With the Supreme Court recent overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act on a 6-3 vote, sports gambling has become officially in the hands of each state to decide if gambling should be legal in their state.
New Jersey was the fastest to get this done, getting it accomplished back in June.
With this, sports gamblers will now we allowed to bet on all of their favorite sports—NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL—the list goes on and on.
However, one potential gambling avenue we seem to forget about is the WWE.
WWE is defined as sports entertainment. In fact, if you go on to Bovada, you’ll find that any WWE odds they may have will be found in the entertainment tab.
With that said, how can you bet on WWE? After all, it’s fake, right? Well yes and no.
We’ll get into more detail on that, though.
Here, we’ll cover some brief history of the WWE and give you an all-you-need-to-know guide about this product and ways and strategies to bet on it.
WWE Brief History
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is the most commonly known professional wrestling promotion in the world. It was founded back in the early 1950’s by Jess McMahon (who is current owner Vince McMahon’s grandfather) and Toots Mondt.
The company puts on over 500 events per year and broadcasts to millions of people in over 150 countries.
As we’ve already mentioned, WWE is fake, essentially. Of course, the athleticism the performers show isn’t fake and they do actually endure some pain from the moves, but unlike the UFC and MMA, the matches are pre-determined in terms of who is going to win and lose.
The basic concept of wrestling in terms of winning is to pin your opponent in the ring. However, there are a myriad of ways a competitor can accomplish this, with a lot of times being different stipulations with certain kinds of matches, or even via cheating (which is also scripted of course).
What is supposed to make wrestling exciting even with the matches being pre-determined, is the way it’s constructed. Watching wrestling should be treated like a movie or a television show—you need to suspend your disbelief and hope the writers of the show create compelling enough storylines and characters to get you invested in the product.
In a lot of ways, it’s like going to the movie theater to watch Spiderman—obviously he’s not real, but you suspend that disbelief while watching to enjoy the movie.
The WWE reached its height of popularity during the Attitude Era, which was highlighted by wrestlers such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, The Undertaker, Kane, Mankind, Vince McMahon himself as an on-screen character and factions such as Degeneration-X and The Brood. This was mostly all under the direction of head writer Vince Russo, with other people such as McMahon and Bruce Pritchard (who was heavily involved with The Undertaker story and was an important backstage employee).
Currently, the WWE airs on USA Network and the WWE Network.
On USA Network you’ll find Monday Night Raw and Smackdown, which air on Monday and Tuesday evenings.
The WWE Network is a subscription-based service that is $9.99 per month which serves as a platform to broadcast their major events (formerly known as pay-per-views). It also airs the NXT brand, which in laymen’s terms, is the “minor leagues” for WWE.
Of course, this is a brief rundown of the WWE’s history as it expands well over 60 years
If you’re a new viewer to WWE, there are certain words and terminologies you should become familiar with in case you ever read up on the product. These are words used specifically for, in, and around wrestling.
We’ll break these words down as simply as possible.
Babyface – A “good” guy or girl wrestler
Heel – A “bad” guy or girl wrestler
Buried – For one reason or another (a lot of times backstage drama or just part of a storyline), a wrestler will consistently lose and be added into storylines or feuds in a negative way, or taken off television all together.
Clean finish – This is when a wrestler beats their opponent without the assistance of someone else or other tactics that would be labeled as “cheating”. For example, the wrestler executes a move and pins their opponent to a three-count in the ring.
Dirty finish – The opposite of clean.
Heat – A heel seeks this from the crowd and the creative staff tries to write this in to storylines to get the crowd to dislike a certain performer even more.
In-ring psychology – The structure of a match to emulate a real, authentic fight between the individuals in the ring.
Jobber – Also known as “enhancement talent”, jobbers are those who lose within seconds or in brutalizing fashion to help build up another wrestler.
Squash – Losing within seconds or being brutalized by their opponent leading up to a victory.
Push – Opposite of being buried, a superstar receives a push which in turn allows him/her to gain more notoriety and perhaps even get a title shot. This can be one strategy for betting.
