You may or may not like to see these match types return, so please don’t take the title literally. Today, I’ll be looking into forgotten match types I would like to see again in WWE, or Impact Wrestling. Maybe you’d like to see them as well? Or if not, would you be able to share some of your personal favourites? Couldn’t bring myself to do a top ten, so I listed the matches in alphabetical order. Could we add anymore?
With the return of Dean Ambrose comes the possibility of a return of his Asylum match. And no, not the one Scott Steiner specialized in. We’ve only seen one in WWE history, and it was met with mixed reviews. Many felt placing it after a tremendous four-way was a bad idea. Reviewers also claimed a lack of heat, but the finish made it worthy (Jericho in the tacks). With WWE’s continuous plugging of match gimmick PPVs, typically with only one of them (Extreme Rules, Hell in a Cell etc.) on the card, it’d make sense to give us something different to standard matches.
It’s a mish-mash of other match types, similar to Raven’s House Of Horrors or Impact’s Lethal Lockdown. While it can be brutal, I believe it’s something WWE could accept once in a blue moon. Even so, the second Asylum would need to deliver if we’re ever going to see it again. Could the Asylum match become synonymous to Ambrose like the Casket match was to The Undertaker?
2. Championship Scramble
I don’t know why but I always loved the scrambles. You have multiple wrestlers fighting over a title, and when someone gains a pin-fall or submission they become “interim champion”. The wrestler named champion is the one holding it when the time limit expires. It’s like a serious game of pass the parcel .. except the parcel’s a title. Maybe not best done with World Heavyweight titles (might decrease value), but could certainly be used for mid-card titles over booking the traditional battle royal, gauntlet, or tournament.
A wonderful part of this concept is the feeling someone other than the usual could leave with the title. Take Unforgiven 2008 for example, The Brian Kendrick was temporarily classed as the WWE Champion in a match involving Triple H, Jeff Hardy, Shelton Benjamin and MVP. When will you ever see that outside of a scramble? Never. Clearly that’s not the only reason to have one, but I’m sure there’s other positives to be found. In an era where WWE lacks new gimmick matches, I think it’d be refreshing to see a title challenged for in a different way. One which gives a glimmer of hope to the MVPs, Benjamin’s, and Kendricks of this world. I think a tag team or women’s version would be pretty intense too.
3. I Quit!
A match synonymous with heated feuds. The I Quit match between Mankind & The Rock remains a chilling encounter which pushed limits on what’s acceptable in a WWE match. And while there’s been memorable encounters, the last three (out of five) I Quits were won by John Cena in feuds which never really called for it. Can you remember the other two? It was a #1 contenders match between Del Rio and Jack Swagger, and the latest was between Cedric Alexander and Noam Dar on an episode of 205 Live.
Surely WWE can do better with I Quit? Daniel Bryan and The Miz could probably get away with it, as could Ciampa & Gargano in NXT. The I Quit match is the greatest humiliation for the loser, and should (but not always) put an end to a feud. Punishing one another to the point you have to utter the words “I Quit” is a good way to settle things, but it feels like feuds (on Raw/Smackdown at least) don’t last long enough to make it work. What do you think? Do we need I Quit matches anymore? Or would WWE be better served coming up with something new?
4. King Of The Mountain (Impact)
I don’t know what you guys think about it (if you never saw early KOTM you probably won’t care), but I’ve always felt KOTM served something unique compared to what we’re used too. It was only booked for the World Heavyweight title for years, as the name suggests. The stipulations might be confusing at first glance, but they’re actually pretty easy when you get used to it.
1) You have to earn a pin-fall or submission to become “eligible” to win the match.
2) Wrestlers who take a fall must spend time in the “penalty box”, and wrestlers have to share room in the box if multiple wrestlers take a fall around the same time.
3) The first eligible wrestler to claim the title from the referee, climb the ladder, and place the title on the hook, is the winner and champion.
I liked it because not only did you have to earn the right to win, you could be punished for taking a fall. Sometimes competitors who really hated each other would get stuck in the box together and keep fighting, while smarter wrestlers conserved their energy. The top of the penalty box served as a good place to do high spots as well; to go with all the ladders.
Yet, it seems since Jeff Jarrett left the company, Impact’s had no intention in using it. The issue is it’s Jarrett’s match, and he’s the one who holds the record for most victories. With the lawsuit between him and Impact? There’s a big chance we’ll never see it again. Not because Impact doesn’t want to, but because they don’t want any association with former management. Bringing it back might remind fans of the TNA days, and not in a good way.
5. Parking Lot Brawl
I always loved Parking Lot Brawls! They always reminded me of something out of a movie. Two guys get super pissed to the point they leave the building to do their business with no rules on the concrete. Clearly it’s just a version of Falls Count Anywhere, while emphasising the parking lot by having cars parked in a circle around them like a temporary ring. Might be a bit brutal for PG television, but I’m sure WWE could figure it out. I just miss the days when feuds were heated, and there were more ways to unleash the heat with matches like this. The last good Parking Lot Brawl I can remember happened between Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle.
6. Spin The Wheel
Not exactly a match type, but a gimmick which “randomly” chooses match types. The biggest problem is WWE doesn’t use all kinds of match types anymore, so the options would be limited. But does anyone remember those Raws with the wheel? Having no idea what the next match will be til Vince, Bischoff, or the wrestler span it? Those backstage segments were probably pre-recorded anyways, but the randomness of it made Raws (and one Smackdown) a bit more fun. They slowed down on the gimmick in the 2000’s and limited it to Las Vegas only, but I’d still like to see it make a comeback. Unpredictability is fun, but only if it leads somewhere entertaining.
