The Road to WrestleMania is officially underway as the 2021 Royal Rumble is in the books. This year’s event was nothing short of spectacular as both Royal Rumble matches delivered in a big way as far as match quality, surprise guests, and eventual winners. And as tends to be the case this time of the year, this year’s event also led to the re-writing of the record books. By the end of the Royal Rumble, several new names had etched their places into history, others found themselves extending their own records, and still, there was other history being made in the form of a mid-Royal Rumble title match and more. See below for the numbers you need to know from the 2021 Royal Rumble as well as where several wrestlers find themselves on important Royal Rumble leaderboards following this year’s event.
1…The Number of the Entrant Who Won the 2021 Men’s Royal Rumble
— WWE WrestleMania (@WrestleMania) February 1, 2021
While No. 27 is still the most desirable spot to enter the Royal Rumble, with four of the match’s winners coming from this position, this year showed that being the first overall to enter, doesn’t have to be bad either. The No. 1 entrant is now tied with the more expected Nos. 24 and 30, as having provided the second most amount of winners of all-time with three. Prior to this year’s Men’s Royal Rumble and Edge’s victory, the last time someone won the match from the first spot was 17 years ago in 2004.
2…The Number of Eliminations Omos Recorded in the 2021 Men’s Royal Rumble
0 Royal Rumbles 2 Eliminations
Omos breaking records #RoyalRumble
— Jayy Knight (9 Days to 🎂) (@JayyWithAG) February 1, 2021
Where AJ Styles goes, his bodyguard Omos isn’t far behind. The 2021 Men’s Royal Rumble was no different. Styles, who first debuted in the WWE in the 2016 Royal Rumble, entered this year’s match at the favorable spot of No. 25, doing so with Omos by his side. But Omos wasn’t just there to cheer on Styles from the sidelines. The 7’3, 335 lb. behemoth made his presence known in more ways than one as not only did Omos save Styles from elimination on more than one occasion, he also eliminated two wrestlers from the match. Despite not being an official entrant, Omos took out both Big E and Rey Mysterio before either could do the same to Styles. Ultimately, Styles’ gamut of having Omos save him fell flat, but not before the big man collected his two eliminations, which was more than 21 of the match’s actual competitors picked up.
5…The Number of Royal Rumble Debuts in 2021
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) February 1, 2021
With 60 wrestlers needed to fill two matches, the Royal Rumble serves as a great place for WWE to bring in some new faces, or returning faces. Legends, and more recently, NXT wrestlers, have long been one of the draws of the annual match and that continued to be the case in 2021. Overall, Kane, Carlito, Christian, Hurricane Helms, Torrie Wilson, Victoria, Jillian Hall, Mickie James and Alicia Fox, all returned as legends to help fill out the fields of the two matches. Of those nine returns however, only Victoria and Jillian Hall found themselves making their Women’s Royal Rumble debuts. Making her return to the ring for the first time in two years, Hall entered at No. 8 and after singing her way to the ring, found an early ally in Billie Kay. She lasted just over eight minutes before she was the second woman eliminated from the match, by Kay. Also returning to the ring for the first time since 2019, Victoria entered two spots later at No. 10. She lasted just over seven minutes but certainly looked impressive in that time, before being eliminated fifth overall by Shayna Baszler.
While Hall and Victoria were the only legends to make their Royal Rumble debuts, there was one main wrestler roster who did the same as Otis took part in his first such match. While he got to perform his signature caterpillar in the center of the ring, it was a less than memorable Royal Rumble debut for the big man, who lasted just 53 seconds before being eliminated by King Corbin. Joining Hall, Victoria, and Otis in entering the Royal Rumble as first-timers were NXT wrestlers, Santana Garrett and Damian Priest, both of whom made not only their Royal Rumble debuts but main roster debuts as well. Garrett entered the Women’s Royal Rumble at No. 12 lasting just over four minutes before being eliminated by Baszler. Priest fared much better in the Men’s Royal Rumble as the Archer of Infamy entered at No. 14, lasted 15-and-a-half minutes, and tied for the high of four eliminations. One such elimination was of Kane, a huge rub to give to the recently promoted NXT star.
7…The Number of Years Since Christian Last Had an Official WWE Match
— WWE (@WWE) February 3, 2021
While Royal Rumble returns are often spoiled or rumored ahead of time, WWE managed to pull off quite the surprise this year when Christian, who has been retired since 2014, entered the Men’s Royal Rumble at No. 24 overall. Christian was medically cleared to return less than 48 hours prior and even backstage, not many in the locker room knew that Captain Charisma was preparing to do what his former tag team partner did a year ago: make an in-ring return in the Men’s Royal Rumble match. Christian, whose career resume is decorated with titles of all kinds including nine as a tag team champion, four as an Intercontinental Champion and two as the world champion, lasted just over 18 minutes in his sixth-ever Men’s Royal Rumble match. He picked up two eliminations, helping to take out both Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman, before ultimately being eliminated himself by Seth Rollins. Prior to his appearance in the match, Christian had taken part in a very brief unsanctioned match against Randy Orton last year, but excluding that, the Men’s Royal Rumble marked his true return to the ring for the first time in seven years.
