Exploding Barbed Wire & 9 Other Gimmick Matches We’ll Never See In WWE

Every so often, a feud or a program between two superstars can devolve into a gimmick match. Nothing can stop the men from tearing each other limb from limb within the confines of a steel cage, or anything goes No Holds Barred, or Pinfalls Count Anywhere. There’s even the dreaded Hell In A Cell or an Elimination Chamber.

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But not every single stipulation or gimmick match that has been held in wrestling history has made it to the WWE. Some are just too violent for any era of the WWE, some far too silly. However, some matches could have been good had they not been ruined by ridiculous booking.

10Exploding Barbed Wire

Barbed Wire

Perhaps the most recent gimmick match on this list was AEW reviving an old Death Match concept of the Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match. Jon Moxley challenged Kenny Omega for the gold at Revolution. Fans will forever bemoan how it ended, forsaking the violence that preceded the final few moments. The WWE has had plenty of brawls that would include barbed wire, but a match that’s built around the ring exploding? That’s not the kind of spectacle WWE has ever expressed interest in.

9Taipei Death Match


Technically, a closed fist in a wrestling match is illegal. Couple that with just the mere concept of a Taipei Death Match sounds completely absurd for a WWE ring to contain. Two competitors tape up their fists, dip them in glue, and then in a vat of glass shards.

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If that doesn’t scream too extreme for WWE, fans haven’t paid much attention over the years. Even during the Attitude Era, a match like this would be too bloody and dangerous for the WWE to even consider.

8Lightbulb Match

Light Bulb

On a recent episode of Dark Side Of The Ring, fans learned about the story of Deathmatch wrestler, Nick Gage wrestled the incomparable David Arquette in a Deathmatch that saw the former WCW champion have a lightbulb sticking out of his neck and blood spitting out of his body. Lightbulb matches have been a Deathmatch staple for years. But they’re far too unnecessary for a WWE ring. Sure, they break real easy and it produces a great effect, but shards of glass can fly anywhere, and that includes the crowds when they return.

7Bread On A Pole

Bread On A Pole

From the dangerous to the completely ridiculous. Japanese promotion DDT (Dramatic Dream Team) has been known to poke fun at some of the stranger aspects of professional wrestling over the years (Silence Match, anyone?). None are more absurd than a Bread On A Pole Match. Take Vince Russo’s favorite style of gimmick match and multiply it about 10 times. Several loaves of bread dangle from the rafters for competitors to eat, beat on their opponents with, and generally anything they could think to do with yeast’s greatest yield.



Just like Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon before her, former TNA head Dixie Carter tried her best to be a great on-air character. Dixie even introduced a gimmick match all of her own – Dixieland! The match was a Steel Cage-Ladder Match, because those two matches are pretty cool, we might as well smush them together.

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Escape the cage, fight outside of it, never even get in it. None of the cage action even mattered. It was all about getting to the top of the ramp and then climbing the ladder to get the title. If your match concept takes longer than an elevator pitch, chances are it’s not going to happen in a WWE ring.

5King Of The Road

King Of The Road

The backstage history of The King Of Road sometimes underscores how fun one of wrestling’s first cinematic matches actually was. While it is definitely the match that cost both Dustin Rhodes and The Blacktop Bully their jobs for bleeding, the match was a unique one for its time.

At the very first Uncensored, the two men fought inside the cab of an 18 Wheeler. With the grand production values WWE has, this is actually a match that the company could pull off and make look like a true Hollywood action scene, but thanks to the debacle of the original, there’s no chance in hell that it’s ever riding back into town.

4Chamber Of Horrors

Some call the eight-man tag team match that opened Halloween Havoc 1991, “The Chamber Of Horrors Match”. Most call it a comedy of errors. Never mind the fact that there was no way WCW was going to be able to fulfill the promise of someone getting seriously electrocuted via Electric Chair, but the notion got even worse when the handle for the chair kept falling down during the match.

Cactus Jack did all he could to fix the issue. But it just looked comical with him just putting the handle back up during the match. Why WWE would set The Fiend on fire and not have this crazy cage could be a little head-scratching, but the mere fact that the WWE didn’t come up with it is why fans will never see it again.

3Scaffold Match


Considering all of the accidents that have happened in wrestling and all that could happen in wrestling, there’s just no reason to add more possibilities for terrible things to happen like falling off of a scaffold. The NWA had several scaffold matches over the years, including headlining a Starrcade (Night Of The Skywalkers). Despite the wild things WWE Superstars do and can do, hopping up on a thin platform to gingerly pull off not even half of their move sets just doesn’t make any sense.

2Doomsday Cage


The three-tiered Doomsday Cage should evoke instant feelings of ominous terror. But instead, it brings to mind “wrestlecrap” hilarity. Perhaps because the match featured Hogan and Savage against 83 guys – The Alliance To End Hulkamania.

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The match saw the two stars battling their way against the likes of Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Meng, and The Barbarian all the way down to Z-Gangsta and The Ultimate Solution. The team needed The Booty Man to save them with frying pans to use as weapons – yes, it’s one of the worst PPV main events of all time.

1San Francisco 49ers Match


Had Vince Russo come up with this concept during his run in WWE, perhaps the chairman could have fine-tuned this idea into a thing of beauty. The 49ers match featured not one, but four items on poles, inside of boxes. Inside one of them was the WCW Title. But instead of substantial items, inside of the other boxes were only items that Vince Russo could come up with, such as blow-up dolls and autographed pictures of Scott Hall.

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