WWE Extreme Rules: Ranking Every Main Event in the PPV's History
The Extreme Rules pay-per-view was introduced to the WWE Universe in 2009 and has a history of producing exciting and unforgettable matches. At Extreme Rules 2013, WWE champion John Cena will go one-on-one with his latest foe, Ryback.
Judging by previous main events, the match between Cena and Ryback has a lot to live up to. In fact, all four main event matches in Extreme Rules history have received at least a 4-star rating from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
The star ratings of every match and my own personal star ratings will be shown at the end of each slide.
I took into consideration the overall match quality, type of match and unpredictability of the match to help me determine the rankings featured on this list. With less than a month away from Extreme Rules 2013, let’s take a look back at every main event that has taken place at the PPV.
4. Extreme Rules 2011: (c) The Miz vs. John Cena vs. John Morrison
At Extreme Rules 2011, The Miz defended the WWE Championship against John Cena and John Morrison in a Triple Threat Steel Cage match. While each competitor had their own different and unique style, there is no denying that Morrison gave the best performance out of the three.
The Miz (thanks to The Rock) shocked the world and successfully defended his WWE Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 27 against John Cena. However, Cena would get his revenge less than a month later.
For the three superstars involved in the match, they did a pretty good job of making things unpredictable, at least to me. I should have known better than to doubt Cena overcoming the odds!
During the match, the WWE teased the fans and had Morrison inches away from escaping the cage. Unfortunately for Morrison, his nemesis at the time, R-Truth, came down to the ring and cost him the match and the WWE Championship. John Cena won the match by delivering an impactful Attitude Adjustment to The Miz from the top turnbuckle.
I may be a little harsh with this match rating, but if one or two superstars were replaced with others or if the outcome was different, this match could have been something truly special.
Wrestling Observer Match Star Rating: ****
Adrian Fylonenko's Match Star Rating: *** 3/4
3. Extreme Rules 2010: (c) John Cena vs. Batista
John Cena and Batista dominated the WWE title scene in 2010 and at the Extreme Rules PPV, they had a Last Man Standing match that stole the show. The lengthy feud between Cena and Batista was entertaining, mainly due to the similarities between the two. Both superstars are quick and built like brick houses.
One month prior to Extreme Rules 2010, John Cena won the WWE Championship from Batista and made him tap out at the biggest event of the year, WrestleMania. After Mania, fans would start to chant “you tapped out” while Batista fumbled his words and failed to provide an excuse as to why he submitted. It’s safe to say that The Animal was not happy.
Judging by the star rating that this match received, this is one of Batista’s better performances during his time in the WWE. The Last Man Standing match between the two powerhouses was thoroughly entertaining and was a proper main event for the two-year anniversary of Extreme Rules.
Wrestling Observer Match Star Rating: **** 1/4
Adrian Fylonenko's Match Star Rating: ****
2. Extreme Rules 2012: John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar
At Extreme Rules 2012, the WWE Universe witnessed the wrath of Brock Lesnar after he dismantled, bloodied and physically overpowered one of the strongest wrestlers in WWE history, John Cena. Surprisingly, Cena overcame the impossible odds (once again, I know) and managed to defeat Lesnar in their Extreme Rules match after hitting him with a steel chain and executing the Attitude Adjustment onto the steel ring steps.
From the opening bell, Lesnar seemed like a man possessed. He attacked Cena and gave him three to four stiff elbows to the head and within seconds, Cena had a deep cut in his head and was bleeding all over the ring.
As a fan, I was genuinely concerned for Cena and didn’t know what to think after watching what Lesnar did immediately after the match started. This was Lesnar's first match back from a lengthy hiatus, and he was hitting Cena with legitimate elbows. In MMA, that’s okay, but not in professional wrestling.
After the officials cleaned up the cut, both Lesnar and Cena gave us a hard-hitting and intense battle that lasted about 17 minutes. It's no secret that Lesnar dominated the matchup, but in the end, the leader of the Cenation got the victory and gained the respect of many fans after surviving such a beating.
Wrestling Observer Match Star Rating: **** 1/2
Adrian Fylonenko's Match Star Rating: **** 1/2
1. Extreme Rules 2009: (c) Edge vs. Jeff Hardy
The very first Extreme Rules PPV showcased two former WWE Superstars that despised each other and were synonymous with Ladder matches. The World Heavyweight champion at the time, Edge, put his title on the line against his longtime rival, Jeff Hardy at Extreme Rules 2009.
Edge and Hardy have always had tremendous chemistry in the ring, and they proved that during this memorable match that was filled with high-risks and unbelievable stunts. Watching the video above, you can tell that both superstars put their bodies through hell and did everything they could in order to capture the World Heavyweight title.
After 20 minutes of exhilarating action, Hardy outsmarted the ultimate opportunist and managed to climb the ladder to win his very first World Heavyweight title.
Unfortunately for Hardy, he was not able to celebrate the victory thanks to CM Punk, who cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase immediately after the match was over. After hitting Hardy with two GTSs, CM Punk became the new World Heavyweight champion.
Extreme Rules 2009 will always be remembered for the entertaining main event and unpredictable cash-in from CM Punk. Because of the type of match, exciting action and unpredictability, Edge vs. Jeff Hardy remains the greatest main event in Extreme Rules history.
While John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules 2012 received a better star rating from Dave Meltzer, I feel this match was a lot more exciting and unpredictable. Also, this was the very first Extreme Rules PPV, so there were a lot of expectations. Good thing Edge and Hardy didn’t disappoint!
Wrestling Observer Match Star Rating: **** 1/4
Adrian Fylonenko's Match Star Rating: **** 3/4
What was your favorite main event match from the Extreme Rules PPVs? When all is said and done, where will John Cena vs. Ryback at Extreme Rules 2013 rank? Thank you for reading and please leave your comments below.
Follow Adrian Fylonenko on Twitter to talk about wrestling, soccer, movies and all things sports/entertainment.