DIGITAL DABBLINGS #34 – Elite Survey #3 Results and NEW Survey #4 to Fill Out!

By William M. Noetling, PWTorch Specialist



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Elite Survey #3 Results!

I’m finally closing my third version of the year “Elite Survey” with a total of 58 surveys taken, which was a slight improvement over the total number of responses of the second version, but still far behind for the first iteration.  Let’s get the FOURTH version over 100! It’s up and running now, so please take a few moments to fill it out HERE.

What is it?

Let’s turn the wayback machine to 2016 when the app was brand new. Back then we were all new to the digital trading card paradigm, though some of us have been playing the games since Topps introduced Bunt in 2012.  Most players quickly discovered that not every card in the game was created equal, there were a lot of factors that determined value of any given single.  Besides the obvious scarcity of any given card, the single most determining factor for value is who’s on the card itself. Certain performers are just in higher demand than others, and players will pay a premium for the “elite” wrestlers in the game.  Just as there are top-of-the-card, mid-card and jobbers in the real WWE, there are the same tiers in this game.

What I wanted to do back in 2016 was objectively determine which in-game performers were the most popular across the board, and thus who’s more likely to have a higher in-game value.  I’ve run this survey each year of the game and I think we’ve got a really good understanding of who is really “in the elite.”

Survey #2 Results

Before we get to the results of the 3rd survey, check out the results of the 2nd survey that finished out 2017 HERE.

Now, on with the show.  I’ve listed the top 10 or so vote getters for each individual category alongside the percentage of the votes they got for that category.  Remember you can vote for multiple individuals within each category, and some categories just aren’t as popular as others, so I didn’t make it mandatory to vote for them.

Current Roster Males

Rank
Performer
%
1
AJ Styles
85
2
Finn Balor
67
3
Seth Rollins
62
4
Undertaker
52
5
Roman Reigns
48
6
Daniel Bryan
35
7
Miz
33
8
Dean Ambrose
29
9
John Cena
29
10
Kevin Owens
29

The top 3 Males remained exactly the same for the second year in a row, and AJ has now topped all 3 years of the survey.  He was also the #1 vote-getter overall for the 2nd time in 3 years. Undertaker jumped 4 slots to #4 from #8 last time, while Roman dropped a slot.  Daniel Bryan made a triumphant return to the WWE and charted for the first time alongside Miz who made his first appearance in the top 10 as well. Ambrose dropped a slot, while Cena moved up one.  Owens returned to the list after being #4 in 2016 and failing to chart in 2017.

The undisputed most popular performer in all of WWE Slam for 3 years running, the Phenomenal A….J……STYLES!

Current Roster Females

Rank
Performer
%
1
Alexa Bliss
78
2
Becky Lynch
74
3
Ronda Rousey
64
4
Charlotte Flair
60
5
Asuka
55
6
Sasha Banks
48
7
Peyton Royce
38
8
Mandy Rose
33
9
Bayley
31
10
Carmella
29

The top two vote-getters remained static from 2017 to 2018, though Alexa dipped slightly in percentage from 81 to 78 while Becky increased from 69 to 74.  Ronda Rousey made a strong debut at #3, which moved Charlotte down a notch. Asuka, Sasha Banks and Bayley all held their slots respectively, while Peyton Royce made her debut at #7.  Mandy Rose moved up two spots while Carmella moved down two spots.

The Goddess has been the single most popular female performer for two straight years.  Is she still #1 in 2019? You betcha!

NXT Males

Rank
Performer
%
1
Adam Cole
78
2
Aleister Black
71
3
Ricochet
66
4
Johnny Gargano
53
5
Tomasso Ciampa
42
6
Velveteen Dream
42
7
EC3
27
8
Kyle O’Reilly
15
9
Roderick Strong
15
10
Bobby Fish
11

Once again the top two remain static.  Ricochet made a strong debut though and actually was the 13th highest vote getter overall for 2018.  Gargano drops a slot to #4, while former #DIY partner Tomasso Ciampa makes a big move from #10 to #5.  Velveteen Dream remained static, as did Roderick Strong. EC3, O’Reily and Fish made their debut.

For the second year in a row Adam Cole is at the pinnacle of the NXT Males.

