A WWE specialty match adds a new dynamic that creates compelling moments, entertaining surprises, and allows a feud to go beyond a basic one-on-one encounter. Through the years there have seen dozens of these matches and each one brings a new excitement to Pay Per Views and television shows. As the WWE enters 2017, it’s time to consider bringing back a number of these classic stipulations. They are great ways to get talent over and can really push the limits when it comes to entertaining audiences especially in an era that's all about in-ring action.
The following fifteen matches should be brought back to the WWE. These matches feature violent stipulations, flames, stretchers, and have created some of the best WWE moments. No, we’re not talking silly matches like the Punjabi Prison match or a Brass Knuckles On A Pole Match (or anything on a pole). These are true specialty matches that many of the WWE new era wrestlers like Sami Zayn, Braun Strowman, and Seth Rollins could thrive in. Not only can you relive some these great matches as they occurred, but you can also look forward to some potential ways they can be used in the future.
14 Three Stages of Hell
You know a rivalry is intense when the Superstars are in a match where a single pinfall is not enough. The Three Stages of Hell match features three different match stipulations all in one. The first Superstar to win two of the three stages is declared the winner. One of the more memorable Three Stages of Hell matches involved Stone Cold Steve Austin against Triple H.
Today, Superstars like Dean Ambrose and A.J. Styles would thrive in this type of match. It would be interesting to see what types of stages would be picked for the match. Normally, match types include Steel Cage Matches, No Holds Barred, and Stretcher Matches. It’s a great way to end a rivalry and help propel a star to the top of the roster.
13 First Blood Match
It’s been years since the WWE has allowed the common use of blood on the program. Despite heavy bleeding from Randy Orton and Brock Lesnar on various occasions, WWE Superstars have remained pretty clean. As the product gets a little edgier, it may be time to reintroduce the idea of blood to the WWE audiences. One way to do so is by setting up a First Blood Match. The key to this match is simple – be the first person to make your opponent bleed, a classic tradition in the history books of the WWE.
At the 1998 King of the Ring, Stone Cold Steve Austin took on Kane in a first blood match that featured a lot of drama and some great moments. Returning to this match could help showcase a Superstar’s dominance as they stand tall and make their opponent bleed.
12 Raw Roulette
Back in the day, anytime the WWE would host Raw in a casino or city like Las Vegas, fans could look forward to Raw Roulette. This specialty event featured a random wheel with a number of stipulations and match types that Superstars would participate in. The wheel was obviously rigged, but it was exciting to see the different matches and situations that Superstars would get placed into.
A special episode of Raw could easily see this wheel return. It would add a whole new dynamic to the show and present a lot of creative ways to present storylines. The surprise and funny actions on the wheel could bring a lot of entertainment, even if it’s just for one episode. With every Raw episode now running three hours, the wheel could keep fans entertained throughout the whole duration of the show with a different twist, something the shows desperately need.
12. Ambrose Asylum
It’s typically WWE Superstars like The Undertaker or Kane making their own stipulation matches, but in 2015, Dean Ambrose got a chance to introduce the Ambrose Asylum match. This match featured a steel cage with weapons from the top of the roof. It was a great way to showcase the Ambrose's crazy character and really helped cap off his long-running feud with Chris Jericho.
Now as one of the faces of the SmackDown brand, Dean Ambrose should bring back his violent and unique concept. He could easily participate in the match with other SmackDown roster members like The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, or Baron Corbin, among others. The match concept also had the luxury to add in a variety of new weapons and fun tools that Ambrose can use to try and win.
11 Buried Alive Match
There have only been five Buried Alive matches in the WWE. Each one was hyped so big that it seems like there have been more. The last Buried Alive Match to take place was at the 2010 Bragging Rights Pay Per View. After nearly seven years without this match, it’s time for the WWE to unearth it and bring it back to the forefront again.
There are plenty of current WWE Superstars that would fit well into this type of match. The obvious ones are The Undertaker and Kane, who have participated and been featured in multiple versions of this match. Other wrestlers like Luke Harper, Bray Wyatt, or The Demon Finn Balor could also compete in this violent and exciting match. It’s a great way to end a feud and could make a compelling main event to one of the year’s Pay Per Views.
10 Boiler Room Brawl
Backstage brawls are often used as a random segment on Raw or SmackDown, but during the Attitude Era, fans got enjoy a full match known as the Boiler Room Brawl. These matches pitted WWE Superstars like The Undertaker and Mankind in an all-out war to see who could be the first one to return to the ring. Everything was in play in the boiler room, often creating violent affairs and brutal attacks with pipes, machinery, and random tools that were found laying around.
In today’s WWE, the boiler room match would be suited well for Superstars like Rusev, Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, and brawlers like Baron Corbin. The match can easily be reintroduced to WWE audiences and be used as a great way to boost the ratings of an episode of WWE Raw or SmackDown.
9 Classic Steel Cage Match
It’s time for the WWE to go old school and bring back the classic Steel Cage match. Not the chain link fence cage, but the unforgiving blue bars that were used for so many years. The concept of a steel cage used to be one of the main WWE specialty matches, but now it’s become fodder when compared to bigger matches like the Hell in a Cell and the Elimination Chamber.
Bringing back the classic steel cage can be a part of an old school SmackDown or Raw. It would fit well on the SmackDown blue brand and could bring back classic memories like Hulk Hogan versus King Kong Bundy or Mankind versus Triple H. The cage is an instant sign of WWE nostalgia and older fans would love seeing it get put to use again.
