When it comes to the best record of wins and losses ever in wrestling history, that will undoubtedly be the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania Streak which lasted for 21 wins until it was broken by Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania XXX. I still think this was one of the stupidest decisions ever made as it was a legacy and it should’ve been something that was unbroken until The Undertaker retired. This is something that should’ve been the lasting landmark of The Dead Man but the WWE ruined it.
While I am in favor of keeping track of something like The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania Streak, my thoughts on All Elite Wrestling tracking each and every wrestler’s wins and losses is the opposite. I strongly believe AEW should just ditch this and stop counting the win-loss record.
I was initially stoked about All Elite Wrestling counting each and every performers wins and losses because, despite it being “fake” and “choreographed” and whatever else you can call wrestling, I want to make believe it’s all real. I want to believe everyone in AEW wants to beat their opponent because each line in their win column will help them get their chance at the title. Losing also will reduce their standing in the company so they want to limit that.
This also means that, in order to actually be in the running for whatever title they’re targeting, be it the AEW Heavyweight Championship, AEW Tag Team Championship or the AEW Women’s Championship, they can’t just all of a sudden become the Number 1 Contender just because they have a big name. They have to have been competing frequently as well as getting those wins most of the time. In essence, keeping track of the wins and losses makes the obviously predetermined sport of professional wrestling seem more real. That’s not a bad thing.
It turns out, however, after watching a lot of AEW’s programming, keeping track of each performers win-loss records isn’t a good idea. It can be downright messy, in fact.
For example, let’s go take a gander at Shawn Spears, one of AEW’s lesser known stars as he’s not seen on Dynamite all that frequently. He was featured on this week’s Dark episode and, like with every wrestler, they graciously displayed Shawn Spears’ current win-loss record.
As you can see, Shawn Spears has 5 wins and 9 losses. It seems like a bad record, right? Well, yes, it pretty much is. However, what this win-loss record fails to state is that most of those losses came from being in a tag team. His singles record is actually pretty good. So, are they saying that his tag team losses will also affect his standing as a singles wrestler? That’s a totally different division so it wouldn’t make sense for those losses to count to his overall rank.
At the same time, though, they kind of have to because of the nature of the wrestling world. Not only do wrestlers participate in singles and tag matches, there are also multiple person tag matches, fatal four ways, battle royales, gauntlet matches and many more. Do the wins and losses there count to the record of the individual as well? There are probably rules and regulations regarding this but it just makes things much more messy that it should.
I would also think this would hurt the programming in the long run because feuds can’t be as organic as it should be. Take the Young Bucks winning that Battle Royale to become the team to face off against “Hangman” Adam Page and Kenny Omega for the AEW Tag Team Championships at the recent AEW Revolution.
I guess this makes for some really nice storytelling as the teams are actually part of a group known as The Elite. Having “Hangman” Adam Page being a disgruntled member who talks down at the Young Bucks while having Kenny Omega getting caught in the middle of it all leads to a really engaging storyline. However, you can tell AEW needed to find a loophole for the Young Bucks to face off against Adam Page and Kenny Omega for the titles. That’s why they needed the Young Bucks to win this Battle Royale with the stipulation that the winner will face the champions at Revolution. In essence, however, All Elite Wrestling disregarded their own rules as to the person or persons getting title shots based on their record.
It doesn’t end there. Right now, the current AEW Women’s Champion is Nyla Rose. She beat Riho for the title at a fairly recent episode of AEW Dynamite. The thing is, Nyla Rose wasn’t the Number 1 contender at the time; it was Kris Statlander. How did Nyla Rose get the spot to challenge Riho for the Women’s Championship then? Well, with a good old fashioned attack backstage by powerbombing Riho through… well, onto a table, anyway.
Wait, so you’re telling me that any champion can put their title on the line against anyone if they so choose to do so? If that’s the case, why have the entire win-loss record then? I thought the number of wins and losses would matter! If you have Nyla Rose just do something like attack the champion backstage to get a title match, then the wins and losses don’t actually mean anything!
The strange thing is even AEW is disregarding the win-loss record when they find it convenient for them to do it. They can say someone is the number 1 ranker competitor for the championship but quickly turn around and have something like a Battle Royale or a backstage assault to put that on its head. If they’re going to do that, then why even go through the pretense that a wrestler’s record matters?
Like I said earlier, I was really into the idea of counting a wrestler’s wins and losses as it made things more realistic. It made the realm of sports entertainment seem like an actual sport. All Elite Wrestling’s idea was a good one but, it turns out, that form of “reality” doesn’t mix well with the crazy world of professional wrestling. Counting wins and losses removes a lot of the spontaneity and insanity of why wrestling feels so dynamic and anything can happen.
It was a good idea but AEW should just stop counting wins and losses and just do what worked before.
Do you still think counting wins and losses in the world of professional wrestling is a good move? Let me know in the comments section below!