Top Rope List: 10 Best Gimmick Match Stipulations in Wrestling | Smark Out Moment

Top Rope List: 10 Best Gimmick Match Stipulations in Wrestling

Posted by Anthony Mango Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Extreme Rules is coming up next week and this is the pay-per-view where many of the matches are given stipulations to them. There are more than a handful of gimmick matches to choose from, so in honor of that, this latest edition of TOP ROPE LIST revolves around us picking our favorite types that are out there in the world of professional wrestling.

As explained before, sometimes we bump this up to a top 50/25/10/5, but the true focal point of the list revolves around the top 3 which are designated the Bottom Rope (essentially the bronze medal), Middle Rope (silver medal) and Top Rope (gold medal). Let's get down to it!


Honorable Mentions: Casket Match, Last Man Standing Match, Tables Match and Gauntlet Match.

10. Three Stages of Hell Match

Having a stipulation that revolves around the idea of having multiple stipulations is cheating in a way, but hey, I don't make the rules, this is technically a separate type of gimmick that we don't see that often.

Needless to say, the big feature of this style match is that we get different types of stipulations involved in it, but there's also another gimmick that is folded into the mix: 2 out of 3 falls.

On its own, 2 out of 3 falls matches can be problematic because they follow a standard pattern, but even though Three Stages of Hell adapts the same thing, it makes up for it by adding weapons and such to each round.

9. I Quit Match

Submission matches are more limiting, but I Quit matches allow you to have more flexibility. You can beat your opponent down into giving up, lock on a submission hold, or at times, they can even be knocked unconscious. It doesn't matter if you can get a three-count pinfall, you need to do more than that to win.

8. Iron Man Match

Having a points system and extending the length of the match allows for multiple falls to take place and for each one, even a count out, to matter. If done well, these can be a thrill ride for an hour. In a normal match, you can expect to only really be anticipating a pinfall if a finisher happens, but in these matches, someone can get a quick point with a roll-up or something random and unexpected out of the blue.

7. Championship Scramble Match

This is such an underutilized concept and I wish WWE would bring it back. The scrambles that we've seen were entertaining as hell and something different enough without having to be too crazy. Beat the Clock matches suffer from a problem where you basically know how they'll turn out one by one: the first guy will have a long time, one person will probably go past the limit, and the only parts that really matter are the last few seconds of the final match. However, scrambles get around that issue by allowing the balance of power to shift. If Wrestler X scores a pin, people will be biting their nails the whole rest of the time they're the current placeholder winner, because someone can take that spot away from them at any moment.

6. Survivor Series Elimination Tag Team Match

I love this match, especially when WWE goes full-on with naming the teams and making them feel like a true group effort. Though that rarely happens, I still find it very fun to see the eliminations. Who doesn't like it when a team is down to one or two people who need to fight back against the odds?

5. [TIE] Elimination Chamber Match / Steel Cage Match

I grouped both of these together because it's difficult for me to talk about one without the other.

Between the two choices, my favorite is the Elimination Chamber match, mostly because of the Royal Rumble-esque feel to it with the eliminations and the timed entrances.

However, I personally prefer the look and feel of a normal steel cage match over the grated floors of the Elimination Chamber. I like the idea that you can escape the cage for a victory, as well.

For the record, Hell in a Cell has become almost bad in my mind. Without having the eliminations and entrances of the Elimination Chamber or the ability to escape like a regular steel cage match, Hell in a Cell really isn't that fun. Ramming someone into the cage on the outside is not exciting enough for me, and unless you're doing some kind of a spot from the top of the cell, there's really no point in having it.

4. No Disqualification Match / Street Fight Match / Extreme Rules Match / No Holds Barred Match

There are a million names for this same type of match, but they're all the same. Weapons are allowed and you can't be counted out, which means it's going to be more brutal than just a regular singles match.

The types of weapons that are involved can heavily influence how these matches turn out, as well as the eventual outcome that is booked. In almost all situations, however, adding weapons to a feud can make a match more enjoyable and more flexible.

*BOTTOM ROPE: 3. Falls Count Anywhere Match

What I like about these matches is that it incorporates everything that's good about a No Disqualification match, but it takes it to the next level. Instead of needing to stay around the ring and keep everything localized in one spot, the participants are able to go all over the arena. This allows them to utilize other weapons that we don't commonly see or use the environment in effective, innovative ways.

* MIDDLE ROPE: 2. Ladder Match

Why is this not a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match? Because they're the same thing. There's nothing at all that separates a normal ladder match from a TLC match one except that they set up tables around the ring. Nothing in the rulebook stipulates that in a normal ladder match, you can't use chairs or tables.

Whether you have championship title belts for the people to grab, a Money in the Bank briefcase, a contract or anything else, ladder matches are some of the most entertaining overall. There's a built-in suspense factor when the wrestlers are climbing the ladder, someone can hit their finisher and there doesn't need to be a problem with whether or not they're kicking out of it, and the most fun of all: the spots.

Shelton Benjamin, Kofi Kingston and John Morrison are three guys that took the ladder to new places and figured out awesome things to do with them throughout their matches. Using them as weapons or just trying to reach the prize always ends up being suspenseful and fun to watch. 

* TOP ROPE: 1. Royal Rumble / Battle Royal Match

More specifically am I fan of the Royal Rumble itself, but battle royals are definitely at the top of my list. This incorporates a lot of aspects of my previous choices. It is an elimination-based match, includes multiple people being in the ring at the same time, there are no disqualifications, and the way to win the match is something different instead of just being pinfall or submission. On top of this, battle royals are almost always for something, such as a title shot, which makes them even better.


favorite wrestling match stipulations in history


Tony Mango is the head writer, host of Smack Talk, and founder/CEO/director of operations for Smark Out Moment as well as all branches under A Mango Tree including Fanboys Anonymous. He is a writer, creative director/consultant, media manager and entertainer. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


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