Stooge – Someone backstage who leaks information out to the public about the script
Spot – Usually used to describe moments in a match that are somewhat forced. For example, a 360 flip off the top rope.
Gimmick – A word used to describe what a certain superstar does and their character traits.
Selling – Acting in the ring after being “hurt”. Of course, there are moments where wrestlers actually get hurt, but selling is when a performer pretends they’re actually a lot more hurt than they are. For example, being “punched” in the face and pretending they actually got hit, leading the viewer to believe they may have actually been hit.
Bump – When a wrestler hits the mat or floor.
Mark – A term used to describe an individual who actually believes wrestling is real, idolizes a certain wrestler, promotion or style of wrestling to where it might be considered excessive by a casual viewer
Dirt sheet – A site that writes solely about wrestling news and content which tries to dig up dirt on wrestlers to get people to view their site.
Swerve – When you expect a storyline to go one way, but it goes in a completely different, unexpected way. For example, when The Rock joined The Corporation in 1998.
These are just a few terms that scratch the surface. A more complete list can be found here.
How to Bet on WWE
There are multiple different ways to bet on WWE, but they’re not always as simple as betting on an NFL game. A lot of times even the sites and sportsbook that will allow you to bet have caps on how much you can wager due to the potential loss when/if news is leaked.
Rarely, if ever, can you actually bet on Raw or Smackdown events, though odds for future matches may have odds posted.
Types of Bets
Winners – Simply what this states. You can bet on who wins the match. This would be in the form of a Moneyline bet where you select the winner of a match.
Prop Bets – These include things like where certain superstars will come out in the 30-man Royal Rumble, who will come out when in the 6-man Elimination Chamber, whether a superstar will cash-in his or her respective Money in the Bank contract, and other props pertaining to length in which a competitor will be in a match, too.
WWE Betting Strategies
When you first view WWE lines, they can be quite daunting, especially for one-on-one matchups. For example, at Wrestlemania in 2017, Brock Lesnar was around -5000 to beat Goldberg. That means you’d need to bet $5000 to win $100. You’d never bet a line like that in football due to the unpredictability, but in wrestling it’s different for many reasons:
Leaked information – This is obvious. If information is leaked, then you know the outcome. However, if the reports end up become public news from major publications, WWE could change their plans.
Identifying a push – If you start to notice a wrestler is getting a significant push, meaning they are winning consistently, that could build to them winning at a pay-per-view event to further push them into a higher echelon.
Patterns – WWE does this quite a bit, but more often than not, they like to book things on television right before pay-per-views involving the competitors in matches set to take place on the pay-per-view. When that happens, the babyface’s or the heel’s will get the upper hand, which could mean that the opposite person will win at the pay-per-view.
Corporate Plans – Recently, this applied to Jinder Mahal. The WWE was looking to break into India and they did so by putting the WWE Championship on Mahal. If you read headlines about WWE trying to get their product over in other countries and they have superstars that have a character that fits that mold, they could look to launch that individual to help sell their product.
Pay-Per-View right before a major one – A recent example of this is Extreme Rules, which happened earlier in July. Rusev took on A.J. Styles for the WWE Championship. There was minimal build to the match and it’s right before SummerSlam—a notable pay-per-view. Usually, the WWE will wait to make massive title changes at these events to help get over certain superstars more. We could see Rusev and Styles at SummerSlam, too. If that happens, Rusev could more likely win there as it is a bigger, more national stage for him to win and make him more over in front of the audience.
WWE Betting Conclusion
WWE is meant to be fun. With today’s product, there is a huge element of predictability in which, unfortunately, you can identify the winners just based off of common sense. Where the betting in WWE can get interesting is betting on who will win the Royal Rumble since there are so many competitors and similar things like that.
As you have learned from this guide, you can very well bet on WWE. There’s a bit of learning curve at first, but once you got it down, it’s like riding a bike—you won’t forget.
There is money to be made betting on this kind of thing—sports entertainment.
WWE isn’t for everyone due to a plethora of reason—poor acting, lack of character development, too much in-ring and not enough “soap opera” elements—but if you’re looking to make some money, this could work.