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Match Times: WWE SummerSlam 2015 Edition

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WWE's SummerSlam 2015 lasted for 3 hours 45 minutes and 39 seconds (3h 45m 39s). 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 20s: WWE's "Then, Now, Forever" opening
  • 6m 35s: In-ring segment - Jon Stewart with Mick Foley
  • 2m 55s: Video hyping SummerSlam 2015
  • 0m 50s: Opening pyro as Cole welcomes you to SummerSlam 2015
  • 3m 11s: Pre-match for Orton vs Sheamus
  • 12m 14s: Orton vs Sheamus
  • 1m 20s: Post-match for Orton vs Sheamus
  • 1m 21s: Coverage of Draft Kings ultimate fan experience
  • 5m 01s: Pre-match for Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way
  • 11m 22s: Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way
  • 1m 18s: Post-match for Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way
  • 0m 31s: Commercial for Edge Shave Gel
  • 0m 43s: Backstage segment with Stewart, Amell, Neville, Undertaker
  • 0m 13s: Filler commentary
  • 4m 01s: Pre-match for Ziggler vs Rusev
  • 11m 50s: Ziggler vs Rusev
  • 2m 06s: Post-match for Ziggler vs Rusev
  • 0m 20s: Plug for PPV theme song
  • 5m 19s: Pre-match for Neville and Amell vs Stardust and Barrett
  • 7m 35s: Neville and Amell vs Stardust and Barrett
  • 1m 38s: Post-match for Neville and Amell vs Stardust and Barrett
  • 0m 31s: Commercial for Mountain Dew
  • 0m 24s: Tough Enough finalists are sitting ringside
  • 2m 35s: Coverage of SummerSlam week
  • 3m 46s: Pre-match for Ryback vs Miz vs Big Show
  • 5m 32s: Ryback vs Miz vs Big Show
  • 1m 12s: Post-match for Ryback vs Miz vs Big Show
  • 2m 32s: Backstage segment with Stewart and Heyman
  • 0m 13s: Cole talks about Brooklyn
  • 4m 52s: Pre-match for Ambrose and Reigns vs Wyatt and Harper
  • 10m 55s: Ambrose and Reigns vs Wyatt and Harper
  • 1m 20s: Post-match for Ambrose and Reigns vs Wyatt and Harper
  • 9m 02s: Pre-match for Rollins vs Cena
  • 19m 25s: Rollins vs Cena
  • 2m 38s: Post-match for Rollins vs Cena
  • 2m 05s: Commercial for new content on WWE Network
  • 1m 28s: Expert panel analysis with Renee, Booker T, Saxton, and Graves
  • 5m 24s: Pre-match for Team Bella vs PCB vs Team B.A.D.
  • 15m 17s: Team Bella vs PCB vs Team B.A.D.
  • 1m 22s: Post-match for Team Bella vs PCB vs Team B.A.D.
  • 1m 04s: Commercial for WWE 2K16
  • 0m 53s: Coverage of Mountain Dew ultimate fan experience
  • 2m 32s: Pre-match for Cesaro vs Owens
  • 14m 16s: Cesaro vs Owens
  • 1m 29s: Post-match for Cesaro vs Owens
  • 0m 56s: Commercial and commentator hype for Night of Champions 2015
  • 10m 20s: Pre-match for Lesnar vs Undertaker
  • 17m 10s: Lesnar vs Undertaker
  • 5m 43s: Post-match for Lesnar vs Undertaker

Match Times

The 10 matches combined for a total time of 2h 05m 36s. This means that 55.7% of the show was devoted to bell-to-bell action.  This is the 14th highest percentage in this category out of the 33 WWE events in my data set, which begins with Royal Rumble 2013.

Here is the sorted list of match times for SummerSlam 2015.  This also includes where each match time ranks out of all 235 matches in my data set.

  • 19m 25s: Rollins vs Cena (55th longest out of 235 matches)
  • 17m 10s: Lesnar vs Undertaker (63rd)
  • 15m 17s: Team Bella vs PCB vs Team B.A.D. (77th)
  • 14m 16s: Cesaro vs Owens (87th)
  • 12m 14s: Orton vs Sheamus (114th)
  • 11m 50s: Ziggler vs Rusev (116th)
  • 11m 22s: Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way (123rd)
  • 10m 55s: Ambrose and Reigns vs Wyatt and Harper (130th)
  • 7m 35s: Neville and Amell vs Stardust and Barrett (177th)
  • 5m 32s: Ryback vs Miz vs Big Show (213th)

WWE ambitiously booked 10 matches onto the main card of this PPV.  None of the previous 32 events in my data set included any more than 8 matches on the main card.

The final four matches of the night were also the four longest matches on the card.  It's at least possible that the divas match and Cesaro's match each received more time than originally planned because the show needed to be stretched.

The total match time of 2h 05m 36s is the most match time that I have recorded for any single event.

All 10 matches received a score of at least 2 stars from Dave Meltzer.

Broken nose be damned, John Cena still had the longest match of the night.

Team B.A.D. was eliminated at the 6m 06s mark of the divas tag team match.

