This is a list of match types seen in professional wrestling.
Variations of singles matches
The standard wrestling match. All normal rules apply.
No Disqualification Match
Normal rules apply other than there are no disqualifications this can also be called a No Holds Barred Match
Best Two [out] of Three falls
To win you must score two falls on your opponent before he can score two on you. Sometimes each of the falls is fought under different stipulations (called Three Stages of Hell
), such as one pinfall, one submissions only fall and one no disqualification fall. This type of match is almost always booked to go to the third fall.
see also: 2 out of 3 falls match
The first man to make his opponent submit wins.
Falls Count Anywhere Match
This match has pinfalls anywhere in the arena. Otherwise, normal rules apply.
2nd type : You lose if you come back to the ring and your opponent didn't make his way back in the next 60 seconds ( e.g:WM X = Crush vs Macho Man)
Iron Man Match
This match is a contest with a fixed time limit, usually sixty minutes (or one hour), and the wrestler with the most amount of pinfalls, submissions, opponent disqualifications, and opponent count-outs is the winner.
See also: Iron man match
Ultimate Submission Match
This match is a variation of an Iron Man Match. The variation is that the wrestler with the most submissions at the end of the match is the winner.
Steel Cage Match
Possibly one of the most famous stipulation matches, this match takes place inside a steel cage, usually about fifteen feet high with an open top. There are two types of cage matches. The traditional cage match, known as a shark cage match, is won by being the first wrestler to escape the cage and have both feet touch the floor. The other variation is basically a one fall match inside a cage. Sometimes a cage match incorporates both escape and pinfalls or submission, permitting either to end the match. There are no disqualifications. Can also be modified to include objects designed to stop the wrestlers from climbing out E.G barbed wire.
Six Sides of Steel
A Steel Cage match held inside a hexagonal
A match that ussually involves 6 to 8 men in an elimination style match. The eliminations occur by pinfall, submission, countout or disqualification. The winner is the one who is the last man in the ring.
A match where the ring is surrounded by a group of "lumberjacks", normally fellow wrestlers. When one participant in the match leaves the ring for any reason, the lumberjacks are supposed to return him to the ring as soon as possible. The lumberjacks are generally a combination of faces
, who sometimes fight among themselves outside the ring. Sometimes, as part of a storyline, a face will wrestle a heel with a group of lumberjacks consisting entirely of heels. A variation of this match is called a Canadian Lumberjack Match
, in which the lumberjacks are equipped with leather straps. Usually a gimmick match.
This match cannot end in a disqualification. All other normal rules apply. A variation of this match is called a Southside Scuffle
in which two wrestlers fight in a back alley with either sides blocked off by other wrestlers. Another variation of this match is called a Harbor Brawl
in which the wrestlers battle near or on a dock. The first wrestler to either win by knockout or throw their opponent in the water is declared the winner.
This match has no disqualifications, no count-outs and no holds barred. Pinfalls count anywhere. There was also a championship belt
denoting the most hardcore person in the WWF/E.
see also Hardcore wrestling
A match between two or more wrestlers where the winner is the one who climbs the ladder and grabs a reward (usually a championship belt). There is also another variation called a Stairway to Hell Match
in which there is barbed wire as the reward and the wrestler can use it on his opponent; only way to win is by submission.
This match has wrestlers against each other with provided tables. First wrestler to put their opponents through a table is declared the winner. There are no disqualifications.
This match has steel chairs as legal weapons. No disqualifications but other rules apply.
Same rules as a ladder match except that tables and chairs are readily available as weapons. Usually this match features tag-teams of wrestlers (but no tag rules apply).
Triple Threat Match See also: Three Way Dance
This is a one fall match where three wrestlers fight instead of two. The winner of this match is the first wrestler to get a pin fall or submission. There is usually no disqualfication or count-out. If a championship is on the line, the champion does not have to be pinned or submitted for the title to change hands.
Also known as Special Guest Referee
is any match in which the usual referee is replaced with a "guest" filling in as the official. Celebrities, managers and other wrestlers can "guest" as the special referee. In some cases, a special referee is put into a match which is already a different match type or stipulation (for example: Hell in a Cell with a Special Referee).
Special Outside Referee
Also known as Special Enforcer
or Special Guest Enforcer
is same as the Special Referee but the guest referee stays on the outside enforcing what the normal referee doesn't see. These guests are sometimes known as "enforcers", the most famous of which was Mike Tyson
Each wrestler has a flag that they must retrieve and one that they must defend. They must get their flag from the opponents' corner before the opponents can get their flag. There is also a tag-team variation of this match.
