WWE's Royal Rumble 2017 lasted for 3 hours 38 minutes and 23 seconds (3h 38m 23s). Here is a breakdown of the timing for every single second of the show, in chronological order.
The matches are in bold. The "pre-match" segments include video packages, entrances, ring introductions, and any verbal promos that occur right before a match officially begins. The "post-match" segments include any celebrations, replays, angles, attacks, or promos that occur right after a match is finished.
PPV Timing for Royal Rumble 2017
|0m 00s||0m 21s||Then, Now, Forever||0m 21s|
|0m 21s||3m 34s||Video hyping Royal Rumble 2017||3m 13s|
|3m 34s||4m 33s||Opening pyro||0m 59s|
|4m 33s||8m 50s||Pre-match for Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley||4m 17s|
|8m 50s||21m 52s||Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley||13m 02s|
|21m 52s||23m 12s||Post-match for Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley||1m 20s|
|23m 12s||23m 46s||Commercial for Holy Foley||0m 34s|
|23m 46s||24m 47s||Ad for WWE Champions||1m 01s|
|24m 47s||25m 46s||Filler commentary||0m 59s|
|25m 46s||37m 55s||Pre-match for Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns||12m 09s|
|37m 55s||1h 01m 23s||Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns||23m 28s|
|1h 01m 23s||1h 04m 12s||Post-match for Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns||2m 49s|
|1h 04m 12s||1h 04m 29s||Ad for Cricket Wireless||0m 17s|
|1h 04m 29s||1h 05m 59s||Ad for KFC starring Enzo & Cass||1m 30s|
|1h 05m 59s||1h 07m 10s||Filler commentary||1m 11s|
|1h 07m 10s||1h 11m 00s||Hype video for Royal Rumble match||3m 50s|
|1h 11m 00s||1h 13m 37s||Backstage with Zayn and Ambrose||2m 37s|
|1h 13m 37s||1h 14m 00s||Filler commentary||0m 23s|
|1h 14m 00s||1h 14m 09s||Plug for PPV theme song||0m 09s|
|1h 14m 09s||1h 21m 02s||Pre-match for Rich Swann vs. Neville||6m 53s|
|1h 21m 02s||1h 34m 31s||Rich Swann vs. Neville||13m 29s|
|1h 34m 31s||1h 36m 00s||Post-match for Rich Swann vs. Neville||1m 29s|
|1h 36m 00s||1h 36m 48s||Ad for Vudu starring New Day||0m 48s|
|1h 36m 48s||1h 37m 31s||WrestleMania 33 is 63 days away||0m 43s|
|1h 37m 31s||1h 37m 48s||Filler commentary||0m 17s|
|1h 37m 48s||1h 47m 42s||Pre-match for AJ Styles vs. John Cena||9m 54s|
|1h 47m 42s||2h 11m 43s||AJ Styles vs. John Cena||24m 01s|
|2h 11m 43s||2h 15m 51s||Post-match for AJ Styles vs. John Cena||4m 08s|
|2h 15m 51s||2h 17m 41s||Commercial for WWE Network||1m 50s|
|2h 17m 41s||2h 18m 15s||Commercial for Holy Foley||0m 34s|
|2h 18m 15s||2h 19m 19s||Hype for Elimination Chamber 2017||1m 04s|
|2h 19m 19s||2h 21m 29s||Coverage of Rollins at TakeOver||2m 10s|
|2h 21m 29s||2h 33m 39s||Pre-match for Royal Rumble match||12m 10s|
|2h 33m 39s||3h 35m 47s||Royal Rumble match||62m 08s|
|3h 35m 47s||3h 38m 23s||Post-match for Royal Rumble match||2m 36s|
The 5 matches combined for a total time of 2h 16m 08s. This means that 62.3% of the show was devoted to bell-to-bell action. This is the 3rd highest percentage in this category out of the 53 WWE pay-per-view (PPV) events in my data set, which begins with Royal Rumble 2013.
Here is the sorted list of match times for Royal Rumble 2017. This also includes where each match time ranks out of all 375 matches in my data set.
- 62m 08s: Royal Rumble match (1st out of 375 matches)
- 24m 01s: AJ Styles vs. John Cena (36th)
- 23m 28s: Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns (41st)
- 13m 29s: Rich Swann vs. Neville (163rd)
- 13m 02s: Charlotte vs. Bayley (172nd)
A full breakdown of the timing for the Royal Rumble match can be found by clicking here.
The return of 2 minute waiting intervals propelled this year’s Royal Rumble match onto the very top of the list of the longest PPV matches in my data set, barely edging out last year’s Royal Rumble match by 0m 25s.
The total match time of 2h 16m 08s is the second most out of all 53 PPVs in my data set, trailing only the 5-hour WrestleMania 32 card by less than 3 minutes.
Only 6 of those 53 PPVs have surpassed 60.0% match time, and 5 of the 6 events are Royal Rumble cards.
Roman Reigns pulled double duty on the main card. His overall match time for the show, which is calculated by taking his match time with Owens and adding it to his survival time in the Royal Rumble match, comes out to 28m 33s.
The pre-match segments combined for a total time of 45m 23s, which is 20.8% of the show. This is the 39th highest percentage in this category out of the 53 events in my data set.
