What We Learned: Net Promoter Score Survey on Wrestling Programming

Here I’ll share some analysis of the “Net Promoter Score” survey that was distributed from late December 2020 to early January 2021.

More than 500 valid responses were obtained through a Facebook ad in effort to obtain a more random sample than would be obtained through organic social media sharing of a survey.

A Net Promoter Score survey commonly asks respondents on a numbered scale how likely they would be to recommend a product to a friend. With those results, the percentage of high responses (in this case ‘5’) is subtracted from percentage of low responses (‘0’ to ‘3’).

Results were originally published in the Wrestlenomics Pro Wrestling Industry Report 2020, which you can get ($6) via Payhip or by becoming a patron ($5/monthly).

There are other interesting analyses to gather from the dataset beyond what was shown in the Industry Report.

For instance: What are the age demographics of viewers of each wrestling program?

Contrary to linear TV viewership, WWE and AEW appear more similar in age. In fact median age across all programs landed in early 40s, with Ring of Honor on the high end and NXT on the low end.

If we breakdown viewing habits by whether you watch “regularly” or “occasionally”, there’s some variance in median age, but it’s not dramatic.

My sense is this is more reflective of the actual fan’s age, as linear measurements skew old, simply because linear TV use skews old.

Still, among those who say they currently watch any wrestling program, the overwhelming majority say they have access to linear television.

Smackdown viewers were slightly less likely to have cable access, which makes sense since Fox can be reached with an OTA antenna.

Turning back to age: Younger AEW viewers were most likely to recommend the program to a friend. In fact, age group seems to be a better predictor of likelihood of recommendation than any particular program. The 50+ age group in general was less likely to recommend any program.

Women were more likely than men to say they would recommend WWE programs, and were more positive on Raw and Smackdown than AEW, which was the opposite for men. Differences were smaller for other programs, but generally men were more enthusiastic about AEW, ROH, and NJPW.

Hispanic/Latino fans were most enthusiastic about NXT. Black fans were slightly less likely to recommend AEW, That may be reflective of TV viewership data, which show AEW has a smaller percentage of African American viewers than WWE programs.

What’s the sentiment of viewers toward different programs? For example, are AEW and WWE fans as opposed in their tastes as they seem sometimes online?

Regular viewers of AEW were less likely to recommend WWE programs. But WWE viewers are positive on Dynamite.

The latter result may be skewed, though, since nearly as many respondents said they regularly watched Dynamite as those who said they watched Raw or Smackdown. That’s certainly not reflected in TV viewership. Raw and Smackdown each double or triple Dynamite in weekly viewers.

At least among this sample (which again, I went to some effort to try to get out of an echo chamber by reaching unacquainted respondents through paid advertising), the greatest enthusiasm was for AEW. Still, the majority of current WWE viewers were supportive of their shows too.

The fewest “promoters” (those who rated ‘5’) were among viewers of Impact and Ring of Honor. And while New Japan viewers were 43% “promoters”, there were more ‘0’ responses among those viewers than that of any other program.

I’m glad to have been able to put monetary support from our Wrestlenomics patrons to use to accomplish this research. I hope to repeat this survey periodically, so we can study how any of the results change over time.

Brandon Thurston has written about wrestling business since 2015. He’s also worked as an independent wrestler and trainer.

This article is available ad-free for everyone because of support from our subscribers.


WWE employee raises and promotions put on hold as shares stagnate

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) shares remain under $50 following the company’s recent earnings report, on February 4. WWE set its annual net income record in 2020, but fourth quarter earnings were underwhelming relative to analyst expectations, in part due to costs related to the Thunderdome production set.

WWE employees learned on Friday that raises and promotions have been put on hold. The move will aid profitability and possibly the stock price.

Revenues for the fourth quarter were only slightly off from expectations, but earnings per share (an expression of profitability) was 20% lower than analysts estimates. WWE reported an EPS of 24 cents for the quarter when the average analyst was expecting 30 cents.

Shares climbed following the third-quarter earnings report in late October. The stock went as high as $57 after the announcement of the company’s new agreement to sell U.S. rights to WWE Network content for exclusive distribution through NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service.

The Peacock deal is reportedly worth more than $1 billion over five years. That puts the deal on par with the average annual value of WWE’s current payments from Fox for the rights to two-hour flagship program Smackdown, and just below the value of three-hour flagship Raw.

Several stock analysts who cover WWE upgraded their price targets in recent weeks. The average target is currently at $60, according to TipRanks. Shares closed today at $46.50.

The decision to put raises and promotions on hold was originally reported by PWInsider last week.

Furloughs and lay-offs implemented in the spring, along with other cost reductions allowed WWE to report the Covid pandemic had a “net neutral impact” on the company’s adjusted OIBDA (a measure of profit) in 2020.

Multiple employees we’ve been in contact with say morale has suffered because of the decision to freeze raises and promotions. After helping the company succeed financially through the pandemic, taking on additional work related to furloughs, and helping achieve WWE’s most profitable year, workers were hoping to be rewarded for their effort.

Company executives did not announce the decision in a company-wide meeting, which added to the frustration for some. News of the freeze was communicated to employees by managers on Friday.

WWE media relations did not respond to a request for comment.

According to WWE’s annual report published this month, the company currently employs more than 900 full-time employees. That count does not include nearly 300 wrestlers and on-screen talent who are independent contractors, nor does it include other contract personnel. WWE is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, and has regional offices throughout the world.

February 18, 2021 UPDATE:

Brandon Thurston has written about wrestling business since 2015. He’s also worked as an independent wrestler and trainer.

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WWE’s Classic Case of Overbranding

In the quest for more valuable business partnerships, it’s easy to lose sight of consumers — in this case wrestling fans — who are the foundation of a business. That’s especially so when it’s fans you’ve always had and the approval of prestigious businesses that long eluded you. And it’s more especially so when the growing majority of your total revenue comes not out of the wallets of average people but from contractual payments that are the result of those finally-captured corporate relationships.

WWE has done a lot to improve its image and monetization with other businesses in recent years. WWE for the last 20 years or so (yes, arguably earlier) has frantically tried to escape the fact that it’s a professional wrestling company. Being a mere professional wrestling company, the belief seems to be, kept them out of a lot of valuable business partnerships, left them with weaker access to valuable advertisers and sponsors. 

You don’t often hear the word “wrestling” in WWE programming, even though the word is in the name of the company. You more often hear the initials of the trade name and you more often hear WWE’s athletes — don’t call them “wrestlers” — called competitors, performers, or superstars. These competitors are engaged in “sports entertainment”, seldom “wrestling”. WWE doesn’t have wrestling fans, they have the WWE Universe. The corporate website tells you the business is an integrated media organization. The word “wrestling” does not appear.

Here Stephanie McMahon explains the etymology:

Image of WWE' Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon

Vince McMahon is constantly reimagining WWE. It’s how he was able to take a regional business in the 1970s and turn it into a global media powerhouse known from every street corner in the United States to favelas in Brazil to high rises in Shanghai and everywhere in between through digital and social media. He started with the brand. Before anything else, Vince wanted to upgrade the image of what was known as professional wrestling. He was able to stand in the back of a smoke-filled armory, watching hundreds of people shout at the performers in the ring and re-imagine the future. … But advertisers [in the 1980s] either had an adverse reaction to the words “professional wrestling” or they simply didn’t understand what it was. So how could we create a term or a label that potential partners could understand? How could we describe that the WWE was based on larger-than-life characters enthralled in a relatable storylines? That is when we coined the term, “sports entertainment”.

WWE chief brand officer, Stephanie McMahon (April 2018, WWE Business Partner Summit 2018)

WWE has succeeded in presenting its product to potential business partners as something more digestible than the stereotype of professional wrestling that many may have in mind. You can go to community.wwe.com and see the company’s philanthropy and community outreach programs. In 2015, WWE and NBCUniversal together produced “The Hero in All of Us” campaign ahead of network upfronts that year, a campaign directed not at fans but at advertisers and business partners, intended to improve the image of the company, to show them that WWE wasn’t a caricature of phony violence, but that it’s something magical that provides memorable experiences and attracts people from all different age groups and backgrounds. It “puts smiles on people’s faces”.

While WWE has improved its brand perception among business partners, it hasn’t taken care of its brand perception among fans. Acceptance among business partners may have soared, but the company’s relationship with many would-be fans is increasingly contentious or apathetic.

