The Undertaker vs. Mankind boiler room match from SummerSlam 1996 was groundbreaking for cinematic matches. It was just a brawl in the bowels of an arena but it was the start of these macabre theme matches.
Classic Cinematic Matches
One thing that the Boiler Room Brawl established was that these matches are often linked to bizarre and dark characters and often featured wrestlers who have a personality rather than an actual gimmick.
Any wrestler can be involved in these matches but the anchor is always a wrestler who is larger than life. Bonus points if the wrestler is supernatural or something of that nature.
These bouts take the wrestlers that would translate easily to comics and takes them from the page—the ring—to the screen—cinematic matches. When it comes to matches such as this, these are the kinds of wrestlers I prefer to see in them.
The cinematic match is already intended to be beyond the sports trappings of wrestling. If you have wrestlers with a convoluted gimmick or backstory, you might as well powerbomb disbelief and have them in over-the-top or weird situations even if the opponents could’ve had a regular-ass match in the ring and end up at the same conclusion.
Everyone had some reaction to the Styles vs. Undertaker Boneyard Match and that’s also because of the event, the world’s situation at the time, and this being Taker’s final dance.
In reality, these matches were better in Lucha Underground where everything was a gritty comic book movie. However, cinematic matches can be kept within the realm of reality.
The Dramatic Final Fight
Now, the dramatic final fight doesn’t have to be the final match of a feud or rivalry but it’s just the way that the match is filmed. It focuses less on big production/special effects and more on how the match is presented.
The best kinds of matches for this are brawls. No one even said “Hey, you know what would be dope? A cinematic technical match.” That doesn’t mean a company couldn’t or shouldn’t do them.
I’m certain a promotion will be able to deliver a cinematic technical wrestling match that would be worth watching but off the bat, the brawl fits this perfectly.
The Boiler Room Brawl straddles the fence as it was a regular-ass Taker vs. Mankind brawl but there was also the larger than life, wrestling beyond wrestling character of both guys.
Taker vs. Styles was an exaggerated version of the dramatic final fight but actually sits between both. Impact Wrestling excels at this with a match like Callihan vs. Shamrock and the brawl between Moose and EC3.
Which do you prefer? Is it a mix or do you enjoy comic book-style battles in feuds? Let us know below!
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