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WWE Royal Rumble 2012 Match Time and Statistics

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The 2012 Royal Rumble match lasted 54 minutes and 53 seconds (54m 53s).  This match featured the entire commentary team joining the match, as well as a lengthy one-on-one showdown between Jericho and Sheamus to decide the winner.

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 2012 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.

For comparison's sake, here are other versions of this graphic for Royal Rumble matches from 1988, 1992, 1999 (version 1, version 2), 2003, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Survival Times

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 2012 Royal Rumble match was 8m 20s and the median survival time was 4m 48s.

Here is the full list of survival times for all 30 superstars:

  • 45m 38s: Miz
  • 41m 55s: Cody Rhodes
  • 22m 20s: Sheamus
  • 19m 45s: Dolph Ziggler
  • 17m 55s: Kofi Kingston
  • 11m 34s: Chris Jericho
  • 9m 00s: Hunico
  • 7m 59s: Jack Swagger
  • 7m 29s: The Great Khali
  • 7m 03s: Jey Uso
  • 6m 33s: Mick Foley
  • 6m 13s: Justin Gabriel
  • 5m 46s: Randy Orton
  • 4m 57s: R-Truth
  • 4m 56s: Road Dogg
  • 4m 40s: Booker T
  • 3m 55s: Wade Barrett
  • 3m 46s: Ezekiel Jackson
  • 3m 16s: David Otunga
  • 2m 31s: Santino Marella
  • 2m 20s: Ricardo Rodriguez
  • 1m 57s: Primo
  • 1m 52s: Big Show
  • 1m 24s: Michael Cole
  • 1m 17s: Jinder Mahal
  • 1m 15s: Alex Riley
  • 1m 01s: Kharma
  • 0m 57s: Jim Duggan
  • 0m 44s: Jerry Lawler
  • 0m 11s: Epico

Only 7 superstars lasted longer than the average survival time of 8m 20s.

Epico, Lawler, Duggan, Kharma, and Riley did not survive long enough to make it to the next buzzer.

9 out of the 30 superstars survived for under 2 minutes.

Michael Cole not only defeated Jerry Lawler at WrestleMania 27, but he also survived longer than Lawler did in the 2012 Royal Rumble match.

This match included Kofi Kingston's spectacular walking handstand save outside the ring.  Kofi survived for an additional 7m 45s after escaping what seemed like an impossible situation.

Miz and Cody Rhodes were the two constants in the ring for the overwhelming majority of the match.  And then they were eliminated together (Cody's feet hit the floor a fraction of a second before Miz) in one fell swoop by Big Show, who pretty much tries to ruin every Royal Rumble match he wrestles in.

Sheamus and Jericho had the ring to themselves for the final 7m 38s of the match.  However they didn't initiate contact with each other for the first 1m 11s of that time.  They instead stared at each other and Jericho pointed at the WrestleMania sign.

Entrance Times

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 (Miz, Riley) are excluded because their entrances took place prior to the start of the match.

  • 1m 03s: Ricardo
  • 0m 56s: Mahal
  • 0m 45s: Cole
  • 0m 34s: Big Show
  • 0m 29s: Khali
  • 0m 28s: Kharma, Barrett
  • 0m 27s: Otunga
  • 0m 25s: Hunico
  • 0m 24s: Ziggler
  • 0m 21s: Jericho
  • 0m 19s: Truth, Duggan
  • 0m 18s: Santino, Booker
  • 0m 16s: Cody, Kofi, Dogg, Lawler
  • 0m 15s: Gabriel, Swagger
  • 0m 14s: Foley
  • 0m 11s: Ezekiel, Jey
  • 0m 10s: Epico, Sheamus
  • 0m 09s: Orton
  • 0m 08s: Primo

Ricardo's lengthy entrance was essentially a parody of Alberto Del Rio's entrance, with a beat-up cheap car and a weathered scarf.

Jinder Mahal walked extremely slowly to the ring while the commentators speculated about the meaning of his clothes.

Michael Cole took a long time stripping down from his suit to his wrestling attire, including some struggles with his head gear.

Hunico and Camacho came down to the ring together on a low rider bicycle.

Big Show took some time near the end of his entrance to eliminate Jack Swagger, who was draped over the top rope while Big Show was approaching the ring.

These numbers add up to about 10m 21s of entrance time out of the entire 54m 53s match. That means that for about 18.9% of the match, at least one superstar was in the midst of his or her entrance.

Follow The Buzzers

Justin Roberts 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 56s: Buzzer 1 - Truth
  • 1m 31s: Buzzer 2 - Cody
  • 1m 30s: Buzzer 3 - Gabriel
  • 1m 30s: Buzzer 4 - Primo
  • 1m 31s: Buzzer 5 - Foley
  • 1m 30s: Buzzer 6 - Ricardo
  • 2m 11s: Buzzer 7 - Santino
  • 1m 55s: Buzzer 8 - Epico
  • 1m 27s: Buzzer 9 - Kofi
  • 1m 30s: Buzzer 10 - Lawler
  • 1m 26s: Buzzer 11 - Ezekiel
  • 1m 30s: Buzzer 12 - Mahal
  • 1m 30s: Buzzer 13 - Khali
  • 1m 30s: Buzzer 14 - Hunico
  • 1m 30s: Buzzer 15 - Booker
  • 1m 47s: Buzzer 16 - Ziggler
  • 1m 31s: Buzzer 17 - Duggan
  • 1m 57s: Buzzer 18 - Cole
  • 1m 19s: Buzzer 19 - Kharma
  • 1m 52s: Buzzer 20 - Sheamus
  • 1m 30s: Buzzer 21 - Road Dogg
  • 1m 28s: Buzzer 22 - Jey Uso
  • 1m 30s: Buzzer 23 - Swagger
  • 1m 29s: Buzzer 24 - Barrett
  • 1m 30s: Buzzer 25 - Otunga
  • 1m 30s: Buzzer 26 - Orton
  • 1m 38s: Buzzer 27 - Jericho
  • 1m 47s: Buzzer 28 - Big Show

19 of the 28 waiting periods came within 5 seconds of the 90-second goal.