For a long time in wrestling punditry, maybe inside the industry as well, a common distinction used to talk about the fan base is to separate hardcore fans and casual fans. But I think that hardcore-and-casual distinction is no longer as relevant as a different distinction, which is WWE fans and other wrestling fans. That is, fans who are primarily WWE fans and wrestling fans who are not necessarily primarily WWE fans.

There’s a core of WWE fans we might call (to adopt the company’s branded phrase) “WWE Universe fans”, for whom WWE is the be-all end-all of wrestling. And those fans are a large portion of the people who are watching WWE on television. This is the large portion of people who are consuming WWE media, merchandise, and (eventually again someday) live events. Those fans aren’t really engaging with or may not be highly aware of other brands of wrestling. 

And then there’s the other core of fans, who are passionate about wrestling in a more general way, who are less satisfied in and excited about the WWE product. And that group of fans engage more with other non-WWE wrestling brands. The former “WWE Universe” group may well be larger, but the latter group has grown among the total denominator of wrestling fans.

Over time that’s evident from the emergence of other wrestling brands in the U.S. in the last five years or so: whether that’s the increase in business at least for a time for Ring of Honor, for New Japan Pro Wrestling in the US, and finally for the launch of All Elite Wrestling in 2019. In fairness, WWE has made an effort at trying to capture the different tastes of that latter group through its NXT brand.

Nonetheless, WWE has a young adult viewer problem. Viewers aged 18 to 34 fled from Raw and NXT at the beginning of the pandemic and have yet to return.

Source: Nielsen, Showbuzzdaily. WWE NXT data for January 2021 unavailable.

The net promoter score study that I did from late December 2020 to early January 2021 (with an effort to collect random samples through advertising, rather than collecting samples through organic social media sharing), showed young adult fans between 18 and 49 were somewhat less likely to recommend Raw, Smackdown, or NXT, compared to people who responded to the survey who were either over the age of 50 or under the age of 18. AEW Dynamite, however, showed an inverse of that pattern among people aged 18 to 49, who were more likely than their younger or older fellow wrestling fans to recommend Dynamite to a friend. There’s a similar pattern with other non-WWE wrestling brands, Impact Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Source: Wrestlenomics survey (n=502)

That said, WWE’s net promoter score remains positive. AEW’s score is higher, but there’s clearly still a large population of fans who approve of WWE and are not about to tune out and disengage.

Source: Wrestlenomics survey / Wrestlenomics Pro Wrestling Industry 2020 Report

And WWE has enormous name ID, too. Google web searches for WWE on a worldwide basis is eight times greater than that of AEW, and is about six times greater in the U.S. Other non-WWE wrestling brands are microscopic by comparison. 

WWE maintains tremendous name recognition, has strong corporate leadership and media strategy. The company has new key executives who are well-equipped to maximize revenues in the future. But WWE would have a greater revenue potential if it had a strong core product to sell, which it does not, and which the company shows no sign of being able to reckon with.

We don’t believe that we’ve lost eyeballs. We believe eyeballs tend to shift from linear to digital platforms. So if you look at even our Facebook numbers, which are significantly up the last six months or so, including the revenue against those numbers, we think the eyeballs are there. Like I said, we’re always looking to grow ratings. So now that we’re coming out of a competitive presidential race that a lot of people were focused on. We’re still all in the midst of a virus that a lot of people are focused on. We believe with the continued great in-ring product that the eyeballs are continuing to grow and will result in more linear eyeballs as some of the other stuff that I just mentioned passes. So we feel good about our position, and we think our network partners do as well.

WWE president and chief revenue officer, Nick Khan (2/4/2021, WWE Q4 2020 earnings call)

Annual declines in consumption began about five years ago, unraveling in a variety of areas, including ticket sales and merchandise sales (those obviously not comparable in 2020 because of the pandemic). While streaming subscriptions grow throughout the media industry, WWE Network subscribers are still below the level of 2018 despite growing in 2020. And Google web search has fallen precipitously since 2016.

Stephanie McMahon mentioned in the earnings call on Thursday that Vince McMahon taught her that you should always be ahead of the curve, and that’s why WWE is pivoting from its direct-to-consumer streaming service to selling its streaming rights to NBCUniversal. The need to sell those streaming rights might not be the more profitable choice if WWE had a stronger core product which attracted more customers, and that might have brought in subscribers closer to the three or four million that were originally projected. Nonetheless, even if WWE could never reach those lofty goals, the WWE Network would be even more valuable to sell to a licensee if WWE was more popular and if the content was consumed more avidly across a greater number of fans — a notion the company, at least publicly, all but says isn’t possible.

In many ways, WWE has been ahead of the curve in terms of its media strategy. Throughout the decades WWE moved from closed-circuit to pay-per-view, from syndicated television to cable, from pay-per-view to streaming. But its content is anything but ahead of the curve. Trends among younger aged adults in particular should be a warning.

WWE is a classic case of overbranding. Ubiquitous logos, chosen nicknames, and stilted corporate euphemisms may attract partners in the short-term but they overwhelm and repulse the audience in the long-term. Executives have succeeded in their mission to transform the company’s image with businesses, but the pedal-to-the-meddle branding, which permeates virtually every frame of the core content, is one among a myriad of contributing factors disabling authentic star development and, thereby, popularity with consumers.

Creative has chronic difficulty developing stars to their potential and relies increasingly on the return of aging stars from a more popular era, many of whom don’t work a full year-round schedule. Poor creative execution will continue indefinitely under the creative leadership of Vince McMahon, and as long as it does, expect WWE to continue to shed viewers and consumers over time, especially younger people. Not that WWE’s business is going to be drastically negatively impacted next week, next month, or next year, but the virtual monopoly WWE once had on the wrestling industry will continue to erode.

Maybe that’s good for fans, those who are left anyway. In the big financial picture for WWE, it’s not as if in the coming years there’s going to be any economic signal that will intensely pressure WWE to take a serious look at the quality of its content. If anything, in the years to come, even more of WWE’s revenue will come from business partners rather than from wrestling fans. Peacock picking up U.S. rights to WWE Network content deepens this dynamic.

In 2020, an exceptional year because of the pandemic but not much different than in future years, WWE made just over half of its revenue from TV rights fees. Those payments are not dependent on the particular performance of viewership. Just ten years ago the company made as much as 78% of its revenue directly from consumers, in the form of pay-per-view buys (or even Network subscriptions later on), ticket sales, and various kinds of merchandise sales. But increasingly over time and increasingly in the future, WWE will get a greater majority of its revenue from business partners, whether that’s from television broadcasters, advertisers and sponsors, WWE Network licensing fees (the upcoming Peacock deal), or from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Source: SEC filings, Wrestlenomics definitions of “DTC” and “B2B”

In 2020, 70% of WWE’s revenue came from business partners. Only 30% was generated directly from wrestling fans. In the next few years to come, I estimated that WWE will make as much as 80% of its revenue from business partners as guaranteed and often escalating fees with media partners like NBCUniversal, Fox, Sony, BT Sport, and the KSA continue to contribute to a growing majority of the company’s business — further insulating, perhaps, the chief decision maker from the sentiments of wrestling fans who ultimately are the foundation of the pro wrestling business.

I don’t see much changing in the years to come, but on a long enough timeline, the company maintaining the current quality of creative probably isn’t tenable if alternative wrestling brands grow in popularity.

How long can WWE rely on its legacy intellectual property of stars from the past and float on lucrative business relationships without creating fresh, younger stars who can attract younger viewers? How long is it sustainable for? Probably a long time. We may find out. Not any time soon, but in the decade to come.

Brandon Thurston has written about wrestling business since 2015. He’s also worked as an independent wrestler and trainer.

This article is available ad-free for everyone because of support from our subscribers.


Live coverage: WWE Q4 2020 earnings results and conference call

This post will be updated throughout the day. You can also follow along @BrandonThurston.

Today I’ll be covering WWE’s Q4 earnings report. Much discussion of the new Peacock deal, plus annual records in profit and revenues are expected.

Documents release around 4:30pm ET at corporate.wwe.com. Conference call at 5pm.

Here are some things to inform you for the day ahead:

Last night I wrote a preview on possible topics to be discussed:

In November I wrote an estimate of results:

Earlier this week I completed a 63-page PDF report on the entire industry in 2020:

Documents have dropped!