7. Three Stages Of Hell
Only four in the history of WWE, three of which involved Triple H. I remember the first one clearer than the rest, as Stone Cold and Triple H were locked hard in a feud when it was announced they’d go through a singles match, a street fight, and possibly a cage match. I can’t remember the last one very well .. which was Cena vs. Ryback in Lumberjack / Tables / Ambulance.
What I like about it, is it’s a more exciting version of Two-out-of-Three falls. Granted, if one wrestler got the first two falls, the last match wouldn’t happen .. but I don’t think that’s ever happened. And the fact the third fall has always happened might be the reason WWE doesn’t use it often, because it’s too predictable. Like .. you’re not going to set up Hell in a Cell as the third fall and not use it; that would be a waste. So while Three Stages Of Hell is a good concept to end a heated feud, executing it is another story. I’m also against having singles matches, as we see those all the time anyways. Much like Hell in a Cell or I Quit, Three Stages Of Hell could return .. but only if it makes sense. Otherwise you get Cena vs. Ryback.
8. Triple Decker / Doomsday Cage
It’s pure WCW and I love it. While the Ready To Rumble movie was a cheesefest, the one thing which stood out to me was the Triple Decker Doomsday Cage. It’s a monstrosity .. and I think it’s better than any other steel cage structure ever. Likely the only reason it didn’t become famous was due to it being a WCW creation for a short time, and if the movie was better it’d probably be remembered more fondly.
This structure is the biggest challenge. There’s a few different set of rules, but the rules I prefer start from the ring and has you climbing your way up to the title which can only be found in the highest, smallest cage. Other wrestlers might be placed throughout to stop your progress, or even challenge for the title as well. I can think of a few reasons WWE never decided to try it though:
- It’s a WCW creation which’d likely usurp their creations of Hell in a Cell and Elimination Chamber as the ultimate “cage” type match.
- It likely costs too much to set up. Placing three cages on top of each other with ways to climb from one to the other (while making everything safe) could cost the company a ton, and if it failed to deliver .. the risk would probably be too great in Vince’s eyes.
- Some outside the industry might find it too barbaric, and criticize WWE for putting their wrestlers in a ridiculously dangerous, over-the-top match for the sake of PPV buys.
- Camera angles. While it looked great in the movie, it would be a cameraman’s nightmare. I think only WWE is capable of pulling it off though. You’d definitely need a few guys on the inside.
9. Ultimate X (Impact)
What happened to Ultimate X? Likely the most popular match type in (TNA) Impact’s history is the innovative Ultimate X. If you’ve never seen it .. what happens is there’s two ropes tied to structures outside the ring, and they overlap in the middle (like an X) at a decent height. The X-Division wrestlers use their skills to grab on to one of the ropes and scale it to the middle where the X-Division title is. The first man to grab the title and touch the floor (while holding the title) is declared the winner.
This match type helped to highlight the amazing athleticism of guys like AJ Styles, Chris Sabin, Petey Williams, Christopher Daniels, Suicide, Alex Shelley, Sonjay Dutt and many others. Even Jeff Hardy won one of the two he competed in. Chris Sabin remains the greatest competitor in Ultimate X history with eight victories from 17 appearances. The last time we saw Ultimate X was over a year ago, when Low-Ki defeated Andrew Everett & Trevor Lee. The last time Ultimate X decided the X-Division champion? September 2016. So it remains to be seen if new management will ever bring back Ultimate X, of if they’ve decided using old match types goes against their plans. Needless to say, Ultimate X hasn’t been “must-see” since the days of AJ Styles, Chris Sabin and Petey Williams. The X-Division needs to be red-hot for it to work.
10. Original WarGames
Now now .. I know WWE brought it back in NXT and has a PPV called NXT: WarGames. And it was great .. it was a really enjoyable match featuring NXT’s top teams at the time. But it wasn’t WCW’s style of WarGames because it didn’t have a roof. The point of WarGames was to box everyone in and let the carnage unfold. I always enjoyed the timer deciding when the next entrant could go in, and the match evolved when someone new came in for their team. I’ll always remember “Stunning” Steve Austin’s crimson mask when he was the first to enter for The Dangerous Alliance in WarGames.
Problem is though, much like others in the list, WWE can’t be brutal enough to make this work anymore. There’s got to be some blood, there’s got to be a hardcore feel, or it’s just a cage covering two rings with some wrestlers inside. WarGames has to resemble war, and anything goes in war. You need two teams with two popular leaders, and their choices (to be on their team) must be sold as critically important. All it takes is one weak link, and your team loses. And then there’s the luck of the draw, where one team gets the advantage from the beginning as their entrants go in before the other team, leading to a continuous “handicap” match feel. NXT trialled WarGames last year, but it didn’t include a roof which led to some mixed feelings, but the match itself was great. They used the absence of the roof to deliver some high spots which made up for it.
While we’re likely to see matches like I Quit and Ultimate X return, we’re unlikely to see the rest for some reason or another. But it doesn’t stop us imagining what it could be like, and I’d find it pretty cool if you can remember other match types which you believe would go down well. Or perhaps, they scrap the past and think of something new? What if they were able to create new match types to spice things up? How long can we go watching TLCs, Hell in a Cells, Extreme Rules, and Money In The Banks year on year? Isn’t it time for a change? Have your say below, and thanks for reading! Always appreciated.