The median waiting period was 90 seconds, and the average time was 96 seconds.

In a perfectly timed match, the final buzzer (signaling Big Show's entrance) would have gone off 42m 00s after the start of the match. In reality, this buzzer went off at 44m 45s.

The longest waiting period lasted for 2m 01s, and this included Ricardo's entrance as well as Ricardo and Foley teaming up to throw the final remaining jobber (Gabriel) out of the ring.  Once Gabriel's body hit the floor, WWE's countdown clock started ticking down from 10.   Santino was coming out next for a sock battle with Foley, and it seemed like WWE wanted Gabriel out of the ring before proceeding.

The next longest waiting period was 1m 57s, and this is the one that preceded Cole's entrance.  It seemed like WWE was waiting for Booker T to be eliminated from the match, because Booker T eventually played a vital part in teaming up with Lawler outside of the ring to eliminate Cole.  Soon after Booker's feet hit the floor, WWE's 10-second countdown clock appeared on screen.

The very first waiting period lasted 1m 56s, and I have no idea how to explain this outside of WWE just screwing up.  Miz tossed Riley out at 1m 15s into the match and had the ring all to himself, so there was no obvious reason to extend the waiting period beyond 1m 30s.

The waiting period that preceded Epico's entrance also lasted 1m 56s.  This is because Foley and Santino were busy pulling out sock puppets and having a comedy duel.

The waiting period that began with Kharma's entrance lasted for 1m 52s because Kharma was busy stealing the show by tossing around fools like Cole, Ziggler, and Hunico.  When Ziggler eliminated Kharma, WWE's countdown clock then began to tick away.

The waiting period that preceded Kharma's entrance was the shortest of the match, clocking in at 1m 19s.  This is because Michael Cole just joined the ring and was doing a bunch of nothing.  So WWE probably started the clock a little early since there was no need to waste any more time on Cole jumping around like an idiot and pointing at the WrestleMania sign.

Ring Crowdedness

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 4h 10m 09s.  Given that the match lasted a total of 54m 53s, that comes out to an average of 4.6 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
1 1m 00s 1.8 1.8
2 10m 53s 19.8 21.7
3 3m 57s 7.2 28.8
4 13m 05s 23.8 52.7
5 9m 03s 16.5 69.2
6 5m 28s 10.0 79.1
7 7m 33s 13.8 92.9
8 2m 48s 5.1 98.0
9 1m 06s 2.0 100.0

The ring was not crowded much throughout the first 32m 33s of the match.  The first 15 minutes of the match mostly revolved around Cody and Miz eliminating jobbers, Ricardo's comedy entrance, and a dramatic sock battle between Santino and Foley.  The next 17 minutes of the match featured Kofi's unbelievable elimination escape as well as the entire commentary team separately joining the match, until Kharma finally got to knock goofball Cole on his ass.

Throughout that first 32m 33s of the match, the ring averaged just 4.3 active competitors at any given second.

Sheamus entered the ring at that point, kicking off the latter portion of the match where the ring eventually filled up to its peak depth of 9 superstars.  Jericho and Sheamus were the only men left alive at the time stamp 47m 15s.  For this portion of the match, the ring averaged 6.4 participants at any given second.

The final lengthy battle between Jericho and Sheamus then also strongly contributed to this Rumble's relative emptiness, as they were the only two guys in the ring for the final 7m 38s of the match.  If this final 7m 38s chunk of the match could be magically wiped off the books, the match would have averaged 5.0 competitors in the ring at any given second.

Even when the ring did fill up beyond 7 stars it didn't last for very long.  The table above shows that the ring included more than 7 superstars for just 3m 54s of the total match time, which is around 7.1% of the total match time.

The final 7m 38s battle between Jericho and Sheamus was also the longest stretch of time in the match between eliminations.  Prior to that, the next longest span with zero eliminations was 6m 37s, which occurred between the time stamps 21m 54s and 28m 31s.  That's when Hunico, Booker T, Ziggler, and Duggan consecutively joined the ring with nobody departing.

End of the Match

Once Big Show entered the ring, the match essentially turned into a 7-man Battle Royal to the finish between Miz, Cody, Ziggler, Sheamus, Orton, Jericho, and Big Show.  This final segment of the 2012 Royal Rumble match lasted 9m 34s, and at that point Sheamus emerged as the winner of the match.

That's all you need to know about the timing of the 2012 Royal Rumble match. Which numbers do you find to be the most interesting?

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Previous Royal Rumble analyses:
1988
1989
1991
1992
1993
1999
2003
2005
2007
2008
2011
2013
2014
2015