Although wrestling is a different kind of sport than most, it still shares a lot of qualities with a lot of the more traditional sports out there. Mostly, that's because it features incredible athletes all vying to be the very best in their chosen profession by one-upping the people they work with (albeit not always by actually beating them). Also just like any other sport, there’s also a lot of statistics involved with professional wrestling. They may not come up nearly as often as they do in baseball, but wrestling stats can still give some insight into who the best wrestlers and organizations truly are.
Other times, however, wrestling stats can reveal things that you would have never otherwise been able to guess. Numbers don’t lie and sometimes the truths they tell can be things that you either never would have been able to guess based on your memory alone or even things that you simply wish weren’t true. Dive deep enough into the world of wrestling statistics, and you’re sure to come away with facts such as these that will forever change the way you look at the history of professional wrestling. They are the 15 most shocking wrestling statistics.
15 Bob Holly & Cody Rhodes Were Tag Champions Longer than The Hardy Boyz
If you remember the tag title run of Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly at all, it’s likely because of Cody Rhodes' eventual heel turn and alliance with Ted DiBiase (which eventually led to the formation of Legacy with Randy Orton). However, before that happened, the pair actually enjoyed a relatively long title reign of 202 combined days. While not a bad number on its own, that figure is absolutely mind-blowing when you consider that The Hardy Boyz captured the tag titles six times in their career for a combined championship time of 151 days.
There are a few things to consider when looking at these numbers, however. First off, The Hardy Boyz wrestled in an era where title changes were much more frequent. Second, they always did function better as the team chasing the titles rather than the reigning champions. Still, the difference between these two figures is astounding.
14 Billy Gunn Was An Active WWE Wrestler For Longer Than Hulk Hogan
A wrestling tenure is a strange concept sometimes. Generally speaking, you don’t always associate a particular organization with the wrestler that has been there the longest. It has way more to do with what a particular person achieved while they were in the organization than the number of days they checked into work and stepped into the ring. Otherwise, more people would think Billy Gunn when they think of WWE than they do Hulk Hogan.
The numbers on this one are a bit confusing given Hulk Hogan’s part-time stints in the company, but basically, Hulk Hogan began working for WWE in 1979 but was only really employed by them for less than a year. Combined with his memorable WWE run of nine years and eight months as well as his sporadic appearances in the 2000s, and you could say that Hulk Hogan was employed as a wrestler by WWE for 11 years. Billy Gunn, meanwhile, was employed for almost 12 years during his initial run and even had a 2013-2014 comeback.
13 The Longest Professional Wrestling Match Ever Lasted Over 12 Hours
You can love professional wrestling a lot (like an amount that makes those who know you feel uncomfortable) and still admit that wrestling matches really should only be so long. Although personal tastes will vary, your average major main event match in this modern era typically is best completed in around thirty minutes, and it takes two experts to put together a watchable match that reaches the 60-minute mark. Anything beyond that can get kind of ridiculous as evidenced by the official longest wrestling match ever which went over 12 hours.
It was held by a small company called Shockwave Impact Wrestling and featured six wrestlers rotating in an out of an elaborate iron man match that was, by all accounts, pretty awful. If you’re wondering what the longest one-on-one wrestling match ever was, that honor goes to Chris Hero and Rich Swann who had a three hour and ten-minute match in 2015.
12 Goldust Has Spent More Time In The Royal Rumble Than The Undertaker
Every year, WWE reminds us that the Royal Rumble is all about the numbers. They tell us who has lasted the longest, who has eliminated the most, and who has appeared in more Royal Rumble matches than anyone else. One of the more interesting statistics that they tend to gloss over, however, is the total amount of time that a wrestler has been in the Royal Rumble throughout their career. For instance, Kane holds the record for most time spent in the Rumble at over 1,000 minutes (Shawn Michaels is second with 773). Kane’s “brother” The Undertaker is fifth all-time behind Kane, Shawn Michaels, The Big Show and…Goldust? That’s right, the bizarre one has clocked in more hours in the Royal Rumble than The Undertaker. What’s really fascinating about that is that The Undertaker has been in two more Royal Rumble matches than Goldust has. The difference then, it seems, has to do with the entry numbers for each man.
11 Asuka Has One Of The Best All-Time Career Win Rates
If you aren’t familiar with the career of NXT’s Asuka prior to her arrival in America, just know that she has always been the dominant force that she is now. Actually, as Kana, she was a particularly feared wrestler in a country known for turning out some fearsome women wrestlers. Watching Kana back then, you kind of got the feeling like she never lost. Actually, that’s not that far off from the truth.
In 158 recorded matches throughout her career, Asuka/Kana has a shocking 84% win percentage. Ranking that number all-time is a bit tricky considering that some wrestlers have had thousands of matches in their career (more on that later), but if you draw the cutoff point at 150 matches, then Asuka technically has the third best win percentage of all time. For context, The Ultimate Warrior has the highest win percentage among wrestlers with at least 150 matches at 88%.
10 Bubba The Love Sponge Has Wrestled On As Many Episodes of Monday Nitro As Dusty Rhodes
The career of the late, great Dusty Rhodes is filled with accomplishments. As one of the most charismatic individuals to ever step foot in a wrestling ring, Dusty Rhodes was able to talk his way to the top of the wrestling world and forever changed the sport by creating the ultimate blue-collar hero. The man has seen it all and done it all. As such, even though Dusty was past his wrestling prime by the time that Monday Night Nitro debuted, you would expect that he would have somehow snuck in a couple of matches on the show given that he was a part of WCW throughout the ‘90s and on until their end.
You would think that, but Dusty Rhodes has only ever had one match on Nitro which draws him equal with Bubba the Love Sponge and puts him just behind show writer Ed Ferrara in terms of total Nitro matches. The funny part is that Rhodes' match didn’t even come until March of 2001, meaning it almost never happened at all.
9 The Total Match Time For Intercontinental Championship Matches At WrestleMania Between 2003-2011 Is 21 Seconds
Most wrestling fans would agree that the Intercontinental Championship just isn’t what it used to be. Despite some noble efforts over the years to return the belt to glory, the fact remains that an Intercontinental Championship match these days sometimes means about as much in the grand scheme of things as an unaired house match. Still, at least the belt occasionally gets defended from time to time which is more than you can say for its legacy not that long ago.
In what is a statistical fact so shocking that you’d be foolish to not verify it yourself, the fabled WWE Intercontinental Championship was defended just one time at a WrestleMania between 2003 and 2011. The match in question took place at WrestleMania 25 and saw JBL and Rey Mysterio engage in a memorable 21-second encounter that ended with the abrupt retirement of Bradshaw.
8 Sting Wrestled In Over 90% of WCW PPVs
Sting was WCW. Whether he was the bleach blonde kid with the painted face or the vengeful spirit known lovingly as “Crow Sting,” the man that was born under the name of Steve Borden came to define World Championship Wrestling in a way that no other man quite has. Part of that has to do with the rebranding of WCW at the time that Sting was making a name for himself, but it’s also due in part to Sting’s presence during the company’s PPV era. That additional exposure and marketing helped established Sting as WCW’s guy. Yet, it’s hard to really understand how integral Sting was to WCW PPVs until you look at the numbers.
Out of the 100 PPV events held under the WCW name, Sting appeared on 91 of them, which is 18 more than the number two person all-time (Lex Luger) appeared on. Oh, and those PPVs he missed? Most of those were due to him selling his character change.
7 Ric Flair Has Reportedly Lost Over 2,000 Matches
Generally speaking, if you’re the top wrestler in the world, you don’t lose too many matches in the long run. Even guys that are more generous with the top spot that others can still boast a higher win percentage in their career than most wrestlers could ever dream of having. Such is the advantage of being one of the sport’s main draws for an extended period of time. You would think, then, that a guy like Ric Flair must surely have enjoyed significantly more wins in his career than losses. Well, out of the alleged 5000+ matches Ric Flair has had, he’s actually won about 2,300 and lost about 2,000.
Now, some of those numbers are tricky given that many of these matches were not filmed, but they do shed some light on how many times Ric Flair has done the job in his career. Interestingly, Flair has a losing PPV record in his career as he’s lost just over 50% of matches at those events.
6 42% Of The Wrestlers From SummerSlam 1990 Are Dead
It’s frightening to think that of how many all-time great wrestlers have passed away over the years. While you expect any athlete in a physically intense sport to endure some long-term wear and tear that, along with time, will only contribute to a shorter lifespan, there is just something about professional wrestling that seems to speed up the death of performers more than any other sport. This is especially true of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s when wrestling was invaded by steroids like never before, and the long-term health of wrestlers everywhere in that era was forever compromised as a result. There’s no greater example of this than SummerSlam 1990. About 42% of the wrestlers that competed on that card (including names such as Mr. Perfect, Randy Savage, and Rick Rude) are now deceased.
