I first started posting my columns here on this site, back when it was known as LordsOfPain.net, in 2008. From 2008 until I left the site in about 2014, I posted the occasional column that was basically a cornucopia of random statistics. When I write, I like to do a lot of research, and a lot of times, that means finding statistics and numbers, usually done to back my arguments and points up. In my research, I’ll often come across stats and numbers that I find interesting, but they don’t relate to what I’m looking up, and they often aren’t enough to mold entire columns around.
I haven’t done one of those columns since originally leaving the site, and I thought it was time to do one again. I sat down to get started with random stats, but one set of stats continued gaining more and more work, and it was taking up so much space that I had to switch it up and dedicate the entire column to that one set of stats. Allow me to apologize for the jumbled mess that this column might end up becoming. There are a lot of numbers floating around in my head right now.
Let’s get nuts, shall we?
I was watching a random episode of Raw and happened upon the early days of Rob Van Dam, after he came over from ECW. He was using the “Mr. Monday Night” nickname to get heat, and it got me to thinking about who truly deserves that moniker. To get things started, I began looking at the people who have wrestled on Raw more than anyone else in history. The name at the top of the list wasn’t a huge surprise to me, as he was announced as breaking that particular record at the beginning of this year.
Randy Orton sits squarely at the top of the list.
As of right now, he has wrestled a whopping 455 times on Raw through the years. In the first few weeks of 2022, he was able to pass Kane’s mark of 442 matches wrestled. Orton’s career has a lot of questions marks surrounding it right now. We have no idea when he’s going to return to the ring, or if he’s ever going to return to the ring. He hasn’t wrestled on Raw in over five months, but his mark is in no danger of being topped for a while. Kane isn’t exactly adding to his total these days. The man behind Kane, Chris Jericho, is certainly not going to be wrestling on Raw at any point in the near future. Triple H is in the spot behind Jericho, and… well… he’s not a threat to Orton’s number, either. John Cena at #5? Doesn’t look like he’ll be doing much more. Big Show at #6? Nope.
You have to move all the way down to the #7 spot, where a surprising name jumps out at you. The Miz has wrestled on Raw more than I ever could’ve imagined. Can Miz catch up to Orton, especially if Orton is forced to hang his boots up? Well, as of right now, Miz is 122 matches behind Orton. Let’s do some quick math. If Miz wrestles on Raw every single week for the next 122 weeks, and if Orton doesn’t wrestle on Raw ever again, Miz would catch Orton on the February 10th, 2025 episode of Raw. There’s one simple problem with that, though.
Since the beginning of 2020 all the way up until the here and now, Miz has wrestled a total of… wait for it… 122 matches for WWE. That’s 122 matches, period. Raw, Smackdown, pay-per-view, house show, dark matches, and so on. If you want to go back to the last 122 matches Miz has wrestled on Raw, you have to go back and start the clock on the December 29th, 2014 episode. That’s a LONG time ago, and it’s what happens when you have a Brand Split and Miz spends a large amount of his time wrestling on Smackdown. Miz is 42 years old now, wrestling less and less, and doing more and more outside of the ring. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that he isn’t going to reach Orton’s number. He’s six matches behind Big Show, so that’s probably going to happen, but he’s 48 behind Cena, and even that doesn’t look likely.
A lot of what was said about Miz can be said about Dolph Ziggler, who sits four matches behind Miz. Dolph just wrestled his first Raw match in nearly two months, and that was his 17th match on Raw in 2022, while Miz has wrestled on Raw 19 times this year. I guess that means Miz and Ziggler can compete with each other, and probably go back-and-forth on the list for a while.
When you start looking beyond The Miz and Dolph Ziggler on that list, you start seeing that it’s difficult to properly predict the future. There’s a lot of names that are retired, working a part-time schedule, working for other companies, currently wrestling on Smackdown, or even deceased. Seth Rollins is at #12 with 289 matches. Cody Rhodes is at #14 with 250. Bobby Lashley is at #33 with 169. Kevin Owens is at #44 with 157. Braun Strowman is at #57 with 134. Finn Balor is at #66 with 125. You get the point. Go ahead and try to make a case for any of them passing Randy Orton one day. I bet you can’t do it, outside of possibly making a convincing argument for Rollins.
