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WWE Hell In A Cell 2014: Match Times

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WWE's Hell In A Cell 2014 lasted for 2 hours 56 minutes and 14 seconds (2h 56m 14s). Here is a breakdown of the timing for every single second of the show, in chronological order.

The matches are in bold. The "pre-match" includes video packages, entrances, ring introductions, and any verbal promos that occur right before a match officially begins. The "post-match" includes any celebrations, replays, angles, attacks, or promos that occur right after a match is finished.

  • 0m 21s: WWE's "Then, Now, Forever" opening
  • 2m 54s: Video hyping Hell In A Cell 2014
  • 0m 52s: Opening pyro as Cole welcomes us to Hell In A Cell 2014
  • 2m 28s: Pre-match for Ziggler vs Cesaro
  • 3m 33s: Fall #1: Ziggler vs Cesaro
  • 0m 46s: Waiting period between falls
  • 8m 00s: Fall #2: Ziggler vs Cesaro
  • 1m 38s: Post-match for Ziggler vs Cesaro
  • 0m 47s: Commercial for WWE Network
  • 0m 46s: Commentators insult people who bought the show on PPV
  • 0m 48s: Raw recap of Rollins curb stomping Orton
  • 2m 07s: Backstage segment with Orton, Triple H, Stephanie, Kane
  • 2m 22s: Pre-match for Nikki Bella vs Brie Bella
  • 6m 22s: Nikki Bella vs Brie Bella
  • 1m 20s: Post-match for Nikki Bella vs Brie Bella
  • 1m 02s: Commercial for WWE 2K15
  • 1m 51s: Expert panel analysis with Rene, Riley, Booker T, Heyman
  • 3m 39s: Pre-match for Gold and Stardust vs The Usos
  • 10m 20s: Gold and Stardust vs The Usos
  • 1m 16s: Post-match for Gold and Stardust vs The Usos
  • 1m 16s: Commercial for Susan G. Komen Foundation
  • 1m 02s: Ringside interview with Nikia Hammonds Blakely and Judy Salerno
  • 8m 36s: Pre-match for Cena vs Orton (with a 2m 52s video package)
  • 25m 53s: Cena vs Orton
  • 3m 04s: Post-match for Cena vs Orton
  • 0m 31s: Commercial for Takis Fuego
  • 0m 44s: Backstage segment with Big Show and Mark Henry
  • 0m 34s: Filler commentary
  • 3m 06s: Pre-match for Sheamus vs The Miz
  • 8m 20s: Sheamus vs The Miz
  • 2m 14s: Post-match for Sheamus vs The Miz
  • 1m 20s: Nikki pours a drink on Brie's head
  • 0m 17s: Cole mentions the attendance at American Airlines Center
  • 0m 15s: Plug for PPV theme song
  • 7m 22s: Pre-match for Big Show vs Rusev (with a 3m 05s video package)
  • 7m 52s: Big Show vs Rusev
  • 2m 04s: Post-match for Big Show vs Rusev
  • 0m 40s: Ad for Komen merchandise on WWE Shop
  • 0m 31s: Commercial for Survivor Series 2014
  • 0m 44s: Backstage Ambrose promo
  • 2m 04s: Pre-match for AJ vs Paige
  • 6m 50s: AJ vs Paige
  • 1m 07s: Post-match for AJ vs Paige
  • 1m 04s: Commercial for WWE Rivalries
  • 0m 25s: Hype for Hell In A Cell Fallout
  • 19m 40s: Pre-match for Ambrose vs Rollins (with a 3m 29s video package)
  • 13m 51s: Ambrose vs Rollins
  • 1m 36s: Post-match for Ambrose vs Rollins

Match Times

The 8 matches combined for a total time of 1h 31m 01s. This means that 51.6% of the show was devoted to bell-to-bell action.

