For the second straight year, WrestleMania will be a two-night event, but the question I pose to you is, should that be the case? No, that is the answer. But that’s not really an article, more an adverb. So let’s dig a little deeper…
Since WrestleMania XX, WWE has turned The Showcase Of The Immortals into an entire week of events celebrating the past, present and future including the Hall of Fame ceremony, the world-famous Axxess tour, various Superstars taking over the town the PPV is hosting, and of course WrestleMania itself. Not to mention, the infamous Raw episode following The Granddaddy Of Them All, and in later years, NXT TakeOver.
WrestleMania has grown and grown in front of our very eyes. Dating all the way back to 1985, the very first event was just a one night deal that lasted just over two hours. The last WrestleMania to go on in a single evening was the 35th edition that clocked in over seven hours (including the pre-show). Imagine sitting in an uncomfortable chair for that amount of time, losing the will to live as each hour goes by. Now you know how your poor granny feels cooped up in that care home.
We can all agree that seven hours is too long for anything, especially a wrestling show. Sorry Vince, a “sports-entertainment” show. So, in that regard spreading WrestleMania over two nights does make sense, but not when the card is super thin, with only two or three matches worth watching. Are people really pining to see Big E defend the Intercontinental Championship against Apollo Crews for the hundredth time? Or Bad Bunny pummel The Miz? No, I didn’t think so.
I think I speak for everyone when I say nobody wants to sit through another seven-hour WrestleMania, and hopefully, we never will. Seven hours! That’s just an incredible amount of time to force people to sit and watch. To put it into context, the Super Bowl, FA Cup Final, Champions League Final, and every good episode of Friends can be watched in less time.
So, splitting WrestleMania in two, and having four hours of content on one night, and another four the following evening makes a lot of sense. Or, we could just go back to the old four-hour format for a wrestling PPV. Are there really that many wrestlers over in 2021 to warrant eight hours of content over an entire weekend? I must’ve missed something because the last time I checked, every wrestling show in North America attracts a combined viewership of less than six million every week. The Attitude Era garnered 10 million weekly viewers at its peak, and the longest WrestleMania was under three hours. Sometimes less is more.