WWE Extreme Rules brings back a classic stipulation

5 WWE Strap Matches you need to know about

WWE Superstar Drew McIntyre challenged Karrion Kross to a strap match on the latest episode of SmackDown. After several hit-and-run attacks from the Herald of Doomsday himself, McIntyre decided to trap Kross with a stipulation that would keep him from escaping the Scottish Warrior's wrath.

The strap match is iconic in pro wrestling. It's a stipulation that's evolved in several different directions and is known by many names. The Texas Bullrope match, the Dog Collar match, and the Four Corners Strap match; this bout has quite a lot of variety in it. One thing remains the same, though, and that's the fact that when the bell rings, there's no escaping your opponent.

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"At Extreme Rules, it's McIntyre vs. Kross in a strap match!"

@DMcIntyreWWE vs. @realKILLERkross is going down at Extreme Rules!

#SmackDown #ExtremeRules

Strap matches are often some of the most brutal bouts you'll see in a wrestling ring, and two powerhouses like Drew McIntyre and Karrion Kross will be sure to deliver at WWE Extreme Rules. While we wait for that exciting battle, let's take a look back at some of the best strap matches in WWE history.


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#5. WWE Fully Loaded 1999: Triple H vs The Rock in a Fully Loaded Strap Match

Triple H and The Rock were bitter enemies throughout the Attitude Era
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When it comes to The Rock's greatest rival, most would lean towards Stone Cold Steve Austin. However, there's a strong argument for The Game himself, Triple H. The two feuded several times throughout Rock's short WWE career, from the Nation of Domination and DX days to their time fighting for the top spot in the business.

This bout was the point where Triple H had shed his role in DX and molded himself into the Cerebral Assassin. Betraying X-Pac at WrestleMania XV earlier that year, Triple H cemented himself as a member of the Corporation. Billy Gunn and Chyna were still working with Trips, and were vital in his success on the night.

It was Triple H and The Rock in their primes right near the main event of the card. The two bitter enemies held nothing back, and The Rock even managed to fight off multiple attempted interferences from Billy Gunn and Chyna.

Triple H would eventually catch him thanks to his cronies, hitting a Pedigree to secure himself a shot at the WWE Championship. This match isn't remembered fondly simply because these two have had better matches with one another. But, it's a vital point in Triple H's career, as it's the match that would lead him to his first WWE Title.

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#4. WWE Extreme Rules 2009: Umaga vs CM Punk in a Samoan Strap Match

CM Punk faces Umaga in a Samoan Strap Match

Following his second Money in the Bank win in 2009, CM Punk entered into a short-lived feud with Umaga. The Samoan Bulldozer repeatedly prevented Punk from cashing in on his title opportunity after he was drafted to SmackDown that year.

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They'd met the month prior, where Umaga dominated Punk. This time around, the 30-year-old had a better showing against a seemingly unstoppable foe. In this stipulation, two competitors are tied to each other by a strap or rope. To win, you must successfully touch all four corners of the ring within a set time limit.

Several times over, Punk was able to fire up and prevent Umaga from touching all four corners, using the strap as a tool to weaken his opponent. After taking the strap between the legs, Umaga rolled to the floor to avoid further damage. Punk yanked the strap back, forcing Umaga's skull into the ring post and nearly winning the match.

Umaga prevented Punk from finishing the bout with a nasty spin-out side slam. In a great defensive maneuver, Punk wrapped himself up in the ropes, preventing the stronger Umaga from pulling him towards the last corner. Punk was inches away from the last corner, but couldn't pull the big man close enough to wrap things up.

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Umaga would go for his iconic Samoan Spike finisher, only for Punk to duck and pick him up on his shoulders. A surprising Go To Sleep knocked Umaga out cold as Punk fell backwards into the last corner, sealing his victory.

This was the wave of momentum Punk needed, it seemed. He would cash in his Money in the Bank opportunity on Jeff Hardy, securing his second World Heavyweight Championship.


#3. WWE Royal Rumble 2020: Daniel Bryan vs The Fiend (c) in a Strap Match for the WWE Universal Championship

Maybe @WWEDanielBryan knew EXACTLY what he was doing when he challenged #TheFiend @WWEBrayWyatt to a #StrapMatch... #RoyalRumble #BrayWyatt
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The Fiend's run at the top is a controversial one for sure. Some believe that the character shouldn't have touched the WWE Universal Championship. Others feel his run was poorly handled by WWE. No matter where you stand on the issue, it's impossible to deny how great his match with Daniel Bryan was.

At Royal Rumble 2020, Bryan challenged The Fiend for the Universal Championship in a Strap Match. Considering how dominant the monstrous champion had been in recent months, some wondered if Bryan would be able to inflict any damage in the bout. The Fiend had already dominantly bested Bryan a few months prior.

