As these words are being written, WWE is preparing to undertake one of the more ambitious upgrades you can apply to a popular gimmick match. With traditional arenas off the table because of this pandemic, the company plans to hold its Money in the Bank ladder matches at their Stamford headquarters. The wrestlers will have to go from the offices' ground floor to the building's roof, *then* climb a ladder to retrieve the all-important briefcase. Sort of like a martial law version of Elevator Action.
Ladder matches sure have changed over the decades, from back when they were a popular gimmick match in Stampede Wrestling in the seventies, to their introduction in the then-WWF in the early nineties, to the assured stunt shows that we've seen over the past two decades. Though the match seems pretty straightforward, its been prone to innovation and alteration, as seen in its WWE lifetime alone.
Through the dozens upon dozens of ladder matches that have graced Vince McMahon's ring (or home office), these are the five that were, ultimately, the most important ever held in WWE.
5. Bret Hart Vs. Shawn Michaels (1992)
The very first McMahon-sanctioned ladder match. So obscure was this match type that earlier on the day of the show, a bewildered Michaels reportedly went to Hart, and admitted he had no idea how to work this gimmick or what to expect. So, yeah, it was pretty novel.
Unlike later matches of the type, this IC title bout was less about wild and daring bumps, and more about "the drama of the climb", with fans cheering "The Hitman" on in a feverish race for the belt. It's a really good match, but more importantly, it was a greenlight for sequels.