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Analysis of how crowded the ring was during the 2021 women’s Royal Rumble match

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WWE.com

The 2021 women’s Royal Rumble match lasted 58 minutes and 49 seconds (58m 49s).

This text graphic provides time stamps for each superstar’s arrival and exit from the match, as well as showing who the longest lasting superstars were as the match progressed.

If you add up each wrestler’s survival time, it results in a total survival time of 6h 38m 22s. Given that the match lasted a total of 58m 49s, that comes out to an average of 6.8 competitors in the ring at any given second. That would make this the 6th or 7th most crowded Royal Rumble match ever out of all 39 matches, depending on whether or not you adjust the count for the most egregious examples of superstars who were still active but took significantly long absences from the ring, like with Roman Reigns in 2016.

When I talk about how many superstars were “in the ring,” I’m counting all active superstars in the match, whether they are literally inside the ring or not. It does not, however, count a wrestler’s time outside the ring prior to initially stepping foot into the ring, such as when Billie Kay spent several minutes trying to recruit new entrants to join the match with her. It also doesn’t count any other wrestlers who entered the ring, like R-Truth, who were not official entrants in the match.

Here is a more accurate way to understand how many women were active at any given time. This chart shows the total time that the ring was filled with an exact number of discrete superstars at once.

2021 Women’s Royal Rumble Ring Crowdedness

Active Wrestlers Total Time % of Match Time Cumulative %
Active Wrestlers Total Time % of Match Time Cumulative %
2 5m 02s 8.6 8.6
3 6m 22s 10.8 19.4
4 4m 04s 6.9 26.3
5 4m 10s 7.1 33.4
6 2m 24s 4.1 37.5
7 6m 34s 11.2 48.6
8 10m 59s 18.7 67.3
9 12m 08s 20.6 87.9
10 4m 21s 7.4 95.3
11 1m 50s 3.1 98.4
12 0m 55s 1.6 100.0

This was the most crowded women’s Royal Rumble match ever, with 6.8 active superstars at any given second. The previous women’s results on that metric were 5.2 (2018), 6.2 (2019), and 5.4 (2020).

The above chart shows there were 7 or more superstars in the ring for 62.6% of the match. Overall, the ring remained at 7 or more superstars for all but 53 seconds between the timestamps of 10m 42s and 48m 22s.

The early portion of the match was dedicated to filling the ring up to the match’s maximum ring depth of 12 wrestlers.

The longest time span without eliminations was 9m 31s, and it occurred in the very beginning of the match. Shotzi Blackheart became the first woman eliminated at that point, and then another 9m 12s lapsed until the next elimination (Jillian Hall).

The ring depth remained at 10 or above between the timestamps of 15m 04s and 20m 36s. This was the most crowded portion of the match.

Liv Morgan entered the ring as the 12th wrestler at the timestamp of 17m 48s. This is the 11th different Royal Rumble match (out of 39 total) that has reached 12 active superstars, but none of those previous Rumbles reached it this quickly. Prior to this match, the last time a Royal Rumble match reached a ring depth of 12 wrestlers was in 2017.

You can identify all 12 of these wrestlers in the header picture at the top of this post. Liv Morgan was the 13th official entrant out of 30, which means Blackheart is the only one of the first 13 entrants who failed to make it into this group of 12 wrestlers pictured above.

Rhea Ripley’s arrival helped thin the crowd. A stable ring depth was maintained for the better part of 10 minutes; it fluctuated back and forth from 8 to 9 wrestlers between the timestamps of 20m 36s and 29m 05s.

The ring depth then briefly dropped down to 6 after Torrie Wilson and Bayley were eliminated around the timestamp of 29m 07s.

The ring filled up again, maintaining a depth between 9 and 10 wrestlers between the timestamps of 33m 05s and 38m 02s. This is when Alicia Fox, Mandy Rose, and Dakota Kai joined the match.

The ring depth didn’t reach 9 again until the timestamp of 43m 41s, when Alexa Bliss joined the fray.

Nia Jax was the 10th woman in the ring when she joined as the 29th entrant at the timestamp of 47m 03s. Jax and Shayna Baszler quickly cut the ring depth down to 5 roughly two minutes later, at the timestamp of 49m 02s.

Once Natalya was thrown into the ring at the timestamp 51m 11s, the match essentially turned into a 5-woman Battle Royal to the finish between Belair, Ripley, Flair, Lana, and Natalya.

This final segment of the 2021 women’s Royal Rumble match lasted 7m 38s, including the final 3m 06s one-on-one sequence between Belair and Ripley, and at that point Belair emerged as the winner.