If you want to REALLY look to the future and look at some of the younger names in the company, you’re probably shit out of luck there, too. Again, you’d be forced to hold out hope that someone can wrestle on Raw every single week for years to come, and maybe… MAYBE… they can get lucky. Rhea Ripley is only 26 years old, so she might have a ton of career still ahead of her, but she’s currently 408 matches behind Orton’s number. Austin Theory is 25 years old, but he’s 417 matches behind Orton.
Well, what about wins and losses? If you wrestle on Raw 500 times, but you’ve lost 450 of those matches, what does that say about you?
For example, Orton has wrestled more times on Raw than anyone in company history, but his 238 wins rank second all-time behind John Cena’s 254. Orton has 74 more overall matches than Cena, but Cena has 16 more wins. Along with Kane (216), they’re the only people to have more than 200 wins in Monday Night Raw history. A lot of this comes down to whether you think Orton having 74 more matches than Cena matters more than Cena having those 16 extra wins. If Orton wasn’t winning a lot, I think you’d give the nod to Cena quite easily, but Orton’s 52% winning clip is strong, even though Cena owns a 67% winning clip. That’s simply saying that Cena has been on another level with the way he was booked through the years. Cena has never wrestled on Raw as a heel, and we all know what happened with Cena’s winning percentage once he turned face. Of wrestlers that have wrestled 100+ times on Raw, only Braun Strowman (69%, which is nice), Bobby Lashley (67%), Roman Reigns (66%), Finn Balor (65%), Shawn Michaels (63%), Ryback (62%), and Rob Van Dam (60%) can say they come close to Cena’s win percentage. None of them even come close to the amount of wins that Cena and Orton has.
We’ll get back to Raw and who the King of Monday night is, but first, we need to take a look at the same situations on Smackdown.
When you look at the top of the all-time matches wrestled list for Smackdown, the name in first place is someone who just made his return to the show as an official roster member and looks to pad his list a bit. Of course, I’m talking about Rey Mysterio. Rey just wrestled match 333 on Smackdown, putting him 12 matches ahead of Big Show at the top of the ladder. Depending on what your definition of an “active” wrestler is, there are some names that aren’t too terribly far behind Rey. Dolph Ziggler is at #4 with 308 matches, Kofi Kingston is at #5 with 276, Sheamus is at #7 with 233, The Miz is at #8 with 222, and Jey Uso is tied (with Edge) at #12 with 209. I’m not sure that Dolph Ziggler is going to pass Rey, as Dolph has only wrestled one match on Smackdown in 2022. Kofi being 57 matches behind Rey? Sheamus being 100 behind Rey? Jey Uso being 124 behind Rey? I guess I could see any of them coming up on Rey’s number, simply based on them being younger than he is, as well as them being active and in major stories that will see them wrestling regularly. It would still be tough, but nowhere near as tough as it would be for people to catch Randy Orton on Raw.
To show Rey’s stranglehold on Smackdown, he has a 63% winning clip on the show. Using that same criteria of only looking at people to wrestle 100+ times on Smackdown, the only people who can say they own a win percentage of higher than 60% are Roman Reigns (76%, but in a much smaller sample size), John Cena (69%, which is also nice, but nowhere near the amount of matches that Mysterio has wrestled), Batista (69%, ditto), Ryback (66%), and The Undertaker (64%). Rey has wrestled more than anyone else in the history of Smackdown, and is easily one of the most successful performers in the history of the show. That makes the Blue Brand a lot easier to figure out than Raw, if you ask me, and since you clicked a link to read my column, you kind of did.
Even though it’s pretty clear to see who “Mr. Smackdown” is, we’ll get back to it soon, but not before we take a look at WWF/WWE pay-per-views.
