 04:15 11 0 Owen Hart
26 Fatu 07:07 7 1 Issac Yankem D.D.S.
27 Issac Yankem D.D.S. 07:05 6 1 Shawn Michaels
28 Marty Jannetty 02:35 9 0 British Bulldog
29 British Bulldog 03:39 3 1 Shawn Michaels
30 Duke Droese 01:10 5 0 Diesel, Kama

Duke Droese won a pre-show match to decide who would enter #30, and who would enter #1 against Hunter Hearst Helmsley


Entrant Waterfall
Elimination Pie Chart
Time by Number
Eliminations by Number

Entrant Waterfall

Elimination Pie Chart

Time by Number

Eliminations by Number

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