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How much wrestling actually happened at Fastlane 2021?

WWE featured seven total matches on the main card of Fastlane 2021 (Sun., Mar. 21).

The main card of this pay-per-view (PPV) lasted 2 hours, 43 minutes, and 57 seconds (2h 43m 57s). Here is a sorted list of the bell-to-bell times for the seven matches that took place during this event:

  • 29m 59s: Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan
  • 19m 41s: Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus
  • 12m 55s: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Seth Rollins
  • 9m 41s: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler vs. Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair
  • 5m 43s: Big E vs. Apollo Crews
  • 4m 38s: Alexa Bliss vs. Randy Orton
  • 3m 51s: Braun Strowman vs. Elias

These times add up to 1h 26m 28s, which is roughly 52.7% of the show. For comparison’s sake, the overall match time percentage for all WWE PPVs since the start of 2013 is 54.2%.

Fastlane’s overall run time qualifies as one of WWE’s ten shortest PPV events since the start of 2013. Five of the ten events on that list have now occurred during the coronavirus pandemic.

The ending was botched for Big E’s defense of the Intercontinental championship against Apollo Crews, leading to a match time of less than six minutes.

Strowman’s match with Elias was pure filler that was added during the show, and this bland iteration didn’t even come with the goofy train sounds that it got 24 hours later in a rematch on Raw.

I recently pointed out that Randy Orton is doing a good job of minimizing input and maximizing output on PPV in 2021; the Viper has a reputation for getting plenty of time to work on PPV, but he competed in the ring for less than 10 minutes at both Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber. It happened again at Fastlane, as Alexa Bliss pinned him in under 5 minutes. The paycheck cashes either way, right? Randy might want to request annual feuds with The Fiend if he plans to reach his goal of wrestling for 10 more years.

Overall, four of the seven matches fell short of 10 minutes. On the other side of the coin, Roman Reigns’ Universal championship match was incredibly long for a one-on-one match. In fact, it was more than six minutes longer than the sum (23m 53s) of the four shortest matches on the main card.

McIntyre’s brawl with Sheamus also helped balance out these other short match times. The overall result was a total match time percentage (52.7%) that wasn’t too far off from WWE’s typical range (54.2%).

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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