Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho will write another chapter in their ongoing feud at Extreme Rules, and in the process, create a new volume in the history books of the WWE.
On the May 16th edition of Raw, Ambrose taunted Jericho into agreeing to another match at Sunday’s pay-per-view. What followed, however, was the unveiling of the newest gimmick match of the company.
Aptly dubbed the 'Asylum Match', it is a steel cage with various weapons dangling from the top of the structure. The rules, as Ambrose explained, are “no rules” and “no escape,” effectively creating a blend between a Hell in a Cell match within a steel cage and a hardcore match.
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The idea is exciting, as WWE has seemingly been reluctant to take new risks in the PG Era. New matches were plentiful in the Attitude Era, and even in the early 2000s, with popular matches such as Hell in a Cell, TLC, Inferno, and Buried Alive matches all originating from those glorious years of wrestling.
Another facet that inspires elation is the fact that Ambrose appears to be receiving his own gimmick match. Some of the most colourful wrestlers in the past have been elevated by their own specialty matches, such as Kane with the Inferno Match, Undertaker with the Buried Alive Match, and the tag teams of Edge & Christian, the Dudleyz, and the Hardy Boyz with the TLC Match.
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WWE creative, for all the criticism they have received, should be commended for this effort. Following in the footsteps of Mick Foley and his Mankind persona, the Asylum Match could be the perfect playground for the Lunatic Fringe.
The brutality brought about by the unpredictable weapons above should create an excellent blend of comedy and violence, and conjure an atmosphere suitable for in-ring storytelling.
Issues with Asylum Match
Upon closer inspection, however, the Asylum Match may be a one-time affair due to its complex execution. WWE creative will need to find plausible ways for the wrestlers to access the weapons above, as constant climbs up the steel cage to retrieve tools would disrupt the flow of the match.
In addition, the wrestlers cannot shy away from using as many of the weapons as possible. Parading a variety of toys around the ring raises expectations that those toys would be used during the match, and anything short of mutual annihilation will be disappointing for the fans.
The most recent example of this disappointment would be Ambrose’s feud with Brock Lesnar, in which the former filled up a red wagon full of weapons, along with inherited items from Mick Foley and Terry Funk, but failed to use most of them at WrestleMania.
Both wrestlers will be required to fight like resilient warriors, desperately preventing their opponent from reaching another weapon. At the same time, both men must show no mercy to their opponent, and stay true to their characters, whether it be Jericho’s cunning and cerebral approach or Ambrose’s lunacy and recklessness.
Ultimately, the Asylum Match is evidence that WWE creative is beginning to have an idea of how Ambrose can be shaped into a legend, and bodes well for the career of the Lunatic Fringe.
The execution of the match is difficult, with many requirements needed to be fulfilled for a satisfactory performance, and perfect in-ring storytelling to thrill the crowd. However, if successful, this may be a diamond in the rough, and a legendary match may be born at Sunday’s Extreme Rules.
Who will win this match at Extreme Rules? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!