WWE matches can be the most unpredictable things within the WWE Universe. Not only are many of these matches thought out for days before the company allows them to take place on live TV, but they are also planned to perfection and executed down to every last detail.
This means that if a match is supposed to be a few seconds long, then it usually is. If a match is supposed to be more than an hour long then it will be. Time limits in WWE are not guidelines, they are there so that superstars know how long they have to perform and often the referee is dragged into this because he will be told how long is left and he will then translate this to the talent in the ring.
WWE has to stick to time restrictions because Raw and SmackDown are live on TV during primetime in America, which means that if someone goes over their allotted time then something has to be cut, whereas if someone is under then WWE have to do some filling and the company would prefer for this to not be the case.
There have been many lengthy and many very short matches over the past few decades, here are some of the surprising ones. The following list is singles or tag team matches on WWE TV over the past 15 years that are not Iron Man matches.
15. Short – Brian Kendrick Vs Kofi Kingston – 11 Seconds
Kofi Kingston is currently one of the members of The New Day and a former Tag Team Champion, but back in 2009 he was the United States Champion and he was put into a match against Brian Kendrick.
At this point, Kendrick had become a joke and was too busy shouting at Jerry Lawler about how no one ever embarrasses him, so he didn’t hear the bell ring and he didn’t see Kofi setting up to hit him with Trouble in Paradise for an 11-second win. Perhaps even worse than this is the fact that this was the last time the WWE Universe saw Brian Kendrick for more than six years until he returned as part of the 2016 Cruiserweight Classic.
14. Short – Kane Vs. Chavo Guererro – 11 Seconds
Kane has had a lengthy WWE career where, for most of it, he was known as The Big Red Machine or The Big Red Monster. This should act as some sort of barrier against anyone who thought it was a good idea to provoke The Devil’s Favourite Demon.
It seems that Chavo Guerrero wasn’t given this memo and decided to annoy Kane enough for him to go on to set a WrestleMania record as he defeated Chavo in just over ten seconds. The bell rang and Chavo was hit with a thunderous chokeslam before the cover and the match was over. Obviously, this record has since been beat, but it definitely wouldn’t be something Chavo would brag about.
13. Longest – Shawn Michaels Vs Triple H – 29 Minutes 12 seconds
Triple H and Shawn Michaels careers have been entwined for a very long time. They were once best friends as part of D-Generation X, before they were enemies for a long period of time, and then they were friends again ahead of DX’s reunion back in 2006.
Triple H inducted Shawn Michaels into the WWE Hall of Fame following his retirement a few years ago, which shows how close this duo are in real life. Their match back at SummerSlam 2002 was incredible and it showed that WWE hadn’t yet tapped into the capabilities of both of these stars in matches against each other. It was an incredible match that lived long in the memory of the WWE Universe. This is how Street Fights should be done!
12. Short – Sheamus Vs. Zack Ryder – 10 Seconds
Zack Ryder doesn’t exactly have a huge amount of accolades in WWE. He is a former Tag Team and Intercontinental Champion, but he has also been part of some of the worst matches in WWE history, and some of the most pointless feuds.
Here, Zack was basically fed to Sheamus since the Celtic Warrior was the new WWE Champion and he wanted a decent challenger, but someone who also didn’t pose a risk to him. Ryder barely had a chance; as soon as the bell rang, Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick and managed to easily defeat him in just 10 seconds. This could have been a few seconds less if Sheamus had decided to cover Zack sooner.
11. Short – Diesel Vs Bob Backlund – 8 Seconds
Big Daddy Cool Diesel was quite the monster in WWE in the 1990s, so much so that he managed to win the WWE Championship in just eight seconds in a match against Bob Backlund.
The match took place at the WWE Live event at Madison Square Garden. The much bigger specimen, Diesel, was waiting for the bell to ring before he delivered a kick followed by a Jackknife power bombed to Backlund to become the new WWE Champion in just eight seconds. This is still the fastest a WWE Championship has changed hands as part of a one-on-one match in WWE history and it gave Diesel the monstrous push that he deserved at the time.
10. Longest – John Cena Vs Cesaro – 30 minutes 5 seconds
John Cena‘s United States Open Challenge became legendary in WWE when he lifted the United States Championship back in 2015. Many of these matches were considered to be some of the best work Cena had ever done and it allowed WWE to raise the profile of the mid-card title at the same time.
Cena faced former Intercontinental Champion Cesaro in one of the stand out matches when he was United States Champion and it ended up being not only one of the lengthiest matches on the show that night, but it was also when WWE realized the untapped talent they had in the form of Cesaro. The Swizz Superman has since become a well-used talent on the Raw roster, which is exactly what he deserved.
9. Short – Dolph Ziggler Vs. Curt Hawkins – 7 Seconds
Curt Hawkins made a huge mistake when he returned to WWE back in 2016 and thought that it would be any different from his first run in WWE.
Hawkins made his official re-debut back in November 2016 when he accepted Dolph Ziggler‘s Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge. Curt cut a passionate promo about becoming the champion before the match, but he should have spent the time working on his wrestling skills instead, since Ziggler waited for the bell before he hit an incredible superkick to defeat Hawkins in just seven seconds to retain his Championship. Hawkins hasn’t fared any better over the past few months, he should never have returned in the first place.
