Professional wrestling match types

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Many types of wrestling matches, sometimes called "concept" or "gimmick matches" in the jargon of the business, are performed in professional wrestling. Some of them occur relatively frequently, while others are developed so as to advance an angle, and such match types are used rarely. Because of professional wrestling's long history over decades, many things have been recycled (many match types often being variations of previous match types). These match types can be organized into several loose groups.


Singles matches[edit]

The singles match is the most basic of all professional wrestling matches, which involves only two competitors competing for one fall. Victory is obtained by pinfall, submission, knockout, countout or disqualification.

Variations of singles matches[edit]

In matches where championships are being contested, the champion typically (but not always) retains the title in the event of a disqualification or countout finish, no matter which competitor was disqualified or counted out in what is known as the "champion's advantage". Commentators and bookers generally explain it as saying the challenger "must beat" the champion. Playing into this, some storylines have heel champions protect their titles by intentionally losing in such ways.

Some of the most common variations on the singles match restrict the possible means for defeat: only pinfalls are permitted in a Pin only or Pinfall match, only submissions in a Submission match, etc. Another variation is a Time Limit match in which a match is contested until a time limit is reached or a wrestler achieves victory; in the event of the former, a separate method (audience reaction, judges, or even a rematch) is used to determine the winner. Time Limit matches were invented during the vaudeville days of professional wrestling as a way to stop matches that went on for too long (with some matches being hours long). A Battle of Respect is often held in tribute to another wrestler, where all means of victory are removed (that is, wrestlers simply wrestle each other for a fixed amount of time, without victory taken into consideration).

The following matches have their own articles due to being commonplace:

Team matches[edit]

Matches are often contested between two (or more) teams, most often consisting of two members each.

Tag team match[edit]

On most occasions, one member of the team competes in the ring with one or more of his/her teammate(s) standing behind the ropes. Wrestlers switch positions by "tagging" one another, usually similar to a high five and, as a result, these teams are referred to as tag teams. This can create tension during the match as an injured wrestler in the middle of the ring attempts to reach his/her teammate(s), often with the heel team preventing them from doing so. In typical tag team matches, standard wrestling rules apply with a match ending by pinfall, submission, countout, or disqualification.

Promotions usually have established tag teams that most often compete in team matches rather than singles matches, though teams will often break up to pursue a singles career, usually via a turn. Teams often consist of real-life friends or relatives. On other occasions, teams are booked together by promoters based on their face or heel alignment in order to increase the amount of wrestlers on the card or to advance multiple storylines at once.

Promotions, such as WWE, usually have a Tag Team Championship for a team of two wrestlers, and on rare occasion allies of the reigning tag team will be allowed to defend the title in the place of one of the reigning wrestlers under the Freebird Rule. Though common in Mexican lucha libre, at one point, World Championship Wrestling (WCW) had a championship for teams of three.

Tornado tag team match[edit]

Matches in which the entire team competes at once is often referred to as a tornado tag match, specifically in WWE. Matches can be held under standard rules or as a specialty match, such as a steel cage match or a ladder match.

Elimination tag team match[edit]

Tag team matches are occasionally held under elimination rules; that is, the losing wrestler is eliminated from the match, but his/her team is allowed to continue with their remaining members until all members of one team is eliminated.

One famous example of this match is the Survivor Series match held in WWE at their annual Survivor Series pay-per-view. Teams of four or five, though on some occasions as many as seven, compete under elimination rules. All other standard rules apply, and team members may tag in and out in any order. While some teams are already established stables, others may need to recruit members for their team.

In lucha libre promotions, a torneo cibernetico is a similar type of match between teams of up to eight wrestlers who enter in a predetermined order.

Winner Takes All match[edit]

A Winner Takes All match is a match where both wrestlers (or teams if a tag team match) are champions going into the match, and the winner receives the championship of the loser, thus "taking all".[1][2]

List of Winner Takes All matches in WWE[edit]

# Match Stipulations Event Date and Location Length
1 The Ultimate Warrior defeated Hulk Hogan Warrior's Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship, Hogan's WWF World Heavyweight Championship WrestleMania VI April 1, 1990
Toronto, Canada
2 Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H defeated The Undertaker and Kane Austin's WWF Championship, Triple H's Intercontinental Championship, and Undertaker and Kane's WWF Tag Team Championship Backlash April 29, 2001
Rosemont, Illinois
3 Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix defeated Kofi Kingston and Mickie James Kingston's Intercontinental Championship and James' WWE Women's Championship. SummerSlam August 17, 2008
Indianapolis, Indiana
4 Seth Rollins defeated John Cena Rollins' WWE World Heavyweight Championship and Cena's United States Championship. SummerSlam August 23, 2015
Brooklyn, New York

Empty Arena match[edit]

An Empty Arena match is a hardcore match between two or more wrestlers that takes place in an arena devoid of fans. The only people present are the competitors, referee, commentators, and cameramen. The match is broadcast, or videotaped and played later. An example of this is the WWF Championship match between The Rock and Mankind that took place during the WWF's Super Bowl halftime show on January 31, 1999. One of the earliest and best known Empty Arena match occurred in 1981 in Memphis, Tennessee at the Mid South Coliseum between Jerry Lawler and Terry Funk.[3] Empty Arena matches are rare, and usually accompany other, filled-arena matches, due to the cost of renting an arena and not selling tickets.

Falls Count Anywhere match[edit]

A Falls Count Anywhere match is a match where only pinfalls can take place in any location, negating the standard rule that they must take place inside the ring and between the ropes. As such, this also eliminates the usual "countout" rule. As the match may take place in various parts of the arena,[4] the "Falls Count Anywhere" provision is almost always accompanied with a "no disqualification" stipulation to make the match a hardcore match, so as to allow wrestlers the convenience to use any objects they may find wherever they wrestle.[5]

A variation of the rules states that once a pinfall takes place, the pinned wrestler would lose the match if he is unable to return to the ring within a specific amount of time — usually a referee's count of 10 or 30. If the pinned wrestler makes it to the ring in this time, the match continues. Under these rules, all pinfalls must take place outside of the ring, technically making the match no longer falls count anywhere.[6] Occasionally, this stipulation is listed as having a specific territory in which falls count (e.g. the state, county, or general location the match is in).[7]

A new variation of the stipulation, Submissions Count Anywhere, debuted at Breaking Point in a match between D-Generation X and The Legacy.

Generally, falls counting "anywhere" still has a de facto limitation that the falls occur somewhere inside the arena (due to the legitimate legal ramifications of having a wrestling match on a turf where the owner does not give his consent), but at St. Valentine's Day Massacre: In Your House, an extreme example occurred which saw Hardcore Holly pinned Al Snow literally on the banks of the Mississippi River.

Flag match[edit]

The Flag match is essentially the professional wrestling version of capture the flag. For the match two flags are placed on opposite turnbuckles, each representing a specific wrestler or team of wrestlers, and the objective of the match is to retrieve the opponent's flag and raise it while defending the flag in the wrestler's corner.[8]

An Anthem match is a variant of a Flag match with the added stipulation that the national anthem of the winning wrestler's or team's home country will be played in the arena after the match similar to an Olympic medal celebration. This can be used to promote patriotism for the face wrestler or heat for the heel wrestler.

Flag matches in WWE[edit]

# Match Event Date and Location Notes
1 Hulk Hogan defeated Nikolai Volkoff Saturday Night's Main Event October 3, 1985
East Rutherford, NJ
2 Nikolai Volkoff defeated Corporal Kirchner Saturday Night's Main Event January 4, 1986 (taped December 19, 1985)
Tampa, Florida
3 Corporal Kirchner defeated Nikolai Volkoff WrestleMania 2 April 7, 1986
Rosemont, Illinois
4 Jim Duggan defeated Boris Zuhkov Saturday Night's Main Event November 26, 1988 (taped November 16, 1988)
Sacramento, California
5 Team Canada (Bret Hart, Owen Hart and The British Bulldog) defeated Team USA (Stone Cold Steve Austin, Dude Love and The Undertaker) Raw Is War July 21, 1997
Halifax Nova Scotia
6 Bret Hart and The British Bulldog defeated Vader and The Patriot Badd Blood: In Your House October 5, 1997
St. Louis, Missouri
7 Jim Duggan defeated Daivari Raw September 17, 2007
Nashville, Tennessee
8 Ted DiBiase defeated Hunico SmackDown January 20, 2012
Las Vegas, Nevada
9 Rusev defeated Jack Swagger by knockout SummerSlam August 17, 2014
Los Angeles, California

Handicap match[edit]

A handicap match is any match where one wrestler or team of wrestlers face off against a team of wrestlers with numerical superiority such as two against one, three against two etc. Normally the babyfaces are outnumbered with the heels having more members on their team to provide an unfair advantage.[9] In some two-on-one handicap matches, the team with superior numbers act under tag team rules, with one person in the ring at a time. In others, such as tornado tag team matches, all competitors are in the ring at the same time.[10] In the 1980s and 1990s, handicap matches were used in preliminary matches involving large star wrestlers (usually heels), such as King Kong Bundy, Big Van Vader or Yokozuna, who —as a way to get a monster heel persona/gimmick over with the crowd — would completely dominate their opponents despite the latter's superiority in numbers.

At Survivor Series in November 2010, Lay-Cool lost the Divas Championship to Natalya in a 2-on-1 handicap match.

Iron Man match[edit]

Main article: Iron Man match

An Iron Man Match is a multiple-fall match with a set time limit. The match is won by the wrestler who wins the most falls within the said time limit, by either pinfall, submission, disqualification, or countout. A recent example being the first ever female Iron Man match at NXT TakeOver: Respect where Bayley the NXT Women's Champion, faced Sasha Banks in a 30 minute main event match

Lumberjack match[edit]

In keeping with the theme, the wrestlers outside the ring may wear flannel shirts during lumberjack matches; an example of this is 1–2–3 Kid, circa 1995

A lumberjack match is a standard match with the exception that the ring is surrounded by a group of wrestlers not directly involved in it.[11] These wrestlers, known collectively as lumberjacks 1– female wrestlers serving in this manner are sometimes called lumberjills 1– are there to prevent the wrestlers in the match from fleeing the ring.[11] The groups of lumberjacks are typically split up into groups of faces and heels who occupy opposing sides around the ring. Usually, the "opposing" lumberjacks (that is, face lumberjacks if the wrestler is a heel, and vice versa) swarm the wrestlers if they leave the ring and force them back in it. Occasional interference from the lumberjacks is not uncommon, or is an all-out brawl on the outside involving most of the lumberjacks. Early lumberjack matches even featured the lumberjacks wearing stereotypical lumberjack clothing in keeping with the lumberjack theme, though this is generally no longer done. A common theme is for the lumberjacks to consist entirely of heel wrestlers to stack the odds against the face competitor.

