DVDVR_1980s_wwf_results

DeathValleyDriver's BEST MATCHES OF THE 1980s WWF RESULTS:

Analysis was performed by Chris Harrington of Indeedwrestling.com.
Feel free to contact with questions, comments or for further data discussion.

In total, 119 ballots were received. Voters were asked to rank matches from 1 to 100. Match #1 would receive 100 points; match #2 would receive 99 points, etc. Bonus points were also being given to matches in the top 30. For each ballot, the bonus points awarded were as follows: #1 (+7 pts), #2 (+5 pts), #3 (+4 pts), #4 through #7 (+3 pts), #8-#20 (+2 pts), #21-#30 (+1 pts).

RANK MATCH DATE & PLACE POINTS
1 Sgt Slaughter vs Iron Sheik (6/16/84 MSG) 11,944
2 Ricky Steamboat vs Randy Savage (3/29/87 Pontiac MI Wrestlemania 3) 11,575
3 Adrian Adonis/Dick Murdoch vs Brisco Brothers (12/28/84 MSG) 11,137
4 Bret Hart vs Randy Savage (11/11/87 Seattle WA aired SNME 11/28/87) 10,100
5 Bret Hart vs Mr Perfect (10/2/89 Wheeling WV) 9,974
6 Bob Backlund vs Adrian Adonis (1/18/82 MSG) 9,971
7 Greg Valentine vs Ron Garvin (9/30/89 MSG) 9,622
8 Glamour Girls vs Jumping Bomb Angels (11/24/87 MSG) 9,449
9 Ricky Steamboat vs Jake Roberts (8/9/86 Boston MA) 9,399
10 Sgt Slaughter vs Iron Sheik (5/21/84 MSG) 9,395
11 Ultimate Warrior vs Rick Rude (8/28/89 East Rutherford NJ Summerslam) 9,394
12 Brainbusters vs Hart Foundation (8/28/89 East Rutherford NJ Summerslam) 9,334
13 Barry Windham vs Dick Murdoch (2/16/85 Philadelphia PA) 9,215
14 Dynamite Kid vs Bret Hart (9/14/85 Landover MD) 9,044
15 British Bulldogs vs Hart Foundation (9/23/85 MSG) 9,009
16 Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat (7/27/86 Toronto Ontario) 8,986
17 Bret Hart vs Ted DiBiase (3/8/89 Odessa TX aired Prime Time 3/20/89) 8,978
18 Ricky Steamboat vs Bret Hart (3/8/86 Boston MA) 8,705
19 Ricky Steamboat vs Bob Orton Jr (7/20/85 Landover MD) 8,561
20 Hulk Hogan vs Big Bossman (3/18/89 MSG) 8,505
21 Randy Savage vs Ted DiBiase (7/22/88 MSG) 8,164
22 Bob Backlund vs Adrian Adonis (3/28/82 Landover MD) 8,129
23 Adrian Adonis/Dick Murdoch vs Bob Backlund/Brian Blair (7/7/84 Philadelphia PA) 8,046
24 Randy Savage vs Tito Santana (4/22/86 MSG) 8,019
25 Randy Savage/Adrian Adonis vs Tito Santana/Bruno Sammartino (7/12/86 MSG) 7,913
26 Pat Patterson vs Sgt Slaughter (5/4/81 MSG) 7,874
27 Bob Backlund vs Adrian Adonis (3/20/82 Philadelphia PA) 7,842
28 Greg Valentine vs Ricky Steamboat (6/21/85 MSG) 7,725
29 Strike Force vs Islanders (10/3/87 Boston MA) 7,707
30 Rick Rude vs Roddy Piper (12/28/89 MSG) 7,605
31 Randy Savage vs Jake Roberts (11/15/86 Los Angeles CA aired 11/29/86 SNME) 7,512
32 Rockers vs Brainbusters (10/31/89 Topeka KS aired 11/25/89 SNME) 7,497
33 Bob Backlund vs Sgt Slaughter (1/10/81 Philadelphia PA) 7,440
34 Fabulous Rougeau Bros vs Rockers (10/10/89 London England) 7,419
35 Bob Backlund vs Sgt Slaughter (3/21/81 Philadelphia PA) 7,364
36 Rougeau Bros vs Hart Foundation (9/22/86 MSG) 7,202
37 Blue Angel vs Barry Horowitz (8/13/88 Los Angeles CA) 7,051
38 Bob Backlund vs Buddy Rose (11/25/82 Philadelphia PA) 7,041
39 Mr Perfect vs Ronnie Garvin (12/12/89 Nashville TN) 6,919
40 Adrian Adonis/Dick Murdoch vs Sgt Slaughter/Terry Daniels (7/23/84 MSG) 6,915
41 Tito Santana vs Ron Bass (8/22/87 MSG) 6,846
42 Dream Team vs British Bulldogs (4/7/86 Rosemont IL Wrestlemania 2) 6,834
43 Sgt Slaughter vs Iron Sheik (5/19/84 Landover MD) 6,777
44 British Bulldogs vs Hart Foundation (11/1/86 Boston MA) 6,748
45 Dream Team vs Ricky Steamboat/Tito Santana (4/21/85 Toronto) 6,724
