The 1993 Royal Rumble match lasted 66 minutes and 40 seconds (66m 40s). This match featured a run-in by Giant Gonzalez, Bob Backlund surviving for over an hour, and Macho Man Randy Savage trying to win via pin fall.
Here is a text graphic that displays much of the information discussed below, including a chronological listing of who the longest lasting men were at any given point in the match. The graphic provides a quick visual way to understand which wrestlers dominated the 1993 Royal Rumble match as time progressed, as well as seeing how crowded the ring was at any given point. And if you really want to dig deeper, the graphic also includes time stamps for when each wrestler stepped foot into the ring as well as time stamps for each wrestler's elimination.
My definition of the Survival Time for a superstar is the time that lapses between the point when a superstar steps foot into the ring and the time that the superstar's feet hit the floor to signal elimination. This does not include the time it takes for a superstar to make his way from the entrance ramp down to the actual ring.
The average superstar survival time for the 1993 Royal Rumble match was 11m 29s and the median survival time was 9m 09s.
Here is the full list of survival times for all 30 superstars:
- 61m 16s: Bob Backlund
- 24m 57s: Ted DiBiase
- 21m 51s: Jerry Sags
- 18m 41s: Ric Flair
- 17m 37s: Tatanka
- 17m 10s: Virgil
- 15m 56s: Irwin R. Schyster
- 14m 55s: Yokozuna
- 14m 36s: Jerry Lawler
- 13m 17s: Genichiro Tenryu
- 12m 21s: Damien Demento
- 11m 23s: Rick Martel
- 11m 03s: El Matador
- 11m 02s: Earthquake
- 9m 15s: Mr. Perfect
- 9m 02s: Randy Savage
- 8m 31s: Koko B. Ware
- 7m 25s: Carlos Colon
- 6m 31s: Fatu
- 5m 39s: Owen Hart
- 5m 21s: Berzerker
- 5m 13s: Typhoon
- 4m 50s: Samu
- 4m 14s: Undertaker
- 3m 33s: Repo Man
- 3m 05s: Skinner
- 2m 59s: Brian Knobbs
- 1m 59s: Max Moon
- 0m 27s: Papa Shango
- 0m 24s: Terry Taylor
Giant Gonzalez interrupted the match for about 4m 17s. He came out to eliminate and injure the Undertaker. If the time that it took for Undertaker to leave the arena is tacked on to the end of that, then the angle in its totality took up about 6m 10s of the total match time.
It seems likely that WWF wanted Undertaker to clear the ring beforehand so that he would be the only man around when Giant Gonzalez came out. But WWF also wanted Backlund to survive for almost the whole match. So the solution was to give Backlund a break outside the ring shortly after Undertaker entered the ring. That way Undertaker could enter the match, clear the ring of everyone else, and then be eliminated by Gonzalez.
So Bob Backlund did survive for over an hour. However he was knocked out of action outside of the ring for about 6m 54s and remained there while Giant Gonzalez entered the ring to destroy the Undertaker. Berzerker dragged Backlund outside of the ring and walloped him with a chair before dumping him on the concrete. That's where Backlund remained while Giant Gonzalez dominated the ring.
Backlund was the only active wrestler in the match for 2m 48s of this time, because Giant Gonzalez was not an official entrant to the match, and Demento refused to enter the ring.
There is a lot of uncertainty regarding not only the 6m 54s that Backlund spent outside of the ring, but also for the survival times of Demento and IRS. Demento and IRS were the new entrants to the Royal Rumble match while the angle with Giant Gonzalez was going down. Demento and IRS both remained outside of the ring though because only a crazy person would get in the ring with Giant Gonzalez (on second thought, isn't Demento supposed to be crazy?). I don't start the clock on survival time until a superstar initially enters the ring, and as far as I could tell neither Demento nor IRS entered the ring throughout that time.
Then as Gonzalez was walking back up the aisle, the camera was completely focused on Gonzalez and paid no attention to what was going on in the ring. By the time the camera returned to the ring, Demento and IRS were both in the ring and stomping the crap out of Backlund. I don't know the exact point that all three of those men entered the ring because the camera was focused on Gonzalez and his slow walk away from the ring. There is at least a chance that Demento and IRS quietly entered the ring (with Backlund's vulnerable body) maybe up to a minute earlier than I indicated; there is no way for me to know for sure.
