Elimination Chamber, War Games, Royal Rumble, Ultimate X. These are a small number of gimmick matches within pro wrestling memorable enough to many fans to recall and get sucked into seeing them whenever they come up.
However, there are also a fair share of ridiculous gimmick matches that didn't do so well at hooking in fans due to looking ridiculous, not doing enough to add in actual wrestling for the match and/or making the wrestlers involved look pathetic and ridiculous in action.
WCW, TNA and WWF/E are quite notable for creating their fair share of gimmick matches that backfired horribly in trying to suck in fans; thus, expect the majority of the entries for this countdown to come from these three organizations.
So in no particular order, I present to you 25 gimmick matches that suck enough to pro wrestling fans.
Poor British Bulldog winded up getting involved in this match, which was literally crap.
In 1999, Davey Boy Smith returned to the WWF and engaged in a brief feud with The Rock. At this time, Rock was partnered up with Mankind as memorable tag team, the Rock n Sock Connection.
On an episode of Raw, the Bulldog was challenged to a "dog poo" match by The Rock, where Mankind winded up bringing a tray full of the poo to the ring. The winner of the match had to drive their opponent into the tray of poo.
Unfortunately for Davey Boy, he wound up having to be the one driven through the poo in this match.
At Uncensored 1995, WCW had Dustin Rhodes and the Blacktop Bully (WWF's Smash of Demolition) facing off against one another on the back trailer of a moving 18-wheeler in a King of the Road match.
The winner of the match was whomever rung a bell at the end of the moving trailer.
This match sucked for enough reasons.
For one, the movement of the truck limited whatever Dustin and the Bully could do to one another to keep their match going, essentially resorting to decking one another with hay bales and posts.
Second, event commentators Bobby Heenan and Tony Schiavone sounded ridiculous in even trying to encourage the viewers to be excited for the match. Bobby even claimed at one point the truck was going 55 MPH while it clearly wasn't going all that fast.
Third, the match was clearly pre-recorded, as there were shots of the match that occurred at different points of the day, showing signs of sloppy editing.
This match was also notable for being the last one that Bully and Rhodes would wrestle in their first stints with WCW, as both men bladed during the match and were fired by Turner for violating their "no blood" rule.
If you want to see how bad this match is, feel free to click here.
Sting and Abyss would wrestle this Casket Match knockoff at TNA's Destination X in 2007.
What makes it ridiculous is that the ring was decorated with candles and fake tombstones for who knows whatever reason, as well as seeing both men selling any blows they received from said fake tombstones.
At Halloween Havoc 1991, WCW placed El Gigante, Sting and the Steiner Brothers against Abdullah the Butcher, Cactus Jack, Vader and the Diamond Studd in this laughable match.
With the match taking place around Halloween, WCW thought it would be a "fun" idea to add in the holiday element as part of this match, where a cage surrounding the ring was decorated with fake graves and shrunken heads, as well as having an "electric" chair in the middle of the ring.
The object of the match was to place the member of an opposing team into the "electric" chair and push on a lever to "electrocute" the foe and win the match.
Sting's team managed to claim victory when Abdullah was strapped into the chair and Cactus Jack accidentally "fried" his partner by mistaking Rick Steiner as the unlucky victim to be zapped.
In 1999, Al Snow and Big Boss Man engaged in a brief feud that started off when Boss Man had cooked Al's new dog buddy, Pepper.
The two would resolve their feud in a Kennel from Hell match at Unforgiven, where the ring would be surrounded in both a cage and the Hell in the Cell with rabid dogs surrounding the outside of the ring, where one of the two men had to escape through both structures to get victory.
However, the so-called "rabid" dogs had no interest in going after both men in the match, as they were either defecating, urinating or mating; thus leading many long-time WWF/E fans to consider this one of the company's worst gimmick matches.
Used in older wrestling promotions, these matches featured wrestlers on a scaffolding above the ring where the winner won by knocking your foe off the scaffold or grabbing a flag from the opponent's side of the scaffold depending on match stipulations.
These matches tend to suck because the wrestlers involved are limited in what they can do while in the air and are too focused on trying to sustain their balance making chemistry between wrestlers rather sloppy.
It was also a legitimately dangerous match to have because it would be difficult to ensure the safety of those involved in the match.
In 1999, Jeff Jarrett was planning to leave the WWF for WCW and his contract was close to expiring.