Luchas de Apuestas
Any match where both wrestlers have put something on the line such as a title or mask. They are more popular in Mexico but they do happen from time to time in Japan and the United States. Some variations follow. In any case of a draw, both wrestlers lose what they put up.
Hair v. Mask Match
A wrestler with hair, usually long hair, wrestles a masked wrestler. The loser is either unmasked or their head is shaved. This usually takes place in Mexico, where it is called Caballera contra Mascara
Hair v. Hair Match
The loser of the match gets his head shaved. In Mexico, this is called Caballera contra Caballera
Mask v. Mask Match
The loser of the match is unmasked. In Mexico, this is called Mascara contra Mascara
. In Mexico it is the most important match in a wrestler's career, since almost every wrestler begins their career masked. Only a few of the greatest wrestlers will keep their mask their whole career, such as Mil Mascaras
and El Hijo del Santo . In Mexico, once you are unmasked, you may never wear one again.
A three-way, one-fall tag match wherein one of the competitors must remain outside the ring to await a tag from one of the other combatants before replacing him in the ring. Being tagged out is a serious disadvantage as you cannot win from this position.
Three Way Dance
Same as a Triple Threat Match, this time with the loser of a fall being eliminated from competition. The last wrestler remaining is victorious. This match was a specialty of Extreme Championship Wrestling
. There is also another variation called a Four Way Dance
or Collision Course Royal Rumble
in which the match starts out as a typical Battle Royal or Royal Rumble but when there are four wrestlers remaining, a referee gets into the ring and the match turns into a Fatal Four Way Elimination Match.
Fatal Four Way Match
Same as a Triple Threat Match
, but with four wrestlers in the ring at the same time instead of three. On occasion, this may be booked as an "elimination match" similar to a Three Way Dance.
Hell in a Cell Match
This is essentially a one fall match inside a steel cage, which is fully enclosed. Pins or submissions only and can count inside or outside the structure. This cage is larger than a traditional cage in that it also contains the immediate floor around the ring. Even though the main hook in this match is that there's "no possible way to escape the cage", in practice, the action always ends up being taken outside, and it is very common to see wrestlers fighting on top of this steel structure. One of (if not the) most famous such match took place in 1998
in the then-WWF (now WWE
) between The Undertaker
. Another variation, called a Hell in a Cell Ladder Match
is when there is a ladder in the ring with the reward hanging at the top of the cell. First wrestler to get the reward wins. See Also: Hell in a Cell
This match takes place on a scaffold above the ring. The two ways to win the match are to push the opponent off of the scaffold so that he/she hits the mat or to grab the flag from the opponent's home base of the scaffold and return it to their own home base. Some variations include putting weapons or objects into the ring for when the opponent lands, ex. tables
. Another variation, called Scaffold Cage Match
, is when the wrestlers beat each other until one is knocked off of the scaffold and into the ring. In the ring, you are surrounded by a 15 foot high steel cage and the only way to win is by pinfall.
First Blood Match
This match has no disqualifications. The only way to win is to draw blood from the opponent.
This match has the ropes replaced with barbed-wire. Almost inevitably someone gets thrown against it. In the United States
, this match was mainly seen in Extreme Championship Wrestling
, but it is also popular in some Japanese promotions. A famous Barbwire match was one between Mick Foley
(then known as Cactus Jack) and The Sandman .
The winner of this match is the first wrestler to put his/her opponent into a closed casket. This match has been a trademark of the WWE wrestler The Undertaker. A number of variants exist, where the object is to place the other wrestler in other closed containers. The Casket is often placed on the ringside, but the other variants might have the container on top of the ramp. The casket may be replaced by other containers, such as a dumpster (in which case the match becomes a Dumpster Match), an ambulance (Ambulance Match), or a hearse (known as a Last Ride Match introduced at No Mercy 2004). See Also: Casket Match.
Buried Alive Match
The object is to bury the other wrestler alive in a makeshift grave inside the arena. No other rules apply. In this match type, the wrestler who is buried alive always survives in the storyline. Another variation of this match is a Concrete Crypt Match
which had the Undertaker's manager, Paul Bearer
buried in concrete.
The winner of this match is the last person in the ring after all other wrestlers have been thrown over the top-rope. In some cases, wrestlers can also be pinned or KO'd. Usually happens with either ten, fifteen or twenty wrestlers and in some cases, the winner gets a chance to face a wrestler for a championship. See also Battle Royal
Royal Rumble Match
Same as a battle royal, except that it starts out with two men featuring a new opponent per timed interval (usually 90 seconds). WWE annually runs a pay-per-view
show which features a 30-man Royal Rumble Match as its main event named the Royal Rumble
(a WWE trademark).