I decided to start the clock on their survival times when I could actually hear the noise of their stomps in the distance, while the camera was still focused on Gonzalez. My guess is that the survival times I have listed for those two wrestlers are pretty close to the real thing (probably no more than 10 seconds off), because I doubt they would just stay in the ring quietly for a minute before stomping away on Backlund. But I will never know for sure.
Macho Man and Yokozuna had an extended one-on-one showdown to end the match that lasted 5m 23s.
The bell did not ring for about one second after Macho Man was eliminated, so I gave that extra second of survival time to Yokozuna.
Max Moon, Papa Shango, and Terry Taylor did not survive long enough to make it to the next buzzer.
There was a point in the match where Gorilla Monzoon said that he was informed that Backlund had been in the match for 26 minutes. My clock had Backlund's survival time at 24m 02s at this point.
Not long after, Monsoon said he was also informed that DiBiase had been in the ring for 22 minutes. My clock had DiBiase's survival time at 20m 14s at that point.
Here are the entrance times for each superstar involved. This is the amount of time that passed between an entrance buzzer going off and when the superstar finally stepped foot into the actual ring. The first two entrants (Flair, Backlund) are excluded because their entrances took place prior to the start of the match.
- 3m 21s: Demento
- 1m 15s: Schyster
- 0m 37s: Yokozuna
- 0m 26s: Undertaker
- 0m 14s: Jerry Lawler
- 0m 13s: Earthquake, Fatu
- 0m 12s: Savage, Berzerker
- 0m 10s: Repo Man
- 0m 09s: Colon, Samu
- 0m 08s: Tenryu, Perfect, Skinner, Shango, Taylor
- 0m 07s: DiBiase, Martel, Koko, Typhoon
- 0m 06s: Sags, Matador, Owen, Moon
- 0m 05s: Tatanka, Virgil, Knobbs
The entrances for Demento and IRS were extended because they did not enter the ring until after Giant Gonzalez left.
Mr. Perfect actually made it out to the ring apron in about 4 seconds, which would have been the fastest entrance here. However he then taunted Ric Flair for a moment before entering the ring. That bumped up his entrance time to 0m 08s.
The exact moment that Lawler entered the ring was not captured on camera, so it may be a second or two off.
It seemed like there was an extremely short physical distance between the entrance curtain and the ring. More than half of the superstars made it to the ring in 8 seconds or less, and some of these entrance times even have a empty second at the beginning before the superstar actually appeared on camera.
These numbers add up to about 7m 43s of entrance time out of the entire 1h 06m 40s match. That means that for about 11.6% of the match, at least one superstar was in the midst of his entrance.
Keep in mind that 3m 21s of this total entrance time came from the overlapped entrances of Demento and IRS.
Time Between Buzzers
Gorilla Monsoon stated that there would be 2 minute waiting intervals between each entrant. How well did WWF stick to that claim? Here are the waiting times between all 28 buzzers, in chronological order:
- 2m 01s: Buzzer 1 - Papa Shango
- 2m 03s: Buzzer 2 - DiBiase
- 1m 54s: Buzzer 3 - Knobbs
- 2m 03s: Buzzer 4 - Virgil
- 2m 05s: Buzzer 5 - Lawler
- 1m 53s: Buzzer 6 - Moon
- 2m 07s: Buzzer 7 - Tenryu
- 2m 01s: Buzzer 8 - Perfect
- 2m 01s: Buzzer 9 - Skinner
- 2m 02s: Buzzer 10 - Koko B. Ware
- 2m 00s: Buzzer 11 - Samu
- 2m 00s: Buzzer 12 - Berzerker
- 2m 02s: Buzzer 13 - Undertaker
- 2m 04s: Buzzer 14 - Terry Taylor
- 2m 03s: Buzzer 15 - Demento
- 2m 06s: Buzzer 16 - Schyster
- 2m 03s: Buzzer 17 - Tatanka
- 2m 02s: Buzzer 18 - Sags
- 2m 03s: Buzzer 19 - Typhoon
- 2m 04s: Buzzer 20 - Fatu
- 2m 05s: Buzzer 21 - Earthquake
- 2m 12s: Buzzer 22 - Colon
- 2m 06s: Buzzer 23 - Matador
- 2m 03s: Buzzer 24 - Martel
- 2m 05s: Buzzer 25 - Yokozuna
- 2m 04s: Buzzer 26 - Owen Hart
- 2m 08s: Buzzer 27 - Repo Man
- 2m 05s: Buzzer 28 - Savage
21 of the 28 waiting periods fell within five seconds of the 2-minute goal.
