The 2005 Royal Rumble match lasted 51 minutes and 22 seconds (51m 22s). This match featured a stiff beatdown on rookie Daniel Puder, a ridiculous elimination bump from Paul London, and a controversial ending that resulted in Vince McMahon tearing both of his quads.
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 2005 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 2005 Royal Rumble match was 10m 32s and the median survival time was 4m 32s.
Here is the full list of survival times for all 30 superstars:
- 47m 32s: Chris Benoit
- 40m 23s: Edge
- 38m 28s: Rey Mysterio
- 28m 26s: Chris Jericho
- 28m 16s: Eddie Guerrero
- 14m 37s: Shelton Benjamin
- 13m 50s: Jonathan Coachman
- 12m 53s: John Cena
- 11m 34s: Renee Dupree
- 10m 45s: Booker T
- 8m 19s: Batista
- 8m 15s: Mark Jindrak
- 7m 13s: Luther Reigns
- 6m 20s: Charlie Haas
- 4m 56s: Shawn Michaels
- 4m 08s: Daniel Puder
- 3m 55s: Kane
- 3m 39s: Gene Snitsky
- 3m 36s: Orlando Jordan
- 3m 32s: Kenzo Suzuki
- 3m 15s: Paul London
- 3m 00s: Viscera
- 2m 09s: Christian
- 1m 59s: Ric Flair
- 1m 58s: Hardcore Holly
- 1m 04s: The Hurricane
- 0m 54s: Muhammad Hassan
- 0m 37s: Kurt Angle
- 0m 20s: Simon Dean
- 0m 00s: Scotty 2 Hotty
This match ended in controversial fashion, because Batista and Cena both went over the top rope and the referees couldn't agree on which superstar won the match. It took the referees and Vince McMahon about 2m 35s to sort out this mess. I did not count that 2m 35s as part of the match time. I just paused the clock there and resumed it when the match was continued. No bell ever rang though to signal the official restart of the match, so I just took a best guess as to when the clock should start again.
If the 2m 35s time span where the match was paused is counted as part of the match time, then the match time would increase to 53m 57s, and it could be argued that Cena and Batista's survival times should also be bumped up by 2m 35s. However Batista and Cena took turns throwing each other out of the ring during that 2m 35s while also pleading their case. It made the most sense to me to exclude that entire 2m 35s from the match time and just treat it like the match was paused during that time.
For what it's worth I slowed down their double elimination spot, and when looking at it frame-by-frame it appears that John Cena should have been the winner. Cena's left foot appears to stay in the air for a fraction of a second after both of Batista's feet hit the floor.
Scotty 2 Hotty was attacked during his dancing entrance by an outraged Muhammad Hassan, and therefore Scotty never made it into the ring. The average and median survival times that I listed above include Scotty 2 Hotty as a member of the match with a survival time of 0m 00s. If Scotty is removed from the equation, the new average survival time would be 10m 54s and the median would be 4m 56s.
Kurt Angle, Hurricane, Hassan, and Scotty did not last long enough to make it to the next buzzer.
Jonathan Coachman had the 7th longest survival time in this match.
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 (Guerrero, Benoit) are excluded because their entrances took place prior to the start of the match.
- 1m 33s: Simon Dean
- 1m 00s: Scotty 2 Hotty
- 0m 56s: Muhammad Hassan
- 0m 34s: Jonathan Coachman
- 0m 25s: Viscera
- 0m 24s: Orlando Jordan
- 0m 23s: Dupree, Christian
- 0m 22s: Puder, Flair
- 0m 21s: Kenzo, Kane
- 0m 20s: Luther, Jericho, Cena
- 0m 19s: Hurricane
- 0m 18s: Booker T, Hardcore Holly
- 0m 16s: Paul London
- 0m 14s: Mysterio, Batista
- 0m 12s: Jindrak, HBK
- 0m 10s: Shelton, Haas, Snitsky
- 0m 09s: Edge
- 0m 07s: Kurt Angle
These numbers add up to about 10m 52s of entrance time out of the entire 51m 22s match. That means that for about 21.2% of the match, at least one superstar was in the midst of his entrance.
Simon Dean's entrance took up the entirety of that waiting period. He stayed outside of the ring that whole time doing some stretching and other exercises to get himself ready for the match.
Scotty 2 Hotty's entrance time was split pretty evenly between his typical dancing and then getting beaten up by Hassan. It wasn't exactly clear when to stop the clock on Scotty's entrance because he never made it into the ring. So I stopped the clock on his entrance at the final time that he was shown on camera during that waiting period.
Speaking of Hassan, his entrance lasted a really long time because he just walked very slowly to the ring while the angry crowd chanted "USA" at him.
