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

The 2021 men’s Royal Rumble match lasted 58 minutes and 28 seconds (58m 28s).

This text graphic (Version 1) 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. This graphic treats Randy Orton as an active competitor all the way from beginning to end.

I also have an alternate text graphic (Version 2) that adjusts for the 50+ minute absence of Randy Orton from the match, to provide a more accurate reflection of how crowded the ring really was during the match.

If you add up each wrestler’s survival time (Version 1), it results in a total survival time of 6h 41m 50s. Given that the match lasted a total of 58m 28s, that comes out to an average of 6.9 active competitors at any given second. That would make this the 5th most crowded Royal Rumble match ever out of all 39 matches.

If you adjust the data for Randy Orton’s absence (Version 2), the total survival time falls to 5h 51m 45s. That results in 6.0 competitors in the ring at any given second. That would make this the 16th most crowded Royal Rumble match ever. So the decision to adjust for Orton (or not) makes a big difference in those rankings.

When I talk about how many superstars were “in the ring,” I’m counting all active superstars in the match (except in Version 2, where Orton’s absence is accounted for), 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.

Here is a more accurate way to understand how many men were active at any given time. This chart (Version 1) shows the total time that the ring was filled with an exact number of discrete superstars at once.

2021 Men’s Royal Rumble Ring Crowdedness (Version 1)

Active Wrestlers Total Time % of Match Time Cumulative %
Active Wrestlers Total Time % of Match Time Cumulative %
1 0m 01s 0.0 0.0
2 2m 09s 3.7 3.7
3 1m 34s 2.7 6.4
4 1m 28s 2.5 8.9
5 6m 17s 10.7 19.6
6 7m 14s 12.4 32.0
7 15m 28s 26.5 58.5
8 15m 39s 26.8 85.2
9 7m 40s 13.1 98.3
10 0m 58s 1.7 100.0

And here is the same chart, now accounting for Orton’s absence (Version 2):

2021 Men’s Royal Rumble Ring Crowdedness (Version 2)

Active Wrestlers Total Time % of Match Time Cumulative %
Active Wrestlers Total Time % of Match Time Cumulative %
1 0m 03s 0.1 0.1
2 2m 19s 4.0 4.0
3 1m 23s 2.4 6.4
4 4m 23s 7.5 13.9
5 10m 30s 18.0 31.9
6 15m 33s 26.6 58.5
7 15m 39s 26.8 85.2
8 7m 40s 13.1 98.3
9 0m 58s 1.7 100.0

I will spend the rest of this article describing the data from Version 2, because I think it makes the most sense to acknowledge that Randy Orton missed 50+ minutes of the match, and that the ring wasn’t filled with his invisible body.

The Version 2 chart shows there were at least 6 wrestlers in the ring for 68.1% of the match.

Just like with the corresponding women’s Royal Rumble match, this bout’s largest time span without an elimination (8m 07s, Hardy) occurred right in the very beginning, and the second biggest gap between eliminations (6m 50s, Zayn) occurred right after that. This does not count Orton as being eliminated from the match, even though I marked his temporary departure from the ring as starting at the 8m 08s mark.

The ring depth fluctuated between 6 and 8 wrestlers during the timestamps 11m 00s and 28m 05s. This period began with Carlito entering the match, and ended when Kane entered the ring.

Kane’s entry (28m 05s) is when the ring depth reached its maximum value of 9 wrestlers. That max ring depth only lasted for 27 seconds, because Kane went on to eliminate Dolph Ziggler and Ricochet, as well as being eliminated himself before the next buzzer went off.

The ring depth dropped to 6 wrestlers with Kane’s elimination at the timestamp 29m 56s. It remained between 6 and 7 wrestlers until the timestamp 36m 01s. That’s when Bobby Lashley eliminated Damian Priest, leaving five superstars in the ring.

Lashley’s elimination at 39m 41s dropped the ring depth down to 4. That ended a span of 30m 28s with at least 5 men in the ring, starting at the timestamp of 9m 13s.

Even with Omos then eliminating Big E (43m 37s) and Rey Mysterio (46m 32s), the ring still managed to fill back up to its maximum depth of 9 wrestlers again at 50m 35s. That’s when Braun Strowman, the final entrant, joined the fray.

Once Braun Strowman entered the ring, the match essentially turned into a 9-man Battle Royal between Edge, Riddle, Bryan, Christian, Styles, Sheamus, Cesaro, Rollins, and Strowman. Edge outlasted them all, and that’s when Randy Orton rejoined the match out of nowhere.

This final segment (starting with Braun) of the 2021 men’s Royal Rumble match lasted 7m 53s, and at that point Edge eliminated Orton and emerged as the winner.