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Gimmick Match of the Month: The Lumberjack Match (September 2017)

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#1 peachchaos

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 01:41 PM

I'm starting a new monthly thread series here on PWO where every month we will focus on a different gimmick match. Discuss your favorite matches involving the gimmick, how the stipulation has evolved over time, pros/cons, positives and negatives and try to predict where they will stand in the future.

 

This month's featured Gimmick Match will be the Lumberjack Match.

 

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from Wikipedia:

 

 

 

A lumberjack match is a standard match with the exception that the ring is surrounded by a group of wrestlers not directly involved in it. These wrestlers, known collectively as lumberjacks (female wrestlers serving in this manner are sometimes called lumberjills) are there to prevent the wrestlers in the match from getting out of the ring. The groups of lumberjacks are typically split up into groups of faces and heels who occupy opposing sides around the ring. Usually, the "opposing" lumberjacks (that is, face lumberjacks if the wrestler is a heel, and vice versa) swarm the wrestlers if they leave the ring and force them back in it. Occasional interference from the lumberjacks is not uncommon, or is an all-out brawl on the outside involving most of the lumberjacks. Early lumberjack matches even featured the lumberjacks wearing stereotypical lumberjack clothing in keeping with the lumberjack theme, though this is generally no longer done. A common theme is for the lumberjacks to consist entirely of heel wrestlers to stack the odds against the face competitor.

Variations of this match include the "Canadian" lumberjack match, in which the lumberjacks are equipped with leather straps, the "Extreme" lumberjack match, competed under Extreme Rules, and TNA's "Fan's Revenge" lumberjack match, during which fans equipped with straps act as lumberjacks and are encouraged to whip wrestlers.

 

What do you think of the dreaded Lumberjack Match?



#2 LowBlowPodcast

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 06:04 PM

Really looking forward to this. I always enjoyed a good lumberjack match. You have got some marquee ones from In Your House and Bach at the Beach 95.

 

I found this gem...

 

https://www.dailymot...om/video/xwiede

 

Hogan vs Savage in a Lumberjack Match I'd guess in around 1986. 

 

A pretty fun contest and it is always fun to see the fights outside of the ring and seeing some of the "boys" out there (always loved the lumberjack gear) and seeing some interesting pairings. 



#3 Ricky Jackson

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 11:05 AM

Not a gimmick that has produced a ton of classic matches, but I like the concept. Basically it's similar to a cage match where previous matches in a feud have ended indecisively, usually by contout, precipitating a stipulation that will "contain" the wrestlers. But unlike the cage match, the Lumberjack match has the added element of the wrestlers at ringside, which opens up intersting booking options, such as allowing for the losing wrestler to be screwed out the match by outside interference or a new feud to begin when a lumberjack mixes it up with one of the participants in the match.

The Hogan vs Savage match from 2/86 MSG cited above is actually a perfect example of a well booked Lumberjack match. Savage is tripped by George Steele at ringside, costing him the match and furthering a feud between them, and Hogan is attacked outside the ring by King Kong Bundy, helping set the stage for Mania 2. I actually really liked that match the last time I watched it and gave it ***1/2.

Another Lumberjack match that I would recommend based on good usuage of the stip is believe it or not Bob Backlund vs Superstar Graham from 12/82 MSG. It's a fun match, and a minor miracle considering how poor physical shape Graham was in at the time

#4 Loss

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 11:24 AM

I'll always remember a Hogan lumberjack match against someone on Nitro in the early days where Regal was a lumberjack and wore flannel with his ruffles, which was amazing. I know Shawn and Duggan had one in the early days of Raw that people really liked, but I never saw it. I know WWE likes to take an approach with their TV to make sure first-time viewers aren't completely lost, which is a good thing, even if it means we hear a lot of the same things over and over, like Michael Cole asking JBL or Booker T every single week what it's like to be in the ring with someone specific and then forgetting their answer. Anyway, that's why with lumberjack matches, I always appreciate announcers explaining WHY they are called that.



