To the surprise of many, WWE is now pushing to legalize sports betting on pro wrestling matches. Representatives from the organization are in talks with state gambling regulators to make this happen.
Of course, it’s common knowledge that the matches held in WWE are scripted, and the results are pre-determined. From the insignificant fights to the Heavyweight title match, everything is choreographed, usually down to every move of the wrestlers.
WWE is an entertainment show, and unlike conventional sports events, the sole aim is to entertain the fans, not to compete for anything. For decades, wrestlers have created entertaining characters and generated storylines that keep the fans on the edge of their seats. There is no competition in WWE whatsoever, and the wrestlers work together in the ring to create an excellent show for the millions watching.
Although WWE keeps its secrets, fans do know what to expect. For instance, over the years, fans have recognized signs telling whether or not a wrestler will ‘kick out’ from a pin. Similarly, some signals help the referees recognize whether a wrestler can continue.
WWE officials argue that betting is legal in several states on shows like the Oscars and Emmys, where the winner is pre-determined. To further solidify the argument, WWE is working with PwC and EY, also known as Earnst and Young, to ensure that the scripted match results are kept secret. EY has been affiliated with academy award shows before for, you guessed it, keeping the winners confidential.
However, obviously, there is a massive difference between the academy awards and the WWE. The academy award winners are decided based on various factors before the show, such as fan votes, ratings, box office performance, etc. Unlike WWE, these factors, and the selection of the winner, are not scripted in themselves.
If WWE succeeds in legalizing betting on its events, other sporting and television shows may try to do the same. For instance, the storylines, death of characters, and the ending are among the things that can be bet upon. After all, TV shows are where the word script comes from
As for inside the WWE, chances are that the character developments, betrayals, plot twists, and, most importantly, the results of the matches might be altered. With massive amounts bet on particular WrestleMania matches, the results would suddenly hold much value.
Reports are that the WWE is looking toward three major states; Michigan, Colorado, and Indiana. Meetings have happened since March, but nothing has come of them yet. Discussions between the company and the State officials took place in March. The main concern was the match results and the number of people that know the results in advance.
WWE assured the authorities that results would be decided much earlier than in the past. Fewer people will be let in on the results to ensure there is no chance of a leak before the match. It is still unknown whether the officials are convinced, as no more information has been put out yet.