Sometimes, wrestling isn’t enough. After all, the best wrestling cards are variety shows, little bit of technical mat grappling here, a little bit of hardcore spotfest here, a sprinkly of high-flying, a spoonful of two hosses clubbing the red nightmares out of each other, a comedy match featuring two invisible wrestlers, main event, rinse repeat.
Familiarity breeds contempt and over the years bookers have tried to freshen up stale feuds, artificially heighten drama, and spike ticket sales with increasingly elaborate, high concept, and bonkers stipulations.
oh this isn’t just any match this an Elimination Chamber match, a falls count anywhere match a… stairs match, ooh stairs, hardcore stairs.
Some stips are great but loads have been handicap hogpens of tedious bollocks. Hell, the stairs match didn’t even make this list. These are all worse than a STAIRS match. Pray for us all.
I’m Adam hailing from partsFUNknown and here are the 10 Worst Wrestling Stipulations Ever.
10. Hard Ten Match
I mean I couldn’t not. Number ten. Hard ten. You get it. So, IMPACT Wrestling used to be known as TNA, and you’re going to hear those three letters A LOT.
Desperately trying to mark themselves as different to WWE, TNA threw eight cows worth of convoluted, nonsensical s**t at a wall and very little of it stuck, for example, the Hard Ten match from TNA’s early years, which they brought in for one tournament and never used again.
It was so bad that TNA only used it once, that’s saying something. The premise of the stipulation is: hey you know what hardcore matches need? Maths. A Hard Ten match meant it was hardcore rules except the only way to win is to get 10 points.
You get one point for a ‘direct hit’ with an object, five points for putting someone through a table and you also have to win by at least two points in order to win. What’s a direct hit, can you just jab someone with a pencil 10 times?
Why the two-point lead rule? Is this tennis? It’s Sandman vs. New Jack, I don’t think it’s tennis. Why do you have board game catch-up mechanics in a deathmatch? They’re deathmatches, it’s like putting a chocolate cake in front of someone and saying have a slice, but only if it’s exactly two-fourteenths of the whole cake.
9. Shark Cage Match
No, not the ones with someone suspended above the ring in a shark cage, those are a bit bad but fundamentally ok at least when they don’t feature Enzo slithering out of one like a gecko in a strip club.
I mean the old type of shark cage match that the territories once booked, ie. two dudes battering each other inside a shark cage, inside the ring. It’s like that scene in Jaws but there’s two James Dreyfusses and they’re both pissed up on dark fruits and battering each other for a dropped quid on a bathroom floor.
There’s one on youtube featuring Chief Jay Strongbow vs. Bulldog Don Kent and it’s so weird!
Two men just hit each other over and over with the aim being to be the first to escape the shark cage, but their roughhousing keeps opening the door, and they have to struggle to make sure they don’t accidentally win with the ref having to actually hold the door shut in places.
It’s hilarious for a bit but then it just gets so boring, because they can’t do anything because they’re in a f**king shark cage.
8. Blindfold Match
And speaking of boring, oh man. Two wrestlers wearing bags on their heads, very slowly walking around a ring, gesturing like clowns and not fighting each other. Now some of you historians will point to the most famous blindfold match, Jake Roberts vs. Rick Martel at Mania 7 as being good.
You’re wrong about that, it’s the same thing over and over again, Roberts points around the ring as the crowd shout to help him find martel, they miss each other, or have a very brief scuffle then they do it again, and again, and again and it’s maddening, whilst also making one of the coolest characters in WWE history, the super composed Jake Roberts scramble around on the match like a dog.
I was saying Boo-urns. TNA had a famously terrible one at Lockdown 2007 featuring James Storm and Chris Harris where the bags kept falling off their heads.
This was a blood feud between former tag partners, can you imagine Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa main eventing Takeover New Orleans with fucking bags on their heads, falling down and going whoopsy. Dreadful.