What is a Bull Rope match? Explaining the stipulation of Cody Rhodes’ match at Maddison Square Garden

The Bull Rope match has a long history in professional wrestling, dating back to the 1970s. It was popularized by the legendary Dusty Rhodes, who used it as his signature match against rivals like Ric Flair, Harley Race, and Superstar Billy Graham.

This match was often employed to settle feuds that had reached a boiling point and to showcase the toughness and resilience of the competitors. Recently, WWE announced the Bull Rope stipulation for the match between the American Nightmare, Cody Rhodes, and the King of Strong Style, Shinsuke Nakamura, at an upcoming WWE live event.

What is a Bull Rope match?

A Bull Rope match is a type of professional wrestling match that involves two wrestlers being tied together by a rope with a cowbell in the center. The objective of the match is to touch all four corners of the ring in succession, while preventing the opponent from doing the same.

The match is usually very violent and brutal, as the wrestlers can use the rope and the cowbell as weapons to inflict pain and damage on each other. There are no pin fall or disqualifications in a Bull Rope match.

One of the most famous Bull Rope matches took place at The Great American Bash in 1986, where Dusty Rhodes defeated Ric Flair for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. The match was a bloody and intense affair, with both men using the cowbell to bust each other open. Rhodes managed to touch all four corners after hitting Flair with a bionic elbow, ending Flair’s 14-month reign as champion.

Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins
via WWE

The most recent strap match in WWE took place at the Extreme Rules pay per view between Drew McIntyre and Karrion Kross. The Bull Rope match is a unique and dangerous match that tests the physical and mental limits of the wrestlers.

It is a match that requires strength, endurance, strategy, and courage. It is a match that can end careers, but also create legends and has produced some of the most memorable moments in professional wrestling history.

Cody Rhodes to face Shinsuke Nakamura at MSG

Cody Rhodes and Shinsuke Nakamura are set to clash in a bull rope match at the WWE live event at Madison Square Garden on December 26, 2023. The match was announced on this week’s Raw, following a heated confrontation between the two rivals. Recently, WWE made official that the match will be a Bull Rope match.

Nakamura is known for his sneak attack and recently Nakamura attacked Rhodes with a steel chair and sprayed him with red mist, blinding him temporarily. Nakamura claimed that he wanted to end Rhodes’ story and start a new chapter of his own, while Rhodes vowed to get revenge and prove that he is still the American Nightmare.

Cody Rhodes and Sinsuke Nakamura
via WWE

Both Rhodes and Nakamura are former Royal Rumble winners, but neither of them could capture a world title at WrestleMania. Rhodes came close to winning the WWE Championship from Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39.

The recent announcement of a Bull Rope match stipulation for his upcoming bout at Madison Square Garden has generated excitement among fans eager to see him pay homage to his father’s legacy and put his own spin on this unique match type.


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