CREATE A GIMMICK MATCH CHALLENGE: The 22 Best Reader-Submitted Ideas

Eric Stein

If you don’t like ’em, don’t blame me…blame yourselves.

22) MAN OVERBOARD MATCH *As submitted by Darryl Stewart*

A battle royal held on a boat in which the only way to be eliminated would be being thrown overboard.  

(This is a new spin on a classic Battle Royal.  Sure, it’s a logistical nightmare.  During my time at WWE, I had to arrange for permits to clear a body of water for our usage…it’s a royal pain.  But it’s been done…Bash at the Beach, Rock/Austin throwing the belts in the water, Chavo vs Punk…and this would be a lot of fun to watch)

21) COWBELL MATCH *As submitted by Jake Pentley*

There would be a cowbell suspended from a pole in the corner.  Whenever someone climbed up and rang it, it would signal a "random" interference – which could be either for you or against you.

(Simple enough concept, but one that would work well.  Take the current HHH/Batista/Shane vs Legacy storyline.  This would be a way to regulate the interference.  Plus, it fixes one of the aspects of ladder matches or "on a pole" matches that do not work…in this match, the match doesn’t end when the cowbell is rung, hence the wrestlers don’t need to pretend to climb slowly to access it…it can be an all out sprint to ring the bell as often as they can get to it)


This is a finisher finisher match, in which you must use your opponent’s finisher in order to get the win.

19) STEEL CAGE REVERSE BATTLE ROYAL *As submitted by Chris Prantzalos*
Ten wrestlers fight inside a steel cage with doors in each of the four corners.  The winner is the first to escape the cage either through one of the four doors or over the cage. I believe this could create some intense action, as well as some suspense because there would be so many different ways the match could go.

(There’s no doubt that this would be exciting.  Sure, it’s quite similar to several existing concepts, but it’s another new twist on an old classic.  By not allowing pinfalls/submissions, and having 9 guys to foil someone’s attempt at escape…multiple wrestlers trying to escape at once…it would be action packed.)

18) CHINESE BUFFET MATCH *As submitted by Anthony Cox*
On all four sides of the ring are buffet tables full of different assortments of chinese food (egg rolls, fried rice, general tso’s, you name it).  The goal is to stick the opponents face in all 4 trays of the food on each side then toss the opponent into the ring where the loser will have to be douse in giant bottles of duck sauce by the winner.  

(This made me kinda hungry.  Personally, I would have preferred if they needed to clear all 4 of their platters….only eating when they’ve incapacitated their opponent enough to get some bites in.)

17) LAST BLOOD BATTLE ROYAL *As submitted by Drue B.*
Object is to make every other opponent bleed.  Last one to not bleed wins.  

(This seems like an Indy gimmick, plus borderline unsafe…but what a glorious blood bath it would be.)

16) QUEEN OF THE RING *As submitted by Raymond Childs*

(Completely self explanatory, but sounds cool to me.  Instead of having an AWFUL battle royal or a 20 woman Bra & Panties tag match, this would actually be a great way to showcase the women’s division)

15) WALK THE PLANK MATCH *As submitted by Ben Franklin*

The ring is modified to look like a pirate ship with masts where the ring posts are and sails on the side apron.  The match starts off as a ladder match, whereby the participants must retrieve a treasure chest from above the ring. Once a participant is successful they can open the chest, and use the weapon(s) inside it such as hooks, rapiers, wooden planks etc, and the match continues under similar to casket match rules, as you must make your opponent walk the plank into their awaiting vessel to beat them. 

*As submitted by Joshua Williams and Josh from the WZ forums respectively*

One man from each team starts out in  a battle royal type match. Once a member of a team is eliminated, another member of said team replaces them.  This continues until a team is eliminated.  This is intended to be competed with multiple "gangs" which are teams of four.  No more than six people will be in the ring at a time.  
Two teams of five (or ten or however many) surround the ring and the first two men enter.  Elimination occurs via normal means.  Once an elimination occurs, the next member of a team enters and the match continues.  Victory occurs when one team has been entirely eliminated.

