Remember the Time will take a nostalgic and opinionated look at ill-fated gimmicks, poorly conceived storylines, and forgettable moments in wrestling history. Now join me as we take a few moments to unearth that which should remain buried forever and do our best to Remember the Time…
Remember the time wrestling companies tried to generate fan interest by promoting the most ridiculous gimmick matches ever?
In the early days of wrestling it was about theatrical athleticism. Eventually charisma became a necessary element of any wrestling match. But at some point being athletic and interesting just wasn’t enough. The matches themselves had to be unique and unconventional in order to garner interest.
At first it began innocent enough with variations of Tag Team matches. Then came the Battle Royal. Then suddenly, the next thing you know someone is promoting a Reverse Tuxedo New York City Sewer Rat With a Cannon, Chainsaw, Blindfold Scaffold Death Match!
Here are a few of the worst offenders. Some barely worked while others just unceremoniously tanked. Behold.
• Dog Poo Match (WWF)
This match featured two wrestlers far too good to be involved in such an atrocity. The Rock defeated The British Bulldog by literally putting him in fecal matter. Charming.
• Chamber of Horrors Match (WCW)
This match took place inside a steel cage, which is cool. I like cage matches.
What wasn’t cool was the ending which saw Rick Steiner (kinda) Belly-to-Belly Suplex Abdullah the Butcher into an electric chair which was accidentally activated by Cactus Jack, thus murdering Abby.
• Kennel From Hell Match (WWF)
Oh boy… the Al Snow /Big Boss Man rivalry of the late-90s, which stemmed from the Boss Man killing, cooking, and feeding Al Snow his own tiny dog.
The match was a real hoot. It involved a ring surrounded by a traditional steel cage, surrounded again by the Hell In a Cell cage. But wait, there’s more! Between the two cages were a pack of bloodthirsty, ravenous dogs!
The goal was to escape both cages to freedom and safety, but that didn’t prove too awful challenging since the dogs were occupied doing dog stuff like crapping and humping the whole time. It was like watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.
• Junkyard Invitational (WCW)
This was WCW’s attempt to do something to outshine the WWF’s Hardcore matches, which were occasionally entertaining. However, neither held a candle to ECW because… that’s sort of ECW’s whole thing.
In this match a number of wrestlers fought inside a junkyard with the goal being to escape the chain link fence surrounding the yard and being awarded the prestigious Hardcore… trophy? That’s lame.
Anyway, WCW didn’t have much for believable Hardcore guys, so they slapped a few guys not involved in other matches in this one and filled the gaps with luchadors for whatever reason.
A couple of guys got hurt pretty badly. I think Brian Knobbs nearly died or something.
• San Francisco 49ers Match (WCW)
Lord… So, it was kind of a Whatever On A Pole except the “whatever” were these boxes the participants had to bust open. Jeff Jarrett and Booker T would end up busting each box and finding a coal miner’s glove, a blow-up sex doll, a framed portrait of Scott Hall, and of course the WCW World Heavyweight Championship (which fell out of the box without it ever being touched).
It was seriously less good that just watching Norman Smiley do “The Big Wiggle” while eating Milk Duds for a solid hour.
• Blindfold Cage Match (TNA)
Yeah. James Storm and Chris Harris groping around in the dark… inside a 15 foot high steel cage. Groovy. Vince Russo sure wasn’t very good at creating gimmick matches.
• Shark Cage Match (Big-Time Wrestling)
Two wrestlers stand belly-to-belly inside a very small cage sitting inside the ring. There is room enough for the following moves: the short jab, the choke, the headbutt, and maybe the shin-kick.
The winner is the first man to escape the cage, but the match only works if you forget that either man could literally just fall out of the cage at any time.
• King of the Road Match (WCW)
What hasn’t already been said about this monstrosity? Dustin Rhodes and The Blacktop Bully fighting clumsily from the back to the front of a flatbed trailer being pulled by an 18-wheeler. It just sells itself, doesn’t it?
The goal was to ring a bell while trying not to die… or bleed, as WCW fired both wrestlers for getting color to try to add a little dignity to this blemish on the face of the otherwise flawless reputation of World Championship Wrestling.
• Bungee Cord Match (GWF)
The Global Wrestling Federation started-off with such promise and then, in just 4 short years… this.
Chaz Taylor versus Steven Dane allegedly some 175-190 feet above the earth inside a small yellow box. The goal of the match? Homicide. Sort of… there is a bungee cord after all.
After a bit of tomfoolery by Dane the match took place and looked 87% more lame than it sounds!
It ended when Chaz tossed Dane out of the box by his scrotum, then Chaz hugged his mom. Neat.
In closing, I’m sure I only scratched the surface of rotten gimmick matches, so feel free to add more in the comments. Lord knows there’s still a world of Bra and Panties, Reverse Battle Royals, and Whatever On a Pole Matches out there!
That’s all for this time grappling fans. Until next we meet, Remember the Time…