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Match Times: WWE Royal Rumble 2013 Edition

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Here is a break down of the WWE Royal Rumble 2013 pay-per-view (PPV) with a detailed look at exactly how much time each match was given. This edition also includes an in-depth look at the timing of the Royal Rumble match itself. Are there really 90 seconds between entrants?

WWE.com

WWE's Royal Rumble 2013 event lasted 2 hours 49 minutes and 49 seconds (2h 49m 49s). Here is a breakdown of the timing for every single second of the show, in chronological order.

The matches are in bold. The "pre-match" segments include video packages, entrances, ring introductions, and any verbal promos that occur right before a match officially begins. The "post-match" segments include any celebrations, replays, angles, attacks, or promos that occur right after a match is finished.

  • 0m 20s: WWE's "Then, Now, Forever" opening
  • 2m 54s: Video hyping Royal Rumble 2013
  • 0m 58s: Opening pyro while Cole welcomes us to Royal Rumble 2013
  • 7m 04s: Pre-match for Del Rio vs Big Show
  • 16m 58s: Del Rio vs Big Show
  • 1m 47s: Post-match for Del Rio vs Big Show
  • 0m 32s: Commercial for Slim Jim's Tribute to the Troops
  • 2m 47s: Backstage segment with Ziggler, AJ, and Langston
  • 0m 18s: Plug for PPV theme song
  • 3m 38s: Pre-taped promos from various superstars hyping the Royal Rumble match
  • 0m 33s: Video recap of pre-show match (Cesaro vs Miz)
  • 2m 23s: Pre-match for Team Hell No vs Team Rhodes Scholars
  • 9m 25s: Team Hell No vs Team Rhodes Scholars
  • 0m 58s: Post-match for Team Hell No vs Team Rhodes Scholars
  • 0m 30s: Commercial for Elimination Chamber 2013
  • 0m 30s: Cole hypes Elimination Chamber 2013 and the Royal Rumble match
  • 4m 06s: Video - Royal Rumble By The Numbers
  • 1m 47s: Backstage segment with Kane, Bryan, and Vickie
  • 0m 23s: Commercial for tomorrow's Raw Roulette in Las Vegas
  • 0m 14s: Cole talks about Phoenix
  • 3m 03s: Video recap of Royal Rumble Fan Fest
  • 5m 12s: Pre-match for Royal Rumble match (with a Ziggler promo and Jericho's return)
  • 55m 07s: Royal Rumble match
  • 2m 25s: Post-match for Royal Rumble match
  • 1m 13s: Commercial for WrestleMania 29
  • 0m 29s: Plug for PPV theme song
  • 14m 14s: Pre-match for Punk vs Rock (with a 3m 52s video package and a 3m 31s Rock promo)
  • 21m 27s: Punk vs Rock (Part 1)
  • 3m 23s: Post-match for Punk vs Rock (Punk celebrates, Vince promo, Rock restarts match)
  • 1m 53s: Punk vs Rock (Part 2)
  • 3m 33s: Post-match for Punk vs Rock (Rock celebrates)

Pre-match Segments

The pre-match segments combined for a total time of 28m 53s, which is 17.0% of the show. There were only 4 matches on the show but two of them featured lengthy pre-match segments.

The opening match of Del Rio vs Big Show had a total pre-match segment time of 7m 04s, which is currently the longest pre-match segment time for an opening match on WWE PPV in 2013. This included a 1m 05s video recap of Smackdown episodes explaining how Del Rio won the World Heavyweight Championship (WHC) and the subsequent actions of both men since that time. This was then followed up with a 1m 32s backstage segment where Bret Hart gave his positive endorsement to Del Rio before offering his classic shades to Ricardo. Of the 10 total opening PPV matches of 2013, 8 of them had a pre-match segment time that fell between 3m 00s and 5m 00s. Because of the Bret Hart inclusion as well as the Smackdown video recap, the pre-match segment for this match blasted right through that typical range.

