WWE's Payback 2016 lasted for 2 hours 56 minutes and 16 seconds (2h 56m 16s). 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 00s||0m 20s||WWE's "Then, Now, Forever" opening||0m 20s|
|0m 20s||2m 56s||Pre-match for Enzo and Cass vs Vaudevillains (1)||2m 36s|
|2m 56s||4m 48s||Video hyping Payback 2016||1m 52s|
|4m 48s||10m 17s||Pre-match for Enzo and Cass vs Vaudevillains (2)
|10m 17s||14m 15s||Enzo and Cass vs Vaudevillains||3m 58s|
|14m 15s||15m 58s||Post-match for Enzo and Cass vs Vaudevillains||1m 43s|
|15m 58s||23m 00s||Pre-match for Zayn vs Owens||7m 02s|
|23m 00s||37m 29s||Zayn vs Owens||14m 29s|
|37m 29s||41m 48s||Post-match for Zayn vs Owens||4m 19s|
|41m 48s||43m 20s||Commercial for upcoming content on WWE Network||1m 32s|
|43m 20s||46m 34s||Pre-match for Miz vs Cesaro||3m 14s|
|46m 34s||57m 53s||Miz vs Cesaro||11m 19s|
|57m 53s||1h 00m 37s||Post-match for Miz vs Cesaro||2m 44s|
|1h 00m 37s||1h 01m 08s||Commercial for Cricket Wireless||0m 31s|
|1h 01m 08s||1h 01m 35s||Backstage with Stephanie and Apollo Crews||0m 27s|
|1h 01m 35s||1h 07m 52s||Pre-match for Ambrose vs Jericho||6m 17s|
|1h 07m 52s||1h 26m 20s||Ambrose vs Jericho||18m 28s|
|1h 26m 20s||1h 27m 39s||Post-match for Ambrose vs Jericho||1m 19s|
|1h 27m 39s||1h 28m 10s||Commercial for Tapout||0m 31s|
|1h 28m 10s||1h 29m 03s||Backstage interview with AJ Styles||0m 53s|
|1h 29m 03s||1h 29m 18s||Backstage with Shane and Sasha Banks||0m 15s|
|1h 29m 18s||1h 29m 35s||Plug for PPV theme song||0m 17s|
|1h 29m 35s||1h 34m 45s||Pre-match for Charlotte vs Natalya||5m 10s|
|1h 34m 45s||1h 47m 46s||Charlotte vs Natalya||13m 01s|
|1h 47m 46s||1h 50m 06s||Post-match for Charlotte vs Natalya||2m 20s|
|1h 50m 06s||1h 50m 37s||Commercial for Extreme Rules 2016||0m 31s|
|1h 50m 37s||1h 51m 20s||Commercial for Camp WWE||0m 43s|
|1h 51m 20s||1h 51m 47s||Filler commentary||0m 27s|
|1h 51m 47s||2h 13m 01s||In-ring segment: Vince McMahon's decision||21m 14s|
|2h 13m 01s||2h 14m 31s||Kickoff panel with Renee, Graves, Booker T, Lawler||1m 30s|
|2h 14m 31s||2h 16m 16s||Video recap of pre-show matches||1m 45s|
|2h 16m 16s||2h 17m 15s||Commentator hype for Camp WWE||0m 59s|
|2h 17m 15s||2h 21m 06s||Pre-match for Reigns vs Styles (1)||3m 51s|
|2h 21m 06s||2h 22m 18s||Update on Enzo Amore||1m 12s|
|2h 22m 18s||2h 27m 15s||Pre-match for Reigns vs Styles (2)||4m 57s|
|2h 27m 15s||2h 39m 08s||Reigns vs Styles (1)||11m 53s|
|2h 39m 08s||2h 40m 29s||Post-match for Reigns vs Styles (1)||1m 21s|
|2h 40m 29s||2h 42m 45s||Reigns vs Styles (2)
|2h 42m 45s||2h 43m 53s||Post-match for Reigns vs Styles (2)
|2h 43m 53s||2h 52m 50s||Reigns vs Styles (3)
|2h 52m 50s||2h 56m 16s||Post-match for Reigns vs Styles (3)
The 6 matches combined for a total time of 1h 23m 51s. This means that 47.6% of the show was devoted to bell-to-bell action. This is the 38th highest percentage in this category out of the 41 WWE events in my data set, which begins with Royal Rumble 2013. Out of the 36 three-hour events in my data set, the total match time of 1h 23m 51s ranks 33rd highest.
