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How predictable was Extreme Rules 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 July 19 at Extreme Rules 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 Extreme Rules 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 pre-show match (Kevin Owens vs. Murphy) was excluded because it wasn’t advertised early enough. The prediction data for Apollo Crews vs. MVP was discarded because the match never took place. The Swamp Fight was also omitted, and that will be addressed in more detail later.

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

Staff Predictions for Extreme Rules 2020

Match Geno Sean Cain Claire Kyle Stella Polls Total
Match Geno Sean Cain Claire Kyle Stella Polls Total
New Day vs. Cesaro & Nakamura 1 100.0
Bayley vs. Nikki Cross 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 85.7
Rey Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 85.7
Asuka vs. Sasha Banks 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 100.0
Total 75.0 50.0 75.0 50.0 75.0 75.0 100.0 71.4

These numbers add up to 20 correct predictions and 8 incorrect predictions, which means the overall predictability rating for Extreme Rules 2020 is 71.4%.

This increases the overall predictability rating for 2020 WWE PPVs from 62.9% up to 63.6% (203 correct vs. 116 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.

This card had confounding finishes in some of the most important matches of the night; it wasn’t clear who won Asuka’s match or the Swamp Fight. At least the Eye for an Eye match had a clear winner, even if it did end with vomit and a fake eyeball, as well as WWE immediately putting in all the caveats about Rey’s vision being recoverable.

Asuka’s match ended with Bayley putting on a referee shirt, counting the fall for Sasha Banks, and the two of them running off with Asuka’s championship while Sasha’s music played. The show continued without an announcement of who won the match. WWE’s web site lists the result as “Raw Women’s Title Match ends in controversy.” Stephanie McMahon came out on Raw the next night and directly stated that neither Asuka nor Sasha Banks won this match at Extreme Rules. There was lingering confusion though because she didn’t directly state that Asuka was still the Raw women’s champion.

WWE’s web site lists Asuka as the Raw women’s champion. Therefore I’m giving WWE the benefit of the doubt here and figuring that means the Extreme Rules match ended with a No Contest or Draw. I scored this as in incorrect prediction for every Cageside staff member, because technically we all could have picked “no winner” but chose not to. The community poll for Asuka vs. Sasha Banks was omitted because the match had no winner, but that was not presented as a voting option.

The Swamp Fight ended with both Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt submerged in the water, and then The Fiend emerging in the show’s final moments. Once again, it was not immediately clear which wrestler was the winner. WWE’s web site lists the result as “‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt resurfaces in bizarre Swamp Fight”, which doesn’t help at all.

WWE did not shed any light on this matter by the end of the week. It’s still not clear if Braun Strowman won the match, Bray Wyatt won the match, or if there was no winner. Therefore I tossed this match out the window, ignoring the Swamp Fight from these prediction results.

These confusing match finishes in WWE are getting out of control. It’s not a good sign for a wrestling promotion when they have such a difficult time telling you who won the most important matches of a pay-per-view event, or when they have to vomit when it is clear who won.

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

  • 79%: Cesaro & Nakamura
  • 70%: Bayley
  • 68%: Seth Rollins
  • 84%: Drew McIntyre

These four matches on the card were all quite easy to predict; WWE wasn’t fooling too many people when it came to figuring out who would win or lose most of the matches at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules. If Asuka’s match was excluded, the predictability rating for this show would have been north of 90%. That’s what happens when Dolph Ziggler is booked into a WWE championship match.

The staff of Cageside Seats had a good night with predicting the winners at Extreme Rules 2020. How did you fare, Cagesiders?

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