WWE: How a Fantasy League Can Enhance Your Enjoyment of the Product

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WWE: How a Fantasy League Can Enhance Your Enjoyment of the Product
Photo courtesy of WWE.com

Fantasy football is a booming industry in the United States, and its success has permeated into other sports such as baseball, basketball and hockey as well. Combining fantasy and WWE is something that few have dabbled in and none have perfected, but giving it a try could improve your viewing experience.

I'm a veteran of fantasy sports, as I've partaken in them for about a dozen years and I've been a fan of wrestling for even longer, so combining two of my passions is something I've often thought about. It wasn't until my 12-year-old brother expressed interest in it that I decided to take action, however.

The main thing that has probably kept fantasy WWE from becoming popular is the fact that the results are predetermined. That means that it's fairly easy to predict the results of many of the matches, but we wouldn't watch if we knew what was going to happen in each and every match.

I'm able to look past wrestling being "fixed," so the only issue I had was coming up with a scoring system. If you've never done fantasy football before, it's fairly easy to jump right in since there are standard scoring systems that are easy to implement. If you're doing fantasy WWE, though, you pretty much have to start from scratch.

There aren't stats in wrestling like there are in regular sports, either, so wins and losses are the only things that can be accounted for. With that in mind, I created a system that rewards points of varying amounts based on pinfall, submission, disqualification and countout wins on RAW, SmackDown or pay-per-views. Also, a superstar loses an equal amount of points should they lose in any of those ways.

 

RAW/SmackDown Pay-Per-Views Title Matches
Singles pin/submission win = 10 pts. Singles pin/submission win = 15 pts. Singles championship win = 20 pts.
Singles DQ/countout win = 5 pts. Singles DQ/countout win = 7.5 pts. Tag-Team championship win = 15 pts.
Singles pin/submission loss = -10 pts. Singles pin/submission loss = -15 pts.  
Singles DQ/countout loss = -5 pts. Singles DQ/countout loss = -7.5 pts.  

Tag-Team pin/submission win = 5 pts.

Tag-Team pin/submission win = 10 pts.  
Tag-Team DQ/countout win = 2.5 pts. Tag-Team DQ/countout win = 5 pts.  
Tag-Team pin/submission loss = -5 pts. Tag-Team pin/submission loss = -10 pts.  
Tag-Team DQ/countout loss = -2.5 pts. Tag-Team DQ/countout loss = -5 pts.  

 

I'm sure the system is far from perfect, but I felt confident enough in it to give it a try and move forward with the draft. The draft took part prior to Night of Champions and it consisted of seven people, including myself, my aforementioned brother, my 11-year-old sister, my five and nine-year-old female cousins, my uncle and my dad.

If you're looking to get into fantasy WWE for the competition, then perhaps you could draft with your buddies, but I'm in it for the entertainment, and there isn't much that is more entertaining than drafting with a room full of kids.

I had a feeling that this would be unlike any draft I ever took part in, and I was right. My uncle confided in me that he had no interest in winning the league and that was proven to be true when he selected Santino Marella with the No. 1 overall selection. To put that in perspective, it would have been like someone taking New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez with the first pick in fantasy football this year.

John Cena, CM Punk and all the other top guys were on the board; the master of The Cobra went first. That wasn't even the funniest part of the draft, though. My five-year-old cousin had the seventh and final pick of the first round and she tends to root for the big, monstrous wrestlers, as strange as it may seem.

She naturally had her heart set on Kane, but my sister proceeded to snipe him at No. 6 by taking The Big Red Monster for herself. The reaction from my cousin was explosive and immediate, as she proceeded to cry uncontrollably for the next five minutes.

The more we tried to explain that it was just for fun, the more upset she became. We told her that there were plenty of other great wrestlers she could take and read the list off to her, but she turned her nose up at each and every suggestion.

In a lot of ways, I can't blame her. Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon was taken one pick ahead of me in one of my fantasy football drafts and if it were socially acceptable for a 23-year-old man to throw a temper tantrum in a bar, I probably would have done the same thing.

After a tiring collective effort, we were finally able to get her to calm down, at which point she settled for Brodus Clay and Tensai with her back-to-back selections. Brodus wasn't a bad selection despite the fact that Sheamus was still on the board, but Tensai obviously wasn't worthy of being the eighth pick since he either doesn't appear on TV or jobs to Randy Orton.

The logic behind her picks was sound, though. Although she has some understanding of the fact that wrestling isn't necessarily real, she operates off the notion that the biggest, strongest, meanest guys should be the best. If the results weren't predetermined, she would be absolutely right.

It almost made me wish I was five years old again, because I can remember believing that Isaac Yankem, DDS was going to beat Bret Hart even though Yankem won about two matches in his entire career, before becoming Kane that is. I've followed wrestling for so long and can predict so much now that I've almost become jaded, so her picks instantly brought a smile to my face.

The draft carried on without a hitch after that, as all of the kids became acclimated with the way fantasy works, so each of us is now equipped with a five-superstar stable that we'll keep from now until Royal Rumble. I ended up with Punk, Wade Barrett, Rey Mysterio, Ted DiBiase and Brock Lesnar.

Punk, Barrett and Mysterio should all do plenty of winning between now and January, and then rather than taking two jobbers who are constantly going to get me negative points, I took a stab at a returning DiBiase and went with Lesnar in case he has a match between now and Royal Rumble.

The league has only been going for a week, but I already find that I'm enjoying watching even more than I did previously. I used to only be worried about proper booking and my favorites winning, but now that I've been forced into certain rooting interests, I find myself distracted from the business side of wrestling.

That isn't to say that I'm back to being a pure wrestling fan who believes that anything can happen, but I can already tell that I'm less cynical. Considering it's my job to write about the WWE, it isn't possible for me to completely change my perspective, but I can tell that I'm going to enjoy watching wrestling more, especially when I'm watching it with my siblings or cousins.

Would you consider participating in a fantasy WWE league?

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My dad, my uncle and I decided to each throw $10 into the pot, so the winner is going to get $20, while second place will receive $10. The money doesn't matter to us, but $20 seems like a fortune when you're a kid, so I can already tell how excited the youngsters are about the prospects of winning.

I'm a competitive person who wants to win absolutely everything I compete in, but for once I'm almost hoping that I don't come out on top. It would mean a lot more to the kids if they were able to beat the wrestling veterans of the family, so I'm pulling for them.

If little Grace wins, it would actually make life a lot easier for all of us. We saw what happened when she didn't get Kane, so I can only imagine the scene if she's robbed of $20.

My team is pretty good, so I may very well win, but in the event that I do, my share of the money is being split evenly among the kids. I owe it to them for making my wrestling watching experience even better, and their entertainment is well worth the price anyway.

 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter and listen to him on Ring Rust Radio. Also, don't hesitate to leave a comment, especially with suggestions on how to make the fantasy WWE league even better.

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