Since the Covid Era began, many wrestling companies have been forced to either temporarily shut down operations or find other ways to continue producing content which has led to some companies running shows in arenas with little to no people.
However, throughout wrestling history there have been wrestlers who have competed in empty arenas often used as a method to further or end a feud between rivals.
Some of these matches are good for there brutality and others are just plain weird in more ways then one...and today I'll talking about some of those matches that fans never got to see in person.
7. The Starbuck Twins vs. The Outsiders (October 12th 1999)
This bout is strange even by empty arena match standards...but I'll try my best describe it.
In 1996, The Outsiders aka Scott Hall and Kevin Nash took on the team of Joe Joe and Rocket Starbuck also known as "The Starbuck Twins" in an empty arena match and the results were interesting to say the least.
The match predominately takes place in the ring and the camera actually shows all of the empty seats with a trademark nWo black and white feature.
Meanwhile as this is happening, you have Paul Wight aka The Big Show aka The Giant doing introductions whilst reading off a small piece of paper, fake crowd noises piped in even though there's clearly no audience (except for Virgil, X-Pac and Ted Dibiase Sr. in the cheap seats) and the referee is not only wearing an nWo shirt but also wearing a ski mask...for some reason.
So what about the action? While if you can get pass the numerous shots that felt both trippy and distracting as well as the fact that 'The Bad Guy' and 'Big Sexy' are doing commentary while also wrestling...the match went about as well as you could possibly imagine.
Honestly it's best if you see this match for yourself because it's truly something that needs to be seen to be believed, I've posted a link to it below.
6. Rockstar Spud vs. Braxton Sutter (September 15th 2016)
While some wrestling fans today know The Blade and Drake Maverick for their work in All Elite Wrestling and WWE respectively, back in 2016 these two men had a rivalry that led to not only an injury, but also an empty arena match.
In June of 2016, Braxton Sutter (The Blade) made his official debut for TNA Wrestling and wrestled names like James Storm, Balam (the future Lince Dorado in WWE), and Rockstar Spud but it was during an incident with the former X Division Champion and British Boot Camp Winner that got Sutter into Spud's crosshairs.
During an Ultimate X match on an episode of Impact, Spud would get a tooth knocked out by Braxton Sutter which required Spud to use adult braces to keep his teeth together.
After weeks of hype and brutal attacks by Spud onto Sutter, the company scheduled an empty area match between both men on the September 16th 2016 edition of Impact where there was to be no turnbuckles inside the ring, leaving the metal exposed for the wrestlers to use.
The intensity was seen throughout this match notably on Spud's part as he attempts to ram Sutter's mouth into the exposed metal hoping to mess up his teeth but unfortunately he wouldn't be able to get his revenge on this night as Braxton was able to capitalize the already injured mouth of Spud to pick up the victory.
5. Tim Storm vs. Jocephus (January 14th, 2018)
Since the revival of the National Wrestling Alliance, Smashing Pumpkins Front-man Billy Corgan has made it clear to everyone that he and his company will never work with Impact Wrestling again never ever ever....unless of course you count that one time in 2018.
Yup, during the early stages of the Callis/D'Amore era, Billy Corgan requested the use of the Impact Zone in Orlando Florida for the setting of an empty arena match between two bitter rivals.
In late 2017, veteran pro wrestler Tim Storm lost the NWA World Heavyweight Championship to former TNA Tag Team and World Champion, Nick Aldis, although to be fair to Storm he was walking into this match with two fractured ribs which was caused due to an attack with a ladder by the late great Jocephus Brody, a man who had threatened Tim Storm's family after a few previous titles defenses.
The feud between both men got so heated that it eventually led to them facing off in a falls count anywhere empty arena match with Storm's title rematch on the line and the location for this match would be the legendary Impact Zone.
For the majority of the match/fight, Tim Storm is seen beating the piss out of Jocephus with barricades, chairs shots and even used a ladder while also passionately yelling at his nemesis for threatening his loved ones, but Jocephus is able to retaliate soon afterwards and began to inflict of his own punishment with a steel chair and kendo stick as the actions takes place throughout.
In the end, Jocephus manages to steal the victory from Storm in the empty arena match but the former NWA champion would get the last laugh as he would defeat his rival in a hair vs. hair thereby ending the feud.
