In a move that was expected ever since WWE decided to combine pay-per-view events with Raw and Smackdown talent, it appears as though all WWE PPV events will have a run time of at least four hours starting with Money in the Bank on June 17. That means they would have a start time of 7pmET and run until approximately 11pmET instead of the usual 8pmET start time that has existed since WWE PPVs started over 30 years ago.
The report is from PWInsider, who are one of the most reliable wrestling news sites out there and I trust Mike Johnson. According to Johnson, they have been told “by several sources that WWE reached out to international broadcast partners, including SkyTV and InDemand PPV to inform them that as of the 6/17 Money in the Bank PPV, their PPV events will kick off at 7 PM Eastern/4 PM Pacific (which means a Kickoff Show at 6 PM) and that the PPVs could run as long as four hours.”
In addition to that, an event like August’s SummerSlam PPV may run longer than four hours per Johnson’s report. WrestleMania 34, if you recall, ran five hours on the main show and had a two-hour Kickoff Show leading into it. I don’t know if that means SummerSlam will start at 7pmET with a five hour run time or they start it an hour earlier at 6pmET for five hours.
Last month’s Backlash PPV ran 3 hours, 28 minutes. It was a bad show, but it shows that WWE is willing to go over three hours. Add another 25 minutes to that and you’ll get an idea of what’s to come in the future.
The time change is not official yet. If you go to WWE.com’s Money in the Bank page, it notes the start time is 8pmET. That will likely change and I would expect WWE to announce that very soon.
Analysis: I don’t mind an extra hour if it will allow more wrestlers to get on the card. During Backlash last month, I cared more about the people that weren’t even booked that should have been there, so adding that extra hour is okay with me. I think ending brand exclusive PPVs was a mistake, but it was a matter of ticket sales and with WWE jacking up prices for PPV events, some of those events like Fastlane and Elimination Chamber weren’t selling as many tickets as WWE would have liked. That’s the real reason they combined PPV events while also settling on 12 PPVs in a year instead of 14 or more.