Variations of this match include the "Canadian" lumberjack match, in which the lumberjacks are equipped with leather straps, the "Extreme" lumberjack match, competed under Extreme Rules, and TNA's "Fan's Revenge" lumberjack match, during which fans equipped with straps act as lumberjacks and are encouraged to whip wrestlers.[12]

Strip matches[edit]

In two kinds of matches, a wrestler doesn't win by pinfall or submission, but only by stripping their opponent of their clothing.[13] Historically, these types of matches were contested between managers or valets, due to their supposed lack of wrestling ability. In the Attitude Era, however, full-time female wrestlers (known formerly as Divas in WWE) began engaging in strip matches for the purpose of titillation.

Bra and panties match[edit]

A bra and panties match is so named because it takes place between any number of female competitors, with the winner being the first to strip her opponent down to her bra and panties. For example, one of the first ever Bra and Panties matches, being a tag team match, pitted Lita & Trish Stratus, representing the WWF, against Stacy Keibler & Torrie Wilson, representing WCW, in WWF Invasion.

Tuxedo match[edit]

A tuxedo match is similar to the Bra and panties match, where the match is contested between two male competitors in tuxedos. To win, a wrestler must strip their opponent's tuxedo off.[14]

Evening Gown match[edit]

An evening gown match is similar to the bra and panties match, and is usually contested by two female competitors. The victor of the match is the wrestler who removes the evening gown of her opponent.[15][16][17]

Substance match[edit]

The match is contested in a large container filled with various substances, typically between two female individuals who may or may not have experience with wrestling. Substances can include anything from mud to chocolate milk. Sometimes, specialty substances are used for certain occasions e.g. gravy for Thanksgiving and egg nog for Christmas.

Non-wrestling matches[edit]

Occasionally, a match would take place under the rules of a different type of contest. Like professional wrestling matches, the matches would be worked, with the participants not being in the perceived danger and the winner being predetermined.

Arm wrestling match[edit]

An arm wrestling match, in the context of professional wrestling, is a form of a basic arm wrestling contest.[18]

Boxing match[edit]

The professional wrestling version of a boxing match has standard boxing rules applied to it. Wrestlers wear boxing gloves and the match is contested in rounds with fouls given out, though the matches are generally worked and end with one wrestler cheating and using wrestling maneuvers.[19]

Mixed martial arts match[edit]

The professional wrestling version of a mixed martial arts, or MMA, match has standard mixed martial arts rules applied to it. As in MMA, pinfalls are not a valid method of victory.

Pillow fight[edit]

A pillow fight is a match held between divas for which pillows and a bed are placed in the ring.[16] The pillows may be used as weapons, but other than that, standard wrestling rules apply. A variation, the Lingerie Pillow Fight, requires the participants to wear lingerie. Another variation, the Pajama Pillow Fight, requires the participants to wear pajamas.[16][20]

Sumo match[edit]

For a sumo match, the ropes are removed from the ring and standard sumo rules apply. The first person to step outside of the ring or touch the mat with any part of the body but the soles of the feet is the loser.[21]

Hardcore-based variations[edit]

Main article: Hardcore wrestling

Hardcore wrestling is a subset of professional wrestling where some, any, or all of the traditional rules do not apply. Most often this simply means there are no disqualifications, which itself eliminates countouts, allowing decisions to take place anywhere. Other common euphemisms for hardcore matches are Street Fight (which suggests wrestlers are to dress in normal street clothes), Extreme Rules match, Ultraviolent Rules match (hardcore rules matches exclusively in CZW that usual involve ladders, tables, steel folding chairs, thumbtacks, barbed wire, weed whackers, light tubes, and fire), HardKore X-Treme match (A version of the Hardcore match except weapons include flaming tables, flaming chairs, razor wire, sheets of glass and weapons wrapped in barbed wire), No Holds Barred match, Bimbo Brawl (involving female wrestlers in a hardcore match), and the Good Housekeeping match (which emphasized the use of kitchen implements as weapons).

Some promotions, such as Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling, the International Wrestling Association of Japan, International Wrestling Syndicate, Extreme Championship Wrestling, Big Japan Pro Wrestling, and Combat Zone Wrestling, have specialized in hardcore matches, with "standard" non-hardcore matches being the exception. World Championship Wrestling utilized the term Raven's Rules for hardcore matches involving the wrestler Raven. They also created their own specific brand of hardcore match, for which bouts were to begin backstage rather than in the ring.[22]

Barbed wire steel cage match[edit]

A barbed wire steel cage match is one of any number of matches that uses strands of barbed wire in some capacity. Simply using barbed wire in an otherwise regular steel cage match does not make the match a barbed wire steel cage match; the barbed wire must be part of the match's design. Another variations are the Razor Wire Steel Cage Match, a similar concept to that of the barbed wire cage match, however the barbed wire is replaced by razor wire and is wrapped around the top, corners, and walls of the cage, and Barbed wire Razor wire Steel Cage match is the same as the barbed wire cage match, however the top, corners, and walls of the cage are covered with barbed wire, further covered with razor wire.[23]

Clockwork Orange House of Fun match[edit]

The Clockwork Orange House of Fun match, known as Raven's House of Fun or House of Fun, was created by professional wrestler Raven (legitimately, as Raven pitched the idea himself to TNA's creative team). It is a singles match for which a chain link wall is erected on one side of the ring with chains wrapped from it to various points on the ring itself with weapons hanging from them.[24] In the first match the only way to win was to put an opponent through two tables after throwing them off "Raven's perch" (a small scaffold),[24] but afterwards it was changed to falls-count-anywhere rules.[25]

List of Clockwork Orange House of Fun matches[edit]

# Match Event Date and Location Length
1 Raven defeated The Sandman NWA TNA PPV 14:48
2 Shane Douglas defeated CM Punk NWA TNA PPV #51 February 7, 2003 14:25
3 Julio Dinero and Alexis Laree defeated Jeff Jarrett NWA TNA PPV April 16, 2003 9:39
4 Sonny Siaki vs. The Sandman ended in no Contest NWA TNA PPV #45 May 21, 2003 17:05
5 Raven, The Sandman and Erik Watts defeated Kevin Northcutt, Ryan Wilson and Joe E Legend NWA TNA PPV #71 November 19, 2003 13:48
6 Raven defeated Sean Waltman Hard Justice May 15, 2005 13:00
8 Raven, James Storm and Robert Roode defeated Rhino, Chris Harris and Frankie Kazarian Impact! August 9, 2007 N/A

Fans Bring the Weapons match[edit]

In a Fans Bring the Weapons match, all the weapons are provided by the fans prior to the show. Sometimes the weapons will be in the ring before the match starts, although occasionally weapons will be handed to the wrestlers during the action. This match type gained popular fame in the now defunct ECW.

First Blood match[edit]

A First Blood match is a no disqualification match where in order to win a wrestler has to make his opponent bleed. Or, rather, depending on the nuances of the promotion and the angle surrounding the match, the first person to bleed loses, regardless of source. There have been matches where bloody noses count. In a variation called Sadistic Madness, which was created by Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, the opponent must be bleeding before a wrestler can legally pin them. Although, there are no disqualifications, outside interference cannot be seen causing the participant to bleed.[26] A variation, the Doomsday Chamber of Blood, takes place inside of a barbed wire topped cage.[27]

List of First Blood matches in WWE[edit]

# Match Event Date and Location Length
1 Kane (with Paul Bearer) defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin to win the WWF Championship King of the Ring June 28, 1998
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2 Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated The Undertaker Fully Loaded July 25, 1999
Buffalo, New York
3 Chris Jericho defeated Ken Shamrock SmackDown! September 23, 1999
Dallas, Texas
4 X-Pac defeated Chris Jericho Raw Is War September 25, 2000
5 Kane and The Undertaker defeated Haku and Rikishi SmackDown! February 1, 2001
Columbus, Ohio
6 Booker T defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin SmackDown! December 18, 2001
New Orleans, Louisiana
7 Kurt Angle defeated John Cena Raw January 2, 2006
East Rutherford, New Jersey
8 Mr. Kennedy defeated The Undertaker Survivor Series November 26, 2006
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
9 Triple H defeated William Regal Raw January 7, 2008
Uncasville, Connecticut
10 John Cena defeated John Bradshaw Layfield One Night Stand June 1, 2008
San Diego, California

List of First Blood matches in WCW[edit]

# Match Event Date and Location Length
1 Ric Flair defeated Hollywood Hogan (steel cage match) Uncensored March 14, 1999
Louisville, Kentucky
2 Sting fought Vampiro a no contest Nitro April 24, 2000
Rochester, New York
3 The Harris Brothers (Don and Ron Harris) defeated KroniK (Brian Adams and Bryan Clark) (Chain match) Fall Brawl September 17, 2000
Buffalo, New York
4 Buff Bagwell defeated David Flair Halloween Havoc October 29, 2000
Las Vegas, Nevada
5 Shane Douglas defeated General Rection to win the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship (Chain match) Sin January 14, 2001
Indianapolis, Indiana

Last Man Standing match[edit]

The Last Man Standing match is a hardcore-style match where the only way to win is by knockout. That is, a wrestler will lose the match if they are unable to answer a ten-count after being downed, similar to the knockout ruling of a boxing match. To avoid losing, the downed wrestler must be on their feet by the count of 10, but they can't lose by leaving the ring for 10-count (ring out) if he is still on his feet while recovering.[28] In TNA, the five time TNA Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne defended her title in the first ever women's last standing match against her rival, Mickie James, at Against All Odds 2011. A similar type of match is the Texas Death match (aka. Mexican Death Match), where a wrestler must be pinned or forced to submit before the referee will begin the ten-count.[29][30]

List of Last Man Standing matches in WWE[edit]

