When a simple one-on-one match just isn’t enough, wrestling organizations around the world have come up with an array of gimmick matches to elevate feuds and ratchet up the intensity. Some gimmick matches have become important parts of wrestling, such as the Cage Match, the Ladder Match, and the dreaded Hell in a Cell. And then there’s the gimmick matches that make you ask the question “Who thought this was a good idea?” as nonsensical rules, convoluted stipulations, and terrible ideas converge into matches that many people who be happy to have erased from existence. And yet, some of the truly ridiculous gimmick matches on this list have happened more than once!
10. Sumo Match
While WrestleMania 21 may be one of the best Manias of all time, it also contains one of the strangest ideas WWE ever came up with. In their constant search for mainstream attention, WWE decided to sign famous sumo wrestler Akebono, and promoted a sumo match between him and The Big Show at WrestleMania. Akebono barely showed up for the build, and it’s unlikely that many people in North America even knew who he was, but that wasn’t even the biggest issue with this match. That would be the fact that while The Big Show is really big, he had absolutely no experience with sumo wrestling, which is actually serious business. Meanwhile, Akebono was the first non-Japanese born yokozuna (the highest rank of sumo) with a career that spanned over a decade. As a result, the whole thing lasted roughly a minute before Akebono shoved Big Show out of the ring, winning the match in front of thousands of fans who had absolutely no idea what was going on. Akebono would actually go on to a moderately successful pro wrestling career in Japan, while North American audiences were left only with the unpleasant sight of Big Show in far too revealing sumo gear.