The Match of the Year train just keeps on rollin! Friday, we released the top 10 and I released some wrestler and promotion statistics. Yesterday, S. Dakota Jones broke down some tiers they noticed in the match voting. Today, we’ll take a brief look at some different statistics regarding the matches themselves with the help of some interactive charts!
Now, do the charts work perfectly on mobile? No. No, they do not. (At least the scatter plots get a little wonky, you can still look at the timeline area graph on mobile, even if interaction is a bit difficult.) Your best bet is going to be to check them out when you get to a computer. However, I have provided image versions of the charts for your perusal. Just click the thumbnails and they’ll take you to the full image.
For all the interactive graphs, you can click and drag to select a focus region, then double click to return to the original zoom. This is especially nifty with the scatter plots. Let’s dive in!
A Year in Review
One of the fun things to look at is the timeline of the matches that placed in the poll. What stands out right away is the obvious peak during Wrestlemania weekend. It only makes sense with so many companies putting on shows and trying to put their best foot forward that you’d see a lot of matches from that period. Funny though, that the event that brings everyone together only managed to get one match in the poll. For an event that was, by my recollection, 13 hours long, it’s a wonder they only had one great match on the show. It’s also interesting to me that, while there are undoubtedly peaks and valleys, the matches are pretty well spread out. Voters didn’t seem locked into the matches they saw most recently at the end of the year and December didn’t get completely short shrifted.
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MOTY Voters vs Big Dave
No one individuals wrestling opinions carry as much weight as those of Dave Meltzer. Love him or hate him, the guy’s an institution and for a match to receive the 5 asterisks from Big Dave remains an honor. So I thought, “I wonder how his match ratings stack up against our voters? Could you predict where a match will finish in the poll based on Dave’s ratings?”
Turns out… you kinda sorta can.
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There’s a big chunk of matches that Meltzer rated between 4-4.75 stars that end up in the middle of the poll, then as Dave starts breaking the scale and going 5 and beyond up to 5.75, those are the matches that ended up at the top end of the poll. With a few exceptions and outliers, of course. Dave doesn’t give ratings for many Mexican matches, but 2 of those he did that made the poll were given ratings substantially lower than their placement in the voting would have predicted. VoW voters loved Blue Demon Jr. and Dr Wagner Jr.’s battle at Triplemania. Dave appears to have thought it was simply good.
While going beyond 5 stars was an extremely rare occurrence for Dave until recently, he has always been firm, but fair when it comes to dishing out negative stars. He went -** on Seth Rollins and THE FIEND’S debacle at Hell in a Cell. Meanwhile, we had a voter who legitimately thought it was their tenth favorite match of the year. (We double-checked, they were honestly sincere. Pray for them.)
Click the thumbnail below to see an image of the chart.
MOTY Voters vs GRAPPL
One of the bright additions to the online wrestling community in recent years has been the app, GRAPPL. GRAPPL allows users to rate and review wrestling matches from all over the world and share and compare their ratings with fellow fans. It’s fun to see where your ratings stack up against the user base and to be affirmed that you either demonstrate obvious good taste or that… well, you alone are able to truly judge a match’s quality. It was a no-brainer to grab the GRAPPL ratings and compare those with the match standings in the poll. Huge thanks to Gareth over at GRAPPL for providing these ratings so that I didn’t have to sit with my phone and look up 289 different matches one by one.
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What you see is a chart that looks a lot like the Meltzer one. There are far more matches, because GRAPPL’s catalog includes more matches than Meltzer rated last year. There are some interesting outliers here too. Again, the passion for Wagner/Demon seems to not be as apparent outside of our voters. At least GRAPPL users still rated that as being a great match. Sitting tied in 133rd place is a match between Marko and Logan Stunt on GCW’s backyard show that GRAPPL users didn’t even think was good with an average rating of 2.70.
In the other direction, there were 2 matches that only made it to #219 in the poll, but stand out as being rated relatively highly on GRAPPL: Will Ospreay’s match with Amazing Red for NJPW in the US, and Jake Atlas and Dragon Lee’s clash for PWG. My hypothesis is that these matches both hurt by being severely delayed in their release. For some reason, NJPW took forever to get the Ospreay/Red match online for NJPW World subscribers, and PWG is notorious for their slow video turnaround times. I think people just moved on and never really gave these matches a look. But you, dear readers, you are now armed with this knowledge and can go check out these gems hidden in plain sight.
Click the thumbnail below to see an image of this chart.
Well, that’s all for me. Don’t know about you folks, but I’ve had a blast digging through some of the stats and factoids from this year’s MOTY poll. Until next year!