The main event match of Punk versus The Rock had a pre-match segment time of 14m 14s, ranking it as the second longest pre-match segment for all 2013 WWE PPV matches. This pre-match segment was longer than the actual match time for 46 of 73 total WWE PPV matches of the year. Roughly half of this time was dedicated to superstar entrances and ring introductions, while the other half was dedicated to a video package and a backstage promo from The Rock.

However even with these two very lengthy pre-match segments, Royal Rumble 2013 currently has the lowest amount of pre-match time for any WWE PPV in 2013. This is primarily due to the card only having 4 total matches compared to the typical 8 matches that most other WWE PPV's include, which means far less time devoted to pre-match wrestler entrances. Most WWE PPV events this year have had between 33 to 45 minutes of pre-match segments, so this event's overall mark of 28m 53s for pre-match segments puts Royal Rumble 2013 comfortably at the bottom of the list.

Post-match Segments

The post-match segments combined for a total time of 12m 06s, which is 7.1% of the show. This is currently the lowest amount of time allocated to post-match segments for any 2013 WWE PPV event. Once again, this is heavily influenced by the fact that there were only 4 total matches on the show.

The post-match segment for Team Hell No versus Team Rhodes Scholars lasted 0m 58s, making it one of only six matches this year on WWE PPV that did not have at least a full minute of time for the post-match segment.

The post-match segments for Punk vs The Rock combined for a total time of 6m 56s, and this currently tops the list for longest post-match segment on any 2013 WWE PPV. This match had two endings and therefore two post-match segments, and so this is the main reason it lasted so long. It included Punk's celebration, Vince McMahon interrupting Punk's celebration, Rock interrupting Vince's promo, and then The Rock's celebration to close the show.

The post-match segment for the Royal Rumble match was only 2m 25s even though the match itself lasted for 55m 07s. Therefore the post-match segment was only 4.4% as long as the actual time of the match. This is the lowest such percentage for all 2013 WWE PPV matches in 2013. The next lowest percentage is Battleground's main event of Orton versus Bryan, in which case the post-match segment was only about 5.6% as long as the actual time of the match.

Miscellaneous Segments

That leaves about 24m 00s (14.1%) of the show for other miscellaneous things. This includes a SlimJim commercial, backstage promo from AJ/Langston/Ziggler, multiple plugs for PPV theme songs, pre-taped interviews with various superstars explaining why they were going to win the Royal Rumble, video recap of the pre-show match between Cesaro and Miz, commercial and hype for Elimination Chamber 2013, Royal Rumble By The Numbers video, backstage segment with Bryan and Kane finding out their Rumble positions, commercial for Raw Roulette, video recap of the Royal Rumble Fan Fest, filler commentary, and a commercial for WrestleMania 29.

All of these miscellaneous segments added together equaled the third most time allocated to miscellaneous segments on any WWE PPV so far in 2013, trailing only WrestleMania 29 and Night of Champions.

Match Times

The four matches combined for a total bell-to-bell time of 1h 44m 50s. This means that 61.7% of the show was devoted to in-ring action. This ranks Royal Rumble 2013 at the very top of the list when it comes to match time percentage so far on 2013 WWE PPV events. This is the only show that cleared the 60% threshold in this category. Money in the Bank 2013 currently ranks second with 58.3% of the show devoted to match time.

The average match time at Royal Rumble 2013 was 26m 13s. This is heavily skewed by the nearly hour-long Royal Rumble match. Here is the sorted list of match times for Royal Rumble 2013. This also includes where each match currently ranks on the list of WWE's Longest PPV Match Times for 2013:

  • 55m 07s: Royal Rumble match (1st out of 73 matches)
  • 23m 20s: Punk vs Rock (9th)
  • 16m 58s: Del Rio vs Big Show (18th)
  • 9m 25s: Team Hell No vs Team Rhodes Scholars (45th)

11 of the 30 superstars who competed in the Royal Rumble match have yet to appear in any other match on the main card of a WWE PPV in 2013. These men include: Drew McIntyre, David Otunga, Heath Slater, Tensai, Brodus Clay, Rey Mysterio, Bo Dallas, The Godfather, Zack Ryder, Jinder Mahal, and Sin Cara.

