Royal Rumble (2021)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Royal Rumble
WWE Rumble 2021.jpg
Promotional poster featuring various WWE wrestlers
PromotionWWE
Brand(s)Raw
SmackDown
DateJanuary 31, 2021
CitySt. Petersburg, Florida
VenueWWE ThunderDome at Tropicana Field
Attendance0 (behind closed doors)[a]
WWE Network event chronology
← Previous
Superstar Spectacle
Next →
NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day
Royal Rumble chronology
← Previous
2020
Next →
2022

The 2021 Royal Rumble was the 34th annual Royal Rumble professional wrestling pay-per-view and livestreaming event produced by WWE. It was held for wrestlers from the promotion's Raw and SmackDown brand divisions. The event took place on January 31, 2021, from the WWE ThunderDome, hosted at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was the first Royal Rumble event held since the death of Pat Patterson, who created the Royal Rumble match.

Traditionally, the Royal Rumble match winner receives a world championship match at that year's WrestleMania. For the 2021 event, the winners of both the men's and women's matches received a choice of which championship to challenge for at WrestleMania 37. The men could choose to challenge for either Raw's WWE Championship, SmackDown's Universal Championship, or the NXT Championship, while the women had the choice between the Raw Women's Championship, the SmackDown Women's Championship, and the NXT Women's Championship. This was the last Royal Rumble event in which three championships were an option for the Royal Rumble winner, as well as the last Royal Rumble event in which the NXT Championship and NXT Women's Championship was an eligible option for that winner, as in September 2021, the NXT brand reverted to being WWE's developmental territory.

Six matches were contested at the event, including one on the Kickoff pre-show. In the main event, WWE Hall of Famer Edge won the men's Royal Rumble match and was later said to be part of Raw, marking his second overall Royal Rumble win after last winning it in 2010, thus becoming the eighth two-time winner, the third wrestler to win it as the number one entrant, the fifth wrestler to win it as one of the two starting wrestlers, and the first wrestler to win it after his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. The women's Royal Rumble match was won by SmackDown's Bianca Belair. In other prominent matches, Roman Reigns defeated Kevin Owens in a Last Man Standing match to retain SmackDown's Universal Championship and in the opening bout, Drew McIntyre defeated Goldberg to retain Raw's WWE Championship. The event also featured the official in-ring return as well as the final appearance of Christian in WWE, who had last wrestled in a match in March 2014, and later signed with rival promotion All Elite Wrestling (AEW).

Production[edit]

Background[edit]

The Royal Rumble is an annual gimmick pay-per-view (PPV) and WWE Network event, produced every January by WWE since 1988. It is one of the promotion's original four pay-per-views, along with WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series, dubbed the "Big Four".[1] It is named after the Royal Rumble match, a modified battle royal in which the participants enter at timed intervals instead of all beginning in the ring at the same time. The 2021 event was the 34th event in the Royal Rumble chronology and was scheduled to be held on January 31, 2021. It featured wrestlers from the Raw and SmackDown brands with a select few NXT wrestlers and WWE veterans also appearing in both the men's and women's Royal Rumble matches.[2]

The Royal Rumble match generally features 30 wrestlers. Traditionally, the winner of the match earns a world championship match at that year's WrestleMania. For 2021, the men and women could choose which world championship to challenge for at WrestleMania 37; the men could choose Raw's WWE Championship, SmackDown's Universal Championship, or the NXT Championship, while the women could choose the Raw Women's Championship, SmackDown Women's Championship, or NXT Women's Championship.[3][4][2]

The Royal Rumble match was created by WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson, and the match was originally tested at a house show in October 1987 before making its televised debut at the inaugural Royal Rumble event in 1988.[5] Patterson died on December 2, 2020, at the age of 79, which made the 2021 event the first Royal Rumble held following his death.[6]

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic[edit]

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that began affecting the industry in mid-March 2020, WWE had to present the majority of its programming from a behind closed doors set. Initially, Raw and SmackDown's television shows and PPVs were done at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.[7] A limited number of Performance Center trainees and friends and family members of the wrestlers were later utilized to serve as the live audience.[8][9] In late August, these programs were moved to a bio-secure bubble called the WWE ThunderDome. The select live audience was no longer utilized as the bubble allowed fans to attend the events virtually for free and be seen on the nearly 1,000 LED boards within the arena. Additionally, the ThunderDome utilized various special effects to further enhance wrestlers' entrances, and arena audio was mixed with that of the chants from the virtual fans.[10] After being hosted at Orlando's Amway Center,[11] the ThunderDome was relocated to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida in December.[12][13]

