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How predictable was Backlash 2020?

When a WWE pay-per-view (PPV) event is on the horizon, the staff of Cageside Seats usually offers predictions for all of the advertised matches on the card. This data can be used to calculate a simple predictability rating for any event.

Six different staff members predicted the winners for the matches that took place on June 14 at Backlash 2020. Staff members received credit for a correct prediction of the winner of any match, even if they were wrong about the context of that victory.

The Cageside Seats match preview articles for Backlash also offered polls allowing Cagesiders the chance to weigh in with their predictions.

The following chart contains the prediction results for these matches. The leftmost column includes the match list. Below each staff member’s name, the number “1” is a correct prediction and the number “0” is an incorrect prediction. Empty boxes indicate where no prediction data was available. The rightmost column contains the overall predictability rating for every match, and the very last row shows the overall accuracy of each individual staff member.

The line for Bobby Lashley’s match can be interpreted as follows: “6 out of 7 predictions for Lashley’s match were correct, which is a predictability rating of 85.7%.”

Staff Predictions for Backlash 2020

Match Geno Sean Cain Claire Kyle Stella Polls Total
Match Geno Sean Cain Claire Kyle Stella Polls Total
Crews vs. Andrade 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 71.4
Women's tag title match 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 71.4
Hardy vs. Sheamus 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 28.6
Asuka vs. Jax 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Strowman vs. Miz & Morrison 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 85.7
McIntyre vs. Lashley 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 85.7
Edge vs. Orton 0 1 0 0 1 1 50.0
Total 28.6 57.1 71.4 28.6 66.7 71.4 83.3 57.4

These numbers add up to 27 correct predictions and 20 incorrect predictions, which means the overall predictability rating for Backlash 2020 is 57.4%.

This decreases the overall predictability rating for 2020 WWE PPVs from 63.9% down to 62.9% (183 correct vs. 108 incorrect predictions). For comparison's sake, the overall predictability ratings each year from from 2015 through 2019 were 63.4%, 61.1%, 61.6%, 58.7%, and 63.7%, respectively.

Now here are the voting percentages from the Cageside community polls for the winners of these matches:

  • 72%: Apollo Crews
  • 65%: Bayley & Banks (25% IIconics, 11% Bliss & Cross)
  • 22%: Sheamus
  • 78%: Braun Strowman
  • 84%: Drew McIntyre
  • 52%: Randy Orton

The community poll for Asuka vs. Nia Jax was omitted because the match had no winner, but that was not presented as a voting option.

Their double countout result is one of the most baffling finishes of the year. 96% of the people who voted in the poll expected Asuka would win, which is about as one-sided a poll as I’ve seen here. On top of that, all six members of the Cageside staff also predicted that Asuka would defeat Jax.

WWE instead booked a double countout, presumably to set up a rematch on Raw the next night (with another bizarre finish). There are rumors that the finish of their match at Backlash was changed. If that’s true, it’s possible that Asuka was initially penciled in as the winner before plans changed.

The other four championship matches on the card were rather predictable.

The winner who fooled the most people was Sheamus. Hey, sometimes these urine angles are just tough nuts to crack.

The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever between Edge and Randy Orton did not have an obvious winner ahead of time. The community and staff were divided down roughly 50/50 lines on trying to guess the outcome of that bout, with one staff member so deeply touched by the grandiose match concept that he couldn’t bring himself to offer a prediction.

The staff of Cageside Seats had an okay night with predicting the winners at Backlash 2020. How did you fare, Cagesiders?