What Is A Donnybrook Match in WWE?

The first ever six man tag team “Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook Match” is set to take place at Extreme Rules 2022, with the Brawling Brutes taking on Imperium in one of the most highly anticipated matches of the night.

While a Donnybrook match has previously taken place, many fans are still confused about the rules of the stipulation. While they may seem simple to some, this article will explain the history behind the match type, who invented it, why it is called a “Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook Match” and when who will be competing in the next edition of the match type.

What Is A Donnybrook Match?

Sheamus vs Drew McIntyre In The Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook Match

The Donnybrook match, also called a Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook Match, is a match type unique to WWE that has become a signature match type of Sheamus. The Celtic Warrior is a proud Irishman and likes to showcase his countries culture in everything.

The match was first conceived by Sheamus for his match with Drew McInytre in July 2022. He proposed the Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook Match match as the stipulation for their match, which had been cancelled two weeks prior for Smackdown.

The first every Donnybrook match took place on the July 29th, 2022 edition of Friday Night Smackdown. It was on the road to McIntyre’s ill-fated battle with Roman Reigns at Clash at the Castle, with him first having to go through Sheamus before unsuccessfully challenging for the title.

The rules of the match were explained by Sheamus on Smackdown a week before the match took place. He revealed that a Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook Match had “no DQ” “no count-outs” and “anything goes”, although he did reveal the use of McIntyre’s sword, named Angela, was strictly prohibited, likely due to the potential deadly consequences.

The match also reintroduced the shillelagh into the WWE. The ancient Irish weapon is a wooden club with one long, thin stick and a large, thick wooden knob on the end for hitting their opponents with. It was most famously used by Finlay in WWE, who with the help of Hornswoggle used it to win many matches in the WWE.

In the simplest form, the match is basically a regular No-Holds-Barred match (also known as an Extreme Rules match in some cases). The only way to win the match is pin falls and submission, with weapons and cheating only allowed, but encouraged. There are no rules, no count-outs, and no disqualifications with the best man winning the match in the end.

While the first ever Donnybrook match was a singles match, it is not limited to just one-on-one matches. The second ever iteration of the match will take place at Extreme Rules 2022, and will be a six-man tag team match. This means that it will feature two teams of three wrestlers, with the No-Holds-Barred-style rules still being applicable.

The match is being contested between the Brawling Brutes (Sheamus, Butch and Ridge Holland) and Imperium (Gunther, Ludwig Kaiser and Gionvanni Vicci). This is continuing the feud between Sheamus and Gunther which has been brewing for some weeks.

Sheamus and Gunther put on a five star match at Clash at the Castle in September in Cardiff, putting on one of the best WWE matches of all time. Their rematch for the title will take place on the Smackdown one day before Extreme Rules and the next Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook Match. Sheamus could walk into the match as the Intercontinental Championship if he becomes the first man to defeat Gunther on the main roster since his debut earlier this year.

Why Is It Called A Donnybrook Match?

While suspect the Donnybrook match may be named after a place in Ireland that Sheamus hails from (taking inspiration from the likes of a Philadelphia Street Fight), the truth is slightly more complicated than you may think

The word ‘donnybrook’ means ‘a rowdy brawl’ or ‘a scene of uproar or disorder’ in Ireland and is a perfect description for the match. Whilst it may essentially be a No Holds Barred match, it takes it’s influences from pub brawls and street fights that Sheamus may have taken part in, during his youth growing up as a young man in Cabra.

However, Sheamus also revealed to Gunther on Twitter the origins of the name of the Donnybrook match. The former WWE Champion revealed that the word did also come from a place in Ireland, being named after the Donnybrook fair, dating back to the 1200s. He revealed that the name “derived from a public fair that was held in Donnybrook, Ireland beginning in the 1200s. By the 1800s, the Donnybrook Fair has a reputation of being a drunken, wild event that was finally ended in the mid-1800s.” 

Sheamus joined Cesaro joined forces during a bar brawl in 2016

The next Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook match is taking place at Extreme Rules on Saturday, October 8th 2022. The event will be broadcast on the WWE Network worldwide and on Peacock in the United States.

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