Wrestling Rematches: Are they an issue?
It is a common thing to see now, the same two people fighting each other time and time again. It tends to bore fans and create a disconnect to the product, so let’s have a look at Wrestling Rematches and how many rematches we have seen over the last 6 months – Stats provided by Wrestlenomics.
As we can see above this is a Six-month TV match graph. Let’s break down AEW first and compare it year to year.
AEW starts in 2019 with a 9% of all matches are rematches which is incredibly low when you consider the other companies, however it was also a new company at the time, so these matches where very new.
Then we look at 2020 this is peak pandemic era TV and you would expect to potentially see an increase here, However AEW was still signing new talent and bringing in people from the Indies to work Dark/Elevation which helped to keep it down at 6%.
Which leads us to 2021 and AEW drops to 5%. What all this shows us is that AEW are having constant fresh matches and rematches are very few and far between.
Now let us look at NXT and how they have done. I’ll only go back to 2019 for all other shows to keep it in line with AEW. NXT starts off in 2019 with 18% of all their matches are rematches. This time NXT had transitioned to being aired on USA and a lot of the roster started moving to the “Main Roster” so this is pretty impressive.
In 2020 NXT dropped to 15% for their rematches, again when we look at everything else going on and it being the pandemic year it’s actually really good numbers when we break it down to this level.
Finally, 2021 NXT has increased to 19%, While they had a higher percentage of total matches in this period NXT were able to keep it low especially when we compare to other WWE products.
Let us start with Smackdown, in 2019 we got 26% of rematches which is higher than NXT and AEW combined, Honestly very surprising to see the rematches this high especially when WWE still had a large roster. Again, we need to remember this is in a 6-month period.
In 2020 Smackdown saw 30% of all matches were rematches, this is an increase of 4% compared to 2019, however we can say this could be due to Covid.
2021 Smackdown saw another increase this time to 39% this is a massive jump of 9% in total, this means during the last 6 months you were getting at least 1 rematch per show.
Now time to look at WWE RAW, we start with 2019 with 24% again this is low and still shows we are getting new matches regularly.
In 2020 RAW was stable only raising to 29% again during the pandemic this is very low. Even though it did increase by 5% I would say considering it’s very low.
Now onto 2021 this sees RAW move to 40% of all matches being rematches. This is an increase of 11%, this means you were nearly as likely to see a rematch as you were a fresh match.
However, when we look at the historical graph we can see that RAW has had much higher rematches with a top of 51% in 2014. But when we break those years down for WWE we can see historically rematches did make up a large amount of the matches that was on both RAW and Smackdown. So it’s actually odd to see the lower amount of rematches that we got between 2018 – 2020.
I think it’s not about the number of rematches but the stories being told about why we are having those rematches that’s causing the issue and the feeling of "Ohh, here we go again sigh." But historically rematches have been a large part of what we are seeing on TV.
AEW is still young, and a lot of the potential matches haven’t been seen yet so seeing it still very low makes a lot of sense, but we would probably see an increase in a few years. It will be interesting to revisit this to see what the trends are.
So, is there a Rematch issue with Wrestling? Based on the current numbers and historical numbers I’d say no, but when we see just how low AEW is and even NXT the main roster of WWE has a long way to go with getting those rematch numbers down.
What do you think based on these numbers?
Also I will cover the PPV rematches in a different article so be on the look out for that one.