Why Aren't Pro Wrestling Fantasy Sports Leagues More Popular? | Smark Out Moment

Why Aren't Pro Wrestling Fantasy Sports Leagues More Popular?

Posted by Outside Interference Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Fantasy sports leagues and games have become very popular in recent years. That goes for major league sports in America like the NBA and NFL, but also globally significant events like soccer. This surge in the demand for fantasy games doesn't extend to pro wrestling just yet, however. This is surprising because, if you stop and think about it for a second, what happens inside the ropes is tailor-made for such leagues.

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You could pick wrestlers to win matches already announced, then award points based on the nature of the results. The more outcomes from the booked finishes you correctly call, then the higher your score from a card.

Alternatively, you could choose a roster of a certain number of wrestlers and, for the period between one pay-per-view event and the next, your picks' performances would determine how well you do in the competition. This is the method we have used here on Smark Out Moment with our WWE fantasy league for the 2021-22 season, starting at Backlash through to WrestleMania 38.

Perhaps it is because of the scripted nature of pro wrestling that puts people off trying fantasy games. In principle, it shouldn't though. This is because the emphasis in a player's head simply shifts, from what they think may happen in a football game, to what they believe the booked finishes will be. These predictions come from creative, based on who is or isn't being pushed in storylines on TV.

However, with WWE, this is quite difficult. Anyone who has kept up with wrestling in recent years knows how indecisive management can be on suggested creative with shows like Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown sometimes being rewritten just before or even during a broadcast. A lack of long-term strategy behind most booking actually makes playing a game based on results that are so changeable pretty challenging.

A pro wrestling fantasy league requires all the same things that any other similar competition involves in order to be successful, though. For instance, you need to keep up to date with developments inside the ring, just like you would with NBA or NFL results, and note down any injuries. Keeping abreast of these factors would then influence your decisions.

What may come as a surprise to fantasy pro wrestling league novices is that picking your own roster of wrestlers is no different than selecting from the draft in other sports. Some superstars may be more valuable than others, and you must budget accordingly as fantasy games seldom have limitless funds or credits to play with. Tag teams and factions may not come as a package deal, meanwhile, but as individual talents.

It seems to be team sports that prove most popular in terms of fantasy leagues. This wider presence and interest spills over into betting too. While there is an in-depth William Hill football section on their sportsbook, for example, this major online bookmaker doesn't cover pro wrestling. Although, the fact that the brand also offers odds on fairly niche sports like darts, water polo, and table tennis suggests that it isn't out of the question for pro wrestling to be added to the options at some point.

The advantage that team sports like soccer, football, cricket, and basketball have over WWE and other grappling promotions is that you have to pick players for set positions and jobs. Nobody will do well in English Premier League fantasy games without a prolific striker, but fantasy football enthusiasts also need to choose the toughest defenders and a good goalkeeper who keeps clean sheets, so both ends of the field generate points.

For a different example, in cricket, you want a selection of reliable batsmen with good averages at the crease, but you also require a varied bowling attack so that wickets can be taken on various pitches. There isn't this element of different members of the team fulfilling different tasks to a fantasy wrestling league, and the lack of complex choices and decisions may also explain the lack of current uptake. However, from a different perspective, that simplicity could be part of the appeal for some fans.

As these games become more established, however, it may be that pro wrestling fantasy takes off. Most of the ingredients are there in sports entertainment to make it work just as well as any other league. It's simply a matter of giving it a try and experiencing a fantasy pro wrestling league first hand.

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