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Match Times: WWE Fastlane 2015 Edition

WWE's Fastlane 2015 lasted for 2 hours 58 minutes and 22 seconds (2h 58m 22s). 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" segments include video packages, entrances, ring introductions, and any verbal promos that occur right before a match officially begins. The "post-match" segments include any celebrations, replays, angles, attacks, or promos that occur right after a match is finished.

  • 0m 21s: WWE's "Then, Now, Forever" opening
  • 2m 01s: Video hyping Fastlane 2015
  • 0m 41s: Opening pyro as Cole welcomes you to Fastlane 2015
  • 4m 39s: Pre-match for Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback vs Rollins, Big Show, and Kane
  • 13m 01s: Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback vs Rollins, Big Show, and Kane
  • 3m 56s: Post-match for Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback vs Rollins, Big Show, and Kane
  • 0m 47s: Video - WrestleMania 31 is 35 days away
  • 0m 23s: Filler commentary mostly hyping WrestleMania 31
  • 5m 56s: Pre-match for Goldust vs Stardust
  • 8m 54s: Goldust vs Stardust
  • 2m 02s: Post-match for Goldust vs Stardust (with a replay of the referee botch)
  • 0m 31s: Cole talks about Memphis
  • 1m 50s: Review of Jon Stewart's issues with Seth Rollins
  • 1m 29s: Post-match for Goldust vs Stardust (Stardust attacks Goldust backstage)
  • 3m 21s: Pre-match for The Usos vs Cesaro and Kidd
  • 9m 33s: The Usos vs Cesaro and Kidd
  • 1m 59s: Post-match for The Usos vs Cesaro and Kidd
  • 0m 28s: Commentators discuss the Triple H and Sting Face-To-Face
  • 2m 48s: Video package hyping the Triple H and Sting Face-To-Face
  • 13m 32s: Triple H and Sting Face-To-Face
  • 0m 30s: Commercial for WWE Immortals
  • 0m 21s: Bryan is backstage preparing for his match
  • 1m 02s: Commentators hype WWE Network
  • 1m 10s: Video recap of pre-show segment featuring Paul Heyman on MizTV
  • 2m 55s: Pre-match for Nikki vs Paige
  • 5m 34s: Nikki vs Paige
  • 1m 17s: Post-match for Nikki vs Paige
  • 0m 16s: Cole talks about Memphis
  • 0m 35s: Commentators discuss Vince McMahon on the cover of Muscle & Fitness
  • 0m 32s: Video clip of Eva Marie and Cameron at The Oscars
  • 0m 42s: Triple H versus Sting is official for WrestleMania 31
  • 2m 35s: Pre-match for Barrett vs Ambrose
  • 8m 00s: Barrett vs Ambrose
  • 2m 08s: Post-match for Barrett vs Ambrose
  • 0m 31s: Commercial for The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackdown
  • 0m 39s: Roman Reigns is backstage preparing for his match
  • 5m 51s: Bray Wyatt challenges Undertaker to a match at WrestleMania 31
  • 1m 26s: Expert panel analysis with Renee, Booker T, Graves, and Saxton
  • 8m 09s: Pre-match for Rusev vs Cena
  • 18m 41s: Rusev vs Cena
  • 4m 17s: Post-match for Rusev vs Cena
  • 0m 47s: Video - WrestleMania 31 is 35 days away
  • 1m 14s: Expert panel analysis with Renee, Booker T, Graves, and Saxton
  • 5m 21s: Pre-match for Bryan vs Reigns
  • 20m 10s: Bryan vs Reigns
  • 5m 27s: Post-match for Bryan vs Reigns

Match Times

The 7 matches combined for a total time of 1h 23m 53s. This means that 47.0% of the show was devoted to bell-to-bell action.

Here is the sorted list of match times for Fastlane 2015:

  • 20m 10s: Bryan vs Reigns
  • 18m 41: Rusev vs Cena
  • 13m 01s: Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback vs Rollins, Big Show, and Kane
  • 9m 33s: The Usos vs Cesaro and Kidd
  • 8m 54s: Goldust vs Stardust
  • 8m 00s: Barrett vs Ambrose
  • 5m 34s: Nikki vs Paige

47.0%  is the lowest percentage of match time for any PPV that I have graded since the start of 2013.  Fastlane 2015 is one of only four shows (WrestleMania 29, Battleground 2014, Night of Champions 2014) in that span to score under 50% in this category.  Battleground 2014 (1h 22m 32s) and Night of Champions 2014 (1h 23m 22s) ended up with slightly less overall match time than Fastlane 2015 because Fastlane 2015 had a longer total show time.

One thing all three of those shows have in common is lengthy angles that essentially replaced a typical match slot.  Battleground 2014 and Night of Champions 2014 each featured an angle where Seth Rollins won a match by forfeit only to be later attacked by Dean Ambrose.  Fastlane 2015 featured the Triple H and Sting face-to-face confrontation, as well as Bray Wyatt challenging Undertaker to a match at WrestleMania 31.  These type of segments don't count as part of the match time.