46 Mr Perfect vs Ron Garvin (3/18/89 Boston MA) 6,693
47 Rockers vs Rougeau Bros (10/13/89 Paris France) 6,625
48 Jake Roberts vs Ted DiBiase (4/24/89 MSG) 6,587
49 Ten Man Tag Survivor Series 1988 (11/24/88 Richfield OH 1988 Survivor Series) 6,225
50 Hart Foundation vs Killer Bees (2/23/87 MSG) 6,156
51 Bret Hart vs Bad News Brown (4/25/88 MSG) 6,085
52 Ricky Steamboat vs Jake Roberts (8/28/86 Toronto Big Event) 5,885
53 Hulk Hogan vs Randy Savage (4/2/89 Atlantic City NJ Wrestlemania 5) 5,880
54 Tito Santana vs Paul Orndorff (9/1/84 St Louis MO) 5,816
55 Ten Man Tag Survivor Series 1987 (11/26/87 Richfield OH Survivor Series 1987) 5,764
56 Ken Patera vs Pat Patterson (4/21/80 MSG) 5,685
57 Les Thornton vs Mr Wrestling II (3/2/85 Atlanta GA) 5,465
58 Bob Backlund vs Ivan Koloff (6/4/83 Philadelphia PA) 5,361
59 Rick Rude vs Tito Santana (2/11/89 Boston MA) 5,274
60 Hulk Hogan vs Randy Savage (1/27/86 MSG) 5,251
61 Sgt Slaughter vs Paul Orndorff (6/2/84 Philadelphia PA) 5,206
62 Hart Foundation vs Twin Towers (5/17/89 Duluth MN) 5,185
63 Tito Santana vs Bob Orton Jr (8/9/86 Boston MA) 5,039
64 Bob Backlund vs Sgt Slaughter (10/20/80 MSG) 4,920
65 Bob Backlund vs Hulk Hogan (4/8/80 Philadelphia PA) 4,907
66 Bob Backlund vs Stan Hansen (6/6/81 MSG) 4,829
67 Honky Tonk Man vs Ricky Steamboat (8/22/87 MSG) 4,723
68 Tito Santana vs Butch Reed (5/12/87 Anaheim CA aired PTW 5/12/87) 4,621
69 Bruno Sammartino vs Larry Zbyszko (4/21/80 MSG) 4,600
70 Hulk Hogan vs Randy Savage (2/17/86 MSG) 4,467
71 Hulk Hogan vs Iron Sheik (5/5/84 Philadelphia PA) 4,382
72 Bob Orton Jr vs Mike Rotundo (12/1/84 Philadelphia PA) 4,374
73 Hulk Hogan vs Paul Orndorff (12/14/86 Hartford CT aired 1/3/87 SNME) 4,344
74 Hulk Hogan vs Bad News Brown (2/16/89 Hersey PA aired 3/11/89 SNME) 4,076
75 Tim Horner vs Barry Horowitz (12/30/88 MSG) 4,022
76 Bruno Sammartino/Paul Orndorff vs Roddy Piper/Bob Orton Jr (10/26/85 Philadelphia PA) 3,983
77 Hulk Hogan vs Bob Orton Jr (5/12/87 Anaheim CA Superstars aired 5/23/87) 3,870
78 Don Muraco vs Jimmy Snuka (8/16/83 Philadelphia PA) 3,796
79 Iron Sheik vs Tito Santana (1/21/84 Philadelphia PA) 3,735
80 Hulk Hogan vs Paul Orndorff (7/7/84 Philadelphia PA) 3,690
81 Johnny Rodz/Jose Estrada vs Tony Garea/Steve Travis (9/18/82 Philadelphia PA) 3,503
82 Jimmy Snuka vs Roddy Piper (7/20/84 St Louis MO) 3,360
83 Bruno Sammartino vs Larry Zbyszko (4/8/80 Philadelphia PA) 3,346
84 Ted DiBiase vs Jacques Rougeau (9/16/87 Rockford IL aired Fall '87) 3,324
85 Ricky Steamboat/Junkyard Dog vs Don Muraco/Mr Fuji (8/17/85 Landover MD) 3,305
86 Brainbusters vs Young Stallions (11/6/88 Toronto) 3,295
87 Adrian Adonis/Dick Murdoch vs Mil Mascaras/SD Jones (6/26/84 St Louis MO aired TNT) 3,138
88 Ken Patera vs Pat Patterson (12/29/80 MSG) 2,945
89 Roddy Piper/Bob Orton Jr vs Jimmy Snuka/Tony Atlas (1/12/85 Philadelphia PA) 2,943
90 Sgt Slaughter vs Rick McGraw (6/20/81 Philadelphia PA) 2,937
91 Hulk Hogan vs Don Muraco (5/20/85 MSG) 2,773
92 Randy Savage vs Bad News Brown (1/16/89 Hamilton Ontario) 2,700
93 Don Muraco vs Pedro Morales (11/23/81 MSG) 2,601
94 Hulk Hogan vs David Shultz (6/17/84 Minneapolis MN) 2,473
95 Hulk Hogan vs Ted DiBiase (3/12/88 Philadelphia PA) 2,276
96 Hulk Hogan vs Don Muraco (6/21/85 MSG) 2,255
97 Johnny Rodz vs Kuniaki "Chin" Kobayashi (11/25/82 Philadelphia PA) 1,892
98 Hulk Hogan vs Nikolai Volkoff (10/3/85 East Rutherford NJ aired SNME 10/5/85) 1,732
99 Randy Savage vs Tito Santana (3/16/86 MSG) 1,523
100 Andre Giant vs Killer Khan (11/14/81 Philadelphia PA) 1,114

