Revisiting the Records: Daniel Bryan, Braun Strowman and the Numbers you Need to Know from Greatest Royal Rumble

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Braun Strowman wins Greatest Royal Rumble
Credit: WWE

On Friday, WWE held the Greatest Royal Rumble in front of 60,000 fans at the King Abdullah International Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The event, which aired as a WWE Network special, was history-making as it was the first time WWE staged a 50-man Royal Rumble and one of just a rare handful of times a Royal Rumble match took place outside of the PPV bearing its name, which has been one of the company’s annual staples since 1988.

While the Greatest Royal Rumble may not have lived up to that moniker entirely, the match itself featured classic spots, WWE returns and debuts, two new records being set, a fall that has gifted the world 1,000 memes (perhaps a slight exaggeration), and much more. Here is the Greatest Royal Rumble by the Numbers.

76 number of minutes Daniel Bryan spent in the Greatest Royal Rumble: Daniel Bryan, who hasn’t been back to in-ring action less than a month, entered the match as its very first entrant and lasted all the way until the final three. His 76+ minutes (1:16:16) shattered the previous record for longest time in a Royal Rumble match, just over 62 minutes (1:02:12), which was set by Rey Mysterio in 2006. As if any context needed to be given, Bryan’s 76 minutes of ring time, which was just a minute or so shorter than the match length itself, is the second longest anyone has been in a match in WWE history. The longest, of course, belongs to the late-great Bruno Sammartino and Waldo Von Erich, who once put on an 81-minute match at Madison Square Garden in 1964.

 

4 – NXT stars who appeared in the Greatest Royal Rumble: In order to help fill the 50 spots in the Greatest Royal Rumble, WWE turned to its black-and-yellow brand where four guys were called up for the day. Entering first among his colleagues was Tucker Knight, who came in 24th. Knight, who is one-half of Heavy Machinery, lasted just over 10 minutes in his WWE debut and picked up an elimination of Drew Gulak. 10 spots later, Roderick Strong made his Royal Rumble debut. A member of the NXT tag team championship-winning stable Undisputed Era, Strong was in the match just under four minutes, but it was enough time to give everybody a backbreaker, eliminate Rhyno and leave some nasty looking welts on Daniel Bryan’s chest. Babatunde, the former NFL lineman who has been serving as Lio Rush‘s bodyguard of sorts, lasted close to six minutes before being taken out by Braun Strowman. Finally, Dan Matha came in at No. 40 and lasted just over two minutes. He too was eliminated in short order by Strowman. And speaking of Strowman…

 

13 – number of men Braun Strowman eliminated in the Greatest Royal Rumble: For all of those who complain that Roman Reigns has his stamp on too many WWE records, there is one that can be crossed off that list thanks to Braun Strowman. En route to winning the first-ever Greatest Royal Rumble, the Monster Among Men eliminated 13 competitors including guys like Babatunde (6’9, 350 lbs), Big Cass, Bobby Lashley and Big E, all single-handedly. In doing so, Strowman, who also became the first person to win a rumble when coming in from the 41st spot, bested Reigns’ record from the 2014 Royal Rumble, where he eliminated 12 men.

 

432 – Hiroki Sumi’s weight in pounds: There were some big guys in the Greatest Royal Rumble like Tucker Knight at 320 pounds, The Great Khali at 347, Babatunde at 350, Mark Henry at 360, and Braun Strowman at 385, but none of them were as big as the 432-pound sumo wrestler, Hiroki Sumi, who made his WWE debut in the Greatest Royal Rumble. Sumi, who engaged in a staredown and brief altercation with Henry, lasted just 46 seconds. However, that wasn’t the shortest in-ring time of the night which brings us to our next number.

