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Match Times: WWE Battleground 2015 Edition

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WWE's Battleground 2015 lasted for 2 hours 44 minutes and 43 seconds (2h 44m 43s). 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 19s: WWE's "Then, Now, Forever" opening
  • 2m 14s: Video hyping Battleground 2015
  • 0m 45s: Opening pyro as Cole welcomes you to Battleground 2015
  • 3m 34s: Pre-match for Orton vs Sheamus
  • 16m 53s: Orton vs Sheamus
  • 2m 04s: Post-match for Orton vs Sheamus
  • 0m 32s: Filler commentary
  • 2m 09s: Raw recap - Stephanie McMahon's divas revolution
  • 1m 20s: Backstage interview with Stephanie McMahon
  • 4m 38s: Pre-match for Prime Time Players vs New Day
  • 8m 50s: Prime Time Players vs New Day
  • 1m 18s: Post-match for Prime Time Players vs New Day
  • 0m 16s: Commercial for Total Divas
  • 0m 43s: Commercial for WWE Shop
  • 1m 07s: Backstage segment with Paige, Becky, and Charlotte
  • 0m 26s: Filler commentary
  • 0m 15s: Plug for PPV theme song
  • 7m 12s: Pre-match for Reigns vs Wyatt
  • 22m 08s: Reigns vs Wyatt
  • 1m 25s: Post-match for Reigns vs Wyatt
  • 0m 31s: Commercial for SummerSlam 2015
  • 0m 18s: Cole talks about St. Louis
  • 0m 22s: St. Louis Cardinals are in the audience
  • 5m 19s: Pre-match for Charlotte vs Sasha vs Brie
  • 11m 28s: Charlotte vs Sasha vs Brie
  • 1m 25s: Post-match for Charlotte vs Sasha vs Brie
  • 1m 13s: Expert panel with Renee, Booker T, Graves, and Saxton
  • 0m 36s: Pre-show recap - King Barrett defeats R-Truth
  • 0m 28s: Filler commentary
  • 8m 11s: Pre-match for Cena vs Owens
  • 22m 12s: Cena vs Owens
  • 2m 09s: Post-match for Cena vs Owens
  • 0m 33s: Commercial for Swerved
  • 0m 17s: Filler commentary
  • 0m 41s: Coverage of Ryback's injury
  • 6m 02s: In-ring segment - Big Show knocks out Miz
  • 0m 28s: Commercial for Tough Enough
  • 0m 31s: Commercial for SummerSlam 2015
  • 0m 18s: Commentators hype SummerSlam 2015
  • 10m 17s: Pre-match for Rollins vs Lesnar
  • 8m 16s: Rollins vs Lesnar
  • 5m 00s: Post-match for Rollins vs Lesnar

Match Times

The 6 matches combined for a total time of 1h 29m 47s. This means that 54.5% of the show was devoted to bell-to-bell action.  This is the 17th highest percentage in this category out of the 32 WWE events in my data set, which begins with Royal Rumble 2013.  However the total match time of 1h 29m 47s ranks 28th out of the 32 events.  The match time percentage was propped up by the fact that the PPV's air time was only 2h 44m 43s, which also ranks 28th longest out of 32 total events.

Here is the sorted list of match times for Battleground 2015.  This also includes where each match time ranks out of all 225 matches in my data set.

  • 22m 12s: Cena vs Owens (33rd longest out of 225 matches)
  • 22m 08s: Reigns vs Wyatt (36th)
  • 16m 53s: Orton vs Sheamus (63rd)
  • 11m 28s: Charlotte vs Sasha vs Brie (116th)
  • 8m 50s: Prime Time Players vs New Day (146th)
  • 8m 16s: Rollins vs Lesnar (155th)

So far this is the only PPV in 2015 where Dean Ambrose did not accumulate any match time.  Last year, Ambrose didn't receive any match time at both Battleground 2014 and Night Of Champions 2014.  However he was featured in a major brawl on both of those shows.  And even though The Shield had a memorable match with the Rhodes brothers at Battleground 2013, Dean Ambrose was standing ringside for that match and not an official competitor.  Therefore, Dean Ambrose has never gained match time at any Battleground event.  There must be a lot of paperwork involved in getting a match for Battleground.

There are 34 matches in my data set that include at least one diva as a participant.  Charlotte versus Sasha versus Brie ranks as as the third longest match time out of these 34 matches.  The only longer matches were the large tag team matches at the last two Survivor Series events.

