Over the history of WrestleMania (WM) there have been 279 different matches. 30 of these matches lasted for longer than 20 minutes from the opening bell to the closing bell. This group of matches includes some of the greatest battles in WM history.
The average time of these 30 matches is 25 minutes and 25 seconds (25m 25s). This average is greatly affected by the Iron Man match at WM 12, which lasted over an hour in duration. In actuality, 16 of these 30 matches clocked in between 20m0s and 22m 30s.
Here is the full list of the 30 longest matches in WM history:
("Main" signifies that the match was the main event for that evening.)
- 61m 53s: Bret Hart vs HBK (WM 12, Main)
- 36m 28s: HHH vs Foley vs Rock vs Big Show (WM 16, Main)
- 30m 50s: HHH vs Undertaker (WM 28)
- 30m 43s: HBK vs Undertaker (WM 25)
- 30m 33s: Cena vs Rock (WM 28, Main)
- 29m 22s: HHH vs Undertaker (WM 27)
- 28m 07s: Austin vs Rock (WM 17, Main)
- 27m 48s: HBK vs Cena (WM 23, Main)
- 27m 25s: HBK vs Angle (WM 21)
- 24m 49s: Benoit vs HBK vs HHH (WM 20, Main)
- 23m 59s: HBK vs Undertaker (WM 26, Main)
- 23m50s: Edge vs Undertaker (WM 24, Main)
- 23m 34s: HHH vs Orton (WM 25, Main)
- 22m 51s: Hogan vs Warrior (WM 6, Main)
- 22m 29s: E+C vs Hardyz vs Dudleyz (WM 16)
- 22m 29s: HBK vs Jericho (WM 19)
- 22m 20s: Punk vs Jericho (WM 28)
- 22m 05s: Bret Hart vs Austin (WM 13)
- 22m 02s: HHH vs Cena (WM 22, Main)
- 21m 34s: Guerrero vs Angle (WM 20)
- 21m 34s: HHH vs Batista (WM 21, Main)
- 21m 21s: Sid vs Undertaker (WM 13, Main)
- 21m 06s: Lesnar vs Angle (WM 19, Main)
- 20m 48s: Savage vs Warrior (WM 7)
- 20m 48s: Hogan vs Vince McMahon (WM 19)
- 20m 35s: HBK vs Diesel (WM 11)
- 20m 26s: Hogan vs Slaughter (WM 7, Main)
- 20m 23s: HBK vs Flair (WM 24)
- 20m 21s: Bret Hart vs Owen Hart (WM 10)
- 20m 02s: Austin vs HBK (WM 14, Main)
Here is a tally of how many times each wrestler competed in one of these 30 matches:
- 10 Matches: HBK
- 7 Matches: HHH
- 6 Matches: Undertaker
- 3 Matches: Hogan, Austin, Bret, Angle, Cena, Rock
- 2 Matches: Warrior, Jericho, Edge
- 1 Match: Foley, Big Show, Benoit, Christian, Hardyz, Dudleyz, Punk, Guerrero, Batista, Sid, Lesnar, Savage, Vince McMahon, Diesel, Slaughter, Flair, Owen
Additional facts worth noting, primarily about HBK:
- 18 of the 30 matches featured at least one of HBK, HHH, or The Undertaker.
- HBK's matches were consistently among the longest and most memorable matches in WM history.
- 6 of the 11 longest matches in WM history included HBK as a combatant.
- During the 8 shows between WM 19 through WM 26, the only time HBK failed to go for 20 or more minutes was with his match against Vince McMahon at WM 22.
- HBK's matches at WM 9, WM 10, and WM 22 missed this list, but they all passed the 18 minute mark.
- Starting at WM 9 with his match against Tatanka, every single one of HBK's thirteen WM matches eclipsed 18 minutes in duration, all the way to the end of his career at WM 26. That is how one becomes Mr. WrestleMania.
Now here are some other notable facts about these matches:
- These 30 matches comprise 26.2% of the total match time for the 279 matches in WM history.
- The only match on this list that opened a WM event was Bret vs Owen from WM 10.