What role do BONUS POINTS play?
In short, not a lot. If we didn't give any bonus points out, we could simply average the ranks on all the ballots and rank them in ascending order of average rank. If you compare a list of matches ranked by average rank to a list of matches ranked by total points (including bonus points), turns out they are extremely similar. There are 37 matches which would change ranks but the most extreme change was moving three places. The average change was only about 1.35 places. If there was less than 100 total points between two positions, there was a 45% chance that they would switch on a list by average rank.
On the chart below, the dots in blue represent matches whose rank would not change. The dots in red are the matches were the rank would be altered. As you can see, the chart still retains a very linear relationship either way it was graphed.

WHAT ABOUT A SIMPLER BALLOT?

At the bottom of this analysis is some quartile distribution charts. Their purpose is to demonstrate that a given match basically falls into a significant range of rankings among the ballots collected in our survey. Let's take for instance, “Hart Foundation vs Killer Bees (2/23/87 MSG)”, which was ranked #50 based on Points. About 25% of the voters ranked it below 35 while about 25% of the voters ranked it above 65. Therefore, assigning this match a middle position of fifty still results in more than half of the voters disagreeing with this ranking. They’ll complain it’s at least 15 spots too high or too low. The average rank for this match was 49.71 and the standard deviation was 18.50. Recall that in a normal distribution, about 95.5% of the range of votes should be enclosed within two standard deviations of the mean in each direction – 12.7 to 86.7 in our example. There are three observations that fall outside this range (two low and one high) which represents about 2.5% of our voters.
This analysis helps us determine the general range of rankings for each match that most people would agree upon. However, a range of “somewhere between 13 and 86” isn’t really useful. All that really implies is that 97% of the voters agreeing this match was a, “pretty good match, an average match or a pretty bad match” when compared to the rest of the choices. Instead, I suggest that the matches were there was really a consensus opinion were those are the beginning and ends of the list. Those are the ones we should put more emphasis into examination since those were the ones that people really made bold statements about.
And so this conclusion provoked the thought: is there a simpler ballot (instead of requiring a complete ranking between one and hundred) that could have narrowed candidate list into pool into the same pool for best and worst matches?

CONSIDER: The TOP50 Test
Consider what would have occurred if we had just instructed the voters as such: “Divide this group of one hundred matches into two categories: GOOD and NOT-SO-GOOD. Put fifty on each list.”

Here the voter doesn’t have the option of assigning bonus points to matches. All those on the GOOD list are just grouped together. I ran a sample test using our dataset which just looked at whether a match was ranked in the top 50 or not. Essentially, those matches compromised that person’s list of GOOD matches.

When we collect the ballots, we simply calculate the percentage of ballots that vote a particular match on the GOOD list.

Interestingly, the top 20 matches with the highest “Top 50 Percentages” are the same top 20 matches that received the most points and the lowest average ranks. Similarly, the top 4 matches are also the same in all three categories! Now, this method isn’t going to give us a perfect ranking (for instance, “Bret Hart vs Ted DiBiase - 3/8/89 Odessa TX aired Prime Time 3/20/89” which was ranked #17 by points and #15 by pure rankings received the fifth most votes on the hypothetical GOOD list with 95%). Thus, this criterion would be excellent for narrowing our scope so we can concentrate on certain ranges of matches like the top quarter and bottom ten.
CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?

So, what matches do people generally agree and disagree on the most?
Let’s look at the TOP 10 matches (as ranked by total number of points)
01. Sgt Slaughter vs Iron Sheik (6/16/84 MSG) 11,944 points
02. Ricky Steamboat vs Randy Savage (3/29/87 Pontiac MI Wrestlemania 3) 11,575 points
03. Adrian Adonis/Dick Murdoch vs Brisco Brothers (12/28/84 MSG) 11,137 points
04. Bret Hart vs Randy Savage (Seattle WA 11/11/87 aired SNME 11/28/87) 10,100 points
05. Bret Hart vs Mr Perfect (10/2/89 Wheeling WV) 9,974 points
06. Bob Backlund vs Adrian Adonis (1/18/82 MSG) 9,971 points
07. Greg Valentine vs Ron Garvin (9/30/89 MSG) 9,622 points
08. Glamour Girls vs Jumping Bomb Angels (11/24/87 MSG) 9,449 points
09. Ricky Steamboat vs Jake Roberts (8/9/86 Boston MA) 9,399 points
10. Sgt Slaughter vs Iron Sheik (5/21/84 MSG) 9,395 points