Earnings press release: https://corporate.wwe.com/~/media/Files/W/WWE/press-releases/2021/4q20-earnings-pr.pdf

Trending schedules: https://corporate.wwe.com/~/media/Files/W/WWE/press-releases/2021/q4-2020-trending-schedules.pdf


WWE reports Q4 net income of $13.6 million and a total of $131.8 million for full year 2020, a new company record.

Q4 revenue is $238.2m and $974m for 2020.

WWE reports EPS of $0.15 for Q4. Average EPS estimate was 0.32, so Q4 was about half as profitable as analysts expected.

Key Performance Indicator slides show Smackdown holding up better in Q4 on broadcast than Raw on cable.

WWE Network average paid subscribers for the period were up for the second consecutive quarter.

Online video consumption continued to grow in Q4.

WWE today records its highest annual net income in history, adjusted for inflation.

WWE records its highest annual revenue ever, adjusted for inflation, just short of $1 billion.

If operating income (before taxes and other adjustments) is your preferred profit metric, we don’t have as deep records on that but WWE appears to have shattered that record as well in 2020.

The annual report (10-K) has already posted:


The annual report (10-K) has already posted:


WWE had a strong year for online merch in 2020, generating $41 million, the most ever in a year. This somewhat offset the lack of venue merch sales since March. Orders were up from the prior year and the average revenue per order was the highest in at least 13 years, at $56.72.

There isn’t a ton of new information in the earnings release on outlook since WWE gave guidance last week when it announced the Peacock deal. WWE projects adjusted OIBDA (their preferred non-GAAP profit measure) for 2021 that’s within the range of what’s recorded for 2020.

As we wait for Vince McMahon, Nick Khan, Kristina Salen, and Stephanie McMahon to begin the conference call.

WWE was low on profitability in Q4 relative to analyst expectations. Not to an alarming degree, but the stock is adjusting down 4% currently in after hours trading.

Conference call on http://corporate.wwe.com finally beings. Sounds like we join in progress and there may’ve been issues with the audio stream. WWE president Nick Khan is talking, putting over the Superstar Spectacle and now Bad Bunny’s appearance at Royal Rumble.

Normally Vince opens the call. Sounds like we might’ve missed that on the corporate site web stream.

Khan talks about WWE targeting LATAM and India regions. In China, WWE launch on Tencent video.

You will see WWE championship belts using team logos.

He hands over to Stephanie.

I will now try to summarize and/or quote WWE execs. These may in some cases be paraphrases. Stephanie narrates WWE Network history and the next steps with licensing to Peacock.

Steph puts over talent appearing outside content, celebrities appearing inside. Matthew McConaughey. Yes Steph does mention Sasha Banks on Mandalorian. Rey Mysterio wearing the Victoria brand on his mask and posted on social media to his followers in Spanish how proud he was.

WWE CFO Kristina Salen begins. She reviews WWE’s record revenue and record profit. “Large-scale international event” is code of Saudi events.

Salen says Thunderdome increase production costs by approximately 25% per episode. Unclear if that’s relative to PC production or pre-Covid production costs.

Salen mentions Wrestlemania but urges WWE doesn’t anticipate the return to ticket live events until at least the second half of 2021.

Salen says sales for championship belts grew more than 100% in 2020. Seems this is likely a big part of what’s driving the increase in revenue per eCommerce order.

Salen notes 2022 and future years will be impact by variety of factors. Contractual escalation of core content rights fees will drive growth. Other factors may temper growth. We expect highest incremental impact of Peacock in 2021.

TV production costs after Covid may be lower than Thunderdome, but higher than 2019 due to Monday to Friday TV production.

Will want to carefully relisten to this guidance later.

This ends prepared remarks. Q&A begins!


Q: More color on costs for Peacock deal? One-time migration expenses?

Salen: Migration costs in Q1, embedded in guidance already. Tech infrastructure savings will be offset “by investing in systems that are long overdue.”

Q: On revenue side of Peacock deal. Any offsets there besides subscriber revenue going away? Stephanie, sponsorship opportunity following deal going to NBCU?

Steph: We can comment on specific deal terms but NBCU is industry leader in sales & spons space.

Salen: Revenue impact is embedded in guidance. And no other offsets besides subscription revenue.

Q: Is there ability to move higher profile content off PPVs and into Raw to bring Raw ratings up?

Khan takes Q, not Vince. Khan seems to tactfully answer no, focusing on Peacock.

Laura Martin of Needham tries to ask Vince a question. Nick takes this one too. It doesn’t seem Vince is in the room.

Khan says international plan just getting started, a lot of room for growth. Stephanie took over sales and sponsorship area. With NBCU partnership you’ll see more ad/spons opportunities. Championship belt deal “with just one of the major sports leagues”, doesn’t say which.

Q: What’s WWE doing to drive viewers back to Raw and Smackdown?

Khan: We don’t believe we’ve lost eyeballs. We believe eyeballs shift from linear to digital. Now that we’re out of presidential race, virus still focused on. With great in-ring product, there’ll be growth.

Q: Is the rest of media industry move to off load rights to bigger platforms? What’s given up by leaving DTC? Data?

Khan says to look for WWE events to big piggyback onto NBC events.

Salen assures there is no upcharge around special content (PPVs) so there won’t be volatility.

Q: How will NBCU evaluate success of WWE content on Peacock? Sub adds, ad sales?

Khan explains the three Rs: ratings, relevancy, and revenue. Ratings based on subs. Relevancy, as excited as they are about it. And revenue it’s an opportunity for them to sell against it.

Khan: “We think it has no impact on us, the departure of NBC Sports Network… There’ll be no affect on Raw or NXT.”

Very direct answer that seems to say Raw and more interestingly NXT won’t be affected by NBC Sports Network content potentially moving to USA Network.

Q: Can you help us understand profitability of Saudi events?

Salen says looking at Q4 2020 should give you an idea of the absence of a KSA event has.

Q: Do both KSA events in a given year have same profitability?

Salen: Talking about live events is hyper theoretical right now.

The call has ended.

Clarifying: Vince McMahon was in fact on the call at least at the beginning. Full audio replay is up at https://streaming.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1278679&tp_key=5afce1de54

Brandon Thurston has written about wrestling business since 2015. He’s also worked as an independent wrestler and trainer.

This article is available ad-free for everyone because of support from our subscribers.


WWE Q4 2020 Earnings Report Preview: Suggested questions ahead of report of record profits

WWE is expected to report 2020 was the company’s most profitable year ever tomorrow (Thursday). Fourth quarter and therefore full-year 2020 results will be reported just after the market closes.

Below we’ll look at some questions that might be (and some that almost certainly some won’t be) discussed during the call. The Q&A session in which stock analysts get to ask questions to WWE executives is of particular interest here.

I’ll be covering the report and earnings call as it happens, on Twitter (@BrandonThurston) and here on wrestlenomics.com.

WWE officers scheduled to be on the call are the same as the Q3 call in October: WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, president and chief revenue officer Nick Khan, chief financial officer Kristina Salen, and chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon. As always, anyone can listen to the conference call live on corporate.wwe.com at 5:00pm ET.

If you’re reading this, you probably know who Vince and Stephanie are. Khan and Salen are relatively new to WWE. They were hired by the company in 2020. Both started around August of last year. When he was with CAA (Creative Artists Agency) Khan negotiated WWE’s current U.S. television deals with NBCUniversal and Fox. Salen is a former CFO at Etsy and Moda Operandi.

The new deal with Peacock, granting the NBCU streaming service U.S. rights to all WWE Network content is Khan’s first major deal as WWE president. Expect information about the Peacock deal to be a frequent topic of conversation on the conference call.

1. Future of the WWE Network on Peacock

How does the Peacock deal affect WWE’s expenses? Does the Peacock deal entail employee reductions? Are there commitments to data that WWE (including employee positions) no longer needs to invest in? Are there other expenses NBCU will absorb? Will Endeavor continue to provide CDN for WWE Network?

What are some key lessons the company learned from the seven-year WWE Network project? It may have been a challenge for a company that has a long history of producing content to tackle a tech-heavy project like this. How much of a factor does WWE feel that was in the Network not driving more revenue on a purely direct-to-consumer model in the U.S.?

How seriously was selling select events like Wrestlemania as a standalone pay-per-view event (like ESPN+ does with UFC) considered? Wrestlemania is clearly included in Peacock Premium this year. Is that something that’s off the table now?

Other than the reported $1 billion in fees over five years, how does the deal affect WWE’s revenues? What does the deal mean for WWE’s media advertising and sponsorship revenues? Does NBCU now get a portion of revenues from WWE’s major advertisers like Snickers’ official sponsorship of Wrestlemania?

