Why Didn’t Andre The Giant Win The Royal Rumble, Explained

Stewart Harper

Why didn’t Andre The Giant win the Royal Rumble match? It’s a question that needs to be answered. He is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time and a legend all across the world.

Due to his immense size, Andre The Giant was one of the most recognisable people in the world. Japanese fans ran in fear when they saw him walking down the street. In other countries they just stopped and stared in awe. He was an icon.

However, he is also one of the greatest wrestlers to never win the Royal Rumble match. In this article, we’ll explore why this was and how he managed to lose the Royal Rumble matches that he did take part in.

Why Didn’t Andre The Giant Win The Royal Rumble

Andre The Giant didn’t win the WWE Royal Rumble because his health was too bad. Due to his immense size and weight caused by his gigantism, his joints took immense stress just by him living his every day life, let alone from wrestling.

He also had terrible back problems, again caused by his size. He knew that he could not perform like a Hulk Hogan or a Macho Man, putting on a brilliant show every night as he was used to. Not wanting to disappoint the fans, Andre knew he could not a main event star any longer.

This is also why he gave up the WWE Championship. He won the belt from Hulk Hogan in 1988 but immediately handed the belt to “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase.

The enormous Frenchman wrestled for many years under serious pain, with his back a serious risk for him in his later years. He could barely walk toward the end of his WWE career and his match with Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania III had to be carefully planned around him.

Hulk Hogan revealed in an interview that he had to plan the match around Andre’s lack of mobility. He had to work out how every spot could end with Andre falling near the ropes, so that he could grab them to help him up. This was because he was unable to stand up by himself at this time.

He did appear in two Royal Rumble matches before his untimely death in 1992.

Andre The Giant Was Terrified Of Snakes

In his first Royal Rumble Andre The Giant was eliminated by Jake “The Snake” Roberts…sort of.

He made his Royal Rumble match debut at the 1989 Royal Rumble. He didn’t take part in the inaugural event the year prior but now that it was a 30 man match, as opposed to 1988’s 20 man match, they needed bodies to fill and Andre was perfect.

He entered third in this match and lasted an impressive 14 minutes and 55 seconds. Andre eliminated three men in the match, throwing out Smash, Ronnie Garvin and Jake “The Snake” Roberts.

However, he was scared into eliminating himself from the match by Roberts. He eliminated “The Snake” from the match but soon after, Roberts removed his pet snake Damian from the sack that he carried to the ring. Andre The Giant was terrified of snakes so he leapt out of the ring, over the top rope due to his size and eliminated himself from the match, with the help from Jake and Damian.

The 1989 Royal Rumble match was won by Big John Studd. He appeared again in the 1990 Royal Rumble but was thrown out after about 10 minutes by Demolition’s Ax & Smash.

Andre The Giant’s last match in WWE was a battle royal. He competed in a 17-man battle royal on May 11th, 1991 on a WWE house house show. The match was a #1 Contender match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship and was won by “The Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich.

He Was Planned To Win The 1991 Royal Rumble

Bruce Pritchard, a long-time backstage producer and executive with the WWE, revealed in an interview with WrestleInc that they had plans for Andre The Giant to win the 1991 Royal Rumble.

This was decided because they knew Andre The Giant didn’t a long time left to wrestle. He was 45 and in great pain and nobody knew how long he’d live for, let alone wrestle.

Due to his failing health, they wanted to give him one last moment. If he won the rumble, he would not have to take a painful bump to the outside which could make him feel even worse. It was a great idea but one that ultimately never happened.

During an interview with WrestlingInc, Bruce Pritchard said;

“It was health issues, it was the thought that we’re not going to get Andre beyond this,” Prichard said. “[We thought] maybe we do one where he wins it, but health issues just weren’t going to allow him to be able to compete in it. Even bringing him out at number 30 wouldn’t have been pretty.”

He Had A Wrestlemania Battle Royal Named After Him

In 2014, Hulk Hogan announced that the WWE were honouring Andre The Giant at Wrestlemania 30. The company created the “Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal” as a 30 man over-the-top-rope battle royal to take place at Wrestlemania, with the first match being won by Cesaro.

The second winner of the match was The Big Show. He honoured Andre The Giant by wearing his classic one-armed singlet. He last eliminated Damian Sandow to win the match in honour of Andre, who was claimed to be Big Show’s father whilst he was in WCW.

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