Adventures in Gambling: Yes, People Lost Money Betting on the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 30
All good things must come to an end.
Photo by Steve Wright Jr. Gambling on theater. Yeah, that's a thing.
For some people, "good things ending" means the end of the Undertaker's remarkable 21 match winning streak at wrestling's annual "showcase of the immortals," Wrestlemania, which actually occurred on Sunday night as Brock Lesnar shockingly ended the "Dead Man's" string of dominance with a pinball win in New Orleans' Superdome.
For others, "good things ending" means the end of their bank accounts having a positive balance because they wagered on the Undertaker.
Yes, you read that correctly -- wagering on the Undertaker in a scripted wrestling match. That happened, and has happened for the last few years.
Further proof that you can wager on almost anything, overseas wagering websites have been taking action on big wrestling cards for the last few years. In the age of the Internet, Reddit, Twitter, and every other possible avenue for information leaks, not surprisingly, the results of the matches get leaked by some mole to the betting public, and while the books still take action on the matches, the odds are so ridiculously skewed that they become as much de facto spoiler as they are an actual mechanism by which to win (or, in Sunday's case, lose) money.
Which brings us to the Undertaker-Lesnar match.
For over two decades now, the Undertaker has dominated Wrestlemania. I'm not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the way, WWE realized that the Undertaker had never lost a Wrestlemania match and the streak -- oh wait, sorry, The Streak (proper noun status) -- was born.
It gave WWE one more thing to market every year at Wrestlemania, and the privilege of losing to the Undertaker at the year's biggest event became a badge of honor in the business. It also gave bettors one seemingly sure thing to wager on, if you could stomach having, say, three grand sitting out there for an evening to wait on a $100 payoff.
Those would normally be the odds, too, something crazy like -3000. In fact, according to Pro Wrestling Torch, this year the odds got as high as -6000 (with Lesnar coming back at around a +5000 underdog, or in English, you could risk $100 to win $5000).
But then something weird happened on the day of the event. Undertaker's odds dipped all the way to -2000, with Lesnar improving to +1000, a massive shift that would indicate someone knew something earth shaking (at least, on wrestling's earth) was afoot.
And as it turned out, it was.