There’s a vast library of content currently available on the WWE Network. Should subscribers expect that 100% of the content they had access to on the WWE Network will be available on Peacock Premium?

Are there incentives in place encouraging WWE to produce monthly pay-per-view events that drive people to subscribe to Peacock? The new deal with Peacock has a five-year term, so there is the incentive that WWE wants its content to perform well so that there’s a better deal waiting at the end of this one. That’s a kind of incentive. But is any part of WWE’s compensation based on performance? Are there an incentives based on subscriber activity or viewership on Peacock?

2. Does the Peacock deal bring WWE closer to being acquired by NBCU/Comcast?

There will be no straight answers here, but NBCU now owns U.S. rights to Raw and the Network content, paying WWE somewhere around $465 million annually ($265 million for Raw and $200 million for Network content). Over the course of both of those agreements, NBCU will have paid WWE more than $2 billion, nearly half the market capital of WWE. Does the latest deal get NBCUniversal closer to acquisition? Is acquisition on the table when Raw rights are renegotiated, likely beginning some time next year? This might be a question for Comcast’s (NBCU’s parent) executives as well.

3. How does WWE see NBCU folding NBC Sports and moving sports content to USA Network (and other NBCU platforms) affecting WWE content? NXT in particular.

It likely is, but can investors have some reassurance Raw is safe Monday nights in primetime? Will there be an preemptions of Raw in the future due to sports programming?

Are there cross-promotional opportunities between WWE and other sports programming? Granted, WWE’s matches are predetermined, but with USA Network taking on more sports content, is there any consideration into categorizing Raw and NXT as sports like how Fox categorizes Smackdown and how TNT categorizes AEW?

NXT is currently on Wednesday nights where it runs head-to-head with AEW Dynamite. It seems possible if NBCU retains NHL rights that hockey could take precedent on Wednesday nights on USA. NXT hasn’t beaten AEW in viewership in months and hasn’t led with viewers 18-49 in more than a year. Is it better for building the NXT brand to move the program to another night? How important does the company view directly competing with AEW? Does higher viewership for AEW pose a risk to WWE’s own future media rights value?

Source: Nielsen

Is there any update the company can give on NXT negotiations? Will the company publicly confirm the NXT deal with NBCU expires in the fall? Under prior management, WWE stated part of the reason for moving NXT off of the WWE Network and on to linear TV was to grow media rights value of a third weekly brand. Two years later, does the company feel that’s been a success? Furthermore, is Peacock a possible future home for NXT?

4. Hiring of Christine Lubrano as SVP of Creative Writing Operations

The former IFC executive joins WWE, where she’ll work with Bruce Prichard. The press release states Lubrano will work under EVP of operations Brad Blum, but it sounds like Lubrano and Prichard are now the key people on the creative team under Vince. What skills does Lubrano bring that will be especially additive to WWE’s programming? WWE’s talent roster of women and obviously the company’s focus on female talent as serious athletes have grown tremendously in recent years. What percentage of the company’s creative team are women?

5. What’s the company’s latest analysis of Raw and Smackdown ratings? Why are AEW and NXT not seeing similar trends?

Source: Nielsen

Raw and Smackdown have stabilized since the addition of the Thunderdome. Both programs are actually seeing an upward trend in recent weeks. Raw is boosted by lack of competition from the NFL since its season recently ended. Both programs still are not back to where they were before the pandemic, while NXT and AEW held up more consistently since full live audiences were restricted.

This is especially noticeable in trends among younger viewers like those in the 18-34 category. In fact, the majority of viewers for WWE’s programs are 50 or older. It seems wrestlers, too, (at least those on flagships Raw and Smackdown) on average are getting older. What’s WWE doing to address this?

Source: Wrestlenomics Pro Wrestling Industry Report 2020

6. Why was it important to announce locations for Wrestlemania this far in advance? Will Wrestlemania be a two-day event going forward?

WWE usually doesn’t announce the Wrestlemania location for the event two years ahead. Was this simply due to the Tampa postponement reordering the schedule? Or were there other factors?

Wrestlemania events for 2022 and 2023 are referred to in the press release as one day only, yet this year’s event and last year’s are two-day events. Is the company considering making this a permanent feature going forward? Might that be the best way to monetize the company’s peak annual event? Seems there would be further opportunity to generate ticket and merchandise revenue, and the company has a growing roster of talent. One-day Wrestlemania events in previous years were several hours long.

7. Is WWE trying to integrate talent and advertisers?

Stephanie McMahon has spoken in interviews about the value of integrating advertising opportunities within the programming itself. Was Rey Mysterio’s Victoria Beer wrestling attire an early example of things to come? How does WWE feel this benefits advertisers and the talent?

8. What’s the latest with NXT’s “Global Localization” strategy?

WWE recently aired its “Superstar Spectacle” event aimed at India. Are there more localized programs like this in the works? Will an NXT India brand be launched in the near future? Would that mean a Performance Center would be established in the region as well? Are there other regions that are closer to being developed? How has Covid affected this strategy overall?

A docket showing WWE involved in litigation in Connecticut against the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services appeared in public legal resources recently. Does the company foresee any issues with obtaining visas for international talent? Are travel restrictions enacted by the new presidential administration seen as obstacle?

9. What are the company’s plans for the Twitch platform? Cameo?

In September WWE talent were ordered to stop using third-party video platforms like Twitch and Cameo. What opportunities does WWE see there?

10. Has WWE made any decisions about the future of live events?

In the most recent pre-Covid quarters, the live events division struggled to report positive operating income. Losses on live events were particularly evident in quarters not containing Wrestlemania. An increasing amount of WWE’s revenue is coming from media sources. What value does the company see in running house shows (non-televised events)? Is it safe to say, post-Covid, WWE will run a reduced touring schedule?

11. Are there any decisions on the stock buyback program?

WWE stated in July it was considering restarting its stock buyback program that was put on hold at the beginning of the pandemic. Shares have been climbing since the last earnings report. Many analysts have raised their stock price targets recently. It seems this is a subject CFO Kristina Salen would be the key person to hear from on.

Brandon Thurston has written about wrestling business since 2015. He’s also worked as an independent wrestler and trainer.

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Elo 500: A data-driven approach to rank 15,000+ wrestlers from 2020

Follow Matthew on Twitter (@mat_matician) and LinkedIn.

Since 1991, the PWI 500 has ranked professional wrestlers based on activity (win-loss record, championships won, major feuds, and success against diverse competition), technical ability, and influence. A number of critiques1,2 have been raised regarding the subjective nature of PWI’s rankings including the underrepresentation of wrestlers from non-North American countries , women, LGBTQ wrestlers and wrestlers of color. Among wrestlers in the top 100 of 2020’s version of the PWI 500, only two are women and fifteen wrestlers are from Japanese promotions.

This article highlights an unbiased measure of activity by calculating Elo ratings for each of the 15,482 wrestlers who had matches in 2020. The Elo rating system, originally created to rate chess players, has been applied to board games, video games, and college athletics for playoff ranking purposes. It has even been utilized by Chris Harrington on WWE wrestlers competing from 1970 to 2012.

An overview of Elo

Elo ratings are a reflection of prior performance and also account for success (or lack thereof) against the quality of competition. For a given match, the Elo ratings of each wrestler are used to predict the outcome of the match. The Elo ratings are adjusted upward for the winner and downward for the loser to better reflect each wrestler’s “true” rating. The Elo algorithm is an example of a zero-sum game (i.e., one wrestler’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss so that the net change is zero).

Relatively speaking, the wrestler with the higher rating is expected to have a greater likelihood of winning the match. But on the occasion that a higher rated wrestler loses to a lower rated wrestler, this is an unexpected outcome and evidence that the original ratings were quite inaccurate. As a result, a greater number of rating points will be exchanged to correct that error. This correction will better reflect each wrestler’s “true” rating for future matches. If a wrestler were to only defeat low-rated wrestlers, their Elo would not increase as rapidly compared to a wrestler who competed against, and defeated, high rated wrestlers. 