Follow The Buzzers
Howard Finkel stated that there would be 90-second waiting intervals between each entrant. How well did WWE stick to that claim? Here are the waiting times between all 28 buzzers, in chronological order:
- 1m 31s: Buzzer 1 - Puder
- 2m 25s: Buzzer 2 - Hardcore Holly
- 2m 02s: Buzzer 3 - Hurricane
- 1m 37s: Buzzer 4 - Kenzo
- 1m 32s: Buzzer 5 - Edge
- 1m 30s: Buzzer 6 - Mysterio
- 1m 31s: Buzzer 7 - Shelton
- 1m 30s: Buzzer 8 - Booker T
- 1m 32s: Buzzer 9 - Jericho
- 1m 39s: Buzzer 10 - Luther
- 1m 36s: Buzzer 11 - Hassan
- 2m 01s: Buzzer 12 - Jordan
- 1m 40s: Buzzer 13 - Scotty
- 1m 42s: Buzzer 14 - Haas
- 1m 53s: Buzzer 15 - Dupree
- 1m 37s: Buzzer 16 - Simon
- 1m 32s: Buzzer 17 - HBK
- 1m 42s: Buzzer 18 - Angle
- 1m 35s: Buzzer 19 - Coachman
- 1m 33s: Buzzer 20 - Jindrak
- 1m 57s: Buzzer 21 - Viscera
- 1m 16s: Buzzer 22 - London
- 1m 16s: Buzzer 23 - Cena
- 1m 14s: Buzzer 24 - Snitsky
- 1m 37s: Buzzer 25 - Kane
- 1m 49s: Buzzer 26 - Batista
- 1m 34s: Buzzer 27 - Christian
- 1m 22s: Buzzer 28 - Flair
Only 10 of the 28 waiting periods fell within 5 seconds of the 90-second goal.
5 of those 10 waiting periods came consecutively from buzzers 5 through 9. Only one man was eliminated during that time.
The median waiting period was between 95 and 96 seconds, and the average time was 98 seconds.
In a perfectly timed match, the final buzzer (signaling Flair's entrance) would have gone off 42m 00s after the start of the match. In reality, this buzzer went off at 45m 45s.
WWE appeared to want to physically punish Daniel Puder during his brief time in the match, so maybe it's no coincidence that the two waiting periods that he was in the ring for ended up being the two longest waiting periods of the match, with both exceeding 2 minutes.
The next longest waiting period (Buzzer 12) came during Hassan's time in the match. WWE made sure to have all 8 men in the ring turn their attention to Hassan and eliminate him together, and they probably extended the waiting period for that purpose. As soon as Hassan hit the floor, WWE's countdown clock just miraculously started to countdown from 10.
The next longest waiting period preceded Buzzer 21, and that happened to include Kurt Angle running back in to the match (after being eliminated) to viciously eliminate and bust open HBK. WWE's countdown clock appeared on the screen a few seconds after Angle's attack was finished. That period ended up lasting 1m 57s.
4 of the 28 waiting periods lasted well under 90 seconds, and all of those occurrences took place within the final 7 waiting periods. Perhaps WWE was trying to rush things forward a little bit as the match was winding down.
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 15m 53s. Given that the match lasted a total of 51m 22s, that comes out to an average of 6.1 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|
The longest stretch of time with zero eliminations was 8m 47s, and this occurred between the time stamps of 11m 28s and 20m 15s. This is when the ring was filling with many of the superstars who would eventually gang up to throw Muhammad Hassan out of the ring.
The numbers in the chart above exclude the 2m 35s time period where the match was paused as Vince and the referees sorted out the original ending.
The chart shows that there were 7 or more men in the ring for 56.6% of the match.
There were 7 or more men in the ring for a 12m 46s time span between the time stamps of 15m 30s and 28m 16s. Eddie, Benoit, Edge, Mysterio, and Jericho were active for that entire duration.
There were also 7 or more men in the ring for a 14m 14s stretch of time between the time stamps of 32m 41s and 46m 55s. Benoit, Edge, and Mysterio were active for that entire duration. The Coach's survival time of 13m 50s completely coincided with this section of the match.
Once the ring reached 6 active wrestlers at the time stamp of 13m 56s (Booker T's entry in to the ring), it never dipped below 6 active wrestlers until the time stamp of 47m 32s (Benoit's elimination).
End of the Match
Once the Ric Flair entered the ring, the match essentially turned into an 8-man Battle Royal to the finish between Benoit, Edge, Mysterio, Coachman, Cena, Batista, Christian, and Flair. These men brawled for 4m 56s and that is when the match was paused after Cena and Batista eliminated each other. The officials and Vince McMahon discussed the controversy for 2m 35s before finally resuming the match, and then Batista emerged as the winner 0m 19s later.
That's all you need to know about the timing of the 2005 Royal Rumble match. Which numbers do you find to be the most interesting?