The average match time at Hell In A Cell 2014 was 11m 23s.  This number might seem a bit skewed due to a good chunk of the main event action taking place during its pre-match segment.

The median match time was 9m 20s.

Here is the sorted list of match times for Hell In A Cell 2014.  This also includes where each match currently ranks on the list of WWE's Longest PPV Match Times for 2014.

  • 25m 53s: Cena vs Orton (6th longest out of 72 total matches)
  • 13m 51s: Ambrose vs Rollins (26th)
  • 11m 33s: Ziggler vs Cesaro (35th)
  • 10m 20s: Gold and Stardust vs The Usos (38th)
  • 8m 20s: Sheamus vs The Miz (46th)
  • 7m 52s: Big Show vs Rusev (48th)
  • 6m 50s: AJ vs Paige (56th)
  • 6m 22s: Nikki Bella vs Brie Bella (59th)

Just like at Battleground 2014, I decided to exclude the waiting time between falls in the opening match from the actual match time.  If you prefer to count that waiting period as part of the match time, it would bump that match time up from 11m 33s to 12m 19s.

Ambrose versus Rollins is easy to grade objectively, as there is a clear opening bell and closing bell.  However, the biggest high spot of the night took place before the opening bell, and therefore that entire sequence on top of the cage did not count as part of the match time.

In general I write these posts with a tone that most pre-match segment time is devoid of action, but that was clearly not the case for this match.  When it comes to evaluating that match as a whole, the pre-match segment is an integral part of the equation.

I'll show later on that a maximum of 8m 29s of that pre-match segment  could be added on to their match time here if you wanted to more clearly capture the beginning and end of the true action of the main event match.

However it's also fair to consider that almost half of that additional time was spent watching Ambrose and Rollins laying on the ground or on stretchers.  And the final 1m 48s of the official match time of 13m 51s was dedicated to Bray Wyatt's interference (including a total time of 0m 52s just staring at a blank screen due to lights being out).  So I don't think it is really as simple as tacking on that extra 8m 29s time from the pre-match and calling it a day.  I would say that is the extreme upper limit of the main event action, but there was plenty of down time in between.

For comparison's sake I looked to see how the opening bell was handled in the infamous HIAC match between Undertaker and Mankind in 1998, but as far as I can tell there was no opening bell.  Shortly into their brawl on top of the cage, Jim Ross simply stated, "Apparently the Hell In A Cell match is officially underway."

Considering that Mankind's match followed a pretty similar format to the Ambrose match (starting with a high spot off the cell, then a break for replays and stretchers, finishing off with a decent amount of time inside the cell) it doesn't really seem fair for that match to receive all of those segments as part of its match time while Ambrose and Rollins only receive the part inside the cage as their match time.

Ultimately I'm keeping things simple and just sticking to the bell-to-bell time for Ambrose versus Rollins of 13m 51s.  Of course you can make whatever personal adjustments you wish beyond that time.

Nothing outside of the two HIAC matches really stands out as far as match time is concerned.  The third longest match of the night still only ranked 35th longest out of 72 total PPV matches, so this was basically a two-match card.

Hell In A Cell 2014 was only the second PPV of the year where every match scored at least 2 stars from Dave Meltzer.  So while the undercard matches didn't get a ton of time, they all had just enough time to put on a decent performance.

This was the third straight PPV where the main event was not the longest match of the night.

Paige and Rusev have now accumulated match time on 7 straight PPVs.  Only Cena and Orton have longer streaks in tact.

Big E had a streak of wrestling on 10 consecutive PPV events from Hell In A Cell 2013 through Battleground 2014.  However he has now failed to wrestle on three straight PPVs.

Meanwhile Big Show wrestled here for the first time on PPV since the Andre The Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania 30.

Everyone who wrestled on this show also wrestled on at least one earlier PPV in 2014.

Hell In A Cell 2014 was hurt by the presence of devalued mid-card championships.  Without having Lesnar around to defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, WWE instead booked 4 separate mid-card championship matches on this show.  But none of those four matches were viewed as important enough to receive a substantial amount of time.