Immediately, it’s obvious that the top three matches were really running far and away from everyone else.
FIRST PLACE: Slaughter/Sheik (6/14/84 MSG)
#1: 63 votes, 53% of ballots
#2: 23 votes, 19% of ballots
#3: 4 votes, 3% of ballots
TOP FIVE: 103 votes, 87% of ballots
TOP TEN: 109 votes, 92% of ballots

SECOND PLACE: Steamboat/Savage (3/29/87 WM3)
#1: 17 votes, 14% of ballots
#2: 29 votes, 24% of ballots
#3: 19 votes, 16% of ballots
TOP FIVE: 78 votes, 66% of ballots
TOP TEN: 100 votes, 84% of ballots

THIRD PLACE: Adrian Adonis/Dick Murdoch vs Brisco Brothers (12/28/84 MSG)
#1: 16 votes, 13% of ballots
#2: 12 votes, 10% of ballots
#3: 25 votes, 21% of ballots
TOP FIVE: 63% of ballots
TOP TEN: 73% of ballots

No other match was even nominated for the top 10 by more than 50% of the voters!
(4th : 33%, 5th : 42%, 6th : 42%, 7th: 37%, 8th: 25%, 9th: 30%, 10th: 28%)

Let’s look at the BOTTOM TEN matches as determined by points.
100. Andre Giant vs Killer Khan (11/14/81 Philadelphia PA) 1,114
099. Randy Savage vs Tito Santana (3/16/86 MSG) 1,523
098. Hulk Hogan vs Nikolai Volkoff (10/3/85 East Rutherford NJ aired SNME 10/5/85) 1,732
097. Johnny Rodz vs Kuniaki "Chin" Kobayashi (11/25/82 Philadelphia PA) 1,892
096. Hulk Hogan vs Don Muraco (6/21/85 MSG) 2,255
095. Hulk Hogan vs Ted DiBiase (3/12/88 Philadelphia PA) 2,276
094. Hulk Hogan vs David Shultz (6/17/84 Minneapolis MN) 2,473
093. Don Muraco vs Pedro Morales (11/23/81 MSG) 2,601
092. Randy Savage vs Bad News Brown (1/16/89 Hamilton Ontario) 2,700
091. Hulk Hogan vs Don Muraco (5/20/85 MSG) 2,773

#99 and #100 both had over 70% of the voters placing them in the bottom ten matches. #94, #97, #98 all had more than 50% of the voters listing them in the bottom ten matches.

Now, which matches did people rank most similarly? Here are the matches with lowest standard deviations:

002. Ricky Steamboat vs Randy Savage (3/29/87 Pontiac MI Wrestlemania 3) 10.43
100. Andre Giant vs Killer Khan (11/14/81 Philadelphia PA) 10.63
001. Sgt Slaughter vs Iron Sheik (6/16/84 MSG) 12.85
098. Hulk Hogan vs Nikolai Volkoff (10/3/85 East Rutherford NJ aired SNME 10/5/85) 14.18
096. Hulk Hogan vs Don Muraco (6/21/85 MSG) 14.30
017. Bret Hart vs Ted DiBiase (3/8/89 Odessa TX aired Prime Time 3/20/89) 14.63
004. Bret Hart vs Randy Savage (Seattle WA 11/11/87 aired SNME 11/28/87) 14.91
097. Johnny Rodz vs Kuniaki "Chin" Kobayashi (11/25/82 Philadelphia PA) 15.03
076. Bruno Sammartino/Paul Orndorff vs Roddy Piper/Bob Orton Jr (10/26/85 Philadelphia PA) 15.54
005. Bret Hart vs Mr Perfect (10/2/89 Wheeling WV) 15.57

We’ve already established that #1 and #2 had very strong consensus following that they were very good matches in the upper echelon. Interesting, there was also a strong consensus on the stinkers. “Andre the Giant vs Killer Khan” received 25 votes for the worst match (21% of the voters) and 73% of the votes putting it in the bottom ten.

Those were the matches that had rankings that were most concentrated in a certain range (though note, you’d have still have quite a range covered within the two standard deviation rule!), we should also consider the matches with the largest standard deviations. They were:

65. Bob Backlund vs Hulk Hogan (4/8/80 Philadelphia PA) 29.76
55. Survivor Series 1987 11/26/87 Richfield OH29.04
53. Hulk Hogan vs Randy Savage (4/2/89 Atlantic City NJ Wrestlemania 5) 28.64
41. Tito Santana vs Ron Bass (8/22/87 MSG) 28.61
40. Adrian Adonis/Dick Murdoch vs Sgt Slaughter/Terry Daniels (7/23/84 MSG) 27.54
54. Tito Santana vs Paul Orndorff (9/1/84 St Louis MO) 27.30
27. Bob Backlund vs Adrian Adonis (3/20/82 Philadelphia PA) 26.70
26. Pat Patterson vs Sgt Slaughter (5/4/81 MSG) 26.48
57. Les Thornton vs Mr Wrestling II (3/2/85 Atlanta GA) 26.35
49. 11/24/88 Richfield OH 1988 Survivor Series 24.24

Perhaps it would be intriguing in the future to have several people write reviews of these matches to discuss what different aspects people seemed to love and hate about them!