 

– seconds Mike Kanellis spent in the Greatest Royal Rumble: Poor Mike Kanellis. It feels like it was only a year ago that he was on Smackdown alongside Maria, actually wrestling weekly on TV. And sure, the Power of Love gimmick bombed spectacularly, but it didn’t help when Maria took a leave of absence during her pregnancy. At that point, Kanellis was relegated to a Main Event talent, who occasionally showed up on Smackdown when the locker room was needed to break up a brawl or serve as lumberjacks. Kanellis was unceremoniously traded to Raw in the most recent Superstar Shakeup and then unceremoniously disposed of in his first-ever Royal Rumble match. Kanellis lasted a mere three seconds, which is tied with Owen Hart (1995) and Mo (1995) for third-shortest time, before being eliminated by Mark Henry. Thus, thankfully keeping the record famously set by Santino Marella (2009) still intact.

 

11 – number of Royal Rumbles Chris Jericho, Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler have been in: Goldust, who entered his 13th rumble match to move past Shawn Michaels and Big Show (12) and into sole possession of second-most appearances of all-time (Kane is first with 19), was not the only one who climbed up the top-five thanks to the Greatest Royal Rumble. Drawing the second spot, Dolph Ziggler entered his 11th rumble match and lasted a respectable 21+ minutes. He also picked up two eliminations, one of Sin Cara and the other a joint elimination with Daniel Bryan of Mark Henry, before Kurt Angle eliminated him. Next up was Kofi Kingston at No. 9, who lasted over 16 minutes in his 11th rumble, had a classic Kingston-staves-off-elimination spot, and eliminated Tony Nese before being taken out by Elias. And finally, there was Chris Jericho, who entered last but not least at No. 50. Jericho took out Shelton Benjamin in his three-plus minute stint, before becoming one of Strowman’s 13 victims. With their 11th rumbles, all three of these men move ahead of Rikishi for a tie of fourth-most rumbles of all-time.

 

136 – Hornswoggle’s weight in pounds: On the opposite end of the spectrum from Hiroki Sumi, is Hornswoggle, who made his WWE return as one of the Greatest Royal Rumble’s surprise entries. The 4’5, 132-pound miniature wrestler, making his seventh appearance in a rumble match, entered at No. 12, picking up an elimination of Dash Wilder before being taken out by Tony Nese after exactly one minute in the ring. Technically never eliminated (he went through the second rope), Hornswoggle was the lightest wrestler in the Greatest Royal Rumble, besting Rey Mysterio, billed at 175, by nearly 50 pounds and over one full foot.

 

5 – number of eliminations Elias had in the Greatest Royal Rumble: Everyone always talks about the guy who had the most eliminations or spent the longest amount of time in a rumble match, but sometimes second-best is pretty impressive too. Such was the case for Elias, who in just his second rumble in his career, finished second in both. Second only to Daniel Bryan, Elias spent 34+ minutes in the ring after entering at No. 20. In that time he eliminated Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, Konnor, Kurt Angle and Randy Orton. Elias’ five eliminations were, you guessed it, second only to Braun Strowman’s 13. Turns out being second best really isn’t all that bad if you’re Elias.

 

299 – number of minutes Chris Jericho has spent all-time in Royal Rumble matches: Chris Jericho may have only been in the Greatest Royal Rumble for 3:18, but that time adds to his already impressive status of being the guy who has spent the longest cumulative time in rumble matches at 4:59:18. Across 11 rumbles, that’s an average of just over 27 minutes per match. Jericho, with back-to-back 50+ minute performances in the 2016 and 2017 Royal Rumbles, is also one of just two guys (Triple H being the other), to have two top-15 times as far as individual rumbles go.

 

0 – guys who wrestled ‘double-duty’ at the Greatest Royal Rumble PPV: Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, Cesaro, John Cena, Jeff Hardy, Triple H, Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker, AJ Styles and 2018 Royal Rumble winner Shinsuke Nakamura, were just some of the big names who WWE chose to keep out of the Greatest Royal Rumble match. All of those men were still on the card, however, it was odd to see not one in both their regularly scheduled match as well as the rumble given there were 50 spots to fill. Plus, this rumble marks the first time since 2010, that at least one wrestler didn’t work double-duty on the card. Given the nature of this show, it was likely that WWE just wanted the Saudi audience to see as many different stars as possible.

 

∞ (infinity) – number of times one can see the Titus O’Neil slip along with any corresponding memes before finding it not funny: This truly is the GIF that keeps on giving.

 

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