There was just one problem: Jeff was still the WWF Intercontinental Champion, and Vinnie Mac wanted the title off him before he left for WCW, despite Jeff's contract running out the day before the No Mercy PPV.
Jarrett was able to extort Vince for $300,000 so he could job to Chyna, and she would win the IC Belt at No Mercy.
Possibly out of spite from the extortion, Vince made the match into a Good Housekeeping Match to humiliate Jeff, where he and Chyna would use different household items such as mops, brooms and trash cans as weapons against one another in the match.
In 1996, Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage faced off against several of WCW's notable heels (Ric Flair, Meng, The Barbarian, Lex Luger, Kevin Sullivan and Arn Anderson) and two guest foes at Uncensored in the Doomsday Cage, a triple-decker cage where Savage and Hogan would have to fight through two foes in each of the different sections of the cage from top to bottom.
While this did look like a good match on paper, Hulk Hogan being his usual egomaniac self was around to make things go not so smoothly.
Hogan and Savage essentially no-sold any offense coming from the WCW heels yet allowed themselves to be taken down by the two guest foes in the form of Z-Gangsta and the Ultimate Solution.
Z-Gangsta turned out to be Zeus, former foe of Hulk Hogan in both the WWF and Hogan's dud of a film No Hold Barred. The Ultimate Solution was Jeep Swenson, the man who played Bane in the horrifically bad Batman and Robin movie.
You read this correctly: Hogan and Savage were selling blows coming from two actors of critically panned movies yet were killing the credibility of WCW's resident heels.
In the end, Savage and Hogan would win the match after Brutus Beefcake assists his buddies in taking out the two dud actors with frying fans, and Hogan pins Ric Flair when Lex Luger accidentally knocks him out with a "loaded" glove.
For reasons only Vince Russo would know, the man's a big fan of setting up these types of matches in WCW and TNA.
In these matches, an object of some sort is suspended on top of a pole above a ringpost. Whichever wrestler manages to retrieve the object on the pole wins the match.
The reason these matches tend to suck is that Russo sets up the storylines for them in such a way that it humiliates the wrestlers who have no choice but to take part in them.
In the video posted, Shane Douglas and Billy Kidman are the unlucky victims of Russo's love for pole matches where they have to retrieve a bottle of viagra from the pole above in this 2000 WCW Monday Nitro match.
In 1998, the WWF held a shoot fighting tournament called Brawl for All in an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of Toughman Contests being featured nationally. Jim Ross had brought in famous wrestler "Dr. Death" Steve Williams for the tournament to help push him as a credible threat in the company.
Unfortunately for the WWE, the tournament winded up being a flop, as fans wanted actual wrestling, and some of the fighters (Savio Vega, Hawk, Steve Blackman) were legitimately injured as a result of the Brawl for All.
Adding further insult to injury, Steve Williams lost in the quarterfinals of the Brawl for All to tourney winner Bart Gunn, which killed his push within the WWF, and Gunn would be quickly taken out in a later Brawl for All match in less than a minute against professional fighter Butterbean at Wrestlemania XV.
Basically serving as nothing but filler, these matches involved men or women having to strip their opponents down to their undergarments to win the match.
Male managers normally wrestle in these matches for comedic relief, while female wrestlers would just for the sake of titillation.
These were the most common gimmick matches you would see the WWF/E Divas take part in before the PG Era came about because of the company seemingly seeing much of their female roster as nothing but eye candy.
Another horrible TNA gimmick match, the Elevation X match is a variation of a Scaffold match where two scaffolds are set up above the ring in the form of an X, having the same stipulations and issues I brought up with the regular version of the match.
World War III was WCW's own take on the WWF's Royal Rumble created in the 1990s, where 60 wrestlers would enter into three different rings where battle royal rules would apply.
However, with three rings, this made keeping track of the wrestlers rather confusing to both those in attendance to the match and those viewing at home where they are limited to seeing the action within one ring at a time on TV.
Meant to be The Great Khali's signature match in the WWE, the Punjabi Prison match set up two giant bamboo cages surrounding the ring with the inner cage having four doors that could be raised. The first wrestler to escape both cages would win the match.
Making this match be unique to The Great Khali led it to being a dud. Both of the matches in which the Punjabi Prison match were fought involved the WWE's resident big men (Undertaker, Big Show, Batista, Khali), making both a slow, dull affair.
Oy voy. In 2000, Vince McMahon's cronies, Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson, were going after the WWF Hardcore title under the 24/7 rule.
