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Let’s analyze the huge increase in PPV match time for women in 2018

Nia Jax

Women’s wrestling in WWE has made huge strides towards equality with men over the last few years. 2018 was the year where women were finally featured in a Royal Rumble match and an Elimination Chamber match. Female superstars also delivered one of the very best PPVs of the year with Evolution, which was the first ever all-women’s PPV in WWE. With 2019 now upon us, there are a lot of rumors suggesting the main event of WrestleMania 35 could include some or all of Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte Flair. There is also the announcement that women’s tag team titles are on the way.

With all of that progress in mind, it’s a good time to look back at the last six years of PPV match time data to see the journey WWE’s female superstars have made from a quantitative standpoint. This data does not include PPV pre-show matches.

Here is a table with all of the relevant timing information. For each year, this table includes how many PPV matches women were featured in (this counts mixed tag matches for them as well) and how much PPV match time women received.

Women’s match time on WWE pay-per-view (2013 - 2018)

Year Number of PPVs Total PPV matches Matches with women % Matches with women Total PPV match time Total women's match time % Women's match time
Year Number of PPVs Total PPV matches Matches with women % Matches with women Total PPV match time Total women's match time % Women's match time
2013 12 88 11 12.5 19:33:43 1:12:58 6.2
2014 12 86 15 17.4 19:00:30 1:41:32 8.9
2015 13 90 13 14.4 20:53:26 2:06:09 10.1
2016 15 106 21 19.8 25:59:47 4:26:36 17.1
2017 16 116 26 22.4 28:25:11 4:46:25 16.8
2018 15 128 37 28.9 31:17:03 8:33:08 27.3
Total 83 614 123 20.0 145:09:40 22:46:48 15.7

This table clearly details how bleak things were for women’s wrestling in WWE from 2013 through 2015. Women only received 6.2% to 10.1% of the total PPV match time in each of those respective years. You can multiply their overall PPV match time in 2013 (1h 12m 58s) by a factor of seven and still fall short of their mark in 2018 (8h 33m 08s).

The disparity between the percentage of women’s matches and the percentage of women’s match time also stands out. For example, women were featured in 17.4% of PPV matches in 2014 yet only received 8.9% of the total PPV match time. This wide gap strongly indicates that women’s matches were nowhere near as long as their male counterparts. This gap significantly shrunk in 2018, with women being featured in 28.9% of PPV matches and 27.3% of PPV match time.

On a related note, it’s worth pointing out that 7 of the 10 longest women’s matches over the last six years took place in 2018. Here are the 10 longest PPV matches featuring women since 2013:

  • 59m 00s: Women’s Royal Rumble match (Royal Rumble 2018)
  • 32m 57s: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair (Roadblock: End of the Line)
  • 29m 35s: Women’s Elimination Chamber match (Elimination Chamber 2018)
  • 28m 39s: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair (Evolution)
  • 22m 31s: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka (TLC 2018)
  • 22m 12s: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair (Hell in a Cell 2016)
  • 20m 37s: Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle vs. Stephanie McMahon & Triple H (WrestleMania 34)
  • 20m 14s: Raw women vs. SmackDown women (Survivor Series 2018)
  • 18m 26s: Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder match (Money in the Bank 2018)
  • 18m 25s: Raw women vs. SmackDown women (Survivor Series 2017)

2018 is a bit different from the previous years in that it also includes three PPVs that were either all-male (Greatest Royal Rumble, Crown Jewel) or all-female (Evolution). If those events are omitted (for the sake of only looking at how women fared when directly competing with men for time), the overall percentages for 2018 really don’t change all that much. The percentage of women’s matches would increase from 28.9% to 30.0%, and the percentage of women’s match time would decrease from 27.3% to 27.2%.

No matter how you slice it, these numbers show that the presence of women’s wrestling on WWE PPV in 2018 is far more pronounced than in any of those previous years, and a tremendous amount of progress has been made from 2016 through 2018 compared to 2013 to 2015.

What do you think of these results, Cagesiders?

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