9 Things About Steel Cage Matches That Don’t Make Sense

According to the history books, the first ever Steel Cage match happened almost 85 years ago in Atlanta, Georgia. Instead of dreaded chain-link or blue bars, devastating chicken wire surrounded the ring. Over the years, the rules of a steel cage match have changed from just a pinfall or submission to win to escaping the cage to win.

Related: 10 Great Steel Cage Matches (Ruined By A Bad Finish)

All sorts of Steel Cage matches and Steel Cage variables have taken place over the years, and much like other aspects in the wrestling business there have been dozens of alterations to how they work and what makes sense and what doesn’t.

9 Escaping The Cage To Win

The original impetus of a steel cage match was to keep the two or four guys in the ring and everyone else not involved out of the ring. Steel Cage matches also used to be only won by pinfall or submission.

It’s easy to see why escaping the cage was implemented by the WWE – especially after photo finishes like Hogan / Orndorff and Bret / Owen. While it certainly adds to the drama, it’s a strange bit to implement this new way to win. After all, cage matches are typically meant to settle a grudge once and for all – how does escaping the cage accomplish that?

8 The Death-Defying Leap

It might be “just a show,” but during wrestling matches, the goal is to win the match whether you leave an unforgettable moment behind or not. That makes it completely ludicrous that wrestlers go to the very top of the cage with their opponent down and out.

Related: 10 Worst Steel Cage Matches In WWE History

They can just hop over and win (despite that rule not making sense), but instead of winning the match and getting to the “pay window,” they choose to take an incredible leap off the cage generally onto an empty mat after their opponent moved out of the way.


7 The Bunkhouse Stampede

If rules for cage matches might seem a little far-fetched nowadays, they were actually even wilder a few decades ago. One of the strangest match concepts of all time is one of Dusty Rhodes’ visions – The Bunkhouse Stampede.

The match took place inside a steel cage match, but it was also a battle royal! That meant you had to heave your opponents over the top of the cage and onto the floor. It made for an interesting match of course the Dream won. But it completely disregards both battle royals and steel cage matches.

6 More Violent Matches Take Place

For a long time, when two bitter rivals would get into a cage, fans knew a lot of violence would take place. While that still might hold true, by this time in wrestling history the levels of violence have risen far beyond the confines of the steel cage.

Hell In A Cell, Elimination Chambers, War Games, barbed wire and more have been some elements added to the classic cage match. While wrestling seldom gets rid of idea and nor should they get rid of a steel cage match concept it’s pretty funny to think that the once most violent match in the history of the sport is pretty tame by today’s standards.

5 The Cage Can Break

Every so often a man like Bobby Lashley launches himself into the cage, and it collapses onto his opponent. Big Show debuted and broke the cage by flinging Steve Austin into it. Brock and Roman broke a cage in Saudi Arabia as well.

Related: Every Version Of The Steel Cage, Ranked

The term “solid steel cage” has been used many times to describe the massive structure. Meanwhile, how solid could it be if guys and break it by hurling themselves into it.

4 The Ref Holds OpenThe Door

During a steel cage match, there is a referee in the cage as the traditional third man in the ring. But there is also one or sometimes more on the outside to make sure feet touch the floor and to…open the door?

It’s easy enough to escape the cage without the zebra-colored men and women on the outside of the ring playing doorman. It’s even more surprising that nefarious heels haven’t tried to exploit this rule by paying off a referee or two.

3 No Longer The End Of Program

In the olden days, when two wrestlers reached their moment, the apex of their program, sometimes a steel cage match was needed to settle their differences. It’s why when Ric Flair fought hard to get back to a title match with Harley Race at Starrcade: A Flair For The Gold, the two competitors met inside a steel cage to get it done.

While AEW has done a decent job at once again making it a culmination of a feud instead of a commencement, the WWE still just throws the gimmick out like it’s candy.

2 PG = No Blood

While some fans are certainly very squeamish to the sight of blood and competitors’ bodies being beat red from chops and clotheslines, the believability of a cage match can stretch the very definition of suspension of disbelief.

Related: 10 Times Blood Was Used In A Wrestling Match (When It Wasn’t Needed)

But when the WWE went PG, away went one of the more elements of a steel cage – watching fantastic by the combatants bleed. While it’s certainly understandable, it’s not believable to smash a man’s head into a cage and have not even an ounce of blood pour out.

1 It’s Hard To See Inside

It’s a nit to pick, but whether you’re live in the arena or watching at home, depending on the setup of the cage it’s just very hard to see inside. You’d think that a production maven like Kevin Dunn would have advocated more and more to keep the big blue bars since it was easier to see inside the cage.

However, those bars were very unforgiving. Once Vince stepped inside it to compete, that became the last match the bars were used.

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