Methodology for 2020 Elo rankings

With this analysis, every wrestler started with an Elo rating of 1600. The K-value, which determines the exchange of rating points per match, was set at 8. Each of the 32,984 match results from 5,966 events held in 2020 was collected from cagematch.net and sequentially ran through the Elo algorithm (matches from wrestlingdata.com were also explored but contain nearly 1/3 fewer matches relative to cagematch.net). For multi-person matches, the average of the teammates’ Elo rating was used against the average of the opposing team in the algorithm. A total of 15,482 wrestlers had at least one match in 2020. A cutoff of 10 matches was used in order to be considered for the Elo 500. Wrestlers with multiple gimmicks were collapsed so that their Elo rating would accumulate based on the individual and not their unique gimmicks. 

A potential limitation in utilizing the Elo algorithm to rank wrestlers is that a number of popular wrestlers had poor win-loss records. As a result, wrestlers like Hiroshi Tanahashi, EVIL, Daniel Bryan, Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Sammy Guevara do not appear in the Elo 500. Given the scripted nature of professional wrestling, this is not unexpected since there must be losers as well as winners. However, ranking wrestlers based on Elo is a reflection of accumulated success over the course of a year. By integrating additional criteria like championships won and major feuds like what is done in the PWI 500, a poor Elo rating may be ameliorated. This is an avenue to examine in the future in order to make the Elo rankings have better face validity. 

The Elo 500 is not strictly a ranking of winning percentage. As can be seen from the graph below, wrestlers with a perfect record are not necessarily ranked the highest. Elo ratings are dependent on success against opponents with strong Elo ratings themselves. For instance, the one wrestler who had a sub-.500 record (Taichi from New Japan Pro Wrestling) was able to amass enough quality wins to gain a place in the Elo 500. For that reason, Elo is an improvement over just win-loss records.

Elo 500 results

Wrestlers in the Elo 500 competed in 485 different promotions throughout 2020. The vast majority (20.4%) wrestled for only one company. Warhorse competed for the greatest number of promotions, 27. Considering only a wrestler’s most frequent promotion, the greatest number of wrestlers came from All Elite Wrestling (42), WWE (41), NJPW (19), CMLL (17), DDT (17), BJW (16), Pro Wrestling NOAH (16), AJPW (15), and Dragon Gate (15). 

According to Elo ratings, the top wrestler from 2020 is Drew McIntyre, the current WWE Champion, followed by Syuri, the current SWA Women’s World Champion in Stardom, and Heavy Metal, Real Canadian Wrestling’s current Canadian Heavyweight Champion. Will Ospreay, SANADA, Shingo Takagi, Jon Moxley, and Roman Reigns had the next highest Elo ratings at year’s end. Saka Akai from DDT and Tsukushi Haruka from Ice Ribbon round out the top 10. The entire Elo 500 list can be found below, including win-loss records, the most frequently wrestled-in promotion, and the number of promotions wrestled for.

One of the more interesting aspects of the Elo algorithm is that the odds of future matches can be calculated between wrestlers using the following equation:

For instance based on the 2020 Elo ratings, if former Shield teammates Jon Moxley (Elo=1770.99) and Roman Reigns (Elo=1763.82) were to have a match, the likelihood of Jon Moxley winning would be 51.03%, essentially, a toss-up. On the other hand, if Kenny Omega (Elo=1744.58) were to wrestle Kota Ibushi (Elo=1650.97), the likelihood of Kenny Omega winning would be 63.15%. Since all four have had additional matches, their overall Elo ratings would change and so would the likelihoods.

In conclusion, this analysis of 2020’s wrestling matches attempts to provide an unbiased ranking as an improvement to the PWI 500. While there are limitations inherent in utilizing Elo for such a ranking, the interpretation is straightforward and treats wrestlers evenly and fairly across all promotions without any subjective bias; the only critical factor is wins against strong competition. Much like the concept of star ratings for wrestling matches, it is hoped that this will spur interest and discussion about wrestlers from across the world.