If you look at the list of WWF/WWE pay-per-view appearances, you’re going to see awfully similar names in awfully similar places. As of now, Randy Orton is at the top of the list with 181 matches, five ahead of Kane. Looking at the active or semi-active names behind them, you have John Cena at #5 with 163 matches, Edge at #7 with 142, The Miz at #9 at 126, Kofi Kingston at #10 with 120, Rey Mysterio at #11 with 119, Dolph Ziggler at #13 with 110, Seth Rollins at #14 with 107, Sheamus at #15 with 102, and Roman Reigns at #17 with 100. Of those names, nobody stands a chance of catching Orton except for Seth Rollins. In case you’re wondering, Roman Reigns has missed five pay-per-view shows since he began his epic reign as Universal Champion, so even if he was a “regular” defending champion, he would only be at 105, a full 76 pay-per-view matches behind Mysterio. That would still be a tough thing for Roman to pull off.
What really separates pay-per-view stats from the stats of Raw and Smackdown is win percentage. Orton is at the top, sure, but he has a pay-per-view win percentage of 43%. I’m not sure if you’re aware of this or not, but 43% isn’t all that great. Kane, in second place when it comes to total pay-per-view matches, only won 35% of those matches. Again, I’m not sure if you’re aware of this or not, but 35% is even worse than 43% is.
Things don’t get interesting until you reach The Undertaker at #3 on the list. He has a 59% winning clip on pay-per-view, and I already know what you’re thinking when I tell you that. If you were to take away his WrestleMania record, he still won 52% of his matches on pay-per-view. Not an earth shattering number, but considerably better than the two names ahead of him. John Cena continues the fun with a 58% winning percentage on pay-per-view, but before he switched to a permanent part-time in-ring career, his winning percentage on pay-per-view was at 61%. Losing 12 of his last 19 pay-per-view matches hurt his overall numbers.
Someone I was really looking forward to researching here was Shawn Michaels. The man has had one of the more decorated careers in pro wrestling history, so I started digging deep into the numbers. What I found was that he, for all intents and purposes, had three different “careers” with the company. There was his time with Marty Jannetty as The Rockers, where he had a win percentage of 33%. Then, from the time he split from Jannetty until the time he retired after WrestleMania 14, he had a pretty good 53% winning clip. Finally, from his comeback in 2002 until he wrestled his final match (probably), his win percentage was back down to 40%. Overall, he owns a 44% win rate, which is at least better than Randy Orton, so he’s got that going for him, which is nice.
Last, but clearly not least, we get to Roman Reigns. You know I had to. There was such a genuine curiosity on my part that I had to look his stats up, even though he’s not quite in striking distance of the top when it comes to total pay-per-view matches wrestled. He was on the winning side of the first six pay-per-view matches he had, and if you count pre-show matches (which I’m not), then that number goes up to seven. As a member of The Shield, he had a 67% win clip on pay-per-view. From the time The Shield first disbanded when Seth Rollins joined The Authority until Reigns would step away from the company before WrestleMania 36 due to COVID concerns, his win percentage was at 52%. Then, of course, we get to the current “Tribal Chief” stage of his career, where he has a ridiculous 95% winning percentage. In case you forgot, he only has one loss on pay-per-view over the last two-plus years, and that was to Seth Rollins via disqualification at this year’s Royal Rumble. For his entire WWE career, Reigns has been victorious in 63% of his pay-per-view matches, which is rarefied air. Even someone like Hulk Hogan, who was the first person in the pay-per-view “era” that “won all the time” had a 67% win clip on pay-per-view, but he did so in 61 less matches than Reigns did.
Enough with the stats. It’s time for me to crown some folks. I’ll even throw in some random things, in honor of those original columns of mine.
Mr. Monday Night Raw: John Cena. Randy Orton’s longevity has been impressive, but all those wins for Cena really matter to me.
Mr. Smackdown: Rey Mysterio. Yeah, yeah, yeah… Smackdown is The Rock’s show, but again, all those wins matter to me.
Mr. Pay-Per-View: John Cena. The Undertaker made a very strong case, but once you remove the WrestleMania numbers that inflate his totals, that allowed Cena to jump ahead, in my opinion.
Ms. Monday Night Raw: Sasha Banks. She has the fifth-most matches (Mickie James, Natalya, Trish Stratus, Alicia Fox) of any woman in Raw history, but her 58% win percentage is much higher than the women ahead of her.