Out of all 72 PPV matches this year, the average match time is 13m 07s and the median match time time is 11m 00s.  All 4 of those mid-card championship matches fell below the average match time, and only Ziggler versus Cesaro eclipsed the median match time.

The time crunch for these matches is also related to the fact that WWE booked 8 total matches on this show, with two of them being HIAC matches.  Considering that HIAC matches usually get a large amount of time, it was an uphill battle for these mid-card championship matches to receive enough time to steal the show.

Looking at the overall results, it seems to me that the Cena/Orton match could have been shortened by several minutes to allow Ziggler and Cesaro a more acceptable amount of time for a 2 out of 3 falls match.

Pre-match Segments

The pre-match segments combined for a total time of 49m 17s, which is 28.0% of the show.  This is the highest percentage of the year in this category, which is a statement that I have now made for 4 consecutive PPV events.

Here is the sorted list of pre-match segment time for all 8 matches:

  • 19m 40s: Ambrose vs Rollins
  • 8m 36s: Cena vs Orton
  • 7m 22s: Big Show vs Rusev (with a 1m 02s Lana promo)
  • 3m 39s: Gold and Stardust vs The Usos
  • 3m 06s: Sheamus vs The Miz
  • 2m 28s: Ziggler vs Cesaro
  • 2m 22s: Nikki Bella vs Brie Bella
  • 2m 04s: AJ vs Paige

Hell In A Cell 2014 also included 16 separate pre-match superstar entrances.  These 16 entrances took up a total time of 22m 56s.  Here is the sorted list of these 16 entrance times:

  • 2m 46s: Dean Ambrose
  • 2m 19s: Gold and Stardust (with a 0m 34s video recap of their win at Night of Champions 2014)
  • 2m 09s: Randy Orton (with a 0m 20s plug for Hulu)
  • 1m 53s: The Miz with Mizdow (with a 0m 56s video recap of MizdowTV segment from the pre-show)
  • 1m 45s: John Cena
  • 1m 27s: Rusev with Lana
  • 1m 20s: Nikki Bella (with a 0m 41s video recap of her betrayal at SummerSlam 2014)
  • 1m 18s: Paige with Alicia (with a 0m 24s Raw recap of Alicia's win over AJ)
  • 1m 17s: The Usos (with a 0m 12s plug for WWE 2K15)
  • 1m 11s: Seth Rollins with Mercury and Noble
  • 1m 07s: Dolph Ziggler (with a 0m 15s intro of Cole's announce team)
  • 1m 07s: Cesaro (with a 0m 15s intro of Spanish announce team)
  • 1m 00s: Sheamus
  • 0m 56s: Big Show
  • 0m 44s: AJ Lee
  • 0m 37s: Brie Bella

The pre-match segment between Ambrose and Rollins lasted for a total of 19m 40s, which makes it the longest pre-match segment that I have timed since the start of 2013.  The previous record belonged to the 2013 Elimination Chamber match, clocking in at 16m 03s.

Here are the full details on this record-breaking segment:

  • 0m 46s: The cell begins to descend as commentators discuss Ambrose vs Rollins
  • 3m 29s: Video package for Ambrose vs Rollins
  • 0m 10s: Cole hypes the upcoming match a little bit more
  • 2m 46s: Entrance for Dean Ambrose and he climbs to the top of the cage
  • 0m 16s: Dean's music stops playing and he is waiting on the cage for Seth's entrance
  • 1m 11s:  Entrance for Seth Rollins
  • 2m 33s: Rollins orders the stooges to climb the cell; they oblige and try to talk Ambrose down
  • 3m 15s: Ambrose, Rollins, and the stooges brawl on the cage, ending with the double table spot
  • 3m 53s: Ambrose and Rollins are placed on stretchers while tons of replays are shown
  • 1m 21s: Ambrose recovers and forces Rollins into the cell

The bell did not ring until Ambrose finally threw Rollins into the cell, and so that's why everything listed above counted as part of the pre-match segment.  The details provided above show that 8m 29s lapsed between the moment of Dean's initial cane strike on Mercury on top of the cage until the match officially started, and these were among the most thrilling 8m 29s of the night.  They just all happened to take place in a pre-match segment.

