Time to polish up the gold and hand it over...
WrestleMania is the pinnacle event of the WWE calendar. It’s the jewel in sports entertainment’s crown. And it’s the stage in which many new Champions capture the gold. WWE superstars who have spent the year fighting their way up through the ranks find their journey coming to a conclusion at WrestleMania, and the stats suggest that more often than not, it’s the challengers that come out on top.
While you may think that heading into the ‘Showcase of the Immortals’ with a title around your waist gives you the advantage, history tells us that the chances are that gold won’t be sticking around for long.
The Divas Championship
The only title up for grabs at WrestleMania 32 in which the Champion has a winning record is the Divas Championship. Good news for Charlotte and her old man Ric Flair, but no so good for the Irish Lasskicker Becky Lynch or The Boss Sasha Banks. The Divas Championship has been on the line at 12 WrestleMania events, and in eight of them the champion has retained – including four of the last five. The last time a Divas Champion lost her title at WrestleMania was in 2006 when Trish Stratus was beaten by Mickie James.
There is a slight concern for Charlotte however, and that’s that this match isn’t a singles contest so Charlotte doesn’t have to be involved in the pin to lose the belt. In triple threat matches at WrestleMania when there’s a title on the line, the Champion loses 86 per cent of the time. Only twice out of 14 triple threat matches for a title has the champion retained – Jazz beat Trish Stratus and Lita at WrestleMania 18 and Randy Orton defeated Triple H and John Cena at WrestleMania 24.
Charlotte is a 17/10 shot to retain her title, but considering the record of champs in triple threat matches, it might be best to side with Sasha at odds of 4/7.
The United States Championship
The US Championship has only been on the line four times at WrestleMania, but already it doesn’t look good for reigning champ Kalisto. John Cena (twice) and Paddy Power favourite John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield have rocked up to WrestleMania events as challengers for the US title and left for the belt, with only one man managing to retain the belt in four attempts. Chris Benoit is the only United States Championship in history to enter and leave WrestleMania as the champ, courtesy of a diving headbutt and the 1-2-3 agains MVP at WrestleMania 23.
Kalisto is up against The Big Guy Ryback, in a classic David and Goliath bout. Unfortunately in this instance, history suggests Goliath will come out on top…
Kevin Owens is planning to turn WrestleMania 32 into ‘KO Mania’, but he’s certainly up against it in a seven-man ladder match for his Intercontinental title. 19 times the belt has been on the line at WrestleMania, and in almost two thirds of those bouts, the Champ has gone home empty-handed. In the last five Intercontinental title matches at WrestleMania, only Chris Jericho has managed to retain the belt and that was back in 2001. A lionsault was enough to put challenger William Regal away on that occasion.
The Honky Tonk Man, The Ultimate Warrior, Randy Savage, Shawn Michaels, Kurt Angle and more have all lost their Intercontinental Championships at WrestleMania, and it’s one of the most common titles that changes hands on the biggest stage of them all. Kevin Owens has a serious job on his hands upsetting the history books and climbing that ladder to hold on to the gold.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
And so we get to the big one. The WWE World Heavyweight Championship war between 14-time winner and current champ Triple H, and the challenger Roman Reigns. Unfortunately if you’re a fan of The Game, the trends and the odds don’t look so favourable.
Of the 31 World Heavyweight title matches at WrestleMania, 61 per cent of the time the champ is dethroned. This includes a horrendous spell for champions between 1989 and 1993 where there were six title matches at WrestleMania and the reigning champ was beaten each time. Most recently the last three champions to enter WrestleMania (Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton and The Rock) have all been defeated and the PP traders clearly feel Triple H is in line to make it four losing title holders on the spin.
The one saving grace for the King of Kings is that he’s gone into WrestleMania as the champ (of any title) six times, and he has retained on four occasions. The only man to beat Triple H in a singles match at WrestleMania for a title when Triple H is the reigning champ, is Batista. Can the Roman Empire continue the trends of capturing the gold?