Similar to a Battle Royal, but when only two entrants remain, the match continues as a standard one-fall match.
Another version of this match pits one initial wrestler against another in a normal rules contest. If said wrestler wins, another opponent takes his place until all set opponents are defeated or the initial wrestler loses. Sometimes this match can be in a series (one different opponent per day until all are defeated). This is called Running the Gauntlet or Slobber Knocker, which was done in WCW in the early 90's
Last Man Standing Match
A no disqualification, no count-out match with no pinfalls. Whenever a wrestler is knocked down, they must regain their feet within a ten count or they will lose the match.
Any match that is very brutal and hardcore.
Texas Death Match
Cross between a Last Man Standing match and a Hardcore Match. When an opponent is pinned he is administered a ten count. If they are able to answer the count, the match continues.
Bra and Panties Match
A match between two (usually) women in which the winner is the first to strip her opponent down to her bra and panties. In some promotions, the one who loses has to be nude for 5 minutes and dance on top of the entrance where there will be a pole and a camera ready.
Evening Gown Match
A match between two women in evening gowns; the winner is the first to remove her opponent's gown. In practice, the end result is usually the same as in a Bra and Panties Match. However, in the Evening Gown Match booked for WrestleMania XX
, all four women in the match stripped to their undergarments before wrestling started; the match then proceeded as a normal tag team match with no further undressing.
(Sometimes done with Kimonos instead of gowns, then referred to as a Kimono Match)
The chronological predecessor to the evening gown match, and contested between two men in outfits resembling men's formal wear. Most such matches have involved non-wrestling performers (announcers or managers).
The Ultimate X match
A four man elimination event. An X is formed with ropes placed on top of the ring.Similar to a Three Stages of Hell match, it starts out as a tag team match. Then, when one man is pinned, it turns into a Triple-Threat match, where the ropes come into play. Similarly to the Ladder match, a championship belt or some other reward is then placed in the center of the X. The winner is the first person to take possession of the object. This match was created for, and is a centerpiece of, the X Division of Total Nonstop Action
. So far, the only item held from the ropes has been the X Division Championship. Past winners(of the match, not the belt) include: Michael Shane(twice), Chris Sabin(twice), Frankie "The Future" Kazarian*, AJ Styles, and "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels, who is the most recent winner of the match and current X Division champion. This match is also reffered to as "The Ultimate X", "X match", "Ultimate X Challenge", "X Challenge", and "X2".
- = Co-holder with Michael Shane.
Elimination Chamber Match
A six-person elimination match that takes place in a specially constructed round cage, with a metal floor at ring height between the ring apron and the wall of the cage. Two of the six participants start in the ring, while the other four are initially locked up in holding cells within the cage, and are released at intervals of 5 minutes (in the match at the 2002 Survivor Series
) or 3 minutes (in the match at SummerSlam 2003
). A wrestler who has been eliminated in the usual manner (pin or submission) is forced to leave the cage until one remains. See Also: Elimination Chamber
Two rings surrounded by an enclosed steel cage with two teams versus each other. One man from each team starts out with another from either team at random entering the cage via a timed interval. The winning team must get a member of another team to submit after all members of each team are in the cage.
(Object) on a Pole Match
Similar to a ladder match except the first man to reach the object hanging from a pole in the corner of the ring wins. In this variation, the object is often a contract guaranteeing the winner a championship match.
Alternately the match is fought under one fall rules with the object on the pole considered a legal foreign object. It may be used as a weapon by the wrestler who retrieves it. Some examples of this variation include the Guitar on a Pole Match and the Brass Knuckles on a Pole Match.
"I Quit" Match
Similar to a submission match with one exception; you must force your opponent to actually say "I Quit" into a microphone in order for this match to end. See Also: "I Quit" Match
Texas Bullrope Match
Two wrestlers are tied to the opposite ends of a bullrope (usually with a cowbell in the middle). The first man to touch all four turnbuckles consecutively with no offense from the other wins. No disqualifications or count-outs but if either man unties himself from the rope, he is disqualified. Some variations can include a chain or leather strap instead of a bullrope (otherwise called an "Indian Strap Match"). Pinfalls can be permitted depending on the promotion but there's usually no submission. Another variation is a regular strap and fight until one wrestler touches all four corners successfully (called a Strap Match
Dog Collar Match
Same as above but using two dog collars around each wrestler's neck connected to a chain.
