Ahead of Sunday's showdown, here's our favourite moments from Royal Rumble history 7 years ago

Ahead of Sunday's showdown, here's our favourite moments from Royal Rumble history

The Royal Rumble is without doubt one of the finest events in the WWE calendar, and one that has produced some of wrestling's finest moments. Here's just a few.

Since 'Hacksaw' Jim Duggan won the inaugural Rumble back in 1988, countless Superstars have entered the ring in the hope of winning the opportunity to meet the champ at Wrestlemania.

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The Rumble is a bout like no other, 30 participants all competing for that coveted shot at the belt. Factions destroyed, loyalties put to the test, careers built and broken.

As we're just so bloody excited about Sunday's event, we thought we would look back at some of our favourite Rumble moments.

Vince McMahon wins the Royal Rumble - 1999

If we ran the WWE, we would probably let ourselves win every year, so fair play to Vince McMahon for just winning the once.

The 1999 Royal Rumble was highly controversial to say the least. The 'I quit' match (more of which later) between The Rock and Mankind preceding the Rumble should have been a warning of what was to come.

Having secured the belt, The Rock came ringside with is shiny new belt to taunt Steve Austin whilst McMahon lay stunnered on the canvas after receiving a Stone Cold stunner from Stone Cold. With the Texas Rattlesnake distracted, McMahon seized the opportunity to force Stone Cold over the top rope and thus ensuring his place at his very own Wrestlemania event, although he later forfeited his opportunity to win his own title.

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The Rock Vs Mankind 'I Quit' Match – 1999

Okay, so it wasn't part of the Royal Rumble match itself, but it was the main event and one of the greatest hardcore matches you will ever see, ever. Thirty-odd minutes of absolute greatness that cemented Mick Foley's legendary status.

Walking out as Champion, it was always unlikely that Mankind would return to the dressing room with the belt, especially with The Rock being in cahoots with Vince McMahon. The rules were simple, victory was only achieved by forcing your opponent to say 'I Quit'. The Rock threw everything at Mankind, even throwing him off a balcony on to a sound system, but no way was Foley relenting.

The chair shots whilst Mankind was handcuffed would be enough to stop any man, but not the Micker. So it was no surprise that when we heard those words 'I quit', we never actually got to see Mankind's mouth utter the words.

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And so Mankind was screwed out of his title, with the belt handed over to The Rock, leaving a rather bitter taste in the mouth.

Bret Hart and Lex Luger Tie – 1994

So what happens when the last two people are eliminated simultaneously? Why, a tie of course.

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Bret Hart and Lex Luger were both declared Winners at the end of Royal Rumble 1994, as both men's feet were deemed to touch the ground at the same time. It was unclear as to who would face Yokozuna at Wrestlemania, so it was decided on Raw the following evening that both men would wrestle twice at the event.

As Bret Hart was so great, it should come as no surprise that he left Wrestlemania with the WWE Championship.

John Cena Return – 2008

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When John Cena suffered an injury in late 2007, nobody expected him to be back for quite some time, so when that counter went to zero and Cena walked out the entrance way as the 30th contestant, Madison Square Garden understandably went crazy.

Once in the ring, he set about cleaning shop. Out went Carlito, then Chavo, joined quick sharp by Mark Henry. Eventually three oiled muscle men were left: Batista, Triple H, and Cena. There was really only one way this was going. The Game eliminated Batista leaving just himself and Cena. The two traded blows until Triple H tried to get Cena in a pedigree, which Cena countered by lifting Triple H over the top rope and so earning a place at the Wrestlemania main event. Classic stuff.

Stone Cold wins his first Royal Rumble – 1997

When Bret Hart threw Stone Cold over the top rope, one would assume Austin was gone. But then this is the WWE and that would be ridiculous.

As the referee's were distracted by a melee outside the ring, Stone Cold's elimination at the hands of the Hitman, wasn't seen by the officials. He re-entered the ring subsequently eliminating Vader and Undertaker, whilst Hart eliminated Diesel. Unaware of Austin's presence, Hart was celebrating what he thought was his Royal Rumble victory, only to be eliminated by Stone Cold, who would go on to win two more Rumbles in 1998 and 2001.