The ties that bind
When it comes to unrestrained sheer brutality, WWE.com's No. 10 Most Extreme Match is knotted up by vicious variations of the Strap Match. Whether by long steel chain, thick leather strap, braided bull rope or any such similar means, two Superstars must remain connected to each other until one is victorious. And more often than not, no one comes out of the contest feeling like a clear victor.
On occasion, Strap Matches — particularly those with a chain or strap as the binding instrument — have been decided via pinfall (such as Randy Orton's Great American Bash showdown with Dusty Rhodes in July 2007). In more recent years, however, and most notably with regards to a bull rope, victory is achieved only when a WWE Superstar touches all four turnbuckles, uninterrupted and in succession. Seems easy enough … until the opponent tugs on the other end of the restrictive fastener or, worse, uses its length and strength as a weapon against you. With each competitor's wrist attached to the fastening device, hyperextended or dislocated shoulders are commonplace, as are bruised backs and battered faces. And the whiplash alone…we can't even begin to describe how severe it is, nor will we attempt to.
Cold steel links are an understandably desired effect to inflict maximum punishment; one needn't look any further than Judgment Day 2001, during which Kane pulled on the long chain to force then-Intercontinental Champion Triple H head-first into a steel chair. That said, no one's getting up any sooner after feeling the hide of a coarse leather strap, or a three-inch-thick bull rope with a solid metal cowbell in the center. In fact, the Texas Bull Rope Match at the 2004 Great American Bash — during which John Bradshaw Layfield lassoed the WWE Championship away from Eddie Guerrero — is widely considered to be one of the most vicious contests in recent memory. While Eddie suffered the loss, JBL's crimson-drenched features were an even more sickening testimony of the ultimate price that one willingly pays to earn sports-entertainment's supreme prize.
Perhaps WWE.com should revise its earlier statement. Some winners do emerge after WWE's Superstars endure any type of Strap Match: the chiropractors and medics who treat them.