Objective All Time List?

Discussion in 'General WWE' started by TopDiesel, Feb 4, 2016.

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  1. Hey guys! I'm brand new to the website and I'm not entirely sure how forums work to be honest. Really, I'm looking for help (and in a larger sense, a community with which I can discuss these types of things). I've posted this on Reddit, and no one seems to care, so I thought I'd try here. You have a lot of members, and hopefully, I'll get some replies. So, here's what I've got:

    I read a lot of "definitive" lists of the "top wrestlers of all time" online, and I have to say that I've never been satisfied with what I've read. I appreciate the time and effort that these folks put into thinking about wrestling, but the discussion inevitably leads to "Stone Cold is the best because that's the bottom line," or "Attitude Era blah blah blah." I have a lot of respect for what the Attitude Era did for professional wrestling, and I don't want this to be lost here. But I've wondered what we could do to try and objectively determine who ranks as the greatest WWE wrestler we've ever seen.

    It's been done in other mediums. If you watch baseball, you may be familiar with the sabermetrics system of individualized player analysis - I set out many weeks ago to find a mathematical system that I could apply to professional wrestling. It took some time to come up with one, but I think I've got a decent framework here.

    There are four categories I've come up with: Winning, Decoration, Tenure, and Body of Work.

    The first category, winning, is perhaps the most mathematically challenging of all the categories, and perhaps the most visible to the average viewer. How did I quantify this category? I did so by taking into account every match. Every superstar on this list has a running tally of their respective win/loss records and percentages that I accessed online. But winning just any match is not enough. WWE fans know the importance of both winning matches, and doing so on big stages (PPV envirnonments) and on the grandest stage of them all (Wrestlemania). Admittedly so, winning at Wrestlemania and on PPV (pay per view, for those not inclined to the acronym) are more important and memorable than winning on Raw or Smackdown. Thus, these respective win/loss percentages are also tallied and weighed differently. Wresltemania and PPV percentages are weighed as 40% of the cumulative total, while total win/loss records are weighed at 20%. The top superstar's total is readjusted to a value of 100 and superstars below him have been adjusted to a percentage out of that 100. The final, multi level percentage, is out of 100 and represents one fourth of the collective superstar rating.

    Decoration is another critically important aspect of WWE, as is anything in sports and entertainment. An NFL player such as Dan Marino can have a statistics line that boggles the mind, but without any gold, it means relatively little. There are three tiers of championship gold in WWE. The top tier consists of headline titles such as the World Heavyweight Championship and the WWE Championship (which is now the Unified title). The middle tier consists of the titles most commonly won by journeyman superstars, such as the Intercontinental and US titles. The bottom tier are tag team titles - while still important, it generally takes two formidable men to win these. The tiers are weighted with each title accruing points as to its rank - 10, 5, and 2.5 respectively. Since there is no ceiling on how many titles can be won, the top superstar's total is readjusted to a value of 100 and superstars below him have been adjusted to a percentage out of that 100.

    Tenure is one way to validate a superstar with fewer reigns than most. Getting to the top of the industry is hard enough, but many champions will tell you that staying there is the true test of a man. No point values were assigned here - I simply took the amount of days a superstar stayed as champion in the top tier and ran the same percentage test as above. The most days, cumulatively, was weighted at a value of 100 and superstars below him have a calculated tenure rank as a percentage out of that 100.

    A character's body of work is one way to account for all of the intangibles in a career. Which stars have charisma, strong in ring work, great technical skills, a believable character, and mic skills in the same package? And, more importantly, how do we put this in a category that adequately rewards a particular superstar for these traits? Pro Wrestling Illustrated is one of the most widely recognized and touted wrestling publication in the world for 40 years. In doing so, they annually present awards (that come with considerable prestige in the wrestling world) for all of these categories, and more. In quantifying this final category, I've simply taken the number of awards won (while weighting Match of the Year and Wrestler of the Year/Top 10 slightly more) and given the superstar with the most of these a value of 100. Again, superstars below him have calculated their BOW rank as percentage out of that 100.

    To be clear: I love wrestling, but I'm still learning about it. I try to be a student of the industry, but I believe there is always more to learn. I'm publishing the list I've come up with, and I understand that some of the names may make many of you upset. Again, this certainly isn't a ranking of my "favorite" wrestlers. I'm just trying to get a list of the "best," as close to objectively sound as possible. I also understand that the "body of work" category has some subjective concerns, but I needed a way to include that part of a wrestler's career because I believe it's integral to who they are. With that being said, here's what I've come up with, pending accurate calculation:

    1. John Cena - 330.95
    2. Hulk Hogan - 291.67
    3. HHH - 272.50
    4. Shawn Michaels - 218.55
    5. Edge - 215.51
    6. Stone Cold Steve Austin - 201.17
    7. Bob Backlund - 200.91
    8. The Undertaker - 195.66
    9. Randy Orton - 195.33
    10. Bret Hart - 194.17
    11. The Rock - 165.84
    12. Kurt Angle - 156.61
    13. Brock Lesnar - 155.37
    14. CM Punk - 151.41
    15. Ric Flair - 145.74
    16. Randy Savage - 144.24
    17. Ultimate Warrior - 139.84
    18. Batista - 138.88
    19. Daniel Bryan - 138.41
    20. Chris Jericho - 127.27
    That's what I've come up with. My question to you guys is this: what do you think? How can I make it better/more accurate? What considerations have I failed to make? Who have I left out? Essentially, I am trying to submit this to scrutiny. If you've read this far, I appreciate your time and consideration. I love to learn (I'm an attorney, so that's almost a must), and I want to get better. Thank you in advance and I hope you enjoyed the read!
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