# Match Event Date and Location Length
1 Mankind (c) vs. The Rock for the WWF Championship ended in a no contest St. Valentine's Day Massacre: In Your House February 14, 1999 22:00
2 Triple H defeated Chris Jericho Fully Loaded July 23, 2000 23:11
3 Chris Jericho defeated Kane Armageddon December 10, 2000 17:14
4 Shane McMahon defeated Big Show Backlash April 29, 2001 11:53
5 Kane defeated Shane McMahon Unforgiven September 21, 2003 19:42
6 Triple H (c) vs. Shawn Michaels for the World Heavyweight Championship ended in a no contest Royal Rumble January 25, 2004 22:46
7 John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Kurt Angle ended in a no contest SmackDown! January 27, 2005 N/A
8 Edge defeated Chris Benoit Backlash May 1, 2005 18:47
9 Triple H defeated Ric Flair Survivor Series November 27, 2005 27:01
10 The Undertaker defeated The Great Khali SmackDown! August 18, 2006 N/A
11 John Cena (c) defeated Umaga to retain the WWE Championship Royal Rumble January 28, 2007 23:09
12 The Undertaker (c) vs. Batista ended in a no contest for the World Heavyweight Championship Backlash April 29, 2007 20:23
13 Randy Orton defeated Triple H (c) to win the WWE Championship No Mercy October 7, 2007 20:25
14 Batista defeated Kane SmackDown! December 14, 2007 N/A
15 Triple H (c) defeated Randy Orton to retain the WWE Championship One Night Stand June 1, 2008 13:15
16 Big Show defeated Matt Jackson SmackDown October 17, 2008 N/A
17 The Undertaker defeated Big Show Cyber Sunday October 25, 2008 19:23
18 Chris Jericho defeated Shawn Michaels Raw November 11, 2008 N/A
19 Big Show defeated Triple H SmackDown January 9, 2009 N/A
20 Montel Vontavious Porter defeated Big Show SmackDown January 16, 2009 N/A
21 Edge defeated John Cena (c) to win the World Heavyweight Championship Backlash April 26, 2009 28:24
22 Randy Orton (c) vs. Triple H for the WWE Championship ended in a no contest Raw June 22, 2009 N/A
23 John Cena (c) defeated Batista to retain the WWE Championship Extreme Rules April 25, 2010 24:34
24 Edge (c) defeated Kane to retain the World Heavyweight Championship SmackDown January 7, 2011 N/A
25 Randy Orton defeated CM Punk Extreme Rules May 1, 2011 20:06
26 Alberto Del Rio (c) defeated John Cena to retain the WWE Championship Vengeance October 23, 2011 26:59
27 Alberto Del Rio defeated Big Show (c) to win the World Heavyweight Championship WWE SmackDown January 11, 2013 N/A
28 Alberto Del Rio (c) defeated Big Show to retain the World Heavyweight Championship Royal Rumble January 27, 2013 16:58
29 John Cena (c) vs Ryback for the WWE Championship ended in a no contest Extreme Rules May 19, 2013 21:26
30 Bray Wyatt defeated Jimmy Uso SmackDown May 30, 2014 N/A
31 John Cena defeated Bray Wyatt Payback June 1, 2014 25:24
32 Sheamus (c) defeated Alberto Del Rio to retain the United States Championship Main Event July 8, 2014 N/A
33 Roman Reigns defeated Kane Raw August 4, 2014 N/A
34 Roman Reigns defeated Big Show Extreme Rules April 26, 2015 19:46
35 Dean Ambrose (c) defeated Kevin Owens to retain the Intercontinental Championship Royal Rumble January 24, 2016 20:21

List of Last Man Standing matches in TNA[edit]

# Match Event Date and Location Length
1 Rhino defeated A.J. Styles Final Resolution (2007) January 14, 2007 14:44
2 A.J. Styles defeated Kurt Angle Hard Justice (2008) August 10, 2008 24:50
3 Bobby Lashley defeated Scott Steiner Final Resolution (2009) December 20, 2009 09:13
4 Mick Foley defeated Ric Flair TNA Impact October 7, 2010 13:16
5 Bully Ray defeated A.J. Styles Slammiversary IX June 12, 2011 20:18
6 A.J. Styles defeated Christopher Daniels Destination X (2012) July 8, 2012 17:41
7 Bully Ray defeated Mr. Anderson Hardcore Justice 3 January 10, 2014 13:01
8 Bobby Roode defeated Eric Young Impact Wrestling March 13, 2015 17:37
9 Bobby Roode defeated Lashley Hardcore Justice 4 April 1, 2015 13:00
10 Matt Hardy defeated Ethan Carter III for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship Impact Wrestling January 19, 2016 18:06
11 Ethan Carter III defeated Tyrus Impact Wrestling May 17, 2016 10:50

No countout match[edit]

A no countout match is a regular match where both competitors can stay outside of the ring or stay down for longer than the standard 10 or 20 seconds.[31]

No Holds Barred match[edit]

A No Holds Barred match, also known as a no disqualification match,[32] or sometimes as an Anything Goes match, Boot Camp match or Raven's Rules match, is a match where neither wrestler can be disqualified, allowing for weapons and outside interference.[33] The key differences between a No Holds Barred match and a standard hardcore match are that falls must be made in the ring and there is less emphasis on the use of weapons. A match that does not observe disqualifications, where pinfalls must take place in the ring, can also be known as an unsanctioned match, or street fight.

No Holds Barred matches may be used in feuds where a challenger may have won matches against the champion, but did not claim the championship because the champion was disqualified (championships may only change hands via pinfall or submission).

Taipei Deathmatch[edit]

A Taipei Deathmatch is a match where the wrestlers' fists are taped and dipped into glue and in broken and crushed glass, allowing shards to stick to their fists. Win by pinfall, submission or escape.[23][34]

Barbed Wire Massacre[edit]

A Barbed Wire Massacre Match is a match where the ring ropes replaced are barbed wire and the weapons themselves are wrapped in barbed wire as well. Made popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s by small American wrestling leagues, as well as overseas Japanese promotions during the 1990s.

Stipulation-based variations[edit]

As professional wrestling seeks to also tell a story, some matches are made solely for the purposes of advancing the plot. This typically involves the loser of a match being penalized in some way.

Elevation X match[edit]

An Elevation X match is a variation of the Scaffold match, where whoever falls off the scaffold is declared the loser. This match got its name from the scaffold itself, which is shaped like an X.

List of Elevation X matches[edit]

# Match Stipulations Event Date and Location Length
1 Rhino defeated A.J. Styles Destination X March 11, 2007 09:05
2 Rhino defeated James Storm Destination X March 9, 2008 13:18

Last Chance match[edit]

A Last Chance match, also called a Do or Die match, is a championship match where, if the challenger does not win the title, they are banned from challenging for it again as long as the winner of the same match holds it.[35] Rarely, the loser may even be barred from challenging for that title for as long as he remains employed at the company (a recent example of this is Slammiversary XI's main event where Sting would be defeated by defending champion Bully Ray in a No Holds Barred variant of this match and be barred from challenging for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship ever again no matter who holds it).

Loser Leaves Town match[edit]

Loser Leaves Town is a generic term for any match where the loser has to leave the current promotion or brand.[36] These matches were most often held during the "territorial days", when wrestlers frequently jumped from company to company. It was held with somewhat greater frequency (though still not nearly as common as in the past) in WWE during the brand extension, where the losing wrestler typically left the brand (Raw or SmackDown), only to go to the other brand.

Retirement match[edit]

The "retirement" stipulation can be applied to just one wrestler[37] or both wrestlers in a match can be wrestling for their careers.[38] Further still is a more legitimate retirement match, the last match of a (usually "legendary") wrestler's career. In this case it's designed to be a last hurrah, showcasing the wrestler's talent one last time for their fans.[39] Many wrestlers left WWE in this way, wagering their career for titles. Examples were Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels. For example, Trish Stratus won her seventh WWE Women's Championship at Unforgiven in her hometown of Toronto, Ontario, Canada against her villainous opponent, her best friend and Hall of Famer Lita. This match is also called "You're Fired" match or a "Career Threatening" match.

Kiss My Foot match[edit]

A match similar to a singles match with the exception that the loser must kiss the winner's bare foot. Such matches included Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler during the 1995 King of the Ring and Lawler vs. Michael Cole during the 2011 Over the Limit pay-per-view. A similar variation of this match is the Kiss My Ass Match, which the loser had to kiss the winner's butt and was prominently held during WWE's Attitude Era. On two occasions this has been referred to as 'Kiss Me Arse', once for a match taking place in England and once for a match between Irish wrestler Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler.

Luchas de Apuestas[edit]

Luchas de Apuestas (literally "gambling fights") are matches where both wrestlers wager something specific (the mask or hair) on the outcome. The loser of the match then loses the item, being forced to take off the mask or be shaved bald. It is also possible for a wrestler to put someone else's item on the line, with the same stipulation applying in the event of a loss.[40] These matches have a storied history in Mexico.[41] Upon unmasking it is not unheard of for a wrestler's real name and information to be published. As a form of further humiliation, the loser can be forced to physically hand the mask he just lost to the winner.[41]

The most popular types of wager are the mask of a masked wrestler or the hair of a non-masked wrestler, most commonly put against each other in mask vs. mask (in Spanish: máscara contra máscara), mask vs. hair (máscara contra cabellera), or hair vs. hair (cabellera contra cabellera) matches. Throughout Mexico, when masked wrestlers lose their masks, they are not allowed to compete under a mask with that same gimmick.[41] In addition to masks and hair, championships,[42] or careers[43] — as a form of retirement match — can be put up as the wager in any combination.

In matches where hair is on the line, generally the heel wrestler loses the match, as it is designed to humiliate the heel wrestler. Among notable wrestlers who have lost such matches, Gorgeous George, Adrian Adonis, Jeff Jarrett, Kurt Angle, Molly Holly, and CM Punk were all heels when on the losing end of hair vs. hair matches.

While most wrestlers (especially female wrestlers) end up growing their hair back out, in some cases the wrestler may tend to keep a shaved head as part of their look. For instance, Angle's kayfabe explanation was that he could not regrow it despite using Rogaine, hair tonic and even fertilizer. (In reality he was already going bald naturally, with many jokes about his receding hair line having been made on TV long before his head was shaved; his then-wife Karen had wanted Angle to shave his head. Angle would briefly regrow it for his role in the movie Warrior before shaving it again.[44] Some, such as Molly Holly and CM Punk, wore wigs or masks to hide their head until enough hair has grown back in for them to forego wearing a wig or mask.

The latest Luchas de Apuestas themed match was at No Mercy (2016) which saw Dolph Ziggler defeat The Miz for the WWE Intercontinental Championship in a Career vs. Title match.

Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal[edit]

Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal, also known in WWE as Raw Roulette,[45] is not a match type itself, but a way to assign a type to a match that does not yet have one. Before the match either a "wheel of fortune" or roulette wheel featuring a number of match types is spun, with the match landed on being used for the night.[46] This is often done when Raw broadcasts in the Las Vegas area. In one instance, the same concept was used on the SmackDown brand, where it was referred to as Sin City SmackDown.

Location-based variations[edit]

Though most matches take place in and around the ring, some are designed specifically for more exotic locales. The majority of these matches take on the name of their setting, often appending "brawl" to the end, and are generally hardcore by definition. The following is a list of locale-based variations that supplant or replace the standard rules.

Belfast Brawl[edit]

The Belfast Brawl match was first contested on an episode of WWE's SmackDown television program, and saw Finlay face The Great Khali. The match must be won by pinfall or submission, and there are no countouts or disqualifications.

