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How predictable was WrestleMania Backlash?

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 May 16 at WrestleMania Backlash. 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 WrestleMania 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 pre-show match between Sheamus and Ricochet is not included in the results because it was not advertised far enough in advance of the event.

The line for Rhea Ripley’s match can be interpreted as follows: “3 out of 7 predictions for Ripley’s match were correct, which is a predictability rating of 42.9%.”

Staff Predictions for WrestleMania Backlash

Match Geno Sean Cain Claire Kyle Stella Polls Total
Match Geno Sean Cain Claire Kyle Stella Polls Total
Ripley vs. Asuka vs. Flair 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 42.9
Dirty Dawgs vs. The Mysterios 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 100.0
Priest vs. The Miz 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 100.0
Belair vs. Bayley 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 100.0
Lashley vs. McIntyre vs. Strowman 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 100.0
Reigns vs. Cesaro 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 100.0
Total 100.0 100.0 83.3 83.3 83.3 83.3 100.0 90.5

These numbers add up to 38 correct predictions and 4 incorrect predictions, which means the overall predictability rating for WrestleMania Backlash is 90.5%. That makes WrestleMania Backlash the most predictable WWE PPV since we started grading them in this way at the start of 2015. It’s the only event that has ever reached a predictability rating of 90% or higher.

This increases the overall predictability rating for 2021 WWE PPVs from 62.5% up to 67.1% (173 correct vs. 85 incorrect predictions). For comparison’s sake, the overall predictability ratings each year from from 2015 through 2020 were 63.4%, 61.1%, 61.6%, 58.7%, 63.7%, and 65.5%, respectively.

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

  • 57%: Rhea Ripley (37% Flair, 6% Asuka)
  • 81%: Dominik & Rey Mysterio
  • 89%: Damian Priest
  • 79%: Bianca Belair
  • 82%: Bobby Lashley (9% McIntyre, 9% Strowman)
  • 70%: Roman Reigns

The staff predictions and poll results show that the only match that presented any kind of challenge to predict was Ripley’s title defense. That goes to show you the power of Charlotte Flair when she is challenging for a title.

The remaining matches on this card were as easy to predict as it gets. The Cageside staff and the overall poll results didn’t include a single incorrect prediction outside of Flair’s match. The number 100% litters nearly the entire rightmost column in the chart above.

The voters simply did not buy Bayley, Cesaro, Drew McIntyre, or Braun Strowman as viable threats to win the respective titles they were chasing on this card, and the voters were also highly confident that the Dirty Dawgs’ tag championship reign was coming to an end. Of course the voters also knew that The Miz would lose to Damian Priest and be eaten by zombies.

The staff of Cageside Seats had a fantastic night with predicting the winners at WrestleMania Backlash. How did you fare, Cagesiders?

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