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How much wrestling actually happened at Super ShowDown 2020?

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WWE featured nine total matches on the main card of Super ShowDown (Thurs., Feb. 27, 2020) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The main card of this pay-per-view (PPV) lasted 3 hours, 23 minutes, and 19 seconds (3h 23m 19s). Here is a sorted list of the bell-to-bell times for the nine matches that took place during this event:

  • 15m 54s: Tuwaiq Trophy Gauntlet match
  • 12m 59s: New Day vs. Miz & John Morrison
  • 12m 50s: Roman Reigns vs. Baron Corbin
  • 11m 31s: Bayley vs. Naomi
  • 10m 38s: Seth Rollins & Murphy vs. Street Profits
  • 9m 17s: Mansoor vs. Dolph Ziggler
  • 9m 05s: Humberto Carrillo vs. Angel Garza
  • 2m 58s: Bray Wyatt vs. Goldberg
  • 1m 29s: Brock Lesnar vs. Ricochet

These times add up to 1h 26m 41s, which is roughly 42.6% of the show. For comparison’s sake, the overall match time percentage for all WWE PPVs since the start of 2013 is 54.0%.

This is the third lowest percentage I have ever calculated across all of those 98 events, beating out only WrestleMania 34 and WrestleMania 31.

Goldberg was practically a workhorse on this night, given that his match time of 2m 58s was exactly twice as long as Brock Lesnar’s match time of 1m 29s.

Goldberg’s entrance lasted roughly 3m 07s, so it was longer than his actual match. The Fiend’s entrance lasted about 4m 00s, which means it also lasted longer than their actual match.

Ricochet’s “Why not me?” pre-match video package lasted 2m 52s, which was longer than his match time. His entrance, as well as Lesnar’s entrance, were each longer than their match time as well.

The gauntlet match spanned 32m 26s from the opening bell of Lashley’s match to the closing bell of Undertaker’s match. However I decided to cut out the times in between each fall when the next superstar made his entrance, or a post-match attack was occurring. The listed match time of 15m 54s represents the sum of the five individual matches that comprised the gauntlet. That means less than half of the total time was devoted to the actual matches. 4m 15s of this time was devoted to the Undertaker’s entrance.

The five individual match times for the Tuwaiq Trophy Gauntlet match, in chronological order, were:

  • 5m 35s: R-Truth vs. Bobby Lashley
  • 4m 50s: R-Truth vs. Andrade
  • 2m 25s: R-Truth vs. Rowan
  • 2m 36s: R-Truth vs. AJ Styles
  • 0m 28s: AJ Styles vs. Undertaker

It wasn’t really clear when the referee signaled for the match to start between Undertaker and AJ Styles. The listed time of 28 seconds is the maximum time possible; I started the clock as soon as Undertaker’s entrance music ended.

Super ShowDown 2020 is the first event since 2013 that did not have a single match last at least 16 minutes, according to the times I have measured. Considering that the gauntlet match consisted of a series of very short matches, it could even be argued that the longest match on this card was closer to 13 minutes than 16 minutes.

To provide more context, here is the sorted list of every “longest match of the night” that failed to reach 18 minutes (pre-show matches are excluded), going back to 2013:

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