List of Belfast Brawls in WWE[edit]

# Match Event Date and Location Length
1 Finlay defeated The Great Khali SmackDown January 25, 2008 10:28
2 John Bradshaw Layfield defeated Finlay WrestleMania XXIV March 30, 2008
Orlando, Florida
3 Finlay defeated Mark Henry Armageddon December 14, 2008
Buffalo, New York

Boiler Room Brawl[edit]

A Boiler Room Brawl starts in a boiler room, with the winner being the first wrestler to successfully get out.[47] World Championship Wrestling used a match with similar rules, naming their match and its location The Block.[48]

List of Boiler Room Brawls[edit]

# Match Stipulations Event Date and Location Length
1 Mankind defeated The Undertaker SummerSlam August 18, 1996 26:40
2 Triple H defeated Mankind SmackDowm! September 23, 1999 4:57
3 Mankind defeated Big Show Backlash: In Your House April 25, 1999 07:50
4 Triple H defeated Mankind Raw Is War December 20, 1999 4:26

Chicago Street Fight[edit]

A Chicago Street Fight match is based around the brutal fights once held in Chicago, Illinois. There are no disqualifications, and falls count anywhere (meaning pinfall and submission attempts can happen anywhere). The first official Chicago Street Fight match contested was on the WCW's pay-per-view event WrestleWar 1990, the match participants being The Road Warriors against The Skyscrapers in Greensboro, North Carolina. At Extreme Rules in April 2015, Luke Harper challenged Dean Ambrose, being the latest Chicago Street Fight, which Ambrose won via pinfall.

Miracle on 34th Street Fight[edit]

A Miracle on a 34th Street Fight is a Christmas-themed match, named after the movie Miracle on 34th Street, involving Christmas-themed weapons including fire extinguishers, pumpkin pies, presents, Christmas trees, Christmas wreaths, candy kendo sticks, bowling balls, and teddy bears. The latest match was held between Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt on the December 22, 2014 Christmas episode of Raw.

List of Miracle on 34th Street Fights in WWE[edit]

# Match Event Date and Location Length
1 Randy Orton defeated David Otunga SmackDown November 29, 2011
Charlotte, North Carolina
2 John Cena defeated Alberto Del Rio Raw December 18, 2012
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
3 Mark Henry defeated Damien Sandow Raw December 23, 2013
Austin, Texas
4 Bray Wyatt defeated Dean Ambrose Raw December 22, 2014
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Parking Lot Brawl[edit]

Two types of matches take place in parking lots, the Parking Lot Brawl[49] and the Iron Circle match.[50] They're essentially the same thing, two wrestlers fighting in a parking lot, the major difference being the Iron Circle match takes place in the middle of a multitude of cars parked in a circle with their headlights on, while the Parking Lot Brawl tends to be in a sparser location. Both superstars are allowed to use everything around them. This includes the using the cars as weapons and anything found around them. First one to pinfall or submission is the winner. WWE had a "Latino Heat Parking Lot Brawl" on the SmackDown brand in 2003, contested between Eddie Guerrero and John Cena, with various WWE Superstars watching and cheering on the match. Eddie Guerrero won the match via pinfall following interference from Chavo Guerrero, and a Frog splash from Eddie.

List of Parking Lot Brawls in WWE[edit]

# Match Event Date and Location Length
1 Ken Shamrock defeated Steve Blackman Fully Loaded (1999) July 25, 1999
Buffalo, New York
2 Eddie Guerrero defeated John Cena SmackDown! September 11, 2003
El Paso, Texas
3 John Bradshaw Layfield defeated John Cena The Great American Bash July 20, 2008
Uniondale, New York

Pig Pen match[edit]

A Pig Pen match takes place in a pig pen full of pigs, placed near the stage. The match could be won by pinfall and submission. The match can also end by throwing your opponent into the pig pen.

List of Pig Pen matches in WWE[edit]

# Match Event Date and Location Length
1 Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Henry O. Godwinn In Your House 5: Seasons Beatings December 17, 1995
Hershey, Pennsylvania
2 Santino Marella defeated Vickie Guerrero and Chavo Guerrero Extreme Rules June 7, 2009
New Orleans, Louisiana

Trick or Street Fight[edit]

A Trick or Street Fight is a Halloween-themed match, named after the Halloween tradition "Trick or Treating", involving Halloween-themed weapons including pumpkins, buckets of candy, bowls full of water and apples, skeletons, witches' brooms, gravestones, candy kendo sticks, plus common wrestling weapons such as tables and chairs. The latest Trick or Street Fight was held between Dolph Ziggler and The Miz on October 29, 2015 Halloween episode of SmackDown.

List of Trick or Street Fights in WWE[edit]

# Match Event Date and Location Length
1 Dean Ambrose defeated Cesaro SmackDown October 31, 2014
Houston, Texas
2 Dolph Ziggler defeated The Miz SmackDown October 29, 2015
Phoenix, Arizona

Weapon-based variations[edit]

Though the use of foreign objects, the matches generally take the name of the weapon being used ("Singapore cane match", "Chairs match"). The following is a list of weapon-based matches where additional rules supplant or replace the standard rules.

Crazy 8 match[edit]

The Crazy 8 match, used mostly in the defunct Pro Wrestling Unplugged promotion, involves placing a championship belt at the top of a scaffold with the first wrestler to retrieve it being declared the winner. Placed in and around the ring for the wrestlers to utilize during the match are one side of a steel cage, two trampolines, and four rope swings.[51]

Ladder match[edit]

Main article: Ladder match

A ladder match is a match where a specific object (usually a title or a contract for a title) is placed above the ring—out of the reach of the competitors—with the winner being the first person to climb a ladder and retrieve it. This is often used in WWE with their Money in the Bank matches.[52] The ladder may be used as a weapon.

King of the Mountain match[edit]

Further information: King of the Mountain match

The King of the Mountain match is described as a "reverse ladder match". Instead of retrieving an object hanging above the ring, the winner is the first person to use a ladder to hang a championship belt above the ring—after having scored a pinfall or submission (pinfalls count anywhere) to earn the right to try. A wrestler who has been pinned or forced to submit must spend two minutes in a penalty box.[53]

TLC match[edit]

A tables, ladders and chairs match (often abbreviated as "TLC match"), is an extension of a ladder match with chairs and tables also being present as legal weapons.[54] The first ever TLC match took place between Edge and Christian, The Dudley Boys and the Hardy Boyz at the WWF event Summerslam 2000. Since 2009, WWE has held a pay-per-view in December named TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, which features this match as its marquee matches. The match has two variations. One is competed as a ladder match, which the person/people must retrieve an object suspended above the ring. The other as a traditional style match won by pinfall or submission. TNA calls this variation "Full Metal Mayhem".

Weapon match[edit]

In this variation, only the named object may be used as a weapon. Examples include the steel stairs match, barbed wire baseball bat match, thumbtacks match, etc.

Chairs match[edit]

A chairs match, also known as a steel chair match, is a standard weapons match with chairs being the only legal weapon.

List of chairs matches in WWE[edit]

# Match Stipulations Event Date and Location Length
1 The Undertaker (c) defeated Batista World Heavyweight Championship TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs December 13, 2009
San Antonio, Texas
2 John Cena defeated Wade Barrett TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs December 19, 2010
Houston, Texas
3 Big Show defeated Mark Henry (c) World Heavyweight Championship TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs December 18, 2011
Baltimore, Maryland
4 Big Show (c) defeated Sheamus World Heavyweight Championship TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs December 16, 2012
Brooklyn, New York
5 Ryback defeated Kane TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs December 14, 2014
Cleveland, Ohio
5 Alberto Del Rio (c) defeated Jack Swagger WWE United States Championship TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs December 13, 2015
Boston, Massachusetts

Kendo stick match[edit]

A kendo stick match, also known as a Singapore cane match or dueling canes match, is a standard weapons match with a kendo stick being the only legal weapon. Often, the ring will be lined with many kendo sticks for the wrestlers to use. Hardcore wrestling promotion Combat Zone Wrestling has used this match with fluorescent light tubes instead of kendo sticks.

(Object) on a Pole match[edit]

The Object on a Pole match – whose name is usually derived from the object being hung; i.e. "Brass knuckles on a Pole", "Steel chair on a Pole", "Singapore cane on a Pole", "Paddle on a Pole", "Necklace on a Pole", "Contract on a pole", "Mistletoe on a Pole" or "Judy Bagwell on a Pole" – is the spiritual forebear of the ladder match. In this case, an object is placed on a pole that extends from one of the four turnbuckles on the ring with the wrestlers battling to reach it first.[55] Unlike the ladder match, however, reaching the object doesn't usually end the match; it simply allows that wrestler to use it as a weapon.[56] This is not a no-disqualification match; the weapon on the pole is merely an exception to the disqualification rule. However, this is sometimes a no-disqualification match in which any weapon, plus the one on the pole, can be used. This match is referred to by many wrestling critics as a "Russo Special", due to the propensity of WCW booker Vince Russo's use of Pole Matches during his tenure at the company

Multiple variations of the "Pole match" exist. In some cases the match is closer to the ladder match, in that reaching the object does end the match.[57] In others there will be objects above all of the turnbuckles.[58] Further still, there can be a mixture of the two, with an object placed at (though not above) each turnbuckle, one to end the match, the rest to be used as weapons.[59] Total Nonstop Action Wrestling used a "Pole match" as a setup to another match, placing objects at four of their six turnbuckles with the promise that the first wrestler to reach each object would be allowed to use them weeks later at an already scheduled cage match.[60] It could also be a "Feast or Fired" match, where each case contains a contract to fight for a TNA World Heavyweight Championship, TNA Tag Team Championship or TNA X-Division Championship, with the final case contains a pink slip, mean the holder of that case would be fired immediately, but if the person holding the X-Division title shot briefcase went on to win that title, it cannot be cashed in right away for the World Heavyweight Championship (Option C).

Straitjacket match[edit]

A straitjacket match is a match where you must fully dress your opponent into a straitjacket, and the most common method in doing so is to first knock the opponent out or to render him unconscious by submission holds(mostly a chokehold and/or a hold to weaken the arms and/or shoulders). It made its televised debut on TNA when Samuel Shaw beat Mr. Anderson by first rendering him unconscious with a chokehold and then putting him into the straitjacket.[61] On WWF Raw in June 1999, Ken Shamrock, who was the only participant confined to the straitjacket, still won his match with Jeff Jarrett after forcing him to submit to a headscissors submission hold.

Strap match[edit]

A strap match, known by many names and done with many slight variations, is any match where the competitors are placed on the opposite ends of a restraint to keep them in close physical proximity. By definition the strap—and anything tied to it — are considered legal and in play weapons. The most common rule for victory is for one wrestler to have to go around the ring, touching all four corners in order and without stopping, although they can also end in pinfalls.[62] At WCW's Uncensored 1995, Hulk Hogan actually dragged non-participant (Ric Flair) to all four corners in order to win his strap match against Big Van Vader. Because of the strap's legality, and subsequent use as a choking device, submissions are generally not allowed.[63][64]

The strap match is one of the most varied forms of professional wrestling match type, both in name and implements used, with the name used generally coming from the implement used and one or both of the participants gimmicks (i.e. Russian Chain match, Yappapi Indian Strap match, Samoan strap match, which was the signature match of Umaga, Texas Bullrope match, Country Whipping Match). Common restraints include a belt, bullrope (length of rope with a cowbell in the center), steel chains, one to two foot "leash", or leather strap. In the dog collar variation, the wrestlers are connected at the neck by dog collars.