There is some uncertainty regarding the time of the main event match because there was no definitive finish to the match.  I decided to end the match time right when the lights went out.  I have seen other places report the time for that match as 9m 00s, which is the moment when Undertaker nailed Lesnar with a low blow.  I don't agree with that time because that wasn't even the moment when Undertaker initiated contact with Brock.

Here are the important time stamps related to the match ending:  the lights went out at 8m 16s, the lights came back on at 8m 24s, Undertaker grabbed Lesnar's throat at 8m 51s, and Undertaker landed a low blow at 9m 00s.

I can see arguments for all of these times as the official end to the match except for 9m 00s.  I chose the lights going out as the end of the match because that seemed to be the clear beginning of the post-match angle between Lesnar and Undertaker.  The lights coming back on is also a possible end to the match, because that is the point when it is clear that both the referee and the champion have disappeared, never to be seen again.  Therefore the match cannot continue.  Finally, Undertaker initiated physical contact with Lesnar by grabbing his throat at 8m 51s, so it could be argued that was when the disqualification occurred.

One reason this is important is because the main event actually ends up as the shortest match of the night if you choose either 8m 16s or 8m 24s as the match time.  This is the only main event match in my data set that ended up as the shortest match of the night.

The main event match was not booked to be even remotely competitive.  It was like a longer version of Brock's squash match with Kofi Kingston in Tokyo.  WWE essentially decided to make the champion look like crap in order to build up what they view as a much more important match between Lesnar and Undertaker at SummerSlam 2015.  Was it really necessary to sacrifice the entertainment value of this PPV main event in order to achieve that goal?

With a score of 2 stars out of 5 from Dave Meltzer, this was the third lowest rated PPV main event out of the 32 main event matches in my data set.  The only main event matches that scored lower were this year's Royal Rumble match and Orton versus Big Show from Survivor Series 2013.  28 of the 32 main event matches have scored at least 3.25 stars.

This is by far the shortest main event match in my data set.  The next shortest main event match is that awful Orton versus Big Show match, clocking in at 11m 10s.  If you remove the outlier Royal Rumble matches from consideration, the average match time of the other main event matches is 23m 11s.  The median time of the other main event matches is 22m 09s.

The bottom line is that this main event match, independent of the post-match angle, was a failure.  And this had nothing to do with a time crunch, as the show went off the air with at least 15 minutes of time left to spare.

Pre-match Segments

The pre-match segments combined for a total time of 39m 11s, which is 23.8% of the show.  This is the 11th highest percentage in this category out of the 32 events in my data set.

Here is the sorted list of pre-match segment time for all 6 matches.  For some context, keep in mind that the median pre-match segment time in my data set is 4m 41s and the average time is 5m 40s.

  • 10m 17s: Rollins vs Lesnar (this is longer than their actual match time!)
  • 8m 11s: Cena vs Owens
  • 7m 12s: Reigns vs Wyatt
  • 5m 19s: Charlotte vs Sasha vs Brie
  • 4m 38s: Prime Time Players vs New Day
  • 3m 34s: Orton vs Sheamus

Battleground 2015 included 13 separate pre-match superstar entrances.  These 13 entrances took up a total time of 17m 35s.  Here is the sorted list of these 13 entrance times:

  • 2m 02s: Randy Orton (with a 0m 46s Raw recap of his feud with Sheamus)
  • 1m 57s: Brock Lesnar with Paul Heyman
  • 1m 40s: Prime Time Players (including a 0m 36s video recap of their championship win as well as a 0m 19s look at tweets from PTP)
  • 1m 37s: Bray Wyatt
  • 1m 33s: Seth Rollins
  • 1m 30s: John Cena
  • 1m 29s: Roman Reigns
  • 1m 28s: Sheamus (with a 0m 16s look at a tweet from Sheamus as well as a 0m 21s intro of both announce teams)
  • 1m 04s: Kevin Owens (with a 0m 18s plug for Hulu)
  • 0m 58s: Charlotte with Paige and Becky
  • 0m 53s: Sasha with Naomi and Tamina (with a 0m 18s plug for WWE Immortals)
  • 0m 51s: Brie with Nikki and Alicia
  • 0m 33s: New Day

Battleground 2015 also included two other superstar entrances outside of these 13 pre-match entrances.  When you add on the entrance time for Miz (1m 05s) and Big Show (0m 14s) that results in a total entrance time for the show of 18m 54s.