In November 2020, it was reported that WWE were looking to host the 2021 Royal Rumble at a venue that could have live fans in attendance, as the promotion wanted fans for the event, even if it was just for this one show.[14] However, the ongoing pandemic put a stop to those plans, and while dismantling the ThunderDome to have live fans in attendance at Tropicana Field was possible, WWE decided that the massive undertaking to do so was not worth doing for just one night.[2]

Several wrestlers were also pulled from the event due to COVID-19 concerns. Retribution's Reckoning was originally booked to appear in the Women's Royal Rumble match, however she tested positive for the virus and was replaced by Toni Storm.[15] Keith Lee and Robert Roode were reportedly planned to be in the men's match, but were pulled, as was Jey Uso, who had been advertised for the match.[16]

Storylines[edit]

The show comprised six matches, including one on the Kickoff pre-show. The matches resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results were predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw and SmackDown brands,[17][18] while storylines were produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown.[19]

On the January 8 episode of SmackDown, Universal Champion Roman Reigns took issue with the recent booking decisions made by WWE official Adam Pearce, including a gauntlet match that Pearce had scheduled for that night to determine Reigns' challenger for his title at the Royal Rumble. Reigns questioned if Pearce booked himself for the match, to which Pearce responded that would have been a conflict of interest. Later, Reigns' special counsel, Paul Heyman, confronted Pearce backstage and stated that he was able to pull some strings and that Pearce would also be competing in the gauntlet match along with Rey Mysterio, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura, King Corbin, and Daniel Bryan. Nakamura survived the gauntlet to face final entrant Pearce; however, before the final round began, Reigns' cousin, Jey Uso, taunted Nakamura, which led to Reigns and Jey attacking both Nakamura and Pearce. Jey placed Pearce on top of Nakamura for the pinfall, thus Pearce won the match.[20] The following week, Heyman confronted Pearce backstage and gave him the match contract to sign. The stipulation for their match was originally a no disqualification match; after Heyman gave the signed contract to Reigns, however Reigns wanted the stipulation changed to a Last Man Standing match. Later in the ring, Pearce and Reigns signed the amended contract, but as Pearce was leaving, he feigned a knee injury, citing that the contract allowed him to choose a replacement for himself in the event of an injury and chose Kevin Owens, who Reigns defeated at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in a TLC match thanks to interference from Jey. Owens then made his entrance and signed the contract to become Reigns' opponent for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble.[21]

Following Drew McIntyre's successful WWE Championship defense during the special "Legends Night" episode of Raw on January 4, WWE Hall of Famer Goldberg, in his first appearance since WrestleMania 36 in 2020, appeared to confront McIntyre. After Goldberg praised McIntyre's work and abilities, he stated that McIntyre did not have respect, claiming that McIntyre viewed the legends as being "washed up" and that McIntyre felt he was better than any of them when they were in their prime. Goldberg then formally challenged McIntyre for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. McIntyre responded that Goldberg was not the man he used to be and that facing him would be like facing his own dad. Goldberg then taunted and shoved McIntyre, who rose to his feet and stared down Goldberg.[22] The following week, McIntyre refuted Goldberg's claim and said that he actually did have respect but that he was going to reject Goldberg's challenge until Goldberg pushed him, prompting him to accept the challenge and make the match official.[23] McIntyre had accepted Goldberg's challenge via satellite as during that same episode, he announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19; following the standard 14-day quarantine procedure, McIntyre was cleared for the Royal Rumble, appearing live on Raw on the January 25 episode to have a final face-to-face meeting with Goldberg before their match.[24]

At TLC, Sasha Banks retained the SmackDown Women's Championship against Carmella.[25] Over the next couple of weeks, Carmella continuously taunted Banks, yearning for a rematch. On the January 15 episode of SmackDown, Banks stated that she would give Carmella a rematch only if she faced Carmella's sommelier, Reginald, in a match first.[21] The intergender match occurred the following week, in which Banks defeated Reginald.[26] Banks kept her promise and a title rematch between Banks and Carmella was scheduled for the Royal Rumble.[27]

Event[edit]

Other on-screen personnel
Role: Name:
English commentators Michael Cole (SmackDown/Men's Royal Rumble match)
Corey Graves (SmackDown/Men's Royal Rumble match)
Tom Phillips (Raw/Women's Royal Rumble match)
Samoa Joe (Raw/Men's Royal Rumble match)
Byron Saxton (Raw/Women's Royal Rumble match)
Jerry Lawler (Women's Royal Rumble match)
Spanish commentators Carlos Cabrera
Marcelo Rodriguez
Ring announcers Greg Hamilton (SmackDown/Men's Royal Rumble match)
Mike Rome (Raw/Women's Royal Rumble match)
Referees Danilo Anfibio
Jason Ayers
Shawn Bennett
Jessika Carr
John Cone
Darrick Moore
Eddie Orengo
Chad Patton
Rod Zapata
Interviewers Kayla Braxton
Sarah Schreiber
Pre-show panel Charly Caruso
Booker T
Jerry Lawler
John "Bradshaw" Layfield
Peter Rosenberg
Sonya Deville

