Day 271: Top 5 Worst Gimmick Matches [Wrasslin’ For Lunch]
If there’s one thing that Vince McMahon loves more than vascular dudes and changing his mind, it’s forcing his talent into gimmick matches for no reason. Between TLC, Elimination Chamber and Extreme Rules, there’s a plethora of matches that occur only because the calendar dictates it. While the same can be said about the Royal Rumble and Survivor Series, it still seems different. Those two were original yearly staples, while the others used to just occur at random when the storyline dictated it. We are only days away from the Hell In A Cell PPV [although I very clearly remember watching Hell In The Cell matches as a kid, turning up the volume to drown out my sister watching Sex in The City in the other room]. And surprise, surprise, there are Hell In A Cell matches booked that would never in a million years be a Hell in A Cell match if the PPV would be named something normal like Fully Loaded or Great Balls Of Fire. The Hell In A Cell is a sacred gimmick that should only be used in the most extreme of circumstances. The Undertaker has long-term beefs with Shawn Michaels and Mankind, so the cell was wholly appropriate. As soon as Vince demanded a HIAC match for no reason, you had the Big Bossman being hung from a noose on it while the crowd went mild.
The whole thing makes me wonder what my least favorite gimmick matches are. While it’s easy to say that the worst gimmick is the one that’s the most mis/over-used, some of them out there just downright suck. While I won’t include one or two-off matches [The Kennel From Hell is safe] and my knowledge of wrestling is extremely limited, I came up with 5 of the worst ones that I’ve had the displeasure of seeing.
5) Steel Cage Match
Right off the bat, I’ve decided to alienate the few people that are actually reading this. Because that’s what I do best. But hear me out. The selling point to a Steel Cage Match is that there’s “no way out” and it’s “free from interference”. They say this over and over, despite the fact that the goal is to get out of the cage and way too many of them have some sort of interference. Nearly every steel cage match features a wily heel trying over and over to escape the cage or the heel’s buddy slamming the door in the face’s…umm…face. There’s also too many ways to win, which cheapens the gimmick further. Most cage matches can be won via pinfall, submission, exiting through the top or exiting through the door. I’m sorry, exiting through the door is just fucking lame and should never be an option. Locking the door or having no door would also reduce interference by 62%. While the steel cage match has been the catalyst for a lot of great moments in wrestling history, there’s too many things about it that ruins its integrity.
4) Strap Match
Once again, I know there’s been some great strap matches in wrestling history. And I’ve seen some that have blown me away. But the fact that in order to win, you have to hit all 4 corners in succession is just fucking stupid. It makes for a really anti-climatic ending. When it’s all said and done, most strap matches are just a violent version of Tug Of War.
3) _________ On A Pole Match
I’m sorry, guys. I know you are all very fond of the Dog Food On A Pole matches. Or The Big Bossman Special, “Pepper The Dog On A Pole Match”, which ended in Boss Man getting the dog and feeding him to Al Snow. I think we should all take a step back and think about how many shitty things Boss Man was involved with in 1999. That might’ve been the worst year any wrestler has ever had. He was hung from The Cell, he joined the Ministry as soon as they became officially uncool, he murdered a dog and fed him to his owner, revealed to the Big Show that his father wasn’t really his father and when that “father” died, he crashed the funeral and drove away with the casket dragging from behind his car. All the while getting a title shot against the worst champion of all-time. He also participated in several pole matches that year, as was the fashion at the time.
2) Evening Gown Match
Whether it’s in a ring, a swimming pool or a giant bowl of gravy, the Attitude era gave us regular doses of Evening Gown Matches, all of them pointless, all of them depraved. While 13 year old Coze was all about the concept, 13 year old Coze was also stupid and always opted to watch Skinemax instead. But at the time, it was literally the only way for a female wrestler to get ahead in the company. Are you any good at ripping other women’s clothes off? Good, you’re champion. Are you really good at getting your clothes ripped off? Good, Shawn Michaels is a horny scumbag, have a title belt. There’s a lot of things that happened in those times that would never fly today. But to imagine modern female wrestlers having to stoop to that level makes me a little queasy. Unless Toni Storm was involved. Then I would, uh, let’s move on.
1) “I Quit” Match
I gave it a lot of thought and I feel like the “I Quit” Match is the worst regularly-used gimmick in wrestling. This doesn’t include submission matches, I’m talking about the ones where the ref has a microphone and he constantly shoves it in people’s faces. This is mainly because I have never seen it work out the way it was intended to. I’ve never seen one of these matches cleanly finish. There is always some sort of fuckery to finish it. It usually ends in the face quitting because the well-being of someone else was being threatened. Jey Uso “quit” so that Jimmy wouldn’t be hurt further. Triple H “quit” to save Chyna from a chokeslam. And Mankind, well, he never quit. Instead, they just played a recording. Now, I’m confident that there’s been “I Quit” Matches with clean finishes. The only problem is that I’ve never seen them.
So by all means, prove me wrong. I know there’s gimmicks that I missed and there’s great matches that I never considered. I’m solely going off of my own knowledge, which essentially amounts to “not much”. So please, by all means, hit me up and let me know how fucking wrong I am. That’s the point in pretending to be a wrestling writer. So that people can tell me that I’m wrong and show me better wrestling! Or at least, I think that’s the point.