Legendary Wrestling Records Worth Celebrating
With no offseason in wrestling, records are broken every year — records most fans aren’t even aware of!
You have to appreciate what these performers do with the little time they have to spend with their families. Instead, they’re out there in the middle of the ring, putting on a show for the fans, with some of them even making history in the process! A history that we’ll be going over.
There is an interesting collection of stats here. Finding obscure and largely unknown records is a struggle to validate, so to create a fair system, we made sure that all of the records featured here were documented across more than one source.
If there was a record only documented on one site and not validated elsewhere, it is not included. Many websites say different numbers regarding specific stats, too, which is a problem, so you can count on the records included here as being as close to validated as you can get! Let’s dive in…
WWE Records – #1 – Most Ever Royal Rumble Appearances
One of the most popular pay-per-views across all of wrestling is the Royal Rumble. The Rumble has always been a fan-favorite. It’s not only a great event to get a group of friends together to celebrate surprising returns, see a favorite performer put on an "iron man" performance, or even win the whole thing leading to an often much-needed new direction in top storylines on the show. It’s the start of WrestleMania season, after all!
It’s a pay-per-view that’s all about the numbers. Thirty participants, one winner. Each year WWE tends to put out a video that shows the Royal Rumble by the numbers. In these videos, they’ll showcase records set with all kinds of fun trivia thrown in.
These videos remind you that the shortest time before elimination was Santino Marella at 1.9 seconds (breaking The Warlord’s 1989 record for shortest Royal Rumble appearance by a tenth of a second), or that the longest time in the Rumble match was Rey Mysterio at a whopping 1 hour and 12 minutes. We’ll be going over some facts that are known, with many that are lesser-known but just as interesting!
We’re starting the list with a fact not as obscure, but as the Rumble list goes on, it’ll become increasingly more of a deep dive into records that are less spoken about.
Kane appearing in 20 Royal Rumbles is incredible, and it really speaks to his longevity with the company. He’s been in WWE for over two decades, and he’s made a lot of history during that time, more than most may realize.
WWE Records – #2 – Most Combined Eliminations in the Royal Rumble
Also not as obscure, but it’s important to state how influential Kane has been at stamping his name into the history books. Kane has 46 eliminations in the Royal Rumble, although WWE likes to acknowledge it as 45… we’re having none of that.
He has a solitary elimination under his dentist Isaac Yankem gimmick during the ’96 Rumble that WWE doesn’t count, but most reasonable people would count that.
Kane not only pops up in Royal Rumble records prominently but later on, you’ll read a record about Kane that shocks almost everyone.
There’s another match-type he’s taken by the scruff of the neck, just like he has with the Royal Rumble, so stay tuned! And not to mention that 1.9 second Santino Marella elimination mentioned during the introduction? Oh yeah, Kane eliminated him, too! Kane has a hobby of making history.
*Note: For comparison’s sake, Kane sits atop with 46 total Royal Rumble eliminations, Shawn Michaels is at second with 40, and The Undertaker is at third with 38.
WWE Records – #3 – Most Entries at the Coveted #30 Spot in the Royal Rumble
If it’s not Kane breaking Rumble records, it’s his half-brother, The Undertaker! The Brothers of Destruction start by dominating this list. Despite the last spot in the match being the most desirable number, entry #30 has only produced three winners.
The "luckiest" competitor to have the distinction of drawing this number the most amount of times is The Undertaker with three times. Coincidentally, he’s one of the three who have won from this position, and he was also the first to do it!
This was the 2007 Royal Rumble. It didn’t take long for the feat to be replicated. The following year at 2008’s Royal Rumble, John Cena pulled off the same feat. Only Triple H in 2016 has pulled it off since.
WWE Records – #4 – Shortest "Iron Man" Time in a Royal Rumble Match
An "Iron Man" in the Royal Rumble is defined as the superstar who has spent the longest time in the match.
The shortest "Iron Man" time is the most interesting, largely unknown WWE record on this list thus far.
John Cena, who outlasted everyone else in the 2010 Royal Rumble, spent a solid 40 minutes less time in the match than Rey Mysterio’s longest "Iron Man" record. Lasting 22 minutes and 11 seconds on its own is a solid effort, but for it to be the longest time out of every competitor that year.
That’s incredibly unusual, given he was the #29 entrant. It’s honestly a hard record to beat. WWE would have to construct a really unique Rumble in the future with consistent eliminations if they were to have an iron man time go under this one.
The closest to this obscure record was Bret Hart in the inaugural Royal Rumble match in 1988, lasting 25 minutes and 42 seconds as the iron man — a three and a half minute difference from Cena. The iron man from 2020’s Royal Rumble match, for comparison purposes, was winner Drew McIntyre who lasted 34 minutes and 11 seconds.
