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How predictable was TLC 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, even when I’m running a sloppy shop and am a month late with presenting the results.

Six different staff members predicted the winners for the matches that took place on Dec. 20 at TLC 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 TLC 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 Cageside Seats staff did not make predictions for Daniel Bryan’s 8-man tag team match on the pre-show, so that bout is not included in these results.

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

Staff Predictions for TLC 2020

Match Geno Sean Cain Claire Kyle Stella Polls Total
Match Geno Sean Cain Claire Kyle Stella Polls Total
McIntyre vs. Styles (vs. Miz) 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 100.0
Banks vs. Carmella 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 85.7
New Day vs. Hurt Business 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 42.9
Baszler & Jax vs. Asuka & Flair 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 42.9
Reigns vs. Owens 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 100.0
Wyatt vs. Orton 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 42.9
Total 66.7 50.0 66.7 66.7 83.3 66.7 83.3 69.0

These numbers add up to 29 correct predictions and 13 incorrect predictions, which means the overall predictability rating for TLC 2020 is 69.0%.

This increases the overall predictability rating for 2020 WWE PPVs from 65.3% up to 65.5% (384 correct vs. 202 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. That makes 2020 the most predictable year on WWE’s PPV calendar since I started this exercise.

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

  • 76%: Drew McIntyre
  • 85%: Sasha Banks
  • 54%: Hurt Business
  • 79%: Asuka & Mystery partner
  • 81%: Roman Reigns
  • 19%: Randy Orton

Orton’s win in the Firefly Inferno match is the only one that tripped up the community voters. I think it’s reasonable for most fans to think that the guy who has been in the upper card for 15+ years would put over the (relatively) newer main event star. Maybe that will happen soon if Orton and Wyatt have a rematch, but it didn’t happen to close out WWE’s 2020 pay-per-view schedule. Orton lost most of his pay-per-view matches in the second half of 2020, and I suppose that wasn’t going to last forever.

Based on the overall Cageside staff results for 2020, it looks like WWE pay-per-views were more predictable than normal. The second half of the year was easier to predict (68.1%) than the first half (62.9%). I think this is largely related to the Universal championship matches in the second half of the calendar, which had a predictability rating of 94.3%. It was very easy to see that The Fiend was going to triumph over Braun Strowman at SummerSlam, and that none of Roman Reigns’ challengers after that ever stood a chance.

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

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