Everything You Need To Know About Betting On Wrestling

Wrestling is a rather strange phenomenon. Existing somewhere between a sporting contest and a daytime soap opera, it’s a mix of ballet, stage fighting, pantomime, drama, comedy, and theatrics; and that’s all at a glance. Wrestling’s elements are such a bizarre melting pot of influences and history, that’s it’s no surprise that many people don’t know how to bet on this “sport”. In fact, many people would be surprised to learn that you can bet on wrestling at all, due to its predetermined nature.

Here we’re going to share some top tips on how to bet on wrestling. We’re also going to explain just how exciting and varied betting on the world of sports entertainment can be. This will also include advice on the best ways to approach betting on wrestling, as well as details on all the different wagers you choose from. Much like wrestling itself, while it may look like an ordinary contest, wrestling betting is very much its own distinct beast. If you’re feeling unsure of where to start, then we’re here to help.

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Overview

So what is wrestling?

First off, let’s make the difference between professional and amateur wrestling completely clear.

Amateur wrestling is a sport, most famously known for its place in the Olympics. While it may resemble professional wrestling in some places – most notably in many of the moves and holds – this is an entirely legitimate sporting contest. In amateur wrestling, there are no predetermined outcomes.

Professional wrestling is a story told through predetermined athletic competition. In other words, it’s acting, with the results being entirely decided in advance. Although it may have a unique look, presentation and storytelling method, in terms of determining the outcome, it is best compared to a television drama rather than its Olympic counterpart.

Surprised that it’s possible to bet on something where a handful of people already know the result before the bell has been rung? It’s actually not that surprising. Just like you can bet on the outcome of a much-anticipated TV event or soap storyline, you can also place a bet on professional wrestling. However, what you are betting on is different than most ordinary sports. Instead of betting on which team or athlete wins that contest, you are instead betting on which decision you predict the writing team will make.

Ultimately though, betting is just the art of making a prediction based on an unknown outcome. Just because the nature of that unknown outcome is a little different doesn’t mean you should view it as being especially different. Sure, you should understand that your tactics in terms of betting may alter, but the fundamental principle of trying to best predict on as yet to be determined result remains exactly the same.  

So, we’ve looked at how betting on wrestling differs from other sports; now you’re probably wondering how such a unique form of entertainment came to be.

The History Of Professional Wrestling

Wrestling is a product of history. Its origins are in amateur wrestling, which debuted at the Olympics at the tail end of the 19th century. By the 1920s, a shift between the legitimate sport of wrestling and the ‘worked’ – in other words, the predetermined – wrestling began to emerge.

The aim here was entertainment rather than athletic competition. It was transformed from a simple sporting contest into a highly physical performance art. What made it different from other similar theatrical displays was something known as ‘kayfabe’.

This is when professional wrestling was created with the intention of convincing the audience that what they were seeing is real. And we don’t mean this in the way that a television drama intends to get their viewers lost in its fiction. In professional wrestling, for much of the 20th century, the fact that wrestling was predetermined was a closely guarded secret.

However, there’s little need for kayfabe in the modern world. Today, professional wrestling as a scripted work is entirely in the open. While there are hat tips to kayfabe throughout the sport, wrestling is now presented to an audience with the expectation the audience will know what they’re seeing isn’t “real”. Moving on from its secretive infancy, it has since become a billion-dollar business in the form of it’s the market leader WWE. Its storylines can be huge events, and WWE betting UK and worldwide is something you can enjoy, just like betting on any other scripted entertainment.

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Different Types Of Wrestling Bets

Although wrestling may differ from traditional sports betting subjects, there are many ways in which it is much the same. One of these examples includes the variety of bet types that are available. However, the form in which these bets take depends entirely on the event in question. There are not, like in other sports, a set amount of bets for every game. Instead, the bets available change from month to month and the main market you’ll see is a simple “choose who wins”. Anything beyond an outright winner prediction is commonly referred to as ‘special’ bets, as they are often unique to the story going on at that time. We’ll give you some examples in this section of the variety of bets you can expect.

