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WWE Royal Rumble 1994 Match Time and Statistics

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The 1994 Royal Rumble match lasted 55 minutes and 7 seconds (55m 07s). This match featured the infamous tie between Lex Luger and Bret Hart.

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 1994 Royal Rumble match was 10m 59s and the median survival time was 8m 41s. One of the 30 participants (Bastion Booger) never made it into the ring, so if he is removed from the equation then the average survival time was 11m 22s and the median time was 9m 02s.

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

  • 30m 15s: Bam Bam Bigelow
  • 29m 20s: Shawn Michaels
  • 25m 06s: Crush
  • 22m 48s: Mo
  • 21m 52s: Lex Luger
  • 21m 35s: Sparky Plugg
  • 20m 42s: Greg Valentine
  • 20m 09s: Tatanka
  • 17m 42s: Diesel
  • 17m 23s: Genichiro Tenryu
  • 15m 01s: Bret Hart
  • 13m 05s: Fatu
  • 11m 23s: Rick Martel
  • 9m 57s: Mabel
  • 9m 02s: Scott Steiner
  • 8m 20s: Marty Jannetty
  • 5m 58s: Kwang
  • 4m 56s: Adam Bomb
  • 4m 39s: Randy Savage
  • 4m 11s: Owen Hart
  • 3m 58s: Rick Steiner
  • 3m 15s: Samu
  • 2m 29s: Bart Gunn
  • 1m 47s: Great Kabuki
  • 1m 46s: Doink the Clown
  • 1m 17s: Jeff Jarrett
  • 0m 42s: Bob Backlund
  • 0m 32s: Virgil
  • 0m 14s: Billy Gunn
  • 0m 00s: Bastion Booger

The bottom 5 names on the list did not last long enough to make it to the next buzzer.

13 of the 30 superstars survived for less than 5 minutes. Bam Bam Bigelow’s survival time of 30m 15s was greater than the sum of these lowest 13 survival times in the 1994 Royal Rumble match.

This match included at least 8 different participants who lasted 20 minutes or longer. Out of the 27 total Royal Rumble matches that I have analyzed thus far, the only other ones to share this characteristic are 1991, 1998, and 2009.

Bastion Booger never appeared when the buzzer for his entrance was signaled, so he was given a survival time of 0m 00s. This was probably done to tease that Bret Hart was the one who couldn’t make it out to the ring due Owen Hart kicking his leg out of his leg earlier in the night.

The exact point when Doink stepped foot into the ring wasn’t captured on camera, and so his survival time might actually be a few seconds longer than what I have listed.

I didn’t hear a bell ring to end the match when Luger and Bret eliminated each other at the very end, so I just stopped the clock when I felt they were both eliminated. Of course WWF conveniently didn’t have a replay camera angle available to show the exact point when their feet hit the floor.

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 (Scott Steiner, Samu) are excluded because their entrances took place prior to the start of the match.

  • 0m 36s: Adam Bomb
  • 0m 35s: Bret Hart
  • 0m 34s: Mabel
  • 0m 32s: Doink the Clown
  • 0m 25s: Fatu
  • 0m 24s: Diesel, Savage
  • 0m 22s: Bam Bam Bigelow
  • 0m 20s: Rick Steiner
  • 0m 19s: Tenryu, Kabuki
  • 0m 17s: Kwang
  • 0m 16s: Owen Hart
  • 0m 14s: Mo
  • 0m 12s: HBK, Crush, Martel
  • 0m 10s: Bart Gunn
  • 0m 09s: Valentine, Jarrett, Backlund
  • 0m 08s: Luger, Plugg, Tatanka, Jannetty, Virgil, Billy Gunn
  • 0m 00s: Bastion Booger

These numbers add up to about 7m 38s of total entrance time out of the entire 55m 07s match. That means that for about 13.8% of the match, at least one superstar was in the midst of his entrance.

Bret Hart limped very slowly to the ring yet Adam Bomb still couldn’t beat out his entrance time.