Gorilla/Body Slam Match
A wrestler must body slam his opponent to win. Pinfalls and submissions count in this match.
The first wrestler to perform their finishing manuever wins.
A variation of the Finisher Match or Body Slam Match in which the only way to win is to successfully score some type of splash on your opponent. To my knowledge, this match has only been carried out in WAWwrestling.com.
You can only pin your opponent to win.
Strap your opponent to a stretcher to win. Some rules state that you must push your opponent a certain distance or into an ambulance.
Both competitors wear blindfolds and wrestle. Otherwise normal rules apply.
The loser of this match must retire from professional wrestling, leave the federation or leave the town.
Three Strikes, You're Out!
The idea for this match is to get three victorys in a specific order; pinfall, submission and knock out. First wrestler to get all those done, wins. Often done in a Street Fight fashioned match.
Battle of Respect
This match has no winners. Two wrestlers wrestle each other for a fixed amount of time without pinfalls or submissions.
Double Tables Match
This match has a cage where there is a table hooked to each side of the cage. The only way to win is put your opponent through two tables.
Silver Dollar Match
This match has two wrestlers hitting each other with roles of silver dollars until one of the wrestlers can not answer the ten count.
This match takes place in a junkyard. First wrestler to escape the junkyard wins the match.
Total Conquest Match
This match has two wrestlers fighting throughout a house until a pinfall is made.
Final Wars Brawl
This match has two wrestlers in a steel cage for thirty minutes with other wrestlers entering at a timed interval to help out one of the opponents.
Short Leash Match
This match has two wrestlers tied together with a short leash (making the opponents one foot away from each other) and the only way to win is by either submission or knock-out. Another variation is called a Chain Match
in which there are No Holds Barred and the wrestlers can only win by submission.
Singapore Cane Match
This match has two wrestlers carrying kendo sticks or Singapore canes into the ring and using them as legal weapons. Victory is only by pinfall.
Parking Lot Brawl
This match is a regular match with the exceptions of no disqualification and it takes place in a parking lot. Other variations include a Bar Room Brawl
which takes place in a bar. Other variations also included
== Boiler Room Brawl ==The winner is the first man to escape the boiler room. Any weapons found in the room can be used. See Boiler Room Brawl.
The match has two (could have more) teams of between 3 or 12 members to a team and before the match there will be a coin toss to see which team switches out first.Every 3 or 5 minutes the teams will switch.The first team to get a pinfall wins. It can also have hardcore rules.
This match cannot end in a disqualification and it's anything goes. The only way to win is by beating your opponent until he or she is put into the back of an ambulance and will be taken to the hospital.
Last Ride Match
Related to the ambulance match, but unlike the ambulance match, a hearse is used instead. The opponent who gets beaten up so severely that there is nothing left for him or her to do, and gets thrown into the back of hearse that will be driven to the funeral home loses the match. As a result, it is also called a Hearse Match
Tag-team match variations
A match in which two teams of two wrestlers face each other. Only one wrestler from each team is allowed in the ring at a time, though heels
will often break this rule and gang up on a single opponent. The other(s) wait on the apron outside the ropes in a specified corner adjacent to the other team. Offensive cooperation from a team member can happen as long as they are within the referee's count of five and after an official tag. A tag team match involving more than two wrestlers per team is often referred to by the total number of people involved (eg. a six-man tag team match involves two teams of three), while a tag team match involving more than two teams is referred to by normal qualifiers (eg. a triple threat tag team match involves three teams of two).
A wrestler must do the following in order to make a legal tag:
- Both feet of the wrestler on the outside must be flat on the apron.
- The wrestler outside the ring must hold on to the tag rope tied in the corner
- Tags must be done over the top rope.
- Tags are legal as long as the two team members touch.
A referee can be allowed to overlook any of these tag rules at his discretion. All standard match rules apply but the legal man must make a pin or submission on another legal man to win. Only legal men can be counted out but either team can be disqualified regardless if a team member is legal or not.
Elimination Tag-Team Match
Same as a tag-team match except that the wrestler suffering the loss of a fall is eliminated from participation. The match continues until all members of one team are eliminated. The WWE
uses the term Survivor Series Match
to denote a ten-person match held during the yearly Survivor Series pay-per-view
. Lucha Libre
uses the term Torneo Cibernetico
(cybernetic tournament) for multi-man elimination matches. Sometimes in these matches, there can be only one winner so even after the other team has been eliminated, former team mates face each other in an elimination match.
