The Top 10 Greatest Gimmick Matches
For years wrestling has evolved and changed with its audience, the talent, the system (territorial) and the promoters. But the main one for the entertainment besides the talent is the matches.
Particularly throughout the 90s the basis of the matches changed dramatically.
To me the first major influence which began the snowball effect of the evolution of the matches was the Japanese.
Yes, the Japanese are famous for the biggest influence on "hardcore" wrestling with their own unique take on the death matches. So let the countdown began...
Yes the very first pick in at No. 10 is the death matches. I grouped them all into one pick this is because there have been so many different variations of this match throughout the '90s and onwards.
Many big names took place in the King of the Deathmatch tournament back in the 1990's. Some of which included:
So what makes the deathmatch gimmick a good match? Well, barbed wire, barbed wire and even more barbed wire.
This is one of the most graphically shocking match types in the history of professional wrestling. A deserving No. 10.
9. Monster's Ball
This is a lot like the deathmatches but with current events occurring within TNA with the introduction of the "knockouts monsters ball" match.
With this match being classed as "Abyss's match" you know it's going to be a gruesome match. This year's Sacrifice showed that you can have a good "hardcore" styled match and still not have the blood which is a positive when portraying a women's division.
However, monsters ball matches in the past have had some of the biggest spots in TNA history which were used to put over men and it worked.
8. Hell In The Cell
This is well deserving of a mention in the top ten as it has seen three of the singular most greatest spots in the history of the WWF/E.
Yes the first two took place in the match at King Of The Ring 1998 which pitted Mankind against The Undertaker.
However these two spots are probably the most popular of the nineties. So this moves me swiftly on to the third; the Armageddon hell in a cell match, this was a well crafted match and had a swift movement up to the top of the cell.
Throughout the last moments of the match saw Rikishi thrown from the top and onto a truck at ringside.
Even though these matches were iconic, a lot of the ones after these couldn't live up to there predecessors and that is why it is lower down the count down.
7. King Of The Mountain
Not their only contribution to this list, TNA have created yet another great gimmick match in the King of the Mountain match.
It sees typically five competitors facing off in a match and win by retrieving the belt and hanging it on the hook above the ring.
However, in order to qualify to try and hang the belt on the hook you need to pin an opponent and that opponent has to spend two minutes in the "sin bin" like cage at ringside.
Even though the rules are a little long-winded, the match is very effective in getting the audience excited about a title match as there are so many factors involved with it that the suspense is unrivaled.
6. Container Match
As with the deathmatch gimmick I have grouped all of these variations into one group. In this group are the following matches:
Last Ride match
and to some extent, a buried alive match.
The reason for the grouping of these is that all of them have great aspects and great history within wrestling. However between them can only gain the No. 6 spot in this countdown.
The greatest of the group in my opinion anyway is the casket match, because of The Undertaker. Only can he make this match look so good as he has a dark and gothic-like character (particularly in the 90s) and this match seems to fit perfectly with him.
Another reason for him to be linked to this match is the entrance of the casket with the druids. Also the dark eerie music sets the atmosphere perfectly which really sells the concept.
Also who can say they weren't completely freaked out seeing the sight of the druids when you were a kid?
5. Tables Match
The tables match was innovated by the Dudleys back in ECW and they are the team that are most synonymous with this gimmick match.
However, over time the table match with a little creativity had evolved into a violent match up.
These changes have made the match one of the innovative in the business and with the introduction of fire the match became visually impressive.
4. Ladder Match
Even though I personally hate spot fests and respect true wrestling, the ladder is a firm favourite of mine when it comes to gimmick matches.
The reason for this is it has it all: acrobatics, spectacular falls and last but not least the hardcore element.
The key elements and usage of the ladder match is to ascend the ladder and grab the object hanging from the ceiling. However the object can change depending on the feud previous to the match.
As with a lot of the matches in this list, this one has been adapted and changed throughout its existence. Two other popular variations include:
Money in the bank match
3. Iron Man Match
For me this is the greatest idea to come out of WCW's doors, it is basically a match that is based heavily around a time limit and point system.
Also, it is primarily one of the greatest ways to put two technically gifted athletes into a match.
Some good examples of these are:
Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels
Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle
2. Ultimate X Match
The single greatest creation in the short history of TNA ; the Ultimate X match. This match is used to single handedly put over every one of the participants, especially when all of them are of high flying style.
It was once the setting for one of the greatest feuds in TNA's history; Samoa Joe/ Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles.
They faced off in an Ultimate X match at Destination X in 2006 and outright it was the trend setter of what was soon to follow:
A fast paced, no holds barred, high risk and highly entertaining match used to propell a wrestlers career to the next tier.
1. Cage Match
Yes as we wind down on my first count, we come to the final and best gimmick match in wrestling: the cage match.
One of the greatest stipulations within the wrestling world has seen so many great competitors fight within it: Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, Ric Flair, Randy Orton and countless others.
There are two ways to win the match; the first is to risk your well being and climb over the top to the outside having both feet touch the floor or exit via the door.
However some variations of the cage match allow you to pin or make your opponent submit.
Not only do the rules change but the cages themselves change over time, from the classic blue cage of the 80s and 90s right up to the modern six sides of steel cage used in TNA, there have been countless variations.
This gives promoters and the talent themselves the opportunity to reinvent a timeless classic.