Wrestling is a tricky thing to bet on. While most US sportsbooks do take bets on wrestling such as the WWE, there is an excellent reason why you might want to be somewhat cautious about it. Wrestling (at least in terms of the WWE – World Wrestling Entertainment) is not actually a sport, but sports entertainment.
This means that the outcomes of its events are fixed, and thus, it may be possible for some people to have insider knowledge over who is going to win beforehand. Sports Betting USA shows the best sportsbooks for US players.
That doesn’t make it any less fun to bet on for your average punter, and other wrestling competitions, such as Olympic wrestling certainly aren’t fixed. However, we’re focusing on the WWE here…
What WWE Competitions Can I Bet On?
Aside from the ethical dilemma of betting on something that has a fixed outcome, what competitions do you have open for you when it comes to WWE betting?
- Weekly Shows: WWE Raw is one of two weekly shows broadcast by the WWE. Most of the roster either appears on this, the most prestigious and historic of the two shows. The other weekly show is Smackdown. Raw has always taken place on Monday nights, while Smackdown takes place on Tuesdays.
- Pay-Per-View (PPV) Events: The WWE’s main Per-Per-View events take place once per month, and these can involve the rosters of both shows (sometimes appearing together). Main PPV events include Backlash, SummerSlam, Survivor Series, No mercy, and Money in the Bank.
- Royal Rumble: This event’s highlight involves a massive roster of wrestlers trying to throw each other over-the-ropes, with a new wrestler joining the action every few minutes. The winner of the event gets a title shot at WrestleMania.
- WrestleMania: The main event and jewel in the crown of the WWE. WrestleMania takes place either in March or April each year and has been running for 34 years this year. The event usually sees all major titles and championships put on the line in both brands.
Types of WWE Wrestling Bets
Given the nature of the “sport”, betting on wrestling is always a bizarre affair. WWE wrestling betting has a completely different set of betting options to most other American sports. Most are one-off, outright bets, and many aren’t based on winners of matches, since those can (in theory) be known earlier, hence the surplus of “prop” bets you can find here.
- First-Time Winner: A fun bet. Whenever a new wrestler joins the WWE, you can wager on how long it will take until he/she wins their first bout.
- Longest Ring-Time: A simple bet which involves betting on which match during an event will run the longest. Obviously, you cannot wager these bets on Iron Man matches, which are 60-minute matches with the victor scoring the most pinfalls.
- Appearance Bets: Will your favourite wrestler turn up at an event? That is essentially what you are betting on with appearance bets.
- Outright Winner: Who will win? This is made somewhat tricky for events such as Raw and Smackdown, where the match line-up is often not published until the show starts.
- Titles Changing Hands: Titles seldom change hands save for a PPV event. However, you can always bet on who the next champion of a specific belt will be. These bets are immensely popular with fans of wrestling betting.
Doing Your Homework
Form doesn’t matter much in a sport which is rigged from the start. However, looking back at past results can usually give you an edge all the same. The WWE is generally keen to either please or entirely frustrate the crowd, so it is unlikely that you’re going to get a “neutral” result to a match.
Look for the result which would cause the most hype in any match-up. There are also several other areas you can look at when doing your homework before betting.
Other Things to Consider
Some of the other things you may wish to consider before placing a bet on WWE wrestling matches include:
- Fan Response: This is hugely important. Is a wrestler a baby face (fan favourite) or a heel (disliked by the fans)? The WWE either gives the fans what they want or goes entirely in the opposite direction. Matches involving heels and babyfaces tend to be far more predictable than those involving neutral wrestlers.
- Injuries: Don’t follow the storylines in the show. Instead, follow the real day-to-day lives of the wrestlers. They can often give hints when they are going to be taking time away from the circuit, and that will likely involve an “injury” being worked into a storyline. Keeping tabs on this can possibly indicate that a “loss” is coming up for that wrestler soon, especially if they’re holding a championship belt.
- Expect the Unexpected: Not every match to plan. Many matches end up in DQs (disqualifications), are interrupted by other wrestlers which changes the outcome, are subject to change with new fighters taking the place of other wrestlers and can just be binned entirely by storylines. A wrestler could be set to appear, then be “attacked” by other wrestlers, forcing a match change. This is immensely frustrating when you’ve got money on the match. Expect the unexpected.
- Beware PPVs: The biggest drama, the biggest upsets, and most titles change hands at PPVs. The WWE must justify the $50 expense to viewers, so while betting on weekly shows is a simple affair, betting on a PPV can prove to have mixed results. If a belt is going to change hands, expect it at a PPV.
Where Can I Bet on Wrestling?
Funnily enough, not everywhere. Most major US sportsbooks do not offer betting on WWE, on the basis that it is fixed, and the legality of that is very shady indeed. However, many offshore sportsbooks popular with European players will offer WWE betting.
A quick trip to one of these sportsbooks will often allow US punters to place bets on the latest wrestling action.