At what point do wrestling and sports entertainment just become complete and utter nonsense? When wrestlers are literally risking their lives for fans’ hard-earned dollars. In reality, they’re actually always risking their lives and livelihoods just by entering the ring. That said, the men and women do their best to mitigate the kind of harm they could do to each other. “We don’t hurt each other, we make it look we hurt each other...” is what Bobby Heenan was once told when he was smartened up to the business.
A good hardcore match just ups the stakes, but there’s a level that plenty of superstars just shouldn’t go to. Plenty of performers have over the years, but you’re still not going to see these types of matches in the WWE. Here are the 10 Craziest Match Types WWE Will Never Do.
10 Taipei Death Match
With all due respect to the Bad Breed, Axl and Ian Rotten, and ECW owner, Paul Heyman; the very definition of unnecessary is having a “Taipei Death Match.” The two brawlers would have certainly had a bloody brawl at Hardcore Heaven, but ECW decided to up the stakes - tape their fists, dip them in glue, and then in shards of glass.
There’s really not much else to say. If you think Vince would have put something like this on his shows, you’re either not paying attention or just wishfully thinking the old man will lose his marbles one day.
9 Lightbulb Death Match
The bottom line on all of these matches on this list or any of the other ones is that the WWE will never book something that doesn’t make any sense in the storylines and more importantly - completely unsafe.
Thumbtacks are one thing but having giant fluorescent light tubes to smash across an opponent's back is a completely different story. It’s not safe at all and not just for the wrestlers, as a shard of glass could easily fly into the crowd.
8 Scaffold Match
Perhaps if the WWE actually wanted to do a Scaffold Match their gurus would figure out a way to do it. Even with an old-school fan like Triple H running the show and producers like Michael Hayes, who has seen actual Scaffold Matches during their career, on the payroll; few are singing the praises of having to gingerly work a match on a rickety platform where the goal is to heave your opponent over.
7 Piranha Death Match
If nothing else, a Piranha Death Match is likely to give PETA, the WWF, and whatever other animal activists a coronary. Furthermore, piranhas are actually considered herbivores, and more importantly - who wants to have a giant fishbowl in the middle of the ring!
Plenty of these matches have taken place in Japan over the years, they’re usually accompanied by all kinds of other hardcore plunder. Maybe if R-Truth has to defend the 24/7 Title at an aquarium, WWE may consider attempting something similar. Otherwise, this match is never going to happen in WWE.
One of the strange and demented charms of TNA or Impact is the ability to take any concept and try to turn it into complete and sheer lunacy. Dixieland was one of these high concept matches that makes little to no sense to anyone except TNA.
Dixieland is the marriage between a Steel Cage and Ladder Match. The wrestlers must first climb out of the cage, then drag their bodies up the entrance ramp to climb the ladder to get the title dangling from the ceiling. An outlandish concept that WWE would never spend their time trying to adapt.
5 Ultimate X
Take a title belt and hang it from the top of the arena. All the combatants in the match have to do to win is get the title. Sounds like a Ladder Match, only it isn’t. It’s TNA’s signature match - Ultimate X.
Above the ring are usually ring ropes in the shape of an X that the wrestlers can climb and shimmy their way over to the title. Similar to the Scaffold Match, this is a little too strange (as far as wrestling is concerned) for the WWE to bring to their ring. Besides, they have 850 ladders in a match, they have no use for suspended ring ropes.
4 Shark Cage Match
There are actually two types of Shark Cage Matches. The first features a manager suspended above the ring, locked inside of one. But then there’s a match that has actually taken place inside of the very small space.
As far as the Internet is concerned, not a lot of these have happened. But there is at least one match you can find with Chief Jay Strongbow. The match seems more like a joke than anything else.
3 Exploding Ring Match
In the world of Hardcore Wrestling, it doesn’t get more death-defying than an Exploding Ring Match. One of WWE’s main mantras is “don’t try this at home.” They’re definitely not going to want to have rings rigged with low-level C4.
If you want to see a good one, might as well start at the top and watch the best one. From FMW’s King Of The Deathmatch, the tournament's final match was none other than Terry Funk and Cactus Jack in a No Rope, Barbed Wire, Exploding Ring Deathmatch.
2 Barbed Wire Match
The closest WWE has ever come to surrounding the ring in Barbed Wire was at No Way Out 2005. The main event that night was JBL defending the WWE title against the Big Show in a cage that had Barbed Wire surrounding the top of the cage.
While that was an impressive sight to see, gruesome matches like “Born To Be Wired,” featuring Funk and Sabu, won’t be replicated on a WWE TV show. While they might have the occasional barbed wire board, they’re not going to risk having to cut wrestlers loose of the razor wire.
1 King Of The Road Match
Matches out of the ring like at The Hardy Compound are always fun, but a match involving two men wrestling inside of an 18-Wheeler is not as fun as you’d think. Even if filmed ahead of time, a King Of The Road Match probably won’t be seen ever again.
Dustin Rhodes and The Blacktop Bully pulled off a passable version in WCW, but the concept was also way too old-school Memphis for the slick WWE production machine.