*Note: John Cena is the shortest "Iron Man" at 22 minutes and 11 seconds (2010), Bret Hart comes in second with a time of 25 minutes and 42 seconds (1988), and at third is Test with 26 minutes and 11 seconds (2000).
WWE Records – #5 – Shortest Time to Win a Royal Rumble
Everyone is talking about Edge’s magnificent return at the 2020 WWE Royal Rumble, and rightfully so! But we’ll switch it up and talk about his past and a fascinating record that he holds. This is the same Royal Rumble where the shortest iron man time was set.
It turns out the 2010 Royal Rumble was an event for quick records! Edge won in the shortest time ever in just over seven minutes. It was a monumental moment for many reasons — it was a record-breaking accomplishment, it was Edge’s first Royal Rumble win, and because it was a surprise return after a six-month absence from a torn Achilles tendon.
Edge Makes a Spectacular Return
Edge reflected on the Rumble win on a January 9th, 2017, episode of RAW.
"The Royal Rumble was my goal to get back to when I tore my Achilles tendon," Edge said, "so I looked at the calendar, and I went, ‘Okay, the Rumble’s in six months- I’ll be back for that!’
"For me personally, for my career, that was the last thing (winning the Royal Rumble) that I hadn’t done."
Edge thought to himself, "I’ve gotta get that Rumble, I gotta win the Rumble one year, ’cause then I feel like I did everything I set out to do."
He set out everything he wanted to do and more! We’re excited to see what Edge can add to his legacy with his recent return.
*Note: Edge holds the shortest time to win at 7:19 (2010), and John Cena comes second with 8:28 at the 2008 Royal Rumble (which was also a shocking return from injury).
WWE Records – #6 – Only Two Steel Cage Matches Ever Took Place at WrestleMania
Despite it being a popular WWE stipulation, there have only been two steel cage matches ever to take place at WrestleMania: WrestleMania 2 with Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy -(the only WrestleMania steel cage match for thirty-five years), and WrestleMania 37 with Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon.
There have been many steel cage matches in WWE; it’s a stipulation with a ton of history dating back to the 1930s. We’ve covered a piece on the main-stay stipulations history, which you can read here.
Hell in a Cell, another cage-based popular stipulation, has made multiple WrestleMania appearances, three times to be exact: at WrestleMania 15, 28, and 32. Yet still, the Steel Cage only appears twice, it took until 2021 to get a second match at the big event.
It’s unknown as to why.
Steel Cage Matches in WWE: A Potential Return and Its Historical Significance
WWE has managed to pull off a Hell in a Cell structure three times at the event, so there’s no reason they couldn’t do the same with a steel cage, but it’s now breathing down the Hell in a Cell’s neck in terms of appearances.
WWE seems to strictly do stadium shows for their WrestleMania’s now, and it’d most likely be a hassle and hard to see for a lot of the fans up high in the stands. The steel cage would work a lot better when they still worked WrestleMania in arenas. It’s still a possibility, though.
That WrestleMania 2 steel cage match was also the introduction of the blue bar structure in WWE, which they used for a total of 13 years. The last time this steel cage structure was seen on WWE television was between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mr. McMahon at In Your House: St Valentines Day Massacre 1999, although in the color black and not blue.
WWE Records – #7 – The Only One-day WWE WrestleMania Not Held on a Sunday
WrestleMania 2 was held on a Monday, the only WrestleMania not to be held in its traditional Sunday slot.
After the first WrestleMania’s success, there was room to experiment further for the second one as it was still a new event that had yet to establish the traditions attached to it today. The event was held on a Monday, something that’s never happened since and wouldn’t happen ever again with the existence of Monday Night Raw now.
Another experimental factor of WrestleMania 2 was the bizarre nature of holding the event at three separate venues.
It was a cash grab more than anything, capitalizing on the inaugural WrestleMania’s success and attempting to get as many ticket sales as they could. It didn’t go over so well and hasn’t been done since, which is the right call. Restricting the fans to four matches of live-action and watching the rest of the show on the big screens isn’t too practical.
Angry WWE fans express their frustration at Raw 25th Anniversary at the Manhattan Center
A modern example of a multi-venue event happening away from WrestleMania would be the RAW 25th Anniversary episode. The show was split between two venues, the Barclays Center and the Manhattan Center in New York (to celebrate the location of the first episode of RAW back ’93). It was a disaster on WWE’s behalf.
The show lacked quality and was a major disappointment to the viewers at home. But the fans who spent their hard-earned money to see the show had it much worse, particularly at the Manhattan Center.