Patterson managed to win the title dressed in drag and ran for the women's locker room to keep Brisco from going after him. Brisco decided to follow suit in going for a feminine look to enter the women's locker room to go after Patterson.
Seeing his stooges make fools of themselves, Vince McMahon booked the two of them in an evening gown match for the Hardcore Title at King of the Ring.
The match itself was completely tasteless, from seeing Patterson make use of a Maxi Pad as a weapon to Gerald Brisco trying a Bronco Buster on Patterson.
Fortunately, Crash Holly came in to wreck the "festivities" and win back his Hardcore Title from the two buffoons.
You can see the match for yourself here.
At Bash in the Beach in 1999, WCW held this match to try getting onto the hardcore wrestling scene that was madly popular at the time.
The match took place at a junkyard, where the winner of the match was whomever escaped from the yard first through a steel-link fence, and they would be awarded a Hardcore Trophy.
As you can see from the video posted, the action for the Junkyard Invitational was quite over-the-top, and oddly enough, a good number of those involved in the match were luchadores from WCW's cruiserweight division.
All kidding aside, this match did result in many of the wrestlers involved getting legitimately injured, including the match winner Fit Finlay.
This was one of enough low points within the Knockouts division in TNA last year.
Eight women in the Knockouts division competed in an elimination match where anyone who successfully landed a pinfall would get a key to use in unlocking one of four lock boxes.
Just what happened to be in the lock boxes?
Let's see: the pet spider of Tara, a contract to face anyone in a match under any stipulations, a mandate to do a striptease and the TNA Knockouts Championship.
Read those last two clearly: striptease and championship.
Essentially, those created two low blows for the Knockouts Division. It made the women appear to be no more than eye candy like the WWE Divas division, and it killed the credibility of the Knockouts Championship from having someone win it in a game of Russian roulette.
Thank you, Bischoff and Hogan!
Another match used as an excuse to titillate fans with the WWF/E Divas starting in the Attitude Era. I don't really to have to explain much else as to why this is bad.
In 2007, Team 3D and LAX fought one another in this match at Lockdown. However, the so-called "electric" cage wasn't truly charged up.
TNA used lighting and the violent shaking of whomever made contact with the cage to try creating the illusion of being electrocuted, However, audiences in attendance and watching the PPV were not so convinced.
A variation of Vince Russo's "beloved" Pole Matches, the 49ers Match came about on an October 2000 episode of WCW Nitro between Jeff Jarrett and Booker T for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
The match placed four wooden boxes on two poles situated in two different corners of the ring, with each box containing either the World Title or one of three gag weapons: a Scott Hall framed picture, a blow-up doll and a coal-miner's glove.
You can see for yourself in the video to the side how this match plays out.
A match Triple H would likely want to forget about, this match from In Your House in December 1995 featured The Game under his rich snob gimmick taking on Henry O'Godwinn in a match where you win by tossing your opponent into a hog pen set up outside of the ring.
Martial artist Steve Blackman and UFC legend Ken Shamrock got in a feud with one another in 1999, which was heated enough where they fought in an "unsanctioned" Iron Circle Match at Fully Loaded.
Both men fought in a parking lot with cars surrounding them in a circle, where the first to leave the circle would win the match.
The match was nothing more than a quick hardcore match where weapons were used throughout the majority of the match and Ken Shamrock eventually winning after choking out Steve Blackman with a chain.
Used as part of TNA's Fight for the Right Tournament to determine a number one contender for the World Heavyweight Title in 2006 and 2007, the Reverse Battle Royal served as the first stage for the tournament.
In the match, 16 or 18 wrestlers are outside of the ring fighting to try entering the ring.
When seven or eight wrestlers are able to enter the ring, those remaining outside are eliminated, and those within the ring will then engage one another under traditional battle royal rules with over-the-top rope eliminations.
When the ring is down to two wrestlers, then it turns into a regular singles match where the winner advances to the Finals.
The rules for the match certainly come across as confusing to casual wrestling fans which combined with the awkward chemistry between wrestlers during the first part of the match led this to be nominated by Dave Meltzer as the 2006 Worst Worked Match of the Year for the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Pretty self-explanatory. Both wrestlers in this match are blindfolded, which keeps them from being able to wrestle, essentially making it a spot for comical filler.
And speaking of blindfolds...
Give thanks to Vince Russo for putting James Storm and Chris Harris in this sorry excuse of a match from Lockdown in 2007.
Blindfolds and steel cages don't exactly mix all too well.