Here is the sorted list of match times for Payback 2016. This also includes where each match time ranks out of all 291 matches in my data set.
- 22m 36s: Roman Reigns vs AJ Styles (36th longest out of 291 matches)
- 18m 28s: Dean Ambrose vs Chris Jericho (67th)
- 14m 29s: Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens (105th)
- 13m 01s: Charlotte vs Natalya (131st)
- 11m 19s: The Miz vs Cesaro (159th)
- 3m 58s: Amore and Cassady vs The Vaudevillains (274th)
The main card of Payback 2016 is one of only nine PPVs in my data set that featured fewer than 7 matches. 4 of those 9 PPVs included a Royal Rumble match, 1 included an Elimination Chamber match, 1 featured multiple ladder matches, and 1 featured a 43-minute Survivor Series tag team match. That leaves Payback 2016 and Battleground 2015 as the only PPVs that featured fewer than 7 matches without an obvious gimmick theme as part of the explanation. Battleground 2014 also joins this group if you don't count the forfeit victory of Rollins over Ambrose as an actual match.
Therefore it is not surprising to see such a low total match time for Payback 2016. The unexpected sudden ending of Enzo's tag team match did play a part in this as well. That match would have needed an additional 4m 17s in order for Payback 2016 to reach 50.0% match time, assuming a constant total show time of 2h 56m 16s with no changes to any other match time on the card.
Enzo laid motionless on the ground at approximately the 2m 41s mark of the match. It wasn't until 1m 17s later that the bell rang to officially end the match. This resulted in a match time of 3m 58s.
I broke up the match time for the main event match into three separate parts, and then summed them together to get a result of 22m 36s. The first fall of the match lasted 11m 53s, the second fall lasted 2m 16s, and the final fall lasted 8m 27s.
If you count the two parts in between the falls (where Shane and Stephanie each re-started the match) as part of the match time, it would increase from 22m 36s to 25m 05s.
Charlotte versus Natalya is the second-longest one-on-one women's match in my data set, second only to Charlotte versus Paige from Survivor Series 2015.
Chris Jericho's legendary status in WWE cannot be denied - all of his PPV matches in 2016 have received more than 16 minutes of match time.
The Miz has wrestled in 8 one-one-one PPV matches (excluding pre-shows) since 2013. His match with Cesaro at Payback 2016 was the only one to break 10 minutes in length. Here is a sorted list of the match times for these 8 matches, as well as where they rank in the list of 291 total matches in my data set:
- 11m 19s: The Miz vs Cesaro (159th longest out of 291 matches)
- 9m 23s: The Miz vs Dolph Ziggler (192nd, Night of Champions 2014)
- 9m 19s: The Miz vs Curtis Axel (194th, Money in the Bank 2013)
- 8m 21s: The Miz vs Cesaro (208th, Elimination Chamber 2013)
- 8m 20s: The Miz vs Sheamus (209th, Hell in a Cell 2014)
- 8m 01s: The Miz vs Kofi Kingston (214th, TLC 2013)
- 7m 51s: The Miz vs Dolph Ziggler (220th, SummerSlam 2014)
- 7m 49s: The Miz vs Fandango (223rd, Night of Champions 2013)
It's also worth noting that no matches from 2015 appear in the above list. It's been a while since Miz has been featured on the main card of a PPV in a one-on-one match.
The pre-match segments combined for a total time of 38m 36s, which is 21.9% of the show. This is the 25th highest percentage in this category out of the 41 events in my data set. Out of the 36 three-hour events in my data set, the total pre-match segment time of 38m 36s ranks 18th highest.
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 5m 01s and the average time is 5m 47s.
