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How much wrestling actually happened at Payback 2017?

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WWE featured 7 total matches on the main card of Payback 2017 last night (Sun., April 30, 2017) from the SAP Center in San Jose, California.

The main card of this pay-per-view (PPV) lasted 2 hours, 45 minutes, and 53 seconds (2h 45m 53s). Here is a sorted list of the bell-to-bell times for the 7 matches that took place during this event:

  • 18m 31s: Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt
  • 15m 57s: Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe
  • 14m 01s: Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho
  • 12m 44s: Hardy Boyz vs. Cesaro & Sheamus
  • 11m 42s: Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman
  • 11m 17s: Neville vs. Austin Aries
  • 11m 11s: Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss

These times add up to 1h 35m 23s, which is roughly 57.5% of the show. For comparison’s sake, the overall match time percentage for all WWE PPVs since the start of 2013 is 54.0%.

The House of Horrors match essentially aired in two disjoint segments, just like Dean Ambrose versus Luke Harper from Extreme Rules 2015.

I decided to start the clock for Orton’s match at the point when he kicked down Wyatt’s house door. The ring announcer stated that the match began inside Wyatt’s house, and so I did not count Randy’s limo ride or anything else that happened prior to the door being kicked down.

Using that starting point, a total time of 44m 06s lapsed between the beginning of the fight and the pin fall in the ring. So sticking strictly within kayfabe, their fight lasted 44m 06s, even if most of that time was just Bray Wyatt riding back to the venue in a limousine.

From the more practical standpoint of what the viewing audience actually witnessed, the first portion of the match lasted roughly 10m 18s. I stopped the clock when the pre-taped footage finished airing, so this time does include Wyatt escaping into a limo and singing inside of it while driving off.

The second portion of the match might be trickier to time, because one could argue that the clock shouldn’t start until Wyatt’s entrance was over and Randy appeared out of nowhere inside the ring. However I decided to stick within kayfabe rules here, and so I started the clock again as soon as the camera showed Bray arriving at the building in the limo, since that was technically part of their match time. Roughly 3m 50s lapsed from that point until Randy appeared in the ring, so one could argue that the two portions of the match included something closer to 14m 41s of wrestling time rather than 18m 31s. In that case, the match time percentage of the show would drop to 55.2%.

But instead of trying to make judgments like that over what was wrestling time and what wasn’t wrestling time, I would just say that within kayfabe, their match lasted about 44m 06s, and we witnessed about 18m 31s of that total time.

Are you surprised by any of these results, Cagesiders? Which of these matches received less (or more) time than you hoped for?

Don’t forget to keep it here at Cageside Seats for a full breakdown of the timing for the entire Payback 2017 PPV later this week!