Pre-show[edit]

During the Royal Rumble Kickoff pre-show, Raw Women's Champion Asuka and Charlotte Flair defended the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship against Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. During the match, Ric Flair came out with Lacey Evans to distract his daughter—continuing an ongoing storyline from Raw. As Charlotte applied the Figure Eight Leglock on Baszler, Evans broke it up. The climax saw Evans perform the Women's Right on Charlotte, after which Jax performed a leg drop on her to regain the titles, thus Jax and Baszler became record-tying two-time champions, both as a team and individually.[28]

Preliminary matches[edit]

The actual pay-per-view opened with Drew McIntyre defending the WWE Championship against Goldberg. Before the match could officially begin, McIntyre performed a Glasgow Kiss and Spear on Goldberg, knocking Goldberg out of the ring. Goldberg then retaliated by performing a Spear on McIntyre through the barricade. Goldberg returned to the ring, and after McIntyre also managed to return to the ring, the match officially began. McIntyre performed a Claymore Kick on Goldberg for a nearfall. Goldberg performed two Spears on McIntyre, also for a nearfall. Goldberg then performed a Jackhammer on McIntyre for a nearfall. As Goldberg attempted another Spear, McIntyre avoided Goldberg and performed a second Claymore Kick on Goldberg to retain the title. Following the match, Goldberg rose to his feet and endorsed McIntyre by shaking his hand, declaring that McIntyre passed the test, after which McIntyre and Goldberg embraced.[29]

Next, Sasha Banks defended the SmackDown Women's Championship against Carmella (accompanied by her sommelier, Reginald). During the match, as Banks threw Carmella out of the ring, Reginald caught Carmella. Banks then performed a head scissors takeover and a Forearm on Reginald. The referee ejected Reginald from ringside. In the end, Banks applied the Bank Statement on Carmella, forcing her to tap, thus retaining the title, to end their feud.[29]

Following the match, Bad Bunny performed his song "Booker T" with two-time WWE Hall of Famer Booker T himself making an appearance.[29]

After that, the 30-woman Royal Rumble match was contested. Bayley and the returning Naomi entered the match as the first and second entrants, respectively. Bianca Belair entered third, and due to their ongoing rivalry from SmackDown, Belair immediately attempted to eliminate Bayley, who avoided being eliminated. Instead of participating in the match, Billie Kay (#4) would join the ringside announcers for commentary. Kay attempted to team up with the next three entrants, Shotzi Blackheart (#5), Shayna Baszler (#6), and Toni Storm (#7), to take on the other participants in the match, however they all brushed her off. Kay eventually teamed up with guest entrant and former WWE wrestler Jillian Hall (#8) and Kay officially entered the match, however she eventually turned on Hall and eliminated her. Shortly thereafter, Kay was also eliminated. Midway through the match, Lacey Evans (#18) entered, accompanied by Ric Flair, while wearing his signature robe in an attempt to taunt Charlotte Flair (#15). Immediately after former WWE wrestler Alicia Fox (#21) entered, 24/7 Champion R-Truth ran to the ring. Several other male 24/7 Title challengers appeared and ran after Truth, who then ran into the ring. As Truth fended them off, Fox pinned Truth to win the 24/7 Championship. Mandy Rose (#22) then eliminated Fox, after which Truth pinned Fox outside the ring to regain the title. As Carmella (#24 – accompanied by Reginald) entered, Nikki Cross (#20) attempted to eliminate Carmella, however Reginald caught Carmella, thus saving her from elimination. As Tamina (#25) made her way to the ring, she attacked Reginald, accidentally dropping Carmella, thus causing her elimination inadvertently. Rhea Ripley (#14) then eliminated Alexa Bliss (#27) before Bliss could transform into her alter-ego Fiend-esque persona (due to her alignment with "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt). The final four were Flair, Ripley, Belair, and Natalya, who earned the #30 spot by defeating Tamina the previous day on WWE Backstage. After Natalya was quickly eliminated, Belair and Ripley teamed together and eliminated Flair. In the end, after a back-and-forth battle, Belair eliminated Ripley to win the match and earn herself a women's championship match at WrestleMania 37. Belair also became the second wrestler to win the match as the third entrant, after Ric Flair in 1992. Following the match, an emotional Belair celebrated her win.[29]