Whilst they got to see some big names like The Undertaker, Degeneration-X, and Razor Ramon, they spent the majority of the time waiting for something to happen as all the action was going on at the Barclays Center. It’s a system that simply doesn’t work, and it would be a shock if WWE were to bring it back ever again.
Undertaker’s promo was criticized as short and cryptic. The only televised matches they saw were Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt and The Revival vs. The Club (Gallows and Anderson), totaling about 7 minutes of in-ring time between the two bouts.
WWE Records – #8 – Most Ever Losses at WrestleMania
This record is quite surprising. Triple H, who has a reputation for burying superstars, has lost more than anyone at WrestleMania. Ironically, one of the most infamous Triple H "burials" was at a WrestleMania, versus Booker T at WrestleMania 19.
Booker T’s loss is seen as unforgivable by a large contingent of fans, and no matter how many Triple H losses he had at Mania, it won’t make up for the conclusion of that match.
Booker T was hugely popular at the time in 2003. The then "FIVE-TIME, FIVE-TIME, FIVE-TIME, FIVE-TIME, FIVE-TIME!" World Champion was seeking a sixth World Championship against Triple H at WrestleMania. Triple H retaining on paper, the act of him simply winning the match, isn’t what outraged fans.
It was the way the feud was built up in connection with the result of the match. The promos by Triple H were incredibly racially motivated. The buildup was incredulous and built up so that anything other than a Booker T victory would be shameful. One particular promo Triple H cut in the weeks before the match stands out and still leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
The Promo Which Made Triple H’s Victory Over Booker T at WrestleMania 19 Controversial
"I think you’re a little bit confused about your role in life here," Triple H began. "You’re going to get to go to WrestleMania, but the fact is Booker… somebody like you doesn’t get to be a world champion. People like you don’t deserve it. That’s reserved for people like me. That’s where the confusion is.
“You’re not here to be a competitor. You’re here to be an entertainer. That’s what you do. You entertain people. Hell, you entertain me all the time. Go ahead, do a little dance for me.
Go’ ahead. Give me one of those Spinaroonies. Entertain me. That’s your job. Don’t be embarrassed. You’re here to make people like me laugh. With your nappy hair and your ‘Suckas!’ Hell, I was laughing all week long after you won that battle royal."
This kind of racial vilifying went on all the way until WrestleMania, with Triple H doing things like throwing money Booker’s way and asking him to bring a towel, saying he should be his limo driver or baggage handler.
It’s silly to build a feud up like this in the first place, but if you do, there has to be a comeuppance for the vilified one; there should be no question about it.
Triple H won, essentially stating to the viewers that he was right all along. There was a massive case for Booker T winning the title for his fan support alone, then you add this into the mix, and it’s often looked upon as the biggest burial of all.
Not only that, but the finish was nothing short of ridiculous! Triple H pedigrees Booker T, followed by them both laying there for thirty whole seconds before Triple H covers him for the win. It’s seen as one of the worst booking decisions in WWE of all time.
Although Triple H has the most losses in WrestleMania history, he also sits third for the most wins with 9. Cena is second with ten wins, and of course, The Undertaker is comfortably ahead with 24 wins.
*Note: Triple H has the most losses in WrestleMania history with 13. The Big Show and Shawn Michaels tie for second with 11.
WWE Records – #9 – The Only WrestleMania Main Event to Feature Two Wrestlers Using Their Real Names
This piece of trivia is a fun tidbit! The memorable Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar main event at WrestleMania 19 (the same Mania we just covered with the Triple H/Booker T controversy) is the only WrestleMania in history that’s featured the main event with only real names involved.
The closest we’ve come to see this being replicated is perhaps John Cena vs. The Miz (a name playing off his real last name, Mizanin) at WrestleMania 27, or the triple threat main event at WrestleMania 30, Daniel Bryan (real name Bryan Danielson) vs. Batista (Dave Bautista) vs. Randy Orton.
You can read deeper into the Lesnar and Angle main event on our site. With the botch Lesnar made, it could have ended very tragically!
WWE Records – #10 – Shortest Ever WWE Pay-Per-View Main Event
This excludes shenanigans, e.g., Money in the Bank cash-ins, WrestleMania 9 Hogan nonsense, etc.
WrestleMania 9’s intended main event was Yokozuna vs. Bret Hart. That match finished around the 9-minute mark, still making it one of the shortest main events on any WWE pay-per-view. Hulk Hogan came to ringside to check in on Bret Hart, who fell victim to Mr. Fuji’s handful of salt antics.