- 27 of the 30 matches on this list are one versus one matches. The three exceptions are Benoit vs HBK vs HHH (WM 20), E+C vs Dudleyz vs Hardyz (WM 16), and Rock vs Foley vs Big Show vs HHH (WM 16).
- 14 of the 279 matches in WM history have ended in submission victories. 8 of those 14 submission victories appear on this list of the 30 longest matches in WM history.
- 17 of these 30 matches were title defenses. The championship changed hands 11 times in those 17 matches.
- 4 of these 30 matches took place during the first ten WM events.
- 18 of these 30 matches took place on the last ten WM events.
- Zero matches on the first five WM events lasted 20 minutes. The only other WM events that did not land a match on this list are WM 8, WM 9, WM 15, and WM 18.
- WM 19 and WM 28 are the only events that each landed three matches on the list.
- WM 28 contained 2 of the 5 longest matches in WM history with Rock vs Cena and HHH vs Undertaker.
- 18 of these 30 matches received a score of at least 4 stars from Dave Meltzer. Bret Hart vs Austin was the only match to receive 5 stars.
- 4 of these 30 matches failed to receive a score of at least 3 stars from Meltzer. This includes Batista vs HHH (2.75 stars), HHH vs Orton (2.5 stars), Hogan vs Slaughter (2.5 stars), and Undertaker vs Sid (1.25 stars).
- 16 of these 30 matches were the main event match for the evening.
Here is the list of the remaining 12 WM main events that failed to reach the 20-minute standard:
I am using Bret vs Yokozuna as the main event for WM 9 instead of Hogan vs Yokozuna. Regardless of which one you choose, WM 9 ranks as the shortest main event in WM history.
- 18m 41s: HHH vs Jericho (WM 18)
- 17m 55s: Hogan vs Savage (WM 5)
- 16m 52s: Austin vs Rock (WM 15)
- 15m 08s: Cena vs Miz (WM 27)
- 13m 13s: Hogan, Mr. T vs Piper, Orndorff (WM 1)
- 12m 28s: Hogan vs Sid (WM 8)
- 12m 01s: Hogan vs Andre (WM 3)
- 11m 42s: Bigelow vs Taylor (WM 11)
- 10m 38s: Bret vs Yokozuna (WM 10)
- 10m 15s: Hogan vs Bundy (WM 2)
- 9m 27s: Savage vs DiBiase (WM 4)
- 8m 55s: Bret vs Yokozuna (WM 9)
- The average match time for the entire group of all 28 WM main event matches is 20m 59s.
- The 28 WM main events comprise 20.2% of the total match time for the 279 matches in WM history.
- Hulk Hogan wrestled in 5 of the 11 shortest main events in WM history.
- Bret Hart wrestled in both the longest and the shortest main events in WM history.
- 2 of the 4 shortest WM main events included wrestlers who already competed earlier in the night.
- 5 of the 28 main events were not championship matches. This includes WM 1 (Hogan, Mr. T vs Piper, Orndorff), WM 8 (Hogan vs Sid), WM 11 (Bigelow vs Taylor), WM 26 (Undertaker vs HBK), and WM 28 (Cena vs Rock). Three of these matches also rank among the 8 shortest main events in WM history.
- 6 of the 28 WM main events scored lower than two stars from Meltzer. This includes Undertaker vs Sid (1.25 stars), Cena vs Miz (1.25 stars), Hogan vs Bundy (1.25 stars), Hogan vs Sid (negative 2 stars), Hogan vs Andre (negative 4 stars), and the main event of WM 1 (not even issued a score). 5 of these 6 matches failed to go longer than 16 minutes.
- My official count has the Iron Man main event of WM 12 clocking in at one second longer than the cumulative bell-to-bell match time for the entire WM 1 card.
So there you have it CageSiders. Lengthy matches were almost non-existent in the earliest WM events, even in the main events. But now it is the norm to include at least one 20+ minute match on each WM card. And given that 3 of the 30 longest matches in WM history appeared on last year's card at WM 28, perhaps we can expect a few more to join the list this year.
Which matches at WM 29 do you expect to go the distance? Does any match outside of the big three main events have a realistic shot at reaching the 20-minute mark?