In the penultimate match, Roman Reigns (accompanied by Paul Heyman) defended the Universal Championship against Kevin Owens in a Last Man Standing match. At the start of the match, Reigns performed a Superman Punch on Owens only for Owens to rise to his feet. Owens countered a Spear from Reigns into a Pop-up Powerbomb, however Reigns rose to his feet at the 4 count. Midway, the two fought at ringside where Reigns viciously attacked Owens with the steel steps. Reigns then threw Owens through an announce table from the LED boards of the ThunderDome arena. Owens and Reigns fought backstage where Reigns drove a golf cart into Owens. Owens then performed a Senton Bomb on Reigns off a forklift through a table. In the end, Owens handcuffed Reigns to a lighting trellis. Unable to get to his feet and avoid losing, Reigns incapacitated the referee by shoving him into the trellis. Heyman then appeared and successfully freed Reigns from the cuffs. Reigns then applied the guillotine choke on Owens, incapacitating him and preventing Owens from rising to his feet by the count of 10, thus Reigns retained the title.[29]

Main event[edit]

In the main event, the 30-man Royal Rumble match was contested. Hall of Famer Edge, returning from a triceps tear, and Raw's Randy Orton started the match as the first and second entrants, respectively. The two fought at ringside before the match officially began. They eventually fought into the ring and the match began. Orton, along with SmackDown's Sami Zayn (#3) and Mustafa Ali (#4), began to triple team Edge, however he fought them off and performed a Spear on Orton, who rolled out of the ring under the bottom rope. Edge followed Orton soon after and the two continued to brawl at ringside.[29]

In his first appearance since 2010, Carlito made a surprise return at #8, however he was eliminated by Elias (#13). NXT's Damian Priest (#14) then eliminated Elias. It was then shown that medical personnel tended to Orton backstage and Edge returned to the match soon after. Due to Bad Bunny rejecting The Miz's offer in a backstage segment earlier, Miz (#15) proceeded to destroy Bad Bunny's DJ equipment on the stage and then celebrated with his tag team partner, John Morrison (#11). An irate Bad Bunny then came out, distracting Miz and Morrison, who were eliminated by Priest. Bad Bunny then performed a cross body on Miz and Morrison outside the ring. Kane (#18) made a surprise return and after a brief Team Hell No reunion, he chokeslammed Daniel Bryan (#17) but was then eliminated by Priest. Later in the match, Christian (#24) made his surprise return to in-ring action, his first official match since 2014. After entering the ring and reuniting with Edge, the two embraced. Seth Rollins (#29) then made a surprise return from his two-month hiatus, followed by Braun Strowman (#30), who had made an appearance at the end of the previous episode of SmackDown following a two-month suspension.[29]

Edge and Bianca Belair were the winners of the men's and women's Royal Rumble matches, respectively

The final five were Edge, Christian, Rollins, Strowman, and Orton (unbeknownst to the rest at this time as he had not returned from his injury earlier). Rollins convinced Strowman to work together and eliminate Edge and Christian, however Strowman turned on Rollins soon after. As Strowman tried to eliminate Edge, Christian tried to assist Edge to eliminate Strowman. Rollins would eliminate Christian, which helped give leverage to Edge to simultaneously eliminate Strowman. Edge then eliminated Rollins soon after. Immediately following Rollins' elimination, Orton returned to the match and performed an RKO on Edge. Orton then attempted to eliminate Edge, however he countered and eliminated Orton 11 years to the day of his first Rumble match victory, and earning himself a world championship match at WrestleMania 37. Edge became the eighth wrestler to win the Royal Rumble match twice, the third wrestler to win the match as the number one entrant (after Shawn Michaels in 1995 and Chris Benoit in 2004), and the first wrestler to win a Royal Rumble match after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Additionally, this was only the third time that the first and second entrants lasted the entire match and finished as the final two (last occurring in 1995 and 1999).[29]

Aftermath[edit]

Raw[edit]

The following night on Raw, WWE Champion Drew McIntyre opened the show and stated that Goldberg had earned his respect and he had also earned Goldberg's respect. McIntyre was then interrupted by men's Royal Rumble winner Edge. McIntyre complimented Edge, however Edge took issue as he thought that McIntyre would be more aggressive. After Edge teased that he would choose McIntyre as his opponent at WrestleMania 37, McIntyre's friend Sheamus came out, stating that he was not as nice as his friend. McIntyre then asked Edge about his decision and Edge stated he would reveal his choice in due time. After Edge left the ring, Sheamus performed a Brogue Kick on McIntyre, sending a direct message that he was no longer McIntyre's friend and wanted the WWE Championship.[30] The following week, McIntyre was scheduled to defend the WWE Championship in an Elimination Chamber match at Elimination Chamber, also involving Sheamus and four other former WWE Champions, while Edge said he would wait until after that event to make his decision.[31]