Ms. Smackdown: Becky Lynch. This came down to win percentage again. Natalya (by a large margin), Naomi, and Michelle McCool all have more matches on Smackdown, but they’ve each won less than 50% of their matches. Becky, on the other hand, has won 57% of her matches for the brand.
Ms. Pay-Per-View: Charlotte Flair. No woman has wrestled on more pay-per-views than she has, and she has a 60% win clip on top of that.
Mr. Royal Rumble: Brock Lesnar. The numbers here are skewed, as almost everyone has losing records at the event due to competing year-after-year in the Rumble match and losing. However, only a handful of men have wrestled at a Royal Rumble event more than Brock has. He has two Rumble match wins, making him one of only nine to win more than once, and his overall win percentage at the event is 69%, which is nice. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin has three Rumble wins, but outside of those three, he has failed to win the Rumble three other times, and… that’s it. No other matches at the event.
Mr. WrestleMania: The Undertaker. Come on.
Mr. SummerSlam: Edge. Only Randy Orton, The Undertaker, and John Cena have wrestled at SummerSlam more than Edge, but he has more wins than any of them do. His 86% win clip at the event is incredible.
Mr. Survivor Series: The Undertaker. He has wrestled at the event more than anyone in history, and has won 72% of his matches there, which is higher than anyone else that has come close to his total.
Mr. In Your House: Mick Foley. No one came through more when it mattered less.
Before any of you come through with some “anti-AEW” bullshit for me, I didn’t include AEW here for multiple reasons. One, they haven’t been around long enough. I would love to do one of these columns for them down the road when they’ve had more pay-per-views, episodes of Dynamite, and episodes of Rampage. Two, even if I wanted to include them, that might be too many numbers and statistics for me, and my brain might start leaking through my nose. Can’t have that. Not until Halloween, at least.
I want to hear from you, though. Do you disagree with any of my decisions here? Think someone else should be Mr. Monday Night Raw? Ms. Pay-Per-View? As always, drop me a line in the comments section below, or on Twitter (@HustleTheSavage), and let me know what’s on your mind.
Weekly Power Rankings
Bray Wyatt’s Promo: It was a great week for promo work, as you’ll see in the rest of my Power Rankings, but this is the one that captivated me the most. It was so different than anything we’ve seen from Bray Wyatt, and it drew me in immediately. I know some people were down on the ending, with the masked “Wyatt” appearing on the big screen and then the in-ring Wyatt disappearing to close the show, but it worked for me. I still don’t want to see a ton of supernatural-like things from Wyatt moving forward, but at least this has people guessing. I’ve seen people say that they think this is leading to some sort of Bray Wyatt vs Bray Wyatt match/story. We’ll see.
MJF & William Regal’s Promo Battle: In his feud with CM Punk, MJF revealed his villain origin story that Punk caused by walking out of WWE. It made sense, and it was well-received, because it was real. Now, MJF has revealed a second villain origin story, this time due to William Regal (and WWE) breaking his heart and causing him to be suicidal when Regal sent him an e-mail that shut down any chances of the company hiring MJF seven years ago. It was more of a WWE (read: Vince McMahon) decision, but the promo almost framed Regal as a liar who all but promised MJF he would have a job with WWE, only to turn around and rudely shut him down a few months later. MJF’s promo was so good that it caused the crowd to boo Regal. I don’t know if I can even remember the last time Regal was booed like that. To his credit, Regal cut a good promo, too, talking about his own journey and the hurdles he had to jump over compared to the hurdles that MJF has seen, but clearly, MJF was the star of this one. I will give Regal a TON of credit for his facial expressions and reactions as MJF was talking, though. His smirks and head tilts as he watched MJF unravel were masterful storytelling. He is seeing the villain that he has always wanted MJF to be, and he’s watching that transformation happen all these years later, right before his very eyes.
Adam Page’s Promo: Passion. Pure passion. That’s what stood out in Page’s promo from last week. Watching him pull a Mick Foley and intentionally harm himself as he cut his promo was wild. It was always incredible when Foley did it, but you came to expect that type of thing from Foley. Seeing a “regular” guy like Page do it made it stand out even more.