- 8m 48s: Roman Reigns vs AJ Styles
- 8m 05s: Amore and Cassady vs The Vaudevillains
- 7m 02s: Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens
- 6m 17s: Dean Ambrose vs Chris Jericho
- 5m 10s: Charlotte vs Natalya
- 3m 14s: The Miz vs Cesaro
Three matches received the special treatment of a dedicated video package right before superstar entrances. The videos hyping Zayn's match (4m 19s), Jericho's match (2m 53s), and Roman's match (3m 34s) combined to take up 10m 46s of the pre-match segment time.
Individually, none of the pre-match segments at Payback 2016 were absurdly long - none of them ranked among the 50 longest pre-match segments in my data set out of 291 such segments. However, all but one of these segments were fairly lengthy, with only Cesaro's pre-match segment falling under the median length of 5m 01s.
I counted New Day's quick promo to start the show as a pre-match segment for the tag team match. That entire segment lasted 2m 36s, with the actual promo lasting nearly 1m 33s.
The pre-match promo from Enzo and Big Cass then lasted roughly 2m 37s.
The entrance for the Vaudevillains included a 0m 15s look at the tag tournament bracket, as well as a 0m 45s introduction of various commentary teams.
All of those parts helped turn the overall pre-match segment time for the tag team match into the third longest pre-match segment for a PPV opening match in my data set. The only longer ones were Bryan versus Triple H at WrestleMania 30 (though this was not the opening segment of that show) and the tag team chamber match from Elimination Chamber 2015.
The entrance time for Owens included a 0m 09s plug for Tapout and JCPenney. Similarly, the entrance for Miz included a 0m 10s plug for Hulu, and AJ's entrance included a 0m 11s plug for Extreme Rules 2016.
Dean's entrance included a 0m 25s update on the condition of Enzo Amore, while Jericho's entrance included a 0m 43s introduction of more commentary teams.
Charlotte's entrance included a 0m 46s Raw recap video.
The post-match segments combined for a total time of 18m 50s, which is 10.7% of the show. This is the 16th highest percentage in this category out of the 41 events in my data set. Out of the 36 three-hour events in my data set, the total post-match segment time of 18m 50s ranks 14th highest.
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 00s and the average time is 2m 33s.
- 6m 25s: Roman Reigns vs AJ Styles
- 4m 19s: Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens
- 2m 44s: The Miz vs Cesaro
- 2m 20s: Charlotte vs Natalya
- 1m 43s: Amore and Cassady vs The Vaudevillains
- 1m 19s: Dean Ambrose vs Chris Jericho
The post-match segment for the main event consisted of three separate parts summed together. Shane's segment to restart the match lasted 1m 21s, Stephanie's segment to restart the match lasted 1m 08s, and the final segment with Roman's celebration lasted 3m 56s. That final portion also included the backstage glance at the McMahons setting up a rematch for Extreme Rules 2016, which lasted about 1m 23s.
Combining all of these parts together produced the 13th longest post-match segment in my data set out of 291 such segments.
The interaction between Owens and Saxton took up roughly 2m 48s of the post-match segment time for that match.
The post-match segment for Enzo's match started when the bell rang to stop the match and ended when Michael Cole transitioned into discussing the feud between Owens and Zayn. When you take that 1m 43s post-match segment time and combine it with the 1m 17s that it took for the referee to stop the match after Enzo's injury, that results in about 3m 00s that passed after Enzo's injury until WWE moved onto the next segment.
That leaves about 19.8% (34m 59s) of the show for everything else. This is the 4th highest percentage in this category out of the 41 events in my data set. Out of the 36 three-hour events in my data set, the total miscellaneous segment time of 34m 59s ranks 3rd highest.
Most of these miscellaneous segments are crammed into the time after one post-match segment ends and before the next pre-match segment begins. Payback 2016 included 8 different blocks of miscellaneous segments. Here is how long each block lasted, in chronological order:
- Block 1: 0m 20s (Now, Then, Forever)
- Block 2: 1m 52s (Opening hype video for Payback 2016)
- Block 3: 0m 00s (Nothing)
- Block 4: 1m 32s (Hype for WWE Network)
- Block 5: 0m 58s (Ad for Cricket Wireless; Stephanie backstage)
- Block 6: 1m 56s (Ad for Tapout; Styles interview; Shane backstage)
- Block 7: 27m 09s (Hype for WWE Network; Vince's decision, Kickoff panel)
- Block 8: 1m 12s (Update on Enzo Amore's health)
The specific content listed above for Blocks 1 and 2 usually falls into just one continuous block of miscellaneous segments, but this time they were separated by a New Day appearance that I classified as a pre-match segment.
