WrestleMania 38 consisted of two nights of matches that took place on Apr. 2 and Apr. 3 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The main card of WrestleMania Saturday lasted 4 hours, 4 minutes, and 12 seconds (4h 04m 12s). Here is a sorted list of the bell-to-bell times for the seven matches that took place on the first night of WrestleMania 38:
- 21m 33s: Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins
- 19m 08s: Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair
- 18m 21s: Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey
- 13m 56s: Steve Austin vs. Kevin Owens
- 11m 16s: The Mysterios vs. Miz & Logan Paul
- 8m 39s: Drew McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin
- 6m 53s: The Usos vs. Boogs & Nakamura
These times add up to 1h 39m 46s, which is roughly 40.9% of the show.
Cody Rhodes tried to emulate his favorite wrestler Triple H by having the longest match of the night in his first match back with WWE. On the other side of the coin, it appears that Nakamura’s match may have ended abruptly due to the gruesome injury suffered by Rick Boogs.
Meanwhile, 57-year-old Stone Cold Steve Austin brawled for nearly 14 minutes in the main event.
The main card of WrestleMania Sunday lasted 3 hours, 48 minutes, and 10 seconds (3h 48m 10s). Here is a sorted list of the bell-to-bell times for the nine matches that took place on the second night of WrestleMania 38:
- 24m 27s: AJ Styles vs. Edge
- 14m 26s: Johnny Knoxville vs. Sami Zayn
- 12m 17s: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns
- 11m 32s: RK-Bro vs. Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy
- 10m 51s: Women’s tag team fatal 4-way
- 9m 37s: Pat McAfee vs. Austin Theory
- 6m 34s: Bobby Lashley vs. Omos
- 3m 45s: Vince McMahon vs. Pat McAfee
- 1m 43s: New Day vs. Sheamus & Ridge Holland
These times add up to 1h 35m 12s, which is roughly 41.7% of the show.
It’s not surprising to see marathon man Edge blew everyone away in match length. However, it is surprising to see that Johnny Knoxville received more ring time than almost everyone else at WrestleMania Sunday.
The match Lesnar and Reigns had last year at Crown Jewel lasted 12m 20s, and their WrestleMania 38 match time of 12m 17s is nearly identical.
The main card of both nights taken together lasted 7h 52m 22s. The 16 match times add up to 3h 14m 58s, which is roughly 41.3% of the combined show time. For comparison’s sake, the overall match time percentage for all WWE PPVs since the start of 2013 is 53.7%.
WrestleMania events always include a lower percentage of match time than the average PPV (unless the event takes place inside an empty warehouse). This is due to elaborate entrances, Hall of Fame recognition, live music performances, attendance announcements, speaking time for the host(s), extra video packages, backstage segments, rain delays, etc.
With that context in mind, here are the match time percentages for all of the WrestleMania events going back to 2013:
- 49.7%: WrestleMania 29
- 51.0%: WrestleMania 30
- 41.2%: WrestleMania 31
- 47.5%: WrestleMania 32
- 44.8%: WrestleMania 33
- 42.0%: WrestleMania 34
- 45.1%: WrestleMania 35
- 54.1%: WrestleMania 36 Night One
- 57.1%: WrestleMania 36 Night Two
- 43.6%: WrestleMania 37 Night One
- 41.5%: WrestleMania 37 Night Two
- 40.9%: WrestleMania 38 Night One
- 41.7%: WrestleMania 38 Night Two
As you can see, both nights of WrestleMania 38 feature some of the lowest match time percentages on this list, with night one in particular finishing lower than everything else.
How did WrestleMania Saturday manage to accomplish this feat? Having a talk show segment precede the main event match played a role, of course, as did several of the lengthy entrances. But what sticks out to me is how WWE went overboard with video packages during the broadcast. There were 14 separate videos (excluding commercials) that aired throughout the main card, running for a total time of 42m 50s. That’s approximately 17.5% of the show that was allocated to video packages, or a little more than one out of every six seconds of the show. Six of these 14 videos were focused on previewing Sunday’s card by highlighting matches or wrestlers scheduled for night two.
WrestleMania Sunday included 11 different videos throughout the main card that ran for a total time of 29m 16s. That’s approximately 12.8% of the show that was allocated to video packages, or about one out of every eight seconds of the show. Five of these 11 videos were focused on recapping entrances, results, and highlights from night one.
24 out of the 25 videos that aired across both nights were at least two minutes in length, which means almost every single video was longer than New Day’s match against Sheamus and Ridge Holland. You spent over an hour of your life watching these 25 videos at WrestleMania 38, because they combined to last 1h 12m 06s.
Are you surprised by any of these results, Cagesiders? Which of these matches received less (or more) time than you hoped for?