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Did the waiting intervals actually last 90 seconds in the 2019 women’s Royal Rumble match?

WWE stated that there would be 90-second waiting intervals between each entrant in the 2019 women’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 32s: Buzzer 1 - Mandy Rose
  • 1m 52s: Buzzer 2 - Liv Morgan
  • 1m 46s: Buzzer 3 - Mickie James
  • 1m 56s: Buzzer 4 - Ember Moon
  • 1m 56s: Buzzer 5 - Billie Kay
  • 1m 45s: Buzzer 6 - Nikki Cross
  • 2m 14s: Buzzer 7 - Peyton Royce
  • 1m 39s: Buzzer 8 - Tamina
  • 2m 32s: Buzzer 9 - Xia Li
  • 1m 45s: Buzzer 10 - Sarah Logan
  • 1m 41s: Buzzer 11 - Charlotte Flair
  • 2m 20s: Buzzer 12 - Kairi Sane
  • 2m 15s: Buzzer 13 - Maria Kanellis
  • 1m 50s: Buzzer 14 - Naomi
  • 2m 25s: Buzzer 15 - Candice LeRae
  • 1m 46s: Buzzer 16 - Alicia Fox
  • 2m 38s: Buzzer 17 - Kacy Catanzaro
  • 1m 43s: Buzzer 18 - Zelina Vega
  • 1m 52s: Buzzer 19 - Ruby Riott
  • 2m 02s: Buzzer 20 - Dana Brooke
  • 1m 38s: Buzzer 21 - Io Shirai
  • 1m 47s: Buzzer 22 - Rhea Ripley
  • 2m 23s: Buzzer 23 - Sonya Deville
  • 2m 54s: Buzzer 24 - Alexa Bliss
  • 2m 08s: Buzzer 25 - Bayley
  • 1m 38s: Buzzer 26 - Lana / Becky Lynch
  • 2m 13s: Buzzer 27 - Nia Jax
  • 2m 07s: Buzzer 28 - Carmella

Only one of the 28 waiting periods fell within five seconds of the 90-second goal, and that was the very first waiting period.

None of the waiting periods were less than 90 seconds.

12 of the 28 waiting periods clocked in at longer than two minutes.

The average waiting period was 2m 01s and the median time was 1m 54s.

I will now provide some details on the nine longest waiting periods of this match. The longest waiting period was 2m 54s, bounded by the buzzers for Sonya and Alexa. This included Hornswoggle’s appearance and Zelina Vega’s elimination.

The next longest waiting period lasted 2m 38s, between the buzzers for Alicia and Kacy. This is where Alicia threw a tantrum after Maria stomped on her hat.

There was a 2m 32s waiting period between the buzzers for Tamina and Xia Li. Nothing notable happened here to explain why it took so long. Tamia entered the ring and mixed it up with various superstars such as Billie Kay, Nikki Cross, and Mickie James.

The waiting period between the buzzers for Naomi and Candice lasted 2m 25s. This is where Naomi entered the match and executed her Kofi-save.

The next longest waiting period lasted 2m 23s, bounded by the buzzers for Rhea and Sonya. This is the time when Kacy pulled off her Kofi-save.

The waiting period between the buzzers for Charlotte and Kairi lasted 2m 20s. Charlotte entered a crowded ring and laid into everybody with chops and throws. This period included the eliminations of the IIconics and Xia Li. The very next waiting period then lasted 2m 15s, and this included Kairi Sane’s entry into the match. Sane’s entrance took up 40 seconds. She landed her top rope elbow drop on Sarah Logan and tossed her out with help from Natalya.

There was a 2m 14s waiting period between the buzzers for Nikki Cross and Peyton Royce. This is where Nikki entered the ring, attacked Billie Kay outside the ring, and then beat the hell out of everyone in the ring. Billie Kay eventually entered the ring and then the 10 second countdown clock appeared on the screen.

The last waiting period I’ll go into detail on is the one that lasted 2m 13s, between the buzzers for Lana and Nia Jax. This is where Lana tried and failed to walk to the ring.

One factor that likely affected every waiting period to some degree was the long entrance times. This was a stadium show with a longer distance between the entrance point and the ring than a typical arena. The median entrance time for a competitor was between 28 and 29 seconds. That’s about one third of the theoretical 90-second waiting period spent right there.

In a perfectly timed match, the final buzzer (signaling Carmella’s entrance) would have gone off 42m 00s after the start of the match. In reality, this buzzer went off at 56m 17s. That means the match was extended roughly 14 minutes due to inaccurately timed waiting periods.

Overall, WWE did a terrible job with abiding by the 90-second rule. These are the kind of results I would expect from a match with two minute waiting intervals.

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