Subject: Top WWE Gimmick Match of all Time
Throughout the history of WWE, we witnessed numerous gimmick matches that had significant roles in shaping the biggest wrestling and sports entertainment company in the world. Some of those match types had some memorable moments that are still stuck in our minds to this day.
There are many factors that can be taken into consideration when choosing the best gimmick match. For instance, having a great moment in one particular match isn't enough, as other matches of the same type might be forgettable. It has more to do with the match continuously pulling people's interest every year without becoming boring and without being affected by any era.
WWE certainly introduced us to many great gimmick matches. Some of them became the most exciting matches that we looked forward to every time they were announced.
However, among all those match types, one match still stands as the best. One match still puts us on the edge of our seats while watching. I'm talking about the annual Royal Rumble match. This match was so great that it had its own pay-per-view directly after the inaugural match.
Choosing this match type might seem as if I'm playing it safe here. However, there are many arguments that can be done to prove why this match is the best.
The Royal Rumble match concept stems from the traditional Battle Royal match in which we have a certain number of superstars trying to eliminate each other by tossing one another over the top rope. The last man standing in the ring would be declared as the winner.
However, the Rumble match differs in that we don't have all the superstars enter the contest at the same time.
Instead, we have two superstars enter the ring first to start the match. The remaining competitors enter the ring one at a time every 90 seconds or, sometimes, 120 seconds. This goes on until all the superstars booked for the match are in the ring.
The original number of contestants in the first Rumble match ever was 20. However, it became 30 later and stayed like this for several years until the number was increased to 40 in the last match earlier this year.
The entry numbers are usually determined via lottery. However, some numbers might be predetermined based on stipulations added to certain matches that occur prior to the PPV.
The only way to eliminate your opponent is by tossing him over the top rope and have both his feet touch the ground. There are no other rules and stipulations besides what's mentioned above.
Anyway, I can go on and on explaining why this match is the best and I can give many examples. However, everything can be gathered in few factors that make this match different from any other match.
Unpredictability and Excitement
The first two important factors are unpredictability and pure excitement. I couldn't make a separate discussion for each factor as I felt they're linked together.
The unpredictability in this match is unlimited. You have an unknown competitor coming to the ring and joining the match every once in awhile. Unless some numbers are previously determined, the possibilities for the other entry numbers can be countless.
Whenever the countdown for the next opponent begins, you directly start thinking and anticipating who the superstar might be. It could be a top superstar, a rising superstar, a mid-carder, a low-carder, a jobber or even returning superstar and, sometimes, a Diva. Of course, the possibilities become narrower as we move on, but the idea stays relevant even when we have two superstars left.
The entry number each superstar draws might play a big factor in his chances of winning. But still, we did see Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit and Rey Mysterio overcome the odds and eventually win, even though they were the first competitors in the ring (technically, Rey Mysterio was second, but it doesn't really matter as the first and second superstars are the first to compete in the ring and have the same chances).
Anything can happen during the match. We might see superstars quickly eliminated and we could see superstars last long and even dominate the match and make a record number of eliminations. Even sneaky eliminations can be expected.
Moreover, trying to predict the winner is hard even for the internet smarks who pretend to know it all in this business. We've seen unexpected names win in the past few years whether they were rising superstars or established veterans.
And this brings me to the next factor, which is excitement. Everything I mentioned above is part of the excitement available in this match. What else do I have to add here?
Thinking about the endless possibilities of the match, waiting for the next opponent to enter, watching the numerous close eliminations and seeing how the superstars are decreasing and how things are shaping up in the match as we move on. It doesn't get boring at all.
No matter how stale the action in the ring might be at a certain moment, as soon as the countdown begins, you just definitely know that things are about to change. In fact, the period between the countdown and the buzzer is the most exciting moment in the match. It's a guaranteed Total Nonstop Action (no pun intended).
What else do the fans want in this match? It has everything that keeps them enthusiastic and on the edge of their seats. A surprise appearance or a shocking return can just make things even more epic.
The Road to WrestleMania
As we all know, the winner of the Royal Rumble match receives a World Title Match at WrestleMania. This just makes things even bigger. I mean, as soon as the winner is announced, you don't just celebrate with the winner or boo him (in case you hate him), but you directly start thinking about his possible coming storyline and how it might end.
This tradition of granting the winner a World Title Match at WrestleMania began in 1993. Throughout the years, numerous superstars were able to win the match and make big names for themselves.
Some of those superstars rose to the main-event scene and won their first-ever world title, and among them are Batista, Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio and many other names. Others were already established superstars who just added this victory as an additional accolade to their list of achievements, and among them are Undertaker, Edge, John Cena, Hulk Hogan and some other superstars.
But the fact remains that the possible stories that could be built after the match can be as exciting as the match itself. The Royal Rumble has become an important part of WWE's calender because of this.
The Match Was Never Affected by any Era
This is another great factor to think about when discussing the Royal Rumble match. It has always been the same and it never got affected by any era because its rules are very simple.
We never had to worry about it whether in the Golden Era, the New Generation Era, the Attitude Era, the Ruthless Aggression Era or the PG Era.
It's no secret that most gimmick matches in WWE tend to have some hardcore and edgy elements. Hell in a Cell, Elimination Chamber and TLC matches are good examples. All those matches were affected by the PG Era where WWE tries hard to move away from any violent or edgy scene.
The matches are still great, but they were definitely affected by the PG rules especially the Hell in a Cell match. I mean, it's not as believable as it was in the previous eras. However, the Royal Rumble is still the same and we never looked at it from the perspective of any era.
I'm not someone who blames a certain era for the weakness of matches or shows. But in some cases, it's just hard to argue against the lack of edginess in such matches that originally revolve around hardcore and bloody fights. The Royal Rumble is certainly not part of this argument.
It Never Gets Boring
Since 1988 and up until now, we witnessed 24 Royal Rumble matches. However, most fans never get tired of it and they still look froward to it more than most other PPVs. Why not?
With all the possible and endless outcomes we can think about and all the excitement available in the match, it's just hard not to look forward to it.
Ever since I started watching WWE, I've never seen fans complain about the Rumble match or describe it as boring. In fact, it is always one of the most anticipated events of the year.
The rules of the match might not be great if you ask me. I mean, some superstars might not be able to showcase their skills because of them. But still, this might be the only match where I rarely see people complain about in-ring action. I guess there are many other available factors that could make you overlook some weaknesses that could occur.
In summary, WWE may have many great gimmick matches, but they will never come close to the Royal Rumble—especially in terms of unpredictability and excitement.
So what do you think? Are you convinced? Do you think that the Royal Rumble is the best gimmick match in WWE? If not, what is you r favorite gimmick match?
All thoughts and comments are welcome.
Good luck to my opponent, Ross, and may the best win. Click here to read his article.