Block 3 is listed at 0m 00s to signify that no miscellaneous segments were included between the post-match segment for Enzo's match and the pre-match segment of Zayn's match. I'm not sure what WWE had planned in that spot, if anything, but they ended up transitioning from Enzo's injury into the video package for Zayn and Owens, without including any segments in between.
Block 8 featured an extra unplanned miscellaneous segment where Cole gave an update on Enzo's condition. This update took place after the pre-match video package for Roman's match, but before the entrances to that match began. Therefore I tagged it with a miscellaneous segment classification; the only other choice would have been to include it as part of the pre-match segment for Roman versus Styles.
Block 7 is the big story here and obviously stands out for its ridiculous length of 27m 09s.
This block started with 1m 41s of typical commercials and filler commentary.
This led into the 21m 14s talking segment with the McMahons. Here is a full breakdown of the timing of that segment.
- 0m 11s: Eden introduces Vince McMahon
- 0m 58s: Vince entrance music
- 3m 07s: Vince promo
- 0m 44s: Stephanie entrance music
- 4m 21s: Stephanie promo
- 1m 07s: Shane entrance music
- 6m 47s: Shane promo (with occasional McMahon interruptions)
- 2m 15s: Vince makes his decision
- 0m 37s: Vince entrance music
- 1m 07s: Stephanie and Shane shake hands
These numbers result in approximately 3m 26s of McMahon entrance music, 16m 30s of McMahon talking, and 1m 18s remaining between Eden's intro and the handshake at the end.
I don't know about you, but I am not interested in hearing the McMahons babble on for more than 16 minutes on PPV. That's usually reserved for Raw.
Block 7 was then capped off with an additional 4m 14s of miscellaneous segments. This included the Kickoff panel discussion, video recap of the pre-show matches, and the commentators hyping up Camp WWE.
Largely because of the never-ending Block 7, about 39m 29s elapsed between the closing bell of Charlotte's match and the opening bell of Roman's match.
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 291 entries in my data set.
- 37m 49s: Roman Reigns vs AJ Styles (24th longest out of 291 entries)
- 26m 04s: Dean Ambrose vs Chris Jericho (90th)
- 25m 50s: Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens (91st)
- 20m 31s: Charlotte vs Natalya (136th)
- 17m 17s: The Miz vs Cesaro (172nd)
- 13m 46s: Amore and Cassady vs The Vaudevillains (213th)
Heading in to Payback 2016 I wasn't sure which of the mid-card matches (Zayn, Charlotte, Cesaro) would receive the most time. It turns out that Zayn and Owens were treated like equals to Jericho and Ambrose, while the women were given a few more minutes than Cesaro and Miz. When you factor in KO's time as a commentator during Cesaro's match as well as his role in that post-match segment, it could be easily argued that Kevin Owens was given a major spotlight on this show.
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 since 2013 is 62.9%.
(Here's an example calculation: an entry with a match time of 6m 00s, pre-match time of 3m 00s, and a post-match time of 1m 00s has a score of 60.0%, because the match time of 6m 00s is 60% of the total sum of 10m 00s for all three components.)
- 70.8%: Dean Ambrose vs Chris Jericho
- 65.5%: The Miz vs Cesaro
- 63.4%: Charlotte vs Natalya
- 59.8%: Roman Reigns vs AJ Styles
- 56.1%: Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens
- 28.8%: Amore and Cassady vs The Vaudevillains
Payback 2016 was expected to have less total match time than the typical WWE PPV due to the planned McMahon family talking segment. The combination of Enzo's match being abruptly shortened and Ziggler's match being moved to the pre-show then turned this card into one with only 1h 23m 51s of bell-to-bell match time, which seems like a poor use of time.
Final Results for Payback 2016
Match - 47.6% - 1h 23m 51s
Pre-match - 21.9% - 38m 36s
Post-match - 10.7% - 18m 50s
Miscellaneous - 19.8% - 34m 59s