Every Beat The Clock Challenge In WWE History

The Beat The Clock Challenge is a match type that WWE has used only a few times in over a decade and a half. The Beat The Clock Challenge first debuted on WWE television in 2005. The stipulation mixes the formula of a competition game show and a wrestling match. So far, it has always been completed in one night and on weekly television. This makes the weekly show it is on feel more important.


Contenders of the Beat The Clock Challenge attempt to win their matches faster than the opponents that wrestled before them. Over the years, the challenge style match has been used to determine a few different things, from number one contenders to being able to pick the stipulation of a certain match. There have been 12 interactions of the challenge. These are the 12 Beat The Clock Challenges that ran throughout a WWE weekly show. (One small caveat: It's worth noting that, in recent years, it is sometimes single match where two competitors would attempt to best each others' time. We're only talking about the full-on tournament challenges spread across an entire show, not the smaller ones where it's simply a match stipulation — hence "challenge" rather than "match.")


December 25th, 2005 - Monday Night Raw

The first Beat the Clock Challenge took place on the "Raw" brand right before the 2005 Elimination Chamber event. The purpose of this Beat the Clock challenge was to determine who would enter the Elimination Chamber last, making them the freshest competitor in the match. Shawn Michaels and Snitsky were the first two to ever wrestle in the match type. Snitsky worked the back of HBK, but in the end, HBK hit the Sweet Chin Music to score a time of 5 minutes and 55 seconds.


Chavo Guerraro faced Chris Masters and tried to beat HBK's time, with Masters confidently saying he would end the match in record time with the Masterlock. However, Chavo got the victory — but failed to beat HBK's time. John Cena and Shelton Benjamin also came up short, but Carlito faced former women's champion, Victoria, and scored the victory at 2 minutes and 36 seconds. Kane was the last competitor to enter the fray and he took on two competitors in The Heart Throbs. Carlito's time was still the time to beat and The Big Red Machine made short work of his match. Kane squashed both Heart Throbs in a mere 28 seconds, making Kane the first ever Beat The Clock Challenge winner and the last wrestler to enter the 2005 Elimination Chamber Match.


January 4th, 2008 - Friday Night Smackdown

The first "SmackDown" of 2008 played host to the second ever Beat The Clock Challenge match. This time, instead of trying to earn the final spot in the Elimination Chamber, competitors were trying to earn a World Heavyweight Title shot against Edge at the Royal Rumble. Vickie Guerrero was the general manager, and she resurrected the match type after three years of it not being featured. Finlay defeated MVP in the first round of the night, securing his time of 9 minutes and 36 seconds. This time wasn't too hard to beat, and Chavo Guerrero proved that later in the night by defeating Funaki in 6 minutes and 2 seconds.


Batista was supposed to take on Curt Hawkins in the third round of the challenge, but Vickie Guerrero changed the match to a handicap match adding Hawkins' tag team partner Zach Ryder into the mix. The numbers were too great for Batista, who went for the Batista Bomb, but the clock expired. Matt Striker served as the referee for the next round, where Mark Henry and Undertaker tried to beat the time next. Due to Striker stopping the three count in the match, both failed to score a faster time. The final match pitted Rey Mysterio versus the champion himself, Edge. Rey was able to hit the 619/Springboard Splash combo, to win the fastest time of the night at 1 minute and 29 seconds, earning himself a title shot at the 2008 Royal Rumble.


July 27th, 2009 - Monday Night Raw

There was less than a year gap before WWE brought back the Beat The Clock Challenge, this time appearing on "Raw" once again. The winner of this Beat the Clock Challenge would receive a WWE Championship match against Randy Orton at the 2009 SummerSlam pay-per-view. Mark Henry and Carlito, who were appearing for the second time in this match type, kicked the challenge off. Mark Henry won the match, setting the time for the night at 6 minutes and 49 seconds. Chris Masters failed to beat the time after locking in the Masterlock on MVP, only to find himself outside the ring and both got counted out. Triple H also failed to beat Cody Rhodes in the allotted time set by Mark Henry.


The semi-main event of this episode of "Raw" was a future WrestleMania main event, when John Cena faced The Miz in an attempt to beat the clock. The Miz did everything in his heel power to run down the clock on John Cena. However, Cena eventually caught up to The Miz and forced him to tap out with two minutes left on the clock. The "Raw" SummerSlam main event was now set: John Cena would face Randy Orton for the WWE Championship.

January 1st, 2010 - Friday Night SmackDown

"Friday Night SmackDown" rang in a new year with a Beat The Clock Challenge. Competitors in this match were trying to earn themselves a World Heavyweight Championship against The Undertaker at the 2010 Royal Rumble. CM Punk entered his first Beat The Clock Challenge and set the time to beat by defeating Matt Hardy in 7 minutes and 20 seconds. Later in the show, Dolph Ziggler attempted to slay the first ever Beat The Clock winner, Kane, but the time expired before he could get the victory. 