Unsatisfied with Edge's victory in the Royal Rumble and his victory over Edge in "The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever" back at Backlash in 2020, Randy Orton challenged Edge to one final match on Raw. In the main event, Edge defeated Orton thanks to a distraction from Alexa Bliss (continuing a storyline between Orton, Bliss, and "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt), putting an end to Edge and Orton's rivalry.[30]

Also on the following night's episode of Raw, former WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Asuka & Charlotte Flair participated in a triple threat tag team match to earn an opportunity at a rematch for the titles against new champions Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler, which also involved the teams of Naomi & Lana and Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose. Thanks to another distraction by Ric Flair and Lacey Evans, however, the match was won by Naomi & Lana.[30] The following week, Evans defeated Charlotte by disqualification, again thanks to Ric, to earn a Raw Women's Championship match against Asuka at Elimination Chamber. Women's Royal Rumble winner Bianca Belair also appeared that episode and teased that she would choose the Raw Women's Championship if Asuka retained at Elimination Chamber.[31]

Bad Bunny was a guest on "Miz TV." The Miz and John Morrison apologized for their actions at the Royal Rumble, which Bad Bunny accepted; however, Bad Bunny did not apologize for his own actions. Bad Bunny then stated that one of his dreams was to become a WWE wrestler, which Miz claimed he could help him with as a mentor (referencing when he was a mentor to Daniel Bryan in 2010), however Bad Bunny rejected the offer. Bad Bunny then stated the only reason he was there was because his "friend" wanted to be on Miz TV, prompting Damian Priest to come out, making his Raw debut. Priest then came out and attacked Miz. A match between Priest and Miz ensued where Priest emerged victorious.[30]

NXT[edit]

The following Wednesday on NXT, men's Royal Rumble winner Edge made a special appearance. He talked about how seeing the passion, drive, and focus on wrestling in NXT helped motivate him to make his comeback. He told NXT Champion Finn Bálor and Bálor's TakeOver: Vengeance Day opponent Pete Dunne that he would be watching their match, and regardless of who won, it could influence his decision on which world championship he would challenge for at WrestleMania 37, teasing the possibility that Edge may choose the NXT Championship.[32]

The 2021 Royal Rumble was the last Royal Rumble in which three championships were an option for the Royal Rumble winner, as well as the last Royal Rumble in which the NXT Championship and NXT Women's Championship were an option for that winner, as in September 2021, the NXT brand was rebranded as "NXT 2.0" and reverted to being WWE's developmental territory.[33]

SmackDown[edit]

On Friday's SmackDown, Universal Champion Roman Reigns opened the show, accompanied by Paul Heyman and Jey Uso. He stated that he kept his word in that he would defeat Kevin Owens. He then turned his attention to men's Royal Rumble winner Edge, assuming that Edge would choose to challenge him at WrestleMania 37. Reigns called out Edge, who had not arrived at the arena yet. Reigns then demanded that Edge reveal his decision before the end of the night. Later that night, Edge came out and questioned himself on who he should challenge, either WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, NXT Champion Finn Bálor, or the Universal Champion, who then came out, accompanied by Heyman and Jey. Reigns then demanded that Edge choose him, however, before Edge could answer, Owens attacked Reigns with a Stunner from behind.[34] At Elimination Chamber on February 21, Edge revealed his choice to challenge Reigns for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania.[35]

Women's Royal Rumble match winner Bianca Belair spoke about her win and her championship choices. She was interrupted by Carmella's sommelier, Reginald, who claimed that Belair could not defeat SmackDown Women's Champion Sasha Banks, as she could not beat Carmella either, who then made her entrance and boasted about how she had defeated Banks in the past and that she could also defeat Belair if she chose to face Banks, who then came out and told Carmella that they were done. Banks then complimented Belair, but stated Belair was not the best as she did not have the SmackDown Women's Championship. Reginald interrupted and stated that Belair would be better off choosing to face Raw Women's Champion Asuka as she would lose to Banks, after which Belair attacked Reginald as Banks and Carmella watched on.[34] After weeks of discussing her three options,[36][37] Belair decided on the February 26 episode of SmackDown that she would challenge Banks for the SmackDown Women's Championship at WrestleMania.[38]

Results[edit]

No. Results Stipulations Times[28][29]
1P Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler defeated Asuka and Charlotte Flair (c) by pinfall Tag team match for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship[39] 10:30
2 Drew McIntyre (c) defeated Goldberg by pinfall Singles match for the WWE Championship[40] 2:33
3 Sasha Banks (c) defeated Carmella (with Reginald) by submission Singles match for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship[41] 10:25
4 Bianca Belair won by last eliminating Rhea Ripley 30-woman Royal Rumble match for a women's championship match at WrestleMania 37[42] 58:50
5 Roman Reigns (c) (with Paul Heyman) defeated Kevin Owens Last Man Standing match for the WWE Universal Championship[43] 24:55
6 Edge won by last eliminating Randy Orton 30-man Royal Rumble match for a world championship match at WrestleMania 37[44] 58:30
  • (c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match
  • P – indicates the match took place on the pre-show