Follow The Buzzers

Howard Finkel stated that there would be 90-second 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 32s: Buzzer 1 - Rick Steiner
  • 1m 37s: Buzzer 2 - Kwang
  • 1m 34s: Buzzer 3 - Owen Hart
  • 1m 34s: Buzzer 4 - Bart Gunn
  • 1m 36s: Buzzer 5 - Diesel
  • 1m 36s: Buzzer 6 - Bob Backlund
  • 1m 36s: Buzzer 7 - Billy Gunn
  • 1m 30s: Buzzer 8 - Virgil
  • 1m 32s: Buzzer 9 - Randy Savage
  • 1m 40s: Buzzer 10 - Jeff Jarrett
  • 1m 34s: Buzzer 11 - Crush
  • 1m 32s: Buzzer 12 - Doink the Clown
  • 1m 36s: Buzzer 13 - Bam Bam Bigelow
  • 1m 32s: Buzzer 14 - Mabel
  • 1m 37s: Buzzer 15 - Sparky Plugg
  • 1m 33s: Buzzer 16 - Shawn Michaels
  • 1m 43s: Buzzer 17 - Mo
  • 1m 31s: Buzzer 18 - Greg Valentine
  • 1m 34s: Buzzer 19 - Tatanka
  • 1m 35s: Buzzer 20 - Great Kabuki
  • 1m 33s: Buzzer 21 - Lex Luger
  • 1m 42s: Buzzer 22 - Genichiro Tenryu
  • 1m 34s: Buzzer 23 - Bastion Booger
  • 1m 35s: Buzzer 24 - Rick Martel
  • 1m 33s: Buzzer 25 - Bret Hart
  • 1m 41s: Buzzer 26 - Fatu
  • 1m 33s: Buzzer 27 - Marty Jannetty
  • 1m 33s: Buzzer 28 - Adam Bomb

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

The average waiting period was 1m 35s and the median time was 1m 34s.

In a perfectly timed match, the final buzzer (signaling Adam Bomb's entrance) would have gone off 42m 00s after the start of the match. In reality, this buzzer went off at 44m 18s.

This was the first Royal Rumble match to not use an official waiting time of two minutes between buzzers. That played a role in this being the shortest 30-man Royal Rumble match at that point in WWF’s history. This record didn’t last very long because WWF went to a 60-second waiting interval for the 1995 Royal Rumble.

The 4 longest waiting periods each lasted between 1m 40s and 1m 43s, so none of the waiting periods really strayed a huge amount of time away from the goal of 1m 30s.

The longest waiting period, between Buzzers 16 and 17, saw Shawn Michaels enter the ring and team up with everyone else to eliminate Diesel. But this elimination happened fairly quickly and didn’t necessarily warrant a longer waiting period to accomplish.

Between Buzzers 7 and 8, Diesel had the ring all to himself after eliminating Billy Gunn. WWF then filled some time by showing a 0m 22s backstage video of Lex Luger being attacked by Tenryu and Kabuki. This entire waiting period clocked in at 1m 36s, so the insertion of the backstage video didn’t really inflate the waiting period by a significant amount of time.

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 5h 29m 24s. Given that the match lasted a total of 55m 07s, that comes out to an average of 6.0 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.

1994 Royal Rumble Ring Crowdedness

Active Wrestlers Total Time % of Match Time Cumulative %
Active Wrestlers Total Time % of Match Time Cumulative %
1 3m 39s 6.6 6.6
2 6m 09s 11.2 17.8
3 9m 26s 17.1 34.9
4 6m 29s 11.8 46.7
5 4m 43s 8.6 55.2
6 2m 09s 3.9 59.1
7 2m 23s 4.3 63.4
8 4m 17s 7.8 71.2
9 4m 12s 7.6 78.8
10 2m 13s 4.0 82.9
11 2m 02s 3.7 86.5
12 6m 58s 12.6 99.2
13 0m 27s 0.8 100.0

This match had an average of 6.0 competitors in the ring at any given second, yet there was rarely an exact count of 6 superstars in the ring at any moment, with that only occurring for 2m 09s of the total match time.

The first 19m 25s of the match saw a max depth of 5 superstars because Diesel cleared everyone out once he entered the ring. Diesel had the ring all to himself on 4 different occasions between 9m 24s and 14m 31s, as he would just eliminate every new superstar who entered the ring during that time. Overall there was an average of 2.5 superstars in the ring at any point during the first 19m 25s of the match.

Things got very crowded soon after that point. The ring reached a depth of 7 superstars at 28m 34s and remained at or above that depth until 51m 06s, with an average of 9.9 superstars in the ring at any given second during that time span. The ring depth was at least 10 men for 11m 40s of that time. All 8 of the superstars who lasted for at least 20m 00s were in the ring at some point during this period when the ring was extremely crowded.

End of the Match

Once Adam Bomb entered the ring, the match essentially turned into a 13-man Battle Royal to the finish between Bigelow, Plugg, HBK, Mo, Valentine, Tatanka, Luger, Tenryu, Martel, Bret, Fatu, Jannetty, and Bomb.

This final segment of the 1994 Royal Rumble match lasted 10m 13s, and at that point the match ended in a tie between Lex Luger and Bret Hart.

That's all you need to know about the timing of the 1994 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

1996

1997

1998

1999

2001

2002

2003

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