The third match of this challenge was probably the most exciting since the inception of the stipulation. Rey Mysterio took on Chris Jericho in a nail-biter of a race against the clock. Jericho hit the Codebreaker and attempted to pin Rey Mysterio with ten seconds left on the clock. After kicking out, Mysterio was able to hit the inside cradle on Jericho with one second left on the clock. Finally, the Beat The Clock Challenge had presented the most exciting form of itself. After, Batista tried to beat Rey's time while facing R-Truth, but couldn't, making Mysterio the first ever two-time Beat The Clock Challenge winner. This setup "The Biggest Little Man" in WWE to face The Undertaker for The World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble.


May 3rd, 2010 - Monday Night Raw

The May 3rd, 2010 edition of "Raw" played host to a different style of the Beat The Clock Challenge. This time around, the challenge focused heavily on Batista and John Cena's upcoming match at Over The Limit 2010. The two competed to see who could win their match on "Raw" in the faster time in order to choose the stipulation for their WWE Championship match at the pay-per-view. Batista faced Daniel Bryan first and had the pressure of setting the time to beat. Daniel Bryan managed to lock in the Crossface, but Batista got to the ropes. When Batista made it back to his feet, he hit a spear on Bryan and followed it up with a Batista Bomb, getting the pinfall at the 5 minute, 6 second mark.


Later in the night, John Cena took on Wade Barrett. The finish of the match came to an exciting conclusion as Barrett connected with a series of offense with only one minute left on the clock. Around the 30 second mark, Cena was able to lock in the STF, making Barrett tap out with only seconds to spare on the clock. Cena grabbed the mic to announce the stipulation for his WWE Championship match, but was attacked by Sheamus before he could announce it. It was later announced that Cena and Batista would compete in an "I Quit" match. This also marked Cena's second Beat The Clock Challenge win.

December 9th, 2011 - Friday Night SmackDown

The sixth installment of the Beat The Clock Challenge was once again put into place for two competitors to pick a stipulation for an upcoming pay-per-view match. This time Randy Orton and Wade Barrett were trying to best each other for the chance to pick the match type at TLC 2011. The second match on the December 9th, 2011 episode of "Friday Night SmackDown" saw Wade Barrett set the time to beat when he faced Ezekiel Jackson. Barrett defeated Jackson with a side slam at the 7 minute and 53 second mark. Wade grabbed a microphone after the match to tell Orton that the voices in his head were now telling him that "his time was up."


The main event of the evening saw Randy Orton take on Dolph Ziggler with the intention of finishing the match before Wade Barrett's time. This match saw Vickie Guerrero attempt to play spoiler by distracting the referee. This allowed Barrett to interfere, hurling Orton into the steel ring post. Despite the numbers advantage, Orton was still able to hit the RKO on Ziggler and beat him with two seconds left on the clock. After the match, Barrett tried to put Orton through a table, but The Viper reversed, putting Ziggler through a table instead. The actions spoke louder than the words here and Randy Orton would take on Wade Barrett in Tables Match at the upcoming TLC pay-per-view.

April 30th, 2012 - Monday Night Raw

The Beat The Clock Challenge on the April 30th, 2012 episode of "Monday Night Raw" saw the match go back to its roots of multiple competitors facing off in order to become the number one contender for the WWE Championship. In this era, John Laurinaitis was the general manager of "Raw" and Eve was his assistant. Eve announced that whoever won the Beat The Clock Challenge on this night would get a WWE Championship match against CM Punk at Over The Limit 2012. The Miz had the honor of setting the time to beat when he took on the United States Champion, Santino Marella. Toward the end of the match, Marella released The Cobra, but Miz dodged the venomous attack, scoring the win at 4 minutes and 18 seconds. After, Chris Jericho tried to slay the Big Show to beat this time, but failed.


Next up was former Beat The Clock winner, Randy Orton. He faced Jack Swagger and after a signature Second Rope DDT, followed by an RKO, Orton set the new time to beat at 4 minutes and 16 seconds. This time stood even after Kane tried, and failed, to beat it against The Great Khali. Finally, Daniel Bryan faced Jerry "The King" Lawler to stop Randy Orton from winning another Beat The Clock challenge. Bryan won easily in 2 minutes and 20 seconds with the "Yes" lock and became the number one contender for the WWE Championship.

October 14th, 2013 - Monday Night Raw

WWE decided to have yet another Beat The Clock Challenge less than a year later. At this time, Ryback (with Paul Heyman) was having a heated feud with CM Punk. Ryback and Punk faced off in the Beat The Clock challenge with the stipulation that if Ryback won, Paul Heyman got to pick the stipulation at the upcoming Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. If Punk won, Punk himself would choose the stipulation. This seemed a little odd, since the pay-per-view was named "Hell in a Cell" after all. Regardless, Ryback set the time to beat by pinning R-Truth in 5 minutes and 44 seconds.