Here is the sorted list of pre-match segment time for all 5 matches. For some context, keep in mind that the median pre-match segment time in my data set is 5m 21s and the average time is 5m 58s.
- 12m 10s: Royal Rumble match
- 12m 09s: Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns
- 9m 54s: AJ Styles vs. John Cena
- 6m 53s: Rich Swann vs. Neville
- 4m 17s: Charlotte vs. Bayley
Four matches received the special treatment of a dedicated video package right before superstar entrances. The videos hyping KO's match (3m 31s), Swann's match (3m 39s), Cena's match (3m 29s), and the Royal Rumble match (3m 50s) combined to take up 14m 29s of the pre-match segment time.
The pre-match segment percentage for this show, even though it is only 39th highest out of the 53 PPV events in my data set, is actually pretty high compared to recent Royal Rumble cards. The bottom four PPVs in pre-match segment percentage out of the 53 PPV events are all the Royal Rumble cards from 2013 through 2016, ranging from 15.5% to 17.0%.
The pre-match segment for this year’s Royal Rumble match was at least 4m 00s longer than the corresponding pre-match segments for the Royal Rumble matches from 2013 through 2016. This year’s pre-match segment included Lawler’s entrance, a video package hyping the match, and a promo from Enzo and Cass.
The post-match segments combined for a total time of 12m 22s, which is 5.7% of the show. This is the lowest percentage in this category out of the 53 events in my data set.
Here is the sorted list of the post-match segment time for all 5 matches. For some context, keep in mind that the median post-match segment time in my data set is 2m 00s and the average time is 2m 27s.
- 4m 08s: AJ Styles vs. John Cena
- 2m 49s: Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns
- 2m 36s: Royal Rumble match
- 1m 29s: Rich Swann vs. Neville
- 1m 20s: Charlotte vs. Bayley
These post-match segments don’t stand out for being super short (in fact, the top 3 rank above both the average and the median), but this event ranked dead last for post-match segment percentage out of 53 PPVs because there were only 5 post-match segments on a nearly 4-hour card, and none of them were ridiculously long.
That leaves about 11.2% (24m 30s) of the show for everything else. This is the 34th highest percentage in this category out of the 53 events in my data set.
Most of these miscellaneous segments are crammed into the time after one post-match segment ends and before the next pre-match segment begins. Royal Rumble 2017 included 5 different blocks of miscellaneous segments. Here is how long each block lasted, in chronological order:
- Block 1: 4m 33s (Then Now Forever; Opening hype video and pyro)
- Block 2: 2m 34s (Ads for Holy Foley and WWE Champions; Filler commentary)
- Block 3: 9m 57s (Ads for Cricket Wireless and KFC; Rumble hype video; Backstage with Zayn/Ambrose)
- Block 4: 1m 48s (Ad for Vudu; WrestleMania is 63 days away; Filler commentary)
- Block 5: 5m 38s (Ads for WWE Network, Holy Foley, and Elimination Chamber; Recap of Rollins at TakeOver)
One annoying decision that I had to make involved the two Royal Rumble hype videos that aired throughout the night. These videos were essentially presented as Part 1 and Part 2 of the same theme. The first video aired in Block 3 (prior to Neville’s match), which contributed to that block’s length of 9m 57s.
The second video aired after Jerry Lawler’s entrance just before the Royal Rumble match. I took the cue of Lawler’s entrance music as the start of the pre-match segment for the Royal Rumble match, and so the second video ended up as part of that pre-match segment. It doesn’t really feel right to classify these two similar videos into two different categories, but that’s just one of the imperfections of my process.
Here is a listing of how much total show time was allocated for each match when you add up all 3 components: pre-match time, match time, and post-match time. This list also includes where each total time ranks among the 375 entries in my data set.
- 76m 54s: Royal Rumble match (1st out of 375 entries)
- 38m 26s: Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns (26th)
- 38m 03s: AJ Styles vs. John Cena (29th)
- 21m 51s: Rich Swann vs. Neville (162nd)
- 18m 39s: Charlotte vs. Bayley (200th)
The biggest difference in the time listed here for Swann’s match and Charlotte’s match is that the latter opened the show, and so it did not receive a dedicated video package beforehand to hype it up.
Now here is a look at the "Match Time Percentage" for each match. For any given match, this percentage shows how the match time compares to the combined pre-match and post-match segment time. For some context, it's good to know that the median result here since 2013 is 62.9%.
(Here's an example calculation: an entry with a match time of 6m 00s, pre-match time of 3m 00s, and a post-match time of 1m 00s has a score of 60.0%, because the match time of 6m 00s is 60% of the total sum of 10m 00s for all three components.)
- 80.8%: Royal Rumble match
- 69.9%: Charlotte vs. Bayley
- 63.1%: AJ Styles vs. John Cena
- 61.7%: Rich Swann vs. Neville
- 61.1%: Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns
Only 8 out of 375 matches in my data set have eclipsed 80.0% in this metric, and this includes all 5 Royal Rumble matches from 2013 through 2017. The Royal Rumble matches from 2013 through 2016 all scored 84.0% or higher; this year’s match scored a little lower than those because it’s pre-match segment was much longer.
Final Results for Royal Rumble 2017
Match - 62.3% - 2h 16m 08s
Pre-match - 20.8% - 45m 23s
Post-match - 5.7% - 12m 22s
Miscellaneous - 11.2% - 24m 30s