Gimmick matches are common in the world of pro wrestling. These matches have rules that are different from the standard, one-fall-to-a-finish wrestling match. Gimmick matches develop their own tropes. Most promotions, including WWE, reserve gimmick matches for pay-per-view events. However, there have been exceptions where a gimmick match took place on live TV.
WWE loves to break teams and turn them against each other. This is exactly what the promotion did in 2009 when it pitted the Hardy Boyz against each other. Both Matt and Jeff were in the midst of a heated feud, which saw the brothers engage in fierce matches.
Before they engaged in a bitter “I Quit” match at Backlash 2009, the brothers squared off against each other in a Stretcher Match on the April 10, 2009, episode of SmackDown. After 14 minutes of back and forth action, Matt bested Jeff.
While Hell in a Cell was a staple part of the Attitude Era, WWE almost abandoned the idea of lowering the iconic cell on live WWE in the new millennium. The promotion bended the rules when it decided to have Roman Reigns square off against Rey Mysterio inside the cell on an episode of SmackDown in 2021.
Ironically, the match took place before the HIAC premium live event. The Tribal Chief successfully defended his Universal Championship against the fan favorite Mysterio. WWE would also hold a Hell in a Cell match between Bobby Lashley and Xavier Woods the RAW after HIAC.
Vince McMahon is no stranger to fighting for the control of WWE. McMahon famously fought against Stone Cold Steve Austin for the promotion’s ownership at the 1999 King of the Ring PPV. He would take on Ric Flair for 100% ownership of the company three years later.
Flair was playing the co-owner of WWE in a storyline that began on the RAW after Survivor Series 2001. McMahon took on the Nature Boy in a No Holds Barred Match on the June 10, 2002, episode of the red brand. McMahon won the match after Brock Lesnar hit an F5 on Flair.
The Wyatt Family and the Shield battled in a series of excellent matches in 2014. Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt reignited the rivalry, but this time one-on-one, in 2015. The feud began after Wyatt interfered during Ambrose’s HIAC match against Seth Rollins.
After losing every single one of their high-profile matches, Ambrose would lose to Wyatt a final time on RAW, this time in an Ambulance match in the middle of the show after eating a couple of Sister Abigails.
The first TLC match took place at the SummerSlam 2000 pay-per-view event. The second took place at WrestleMania 17. The third TLC bout took place on the May 24, 2001, episode of SmackDown between the Dudleys, E&C, the Hardyz and Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho.
Jericho and Benoit successfully defended their WWE Tag Team Championship against the other three teams. The match was chaotic from start to finish and many fans couldn’t believe that WWE gave it for free at the time.