WWE Announces Major Change to 2021 Pay-Per-view Schedule at WrestleMania Backlash

WWE released an ad for its next pay-per-view during Sunday's WrestleMania Backlash event. But [...]

WWE released an ad for its next pay-per-view during Sunday's WrestleMania Backlash event. But instead of it being Money in the Bank as had been previously reported, the company confirmed its June 20 show would be the annual Hell in a Cell event. The event became an annual staple of WWE's schedule back in 2009, and with the exception of 2018 the show had always taken place at some point in October.

So why the change? According to The Mat Men Podcast's Andrew Zarian, it's because Money in the Bank will take place on July 18 in front of a live crowd. Zarian reported earlier in the week that WWE had picked the July 16 episode of Friday Night SmackDown as the date when fans will be back in attendance for live events.

It was reported earlier this month that SummerSlam, WWE's second-biggest pay-per-view of the year, is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 22. No location has been confirmed but reports have named New York City's Madison Square Garden and Las Vegas' Allegiant Stadium as two possible venues.

WWE officials have repeatedly stated that episodes of Raw, SmackDown and monthly pay-per-views will not start touring again in front of live crowds until the second half of 2021. July 16 obviously fits that window.

"Any plans? Yes. Any plans we can share? Stay tuned," WWE president Nick Khan told Variety shortly after WrestleMania 37. "But just know that once we're back on the road, we're on the road full time. We're not looking to do other one offs. Again, this was WrestleMania. And we felt it needed to be done for the fans. So look for news coming soon."

Khan also stated during the latest investors' conference call that the company believes the return of live fans will also help with television ratings.

"... As it relates to live events that [the audience] always matters to us. Our fans are our fourth wall, if you will," Khan said. "We know immediately from them what's working and what's not working. The ThunderDome was a phenomenal creation by the creative team here, but to get live fans and to get our performers in front of them, we yearn for that as much as our performers do. And we think it's going to have a direct impact on all parts of our business in an overwhelmingly positive way."

Check out the full results for WrestleMania Backlash below:

  • Sheamus def. Ricochet (Kickoff)
  • Raw Women's Championship: Rhea Ripley def. Charlotte Flair and Asuka
  • SmackDown Tag Team Championships: Rey Mysterio & Dominik Mysterio def. The Dirty Dawgs
  • Damian Priest def. The Miz (Lumberjack Match)
  • SmackDown Women's Championship: Bianca Belair def. Bayley
  • WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Braun Strowman
  • WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro