In pro wrestling, eras come and go, and within those eras, new match styles are born, but unfortunately they don’t always stand the test of time. The reasons may vary on why some matches completely disappear: fans lose interest, the match type is only built for specific wrestlers, or possibly, it’s just too graphic for today’s product.
No matter the reasons, for every horrible idea, a great one was created that should make a return for a new generation of fans to enjoy. Imagine putting three rings next to each other, and filling them with sixty wrestlers, all vying for the title, or a chance at the title. Although it’s a bit of a production nightmare, with battle royal rules, the match itself is madness for the first few minutes.
This article will look to the past, and bring back ten matches that should make a comeback, even if they don’t necessarily fit today’s environment, which has grown particularly stale within the WWE. Gimmicky matches can come off as campy or overdone, but when used very sparingly, their impact is much greater. The following matches may not all be home-runs, but sometimes it’s not a bad thing to shake things up.
So, let’s get right to the list of forgotten matches!
10 War Games
9 First Blood
The rules are fairly simple in this one, the match is no disqualification (DQ), and whichever wrestler bleeds first, loses the match. It’s a perfect match to use as the climax for a particularly brutal feud between two wrestlers. From 1998 until 2008, there have been ten First Blood matches in the WWE, the first being between Kane and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and the most recent, John Cena vs. JBL.
8 Championship Scramble
As the name states, this match is always for a title, and involves five or six wrestlers, who are looking to get the final pin to become champion. It starts as a one-on-one match, with each wrestler entering every five minutes, once everyone is in the ring a predetermined time starts, whoever gets that last pin before time runs out, is the winner.
7 Boiler Room Brawl
6 Inferno Match
The ring is completely surrounded by fire and the only objective is to set your opponent…on fire. Sounds pretty scary, right? Well, it is, and that’s why only four matches have occurred within the WWE, all of them involving Kane. In terms of theatrics, it’s beautiful to see the flames surround the wrestlers and leap up in the air after big spots.
5 Buried Alive
Another no-DQ match that tends to spill out of the ring in a hurry, with the objective of tossing your opponent in an open grave and burying them with dirt, via shovels or bulldozers. Between 1996 and 2010 this match has been used only five times in the WWE, each time involving The Undertaker.
4 World War 3
Sixty men all vying for a chance at the title – or the title itself – in a battle royal style match that spans three rings. As each ring empties out to a specific number, the remaining wrestlers consolidate to one ring, and continue to battle. The idea is extremely creative, although, as a fan, trying to watch it on TV is a bit rough as three mini-cams were used to show the action.
3 Bra & Panties
An extremely overused match during WWE’s Attitude Era in which two women wrestlers would strip each other down to their bra and panties, the first to do so, won the match. Obviously, the WWE is trying to portray itself in a completely different way today, especially with the “Divas Revolution” storyline where wrestling is being put ahead of sexuality and drama.
2 Loser Leaves Town
Typically, this is just a singles match with the stipulation being whichever wrestler loses, must leave the promotion. This match was extremely popular during wrestling’s “territory days” as it was pretty common for wrestlers to jump around to different promotions. Now, WWE tends to use a “Retirement Match” as a way to send off their veteran wrestlers, like Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair.
1 Gauntlet Match
This starts out as a basic singles match until one person is pinned or submitted. A per-determined amount of wrestlers will come out after that, one at a time, until a final winner is determined. Most often today, this match is used against a face, as a type of punishment where they usually face three or more different heel wrestlers, increasing in difficulty as they move along.
It would be fun to give this match a twist, and book it for a title that includes six to ten wrestlers. This match could easily be used these days, and would provide something different from the usual, predictable stuff that WWE has been putting on for the past couple years.
Get each of these matches in a PPV, and watch wrestling fans’ interest dramatically increase!
Sources: WWE.com, Wikipedia.org
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