If you ever saw Hulk Hogan beat “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, you’ll know that pro wrestling is nothing if not predictable. But even fans who keep a ringside eye on their muscle-bound heroes would struggle to forecast the outcomes of 38 straight WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) bouts in a row.
That is what a Reddit user, known only as “Dolphins1925”, has done, allegedly with the help of a WWE insider, provoking an online manhunt to discover his or her true identity.
Dolphins1925 joined the social news website’s pro wrestling forum r/SquaredCircle in February, just in time to take part in a “ prediction series” launched by another Redditor, who asked fellow users to pick the winners of a pay-per-view television wrestling event called “Elimination Chamber”.
Making predictions minutes before the action began, Dolphins1925 wrote: “I will win this guaranteed… I know all the winners.”
The predictions were right and the Reddit user went on to name all of the victors at three subsequent pay-per-view spectaculars, including last weekend’s “Money in the Bank” event. The mysterious Redditor now has a 100 per cent prediction record for 38 matches, an all-but-impossible feat for someone without inside knowledge.
Dolphins1925 has written that he or she is merely a fan who gets information from a well-positioned source within WWE. The account has been used solely for its forecasts, so there are precious few clues to its holder’s identity. Dolphins1925’s predictions present a problem to the wrestling establishment, which describes itself not as a sport exactly, but as a “sports entertainment”, whose storylines are guarded closely. The spoilers are a threat to its audience numbers, not to mention advertising dollars. WWE’s weekly TV show, RAW, draws four million viewers.
In recent years, pro wrestling has also attracted gamblers, though bookmakers cap their maximum bets low to avoid falling victim to leakers like Dolphins1925. In response to the uncannily accurate predictions, most bookies have temporarily removed WWE odds from their websites. Perversely, Dolphins1925 claims his or her actions are an attempt to embarrass WWE, forcing the company to take stricter measures to prevent such spoilers being leaked.
The Reddit user wrote: “I am just a WWE fan, and I am getting my information from a source who has VERY credible inside information... We both feel that I should continue to share this information until it garners the attention of WWE... These people whom are leaking this information are profiting off it at the expense of the WWE, the fans and the integrity of the product. I am hoping to put an end to WWE insiders leaking PPV outcomes.”
On Monday, WWE told sports website Deadspin: “We may have a modern-day Nostradamus on our hands. We might have to monitor these posts in advance of our next pay-per-view to see how good he or she really is.”
WWE wrestlers who headed for Hollywood
WWE wrestlers who headed for Hollywood
1/6 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin
One of the biggest names in WWE made his Hollywood debut in ‘Recoil’ in 2011. The action film, which also stars Danny Trejo and Serinda Swan, sees Austin play a vigilante cop trying to exact revenge on a gang who murdered his family.
2/6 Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
Arguably the most successful actor to stem from the WWE industry, 'The Rock' has appeared in 27 titles to date. Johnson's latest role sees him feature in 'Fast & Furious 7', set to be released next year.
3/6 Hulk Hogan
The 60-year-old is the longest-serving wrestler in WWE, but he also played lead character Randolph Spencer in TV series 'Thunders In Paradise', which aired between 1993 and 1995. He also starred in reality TV show 'Hogan Knows Best', as well as taking on several cameo roles in films such as 'Rocky III', 'Muppets from Space', and as a voiceover in 'Gnomeo and Juliet' in 2011.
4/6 John Cena
In run-of-the-mill action thriller 'The Marine', John Cena sets about tracking down a group of thieves who kidnapped his wife. Other small roles have followed, and Cena is set to feature in a new Scooby Doo movie, 'The Curse of the Ghost Bear', sometime this year.
5/6 Randy Orton
Relatively new to the acting scene, Orton appeared in his biggest role so far in '12 Rounds 2 Reloaded' in 2013. The 33-year-old plays an emergency medical technician who finds himself caught in a deadly 12-round game of cat and mouse. With his wife's life in danger, he has to find out why he was chosen before she is killed.
6/6 Mike 'The Miz' Mizanin
Nearly eight years after making his debut in WWE, the wrestler bagged his first film role in 'The Campaign' in 2012, which starred comedy kings Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, 'The Miz' was then chosen for the lead in 'The Marine 3: Homefront'.