News There was no need for Hell in a Cell to exceed three hours, but it did

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WWE’s Hell in a Cell 2019 lasted for 3 hours 17 minutes and 18 seconds (3h 17m 18s). Here is a breakdown of the timing for every single second of the show, in chronological order.

The matches are in bold. The “pre-match” segments include video packages, entrances, ring introductions, and any verbal promos that occur right before a match officially begins. The “post-match” segments include any celebrations, replays, angles, attacks, or promos that occur right after a match is finished.


Match Times

The eight matches combined for a total time of 1h 48m 53s. This means that 55.2% of the show was devoted to bell-to-bell action. This is the 41st highest percentage in this category out of the 94 WWE pay-per-view (PPV) events in my data set, which begins with Royal Rumble 2013.

Here is the sorted list of match times for Hell in a Cell 2019. This also includes where each match time ranks out of all 713 matches in my data set.

  • 21m 23s: Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks (114th longest out of 713 matches)
  • 17m 02s: Seth Rollins vs. The Fiend (195th)
  • 16m 45s: Reigns & Bryan vs. Rowan & Harper (205th)
  • 12m 40s: Chad Gable vs. Baron Corbin (335th)
  • 12m 12s: Ali vs. Randy Orton (355th)
  • 10m 25s: Bliss & Cross vs. Kabuki Warriors (443rd)
  • 10m 13s: Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair (451st)
  • 8m 13s: Strowman & Viking Raiders vs. The O.C. (553rd)

There were only four matches advertised for this card as of 24 hours before show time. It was clear that WWE needed to add a few filler matches to round out the card, but there’s really no need for that filler to extend the card beyond three hours in length. Therefore I thought Hell in a Cell had a chance to be their first PPV since Fastlane 2018 (the final brand-exclusive event) to fall within the three hour mark.

But that’s not what happened. WWE added four more matches to the card at the last second, and the main card lasted over 3 hours and 15 minutes. Gable versus Corbin in particular is a match that took up a bunch of time (especially with Corbin’s pre-match promo taken into account), even though we’ve seen this match frequently on regular WWE television.

What made things worse is that all the filler matches ran in consecutive segments in the middle of the show. For some reason WWE book-ended the front and back of the card with the four advertised matches, leaving the entire middle of the card for matches that fans didn’t have much reason to be invested in.

If this card wasn’t the one to stay under three hours, I have a hard time imagining when it will happen next.

Pre-match Segments

The pre-match segments combined for a total time of 43m 52s, which is 22.2% of the show. This is the 65th highest percentage in this category out of the 94 events in my data set.

Here is the sorted list of pre-match segment time for all eight matches. For some context, keep in mind that the median pre-match segment time in my data set is 6m 07s and the average time is 6m 27s.

  • 8m 17s: Seth Rollins vs. The Fiend
  • 7m 19s: Chad Gable vs. Baron Corbin
  • 6m 51s: Reigns & Bryan vs. Rowan & Harper
  • 6m 12s: Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks
  • 5m 47s: Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair
  • 3m 50s: Strowman & Viking Raiders vs. The O.C.
  • 2m 51s: Bliss & Cross vs. Kabuki Warriors
  • 2m 45s: Ali vs. Randy Orton

Three matches received the special treatment of a dedicated video package right before superstar entrances. These three video packages combined to take up 7m 35s of the pre-match segment time. Here is the sorted list of the times for those video packages.

  • 2m 43s: Reigns & Bryan vs. Rowan & Harper
  • 2m 36s: Seth Rollins vs. The Fiend
  • 2m 16s: Chad Gable vs. Baron Corbin

Post-match Segments

The post-match segments combined for a total time of 23m 33s, which is 11.9% of the show. This is the 17th highest percentage in this category out of the 94 events in my data set.

Here is the sorted list of the post-match segment time for all eight matches. For some context, keep in mind that the median post-match segment time in my data set is 2m 01s and the average time is 2m 29s.

  • 4m 30s: Seth Rollins vs. The Fiend
  • 4m 23s: Strowman & Viking Raiders vs. The O.C.
  • 4m 11s: Reigns & Bryan vs. Rowan & Harper
  • 3m 30s: Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair
  • 2m 24s: Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks
  • 1m 57s: Ali vs. Randy Orton
  • 1m 47s: Bliss & Cross vs. Kabuki Warriors
  • 0m 51s: Chad Gable vs. Baron Corbin

Miscellaneous Segments

That leaves about 10.6% (21m 00s) of the show for everything else. This is the 58th highest percentage in this category out of the 94 events in my data set.

Most of these miscellaneous segments are crammed into the time after one post-match segment ends and before the next pre-match segment begins. Hell in a Cell 2019 included eight different blocks of miscellaneous segments. Here is how long each block lasted, in chronological order:

  • Block 1: 3m 19s (Then Now Forever; Video hyping Hell in a Cell)
  • Block 2: 1m 14s (Ads for WWE Shop & Total Divas)
  • Block 3: 2m 42s (Rollins promo; Ads for WWE 2K20 & Crown Jewel)
  • Block 4: 1m 34s (Ad for Raw; Video recap of pre-show match)
  • Block 5: 5m 35s (Hype for draft; Video recap of SmackDown on Fox)
  • Block 6: 2m 26s (Street Profits backstage; Tamina wins 24/7 title)
  • Block 7: 1m 10s (Ad for NXT; Hype for draft)
  • Block 8: 3m 00s (Ads for WWE Shop & Crown Jewel; Corbin attacks Gable)

Summary

The overall run time for Hell in a Cell 2019 was 3h 17m 18s, and this ranks 36th longest out of all 94 events in my data set.

Here is a listing of how much total show time was allocated for each match when you add up all 3 components: pre-match time, match time, and post-match time. This list also includes where each total time ranks among the 713 entries in my data set.

  • 29m 59s: Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks (163rd longest out of 713 entries)
  • 29m 49s: Seth Rollins vs. The Fiend (168th)
  • 27m 47s: Reigns & Bryan vs. Rowan & Harper (192nd)
  • 20m 50s: Chad Gable vs. Baron Corbin (342nd)
  • 19m 30s: Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair (387th)
  • 16m 54s: Ali vs. Randy Orton (476th)
  • 16m 26s: Strowman & Viking Raiders vs. The O.C. (493rd)
  • 15m 03s: Bliss & Cross vs. Kabuki Warriors (538th)

Now here is a look at the “Match Time Percentage” for each match. For any given match, this percentage shows how the match time compares to the combined pre-match and post-match segment time. For some context, it’s good to know that the median result here since 2013 is 61.4%.

(Here’s an example calculation: an entry with a match time of 6m 00s, pre-match time of 3m 00s, and a post-match time of 1m 00s has a score of 60.0%, because the match time of 6m 00s is 60% of the total sum of 10m 00s for all three components.)

  • 72.2%: Ali vs. Randy Orton
  • 71.3%: Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks
  • 69.2%: Bliss & Cross vs. Kabuki Warriors
  • 60.8%: Chad Gable vs. Baron Corbin
  • 60.3%: Reigns & Bryan vs. Rowan & Harper
  • 57.1%: Seth Rollins vs. The Fiend
  • 52.4%: Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair
  • 50.0%: Strowman & Viking Raiders vs. The O.C.

_________________________________________

Final Results for Hell in a Cell 2019

Match - 55.2% - 1h 48m 53s

Pre-match - 22.2% - 43m 52s

Post-match - 11.9% - 23m 33s

Miscellaneous - 10.6% - 21m 00s

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