By Josh Powell | WWE SummerSlam
Betting on wrestling? Surely that’s like betting on Gail Platt’s next husband or the next victim on Midsummer Murders, I hear you retort. Maybe, but you have to remember WWE is slightly more unpredictable. This is the ‘sport’ where Perry Saturn fell in love with a mop and 77-year-old Mae Young gave birth to a rubber hand. What are the odds on that?
SummerSlam is the second biggest event of the year for WWE (or WWF if you were into wrestling before 2002 and still couldn’t give a toss about pandas). More than 15,000 fans are expected to fill out the Staples Centre in L.A. and many more will be watching at home, so here’s the trends you need to know before placing a bet.
World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio (C) v Christian
Christian got his shot at the belt after beating Rob Van Dam and Randy Orton in a triple threat match to become the number one contender.
- The World Heavyweight Championship has been defended 10 times at SummerSlam, with the Championing retaining his belt 50 per cent of the time
- Christian has a 60 per cent success rate at SummerSlam but lost a World Heavyweight Championship match here in 2011 to Randy Orton
- Alberto Del Rio has lost two of his previous three SummerSlam matches
- In 16 matches were these two have met, Christian has won 12 of them (75 per cent)
- Christian has won 63 per cent of singles matches against Alberto Del Rio, and in their only previous Heavyweight Title bout, Christian won at Extreme Rules in May 2011
Looking at the stats, the traders might have got this one wrong with Alberto Del Rio the 1/2 jolly. Christian has the better head-to-head record, the better SummerSlam record and can boast a 48 percent win rate at Pay Per Views in his career. The 6/4 shot hasn’t held the World Heavyweight title for more than two years though and Alberto Del Rio will fancy his chances of a successful defence.
John Cena (C) v Daniel Bryan – Special referee Triple H
The manager of RAW told John Cena he could pick whoever he wanted to face at SummerSlam. If he was smart he would have picked Danny Dyer, battered him, won the title and done us all a favour. Instead he pandered to the crowd and let them pick Daniel Bryan. What a loser.
- The WWE Champion has retained his title 66 per cent of the time at SummerSlam
- John Cena has won just four of nine matches at SummerSlam and lost a Championship Unification match when Triple H was a ref here two years ago
- Daniel Bryan has won two and lost one of just three matches at SummerSlam
- These two have only met in singles action twice, with Cena winning both
- Cena has a 60 per cent success rate in Pay Per View action
Triple H looks to be the big deciding factor when Paddy Power’s wrestling guru priced up this contest. Cena’s form lines look pretty solid but his record at SummerSlam is enough for the traders to price him up as the 5/2 outsider. Bryan is a short 1/4 favourite to dethrone Cena and buck the WWE Championship trends.
Ring of Fire
Kane v Bray Wyatt
Unfortunately this has nothing to do with Johnny Cash serenading the wrestlers as they fight. Instead the ring is surrounded by flames to keep out Wyatt’s pesky family and probably to continue the theme that Kane is a ‘monster’ etc.
- Since 2001 Kane has won six of seven matches at SummerSlam (86 per cent)
- Kane has been in four ‘Inferno matches’ before and lost three of them
- The Big Red Machine has just a 40 per cent strike rate at Pay Per View events
Not much to go on here with Bray Wyatt being fairly new on the scene. His ruthless debut attack on Kane has left a lasting impression on the Paddy Power bean counters and they make Wyatt a 1/50 favourite despite Kane’s impressive record at the event. Kane pretty much invented the match yet has a shocking record in it, a lot like England and football. He is 10/1 to cause an upset.
CM Punk v Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman)
The WWE loves a classic betrayal story. CM Punk fired manager Paul Heyman after losing to the Undertaker at WrestleMania, but still wanted Heyman to be his best friend. In true wrestling style Heyman made it appear they were big buddies and then cost Punk a chance to win ‘Money in The Bank’. Now he wants Brock Lesnar to give Punk a good battering.
- Brock Lesnar has won two of three matches at SummerSlam, beating The Rock in 2002 and Triple H in 2012, but losing to Kurt Angle in 2003
- CM Punk has won 57 per cent of his seven bouts at SummerSlam
- Brock is bringing Heyman to the ring but in the history of Summerslam, a wrestler who brings in a manager gets beat 65 per cent of the time
- Punk is undefeated in singles action since WrestleMania in April
- Lesnar has lost just 28 per cent of his matches in WWE history
Despite the awful record wrestlers with managers have, Lesnar is the firm 2/7 favourite, presumably because of his incredible win record and high-profile SummerSlam bouts previously. Punk is a generous 9/4 considering he hasn’t lost since Mania but ‘The Beast’ should beat ‘The Best’ here.