WWE Extreme Rules 2014: Worst Title Changes at PPV
There have been several twists and turns in terms of championship changes in the short history of Extreme Rules, with plenty of drama in the five editions hosted to date.
And whilst some of them have been fully merited or fully necessary for the company to move forward, looking back, some feel like a horrific mistake.
That could be because the winner isn't ready to take the belt, or simply because the WWE made a mistake in having the defending champion drop the belt.
With the 2014 pay-per-view likely to provide another couple of swerves regarding title changes, let's take a look at the worst championship switches in the moderately brief history of Extreme Rules.
5. Layla Beats Nikki Bella (2012)
We start with the Divas division and the match that crowned a new champion back in 2012.
Although the women's division wasn't exactly sparkling with talent at the time, the Bella Twins were doing a decent enough job, and Nikki was a pretty good champion.
However, this match doesn't make the list for the fact Layla won the belt; it was more how she won it. She was a surprise challenger for the match, which was a bit of a kick in the teeth for the women who were on the verge of challenging Nikki.
The match was remarkably short and left little to the imagination in terms of a real championship-standard match.
All in all, it was arguably one of the worst title changes we have seen at Extreme Rules.
4. Christian Beats Alberto Del Rio (2011)
Back in 2011, Edge was forced to cruelly retire from professional wrestling. And in the process of retiring, he also vacated the World Heavyweight Championship he was the rightful owner of.
At the time, Edge was scheduled to work a program with Alberto Del Rio. The Mexican had been making good strides in his early days with the company, and he would have been a deserving champion.
However, when Edge retired, a Battle Royal was declared to determine just who would face Del Rio at Extreme Rules 2011.
Edge's good friend and former tag partner, Christian, got the shot. Given how Del Rio was in line for the title opportunity prior to Christian, it seems a bit silly the WWE went with the angle of giving it to Christian.
Sure, there was a nice story surrounding Christian winning the belt his best friend had vacated, but you get the feeling Del Rio would have been a much more credible champion.
3. Jeff Hardy Beats Edge (2009)
The winner of this match would ultimately go on to lose his title in just over a minute to CM Punk at the end of the main event.
However, it just feels like the wrong guy was in the mix to face Punk in the first place. Punk vs. Edge would have been a great rivalry to see played out in front of our eyes. Instead, it was Jeff Hardy who got the belt.
Having a guy win the World Heavyweight Championship and then lose it a minute later seems a little bit false, in all fairness. If the plan was always for Punk to cash in his briefcase, it would have been better to have the guy who had been champion for a while lose out.
It created a bit of a mess when it came to determining who got the shot at CM Punk coming out of Extreme Rules. In all honesty, the WWE got this one a touch wrong.
2. Kofi Kingston Beats Sheamus (2011)
This match took place at a time when Sheamus was very much one of the main heels in the WWE. He had already been WWE champion a couple of times and had also won the King of the Ring tournament, dubbing himself King Sheamus in the process.
In the weeks prior to Extreme Rules 2011, he had won his first ever United States Championship, beating Daniel Bryan. The two were having a decent enough rivalry for the belt, too. However, that all changed at the pay-per-view in question, as Theodore Long made an impromptu match for the championship, as Sheamus defended the title against Kofi Kingston.
Quite why the decision was made to have Sheamus drop the belt against Kingston is anyone's guess. He would hold the belt for less than 50 days, before dropping it to Dolph Ziggler in June of that year.
Admittedly, Sheamus was probably too high up on the card to hold the United States Championship for much longer. But he definitely gave it a touch of prestige that other champions have failed to do since.
1. Batista Beats Randy Orton (2009)
Batista went into this match not knowing the fate that would befall him a day later, but in hindsight, this wasn't a smart move to have him win the WWE Championship.
Twenty-four hours after beating Randy Orton for the WWE Championship, he was forced to vacate it due to an assault from The Legacy.
The match itself was a steel cage match, with both men enjoying a pretty decent rivalry up until that point. The fact the contest lasted just over seven minutes made it an even more dismal decision to pin the belt on Batista.
Having Batista beat Orton that night at Extreme Rules has to rank as one of the more bizarre match results you are ever likely to see at the show. Let's just hope that the 2014 edition doesn't provide a moment that will topple it.