There are several legends of the squared circle who are associated with a particular gimmick match; a match that propelled their wrestling careers into the next level. Smashing that proverbial glass ceiling. When you talk of Shawn Michaels, his ladder match with Razor Ramon is an easy pick whilst The Undertaker is synonymous with Hell In A Cell. This Sunday at Extreme Rules, Dean Ambrose challenges Chris Jericho in the first ever Asylum match. A certain Hall Of Famer who knows alot about career defining moments in gimmick matches, believes this match could propel Ambrose into another level.
Posted on his Facebook Page, Mick Foley describes Ambrose match with Jericho as another smaller break and this one could possible smash the glass ceiling.
Could this #AsylumMatch at #ExtremeRules be exactly what Dean Ambrose needs? Experience has taught me that a big break is often a series of smaller breaks – like a ball peen hammer tapping away at that glass ceiling everyone talks about…until finally, it shatters. Could this match it be another breakthrough for Ambrose?
For starters, the Asylum match is unique within the WWE. Certainly it appears like a similar concept to TNA’s Lethal Lockdown. Ambrose has a chance to make this match his, just like the Undertaker and Hell In A Cell. Certain gimmick matches have helped several wrestlers become associated with these types of matches and become legends of the ring as a result. Amrbose vs. Jericho inside the Asylum will for sure be another chance for Ambrose to shine.
Career Defining Gimmick Matches
Naturally the easiest wrestler to think of who defined a gimmick match is the Undertaker. In the 33 Hell In A Cell matches, the Deadman has appeared in 14 of them. After competing in the first Hell In A Cell match at Badd Blood 1997 against Shawn Michaels, Undertaker created a legacy of incredible matches inside Devil’s structure and making “people famous”. That debut Hell In A Cell match was unbelievable, the third match (second PPV HIAC match) against Mick Foley pushed the boat and established Hell In A Cell as Undertakers playground. Fast forward through the years and the list of classic moments is endless; Rikishi at Armageddon 2000, against Brock Lesnar at No Mercy 2002 and again in 2015, Randy Orton and Edge to name a few.
The ladder match “debuted” at WrestleMania X, with Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon taking risks never seen before in WWE. Shawn Michaels captured the hearts of the WWE Universe and became remembered for the match. In fact (including the first actual ladder match) Shawn Michaels competed in the first four ladder matches. In Michaels return from retirement, the Showstopper had two more ladder matches. One against his good friend Triple H (3 Stages Of Hell match at Armageddon 2002) and the other against Chris Jericho at No Mercy 2008.
Fast forward to No Mercy 1999 and four youngsters had nothing to lose. Edge & Christian and The Hardy Boyz shock the ladder match upside down and added a tag team spotfest twist to the match. On that night in Cleveland, those four boys became men and established themselves as top stars in the WWE. Seven months later, along with The Dudley Boyz the ladder match became a Triple Threat Tag team ladder match. Adding even more dimensions to the chaos, with Tables, Ladders and Chairs being used. Summerslam 2000 saw the first of the TLC matches, which once again Edge, Christian and particularly Jeff Hardy became house hold names within the TLC realm. Edge and Jeff Hardy became ladder and TLC specialists, both winning high profile matches many years after the first ones took place. Jeff Hardy took TLC to TNA and introduced Full Metal Mayhem a new twist on the proven winning formula.
Speaking of mayhem, our good friend Mick Foley took mayhem and flipped inside out. During his career, he competed in street fights, barbed wire matches, King Of The Death matches as well as two hellacious Hell In A Cell matches. As previously mentioned, Undertaker defined Hell In A Cell, Foley was a simple catalyst to make that match his. So what about Mick Foley, well on his career retrospect DVD documentary, he believes that The Boiler Room Brawl match is rightfully his. 1996, following a shocking clean victory over The Undertaker at King Of The Ring, The Deadman sought redemption against Mankind. For the first time ever, the two faced off in a Boiler Room Brawl match. These two men took each other to the limit, putting their bodies through hell. Mankind, thanks to Paul Bearer defeated The Undertaker on that night. In 1999 Mick brought the concept back, competing in three Boiler Room Brawl matches. His match at Backlash 1999, against The Big Show was brutal. Whilst Triple H faced Foley twice later on in the year.
Moving back to The Undertaker, in his proclaimed profession handled many Caskets in his time. In fact, he introduced the first Casket match to the WWE in 19992 when he faced Kamala at Survivor Series. The match was solely his until Triple H faced Mideon & Viscera on an episode of Smackdown. None the less, fans always associate the Deadman with the Casket Match, just like Buried Alive.
Dean Ambrose has a chance to make his mark, define and etch a chapter into wrestling history. Like those above, can he define the Asylum match as his own? If so can he finally smash that proverbial glass ceiling we all know he can break.
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