Later in the night, CM Punk took on Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel in an attempt to beat the time set by Ryback. A furious Paul Heyman at ringside watched as CM Punk hit a GTS on Axel to score the pinfall at the 5 minute, 33 second mark. After the match, CM Punk grabbed the microphone to announce that there would be a handicap Hell in a Cell Match at the pay-per-view. Paul Heyman would be stepping inside the Hell in a Cell structure for the first time along with Ryback to take on CM Punk.

May 19th, 2014 - Monday Night Raw

WWE brought back the Beat The Clock challenge for its ninth installment in 2014, this time going back to the idea of pitting two competitors against each other. Prior to this episode of "Raw," Big E lost his Intercontinental Championship to Bad News Barrett at Extreme Rules. With no clear contender lined up, a Beat The Clock Challenge was announced to crown a new number one contender for the Intercontinental Title. Big E had a chance at redemption when he set the time to beat facing Ryback. Big E hit the Big Ending on Ryback for the pinfall, setting the time for the night at 5 minutes, 2 seconds.


Big E's time did not stand for very long as RVD faced Alberto Del Rio next. RVD used all his patented offense, but couldn't seem to put Del Rio away. Van Dam resorted to a good old fashioned roll-up in order to score the pinfall victory at the 4 minute, 15 second mark, scoring a faster time than Big E. The final competitor in the challenge was Dolph Ziggler. He faced Mark Henry in an attempt to beat RVD's time. However, the power of Henry was too much and Dolph failed to score a faster time. RVD had earned himself an Intercontinental Championship match against Bad News Barrett who promised that a "bloody Yank" would never beat him for the title.

August 31st, 2015 - Monday Night Raw

In 2015, WWE was pushing the idea of a "Divas Revolution," where they tried to elevate women's wrestling in the company. In the midst of the "Revolution," WWE held another Beat The Clock Challenge to crown a number one contender for the Divas Championship, held by the longest reigning champion, Nikki Bella. This was the first all female version of the match type, and Becky Lynch faced Alicia Fox to set the time to beat. Lynch won via submission after locking in the Disarmer at the 3 minute, 21 second mark. Next up was Charlotte Flair, who took on the twin sister of the Diva's Champion, Brie Bella.


Brie tried to avoid all contact with Charlotte and run down the clock, but she eventually fell victim to a neck breaker, scoring the victory for Charlotte at the 1 minute and 40 second mark. Charlotte now held the time to beat and Paige was the final competitor who could stop The Queen from getting a shot at the Diva's title. Paige faced Sasha Banks and had the difficult feat of beating her in under a minute and 40 seconds. Paige failed to score a pinfall or submission in the allotted time, crowning Charlotte as the number contender and putting an end to the first ever all-women's Beat The Clock Challenge.

April 25th, 2017 - SmackDown Live

On the April 25th, 2017 episode of "Smackdown Live," WWE held the first ever Tag Team Beat The Clock Challenge to determine the number one contenders for the "SmackDown" Tag Team Titles. The Usos were holding down the gold at this time and "SmackDown" had a few developing Tag Teams that wanted to make an impact. Alpha Academy were the first team to ever try to set the time in this variation of the match. They took on The Colons and beat them by hitting Grand Amplitude at the 5 minute, 17 second mark. 


The "SmackDown" tag team division was shallow at this time, so the final team to try to beat the clock were Breezango, who faced The Ascension. Breezango made short work of The Ascension, who at this point had fallen far from their NXT run, scoring the pinfall at 2 minutes and 36 seconds. Breezango earned their "SmackDown" Tag Team Championship match which would play out at Backlash 2017. Unfortunately for Breezango, they could not end the run of the dominant Usos. 

March 25th, 2019 - Monday Night Raw

The feud between Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte Flair was red hot leading into their "Raw" Women's Championship match at WrestleMania 35. Each woman claimed to be superior to their opponents and to prove it, they had a Beat The Clock Challenge to see who really was the best. In other words, this challenge was for essentially nothing except bragging rights and "momentum" leading into WrestleMania. 


Ronda was known for putting opponents away fast and she did just that, making Sarah Logan submit at the 1 minute and 25 second mark. Charlotte Flair attempted to beat this impressive time when she faced Ruby Riott, but time ran out before she could put Ruby away. This left Becky Lynch to back up the weeks of trash talk. Becky faced Liv Morgan and defeated her with a Jackknife Pin, beating Rousey's time by a mere 7 seconds. 

Even WWE.com admitted that this was a "match where nothing was at stake." However, they tried to make it seem a little more important in the grand scheme of things by following that up with, "If there was a lesson to be learned, it's that Becky can end a match just as quickly as Ronda can — if not quicker." Say what you will about the idea of "momentum" in wrestling, but Becky did walk out of WrestleMania 35 with the gold.