Two weeks removed from the TNT Championship Dog Collar Match, and honestly, I am still impressed. Brodie Lee and Cody took a dead stipulation and made it feel fresh for a new generation of wrestling viewers. In my AEW piece from last week, I made a case for the TNT Championship being defended with more gimmick matches and crazy stipulations. With Cody seemingly set for a long second run with the TNT title, I think introducing more stipulations and interesting match types would fit his love for the 80s and 90s wrestling he grew up watching his father help create. Of course, not all stipulation matches need to go to Cody, other names in AEW are also suited for these kinds of shenanigans Chris Jericho, Miro, and Jon Moxley all come to mind when I think about the matches I recommend in this article.
There are 5 gimmick matches that AEW should bring back to our TVs!
5. First Blood Match
AEW is not afraid to get bloody. It seems like every time either Cody or Jon Moxley step into the ring, and you know that someone will get busted open. I personally don't have any issues with blood in matches, and it seems like most wrestling fans would agree with me. The first blood match isn't a dead concept, but it seems like we rarely see them happen anymore. WWE seemed to stop hosting these matches following the end of the "Ruthless Aggression Era" as they moved into the "PG Era," and other mainstream promotions such as Impact or Ring of Honor typically pass up the concept for something a bit more extreme.
This match type is nothing special, but if you get the right feud going with two wrestlers who could really sell this gimmick, AEW would be set.
4. Flag Match
I know that Miro isn't really doing the Rusev Russian/Bulgarian gimmick now that he is on AEW. I'm not even saying that Miro needs to be one of the competitors in AEW's version of a flag match. But also imagine a Chris Jericho vs. Miro, Canada vs. Bulgaria flag match. If that doesn't sell you on the idea, I don't know what will.
Is this stipulation from a bygone era where babyfaces relied on being "True American Heros" and villains were often anti-American Soviets? Yes. Can it still be fun to watch? Absolutely. If you want an example of how a flag match can get ridiculously over if the crowd is into it, watch WrestleMania 2, a bland show with mostly uninteresting matches and a crowd that wasn't afraid to voice their displeasure. The flag match at WrestleMania 2, despite being only a few minutes long, got some of the loudest cheers of the night. People love to watch their hometown hero win, and even if they lose, it is great heat for a heel.
3. Straightjacket Match
For those of you who have not seen a straightjacket match, the rules are pretty simple. Put your opponent in a straightjacket, and you win. This match can be brutal as often, and the winner must first render their opponent unconscious just to get the jacket on them.
Despite the image above featuring Chris Jericho and Dean Ambrose (aka Jon Moxley), I don't think that AEW's attempt at a straightjacket match should feature either of these two wrestlers. Actually, I think this match could end up being a good final match for the end of the feud between Sammy Guevara and Matt Hardy. If you have been following Matt on YouTube, you know that the multiverse is starting to come out of the broken one once again. I think that confining Matt to straightjacket, only for his broken character to come back full-time, could be an interesting way to reintroduce the gimmick. Maybe I am wrong, though, and AEW will just have someone put Brodie Lee or Luther in a straightjacket.
2. Doomsday Cage Match
Now it is time for my likely most controversial opinion. AEW should bring back the Doomsday Cage Match. Many people hate this match; Eric Bischoff talked about how much he hated this on his 83 Weeks Podcast; the first result when you google "Doomsday Cage Match" is a blog devoted to how much this match sucks. I get it but come on, and this concept is so cool.
I bring up Bischoff's podcast for one prime reason, and that is he explained all the reasons he thought this match was no good. I think that AEW could listen to that criticism and figure out how to fix those mistakes. Storywise, AEW has the perfect team to be the villains for the match, and that is the Dark Order. They just need to build a story where a team of two people needs to go through all of the Dark Order and let it build to the point where a monstrosity like the three-story steel cage is necessary.
If the story is right and the kinks are worked out, AEW could turn this trainwreck into an excellent pay per view match. I'm not saying that it won't be divisive, but if no one is willing to take risks, what is the point in trying anything new at all.
1. Bunkhouse Match
This one seems like a no brainer to me. Sure, the bunkhouse brawl is pretty much a street fight with a different name and more boots, but it just seems like a lot of fun. Another acceptable variation is the Bunkhouse Stampede battle royal, which also just sounds like a lot of fun.
Of course, the match and the use of cowboy boots does seem right up the alley of AEW's own Hangman Adam Page, but I could see both Cody and Dustin Rhodes doing well and honoring their father's tradition of winning Bunkhouse Brawls.
The runaway success of the recent parking lot brawl between Best Friends and Santana & Ortiz indicates that a match like this could also be received particularly well by audiences. Honestly, it would be more surprising to hear that Cody had never considered doing a bunkhouse match in AEW than finding out that one is already in the works.
What do you think? Are there any other gimmick matches that you want to see AEW revive? Let me know by tweeting at me @robbydeshazer!
While you're here at Wrestling News World, why not become one of our Premium Members for exclusive backstage news? You can even start off with a 30 day free trial!