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Men’s Royal Rumble 2021 Match Time and Statistics

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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.

For comparison’s sake, here are other versions of this graphic for Royal Rumble matches from 1988, 1992, 2003, 2007, and 2013.

Survival Times

The survival time for a superstar is the time that lapses between the point when he steps foot into the ring and the time that his feet hit the floor to signal elimination. This does not include the time it takes for a superstar to make his way from the entrance ramp down to the actual ring.

The average superstar survival time for the 2021 men’s Royal Rumble match was 13m 24s and the median survival time was 8m 20s. The median value is less influenced by outliers at either extreme.

Here is the full list of survival times for all 30 superstars:

  • 58m 28s: Edge
  • 58m 27s: Randy Orton
  • 31m 17s: Matt Riddle
  • 29m 46s: Big E
  • 28m 51s: Daniel Bryan
  • 22m 00s: Shinsuke Nakamura
  • 20m 30s: Dolph Ziggler
  • 18m 13s: Christian
  • 15m 35s: Damian Priest
  • 13m 19s: Mustafa Ali
  • 13m 04s: Sami Zayn
  • 11m 37s: Ricochet
  • 10m 26s: AJ Styles
  • 8m 48s: Seth Rollins
  • 8m 26s: Carlito
  • 8m 14s: John Morrison
  • 7m 23s: Braun Strowman
  • 5m 57s: Sheamus
  • 4m 09s: Cesaro
  • 4m 03s: Bobby Lashley
  • 3m 47s: Rey Mysterio
  • 3m 43s: Xavier Woods
  • 3m 33s: King Corbin
  • 3m 25s: Jeff Hardy
  • 2m 31s: Elias
  • 2m 01s: Dominik Mysterio
  • 1m 51s: Kane
  • 1m 02s: The Miz
  • 0m 54s: Otis
  • 0m 30s: The Hurricane

Every listed time above should be viewed with a margin of error of about two seconds or so. These times all fall within one second of the numbers listed on WWE’s web site, which shocked me. There’s almost always a couple instances of strange discrepancies.

There was a noticeable delay between the time when Orton’s feet touched the floor to signal his elimination, and when the bell rang to signal the end of the match. I included that extra second of time on Edge’s survival clock, which explains the difference in his time with Orton.

Randy missed most of the match with a kayfabe injury before returning at the very end. It’s a little tricky to pinpoint exactly how much time he spent away from the ring. Do you start the clock on his (temporary) departure when he has finished his long walk to the back and completely disappeared off camera? Or do you start it much earlier, when he is first sitting ringside being checked by the officials? There’s a pretty big gap in these boundary points, so the decision makes a difference.

I decided to start the clock for Randy’s (temporary) absence once Edge entered the ring again, following their altercation. I figured that signaled the moment when Edge was moving on to other matters, and Randy was (temporarily) done. If you start the clock there, then 50m 05s of Randy’s listed survival time (58m 27s) was spent away from the match. That gives him an adjusted survival time of 8m 22s.

If you instead use Randy’s adjusted survival time of 8m 22s, the average superstar survival time falls down from 13m 24s to 11m 44s.

The bottom four superstars on the list all failed to make it to the next buzzer after entering the match. That this list includes both The Miz and Otis is a pretty good reflection of how much of a joke the Money in the Bank briefcase has become this year.

Out of the nine superstars who survived more than 15 minutes, I’d say that Christian and Riddle stand out the most. This was pretty much the Edge and Orton story, so the fact that Riddle had the next longest survival time after those two men is no small feat. And Christian wasn’t supposed to be medically cleared to compete ever again, so coming into the Royal Rumble match and going 18+ minutes is a pretty big deal for him.

It’s also worth pointing out that Big E’s survival time of nearly 30 minutes bodes well for the idea that even though this wasn’t his year, perhaps next year will be a different story.

It was a rough night for the Mysterio family, who combined to only survive for 5m 48s.

Bobby Lashley’s survival time of less than five minutes also stands out, considering that he’s been damn near invincible since June 2020.

You can find information on the elimination order here, and superstar ages here.

Entrance Times

Here are the entrance times for each superstar involved. This is the amount of time that passed between an entrance buzzer going off and when the superstar finally stepped foot into the actual ring. The first two entrants (Edge, Orton) are excluded because their entrances took place prior to the start of the match.

  • 1m 02s: Seth Rollins
  • 0m 58s: Christian
  • 0m 51s: Dolph Ziggler
  • 0m 48s: The Miz
  • 0m 37s: Sheamus
  • 0m 29s: Matt Riddle
  • 0m 26s: Carlito, Kane
  • 0m 25s: Daniel Bryan
  • 0m 24s: Sami Zayn
  • 0m 22s: The Hurricane
  • 0m 20s: Priest, Strowman
  • 0m 19s: Ricochet, Lashley
  • 0m 18s: Morrison, Rey
  • 0m 17s: Nakamura, Otis, Dominik
  • 0m 16s: King Corbin
  • 0m 15s: Elias, Styles
  • 0m 14s: Mustafa Ali
  • 0m 09s: Hardy, Woods, Big E
  • 0m 08s: Cesaro

The way I record this data is that the entrance time for a superstar ends when their survival time begins.

The median entrance time for the men’s match was 19 seconds.

This was Seth Rollins’ return to WWE after two months away, and he took plenty of time slowly walking to the ring while basking in the moment.

The same idea explains Christian’s longer entrance time.

In addition to walking slowly during his entrance, Dolph Ziggler remained outside the ring for a bit watching the angle between Edge and Orton that led to Orton’s temporary departure from the match.