Most interestingly, both Survivor Series Match fall into this grey area that could be dubbed “most debated”. 61% of voters ranked the 1988 Survivor Series Match as better than the 1987 Survivor Series. Interesting, voters seemed to strongly prefer the one match over the other! On average, a voter would rank the other Survivor Series match about twenty places lower than whichever was their favorite.
Who is the best worker?

Obviously, utilizing a simple ranked list isn’t going to settle the debate about whether it’s possible to even determine the best wrestler (or worker) in a group. We can’t review all the facets, constraints and truly incorporate complexity of what goes into such preparation, analysis and execution in a wrestling match. (Or even agree as a group on exact criteria to judge upon!) Instead, we simply have a broad snapshot of a hundred matches held in an arbitrary time span covering ten years, all whom worked at that time for a certain company. We’re not judging upon a wrestler’s entire body of promos, live gate receipts, feud politics and a million other factors. However, we can take a stab at the dark just because it’s fun.

There were One Hundred Matches. 23 were Tag Matches, 2 were Survivor Series Matches and 75 were Singles Matches. Here is a list of how many matches each wrestler was involved in:

(S = Singles; T = Tag; SS = Survivor Series)
15 MATCHES: Hulk Hogan (15S)
14 MATCHES: Bret Hart (6S, 6T, 2SS)
12 MATCHES: Randy Savage (11S,1T); Tito Santana (8S,3T)
11 MATCHES: Bob Backlund (10S, 1T)
10 MATCHES: Ricky Steamboat (8S, 2T); Sgt Slaughter (9S, 1T)
8 MATCHES: Adrian Adonis (3S, 5T); Jim Neidhart (6T, 2SS)

6 MATCHES: Dynamite Kid (1S, 3T, 2SS); Jacques Rougeau (1S, 3T, 2SS); Bob Orton Jr (4S, 2T)

5 MATCHES: Greg Valentine (2S, 2T, 1SS); Dick Murdoch (1S, 4T); British Bulldog (3T; 2SS); Ray Rougeau (3T, 2SS); Iron Sheik (5S); Ted DiBiase (5S); Paul Orndorff (4S, 1T); Don Muraco (4S; 1T)

4 MATCHES: Jake Roberts (4S); Marty Jannetty (3T, 1SS); Shawn Michaels 3T, 1SS); Arn Anderson (3T, 1SS); Tully Blanchard (3T, 1SS); Roddy Piper (2S, 2T); Bruno Sammartino (2S, 2T)

3 MATCHES: Mr Perfect (3S); Ronnie Garvin (3S); Rick Rude (3S); Brian Blair (2T, 1SS); Pat Patterson (3S); Bad News Brown (3S); Jim Powers (1T, 2SS); Paul Roma (2S, 1T); Jimmy Snuka (2S, 1T); Nikolai Volkoff (1S, 2SS)

2 MATCHES: Big Bossman (1S, 1T); Haku (1T, 1SS); Rick Martel (1T, 1SS); Tama (1T, 1SS); Brutus Beefcake (2T); Jim Brunzell (1T, 1SS); Ax (2SS); Boris Zhukov (2SS); Barry Horowitz (2S); Ken Patera (2S); Jose Estrada (1T, 1SS); Larry Zbyszko (2S); Johnny Rodz (1S, 1T)

1 MATCH: Jack Brisco (1T); Jerry Brisco (1T); Ultimate Warrior (1S); Itsuki Yamazaki (1T); Judy Martin (1T); Leilani Kai (1T); Noriyoi Tateno (1T); Barry Windham (1S); Owen Hart (1S); Terry Daniels (1T); Ron Bass (1S); Dino Bravo (1SS); Barbarian (1SS); Jose Louis Riviera (1SS); Warlord (1SS); Les Thornton (S); Mr Wrestling II (1S); Ivan Koloff (1S); Akeem (1T); Stan Hansen (1S); Honky Tonk Man (1S); Butch Reed (1S); Mike Rotundo (1S); Tim Horner (1S); Steve Travis (1T); Tony Garea (1T); Junkyard Dog (1T); Mr Fuji (1T); Mil Mascaras (1T); SD Jones (1T); Tony Atlas (1T); Rick McGraw (1S); Pedro Morales (1S); David Shultz (1S); Kuniaki “Chin” Kobayashi (1S); Andre the Giant (1S); Killer Khan (1S)

So, Hulk Hogan had the most matches nominated? Furthermore, they were all Singles matches suggesting he (or at least his direct feud) was the draw in that match. Does that mean he had the best matches? He certainly drew huge crowds and earned a lot of money in 1980s WWF. However, as a quick review of the rankings of his matches on the list, we can see that these voters didn't care much his work. Is he a victim of just being overlisted? Let's investigate!

