|Dusty Rhodes vs. Ivan Koloff: the first casket match
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With the birth of the Undertaker in WWF in 1990, it was only a matter of time before we'd see this type of match. Although in researching the topic (yes, I do research these blogs, but many of them are based on memory) I found that Dusty Rhodes and Ivan Koloff actually had the first casket match. Back then they called it a coffin match. You can watch it here.
This match is from the 1970's and was a Texas Death Match, with a casket in the middle of the ring. It all came about because Ivan Koloff said he was going to bury all American wrestlers. Of course, the American Dream wouldn't take those words lightly. There were several falls in the match, with a 30 second rest period between. Rhodes ended up knocking Ivan into the coffin and got the win. There was no lid to shut him in, he just had to land into the box. Then he was carried away from the ring in the coffin. I'm not sure why they counted pins in this match. But hey, it was the 70's, right.
|Nailing the Kamala coffin shut
|Taker gets an early advantage
There were several more casket matches down the road, I actually saw one live at a Raw/Superstars/Colosseum Home Video taping in St. Louis. Undertaker won again, this time rolling Kama (aka The Godfather & Papa Shango) into the coffin. Taker seemed to be on a roll with these matches, until Goldust beat him during an Intercontinental title defense at an In Your House PPV. Mankind had been hiding inside and popped out to help Goldie get the win. Despite the fact that I was a big Goldust mark at the time, I remember being shocked Undertaker lost, and in a casket match no less.
|Up in flames
As one might expect, most of the casket matches done in the WWE have involved the Undertaker. In fact, I could only find two that he did not participate in. But his cohorts in the Ministry of Darkness (Mideon and Viscera) defeated Triple H in a casket match in 1999. Then three years later, Kane beat Triple H in one on Raw.
|A TNA casket match, D'Lo flies high
|It's a bit dusty.
From what I can tell, the last casket matches happened in 2009 with a series between Taker and CM Punk. Many of these matches happened overseas. Now that the Undertaker is wrestling a lot less, I wonder if the casket match will become a thing of the past.
*Update: A reader pointed out that I failed to mention the Abyss-Pope casket match from TNA's Final Resolution in 2010. My bad. It was an oversight. Abyss won that contest after choke slamming the Pope into the open casket and closing the lid.