The referee's hand didn't appear to hit the mat for a third time in Goldust's match.  A couple seconds passed between the time when the ref's hand would have hit three and when the bell actually rang to end the match.

There was an issue with the final bell ring in Ambrose's match as well.  About 4 seconds passed between the time when the ref signaled for the bell and when it actually rang.  This counted as part of the match time.

This event featured 4 consecutive championship matches. That hasn't happened since Payback 2013.

3 of those 4 championship matches didn't last 10 minutes.

Dean Ambrose has yet to win a match on PPV since The Shield broke up in June 2014.

18m 41s is now Rusev's longest match time on PPV in a one-on-one match.  His previous high mark was 9m 55s against Swagger at Battleground 2014.

18m 41s is also the longest United States Championship match time on PPV since the start of 2013.  The next highest time took place at Night of Champions 2014, where Sheamus versus Cesaro lasted 13m 06s.

Dave Meltzer gave a 3.25 star rating to the tag team championship match, which is tough to achieve for a WWE match that lasts under 10 minutes.  Since the start of 2013, there have been 88 PPV matches that lasted less than 10 minutes, and none of them scored higher than 3.25 stars.

The second hour of Fastlane 2015 only included 13m 34s of match time.  This is the least amount of match time out of any hour of a PPV since the start of 2013.  The matches that took place during this hour were Nikki versus Paige and Ambrose versus Barrett.  These were the two shortest matches of the night.  This hour also included the face-to-face confrontation with Sting and Triple H, as well as Bray Wyatt's coffin segment.

Pre-match Segments

The pre-match segments combined for a total time of 32m 56s, which is 18.5% of the show.  This is the lowest percentage in this category out of any non-Rumble PPV since the start of 2013.

Here is the sorted list of pre-match segment time for all 7 matches:

  • 8m 09s: Rusev vs Cena (with a 2m 50s video package)
  • 5m 56s: Goldust vs Stardust
  • 5m 21s: Bryan vs Reigns (with a 1m 55s video package)
  • 4m 39s: Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback vs Rollins, Big Show, and Kane
  • 3m 21s: The Usos vs Cesaro and Kidd
  • 2m 55s: Nikki vs Paige
  • 2m 35s: Barrett vs Ambrose

Fastlane 2015 included 14 separate pre-match superstar entrances.  These 14 entrances took up a total time of 20m 42s.  Here is the sorted list of these 14 entrance times:

  • 2m 27s: Rollins, Big Show, and Kane with J & J Security
  • 2m 05s: Ziggler, Rowan, and Ryback
  • 1m 54s: Paige
  • 1m 46s: Cesaro and Kidd with Natalya
  • 1m 42s: Bad News Barrett
  • 1m 33s: The Usos with Naomi
  • 1m 33s: Rusev with Lana
  • 1m 31s: John Cena
  • 1m 22s: Roman Reigns
  • 1m 20s: Daniel Bryan
  • 1m 01s: Stardust
  • 0m 59s: Nikki Bella with Brie
  • 0m 53s: Goldust
  • 0m 36s: Dean Ambrose

There were 4 other superstar entrances that occurred outside of pre-match segments.  When you add on those entrance times for Orton (0m 13s), Triple H (1m 43s), Sting (1m 11s), and Bray Wyatt (2m 58s) it results in a total entrance time of 26m 47s for the entire show.

I counted the entrances for the opening match as one entrance per team, even though each star separately came out to their own entrance music.  The reason I did not count this as 6 individual entrances is because the first two members of each team waited near the top of the ramp for their final partner to come out before all walking to the ring together.

Therefore Ziggler's team entrance lasted  for 2m 05s.  It began with Dolph's entrance music for 0m 28s, then Rowan's entrance music for 0m 24s, and finally Ryback's entrance music for 1m 13s.  The introduction of both commentary teams combined to last about 0m 25s while Ryback's music was playing.

Kane's team entrance lasted for 2m 27s.  It started with Big Show's entrance music for 0m 24s, then Kane's entrance music for 0m 18s, and finally the entrance music for Rollins lasted 1m 45s.  A 0m 50s Smackdown recap video was aired during the final portion of their entrance.

The pre-match segment for Goldust versus Stardust included a 1m 44s Raw recap video summarizing Cody's betrayal of Goldust.  This was immediately followed by a 2m 03s backstage conversation between Goldust and Dusty Rhodes.

The entrance for The Usos included a 0m 18s plug for Hulu.  The entrance for Cesaro's team included a 0m 51s Smackdown recap video of the double date segment.

Paige's lengthy entrance was largely due to the 1m 06s Raw recap video that aired during it, summarizing her issues with the Bella twins.

Barrett's entrance included a 0m 52s Raw recap video of Ambrose forcing him to sign the contract for their match.

There was an unusually long 0m 42s wait between the end of Rusev's entrance music and the beginning of Cena's entrance music.