NXT Females

Rank
Performer
%
1
Kairi Sane
71
2
Nikki Cross
53
3
Shayna Baszler
38
4
Candice LeRae
33
5
Dakota Kai
27
6
Lacey Evans
24
7
Bianca Belair
18
8
Taynara Conti
9
9
Aliyah
2
10
Toni Storm
2

Kairi Sane made a strong move from #4 in 2017 all the way to #1 in 2018, of course it helps that the previous top 3 all moved to the main roster.  Similar help went to Nikki Cross at #2 from #5, , Baszler from #6 to #3, Bianca Belair from #9 to #7 and Lacey Evans from #10 to #6. Conti remained static, while Aliyah dropped two slots, and Toni Storm and Dakota Kai made their top 10 debuts.

The Pirate Princess makes a strong move upwind to the top of the charts.

205 Live

Rank
Performer
%
1
Buddy Murphy
44
2
Neville
42
3
Cedric Alexander
40
4
Mustafa Ali
37
5
Hideo Itami
21
6
Noam Dar
14
7
TJP
14
8
Gentleman Jack Gallagher
12
9
Kalisto
12
10
Lio Rush
12

Clearly the survey was made when Neville was still in the WWE, he won’t appear in this category for 2019.  Murphy was the clear winner here, not charting in 2017 and appearing at #1 in 2018. Cedric moved up a slot, while Mustafa Ali moved up 6 slots.  Itami dropped 2, as did TJP. Gallagher remained static while Noam Dar, Kalisto and Lio Rush all made top 10 debuts.

“He might not be Alexa’s main squeeze anymore, nor is he the Cruiserweight Champion either, but he’s still the most popular of the 205 Live guys.”

Legends

Rank
Performer
%
1
Stone Cold Steve Austin
74
2
Shawn Michaels
72
3
The Rock
72
4
Bret The Hitman Hart
61
5
Edge
54
6
Ric Flair
54
7
Eddie Guerrero
52
8
Macho Man Randy Savage
50
9
Trish Stratus
37
10
Sting
37

After topping this chart for the first two years, The Rock finally drops to #3 while Austin moves into the lead from #4 (he was #2 in 2016).  Shawn Michaels comes in at #2 due to his increasing screen time on WWE products, with my personal favorite Bret Hart coming in at #4, up from #9 the first two years. Edge moved up from a tie for #10.  Ric Flair moved a slot, while Sting remained static. Eddie Guerrero returned to the top 10 after missing 2018 down from #5 in 2016, while Randy Savage who was also skipped in 2017 moved down from #6 in 2016.  Trish Stratus dropped precipitously from #3 all the way to #9.

The Rattlesnake overcame The Rock this year. Can he repeat?

Two new sections for 2018 are up last.

Authority and Announcers

Rank
Performer
%
1
Paige
72
2
Triple H
66
3
Stephanie McMahon
57
4
Renee Young
57
5
Kurt Angle
40
6
Shane McMahon
36
7
Corey Graves
32
8
William Regal
19
9
Jojo
17
10
Howard Finkel
11

This is kind of a catch-all section for performers who aren’t regular in-ring personnel or who are announcers.  Obviously Paige’s retirement shot her straight to the top with Triple H and his wife Stephanie coming in 2nd and 3rd.  Renee Young is the only other outstanding performer in this area.

Despite no longer actively performing, Paige is still being issued in PPV sets, like Money in the Bank. This card will sell out at 100 CC, and I happened to pull one. Want it? Trade me. I collect Finn and Becky!

No Longer in WWE (but have cards)

Rank
Performer
%
1
Emma
49
2
Austin Aries
44
3
Enzo Amore
28
4
Eva Marie
26
5
Summer Rae
9
6
Big Cass
7
7
Jack Swagger
3
8
Darren Young
2
9
Simon Gotch
1

Lastly these performers have left WWE but still have cards in the game.  Not sure why I still bother, but actually just recently I saw someone in the Facebook Group “The Syndicate” who just recently decided to player collect all of Emma.  There’s certainly something to be said about trying to complete a player collection when you know there won’t be any additional cards forthcoming. That said, they’re still issuing Dean Ambrose cards, and I just pulled a Big Cass card from the Prize Wheel.

And then there’s Emma.

Conclusions

So what does all this mean?  Well within each category you can see who is “elite” quite easily.  But if we aggregate all the various categories, what can we see from the results?

