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WWE Royal Rumble 2006 Match Time and Statistics

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The 2006 Royal Rumble match lasted 1 hour, 2 minutes, and 14 seconds (1h 02m 14s). This match featured Triple H and Rey Mysterio both surviving for over an hour, with Rey eventually pulling out the win in tribute to Eddie Guerrero.

This text graphic captures much of the information discussed below. It gives time stamps for each superstar's arrival and exit from the match, as well as showing who the longest lasting superstars were as the match progressed.

For comparison's sake, here are other versions of this graphic for Royal Rumble matches from 1988, 1992, 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2013.

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 2006 Royal Rumble match was 14m 00s and the median survival time was 7m 42s.

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

  • 62m 14s: Rey Mysterio
  • 60m 14s: Triple H
  • 38m 31s: Carlito
  • 30m 33s: Chris Benoit
  • 29m 14s: Joey Mercury
  • 25m 44s: Johnny Nitro
  • 23m 52s: Rob Van Dam
  • 16m 26s: Eugene
  • 16m 09s: Orlando Jordan
  • 14m 09s: Tatanka
  • 13m 43s: Trevor Murdoch
  • 13m 05s: Randy Orton
  • 12m 56s: Shawn Michaels
  • 9m 03s: Big Show
  • 7m 42s: Matt Hardy
  • 7m 42s: Super Crazy
  • 7m 02s: Chris Masters
  • 6m 52s: Shelton Benjamin
  • 5m 20s: Viscera
  • 4m 17s: Bobby Lashley
  • 3m 34s: Kane
  • 3m 09s: Goldust
  • 2m 49s: Animal
  • 1m 18s: Ric Flair
  • 1m 16s: Psicosis
  • 1m 00s: Chavo Guerrero
  • 0m 46s: Simon Dean
  • 0m 31s: Jonathan Coachman
  • 0m 18s: Sylvan Grenier
  • 0m17s: Booker T

Flair, Psicosis, Chavo, Simon, Coach, Grenier, and Booker T did not survive long enough to make it to the next buzzer.

Even with those 7 very short survival times, having 2 men last for over an hour and 5 others last for more than 20 minutes was enough to achieve an average survival time of 14m 00s. That’s the 4th highest average survival time out of 24 total Royal Rumble matches that I have analyzed thus far, trailing only 1991, 1998, and 2009.

There is a big difference between the average (14m 00s) and median (7m 42s) survival times. Rey and Triple H both clearly had a huge influence on increasing that average survival time. If they are removed from the mix, the average survival time of the remaining 28 superstars would drop to 10m 37s.

Carlito lasted over 38 minutes just to get dumped out right before the final four survivors were left standing.

Tatanka did pretty well for himself as a surprise entrant, finishing with the 10th best survival time.

Super Crazy’s elimination happened right before Goldust entered the ring, and you might have missed it if you blinked because it was barely caught on camera and the commentators didn’t mention it.

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

  • 0m 30s: Big Show
  • 0m 28s: Tatanka
  • 0m 27s: Chris Masters
  • 0m 25s: Bobby Lashley, Kane
  • 0m 23s: Viscera, Simon Dean
  • 0m 22s: Booker T
  • 0m 21s: Sylvan Grenier
  • 0m 19s: Eugene
  • 0m 18s: Orlando Jordan
  • 0m 17s: Carlito, Benoit, Mercury, Crazy, Flair, Psicosis
  • 0m 16s: RVD, Chavo, Benjamin
  • 0m 15s: Trevor Murdoch
  • 0m 14s: HBK, Goldust
  • 0m 13s: Nitro, Coachman, Matt Hardy
  • 0m 11s: Animal
  • 0m 08s: Randy Orton

These numbers add up to about 8m 32s of total entrance time out of the entire 1h 02m 14s match. That means for about 13.7% of the match, at least one superstar was in the midst of his entrance.

Follow The Buzzers

Lilian Garcia 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 30s: Buzzer 1 - Simon Dean
  • 1m 51s: Buzzer 2 - Psicosis
  • 1m 48s: Buzzer 3 - Ric Flair
  • 1m 51s: Buzzer 4 - Big Show
  • 2m 01s: Buzzer 5 - Jonathan Coachman
  • 1m 44s: Buzzer 6 - Bobby Lashley
  • 1m 50s: Buzzer 7 - Kane
  • 1m 50s: Buzzer 8 - Sylvan Grenier
  • 2m 24s: Buzzer 9 - Carlito
  • 1m 48s: Buzzer 10 - Chris Benoit
  • 2m 31s: Buzzer 11 - Booker T
  • 1m 55s: Buzzer 12 - Joey Mercury
  • 1m 46s: Buzzer 13 - Tatanka
  • 1m 52s: Buzzer 14 - Johnny Nitro
  • 1m 34s: Buzzer 15 - Trevor Murdoch
  • 1m 34s: Buzzer 16 - Eugene
  • 1m 36s: Buzzer 17 - Animal
  • 1m 37s: Buzzer 18 - Rob Van Dam
  • 1m 41s: Buzzer 19 - Orlando Jordan
  • 1m 34s: Buzzer 20 - Chavo Guerrero
  • 1m 40s: Buzzer 21 - Matt Hardy
  • 1m 46s: Buzzer 22 - Super Crazy
  • 1m 28s: Buzzer 23 - Shawn Michaels
  • 1m 33s: Buzzer 24 - Chris Masters
  • 1m 39s: Buzzer 25 - Viscera
  • 1m 44s: Buzzer 26 - Shelton Benjamin
  • 1m 22s: Buzzer 27 - Goldust
  • 1m 32s: Buzzer 28 - Randy Orton

7 of the 28 waiting periods fell within 5 seconds of the 90-second goal.

