clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

John Cena doesn’t wrestle early in Royal Rumble matches

John Cena has wrestled in 7 Royal Rumble matches so far in his career. One stunning detail about these appearances is that Cena has never wrestled during the early portion of a Royal Rumble match.

Here is a list of the relevant information on Cena’s survival times in all 7 of these matches. The first entry can be interpreted as follows: “John Cena was the 18th entry into the 2003 Royal Rumble match. Cena entered the ring at 27 minutes and 43 seconds after the match began (51.5% of the way through the match), and he survived until 47 minutes and 22 seconds after the match began (88.1% of the way through the match).”

  • 2003: 27m 43s to 47m 22s (51.5% to 88.1%), 18th entry
  • 2004: 45m 26s to 52m56s (73.9% to 86.0%), 28th entry
  • 2005: 38m 29s to 51m 22s (74.9% to 100%), 25th entry
  • 2008: 43m 01s to 51m 29s (83.6% to 100%), 30th entry
  • 2010: 27m 12s to 49m 23 (55.1% to 100%), 19th entry
  • 2011: 32m 12s to 66m 30s (46.1% to 95.2%), 22nd entry
  • 2013: 28m 56s to 55m 07s (52.5% to 100%), 19th entry

This data shows that John Cena has never picked a Royal Rumble number below the 18th entry. He also has never entered the ring any earlier than 27 minutes after the match began. Furthermore, he has lasted until the very end of the match in 4 of his last 5 Royal Rumble appearances, either as the winner or the final man eliminated.

The only time Cena (barely) made it into the first half of a Royal Rumble match based on time was the extra long 40-man edition in 2011 that lasted nearly 70 minutes. Cena’s 22nd entry point at 32m 12s occurred 46.1% of the way through the match. However his 22nd entry point still doesn’t rank among the first half of the 40 entry positions.

Considering Cena has entered 7 Rumble matches, it seemed pretty remarkable to me that he was never once booked into an early portion of the match. I looked through the list of all 56 superstars who have competed in at least 5 Rumble matches and Cena is the only one who never received an entry in the first 15 spots or never entered the ring in the first 20 minutes of a match.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan (5 total Rumbles) is really the only other wrestler out of those 56 superstars who never appeared in the early portion of a Rumble match. His entry numbers were 13, 21, 17, 29 and 19. His 13th entry occurred in the 20-man Royal Rumble match from 1988; technically Duggan didn’t wrestle in the first half of the match based on time or entry position.

Besides Cena and Duggan, you have to dip down into the group of superstars with just 4 total Rumble appearances to find more wrestlers who have always avoided the early portions of Rumble matches. This includes names like Cesaro, Hulk Hogan, Tatanka, Val Venis, and Wade Barrett.

John Cena will participate in the 2018 Royal Rumble match on January 28 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Do you think this is the first time where John will actually let us see him during the early portion of a Royal Rumble match?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats