The results are in from the Round 5 finals, and with a score of 59 (57.8%) to 43 (42.2%), SETH ROLLINS has defeated Roman Reigns to become this year's winner!
Check out the bracket below to see how the tournament went down in its entirety and just how Seth Rollins carved out a path to victory. Was it a matter of true fan support, or did the seeding position Seth Rollins in a way to secure a win?
Twice this year, Dean Ambrose was separated from his competition by a single vote. In Round 2, he beat The Miz in a score of 55 to 54, but the next round wasn't as kind to him as he lost to Roman Reigns in Round 3 by a solitary vote, 62 to 61.
BIGGEST LANDSLIDE VICTORY
Round 1 continues to prove itself to be the battlefield with the heaviest casualties, as Elias Samson lost to Randy Orton in a score of 89 to 11, making that the widest gap between votes for this whole tournament.
Funny enough, last year, Randy Orton had the same distinction, beating Curtis Axel in Round 1, although that was an easier vote than this year. Samson put up more of a fight, getting 11% of the vote compared to Axel's mere 5.3% last time.
Last year, the most amount of votes for the men's bracket was in Round 4 with 74 responses. It was the first time doing a male tournament, and I had low expectations going into it, but there was enough support to bring it back this year.
That support continued, as this year's highest voter turnout was in Round 3 with 124 votes, nearly doubling last year's record! In fact, every single round this year cracked the 100 mark, so that's definitely a big step forward, particularly for a website with a predominantly male demographic.
I'm also very pleased that after two years of doing this, there has not yet been a single derogatory comment that I can remember seeing about anything with the male bracket. Instead, people seem to embrace the fun of the tournament (outside of the few who think the whole concept is just mean or disagree with anyone's personal preferences and get upset when their favorite doesn't win). Next year, let's shoot for an even bigger audience for not just the women's bracket, but the men's as well!
Some of the qualifying round decisions are still a surprise for me, such as Tommaso Ciampa and Shinsuke Nakamura making it into the tournament, but Alex Riley, Tye Dillinger and Jason Jordan not qualifying.
The Miz defeating Fandango and Sami Zayn defeating Stardust in Round 1 were shocks, along with our two finalists from last year (Dolph Ziggler and Randy Orton) both not even making it into the finals this time, as Rollins and Reigns took them out of the competition in the semifinals.
Our analysis on the outcome of the finals and the 2016 edition of the tournament as a whole can be found in the latest podcast, which you can find below:
Big thanks to everyone who participated in the voting from the qualifying round all the way up until the end, as well as those who shared this on Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere to draw more attention to it and get more people involved. This year was more successful than last time around, so it shows we're making improvements and that you're digging the concept, so we want to make it an even more grandiose thing next time around. If you have any suggestions of what you'd like to see happen in the 2017 tournament or ideas of how we can improve this, make sure to leave us a comment or shoot us an email to send that message our way!