8. Short – Damien Sandow Vs The Great Khali – 6 Seconds
It’s still sad to see how much talent WWE had with Damien Sandow and they let it go to waste. Sandow was stuck in a storyline where he was forced to dress as characters that the audience at each city hated so that a face could come out and defeat him.
It was a loop that Sandow just couldn’t get out of and one where he was able to have one of the shortest matches in WWE history. This week in question, Damien came out dressed as Vince McMahon which angered his daughter Stephanie, so she sent The Great Khali out to fix the problem. Khali hit a thunderous chop to Sandow’s head before he went for the cover and managed to defeat him in just six seconds! Damien didn’t fair any better as The Miz‘s stunt double following this either.
7. Longest – Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn – 41 Minutes 8 seconds
The WWE Universe talks about the rivalry between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn a lot, stating that they should “Fight Forever,” but they don’t mention the match between Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe that went on for more than 40 minutes.
Joe and Sami Zayn collided to decide the number one contender for the NXT Championship in a 2-out-of-3 falls match. It was a fantastic advert for NXT at that time and it showed just how much these men still have. Samoa Joe ended up winning and going on to defeat Finn Balor while Zayn was given his shot at the main roster. Both men are now up on the main roster and recently faced off again back at WWE FastLane in March.
6. Short- Erick Rowan Vs. The Rock – 6 Seconds
Erick Rowan obviously angered the wrong person backstage before WrestleMania 32, because it was decided that it would be him who would take the fall and become part of the shortest match in the history of WrestleMania.
The Wyatt Family were still a force to be reckoned with at this point, but even that couldn’t save Rowan against The Rock as the film star made a return to WWE for one night only and hit Rowan with a Rock Bottom to defeat him in just six seconds. John Cena later came out and made the save as The Wyatts tried to attack, but it seems that The Rock now holds the record at WrestleMania when it comes to the shortest ever match, which is pretty apt really.
5. Short – The Rock Vs Big Boss Man – 4 Seconds
No one likes running the gauntlet, and it seems that WWE decided to be quite nice to The Rock when it came to him having to run the gauntlet back at Survivor Series in 1998. Big Boss Man was chosen as Triple H’s replacement in the opening round of the Deadly Game Tournament, but it seems that The Rock had a plan.
The Great One knew that it was going to be a long night, so why work hard when he didn’t have to? So Rock went for a quick roll up against Boss Man as soon as the bell had gone and this win now goes down as one of the fastest in just four seconds. It’s one that obviously flatters The Rock, but not his poor opponent.
4. Longest – Shawn Michaels Vs John Cena – 55 Minutes 49 Seconds
This match is said to have been the longest in the history of Monday Night Raw, lasting almost an hour on its own. Shawn Michaels and John Cena had quite the rivalry back in 2007. They were once Tag Team Champions together before they faced each other at WrestleMania and because Shawn lost, he cost Cena the titles the following night.
This feud was one of the most interesting and one of the most impressive at that moment in time and for almost an hour, Shawn and John pulled it out of the bag and put on an absolutely fantastic match. There was a personal rivalry stuck inside this feud and WWE made sure that Cena and Michaels worked their differences out for as long as possible in one of the best Raw matches of all time.
3. Short – Spike Dudley Vs William Regal – 3 Seconds
Back in 2002, William Regal was WWE’s European Champion and it was decided that he would defend the Championship against Spike Dudley, the smallest member of the Dudley Boys.
Spike was known as a hardcore wrestler. He wasn’t one for flashy flips or moves, he was all about smashmouth style with whatever weapon he could find, so it comes as no surprise that when he was given the chance at a title like the European belt, he decided to run into the ring with brass knuckles and knock Regal out without the referee seeing, so the win counted in just three seconds. Say what you want about Spike, but he was a much smarter wrestler than he was given credit for.
2. Short – Jerry Lawler & Chris Jericho Vs Tazz & Mideon – 3 Seconds
Tazz wasn’t supposed to be partnered by Mideon that night. It was thought that Hulk Hogan was going to come out, but when the basically naked frame of Mideon made its way down the entrance ramp, Tazz was visibly upset.
Tazz was so upset that he didn’t hear the bell and he had his back to his opponents. Jerry Lawler took advantage of this and as Mideon ran away he rolled Tazz up for the shortest tag team match in the history of WWE in just three seconds. Chris Jericho didn’t even have to break a sweat to notch up the win, which shows just how good he was at that point. Tazz was obviously angry after the match, but he did go on to have a decent career behind the commentary desk following this, so it isn’t all bad news for him.
1. Longest – Triple H Vs. Shawn Michaels – 47 Minutes 25 seconds
Triple H and Shawn Michaels have been the best of friends for the past two decades, so it makes sense that they were able to have one of the longest WWE matches in recent memory, that was also one of the best.
Michaels and Triple H embarked on a deeply personal feud back in 2004 that finally came to a close inside Hell in a Cell at Badd Blood. This was in an era when WWE only brought out Hell in a Cell to settle the best rivalries, not because there was a pay-per-view coming up and they thought it was a good idea to put two rivals inside for no reason. This is one of the best matches of all time between two of the greats inside the ring.