WWE Champion John Cena def. Batista (Last Man Standing Match)

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April 25, 2010

BALTIMORE — At The Animal's expense, it was WWE Champion John Cena who achieved the last laugh in a Last Man Standing Match at Extreme Rules. With a bound Batista riling at ringside, the sight of Cena defiantly taunting his trapped foe at the conclusion of this notoriously barbaric bout only emphasized the mantra most familiar to the WWE Universe: The Champ is here.

Cena's reign -- which commenced with his WrestleMania victory over The Animal -- was heavily jeopardized heading into the one night of the year in which all of WWE goes to the extreme. The Champ stood opposed by a 6-foot-6 beast intent on both reclaiming WWE's rich, lustrous prize and utterly annihilating its holder.

More harrowing, in this infamously vile bout designed for the most hardened warriors, the only way for one man to win was to ravage their opponent and incapacitate them so that they are unable to rise to their feet within a 10-count.

The supposed "fluke" win Cena notched against Batista on The Grandest Stage of Them All could not be repeated in a collision of this kind. Thus, there could be no protestation by The Animal if he were to lose in the Last Man Standing Match he personally requested.

Ultimately, however, Batista's vigorous tapping out to Cena's STF at WrestleMania would not be half as embarrassing as The Animal's Extreme Rules loss.

The bout was perhaps the most physical of the entire night, as seemingly unparalleled levels of torture were administered on both ends. The sold-out scene of Baltimore's 1st Mariner Arena all but exploded when Cena followed up an Attitude Adjustment onto a steel chair with yet another through the announce table just minutes later. Like The Animal, Cena too refused to stay horizontal once driven through a table with a spinebuster, then again after a Batista Bomb.

In addition to their usual high impact maneuvers, the combatants enhanced their repertoires by employing everything they could find at ringside, from tools to tables to the most crucial: Tape.

When it appeared neither man would ever possibly stay down, the WWE Champion decided to get resourceful. Cena pulled his nemesis' legs around the ring post, then wrapped Batista by his ankles, disabling him from achieving a vertical position.

Snared by The Champ, an adhesive-averted Animal could not free his tied feet to answer the referee's count. By two, the challenger began to writhe. At nine, Batista bucked wildly but to no avail. And with the final call of 10, Cena celebrated a successful title defense with some teasing mere feet away from the face of his outfoxed enemy.

Now, only the future lies ahead of The Champ and in his nearest future is the 2010 WWE Draft, which could potentially send Cena to a whole new world on Friday Night SmackDown. Wherever he stands by the conclusion of a landscape altering Raw, he will do so just as he had 24 hours earlier at Extreme Rules -- with the gleaming WWE Championship slung proudly over his brawny shoulder.

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