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Analysis of how crowded the ring was during the 2018 men’s Royal Rumble match

The 2018 men’s Royal Rumble match lasted 65 minutes and 29 seconds (65m 29s).

This text graphic provides 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.

If you add up each wrestler's survival time, it results in a total survival time of 6h 14m 33s. Given that the match lasted a total of 65m 29s, that comes out to an average of 5.7 competitors in the ring at any given second. That would make this the 17th most crowded Royal Rumble match ever out of all 32 matches, and right in line with the typical crowdedness of an an average Royal Rumble match.

These numbers have not been adjusted to account for ring absences of active superstars like Finn Balor or Rusev. So when I talk about how many superstars were “in the ring” I’m counting all active superstars, whether they are literally inside the ring or not. It does not, however, count a superstar’s time outside the ring prior to initially stepping foot into the ring. So Heath Slater did not receive any credit for laying around on the ground outside of the ring before he ever entered the ring.

Here is a more accurate way to understand how many men were active at any given time. This chart shows the total time that the ring was filled with an exact number of discrete superstars at once.

2018 Men’s Royal Rumble Ring Crowdedness

Active Wrestlers Total Time % of Match Time Cumulative %
Active Wrestlers Total Time % of Match Time Cumulative %
1 0m 01s 0.0 0.0
2 10m 11s 15.6 15.6
3 5m 54s 9.0 24.6
4 8m 55s 13.6 38.2
5 4m 57s 7.6 45.8
6 8m 54s 13.6 59.4
7 8m 03s 12.3 71.6
8 7m 29s 11.4 83.1
9 5m 37s 8.6 91.7
10 4m 15s 6.5 98.1
11 1m 13s 1.9 100.0

The overall ring crowdedness was affected a great deal by the very long final four sequence between Balor, Reigns, Nakamura, and Cena, which lasted 13m 56s.

For the first 51m 33s of the match (prior to the final four), the average ring crowdedness was 6.4 active superstars at any given second. The final 13m 56s of the match (the final four) had an average ring crowdedness of 3.1 active superstars at any given second, dropping the overall ring crowdedness for the entire match down to 5.7.

There was a 15m 46s stretch, between the timestamps of 15m 15s and 31m 01s, where the match included at least 7 active superstars. This streak started when Sami Zayn entered the ring and ended with the double elimination of Bray Wyatt and Woken Matt Hardy. The average ring crowdedness during this time was 8.8 active superstars at any given second.

The ring also reached its maximum depth of 11 superstars during this time, on two separate occasions. The ring never reached this max depth again outside of this period.

Once Bray Wyatt joined the match at the time stamp of 11m 05s, the ring remained at 5 active superstars or more until the time stamp of 51m 33s, which is when the final four battled it out. The average ring crowdedness during that stretch was 7.4 active superstars at any given second.

The longest time span without any eliminations was 12m 12s, and this occurred between the time stamps of 4m 15s and 16m 27s, bound by the eliminations of Baron Corbin and Sheamus. Seven new competitors (Elias, Almas, Wyatt, Big E, Zayn, Slater, Sheamus) entered the ring during this time.

When Dolph Ziggler entered the ring, the match essentially turned into an 8-man Battle Royal to the finish between Balor, Nakamura, Cena, Orton, Mysterio, Reigns, Goldust, and Ziggler.

This final segment of the 2018 men’s Royal Rumble match lasted 17m 25s, and at that point Shinsuke Nakamura emerged as the winner. This is the longest final segment in the history of the Royal Rumble match. No previous Rumble match had ever lasted even 14 minutes more once the final entrant stepped through the ropes.

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