8 Empty Arena Match
The WWE Halftime Heat show was popular for the crazy and chaotic Empty Arena Match featuring The Rock and Mick Foley. It was strange to see a match without a wrestling crowd, but the unique circumstances can certainly create a lot of drama in the current WWE landscape. This no-holds-barred could return to the WWE and feature all types of Superstars like Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, A.J. Styles and Dean Ambrose to name a few.
The WWE creative team could really make it interesting to see how the empty arena is utilized. The women’s division could even make use of this concept. Sasha Banks and Charlotte have both fought all over the arena – now imagine the same scenario in an empty arena.
7 Inferno Match
There’s something that feels raw and exciting about surrounding a WWE ring with giant flames. Sure, it feels a little more Hollywood than the WWE, but part of the appeal is the larger-than-life appearance of the flames and intensity that comes with the match. Bringing back the Inferno Match is a great way to cap off Kane’s career or use it for new supernatural characters like Bray Wyatt and Finn Balor.
The most recent form of the Inferno Match was the 2013 SummerSlam. The match was referred to as a Ring of Fire match because the flames were there, but the match ended by pin instead of lighting your opponent on fire. It’s time to bring the match back to a point where your opponent must be burned to win, that'll get all our hearts racing!
6 Championship Scramble Match
The 2008 WWE Unforgiven featured not one, but three Championship Scramble matches. Overcrowding the card with these matches made the gimmick quickly lose appeal, but with the split brands, there is a better opportunity for this to return with success. The 20 minute match starts off with two competitors and features a new entrant appear at every five minute mark. Every successful pin attempt would award a person as the current winner until the time runs out.
The current WWE Raw roster has the perfect blend of Superstars to feature in this match. Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Braun Strowman, and Roman Reigns could all compete against each other in a compelling and competitive match with a lot of twists, surprises, and great potential finishes.
5 Gimmick Battle Royal
Old school wrestling fans love to watch a gimmick battle royal. These matches feature a collection of former wrestlers that come back to the WWE for one night of fun and excitement. One of the more prominent gimmick battle royals took place at WrestleMania X-Seven and featured former stars like Typhoon and The Iron Sheik. WrestleMania 33 is an ideal time to bring the match back and feature some forgotten stars from the past.
An Attitude Era Gimmick Battle Royal would be a great match. It could feature the return of former stars like Ken Shamrock, D’Lo Brown, The Godfather, Gangrel, and other stars that thrived in the Attitude Era. Even more recent stars like Carlito and Santino Marella could make brief returns to be featured in the fun gimmick match. Who knows, it can also lead to a permanent return for some.
4 Texas Bullrope Match
The Texas Bullrope match is a brutal, bloody, and raw battle that can help culminate a bitter rivalry between Superstars. One of the greatest versions of this match took place at the 2004 Great American Bash. Eddie Guerrero and JBL got bloodied and violent when each Superstar fought passionately for the WWE Championship. The key to winning this match is to be the first Superstar to touch all four turnbuckles before your opponent.
This match is battle of strengths and smarts. It would be fun to see competitors like Sami Zayn and Braun Strowman go head to head in this type of match. The concept is great for the Extreme Rules Pay Per View and an ideal way to extend a feud between two WWE heated rivals.
3 Holiday-Themed Brawls
Every year when the holidays roll around, the WWE loves to get in on the fun with a variety of special themed fights. Examples from the past include the Miracle on 34th Street Fight and the Trick or Street Fight. These fun gimmicks are great to watch because they include unique weapons that are different than a typical steel chair or table.
In past versions of these matches, we’ve seen gift wrapped presents, Christmas trees, and pumpkins all get used as fun weapons. It’s a great mid-card match that can help future talents showcase some of their in-ring skills while drawing a little extra attention with the fun gimmick. WWE has the whole calendar year to expand these matches for different holidays like Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day as well.
2 Parking Lot Brawl
When a wrestling ring isn’t enough to contain opponents, it’s time to take it to the parking lot. A parking lot brawl is awesome to watch because of the unpredictable nature that comes with cars, windshields, and no-holds-barred violence. The rules are simple – there are no rules and a winner is declared with a pinfall victory. Along with cars, many Superstars stand around to watch this match and cheer on their fellow Superstars as they compete.
There have been numerous parking lot brawls in the past. One of the more memorable in recent years was a battle between John Cena and Eddie Guerrero. Along with using vehicles as weapons, the Superstars brought shovels into the chaos. There are so many current stars that would fare well in this environment. Kevin Owens would be great. It would be awesome to see his Pop-Up Powerbomb performed on the hood of a car.
1 I Quit Match
Sometimes a pin or submission is not enough for a Superstar to win. They want to take things a step further and force their opponent to quit. With the live microphone, no rules, and some of the most violent matches in WWE history, it’s time for the “I Quit” match to return. We’ve seen The Rock take on Mankind and Matt Hardy take on Jeff Hardy in this stipulation. Now it’s time for the new era of stars to showcase what this type of match truly means.
An “I Quit” match would be great for Superstars like Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Dolph Ziggler. This is the type of match that fits perfectly for Superstars that are constantly doing anything to push their limits. It would be a great summer match as WrestleMania feuds extend and WWE Championships are on the line.
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