WWE featured six total matches on the main card of Extreme Rules 2021.
The main card of this pay-per-view (PPV) lasted 2 hours, 51 minutes, and 43 seconds (2h 51m 43s). Here is a sorted list of the bell-to-bell times for the six matches that took place during this event:
- 19m 41s: Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor
- 18m 13s: New Day vs. Lashley, Omos, Styles
- 17m 27s: Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair
- 13m 45s: The Usos vs. Street Profits
- 13m 19s: Priest vs. Hardy vs. Sheamus
- 11m 25s: Charlotte Flair vs. Alexa Bliss
These times add up to 1h 33m 50s, which is roughly 54.6% of the show. For comparison’s sake, the overall match time percentage for all WWE PPVs since the start of 2013 is 53.9%.
One thing that stands out about this event is that WWE bumped the filler match of Liv Morgan vs. Carmella off to the pre-show in order to add Bobby Lashley, AJ Styles, Omos, and New Day to the main card. This unadvertised match featuring WWE champion Big E was actually one of the longest matches of the night, which typically doesn’t happen with matches that are added so late to the event.
Even so, last night’s (Sept. 27) fallout episode of Raw showed WWE puts more importance on television than these PPV cards that are not stadium level events. Extreme Rules only featured one match with a gimmick befitting the theme of the event, whereas Raw included Big E defending the WWE championship inside a Steel Cage match, as well as Damian Priest defending the United States championship in a No Disqualification, No Count Out match. One could easily argue that Extreme Rules was a two match show heading into the event, but one of those major championship matches (Lynch vs. Belair) ended in disqualification. Raw was also a longer show than Extreme Rules, for whatever that’s worth.
Television ratings are extremely important to WWE’s revenue stream, so it’s not hard to see why they would save the big WWE championship match for television rather than this B-level PPV. It doesn’t explain why there weren’t a couple more extreme matches on the card, though.
There are benefits to having such a compact card with only six matches. There was plenty of time to go around for each match. Morgan vs. Carmella is a match that likely would not have received even 10 minutes to work with. It made more sense to stick it on the pre-show and get some bigger stars on the main card that could stretch the runtime closer to three hours, while also setting up an important WWE championship match for Raw.
Are you surprised by any of these results, Cagesiders? Which of these matches received less (or more) time than you hoped for?