Intergender Tag-Team Match
This is a tag-team match featuring mixed-sex teams. It differs from a Mixed Tag-Team match (see below) in that men and women can be in the ring at the same time.
Mixed Tag-Team Match
This type of match also features mixed-sex teams, but differs from an Intergender match in that only wrestlers of the same sex may be in the ring at the same time. For example, if a woman tags her male partner, both women leave the ring and both men enter.
Tornado Tag-Team Match
This is a team match where all wrestlers involved are allowed in the ring at the same time. All men are legal so any wrestler is vulnerable to a decision. Usually there is no disqualification or count-out. Despite its name, is not a true tag-team match, as it involves no tagging.
Parejas Incredibles Match
In this match the teams are composed of enemies or rivals. It is meant to illustrate the tension between the desire to win and the hatred for one's rival. As the name suggests, these pairs matches are used more frequently in Mexico than anywhere else.
Another Lucha Libre variation of the tag team match. It begins as a regular tag match but the two members from the losing team face each other in a Lucha de Apuesta.
Other match types
These can include Hardcore, Battle Royal (if one member of a team is thrown over the top-rope, both members are eliminated), Ladders, Tables (one team wins when a member of another team is forced into and through a table - no tags), Chairs, Tables/Ladders/Chairs, Cage, etc. Just about any match type can be converted to tag-team rules.
10,000 Thumbtacks Death Match
This match has 10,000 thumbtacks placed in the ring. The wrestlers can use the thumbtacks as weapons. Victory by either pinfall, submission or knocking out the opponent. A variation of this match is a cross between a Ladder Match and 10,000 Thumbtacks Match called a Thumbtacks Ladder Match
in which a ladder is placed in the ring with a reward at the top. Thumbtacks are also spread out across the ring.
Barbed-Wire Bat 10,000 Thumbtack Match
A solid baseball bat with the end wrapped in barb wire hangs off a pole in a corner of the ring as a box filled with 10,000 thumbtacks lays at ringside. The only way to win is to put your opponent in the box of 10,000 Thumbtacks and to make the pin. The bat is just to make the match a little more brutal than it already is.
Barbed-Wire Steel Cage Match
A regular steel cage match, with barbed and razor wire lining the top of the cage. The first Barbed-Wire Steel Cage Match in the WWE
was in No Way Out 2005
, where John Bradshaw Layfield
defeated The Big Show
Beds of (Objects) Death Match
It is an anything goes match that has beds of thumbtacks, nails, barb wire, glass, and/or lightbulbs. Up to three of these can be involved in the match. These matches usually occur in Deathmatch Title matches or Deathmatches in general.
The ring is surrounded by flames. The object of the match is to set your opponent on fire. The wrestler who is able to burn their opponent is declared the winner. The first Inferno Match in the then-WWF was Undertaker vs Kane at Unforgiven 1998.
A match where the only way to win is to throw your oppenent in burning hot coals laid on the floor next to the ring.
Usually accompanied with barb wire ropes, a large barb wire wrapped explosion board is placed in the ring laced with a small amount of C4
. The loser is the man that is blown up. In another variation, the match ends with a pin or submission and the explosives serve as weapons.
Rage in a Cage
A cage that looks like an oval that is typically used as the arena for the "blowoff match" of a feud
. It can be used for a tag team or singles match. In this match, wins are usually by pinfall.
A cage match with wooden platforms in each of the corners of the cage for use in "high risk" moves.
Triple Cage Match aka Doomsday Cage
This is a Cage match where there 3 cages constructed on top of each other, only been used in the old WCW
days the object of the match is too climb up too the top of the third cage to grab an object (in the case of WCW it was to climb up a grab the World Title belt
Lucha en Juala Electrificada
A variation of the cage match, in this contest the cage is electrified (explaining the name "fight in an electric cage") and the only way to win is by escape. The cage is turned off in certain intervals, allowing the participants a chance at escape. Used by the AAA
promotion in Mexico.
200 Light tube Deathmatch
A match type first used in Combat Zone Wrestling
at an event called "They Said it Couldn't be Done". the object of this match is to win by pinfall and the use of over 200 Lighttubes as weapons are allowed. 
Chamber of horrors
This match type was used once at WCW Halloween Havoc in 1991
, with 8 men in inside a large Thunder Cage. They object is to put one's opponent inside the chair of torture, which is in the center of the ring inside a smaller cage, and pull the lever.
WWE article on match types