Women's Royal Rumble match entrances and eliminations[edit]

  – Raw
  – SmackDown
  – NXT
  - Free agent
 Hall of Famer (HOF)
 Winner
Draw Entrant Brand/
Status
Order Eliminated by Time[42] Elimination(s)
1 Bayley SmackDown 12 Bianca Belair 29:08 1
2 Naomi Raw 22 Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler 47:39 0
3 Bianca Belair SmackDown Winner 56:52 4
4 Billie Kay SmackDown 3 Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan 08:11 1
5 Shotzi Blackheart NXT 1 Shayna Baszler 03:46 0
6 Shayna Baszler Raw 24 Nia Jax 41:46 6
7 Toni Storm NXT 4 Rhea Ripley 11:21 0
8 Jillian Hall Free agent 2 Billie Kay 08:03 0
9 Ruby Riott SmackDown 7 Bayley 10:53 1
10 Victoria Free agent 5 Shayna Baszler 07:15 0
11 Peyton Royce Raw 10 Charlotte Flair 13:40 1
12 Santana Garrett NXT 6 Rhea Ripley 04:32 0
13 Liv Morgan SmackDown 8 Peyton Royce 06:37 1
14 Rhea Ripley NXT 29 Bianca Belair 39:06 7
15 Charlotte Flair Raw 28 Rhea Ripley and Bianca Belair 33:47 1
16 Dana Brooke Raw 9 Rhea Ripley 02:58 0
17 Torrie Wilson HOF 11 Shayna Baszler 03:59 0
18 Lacey Evans Raw 20 Shayna Baszler 19:21 1
19 Mickie James Raw 14 Lacey Evans 07:20 0
20 Nikki Cross Raw 17 Carmella 07:37 0
21 Alicia Fox[b] Free agent 13 Mandy Rose 01:48 0
22 Mandy Rose Raw 16 Rhea Ripley 03:49 1
23 Dakota Kai NXT 15 Rhea Ripley 02:06 0
24 Carmella SmackDown 18 Herself 00:47 2
25 Tamina SmackDown 23 Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler 08:31 0
26 Lana Raw 26 Natalya 09:58 1
27 Alexa Bliss Raw 19 Rhea Ripley 01:02 0
28 Ember Moon NXT 21 Nia Jax 01:51 0
29 Nia Jax Raw 25 Lana 02:44 4
30 Natalya SmackDown 27 Bianca Belair 02:00 1

Men's Royal Rumble match entrances and eliminations[edit]

  – Raw
  – SmackDown
  – NXT
  - Free agent
 Hall of Famer (HOF)
 Winner
Draw Entrant Brand/
Status
Order Eliminated by Time[44] Elimination(s)
1 Edge HOF Winner 58:30 3
2 Randy Orton Raw 29 Edge 58:30 0
3 Sami Zayn SmackDown 2 Big E 13:04 0
4 Mustafa Ali Raw 4 Big E 13:18 1
5 Jeff Hardy Raw 1 Dolph Ziggler 03:25 0
6 Dolph Ziggler SmackDown 9 Kane 20:30 1
7 Shinsuke Nakamura SmackDown 12 King Corbin 22:01 0
8 Carlito Free agent 5 Elias 08:26 0
9 Xavier Woods Raw 3 Mustafa Ali 03:42 0
10 Big E SmackDown 19 Omos[c] 29:45 4
11 John Morrison Raw 7 Damian Priest 08:14 0
12 Ricochet Raw 10 Kane 11:37 0
13 Elias Raw 6 Damian Priest 02:30 1
14 Damian Priest NXT 16 Bobby Lashley 15:34 4
15 The Miz Raw 8 Damian Priest 01:02 0
16 Riddle Raw 25 Seth Rollins 31:17 1
17 Daniel Bryan SmackDown 24 Seth Rollins 28:50 1
18 Kane Free agent 11 Damian Priest 01:51 2
19 King Corbin SmackDown 14 Dominik Mysterio 03:34 2
20 Otis SmackDown 13 King Corbin 00:53 0
21 Dominik Mysterio SmackDown 15 Bobby Lashley 02:00 1
22 Bobby Lashley Raw 18 Big E, Christian, Daniel Bryan, and Riddle 04:03 3
23 Hurricane Helms Free agent 17 Big E and Bobby Lashley 00:30 0
24 Christian Free agent 26 Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman 18:12 2
25 AJ Styles Raw 23 Braun Strowman 10:27 0
26 Rey Mysterio SmackDown 20 Omos[c] 03:47 0
27 Sheamus Raw 22 Braun Strowman 05:56 0
28 Cesaro SmackDown 21 Braun Strowman 04:10 0
29 Seth Rollins SmackDown 28 Edge 08:48 4
30 Braun Strowman Raw 27 Edge, Christian and Seth Rollins 07:24 4

