They've always been popularity related. Heck, I myself am biased towards more than a few characters and sometimes refuse to acknowledge the logic behind why another character would beat a favorite character of mine.
The biggest problem, is that the more popular characters tend to win because their feats are more well known. Characters who aren't as popular are just naturally assumed to be weaker, you see a lot of "Don't know the other character, but X wins anyway".
Thanks for reading,
Good points. Personally, unless otherwise noted, each character in the battle should be bloodlusted. Too hard to try and reach an honest appraisal of a character's abilities if PIS is turned on, or we are otherwise considering what happened in the comic book. Often, what happens in a comic book is PIS and considered in that light...makes it difficult to come to any real clarity about what a character is capable of. Another thing: scans introduced should also indicate what a character is capable of. I've seen evidence refuted by others because something was not explicitly carried out in the scan, when it was clear that the character was capable of said feat based on the scan. That can be frustrating.