Today’s wrestling entertainment is bigger, badder, and more outrageous than even before. In the age of backyard and Ultimate Fighting, professional wrestling and the nature of main event matches themselves have had to become more over-the-top, including dangerous stuntwork and Hollywood pyrotechnics and glitz. While battle royals, cage matches, and no-holds-barred bouts have become wrestling staples for decades, WWE owner Vince McMahon and others have had to think both outside the box and outside the ring. In most cases, they’ve vastly embellished these longtime wrestling staples.
The Battle Royal
WWE’s “Bra and Panties” matches are a twist on the old battle royal with extra helpings of T&A sex and violence added. In these matches, (mostly) gorgeous wrestling babes, also known as WWE Divas, climb into a ring or cage, and they fight. The first wrestler to strip their opponent down to bra and panties is declared the winner.
The “Evening Gown” match is a variation of the “Bra and Panties” match. All Divas start out in the ring in wedding dresses until the first wrestler is stripped down to bra and panties.
The Cage Match
“The Punjabi Prison” match is an amped-up version of the good old fashioned cage bout. In the “Punjabi” version, opponents are locked in a tall bamboo cage without doors. The only escape is past rows of sharp wood spikes or “Punji stakes.”
The “Hardcore Wrestling” genre was created to compete with the recent backyard and Ultimate Fighting trend. An over-the-top version of the old-skool no-holds-barred event, “Hardcore Wrestling” adds a variety of “weapons” and blunt instruments that are readily available to all combatants. The world of Japanese professional wrestling can be credited with originating this genre, also known in Japan as “garbage wrestling.” This is a term coined by Japanese wrestling superstar Giant Baba.
Hardcore Wrestling “weapons” have been known to include fluorescent light bulbs, barbed wire, folding chairs, trash cans, weed whackers, cacti, cheese graters, and television sets.
The WWE version of Hardcore Wrestling reached its pinnacle in 2000 with the “24/7 Hardcore Championship” event where Hardcore champion Crash Holly took on all comers inside and outside the ring for a 24-hour seven-day time period. During this week, Holly fought opponents in wide-ranging locations, including the airport, a hotel room, and a circus funhouse. A full-blown wrestling soap opera, if you will.
“Tables, Ladders, and Chairs” is another imaginative WWE variation of the no-holds-barred match, where the aforementioned three objects become legal “weapons” in the ring. The first wrestler to climb a ladder and “capture” a dangling championship-type belt becomes the winner.
Specialty Matches, WWE, URL: (http://www.wwe.com/inside/specialtymatches/)