(These were both similar concepts.  In essence, these are elimination matches without tagging out.  You compete until you are eliminated.  So it’s as if both sides are running a gauntlet against each other)

13) MUST PIN EACH MEMBER OF A 3 or 4 WAY MATCH *As submitted by Tomas Freeman*

(Rather than having to defeat just one member of the match or rather than even each member having to be eliminated, the variation here is that the winner of the match must record a fall over each other participant.  Hence, the first person to record a victory over each other opponent wins.  Seems to me that would be a very fair and decisive way to have a multi-person title defense)

12) BRIDGE OVER HELL MATCH *As submitted by Conor Hughes*
Similar to an Ultimate X match, however instead of cables there is a wobbly bridge that the competitors must walk across and grab the title hanging above the middle. The bridge has small ropes hanging from the bottom in order for the wrestlers to shake it while an opponents on it or to use to swing off of as part of a spot.  Certain plank in the bridge would be rickety or fall apart as you step on them. 

(Sounds like a modern day scaffold match to me…not necessarily the most innovative idea, but it’s a cool visual that could have some great spot potential)

11) HAMSTER CAGE MATCH *As submitted by Brandon Baker*
Imagine a huge human-sized hamster cage type contraption with different layers, tubes,  tunnels, ladders, cages etc. leading to different parts of the "cage."  Tons of hardcore toys like chairs, ladders, tables etc would be scattered throughout the cage but that would be the basic concept. 

(Well, aside from costing a trillion dollars, this could look really cool.  Like some sort of crazy Rube Goldberg type of mega contraption.  I say in order to take it all the way, why not add some cedar chips and a running wheel as well?)

10) STEEL CAGE LADDER MATCH *As submitted by several readers*

(Several readers sent variations on this concept.  This falls under the category of it’s so simple it just might work.  It’s honestly hard to fathom that these gimmicks have never been put together before.  Some versions had the ladder being inside of the cage to assist in retrieving something hanging from the cage, while some had it being on top of the cage itself.  Either way, the spots are endless and this is a marriage that would be very effective.  This is bound to happen at some point.)

9) AQUARIUM MATCH *As submitted by Ric Moore*

The wrestlers would be inside of a human sized aquarium approximately 15-20 feet high with four to 5 and a half feet of water inside of it.  So imagine a large glass enclosure/tank, filled like a shallow end of a pool.  The only way to win is to climb up the cargo nets placed on the aquarium walls and over the top to victory.

(Unlike the other water-based ideas, this match would be very feasible to actually pull off.  Plus, there’s the added bonus that nobody would die.  In essence, I view this as an escape-style cage match that takes place inside of a water tank.  Sounds cool to me)

8) HAVE A NICE DAY MATCH *As submitted by Eddie Gonzalez*

It starts with two wrestlers sleeping in the same hotel room, each of them on their own bed across the room from each other.  Security guards stay up in the same room to make sure none of them wake up to destroy each other before the match starts.  Six hours later the security leaves as a ref and timekeeper come in. The timekeeper rings the bell (I suggest an alarm clock) waking up the competitors and officially starting the match. Anything in the hotel room can be utilized as a weapon. The winner is the first to complete a series of three tasks…brush their teeth for two minutes, take a shower, and shave.

(I very much question the logic of why in the world they need to sleep in the same room together…how odd.  However, the idea of trying to complete day to day tasks while somebody beats the snot out of you is really funny.  It would allow for innovative comedy and violence.)

7) CAPTURE THE BRIEFCASE MATCH *As submitted by Victor Lambert*

Kinda like capture the flag.  Like in first person shooter games, two groups of wrestlers (maybe 10 each) look to capture their opponents’ briefcase and return it safely to their base. Bases are set up on opposite sides of the arena and the briefcase must be brought to the center of the ring before proceeding to the enemy base. The first team to capture their opponents’ briefcase wins. 

(I like the idea of a wrestler getting hold of the briefcase, only to have his opponents stop his progress en route to the ring.  Some wrestlers could stay back to defend their zone, while others were sent into enemy territory to retrieve the opposing briefcase.  Could be cool strategy involved)

6) HARDCORE HOUSE SCAVENGER HUNT *As submitted by Andrew Schinkel*
I know it sounds a little crazy and that’s cause it is. You have about 6 to 8 wrestlers waiting on the outside of a huge mansion. When the bell rings the wrestlers enter the house to search for the championship they are fighting for. The title will be hidden somewhere in the house and the first one to find the title and escape from the house with the title in hand will be declared the winner.  Imagine the chaos! Wrestlers could be slammed through dinning room and kitchen tables, thrown through doors, windows, or walls, smashed over the head with tv’s, lamps, or computers, thrown down the stairs, it would be awesome.

