The 2018 men’s Royal Rumble match lasted 65 minutes and 29 seconds (65m 29s). This match took place on Rusev Day and saw Shinsuke Nakamura overcome both Roman Reigns and John Cena at the end to clinch a championship shot at WrestleMania 34.
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.
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 2018 Men’s Royal Rumble match was 12m 29s and the median survival time was 6m 14s.
Here is the full list of survival times for all 30 superstars:
- 57m 38s: Finn Balor
- 44m 26s: Shinsuke Nakamura
- 30m 28s: Rusev
- 29m 00s: Andrade Almas
- 28m 33s: John Cena
- 24m 53s: Elias
- 21m 28s: Roman Reigns
- 19m 56s: Bray Wyatt
- 18m 48s: Seth Rollins
- 13m 36s: Randy Orton
- 13m 28s: Big E
- 9m 24s: Rey Mysterio
- 8m 15s: Xavier Woods
- 6m 48s: Sami Zayn
- 6m 34s: Adam Cole
- 5m 53s: Titus O’Neil
- 5m 25s: Kofi Kingston
- 5m 07s: Apollo Crews
- 5m 02s: The Miz
- 5m 00s: Cesaro
- 3m 31s: Jinder Mahal
- 2m 22s: Goldust
- 2m 12s: Rhyno
- 2m 06s: Aiden English
- 1m 35s: Dolph Ziggler
- 1m 04s: Woken Matt Hardy
- 1m 00s: Baron Corbin
- 0m 34s: Heath Slater
- 0m 24s: The Hurricane
- 0m 03s: Sheamus
Many of these times differ greatly from their counterparts on WWE.com’s official list of survival times. As best as I can tell, some of the times on WWE’s web site must also include a superstar’s entire entrance time as part of the survival time. For example, they list Sheamus as surviving for 0m 20s, but he most definitely did not last that long from the time he stepped foot into the ring until the time his feet touched the floor upon elimination.
Then there is a case like Rhyno, where their listed time is actually shorter than mine by 6 seconds. So that one clearly doesn’t include his entrance time. I don’t know what methodology WWE uses to determine these times, but it seems inconsistent.
That’s not to say my times are perfect. Every listed time should be viewed with a margin of error of about 3 seconds or so.
My best guess is that Sheamus’ survival time is just a touch under 3 seconds, but it rounds up.
The bell to end the match did not ring until about 1 second after Reigns was eliminated. I counted this extra second as part of Nakamura’s survival time.
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 (Rusev, Balor) are excluded because their entrances took place prior to the start of the match.
- 11m 22s: Heath Slater
- 1m 10s: Elias, Zayn
- 0m 49s: Big E
- 0m 44s: Bray Wyatt
- 0m 43s: John Cena
- 0m 28s: Dolph Ziggler
- 0m 26s: Almas, Reigns
- 0m 25s: Rhyno
- 0m 24s: The Hurricane
- 0m 23s: Goldust
- 0m 21s: Adam Cole
- 0m 20s: Randy Orton
- 0m 19s: Sheamus, Mahal, Miz
- 0m 18s: Kofi Kingston
- 0m17s: Rey Mysterio
- 0m 16s: Titus O’Neil
- 0m 15s: Nakamura, Hardy
- 0m 14s: Seth Rollins
- 0m 12s: Aiden English
- 0m 11s: Woods, Crews
- 0m 10s: Cesaro
- 0m 08s: Baron Corbin
Heath Slater’s entrance time includes all the time he spent outside the ring getting beat up by various superstars or fed pancakes, until Sheamus tossed him into the ring.
Sami Zayn’s entrance time includes the entrance music for Dillinger as well as the backstage attack.
Follow the Buzzers
WWE stated that there would be 90-second waiting intervals between each entrant in the 2018 men’s Royal Rumble match. How well did WWE stick to that claim? Here are the waiting times between all 28 buzzers, in chronological order:
- 1m 31s: Buzzer 1 - Rhyno
- 1m 36s: Buzzer 2 - Baron Corbin
- 1m 54s: Buzzer 3 - Heath Slater
- 1m 24s: Buzzer 4 - Elias
- 2m 17s: Buzzer 5 - Andrade Almas
- 1m 39s: Buzzer 6 - Bray Wyatt
- 1m 51s: Buzzer 7 - Big E
- 1m 53s: Buzzer 8 - Sami Zayn
- 2m 00s: Buzzer 9 - Sheamus
- 1m 40s: Buzzer 10 - Xavier Woods
- 1m 38s: Buzzer 11 - Apollo Crews
- 1m 25s: Buzzer 12 - Shinsuke Nakamura
- 1m 36s: Buzzer 13 - Cesaro
- 1m 23s: Buzzer 14 - Kofi Kingston
- 1m 28s: Buzzer 15 - Jinder Mahal
- 1m 32s: Buzzer 16 - Seth Rollins
- 2m 55s: Buzzer 17 - Woken Matt Hardy
- 1m 35s: Buzzer 18 - John Cena
- 1m 34s: Buzzer 19 - The Hurricane
- 1m 33s: Buzzer 20 - Aiden English
- 1m 25s: Buzzer 21 - Adam Cole
- 1m 30s: Buzzer 22 - Randy Orton
- 1m 28s: Buzzer 23 - Titus O’Neil
- 1m 33s: Buzzer 24 - The Miz
- 1m 32s: Buzzer 25 - Rey Mysterio
- 1m 42s: Buzzer 26 - Roman Reigns
- 2m 38s: Buzzer 27 - Goldust
- 1m 24s: Buzzer 28 - Dolph Ziggler
12 of the 28 waiting periods fell within 5 seconds of the 90-second goal.
The average waiting period was 1m 42s and the median time was between 1m 34s and 1m 35s.
4 different waiting periods lasted 2m 00s or longer.
The 2m 55s waiting period is the one where Kofi was saved with the power of pancakes but then eliminated by Almas. As soon as Kofi was eliminated, the 10-second countdown clock appeared.
Roman’s entry into the match occurred during the 2m 38s waiting period. This is where Reigns and Rollins teamed up to eliminate the Miz, and the Miztourage got involved too. Reigns then tossed Rollins out, and the 10-second countdown clock appeared a few seconds later.
The 2m 17s waiting period is where Elias came out playing his guitar and wasting time in the ring.
The 2m 00s interval is where Owens and Zayn beat up Tye Dillinger backstage and then stole his spot.
There was a 1m 54s waiting period that occurred during Baron Corbin’s entry. This included his elimination and assault on all the wrestlers remaining in the match.
In a perfectly timed match, the final buzzer (signaling Dolph’s entrance) would have gone off 42m 00s after the start of the match. In reality, this buzzer went off at 47m 36s.
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 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 outide 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 %|
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.
End of the Match
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.
That's all you need to know about the timing of the 2018 Men’s Royal Rumble match. Which numbers do you find to be the most interesting?
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