By Darren Gutteridge, Dot Net Contributor (originally published at FoulEntertainment.com)
Welcome to the 2018 WWE Statistics Series! Over the past 12 months, I’ve compiled stats on every single show WWE produced. I have no real explanation as to why I started, outside of a vague notion that combining my love of spreadsheets (don’t judge me) with WWE may help me re-engage with the product that I had spent most of 2017 avoiding entirely. And while I’m still not a regular viewer of Raw and Smackdown, collating these stats has certainly helped me keep up.
On Monday, we covered wins and loses, followed by overall matches on Tuesday, “who beat who” on Wednesday, and months of the year yesterday. Today, we’re wrapping things up by looking at titles.
I’ll explain some of the nuances of the stats as we go (you can explore the entire spreadsheet on Google Docs), but I’d first like to thank Cagematch.net for their exhaustive record keeping that helped me start, maintain and double check this mammoth undertaking. Also everyone on ProWrestling.Net for the easy to skim TV reports, which I used in place of watching the shows when my free time was short.
And now, the breakdown.
The following stats are, to the best of my knowledge, accurate. They were taken from every televised WWE show between episode 1284 of Raw on January 1st and episode 1336 of Raw on December 31st. Matches were only counted if they aired on TV or the WWE network, and only if they aired during 2018 (this discounts any events taped in 2018 that won’t air until 2019). Also, any wins or losses that occurred whilst a wrestler wasn’t under WWE contract were not counted (this largely effects NXT UK talent). They had to appear on the roster pages of either the WWE website or Wikipedia (or both) to be counted.
In total, 58 members of the roster held titles in 2018. Only one non-contracted person held gold, which may sound odd, but then you remember that it was Nicholas at WrestleMania. This means a surprisingly high 25% of the roster tasted gold over the course of the year. And of these 58 men and women, only one is no longer with the company – one time Cruiserweight champion and full time desperate hack Enzo Amore.
Below, you’ll see a breakdown of reigns by length of days. I’d like to clarify two things. Firstly, we’re only counting days within the calendar year of 2018. Title reigns like Pete Dunne’s and AJ Styles’ were obviously much longer as they started in 2017, but we’re omitting any days before January 1st 2018. Also, we’re going by taping date, not airing date, for titles that changed hands on pre-taped shows. So British Strong Style had a longer reign on TV than they did in real life.
|Longest/Shortest||Wrestler (Title) – Days|
|Longest||1. Pete Dunne (WWE United Kingdom Title) – 365 days
2. AJ Styles (WWE Title) – 316 days
3. Brock Lesnar (Universal Title, 1st reign) – 231 days
|Shortest||1. Braun Strowman and Nicholas (Raw Tag Team Titles) – 1 day
2. British Strong Style (NXT Tag Team Titles) – 2 days
3. Jinder Mahal (United States Title) – 8 days
I’ve included two entries for the “Fewest Defences (Title)” section as both the NXT UK Women’s Title, and the second place NXT North American Title (5), were both created in 2018. So while they do technically have the least defences, I’ve included the Universal Title as well as the worst performing full-time title.
|Most/Fewest Defences||Wrestler (Title) – Defences|
|Most defences (Individual)||AJ Styles (WWE Title) – 13 defences|
|Fewest defences (Individual)||Brock Lesnar (Universal Title, 1st Reign) / Rusev (United States Title) / Braun Strowman and Nicholas (Raw Tag Team Titles) – 0 defences|
|Most defences (Title)||Intercontinental Title – 21|
|Fewest defences (Title)||NXT UK Women’s Title (All) – 2
Universal Title (Full Time) – 7
Title defences vs. length of reign averages
This shows how often on average during each reign the title was defended. So if a title was defended twice in 100 days, that works out on average as a defence every 50 days.
|Best/Worst||Wrestler (Title) – Average|
|Best||1. British Strong Style (NXT Tag Team Titles) – Every 2 days
2.Seth Rollins (Intercontinental Title, 1st reign) / Dean Ambrose (Intercontinental Title) / Jinder Mahal (United States Title) – Every 8 days
3. Roman Reigns (Intercontinental Title) – Every 11 days
|Worst||1. Tommaso Ciampa (NXT Title) – Every 83 days
2. Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy (Raw Tag Team Titles) – Every 80 days
3. Kairi Sane (NXT Women’s Title) – Every 71 days
Overall, the average title length was 31 days. Seth Rollins holds the distinction of the most reigns with different belts, twice being Intercontinental Champion and Raw Tag Team Champion. In total, 13 members of the roster won two titles over the course of the year, with Adam Cole taking second place behind Seth with 3 title reigns, adding his NXT North American Title to his two reigns as NXT Tag Team Title as part of Undisputed Era.
On top of his title reign successes, Seth Rollins also racked up the most title challenges this year with 7 (4 for the IC Title and 3 for the Raw Tag Team Titles). Samoa Joe has the unwanted accolade of the most title challenges without winning a championship with 6 (4 for the WWE Title, 2 for the IC Title). 41% of the roster got at least one title match, but spare a thought for Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik. The Lucha House Party stablemates share the stat for the highest amount of matches (38) without having a single title match (strangely, fellow LHP stablemate Kalisto also had 38 matches this year, but he at least had one Cruiserweight Title match against Cedric Alexander).
And finally, four titles endured vacant periods this year – the Universal Title, the Raw Tag Team Titles, the United States Title and the Cruiserweight Title. The shortest was the Universal Title at 12 days, between Roman Reigns relinquishing it and Brock Lesnar winning it, and the longest was the Cruiserweight Title at 76 days, between Enzo Amore being fired and Cedric Alexander winning it at WrestleMania.
Thanks for reading! This concludes this year’s series of WWE stats. If you enjoyed this series, let me know, and if it has enough support I’ll do the same for 2019. The 2018 version of the spreadsheet will remain open on Google Docs if you want to explore it yourself in full. You can also follow me on Twitter – @TheGutteridge
Network Specials include: All Kickoff Shows, Mixed Match Challenge, Mae Young Classic, UK Tournament, Greatest Royal Rumble, Crown Jewel, Super Showdown, Starrcade and Tribute to the Troops.
PPVs include: Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber, Fastlane, WrestleMania 34, Backlash, Money in the Bank, Extreme Rules, SummerSlam, Hell in a Cell, Evolution, Survivor Series and TLC.
NEW: Help support ProWrestling.net when you shop Amazon by starting your online Amazon shopping at ProWrestling.net/amazon. You are not charged extra, but we receive a small and very helpful commission on everything you purchase. Thanks for thinking of us every time you shop at Amazon.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Allysin Kay discussing Friday's NWA Hard Times PPV on FITE.TV, Melina dropping an unexpected f-bomb on NWA Powerrr, the WWE Mae Young Classic experience, her time as Sienna in Impact Wrestling, working in Japan, the Tessa Blanchard controversy, and more...