WWE (and wrestling promotions in general) have towed the line over the years in regards to the types of matches that take place. They’ve come up with some downright scintillating ideas for matches that conclude differently rather than the standard pin fall or submission finish. Oftentimes an idea is so popular among the fans that WWE will up the ante and add different dynamics to it. For example, ladder matches are extremely popular. They’ve been so successful over the years that WWE have included an annual pay per view called “Money in the Bank” where the focal point is the two ladder matches. The goal of the match is to successfully climb the ladder and retrieve the brief case that’s hanging over the ring. The winner gets a guaranteed title shot within the year, whenever he so chooses.
There’s also gimmick matches that work within the classic pin fall or submission format which are equally as popular when great wrestlers are participating. An example of this is the “Iron Man” match. It’s a 60 minute contest where whoever scores the most pin falls or submissions in the allotted time frame, wins the match. It’s an hour contest, with no additional weapons/props to lean on, which is why only great wrestlers can successfully pull this one off (like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels).
But, as comedians like to say: “You have to write a few bad jokes before you finally find the good one.” It’s the same process when it comes to gimmick matches. While some of them have been a slam dunk and represent sheer ingenuity, others have been the reflection of stupidity and outright obscene at times. Here are the top 10 worst gimmick matches in the WWE!
10. Chairs Match
There’s two things that grind my gears about the “Chairs Match”. The chairs don’t really serve a purpose in regards to the finish of the match. In a ladder match, the idea is to climb the ladder and retrieve whatever is hanging over the ring. In a steel cage match, the wrestler can win the contest by escaping the cage. The same thought process applies for even the most eccentric ideas such as a tables match, where the winner is the one who successfully puts his/her opponent through a table.
Secondly, the chairs kind of serve as a cop out. There isn’t much in the way of wrestling in these matches as there’s way too much senseless swinging of chairs. The concept of this match was created at the TLC pay per view in 2010, and was a complete waste of time. They booked John Cena and Wade Barrett to compete in the match. This was also a terrible idea because they’re both more than formidable wrestlers and don’t really need the use of chairs scattered everywhere to provide a good match.
9. “Good Housekeeping Match”
Thank goodness this “suck-tacular” gimmick match was a one and done. This match took place at the 1999 “No Mercy” pay per view between Jeff Jarrett and Chyna for the Intercontinental Championship. The match was a ploy to make Jarrett look stupid as he could not come to terms on a new contract with WWE and was on his way to WCW. Unfortunately, it also ended up embarrassing Chyna in the process.
This props for this match were all of the housekeeping variety. Some of these props included: a hamper, a broom, an ironing board, a frying pan, and even a banana. It was just a forgettable experience for all parties involved.
8. “Pink Slip on a Pole” Match
Thankfully this was another one and done disaster of an idea. There has been other ” __ on a pole” matches, but this one was by far the worst. The concept of the match was to have a pink slip hanging from a pole, with the winner retrieving the pink slip, resulting in his opponent getting fired. Confused? Yes, me too.
The sheer dynamics of this match are mind boggling. Logically, the person who receives the pink slip is the one that gets fired. In this match, it’s somehow a goal to obtain the pink slip, so the other guy gets fired. There also needs to be a certain amount of believability in a match to keep people interested. The match was between Mankind and The Rock, two of the biggest stars at the time. No fan in their right mind actually believed that one of them would be fired. Mankind lost the match and was back on TV in two weeks.
7. “Empty Arena” Match
The “Empty Arena” match does not need much dissection, as it’s pretty self explanatory as to why it’s not the greatest idea. Wrestlers always talk about how the crowd can make or break a match, based on their reactions. If the two participants are having a barnburner of a match, but the crowd is off and only giving lukewarm reactions to the high spots, it can suddenly turn into a mediocrity. Needless to say, the reactions are less than lukewarm when there’s not a soul in the arena.
One “Empty Arena” match that was a waste of time, was “Halftime Heat” between The Rock and Mankind (just a heads up, poor Mick Foley is going to take over the lower portion of this list). It was a match that aired during halftime at the Super Bowl. It was a waste because the title actually changed hands. The pop of the crowd when the World Title changes hands is part of what makes it so spectacular, it was awkward to simply hear silence.
6. Boiler Room Brawls
“Boiler Room Brawls” have the same deficiencies as “Empty Arena Matches.” Both concepts completely eliminate the fans from the equation. The idea of having a wrestling match in the “boiler room” is even more ridiculous than having a match in a completely empty arena. Boiler Room Brawls one up Empty Arena Matches in senselessness because there actually is a crowd in the arena that WWE isn’t utilizing. They impatiently watch the brawl on the big screen, hoping it ends as soon as possible.
The fans that attend the event live are completely within their rights to take a bathroom or smoke break while this catastrophe of a match is taking place. It’s not fair to shell out 75 bucks to see an event then be forced to watch some of it on the big screen. This logic wouldn’t fly in any other type of venue.
5. Divas in Pudding, Eggnog or Any Type of Liquid Food Match
Wrestling purists would not agree, but there is an argument to be made that a “Bra and Panties” match provides a degree of entertainment. The prime demographic for WWE fans is 18-34 year old males. It would be foolish to suggest that this demographic doesn’t enjoy seeing a beautiful diva in her bra and panties. But there’s a fine line between tasteful and embarrassing, and a “pudding match” certainly crosses it.
There’s no wrestling that occurs in these types of matches, and the allure of the beautiful divas vanishes along with the credibility of the show, as they’re covered in pudding. For the most part, the fans just stand there stunned and feeling a bit guilty.
4. “Kiss my Foot” Match
The rules are simple. two wrestlers square off, and the loser is forced to kiss the winners foot, fantastic. Unless you’re Rex Ryan, there isn’t much appeal to this match.
Modern fans know Jerry “The King” Lawler as the doughy commentator with the high pitched voice. But at one time, Jerry Lawler was a doughy wrestler with a high pitched voice…In all seriousness, he wasn’t a bad wrestler and did provide some entertaining matches. He had a “Kiss my Foot” match with Bret Hart that wasn’t terrible. There was some comical high spots, but most importantly, no feet were kissed.
Unfortunately when it comes to “Kiss my Foot” matches, the first thing we think of is the disaster that took place at the Over the Limit pay per view in 2011. People still haven’t fully recovered from this one and it’s doubtful they ever will). Lowlights of the match; when Michael Cole dipped his foot in JR’s BBQ sauce and tried to make The King lick it, and even worse, when The King did the same thing and actually made Michael Cole lick it.
3. “Blindfold” Match
Much like the “Pink Slip on a Pole” match, this blunder of an idea lacks believability. If a person blindfolds themselves in their own living room, it’s still incredibly difficult to walk from point A to point B without bumping into anything or stumbling. It would be naïve to think that these guys are actually capable of having a wrestling match while they’re blindfolded. The only fans that believe that the wrestlers can’t see through their blind folds, are the fans that still think wrestling isn’t pre determined.
Most “Blindfold” matches involve a lot of stumbling and bumbling and poor acting. The one mildly entertaining match of the sort, was between Rick Martel and Jake “The Snake” Roberts at WrestleMania VII. That snake just always puts people in a good mood!
2. “Hog Pen” Match
While a “Blindfold” match is pretty self explanatory, a “Hog Pen” match is going to need some description. The first qualm about this match, is that the rules don’t make any sense. There’s been two “Hog Pen” matches in the WWE’s history and both of them functioned differently.
The first one was between Henry Godwin and Triple H. In this case, the hog pen (which was filled with actual pigs and slop) was set up outside the ring. The match proceeded in the ring like any other match but the goal was to get your opponent into the hog pen in order to win. It’s hard to imagine Triple H participating in a catastrophe like this, considering his high powered role with the company now.
All ridiculousness ensued for the second contest. Santino Marella took on Chavo and Vickie Guererro. The difference was, the match actually started in the hog pen, which resulted in very little wrestling and lots of rolling around in the slop. People actually started to feel bad for the pigs who didn’t seem amused by the match either. Another element of foolishness, was the fact that Santino was dressed up as a woman, pretending to be a Diva, going by the name of “Santina.” It can’t possibly get worse, can it?
1. “Kennel From Hell” Match
Oh but it gets so much worse! The undisputed worst gimmick match award goes to the “Kennel From Hell’ match. We need to thank our lucky stars that this travesty of a match was a one and done. The storyline leading into this match equally as stupid. The Big Bossman captured Al Snow’s dog, “Pepper”. The Bossman then invited Al Snow to his apartment to apologize and make him a nice meal, which turned out to be Al Snow’s dog, which Bossman infamously billed as: “PEPPER STEAK!”.
It’s tough to say whether this would constitute as a cage match, a “Hell in a Cell” match, or a trip to the kennel. The idea was for the winner to get through the dogs before escaping the cages. Unfortunately the dogs spent the whole match pooping at ringside, and at one (in)glorious moment, humping.
For everyone’s well being and sanity, all traces of this match have been removed from Youtube.