5m 21s is the shortest pre-match segment time for a main event match since the start of 2013.  Every other pre-match segment for a main event match lasted at least 6m 00s.  It's possible that the show was running long (it filled up nearly the entire 3-hour time slot) and so WWE made adjustments to account for that issue.

However, I think another factor at play is the dedicated video package that aired prior to the main event match lasted 1m 55s, and this is a very low number.  Just checking back since SummerSlam 2014, the next shortest pre-match video package for a main event match in that time was 3m 29s.

Post-match Segments

The post-match segments combined for a total time of 22m 35s, which is 12.7% of the show.  This is the 5th highest percentage that I have calculated out of all events since the start of 2013.

Here is the sorted list of the post-match segment time for all 7 matches:

  • 5m 27s: Bryan vs Reigns
  • 4m 17s: Rusev vs Cena
  • 3m 56s: Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback vs Rollins, Big Show, and Kane
  • 3m 31s: Goldust vs Stardust
  • 2m 08s: Barrett vs Ambrose
  • 1m 59s: The Usos vs Cesaro and Kidd
  • 1m 17s: Nikki vs Paige

The median post-match segment time for all PPV matches in 2014 was 2m 01s, so it is clear that Fastlane 2015 included several lengthy post-match segments.

Some of the things that added time here include Orton's return, Stardust's backstage promo and attack on Goldust, Ambrose attacking Barrett before walking out with the championship, and Bryan shaking Roman's hand.  The post-match segment after the main event also included a 0m 21s video graphic hyping Triple H versus Sting at WrestleMania 31.

Nothing special really happened to account for the very long post-match segment time for Rusev versus Cena.  They just really dragged out Rusev's celebration and Cena's exit from the arena.

The post-match segment for the main event match was actually longer than the pre-match segment.  Out of all 186 PPV matches since the start of 2013, this has only happened 15 times.  The only other PPV main event that shares this characteristic is The Rock versus John Cena from Wrestlemania 29.

Miscellaneous Segments

That leaves about 38m 58s (21.8%) of the show for everything else.

16m 48s of this time was devoted to the face-to-face confrontation between Triple H and Sting and the related commentator/video hype leading into that segment.

5m 51s of this time was given to Bray Wyatt's segment, including 2m 58s for the special coffin entrance.

The remaining miscellaneous time (16m 19s) included hype for the WWE Network and WrestleMania 31, a look at Vince McMahon on the cover of Muscle & Fitness, a review of the issues between Jon Stewart and Seth Rollins, as well as two Expert Panel Analysis segments.  There were also commercials for WWE Immortals as well as The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackdown.  This also included a video recap of the pre-show, a clip of Eva Marie and Cameron at The Oscars, and a backstage glimpse at Bryan and Reigns preparing for their match.

21.8% is the highest percentage of Miscellaneous segment time on any PPV since the start of 2013.  In fact the only 2 events that surpassed 20.0% for this category are the two free PPVs, Survivor Series 2014 and Fastlane 2015.  These are also the only two events that actually included more miscellaneous segment time than pre-match segment time.  In some sense, Fastlane 2015 was essentially a 3-hour commercial for WrestleMania 31.

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.

  • 31m 07s: Rusev vs Cena  (17.4% of total show time)
  • 30m 58s: Bryan vs Reigns (17.4%)
  • 21m 36s: Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback vs Rollins, Big Show, and Kane (12.1%)
  • 18m 21s: Goldust vs Stardust (10.3%)
  • 14m 53s: The Usos vs Cesaro and Kidd (8.3%)
  • 12m 43s: Barrett vs Ambrose (7.1%)
  • 9m 46s: Nikki vs Paige (5.5%)

And here is a look at the "Match Time Percentage" for each match.  For any given match, this percentage shows how the match time compares to the combined pre-match and post-match segment time.  For some context, it's good to know that the median result here over the last couple of years is roughly 63%.

  • 65.1%: Bryan vs Reigns (20m 10s match, 10m 48s pre + post)
  • 64.2%: The Usos vs Cesaro and Kidd (9m 33s match, 5m 20s pre + post)
  • 62.9%: Barrett vs Ambrose (8m 00s match, 4m 43s pre + post)
  • 60.3%: Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback vs Rollins, Big Show, and Kane (13m 01s match, 8m 35s pre + post)
  • 60.0%: Rusev vs Cena (18m 41s match, 12m 26s pre + post)
  • 57.0%: Nikki vs Paige (5m 34s match, 4m 12s pre + post)
  • 48.5%: Goldust vs Stardust (8m 54s match, 9m 27s pre + post)

Overall, Fastlane 2015 was a lengthy show that de-emphasized match time and pre-match segment time in order to cram in extended post-match segments and other miscellaneous angles with the purpose of setting up WrestleMania 31.

Final Results for Fastlane 2015

Match - 47.0% - 1h 23m 53s

Pre-match - 18.5% - 32m 56s

Post-match - 12.7% - 22m 35s

Miscellaneous - 21.8% - 38m 58s