25 of the 28 waiting periods exceeded 90 seconds.

The average waiting period was 1m 45s and the median time was 1m 44s.

In a perfectly timed match, the final buzzer (signaling Orton's entrance) would have gone off 42m 00s after the start of the match. In reality, this buzzer went off at 49m 01s.

This match did not main event the card. In fact it was followed by two championship matches. Given that card layout, I would not have expected this match to be stretched out at least 7 minutes simply due to longer-than-advertised waiting periods. But maybe having Mark Henry wrestle in the main event match meant this one needed to go long; only one other match on the card (John Cena versus Edge) exceeded 10 minutes in length.

The longest waiting period lasted 2m 31s. Nothing really happened here except for Chris Benoit entering the match and having an extended one-on-one sequence with Triple H. Once Benoit landed his flying headbutt, the WWE countdown clock then appeared on screen.

The next longest waiting period lasted 2m 24s, and this one featured Lashley being eliminated by a double team combination from Big Show and Kane. This was followed up by Big Show and Kane grabbing each other’s throats, only for Triple H to dump both guys over the rope. This reset the match back to just Triple H versus Rey, and the WWE countdown clock appeared on screen ticking down from 14 seconds.

The third longest waiting period clocked in at 2m 01s, and it featured Big Show’s relatively slow entrance and an extended one-on-one battle with his rival Triple H.

These three longest waiting periods all took place within the first 22 minutes of the match.

The shortest waiting period lasted 1m 22s, and this featured Goldust joining the match as entrant 29. Nothing of note really happened here to explain the short waiting period.

The fact that 6 other waiting periods lasted at least 1m 50s and 8 additional waiting periods lasted at least 1m 40s strongly indicates that WWE was not too interested in sticking to the 90-second waiting period goal. It appears that WWE made the decision ahead of time that this match needed to go long. Maybe it’s as simple as they just wanted Rey Mysterio to break the record for longest survival time ever?

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 6h 59m 46s. Given that the match lasted a total of 1h 02m 14s, that comes out to an average of 6.7 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.

2006 Royal Rumble Ring Crowdedness

Active Wrestlers Total Time % of Match Time Cumulative %
Active Wrestlers Total Time % of Match Time Cumulative %
2 6m 42s 10.8 10.8
3 11m 22s 18.3 29.0
4 9m 09s 14.7 43.7
5 5m 39s 9.1 52.8
6 3m 01s 4.8 57.7
7 2m 13s 3.6 61.2
8 1m 42s 2.7 64.0
9 2m 52s 4.6 68.6
10 2m 36s 4.2 72.7
11 4m 29s 7.2 79.9
12 4m 47s 7.7 87.6
13 6m 07s 9.8 97.5
14 1m 35s 2.5 100.0

The ring was not very crowded for the first 17 minutes or so, and this portion of the match largely explains why there were 3 or fewer men in the ring for 29.0% of the match. Triple H and Rey started the match and tossed out the next three entrants (Simon, Psicosis, Flair) very quickly before Big Show, Lashley, and Kane came in for impressive power exhibitions. Those guys were then all cleared out quickly again to get things back to just Triple H and Rey.

Not too long after that, the longest time span without any eliminations occurred, between the time stamps of 21m 47s and 34m 25s. That period lasted 12m 38s and the following 7 wrestlers all joined the match: Mercury, Tatanka, Nitro, Murdoch, Eugene, Animal, and RVD.

The ring crowdedness really spiked up between the time stamps of 31m 36s and 51m 10s; the ring depth was always at 10 or more superstars during this 19m 34s stretch of time. Overall, there were 10 or more men in the ring for 31.4% of the match.

The ring never hovered at a depth of 7 to 9 superstars for very long. The only two times those exact depths were reached happened on the way up to that most crowded period of 19m 34s and on the way permanently down from that crowded period.

In other words, this match basically had two flows. The first third of the match was not very crowded at all, and then shortly after that the ring became extremely crowded. There wasn’t much of a middle ground. That average of 6.7 competitors in the ring at any given second isn’t because there were exactly 6 or 7 men in the ring for extended periods of time.

End of the Match

Once Randy Orton entered the ring, the match essentially turned into a 14-man Battle Royal to the finish between Triple H, Rey, Carlito, Benoit, Mercury, Nitro, RVD, Jordan, HBK, Masters, Viscera, Benjamin, Goldust, and Orton.

This final segment of the 2006 Royal Rumble match lasted 13m 05s, and at that point Rey Mysterio emerged as the winner of the match.

Out of the 24 Royal Rumble matches that I have analyzed so far, only the 2009 match had 14 or more men in the ring when the final entrant joined the fray. The 2007 Royal Rumble match is the only one where this final segment of the match lasted longer than 13m 05s (HBK and Undertaker had a thrilling one-one-one finishing sequence to that match).

That's all you need to know about the timing of the 2006 Royal Rumble match. Which numbers do you find to be the most interesting?

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Previous Royal Rumble analyses:

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1995

1997

1998

1999

2001

2002

2003

2005

2007

2008

2009

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016