(those with three or more singles matches)

Wrestler Singles Matches Average Singles Match Rank
Bret Hart 6 18.2
Adrian Adonis 3 18.3
Ricky Steamboat 8 26.4
Mr Perfect 3 30
Ron Garvin 3 30.7
Rick Rude 3 33.3
Jake Roberts 4 35
Sgt Slaughter 9 40.3
Iron Sheik 5 40.8
Bob Backlund 10 41.4
Randy Savage 11 42.9
Ted DiBiase 5 53
Pat Patterson 3 56.7
Bob Orton Jr 4 57.8
Tito Santana 8 60.9
Paul Orndorff 4 67
Bad News Brown 3 72.3
Hulk Hogan 15 74.5
Don Muraco 4 89.5

Bret Hart and Adrian Adonis are fighting each other for the top spot. Ricky Steamboat follows those two in singles wrestling with the trio of R-three-match men (Ronnie, Rude and Roberts) clustered right behind Curt “Mr Perfect” Hennig. (Meanwhile, Don Muraco struggles to keep all of his matches out of the bottom ten!)

(those with two or more tag matches, excludes SS matches)
Wrestler Tag Matches Avg Tag Match Rank
Tito Santana 3 33.0
Dynamite Kid 3 33.7
British Bulldog 3 33.7
Adrian Adonis 5 35.6
Bret Hart 6 36.5
Jim Neidhart 6 36.5
Brian Blair 2 36.5
Marty Jannetty 3 37.7
Shawn Michaels 3 37.7
Dick Murdoch 4 38.3
Jacques Rougeau 3 39.0
Ray Rougeau 3 39.0
Arn Anderson 3 43.3
Tully Blanchard 3 43.3
Greg Valentine 2 43.5
Brutus Beefcake 2 43.5
Bruno Sammartino 2 50.5
Ricky Steamboat 2 65.0
Bob Orton Jr 2 82.5
Roddy Piper 2 82.5

Tito Santana makes a surprisingly strong showing here followed by the British Bulldogs (Dynamite & Davey Boy Smith). Adrian Adonis again shows up ranked by the Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) followed by B Brian Blair and the Rockers (Marty Jannety & Shawn Michaels).

There are two approaches to how we could calculate a score for each wrestler. The first way would be to average the ranks of all the matches that a wrestler is involved in (“average rank”). The second way would be we could weight the matches depending on the number of people in it (“adjusted weight”). (In reality, they are the same method: one is giving equal weighting to all the matches and the other uses a specialized weight based on the number of opponents.) In this analysis, I used a weighting system that said each person in a match shared equal responsibility for the outcome of the ranking. So a singles match was 50% the work of each wrestler while a survivor series match only meant credit for 5% should go to each wrestler. So, a singles match would be weighted twice as much as a tag match and a Survivor Series match (involving twenty people) is therefore weighted very lightly.

Consider the example of Jacques Rougeau. He had six matches on the list: One singles, three Tag and both Survivor Series. The final rank (by points) of his matches were: TAG (34, 36, 47), Survivor Series (49, 55) and Singles (84). So his average weight was 50.7 (304/6). However, his adjusted weight is [(34*.25 + 36*.25 + 47*.25) + (49*.05 + 55*.05) + (84*.50)] / (3*.25 + 2*.05 + .5) = 76.45 / 1.35 = 56.6. In his case, his poor showing the singles match really brought his average higher because it was weighted much heavier than all the other matches. Similarly, a wrestler like Nikolai Volkoff is punished severely (adjusted rank drops 23 places versus the average rank) for having a terrible SNME singles match; his average isn’t as buoyed by the two Survivor Series matches that were ranked in the middle of the pack.

BEST WORKERs – ADJUSTED RANK!
Average Rank = Equally Weighted between all matches; Adjusted Rank = Singles matches weighted heavier than Tag Matches weighted heavier than Survivor Series matches.
SEVERAL (five or more matches)

