This year’s WWE Survivor Series was really… well, I’ll give my thoughts and reactions on the actual pay-per-view event tomorrow when I review the entire thing. You may think that the idea of the Survivor Series match, where two teams of either four or five try to eliminate their opponents until one team is left standing, is very unique. Actually, it’s not as these are just tag-team elimination matches. The WWE has had much more crazy and original gimmick matches before. There is, of course, the Royal Rumble, a modified version of the Battle Royale. There are also cage matches, where you can win by escaping the cage. There are also Hardcore matches, First Blood matches and Lumberjack matches.
Most of these match stipulations are still used by the WWE now and then. But, there have been some gimmick match stipulations that have been totally forgotten by the WWE. Some of them were really good and some of them are better forgotten. Nevertheless, let’s go look at just some of the match stipulations that the WWE apparently are refusing to use.
1) Bra and Panties Match
Let’s go start this list with the most obvious one, shall we?
The rules of the bra and panties match is very simple: you strip your opponent until they’re clad in their bra and panties. Once you get them into their skivvies, you win the match. As a kid, I will begrudgingly admit that I found the bra and panties matches hilarious. It’s juvenile and stupid and I guess I didn’t know any better. I mean, all I really saw was someone being stripped to their underwear. Maybe I was just too young to understand how this was sexualizing women.
With that said, it’s pretty obvious why the WWE are totally avoiding the bra and panties match today. They’re trying their best to be family friendly nowadays and also have the women focus on actually performing in the ring by actually doing some wrestling without the need to strip down to their undies. Add to the volatile world where sexual allegations that seem to be popping up everywhere now, it’s for the best that the WWE would want to avoid being called misogynistic and sexist.
2) Stairs Match
Tables, Ladders and Chairs were enough. We didn’t need to add Stairs to the mix.
The Stairs match stipulation is… strange. The basic idea is that it’s an ordinary match but you can use the ringside steps as a weapon. That’s right! The only weapon that’s legal are the heavy steel steps and nothing else. The only time I can recall a Stairs match was during one of the WWE’s TLC pay-per-view events and it had Big Show and Erick Rowan competing in it. I guess they were the only real guys that could be in it as they were the only guys legitimately strong enough to actually lift those heavy slabs of metal around to wield them as actual weapons.
The reason why WWE hasn’t used the Stairs match stipulation since then is very simple: It’s boooooooring! The biggest problem has to deal with the idea that each wrestler has to use those big blocks of metal as weapons, which are very hard to lift in the first place. The idea that they can be used as armaments made the match move so slowly as they had to take their time to set each and every spot. It would have been much better if they made it something like you have to throw your wrestler into each of the steel steps to win or something like that instead of making them the only legal tool of punishment for the match.
3) Brawl for All
Why am I watching a boxing match in the WWE?
Technically, the Brawl for All wasn’t a gimmick match. It pitted WWE Superstars against each other in legitimate, unscripted boxing matches. It’s an idea that looks good on paper as fans could’ve seen who are the real tough guys in the roster. In hindsight, however, the Brawl for All was a terrible idea. For one, none of the big name WWE Superstars were dumb enough to join this voluntary tournament so there was no star power. Second, as they were unchoreographed boxing bouts, they generally devolved into slugfests without the sweet science that makes real boxing exciting. Third, as these were real punching being thrown and, well, they’re wrestlers and not boxers, some of the competitors got unnecessarily injured. And, besides, who actually wants to see wrestlers box?
The Brawl for All was soon scrapped and the WWE hardly makes any mention of the tournament. The boxing matches were terrible for everyone involved. Even the eventual winner, Bart Gunn, was thrown into the meaty fists of Butterbean at Wrestlemania! No one benefited from the Brawl for All and I don’t see it happening ever again. And that’s a good thing!
4) Buried Alive match
Isn’t this just a “it’s okay to murder someone in front of live TV” match?
The Buried Alive match is just a variation of the “bring your opponent to X location” gimmick match. The biggest difference is mostly aesthetic as you not only have to throw your opponent into an open grave but you have to dump some gravel and earth over them, burying them alive. It’s essentially a glorified Ambulance match but with a whole lot of dirt. Another big difference about the Buried Alive match is that it has historically only featured one wrestler: The Undertaker.
In the entire history of the Buried Alive gimmick, the Undertaker has appeared in every one of them. He’s the perfect fit for the gimmick match as, well, he is the Dead Man. I guess this is one of the reasons why the WWE hasn’t had a Buried Alive match since 2010. Additionally, the logistics of it all also makes it difficult to execute. Oh, and the biggest reason is that Buried Alive matches usually ends in a fiasco with someone interfering in the match or something as this is a No Disqualification match.
5) Championship Scramble
Hey! I really liked the Championship Scramble format! Why’d the WWE nix it?
The brainchild of the RAW GM Mike Adamle, The Championship Scramble only happened once to my recollection and I remembered it being really exciting because of the rules. Two wrestlers start out and another WWE Superstar comes in every five minutes. So far, it’s just the Royal Rumble, right? But how you win a Championship Scramble makes the entire thing unique. You can pin and submit anyone at any time and, when you do, you’re the “interim” Champion. As long as you have the last pinfall or submission call, you’ll be declared the winner. This makes the Championship Scramble incredibly brilliant because of the strategies you can formulate! Should you go for the quick pinfall victory and just play defense? Or should you just wait it out and try to get a rollup victory during the closing seconds? Each strategy is risky but the payoff is that you become the Champion at the very end!
The Championship Scramble also has the added benefit of being able to promote midcards. You can have guys like Brian Kendrick or Chavo Guererro get an early pin and it becomes a mad scramble for them to retain their victory until the very end. The match also gets really hectic during the final closing moments as each participant is either trying to steal a win at the very last second or trying to prevent each other from winning. Some fans didn’t like it because they thought the rules were confusing. Well, I was around 4 years old and I understood what was happening! And I really wanna see the Championship Scramble return.
But Mike Adamle? Nah!
Any other WWE gimmick matches that they haven’t used in a while? Let me know in the comments section below!