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WWE Royal Rumble 2009 Match Time and Statistics

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The 2009 Royal Rumble match lasted 58 minutes and 37 seconds (58m 37s).  This match featured Triple H's uphill battle against the three members of Legacy, as well as Santino Marella setting a record for the shortest survival time in Royal Rumble history.

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 2009 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 2009 Royal Rumble match was 16m 59s and the median survival time was 10m 46s.

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

  • 49m 56s: Triple H
  • 49m 25s: Rey Mysterio
  • 48m 28s: Randy Orton
  • 45m 12s: Ted DiBiase Jr.
  • 37m 16s: Chris Jericho
  • 37m 01s: Cody Rhodes
  • 32m 43s: Mike Knox
  • 32m 30s: Undertaker
  • 29m 59s: Finlay
  • 22m 29s: CM Punk
  • 19m 32s: John Morrison
  • 18m 21s: Kane
  • 13m 56s: RVD
  • 12m 06s: R-Truth
  • 11m 58s: JTG
  • 9m 33s: Big Show
  • 6m 58s: Kofi Kingston
  • 6m 11s: Carlito
  • 4m 33s: William Regal
  • 4m 17s: Shelton Benjamin
  • 3m 52s: MVP
  • 3m 14s: Mark Henry
  • 2m 50s: Jim Duggan
  • 2m 41s: Vladimir Kozlov
  • 1m 31s: The Great Khali
  • 1m 19s: Miz
  • 1m 11s: Goldust
  • 0m 22s: Dolph Ziggler
  • 0m 15s: The Brian Kendrick
  • 0m 02s: Santino Marella

The story of this match pretty much required that Orton, Triple H, DiBiase, and Cody would all need to survive until the end of the match.  That is one of the reasons why the 2009 Royal Rumble contained a whopping 10 participants who survived for over 20 minutes.

Out of those 10 longest survivors, the name Mike Knox sticks out like a sore thumb.  Most lower card guys don't manage to last for 32m 43s in a Royal Rumble match.

The average survival time of 16m 59s is absurdly high.  In last year's Royal Rumble match, only 3 of the 30 men lasted longer than 16m 59s.  12 of the 30 men in the 2009 Royal Rumble match accomplished this feat.

CM Punk's survival time of 22m 29s was the 10th highest.  The 9 wrestlers who finished ahead of him were all active for the entirety of Punk's time in the match.  In other words, there was never a point in the match where Punk had one of the 9 highest survival times out of all the active wrestlers in the ring.

Santino's brief survival time did indeed break Warlord's record from 1989.  However I clocked Santino's survival time at 2 seconds, whereas WWE claims that he lasted 1 second.  I replayed this one over again several times and I am confident that Santino's survival time is closer to 2 seconds than 1 second.  There's a chance that it might even be just a tick more than 2 seconds.  But it is not 1 second.

This match included 5 wrestlers who did not survive long enough to make it to the next buzzer.  This list includes Santino, Kendrick, Ziggler, Goldust, and Miz.

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

  • 0m 47s: Big Show
  • 0m 32s: Triple H
  • 0m 31s: Undertaker
  • 0m 30s: Khali
  • 0m 25s: JTG, Kendrick
  • 0m 24s: RVD
  • 0m 21s: Jericho
  • 0m 20s: Kane
  • 0m 18s: Orton
  • 0m 17s: Goldust, Henry
  • 0m 16s: Kozlov
  • 0m 15s: Duggan
  • 0m 14s: Shelton
  • 0m 13s: Punk, Regal
  • 0m 12s: DiBiase, Cody, Truth
  • 0m 11s: Finlay, Kofi, Santino
  • 0m 10s: Knox, Miz
  • 0m 09s: Ziggler
  • 0m 07s: Carlito
  • 0m 06s: MVP

These numbers add up to about 8m 09s of entrance time out of the entire 58m 37s match. That means that for about 13.9% of the match, at least one superstar was in the midst of his entrance.

Cryme Tyme came out together and flipped a coin to see which member of their team would enter the match.  It turned out that JTG used a double-sided coin to cheat his way into the match.

There was a brief staredown with Kozlov that extended Triple H's entrance time by a few seconds.

