Sports betting is one of the most popular sectors of online gambling but one of the sports that has become more widely bet on in recent years is professional wrestling despite its reputation as being a pre-determined form of entertainment.
It’s All About the WWE!
The main focus of betting on wrestling is aimed at the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) and with pay-per-view events occurring on a monthly basis there is always an event coming up on the schedule that a select number of bookmakers are offering odds on.
WWE, formerly known as the WWF (World Wrestling Federation), has always been deemed a form of sports entertainment with the fact that its matches are set up and fixed as opposed to spontaneous and unpredictable. However, with the rise of betting on the matches it is becoming harder for leaked results to come out of the WWE.
There are still some cynics who believe that the winners of each match are easy to predict either due to leaked information online from sources within the WWE itself or due to the way a certain storyline is set to go. However, even though it is technically pre-determined, betting on wrestling is far from flawed.
In pay-per-view events such as Wrestlemania or Summerslam where wrestlers go head-to-head or take each other on in teams or in a handicap or triple threat etc then you will often see the bookmakers heavily back one of the wrestlers as rumours of a pre-determined winner are leaked online. Sometimes the bookies will even stop taking bets if there is too much backing for a certain wrestler.
Modern day sports betting is very much focussed around the Internet. From a bettor’s perspective, it’s a great marketplace as there’s so many big name gambling operators vying for your business. With all of these offering attractive welcome bonuses, it’s worth checking out your options before placing a bet on the big matches online.
When certain wrestling bloggers like Deadspin and Dolphins1925 state that a certain result is expected to happen then people stand up and take notice. That includes the bookies. It has even got the stage where some cynics feel that leaks from within the WWE are being intentionally made so that insiders can have a financial gain.
The Favourite Doesn’t Always Win
Despite the fact it is a pre-determined outcome, there have been times when the wrestler that has been touted as the favourite has not always prevailed victorious. The reasons for this could be one of many. Ahead of Wrestlemania 30, The Undertaker opened at odds of -3,000 for his match versus Brock Lesnar. The Undertaker had previously been undefeated at Wrestlemania with a 21-0 win record. That price meant punters would need to bet $300 to win just $10. It appeared to be a sure thing. However, in the hours before the event, The Undertaker’s odds drifted and he was as low as -2,500 on the day of Wrestlemania 30. As history would have it, Lesnar won the match-up and punters that had backed The Undertaker when he first came onto the market were left shocked.
That is the most high profile example of the underdog defying the odds to win the day. It does not happen very often in wrestling betting but it is proof that the price that the odds open up with are not always an indication of the end result.
One of the most unpredictable WWE betting events is the annual Royal Rumble. Every year, the Royal Rumble produces a number of surprises and the fact that betting is no limited to just a winner means that the market is made wide open and is not as predictable as straight up one-on-one matches at other pay-per-view events.
The Royal Rumble betting market includes a host of options such as betting on the winner, the last four, which wrestler will make the most eliminations, what entry number will the winner be, and many more. Also, anyone that witnessed the 1994 Royal Rumble when Bret Hart and Lex Luger touched the mat outside the ring at the same time will know that even if the wrestling executives want one outcome to happen it cannot always be guaranteed.
Is There A Future?
Wrestling was once an industry tied up with secrets. Nobody knew it was fake, nobody knew who would win, and nobody knew anything about the wrestlers and their private lives. Social media and corporate sponsorship have changed that but the rise of betting on wrestling, particularly in the WWE, means that may have to change and the outcomes might need to be more closely guarded.
The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) is experiencing a similar surge in popularity with betting and many punters that have placed bets on WWE have also placed bets on UFC and other sports online such as football, American football, basketball, and horse racing. Even though UFC is not pre-determined, the increase in betting on it has led to calls for a more closely watched betting market to avoid a risk of match-fixing or odds manipulation.
Betting on wrestling is not going away any time soon and it could well be that the markets offered by bookies are altered so that they cannot be manipulated or predicted as easily as they are now with the outright winner markets. The betting on the Royal Rumble shows that there are betting markets that can be opened that cannot be pre-determined and that alone gives hope that betting does have a place in wrestling.