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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Point of a Gimmick Match
April 25, 2007 by Jason "ExtremeFalls" Simmons


Editor's Note: The author of this column can be contacted via the OWW Forums, where this submission was first posted. Feedback can be posted automatically by clicking here - but remember you must sign up for the forums to post feedback on a column. Thanks you!


If you have watched TNA lately you have probably noticed their biggest flaw: their booking. It has been criticized lately from up and down the internet for stupid and pointless angles and matches. However it has never been more apparent than the pay-per-view efforts of 2007. They have all fallen short by many people's opinions. In my own opinion the thing that has hurt these pay-per-views the most is gimmick matches. Now I'm all for a good gimmick match, but TNA is exposing why they are so dangerous. In this column I am going to explain the points of a gimmick match.

Now it doesn't take a wrestling historian to understand why you have a gimmick match. The reason is to either help end a feud or help further a feud. However, recently TNA has completely misunderstood that reasoning. In TNA a gimmick match has become even more common than a singles match. The gimmicks have gotten so out of control that they have led to a TNA fan base revolt against the product. Now wrestling fans revolting against a product is not uncommon for say, the WWE, but for TNA this is new ground. Will Dixie Carter respond after fans chanted "fire Russo" during another gimmick disaster that was the Last Rites Match?

"I love the passion of wrestling fans but there is just so much that they get wrong, that they perceive to be one way when it's not."

That above quote is from Dixie Carter in an interview with The Sun in the UK over the weekend. Not only did she pretty much call the fans idiots for disagreeing with TNA's concept, but she would later in the interview claim TNA fans chanted "this is awesome" later in the match when they didn't. In fact the only chant they had was a small and short "TNA" chant but there were also "This is stupid" and "Boring" chants during the match. Carter would also go on to defend Russo and blame 42 minutes of TV time as the issue. Why having 42 minutes of TV has anything to do with the fact fans booed the match out of the building is anyone's guess. However that interview showed exactly the problem with TNA no one in that company wants to take responsibility. Whether it is the Kurt Angle debacles, Jeff Jarrett, the booking, and now gimmick matches but no one wants to confront it.

I would love for TNA to answer why, in the past four pay-per-views, they have had 24 gimmick matches out of 34. WWE has only had 11 on their last four pay-per-views. In the WWE I was counting The Royal Rumble and the Money in the Bank which both had reasons for them. TNA on the other hand, a majority if not all of them had no reason other than to have a gimmick match. Now don't you think 24 gimmick matches in the span of four pay-per-views is overkill? This isn't even counting the last 4 months of Impact, which have also seen far too many gimmick matches.

However the pinnacle of this garbage was last night at TNA Lockdown. The concept of the event is either loved or hated as all matches are contested in the steel cage. They had 8 cage matches; however 5 of these matches had extra gimmicks to them. Now when you gimmick already gimmicked matches 5 times on one show you have a problem on your hands. In fact most reviews I have read have straight out said the gimmicks hurt the show. Case in point: the Electric Cage Match, when not only did the wrestlers touch the cage multiple times but for some reason TNA figured leather and baseball gloves can block "electricity". The feud up to this point has had 4 gimmick matches and trying to finish it off with another dumb gimmick match didn't help the feud at all. Another gimmick match that totally flopped was the Blindfold match. TNA had America's Most Wanted wrestle each other in blindfolds that fell off multiple times and the action in the match was handicapped because of the gimmick. Of course fans once again booed and chanted "We Want Wrestling".

"We want wrestling" now isn't that great advice? I love a good gimmick match however I've grown very tired of the overkill. When you claim "we are wrestling" you sure as hell better back it up with some damn good wrestling! However TNA hasn't lately, it's been too busy having over booked and dumb gimmick matches. I guarantee you if TNA had half the gimmicks they have used on recent shows, fans would react better to these shows. Perfect example was the recent 2 out of 3 falls match between Jerry Lynn and Chris Sabin. It was a decent match, however they went about 13 minutes so they had 3 pinfalls in 13 minutes so everything once again seemed rushed. Now let them work 13 minutes with a singles match and I'm sure you would have had a hell of a match up. But did TNA give us that? No we got a rushed gimmick match that lessened the X-Division title and hurt both wrestlers.

If TNA wants to run a gimmick match then watch what the WWE does. How often do we see an Elimination Chamber? How about a Ladder match? What about the Hell in a Cell? The answers to these questions are simple: once or twice a year usually. Which raises the value of the match, wrestlers, and pay-per-view it's on. People buy the Royal Rumble most of the time because you want to see the Royal Rumble Match. However TNA ,for every good concept they have, they have ruined. Case in point: Lockdown was good the first year but they continue to run Cage Matches all year which lowers the value of the pay-per-view. Which hurts you in the check book because people aren't going to pay to see matches they've already seen.

Is TNA hopeless? No this whole issue can be fixed; however it's up to Dixie Carter and the people in charge to stop being so stubborn. Last Rites, Electric Cage, Blindfold cage, Escape, Italy Street fight, Ghetto Brawl, and all of these other pointless and over booked matches need to go. Fans are turning on these matches and they are hurting the product. Whether you're Vince Russo, Dutch Mantel, Jeff Jarrett, or Dixie Carter you need to understand the reasons for doing gimmick matches. They aren't there to be used as a regular match they are there to add something. However TNA hasn't added anything to their product with this overkill on gimmicks but hatred and anger from their own fans. So STOP WITH THE GIMMICK MATCHES!

by Jason "XtremeFalls" Simmons (Submit your feedback here)..




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