The Standard Match is the be-all, end-all of pro wrestling matches, e-fed or real. With the slight exception of the original ECW (1994-2001), ALL federations generally adhere to this match format for singles and tag matches.
Standard Match is the blanket term used to describe a wrestling match with the following conditions:
- One fall to a finish, where falls are obtained by successfully fulfilling any of the following criteria:
- Pin-fall - One wrestler pins BOTH their opponents shoulders to the mat for a count of three by the referee. Pin-falls are broken when either/both of the pinned shoulders are raised off the mat before the 3-count or when someone else attacks the person pinning the opponent.
- Submission - One wrestler has their opponent in a continuous hold, causing them to either tap out, cry "Uncle", or pass out to the point where they are unable to keep their arm up at all when the referee raises it 3 consecutive times. Submissions are broken the same way as pin-falls.
- 10-Count Knockout - If a wrestler is floored in the ring and unable to answer (stand upright) a 10-count by the referee, they lose the fall. Frequently, the 10-Count KO rule only applies to BOTH wrestlers, which would result in a Draw, and the 10-Count KO rule for one wrestler usually only applies in the Last Man Standing Match.
- Count-Out - When one or more of the wrestlers are thrown out of the ring, the referee will normally begin a 10 or 20 count. If the wrestler(s) outside the ring cannot return to the ring before the referee reaches the count, they lose the fall. Count-outs normally do not result in a title changing hands in a title match unless expressly stated by the authority who booked the match.
- Disqualification - If a wrestler performs an illegal maneuver, they will be disqualified. If they use a weapon in a Standard match and are caught, they will be disqualified. If someone interferes/runs in and attacks someone, the person they attack will win the fall due to disqualification (the interference is generally assumed to be acting on the behalf of the person being disqualified, which is why disqualification results). If a wrestler's submission lock is broken at the ropes, and they do not break the hold for a count of 5, they will be disqualified. In a Standard Tag Team match, if the illegal partner (the one waiting outside on the apron, holding the tag rope, if your fed uses one) is in the ring (while BOTH legal wrestlers are inside) past a referee's 5-count, his/her team is disqualified.
- No-Contest - Should one or more of the wrestlers leave ringside (the area containing the ring, the entrance stage, and the live viewing public), the match will be ruled "No-Contest." If interference on behalf of BOTH sides attacks both wrestlers, the match will be ruled "No-Contest."
- No modifications done to the ring (such as removal/change of the ropes) or its immediate vicinity (such as Steel Cage Match, Hell in a Cell Match, or Inferno Match).
The standard match got its designation by being the simplest and most frequently-booked type of match. Almost ALL specialty matches feature win conditions modified from these base rules.