14…The Number of Total Eliminations Shayna Baszler has in Women’s Royal Rumbles (Most all-time)
Yeah…. @QoSBaszler already has a tag team partner.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) February 1, 2021
When Shayna Baszler made her official debut as a member of the main roster (while she wrestled in PPV matches prior it was still as a member of NXT), she did so in the 2020 Women’s Royal Rumble. The former NXT Women’s Champion wasted no time in making an impact either. In her Women’s Royal Rumble debut, entering at No. 29, Baszler picked up eight eliminations, despite being in the match just under four-and-a-half minutes. That mark remains tied with Bianca Belair for most eliminations in a single Women’s Royal Rumble. Where Baszler isn’t tied with anyone however, is in cumulative eliminations. Adding six to her already impressive total, Baszler now has the two of the top three single elimination totals and stands atop the leaderboard in total eliminations with 14. Baszler, who lasted 41:47 (seventh longest single time) in this year’s match, also owns the distinction of being the first women’s wrestler to win a championship and enter the Women’s Royal Rumble on the same night.
14…The Number of Consecutive Royal Rumbles Dolph Ziggler has Participated in (Most all-time)
Dolph Ziggler is criminally underrated.#RoyalRumble
— Chris Van Vliet (@ChrisVanVliet) February 1, 2021
When it comes to Dolph Ziggler’s WWE career, there have certainly been ups and downs. The now 40-year-old Ziggler has been wrestling in WWE for parts of 17 years. In that time, he’s won countless titles (including 6x Intercontinental Championships), is a grand slam champion, a former Mr. Money in the Bank, and more. Ziggler’s longevity has allowed him to accomplish a lot but it’s also afforded him the opportunity to make company history. In 2021, Ziggler entered his 14th Royal Rumble, a mark that moved him into sole possession of second place for most Men’s Royal Rumbles entered, second only to Kane. Not second to anyone however, is Ziggler’s mark of 14 consecutive Men’s Royal Rumble appearances. Ziggler and Kane had been tied at 13 but with his 2021 appearance, the Show-Off moved to the top of the leaderboard. Since making his Men’s Royal Rumble debut in 2009, Ziggler has yet to miss a match. He’s entered first (twice) and he’s entered last, he’s worked double duty on the night (twice), he’s been a single match iron man (49:47 in 2013; 19th longest single time), he has numerous top-10 finishes, he’s spent nearly three hours in the match which is good enough for the 11th most cumulative time in the match (2:47:53), and now, he’s also the guy who’s entered the Men’s Royal Rumble every year he has had an opportunity to do so.
20 and 46…The Number of Royal Rumbles Kane has Participated in and Number of Total Eliminations Kane Has in Men’s Royal Rumbles (Both most all-time)
— Rob Schamberger (@robschamberger) February 1, 2021
When it comes to the Royal Rumble, perhaps no man is more synonymous with the match than the Devil’s Favorite Demon himself. Prior to this year’s Men’s Royal Rumble, Kane led all wrestlers in appearances in the match, with 19, and all-time eliminations with 44. Those records now stand at 20 and 46 respectively. The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels are tied for second with 40 eliminations and Dolph Ziggler is in second for appearances with 14. In short, no one is really close to matching the kind of dominance Kane has had when it comes to the Men’s Royal Rumble.
56…The Number of Minutes Bianca Belair Spent in the 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble (Most all-time)
— Bianca Belair (@BiancaBelairWWE) February 1, 2021
In 2020, Bianca Belair made her Women’s Royal Rumble debut and immediately made an impact. Belair tied Shayna Baszler for most eliminations in a single match of all-time and she topped all female wrestlers in single match time with a mark of 33:20 (10th longest single time). Entering at No. 2, Belair set the WWE world on fire and it’s hard to imagine she could have had a better such debut. In fact, the only thing missing was for Belair to win the match. Well, one year later, the EST of WWE did exactly that. Entering at No. 3 this time, Belair lasted 56:52 and picked up four eliminations before being crowned the champion. That time made Belair the ironman for the second straight year, but more than that, it moved her to the top spot of the leaderboard when it comes to the longest time in a single Women’s Royal Rumble match. In all, Belair now holds two of the top-10 times, ranks third in cumulative time spent in the match, and sits in second behind Shayna Baszler in total eliminations (12). She has no doubt been one of the bEST competitors in Women’s Royal Rumble history.
