One of the things I found fascinating about the 2021 men’s Royal Rumble match is the overall age of the thirty wrestlers who competed in the match, and the near absence of talent under 32 years old.
With that context in mind, I wanted to examine the age of the six men competing for the WWE championship at Elimination Chamber 2021. How does this group compare to past years?
There have been 26 previous chamber matches, so for the sake of this exercise, I’ll consider Drew McIntyre’s upcoming WWE championship defense inside the chamber to be the 27th such match, and assume that the six men currently advertised are not moved out of the match.
Here are the approximate ages of those six men as of Feb. 21, when the event is scheduled:
- 43.7 years old: AJ Styles
- 43.5 years old: Jeff Hardy
- 43.1 years old: Sheamus
- 40.9 years old: Randy Orton
- 40.4 years old: The Miz
- 35.7 years old: Drew McIntyre
The average age of this group is 41.2 years old, and the median age is 42.0 years old.
Unlike the Royal Rumble write-up, I have done the work here for all previous Elimination Chamber matches, so direct comparisons can be made. Here are the average and median ages of the competitors for each Elimination Chamber match in history:
Age of Elimination Chamber participants
|Match No.||Name||Median||Average||Median Rank||Avg Rank|
|Match No.||Name||Median||Average||Median Rank||Avg Rank|
|1||Survivor Series 2002||34.4||34.6||17||17|
|3||New Year's Revolution 2005||34.8||33.2||12||22|
|4||New Year's Revolution 2006||32.9||32.5||22||24|
|5||December to Dismember 2006||33.3||34.1||21||19|
|6||No Way Out 2008 S||38.0||39.8||3||2|
|7||No Way Out 2008 R||37.9||37.5||4||6|
|8||No Way Out 2009 S||36.2||36.2||8||8|
|9||No Way Out 2009 R||34.7||35.3||13||12|
|10||Elimination Chamber 2010 R||31.0||31.9||25||25|
|11||Elimination Chamber 2010 S||36.6||36.5||7||7|
|12||Elimination Chamber 2011 S||36.8||35.4||6||11|
|13||Elimination Chamber 2011 R||32.7||33.4||23||20|
|14||Elimination Chamber 2012 WWE||32.4||34.7||24||16|
|15||Elimination Chamber 2012 WHC||34.7||34.4||14||18|
|16||Elimination Chamber 2013||37.3||37.6||5||5|
|17||Elimination Chamber 2014||35.0||35.5||11||10|
|18||Elimination Chamber 2015 Tag||33.8||33.3||19||21|
|19||Elimination Chamber 2015 IC||36.1||38.0||9||4|
|20||Elimination Chamber 2017||34.4||34.9||18||15|
|21||Elimination Chamber 2018 W||27.1||28.6||27||27|
|22||Elimination Chamber 2018 M||34.5||34.9||16||14|
|23||Elimination Chamber 2019 W||29.1||29.6||26||26|
|24||Elimination Chamber 2019 M||39.4||39.5||2||3|
|25||Elimination Chamber 2020 M||34.5||35.5||15||9|
|26||Elimination Chamber 2020 W||33.5||32.9||20||23|
|27||Elimination Chamber 2021||42.0||41.2||1||1|
The column headers can be used to sort the table. “Avg Rank” is the ordinal ranking of the averages, with 1 being the oldest and 27 being the youngest. The same idea applies to “Median Rank.” The “Match No.” column sorts the matches in chronological order. Finally, I do use some of my own shorthand under the “Name” column to distinguish between multiple chamber matches from the same card: “M” means Men, “W” means women, “R” means Raw, “S” means SmackDown, etc.
The data shows that the upcoming 2021 match simply blows away the rest of the field in both average and median age.
The second oldest median age is 2.6 years younger than the 2021 field, and that was from the 2019 men’s Elimination Chamber match. This match included AJ Styles (41.7), Jeff Hardy (41.5), Samoa Joe (39.9), Randy Orton (38.9), Daniel Bryan (37.7), and Kofi Kingston (37.5). It’s worth noting that Kofi Kingston is the youngest wrestler from that match, and he’s the oldest “youngest” wrestler ever in one of these chamber matches. It looks like Drew McIntyre will become the next oldest “youngest” wrestler inside a chamber match once the 2021 event is over.
The second oldest average age is 1.4 years younger than the 2021 field, and that was from the 2008 SmackDown Elimination Chamber match. This match included Finlay (50.0), Undertaker (42.9), Batista (39.1), Big Daddy V (37.0), The Great Khali (35.5), and MVP (34.3). Finlay is the oldest competitor ever inside a chamber match by a wide margin, which has a significant influence on the average when only six data points are involved.
Prior to 2021, there were only 9 instances of wrestlers competing inside a chamber at age 43 or above. Three wrestlers from the 2021 match (Styles, Hardy, Sheamus) will join that group, increasing it to 12 instances. Here are the previous nine occurrences:
- 50.0: Finlay, 2008
- 45.8: Kane, 2013
- 44.9: Undertaker, 2010
- 44.1: Kevin Nash, 2003
- 44.0: Mark Henry, 2015
- 43.9: Undertaker, 2009
- 43.8: Hardcore Holly, 2006
- 43.8: Kane, 2011
- 43.4: R-Truth, 2015
There have been 182 total entrants inside an elimination chamber match, counting the 2021 match. This also counts repeat instances from the same wrestler as a different entrant (for example, 2013 Randy Orton is younger than 2014 Randy Orton). If you sort all 182 entrants by age, the 2021 field includes the 9th, 10th, 12th, 24th, 29th, and 78th oldest wrestlers to compete inside an Elimination Chamber match.
Overall, roughly 25% of the 182 participants have been 31.2 years or younger, 25% have fallen between 31.2 years and 34.6 years, 25% have fallen between 34.6 years and 38.7 years, and 25% have been 38.7 years or older. The overall average is 34.8 years old, which is younger than all six men in the 2021 field.
It’s also worth noting that the women’s elimination chamber matches are generally on the other extreme. The 2018 and 2019 women’s matches, in particular, have the two youngest average and median ages in the history of the Elimination Chamber match.
The numbers here are not presented as a compliment or criticism of the match quality. It’s just a reflection of age.
What are your thoughts on the field of six men who WWE has chosen to compete for the WWE championship at Elimination Chamber 2021?