Iron Man match

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An Iron Man match is a professional wrestling match type that is set to go a specific amount of time, usually 30 or 60 minutes, with the competitor with the most falls at the end of that time named the victor.[1] On the occasions of a draw, a sudden death "final fall" may be requested by either side, with the other able to accept or decline,[2] or a legal authority can order the match to go into overtime in the case of any championship match if there is a draw.


Iron Man matches generally operate under the same rules as any other professional wrestling bout, but instead of the match having to be over before a time limit is up, the Iron Man match goes the full length of the allotted time, with each wrestler attempting to score as many falls in that time as possible. The wrestler who has the most decisions at the end of the match is then the winner; a decision can be a pinfall, submission, count out or disqualification.

Some Iron Man matches have an interval between falls. In 2009 a match between John Cena and Randy Orton had a 30 second rest period after each fall, in part due to that Iron Man match being "anything goes" (only pinfalls and submissions counted as falls which can also be done outside the ring, but not count outs or disqualifications). The 2003 match between Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar had a 15-second rest period after each fall, regardless of how it occurred.

Should the match result in a tie, sudden death overtime may be requested by either wrestler as a plot device, and it is accepted or rejected by either an opponent or an authority figure. After Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle tied 2–2 in a 30-minute iron-man match, Michaels begged Angle to go sudden death, but Angle walked off, to the heavy boos of the audience who wanted to see how it would end.

Sudden deaths are especially common in the event of a title match. This is because, in the event of a draw, the champion will always retain the title, meaning that sudden death is the only way to truly determine a winner. Commissioner Gorilla Monsoon ordered sudden death (after onscreen President Rowdy Roddy Piper had stated that there "must be a winner") after Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart failed to score a decision at Wrestlemania XII, and Christopher Daniels requested sudden death against AJ Styles at TNA Against All Odds 2005.

Iron Man matches are almost always two-sided (that is, no more than two sides, such as 1v1 or tag team, as opposed to triple-threat or fatal-four-way). However, it is possible for there to be a Triple Threat Iron Man, with the wrestler scoring the plurality of decisions being the winner.

The "Ultimate Submission" match is a variation of the Iron Man match where only submissions are counted for scoring.


Because of the fixed time limit, Iron Man matches have a tendency to lose their audience in the middle of a match[citation needed], with a quick flurry of action near the end. Often, an Iron Man match will have the wrestlers tied or holding a one-point advantage going into the final minutes, with one wrestler attempting to make a tying or winning pin.

Iron Man match history[edit]

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)[edit]

Several Iron Man matches had taken place at house shows. The Rockers faced off against The Rougeau Brothers throughout much of 1989. Bret Hart wrestled two from 1993-1994 against Ric Flair and his brother Owen.

# Match (Length) Title Score Event, Date and Location Arena
1 Shawn Michaels defeated Bret Hart (c) (61:56) Overtime WWF Championship 1–0 WrestleMania XII
March 31, 1996, Anaheim, CA
Arrowhead Pond
2 Triple H defeated The Rock (c) (60:00) WWF Championship 6–5 Judgment Day
May 21, 2000, Louisville, KY
Freedom Hall
3 Chris Benoit defeated Kurt Angle (31:51) Overtime
"Ultimate Submission match"
None 4–3 Backlash
April 29, 2001, Rosemont, IL
Allstate Arena
4 Brock Lesnar defeated Kurt Angle (c) (60:00) WWE Championship 5–4 SmackDown
September 18, 2003, Raleigh, NC
RBC Center
5 Chris Benoit (c) (w/ Eugene) defeated Triple H (w/ Batista & Ric Flair) (60:00) World Heavyweight Championship 4–3 Raw
July 26, 2004, Pittsburgh, PA
Mellon Arena
6 John Morrison & Joey Mercury (c) defeated Charlie Haas & Hardcore Holly (15:00) WWE Tag Team Championship 2-1 SmackDown
June 2, 2005, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Rexall Place
7 Kurt Angle drew with Shawn Michaels (30:00) None 2–2 Raw
October 3, 2005, Dallas, TX
American Airlines Center
8 John Morrison & The Miz (c) drew with Jimmy Wang Yang & Shannon Moore (15:00)
"Fifteen Minutes of Fame Match"
WWE Tag Team Championship 1–1 ECW
January 8, 2008, Wilkes-Barre, PA
Wachovia Center
9 John Cena defeated Randy Orton (c) (60:00)
"Anything Goes Ironman match"
WWE Championship 6–5 Bragging Rights
October 25, 2009, Pittsburgh, PA
Mellon Arena

Participant List[edit]

Superstar Victories Appearances
Chris Benoit 2 2
Brock Lesnar 1 1
Joey Mercury 1 1
John Cena 1 1
Triple H 1 2
Shawn Michaels 1 2
John Morrison 1 2
Bret Hart 0 1
The Rock 0 1
Charlie Haas 0 1
Hardcore Holly 0 1
The Miz 0 1
Jimmy Wang Yang 0 1
Shannon Moore 0 1
Randy Orton 0 1
Kurt Angle 0 3

World Championship Wrestling[edit]

# Match (Length) Title Score Event, Date and Location Arena
1 Ricky Steamboat defeated Rick Rude (30:00) None 4–3 Beach Blast 1992
June 20, 1992, Mobile, AL
Mobile Civic Center
2 Dustin Rhodes and Rick Rude fought to a draw (30:00) Vacant WCW United States Championship 1–1 Beach Blast 1993
July 18, 1993, Biloxi, MS
Mississippi Coast Coliseum

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling[edit]

# Match (Length) Title Score Event, Date and Location Arena
1 A.J. Styles (c) defeated Christopher Daniels (31:37) Overtime TNA X Division Championship 2–1 Against All Odds
February 13, 2005, Orlando, Florida
TNA Impact! Zone
2 A.J. Styles (c) defeated Christopher Daniels (30:00) TNA X Division Championship 1–0 Bound For Glory
October 23, 2005, Orlando, Florida
TNA Impact! Zone
3 Kurt Angle defeated Samoa Joe (30:00) To determine the #1 contender for the
NWA World Heavyweight Championship
3–2 Final Resolution 2007
January 14, 2007, Orlando, Florida
TNA Impact! Zone
4 Douglas Williams (c) drew with A.J. Styles (15:00 + 5:00 Sudden Overtime) TNA Television Championship 1–1 Impact Wrestling
December 23, 2010, Orlando, Florida
TNA Impact! Zone
5 Bobby Roode (c) drew with A.J. Styles (30:00) TNA World Heavyweight Championship 3–3 Final Resolution (2011)
December 15, 2011, Orlando, Florida
TNA Impact! Zone
6 Bobby Roode (c) defeated A.J. Styles (5:00 + Sudden Death Overtime) TNA World Heavyweight Championship 1–0 Impact Wrestling
December 18, 2011, Orlando, Florida
TNA Impact! Zone

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Inside WWE > Specialty Matches > Iron Man Match". Archived from the original on 2008-03-25. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  2. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated presents: 2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts". "Wrestling’s historical cards" (Kappa Publishing). 2007. p. 95. 

External links[edit]