6 Forgotten Gimmicks and Stipulations WWE Must Bring Back
Extreme Rules is the time of year when gimmicks and stipulations are brought to the forefront of WWE.
To no surprise, most of the gimmicks at Sunday's event were the regular options we see all the time, without reaching too far into the past for something fresh.
The tables match between Sanity and The New Day was the closest exception to that, as such a bout hadn't been done in WWE since December 2016.
Considering the wide variety of match types the company has put on over the years, it's odd that some of the gimmicks seem stuck in the past.
With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the different types of matches WWE might have forgotten about—or actively left on the shelf—and select some that should be revived for another time.
Before digging into the stipulations that deserve to be brought back, we should acknowledge the large number of gimmicks that haven't been seen in a while and perhaps shouldn't return to WWE.
The Inferno match has only happened four times in WWE history, with the first being in 1998, the next two in 1999 and the most recent coming when Kane defeated Montel Vontavious Porter at Armageddon 2006.
This would be too hard to pull off in today's more family-friendly environment, which also explains the absence of the First Blood match, which last took place June 1, 2008, at One Night Stand when John Cena defeated John "Bradshaw" Layfield.
Knowing WWE's attempts to veer away from these more violent concepts, that also applies to the Buried Alive matches which haven't been seen since Bragging Rights 2010 when Kane retained the World Heavyweight Championship against The Undertaker with some help from The Nexus.
Thankfully, there hasn't been a Blindfold match since the January 17, 2012, edition of SmackDown, when Santino Marella defeated Drew McIntyre. Those bouts were always a farce, so good riddance.
It's also been just shy of a year since we last saw a Flag match or a Punjabi Prison, after both happened at Battleground on July 23, 2017. Given the circumstances, those two are OK to have not returned since then, but they're worth noting all the same.
There are plenty of others, but those are some that stand out as oddballs may not see for a long while, if ever again, bringing us to the list of gimmicks that should be allowed a comeback.
While not the most straightforward of gimmicks, a Stretcher match pits two wrestlers against each other with the goal to strap your opponent on a stretcher and push them past a line on the floor.
The last one of these came on the June 16, 2014, edition of Monday Night Raw, when John Cena defeated Kane to qualify for Money in the Bank.
If done correctly—with the right competitors who have a significant enough hatred for each other—this seems much more serious rather than hokey.
Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano would be perfect choices for bringing this gimmick back, as the two have put each other out of commission on stretchers multiple times over the past few months in NXT.
This would also be a decent alternative to the Ambulance match, which last happened at Great Balls of Fire 2017.
The downside to the bout is that the finish has to take place near an ambulance, while a stretcher could be anywhere around the ring until being pushed up the ramp.
Alternatively, WWE could play around with the rules and combine the two.
If the concept of pushing someone over a line is too silly, it could be tweaked where the only way to win is to get your opponent medically disqualified to continue per the referee's orders.
The fight would continue until one Superstar is put on a stretcher and hauled off in an ambulance, with no pinfalls or submissions counting.
Another somewhat silly gimmick that can be done well if treated seriously is a Strap match, in which two wrestlers are tethered together and must touch all four corners to win.
This hasn't happened in WWE since Sheamus defeated Mark Henry at Extreme Rules 2013, although a variation of the concept was done at Extreme Rules 2015.
That was a Russian Chain match for the United States Championship, which saw Cena retain the title over Rusev.
Obviously, this isn't a bout that can happen once a year without it overstaying its welcome, but it could be brought back to break up the monotony of Last Man Standing and Street Fight encounters that happen all the time.
All it takes to set it up is for one person to attack another with a strap, lay in a couple of good whiplashes and the build is essentially done once the general manager announces it.
Ideally, this could be something fun for 205 Live to play around with, as those performers could make use of their athleticism to pull off amazing feats to avoid the turnbuckles, as well as an entertaining end to the match.
People like The Lucha House Party trio, Mustafa Ali and TJP have all shown how innovative they can be, so giving them a gimmick like this could allow for even more surprises.
I Quit Match or Submission Match
Submission and I Quit matches are pretty similar, as both call for the victory only when one person has tapped out physically or by saying "I quit."
They are essentially the same thing and were both last used very close in relation to each other.