Tables match[edit]

Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels on a table at a 2008 house show in Puerto Rico

A tables match is a match in which, to win, ones opponent must somehow be driven through a table by their opponent. It can only be won with an offensive maneuver.[65]

Tables matches can be contested with tag teams, under both elimination[66] and one "fall" rules. It is common for tables matches to also include a "no disqualification" clause, which turns them into hardcore matches by nature (although this variation may also be alternately known as a Hardcore Tables Match). In some tag matches, a person can save his team mate by breaking the table with his own body. Apparently this does not count against the team.[67] A more "extreme" version, the Flaming Table match requires the table to be set aflame before an opponent is put through it.[68] Another variation is the two out of three tables match. There is also another type called the three table showdown, which can only be won when one wrestler puts his opponent through three tables, but it does not have to be at the same time.

Table to fall match[edit]

This match type is unique as the wrestler first has to put his or her opponent through a table. After, the wrestler can pin or have the opponent submit. A fall in this match can only happen after being put through the table, and if the opponent kicks out, gets out of a submission, or reaches the ropes, the wrestler must put the opponent through another table. You can have only one chance to pin/submit at a time, so going through more than one table will not give you more chances to win. Regularly, no other weapons but the tables are allowed, and falls have to happen in the ring.

Taped Fist match[edit]

For a Taped Fist match the wrestlers are allowed to tape and/or wrap their hands to allow them to punch harder without damaging their hands.[69] In one variation, the Taipei Death match, the taped fists are dipped in super glue, then broken glass.[70]

Enclosure-based variations[edit]

Some matches take place in specific enclosed environments. Although the majority of these enclosures are set up either in or around the ring, some of them are placed apart from it. In all cases, the structure itself is considered "in play" and most enclosure-based matches are decided by pinfall or submission unless specific other stipulations are made beforehand.

Steel cage match[edit]

A steel cage match

Steel cages are one of the oldest form of enclosures used in professional wrestling. According to some historians[who?], the first "steel cage match" of any kind took place on June 25, 1937 in Atlanta, Georgia.[71] This match took place in a ring surrounded by chicken wire, in order to keep the athletes inside and any potential interference out of the action.[72] They have evolved a great deal over time, changing from chicken wire[73] to steel bars to chain-link fencing (the latter is now the standard, due to it being cheaper to manufacture, lighter to transport, and more flexible and thus safer for the wrestlers).

A steel cage match is a match fought within a cage formed by placing sheets of mesh metal around, in, or against the edges of the wrestling ring. The ways to win a steel cage match are by pinfall, by submission or by escaping the cage, either over the top of the cage wall and having both feet touch the arena floor, or by escaping through the cage door with both feet touching the arena floor. It is possible to have one wrestler attempting to escape over the top of the cage wall while another tries to escape through the cage door.[74] In Mexico, steel cage matches are won by just climbing to the top of the cage wall. In TNA's ring, the matches are often called "six sides of steel" as the cage surrounds a six-sided ring.

There are many variations to the steel cage match, including the Asylum match.

Chamber match[edit]

In TNA, this match was between two wrestlers (or up to 6) fighting inside a chamber. Wrestlers who were not involved in the match surrounded the chamber. About 5 minutes into the match, the outside wrestlers throw weapons into the chamber. This match only ends when one wrestler knocks out his opponent.

Scramble Cage match[edit]

The match, exclusively in Ring of Honor wrestling (ROH), in which the ring is surrounded by a steel cage with four wooden platforms at the corners of the cage to make the "high risk" wrestling moves. All participants are allowed to inside and outside the cage at any time

Chamber of Extreme match[edit]

The cage-based match, came from Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling (ECCW), in which the 8-feet-high steel cage which surrounds the ringside area with the top wrapped in barbed wire and "extreme" weapons scattered around the ring and ringside area. Disqualifications, count-outs and rope-breaks do not apply. The winner shall be decided by pinfall, submission or being unable to stand up at 10-count.

Doomsday Cage match[edit]

Also called a Tower of Doom, the Doomsday Cage is a three story cage – the middle one split into two rooms – all of which house wrestlers. The object of the match is for a team of wrestlers to fight their way from the top cage to the bottom, where pinfalls and submissions come into play.[75][76] In the later days of WCW, it was referred to as a Triple Decker Cage match, a reference to the match type being used in the finale of the film Ready to Rumble.

Hell in a Cell[edit]

Main article: Hell in a Cell

A specific kind of enclosure match run by WWE wherein a large cage that extends beyond the ring apron is lowered around the ring, leaving a narrow gap between the edge of the ring and the cage wall. The fencing of the cage also extends around the top of the cage, hence the name 'cell'. Unlike a standard cage match, there is no escape clause (and it has been fairly common for Hell in a Cell matches to spill out of the cell and even onto the ceiling of the cage), the match can only be won via pinfall or submission. There is no disqualification and the wrestlers are free to do whatever they must to win. The pinfall or submission can happen anywhere and anything not nailed to the floor may be used as a weapon. The cell may be used as a weapon. This type of match outside of the WWE is considered a cage match since most promotions do not consider escaping from the ring as a victory.

Because of the "literally anything goes" rule, this match developed an infamous reputation in its early years. Many wrestlers were legitimately injured during these matches (namely, Mick Foley), and the unbelievable bumps taken during these matches are talked about even to this day. In kayfabe, it is regarded as the most dangerous match in the entire promotion. J.R. has referred to the cell itself as "a demonic structure" that is "custom built for injury", There have been 30 Hell in a Cell matches, The Undertaker and Triple H have been in 21 combined. The first match was between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels in 1997.

Electrified Cage match[edit]

The ring is surrounded by an electrified steel cage. The cage can be used as a weapon. The only way to win is by pinfall or submission.

Elimination Chamber[edit]

Main article: Elimination Chamber
The Elimination Chamber structure

The Elimination Chamber, which was created by Triple H and introduced by Eric Bischoff for WWE in 2002, is a large, circular steel cage that surrounds the ring entirely, including creating a grated floor area on the apron. Inside the cage, at each turnbuckle, is a clear "pod" where four of the six competitors in the match must wait to be released to join the two who start at the opening bell. As the name implies, wrestlers are eliminated one-by-one via pinfall or submission until only one remains.[77] An Extreme Elimination Chamber took place at the 2006 December to Dismember pay-per-view, where a weapon was given to each wrestler waiting in a pod. The metal is black and the chambers are made of 'bulletproof glass'. The chamber is 36 feet (11 metres) in diameter and is composed of 16 tons of steel and 2 miles (3.2 kilometres) of chain. Since 2010, WWE held a pay-per-view of the same name every February, featuring this match type as one of its marquee matches. In 2015, this event was replaced with WWE's new pay-per-view event Fastlane. The Elimination Chamber returned as a WWE Network exclusive on May 31 to decide a new WWE Intercontinental Champion and WWE Tag Team Champions.[78]

Inferno match[edit]

An Inferno match is a special type of match where the ring is completely surrounded by flames once both contenders have entered the ring. The only way to win is to set your opponent on fire. Inferno matches usually end on the outside of the ring; this way, paramedics can assist the unfortunate loser of the match. Due to the potentially graphic or dangerous nature of this type of match, it is very rarely seen in North America. In fact, there have only been five to this date in the WWE, all of which have involved Kane.

The first inferno match took place in the mid 80's (1987) at the Juan Pachin Vicens coliseum in Ponce, Puerto Rico.[79]

The first WWE Inferno Match was between Kane and The Undertaker at the 1998 Unforgiven pay-per-view. Kane had been thrown out of the ring and The Undertaker had no way of attacking him. The match ended in The Undertaker's victory.

A variation of the Inferno match, dubbed a Ring of Fire match, took place at SummerSlam in 2013, when Kane faced Bray Wyatt. While the ring is surrounded by flames just like in a standard Inferno match, the match is decided by pinfall or submission and not by burning your opponent. The match was won by Bray Wyatt.

WCW also attempted an Inferno match, known as the Human Torch match, at the Great American Bash in 2000 between Sting and Vampiro.

List of Inferno matches in WWE[edit]

# Match Stipulations Event Date and Location Length
1 The Undertaker defeated Kane Unforgiven: In Your House April 26, 1998
Greensboro, North Carolina
2 The Undertaker defeated Kane WWE Raw February 22, 1999
3 Triple H defeated Kane WWE Smackdown September 23, 1999
Dallas, Texas
4 Kane defeated Montel Vontavious Porter Armageddon (2006) December 17, 2006
Richmond, Virginia
5 Bray Wyatt defeated Kane "Ring of Fire" match SummerSlam (2013) August 17, 2013
Los Angeles, California

List of Inferno matches in WCW[edit]

# Match Stipulations Event Date and Location Length
1 Vampiro defeated Sting "Human Torch" match The Great American Bash (2000) June 11, 2000
Baltimore Arena

Punjabi Prison match[edit]

The Punjabi Prison at No Mercy in 2007

The Punjabi Prison match, named after the Punjab state that The Great Khali (the match's founder) is billed from, consists of two large bamboo cages. The first being four sided and standing 16 feet (4.8 m) tall, while the second has eight sides and stands 20 feet (6 m) surrounding the first.[80]

The inner cage has a four foot (1.2 m) by four foot door on each of its sides, with a referee standing by to open them at a wrestler's request. Each door may only be opened once and is only allowed to remain open for sixty seconds, after which it is padlocked. Should all four doors end up locked before the wrestlers escape, they are forced to climb out over the top, where the bamboo is fashioned into spikes. Between the two cages are sometimes placed two tables, on which are weapons (both "medieval" and "bamboo" variations of standard wrestling weapons). Once a wrestler has escaped the first cage, he must climb over and out of the second cage, with the first wrestler having both of their feet touch the arena floor is the winner of the match.[81]

List of Punjabi Prison matches in WWE[edit]

# Match Event Date and Location Length
1 The Undertaker defeated Big Show The Great American Bash (2006) July 23, 2006
Indianapolis, Indiana
2 Batista defeated The Great Khali No Mercy (2007) October 7, 2007
Rosemont, Illinois


AAA's Domo de la Muerte

World Championship Wrestling's Thundercage, based on the film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, is a large domed structure of steel bars engulfing the ring. Although it does not have a top, the sides curve in to prevent escape.

Mexico's AAA promotion tweaked the concept with the Domo de la Muerte ("Dome of Death"), which uses a similar cage but only allows victory by escaping through a hole at the top center. This variation is also used in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, where it is called the TerrorDome, or more recently the Steel Asylum. In AAA it is typically used for multi-man "luchas de apuestas" (bet matches), with the last man standing in the cage losing his mask or hair.

