By Darren Gutteridge, Dot Net Contributor (originally published on FoulEntertainment.com)
Welcome to the 2019 WWE Statistics Series! Over the past 12 months, I’ve compiled stats on every single show WWE produced. I did this last year, and basically carried it on this year because I had lots of ideas about how to make it better. I think I’ve made a lot of improvements, so hopefully these stats will be even more insightful than last year!
Yesterday we covered the entire roster’s overall records, and on #Monday# we looked at brand specific wins and losses. Today we’ve got a new for 2019 article, looking at non-contracted performers. These range from rookie enhancement talent to Hall of Famers and everything in between.
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 1011 of Smackdown on January 1st and episode 1388 of Raw on December 30th. Matches were only counted if they aired on TV or the WWE network, and only if they aired during 2019 (this discounts any events taped in 2019 that won’t air until 2020).
In total, 129 uncontracted wrestlers appeared across every programme WWE airs, from WrestleMania to Main Event. In all, these accounted for 161 non-contract appearances. To clarify, anyone who didn’t have either a full time contract, or Legends contract, with the company was counted. Here is the breakdown:
|Show||Total appearances by non-contract wrestlers|
|Raw||51 (across 46 people)|
|Smackdown||13 (across 13 people)|
|NXT||16 (across 15 people)|
|NXT UK||42 (across 22 people)|
|205 Live||17 (across 16 people)|
|PPV||4 (across 4 people)|
Whilst Raw was clearly the frontrunner in this department (I bet every indie promoter in the country was praying that the “Viking Raiders vs Jobbers” streak would run on forever), NXT UK was miles ahead in terms of reusing their unsigned talent.
All three of the top appearance makers were used on NXT UK, namely Candy Floss and the tag team of Lewis Howley and Sam Stoker, all of whom clocked in with 5 matches apiece. That’s more than 46 members of the full time roster managed! There were also repeat visits for the likes of Dani Luna, Jamie Ahmed, Kasey Owens (3 matches each), Dan Maloney and shax (2 matches each).
One show to highlight is the Evolve 10th Anniversary show, which accounted for 15 total wrestlers finding their way onto this list. This may be a sign of things to come, with all the rumours of the WWE Network getting ready to show more independent shows via their new tiered subscription options, so next year we may see performers from Progress, ICW and WxW appearing here as well.
Several prominent non-contract wrestlers are worth noting, chief among which is soon-to-be Hall of Famer Batista at WrestleMania 35. When he is inducted at this year’s WrestleMania, he’ll be in the company of Alundra Blaze and Trish Stratus, who both also competed this year, alongside other returning women such as Candice Michelle and Kelly Kelly. Michelle, Kelly and Blaze were also the only non-contract former wrestlers to hold titles this year, thanks to the dreaded 24/7 title (more on the impact that had on my precious stats when we get to the titles article). Although, interestingly, this year did see the rare occasion of non-contract wrestlers getting a title shot, namely Karissa and Krysten, who challenged The IIconics for the Women’s Tag Team Titles in April.
I actually discounted non-wrestlers who won the 24/7 title from this list, partially because they didn’t actually wrestle a “match” to win the title, and also for my own sanity, as putting Batista and Trish Stratus in a list with Santa Claus and Marshmello was too much to bare. That doesn’t mean that some non-wrestlers didn’t make it onto the list – SNL performers Colin Jost and Michael Che competed in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania, and heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury took on Braun Strowman at Crown Jewel (and won).
To finish on a high note, let’s look at the two non-contract wrestlers who managed to ascend the mountain and sign with WWE. Both, somewhat unsurprisingly, came from the Evolve 10th Anniversary show. That took place in July, and by December, both Shotzi Blackheart and former Evolve champion Austin Theory were competing under the NXT brand (on the same episode in fact). Good for them!
Thanks for reading! Tomorrow we’ll look at the individual records of “who beat who”. Who beat the most members of their roster? Who got turned over by the most amount of people? Find out tomorrow, or look for yourself by checking out the comprehensive set of spreadsheets for yourself. You can also follow me on Twitter – @TheGutteridge
Network Specials include: Network Specials include: All Kickoff shows, All NXT/NXT UK Takeovers, All World’s Collide specials, All YouTube 24/7 Title changes, Halftime Heat, The Shield’s Final Chapter, Evolve 10th Anniversary, Smackville and Starrcade.
PPVs include: Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber, Fastlane, WrestleMania 35, Money in the Bank, Super Showdown, Stomping Grounds, Extreme Rules, SummerSlam, Clash of Champions, Hell in a Cell, Crown Jewel, Survivor Series and TLC.