In the midst of this, Mr. Fuji made the stupid decision to challenge Hogan to a match on behalf of Yokozuna, who had just won the title, with the belt on the line. Hogan won in 22 seconds. This was as bad a WrestleMania ending as you can get, and it’s a bit much to call that an official main event.
With confidence, however, the 2016 Survivor Series main event was certainly official! When Goldberg beat Brock Lesnar in only 1 minute and 25 seconds, it was a genuinely shocking moment.
That one-minute main event match left more of a lasting impression than most twenty-minute long main events have. When one decade closes, another opens, and it’s safe to say when Goldberg returned and did quick work of the dominant Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series in 2016. It instantly became one of the biggest moments of the decade and has stayed that way.
*Note: The shortest main event in pay-per-view history is Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar at 1 minute and 25 seconds (Survivor Series 2016). The second is Steve Austin vs. Mr. McMahon with a time of 7 minutes and 52 seconds (St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, 1999), and the third is John Cena vs. The Great Khali at 8 minutes and 15 seconds (Judgement Day 2007).
WWE Records – #11 Longest One-On-One Pay-Per-View Match (excluding Iron Man matches)
Triple H and Shawn Michaels have had some true classics. Shawn Michaels had his much-anticipated return match against Triple H at SummerSlam 2002 and showed no signs of ring rust as he went 28 minutes toe-to-toe with The Game, Triple H!
A few months later, they both went a couple of minutes short of the 40-minute mark at Armageddon 2002, albeit, a "three stages of hell" match, meaning there had to be more than one fall. They would truly test their limits at Bad Blood 2004, though, going almost 50 minutes inside the Hell in a Cell going a total of 47 minutes and 26 seconds!
The bloodied bout pushed both men to their limits, with an exhausted Triple H making the cover after two tiring pedigrees to win the match. This hasn’t been matched and has stood for fifteen years.
WWE Records – #12 – Longest One-On-One Women’s Pay-Per-View Match (excluding Iron Woman matches)
There’s a different vibe about this record compared to the men’s one. The women have only been given their opportunity to shine in recent years after being held back and having 2-minute matches.
Given that they’ve only had a few years to showcase their talent properly, this record is respectable at a time of 28 minutes and 40 seconds but could very well be broken as women continue to get more great opportunities in WWE.
The match took place at the first (and as of this writing only) all women’s WWE pay-per-view, WWE Evolution. Becky Lynch, the SmackDown Women’s Champion, defeated Charlotte Flair to retain her championship in the Last Woman Standing match. The match itself was a huge success, with many calling it one of the greatest women’s matches in WWE history.
WWE Records – #13 – Longest Monday Night Raw Singles Match (excluding Iron Man matches)
This record falls into the bracket of very hard to beat. It’s eight minutes longer than the longest ever pay-per-view singles match; it really was a marathon performance by both John Cena and Shawn Michaels.
The match is a classic and fondly remembered. It was just earlier that month that they were the main event of WrestleMania 23 in a performance that was worthy of such an illustrious spot. This Raw match was so good, though, that many fans argue that it’s better than their WrestleMania contest.
During an interview with NBC Sports, Shawn was asked about the almost hour-long classic.
"I found out what we were doing when I got to the building and was like, ‘Oh my goodness!’" Shawn admits.
Shawn also praised Cena. "When you hear that the match is going an hour, it seems like a long time, but when you’re working with someone like John so much … I’ve had the opportunity to go back and watch that match, and it just flows right by. That’s obviously a testament to John, and heck, I’ll even pat myself on the back a little for that one!" (laughs)
Despite the occurrence of working an hour-long match being incredibly rare, Michaels admits some factors made it easy working it with Cena.
"It’s amazing how trying to do that hour-long match didn’t seem like such a big mountain to climb. It really helps when you have a history with someone. John and I were coming off of the WrestleMania  match, and because of that, we had a decent amount of story points to work around, so it was easy," Michaels told NBC Sports.
HBK lastly praised the UK fans for adding to the experience. "It obviously doesn’t hurt when you’re in a phenomenal environment as well. Let’s face it; the folks in the UK are pretty easy to wrestle in front of. They are a very passionate group. I gotta say that’s one of my favorite matches."
*Note: This excludes the hour-long Iron Man match between Chris Benoit and Triple H on Raw from July 26th, 2004. The only other Iron Man match to take place on Raw saw Kurt Angle drawing with Shawn Michaels in a thirty-minute battle on October 3rd, 2005.
WWE Records – #14 – Most Wrestled Matches on a Pay-Per-View
We couldn’t talk about records for too long without Kane’s name popping up again! "The Big Red Machine" has a staggering 175 pay-per-view matches to his name! Largely retired now, it’s unclear whether Kane will ever have another match on pay-per-view again, but you should never bet against it.
