Ahmed Johnson & Legion of Doom (Wrestlemania 13 March 23, 1997)

For reasons still not entirely clear to me, when I was in high school I thought Ahmed Johnson was the most awesome wrestler in the WWF.  Maybe I liked his numerous knee pads…I don’t know. While the reason why I liked him remains a mystery I can tell you my favorite Ahmed Johnson match.

For my money, the pinnacle of Ahmed Johnson’s WWF run was that time he teamed up with the Legion of Doom at Wrestlemania 13 to face the Nation of Domination in a “Chicago Street Fight.”

Torrie Wilson & Dawn Marie vs. The Fabulous Moolah & Mae Young (Smackdown September 23, 2004)

To those individuals who claim that the concept of TV-PG “ruined” WWE, I present the following match.  Torrie Wilson and Dawn Marie are slated to wrestle a “schoolgirl” match.  Everyone is amped up to see woman roll around in short skirts and tiny tops, but it’s the 5th Anniversary of Smackdown, so General Manager Teddy Long appears and says that they need to do something special to celebrate.  So, true to form, Teddy Long makes the match a tag team match…

Teddy Long talks up the need for “old school girls,” and out come Mae Young and the Fabulous Moolah clad in schoolgirl uniforms and after Teddy Long kisses and dances with the “old school girls,” the match gets underway.

And so the match that existed for no other reason than titillation is transformed into a comedy match.  Holla! Holla! Holla!  It’s mercifully short ending Moolah lifts up Dawn Marie’s skirt and rips off her top giving the crowd the only thing it wanted out of this match: the sight of a lady’s bethonged ass.

Claudio Castagnoli vs. Brodie Lee (Chikara Style & Substance September 7, 2008)

Back in 2008, the man we know and love as Cesaro was going by Claudio Castagnoli and in Chikara was wrecking house on…well, pretty much everyone…everyone except Brodie Lee (aka a slightly less hobo bearded Luke Harper).

The pair had a few matches.  There were some DQs, maybe a count out, a Dusty finish or two.  Try as he might, Catagnoli couldn’t get a decisive win over Lee, and so a steel cage match was booked…the first in Chikara history!

Here’s a gimmick match done right!  The two had a long running feud.  Regular matches could not resolve the issue…cue cage match.  Kudos to you Chikara! Over in the WWE Universe, I’ll say that NXT is pretty good about using gimmick matches sparingly, but my god, Original Recipe WWE do we need so many annual gimmick PPVs?

The Attitude Era is long gone.  You can let guys and ladies just get out there and wrestle and that’s enough.  Save the no DQ matches, the ladder matches, the street fights, and the steel cage matches for those long running feuds that deserve them.  Remember that Big Show “stairs match” against Erick Rowan?  Why was that a thing that ever happened?  The feud between those two dudes did not warrant any sort of gimmick match, even one as stupid as a “stairs match.”