Outright Winner

This type of bet is the simplest and by far the most common. Every time that WWE holds a major event, you can be assured that there will be plenty of sites across the web offering bets on matches on the card. This type of bet is pretty much as simple as it sounds. You decide who you think is most likely to win the match and bet accordingly. Betting odds will be determined by how likely the bookmaker thinks they are to win. Remember, you’re betting not on who you think would win in a sporting contest, or even who you believe is the best performer. Instead, you’re betting on who you believe the writing team will choose to win this match, based on a variety of factors.

The Main Event Of Wrestlemania

The first example of a ‘special’ bet is one that you can actually find throughout the year. This is because the question of who will be in the main event at Wrestlemania is one which is on the minds of WWE writers and fans through most of the year. Often, this wager is concluded following another notable WWE event: the Royal Rumble, which tends to take place on the last weekend in January. This is generally where the number one contender is crowned, thus at least one participant in the Wrestlemania main event is decided. It’s also usually assumed the reigning champion will be the Rumble winner’s opponent.

However, plenty could change in the months between the Rumble and Wrestlemania, due to injuries or a new champion being crowned (though the latter is rare). This means you can often bet on the main event after the Rumble, although it will severely impact the odds.

Cashing In Money In The Bank

For those of you who aren’t aware of what Money in the Bank is, here’s a brief rundown of how it works. At the Money in the Bank event, several superstars compete in a ladder match to win a briefcase. Whoever wins this briefcase then has the rights to a championship match at any time of their choosing. There is also more than one Money in the Bank briefcase across different brands and divisions, so there’s also multiple betting opportunities within this concept alone. As it can be cashed in at any show, this means that you can bet on when you think this will occur. You can even bet on no cash-ins happening during a specific event if you wish. The Money in the Bank contract is supposed to inject a sense of unpredictability into WWE programming, making it the ideal wild card to add intrigue to your betting experience.

The Next WWE Champion

Another bet that you can often find all year round is a prediction for who you think will be the next WWE champion. This can be anyone who is viewed as remotely plausible for the role and does not have to be someone who, according to the storyline, is involved in the world title contention at that moment in time. For example, perhaps you think, based on how WWE storylines are progressing, that The Miz will be the next WWE champion. You can bet on that even though he is currently scheduled for no matches for the WWE championship. You may think that a new champion won’t be crowned for many months, which gives you time for your pick to get involved in a world title match in the future. Keep in mind that champions in WWE can hold the belt for many months and occasionally years, meaning this really can be a long-term bet. This can also provide you with great odds if you’re willing to make a long-term prediction, as opposed to one based on what’s happening within the storyline at the time.

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Best Bookmaker For Wrestling Betting

There’s no point in denying it: betting on wrestling is still not as common as many other types of sports betting. Despite its immense popularity, it seems some bookies prefer to stick to traditional sports rather than offer wrestling markets. However, that’s not to say it’s impossible to bet on wrestling in the UK.

In general, whenever a betting site has good options for wrestling, you’ll also find that they have good options for other forms of non-sports betting as well. However, due to the somewhat more obscure nature of wrestling in betting, bookmaker options are limited. There’s just not the same range of choice for wrestling bookies as there are for other betting types.

However, there are a few options well worth trying. In our opinion, one of the finest betting sites for wrestling is Unibet. This popular, reputable bookie has arguably the best selection of options available for WWE betting, covering lots of events with a great selection of bets. 888Sports, Paddy Power and William Hill also occasionally support WWE betting, but not with the same consistency and usually without the same amount of special options. So if you’re looking for a wrestling bet, Unibet are likely to be your best choice.

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Popular Wrestling Betting Terms

As wrestling isn’t as firmly embedded within online betting as other sports, it’s generally quite free from betting terminology. However, there are a few phrases you’ll probably need to know. Here are a few examples.

  • Special bet — Wrestling betting is often categorised under special bets regardless, as it essentially means bets that away from the norm. Within wrestling betting, it generally means betting on events other than an outright winner.
  • Match winner — This is another term for outright winner and is the most common type of bet for wrestling.
  • Royal Rumble winner — One of the biggest WWE betting events, predicting the winner of the 30 man (or woman) Royal Rumble match is a favourite to bet on, due to its high stakes and unpredictable nature.
  • Briefcase winner — Referring to the winner of the Money in the Bank briefcase, this is another popular bet for reasons similar to our previous example.
  • Main event — Generally a main event bet refers to Wrestlemania and is the last match of the show in most instances, even though other matches may also be referred to by this name. If this sounds confusing, that’s because it is; WWE uses the term “main event” very loosely these days, so always read into the bet terms so you know exactly what is actually being classified as the main event.
  • Championship specials — Bet on who you think will be the next winner of one of WWE’s title belts.
  • Ongoing specials — Some examples already mentioned here may fall into this category. These are specials that go on for longer than a specific event.

