7 Jaw-Dropping Extreme Rules Moments
WWE Extreme Rules has produced a number of staggering sights in its short history.
Tables, ladders, chairs, danger and excitement have been the hallmarks of the gimmick match-heavy pay-per-view. Put John Morrison in a cage or Edge and Jeff Hardy near a ladder and the astonishment is guaranteed.
Violence and athleticism combined again and again to elevate the entertainment power of these shows and these matches. A concussion will prevent Dolph Ziggler from adding to this list on May 19, but a number of other WWE Superstars will have a chance to have our jaws slide open in awe once more.
In chronological order, here are the moments from Extreme Rules' four shows that most stunned audiences and remain in our collective memory.
Kofi Kingston hit a magnificent Boom Drop onto Sheamus that went through a table to win the United States title at Extreme Rules 2011.
The whole concept of putting Michael Cole and Jim Ross into a pay-per-view match was shocking enough. Seeing Cole wrap himself up in bubble wrap was even more stunning, but not in the entertaining way like the other moments on this list.
On the same show, Chris Jericho pulled off an impressive top-rope Codebreaker on Edge.
2009: Jeff Hardy and Edge Break a Ladder
Edge and Jeff Hardy toppled over, falling from one ladder onto another. Jim Ross said of the aftermath, "Bodies and ladders are broken."
The two ladder masters delivered the first great match in Extreme Rules as they battled over the World Heavyweight Championship.
Edge took the worst of this fall, his torso snapping the ladder in half. Hardy took a painful tumble as well, something both these men spent much of their careers doing. This spot was one of the many highlights of their bout, one that ended with Hardy winning the belt from Edge.
CM Punk soon swooped in and cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on a man who had suffered a glut of punishment.
2010: John Cena Sends Batista Through Table
Their Last Man Standing match for the WWE title featured a number of breath-stealing spots, but none more exciting than John Cena smashing Batista through a table with the Attitude Adjustment.
It wasn't just the impact of Batista's large frame crashing through the wood or the way the table collapsed dramatically, but how high Cena sent his opponent into the air. Batista soared for a brief moment before his painful crash.
The Animal would soon gain revenge as he sent Cena through a table via a spinebuster.
In an intense match with steel steps and duct tape playing major parts, it's that AA through the table that stands out most.
2011: Kharma Debuts
Several haunting vignettes had hyped Kharma's arrival to WWE. The respected wrestler dominated and impressed during her time with TNA and in Japan.
With WWE's female roster so full of pretty faces and former models, the addition of someone with the credentials of Kharma was an exciting prospect.
After Layla defeated Michelle McCool in a Loser Leaves WWE match, McCool's bad night would only get worse. Kharma's music hit and the powerhouse stomped down to the ring. She made her WWE debut with all the aggression and intensity fans were hoping from her.
Things may not have worked out beyond that, but the opening moments of her WWE career certainly grabbed fans' attention.
2011: Alberto Del Rio Crashes into Ladder
Alberto Del Rio and Christian's ladder match for the vacated world title the recently-retired Edge left behind was teeming with thrilling moments.
It remains one of the best matches in Extreme Rules history. Del Rio and Christian used the ladders around them as weapons and springboards. The most stunning moment came when Del Rio flew at a fallen Christian, only to miss. Del Rio's awkward landing had the ladder swinging violently and his body crashing to the floor.
Christian's win, following a distraction by Edge, was the most emotional and satisfying moment of the bout, but seeing Del Rio's failed flight had the most visceral impact.
2011: John Morrison Hits Starship Pain off Cage
Criticize John Morrison for all the things he didn't bring as a Superstar, but his ability to deliver jaw-dropping moments was undeniable.
Extreme Rules 2011's main event pitted The Miz against John Cena and Morrison in a cage. Cena may have won the match, but Morrison had the moment worth talking about.
Morrison hit his finishing move, Starship Pain from off the top of the cage, landing on both Cena and Miz. His spinning, rapid descent is worth watch several times over.
2012: CM Punk Hits Chris Jericho with Diving Elbow
After torturing CM Punk psychologically for weeks and insulting his family, Chris Jericho suffered his opponent's wrath in a Chicago street fight. Among the most intense moves he took was Punk's diving elbow.
Punk soared through the air and sent himself and Jericho crashing through the Spanish announcer's table. It's a move he had done before, but the distance, height and impact he achieved made it a spectacular sight.
The emotional value of seeing Jericho get what was coming to him added to the power of the move.
2012: Brock Lesnar's Tumble
The fact that Brock Lesnar and John Cena's Extreme Rules match featured blood was shocking in itself. Fans didn't expect to see Cena's head drip with blood with today's WWE being such a sterilized product compared to its most violent past.
The fall that Lesnar took toward the end of the match was a more frightening, attention-grabbing moment than that bloodshed. Lesnar sized up his foe who writhed just outside the ring. Lesnar launched himself off the steel steps, but crashed into the ring ropes.
The awkward flight he took looked like it might end with a broken neck. Fans are sometimes numb to the all the controlled violence in a match, but when something goes wrong, as it did here, the result is stunning.