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How much wrestling actually happened at Royal Rumble 2022?

WWE.com

WWE featured six total matches on the main card of Royal Rumble 2022, which took place on Jan. 29.

The main card of this pay-per-view (PPV) lasted 3 hours, 57 minutes, and 30 seconds (3h 57m 30s). Here is a sorted list of the bell-to-bell times for the six matches that took place during this event:

  • 59m 42s: Women’s Royal Rumble
  • 51m 14s: Men’s Royal Rumble
  • 14m 24s: Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
  • 12m 57s: Becky Lynch vs. Doudrop
  • 12m 30s: Edge & Beth Phoenix vs. The Miz & Maryse
  • 10m 15s: Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley

These times add up to 2h 41m 02s, which is roughly 67.8% of the show. For comparison’s sake, the overall match time percentage for all WWE PPVs since the start of 2013 is 54.0%.

WWE has been running two Royal Rumble matches on this card for the last five years. The total run time of the main card surpassed four hours each of the first three years (2018 to 2020), and almost touched five hours once. That changed last year when WWE only had five matches on the main card and kept the ThunderDome Royal Rumble event to a run time of 3h 49m 59s. This year’s event included six matches, but WWE still managed to keep the total run time under four hours.

It’s worth noting that the match time percentage for those longer Royal Rumble cards (2018 to 2020) were each around 70% to 71%, while the two shorter cards (2021 & 2022) had a match time percentage closer to 67% and 68%. For comparison’s sake, the cards with only one Royal Rumble match from 2013 through 2017 each had match time percentages between 60% to 65%. It’s rare for any non-Rumble WWE PPV to reach the 60% mark in this metric.

This was the third time in five years that the women’s Royal Rumble match was longer than the men’s match. This year’s men’s match was the shortest Royal Rumble match since 2010.

Heading into this event, Becky Lynch’s match with Doudrop looked like the least important match on the card. That’s because Doudrop hasn’t received a proper push and is not over. There was some speculation their match might even be moved to the pre-show if WWE needed to trim the main card down to five matches to keep it under four hours.

That’s why I was pretty surprised to see they received nearly 13 minutes of ring time. Becky and Dou did have the very difficult task of following a Royal Rumble match and the WrestleMania sign going on fire, but their match time managed to beat out marathon man Edge. A wrestler nicknamed “Big Time Becks” would be very out of place on a pre-show, and the fact that WWE gave Becky 13 minutes to work with Doudrop on the main card is in some ways a feather in her cap.

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