The multiple record holder has much of his time occupied with his mayor duties nowadays, as mayor of Knox County. Multi-talented, to say the least!
Kane’s last match on pay-per-view aside from Royal Rumble appearances was at the 2018 Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia. This was a somewhat controversial match on Saudi territory, with four guys all over 50-years-old competing.
It was most memorable for being Shawn Michaels’ first match since retiring eight years before. It was Kane alongside The Undertaker (Brothers of Destructions) versus Triple H and Shawn Michaels (D-Generation X).
The Brothers of Destruction came up short in a match that saw Triple H tear his right pectoral muscle. The match was fine. Shawn Michaels put on a respectable performance after eight years away. Outside of that, it didn’t do much for the fans.
If anything, Kane still has a couple of surprise Royal Rumble appearances in him, so expect that 175 number to climb with time.
*Note: Kane has the most PPV appearances at 175, but Randy Orton looks sure to overtake this record any given month now being still an active competitor and within a handful of overcoming the record.
WWE Records – #15 – Most Money in the Bank Matches
When going through Kane’s Royal Rumble accomplishments, we wrote, "later on, you’ll read a record about Kane that shocks almost everyone," and here it is! Not many people associate "The Demon" Kane with the Money in the Bank ladder match, but in fact, no one has ever wrestled more times in the match than him!
This record is almost guaranteed to be broken with active WWE competitors Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler trailing behind with 6, but Kane leads as of this writing. It’s worth stating this record as it really is a surprising one.
He’s also a former winner of the match and holds one of the quickest cash-ins in history when he cashed in to win on the same night at the inaugural Money in the Bank 2010 pay-per-view against Rey Mysterio to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
*Note: While Kane comes in first for this stat with 7 Money in the Bank appearances, Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston trail behind with 6 MITB matches.
WWE Records – #16 – Most Ever Hell in a Cell Matches
The popular Hell in a Cell gimmick has been most associated with The Undertaker, so it’s unsurprising to learn that he has the most matches within the structure at 14. But it’s still interesting to put a number to it and see the second and third-placed superstars and if they could potentially beat it.
Out of those 14 matches, there have been many great ones. However, it’ll be forever one certain match with Mick Foley from the King of the Ring 1998 pay-per-view that will stand out the most. It’s a match that will never be forgotten or talked about. Two articles on our site cover this match:
Now, back to the question, could anyone potentially beat this record of 14 matches? Not anytime soon. Triple H is second with nine matches, and it’s doubtful that he will have five more Hell in Cell matches left in him to match it. Randy Orton is halfway there at 7.
Realistically, he is the closest one there. It looks like The Undertaker will hold this record for quite some time or simply never have it broken.
And there you have it! A collection of interesting stats that would make for a good pub/bar quiz! There’s a ton of history in this whacky world of pro wrestling, and we are always open to bringing back more crazy records in the future to put on display.
The Super-Finisher: 11 Dangerous Wrestling Finishing Moves!
A great finishing move can define a wrestler. But when a finisher doesn’t work, in rare circumstances, wrestlers dig deep to brandish a more frightening super-finisher to finish the job. Sometimes, the move becomes more iconic than its creator!
Powerbomb! Secret History of a Devastating Wrestling Move
“It was one of the most unpleasant things I ever had to endure!”
Discover the history and secrets behind the Powerbomb, ten notable wrestlers who used it, and how a legendary wrestler’s misstep led to the creation of one of wrestling’s most powerful maneuvers!
Chokeslam! Secret History of an Iconic Wrestling Move
Chokeslam: A compound of words that’ll send a shiver down any younger sibling’s spine! We look back at the history of the maneuver and try to answer some age-old questions. For example, who invented it? Could it really be the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln?
Knee Strike: Its History and Devastating Examples in Wrestling
“This knee strike has stood the test of time as perhaps the most brilliant use of a knee in wrestling history!”
Discover the riveting story behind one of the most powerful moves in pro wrestling. From its origins to the most jaw-dropping examples of its execution.
Superkick: The History of Wrestling’s Most Loved/Hated Move
DAVID MANNING: “I got a call saying, ‘You gotta get over here and get Chris Adams. He got into an argument with the bartender, and Chris had this Superkick. It was real!'”
SHAWN MICHAELS: "I think he’s smiling in his grave that his move has become so big."
The Superkick is a wrestling move that elicits a strong reaction from fans, either positive or negative depending on the wrestler who performs it. So why is the move so polarizing? We dive into the surprising history of wrestling’s most controversial move!
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