In addition to 13 entrances, the pre-match segments also featured 3 extended video packages.  The video packages for Reigns versus Wyatt (3m 20s), Cena versus Owens (3m 27s) and Rollins versus Lesnar (4m 09s) add up to 10m 56s.

So when you combine the 13 pre-match entrances (17m 35s) and the 3 dedicated video packages (10m 56s), that accounts for 28m 31s of the overall pre-match segment time on the show.

The entrance time for Miz included a 0m 16s plug for Tough Enough.

After New Day's entrance music ended, they cut a promo that lasted 2m 22s.  It could be argued that the initial portion of this promo occurred during their entrance time, because they were still walking to the ring when they began talking.  But I decided to end their entrance time when their entrance music stopped playing, which happened right as they began talking on the mic.

Right before the entrances for the divas match, there was a 1m 13s backstage interview with Naomi, Sasha, and Tamina.  I classified this as part of their pre-match segment time (unlike the previous backstage segment featuring Paige's team) because it was placed in such close proximity to the entrances for the divas match.

Post-match Segments

The post-match segments combined for a total time of 13m 21s, which is 8.1% of the show.  This is the 25th highest percentage in this category out of the 32 events in my data set.

Here is the sorted list of the post-match segment time for all 6 matches.  For some context, keep in mind that the median post-match segment time in my data set is 2m 01s and the average time is 2m 30s.

  • 5m 00s: Rollins vs Lesnar
  • 2m 09s: Cena vs Owens
  • 2m 04s: Orton vs Sheamus
  • 1m 25s: Reigns vs Wyatt
  • 1m 25s: Charlotte vs Sasha vs Brie
  • 1m 18s: Prime Time Players vs New Day

Nothing important happened in these post-match segments outside of the Undertaker's return.  The rest of the post-match segments all ended up very close to or well below the median and average times.

The post-match segment for the main event match is the only one that did not include any replays from the actual match.

Miscellaneous Segments

That leaves about 13.6% (22m 24s) of the show for everything else.  This is the 12th highest percentage in this category out of the 32 events in my data set.

The coverage of Ryback's injury and the entire segment with Miz and Big Show (including their entrances) fell into this category.

There was also an expert panel segment, a video recap of the pre-show match between Truth and Barrett, a backstage interview with Stephanie McMahon, and a backstage segment with Paige's team, and the occasional filler commentary between matches.

These miscellaneous segments also included commercials for Tough Enough, Swerved, Total Divas, WWE Shop, multiple ads for SummerSlam 2015, 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.  This list also includes where each total time ranks among the 225 entries in my data set.

  • 32m 32s: Cena vs Owens (46th longest out of 225 entries)
  • 30m 45s: Reigns vs Wyatt (56th)
  • 23m 33s: Rollins vs Lesnar (80th)
  • 22m 31s: Orton vs Sheamus (88th)
  • 18m 12s: Charlotte vs Sasha vs Brie (117th)
  • 14m 46s: Prime Time Players vs New Day (145th)

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%.

  • 75.0%: Orton vs Sheamus
  • 72.0%: Reigns vs Wyatt
  • 68.2%: Cena vs Owens
  • 63.0%: Charlotte vs Sasha vs Brie
  • 59.8%: Prime Time Players vs New Day
  • 35.1%: Rollins vs Lesnar

Once again the main event sticks out like a sore thumb.  The match time for it barely accounted for one-third of the total show time that it received when you also throw on the pre-match and post-match segments.  The pre-match segment was longer than the match itself, and the post-match segment turned Seth Rollins into a complete afterthought.

Battleground 2015 had a very short total show time of 2h 44m 43s, as well as the shortest main event match since at least the start of 2013.  This show only featured 6 total matches on the main card, and that allowed WWE to allocate plenty of time for most of these matches.  As long as WWE is going to continue to spend 40 minutes per show on pre-match segments,  it is probably for the best to only have 6 or 7 matches per show, particularly if the divas continue to receive increased match time going forward.

Final Results for Battleground 2015

Match - 54.5% - 1h 29m 47s

Pre-match - 23.8% - 39m 11s

Post-match - 8.1% - 13m 21s

Miscellaneous - 13.6% - 22m 24s