There was a point in time where the WWE Extreme Rules pay-per-view used to have a stipulation to every match, allowing for a variety of different gimmicks that could take place. Of course, this was a short-lived idea, and eventually, Extreme Rules would turn into another normal event with just a handful of gimmicks.
In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a bad thing, but it does mean that there are less chances throughout the year to see some interesting matches booked on a special event. We have our share of gimmicks on Raw and SmackDown, as well as house shows, but that just isn’t the same as pay-per-view, is it?
When thinking about some of the matches without gimmicks for this year, it dawned on me how there have been a few stipulations we haven’t seen for quite some time, but perhaps, should have. As such, I figured now was as good a time as any to have a discussion on those match types we’d put on the milk carton, as they’ve been gone for way too long.
Falls Count Anywhere
For God knows what reason, we haven’t seen a legitimate Falls Count Anywhere match on WWE television since Monday Night Raw on August 18, 2014, which was nearly two years after the previous one on the Super SmackDown episode that aired November 6, 2012. If you’re going by pay-per-views, that would have to be Extreme Rules 2012 where Randy Orton defeated Kane, meaning it’s been four years since this gimmick has appeared on a special like this.
Considering how simple it is, why is that the case? It’s one thing to say the Elimination Chamber is dying out because not as many arenas can be equipped with the necessary rigs, but Falls Count Anywhere are literally just matches where pinfalls can take place outside of the ring!
WWE has 100 varieties of the “Extreme Rules match” nowadays, with No Disqualification, No Holds Barred, Street Fight and many more names meaning exactly the same thing, but what could be used to separate a few of these is if the stipulation of being able to pin someone outside of the ring was somehow attached to one of them (preferably Street Fight, which makes the most sense).
There have been only four of these matches in WWE history, yet it’s made quite the impression for those who were able to watch them. For those counting, the first three took place at Unforgiven 2008 and there was one more for the ECW Championship at The Bash 2009. Side note: The Bash was such an unnecessary degeneration of Great American Bash, wasn’t it?
Admittedly, the setup was a bit confusing, with five men competing for a 20 minute time limit where anyone whoever scored the most recent pinfall or submission was the “interim champion” and the person who finished the match on top was then awarded the title. There’s a 50% title change record with these four matches, but even in the cases where Triple H and Tommy Dreamer retained their titles, fans got a rush of seeing a new champion for a minute or so. For instance, at one point, The Brian Kendrick was an unofficial world champion in the eyes of the WWE Universe.
On this week’s episode of Raw, Zack Ryder wanted to get into the Intercontinental Championship title picture by taking the spot Kevin Owens claims for himself. Since he didn’t quite get his fair shot at an actual reign, wouldn’t it be at least somewhat interesting for this Fatal 4-Way (which is exactly the same as a Triple Threat match, which is exactly the same as any other No DQ match) added Ryder into the mix and made this an Intercontinental Championship Scramble?
(Blank) on a Pole Match
Simple concept: put something on a pole and have the wrestlers compete to obtain it. Essentially, it’s a less interesting ladder match, so I can understand why it doesn’t show up anywhere near as often in comparison, but that doesn’t mean it’s without its merits.
WWE missed a great opportunity at WrestleMania this year to have The League of Nations in a Flag Match against a quartet of wrestlers representing USA. Rusev has competed in one since making his main roster debut, but having three other men on his side would have brought a new dynamic to the match and riled up the crowd for patriotic reasons, playing right into the LON’s character.
Since we just had a ladder match at WrestleMania and we have one coming up at Money in the Bank, we can’t put another on the Extreme Rules card without it being overkill, but a pole match would be a way to get around it while keeping a similar concept going.
This year’s set of matches aren’t built around feuds that could warrant such a stipulation—unless you want to have a Plant/Jacket on a Pole Match for Chris Jericho and Dean Ambrose, but I can’t fully endorse that—however, this stipulation shouldn’t be completely buried like some of the worse ones from history.
What gimmicks would you like to see make a return soon? Has it been too long since we’ve had a Casket Match? Blindfold Match? Strap Match? Are you one of those rare people clamoring for a Punjabi Prison return?
Tell us your choices in the comments below!