The last Submission match was on June 4, 2017, at Extreme Rules with Neville defeating Austin Aries to retain the Cruiserweight Championship, while Cedric Alexander beat Noam Dar on the July 11, 2017, edition of 205 Live.
Both were cruiserweight matches, but these gimmicks can be used by nearly anybody on the roster.
Drew Gulak is in the midst of a push alongside The Brian Kendrick and Gentleman Jack Gallagher as submission specialists, emphasizing how devastating their maneuvers can be, which would make them great candidates for these bouts.
Likewise, if Samoa Joe ends up being AJ Styles' opponent for SummerSlam on August 19, both have submission finishers, which could be an interesting facet to their feud.
Even further down the line, if Ronda Rousey and Natalya are to lock up, the armbar and the Sharpshooter make either of these gimmicks easy to promote.
Sometimes, it's better to force two wrestlers into a scenario where a disqualification or cheap pinfall ending isn't possible in order to up the ante on how much that particular victory means.
Loser Leaves Town Match
A Loser Leaves Town match is a stipulation where the competitor who comes up short is kicked out of the company.
In the past, this has been used as a great means to excuse someone's departure, be it kayfabe or real.
If someone were to be absent for a long time through injury, this angle could give them an out. The same goes for a retirement or when someone wishes to take on other non-wrestling jobs or is leaving for another company.
Over the past several years, WWE has tended to do a variation of this with only one person putting his or her career on the line, normally in opposition of a title.
The most recent example of this was when Gargano lost to Andrade "Cien" Almas in February, failing to capture the NXT Championship and being forced to leave NXT.
However, WWE rarely follows through with this. Gargano's loss meant nothing, as he continued to show up until winning the right to regain his contract with NXT.
Also, this isn't a true Loser Leaves Town stipulation, as only one person's career is on the line.
The last time WWE had both Superstars in jeopardy was the February 22, 2017, episode of NXT with Kassius Ohno defeating Elias to banish him from NXT.
Before that was back in 2012 when Tyler Reks took out Curt Hawkins.
As Kurt Angle has said that if Bayley and Sasha Banks can't get along, one of them will be traded to SmackDown, WWE should capitalize on this by booking a match between the two at SummerSlam.
Loser Leaves Raw could be a great stipulation to get fans excited for the outcome, with the loser being sent to Tuesday nights while the blue brand would ship someone over as her replacement.
To date, there has only been one Asylum match, which took place May 22, 2016, at Extreme Rules between Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho.
Granted, it's only been two years and Ambrose has been injured for a sizable chunk of that time, but it's still something that should be revisited when he returns.
The bout is best summed up as a regular cage match with no means of escaping to win but the added bonus of weapons suspended from the ceiling.
Clearly, it suits The Lunatic Fringe not just in namesake but also in execution, yet it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to see a group such as Sanity use the gimmick, either.
Even if it's limited to Ambrose's specialty, with nobody else able to partake without his involvement, he could have some interesting feuds in the future that could build to this type of match.
In particular, if he were to turn on Seth Rollins, those two have enough history together that their match would need a gimmick like this to settle the score.
He could also tear the house down with folks such as Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens and maybe even some NXT talent like Aleister Black and Lars Sullivan in the future.
Championship Scramble Match
There's no denying the Championship Scramble concept is a complete and utter mess, but that's what makes it so much fun.
Equal parts Beat the Clock Challenge, Gauntlet and Iron Man match, a Championship Scramble starts with two Superstars in the ring with a new one entering the fray every five minutes.
When a pinfall or submission is scored, that wrestler is considered the "interim champion" and must fight to maintain his spot on top until the very end.
These temporary wins are not considered official, so someone such as The Brian Kendrick has never had an actual title reign with the WWE Championship despite being an interim champion.
Whoever is the leader at the end of the time allotted is declared the true winner of the match and walks away with the belt.
It's a bit confusing and convoluted, to a point where there have only been four in WWE history—three at Unforgiven 2008 and one at The Bash 2009.
After nine years and the creation of several new titles, it would be interesting to see some new talent mix it up in this chaotic fashion.
Between Raw, SmackDown, 205 Live, NXT and NXT UK, there will soon be 16 championships in WWE.
If it were to return to the pay-per-view schedule somewhere along the line, several challengers could scramble to see who would walk out with the belt after another frenzy of a fight like this just to spice things up a bit.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.