Rusev's match with Big Show was actually given one of those dedicated hype video packages prior to the entrances.  Lana also delivered an in-ring promo, and so Rusev's pre-match segment time of 7m 22s was nearly as long as the actual match time of 7m 52s.

Rusev's pre-match segment lasted longer than each of the divas matches.

Post-match Segments

The post-match segments combined for a total time of 15m 05s, which is 8.6% of the show.  This is the 4th smallest percentage of the year in this category out of 10 total PPV events.

Here is the sorted list of total post-match segment time for all 8 matches:

  • 3m 04s: John Cena vs Randy Orton
  • 2m 24s: Dolph Ziggler vs Cesaro
  • 2m 14s: Sheamus vs The Miz
  • 2m 04s: Big Show vs Rusev
  • 1m 36s: Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins
  • 1m 20s: Nikki Bella vs Brie Bella
  • 1m 16s: Gold and Stardust vs The Usos
  • 1m 07s: AJ Lee vs Paige

The post-match segments were pretty standard.  Cena and Ziggler received some extended time to walk back up the entrance ramp on camera and celebrate their wins, while Sheamus and Mizdow engaged in some comedy antics during their post-match segment.

Since the start of 2013, 1m 36s is the third shortest time for a post-match segment of a main event match, out of 22 such matches.  Only Battleground 2013 and Extreme Rules 2014 featured shorter post-match segments for their main events.

The post-match segments for AJ's championship defense was the 7th shortest one of the year so far out of 72 total matches.

Here are the 12 shortest post-match segment times of the year so far:

  • 1m16s: Gold and Stardust vs The Usos (Hell In A Cell)
  • 1m 15s: Barrett vs RVD (Payback)
  • 1m 15s: AJ vs Cameron (Elimination Chamber)
  • 1m 11s: AJ vs Paige (Battleground)
  • 1m 09s: Paige vs Tamina (Extreme Rules)
  • 1m 07s: AJ vs Paige (Hell In A Cell)
  • 1m 05s: Big E vs Swagger (Elimination Chamber)
  • 1m 05s: The Shield vs Kane and New Age Outlaws (WrestleMania 30)
  • 0m 59s: New Age Outlaws vs The Usos (Elimination Chamber)
  • 0m 57s: Paige vs Naomi (Money In The Bank)
  • 0m 56s: 14-Diva Invitational (WrestleMania 30)
  • 0m 26s: Titus O'Neil vs Darren Young (Elimination Chamber)

The reason I am featuring this list is because it is full of a high number of championship matches.  The only non-championship matches here include the The Shield's match as well as Titus versus Young.  Therefore the list includes 10 championship matches.

WWE's undercard championships have been defended a total of 24 times on PPV this year, and 10 of those matches have included some of the shortest post-match segments of the year.  The Divas Championship alone shows up 6 times on this list.

Miscellaneous Segments

That leaves about 20m 51s (11.8%) of the show for everything else, which ranks pretty close to average for a WWE PPV.

This includes commercials for WWE Network, WWE Rivalries, WWE 2K15, Survivor Series 2014, Komen merchandise on WWE Shop, and Takis Fuego.  There were also backstage segments featuring performers such as Big Show, Mark Henry, Orton, Triple H, Stephanie, and the Bella twins.  It also includes filler commentary, an expert panel analysis segment, a backstage Ambrose promo, a ringside interview related to Komen, and so forth.

