Pro Wrestling Countdown: Top Ten 'Gimmick' Matches of All Time

'Rowdy' Ross RutherfordSenior Analyst IAugust 20, 2008

With the new "Title Scramble" match WWE has recently unveiled I thought I would take a look at some of the best gimmick matches of all time. I thought of including TNA in this article, but they rarely have gimmick matches on T.V. and I can't afford PPV at this point, so it is really not fair to include them. So this is a WWE exclusive article (really sorry).  I'm writing this article so fan won't think gimick matches are all about taking bumps.

#10- Randy Orton Vs. Ric Flair (Taboo Tuesday):

This was one of the best Steel Cage matches in recent history. Not so much because of the action (although it was pretty good itself), but because it told an awesome story. Randy was out for revenge after Evolution cost him his title.  After losing his tile Randy targeted Ric Flair calling him a has been and nothing more than Triple H's lackey. Ric Flair, never to be outdone cost Randy a shot at Triple H's World Heavyweight title, which led to their meeting at Taboo Tuesday. The two put on one hell of a match putting many cage matches to shame. Ric passed a torch to Randy that really planted his place as a main event star and his status as "The Legend Killer".

#9- Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho Vs. Chris Benoit (Wrestlemania 2000):

This match was for Kurt Angle's Intercontinental and European title in a Two out of Three falls match.  The first fall was for the Intercontinental title and the second was for the European title. The match had everything you could ever want out of these young stars. It was the perfect balance of fast paced action and still held on to the basic submission style wrestling these three wrestlers are best known for. As far as I know this match is the only one of its kind which makes it seem even more special. In the end Jericho and Benoit both walked out with gold, and Angle left with nothing in one of the few good matches that came out of Wrestlemania 2000.

#8- Jeff Hardy Vs. The Undertaker (Raw):

This was a Ladder match for The Undertaker's Undisputed Championship.  Jeff Hardy (now on his own) was looking to make a name for himself and prove he had what it took to be a champion and after weeks of Hardy begging for a title shot he finally got a chance to prove himself to "The Deadman".  The two told a great story in this match. Hardy trying everything to earn the respect of the champion and Undertaker trying his best to prove himself as a dominate champion. The two put on one of Raw's best matches ever!  In the end Hardy earned Taker's respect and a well deserved pat on the back.

#7 Triple H Vs. Kane Vs. Shawn Michaels Vs. Chris Jericho Vs. Booker T Vs. Rob Van Dam (Survivor Series):

The very first Elimination Chamber Match and boy was it something. These six men completely reinvented the cage match as we know it and did it in a grand fashion. They spent 30 minutes trying to outdo each other and trying there hardest to win the World Heavyweight Championship that (who else) Triple H possessed. All six men worked really hard to make this match something special and they did just that. Every Elimination Chamber match after this has just been a disappointment compared to this one. HBK walked out as Champion in what was a very touching moment considering he had just returned from his "career ending" injury and was now a world championship again.

#6 Mick Foley Vs. Edge (Wrestlemania 22):

This was a Hardcore Match in every sense of the word. If you were to ask me what my favorite Wrestlemania match is I would have to tell you “Mick Foley Vs. Edge”. It was the thing that really put Edge over as a big match player. The two stunned the (not so easy to please) Chicago crowd as the two men just beat the living s*** out of each other for a good 20 minutes. This all stated when Mick was a special referee for Edge’s title shot against John Cena, a match Edge lost. Edge then, in turn, blamed Mick Foley and wanted to make a statement. He called Mick “Overrated” and “washed up” which lead to their match at Wrestlemania. For Mick he wanted to have his “Wrestlemania Moment” and he got it as he was crashing threw a burning table. The two put on the best (WWE) hardcore match ever. No question about it.

#5- The Hardy Boyz Vs. The Dudley Boyz Vs. Edge and Christian (Wrestlemania 2000):

This was the (unofficial) first TLC Match. These three teams are credited for not only reinventing the ladder match, but all of tag team wrestling itself in just one night. It is simple, The Hardys and Edge and Christian wanted the Tag Team Titles and the Dudleys had them. They put on one hell of a show, taking bump, after bump, after bump. This match is what tag team wrestling and ladder matches are compared to toady and neither match up to this contest which had some of the gutsiest performances of all time.

#4- Shawn Michaels Vs. Triple H (Royal Rumble):

How do you settle a 10 year friendship turned rivalry? In a Last Man Standing Match, that’s how.  These two had a fantastic match as they always do, but I believe this is their best outing yet! The ten year saga came to a head at the Royal Rumble when Shawn challenged Triple H for (yes) The World Heavyweight Championship. The two put on a classic and delivered a match that is often over looked due to the Triple Threat match for the World Heavyweight Title just a month later at Wrestlmania. It is my personal favorite Triple H match and it really told a story of the twos hatred for one another.

#3-Shawn Michaels Vs. Bret Hart (Wrestlemania XXII):

The Iron Man Match. When you think about gimmick matches this one probably doesn’t pop into your head. You would probably think about Mick Foley jumping into thumb tacks or Jeff Hardy falling threw tables. This match is known for its wrestling. WHAT! A gimmick match known for its wrestling ability? Yeah that’s what makes this match one of the epic encounter of the wrestling world. These two put up a match that will stand the test of time for decade to come. Bret (whether he liked him or not) made Shawn the superstar he is today and this match was a huge factor. If this was a (non)gimmick match countdown this would be number one for sure.

#2- Bret Hart Vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (Wrestlemania 13):  

This Submission Match was all out brutality. Austin and Hart were both relentless they just plan hated each other and just wanted to hurt one another and boy was it entertaining. The two gave the word intensity new meaning as they completely tore the place down (and each other for that matter).  Few believed Austin could have a “real” match, but Austin proved the critics wrong and earned some well deserved respect after he refused to tap out to Bret’s Sharp Shooter and passed out with the whole ring covered in his blood. Austin didn’t even want help getting back to the backstage area (what a bad ass). The match is considered the greatest match WWE ever put together. I might agree.

#1-Mankind Vs. The Undertaker (King of the Ring):

When you think Hardcore you think of this.  The Hell in a Cell Match is the most brutal structure in WWE and in this match you had the two most brutal wrestlers. They wanted to put on a show for the ages and they got it. Foley concreted his name into mortality and The Undertaker proved he was a soulless bastard (just kidding Mark). Just about every move in this match had the crowd going ape s*** and who could blame them. People are still talking about this match, hell it wasn’t even a  match it was a war.  When it comes to Gimmick Matches this is the measuring stick, one that will not easily be surpassed.