Perhaps even more disturbing is the WrestleMania VI card which, due to its higher number of participants, has a lower death percentage, but does feature 14 performers that have since passed away.
5 Snooki Has More WrestleMania Match Time Than Kerry Von Erich
It’s the dream of many wrestlers to make a WrestleMania appearance. WWE may not be your favorite wrestling company in the world, but there is no denying that no other wrestling event in the world matches the prestige of WWE’s annual super card. People work their whole lives just for the opportunity to look back and say that they were on a WrestleMania card. Kerry Von Erich is one such person, as the star wrestler left his famous wrestling family back in Texas in order to pursue a career as a WWE star and, likely, the WrestleMania moment that came with it.
He finally got that moment in a WrestleMania VII match against Dino Bravo that lasted three minutes and 11 seconds. Twenty WrestleManias later, Snooki of the Jersey Shore was in a WrestleMania match for three minutes and 14 seconds. There is no justice in this world.
4 The Tennessee State Fairgrounds Arena Has Hosted The Most Wrestling PPVs ever
When you think of great wrestling arenas, what comes to mind? Sumo Hall? The Tokyo Dome? The ECW Arena? Madison Square Garden? Although there are a few arenas in the world devoted entirely to hosting wrestling shows, there are a few that have earned a reputation for hosting some of the all-time greatest wrestling events and are generally considered to be wrestling arenas above all. Incredibly, however, none of those aforementioned stadiums have hosted the most wrestling PPVs. No, that honor goes to the prestigious Tennessee State Fairgrounds Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. How is that even possible?
Well, we have our good friends at TNA to thank for this record thanks to their old business philosophy of hosting weekly PPVs at the venue. Surely, though, the next arena on the list would have to be a proper venue, right? Actually, it’s the Impact Zone in Orlando, Flordia. Why TNA?
3 SummerSlam 1992 Brought in Over $1 Million in Merchandise Sales
Merchandise sales are a big deal in entertainment. You might think that your favorite band is making big bucks from the tickets you bought to their sold out arena show, but the truth is that most of their cash is coming from those t-shirts you bought at the merch stand. Wrestling is no different. You can have a huge gate, but if the merchandise isn’t moving, you’ve got a problem. When judging the most fiscally lucrative live shows, then, it’s important to consider merchandise as much as ticket sales. In that respect, SummerSlam 1992 is one of the most profitable shows WWE has ever put on. Not only did they sell a shocking 80,355 tickets, but they also moved an astonishing (and this is not a typo) $1,456,203 in merchandise at the show.
Interestingly enough, a big part of the reason for this number is because this was the first chance many UK fans had to buy merchandise without outrageous shipping costs.
2 Zero Wrestlers Have Kicked Out Of The Razor’s Edge
It’s not nearly as big of a deal as it used to be, but the idea of protecting a wrestler’s finisher is still held sacred in many corners of the wrestling world. Protecting a finisher means that you as the booker go out of your way to make sure that nobody ever kicks out of a particular finisher. This ensures that whenever a crowd sees a finisher, it feels like a big deal. The practice is still popular in Japan, but for the most part, the idea of the sacred wrestling finisher isn’t nearly as popular as it used to be when guys like Kenta Kobashi would bust out a Burning Hammer once every few years and always win with it. One of the strangest examples of this phenomenon is Scott Hall and the Razor’s Edge. While some dispute this claim, given the number of house shows Hall worked, wrestling legend states that nobody has ever kicked out of the Razor’s Edge. Of course, that could have something to do with the rumor that Hall would refuse to do it if he knew he was going to lose.
1 The WCW World Championship Changed Hands As Many Times in 2000 As It Did Between 1991 and 1998
Much like the protected finisher, the idea of a championship changing hands used to be a pretty sacred thing. Once in a blue moon, you might have your champion drop the belt and, when that happened, it was a sign that whoever held the championship now was going to be the undisputed man for the foreseeable future. This gradually waned over the years and reached a point sometime around the Attitude Era where a title change would happen several times in a year, or even in a matter of months.
Nobody pushed the idea of multiple title changes further than WCW did in 2000, though. Desperate to get attention through any means necessary, WCW decided that it would be a good idea to hotshot the belt around as often as possible. Counting times the belt was vacated that year, there were 24 WCW World Championship title changes in 2000, which is equal to the number of times the belt changed hands between 1991 and 1998.