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The event was held without a paying audience due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, though it featured a live crowd of virtual fans via WWE's ThunderDome viewing experience.
  2. ^ During the Rumble, Alicia Fox pinned R-Truth to win the WWE 24/7 Championship, then later lost it back to Truth after being eliminated.
  3. ^ a b AJ Styles' bodyguard Omos was not an entrant in the Rumble.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ian Hamilton. Wrestling's Sinking Ship: What Happens to an Industry Without Competition. p. 160.
  2. ^ a b c Harris, Jeffrey (January 12, 2021). "Backstage Note on WWE Not Having Live Fans for Royal Rumble". 411mania. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  3. ^ "Specialty Matches: Royal Rumble". WWE. Retrieved 2007-12-03.
  4. ^ Waldman, Jon (2005-02-02). "Statistical survival – breaking down the Royal Rumble". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
  5. ^ "Pat Patterson's Bio". WWE. Archived from the original on 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2008-05-29.
  6. ^ "WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson passes away". WWE. December 2, 2020. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  7. ^ Johnson, Mike (March 21, 2020). "WWE TAPING UPDATES". PWInsider. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  8. ^ Casey, Connor (May 25, 2020). "WWE Fans Are Thrilled to See Crowds Back on WWE Raw". ComicBook.com. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  9. ^ Oestriecher, Blake (June 17, 2020). "WWE Live Events With Fans Could Reportedly Return Very Soon". Forbes. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  10. ^ "WWE introducing new state-of-the-art viewing experience with WWE ThunderDome". WWE. August 17, 2020. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  11. ^ Lambert, Jeremy (August 17, 2020). "WWE Announces ThunderDome Arena; Enhanced Fan Experience, Residency At Amway Center; First Look Video Shown". Fightful. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  12. ^ "WWE ThunderDome will head to Tampa Bay's Tropicana Field beginning Friday, Dec. 11". WWE. November 19, 2020. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  13. ^ Lambert, Jeremy (November 19, 2020). "WWE ThunderDome Moving To Tropicana Field On December 11". Fightful. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  14. ^ Harris, Jeffrey (November 3, 2020). "Backstage Update on WWE Looking for Location With Fans for Royal Rumble 2021". 411mania. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  15. ^ Lee, Joseph. "Toni Storm Reportedly A Replacement For Mia Yim At Royal Rumble". 411Mania.com. 411Mania. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  16. ^ Lovell, Blake. "Backstage Details On Wrestlers Who Were Pulled From Royal Rumble Match". 411Mania.com. 411Mania. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  17. ^ Grabianowski, Ed. "How Pro Wrestling Works". HowStuffWorks. Discovery Communications. Archived from the original on November 29, 2013. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
  18. ^ "Live & Televised Entertainment". WWE. Archived from the original on February 18, 2009. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  19. ^ Steinberg, Brian (May 25, 2016). "WWE's 'Smackdown' Will Move To Live Broadcast On USA (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on May 26, 2016. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  20. ^ Powell, Jason (January 8, 2021). "1/8 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell's review of Daniel Bryan vs. King Corbin vs. Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rey Mysterio in a gauntlet match for a shot at the WWE Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble, Big E vs. Apollo Crews for the IC Championship, The Street Profits vs. Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler for the Smackdown Tag Titles". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  21. ^ a b Powell, Jason (January 15, 2021). "1/15 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell's review of the Roman Reigns vs. Adam Pearce contract signing for the WWE Universal Title match at the Royal Rumble, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jey Uso, Rey Mysterio vs. King Corbin". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  22. ^ Powell, Jason (January 4, 2021). "1/4 WWE Raw Results: Powell's live review of Drew McIntyre vs. Keith Lee for the WWE Championship and Raw Legends Night headline the first show of 2021". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  23. ^ Powell, Jason (January 11, 2021). "1/11 WWE Raw Results: Powell's live review of WWE Champion Drew McIntyre's first comments since testing positive for COVID-19, Triple H's show opening segment, the continued build to the Royal Rumble". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  24. ^ Powell, Jason (January 25, 2021). "1/25 WWE Raw Results: Powell's live review of Drew McIntyre and Goldberg's face to face meeting, Asuka vs. Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women's Championship, Charlotte Flair vs. Shayna Baszler, Riddle vs. MVP, Cedric Alexander, and Shelton Benjamin in a gauntlet match, final Royal Rumble hype". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  25. ^ Powell, Jason (December 20, 2020). "WWE TLC results: Powell's review of Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens in a TLC match for the WWE Universal Championship, Drew McIntyre vs. AJ Styles in a TLC match for the WWE Championship, The Fiend vs. Randy Orton in a Firefly Inferno Match". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved December 20, 2020.