131…The Number of Reigns the 24/7 Championship Had after Alicia Fox Won the Belt in the Women’s Royal Rumble Match
— Rob Fai (@RobFai) February 1, 2021
R-Truth and his quest to keep the 24/7 Championship has been an entertaining side story in the WWE over the past two-plus years. To WWE’s credit, they’ve found ways to keep Truth’s pursuits interesting by coming up with unique and creative ways to keep the story going. A now 48-time champion, Truth’s title defenses have perfectly matched up to the nature of the championship: anytime, anywhere. At the 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble, Truth was once again thrown into the foray. Looking to enter the match before realizing he was in the wrong Royal Rumble, Truth looked to leave only to turn around to face the 24/7 division. And wrong match or not, those men wanted their chance at the title. So Truth ran into the ring for protection only to find out, he wasn’t safe there either. Alicia Fox, who had made her in-ring return for the first time in two years, just a few minutes prior, pinned Truth to capture her first 24/7 Championship and the 131st overall reign of the title, in the middle of the Women’s Royal Rumble. A match within a match, Fox’s win meant any of those female competitors could have pinned her mid match. Fortunately, WWE didn’t let things drag on too long as Fox was eliminated shortly after, at which point Truth pinned her to get his baby back. There have been unique moments in WWE Royal Rumbles of the past for sure, but this one may just take the cake.
Climbing the Royal Rumble Leaderboards
Randy Orton: Following a 1:00:32 time (which now sits tied with Edge for the fifth longest of all-time) in the 2021 Men’s Royal Rumble (even though much of it was spent in the back), Randy Orton has passed Shawn Michaels and Triple H to move into sole possession of second place all-time in terms of cumulative time spent in Men’s Royal Rumble matches. Orton, who entered his 13th Men’s Royal Rumble to move into a tie for third place all-time in terms of most rumbles entered, now sits just 28 minutes behind Chris Jericho as the Royal Rumble’s all time marathon man. Orton joins Jericho as the only two men to have spent over four and a half hours total in the match. Orton also joined impressive company when, after entering at No. 2, was the second to last man standing. This was Orton’s second-ever Men’s Royal Rumble runner-up. He now joins Triple H, Shawn Michaels and John Cena as the only men to both win two Royal Rumble matches and finish as a two-time runner-up as well.
Charlotte Flair: While Charlotte Flair overtook Natalya for most cumulative time (1:50:55) spent in the Women’s Royal Rumble thanks to her mark of 33:47 this year, there are several other statistics where the Queen continues to make her mark. When it comes to performances in the Women’s Royal Rumble, no one has achieved the success Flair has. Entering as high as No. 13 and as low as No. 17, Flair hasn’t been gifted with great starting positions. However, she’s managed to turn each and every one into a top-three finish, as following a runner-up spot in 2019 and a win in 2020, Flair finished third in 2021. Flair is the only such wrestler to have both a win and runner-up finish in the match and now becomes the only one to have three top-three finishes in three attempts in the Women’s Royal Rumble match. Flair has lasted over 25 minutes in each of her appearances, with two such times, including this year’s, landing in the top-10 (33;47 in 2021 is ninth highest of all-time; 50:01 in 2019 is fifth highest). She shares that stat with Bianca Belair as they are the only two women to have two such top-10 single Royal Rumble times. In addition, Flair also climbed the leaderboard this year for cumulative eliminations (10; T-4th). And while she lost her championship defense, in 2021, Flair also became the first female wrestler to defend a title and enter the Royal Rumble on the same night. All hail the Queen.
Braun Strowman: Standing in at 6’8, 385 lbs, it should come as no surprise that the Royal Rumble and battle royales in general, are a bit of a playground for the Monster Among Men. Strowman, the winner of the Greatest Royal Rumble and the Andre the Giant Battle Royale, has made the most of his six Royal Rumble appearances when it comes to eliminating fellow competitors. In 2021, Strowman entered the Men’s Royal Rumble in the coveted No. 30 spot. Despite being in the match just over seven minutes, Strowman picked up four eliminations, which was tied for the high of the match. Adding these to the 32 Strowman entered the night with, gives him 36 overall, which has now jumped him into a tie with Stone Cold Steve Austin for fourth most of all time. Strowman was already tied with Brock Lesnar for most eliminations in a single Royal Rumble (13), but at his pace, he should continue to climb the cumulative leaderboard and even overtake Kane’s mark of 46 eliminations before all is said and done.
Nia Jax: As the only wrestler to enter both the Men and Women’s Royal Rumble matches on the same night (2019), Nia Jax entered 2021 already in a class of her own. However, following this year’s Women’s Royal Rumble, Jax continued to add to her impressive marks when it comes to eliminating fellow competitors. Jax equaled her four elimination total from 2018, now giving her 11 all-time, which is third most of all-time. She is also the only female wrestler to have totaled at least three eliminations in each of her Royal Rumble appearances. In wrestling for and successfully winning the Women’s Tag Team Championships, Jax joins partner Shayna Baszler as the only two women to have won a title and entered the Royal Rumble on the same night.
Rhea Ripley: Returning for her second Women’s Royal Rumble appearance, former NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley, had herself quite the night. Ripley, who lasted 39:06 in the match (8th longest single time), finished as the match’s runner-up after she picked up a match high, seven eliminations (T-3rd most of all-time). In fact, on the night, Ripley had the most eliminations of any wrestler in either Royal Rumble match. Her seven eliminations added to three from 2019, has Ripley tied with Charlotte Flair for fourth most cumulative eliminations of all-time.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. WWE fan? You can check out an almost unlimited array of WWE content on the WWE Network.
Looking to talk wrestling, pro football, or any number of sports? Head on over to the LWOS Boards to engage in conversation with fellow fans!