(This is obviously logistically very difficult…can’t be filmed in front of a live audience and the destruction of even a worked prop house would be mighty expensive.  But looking past that part, it’d sure be a lot of run.  The level of pure destruction and damage, in addition to a slew of new and novel environments/weapons to utilize, would make for a highly entertaining hardcore spot fest.)

5) LAST MAN IN THE RING MATCH *As submitted by Joe Fino*
A 4-way (or more) match, in which the only way to win is to become the ONLY person in the ring. Thus, there is no elimination, no over-the-top rule, No-DQ, no pinfall, and no submission.  Simply the only way to be victorious it be the only person in the ring. Thus, if two people are in the ring, those outside can still compete as long as one man is not left in the ring alone.

(Simple does it once again.  Having multiple superstars scrambling to try to make sure they stay in the ring and holding on for dear life to make sure they don’t exit the ring at certain times could make for a very exciting, lightning quick match.  This could be done very easily, very realistically, but still would yield excitement.  I give kudos for the simplicity still yielding an effective concept.)


(This is extremely simple…extremely self-explanatory…and a really good idea.  When I brainstorm, I often think too high concept.  Honestly, sometimes the best ideas are right under your nose.)

3) BURNING LIGHT MATCH *As submitted by Matthew Robertson*

The match can take any basic framework of rules that you want (no DQ, iron man, etc.).  The main twist is that a wrestler can only get a pinfall or submission when when the house lights are their designated color.  Each wrestler would be assigned a color (say red and blue) and the lights would change colors either at timed interval or at the the time keeper’s discretion.  The heel would get angry when he’s ready for the pin, but can’t go for it and the crowd laughs at him…or the face is ready for the pin just as the lights change

2) SURVIVOR SERIES RELAY RACE *As submitted by Rolf Crimsoncorn*
It’s a 5 on 5 tag team match.  When one member of a team scores a pinfall, they exit the match and they "hand the baton" and are replaced by their second teammate.  This continues as such until all five members of a team have scored a victory over a member of the other team.  When a person gets pinned, they are not eliminated from the match.  Only the successful pinner gains credit towards ending the match…there is no adverse affect on the pinnee.  The remaining 8 superstars who are not in the ring at a certain time will act as lumberjacks outside of the ring. 

(This is a pretty novel twist.  Much like an Iron Man match, I like how only the successful falls in your favor work towards being victorious and the defeats do not end the match or even take the person being pinned out of the match.  This would obviously be a loooong match, but under the right circumstances, it could be a slick concept.  Plus, you’d only be as good as your worst team member, which could make for interesting team dynamics.)  

1) WHEEL OF TORTURE *As submitted by Senor X*
This is intended to be a major feud-ending payoff.  Start with the gimmick wheel ala "Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal" (10 gimmicks appear on a "wheel of fortune type board – likely gimmicked to be easily manipulated).  In the original concept, the wheel was spun once and that dictated the match type.  Here, the wheel is spun at the start of the match and then again every five minutes thereafter until the match ends.  Each time the wheel is re-spun, the rules to the match change.  For example the match could start as a "No DQ" match…at the 5 minute minute mark the wheel is re-spun, just as someone is about to swing a chair (legal under no dq rules), the gimmick changes to "Submission Match" where a chair shot is a DQ and the person has to drop the chair.  Say a "first blood match" was on the wheel, wrestlers would need to try to stop the bleeding in case the gimmick landed on that.  Or say it’s a ladder match….and you are about to grab the briefcase, but alas, mere seconds before you do…it turns into a finisher vs finisher match.  Or in the midst of a falls count anywhere match, the gimmick could change to "Hell in a Cell" and as the cage begins to lower one wrestler could find themselves nearly pinned under the cage.   You get the idea…It would allow for incredibly intricate and novel booking possibilities.
Hit me up at to let me know which ones were your favorites/least favorites.  

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