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Last Man Standing matches are one of the most chaotic, unpredictable, and entertaining matches possible in WWE. There are no pinfalls, no submissions, and the use of foreign objects such as tables, chairs, or kendo sticks is highly encouraged. The only way to win is to knock your opponent out cold for the count of 10, rendering them unable to stand on their own two feet. Since The Rock and Mankind’s 1999 inaugural Last Man Standing match, fans have relished the opportunity to see these matches — and they are a truly special treat for the viewers.
In the main event of this year’s SummerSlam, the WWE Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns will take on challenger Brock Lesnar in a Last Man Standing match. The match is shaping up to be a physical and personal battle between two behemoths and super athletes. But what other Last Man Standing matches blew the roof off the arena and left a mark on wrestling forever? Let’s find out!
5. The Big Show vs. Roman Reigns - Extreme Rules 2015
It was extremely hard to narrow down a list of almost 40 fantastic last man standing matches down to just five, but I knew this match needed to be mentioned. I was in attendance at the Allstate Arena in Chicago for this match and the atmosphere prior to the bout was flat. Fans seemed less excited for this match than other last man standing matches in the past. But by the end of the match, there wasn’t a single person in their seats and the energy in the building was electric! The Big Show and Roman Reigns truly won over a hot Chicago crowd that night with a great performance on both their ends that surprised most fans and kept us on the edge of our seats!
The Big Show dominated Reigns for most of the match. He dragged Reigns around the ring and used his size advantage to toss him like a ragdoll. Reigns had a few moments where he looked like he might have an opening, but The Big Show always made sure he was one step ahead of The Tribal Chief. Reigns took some incredible damage in the match including a beautiful Chokeslam from the inside of the ring to two tables on the outside. Eventually he was able to gather up enough momentum to hit Spears through both the barricade, and the announce table. Reigns then picked up the huge victory after using the broken announce table to bury The Big Show, effectively making it impossible for him to answer the 10-count.
4. Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose - Royal Rumble 2016
From the very moment the bell rang, this match was pure violence, intensity and action. Both Owens and Ambrose come from somewhat hardcore backgrounds, especially Ambrose. Both men inflicted serious damage on one another. It started off with kendo sticks and chairs but naturally progressed to tables and tables and more tables. By the end of the match, four tables had been broken and dozens of chairs had been bent and dented under the pressure of human flesh. This match is exactly what you would expect of a classic, underrated last man standing match. There were a lot of foreign objects, but there was a lot of good wrestling too. In the end, Dean Ambrose was able to retain his Intercontinental Championship after pushing Owens off the top rope through a stack of two tables.
3. The Rock vs. Mankind - St. Valentine’s Day Massacre 1999
Coming in at No. 3 is the first-ever Last Man Standing match in WWE history. The Rock and Mankind had been feuding for almost a year. Both men, especially Foley, were known as two of the toughest guys in the company. What type of brutal punishment would these two need to administer to each other in order for one of them to be knocked out? And was it even possible for Mankind to stay down for 10 seconds?
With no blueprint or other Last Man Standing matches to base their performance off of, The Rock and Mankind wrestled all over the arena including the backstage area before making their way back to the ring. At the end of the match, both men hit each other in the head with steel chairs, causing a double knockout and therefore a draw. Mankind remained WWF Champion and although the ending left a bad taste in some fans' mouths, the action during the bout was second to none.
2. John Cena vs. Umaga - Royal Rumble 2007
John Cena vs Umaga is a hidden gem in WWE history that simply doesn’t get talked about enough. The emotion and performance from both men was fantastic. The crowd reactions were deafening and added to the match and the environment. And of course, the match was hardcore. Umaga dominated Cena, breaking him down and busting him wide open. Cena lost a lot of blood in this match, but it only helped him win over a stubborn audience and add a layer of intensity to the match.
The finish of the match saw Cena taking a broken ring rope and legitimately choking Umaga unconscious to pick up the massive victory. Both men did their parts during this match and the final product was a violent masterclass of storytelling that saw Cena prove why he is one of the best of all time.
1. Triple H vs. Chris Jericho - Fully Loaded 2000
Triple H and Chris Jericho’s Last Man Standing match at Fully Loaded is the best Last Man Standing match of all time. It was a bloody showing of gruesome violence and went on to become one of Jericho’s favorite matches he ever competed in. The match also received a 4.5-star rating from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
The early part of the match involved a dominant Jericho picking Triple H apart. He mixed springboard maneuvers and striking to keep the lead, but couldn’t keep Triple H down for long. Triple H took over as the brawl got more hardcore until a massive chair shot to the face cut Triple H open and stopped him dead in his tracks. From there, the match got increasingly more violent with both men taking headshots from steel chairs and television monitors. Jericho eventually locked Stephanie McMahon in the Walls of Jericho which caused Triple H to retrieve his signature Sledgehammer from under the ring. Even this wouldn’t put a stop to the match and the men kept going. The fight eventually ended when Triple H would Suplex Jericho through the announce table, knocking him out and leaving him behind in a pile of blood, sweat, and broken table.
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