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The 411 Wrestling Top 5 10.17.12: Week 191 – Top 5 Worst Gimmick Matches

October 17, 2012 | Posted by Larry Csonka

Hello everyone and welcome to 411 Wrestling’s Top 5 List. What we are going to is take a topic each week and all the writers here on 411 wrestling will have the ability to give us their Top 5 on said topic, plus up to three honorable mentions.

So, on to this week’s topic…


For the purpose of the column, gimmick matches are any match with an added stipulation. (Cage, Cole Miner’s Glove, Dog Collar Match, Reverse Battle Royal. Street Fight, 2 of 3 Falls, and so on and so forth…

Michael Weyer
HM: AWA Turkey on a Pole match: Yes, the finale of the once-great AWA had a bunch of guys in an empty studio fighting for a turkey on a pole.
HM: Bobby Roode vs James Storm, Six Sides of Steel Blindfold match: What’s worse than a blindfold match? A blindfold CAGE match where one guy loses his hood in mid-match and the ref has to put it back on.
HM: TNA’s Lockbox Challenge: Why not have the Knockouts in a complicated tag match where the object is to win the right metal case for either the title, Tara’s rat or having to do a striptease?

5. Chamber of Horrors match, Halloween Havoc ’91 You can’t have a worst gimmicks match list without this bout. A massive collection of wrestlers like Sting, the Steiners, Abdullah the Butcher, Cactus Jack and more, all inside a cage, sounds good right? Well, not when the cage has “electrified wire” along the top and the entire purpose is to push a guy into a chair right in the middle of it and hit a switch to electrocute him. It turned incredibly ugly with brawling around and the switch clearly shown falling down mid-match with nothing happening until Abdullah was shoved into the chair and it thrown so he’d jerk around with sparks flying. A capper to an already ugly year for WCW that made you sorry for watching.

4. Dustin Rhodes vs Blacktop Bully, King of the Road match, WCW Uncensored ’95 For their attempt to become “edgey” in 1995, WCW put on one of the single worst PPVs of all time and that was highlighted by this batshit crazy match. The idea was Dustin and Bully fighting on the back of a moving truck, fighting it out to the front where they could pull the horn to win. Obviously, the truck wasn’t going too fast for fear of hurting the guys but it still looked ugly, both stumbling around, throwing hay bales at one another, each afraid of making a bad move that would drop them off. Bully won but the fans were the real losers in a match that proves once more why you should just stick to the ring.

3. Chaz vs Steven Dane, Bungee Cord match, 1992 In its first year, Global Wrestling was actually a pretty good promotion with a big star in the Patriot. But in 1992, it went totally nuts with antics that make you wonder if Vince Russo got into wrestling early. The height of this had to be the infamous Bungee Cord match where Chaz and Dane fought it out in a tiny cage barely big enough to fit one person, let alone two, hanging about twenty feet over a parking lot. It was just child-like roughhousing before Chaz got a pin and pushed Dane off, then followed him, claiming to find a “moon rock” along the way. Sad that this is what people remember best about Global and one nutso bout to watch.

2. Booker T vs Jeff Jarrett, San Fransisco 49’ers match for WCW World Title, Nitro, October 2nd, 2000 – When you think Vince Russo in WCW, this is a match that sums up his entire reign pretty well. Jarrett and Booker went at it in a match where there were four boxes in the ring. One had the WCW world title, the second a blow-up doll, the third a photo of Scott Hall and the fourth a “loaded” glove. So you had two guys fighting to break the boxes open and get the title, a midget named Beetlejuice hitting Jarrett and one of the boxes falling open to show the title belt before Booker could be handed it by the ref. If anything epitomizes Russo’s “belts are just props” mentality, this is it and shows just how bad his reign in WCW was.

1. Hogan vs Giant, Monster Sumo Truck match, Halloween Havoc ’95 – The height of an ugly year for WCW, this pretty much showed Hogan’s ego and control run wild. After months of set-up, he and the Giant were ready to lock up for the World title. But before that, Hogan decided they would do battle with a pair of monster trucks on top of the arena. That’s right, WCW paid to have two monster trucks, each stylized for the wrestler, put on top of the arena to fight it out. Big shock, even in a monster truck match, Hogan refused to job, winning, he and the Giant brawling and the Giant knocked off the roof of the arena only to come back for the title match with no signs on injury. Yes, WCW actually thought people would buy a show with all this, once again making you amazed the company lasted so long.