Rey Mysterio vs Sheamus vs Solo Sikoa vs Ricochet: Youngsters and veterans clashing for a shot at Gunther and the Intercontinental Title. A lot of people thought Sheamus would win, setting up his third attempt at dethroning Gunther, but honestly, I’m glad Mysterio won. It will be a ton of fun watching him and Gunther battle it out. While we’re talking about Rey Mysterio, though, it has to be said that it was VERY refreshing to see a logical storyline reason for a Raw superstar jumping ship to Smackdown. It continues to show just how bad Vince McMahon has been, as he wasn’t able to have anything make sense, in any way, for years and years and years.
Pac vs Orange Cassidy: While I still have no cares in the world for the All-Atlantic Title, it was cool to see Orange Cassidy win his first championship in AEW. The match itself was really good, too, even though it was an odd choice to main event an episode of Dynamite that saw Chris Jericho defending the RoH World Title against Bryan Danielson.
Seth Rollins vs Matt Riddle: I didn’t care for Elias being involved in the match, or in the storyline, in general, but at least the match was a lot of fun. Riddle is getting dangerously close to the point where he’s just treading water, if he isn’t there already. That’s a concern. The absence of Randy Orton has been hurting him, and so has him going back-and-forth between wins and losses without really moving up or down the card.
Jungle Boy vs Luchasaurus: Obviously, we don’t know what the original plan for Jungle Boy was before Christian Cage got injured, but he did some great work here. The “fiery babyface” vs the “monster heel” is a formula that is damn near as old as pro wrestling itself, but it works, and it worked here.
Death Triangle vs Best Friends: A six-man in AEW. That means you have to expect non-stop action from bell-to-bell. Guess what we got here? Non-stop action from bell-to-bell. It works for AEW, so why stray from it?
JBL’s Promo: Even though he was wearing an old pair of Yokozuna’s pants for some reason, JBL proved that he can still go out there and cut a great promo that will get himself a lot of heel heat. His pairing with the somewhat repackaged Baron Corbin could be really beneficial to Corbin. Triple H is a big fan of the guy, so he could be in line for a nice push. Just about anything would be better than what we got with King Corbin and Happy Corbin, I guess.
Chris Jericho vs Bryan Danielson: Jericho’s matches are still good, but there is a fine line that AEW is tiptoeing across when it comes to letting him WRESTLE and overly scripting things on purpose to play up the “Sports Entertainment” aspect of his current character. The Jericho Appreciation Society, as a whole, isn’t really connecting with me. I’m just not a fan of most of the group.
Kofi Kingston vs Sami Zayn: Sami continues making a strong play to win the title of pro wrestling’s Most Valuable Player in 2022. Everything he has done has been absolute gold. His matches, promos, and segments are all incredibly entertaining.
Jon Moxley vs Adam Page: The match was building really well until it was forced to end with Page’s very unfortunate concussion. It was a scary moment to see him motionless on the mat for so long, and it’s a reminder of how dangerous this sport is, and just how close wrestlers are to tragedy at any given moment. I feel bad for “punishing” the match because of how it ended, but I feel it’s a necessary evil, as it didn’t quite reach the levels it could/should have before Page got hurt.
Angelo Dawkins: It wasn’t all that long ago that we saw reports of Montez Ford being viewed as a potential breakout singles star. When those reports first came out, I was worried about the future of Angelo Dawkins. We’ve seen it a million times by now, where a tag team splits up and one of the members goes on to have singles success while the other member is quickly forgotten. Dawkins would then put a lot of work into changing his physique, and it started to show in his matches. Now, reports are that multiple “higher-ups” in WWE are very impressed with him and the dedication he has put into his craft. Could Dawkins actually be the potential breakout singles star? Will there even be a breakout singles star, or will the Profits stay together? We’ll see.
Renee Paquette: She is one of the newest people to sign with AEW. If they keep her in an interviewer role, she will do great, as she excels in that role. They should probably keep her away from commentary, though. She never seemed comfortable at all in that role with WWE, but hey, maybe that was due to having Vince McMahon in her ear for hours at a time.
