While there are other meaningful matches on every WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view card, the Royal Rumble matches themselves are the real highlight of the yearly occasion. In 2021, both the guys and females side featured outstanding performances that saw the winners last almost a full hour before protecting their chance at a world title at WrestleMania. On the females side, Bianca Belair battled from the No. 3 spot, outlasting 29 other females prior to last eliminating Rhea Ripley.
While Belair represents the new members on the WWE roster, the guys side was won by a legend when Edge last removed Randy Orton to protect his title shot. Edge’s win was the second time he had actually won a Royal Rumble match, this effort coming 11 years to the day after his previous triumph. Those 2 matches will be the lasting memories from the 2021 WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view, but the card was filled with entertaining and gratifying action from top to bottom.
CBS Sports was with you the entire method through the occasion, providing results and grades as the action decreased. Baszler and Jax ultimately took over by separating Asuka and wearing her down while a distressed Flair paced on the ring apron. Flair ultimately got the hot tag and ran through Baszler before striking a double Natural Selection and scoring a near fall.
Ric Flairs music hit, leading to a diversion that almost allowed Baszler to score a roll-up on Charlotte. McIntyre eventually made his method back into the ring for the bell to ring, starting the match. After the match, Goldberg nodded, told McIntyre, “You passed the test,” and the 2 shared a handshake and hug.
The match was brief, as expected, and followed the “Goldberg Formula”, for better or even worse. Carmella continued to blast away at Banks with forearms and elbows and Banks began getting at her knee after hitting a meteora, permitting Carmella to continue running the match. Carmella tossed Banks from the ring, where she was caught by Reginald.
After Banks hit a huricanrana on Reginald, he was ejected from ringside, but Carmella struck Banks – and the flooring – face-first on a suicide dive. Women’s Royal Rumble: Bayley and Naomi started as No. 1 and 2, respectively. There were no eliminations before Bayley needed to handle her rival in No. 3 entrant Bianca Belair.
After coming out at No. 4, Billie Kay settled in at the reveal table instead of enter the ring prior to the first NXT entrant of the night, Shotzi Blackheart. Participants continued to accumulate as no eliminations were scored till Shayna Baszler disposed Blackheart for the very first removal of the match. Previous super star Jillian Hall was the very first true surprise entrant of the night, forming an alliance with Kay to form “Billie and Jilly”.
Victoria likewise made her return, entering the match at No. 10. Participants continued to accumulate in the ring with eliminations tough to come by before Hall was lastly the second lady out, followed by Kay and the match settled into a more familiar rhythm after Rhea Ripley entered the match and she and Baszler began to clean out the ring. Ric Flairs music hit – with Charlotte currently in the ring – though Ric was just there to escort Lacey Evans to the ring, using the same bathrobe as Charlotte wore earlier in the night.
Charlotte and Evans battled immediately prior to an upset Flair turned her attention back to the rest of the individuals. Mickie James also made her return, being available in at No. 19. Another return came at No. 21 with Alicia Fox, but R-Truths music struck right after and he announced he was at the wrong Royal Rumble prior to being pursued by 24/7 title hunters, just to be pinned by Fox to win her the 24/7 belt.
Belair also continued hanging around in spite of her No. 2 entry into the match. Nia Jax went into and she and Baszler went on a run of removals to thin the field late before brawling with each other and Jax eventually eliminated Baszler and was the gotten rid of by Lana before Natalya went into in the No. 30 area to finish the field. The final 4 in the match came down to Natalya, Belair, Flair, and Ripley.
Belair removed Natalya initially and then Ripley and Belair teamed up to knock Flair from the match, leaving Ripley and Belair as the last two ladies in the match. The 2 battled backward and forward in an extended segment with a number of near removals before Belair managed to knock Ripley from the ring with a clothesline to win the match. This was a little a rocky match at parts, a lot of the larger issues being matters of production than in-ring, though some stretches dragged a bit.
Belair is a terrific option to win and boiling down to Belair and Ripley demonstrated how bright the future of the females division is for WWE moving forward. Belair likewise set a record for longest entry in a ladies Rumble match. Bianca Belair won the women’s Royal Rumble in 56:49.
