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How much wrestling actually happened at Full Gear 2021?

AEW Full Gear 2021

AEW featured nine total matches on the main card of Full Gear 2021 (Sat., Nov. 13) from the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The main card of this pay-per-view (PPV) lasted 3 hours, 57 minutes, and 40 seconds (3h 57m 40s). Here is a sorted list of the bell-to-bell times for the nine matches that took place during this event:

  • 25m 11s: Kenny Omega vs. Hangman Page
  • 22m 21s: Christian Cage & Jurassic Express vs. SuperKliq
  • 21m 58s: Darby Allin vs. MJF
  • 20m 00s: Bryan Danielson vs. Miro
  • 19m 37s: Inner Circle vs. American Top Team & Men of the Year
  • 18m 38s: Lucha Bros vs. FTR
  • 16m 52s: Cody Rhodes & PAC vs. Andrade El Idolo & Malakai Black
  • 15m 13s: Britt Baker vs. Tay Conti
  • 11m 09s: CM Punk vs. Eddie Kingston

These times add up to 2h 50m 59s, which is roughly 71.9% of the show. The overall match time percentage for all 13 AEW PPVs is 63.6%. For comparison’s sake, the overall match time percentage for all 122 WWE PPVs since the start of 2013 is 53.9%.

As is the case with an extremely high percentage of AEW’s PPV matches, every match at Full Gear was given 10+ minutes to work with. That being said, CM Punk’s match against Eddie Kingston was the shortest of the main card, and it’s not even close.

When the first two matches of the card (MJF, Lucha Bros) took up nearly the entire first hour, I was suddenly intrigued to see which matches would draw the short straw for time. It was my understanding that AEW had to be off the air at the four hour mark, and with nine total matches to get through, they couldn’t sustain a rate of only two matches per hour. I figured the women’s match was the obvious candidate to be kept shorter than the rest, but at least one other match needed to be kept closer to 10 minutes instead of 20.

When the second hour of the show went by with only two more matches occurring (Danielson, SuperKliq), it was clear Full Gear was going right up against the midnight boundary. The time crunch was real. One minor example of what seemed like a change on the fly is when Excalibur tried throw to a replay of one of the match finishes, but then suddenly skipped it and said they were just moving on to the next match.

The next three matches (Cody, Baker, Punk) were the shortest of the main card. Baker and Cody each went passed 15 minutes, though, so it’s not like those were short matches; it wasn’t good enough to get the show finished by midnight. That’s when Punk’s match clocked in at 11 minutes and got the card back on track to be over by the four hour mark.

So, was Punk’s match actually cut for time, or was it always going to be a 10 minute sprint? I think the structure of the match lent itself well to the shorter time, and was certainly enough time to have an entertaining fight. But I would guess there was at least a little bit of time cut here. Jericho and Omega’s matches were looming, and it was going to be a lot harder to cut time from those matches. It’s also riskier to cut time from the main event title change for Hangman Page that has been building up for multiple years. AEW was running up against the clock and probably took a couple minutes away from Punk or Cody to make sure the show ended by midnight.

Overall, Full Gear was jam packed with wrestling. The overall match time percentage of 71.9% is the highest for any AEW or WWE PPV that I have ever analyzed. That includes WWE’s recent Royal Rumble events that each feature two Rumble matches. Those are the only WWE events to ever break 70% match time, but they have still never reached a mark as high as 71.9%.

Here are the match time percentages for the previous AEW events, in chronological order:

Are you surprised by any of these results, Cagesiders? Which of these matches received less (or more) time than you hoped for?

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