WWE Extreme Rules 2013: Ranking the Past Versions of the Pay-Per-View
Extreme Rules 2013 marks the fifth year WWE has put on its gimmick-heavy show, one that has recently earned itself a reputation for being one of the company's best pay-per-views.
Fans have been sucked into ladder matches and battles inside cages, violence and hatred. Championships have changed hands. Classics have been composed.
The four Extreme Rules thus far are ranked here based on which had the most quality matches and the overall entertainment value of the show.
Where will Extreme Rules 2013 rank compared to past versions? Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, John Cena and Ryback are going to have a major impact on how that question is answered.
No. 4: 2010
Extreme Rules 2010 highlights
Extreme Rules 2010 has been the least impressive show in the pay-per-view's short history, mainly due to poor quality matches.
Beyond the quality of the matches, the event failed to capitalize on the stipulations and the theme of the pay-per-view. As Rob McNichol of The Sun put it, this was a "failure to live up to promises to go hardcore."
Sheamus battled Triple H in a solid street fight. John Cena and Batista had a good Last Man Standing match, but one that doesn't compare favorably to Extreme Rules main events from other years. CM Punk and Rey Mysterio showed off their great chemistry, as did Edge and Chris Jericho.
Neither Jack Swagger nor Randy Orton are going to want to put their world title match on their resumes. Their pacing dragged, and neither man seemed especially inspired.
JTG and Shad Gaspard put on a tepid strap match. Add a forgettable Divas match and a tag team gauntlet match that only lasted five minutes and fans are left with little to be impressed by.
No. 3: 2009
Extreme Rules 2009 highlights
The first edition of the Extreme Rules pay-per-view is highlighted by two enthralling championship matches, a Money in the Bank cash-in and little else.
Chris Jericho won the Intercontinental title from Rey Mysterio in a No Holds Barred match. It was the second best showing of the night. The two wrestlers put on a whirlwind of action with a great mix of high-flying moves.
Jeff Hardy vs. Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship in a ladder match was a worthy main event.
Edge played the sadist, torturing his challenger. He and Hardy used the ladder as a diving board, as a weapon and as a tag team partner.
After Hardy won, CM Punk ran in with his Money in the Bank briefcase in hand to further elevate the excitement of the night. His victory over Hardy was the catalyst for their fantastic feud to follow.
Santino wrestled in drag in a hog pen with Vickie and Chavo Guerrero. John Cena beat The Big Show in a subpar match. CM Punk and Umaga battled in a Samoan strap match. The Sun said of that clash, "This was as good as any bout where you need to touch all four corners can be, that is not very."
Other than the two top matches and a cash-in moment, the event didn't offer much in the memorable department.
No. 2: 2011
Extreme Rules 2011 highlights
From the opening bout to the main event, Extreme Rules 2011 delivered drama, violence and excitement.
Randy Orton and CM Punk started things off with a Last Man Standing match that utilized chairs, Kendo sticks and the announce table. This is the best opener the event has seen to date.
Kofi Kingston and Sheamus rode that momentum and created their own. Their tables match saw Kingston leg drop Sheamus through a table to win the United States title.
The rest of the undercard had solid matches all around.
Rey Mysterio beat Cody Rhodes. Layla forced Michelle McCool to leave WWE. Even the match involving Jim Ross and Michael Cole was decent.
The strength of the show was the ladder match and the cage match. Christian won the vacant world title against Alberto Del Rio. It ended with Christian earning his crowning achievement as Edge looked on.
John Cena, Miz and John Morrison fought in the cage over the WWE title.
Morrison provided some jaw-dropping moments. He, Cena and Miz showed surprisingly good chemistry as a trio and put on an engaging performance. After Cena won the title, he grabbed a microphone and announced that the U.S. military had killed Osama Bid Laden.
That provided a powerful moment that WWE couldn't have scripted any better.
No. 1: 2012
Extreme Rules 2012 highlights
Extreme Rules 2012's trifecta of instant classics made it arguably the best show of the year.
Following WrestleMania is a tough task, but WWE gave fans a captivating pay-per-view event powered by two championship matches and the return of a major star.
CM Punk defended his WWE title in a personal and intense match with Chris Jericho. Punk and Jericho continued their rivalry and followed up their excellent WrestleMania match with one that was just as entertaining.
"Yes!" chants echoed as Sheamus and Daniel Bryan battled in a two out of three falls match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Their styles merged perfectly as the powerhouse clashed with the technician, as toughness took on craftiness.
Brock Lesnar made his WWE return in a match that melded MMA and pro wrestling. Lesnar busted John Cena open with pounding elbows and the two delivered the kind of violence and intensity fans expect from Extreme Rules.
The undercard featured a Ryback squash match, Cody Rhodes winning back the Intercontinental title when The Big Show stepped on a table, Brodus Clay beating Dolph Ziggler and a decent Falls Count Anywhere match between Randy Orton and Kane.
There wasn't a terrible match among that group, but no show-stealers either.
If one were to average all of the matches from Extreme Rules 2011, that show would edge this one. 2011 had a longer list of good matches, but 2012 is so top heavy with classics that it earns the top spot.