Running at over five hours with the Red Carpet pre-show factored in, this year’s WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony was simply too long.
If you’re WWE, and you see your Twitter replies filled with pictures of empty seats, and fan after fan bemoaning the show length, it’s probably time to strategize how to shorten the show.
Here are four ways they can do just that.
Time for Time Limits
For many years, it was common in wrestling to have time limits for matches. The general rule of thumb was that lower card matches had shorter time limits, upper card matches had longer time limits, and main event matches had the longest time limit. Time limits were used for pacing, and to ensure programs remained within the confines of their allotted TV time.
This setup could certainly be applied to the Hall of Fame show, and would help ensure the show could fit into a three hour time block (a length that seems reasonable, given that this is the run time for a non-Big Four WWE pay per view). Hypothetically assigning time limits to this year’s Hall of Fame show, the WWE could have put a 10 minute time limit on speeches from The Dudleys and Ivory, a 20 minute time limit on remarks by Jeff Jarrett and Mark Henry, and a 30 minute time limit on the headliner, Goldberg.
To make this work, it would be imperative for the producers to inform the honorees of this time limit well in advance of the show This way, the inductees can ensure their remarks fit into the allotted time. Additionally, seeing as we are talking about a business famous for “go-home” signals, there is no doubt a subtle off-stage reminder of time-remaining would help ensure the superstars get through all of their remarks without awkwardly being cut-off.