Let us start with the first issue, concerning the generality of the strong rigidity theorem (SRT). While earlier attempts to proof the theorem were flawed22 and subject to restrictive assumptions concerning the matter fields , the recent work of Chruściel [40, 39] has shown that the SRT is basically a geometric feature of stationary space-times. It is, therefore, conceivable to suppose that both parts of the theorem – that is, the existence of a Killing horizon and the existence of an axial symmetry in the rotating case – are generic features of stationary black hole space-times. (See also  for the classification of asymptotically flat space-times.)
The counterpart to the staticity problem is the circularity problem: As the non-rotating black holes are, in general, not static, one expects that the axisymmetric ones need not necessarily be circular. This is, indeed, the case: While circularity is a consequence of the EM equations and the symmetry properties of the electro-magnetic field, the same is not true for the EYM system.23 Hence, the familiar Papapetrou ansatz for a stationary and axisymmetric metric is too restrictive to take care of all stationary and axisymmetric degrees of freedom of the EYM system.24 Recalling the enormous simplifications of the EM equations arising from the (2+2)-split of the metric in the Abelian case, an investigation of the non-circular EYM equations will be rather awkward. As rotating black holes with hair are most likely to occur already in the circular sector (see the next paragraph), a systematic investigation of the EYM equations with circular constraints is needed as well.
The static subclass of the circular sector was investigated in recent studies by Kleihaus and Kunz (see  for a compilation of the results). Since, in general, staticity does not imply spherical symmetry, there is a possibility for a static branch of axisymmetric black holes without spherical symmetry.25 Using numerical methods, Kleihaus and Kunz have constructed black hole solutions of this kind for both the EYM and the EYM-dilaton system .26 The new configurations are purely magnetic and parametrized by their winding number and the node number of the relevant gauge field amplitude. In the formal limit of infinite node number, the EYM black holes approach the Reissner–Nordström solution, while the EYM-dilaton black holes tend to the Gibbons–Maeda black hole [72, 76].27 Both the soliton and the black hole solutions of Kleihaus and Kunz are unstable and may, therefore, be regarded as gravitating sphalerons and black holes inside sphalerons, respectively.
Slowly rotating regular and black hole solutions to the EYM equations were recently established in . Using the reduction of the EYM action in the presence of a stationary symmetry reveals that the perturbations giving rise to non-vanishing angular momentum are governed by a self-adjoint system of equations for a set of gauge invariant fluctuations . For a soliton background the solutions to the perturbation equations describe charged, rotating excitations of the Bartnik–McKinnon solitons . In the black hole case the excitations are combinations of two branches of stationary perturbations: The first branch comprises charged black holes with vanishing angular momentum,28 whereas the second one consists of neutral black holes with non-vanishing angular momentum.29 In the presence of bosonic matter, such as Higgs fields, the slowly rotating solitons cease to exist, and the two branches of black hole excitations merge to a single one with a prescribed relation between charge and angular momentum .
© Max Planck Society and the author(s)