Wrestlenomics: Updated 2014 WWE Win-Loss Analysis Through Aug. 5

Chris HarringtonFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2014

Antonio Cesaro celebrates after winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal during Wrestlemania XXX at the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome in New Orleans on Sunday, April 6, 2014. (Jonathan Bachman/AP Images for WWE)
Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

Periodically, we'll be taking a look at the wrestlenomics of WWE. Wrestlenomics is a term that I've coined that encompasses a statistical analysis of professional wrestling.

There's an emphasis on win-loss records, television appearances, feuds and place on the card. While pro wrestling has predetermined outcomes, there's still a lot we can learn about who is and is not being pushed in the current product by looking at wrestlenomics metrics.

Thus far, WWE has held about 210 live events (this includes NXT shows). There has already been almost 1,900 WWE/NXT matches this year. Less than half of the matches (835 by my count) have been aired or have been taped for future broadcast. Around 70 percent of these taped matches are singles matches held just between two competitors.

Note: Since this article represents up-to-date records for wrestlers, it may contain spoilers for results of shows that have been taped but have not yet aired. Please proceed accordingly!

 

Most Matches (70+ WWE Matches)

Most WWE Matches (Jan. 1 to Aug. 5, 2014)
WrestlerYTD MatchesSinglesTagOverall RecordWin Percentage
Cesaro129794753-75-141%
Ryback120279118-101-115%
Curtis Axel119259320-98-117%
Bray Wyatt117635138-79-032%
Roman Reigns115376386-25-477%
Seth Rollins112277364-44-459%
Dean Ambrose111366481-27-375%
Jack Swagger111624818-92-116%
Alberto Del Rio11099731-78-128%
Sheamus110881993-16-185%
Jey Uso109710290-15-486%
Jimmy Uso109710289-16-485%
Goldust109810065-43-160%
Big E108852274-33-169%
Dolph Ziggler108901868-39-164%
Stardust107109763-43-159%
Luke Harper10489324-79-123%
Erick Rowan10379324-78-124%
Damien Sandow1019463-98-03%
Titus O'Neil100633321-78-111%
John Cena99712479-19-181%
Fandango97692711-85-111%
Kofi Kingston94801446-47-149%
Alicia Fox94385313-81-014%
Randy Orton93682026-62-530%
Rusev8986184-4-195%
Bad News Barrett7465757-15-279%
Kane7456134-69-15%
Sin Cara73512239-34-053%
Analysis by Chris Harrington based on data from CageMatch.net

  Astounding athletes:

  • Cesaro: With over 125 matches wrestled in 2014, Cesaro is in a class by himself. While winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy at WrestleMania 30 (a pay-per-view where he wrestled two times) was a memorable feat, his year has been bittersweet. His team with Jack Swagger was never particularly successful (they won less than a fifth of their tag matches) and his singles partnership with Paul Heyman has already been disrupted. He's an exceptionally hardworking wrestler and hopefully we'll see the well-deserved spotlight shining on Cesaro during the fall and winter months.

  • RybAxel: The team of Ryback and Curtis Axel hasn't been particularly successful (they've only won about 13 percent of their matches) but they have been quite prolific with over 115 matches wrestled in 2014. If we ever see a face turn from the Wyatt Family, it's quite possible we could see Luke Harper and Erick Rowan feuding with these two for an extended period.

  • Wyatt Family: While Harper and Rowan have racked up respectable win-loss record for television competition (above 60 percent), they've been quite unsuccessful when the cameras weren't on (losing all 62 tag matches they've been in). Bray Wyatt has benefited from being in big feuds with John Cena and Chris Jericho and remains a very in-demand superstar (famously for being flown from Tokyo on July 11 to New York City on July 12 so he could headline both shows against John Cena).

  • Former Shield Members: All three "Hounds of Justice" have had breakout years. Seth Rollins is walking around with the Money in the Bank suitcase (when Dean Ambrose isn't jumping out of dark corners to beat him up) and Roman Reigns is being positioned as the heir apparent to John Cena. Interestingly, the year began on a different note. Back in January, they were losing in three-on-one handicap matches to CM Punk throughout the house show loop.

  • Usos: The twin sons of Rikishi have had a great year in the WWE. They've held the WWE Tag Team Championship for most of the year and successfully defended the belts against the relentless challengers.