Analysis of the Royal Rumble match

One of the most obvious things to look for in the Royal Rumble match itself is how long each participant lasted in the match. I decided to use my best guess for when a wrestler entered the actual ring as the beginning of their Royal Rumble match time. Therefore the Godfather's official time was 0m 05s even though it took him 49 additional seconds to actually make it down the aisle before crossing the ropes into the ring. With that in mind, here is the sorted list of each participant's survival time in the 2013 Royal Rumble match:

  • 49m 48s: Dolph Ziggler
  • 47m 54s: Chris Jericho
  • 37m 16s: Sheamus
  • 27m 30s: Cody Rhodes
  • 26m 11s: John Cena
  • 21m 33s: Bo Dallas
  • 21m 07s: Kofi Kingston
  • 17m 10s: Wade Barrett
  • 16m 14s: Damien Sandow
  • 15m 36s: Heath Slater
  • 10m 35s: Rey Mysterio
  • 10m 11s: Randy Orton
  • 9m 14s: Goldust
  • 8m 51s: Ryback
  • 7m 35s: Antonio Cesaro
  • 7m 19s: Titus O'Neil
  • 6m 41s: Daniel Bryan
  • 5m 27s: Tensai
  • 4m 42s: The Miz
  • 4m 05s: David Otunga
  • 3m 18s: Brodus Clay
  • 3m 05s: Sin Cara
  • 2m 42s: The Great Khali
  • 2m 41s: Darren Young
  • 2m 30s: Drew McIntyre
  • 2m 26s: Zack Ryder
  • 1m 58s: Jinder Mahal
  • 1m 30s: Kane
  • 0m 41s: Santino Marella
  • 0m 05s: The Godfather

The name Bo Dallas sticks out like a sore thumb on the above list. Everyone's favorite jobber Heath Slater also did quite well for himself, as his survival time was good enough to crack the top ten. Kane's name is the most shocking one near the bottom of the list, however he did wrestle in a tag team match earlier in the show.

I was also curious about how long each wrestler took getting to the ring once their music began playing. Would anybody really end up slower than The Great Khali? Here is the sorted list of these in-Rumble entrance times. Note that there are only 28 names on the list, as Ziggler and Jericho each had their entrances during the pre-match segment for the Royal Rumble match:

  • 0m 49s: The Godfather
  • 0m 30s: John Cena
  • 0m 29s: Brodus Clay
  • 0m 28s: Goldust
  • 0m 27s: The Miz
  • 0m 26s: The Great Khali
  • 0m 25s: Wade Barrett
  • 0m 22s: Sin Cara
  • 0m 20s: David Otunga
  • 0m 17s: Ryback
  • 0m 16s: Kane
  • 0m 15s: Santino Marella, Antonio Cesaro
  • 0m 14s: Heath Slater, Daniel Bryan
  • 0m 12s: Kofi Kingston, Titus O'Neil, Damien Sandow, Jinder Mahal
  • 0m 11s: Cody Rhodes, Tensai
  • 0m 10s: Drew McIntyre, Darren Young, Bo Dallas, Randy Orton
  • 0m 09s: Rey Mysterio
  • 0m 08s: Sheamus, Zack Ryder

The above list shows that half of the competitors took under 15 seconds to get down to the ring. Zack Ryder probably should have taken his time walking to the ring as this event was the only in-ring time he has received on any 2013 PPV. The Miz had his entrance time extended due to a brief scuffle with a freshly eliminated Antonio Cesaro. When all of these in-Rumble entrance times are summed together, it results in a cumulative entrance time of 8m 02s, which is roughly 14.6% of the match.