Summary

Here is a listing of how much total show time was allocated for each match when you add up all 3 components: pre-match time, match time, and post-match time.

  • 37m 33s: John Cena vs Randy Orton (21.3% of total show time)
  • 35m 07s: Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins (19.9%)
  • 17m 18s: Big Show vs Rusev (9.8%)
  • 16m 25s: Dolph Ziggler vs Cesaro (9.3%)
  • 15m 15s: Gold and Stardust vs The Usos (8.7%)
  • 13m 40s: Sheamus vs The Miz (7.8%)
  • 10m 04s: Nikki Bella vs Brie Bella (5.7%)
  • 10m 01s: AJ Lee vs Paige (5.7%)

This list shows that the two main events were essentially treated as equals as far as total allocated time is concerned.

The Divas matches lag behind the pile of mid-card matches that make up the rest of the list.

The combined pre-match and post-match segment time of Rusev's match was greater than the actual match time.  The match time only accounted for 45.5% of the time included above.  This is the 5th time a Rusev match has accomplished this feat over the last 7 PPV events.

With that idea in mind, here is how the other matches fared in this metric.  The list will be sorted by highest percentage of match time:

  • 70.4%: Ziggler vs Cesaro (11m 33s match, 4m 52s pre + post)
  • 68.9%: Cena vs Orton (25m 53s match, 11m 40s pre + post)
  • 68.2%: AJ vs Paige (6m 50s match, 3m 11s pre + post)
  • 67.8%: Gold and Stardust vs The Usos (10m 20s match, 4m 55s pre + post)
  • 63.2%: Nikki Bella vs Brie Bella (6m 22s match, 3m 42s pre + post)
  • 61.0%: Sheamus vs Miz (8m 20s match, 5m 20s pre + post)
  • 45.5%: Big Show vs Rusev (7m 52s match, 9m 26s pre + post)
  • 39.4%: Ambrose vs Rollins (13m 51s match, 21m 16s pre + post)

Hourly Results

Here is an hourly breakdown showing how the pre-match, match, post-match, and miscellaneous segment times were scattered across each hour of the show.

Hour One - Includes Ziggler vs Cesaro, Nikki vs Brie, Dust Bros vs Usos

  • Match - 47.1% - 28m 15s
  • Pre-match - 21.6% - 12m 59s
  • Post-match - 8.3% - 5m 00s
  • Miscellaneous - 22.9% - 13m 46s

Hour Two - Includes Cena vs Orton, the beginning of Big Show vs Rusev

  • Match - 60.8% - 36m 27s
  • Pre-match - 24.3% - 14m 34s
  • Post-match - 8.8% - 5m 18s
  • Miscellaneous - 6.1% - 3m 41s

Hour Three (actually 56m 14s) - Includes rest of Big Show vs Rusev, AJ vs Paige, Ambrose vs Rollins

  • Match - 46.8% - 26m 19s
  • Pre-match - 38.6% - 21m 44s
  • Post-match - 8.5% - 4m 47s
  • Miscellaneous - 6.0% - 3m 24s

Payback 2014 is the only PPV this year that had a longer final hour than this event's time of 56m 14s.

Notice that the match time for Rusev versus Big Show overlapped from the second hour into the third hour.  The exact breakdown would be that 2m 14s of the match took place at the very end of Hour Two and the remaining 5m 38s took place at the very beginning of Hour Three.

So while Hell In A Cell 2014 didn't quite cram 3 full matches into its final hour, it became the first PPV of the year to include at least part of a third match in its final hour.

I know I've been doing this for too long when I realized this was happening live and remarked to the people I was watching the show with that WWE was going to need to rush through this match and AJ's match to allow for adequate time for the main event.

Final Results for Hell In A Cell 2014

Match - 51.6% - 1h 31m 01s

Pre-match - 28.0% - 49m 17s

Post-match - 8.6% - 15m 05s

Miscellaneous - 11.8% - 20m 51s

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