Wrestlemania 31 Closing Odds and Results

WM31Sunday night saw the biggest pro wrestling event of the year go down from Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco. Wrestlemania 31 had an intriguing slate of matches on paper, and the instant reaction from fans was that the event exceeded expectations in almost every way. The main event was a source of some confusion in the weeks leading up to the event, as reigning WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar held an expiring contract into Wrestlemania week, before announcing on ESPN that he had re-signed with the WWE. The well-publicized plan prior to the Lesnar contract news was that Roman Reigns would emerge from Wrestlemania with the title. However, with Lesnar being a bigger money draw for the company, his contract extension signalled to many that he would retain the belt. It turned out that the WWE had another option in mind, as Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase during the main event, capitalized with his Curb Stomp finisher on both Lesnar and Reigns, and pinned his former stablemate to become the new champion. It was the first time the Money in the Bank briefcase had been used in such a fashion at Wrestlemania and created a great moment on top of a match that was already fantastic. Brock Lesnar is by far the most fascinating professional wrestler to watch, and Reigns played his part of the grappling dummy extremely well in this match. Lesnar almost replicated his Summerslam performance against John Cena, but some late offense from Reigns allowed Rollins to come in and seize his opportunity. All bets on Lesnar and Reigns were cancelled (Lesnar closed as a -900 favorite at 5Dimes Sportsbook, with Reigns a +500 underdog), but those who played the prop on the Money in the Bank briefcase to be cashed in (which was available at +310 this afternoon, and closed at +125) made out like bandits. Moving forward, Seth Rollins has several options for feuds, as Lesnar and Reigns would both make good opponents, as would Randy Orton (who defeated Rollins as a +1100 underdog in the second match of today’s card). The WWE has positioned themselves very well for the remainder of 2015. While he didn’t have his legendary streak on the line this year, The Undertaker returned to Wrestlemania and picked up a victory over Bray Wyatt. Their match was better than many expected given the physical state of The Undertaker last year, and his age (50). While the physicality was not on par with some of the other matches in his streak, the psychology of the match was excellent. Undertaker was expected to win however, as he was in the -500 to -900 range all week, and skyrocketed up to -7500 at close. The one match on the card that was a bit of a letdown was the United States Championship match between John Cena and Rusev. Cena emerged as the new champion in the end, but even being positioned as the American hero against the evil Russian the crowd was not behind Cena. After more than a decade in the spotlight, fans simply seem tired of Cena at this point. Bettors aren’t necessarily in the same boat however, as Cena was one of the larger favorites all week, and closed nearly 100-to-1, at -9250. The other big match on the card was WWE COO Triple H welcoming longtime WCW wrestler Sting to the WWE for the first time. Conventional wisdom was that Sting would emerge victorious in his first WWE match, and he was the prohibitive favorite all week, even sitting as high as -600 at noon on Sunday. The final hours saw a big shift in the odds however, and Triple H closed as a -1500 favorite. It turned out that the late money was right, as Triple H ended up getting the pin after a surprisingly entertaining match with plenty of nostalgia. Earlier on the card, the late money turned out to be dead wrong, as Randy Orton (a slight underdog all week) ended up closing +1100 against Seth Rollins (-2300), but got the pinfall after hitting a memorable RKO on the future champion. Normally the value in betting on wrestling appears earlier in the week — or early on Sunday — but in this case the value came at the last minute. The other two matches both went as bettors predicted all along. After headlining last year’s Wrestlemania, Daniel Bryan became the Intercontinental Champion by defeating six other men in a ladder match. Bryan’s odds rose from -400 to -4500 from noon until they were taken off the board just before the match started. The last main card match saw AJ Lee and Paige score a victory over the Bella Twins, as AJ forced Brie Bella to tap out. AJ and Paige were around the -200 mark early in the day, and closed an even -2000. The only other bets on the main card of Wrestlemania were a pair of props. The first was whether the Undertaker’s entrance would go over or under 285 seconds (4:45), which it went well over, to cash at -600. The other was if The Rock would make an in-ring appearance at this year’s Wrestlemania. He did, and in a rather memorable segment, his Fast and the Furious 7 co-star Ronda Rousey joined him to square off with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. The prop for The Rock to appear in-ring flipped back and forth all week, but never got higher than -150 on either side.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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