Match Made In Hell: 5 Stipulations We Hope Never To See Again

Nathan Hilditch

WWE have announced the return of one of their most brutal match stipulations – Wargames. The match is set to feature on NXT takeover on the 18th November and will be its first broadcast for 20 years.

The Stipulation consists of two rings and two cages, with two teams entering at a staggered rate. The match switches from 1v1, to handicap, to tornado tag and so forth until all wrestlers are in the cage. This is when the match begins, the first team to record a KO, submission or forfeit is declared the winner.

There are no pinfalls and no disqualification which attributed to its brutal nature. Considering WWE is striving to attract a family audience these days, it is a surprise to see this stipulation return.

It will definitely be entertaining, though, and it’s not the worst stipulation WWE have ever conceived. Here are five match stipulations we’d be even more surprised to see make a return to our screen – because they were terrible the first time around.

House of Horrors Match

Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton, Payback ‘17
As recently as this year we were treated to one of the worst matches in WWE history. Randy Orton was the unfortunate star who had to visit Bray Wyatt’s house of horrors en route to Payback. Any superstar that didn’t make it back to the ring in half an hour would forfeit the match. The footage was obviously pre-recorded, neither superstar could possibly complete the match otherwise. This immediately shattered the illusion and made the segment pointless, but this wasn’t the worst thing about it.

The ‘House of Horrors’ section consisted of nothing more than Orton searching various rooms. Each time Wyatt would jump out, attack Orton then ran away. Orton would then pick himself up and proceed to the next room for more of the same. The set was decorated with lame horror cliches and ridiculous camerawork did little to salvage it. The biggest horror of the whole thing was for the audience who had paid good money to watch this on the titantron.

Texas Bullrope Match

JBL vs Eddie Guerrero, Great American Bash ‘04
This was one of many variations on a strap match, all of which are terrible. The Texas twist was derived from JBL’s character, making the holds looser and clunky. JBL and Eddie Guerrero played out one of the greatest rivalries in WWE history which is why this was so disappointing. It was another great showing from the two performers but it couldn’t save one of the worst stipulations to come out of the show. Competitors are tied together via a rope and must hit each of the four corners of the ring in succession to win.

Lights were meant to signal which corners were hit, but technical issues added to the disappointment. Lights flickered, failed to light up and even lit up the wrong colour making it unclear what was going on. The stars took turns lighting three of four lights only to be thwarted at the last moment. The action was monotonous and a decision reversed after the bell on a technicality was an unwelcome end.

Arkansas Hog Pen Match

Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs Henry O. Goodwin, In Your House ‘95
Another match based on a character’s personality and another blunder: Henry O. Goodwin’s initials spelt hog, which was the basis for his character and unfortunately this match. The winner would be the man who managed to throw his opponent into a pig pen – containing live pigs! Similar to an ambulance match, the pen was positioned down the entrance ramp. Making any in-ring action void and resulting in a repetitive slog up and down the ramp. A young HHH was force-fed pig slop and both men ended the match covered in muck. It was not a pleasant watch.

Kennel from Hell Match

Al Snow vs Boss Man, Unforgiven ‘99
They say never work with children or animals, WWE clearly didn’t learn their lesson from the Hog Pen. The Kennel from Hell match tops many lists of the worst individual matches of all time. In short, Boss Man killed Al Snow’s dog and fed it to him, so Al demanded a Hell in a Cell/Rottweiler hybrid. There were two cages with a patrol of Rottweiler’s in between: first superstar to escape wins. Doesn’t sound too bad, but these dogs weren’t exactly the ferocious man-eaters they were billed to be.

The dogs were friendly and docile which resulted in one of the most painfully choreographed pieces of pseudo-drama you will find. Two of the meanest superstars on the roster cowered and ran from the stationary creatures. Commentators did their best to ramp up the drama, but the footage did not match the frightened cries of concern. The dogs may have befouled themselves ringside but they were the only ones, in this un-intimidating depiction of hell.

Blindfold Match

Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts vs Rick Martel, Wrestlemania 7
If you can’t see, you can’t fight, seems obvious but this stipulation somehow made it past testing. We can’t imagine when this was ever a good idea, it must be up there with the worst Wrestlemania moments. Both men were blindfolded, which resulted in 15 minutes of them fumbling around, trying to find each other. If you like your wrestlers grasping at thin air and pointing in various directions, this is the match for you. But if you’re with the rest of humanity, you’ll quickly lose interest in this non-event. You could count the number of moves executed on one hand. The main highlight was Rick Martel mistakenly striking the ring post with a chair, which tells the whole story.

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