Survey #3 Overall Rankings
Rank
Performer
Votes
Survey
1
AJ Styles
49
WWE Male
2
Alexa Bliss
45
WWE Female
3
Becky Lynch
43
WWE Female
4
Adam Cole
43
NXT Male
5
Stone Cold Steve Austin
40
Legend
6
Aleister Black
39
NXT Male
7
Kairi Sane
39
NXT Female
8
Shawn Michaels
39
Legend
9
The Rock
39
Legend
10
Finn Balor
39
WWE Male
11
Paige
38
Authority/Announcer
12
Ronda Rousey
37
WWE Female
13
Ricochet
36
NXT Male
14
Seth Rollins
36
WWE Male
15
Triple H
35
Authority/Announcer
16
Charlotte Flair
35
WWE Female
17
Bret The Hitman Hart
33
Legend
18
Asuka
32
WWE Female
19
Stephanie McMahon
30
Authority/Announcer
20
Renee Young
30
Authority/Announcer
21
Undertaker
30
WWE Male

I’m betting that Ricochet is going to get a huge amount of love on the secondary market this year. 

I would venture to guess that if we looked at actual overall card sales and demand in the fan feed we’d see that Alexa and Becky are actually far more popular than AJ Styles.  What’s fascinating is to look at some of the “unsung” performers that you don’t see a lot of demand for on the fan-feed, they still have their collectors and still sell particularly well.  We’re talking about guys like Aleister Black at #6 and Ricochet at #13.

What you’re also seeing is more of a snapshot of who was elite and popular in 2018, not necessarily 2019.  That’s why you don’t see folks like Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Lacey Evans and Ember Moon ranked higher. I suspect they will all make heavy waves in the 2019 survey, however, early polling doesn’t necessarily bear this hypothesis out quite yet.  Remember, if you want your say, hit up the new 2019 poll (link is at the top).

How Do You Determine How Much a Card is Worth?

Lastly, here’s a list of the factors that I feel make up how much a card is really worth, in order of importance.

  1. What’s It Actually Selling For – There are entire businesses that make nice profits buying and selling digital trading cards, and SLAM is amongst the most popular of all the brands for secondary market sales.  Whether it’s through private-party sales through a website or facebook group, or through eBay, you can pretty much determine the actual sales value of a card given enough data. It does get a bit trickier with the lowest of the low CC cards simply because there aren’t enough of them to track sales on.  That said, you can guesstimate values based on similar cards of the same performer. On one level it’s nice because you can slot new sets into certain price ranges based on previous sales data. Card than have a hard limit of 1000 CC or less usually sell for $2-4 apiece, while anything over 1000 CC is $1-2 at best. Under 500 CC and you start getting into higher pricing.
  2. Who’s On the Card – Women are more popular and valuable than men.  Active performers are usually more valuable than legends. Announcers/Authority/Officials are basically worthless unless they’re Renee Young or Paige.  You would think that the higher the performer is on WWE’s actual card the more popular they’d be within game, but that’s not necessarily the case. While title wins will definitely give a slight bump in popularity, that may not translate into what we used to call “hobby love”, that is secondary market value and popularity.  Kofi Kingston is a perfect example of this paradigm in action, he’s the current WWE Heavyweight Champion and had a great emotional showing at Wrestlemania, but that didn’t really translate into his cards selling any higher than they did prior to the show.
  3. Card Count (CC) – Basically how many copies of this card are there in the game.  OBVIOUSLY lower CC cards (100 and lower) have much more value than higher CC cards or cards that don’t even list a CC (Open Editions or OE).  The lower the CC, the rarer the card is and the more valuable it will be. If it’s not a variant, i.e. it’s a single-edition card, that value is even greater.
  4. What Set It’s From – Certain sets are just more valuable than others.  LOW CC and limited sets are the top tier, while weekly/marathons are middle of the road.  Open Edition variants are worthless. Awards are more popular than in-pack cards.
  5. Was it Paywalled – Cards that come in packs that are only available for purchase with diamonds are considered “Paywalled” meaning you have to pay cash money to obtain them out of packs.  Prior to the introduction of diamonds certain cards were only available with a cash purchase, those are also Paywalls.
  6. How Difficult Is/Was It to Acquire – These days there are packs that are available for both coin and diamond purchase.  The diamond packs have obviously better odds, or guarantee an insert pull. The insert ratio has a lot to do with the value of the card.  Obviously a card that is a 1:300 insert ratio is worth much more than a card with a 1:30 insert ratio all other things being equal.

Don’t forget you can find me in game at GRENDELSEN, and I’m always happy to trade or answer any questions you might have.  Leave questions or concerns here and I’ll see you next time.

My Collecting Blog –The Budget Collector

The Daily WiLL – http://willaday.blogspot.com/


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: DIGITAL DABBLINGS #33 – Post WrestleMania!

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