Orton's match with Sheamus lasted 12m 14s, and this is Orton's shortest PPV match since his main event against Big Show at Survivor Series 2013.

How many people would have predicted that the tag team championship match would get more time than the grudge tag match between Reigns, Ambrose, Wyatt, and Harper?

The divas tag team match is the longest divas match in my data set.  This is only the 2nd time that a divas match has ranked among the three longest matches on the main card of a PPV.  That also happened at Survivor Series 2014, however that card only included 6 total matches.  Ranking in the top 3 out of 10 total matches is something I would have scoffed at just a few months ago.

Once the action finally started, SummerSlam 2015 had a pretty fast pace of delivering one match right after the other.  The spread of the match times throughout the night was very interesting, as the show began with three intermediate length matches in the first hour, before moving on to the two shortest matches of the night in the second hour.  After capping off the second hour with a shorter-than-expected match featuring the Wyatts and Ambreigns, the final 4 matches of the night were given the task of filling out the final two hours of the card.  The event ended with close to 15 minutes of time remaining in that final hour.

Pre-match Segments

The pre-match segments combined for a total time of 53m 28s, which is 23.7% of the show.  This is the 12th highest percentage in this category out of the 33 events in my data set.

Here is the sorted list of pre-match segment time for all 10 matches.  For some context, keep in mind that the median pre-match segment time in my data set is 4m 46s and the average time is 5m 39s.

  • 10m 20s: Lesnar vs Undertaker
  • 9m 02s: Rollins vs Cena
  • 5m 24s: Team Bella vs PCB vs Team B.A.D.
  • 5m 19s: Neville and Amell vs Stardust and Barrett
  • 5m 01s: Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way
  • 4m 52s: Ambrose and Reigns vs Wyatt and Harper
  • 4m 01s: Ziggler vs Rusev
  • 3m 46s: Ryback vs Miz vs Big Show
  • 3m 11s: Orton vs Sheamus
  • 2m 32s: Cesaro vs Owens

SummerSlam 2015 included 26 separate pre-match superstar entrances.  These 26 entrances took up a total time of 31m 02s.  Here is the sorted list of these 26 entrance times:

  • 3m 09s: Undertaker
  • 1m 47s: Sheamus (with a 0m 50s Raw recap of his feud with Orton)
  • 1m 46s: John Cena (with a 0m 13s plug for Mountain Dew and Edge Shave Gel)
  • 1m 44s: Roman Reigns (with a 0m 51s video recap of Luke Harper's return)
  • 1m 35s: Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper
  • 1m 34s: The Miz (with a 0m 49s Raw recap of Ryback's return)
  • 1m 25s: Brock Lesnar with Paul Heyman
  • 1m 23s: Kevin Owens (with a 0m 42s video recap of his ladder match with Balor)
  • 1m 22s: Randy Orton (with a 0m 29s intro of all three commentary teams)
  • 1m 16s: Dolph Ziggler with Lana (with a 0m 17s plug for Mountain Dew and DraftKings)
  • 1m 16s: Seth Rollins
  • 1m 16s: PCB
  • 1m 12s: Stardust and King Barrett
  • 1m 12s: Ryback
  • 1m 06s: Rusev with Summer Rae
  • 1m 06s: Cesaro
  • 1m 02s: Prime Time Players
  • 0m 56s: Big Show (with a 0m 14s plug for Hulu)
  • 0m 49s: Team Bella
  • 0m 47s: Team B.A.D.
  • 0m 46s: Stephen Amell
  • 0m 38s: Lucha Dragons
  • 0m 33s: Neville
  • 0m 32s: Dean Ambrose
  • 0m 30s: New Day
  • 0m 20s: Los Matadores with El Torito

SummerSlam 2015 also included one other superstar entrances outside of these 26 pre-match entrances.  When you add on the entrance time for Mick Foley (0m 38s) it results in a total entrance time for the show of 31m 40s.

In addition to 26 entrances, the pre-match segments also featured 4 extended video packages.  The video packages for Stardust's match (2m 20s), Rollins versus Cena (3m 30s), the divas match (2m 10s), and Lesnar versus Undertaker (3m 47s) add up to 11m 47s.

So when you combine the 26 pre-match entrances (31m 02s) and the 4 dedicated video packages (11m 47s), that accounts for 42m 49s of the overall pre-match segment time on the show.

After New Day's entrance music ended, they cut a promo that lasted 2m 24s.  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 is what I do in most cases.

There was a 1m 26s Raw recap video of the Rusev/Lana/Ziggler feud right before the entrances for that match took place.

After Wyatt's entrance finished, there was a 0m 41s video recap of his feud with Reigns.

Brock Lesnar attacked the Undertaker shortly after Undertaker entered the ring.  The bell didn't ring to start the match until roughly 1m 14s after Brock initiated contact with Undertaker.  Therefore this brief skirmish before the bell was part of the pre-match segment for their match.

Ever since The Shield broke up last June, Dean Ambrose has had 12 pre-match entrances on PPV and 9 of them lasted under one minute.  7 of those 9 entrances didn't even reach 50 seconds.  This is a man who doesn't waste time getting down to the ring.

