WWE’s Extreme Rules 2021 pay-per-view event (PPV) is taking place this Sunday, Sept. 26, at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Last week I noted that every advertised match for the card was actually governed under Standard Rules, with no gimmicks or stipulations to be seen. WWE has since added the Extreme Rules stipulation to one match on the card.
Fair enough, but there is still one very important thing missing from this event, and no, I’m not talking about the need for WWE to bring back the Kiss Me Arse gimmick match from the 2015 iteration of this event.
The obvious thing Extreme Rules is missing is a WWE championship match, or any match featuring the WWE champion. There used to be a WWE championship match advertised for this event, with Randy Orton set to challenge Bobby Lashley for the title. But that match was moved up to the Sept. 13 episode of Raw due to ratings concerns. Big E cashed in his Money in the Bank contract that same night and defeated Lashley to win the title.
I assumed WWE would use this week’s Raw to book a rematch between Big E and Lashley for the PPV. Instead, WWE was so preoccupied with booking Roman Reigns to beat everyone on Raw that they forgot to add Big E and the WWE championship to the PPV. In fact, there are only two Raw matches in total advertised for Extreme Rules. How can that happen when Raw is three hours long every single week and this event had a five week build? That’s 15 hours of content resulting in just two PPV matches, one of which is centered around playing with dolls.
This isn’t the first time the WWE championship has been left off a WWE PPV this year. The title was missing from the Fastlane 2021 event in March. Lashley won the WWE championship from The Miz earlier that month, so there were similar circumstances to the current situation at Extreme Rules.
The bottom line is that leaving the WWE championship off a PPV was unthinkable not too long ago, but the wrestling business has changed. WWE’s business is no longer driven by PPV buys, so the Extreme Rules event isn’t a priority. Television revenue, Saudi Arabia, and other big stadium shows are where WWE makes the most money. That’s why WWE is so sensitive to ratings concerns and skipped over Extreme Rules to instead book Brock Lesnar’s return match for Crown Jewel.
Are you disappointed that Big E and the WWE championship are not currently booked for Extreme Rules this weekend?