Elo 500 RankNameEnd of 2020 Elo2020 W-L-D Record# of promotionsPromotion most frequently wrestled in
1Drew McIntyre1794.1747-5-21WWE
3Heavy Metal1791.5643-6-03Real Canadian Wrestling
4Will Ospreay1777.9542-10-04NJPW
6Shingo Takagi1771.1165-22-22NJPW
7Jon Moxley1770.9929-2-04AEW
8Roman Reigns1763.8229-2-11WWE
9Saki Akai1759.7152-15-19DDT
10Tsukushi Haruka1759.4784-37-512Ice Ribbon
11Kazusada Higuchi1759.4659-20-32DDT
14Taishi Takizawa1754.4643-16-172AW
15Hiromu Takahashi1752.2551-21-11NJPW
16Tetsuya Endo1747.3355-24-25DDT
17Kenny Omega1744.5828-5-13AEW
18Yuka Sakazaki1737.8333-11-35Tokyo Joshi Pro
19Go Shiozaki1737.6743-18-11Pro Wrestling NOAH
20Koji Iwamoto1736.4141-15-32AJPW
21Tsukasa Fujimoto1735.6267-34-78Ice Ribbon
22Tetsuya Naito1733.8953-25-11NJPW
23Chris Dickinson1733.7336-14-018GCW
24Kengo Mashimo1732.2133-14-2122AW
25Isami Kodaka1731.7553-29-314Big Japan Pro-Wrestling
26Hikaru Shida1729.9424-4-01AEW
30Bobby Lashley1728.0334-18-01WWE
31Dragon Dia1726.9462-32-51Dragon Gate
32Yukio Sakaguchi1726.8847-15-22DDT
33Ayato Yoshida1726.4148-28-2112AW
34Jaguar Yokota1726.1024-4-16Diana
35Fuminori Abe1724.7377-52-1220Pro Wrestling BASARA
36Daichi Hashimoto1724.1356-34-17Big Japan Pro-Wrestling
37Aja Kong1723.5826-6-09OZ Academy
38KAZMA SAKAMOTO1723.2842-23-26Dragon Gate
39Cody Rhodes1722.8726-6-22AEW
40Naruki Doi1721.4862-35-21Dragon Gate
41Amber Nova1721.4721-2-06I Believe In Wrestling
42Rika Tatsumi1721.0132-13-23Tokyo Joshi Pro
43Ram Kaicho1720.8454-23-106Ice Ribbon
44Jason Lee1720.6757-35-71Dragon Gate
45Masato Yoshino1719.2055-29-21Dragon Gate
46Rui Hiugaji1716.9524-5-11Michinoku Pro Wrestling
47Pete Dunne1716.8224-3-01WWE
48Tamura Hayato1716.5221-5-16JUST TAP OUT
49Tsutomu Oosugi1715.8537-15-49Pro Wrestling BASARA
50Tank Nagai1715.6339-19-082AW
51Deon James1715.5921-2-14I Believe In Wrestling
53Kaito Ishida1714.9456-47-41Dragon Gate
54Dustin Jackson1713.8326-8-11OVW
55Ryuji Ito1711.9352-30-07Big Japan Pro-Wrestling
56Becky Lynch1711.6317-0-01WWE
57Brett Ison1711.3134-11-38Resolute Wrestling
58Yusuke Kodama1711.0842-20-09AJPW
62El Lindaman1709.5951-30-119DDT
64Gisele Shaw1708.8023-7-010Revolution Pro Wrestling 
66Maya Yukihi1708.4260-36-610Ice Ribbon
67Ryota Hama1708.2929-12-05Big Japan Pro-Wrestling
68Violento Jack1707.1822-6-05Pro Wrestling FREEDOMS
69Shuji Kondo1707.0640-19-33Dragon Gate
70Nyla Rose1707.0421-4-03AEW
71Warhorse1706.3028-9-227Black Label Pro
72Jungle Boy1706.0134-16-12AEW
73Tommaso Ciampa1704.9123-5-11WWE
74Masato Tanaka1704.7543-22-314Pro Wrestling ZERO1
75YAMATO1704.3266-35-61Dragon Gate
76Sky de Lacrimosa1703.7125-10-02Metroplex Wrestling
77Austin Gunn1703.2217-1-01AEW
78Angelo Dawkins1703.1229-12-11WWE
79Matt Riddle1703.0438-12-01WWE
80Bray Wyatt1702.8622-4-11WWE
81Nick Jackson1702.4423-7-12AEW
82Moose1701.3021-5-03Impact Wrestling
83Shun Skywalker1700.6434-20-410Dragon Gate
84Stu Grayson1700.5421-5-13AEW
85Jake Lee1699.6141-23-24AJPW
86Brian Cage1699.5123-7-09AEW
87Shuji Ishikawa1699.3141-22-25AJPW
88Susumu Yokosuka1699.0459-40-24Dragon Gate
89Aleister Black1698.3733-11-01WWE
90Yuji Okabayashi1698.2458-45-313Big Japan Pro-Wrestling
91Takashi Sugiura1698.1240-25-36Pro Wrestling NOAH
92Strong Machine J1697.4028-10-01Dragon Gate
93Nagisa Nozaki1697.1123-7-144Pro Wrestling WAVE
94Braun Strowman1696.1126-8-11WWE
95Matt Jackson1695.7223-8-12AEW
96Santos Escobar1695.4619-4-01WWE
97Emi Sakura1695.3056-28-65Gatoh Move Pro Wrestling
98Yuko Miyamoto1695.2379-50-815Big Japan Pro-Wrestling
99Rhino1694.4530-12-116Impact Wrestling
100Justin Kyle1693.6625-10-011New Wave Pro Wrestling 
101Keith Lee1693.6234-15-21WWE
102Brandon Tate1693.5518-4-11OVW
103Adam Page1693.4722-7-12AEW
104John Wayne Murdoch1693.4628-13-215ICW No Holds Barred
107Satoshi Kojima1693.0839-19-01NJPW
108CIMA1691.6032-21-020Big Japan Pro-Wrestling
109El Desperado1690.6247-34-02NJPW
110Shigehiro Irie1689.9656-40-322AJPW
111Soma Takao1689.9249-26-14DDT
112Marko Estrada1689.8818-4-04North Shore Pro Wrestling
113Yuki Aino1689.4232-17-03Tokyo Joshi Pro
114Kaito Kiyomiya1689.3142-28-21Pro Wrestling NOAH
115Karrion Kross1689.0816-3-19WWE
116Utami Hayashishita1688.2232-19-72Stardom
117Mad Dog Maxx1688.2113-0-23Pro Wrestling Live 
118Moeka Haruhi1687.0025-12-24PURE-J
120Yuji Hino1686.5429-13-38Pro Wrestling ZERO1
121Taiji Ishimori1684.6934-20-01NJPW
123Toru Sugiura1683.7423-10-18Pro Wrestling FREEDOMS
124Kota Minoura1683.6249-32-91Dragon Gate
125Suzu Suzuki1683.5559-43-99Ice Ribbon
126Montez Ford1683.4728-13-21WWE
127Dallas Troy1682.8317-5-12Resolute Wrestling
128Sanshiro Takagi1682.4318-5-21DDT
129Yuu1682.1941-27-513Pro Wrestling WAVE
130Dr. Wagner Jr.1681.9719-7-013Freelance Shows (Mexico)
131Christian Rose1681.8616-4-05ZOWA Live
132Brent Tate1681.8616-4-01OVW
134Mammoth Sasaki1681.5018-6-04Pro Wrestling FREEDOMS
135Maika Ozaki1681.2454-32-57Ice Ribbon
136Ryota Nakatsu1680.9627-15-18Pro Wrestling BASARA
138SAKI1680.7931-16-610Actwres girl’Z
139Dave Segan1680.6015-3-03Metroplex Wrestling
140Keisuke Okuda1680.5259-40-41Dragon Gate
141Katsuhiko Nakajima1680.3341-23-12Pro Wrestling NOAH
142Dustin Rhodes1680.0818-7-01AEW
143AJ Gray1679.8626-13-014GCW
144Candice LeRae1679.8521-9-11WWE
145Derek Neal1679.8217-4-03New South Pro Wrestling
146Naoki Tanizaki1679.5124-13-110Dove Pro Wrestling
147Dominic Garrini1679.4933-17-020Paradigm Pro Wrestling
148Jinsei Shinzaki1679.3716-4-17Michinoku Pro Wrestling
149Kylie Rae1679.0524-10-017Impact Wrestling
150Charlotte Flair1678.3523-11-01WWE
151Kevin Owens1677.9028-16-11WWE
152Naomichi Marufuji1677.8537-24-14Pro Wrestling NOAH
153Joshua O’Hagan1677.8013-2-01Victory Championship Wrestling
154LA Park1677.2118-6-010AAA
155Eric Johnson1677.1912-1-01Limitless Wrestling
156Lance Archer1677.1021-9-05AEW
157Big Mike1676.7617-5-010IWRG
158Daisuke Sasaki1676.7544-22-42DDT
159Jonathan Gresham1676.7314-3-25Ring Of Honor
160Ricky Starks1676.3922-10-14AEW
161Guerrero Maya Jr.1675.6921-9-15CMLL
162Hideyoshi Kamitani1674.7951-39-08Big Japan Pro-Wrestling
163David Starr1674.7719-7-016Revolution Pro Wrestling 
164Yasu Kubota1674.1844-27-09Sportiva Entertainment
165Kuma Arashi1674.0536-22-07AJPW
166Jon Davis1673.1411-1-07Punk Pro Wrestling
167Randy Orton1673.0216-10-21WWE
168Chuck Taylor1672.8325-13-02AEW
169Thunder Rosa1672.5219-6-111AEW
170Big Swole1672.3817-7-05AEW
171Marius Al-Ani1672.1923-12-09wXw
172Sick Boy1672.0314-3-26Lucha Time
173Chris Brookes1671.7666-49-713DDT
174Daisuke Sekimoto1671.7247-35-211Big Japan Pro-Wrestling
175Ricky Marvin1671.4018-6-012Freelance Shows (Mexico)
177Stockade1671.1418-7-15H20 Wrestling
178Hanako Nakamori1671.1126-17-76PURE-J
179Big Chico Che1670.9920-8-09IWRG
180Ultimo Guerrero1670.8228-19-07CMLL
181Alan Lee Travis1670.5412-2-02LDN Wrestling
184Andy Header1670.0313-3-04OutBreak Wrestling
185Austin Towers1669.9826-14-17Pro South Wrestling