#5 Zenjo

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 04:16 PM

It isn't my least favourite gimmick match, but it's right down there. The gimmick engulfs the entire psychology of the match whatever the participants do. If they're in the ring then the viewer is just waiting for a wrestler to be thrown to the floor. If they're on the floor then there's a limited amount of things that can happen. The only variation you see is in the extent to which the deck is stacked against the faces. And the format lessens the rivalry because the participants are fighting against lots of random people rather than focusing on each other.

#6 DMJ

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 04:44 PM

Best one I've ever seen was Ambrose vs. Rollins at SummerSlam in maybe 2014? 2015? Not gonna look it up, but I remember watching that match with some non-fans at my SummerSlam party and everyone loving the hell out of it. I'm not a big Ambrose fan and even less of a Rollins one, and I haven't rewatched the match, but on that night, it was a stellar showing and Ambrose looked like he could be the next big star for the company.

#7 Mrzfn

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 05:46 PM

Favorite one that I've seen recently is Heenan & Orndorff vs. Bruno & David Sammartino, from the 3/17/85 WWF show in Philadelphia. It's more about the fun than the action but that might be the best thing for the lumberjack gimmick.



#8 NintendoLogic

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 06:44 AM

TNA's "Fan's Revenge" lumberjack match, during which fans equipped with straps act as lumberjacks and are encouraged to whip wrestlers.

 

Wait, what? Did this actually happen?



#9 cowboy hats

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 06:30 PM

Was gonna ask the same. Details, please.

#10 Boss Rock

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 07:06 PM

Yeah, TNA has done it twice. First was Jeff Jarrett vs. Samoa Joe at No Surrender 2006 and the second was Beer Money vs. LAX at Victory Road 2008. Lucha Underground also did at Ultima Lucha 1 for Drago vs. Hernandez. I think each time they've had fans sign waivers before participating.



#11 El-P

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 06:13 AM

Yeah, TNA has done it twice. First was Jeff Jarrett vs. Samoa Joe at No Surrender 2006 and the second was Beer Money vs. LAX at Victory Road 2008. Lucha Underground also did at Ultima Lucha 1 for Drago vs. Hernandez. I think each time they've had fans sign waivers before participating.

 

Jarrett vs Joe was actually quite the fun match, and Jarrett was a trooper in taking lashes.



#12 Jetlag

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 07:20 AM

That "fans as lumberjacks with WEAPONS" match is not a TNA invention. Terry Funk and Jerry Lawler had one in 1991.



#13 NickH

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 09:14 AM

Not a favorite match of mine but two that come to mind as far as quality matches go are

 

Valentine vs Santana 3/17/85 MSG

Backlund vs Buddy Rose 11/25/82 Spectrum

 

I think Steamboat and Vader had a decent one in wcw as well.



#14 Kadaveri

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 10:04 AM

My favourite lumberjack match is the Ambrose vs. Rollins one at Summerslam 2014. Though in this case they cheated the format a bit as half the match actually occurs outside the ring and through the crowd anyway. There's like a cat and mouse game Ambrose is playing with the lumberjacks as his entire goal is to beat the hell out of Rollins not win a wrestling match.



#15 CarpetCrawler

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 09:21 PM

Backlund vs Buddy Rose 11/25/82 Spectrum

 

JUST watched this match like a few days ago and I will co-sign this, this match rules.

 

I mentioned it in another thread but there's a March 1982 Capital Centre show that has Backlund and Adonis in a Lumberjack Match as the Main Event and it's also an extremely good match.



#16 peachchaos

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 10:04 AM

I found this gem...

 

https://www.dailymot...om/video/xwiede

 

Hogan vs Savage in a Lumberjack Match

 

Cool find!

 

I think Steamboat and Vader had a decent one in wcw as well.

 

I don't remember much about this one other than it was dubbed the "Human Cage Match" on WCW Saturday.

 

 

 

Backlund vs Buddy Rose 11/25/82 Spectrum

 

I mentioned it in another thread but there's a March 1982 Capital Centre show that has Backlund and Adonis in a Lumberjack Match as the Main Event and it's also an extremely good match.

 

 

Yeah, I really enjoy both of these and probably for the same reasons. The Adonis match in particular is just a strong match without a gimmick attached but they use the outside interference effectively enough that it makes it feel like a much bigger deal than a house show main event.







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