Last week, I talked about some of the worst match concepts we fans have been subjected to, this week, I’m back with the subject of matches, taking a look at how match concepts are being abused. By abused, I’m talking about how the WWE has misused them, looking at some examples from just the past few years.
The most recent example of this misuse occurred at Vengeance.
Why was John Cena vs. Alberto del Rio a Last Man Standing match? Seriously, can you name me one good reason? They weren’t in an intense feud, where they were taking each other out every week. Meanwhile, over on Smackdown, Big Show had returned, and was gunning for Mark Henry, who had put him on the sidelines for the entire summer. Speaking of the ‘entire summer,’ Mark Henry had been unleashed, and laid out anyone he pleased. He’s created his “Hall of Pain” with members including Kane, The Great Khali, Vladimir Kozlov, Jerry Lawler, Randy Orton, John Morrison, Miscellaneous Production Tech, and Big Show. So at Vengeance, Big Show is looking to get just that, vengeance on Mark Henry. Just the build up to this match warrants something more than a mere regular, one-on-one matchup. Then, when you consider the finish to the match, it warrants it even more! What kind of match you ask? Oh, I don’t know, maybe that Last Man Standing match that was given to Cena and Del Rio for no reason whatsoever.
Before Vengeance, we had Hell in a Cell. Right off, I’m going to tell you I’m very much against match concepts being turned into ppvs. This ppv concept may just be the one I’m against the most, though. The Hell in a Cell match is supposed to be special; reserved for those in such intense, heated rivalries, that the only way to resolve the issue, is to drag one another through Hell. Not just given away, two at time to who ever is in the World and WWE title pictures, every October because Halloween is near. Oh, and I’m not one of those people who cries for blood, blood, and more blood to be on every show, but we’re talking about a match with a name that has “Hell” in it…just saying.
Much like Hell in a Cell, the Elimination Chamber should also not be it’s own ppv. For one, it’s one of those special match concepts, that I believe should be reserved for special occasions. Also, it actually tends to give away how the WrestleMania stories will shape up, or who the Chamber winners will be. In 2010, for example, Edge returns from injury to win the Royal Rumble. Chris Jericho was the current World Champion, and as such, defended his title at, and in the Elimination Chamber. Due to their past history, the story being built up was Edge vs. Jericho at WrestleMania; it was pretty clear who was going to walk out of the Chamber as champion.
Like I mentioned, I dislike most match concept ppvs; they devalue the concepts themselves. That being said, I would like to touch on one that I think is quite fine; Money in the Bank. I believe this works, because it’s a fun match, that involves the high stakes element; it basically decides who the company will be getting behind that year. I do have one issue with the match, and a way to tweak it, though. The issue is that it can create un- natural pushes, for young guys who aren’t ready. The tweaking doesn’t necessarily pertain to that issue, but who knows, it could alleviate it somewhat. Instead of having two Money in the Bank matches, with two respective case holders, I propose they only have one Money in the Bank match at the event. Also, I’d turn it into a tournament, where hopefuls would have to first earn their spot; there would be only three spots for each show (possibly four, depending on how many competitors are in that year’s MITB,never more than eight total). As for how the tournament would go down… six superstars from RAW and six from Smackdown would be determined by winning their respective first round matches. From there, the RAW and Smackdown stars would compete against one another, the winners advancing to the Money in the Bank match. So, you could end up with four RAW guys and two from Smackdown, or any other combination. Or, it could just be where RAW guys have to only beat RAW guys, and the Smackdown guys have to only beat Smackdown guys, keeping the numbers even in the big Money in the Bank match.
Just an idea I thought I’d throw out to you all. Now, back to match abuse…
The Ironman match happens to be my personal favorite match concept.What made me a fan of this concept, you ask? WrestleMania 12, Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart, in a 60min+ Ironman classic for the ages. This concept is not for just any two wrestlers on the roster; it should be reserved for great in-ring technicians, because it’s designed as such! I’m sorry, but John Cena and Randy Orton don’t scream “great in-ring technicians” to me.
A more common match concept, the Battle Royal is used dang near once a month, sometimes more. Poor ole’ Battle Royal, it gets thrown onto any show when creative gets lazy, and instead of actually writing storylines to name a #1 Contender, just have a Battle Royal. They’ve also been more frequently used at house shows. I’ve no idea why, as they’re normally only good for television, as when you’re apart of the live crowd, it’s much more difficult to keep up with all the eliminations.
Cage matches are similar to HIAC. Meant to be for rivalries that are heating up, and also to keep combatants in/out of the ring. Now, though, WWE simply uses it in a sad attempt to sell tickets and get higher ratings. You can’t just stick two guys in a cage, and expect to get higher margins; there has to be a reason for the cage.
Speaking of cage, and Hell in a Cell matches, a big problem with these matches is not using the cage/cell to it’s full potential. These matches, along with some other concept matches, are supposed to be brutal. Just throwing your opponent into the structure a couple times during the match, doesn’t cut it.
I touched on this next concept in my “Worse Match Concepts” article; Loser Leaves matches. The reason it made the worst list, is because it’s so poorly used. Superstars lose a match, are fired, or are in some other form forced to leave the organization or brand, only to show up the very next week. What’s worse, is that this happens way too often. When one of these matches are announced, do you even care? I sure don’t.
A good example:
Shameless Plug: Check out “J Classic’s” for more classic match ups, in the video section.
This next concept abuse is a real pet peeve. “No Holds Barred” means no wrestling maneuver is banned from use. It has nothing to do with weaponry, read the freaking name! Many people wonder what the difference between a No Holds Barred match and a No DQ match is, because the line has been so blurred from interchangeable use. That’s it. You’re welcome. Send your thank you tweets to @WrestlinRambles.
Another pet peeve pertains to Falls Count Anywhere matches. They should never, ever, end in the ring, it devalues the whole point of the concept. If you end these matches in the ring time and again, and then try to get it over with the fans, do you really think they’re going to buy into the concept? No. The action should also go beyond just the ringside area, as well, for the same reason.
There are numerous examples of match concepts being misused and abused, feel free to leave more examples down below, but I figure 1,324 words is long enough an article for this week. And, you probably get the point by now.
Thanks for Reading 1,349 words,