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How much wrestling actually happened at Extreme Rules 2020?

WWE featured six total matches on the main card of Extreme Rules 2020 (Sun., July 19).

The main card of this pay-per-view (PPV) lasted 2 hours, 33 minutes, and 45 seconds (2h 33m 45s). Here is a sorted list of the bell-to-bell times for the six matches that took place during this event:

  • 20m 12s: Asuka vs. Sasha Banks
  • 17m 48s: Rey Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins
  • 17m 39s: Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt
  • 15m 24s: Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler
  • 12m 22s: Bayley vs. Nikki Cross
  • 10m 23s: New Day vs. Cesaro & Nakamura

These times add up to 1h 33m 48s, which is roughly 61.0% of the show. For comparison’s sake, the overall match time percentage for all WWE PPVs since the start of 2013 is 54.1%.

For the sake of timing a cinematic wrestling match, the Boneyard match at WrestleMania 36 made the beginning and end points of the match easy to identify by using entrance music cues. That was not the case in the Wyatt Swamp Fight.

The Swamp Fight was a giant headache to deal, primarily because there was no clear end point to the match. WWE never established how to win such a match, and the way they booked the finish is open to interpretation. Did the match end when the broadcast went off the air? Did it end the last time we saw Braun and Bray fall into the water? Did it end when the Fiend appeared? Is the match still going on right now?

Unlike previous cinematic matches, WWE’s web site doesn’t list a winner and loser for the Swamp Fight. It just describes the match result as “‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt resurfaces in bizarre Swamp Fight.” So I’m going to interpret those words as meaning the match ended in a No Contest when The Fiend appeared.

I started the clock when Strowman closed his car door in the very beginning, and I ended the clock when The Fiend appeared at the end. I counted everything in between as part of the match, even though more than half the time involved things other than Wyatt and Strowman fighting inside a swamp. So Wyatt’s talking scene while Strowman was held hostage in loose chains counted as part of the match. Strowman beating up swamp ninjas counted as part of the match. Strowman being lured in by Alexa Bliss counted as part of the match. The eventual physicality between Strowman and Wyatt at the swamp took up less than 7 minutes of the entire 18 minute segment.

If WWE didn’t promote the Wyatt Swamp Fight as an actual match, then it would really be no different from The Viking Profits cinematic skirmish with Motorcycle Ninjas at Backlash, which WWE specifically stated did not count as a match on that card. The only thing that makes this one any different is that WWE said it was a match. Fair enough, I suppose, but it would be nice if WWE booked a finish that actually made it seem like an official match.

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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