Much like his classic with Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series 2018, though, Bryan's ferocity surprised the WWE Universe. Bryan figured that if he could keep The Fiend in range, he could wear the champion down.

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The Fiend easily shrugged off Bryan's early onslaught, like most of his matches. He then spiked him with a powerbomb that nearly could've ended things then and there. After five minutes of straight punishment, though, Bryan caught The Fiend with a surprise Busaiku Knee, nearly winning the Universal Title.

Bryan's bout with Lesnar played into this as he got dirty to keep up with the champion's brute strength. Low blows, pulling The Fiend into the post and stairs, battering his opponent's face with the strap. Daniel Bryan did everything in his power to put The Fiend down in what was easily the best match of The Fiend's run as WWE Universal Champion.

Unfortunately for Bryan, though, he fell short. Seventeen minutes into the war, The Fiend stood up and shrugged off another short flurry of strikes from Bryan before locking in the Mandible Claw. A uranage slam with the claw applied put Bryan down for the count in what is easily the best strap match since 2004, but we'll get to that.

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#2. WWE In Your House 8: Savio Vega vs Stone Cold Steve Austin in a Caribbean Strap Match

How cool!

@SavioVega learned on #WWETheBump that HE was the one to hand @steveaustinBSR, @TheRock AND @TripleH their first singles loss in @WWE!

And his reaction is priceless!!!
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What do Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, and Triple H all have in common? All three suffered their first "official" losses in WWE against Savio Vega.

Savio and Austin fought quite a few times over Austin's first year in the WWE, and Savio was quite a vital component in the evolution of Austin's character. By the time In Your House came around, Austin was still working with Ted Dibiase. He'd dropped the "Ringmaster" nickname, but the Million Dollar Man was still by his side.

Dibiase and Austin had been a thorn in Savio's side for months by this point and managed to steal a win at WrestleMania earlier that year. But it was here at In Your House 8: Beware of Dog that he'd finally rid himself of Dibiase. Per the stipulation, if Savio Vega defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin in this match, The Million Dollar Man would be gone.

The two brawled like they were in a street fight, hammering one another with stiff right hands and coiling up the strap to lay into one another, leaving stripes across each other's bodies. By the end of the match, Savio was trapped in the Million Dollar Dream but was able to hit three corners despite being in the hold for minutes.

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Austin would cut him off and drag him around the ring to tag each corner. Savio followed, doing the same before Austin accidentally launched him into the fourth corner, securing Savio's victory and sending Ted Dibiase to WCW.

At the very next PPV event, Stone Cold Steve Austin would win the King of the Ring Tournament and begin his meteoric rise to the top of the company. One has to wonder if that would have happened if Austin was still saddled with the Million Dollar Man.


#1. WWE Great American Bash 2004: JBL vs Eddie Guerrero (c) in a Texas Bullrope Match for the WWE Championship

June 27th 2004, Great American Bash. JBL beat Eddie Guerrero to win the #WWE Title for the first time. @JCLayfield http://t.co/gpyjG8ogWu
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John Bradshaw Layfield has said many a time that he rose to the top of WWE because of Eddie Guerrero. Considered to be one of, if not the greatest of all time, Guerrero's bloody brawls with JBL cemented the Texan as a hated heel in the business. Their match at Judgment Day 2004 was one of the bloodiest brawls in WWE history.

Heading into the bout, JBL attempted to intimidate the mother of the champion, leading to her having a heart attack when he put his hand on her. Speaking on the incident, JBL took a line from Rocky 4's villain Ivan Drago: "If she dies, she dies." Guerrero lost the match by DQ, leading to a follow-up at the Great American Bash.

Much like the Punk/Umaga and Savio/Austin entries, this was a four-corner style Texas Bullrope match. Guerrero used the bull-rope to wear down the heavyweight, using it to choke him and sling him into a ring post and crack his skull with the cowbell that was attached.

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A steel chair would bash JBL's head wide open, leaving him a bloody mess. Those gruesome chair shots left JBL nearly unconscious ten minutes in. As the WWE Champion touched three corners, JBL used whatever strength he had at the time to grab onto the ring ropes, preventing Eddie from reaching the fourth.

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Despite Guerrero dominating the entire match, JBL would outsmart him in the end. As Guerrero dragged a beaten and bloody JBL around the ring, the challenger would tag each corner after the champion, leading to both men squaring off by the final corner.

As Guerrero went on to leap over JBL, both men crashed into the corner. Then-SmackDown GM Kurt Angle came out to make the official call, naming JBL the WWE Champion. The footage would show that JBL's back did touch the corner before Eddie, unfortunately ending Eddie's only world title run at just a few months.

Is Drew McIntyre going to TNA? More details here.

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Edited by
Ken Cameron
 
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