In February on r/SquaredCircle, Reddit's pro wrestling forum, one poster kicked off a "prediction series," asking users to pick who they expected to win at that week's Elimination Chamber pay-per-view event. The winner was a user named "Dolphins1925," who posted just minutes before the start of the event, and nailed the results of every single match. It was the first sign that WWE had sprung a leak.
"I will win this guaranteed," Dolphins1925 wrote as he made his picks. "I know all the winners."
That sort of confidence in itself isn't unusual; neither is someone scoring 100 percent on his predictions. Pro wrestling is fairly predictable. Pay attention to who's being pushed and who's being buried, combine that with dirtsheet rumors on what storylines are coming down the pipe, and you can get a pretty good sense of what's going to happen at any given event.
No, what's weird about Dolphins1925's perfect slate is that he made his picks for the next pay-per-view, and the next, all the way down to last night's Money in the Bank event, and he's been completely right, every single time. He's 38 for 38 in predicting the results of matches. He's not just some fan guessing. He knows WWE's plans.
He claims he doesn't work for WWE himself, but has a source who does. He claims he's revealing the results in order to embarrass the company, so it'll realize how leaky its ship is. "I am hoping that spreading the word will get WWE's attention," he wrote. "I am hoping that it will put a stop to spoilers from being leaked."
The Reddit community didn't realize what they had at first. After he went 5-for-5 in the Elimination Chamber, including predicting the winner of a six-man match, one user told him "Your predictions were very... sharp."
They caught on next month. No longer content to leave his picks in the replies to the "prediction series," he made his own post. These weren't guesses. These were, in his words, "spoilers."
[SPOILERS] WrestleMania RESULTS inside this thread. 100% accurate. Do NOT click until after watching if you don't want WM to be spoiled. [SPOILERS]
They were, of course, 100 percent accurate. In addition to the eight matches that aired, Dolphins1925 correctly predicted a dark match that was held before the show, and one that was scheduled but bumped until the following night's Raw.
He went 8 of 8 on his Extreme Rules picks, but not without some controversy. He had said John Cena would win and retain the WWE Championship against Ryback. Technically, the match ended in a no-contest, but Cena retained the belt.
In explaining his pick for that match, and clarifying that he doesn't know exactly how any given match is going to go down, Dolphins1925 wrote something of a manifesto, explaining why he's doing what he's doing.
I would like to clarify once again that I DO NOT work for WWE. I am not a WWE Superstar, I am not with; the lighting crew, the camera crew, the sound technicians, the stagehands, the prop guys, the merchandise sellers, nor the popcorn vendor in the 15th Row, “Congratulations, Louie!”
I am just a WWE fan like everyone else, and I am getting my information from a source who has VERY credible inside information regarding the outcomes (win/losses) of the matches themselves. Given that this information is out there, we both feel that I should continue to share this information until it garners the attention of WWE. Vince and upper management are not taking reasonable measures to prevent this information from being leaked. 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. It is for these reasons that I am hoping to put an end to WWE insiders leaking PPV outcomes.
Also, I feel that WWE owes the fans. They need to be more protective of the actual results as a fellow Redditor had stated in the thread. It is hurting the integrity of the product, and I should not have access to this information.
Despite his noble intentions, Dolphins1925's project hadn't yet come to success; we're told that WWE creative didn't know he existed before today.
He soldiered on, nailing seven of seven match results at the recent Payback event. Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler "sounds like a bizarre match," he wrote. There was a title change and a rare double-turn.
But it was last night's Money in the Bank that would prove to be one of his toughest tests. There was one match with six competitors, and another with seven. The field was wide open, stymieing handicappers. A few minutes before showtime, Dolphins1925 revealed his picks. In each of the mass ladder matches, his winners were neither expected nor popular. (It's fun to see r/SquaredCircle flip its shit when he tells them Randy Orton is going to win a title shot.)
He went eight for eight. I watched rapt as each pick came in, culminating in Randy Orton scaling the ladder to grab the dangling briefcase.
It's impossible to gather more information on Dolphins1925, who created his Reddit account in February and hasn't used it for anything but WWE spoilers. He has not replied to a message sent through the site, but I have no reason to believe he's anything other than what he says he is: a fan tired of WWE's failure of secrecy.
So what does it matter, beyond the embarrassment to WWE? Betting, for one. As I explored a few years ago, gambling on pro wrestling is a growing phenomenon, though maximum bets are capped low, specifically because of situations like this. The uncertainty surrounding the secrecy of WWE's plans extends even to those setting the lines. Adam Young, then the head oddsmaker at Bodog, told us
"It's always more tricky when it's not statistically based. The lines are iffy, you can't do a ton of research before making your wagers. but it's a lot of fun, and that's the purpose of it."
Curiously, the odds for Money in the Bank had all of the eventual winners installed as the favorites, leading Reddit users to speculate if bookmakers have access to the same information Dolphins1925 does.
It should surprise no one that WWE isn't Fort Knox, because it has never pretended to be. Writers have long put out information to build "organic" buzz for upcoming storylines, as well as leaked proposed angles that they hate, to be killed in utero by public opinion. Every factual leak is counteracted by three false ones, rendering most spoilers utterly worthless.
What is rare is for someone to have 100 percent correct information, and to have it for so long. For decades, WWE has done a fantastic job of keeping quiet the results of what's essentially a scripted show. It has done so by keeping the circle of people who know the outcomes small—the writers know, as do some of the technical crew; not even the wrestlers themselves know the plans for an entire card—and only sharing that information at the last possible moment. It's likely why Dolphins1925 posts his spoilers just a few minutes before showtime.
But though wrestling fans were among the early adopters of the internet, there's never been a community that offers the reach, the intimacy, the immediacy, and the anonymity of Reddit. It's possible that once-removed sources like Dolphins1925 always had this information; they just weren't able to share it with the world like he can.
This run is likely to be short-lived, and the upshot minimal. Once WWE realizes what information is out there, it's a matter of time before it changes its secrecy procedures and fires the leaker. But we had a good run, didn't we? At least we had time to prepare ourselves for another Randy Orton push.
Update, 8:20 p.m: WWE has given a statement:
"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."