 

Tag Team Records (20+ Tag Team Matches) 

 

Most WWE Tag Team Matches (Jan. 1 to Aug. 5)
Tag TeamTag MatchTag RecordWinning Percentage
Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso10286-12-488%
Goldust & Stardust9759-37-161%
Erick Rowan & Luke Harper9321-71-123%
Curtis Axel & Ryback9112-79-013%
Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins5546-8-185%
Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins5440-13-175%
Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns5142-8-184%
Diego & Fernando5139-11-178%
Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper & Erick Rowan4413-31-030%
Cesaro & Jack Swagger437-36-016%
Drew McIntyre & Jinder Mahal430-42-10%
Aksana & Alicia Fox373-34-08%
Brie Bella & Nikki Bella3433-1-097%
Konnor & Viktor (NXT)2723-4-085%
Cameron & Naomi2522-3-088%
Drew McIntyre & Heath Slater251-24-04%
Diego & El Torito2323-0-0100%
Analysis by Chris Harrington based on data from CageMatch.net

Unsurprisingly, the current Tag Team Champions are also the most prolific team. It's clear there's really only four tag teams left on the main roster for WWE: the Usos, Rhodes Brothers, Wyatt Family and RybAxel.

With Darren Young and Fernando injured, the Real Americans (Cesaro and Swagger) and the Shield broken up to singles action and two members of 3MB (Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre) fired, the only two teams left are Slater Gator (Heath Slater and Titus O'Neil) and NXT's Konnor and Viktor.

The company could certainly use some fresh blood to inject a little more variety into the tag team ranks.

 

Positioned at the Top (5+ TV Matches, Winning More Than Two-Thirds of TV matches)

 

Wrestlers winning TV matches (Jan. 1 to Aug. 5)
WrestlerTV MatchesTV RecordTV Winning Percentage
Adam Rose2725-2-093%
Rusev3429-4-188%
Paige3024-5-183%
Chris Jericho75-1-183%
John Cena2923-5-182%
Brie Bella129-2-182%
Seth Rollins4029-7-481%
The Big Show1411-3-079%
Roman Reigns4129-8-478%
El Torito1310-3-077%
Naomi2418-6-075%
Jey Uso5235-13-473%
Big E4834-13-172%
Daniel Bryan2718-7-272%
Jimmy Uso5335-14-471%
Sheamus5639-16-171%
Bad News Barrett2415-7-268%
Dean Ambrose4226-13-367%
Bo Dallas3120-10-167%
Analysis by Chris Harrington based on data from CageMatch.net

Brightest stars:

  • Adam Rose: The transformation of the South African wrestler from stuck-in-developmental purgatory Leo Kruger to Exotic Express Adam Rose has been fascinating to observe. Rose's only losses this year have been on yet-to-air episodes of NXT. However, with his many appearances on WWE Superstars (beating the likes of Heath Slater and Titus O'Neil), it's clear that while Rose is being protected in booking, he's certainly not being treated as a main event star.

  • Rusev: The Bulgarian Brute is another welcome new face on WWE television. The losses on his record stem from DQ losses (to Adrian Neville on NXT, Roman Reigns on SmackDown and Jack Swagger on Main Event) and a NXT tag match from January. With a singles match booked for SummerSlam and him regularly winning three-minute squash matches, it's evident that he's being protected as a potential top star.

  • Paige: The "anti-Diva" Paige burst onto the main roster with her upset championship win over AJ Lee. The young star (she's only 21 years old) comes from a respected English wrestling family and continues to elevate women's wrestling in the WWE. She's got a bright future.

  • John Cena: Cena remains the foundation for the WWE. In this year where Daniel Bryan is out with his neck injury and CM Punk has walked away from the game, he remains the constant force holding things together. His feud with Brock Lesnar is certainly positioned as the main event draw for SummerSlam. Still the largest seller of WWE merchandise, as long as he can physically hold up, he'll stay front and center as the face of the WWE.

  • The Big Show: At 42 years old, it's always a question of how much longer the Big Show will continue to perform in the WWE. He's been doing house show loops (most recently doing singles matches with Cesaro and tag matches alongside Seth Rollins), but hasn't wrestled on WWE television since facing Randy Orton on SmackDown in early June. Perhaps this time off camera will give him a chance to freshen up his character before he's inevitably reinserted into the main event picture.