4. Jerry Lawler vs. Terry Funk (April 25th 1981)
The earliest example to make it onto this list sees two wrestling legends and WWE Hall of Famers beating the hell out of each other inside the Mid-South Coliseum all the way back in early 1980's.
After making claims in a pre-taped interview that there was some bias against him by the police, the fans and the officials of Memphis Tennessee in favor of their hometown hero, Terry Funk issues an challenge to Jerry Lawler to face off in an empty Mid South Coliseum where the only people allowed are himself, Lawler, the camera crew, a photographer and interviewer Lance Russell.
Upon entering the building both men proceeded to just brawl in and outside of the ring with the most notably moments include getting throw into a set of chairs, Funk hitting a Piledriver onto Lawler on the outside, and the roaming commentary by Terry Funk which at one point becomes hilarious to due how high pitch his voice gets.
The finish came when a 2x4 was brought into play and that ultimately made the biggest difference in the match with one man walking away from the whole ordeal victorious and other in pain and agony.
3. Sting vs. Kurt Angle (February 29th 2009)
The Main Event Mafia, One the company's most dominant factions were going through some issues mainly between two of it's key members: Kurt Angle and Sting as 'The Icon' wasn't too keen with how Kurt Angle was leading the Mafia and the Olympic Gold Medalist wasn't too pleased with Sting questioning his integrity as the leader and Kurt also wanted to become the new TNA world champion as well.
The animosity between both men paved the way for this empty arena match on the February 29th 2009 edition Impact with members of the Main Event Mafia watching in the backstage area.
As to be expected, the punches and the intensity was running wild in this match as both Sting and Kurt used everything as there disposal with Sting verbally saying that his was trying to kill Kurt and Angle mentioning how Sting is an SOB and how much he hates him.
Towards the end of it, the rest of the mafia couldn't watch anymore and attempted to break up the fight but after a handshake by both men ends up with Kurt spitting in Sting's face, it's clear that the bad blood between Angle and Sting is still high and would continue to be the case for much of 2009.
2. Mankind vs. The Rock For The WWF Championship (January 31st, 1999)
Perhaps the most famous empty arena match of all time, The Rock defended his WWF championship against Mankind in a rematch from their previous encounter at the Royal Rumble which is infamously remembered today for Foley taking 10-11 unprotected chair shots to head while his wife and kids were in the audience.
With Vince and Shane McMahon joining the commentary team, 'The Corporate Champion' and Miss Foley's baby boy started the action inside the ring before spilling to the outside with highlights including The Rock taking time to do commentary after burying Mankind with chair and later Foley tumbling down a flight of stairs all the way in the cheap seats.
They then head to the back where The Rock and Mankind continue to make highlights in this match notably: Throwing Mr. Socko into the oven, Mankind battering The Rock with a large bag of popcorn, Throwing various amounts of food at each other, The Rock answering the phone with "Hello, Smackdown Hotel" and so much more.
The finish comes after Mankind rides a forklift on the loading dock and places a large piece of wood on top of him before covering him for the three count and becoming the new WWF Champion.
1. Motor City Machine Guns vs. Generation Me (November 18th, 2010)
Generation Me also known as the Young Bucks spent the majority of their time in TNA competing against Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin of the Motor City Machine Guns in singles matches, Ultimate X and Full Metal Mayhem matches and of course this empty arena match which occurred on TNA's short lived program, TNA Reaction.
The Guns and Gen Me wasted no time fighting each other as the cussing and hard hits are happening at rapid pace.
Aside from the subdue commentary from Mike Tenay and Taz during this match the overall bulk of the bout sees both teams throwing each other into the guardrails, Gen Me telling one half of the machine guns to get out of 'their ring' while choking out the other one, Alex Shelly whipping both members of Gen Me with their own belts and even both teams manage to incorporate their trademark team tag moves into the match.
After putting away one of the Bucks with a tag team maneuver through a table, both Shelley and Sabin grabbed and tied the other member of Gen Me to the corner while frantically screaming that their going to kill him...what the heck is it with TNA wrestler's threatening to kill their opponents in empty arena matches?
Anyway, One of the bucks defiantly spat in both of the Guns faces before Shelley and Sabin hit the exclamation point on this match with swift double team superkick to the face.
While the feud would last longer than the show the bout took place on, the empty arena match between Generation Me and the Motor City Machines is arguably one of the best empty arena matches in pro wrestling history.
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