I’ve been digging through match results covering the past twelve months using CageMatch.net. Here’s some feud observations from the wrangler of wrestlenomics.
THE FEUD: Wyatts (Luke Harper & Erick Rowan) versus The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso)
Incidents: 65 tag team matches (there’s even more if you include singles encounters and one weird house show where Jimmy Uso teamed with the Great Khali)
Televised Record: 2 PPVs (Battleground 2014, Money in the Bank 2014), 6 Monday Night RAW episodes (1/6/14, 1/20/14, 5/12/14, 6/2/14, 6/30/14, 7/7/14), 8 Friday Night SmackDown episodes (10/22/13, 11/12/13, 11/26/13, 12/19/13, 1/7/14, 4/29/14, 5/20/14, 9/9/14), 2 Main Event episodes (5/27/14, 6/17/14) = 18 televised tag team matches
Who won the war? Clearly, it was the Usos. Not only did the Wyatt Family fail to pry the tag team titles from the Usos’ hands during pay-per-view challenge, but the Usos racked up an impressive 98% win record (46-1) when they faced Harper/Rowan at WWE Live Events (house shows). At least the war was much more even on television — final tally: 9 victories for the Usos, 8 victories for the Wyatt Family and a no contest (January 2014 SmackDown).
Analysis: These two teams faced each other at least once for 28 weeks of the last 52 weeks. They had eleven tag team matches in May 2014 (which the Usos won all except the Main Event encounter on 5/27/14). It’s time for something new. A singles push for Luke Harper sounds grand. (That’ll go a lot smoother than trying to push one of the Usos as a singles wrestler.)
THE FEUD: Nikki Bella versus Alicia Fox
Incidents: 60 matches (54 tag matches, 6 singles matches)
Televised Record: 1 PPV (Survivor Series 2013; not going to count both being in the VG Invitational at WM), 11 Monday Night RAW episodes (11/25/13, 12/16/13, 12/17/13, 12/30/13, 1/6/14, 1/27/14, 2/10/14, 3/3/14, 6/2/14, 7/14/14, 7/21/14), 1 Friday Night SmackDown episode (10/29/13), 4 Main Event episodes (11/5/13, 1/21/14, 3/4/14, 7/1/14), 1 Superstars Episode (6/16/14) = 18 televised tag team matches
Who won the war? Nikki Bella. Alicia Fox did get a string of victories on Raw (tag wins on 12/16/13, 12/30/13 & 1/6/14 along with handicap victories on 6/2/14, 7/14/14, 7/21/14) but Nikki Bella still leads the tally with 49 victories including 11 televised victories. Nikki also definitively won all six singles matches (3 house shows and Superstars 6/16/14, Main Event 11/5/13, Main Event 3/4/14).
Analysis: With a win over AJ Lee on Monday’s Raw and a new partnership with Paige, let’s just be glad that Alicia Fox is moving on. It’s not uncommon for feuds in the Diva’s division to be repetitive (or one-sided, Aksana’s impressive loss record will attest to that!). Still, it’s kind of stunning how long Fox has been part of the WWE machine – her developmental contract started in 2006 when WWE was still working with OVW. Her “wedding planner” debut on SmackDown was back in June 2008 with future WON HOF Edge. At only 28 years old, the foxy Floridian might stick around for years to come. As for Nikki Bella, she’s do fine. Between Total Divas and dating John Cena, I trust she’ll continue to monopolize plenty of screen time. At least her Rack Attack (Argentine Backbreaker) is a pretty cool move.
THE FEUD: Los Matadors versus 3MB
Incidents: 53 tag team matches (even more if you add in singles contests and include their “mascots” El Torito & Hornswoggle!)
Televised Record: 8 Monday Night RAW episodes (9/30/13, 10/7/13, 10/14/13, 10/28/13, 11/11/13, 4/21/14, 4/28/14, 6/2/14), 4 Friday night SmackDown episodes (10/1/13, 10/22/13, 11/26/13, 5/6/14), 3 Main Event episodes (1/14/14, 2/25/14, 4/15/14), 6 Superstars Episodes (12/10/13, 1/20/14, 1/27/14, 2/3/14, 2/24/14, 4/14/14) = 21 televised matches
Who won the war? Diego & Fernando aren’t very high on the food chain, but they are still above 3MB. (Yet, Matadors are still employed so that’s got to count for something!) Maybe you remember Monday Night RAW on 4/28/14 when 3MB actually won a match. It was epic – 3MB beat Los Matadors in 2:20. Beyond that, there was also a no contest on the 4/15/14 Main Event. Otherwise, bet on a whole lot of wins for the masked Colon cousins.
Analysis: Sadly, talent cuts decimated 3MB when Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal were cut from the WWE roster in June 2014. Shortly thereafter, Fernando (Epico) was injured at a house show in Reading, PA where the makeshift 3MB imposter team (Heath Slater, Hornswoggle, Tyson Kidd w/ Damien Sandow) lost to Torito & the Matadors. The Matadors returned to action on August episodes of Superstars, Main Events and RAW trading wins with Slater Gator and losing to the Dust Brothers (Goldust and Stardust). Should the Ascension ever be officially called up, I do expect that Matadors will again be fed to them as initial opponents, just as we saw on the 9/9/14 episode of Main Event.
THE FEUD: The Real Americans versus the Dust Brothers
Incidents: 38 tag team matches (even more if you add in singles contests)
Televised Record: 2 PPVs (Survivor Series 2013, TLC 2013), 3 Monday Night RAW episodes (11/4/13, 12/9/13, 1/6/14), 4 Friday night SmackDown episodes (10/29/13, 11/19/13, 12/10/13, 3/11/14), 2 Main Event episodes (12/19/13, 3/18/14) = 11 televised matches
Who won the war? Cody Rhodes & Goldust. While Cesaro & Jack Swagger did eek out victories on an 12/10/13 episode of SmackDown and as part of a ten-man elimination match at the Survivor Series, the Brothers Rhodes took home 33 winner’s purses. Perhaps both teams should have joined forces to beat up the Usos regularly won the matches when the three teams faced off during a house show loop in March 2013.
Analysis: One team is holding tag team gold and one is disbanded. It’s pretty clear that Stardust & Goldust prevailed in the tag team game while Swagger & Cesaro continue to flounder in singles’ pushes. The battle for supremacy among the former Real American teammates culminated in the 9/30/14 episode of Main Event. On that night, Cesaro strolled away with the victory.
THE FEUD: Alberto Del Rio versus Dolph Ziggler
Incidents: 30 matches
Televised Record: 5 Monday Night RAW episodes (2/10/14, 3/3/14, 3/17/14, 3/24/14, 7/7/14), 4 Friday night SmackDown episodes (10/1/13, 3/11/14, 6/24/14, 7/29/14), 2 Main Event episodes (11/26/13, 3/25/14) = 11 televised matches
Who won the war? Split. ADR had six victories (all televised) while Ziggler only had four televised wins. However, Dolph did manage to trounce Del Rio at live events with an impressive 19-0 record stretching from 12/29/13 to 8/3/14.
Analysis: Alberto Del Rio got fired for slapping a WWE employee. Dolph Ziggler just won the IC title. In theory, with a unified WWE title around the waist (or in the backseat of a Jeep) of a part-time wrestler, the Intercontinental Title could be the headline attraction for WWE Live Events. However, when you’re in a comedy feud with The Miz with Cesaro playing third fiddle, it’s clear that the belt isn’t being treated as a big deal. Hopefully, this won’t be last of Mr. Ziggles versus the Mexican Aristocrat. I’d love to see them brawling in Mexico.