Post-match Segments

The post-match segments combined for a total time of 20m 06s, which is 8.9% of the show.  This is the 21st highest percentage in this category out of the 33 events in my data set.

Here is the sorted list of the post-match segment time for all 10 matches.  For some context, keep in mind that the median post-match segment time in my data set is 2m 00s and the average time is 2m 28s.

  • 5m 43s: Lesnar vs Undertaker
  • 2m 38s: Rollins vs Cena
  • 2m 06s: Ziggler vs Rusev
  • 1m 38s: Neville and Amell vs Stardust and Barrett
  • 1m 29s: Cesaro vs Owens
  • 1m 22s: Team Bella vs PCB vs Team B.A.D.
  • 1m 20s: Orton vs Sheamus
  • 1m 20s: Ambrose and Reigns vs Wyatt and Harper
  • 1m 18s: Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way
  • 1m 12s: Ryback vs Miz vs Big Show

The post-match segment for Ziggler versus Rusev is the only one that did not include any replays from the actual match.  Their post-match segment still ended up as one of the longest on the card due to a post-match brawl between Ziggler, Rusev, Lana, and Summer Rae.

The post-match segment for the main event was the 16th longest in my data set out of 235 total post-match segments.

Miscellaneous Segments

That leaves about 11.7% (26m 29s) of the show for everything else.  This is the 20th highest percentage in this category out of the 33 events in my data set.

The beginning 10m 40s of the show was all classified as miscellaneous segments, including the 6m 35s in-ring segment with Jon Stewart and Mick Foley.

The next longest miscellaneous segments included the video coverage of the activities going on during SummerSlam week (2m 35s), Jon Stewart's backstage segment with Paul Heyman (2m 32s), and the commercial promoting new content on WWE Network (2m 02s).

There were also two separate Ultimate Fan Experience videos which combined to take up roughly 2m 14s of the show.

The rest of the miscellaneous segments included things like the expert panel hosted by Renee Young, commercials for Mountain Dew and Edge Shave Gel, and a backstage segment with Jon Stewart and Neville.  There was also a commercial for WWE 2K16 and hype for Night of Champions 2015.

WWE also pushed Tough Enough by showing off the finalists in the audience.

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 235 entries in my data set.

  • 33m 13s: Lesnar vs Undertaker (45th longest out of 235 entries)
  • 31m 05s: Rollins vs Cena (55th)
  • 22m 03s: Team Bella vs PCB vs Team B.A.D. (93rd)
  • 18m 17s: Cesaro vs Owens (120th)
  • 17m 57s: Ziggler vs Rusev (122nd)
  • 17m 41s: Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way (125th)
  • 17m 07s: Ambrose and Reigns vs Wyatt and Harper (136th)
  • 16m 45s: Orton vs Sheamus (140th)
  • 14m 32s: Neville and Amell vs Stardust and Barrett (155th)
  • 10m 30s: Ryback vs Miz vs Big Show (202nd)

The Ambrose tag match stands out to me for its low total show time.  A month ago I incorrectly assumed it was going to be one of the big three matches on the card (partially due to Sting's rumored inclusion in the match) yet that's not at all how things played out.  The commentators also implied that it didn't really matter who won the match because the feud wasn't ending any time soon, which made the match feel like it didn't have any greater importance than the typical tag match these guys might have on an episode of Raw.  And in fact the rematch they had on Raw the next night was more important than this one, as it advanced the angle by debuting a new member of the Wyatt Family.

Now 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%.

  • 78.0%: Cesaro vs Owens
  • 73.0%: Orton vs Sheamus
  • 69.3%: Team Bella vs PCB vs Team B.A.D.
  • 65.9%: Ziggler vs Rusev
  • 64.3%: Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way
  • 63.8%: Ambrose and Reigns vs Wyatt and Harper
  • 62.5%: Rollins vs Cena
  • 52.7%: Ryback vs Miz vs Big Show
  • 52.2%: Neville and Amell vs Stardust and Barrett
  • 51.7%: Lesnar vs Undertaker

Stardust's match received a low percentage here due to the 2m 20s video package that aired prior to entrances.  Lower card matches don't usually receive this kind of video package treatment, which extend the length of the pre-match segments.  Therefore the pre-match segment lasted over 5 minutes while the actual match fell short of 8 minutes.

Undertaker's match had the longest pre-match segment and longest post-match segment of the night, and those two pieces combined were nearly as long as the match itself.

SummerSlam 2015 included more pre-match segment time and match time than the typical WWE PPV, at the expense of post-match segment time and miscellaneous segment time.  The previous 4-hour cards in my data set (WrestleMania 29, WrestleMania 30, WrestleMania 31) always went heavier on miscellaneous segments, resulting in total match times that struggled to crack 50%.  This is a trade-off that I'll gladly take, and it's good to see WWE include more than 2 hours of action on a 4-hour card.

Final Results for SummerSlam 2015

Match - 55.7% - 2h 05m 36s

Pre-match - 23.7% - 53m 28s

Post-match - 8.9% - 20m 06s

Miscellaneous - 11.7% - 26m 29s