The 1995 Royal Rumble match lasted 38 minutes and 45 seconds (38m 45s). This match featured Shawn Michaels and the British Bulldog starting the match as the first two entrants and ending the match as the final two survivors. The Heartbreak Kid survived a seemingly surefire elimination by preventing his second foot from hitting the floor while he was dangling from the ropes. Michaels swung his body back into the ring and then knocked British Bulldog off the turnbuckle in order to secure the victory.
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 1995 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 1995 Royal Rumble match was 7m 40s and the median survival time was 5m 26s.
Here is the full list of survival times for all 30 superstars:
- 38m 45s: Shawn Michaels
- 38m 42s: British Bulldog
- 18m 52s: Lex Luger
- 14m 41s: Henry Godwinn
- 13m 22s: Aldo Montoya
- 9m 57s: Eli Blu
- 9m 32s: Mantaur
- 8m 52s: Crush
- 8m 12s: Duke Droese
- 8m 09s: Dick Murdoch
- 7m 25s: Billy Gunn
- 6m 57s: Sione
- 6m 20s: Bart Gunn
- 5m 33s: Fatu
- 5m 30s: Tom Prichard
- 5m 21s: Adam Bomb
- 4m 49s: Doink The Clown
- 4m 30s: Steven Dunn
- 4m 00s: Kwang
- 3m 01s: King Kong Bundy
- 2m 28s: Rick Martel
- 1m 57s: Mabel
- 1m 24s: Jimmy Del Ray
- 0m 22s: Timothy Well
- 0m 18s: Jacob Blu
- 0m 18s: Bushwhacker Butch
- 0m 15s: Bob Backlund
- 0m 12s: Bushwhacker Luke
- 0m 04s: Owen Hart
- 0m 04s: Mo
These 5 men did not survive long enough to make it to the very next buzzer: Timothy Well, Jacob Blu, Mo, and both Bushwhackers.
The 1995 Royal Rumble match is the shortest 30-man Rumble in history, as no other match ever featured waiting periods as short as 60 seconds.
HBK and Bulldog initiated physical contact with each other a little before the bell officially rang to start the match, and so I did not count that as part of the match time.
Bret Hart showed up and beat the hell out of Owen Hart and Bob Backlund at separate times before they made it into the ring, and that's related to why their survival times are so low.
There were some complications with determining Owen's survival time, because the camera was showing the next competitor make his way down the aisle as Owen finally entered the ring. Therefore Owen stepping into the ring was not caught on camera. However Owen's entrance into the ring could still be spied on the Titantron that was in the background of Timothy Well's entrance, and so I used the Titantron image as my point of reference for starting the clock on Owen's survival time.
The same complication was in effect during Owen's elimination, which occurred just seconds later. I had to use the Titantron to take a best guess as to when both of Owen's feet hit the floor, because this moment was not shown on camera.
Even though HBK and the Bulldog should theoretically have equal survival times, because they both started the match and finished the match together, my numbers show a 0m 03s difference in favor of HBK.
That's because there was mass confusion at the end of the match. Bulldog thought he eliminated HBK and so he celebrated on the turnbuckle while his music played. When HBK came back in and knocked Bulldog outside of the ring to eliminate him, about 0m 03s lapsed until the bell finally rang to signal the end of the match. I decided to count the additional 0m 03s as extra survival time for HBK even though it isn't really clear how this should be handled.
Bulldog's music played for about 0m 16s even though he didn't actually win the 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 (Shawn Michaels, British Bulldog) are excluded because their entrances took place prior to the start of the match.
- 1m 12s: Backlund
- 1m 05s: Owen
- 0m 20s: Mabel
- 0m 18s: Bundy
- 0m 17s: Bomb
- 0m 15s: Butch
- 0m 14s: Eli
- 0m 13s: Sione, Luke
- 0m 12s: Crush, Murdoch, Doink
- 0m 10s: Mantaur, Well
- 0m 09s: Luger, Fatu, Prichard, Dunn
- 0m 08s: Bart, Martel
- 0m 07s: Droese, Del Ray
- 0m 06s: Godwinn, Kwang, Mo, Jacob
- 0m 04s: Montoya, Billy
The entrances for both Backlund and Owen Hart were interrupted by an irate Bret Hart. He beat the crap out of each man during the entrance time, and his vicious attacks delayed their entry into the ring. This match featured rapid-fire 60-second waiting intervals, so Bret's attacks created those awkward moments where the next buzzer sounded even though the previous entrant still did not make it into the ring.