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One other behavior I wanted to track was the time between entrance buzzers. Did the WWE really stick to an honest 90 seconds between all entrants? Here is the chronological order of each measured time between all 28 entrance buzzers:

1m 38s
1m 43s
1m 46s
1m 39s
1m 38s
1m 41s
1m 45s
1m 34s
1m 42s
1m 29s
1m 35s
1m 54s
1m 38s
1m 58s
1m 29s
1m 47s
1m 30s
1m 42s
1m 30s
1m 32s
1m 30s
1m 30s
1m 22s
1m 30s
1m 31s
1m 29s
1m 30s
2m 27s

One clear pattern here is that the time between buzzers was reduced towards the end of the match when compared to the beginning of the match. Only one of the final ten waiting times surpassed 1m 32s. In contrast, only two of the first ten waiting times fell under 1m 35s.

The only waiting time that fell well short of the expected 1m 30s mark was the 1m 22s waiting time between Kane and Zack Ryder's entrances. They were the 24th and 25th entrants in the match, respectively.

The waiting time before the final buzzer was the longest of the night, clocking in at around 2m 27s. This is where they ran the angle with Bo Dallas eliminating Wade Barrett, and then Wade Barrett getting his brutal revenge. As soon as that sequence was finished, the official WWE countdown clock started to tick down from 10.

11 of the 28 waiting times did correctly fall in the expected range between 1m 28s and 1m 32s.

The second longest waiting time (1m 58) occurred between Darren Young and Bo Dallas, who were the 15th and 16th entrants into the match, respectively.

The third longest waiting time (1m 54s) occurred between Brodus Clay and Rey Mysterio, who were the 13th and 14th entrants into the match, respectively.

_______________________

I also wanted to take a look at how the ring filled up with superstars as the match progressed. If you add up each wrestler's survival time it results in a total survival time of 6h 15m 55s. Given that the match lasted a total of 55m 07s, that comes out to an average of 6.8 competitors in the ring at any given second. Here is a better way to visualize how many men were in the ring at any given time. This table shows the total time that the ring was filled with an exact number of discrete superstars at once:

Active Wrestlers Total Time Percentage of Match Time Cumulative Percentage
2 4m 26s 8.0 8.0
3 4m 26s 8.0 16.1
4 3m 07s 5.7 21.7
5 4m 57s 9.0 30.7
6 3m 10s 5.7 36.5
7 6m 52s 12.5 48.9
8 11m 03s 20.0 69.0
9 11m 34s 21.0 90.0
10 4m 02s 7.3 97.3
11 1m 22s 2.5 99.8
12 0m 08s 0.2 100.0

This table shows that there were at least 7 men simultaneously active in the match for 35m 01s of the 55m 07s total match time.

It should be noted that the ring reached that number 7 for the first time when the 9th entrant (Otunga) joined the match, and it never fell below that mark of 7 men simultaneously in the ring until the final 6 men were left in the match, which happened after Miz was eliminated during the final ten minutes of the match. This period of time between Otunga joining the match and the elimination of the Miz accounted for the entire 35m 01s span that the ring was filled with at least 7 competitors simultaneously.

Here is a text graphic which displays much of the information discussed above, including a chronological listing of who the longest lasting men were at any given point in the match. The graphic provides a simple and quick visual way to understand which wrestlers dominated the Royal Rumble match as time progressed, as well as seeing how crowded the ring was at any given point.

_______________________

The timing of the Royal Rumble event is unlike any other card that WWE produces. The sheer length of the Royal Rumble match resulted in more match time and less time for pre-match and post-match segments than all 2013 WWE PPV events. However WWE still did find plenty of time to cram in miscellaneous filler. And there was still room for more, as the show's running time of 2h 49m 49s is currently the shortest running time of the year for a WWE PPV event.

Final Results for Royal Rumble 2013

Matches - 61.7% - 1h 44m 50s

Pre-match - 17.0% - 28m 53s

Post-match - 7.1% - 12m 06s

Miscellaneous - 14.1% - 24m 00s