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 32s: Buzzer 1 - Carlito
  • 1m 46s: Buzzer 2 - MVP
  • 1m 33s: Buzzer 3 - Khali
  • 1m 30s: Buzzer 4 - Kozlov
  • 1m 48s: Buzzer 5 - Triple H
  • 1m 42s: Buzzer 6 - Orton
  • 1m 38s: Buzzer 7 - JTG
  • 1m 35s: Buzzer 8 - DiBiase
  • 1m 35s: Buzzer 9 - Jericho
  • 1m 53s: Buzzer 10 - Knox
  • 1m 32s: Buzzer 11 - Miz
  • 1m 37s: Buzzer 12 - Finlay
  • 1m 40s: Buzzer 13 - Cody
  • 1m 39s: Buzzer 14 - Undertaker
  • 1m 39s: Buzzer 15 - Goldust
  • 1m 38s: Buzzer 16 - Punk
  • 1m 31s: Buzzer 17 - Henry
  • 1m 32s: Buzzer 18 - Shelton
  • 1m 35s: Buzzer 19 - Regal
  • 1m 33s: Buzzer 20 - Kofi
  • 1m 39s: Buzzer 21 - Kane
  • 1m 52s: Buzzer 22 - Truth
  • 1m 33s: Buzzer 23 - RVD
  • 1m 36s: Buzzer 24 - Kendrick
  • 1m 37s: Buzzer 25 - Ziggler
  • 1m 34s: Buzzer 26 - Santino
  • 1m 38s: Buzzer 27 - Duggan
  • 1m 34s: Buzzer 28 - Big Show

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

None of the waiting periods fell under 90 seconds or above 2 minutes.

22 of the 28 waiting periods were under 1m 40s.

The median waiting period was between 96 and 97 seconds, and the average time was 98 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 45m 31s.

The waiting period that preceded Triple H's entrance lasted for 1m 48s, and this was the third longest waiting time.  During that time, Kozlov entered the match and was tasked with cleaning the ring of three bodies.  It is possible that WWE intentionally waited for Kozlov to eliminate those 3 guys before starting their 10-second countdown clock, because they were trying to make it seem like the showdown between Kozlov and Triple H (the next entrant) was a big deal.

Outside of that booking, nothing really stands out to explain some of the other lengthier waiting periods.

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 8h 29m 41s.  Given that the match lasted a total of 58m 37s, that comes out to an average of 8.7 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
2 1m 42s 2.9 2.9
3 3m 33s 6.1 9.0
4 7m 20s 12.5 21.5
5 3m 12s 5.5 26.9
6 5m 02s 8.6 35.5
7 2m 33s 4.4 39.9
8 3m 38s 6.2 46.1
9 6m 44s 11.5 57.5
10 3m 33s 6.1 63.6
11 1m 29s 2.5 66.1
12 4m 26s 7.6 73.7
13 9m 04s 15.5 89.2
14 5m 33s 9.5 98.6
15 0m 48s 1.4 100.0

This was an extremely crowded Royal Rumble match.  There were actually 15 men in the ring at two isolated junctures in the match.

I've studied more than half of the 28 Royal Rumble matches in history so far, and this average of 8.7 active wrestlers in the ring at any given second blows away the field.  The next closest so far are 1991 (7.6 active wrestlers), 2008 (7.0 active wrestlers), and 2013 (6.8 active wrestlers).

It's also worth noting that the ring size did not reach 9 men until the time stamp 18m 14s.  From that point until the 30th superstar entered the ring (at the time stamp of 46m 18s) the ring averaged 12.0 active wrestlers at any given second.

The longest stretch of time with zero eliminations was 10m 14s, and this occurred between the time stamps of 9m 18s and 19m 32s.  This section began when Kozlov was eliminated by Triple H, and it featured 6 new entrants joining the match, including Orton and DiBiase.

The very beginning of the match (with Mysterio and Morrison) and the very end of the match (with Orton and Triple H) were the only instances of there being exactly 2 active wrestlers in the ring.

There were at least 10 active wrestlers in the ring for the entire section between the time stamps of 26m 30s and 49m 51s.

End of the Match

Once Big Show entered the ring, the match essentially turned into a 15-man Battle Royal to the finish between Mysterio, Triple H, Orton, DiBiase, Jericho, Knox, Finlay, Cody, Undertaker, Punk, Kane, Truth, RVD, Hacksaw, and Big Show.  These men brawled for 12m 19s and that is when Randy Orton emerged as the winner.

That's all you need to know about the timing of the 2009 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
1995
1999

2003
2005
2007
2008
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015