The Thunderdome is a variation on the Thundercage, with the area near the top of the cage electrified. The only way for a wrestler to win the Thunderdome match is to have their opponents' "terminator" (usually a manager who stands outside of the ring) throw in the towel to stop the match. In another variation of this match, each pinned competitor in the match is handcuffed to the cage.[82] The last man left is given a key to unlock his teammates to attack the other team, who are still handcuffed.[82]


This match was similar to Battlebowl. Up to 100 wrestlers can compete in the match. It is split into two rings with 50 wrestlers in each. The only way to be eliminated is to be thrown over the ropes. No matter where you hit, whether its apron, floor or barricade you are eliminated. When 25 wrestlers are left in each ring stage 2 begins. This stage is when all 25 wrestlers get into one ring and there is no elimination. After a 5 minute period, the match turns into a Battle Royal where elimination is gained by throwing your opponent over the ropes and to the floor. When 5 wrestlers remain stage 3 begins. This then turns into a 5-Way match where pinfall eliminates an opponent. When 2 wrestlers are left, the match turns into a last man standing where KO is legal. The final wrestler left wins.[citation needed]

Triple Cage match[edit]

A Triple Cage match involves three cages stacked on top of each other, with each cage decreasing in size from the bottom up.

Two variations exist, in one competitors begin in the ring inside the lowest cage and must make their way to the roof of the third cage where an object is suspended, with the winner being the first competitor to obtain the object and exit the cage.[83] The other, dubbed the Tower of Doom match had two teams of five make their way down from the uppermost cage to the bottom, with victory achieved when all five members of a team escaped a door there. The cages were cut off from each other, with doors controlled from outside by referees, who only opened them for two-minute intervals.[84]


Main article: WarGames match

Sometimes suffixed with the tagline "The Match Beyond", the War Games match features two rings surrounded by an enclosed steel cage (with a roof) with two teams (or sometimes three) facing one another.

In ECW, this was known as an Ultimate Jeopardy match.

Dixieland match[edit]

A Dixieland match (named for TNA President Dixie Carter, who "invented" the match) is a hybrid steel cage/ladder match. The wrestlers start the match in the ring enclosed in a steel cage. To win the match, a wrestler must first climb out of the cage, then go up the entrance ramp where a championship belt is hung from the ceiling, and finally climb a ladder to retrieve the belt. The first match of this type occurred during the Impact Wrestling: Final Resolution taping on December 3, 2013, as Magnus defeated Jeff Hardy to become TNA World Heavyweight Champion.[85]

List of Dixieland matches in TNA[edit]

# Match Event Date and Location Length
1 Magnus defeated Jeff Hardy Final Resolution (2013) December 19, 2013
Orlando, Florida

Lethal Lockdown[edit]

Similar to the WarGames match utilized in WCW, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling's Lethal Lockdown consists of a single ring enclosed by a steel cage with two teams facing off with each other. The staggered entry system is identical, but weapons are permitted and are even provided. When all competitors have entered the ring, a roof is lowered onto the top of the cage, with various weapons hanging from it. Victory can be attained by pinfall or submission. This match has become a staple of TNA's Lockdown pay-per-view event, but has also made appearances at other TNA pay-per-views.

List of Lethal Lockdown matches in TNA[edit]

# Match Event Date and Location Length Notes
1 Team Nash (B.G. James, Diamond Dallas Page, and Sean Waltman) defeated Team Jarrett (Jeff Jarrett, Monty Brown, and The Outlaw) Lockdown (2005) April 24, 2005
Orlando, Florida
15:35 No roof was present in the match. Weapons were allowed from the start.
2 Sting's Warriors (Sting, A.J. Styles, Ron Killings, and Rhino) defeated Jarrett's Army (Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner, and America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm)) Lockdown (2006) April 23, 2006
Orlando, Florida
3 Team Angle (Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Rhino, Sting, and Jeff Jarrett) defeated Team Cage (Christian Cage, A.J. Styles, Scott Steiner, Abyss and Tomko) Lockdown (2007) April 15, 2007
Saint Charles, Missouri
4 Team Cage (Christian Cage, Matt Morgan, Kevin Nash, Rhino, and Sting) defeated Team Tomko (Tomko, A.J. Styles, Team 3D (Brother Devon and Brother Ray), and James Storm) Lockdown (2008) April 13, 2008
Lowell, Massachusetts
5 Team Jarrett (Jeff Jarrett, Samoa Joe, A.J. Styles, and Christopher Daniels) defeated Team Angle (Kurt Angle, Scott Steiner, Booker T, and Kevin Nash) Lockdown (2009) April 19, 2009
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
6 Beer Money, Inc. (James Storm and Robert Roode) and Team 3D (Brother Devon and Brother Ray) defeated The Main Event Mafia (Booker T and Scott Steiner) and The British Invasion (Magnus and Doug Williams) No Surrender (2009) September 20, 2009
Orlando, Florida
21:27 First Lethal Lockdown to appear outside of Lockdown PPV.
7 Team Hogan (Abyss, Rob Van Dam, Jeff Jarrett and Jeff Hardy) defeated Team Flair (Sting, James Storm, Robert Roode, and Desmond Wolfe) Lockdown (2010) April 18, 2010
Saint Charles, Missouri
8 The ECW Originals (Tommy Dreamer, Raven, Rhino, Sabu and Stevie Richards) defeated Fortune (A.J. Styles, Kazarian, Matt Morgan, James Storm, and Robert Roode) Bound for Glory (2010) October 10, 2010
Daytona Beach, Florida
9 Fortune (Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, Robert Roode, and James Storm) defeated Immortal (Ric Flair, Abyss, Bully Ray, and Matt Hardy) Lockdown (2011) April 17, 2011
Cincinnati, Ohio
10 Team Garett (Garett Bischoff, Austin Aries, A.J. Styles, Mr. Anderson, and Rob Van Dam) defeated Team Eric (Eric Bischoff, Gunner, Bully Ray, Christopher Daniels, and Kazarian) Lockdown (2012) April 15, 2012
Nashville, Tennessee
11 Team TNA (Sting, Magnus, Samoa Joe, James Storm, and Eric Young) defeated Aces & Eights (Devon, Mr. Anderson, Knux, D.O.C., and Garett Bischoff) Lockdown (2013) March 10, 2013
San Antonio, Texas
25:02 No roof was present in the match. Weapons were brought into the match by the final entrant.
12 Team Angle (Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, James Storm, and Abyss) defeated Team Roode (Bobby Roode, The BroMans (Robbie E and Jessie Godderz), and Magnus) Hardcore Justice 3 December 29, 2013
Lowell, Massachusetts
21:16 No roof was present in the match. Weapons were brought into the match by final two entrants.
Aired January 10, 2014 as a part of One Night Only PPV.
13 Team MVP (Montel Vontavious Porter, The Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards), and Jeff Hardy) defeated Team Dixie (Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, and The BroMans (Robbie E and Jessie Godderz)) Lockdown (2014) March 9, 2014
Miami, Florida
14 Team Angle (Kurt Angle, Austin Aries, Gunner, and Bobby Lashley) defeated The Beat Down Clan (Montel Vontavious Porter, Kenny King, Samoa Joe, and Low Ki) Lockdown (2015) January 9, 2015
New York City, New York
16:03 No roof was present in the match. Weapons were allowed from the start.
First Lethal Lockdown to appear on Impact Wrestling. This episode aired on tape delay on February 6, 2015.
15 Team TNA (Drew Galloway, Bobby Lashley, The Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards), and Bram) defeated Team GFW (Jeff Jarrett, Chris Mordetsky, Brian Myers, Sonjay Dutt, and Eric Young) Impact Wrestling July 29, 2015
Orlando, Florida
31:45 This episode aired on tape delay on September 16, 2015. If GFW had won, Jarrett would have gained full control of TNA.
16 The Dollhouse (Jade, Marti Bell, and Rebel) defeated Gail Kim and Velvet Sky Lockdown (2016) January 30, 2016
London, England
11:15 Madison Rayne was scheduled to compete in the match teaming with Kim and Sky, but got taken out by The Dollhouse. Maria came to this match but she locked the cage instead of competing this match.
First Lethal Lockdown involving the Knockouts.
First Lethal Lockdown to be held outside of the US.
No roof was present in the match. Weapons were allowed from the start.
This episode aired on tape delay on February 23, 2016.

Xscape match[edit]

The Xscape match was featured annually at the Lockdown all-steel-cage pay-per-view in April. This variation of the Lockdown Match has 4–8 competitors and is a two-stage process. The first stage is a standard pin/submission elimination contest, with eliminated wrestlers leaving the cage through the door until there are only two wrestlers left. The last two competitors then face off; the only way to win at this stage is to climb out of the cage all the way to the floor.

Asylum match[edit]


An Asylum match was a WCW match created by Scott Steiner held within a small chain link cage in the shape of a circle placed in the middle of the ring. Victory occurred only by submission.

List of Asylum matches in WCW[edit]
# Match Stipulations Event Date and Location Time
1 Scott Steiner vs. Rick Steiner ended with a no contest WCW Monday Nitro May 22, 2000
Grand Rapids, Michigan
2 Scott Steiner (with Midajah and Shakira) defeated Shane Douglas by submission WCW Monday Nitro May 29, 2000
Salt Lake City, Utah
3 Scott Steiner (with Midajah and Shakira) defeated Rick Steiner and Tank Abbott 2-on-1 Handicap match The Great American Bash (2000) June 11, 2000
Baltimore, Maryland


On May 16, 2016 a variation to the steel cage match, called an Asylum match, was introduced and scheduled between Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho at Extreme Rules, where weapons are suspended above the cage and escaping the cage is not a means of victory, leaving only pinfall or submission. It was described as the "first-ever Asylum match" by Ambrose.

List of Asylum matches in WWE[edit]
# Match Event Date and Location Length
1 Dean Ambrose defeated Chris Jericho Extreme Rules (2016) May 22, 2016
Newark, New Jersey

Container-based variations[edit]

Some matches have a container stationed in or near the ring, with the object of the match being to trap the opposing wrestler in it. Many of these matches take the name of the container, such as Ambulance match and the Casket match. A similar type of match aims to restrain opposing wrestlers somehow, and the match often takes the name of the restraining device - for example, the Stretcher.

These matches are often fought using hardcore rules, or at the very least rules that allow wrestlers to do more without being disqualified. In team matches, an entire team typically has to be placed in the container to lose. In some cases, the restrained wrestler must be taken past a certain point ringside in order for a victory.

Common containers used for these matches are caskets (connected to The Undertaker's Deadman persona, either using a typical coffin or a double-deep, double-wide casket, sometimes specially designed for specific opponents The Undertaker takes on), body bags, ambulances, dumpsters, hearses (known as a "Last Ride match", also connected to The Undertaker gimmick), and stretchers.

Ambulance match[edit]

An Ambulance match is fought under hardcore rules, no pinfalls, no submission, no disqualification, no countout and the only way to win is for one wrestler to force their opponent into the back of an ambulance and close the door.

