The main purpose of a gimmick match is to add to the intensity of a feud or to provide an exciting payoff. Despite being a PG show, WWE has seemingly doubled the number of gimmick matches, keen to cash in on past stipulations that worked in a different time.Unfortunately,this has led to matches like Hell in a Cell and Ladder matches losing a lot of their appeal. Especially since WWE have started giving certain matches their own PPV.
There are some exceptions of course,like this year's Hell in a Cell PPV featuring two feuds that felt like they deserved to be inside Hell in a Cell, but most of the time it feels like a stipulation is added for no real reason. It rarely seems to add anything, and here are 10 matches that I think completely prove my point:
10. Randy Orton vs. Sheamus [Hell in a Cell Match - Hell in a Cell 2010]
This match from back in 2010 was the first time WWE gave us a Hell in a Cell match simply because it was October.These two had a reason to fight as Sheamus was owed his rematch for the WWE title but that was it. Absolutely nothing else about this screams Hell in a Cell.
They'd fought a couple of times earlier in the year but those matches were nothing special, the cell added absolutely nothing to the match. This could have just been a standard no DQ match and nothing would have changed. It simply watered down the impact of the cell!
9. Erick Rowan vs. The Big Show [Stairs Match - TLC 2014]
The one and only stairs match in WWE history, thank the Lord!
This a dark period; The Big Show was being pushed (again) and Eric Rowan was on his own. This was just two big lumbering men hitting each other with stairs. You think chairs matches are pointless? Watch this match and try and understand WWE’s thinking “Let’s give them a weapon that’s even harder to pick up!”
There was a good spot that included Big Show spearing Rowan through a wall of stairs, but it would have been better if it didn’t feel like it took an hour to set up. This match went 11 minutes which is approximately 10 minutes too long. Thank goodness the WWE have seen sense and have never touched this gimmick again and the rest of this PPV went without a hitch...oh no wait...
8. Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt [TLC Match - TLC 2014]
Oh good grief this PPV! Rowan and Show weren’t the only one sat TLC 2014 who didn’t need their stipulation.
Bray and Dean were feuding for flimsy reasons hidden in one of Bray’s nonsensical promos. Apparently, a DQ finish at the last PPV is an ample reason to have a weapon based match at this show.
This match was bad for two reasons;
1. There was nothing on the line so this was essentially a hardcore match.
2. Neither tables, ladders or chairs were involved in the finish.
Dean had a TV monitor go off in his face...wait...what?
Worst. Finish. Ever!
7. JTG vs. Shad Gaspard [Strap Match - Extreme Rules 2010]
Did anyone care when Cryme Tyme broke up? Did you even know they’d broken up? Did you know they’d feuded?Didn’t think so. WWE thought that this feud was worthy of one of the more peculiar stipulations in Extreme Rules history!
This match only exists because it was Extreme Rules so they couldn’t just have a normal match, which is most certainly not a reason to tag a gimmick to an undeserving match!
Strap matches don’t really work in modern wrestling let alone one between two lower mid-carders. It’s thought there was a more racial implication behind this match but we won’t cross those murky waters in this article! Luckily, WWE quietly filed this feud and this match stipulation away, and we never saw it again...
6. Sheamus vs. Mark Henry [Strap Match - Extreme Rules 2013]
...oh... Hello Sheamus, back so soon?
Mr. Henry was in his “I’m the strongest man,” phase, thus random displays of strength ensued, first with Ryback and then with Sheamus. That included an episode of SmackDown where he pulled two tractor trailers (impressive!)
This match could be easily summed up as two men in a tug of war over a strap.
The finish was the same as the finish to all strap matches. One man begins to touch all the corners while the other guy secretly touches them as well. Boring and pointless! Thankfully, it will be the last time you see Sheamus on this list...
5. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus [Kiss Me Arse Match - Extreme Rules 2015]
For CHRIST’S SAKE Sheamus have some self respect man!
What WWE’s fascination was with putting Sheamus in these godforsaken gimmick matches I fear I will never know or understand!
Sheamus made his return after Mania 31 as an intense heel beating up guys like Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan. It seemed to be what he needed after being an incredibly bland face for the past few years.
How do you immediately undo any credibility this heel turn might give him?Have him challenge Dolph to a Kiss Me Arse match. A match no one wanted to see make a comeback, especially not in the year of our good Lord 2015!
Times like this make me wonder if those friends who don’t like wrestling have a point...
4. Triple H vs. Kevin Nash [Sledgehammer Ladder Match - TLC 2011]
Was there ever going to an appropriate stipulation for a match between Triple H and Kevin Nash in 2011?
This was a continuation of the conveluted Nash/Punk story that started at SummerSlam, centred around eronious text messages. Again, another weapons match with a solid feud going into it, sigh.
The match didn’t make sense, you have to use weapons to able to use another weapon?
I get Triple H coming back for WrestleMania and SummerSlam but was he so desperate to have a match that this was the best option? A match with a man with ticking time bombs for quads? Using a man who has never been considered ‘spritely’ ahead of the entire roster in a main event of a PPV? Hmmm....
3. CM Punk vs. Ryback w/ Paul Heyman [2-On-1 Handicap Hell in a Cell Match - Hell in a Cell 2013]
They’re parts of this match that should have worked. Heyman going up top of the cell to avoid Punk made sense. But of all the people for Heyman to hide behind, did it have to be Ryback?
They managed to make the cell more pointless than they did in their match the year before. The whole time you’re waiting for Punk to get out and get to Heyman, but every time a wild Ryback got in the way to nobodies delight!Fans had been waiting months to see Heyman get his comeuppance, but this feud went out with a flicker as opposed to the bang it should have been.
Making this a regular handicap match would have made no difference to the match quality, very poor!
2. John Cena vs. Randy Orton [Hell in a Cell Match - Hell in a Cell 2014]
This is the 2014 match not the 2009 match. The 2009 match made fat more sense as they were actually in a main event feud.
In 2014, instead of just having the one Hell in a Cell bout with Ambrose vs Rollins, WWE decided to add another cell for completely no reason.
Orton and Cena faced off for what felt like the millionth time with the added stipulation of a future world title match...bearing in mind Orton was still owed his one on one rematch for the world title...utterly pointless!
1. DX vs. Legacy
[Submissions Count Anywhere Match - Breaking Point]
This match takes the top spot not just for the feud involved,but the baffling lack of logic in the stipulation itself.
This match was taken from the submission based PPV Breaking Point, which in turn was only conceived in a pathetically thinly veiled attempt to compete with UFC.
Even though the two teams had already had a submission match and an I Quit match, WWE felt the need to add another. Having a regular falls count anywhere match would have made too much sense,so it was made you could only win by submission; just what the fans want, lots of rests and holds!
Legacy won with a double submission on Michaels but instead of propelling the two up and comers into the main event, they were beaten the following month, making this match entirely pointless!