The entrance time for Miz was extended because he destroyed Bad Bunny’s music equipment before entering the ring.

Sheamus stood on the apron pounding Riddle and Edge’s chests before entering the match.

These entrance times add up to 11m 08s, which means that a superstar was in the midst of his entrance for approximately 19.0% of the match.

Follow the Buzzers

WWE typically claims to use 90-second waiting intervals between each entrant in recent Royal Rumble matches. How well did the 2021 men’s Royal Rumble match adhere to that standard? Here are the waiting times between all 28 buzzers, in chronological order:

  • 1m 29s: Buzzer 1 - Sami Zayn
  • 1m 32s: Buzzer 2 - Mustafa Ali
  • 1m 32s: Buzzer 3 - Jeff Hardy
  • 2m 38s: Buzzer 4 - Dolph Ziggler
  • 1m 45s: Buzzer 5 - Shinsuke Nakamura
  • 1m 38s: Buzzer 6 - Carlito
  • 1m 50s: Buzzer 7 - Xavier Woods
  • 1m 18s: Buzzer 8 - Big E
  • 1m 31s: Buzzer 9 - John Morrison
  • 1m 38s: Buzzer 10 - Ricochet
  • 1m 39s: Buzzer 11 - Elias
  • 1m 36s: Buzzer 12 - Damian Priest
  • 1m 49s: Buzzer 13 - The Miz
  • 2m 31s: Buzzer 14 - Matt Riddle
  • 1m 37s: Buzzer 15 - Daniel Bryan
  • 1m 36s: Buzzer 16 - Kane
  • 2m 39s: Buzzer 17 - King Corbin
  • 1m 21s: Buzzer 18 - Otis
  • 1m 48s: Buzzer 19 - Dominik Mysterio
  • 1m 52s: Buzzer 20 - Bobby Lashley
  • 1m 41s: Buzzer 21 - The Hurricane
  • 1m 48s: Buzzer 22 - Christian
  • 2m 02s: Buzzer 23 - AJ Styles
  • 1m 37s: Buzzer 24 - Rey Mysterio
  • 2m 17s: Buzzer 25 - Sheamus
  • 2m 05s: Buzzer 26 - Cesaro
  • 1m 32s: Buzzer 27 - Seth Rollins
  • 1m 54s: Buzzer 28 - Braun Strowman

As far as I can tell, the ring announcer didn’t actually reveal what the length of the waiting times was supposed to be for this men’s Royal Rumble match. I’m not sure if it was mentioned on commentary either. I’m testing the typical 90-second rule here, but it might technically be true that WWE never made that claim for this specific match.

Only five of the 28 waiting periods fell within 5 seconds of the 90-second goal. 13 of the 28 waiting periods came within 10 seconds of the 90-second goal. Overall, 27 of the 30 intervals lasted longer than 90 seconds, according to these results.

The average waiting period was 1m 48s, and the median time was 1m 40s.

Six of the waiting periods lasted longer than two full minutes, so here is some context behind those intervals, in chronological order:

  • The waiting period between Jeff Hardy and Dolph Ziggler lasted 2m 38s. This interval included Randy Orton RKO’ing three different men in the ring, and it finished with the table spot between Edge and Orton outside the ring. As soon as Orton’s body impacted the table, the countdown clock began to tick down from 10.
  • The waiting period between The Miz and Riddle lasted 2m 31s. This interval included the entire angle between Miz and Bad Bunny. The countdown clock appeared on the screen shortly after Bad Bunny’s splash on Miz and Morrison.
  • The longest waiting period of the match (2m 39s) occurred during Kane’s entry. Everything that Kane did was crammed into one waiting interval. This includes entering the match, eliminating Dolph Ziggler and Ricochet, hugging Daniel Bryan, and being eliminated by Damian Priest.
  • The waiting period between Christian and AJ Styles lasted 2m 02s. This interval featured Christian’s dramatic return to WWE and his reunion with Edge. It also included multiple wrestlers teaming up to eliminate Bobby Lashley.
  • The waiting period between Rey Mysterio and Sheamus lasted 2m 17s. This included Mysterio and the commentary team getting in a plug for Victoria Beer, and then Omos eliminating Big E from the match.
  • The very next segment then lasted 2m 05s. Sheamus entered the ring. Sheamus was given time to get a piece of most superstars in the ring, including multiple Brogue Kicks. This period culminated with Rey Mysterio’s 619 being interrupted by Omos, and then Omos eliminating him. Once Mysterio was eliminated, the countdown clock began ticking down from 10.

The shortest segment of the match lasted 1m 18s. This occurred between the entries of Xavier Woods and Big E. It looks like they wanted to get to Big E assisting Xavier against Sami Zayn & Mustafa Ali, and decided to shave off a few seconds to get there.

The next shortest waiting interval (1m 21s) followed right after Kane’s extra long waiting period. King Corbin entered the ring and eliminated Shinsuke Nakamura. The period ended with the buzzer going off for Otis.

In a perfectly timed match, the final buzzer (signaling Strowman’ entrance) would have gone off 42m 00s after the start of the match. In reality, this buzzer went off at 50m 15s. That means the match was extended roughly eight minutes due to planned angles or spots.

Ring Crowdedness

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.

End of the Match

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.

That’s all you need to know about the timing of the 2021 men’s Royal Rumble match. Which numbers do you find to be the most interesting?

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Previous Royal Rumble analyses:

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018 Men

2018 Women

Greatest Royal Rumble

2019 Women

2019 Men

2020 Women

2020 Men

2021 Women