10 Times WWE Gambled On A New Gimmick Match

10. Buried Alive

WWE

The WWF of the New Generation was an endlessly inventive beast that didn't know how best to siphon its creativity.

Devising a new occupational gimmick was easy (they just thought of a load of jobs and had any auld f*cker play them) but a new gimmick match less so - and yet, they managed it to varying success on a near bi-monthly basis in 1996. The Buried Alive match, dreamed up to prolong the epic Undertaker Vs. Mankind saga with a new tone of horror, endured for a long time.

Why?

You'd have to sample the pay-per-view audience. The matches almost invariably reeked, as most matches without a pitfall element do. Sans the sudden drama of a flash pin, the matches were bereft of heat, as fans waited for the combatants (the Undertaker Vs. Somebody though not, incredibly, DDP) to orbit the burial plot. The wrestlers themselves got there via plodding, fairly contrived brawl, one undermined by its glaring lack of chaos. It couldn't spill out anywhere, casting an illusion of red-mist hatred; it arrived, obviously, at its destination, and the struggle element just felt daft - they weren't avoiding the sting of losing to a heated rival but death itself. Live, on pay-per-view!

Phony and boring, omens are not good for a fortnight's time...

Contributor
Contributor

Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!