Best Last Man Standing Matches In WWE History
What is more brutal than having to knock your opponent out for the 10 count? The Last Man Standing match, a modified version of the Texas Death match has produced some pretty brutal matches since WWE’s first match in 1999. Whilst in recent years, last man standing matches have been toned down dramatically due to the PG rating. Despite the less brutal nature, the matches have become more creative. John Cena has used duct tape and pinning his opponent down to master the 10 count. Today we look at 8 of the best Last Man Standing matches to take place in a WWE ring.
8. Batista vs John Cena
Extreme Rules 2010
With the change from TV-14 to TV-PG, the mass brutality of Last Man Standing took a major step down, rather than multiple chair shots to the head, last man standing matches started to look at other ways to hold your opponent down. This match between Batista and John Cena was certainly a different change in pace from what we expect. Whilst it was not a bad match, it did showcase a match between two major players of the 2000’s the ending is what everyone will remember. Classic ring psychology of big men vs little men always dictates to take out the larger man’s leg. If he can’t stand he can’t win, well Cena took this logic and maximised this to the full. Cena duct taped Batista to the ring post, not allowing Batista to stand up for 10. Ingenious if not cheap!
7. The Rock vs. Mankind
St Valentine’s Day Massacre 1999 – Review
Following the major controversial end to their I Quit match at the Royal Rumble competed in the first Last Man Standing match on WWF Pay Per View. At the height of their intense, Rock and Mankind settled the score at St Valentine’s Day Massacre. This time under the rulers where the last man standing would be the WWE Champion. This war did not disappoint, slightly less graphic than their brutal battle at the Rumble, this match provided high intensity and psychology behind the use of the 10 count. The Rock even took to singing and commentating mid match, adding fire to The Rock bomb which was about to explode. Both men beat each other up to a point where neither men could stand before the count of 10.
6. John Cena (c) vs. Umaga
Royal Rumble 2007 – Review
Roll back to 2007 and John Cena wasn’t particularly liked. Having pretty much holding the WWE time for nearly 2 years, fans had gotten bored with John Cena having a real mixture of matches. It was pretty obvious that his only good matches were with those who “carried” the champ. Moving into 2007, John Cena faced Umaga at New Years Revolution ending his undefeated run. A rematch was set for the Royal Rumble, this time a last man standing.
John had an incredibly physical match with the Samoan brute which played off beautifully to the strengths of both men. Cena was decimated by Umaga, who looked convincing enough that he could actually win the WWE title. The ending of the match made clever use of John Cena choking Umaga with the ring ropes. This was Cena’s first great match where he wasn’t with a well established named and to show Cena was a worthy champion.
5. The Undertaker (c) vs. Batista
World Heavyweight Championship
Backlash 2007 – Review
Every time Undertaker and Batista hit the ring, both men managed to bring the best out of each other. After their incredible match at Wrestlemania 23, Undertaker defended his newly won World Heavyweight championship in a Last Man Standing match. The match complemented both men, allowing big move after big move in a brawl between two big men. The match ended with Undertaker delivering a spear to Batista off the stage through tables. Neither men could stand up.
4. Shane McMahon vs. Big Show
Just a month after a classic encounter with his father at Wrestlemania 17, Shane faced his biggest test the Big Show at Backlash 2001 in a last man standing match. As expected from Shane, he delivered a brutal match that included one incredible spot to end the match. With help from Test, Shane climbed the Backlash stage and leaped off the top onto a stricken Big Show, a moment to this day will always live in my memory forever.
3. Triple H (c) vs. Shawn Michaels
World Heavyweight Championship
Royal Rumble 2004 – Review
Best of friends Triple H and Shawn Michaels had a series of classic encounters, this last man standing match reignited their feud. This bloody affair delivered a great story of the heel Triple H beating down a Michaels that wouldn’t give up. The match appeared to have ended after Triple H nailed Michaels with a Pedigree, just before the 10 count, Michaels got up and hit a Sweet Chin Music on Triple H resulting in both men failing to meet the count of 10.
2. John Cena (c) vs. Edge
World Heavyweight Championship
Cena and Edge battled each other for over three year’s in a wide range of stipulations. This match at Backlash billed as Edge’s last opportunity at facing Cena. The match played out beautifully, an all out brawl making use of the entire arena, tables and plenty of weapons throughout. Edge played the role of heel brilliantly. The match looked like Cena was going to pick up the victory, however with plenty of Last Man Standing matches before, interference played a major role in the ending. Big Show attacked Cena and chokeslammed him into a light structure on the stage, costing Cena the match. It was a shocking moment that is a standout from the match, however the brawl between two men with great chemistry should never be forgotten.
1. Chris Jericho vs. Triple H
Fully Loaded 2000 – Review
One a card packed with three main event’s this believe it or not was a mid card fight, in only the second Last Man Standing match, Jericho and Triple H played off where The Rock and Mankind left off, however played out the match beautifully. It was a cracking brawl between two younger stars. Chris Jericho proved that he could hang in the main event and Triple H proved he could have a brawl without the need of Mick Foley by his side. Psychology was a main factor of the match, Jericho came into the match with his ribbed taped up, Jericho managed to make Triple H bleed, allowing him to weaken The Game. In a very even match, the ending resulted in Triple H giving Jericho a superplex through the announce table. Triple H managed to get up at the count of 9, making both guys look like main event stars in the process. Arguably the best Last Man Standing matches in WWE history.