  • Bo Dallas: After an aborted debut in 2013 at the Royal Rumble, Bo Dallas' 2014 re-entry on WWE television has gone smoothly. Until recently, his only losses were on NXT television, though his recent feud with R-Truth officially ended his winning streak. With his insecure but charming ways, Bo Dallas has established himself as a talented midcard heel that can both wrestle and do comedy. While this isn't necessarily the pedigree of a main eventer, a welcome addition to the overall WWE roster.

 

Damien Sandow
Damien SandowWWE.com

Prominent Television Jobbers (5+ TV Matches, Won Less Than a Third of TV Matches)

Wrestlers losing TV matches (Jan. 1 to Aug. 5)
WrestlerTV matchesTV RecordTV Winning Percentage
Jinder Mahal230-21-20%
Drew McIntyre281-25-24%
Damien Sandow353-32-09%
Zack Ryder91-8-011%
Justin Gabriel81-7-013%
Kane223-18-114%
Xavier Woods274-22-115%
Hornswoggle61-5-017%
Brodus Clay51-4-020%
Fandango408-31-121%
Titus O'Neil409-30-123%
Alicia Fox338-25-024%
Aksana174-13-024%
Summer Rae256-18-125%
R-Truth277-20-026%
Heath Slater246-17-126%
Curtis Axel5515-39-128%
The Road Dogg154-10-129%
Billy Gunn154-10-129%
Rey Mysterio134-9-031%
Jack Swagger5116-34-132%
Tamina Snuka227-15-032%
Analysis by Chris Harrington based on data from CageMatch.net

Biggest jobbers:

  • Damien Sandow: Sandow's 2014 overall record is an abysmal three wins and 95 losses. Sandow did manage to defeat Sin Cara (twice, once on WWE Superstars and once on Main Event) and also conquered R-Truth during a London Main Event taping in May. He's maintained a steady television presence (losing 14 Raw matches, nine SmackDown matches) while blossoming into one of WWE's favorite comedic figures. With the retirement of Santino, Sandow is certainly the go-to guy whenever WWE has a segment they need to fill with a goof.

  • KanePositioned as a main event heel, Kane continues to give it his all. After nearly 20 years with the company, it's amazing that the Big Red Machine can continue to survive the weekly wear and tear of touring as an active WWE superstar. But he is a lousy tag team partner. For instance, Kane hasn't won a single tag match this year despite working alongside megastars such as Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, Batista and the New Age Outlaws.

  • 3MB (Drew McIntyre, Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, Hornswoggle): If you're a betting fan, don't wager on these guys. The team is akin to modern-day Los Conquistadores. While McIntyre and Mahal have been "future-endeavored," bandleader Slater continues to fight for honor and respect against the likes of Adam Rose and Rusev. Perhaps Slater's new tag team with Titus O'Neil can put together the pieces and finally beat high-class rivals like Sin Cara and Zack Ryder.

  • Aksana: Another victim of the recent round of budget cuts, the Lithuanian temptress had a legendarily awful wrestling record. Since 2012, she has won only 11 of her 181 WWE matches. Perhaps she'll see more success if she chooses to return to her bodybuilding roots.

  • Xavier Woods: Both Xavier's singles feuds (with Rusev and Bo Dallas) and his tag career (teaming with R-Truth against RybAxel or the Wyatt Family) have not gone well. He's actually fared much better when he was away from the TV camera racking up a winning record (13-9) at WWE house shows.

  • Justin Gabriel: This talented Nexus alumni has mostly been working quietly on house show tours putting over Bo Dallas, Fandango, Rusev, Bad News Barrett and even upcoming NXT talent such as Tyler Breeze. Will reforming his tag team with Tyson Kidd be the spark needed to get Gabriel back in the mix for Raw or Smackdown?

  • Zack Ryder: A dedicated performer with a track record for being squashed in short two-minute matches on Raw, Ryder stunned many when he racked up a televised win against Fandango on the July 21 episode. Could this be a sign that a push may finally be in the works for the Long Island Superstar?

 

Methodology

I extracted results for all 2014 WWE events from CageMatch.net.

A database was built by person by match and separated by match type (singles, tag, handicap, rumble) and broadcast (TV/PPV or not aired). Only the winners of battle royal/Royal Rumble competitions were included. Full table of all results is available on my wrestling statistics website (indeedwrestling.com).

Wins include those via disqualification and count-out. Draws include no contests, double count-outs, double disqualifications and time limit draws. Information was updated through Aug. 5.

 

Any surprises that stand out to you? Sound off in the comments below!