1. Bayley. Blackheart (Baszler).
2. Naomi. Hall (Kay).
3. Bianca Belair. Kay (Morgan).
4. Billie Kay. Storm (Ripley).
5. Shotzi Blackheart. Victoria (Baszler 2).
6. Shayna Baszler. Garrett (Ripley 2).
7. Toni Storm. Riott (Bayley).
8. Jillian Hall. Morgan (Royce).
9. Ruby Riott. Brooke (Ripley 3).
10. Victoria. Royce (Flair).
11. Peyton Royce. Wilson (Baszler 3).
12. Santana Garrett. Bayley (Belair).
13. Liv Morgan. Fox (Rose).
14. Rhea Ripley. James (Evans).
15. Charlotte Flair. Kai (Ripley 4).
16. Dana Brooke. Rose (Ripley 5).
17. Torrie Wilson. Cross (Carmella).
18. Lacey Evans. Carmella (Ripley 6).
19. Mickie James. Happiness (Ripley 7).
20. Nikki Cross. Evans (Baszler 4).
21. Alicia Fox. Moon (Jax).
22. Mandy Rose. Naomi (Jax 2).
23. Dakota Kai. Tamina (Jax 3).
24. Carmella. Baszler (Jax 4).
25. Tamina. Jax (Lana).
26. Lana. Lana (Natalya).
27. Alexa Bliss. Natalya (Belair 2).
28. Ember Moon. Flair (Belair 3).
29. Nia Jax. Ripley (Belair 4).
30. Natalya. Winner: Belair (56:49).
Male’s Royal Rumble: No. 1 entrant Edge assaulted No. 2 entrant Randy Orton before Orton even made it to the ring. They continued to brawl around ringside up until Sami Zayn got in at No. 3 and got the leg of Edge, assisting Orton work him over. Mustafa Ali participated on the attack at No. 4, with Edge dealing with progressively long odds till Jeff Hardy went into to assist even things up.
The first elimination came when Dolph Ziggler entered the match and instantly eliminated Jeff Hardy. Carlito was the first surprise entrant, entering the match at No. 8. Orton was revealed being assisted to the back by authorities, hopping after the attack of Edge.
Damien Priest was the first NXT star to make his method into the match, being available in at No. 14 and making his very first appearance in a Royal Rumble. The Miz destroyed Bad Bunnys DJ cubicle on his method to the ring, leading Bunny to stroll to the ring, distracting Miz and John Morrison and allowing Priest to remove both. Bunny then struck a crossbody from the top rope to the outdoors on Miz and Morrison.
Daniel Bryan, one of the favorites entering into the match, made his entryway at No. 17. Kane returned at No. 18, chokeslamming much of the existing entrants and removing Dolph Ziggler and Ricochet prior to being tossed by Priest. Bobby Lashley made a big entryway, running through Dominik Mysterio and Priest, removing both before a huge face-off with Big E that saw both men brawl and exchange counters prior to the surprise entryway of The Hurricane, who was quickly tossed by Lashley and Big E. With Edge still in the match, Christian went into the match at No. 24.
Christian helped Riddle, Bryan and Big E eliminate Lashley. When Omos reached into the ring and pulled him to the floor, big E was eliminated from the match. Omos likewise eliminated Rey Mysterio, providing some big aid to AJ Styles.
Seth Rollins made his return at No. 29, his first match given that Survivor Series, after which he took time off to be with Becky Lynch for the birth of their child. Rollins removed Bryan after concealing out on the exterior of the ring and then got rid of Riddle to bring the match down to Strowman, Rollins, Edge, and Christian. Edge and Christian worked together to get rid of Strowman and Edge removed Rollins, apparently winning the match, but Orton ran back into the match and struck an RKO.
1. Edge. Hardy (Ziggler).
2. Randy Orton. Zayn (Big E).
3. Sami Zayn. Woods (Ali).
4. Mustafa Ali. Ali (Big E 2).
5. Jeff Hardy. Carlito (Elias).
6. Dolph Ziggler. Elias (Priest).
7. Shinsuke Nakamura. Miz (Priest 2).
8. Carlito. Morrison (Priest 3).
9. Xavier Woods. Ziggler (Kane).
10. Big E. Ricochet (Kane 2).
11. John Morrison. Kane (Priest 4).
12. Ricochet. Nakamura (Corbin).
13. Elias. Otis (Corbin 2).
14. Damian Priest. Corbin (D. Mysterio).
15. The Miz. D. Mysterio (Lashley).
16. Riddle. Priest (Lashley 2).
17. Daniel Bryan. Helms (Lashley 3).
18. Kane. Lashley (Bryan).
19. King Corbin. Huge E (n/a).
20. Otis. R. Mysterio (n/a).
21. Dominik Mysterio. Cesaro (Strowman).
22. Bobby Lashley. Sheamus (Strowman 2).
23. Cyclone Helms. Styles (Strowman 3).
24. Christian. Bryan (Rollins).
25. AJ Styles. Riddle (Rollins 2).
26. Rey Mysterio. Strowman (Edge).
27. Sheamus. Christian (Rollins).
28. Cesaro. Rollins (Edge 2).
29. Seth Rollins. Orton (Edge 3).
30. Braun Strowman. Winner: Edge ().