Shinsuke Nakamura: Maybe it was a one-off, or maybe he’s back for an extended period, but it was good to see Nakamura back in NXT. Early word is that he could be making at least a few more appearances at NXT shows. The crowd welcomed him back like a conquering hero, too. That was nice.
AJ Styles vs Dominik Mysterio: Finally. I’ve been asking for it for weeks, but WWE finally let Dominik Mysterio advance his new heel character in a match instead of only doing so in promos and vignettes. AJ Styles was a great choice for an opponent here. Styles is obviously good enough in the ring to be a wise dance partner for Dom, but AJ is also bulletproof and can deal with losses like this, especially in the fashion it happened, and not get hurt by them.
Chris Jericho vs Dalton Castle: This goes back to what I said about Jericho vs Danielson earlier. The match was good, sure, but there’s just too much forced “sports entertainment” for my liking, and it’s getting close to overriding everything that’s going on. Kudos to Castle here, but he had his work cut out for him.
Toni Storm vs Hikaru Shida: If the match had a few more minutes to work with, it probably would’ve been higher on this list, and if the crowd was more into it than they were, it definitely could’ve gone even higher. Both women did well here, but things just didn’t reach a different gear that I know they’re capable of.
Roxanne Perez vs Rhea Ripley: I know some people didn’t like that it took Ripley, a main roster talent that has won four different titles since signing with WWE, so long to defeat Perez, an NXT talent who was wrestling her 14th match with the company. That’s fine. I get it, but I think it told a good story with Perez being the undersized, plucky babyface that she is. The match wasn’t perfect, but it didn’t need to be. Not yet.
Bobby Lashley’s “Fat Thor” Storyline Pitch: In a recent podcast interview, Lashley revealed that he pitched a “Fat Thor” style story to Vince McMahon that Vince quickly shot down. In Lashley’s vision, he would lose a big match and fall into a deep funk. While he was in said funk, he would put on “40, 50, 60, or 70” pounds and be something different than we’ve ever seen from him. Eventually, someone like MVP would be able to reach out to him and get him out of his funk, and we would watch him transition back into the Bobby Lashley that we all know and recognize. Look… I understand that there are a couple negatives with that. It’s not healthy to put on that type of weight quickly, and then take it back off, but actors do it all the time, and if it’s done properly, it can be fine. As long as he isn’t having to put on 70 pounds, lose 70 pounds, put on 70 pounds again, lose 70 points again, and so on, it would probably be fine. I’ve also seen some people have concerns about any wrestling storyline that involves “depression” and things along those lines, with fears that it would make light of people who actually suffer from depression, eating disorders, and things like that. Having Lashley in a funk is fine, and there’s a lot of slack on the line that can be used without coming close to approaching anything offensive, so I wouldn’t even worry about that. I just think this could’ve been a funny thing to see, and picturing an “out of shape” 350-pound Bobby Lashley makes me laugh.
This Week’s Playlist: “This Is War” by Alter Bridge… “Dead Among The Living” by Alter Bridge… “Silver Tongue” by Alter Bridge… “Sin After Sin” by Alter Bridge… “Stay” by Alter Bridge… “Holiday” by Alter Bridge… “Pawns & Kings” by Alter Bridge… “Welcome Back, O’ Sleeping Dreamer” by Lorna Shore… “Into The Earth” by Lorna Shore… “Cursed To Die” by Lorna Shore… “Wrath” by Lorna Shore… “Pain Remains I: Dancing Like Flames” by Lorna Shore… “Pain Remains II: After All I’ve Done, I’ll Disappear” by Lorna Shore… “Pain Remains III: In a Sea of Fire” by Lorna Shore… “One More Day” by We Came As Romans… “Intoxicate Me” by Unlike Pluto… “I Will Make It Out” by The Veer Union… “Stay With Me” by Mario Winans… “Come Back Home” by Mario Winans… “Loving Arms” by Mario Winans… “I Don’t Wanna Know” by Mario Winans & Diddy… “I Got You Babe” by Mario Winans… “Obsessed” by Calvin Harris, Charlie Puth & Shenseea… “I’m Your Puppet” by James & Bobby Purify… “You’re The Inspiration” by Willz & Maile