In the build up to the 2023 Royal Rumble, WWE have erased the incredible ironman record set by Daniel Bryan. His impressive display looked to be an unbeatable record set in 2018 but the WWE seem to no longer recognise it as a legitimate achievement.
Posting their usual “Rumble by the numbers” stats in the build up to the show, one record was decidedly absent. When revealing which WWE superstars had spent the longest time in the Royal Rumble, they gave Rey Mysterio as holding the record.
While it is commonly known that in 2006 he entered at number 2 to win the entire Royal Rumble match, this is not the longest a star has stayed in the match. It is the longest that a wrestler has taken part in a 30-man Royal Rumble match, but that distinction was not specified by the WWE.
It is in fact Daniel Bryan who holds the Royal Rumble record for the longest time in the Royal Rumble, one he set in 2018 during the Greatest Royal Rumble match.
Daniel Bryan Set A Royal Rumble Record In 2018
At the Greatest Royal Rumble in 2018, Daniel Bryan set a new Royal Rumble record when he lasted 76 minutes in the match. He entered at number one in the 50 man Royal Rumble match and put on an iron man performance that impressed the fans in Saudi Arabia
Daniel Bryan entered the Greatest Royal Rumble match at number 1 and started alongside Dolph Ziggler to begin. He eliminated three wrestlers and faced off with many more, including the first and only time he has stepped into the ring with WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle.
He lasted unti the final three of the match. Daniel Bryan spent 76 minutes in the match until he was eliminated by Big Cass. The pair had been feuding at the time so the elimination was to help set up another match between the pair further down the line. Cass would soon be thrown out by the eventual winner of the Greatest Royal Rumble, Braun Strowman.
Gunther Broke Rey Mysterio’s Long-Standing Record In 2022
In the 2023 Royal Rumble match, WWE Intercontinental Champion Gunther lasted over 70 minutes before being eliminated. He entered at number 1 in the match and outlasted 28 other men as he ended up in the final 2 competitors.
He was eliminated by the eventual winner Cody Rhodes but impressed fans with his marathon performance. The giant Austrian is known for his hard-hitting and gruesome matches but nobody expected to see him wrestle for over an hour in the Royal Rumble and barely break a sweat.
Gunther broke Rey Mysterio’s record for the longest time lasted in a regular, 30-man Royal Rumble match. Rey Mysterio previously held the record from the 2006 Royal Rumble, where he lasted 62 minutes after entering at number 2 in the match.
While Rey Mysterio won the 2006 Royal Rumble match, Gunther was not so lucky. Despite his ironman performance he only managed to finish second behind Cody Rhodes, missing out on the chance to main event Wrestlemania 39.
However, he could be set for a blockbuster match at the event. The WWE Intercontinental Champion looks set to take on Brock Lesnar at the event after the two men had an intense stare down during the Royal Rumble match.
Does The Greatest Royal Rumble Count As A Royal Rumble?
Whether or not the Greatest Royal Rumble counts as a “real” Royal Rumble is up for debate. In the minds of the fans it should not, as it did not take place at the titular Royal Rumble pay per view.
In the same way that Chyna isn’t a “Royal Rumble winner” for winning the Corporate Royal Rumble on Smackdown, neither should Braun Strowman for winning the Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia.
However WWE have always considered it part of the Royal Rumble heritage. Braun Strowman is considered a “Royal Rumble winner” by the company and his 13 eliminations during the match is still touted as a record number of eliminations. From how the WWE have presented it, the Greatest Royal Rumble is a real Royal Rumble match and should be counted amongst their “Rumble by the numbers” stat.
But then they go and discount Daniel Bryan’s achievement. This may be because they want to discount his longevity due to the match being a 50-man battle royal. However, seen as Strowman’s elimination record remains intact, it’s likely there is another reason.
WWE likely did not want to mention Daniel Bryan as he currently wrestles for their biggest rivals. He left the WWE in 2021 and signed up with AEW, wrestling under his real name, Bryan Danielson.
It’s not the first time the WWE have ignored things from previous Royal Rumbles. In 2004, Chris Benoit entered from number 1 and lasted over an hour to win the Royal Rumble match.19 years later he is known as a murderer and his achievement has been scrubbed from the record books and ignored by the company.
Daniel Bryan’s Royal Rumble record should be mentioned as he has not done anything close to the crimes Chris Benoit was accused of. If Strowman can keep his elimination record then Daniel Bryan should be rightly recognised as the ironman of the Royal Rumble.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.