Wrestler MATCHES AVG RANK ADJ RANK
Bret Hart 30.9 14 25.0
Adrian Adonis 28.8 8 25.7
Greg Valentine 34.0 5 26.7
Dynamite Kid 36.7 6 27.9
Dick Murdoch 33.0 5 29.7
Ricky Steamboat 34.0 10 30.7
British Bulldog 41.2 5 36.1
Jim Neidhart 40.4 8 37.5
Bob Backlund 39.5 11 40.3
Sgt Slaughter 40.4 10 40.5
Ray Rougeau 44.2 5 40.5
Iron Sheik 41.4 5 41.4
Randy Savage 41.5 12 42.2
Ted DiBiase 53.2 5 53.2
Tito Santana 52.8 12 56.3
Jacques Rougeau 50.7 6 56.6
Bob Orton Jr 65.8 6 62.6
Paul Orndorff 68.8 5 68.0
Hulk Hogan 74.5 15 74.5
Don Muraco 88.2 5 88.7
With very strong showings in the Singles and Tag categories, no surprise that Bret Hart and Adrian Adonis lead the pack. However, Greg Valentine's strong showing in third place is a bit of a shocker. In retrospect, he had two singles matches in the top 30 along with three Tag & Survivor Series matches that were all in the mid-40s. Dynamite Kid finishes fourth with two top twenty matches (a singles with Bret and WM2 tag) and the rest of his tag matches clustered between 45 and 55. Meanwhile, Dick Murdoch rounds out the top five with his three matches in the top 25 but a terrible Mascaras/SD Jones tag match that finished very poorly. Ricky Steamboat is narrowly edged out by Murdoch though Steamboat did have twice as many matches on the list.

Here is the rest of the wrestler’s finishes. Mr Perfect, Ron Garvin, Rick Rude, Jake Roberts and the Rockers had notably strong performance combined with three or four matches apiece.
Wrestler AVG RANK MATCHES ADJ RANK
Jack Brisco 3 1 3
Jerry Brisco 3 1 3
Itsuki Yamazaki 8 1 8
Judy Martin 8 1 8
Leilani Kai 8 1 8
Noriyoi Tateno 8 1 8
Ultimate Warrior 10 1 10
Barry Windham 13 1 13
Mr Perfect 30.7 3 30.7
Ron Garvin 31 3 31
Haku 39 2 32.3
Rick Martel 39 2 32.3
Tama 39 2 32.3
Rick Rude 33 3 33
Big Bossman 40 2 33
Jake Roberts 35 4 35
Blue Angel 37 1 37
Brian Blair 40.7 3 37.6
Buddy Rose 38 1 38
Marty Jannetty 42 4 38.8
Shawn Michaels 42 4 38.8
Terry Daniels 39 1 39
Ron Bass 41 1 41
Brutus Beefcake 43 2 43
Arn Anderson 46.3 4 44.1
Tully Blanchard 46.3 4 44.1
Dino Bravo 49 1 49
Jim Brunzell 49.5 2 49.8
Ax 52 2 52
Boris Zhukov 52 2 52
Smash 52 2 52
Barbarian 55 1 55
Jose Louis Riviera 55 1 55
Warlord 55 1 55
Barry Horowitz 56 2 56
Pat Patterson 57 3 57
Les Thornton 57 1 57
Mr Wrestling II 57 1 57
Ivan Koloff 58 1 58
Akeem 61 1 61
Roddy Piper 69 4 64.7
Stan Hansen 66 1 66
Honky Tonk Man 67 1 67
Butch Reed 68 1 68
Bruno Sammartino 63.8 4 68.2
Mike Rotundo 71 1 71
Bad News Brown 72.3 3 72.3
Ken Patera 72.5 2 72.5
Tim Horner 75 1 75
Jim Powers 63.3 3 76.3
Paul Roma 63.3 3 76.3
Jose Estrada Sr 68 2 76.7
Larry Zbyszko 77 2 77
Steve Travis 81 1 81
Tony Garea 81 1 81
Jimmy Snuka 82.7 3 81.6
Junkyard Dog 84 1 84
Mr Fuji 84 1 84
Mil Mascaras 87 1 87
SD Jones 87 1 87
Tony Atlas 88 1 88
Rick McGraw 90 1 90
Nikolai Volkoff 67.3 3 90.3
Johnny Rodz 89 2 91.7
Pedro Morales 93 1 93
David Shultz 94 1 94
Kuniaki "Chin" Kobayashi 97 1 97
Andre Giant 100 1 100
Killer Khan 100 1 100
SOME MORE DATA FOR THOSE INTERESTED


YEAR BY YEAR

total points year matches avg points avg rank that year rank by avg points
1980 26,403 6 4,401 64.6 10
1981 34,159 7 4,880 60.6 8
1982 38,378 6 6,396 48.4 4
1983 9,157 2 4,579 62.7 9
1984 90,388 15 6,026 51.2 5
1985 72,734 13 5,595 54.5 6
1986 97,827 15 6,522 46.7 3
1987 74,135 11 6,740 45.1 2
1988 37,118 7 5,303 56.9 7
1989 128,267 18 7,126 41.7 1

Later years 1989 and 1987 led the pack while earlier years 1980 and 1983 were the weakest.
We can basically break the finishes into three groups: good (1982, 1986, 1987, 1989), okay (1984, 1985, 1988), not-so-good (1980, 1981, 1983). Best years (#1-#4) all had average ranks in the mid-40s. Those with average ranks in the mid-50s performed okay finishing fifth, sixth and seventh. Those with average ranks in the 60s finished rounded out the pack.

QUARTILE DISTRIBUTIONS

In all, we're largely interested in where the majority of voters placed individual matches. There will always be voters who rate a certain match incredibly high or low as compared to the rest of the pack. So, one way to compenstate for this is to consider the quartile distributions. We rank all the votes and essentially look at the spread of a histogram (frequency of rank).