186Takashi Sasaki1669.9724-13-110Pro Wrestling FREEDOMS
187Giant Orion1669.7216-5-43Real Canadian Wrestling
188Riddick Moss1669.4011-1-01WWE
189KOTA1669.3627-17-11Real Canadian Wrestling
190Caleb Courageous1669.2517-6-02Resolute Wrestling
191Ricky Awesome1668.9912-2-01Italian Wrestling Association
193Keiji Muto1667.7412-3-02Pro Wrestling NOAH
194Risa Sera1667.7343-36-118Ice Ribbon
195Yasufumi Nakanoue1667.5648-38-08Big Japan Pro-Wrestling
196Chris Jericho1667.5518-8-12AEW
197Wesley Crane1667.5322-11-06Metroplex Wrestling
198Evil Uno1667.3419-8-14AEW
199Penta El Zero M1667.3224-14-04AEW
200Hiroyo Matsumoto1667.3030-16-811SEAdLINNNG
201Kunio Toshima1667.0625-14-162AW
203Johnny Gargano1667.0119-8-11WWE
204Rhea Ripley1666.8223-9-11WWE
205Shinya Ishida1666.7330-22-17Sportiva Entertainment
206Daisuke Harada1666.5736-22-81Pro Wrestling NOAH
207Cara Noir1666.4114-3-37wXw
208Carnage1666.3510-1-07Championship Of Wrestling
209Kendo Kashin1666.2112-3-03Pro Wrestling NOAH
210Mochi Miyagi1666.2036-26-35Ice Ribbon
211Medico Brujo1665.9412-2-14Lucha Time
212Churaumi Saver1665.4322-11-14Ryukyu Dragon Pro Wrestling
213Mei Suruga1664.8150-44-69Gatoh Move Pro Wrestling
215Shotaro Ashino1664.2329-17-04AJPW
216Jacob Fatu1664.1711-2-17MLW
217Minoru Tanaka1664.0634-23-315Pro Wrestling NOAH
218Billy Ken Kid1663.7724-14-113Dotonbori Pro Wrestling
219Shawn Spears1663.7618-10-01AEW
220The Yellow Dog1663.5710-1-04Magnum Pro Wrestling 
221Hiroyoshi Tenzan1663.4523-14-01NJPW
222Jordan Devlin1663.4213-4-04WWE
223Hikari Noa1663.2229-18-03Tokyo Joshi Pro
224PSYCHO1663.0821-10-110Osaka Style Wrestling
225Mr. Brodie Lee1663.0011-3-01AEW
226Frankie Pickard1662.7919-9-03H20 Wrestling
227Rampage Brown1662.6411-2-04Revolution Pro Wrestling 
228Tatsuhiko Yoshino1662.3020-11-07Big Japan Pro-Wrestling
229MUSASHI1662.2633-21-41Michinoku Pro Wrestling
230Fairy Nihonbashi1662.2013-3-04Dotonbori Pro Wrestling
231Big E1661.4526-14-21WWE
232La Jarochita1661.2615-7-15CMLL
233Muerte Extrema1661.2311-2-05Lucha Time
234Con Artiest1661.209-1-03Pro Wrestling Phoenix
235Cherry1661.1227-18-411Actwres girl’Z
236Tsubasa1661.0314-6-010Freelance Shows (Japan)
237Jun Akiyama1660.9440-28-03DDT
238Tim Storm1660.8911-3-25Southwest Wrestling Entertainment
239Rydeen Hagane1660.7828-16-55PURE-J
240Miu Watanabe1660.5227-17-22Tokyo Joshi Pro
241Orange Cassidy1660.4020-12-37AEW
242Kay Lee Ray1660.3910-2-02WWE
243Camaro Jackson1660.2813-5-08World League Wrestling
244Hartley Jackson1660.0820-12-27Pro Wrestling ZERO1
245Tae Honma1660.0636-25-311Ice Ribbon
246Jessie V1659.8716-6-37Superkick’D
247Anthony Bowens1659.6915-6-05AEW
248James Drake1659.6510-2-14WWE
249Max Lemire1659.6310-1-15Federation Canadienne de Lutte
250Alice Crowley1659.4233-19-112IWA Mid-South
251Dimitri Alexandrov1659.3329-20-39Metroplex Wrestling
252Rey Fenix1658.8824-14-03AEW
253Tatum Manning1658.4111-3-01Metroplex Wrestling
254Anthony Idol1658.4011-3-17United Wrestling Network
255Kazumi Kikuta1658.3346-31-07Big Japan Pro-Wrestling
256Rat Daddy1658.259-1-02International Wrestling Australia
258Juice Robinson1657.9825-16-01NJPW
259Steve Boz1657.769-1-02Chicago Style Wrestling
260Shoko Nakajima1657.6830-20-34Tokyo Joshi Pro
261Bianca Belair1657.5925-16-11WWE
262Super Beetle1657.4913-4-26Millenium Pro Wrestling
263Konosuke Takeshita1657.4246-41-34DDT
264Finn Balor1657.3415-7-11WWE
265Mo Atlas1657.2212-4-04Paradigm Pro Wrestling
266Connor Hopkins1656.9314-5-03ZOWA Live
267Alex Shelley1656.9319-10-19Impact Wrestling
268El Phantasmo1656.9318-10-07NJPW
269KAI1656.9045-35-45Dragon Gate
270Chris Steeler1656.7211-3-13Warriors Of Wrestling
271Robbie Vio1656.5511-2-11Pro South Wrestling
272Rene Dupree1656.4712-4-12Pro Wrestling NOAH
273Cha Cha Charlie1656.3411-3-06Coastal Championship Wrestling
274Shiro Koshinaka1656.2410-3-08Pro Wrestling NOAH
275Zak Knight1656.1310-3-22World Association Of Wrestling
276Kento Miyahara1656.0528-26-41AJPW
277Christian Casanova1655.8915-7-18Limitless Wrestling
278Momo Watanabe1655.8031-22-61Stardom
279Breyer Wellington1655.7413-5-06Horror Slam Wrestling
280Ryan Davidson1655.6613-5-05Reality Of Wrestling
281Isaiah Scott1655.6025-14-11WWE
282Meiko Satomura1655.1914-6-18Sendai Girls’ Pro Wrestling
283Kazushi Sakuraba1655.1218-10-01Pro Wrestling NOAH
284Natsupoi1655.1027-16-26Tokyo Joshi Pro
285Spyder1655.0512-4-14Body Progression Wrestling
286Trish Adora1654.979-1-16PAWDWC Presents F1ght Club Pro Wrestling
287Chihiro Hashimoto1654.8620-14-011Sendai Girls’ Pro Wrestling
289Joe Black1654.4914-6-15Pro South Wrestling
290Mikael Judas1654.2312-5-13Southern Fried Championship Wrestling
292Dameon Ceretone1653.9316-7-22Pro South Wrestling
293Chris Vice1653.6622-15-34Pro Wrestling ZERO1
294Yuki Kamifuku1653.6324-19-03Tokyo Joshi Pro
295Steven Styles1653.6212-4-03Real Canadian Wrestling
296El Hijo de LA Park1653.6113-6-011AAA
297Arata1653.4112-4-04JUST TAP OUT
298Jeff Cobb1653.3639-28-013NJPW
299Mustafa Ali1653.3416-7-11WWE
301Matt Hayter1653.2010-2-02Riot City Wrestling
302Willow Nightingale1653.0314-5-012Beyond Wrestling
303Tomoya Hirata1653.0322-13-111Pro Wrestling FREEDOMS
304Zach Nystrom1652.7010-3-17International Wrestling Cartel
305Princesa Sugehit1652.6213-6-02CMLL
306Hiragi Kurumi1652.5233-24-37Ice Ribbon
307Flavio Augusto1652.269-2-22Italian Wrestling Association
308Cameron Keast1652.1612-5-01Pro South Wrestling
309Shane Mercer1652.0519-10-210GCW
311Pat Powers1651.7410-3-02Pro Wrestling Phoenix
312Kim Mir1651.4912-4-01Pro Wrestling Society
313Volador Jr.1651.4428-18-02CMLL
314The Slammer1651.2213-6-31Real Canadian Wrestling
315Pauly Thomaselli1651.1410-3-03POWW Entertainment
316Kota Ibushi1650.9738-30-01NJPW
317Jun Kasai1650.9316-9-28Pro Wrestling FREEDOMS
319Reed Bentley1650.8114-6-07ICW No Holds Barred
320El Terrible1650.4921-16-01CMLL
321The Mysterious Movado1650.4723-15-113Pro Wrestling All-Stars Of Detroit
322Shiro Kuma1650.3614-7-06Dotonbori Pro Wrestling
323Takuya Nomura1650.3253-42-410Big Japan Pro-Wrestling
324Io Shirai1650.2913-7-11WWE
325Mentai Kid1650.2611-5-03Kyushu Pro Wrestling
326Vince Austin1650.2424-15-02Real Canadian Wrestling
327Darby Allin1650.2218-12-03AEW
328Adam Maxted1650.159-2-07Insane Championship Wrestling
329Jaxon Carter1650.0310-3-02Alternative Pro Wrestling
330Meathooks O’Bannon1649.9711-3-03POWW Entertainment
332Heather Monroe1649.8219-10-120United Wrestling Network
333JDX1649.799-2-08American Wrestling Federation  
335Cass Stone1649.679-2-01Professional Championship Wrestling 
337Minoru Fujita1649.4962-45-614Big Japan Pro-Wrestling
338Che Cabrera1649.1711-4-19United Wrestling Network
339Matt Sydal1649.1518-9-08AEW
340Koji Doi1649.1421-13-05WRESTLE-1
341Andy Wu1649.1018-12-16WRESTLE-1
342Ricky South1649.0111-4-07PWA Black Label
343Yuki Ueno1648.8842-37-23DDT
