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How much wrestling actually happened at Royal Rumble 2021?

WWE featured five total matches on the main card of Royal Rumble 2021 (Sun., Jan. 31).

The main card of this pay-per-view (PPV) lasted 3 hours, 49 minutes, and 59 seconds (3h 49m 59s). Here is a sorted list of the bell-to-bell times for the five matches that took place during this event:

  • 58m 49s: Women’s Royal Rumble
  • 58m 28s: Men’s Royal Rumble
  • 24m 53s: Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens
  • 10m 21s: Sasha Banks vs. Carmella
  • 2m 33s: Drew McIntyre vs. Goldberg

These times add up to 2h 35m 04s, which is roughly 67.4% of the show. For comparison’s sake, the overall match time percentage for all WWE PPVs since the start of 2013 is 54.2%.

The women’s Royal Rumble match has existed for four years. This is the second time that it lasted longer than the men’s Royal Rumble match from the same card, with 2019 being the previous occurrence.

This is the first time that one of these cards with two different Royal Rumble matches did not reach 70% total match time. The previous results were 70.3% in 2018, 70.3% in 2019, and 71.2% in 2020.

Goldberg has now wrestled in four matches since his nightmare performance against Undertaker at Super ShowDown 2019. That match lasted 8m 32s. All of Goldberg’s matches since then have gone no more than three minutes. Here is the list of those match times, in chronological order:

That’s quite a streak that Goldberg has going on there. Who knew that Bill would eventually make his 4m 46s match against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 33 look like a marathon if given enough chances? I wonder what sub three minute match is next.

To be fair to Goldberg, it’s worth noting that Drew McIntyre initially attacked him 1m 45s before the bell rang to officially start their match, so he put in a little more work than the very short match time suggests.

Are you surprised by any of these results, Cagesiders? Which of these matches received less (or more) time than you hoped for?

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