Within the next month the wrestling business will embark on two huge gimmick matches in professional wrestling. The first one is going to be the Elimination Chamber at, well, WWE‘s Elimination Chamber. The other one is coming from TNA Wrestling‘s side and that is Lethal lockdown at Lockdown. However, when was the last time a gimmick match was made? When exactly did we see a new, unique, and revolutionary match? It’s time to bring out the drawing board. It is time to turn on the creative thinking and bring something new in the business.
Let me be the first to say that while gimmick matches haven’t been thought of in recent years, that doesn’t mean nothing has been thought of. Unique and creepy characters have been made from both WWE and TNA’s side. Interesting and compelling story lines also took place in each company. We are getting very close to the revolutionary WWE Network while TNA is going to have an One Night Only pay-per-view in Japan next month. We are seeing firsts in the wrestling business, but the gimmick matches have taken a back seat for years!
As stated above, the two major gimmick matches that we are going to see in a month’s time is the Elimination Chamber and Lethal Lockdown. The Elimination Chamber was brought to the world in 2002. I personally think that is one of the most intense gimmick type match but also very logical and dangerous. It’s my personal favorite. It certainly can be marketable. Lethal Lockdown made its debut in 2006 when Sting’s Warriors faced Jarrett’s Army at Lockdown 2006. I like Lethal Lockdown as it is unique in nature. It combines tag team, a steel cage, and hardcore match all in one. However, these matches require more than one-on-one.
Don’t get me wrong, there are dozens of one-on-one type gimmick matches. I Quit, Stretcher, Casket, Steel Cage, Hell in a Cell, Monster’s Ball, Last Man Standing, Table, Ladder, TLC, Full Metal Mayhem, Ambulance, 2 out of 3 Falls, Falls Count Anywhere, and 3 Stages of Hell matches! Yes, there are lots. How many times did we see those matches though? We seen some more than others but we seen some of those dozens of times. At the end of the day, we all want something new.
There are several things have go into the process of making a new gimmick type match:
Logic – How can you have a match when no one can believe it? A match shouldn’t be “over the top”. A match isn’t suppose to kill someone. A match it to see who the better person or people are.
Consistency – A match needs to be consistent throughout its duration. You can’t have a set of rules for the match when it debuts and then have a different set of rules when it is shown again. There is a reason why a gimmick match is made and that is because it is a different match than a regular one-on-one match.
Simplicity – This coincides with consistency. Make the match simple. We don’t need rule after rule after rule after rule after rule. We don’t need to have the person win by pinfall and then submission but only go for the submission 5 minutes after the pinfall and then drag their opponent to the stage to cross the line and then put them through the table on the stage and then drag them backstage and put them in the car at least 10 minutes after you put them in the table.
Marketable – This may be the most important phase when making a new gimmick match. Simply put, the match needs to be marketable. You want to market the match as the “First time ever” or “The most dangerous match in wrestling” or “The match where no one escapes unharmed”. Wrestling companies have to sell. They have to sell their product. They have to sell the matches. So while they sell Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe in “Match of the Decade”, they also have to sell the match they are in. A match is just like a character. You want people to cheer when this match is announced. You want people to get excited when this match is about to happen. You want a toy company to make a playset for this gimmick match if it is a structure.
Not everyone is a fan of gimmick matches. But, there is a huge market of hardcore fans. There is a huge market for those who love extreme. There is a reason why people chant “We want tables” and “This is awesome”! Not only is it entertaining but it gives everyone watching a rush of adrenaline.
With the King of the Mountain match in TNA gone and the Steel Asylum match not seen in years, TNA really needs to bring a new gimmick match to the table. I really want to see TNA reach a new level in marketing this year and marketing a new match could really help.
If you were given the opportunity to make a gimmick match, what would it be? What would the rules be? How many people can be in it? Give your ideas below!