345Dalys la Caribena1648.8316-9-07CMLL
346Colt Cabana1648.6727-18-09AEW
347Garibai1648.6711-4-01Idaho Wrestle Club
348Mike Outlaw1648.6511-4-07Pro Wrestling ZERO1 USA
349Scorpio Sky1648.6219-12-12AEW
350Roman Rozell1648.5611-3-03OVW
352Mark Haskins1648.1913-6-04Revolution Pro Wrestling 
353Bryce Benjamin1648.0210-4-06Lucha Libre Total Chicago
354Eric Martin1648.0012-5-06H20 Wrestling
355Swoggle1647.9617-10-213ACW Wisconsin
356Masakatsu Funaki1647.779-2-34Pro Wrestling NOAH
358Chikayo Nagashima1647.349-3-14Marvelous That’s Women Pro Wrestling
360Dan Moloney1647.2515-8-27Revolution Pro Wrestling 
361Kerry Morton1647.259-2-03KFW Wrestling
362Chris Sabin1647.0710-3-01Impact Wrestling
363El Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr.1647.0418-12-110Pro Wrestling NOAH
364Tom Lawlor1647.0319-14-013MLW
365Joe Gacy1647.0214-7-112We Want Wrestling
367Jake Hager1646.8712-6-01AEW
368Rey Mysterio1646.8115-7-01WWE
369Kongo Kong1646.7512-5-112IWA Mid-South
370Parada1646.738-2-02Arizona Wrestling Federation
371Naomi Yoshimura1646.7338-32-02DDT
372Kyoko Inoue1646.7213-6-24Diana
373Verzal1646.699-3-12Welcome To Mi Barrio
375Thomas Dubois1646.578-2-08BATTLEWAR Pro Wrestling
376Yuya Susumu1646.5622-15-210Pro Wrestling FREEDOMS
377Marky1646.5210-4-23Real Canadian Wrestling
378Logan Lynch1646.499-2-13ACW Wisconsin
379Mitch Clarke1646.409-3-06Monster Pro Wrestling
380El Hijo del Vikingo1646.3715-8-06AAA
381Yuki Miyazaki1646.3421-14-43Pro Wrestling WAVE
382Stan Stylez1646.3317-9-28H20 Wrestling
383Rickey Shane Page1646.1924-15-115GCW
384Levi Shapiro1646.0911-5-05United Wrestling Network
385Great Kojika1646.0210-4-06Niigata Pro Wrestling
386Brandi Rhodes1646.0010-3-01AEW
387Shu Asakawa1646.0032-23-282AW
388Kat Von Heez1645.878-2-04Canadian Wrestling’s Elite
391Amigo Suzuki1645.5112-6-28Secret Base
392Kotaro Suzuki1645.4934-25-36Pro Wrestling NOAH
393GENTARO1645.3617-10-49Pro Wrestling FREEDOMS
394Mr. Iguana1645.2810-4-16AAA
395Axel Rod1645.238-2-01Southern Violence And Wrestling
396Eric Ryan1644.9621-15-09ICW No Holds Barred
397Redshaw1644.959-2-02Riot City Wrestling
398Jay White1644.8725-24-01NJPW
399Shoki Kitamura1644.8624-19-28Pro Wrestling ZERO1
400Zack Gibson1644.738-2-12WWE
401Miyu Yamashita1644.7128-20-13Tokyo Joshi Pro
402Hirooki Goto1644.7041-33-21NJPW
403Takafumi Ito1644.5714-7-16Pro Wrestling HEAT UP
404Kohei Sato1644.0817-12-17Big Japan Pro-Wrestling
405Victor Chase1644.038-2-03We Want Wrestling
406Shayna Baszler1643.9924-16-21WWE
407Ayako Sato1643.8119-11-47Diana
408Big Ovett1643.6823-14-014IWRG
409Kiera Hogan1643.6516-11-07Impact Wrestling
410Myron Reed1643.6221-14-018MLW
411The Butcher1643.5120-13-01AEW
412Kyle Roberts1643.508-2-02River City Championship Wrestling
413Baby D1643.3012-7-16Metroplex Wrestling
414Nick Aldis1643.188-2-05NWA
416Jesse James1642.889-3-06United Wrestling Network
417Mr. Leggs1642.8111-5-01Metroplex Wrestling
418Mizuki1642.6426-20-23Tokyo Joshi Pro
419Moses Powell1642.569-3-01World League Wrestling
420Devantes1642.5115-8-014High Tension Wrestling
421DBA1642.508-2-23Xtreme Intense Championship Wrestling
423The Blade1642.2320-13-01AEW
424Matt Angel1642.238-2-15North Shore Pro Wrestling
425Isabella Smothers1642.009-3-17Girl Fight
426Willie Mack1641.9123-15-07Impact Wrestling
427Davey Boy Smith Jr.1641.8811-5-010MLW
428Jake Crist1641.7127-21-214IWA Mid-South
429Eli Drake1641.338-2-02NWA
430Bryan Leo1641.318-2-01Pro Wrestling Society
431Stryknyn1641.2016-10-15Alternative Pro Wrestling
432Villman1641.099-3-01World Association Of Wrestling
433Ultra Soki1640.9618-13-03Ryukyu Dragon Pro Wrestling
434Tommy Becker1640.8720-13-17Metroplex Wrestling
435Chasyn Rance1640.8417-10-04I Believe In Wrestling
436Miranda Gordy1640.809-3-04Southwest Wrestling Entertainment
437Mitch Vallen1640.799-3-01H20 Wrestling
438Deonn Rusman1640.7810-4-05WrestlePro
439Johnny Malibu1640.758-2-01Canadian Wrestling’s Elite
440Miedo Extremo1640.7216-10-09Lucha Libre Vanguardia
441DASH Chisako1640.7122-14-29Sendai Girls’ Pro Wrestling
442Sadico1640.709-3-03Alianza Universal De Lucha Libre
443Lucas Steel1640.4011-5-05AJPW
444Dorian Crowe1640.1418-13-02Pro South Wrestling
445Galeno Del Mal1640.0613-7-111IWRG
446Ryo Saito1640.0643-39-21Dragon Gate
447SUGI1639.9519-14-17Pro Wrestling ZERO1
448Stephanie Vaquer1639.8610-5-04CMLL
449Dragon Lee1639.768-3-03Ring Of Honor
450Dave La Justice1639.6811-5-06North Shore Pro Wrestling
451RYUKYU-DOG Dingo1639.6611-5-03Ryukyu Dragon Pro Wrestling
452Kazuyuki Fujita1639.658-3-03Pro Wrestling NOAH
453Takaku Fuke1639.5511-6-14Dotonbori Pro Wrestling
454Shawn Sanders1639.2811-5-01All-Star Pro
455TAKA Michinoku1639.1212-7-16JUST TAP OUT
456Nikos Rikos1639.087-2-12Titan Championship Wrestling
457Ryuichi Kawakami1639.0349-36-012Big Japan Pro-Wrestling
458Aigle Blanc1638.7612-6-08Association les Professionnels du Catch
459Myzteziz Jr.1638.7215-8-04AAA
460Kenshin Chikano1638.6813-8-07Dove Pro Wrestling
461David Finlay1638.6722-14-02NJPW
462Kengo Takai1638.6516-11-07Sportiva Entertainment
463Hikaru Sato1638.3539-28-37AJPW
464JT Energy1638.318-3-14SCW Pro Wrestling
465Adam Grace1638.068-3-14ACW Wisconsin
466Kid Lykos II1638.0314-8-111TNT Extreme Wrestling
467Hiroshi Yamato1637.9245-38-514DDT
468Channing Decker1637.8614-9-011Superkick’D
469La Silueta1637.858-3-01CMLL
470Elijah Dean1637.7210-5-05International Wrestling Cartel
473Shaman1637.537-2-12Union Of European Wrestling Alliances
474Derek James1637.3924-15-27Body Progression Wrestling
475Marcel Barthel1637.1611-6-11WWE
476Aoife Valkyrie1637.1010-5-05WWE
478Vito Fratelli1636.9710-5-16Freelance Shows (USA)
479noki-A1636.9513-9-04OZ Academy
480Dre Jacobs1636.8615-8-010Xtreme Intense Championship Wrestling
481Brazo de Oro Jr.1636.4211-6-09Desastre Total Ultraviolento
482Andrew Palace1636.3711-6-07International Wrestling Cartel
483Harutoki1636.3312-8-06Dotonbori Pro Wrestling
484Masamune1636.2414-9-210Pro Wrestling FREEDOMS
485Shaun Martens1636.2035-28-05Real Canadian Wrestling
486Charli Evans1636.1816-11-214PWA Black Label
487Luke Jacobs1636.0913-8-213FutureShock Wrestling
488Brandon Groom1636.0710-5-02Body Progression Wrestling
489Dallas McLane1635.998-3-13Explosive Pro Wrestling
490Tarkan Aslan1635.949-4-05German Wrestling Federation
491Savannah Evans1635.879-4-09BriiCombination Wrestling
493Dean Richtor1635.6213-8-02Real Canadian Wrestling
494Steve Rivers1635.6210-6-01Real Canadian Wrestling
495Jiro Kuroshio1635.5519-14-09AJPW
496Tyler Matthews1635.548-3-02Great Lakes Wrestling Association
497Darius Carter1635.529-4-16Warriors Of Wrestling
498Stephanie Maze1635.4711-6-18wXw
499Trevor Murdoch1635.417-2-14NWA
500Nick Gage1635.4117-12-017GCW

Matthew Schroeder is a passionate wrestling fan who uses his scientific and analytic background to examine the wrestling business in unique and innovative ways.