These numbers add up to about 6m 27s of entrance time out of the entire 38m 45s match. That means that for about 16.6% of the match, at least one superstar was in the midst of his entrance.
Follow The Buzzers
Vince McMahon stated that there would be 1 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:
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 1 - Eli Blu
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 2 - Droese
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 3 - Del Ray
- 1m 01s: Buzzer 4 - Sione
- 0m 59s: Buzzer 5 - Prichard
- 1m 01s: Buzzer 6 - Doink
- 0m 59s: Buzzer 7 - Kwang
- 1m 01s: Buzzer 8 - Martel
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 9 - Owen
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 10 - Well
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 11 - Luke
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 12 - Jacob Blu
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 13 - Bundy
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 14 - Mo
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 15 - Mabel
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 16 - Butch
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 17 - Luger
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 18 - Mantaur
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 19 - Montoya
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 20 - Godwinn
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 21 - Billy Gunn
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 22 - Bart Gunn
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 23 - Backlund
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 24 - Dunn
- 1m 11s: Buzzer 25 - Murdoch
- 1m 01s: Buzzer 26 - Adam Bomb
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 27 - Fatu
- 1m 00s: Buzzer 28 - Crush
This is probably as close to perfect as the timing can get for a Royal Rumble match. 27 of the 28 waiting periods fell within one second of the 1-minute goal.
The median waiting period was 1m 00s, and the average was also 1m 00s.
In a perfectly timed match, the final buzzer (signaling Crush's entrance) would have gone off 28m 00s after the start of the match. In reality, this buzzer went off at 28m 14s.
The one waiting period that lasted 1m 11s was a result of Bret Hart attacking Backlund again after Backlund's elimination. It's likely that WWF wanted to focus more on Bret's attack than worrying about getting the next entrant, Dick Murdoch, out to the ring.
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 3h 49m 52s. Given that the match lasted a total of 38m 45s, that comes out to an average of 5.9 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 chart above shows that the ring was filled with 6 or more men for 50.6% of the match. The ring was filled with 8 or more men for 35.7% of the match.
There was a 7m 10s span of time with zero eliminations, between the time stamps of 17m 19s and 24m 29s.
The 1995 Royal Rumble match can be broken down into roughly 4 sections. The first 11m 14s of the match saw the ring fill up to a maximum size of 10 men deep before all the fodder was eliminated, leaving HBK and Bulldog as the only 2 men remaining.
From 11m 14s to 18m 11s, the ring remained relatively empty. The ring contained less than 5 men for all but 0m 04s of this time. This stretch saw very brief appearances from the likes of the Bushwhackers, Jacob Blu, Mabel, Mo, and Bundy. Lex Luger joined the match towards the end of this section.
From 18m 11s to 28m 29s the ring filled back up again to a maximum size of 12 men deep. This is where superstars like Aldo Montoya, Henry Godwinn, and Mantaur accumulated their relatively high survival times.
Crush entered the ring at the 28m 29s mark as the final entrant, with 11 other men waiting for him.
End of the Match
Once Crush entered the ring, the match essentially turned into a 12-man Battle Royal to the finish between Michaels, Bulldog, Luger, Aldo Montoya, Henry Godwinn, Bart Gunn, Billy Gunn, Steven Dunn, Dick Murdoch, Adam Bomb, Fatu, and Crush. This final segment of the 1995 Royal Rumble match lasted 10m 20s, and at that point Michaels emerged as the winner of the match.
That's all you need to know about the timing of the 1995 Royal Rumble match. Which numbers do you find to be the most interesting?