Francisco Ramirez
HM: WCW: Chamber of Horrors – The switch debacle
HM: TNA: Feast or Fired – Poor mans MITB
HM: WWE: Kennel from Hell – All this over pepper steak

5. AAA: Cinthia Moreno, Fabi Apache, Mari Apache Vs. Jennifer Blake, Sexy Star, Velvet Sky: “Lucha a Oscuras” – Whenever someone labels AAA founder Antonio Peña a genius, I tend to look back at this creation. Mind you, the concept is silly at best, but some versions of this match have been watchable, if not enjoyable. The concept is simple, turn off all the lights except for some neon lights, and have the luchadores put on a match in outfits that glow in the dark. In my opinion the worst of these matches occurred at Heroes Inmortales V. The match was a 3 on 3 females match, Cinthia Moreno, Fabi Apache, and Mari Apache faced Jennifer Blake, Sexy Star, and Velvet Sky. The gimmick adds absolutely nothing to the match. Sexy Star is the only one with an outfit that truly stands out visually, and the match itself is nothing special, maybe because it was hard to keep up. Mind you, the Apache sisters, who can keep up with males, don’t believe me look up their match with Los Traumas, are on here. It isn’t a total catastrophe, it can be a sight to see when someone like Aerostar dons full glow in the dark gear, and is flying all over the place, but this is the perfect example of a gimmick that adds nothing.

4. WCW: Dustin Rhodes Vs. The Blacktop Bully: “King of the Road Match” – What a piece of shit this was, and I’m talking about both the match and the ppv, WCW Uncensored 95. “the Natural” Dustin Rhodes faced the Blacktop Bully in the back of a moving semi, which housed a cage with bales of hay. While the semi itself wasn’t moving at high speeds, obviously for safety reasons. It still made it extremely difficult to move and both Dustin and the Bully tossed and turned all over the place. The wrestling itself was just a series of punches and hay being tossed around. In order to win, someone would have to reach and blow a horn that was placed towards the top of the semi. The Blacktop Bully won after an eye rake of all things, and Rhodes in an effort to save this match, allegedly bladed, costing him his job in WCW. Gallons of blood wouldn’t have saved this turd, and whoever thought this up should have been tossed to the unemployment line as well.

3. WCW: Sting Vs. Jake Roberts: Spin the Wheel, Make a Deal – This had the potential to be a classic. This could have been brutal, it could have been everything everyone wanted it to be, yet it became a dud. The concept was simple, in the spirit of Halloween and Trick or Treat, Sting would spin a wheel containing, according to Jake, some of the most brutal matches available, whatever the wheel would fall on would determine the type of match Jake and Sting would be in at Halloween Havoc 92. Someone figured it would be a great idea for the match to truly be a random selection, and as history shows us, luck was not something WCW had during the early 90’s. The wheel fell on a Coal Miners Glove match, basically a “weapon on a pole match” easily the worst possible outcome. Instead of rigging the wheel, or re-taping the segment, WCW ran with this. Sting won after retrieving the glove and hitting Jake with it, all this while Jake took out a snake that was supposed to attack Sting, instead it bit Jake and that was the end of that, Thankfully.

2. TNA: Sonjay Dutt Vs. Jay Lethal: “Black Tie Brawl and Chain Match” – Hard Justice 2008, Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt were in the midst of a heated, yet extremely crappy, feud over So Cal Val of all things. Matches ranged from your standard match, a “Ladder of Love” match, and this P.O.S. Both men entered the ring wearing tuxedos, now this wasn’t your standard Tuxedo match, ala the “classic” Paul E. Dangerously and James E. Cornette. The added twist, both were tied to each other with a chain. I’ll give both Sonjay and Lethal credit, they tried to make it work, put these two together and just let them work and the results can be good to great. The gimmick added nothing and instead weighed these two down. Thankfully it ended soon enough with Lethal dropping an elbow on Sonjay Dutt for the three count.

1. FMW: H Vs Hayabusa: “Anus Explosion Match” – October 29, 1999 would be the date that the Korakuen Hall would bare witness to a once in a lifetime event, FMW would host the first and only “Anus Explosion match”. Rivals H, the former Hayabusa, and Mr. Gannosuke, who at the time was masked as the new Hayabusa would face each other. The match was violent, as can be expected with any FMW match. Hayabusa would turn the tides of the match when he would put H in a Praying Powerbomb on the outside, a devastating maneuver that would lead to H being back in the ring, and handcuffed to the ring post with his trunks down to his knees. Reports vary whether it was a cherry bomb or bottle rocket, but some sort of firework would end up being lit, and exploding on H’s anus, as Hayabusa, aka Mr. Gannosuke would leave the ring dying of laughter. A once in a lifetime event, thankfully.

Robert S. Leighty Jr
HM: Sting vs. Vampiro: Human Torch Match -When a stunt man has to take the big bump that ended the match, the match shouldn’t have been booked.
HM: Electrified Six Sides of Steel: LAX vs. Team 3D – Nobody expected this to be real, but it still looked horribly cheesy, and the crowd shit all over this with “Fire Russo” chants.

5. Hardcore Evening Gown Match: Pat Patterson vs. Gerald Briscoe – This idea wasn’t even remotely funny, and was a blackeye on what was a very hot period for the WWE in 2000.

