Last men standing

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June 19, 2009

Photos of Triple H and Randy Orton's previous Last Man Standing Match.

On Raw last Monday, after Donald Trump was revealed as the new owner of the flagship WWE program, he made two massive announcements. First, he declared that this Monday's episode, for the first-time ever, would be completely commercial-free. Then, to the delight of No. 1 Contender Triple H, "The Donald" announced that Randy Orton would defend his WWE Championship before The Bash, in a Last Man Standing Match on the very next Raw.

Needless to say, Orton was less than enthused that he would meet his rival in this brutal match proviso (stipulating that victory is declared only when one's opponent fails to get to their feet by the count of 10). Most Superstars would feel a sense of trepidation going into a contest that rewards ring warriors for beating their opponents senseless. For The Viper, however, the anxiety must be particularly more acute, given the circumstances surrounding the previous time he faced The Game in a Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Title.

In June 2008, at One Night Stand (now known as Extreme Rules), the two bitter rivals clashed with the WWE Championship hanging in the balance. But Orton lost more than a chance at the coveted WWE Title that night, as Triple H reversed an ill-timed RKO to hurl his nemesis to the outside floor, shattering his collarbone before clobbering The Viper with The Game's trademark sledgehammer. As evidenced by Orton's subsequent months-long recovery period and absence from the ring, a Last Man Standing Match isn't just devastating -- it's career-threatening.

Will history painfully repeat itself, with Triple H crushing Randy Orton for the WWE Championship? Or will the contest's brutal stipulations allow The Viper the opportunity to put down The Game once again? Find out this week on a special, commercial-free Raw at 9/8 CT on USA Network.

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