The median waiting period was 2m 03s, and the average time was also 2m 03s.
Only 5 of the waiting periods came within one second of the 2-minute goal. The main reason I am mentioning this is because it seemed like WWF was timing this match somewhat differently than I was, and this was clear in the fact that more than half of these waiting periods fell between 2m 02s and 2m 05s. WWF was consistently tacking on an extra 2 to 5 seconds in most cases.
This may be related to the time difference between the clock hitting zero and the actual sound of the horn signaling the next entrant. In more recent Royal Rumble matches, the buzzer sounds exactly at the point when the countdown clock hits zero. However during the 1993 Royal Rumble match, the horn wouldn't sound for a second or two after the countdown clock reached zero. This doesn't really explain the issue with most waiting periods lasting between 2m 02s and 2m 05s, but it might be closely related. For example, that extra second or two before the horn sounded might not be part of WWF's clock for their waiting periods.
The countdown clock for Owen Hart's buzzer curiously disappeared off the screen before it made it to the final few seconds.
In a perfectly timed match, the final buzzer (signaling Macho Man's entrance) would have gone off 56m 00s after the start of the match. In reality, this buzzer went off at 57m 25s.
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 5h 44m 33s. Given that the match lasted a total of 1h 06m 40s, that comes out to an average of 5.2 competitors in the ring at any given second.
Here is a more accurate way to understand how many men were in the ring at any given time. This chart 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|
These numbers do not count Giant Gonzalez as an active wrestler in the match.
Backlund's time outside of the ring is treated the same as his time inside the ring. In other words, my definition of "Ring Crowdedness" doesn't care if an active Rumble participant is inside or outside of the ring.
The ring reached its max depth of 9 active wrestlers in the first half of the match. There were 7 or more wrestlers in the ring at all times between the time stamps of 16m 15s and 27m 09s. Undertaker then entered the ring and quickly thinned the crowd.
The Giant Gonzalez angle essentially wrapped up at the midpoint of the match. The match was basically reset at that point, with Backlund as the only survivor from the first half.
The longest time span in this match between eliminations was 13m 01s, and this occurred between the time stamps of 30m 52s and 43m 53s. This was the part of the match when the ring needed to fill up again after the cupboard was bare following the Giant Gonzalez angle. Demento, IRS, Tatanka, Sags, Typhoon, Fatu, and Earthquake all consecutively entered the match with nobody being eliminated.
From that point on the ring remained very crowded throughout most of the second half of the match, usually with 7 or 8 active wrestlers in the ring.
This pack of wrestlers in the latter half of the match didn't reach the max depth of 9 from the first half of the match, but it remained crowded for a longer time. In the first half of the match, the ring held 7 or more men for a total time of 9m 46s. In the second half of the match that corresponding time jumped all the way up to 15m 14s.
This match averaged 5.4 competitors in the ring at any given second prior to the final one-on-one battle between Savage and Yokozuna.
End of the Match
Once Macho Man entered the ring, the match essentially turned into an 8-man Battle Royal to the finish between Backlund, Jerry Sags, El Matador, Rick Martel, Yokozuna, Owen Hart, Repo Man, and Randy Savage. This final segment of the 1993 Royal Rumble match lasted 9m 03s, and at that point Yokozuna emerged as the winner of the match.
That's all you need to know about the timing of the 1993 Royal Rumble match. Which numbers do you find to be the most interesting?