The train keeps on rolling. If you’re just joining us, be sure to check out part one, two and three.
So far, we’ve been dissecting what we can learn from the the star ratings awarded to 280+ WWF PPVs. But it’s time to spice things up and let our data dataset grow! So, now we’ve added 110 WCW/JCP PPVs along with 35 Clash of the Champions television specials as well as 22 SNME/The Main Event (WWF) television specials. In total, this now covers about 450 professional wrestling events from 1985-2013.
The first question that one wonders is how do the two companies stack up year-by-year:
The red (WWF) and blue (WCW) columns at the bottom represent the number of matches included. As you see, WCW (really JCP) was quite light in 1986/1987, so I would take those two WCW datapoints with a serious grain of salt.
Here’s that same data sliced a little differently. Here the fiscal year has been adjusted so it ends with WWF’s Wrestlemania event.
Raw Data (unweighted)
Looking at the WWF versus WCW dynamic, there’s a comparable number of matches between 1988-2000 or WM5 to WM17. Interestingly, this splits the war into two pieces.
Part One: 1988-1994 where WCW was higher (exception being in 1991)
Part Two: 1995 to 2000 when WWF was higher (exception being in 1997)
Oddly enough, that also roughly aligns when the Hulkster jumping ship! That leads me to an interesting query — does employing Hulk Hogan to wrestle actually tank the quality of the show?
It’s hardly definitive proof but shows without Hulk Hogan averaged 1.85 stars while shows with Hulk Hogan averaged 1.63 stars. Was this because shuffling the deck to add Hogan’s allies and put him on top disrupted the ability for the talented wrestlers to succeed?
When we dig deeper and look at PPVs with and without Hogan in WCW while he was employed by Turner, we’ll see a mixed bag. 1994 & 1995 non-Hogan PPVs were certainly stronger (2.0 star avg versus 1.6 star avg for Hogan shows) but 1996 & 1997 are essentially tied (1.99 versus 1.97). 1998 was on the anti-Hogan side (1.77 versus 1.39) but the trend was flipped in 1999 (1.16 versus 1.71). Lastly, in 2000, the non-Hogan shows prevailed (1.42 versus a dismal 0.95 star average for shows with Hogan). However, the end result was only 1.67 without Hogan and 1.62 with Hogan -hardly a slam dunk.
More to come in installment five!