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

WWE stated that there would be 90-second waiting intervals between each entrant in the 2019 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 35s: Buzzer 1 - Shinsuke Nakamura
  • 1m 54s: Buzzer 2 - Kurt Angle
  • 1m 34s: Buzzer 3 - Big E
  • 2m 15s: Buzzer 4 - Johnny Gargano
  • 1m 44s: Buzzer 5 - Jinder Mahal
  • 1m 42s: Buzzer 6 - Samoa Joe
  • 1m 30s: Buzzer 7 - Curt Hawkins
  • 1m 42s: Buzzer 8 - Seth Rollins
  • 1m 37s: Buzzer 9 - Titus O’Neil
  • 1m 35s: Buzzer 10 - Kofi Kingston
  • 1m 32s: Buzzer 11 - Mustafa Ali
  • 1m 32s: Buzzer 12 - Dean Ambrose
  • 1m 50s: Buzzer 13 - No Way Jose
  • 1m 27s: Buzzer 14 - Drew McIntyre
  • 1m 46s: Buzzer 15 - Xavier Woods
  • 1m 36s: Buzzer 16 - Pete Dunne
  • 1m 39s: Buzzer 17 - Andrade
  • 1m 38s: Buzzer 18 - Apollo Crews
  • 1m 27s: Buzzer 19 - Aleister Black
  • 2m 01s: Buzzer 20 - Shelton Benjamin
  • 1m 43s: Buzzer 21 - Baron Corbin
  • 1m 19s: Buzzer 22 - Jeff Hardy
  • 2m 21s: Buzzer 23 - Rey Mysterio
  • 1m 22s: Buzzer 24 - Bobby Lashley
  • 1m 53s: Buzzer 25 - Braun Strowman
  • 1m 42s: Buzzer 26 - Dolph Ziggler
  • 1m 20s: Buzzer 27 - Randy Orton
  • 2m 03s: Buzzer 28 - R-Truth / Nia Jax

Only eight of the 28 waiting periods fell within 5 seconds of the 90-second goal. 14 of the 28 waiting periods came within 10 seconds of the 90-second goal.

The average waiting period was 1m 41s and the median time was between 1m 38s and 1m 39s.

Four different waiting periods lasted over two minutes, and here are the related details.

The longest waiting period lasted 2m 21s, bounded by the buzzers for Jeff Hardy and Rey Mysterio. As far as I can tell, WWE was waiting for Aleister Black and Pete Dunne to be eliminated before proceeding to the next buzzer. Hardy entered the ring and attacked everyone in sight, capping it off with a Whisper in the Wind. Pete Dunne then snapped Black’s fingers. Black was tossed out by Corbin, and Dunne was tossed out by McIntyre. The 10-second countdown then clock appeared on the screen.

The next longest waiting period lasted 2m 15s, between the buzzers for Big E and Gargano. Big E’s entrance took up 46 seconds. This period included Kurt Angle nailing Big E with an Angle Slam, and then our Olympic hero was eliminated by Shinsuke Nakamura. Once Angle was gone, the countdown clock appeared on the screen.

There was a 2m 03s waiting period between the buzzers for Orton and Truth. Orton’s entrance lasted 48 seconds. This period included the Tower of Doom spot with Strowman, Ali, Andrade, and Mysterio. Strowman ran himself into the ring post and remained outside the ring as the countdown clock ticked down. It seemed like WWE wanted Strowman nowhere near the upcoming Nia Jax segment in the match.

The fourth longest waiting period lasted 2m 01s, between the buzzers for Aleister Black and Shelton Benjamin. This was a showcase period for Black, as he got physically involved with most of the men in the ring and then kicked Dean Ambrose right over the top rope for a big elimination.

On the other side of the coin, the three shortest waiting periods lasted 1m 22s, 1m 20s, and 1m 19s, respectively. These periods all occurred among the final seven waiting periods of the match, although two of the long waiting periods detailed above also occurred within those final seven waiting periods.

In a perfectly timed match, the final buzzer (signaling Truth’s entrance) would have gone off 42m 00s after the start of the match. In reality, this buzzer went off at 47m 19s.

I mentioned that the median entrance time for the women (28 to 29 seconds) likely played a role in there being so many extended waiting periods. The median entrance time for the men was 28 seconds, which isn’t all that different from the women.

Overall, WWE didn’t do too well with sticking to the 90-second rule in the men’s match, though the results were not nearly as skewed as in the women’s match.

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