  26. ^ Powell, Jason (January 22, 2021). "1/22 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell's review of Big E vs. Apollo Crews for the Intercontinental Championship, Bayley and Bianca Belair run an obstacle course, the Royal Rumble build continues". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  27. ^ Barnett, Jake (January 29, 2021). "1/29 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Barnett's review of Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens in a war of words, Bianca Belair vs. Bayley, the final push for the Royal Rumble". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  28. ^ a b Powell, Jason (January 31, 2021). "WWE Royal Rumble Kickoff Show results: Powell's live review of the Rumble pre-show featuring Asuka and Charlotte Flair vs. Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax for the WWE Women's Tag Titles". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i Powell, Jason (January 31, 2021). "WWE Royal Rumble results: Powell's live review of the Royal Rumble matches, Drew McIntyre vs. Goldberg for the WWE Championship, Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens in a Last Man Standing match for the WWE Universal Championship, Sasha Banks vs. Carmella for the Smackdown Women's Championship". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  30. ^ a b c d Powell, Jason (February 1, 2021). "2/1 WWE Raw Results: Powell's live review of the night after the Royal Rumble with Edge vs. Randy Orton, Bobby Lashley vs. Riddle for the U.S. Championship, Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin vs. Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik for the Raw Tag Titles, Bad Bunny on Miz TV". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  31. ^ a b Powell, Jason (February 8, 2021). "2/8 WWE Raw Results: Powell's live review of WWE Champion Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton in a non-title match, Charlotte Flair and Lacey Evans meet face to face, follow-up to McIntyre being Brogue Kicked by Sheamus". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  32. ^ Moore, John (February 3, 2021). "2/3 NXT TV results: Moore's review of Royal Rumble winner Edge's appearance, Santos Escobar vs. Curt Stallion for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship, Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher vs. Adam Cole and Roderick Strong in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic match, additional Dusty Classic matches". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  33. ^ Wrestlenomics Staff (October 4, 2021). "The future of WWE NXT 2.0 on the USA Network". Wrestlenomics. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  34. ^ a b Powell, Jason (February 5, 2021). "2/5 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell's review of Royal Rumble winners Edge and Bianca Belair's appearances, Big E vs. Apollo Crews vs. Sami Zayn in a Triple Threat for the Intercontinental Championship, King Corbin vs. Dominik Mysterio". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  35. ^ Powell, Jason (February 21, 2021). "WWE Elimination Chamber results: Powell's live review of Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus vs. Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston vs. AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy in an Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship, Roman Reigns faces an Elimination Chamber match winner for the WWE Universal Championship". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  36. ^ WWE on FOX (February 5, 2021). Bianca Belair breaks down facing Sasha Banks and Asuka. YouTube. Retrieved February 6, 2021. Bianca Belair: [after speaking about potentially facing Sasha Banks] ...a match against Asuka or Io, like it...it, I don't know, I have no idea yet.
  37. ^ Lovell, Blake (February 16, 2021). "Bianca Belair on winning Royal rumble, potenitial opponent for WrestleMania 37". 411Mania.com. Retrieved February 16, 2021. Bianca Belair: It's a really big decision. And there's also Io Shirai. I never got to be NXT Women's Champion. There's so much at stake with all three brands.
  38. ^ Powell, Jason (February 26, 2021). "2/26 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell's review of Bianca Belair's WrestleMania decision, The Street Profits vs. Sami Zayn and King Corbin, Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio vs. Chad Gable and Otis, Elimination Chamber fallout". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  39. ^ Clapp, John (January 31, 2021). "Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler def. Charlotte Flair & Asuka to win the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship". WWE. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  40. ^ Clapp, John (January 31, 2021). "WWE Champion Drew McIntyre def. Goldberg". WWE. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  41. ^ Clapp, John (January 31, 2021). "SmackDown Women's Champion Sasha Banks def. Carmella". WWE. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  42. ^ a b Clapp, John (January 31, 2021). "Bianca Belair won the 2021 Royal Rumble Match". WWE. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  43. ^ Clapp, John (January 31, 2021). "Universal Champion Roman Reigns def. Kevin Owens". WWE. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  44. ^ a b Clapp, John (January 31, 2021). "Edge won the 2021 Royal Rumble Match". WWE. Retrieved January 31, 2021.

External links[edit]