List of Ambulance matches in WWE[edit]

# Match Stipulations Event Date and Location Length
1 Kane defeated Shane McMahon Survivor Series (2003) November 16, 2003
Dallas, Texas
2 John Cena defeated Kane Elimination Chamber (2012) February 19, 2012
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
3 John Cena defeated Ryback Stage 3 of the Three Stages of Hell match for the WWE Championship Payback (2013) June 16, 2013
Rosemont, Illinois
4 Bray Wyatt defeated Dean Ambrose WWE Raw January 5, 2015

Buried Alive match[edit]

A Buried Alive match is a No-Holds-Barred match in which the object is for one wrestler to throw his opponent into a grave dug out of a large mound of soil placed outside the ring. Once in the grave, the wrestler must bury his opponent in soil to the referee's discretion.[86] Equipment ranging from shovels and wheelbarrows to bulldozers are often made available to completely bury the opponent. All buried alive matches thus far have had The Undertaker as a competitor.

List of Buried Alive matches in WWE[edit]

# Match Stipulations Event Date and Location Length
1 The Undertaker defeated Mankind Buried Alive October 20, 1996
Indianapolis, Indiana
2 Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated The Undertaker Right to compete in the 1999 Royal Rumble match Rock Bottom: In Your House December 13, 1998
Vancouver, British Columbia
3 The Undertaker & Big Show defeated Rock 'n' Sock Connection World Tag Team Championship WWF Smackdown September 9, 1999
Albany, New York
4 Vince McMahon defeated The Undertaker Survivor Series 2003 November 16, 2003
Dallas, Texas
5 Kane defeated The Undertaker World Heavyweight Championship Bragging Rights 2010 October 24, 2010
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Casket match[edit]

The Undertaker in a casket match against CM Punk

The casket match (originally known as the coffin match) has a casket near the ring, with the object of the match being to trap the opposing wrestler in it.[87] In team matches, an entire team typically has to be placed in the casket to lose.[88][not in citation given]. The casket match began its life as a one-off coffin match in the 1970s fought between Dusty Rhodes and Ivan Koloff.[89][90][91] The coffin match was revived by The Undertaker and first appeared at the Survivor Series as the coffin match against Kamala. The coffin Match was fought under largely standard WWE rules, with the addition that after pinning the opponent, one then had to place the opponent into a coffin and nail it shut in order to officially win the match. Later casket matches would use the format of the modern day casket match in which a wrestler needed only to throw an opposing wrestler into the casket and shut the lid, as opposed to sealing it closed. The casket match has seen repeated use since the standard was established in 1994 for a match between The Undertaker and Yokozuna. They remain largely synonymous with the Undertaker, although Kane, his storyline half-brother, has been known to participate in them as well. In addition to WWE, casket matches have recently been adopted for use in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and Lucha Underground, with Lucha Underground denominating it as the Grave Consequences match.

Last Ride match[edit]

A Last Ride match is a hardcore match in which the victory condition is for one wrestler to force their opponent into the back of a hearse, close the door, and drive it out of the arena. The first match of this type occurred at No Mercy in which The Undertaker challenged John "Bradshaw" Layfield for the WWE Championship, although a match was held previously with similar win conditions (Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Kane). There are no pinfalls, no submissions, no count-outs and no disqualifications.

List of Last Ride matches[edit]

# Match Stipulations Event Date and Location Length
1 John "Bradshaw" Layfield (c) defeated The Undertaker WWE Championship No Mercy (2004) October 3, 2004
East Rutherford, New Jersey
2 The Undertaker defeated Mr. Kennedy Armageddon (2006) December 17, 2006
Richmond, Virginia

Stretcher match[edit]

A stretcher at ringside prior to a stretcher match

In the stretcher match, one wrestler must incapacitate their opponent to such an extent that they are able to get them onto a stretcher and roll them to the finish line; usually past a line at the top of the entrance ramp. It cannot end in a pinfall, submission, count-out, or disqualification. Examples include: Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show, Edge vs. Kane, Finlay vs. Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton vs. Rob Van Dam, Batista vs. Shawn Michaels, Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy or Randy Orton (with Ted DiBiase & Cody Rhodes) vs. Triple H (as part of Three Stage of Hell).,[92] and John Cena vs. Kane. The first match of this type was different as a wrestler lost if after being pushed out of the ring, four medics were able to load him on a "carry" stretcher, pick him up all the way, and start walking out with him.

List of Stretcher matches in WWE[edit]

# Match Stipulations Event Date and Location Length
1 Andre The Giant defeated Killer Khan House Show November 14, 1981
Philadelphia, PA
2 Brock Lesnar defeated Big Show WWE Championship Judgment Day (2003) May 18, 2003
Charlotte, NC
3 Edge defeated Kane WWE Raw July 25, 2005
Cleveland, OH
4 Rob Van Dam defeated Randy Orton One Night Stand (2007) June 3, 2007
Jacksonville, FL
5 Rey Mysterio defeated Finlay Cyber Sunday (2007) October 28, 2007
Washington, DC
6 Batista defeated Shawn Michaels One Night Stand (2008) June 1, 2008
San Diego, CA
7 Matt Hardy defeated Jeff Hardy WWE SmackDown! April 7, 2009
Austin, TX
8 Randy Orton defeated Triple H Last and the third fall in the Three Stages of Hell match for the WWE Championship. The Bash (2009) June 28, 2009
Sacramento, CA
9 John Cena defeated Kane WWE World Heavyweight Championship Qualifying Match. WWE Raw June 16, 2014
Cleveland, OH

List of Stretcher matches in TNA[edit]

# Match Stipulations Event Date and Location Length
1 Trinity defeated Desire NWA TNA Weekly PPV #31 June 23, 2004
11 minutes 18
2 Awesome Kong defeated Velvet Sky TNA Impact May 7, 2009
Orlando, Florida
3 Awesome Kong defeated Cute Kip TNA Impact May 14, 2009
4 Bobby Lashley defeated Rhino TNA Impact October 15, 2009
5 Eric Young defeated Kurt Angle TNA Impact May 1, 2015

Multi-competitor match variations[edit]

On some occasions, a match may be held between more than two individual wrestlers or teams.

Basic non-elimination matches[edit]

The most common example of a non-elimination match is the Three Way match (known as a Triple Threat match in WWE and a Triangle match in WCW among other promotions), where three wrestlers compete under standard rules with the first competitor to achieve a pinfall or submission being declared the winner. One distinction from a singles match is that these matches usually omit disqualifications. In many promotions, there are typically no distinctions between the two terms. The Four-Way match (known as a Fatal 4-Way in WWE) is similar, but involves four wrestlers. American independent promotion, USA Xtreme Wrestling (USA Pro Wrestling) hosted a match involving 8–12 competitors known as the 8 Ball Challenge. These types of matches can be used in certain situations to take a title off a wrestler, without weakening him in the process. At WrestleMania XXX, a match was held between 14 female competitors with the first wrestler to achieve a pinfall or submission being declared the winner, AJ Lee still retained the Divas Championship

On some occasions, multi-competitor matches are contested under similar rules as a tag team match. Two competitors start the match in the ring while the other wrestler(s) wait outside the ring for a tag from another wrestler, often achieved by touching an unsuspecting competitor in the ring. Variations of this include a Four Corners Survival or Six-Man Mayhem match in Ring of Honor. Competitors are permitted to leave their position and attack wrestlers outside of the ring, such as when one or both wrestlers have been thrown over the top rope.

Championship Scramble[edit]

WWE features a match called the Championship Scramble in which none of the wrestlers are eliminated. Two wrestlers start the match and every five minutes another wrestler enters until all five participants are present. After the last wrestler enters, there is a predetermined time limit. Each time a wrestler scores a pinfall or submission, he becomes the interim champion - such reigns aren't recorded as title reigns. The winner is the wrestler who scores the last pinfall or submission before the time limit expires. The most recent Championship Scramble in WWE was at The Bash in 2009, where Tommy Dreamer successfully retained the ECW Championship against Christian, Jack Swagger, Mark Henry and Finlay.

# Match Falls Stipulations Event Date and Location Length
1 Matt Hardy defeated Mark Henry (c), The Miz, Chavo Guerrero, and Finlay 5 Championship Scramble for the ECW Championship Unforgiven (2008) 7 September 2008, Cleveland, Ohio 20:00
2 Triple H (c) defeated Jeff Hardy, The Brian Kendrick, Shelton Benjamin, and Montel Vontavious Porter 6 Championship Scramble for the WWE Championship Unforgiven (2008) 7 September 2008, Cleveland, Ohio 20:00
3 Chris Jericho defeated John "Bradshaw" Layfield, Batista, Rey Mysterio, and Kane 3 Championship Scramble for the World Heavyweight Championship Unforgiven (2008) 7 September 2008, Cleveland, Ohio 20:00
4 Tommy Dreamer (c) defeated Jack Swagger, Christian, Mark Henry, and Finlay 5 Championship Scramble for the ECW Championship The Bash 28 June 2009, Sacramento, California 14:46

Basic elimination matches[edit]

Most matches involving a larger number of competitors are typically elimination matches. These matches may begin with a normal start, where all of the competitors are in the ring at the same time when the match begins, or may have a staggered start, in which wrestlers enter at timed intervals.

The most common example of an elimination match is the three-way Dance, where the first fall eliminates only the pinned or submitted wrestler. The Three-Way Dance was popularized in Extreme Championship Wrestling, where it became a regular specialty of the promotion. The name fatal four-way elimination match is often used[citation needed] in place of the four-way dance. Some promotions use a tag format for the match, whereby only two wrestlers are inside the ring at the same time while other competitors stand on the apron, such as a six-pack challenge in which six wrestlers compete with four wrestlers outside the ring.

Double Jeopardy match[edit]

A variant of a four-way elimination match in which the competitors are divided into two pairs, with only the members of each pair able to eliminate one another. Once two wrestlers have been eliminated, the two remaining competitors face one another.

Battle royal[edit]

A multi-competitor match type in which wrestlers are eliminated until only one is left. Typical battle royals begin with 20 or so participants in the ring, who are then eliminated by being thrown over the top rope and having both feet touch the venue floor (this is sometimes referred to as the "Shawn Michaels rule", due to the 1995 Royal Rumble, in which he was thrown over the top rope, hung on to the top rope and only had one foot land on the floor). A variation known as the "Reverse battle royal" existed in TNA.

Gauntlet match[edit]

Main article: Royal Rumble

A Gauntlet match, also referred to as a Turmoil match, is a quick series of one-fall one-on-one matches. Two wrestlers begin the match and are replaced whenever one is eliminated (by pinfall or submission). After a predetermined number of wrestlers have competed in the match, the last person standing is named the winner. A Gauntlet match may also be played out in multiple "parts" as part of a storyline (where a face wrestler must face a series of a heel wrestler's underlings before facing the heel himself, for instance) – this was common in World Championship Wrestling in the early 1990s. A participant involved in a Gauntlet match may be said to be "running the gauntlet" (in most cases this designation being reserved for those who are involved for most of the match).

It could also be a one-on-three/four handicap match. Unlike tag matches, the three/four man team will challenge the person handicapped individually until he is knocked out, at which time the match is over.