4. Kennel from Hell: Al Snow vs. The Big Bossman – This match is actually good for a laugh. The story was Al Snow coming up with a match to get revenge on Bossman for kidnapping his dog, killing it, and then feeding it to Snow. The idea was intriguing, but instead of ferocious dogs we got dogs urinating, defecating, and mating on the floor, which caused the announcers and crowd to laugh at what was supposed to be a serious grudge match.

3. Vampiro vs. The Demon: Graveyard Match: These two were filmed fighting in a graveyard before the actual PPV and everyone at home and inside the arena were forced to watch this debacle.

2. Judy Bagwell on a Pole: Buff Bagwell vs. Kanyon – I am still trying to black out this era from WCW as they seemingly pieced things together as they went and threw whatever they could at the wall.

1. Concrete Crypt Match: The Undertaker vs. The Dudley Boyz – The WWE brought back the Great American Bash as a PPV and headlined it with this horrible match. The Dudley Boyz most definitely didn’t need to headline a WWE PPV at this point in their run, and all the absurd crap with Paul Bearer being buried in concrete was way over the top. Just to make things even worse Taker ends up “killing” Bearer after spending 15 minutes fighting off 2 guys to seemingly save him.

HM: Dustin Rhodes vs Blacktop Bully, King of the Road match, WCW Uncensored ’95-A match in the back of a moving truck?
HM: Any scaffold match-Interesting concept but dreadful to watch unless you like wrestling where the competitors crawl about on their hands and knees.
HM: David Arquette v Jeff Jarrett v Diamond Dallas Page, Triple Cage Match, Slamboree 2000.-A match that stemmed from a rubbish movie and featured David Arquette as WCW Champion.

5. Anything on a pole match – WCW absolutely loved having pole matches. It didn’t matter to them how ridiculous the poled item sounded, they bookers lapped up this match. You could make a top five list of worst ‘Something on a pole match’ and have difficulty narrowing it down. By far the worst one though was the piñata on a pole match. For weeks ahead of the event Juventud Guerarra carried a piñata with him to the ring for no apparent reason. In the end the match was booked with Juventud and a series of Hispanic wrestlers. Early into the match the piñata dropped from the pole leaving everyone in the ring looking quite lost. Dr. Death Steve Williams then ran in and cleaned house ending the match via DQ.

4. Punjabi Prison Match – Great American Bash 2006. A truly ridiculous looking match and I could have picked any of the matches that featured this stipulation. The ring structure consists of two large bamboo cages. The first being four sided and standing 16 feet tall, while the second has eight sides and stands 20 feet surrounding the first. The reason for picking the match from Great American Bash 2006 was that this was the first of its kind in the WWE and the founder of the match, Great Khali, who was meant to appear in it, was replaced by the Big Show owing to illness. So we got the spectacle of the Big Show fighting the Undertaker in this monstrosity of a match with the Undertaker winning after being thrown through the second cage. Not one likely to feature on many ‘best of’ DVDs.

3. Chamber of Horrors – Halloween Havoc 1991. The match pitted Sting, The Steiners and El Gigante against Abdullah the Butcher, Vader, Cactus Jack and Diamond Studd in what has to be one of the most ridiculous opening bouts of any wrestling event ever. The match was a four v four tornado tag match set in a cage. You probably see nothing wrong so far, right? Well, there was an electric chair slap bang in the middle of the ring and you won the match when a member of the opposition team was electrocuted in said chair. Not only does it all sounds ridiculous, the sound effects and visuals when Abdullah the Butcher was electrocuted made it even worse. This one is only spared from winning owing to not featuring monster trucks or dogs fouling at ringside.

2. Monster Truck Sumo Match – Halloween Havoc 95. The concept itself is absurd, two guys in monster trucks trying to bash the other out of the boundaries of a circle on the rooftop. You know, so it looked like monster trucks in a sumo-wrestling match. Not one of WCW’s better ideas and there were plenty of wrong ones. Hogan won this in the end then proceeded to throw the Giant off the side of the building. It’s difficult, looking back, to do anything other than cringe at this. Still, least they didn’t follow this up by having the Giant wrestle half an hour later in the main event. Oh wait… they did.

1. Kennel in a Cell – Unforgiven ’99. The Chamber of Horrors match may have been atrocious, but at least we can look back on it and laugh. The same cannot be said for this monstrosity of a match-up. I don’t think anyone had particularly high expectations of this match considering it featured Al Snow v the Big Boss Man. The match consisted of a steel cage surrounded by a cell and dogs were around the ring within the cell. It is definitely the worst gimmick match in wrestling history as the dogs showed no hostility towards either wrestler and instead urinated and defecated at ringside with some even mating. In the end Al Snow won to retain the hardcore title, an often forgotten about part of the match.

List your Top Five for this week’s topic in the comment section using the following format:

5. CHOICE: Explanation
4. CHOICE: Explanation
3. CHOICE: Explanation
2. CHOICE: Explanation
1. CHOICE: Explanation


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Larry Csonka