Back in the good old days of wrestling, gimmick matches were few and far between: they were reserved for blow-offs to money-making feuds, designed to rinse the last few dollars out of the publics interest; or they were comedy cooldown matches, where midcard heels or loathed managers would receive their comeuppance in front of a cackling family crowd. The principle is still the same its just that gimmicks have become a standard part of wrestling storytelling. A card without gimmicks on it seems stale: feuds with little to no heat behind them can be lazily microwaved with the addition of a ridiculous stipulation. When its done right, of course, a gimmick isnt necessary. Storylines provide stakes. With the proper build-up, cleverly played out, your audience will know what the consequences are for a heel win or a babyface win and will care enough about the outcome not to need a silly rule in place to make them care. If a hated heel is about to get his due, people will pay to see it happen: if a beloved babyface is in danger of being screwed over, people will pay to see him triumph over those odds. Its wrestling 101, the framework that these narratives are hung on and when there are awful consequences to a match, theyll care all the more. This article is about those kinds of consequences: the terrible things, daftly comic or deadly serious, stipulation or storyline, that can happen to a performer on the sharp end of the booking stick.