A tag-team variation, called "Tag Team Turmoil" is a match where two tag teams begin the match and are replaced whenever one team is eliminated (by pinfall or submission).[93]

Gail Kim who become the inaugural TNA Knockouts Champion in a TNA Knockouts Championship Gauntlet Match with all the TNA Knockouts at Bound for Glory 2007.

Ashley Massaro won the first ever Bra & Panties Gauntlet Match at New Year's Revolution 2006 after lastly eliminating Victoria.

The most famous variation of the Gauntlet match is WWE's Royal Rumble, a match that combines the concepts of a Battle Royal and the Gauntlet match. In the match, a number of wrestlers, whom enter at different timed intervals, aim to eliminate their competitors by tossing them over the top rope, with both feet touching the floor. The winner of the match is the last wrestler remaining after all others have been eliminated.

Series variations[edit]

Sometimes, a match is considered as a series of smaller matches, which may take place concurrently, consecutively, or even in different shows. The most common form of a series match is extending the one-fall concept to a series of falls, the most common being the best two out of three (known as a two out of three falls match). These types of series matches are often booked to the final match to emphasize the equality of the wrestlers involved, however, longer series may be shortened due to storyline or other factors. Series matches may involve the same match throughout, or may use different matches for some or all of the series. A series match may or may not involve the same wrestlers throughout (such as when a main competitor is forced to use a substitute in the event of an injury partway through). In TNA, a two-team or three-team-triple threat best-of-three or best-of-five series are often used to determine the Tag Team Championship, where the winner of the first match can determine the match stipulations for the next match. Most of these series are set to go the full distance. At WrestleMania 2000, there was a triple threat two-fall match, rather than using a best-of format, due to each fall being for a different championship, in this case the Intercontinental and European Championships.

List of TNA World Tag Team Championship Series matches[edit]

# Match Falls Stipulations Event Year
1 The Wolves defeated Dirty Heels The Wolves: 3
Dirty Heels: 2
3x Normal tag, Full Metal Mayhem, and 30-Minute Iron Man. Impact Wrestling 2015
2 Motor City Machine Guns defeated Beer Money Motor City Machine Guns: 3
Beer Money: 2
Ladder Match, Street Fight, and Steel Cage match, Ultimate X match and Tornado Tag Match. Impact Wrestling 2010

List of Best of WWE Series matches[edit]

# Match Falls Stipulations Year
1 The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian The Hardy Boyz: 3
Edge and Christian: 2
Best of 5 Terri Invitational Tournament for the managerial services of Terri Runnels 1999
2 Booker T vs. John Cena John Cena: 3
Booker T: 2
Best of 5 for the WWE United States Championship 2004
3 Booker T vs. Chris Benoit Booker T: 4
Chris Benoit: 3
Best of 7 for the WWE United States Championship 2005
4 Sheamus vs. Cesaro Sheamus: 3
Cesaro: 3
Best of 7 for a future championship opportunity 2016

Three Stages of Hell match[edit]

The Three Stages of Hell match is a variation of the two out of three falls match where each fall is contested under different rules. This match has been featured at No Way Out (2001), Judgment Day (2001), Armageddon (2002), The Bash, and Payback (2013). Sacramento has held the most 3 Stages of Hell matches in their city, hosting two out of the five matches. The match was originally called a two out of three falls match, before being changed to the Three Stages of Hell match.

At TNA's Final Resolution (2009), a "Three Degrees of Pain" match was held with under the same rules as a Three Stages of Hell match. Kurt Angle defeated Desmond Wolfe 2-1.

List of Three Stages of Hell matches[edit]

# Match Falls Stipulations Event Date and Location Length
1 Triple H defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin Triple H: 2
Austin: 1
Singles match, Street Fight, and Steel Cage match. No Way Out (2001) February 25, 2001
Las Vegas, Nevada
2 Kurt Angle defeated Chris Benoit Angle: 2
Benoit: 1
Pinfall Only, Submission Only and Ladder match for Angle's Olympic Gold Medals Judgment Day (2001) May 20, 2001
Sacramento, California
3 Triple H defeated Shawn Michaels (c) Triple H: 2
Michaels: 1
Street Fight, Steel Cage match and Ladder match for the World Heavyweight Championship Armageddon (2002) December 15, 2002
Sunrise, Florida
4 Randy Orton (c) defeated Triple H Orton: 2
Triple H: 1
Singles match, Falls Count Anywhere match and Stretcher match for the WWE Championship The Bash (2009) June 28, 2009
Sacramento, California
5 John Cena (c) defeated Ryback Cena: 2
Ryback: 1
Lumberjack match, Tables match and Ambulance match for the WWE Championship. Payback (2013) June 16, 2013
Rosemont, Illinois

Beat the Clock challenge match[edit]

A Beat the Clock challenge match is a match where usually two wrestlers face off against one another and must defeat his or her opponent before the clock runs out. In doing so, the victorious wrestler usually gets some type of reward in return, such as inclusion in a title match, for instance. A variation on this occurred on the November 20, 2013 episode of NXT. This Beat The Clock challenge had two wrestlers complete a match, and that time was used as the marker for two other wrestlers to complete their match, and so on. The wrestler to earn the fastest time was to be named number one contender for the NXT Championship.

The first ever Divas Beat the Clock challenge occurred on the August 31, 2015 episode of Raw. Paige, Becky Lynch and Charlotte each faced a different competitor to earn a WWE Divas Championship match against Nikki Bella at Night of Champions. Charlotte defeated Brie Bella quickly to earn the title.

Elimination Chase[edit]

The Elimination Chase, first used in WWE's version of ECW brand in 2007, is a series of multi-competitor, one fall matches, with the loser of the fall being eliminated from future matches until one competitor remains.[94]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Seth Rollins' U.S. Title reign -
  2. ^ Summerslam 2008 Winner Take All Match -
  3. ^ "Mid-Week Report". DDT Digest. Retrieved 2007-06-20. 
  4. ^ Mick Foley, Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks, p. 193.
  5. ^ "Ring of Honor: Fifth Year Festival: Finale". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  6. ^ Randy Savage vs Crush (1994-03-20). WrestleMania X (television production). World Wrestling Federation. 
  7. ^ "2005 Destination X results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  8. ^ "2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts". Wrestling’s historical cards. Kappa Publishing. 2007. pp. 126–127. 
  9. ^ "WCW Monday Nitro results – September 4, 2000". DDT Digest. 2000-09-04. Retrieved 2007-06-20. 
  10. ^ "Uncensored 1999 results". DDT Digest. Retrieved 2007-06-20. 
  11. ^ a b Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.184)
  12. ^ "TNA iMPACT! results – September 7, 2006". Online World of Wrestling. 2006-09-07. Retrieved 2007-06-22. Jim Cornette said he would pick out 10, 12 or 18 TNA fans to act as Lumbjacks with a leather strap..[...]Jim Cornette announced that Jeff Jarrett would face Samoa Joe in a "Fans Revenge Lumberjack Match".. 
  13. ^ "2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts". Wrestling’s historical cards. Kappa Publishing. 2007. pp. 133–134. 
  14. ^ "Against All Odds 2007 results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  15. ^ "Inside WWE > Specialty Matches > Evening Gown match". WWE. Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  16. ^ a b c Antonia Simigis. "The Dirty Dozen: Jerry Lawler". Retrieved 2008-03-19. 
  17. ^ Ellison, Lillian (2003). The Fabulous Moolah: First Goddess of the Squared Circle. ReaganBooks. ISBN 978-0-06-001258-8. 
  18. ^ "SmackDown! results – June 12, 2003". Online World of Wrestling. 2003-06-12. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  19. ^ "Bash at the Beach 1999 results". DDT Digest. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  20. ^ "RAW results – January 7, 2008". Online World of Wrestling. 2008-01-07. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  21. ^ "WrestleMania 21 results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  22. ^ "Thunder results – June 21, 2000". Slash Wrestling. 2000-06-21. Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  23. ^ a b "Death Match Dictionary". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  24. ^ a b "TNA Wrestling results – March 3, 2005". Online World of Wrestling. 2005-03-03. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  25. ^ "Hard Justice 2005 results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  26. ^ "NWA: Total Nonstop Action PPV – March 26, 2003". Online World of Wrestling. 2003-03-26. Retrieved 2007-06-17. SADISTIC MADNESS[...]The rules are that a guy had to bleed before he could be pinned.. 
  27. ^ "News And Video DOOMSDAY CHAMBER OF BLOOD MATCH ANNOUNCED FOR SUNDAY [...] The bout will be held inside the Six Sides Of Steel cage with barbed wire lining the top – and in order to qualify to pin your opponent you have to make someone bleed!". 
  28. ^ Martin, Finn (2003-10-22). "Power Slam Magazine, issue 112". "Boldberg grabs gold" (Unforgiven 2003). SW Publishing. pp. 22–23. 
  29. ^ Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.265)
  30. ^ "Sacrifice 2007 results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-06-29. 
  31. ^ "2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts". Wrestling’s historical cards. Kappa Publishing. 2007. p. 113. 
  32. ^ "Monday Nitro results – December 20, 1999". DDT Digest. 1999-12-20. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  33. ^ Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley. p. 226. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0. 
  34. ^ Scott E. Williams (2007). Hardcore History: The Extremely Unauthorized Story of ECW. Sports Publishing LLC. p. 65. ISBN 1-59670-021-1. 
  35. ^ "Vengeance 2007 results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  36. ^ Hulet, Marc. "Jeff Black: Goderich's hometown hero". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  37. ^ "RAW results – June 7, 2004". Online World of Wrestling. 2004-06-07. Retrieved 2007-04-08. MATCH: Eugene Dinsmore w/William Regal vs Johnny Nitro (If he loses he is FIRED!).. 
  38. ^ "Mayhem 1999 results". DDT Digest. Retrieved 2007-06-30. Match 5: Loser retires – Curt Hennig vs. Buff Bagwell 
  39. ^ Barry W. Blaustein (1999-10-22). Beyond the Mat. 
  40. ^ McElvaney, Kevin (June 2007). "Pro Wrestling Illustrated, July 2007". "WrestleMania 23". Kappa Publishing. pp. 74–101. 
  41. ^ a b c "History of the Mask". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-06-30. 
  42. ^ "Superbrawl VIII results". DDT Digest. Retrieved 2007-06-30. Chris Jericho defeats Juventud Guerrera with the Liontamer in a mask vs. title match. 
  43. ^ "Bound for Glory 2006 results". Archived from the original on 2007-05-14. Retrieved 2007-06-30. TITLE VS. CAREER
  44. ^ "Samoa Joe Joins Main Event Mafia; Angle Grows His Hair Out". 
  45. ^ "RAW results – November 24, 2003". Online World of Wrestling. 2003-11-24. Retrieved 2007-07-08. 
  46. ^ Reynolds, R.D.. WRESTLECRAP: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling (p. 123-124)
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