The 1997 Royal Rumble was WWF beginning to find it’s footing as it begins to prepare for the Attitude Era which began later that year. A heavily papered show, over 60,000 people attended the Alamodome to see Shawn Michaels regain the WWF World Heavyweight Championship from Psycho Sid. The Royal Rumble took a back seat.

However, unlike previous years, the Royal Rumble was considered to be very strong – with one particular stand out performer. This was “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s breakthrough performance, winning the match from the number 5 position, eliminating a third of the field along the way: a feat not seen since the days of Hulk Hogan.

However, his victory wasn’t without controversy, as Austin was eliminated by Bret Hart during the match. His elimination – not seen by referees – allowed him to re-enter the match. This saw him being forced to put up his Wrestlemania main event entry in a “Final Four” match, which saw The Undertaker win the match, and win the title against Psycho Sid in the main event of Wrestlemania 13. Austin – instead – completed his face turn in an all time classic against Bret Hart.

The match, due to it’s location, saw a crossover with AAA Lucha Libre, with 4 competitors from that Mexican promotion enter the match. The most famous was the legendary Mil Mascaras, who was difficult to work with, and only left the match by eliminating himself.

Promotional poster for Royal Rumble 1997

19th January, 1997

San Antonio, Texas



  • No More Mr. Nice Guy!


Notable Records

Record Individual
Winner Steve Austin
Iron Men Steve Austin (45:04)
Least time in Match Jerry Lawler (00:05)
Most Eliminations Steve Austin (10)
Potential Winners (wrestlers in the ring after last entrant) 10 (Steve Austin, Bret Hart, Fake Diesel, Vader, The Undertaker, Mankind, Terry Funk, Rocky Maivia, Henry O. Godwinn, Flash Funk)
Number of debutants 17 (Ahmed Johnson, Fake Razor Ramon, Phineas I. Godwinn, Pierroth, Sultan, Mil Mascaras, Goldust, Cybernetico, Marc Mero, Latin Lover, Faarooq, Jesse James, Fake Diesel, Terry Funk, The Rock, Mankind, Flash Funk)
Last Rumble Appearances 13 (Crush, Fake Razor Ramon, Bart Gunn, Jake Roberts, Pierroth, Sultan, Mil Mascaras, Cybernetico, Latin Lover, Bret Hart, Fake Diesel, Terry Funk, Flash Funk)
Average Time in match07:34
Number of individuals with at least one elimination43.33%

Did You Know?

  • This is the first time in a traditionally long Royal Rumble (30 entrants with more than 1 minute between entrants) whereby the winner, the Iron Man & most eliminations were the same person.
  • Once again, like last year, this match didn’t main event – instead Shawn Michaels won the WWE Championship against Pyscho Sid.
  • This was the highest attended Royal Rumble in history.
  • This is the first year since 1989 where the Royal Rumble winner did not compete for the WWF Championship at Wrestlemania.

Watch Royal Rumble 1997

You can watch Royal Rumble 1997 on YouTube for free. Watch it below.


Number of Entrant Wrestler Name Time in Match Finishing Position Eliminations Eliminated By Other Facts
1 Crush 06:12 28 0 Phineas I. Godwinn
2 Ahmed Johnson 02:57 29 2 Self

Ahmed Johnson saw Faarooq on the ramp and eliminated himself to chase him.

3 Fake Razor Ramon 00:17 30 0 Ahmed Johnson

Rick Bogner’s buzzer was broken and didn’t have any music as well.

4 Phineas I. Godwinn 02:53 27 1 Steve Austin

Phineas’ buzzer was broken, but did have music.

5 Steve Austin 45:04 1 10 Winner
  • Austin didn’t have a buzzer, but did have music.
  • At one point, Bret Hart eliminated Steve Austin. However no referees saw his exit from the ring and he continued.
6 Bart Gunn 00:26 26 0 Steve Austin

The buzzer was fixed for Bart Gunn’s entrance.

7 Jake Roberts 01:10 25 0 Steve Austin
8 British Bulldog 08:04 23 1 Owen Hart
9 Pierroth 10:32 21 1 Mil Mascaras
10 Sultan 03:23 24 0 British Bulldog
11 Mil Mascaras 07:29 20 2 Self

After eliminating Pierroth, Mascaras dived on him from the top rope, eliminating himself because he doesn’t like losing.

12 Hunter Hearst Helmsley 06:44 19 0 Goldust
13 Owen Hart 08:30 15 2 Steve Austin

Hart’s elmination took place off screen, so difficult to get the exact time.

14 Goldust 05:34 18 1 Owen Hart
15 Cybernetico 01:25 22 0 Mil Mascaras, Pierroth
16 Marc Mero 03:55 14 0 Steve Austin

Hart’s elmination took place off screen, so difficult to get the exact time.

17 Latin Lover 01:47 17 0 Faarooq
18 Faarooq 00:42 16 1 Ahmed Johnson

Ahmed returned to eliminate Faarooq.

19 Savio Vega 00:47 13 0 Steve Austin
20 "Double J" Jesse James 00:29 12 0 Steve Austin
21 Bret Hart 21:01 2 2 Steve Austin
22 Jerry Lawler 00:05 11 0 Bret Hart

Jerry Lawler was doing commentary at the time and return to the commentary position after being eliminated.

23 Fake Diesel 17:50 3 0 Bret Hart
24 Terry Funk 15:19 7 0 Mankind
25 Rocky Maivia 13:02 8 0 Mankind
26 Mankind 12:22 6 2 The Undertaker
27 Flash Funk 06:12 10 0 Vader
28 Vader 10:05 5 1 Steve Austin
29 Henry O. Godwinn 06:12 9 0 The Undertaker
30 The Undertaker 06:46 4 2 Steve Austin


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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