Standing room only
Few words can describe the unabashed cruelty a WWE Superstar will undergo when he accepts the challenge to enter the ring for WWE.com's No. 2 Most Extreme Match -- the Last Man Standing Match.
The rules for this vicious test of endurance and threshold for pain? There are none. Pinfalls, submissions and disqualifications also don't apply here, and no weapon is forbidden. At first mention, the object of this contest might conjure up images of a boxing match…except here you punch, kick, pummel and annihilate your opponent so badly that they are unable to answer a referee's 10-count.
Such rules -- or lack thereof -- have led to some of the most gruesome encounters in WWE history. In each Last Man Standing Match that has taken place, the two Superstars who enter the ring usually take their fight all over the arena, using anything and everything in sight to demolish or incapacitate one another -- with scintillating and appalling results for our fans.
In one particularly memorable Last Man Standing Match, Shane McMahon showed an utter disregard for his own well-being in September 2003, when he ascended to the top of the Unforgiven set's scaffolding during his match with Kane and attempted a Leap of Faith from 30 feet in the air. Shane missed the Big Red Monster below him, costing him the victory but leaving our fans in Hershey, Pa., and all across the world to exclaim intense words of appreciation.
Often regarded as a high-risk solution to settle rivalries, resolutions in this type of specialty match often leave at least one Superstar irreperably affected. During a truly amazing Royal Rumble in January 2007, WWE Champion John Cena defeated Umaga in a brutal battle that saw Cena use the outside steel steps, turnbuckles' metal attachments, and the very ring ropes themselves to stand over the Samoan Bulldozer in victory. Just three months later at Backlash, then-World Heavyweight Champion Undertaker and Batista beat each other so severely that neither man could answer the referee's 10-count after crashing off the stage to the unpadded concrete ground below. As a result, our fans witnessed the first-ever draw to a Last Man Standing Match in WWE history. And at One Night Stand 2008, despite taking punishment that many fans believe would have broken a lesser Superstar, Triple H persevered in a hellacious battle against Randy Orton - who actually did break his collarbone in the contest.
Needless to say, the bar has been set incredibly high by the ring warriors who have previously competed in this type of contest. Many of them have willingly sacrificed years off their careers simply to keep their opponent down on the canvas (or floor, or wherever the battle has taken them) and have their hand raised in victory as the last man standing. Yet despite these dangers being brutally well documented, when bitter rivals need to hash out extreme differences, this is the only match that can settle the score decisively -- and to stand, they better be ready to deliver.