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A staple of the over-the-top-rope classic has been that of the Iron Man. Rick Martel, Bob Backlund, Ted Dibiase all proved their mettle within the match. Even though they didn't win it, they all would last over 45 minutes in early editions. Particularly for bad-guy heel characters that spend so much of their time avoiding conflict throughout typical WWE shows, the cunning nature of outlasting the majority of the field adds an aura to the character.
Court Bauer added some detail on how that is constructed.
"They'll go through it, a lot of it is very impressive. There will be some red flags, some fine-tuning, Vince might say, 'Hey, hold on for a second.' They'll go through that whole process and you'll know what they're going to showcase in a guy and tell a story and he's the iron man guy. He'll go the distance. Then you'll go out and ask if he's going to break any records? What records are there? You fire up Google and you go 'hey!' because there is no in-house system that has all the records except for Howard Finkel. He's the in-house Google that can tell you everything about anyone," said Bauer.
Rick Martel, Ted Dibiase, Bob Backlund, Kane, Dolph Ziggler, Sasha Banks all had defining performances that didn't end in a Rumble win, but serving as the Iron Horse in individual matches.