Top Tips For Betting On Wrestling

Like we’ve said, although betting on professional wrestling is, in essence, the same as traditional sports betting, you should still approach it from a different angle. You are still trying to predict an unknown outcome, yes. However, how you reach conclusions for your prediction should take into account how that outcome occurs. With an ordinary sport, you are often betting on which athlete you think will perform the best in some form or another. With wrestling, you are betting on how you think a writing team will produce a piece of televised fiction. It’s similar to guessing who is the mystery killer in a TV drama, for example.

Try To Think Like A Writer

Since you are trying to predict the decisions made by writers, you should approach the subject by thinking what the best possible outcome is from a narrative perspective. Ultimately, that’s what wrestling is trying to do: to tell the most engaging story possible. So, consider the narrative possibilities of each potential outcome and narrow it down to what would appear to be the most appealing. This can be difficult to do, as there are so many possibilities beyond the specific bet you are making, but it’s a good place to begin. Furthermore, avoid falling into the trap of thinking about what you would most like to happen. Instead, think like someone trying to make a compelling television show and base your predictions on that.

Watch The Programme

The best way of getting into the mind of the writers is simply to watch what they have already produced. This will give you the necessary knowledge of how the narrative has unfolded thus far. Additionally, you’ll also be able to see which performers who are standing out and becoming popular, and who is receiving regular TV time, which is always an indicator of future success. You’ll also gain insight into writing patterns. This is especially important in predicting any kind of predetermined outcome. Generally, not only do TV shows have formulas but so does booking in general. Due to this, you’ll need to consider how performers are generally treated in terms of wins and losses, how often a championship usually changes hands and at what events these big changes usually occur. There is no perfect formula here: no TV show worth its salt would allow itself to become that predictable. But there are usually patterns, and understanding those patterns is a huge part of betting success.

Pay Particular Attention To “Go Home” Shows

Prior to a big WWE event, there’s what is known as a “go home” show on RAW or Smackdown. This is the show that is the last chance for the writers to cement the storyline in the viewer’s minds prior to a big special event. However, these “go home” shows have become somewhat infamous for telegraphing what the outcome of the big event’s match will be. For example, it’s a common trope to expect any wrestler who suffers a beat-down on the “go home” show to ultimately triumph in the actual match at the event later that week. This isn’t always the case, but it’s worth factoring into your decision making process.

Follow Wrestling Outside Of The Ring

What happens outside of the ring is just as important as what happens inside in terms of wrestling booking. Luckily, we’ve moved on from the kayfabe days of the early to mid 20th century and wrestling inner workings are open for all to see in most instances. Social media is now a major storytelling source, and there are plenty of dedicated “dirt sheet” websites who discuss the goings on in the industry. This can also be very useful in terms of making predictions. For example, is someone currently negotiating a new contract and would that make them more or less likely to win a match? It could be the latter considering that person might not be around or it could be the former as part of a deal to keep a highly prized wrestler on their books. Other things to take into account are injuries, surgeries, or even an upcoming retirement. Moving further into rumour territory is a wrestler’s overall standing within the company. Often people can find themselves written out of major storylines or pushed away from the main event scene due to issues between them and management. This can be the source of speculation without much proof, but if there are stories of tension, it might be worth taking into account in future bets.

Think Long Term

Thinking long term can really help your wrestling betting in a way that isn’t relevant to other sports. When betting on sports usually, your focus is generally that match alone. As professional wrestling is fiction, what you’re betting on is often part of a larger story arc. For example, a wrestler that management wants to push to greater stardom may lose a few matches in order to create a comeback story, or they may lose in an unfair circumstance so as to portray them as an underdog. This will also help in terms of your odds. If you can predict something like the next WWE champion or the next Wrestlemania main event well in advance, then you will likely get better odds than if you waited for the storyline to unveil more clues.

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