The vertical line represents the spread from the 25% to 75% marks in the ranking distribution for each match. The short horizontal line represents the median (50%) rank.

Matches ranked #1 through #10

Matches ranked #11 through #20


ALL MATCHES: (increasing in final rank by points from left to right)

Matches that change position in the AVG RANK vs TOTAL POINTS chart

Here are the only matches that would move around at all:
MATCH NAME POINT ORDER AVG RANK ORDER POINTS AVG RANK
Ricky Steamboat vs Jake Roberts (8/9/86 Boston MA) 9 12 9399 23.44
Sgt Slaughter vs Iron Sheik (5/21/84 MSG) 10 9 9395 23.03
Brainbusters vs Hart Foundation (8/28/89 East Rutherford NJ Summerslam) 12 10 9334 23.39
British Bulldogs vs Hart Foundation (9/23/85 MSG) 15 16 9009 26.38
Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat (7/27/86 Toronto Ontario) 16 17 8986 26.94
Bret Hart vs Ted DiBiase (3/8/89 Odessa TX aired Prime Time 3/20/89) 17 15 8978 26.28
Randy Savage/Adrian Adonis vs Tito Santana/Bruno Sammartino (7/12/86 MSG) 25 26 7913 35.33
Pat Patterson vs Sgt Slaughter (5/4/81 MSG) 26 25 7874 35.23
Bob Backlund vs Adrian Adonis (3/20/82 Philadelphia PA) 27 29 7842 36.63
Greg Valentine vs Ricky Steamboat (6/21/85 MSG) 28 27 7725 36.27
Strike Force vs Islanders (10/3/87 Boston MA) 29 28 7707 36.61
Randy Savage vs Jake Roberts (11/15/86 Los Angeles CA aired 11/29/86 SNME) 31 32 7512 38.38
Rockers vs Brainbusters (10/31/89 Topeka KS aired 11/25/89 SNME) 32 31 7497 38.24
Mr Perfect vs Ronnie Garvin (12/12/89 Nashville TN) 39 40 6919 43.56
Adrian Adonis/Dick Murdoch vs Sgt Slaughter/Terry Daniels (7/23/84 MSG) 40 39 6915 42.89
Tito Santana vs Ron Bass (8/22/87 MSG) 41 42 6846 44.10
Dream Team vs British Bulldogs (4/7/86 Rosemont IL Wrestlemania 2) 42 41 6834 44.02
Sgt Slaughter vs Iron Sheik (5/19/84 Landover MD) 43 44 6777 44.61
British Bulldogs vs Hart Foundation (11/1/86 Boston MA) 44 43 6748 44.54
Dream Team vs Ricky Steamboat/Tito Santana (4/21/85 Toronto) 45 46 6724 45.11
Mr Perfect vs Ron Garvin (3/18/89 Boston MA) 46 45 6693 45.00
Rick Rude vs Tito Santana (2/11/89 Boston MA) 59 60 5274 57.08
Hulk Hogan vs Randy Savage (1/27/86 MSG) 60 59 5251 56.83
Sgt Slaughter vs Paul Orndorff (6/2/84 Philadelphia PA) 61 62 5206 58.07
Hart Foundation vs Twin Towers (5/17/89 Duluth MN) 62 61 5185 57.2
Bob Backlund vs Hulk Hogan (4/8/80 Philadelphia PA) 65 66 4907 60.47
Bob Backlund vs Stan Hansen (6/6/81 MSG) 66 65 4829 60.26
Hulk Hogan vs Iron Sheik (5/5/84 Philadelphia PA) 71 73 4382 64.62
Hulk Hogan vs Paul Orndorff (12/14/86 Hartford CT aired 1/3/87 SNME) 73 71 4344 64.36
Tim Horner vs Barry Horowitz (12/30/88 MSG) 75 76 4022 67.94
Bruno Sammartino/Paul Orndorff vs Roddy Piper/Bob Orton Jr (10/26/85 Philadelphia PA) 76 75 3983 67.55
Jimmy Snuka vs Roddy Piper (7/20/84 St Louis MO) 82 83 3360 72.88
Bruno Sammartino vs Larry Zbyszko (4/8/80 Philadelphia PA) 83 86 3346 73.54
Ted DiBiase vs Jacques Rougeau (Rockford IL 9/16/87 aired Fall '87) 84 82 3324 72.83
Brainbusters vs Young Stallions (11/6/88 Toronto) 86 84 3295 72.96
Ken Patera vs Pat Patterson (12/29/80 MSG) 88 90 2945 76.73
Sgt Slaughter vs Rick McGraw (6/20/81 Philadelphia PA) 90 88 2937 76.00


Special thanks to Kris Zellner, Phil Schneider, Bix and DVDVR voters.
Chris would like personally thank Alissa, Litz, Phil, Tom, TC and BK. Comments can be directed towards the email address listed above.




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