From July 2009 through June of 2010, I collected some stats on the WWE Monday Night Raw, WWE Smackdown, and TNA wrestling products (and ECW until their shutdown on 2/19/2010). I was measuring the quality of the matches on each program by giving each one a “Thumb” rating. A great match gets one Thumb Up, an outstanding “match-of-the-year” candidate gets two Thumbs Up, and everything else gets zero (I was also giving Thumbs Down– more on that later).

You can read about the details of this rating system and the outcome on the TV Match Ratings page.

When I recorded the Thumb Rating, I also happened to write down the names of the wrestlers that were involved in the matches. Since I had the data, I decided to total these up for each wrestler involved. All participants in the match got the same number of points.

WWE Talent

For the WWE, I used the combined data from the Raw, Smackdown, and ECW programming to calculate the rankings. I assigned one point per Thumb, so the scoring should be obvious.

WWE Top 15

Here are the Top 15 wrestlers under the WWE brands:

Name Total 1 Thumb Up 2 Thumbs Up
1. John Morrison 24 20 2
2. Evan Bourne 18 18 0
2. Chris Jericho 18 16 1
2. Jack Swagger 18 18 0
5. Rey Mysterio 17 13 2
5. Christian 17 15 1
7. Dolph Ziggler 15 15 0
8. Kofi Kingston 14 12 1
8. Zack Ryder 14 14 0
10. CM Punk 13 11 1
11. Miz 8 8 0
12. Shelton Benjamin 7 7 0
12. John Cena 7 7 0
12. Jeff Hardy 7 3 2
12. Yoshi Tatsu 7 7 0

Comments on WWE

The top two spots are not much of a surprise to me. I was a little surprised that Jericho was up there as high as he is since I have been kind of indifferent about him over the last year. Although, he was in some good matches with Mysterio, and in some good 3-way matches with a few other top guys. Good enough to make it into the tie for 2nd.

Ziggler, Kingston, and Ryder got to show their talent this year and it put them up in or near the top 5.

Jeff Hardy had some time off and also went over to TNA during the last year, so he doesn’t rank as high as he normally would. Of the other wrestlers on the list, all but Jeff Hardy and Shelton Benjamin are still on the active roster (as of August 2010).

TNA Talent

For TNA, there is only one program available that I was tracking (TNA Impact).

TNA Top 15

Here are the Top 15 wrestlers under the TNA brand:

Name Total 1 Thumb Up 2 Thumbs Up
1. AJ Styles 22 12 5
2. Samoa Joe 13 11 1
3. Kurt Angle 12 6 3
4. Christopher Daniels 11 7 2
5. Chris Sabin 10 8 1
6. D’Angelo Dinero 9 9
6. Amazing Red 9 9
6. Doug Williams 9 9
6. Desmond Wolfe 9 5 2
10. Suicide/Kaz 8 8
10. Alex Shelley 8 8
10. Hamada 8 8
13. Matt Morgan 7 7
13. Hernandez 7 7
15. Sarita 6 6

Comments on TNA

TNA Impact is on only 2 hours per week, but the TNA talent still fared well against the WWE wrestlers that were sometimes on twice a week (between Raw, Smackdown, and ECW).

The top 3 are no surprise, although I didn’t think there would be as much of a spread between AJ Styles and the rest of the pack. Could be because Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle were out for awhile, and Joe was saddled with a stupid gimmick change until recently. TNA did cheat a little by airing three matches from 2009 Pay-Per-Views on their New Year’s Eve show, giving them three ” Two Thumbs Up” matches that boosted the numbers for Joe, AJ, and Angle.

Two of the TNA Top 15 are women (Hamada and Sarita). Below the top 15, Tara shows up as 17, Awesome Kong at 19, Taylor Wilde at 21. Alyssa Flash, Angelina Love, and ODB show up as 24, 25, and 26, respectively.

For the WWE roster, you would need to go down to the 25th spot to see your first female (Gail Kim), and then down to the 37th to see your next (Mickey James).

I grouped Suicide and Kaz together, because we all know it was Kaz under that hood. He should get credit for it.

Even though I can’t stand Matt Morgan, he made the Top 15 because the guys he wrestled were able to carry his big ass through a good match.

In his short time in TNA, Jeff Hardy (ranked #12 when he was in the WWE) comes in at the 34th spot (I didn’t bother to figure out how many ties there are).

Christopher Daniels is the only one that is not currently on the active roster (as of August 2010), although he is still on the Roster section of the TNA Wrestling website (the Roster section also has Sean Waltman, Scott Hall, Shark Boy, and Rosie, so who knows how accurate it is).

What About the Stinkers?

I mentioned only the “great” (1 Thumb) and “outstanding” (2 Thumbs) matches and wrestlers. What about the matches that were way below average?

I decided not to figure the Thumb Down matches into the overall ratings, mostly because the bad matches had to do with bad booking 99% of the time (Hornswoggle, Kelley Kelley, and Matt Morgan account for the other 1%). It isn’t fair to penalize the wrestlers for a bad booking decision (like the TNA cage incident where I had to give eight of their top guys a Thumbs Down).

All I can say is that Cody Deaner and Kevin Nash had the most Thumbs Down in TNA, and Hornswoggle and Chavo Guerrero had the most Thumbs Down in WWE (by a lot).

See For Yourself

These were just the highlights and the top 15. If you want to see the totals (including the Thumbs Down), the spreadsheet is in Google Docs. You can take a look for yourself using this link.

Google Docs: Wrestler Match Ratings

The link gives you a read-only view of the spreadsheet. Unfortunately this also restricts you from sorting, but you are allowed to download/export the spreadsheet data to your own spreadsheet and do whatever you want with it. You can get to this option via the File menu.

One other note: If a wrestler does not show up in the list, it means they did not have a match that got at least one Thumb Up (which puts them tied for last, I guess).