WWE Extreme Rules 2014: Stipulations That Could Have Been on the Card
The annual Extreme Rules pay-per-view is a bit of a bonanza for fans of wrestling's adult side. Since the start of the "PG Era," matches with extreme gimmicks are more or less confined to this one event.
With that in mind, many are a little disappointed at the card this year. Only two of the matches are confirmed to have extra stipulations. Daniel Bryan's match with Kane for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship will be contested under extreme rules, and Bray Wyatt will meet John Cena inside a steel cage.
This is all the more disappointing given that some of the matches lend themselves quite nicely to a touch of the extreme. Here are a series of stipulations that could've added edge to the rest of the Extreme Rules card.
Paige vs. Tamina Snuka: 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
The central problem with most Divas matches is that they aren't long enough. There are some talented workers in the division who are saddled with matches that often feel like coffee breaks. Paige and Tamina Snuka are both excellent wrestlers, capable of putting on bouts of the highest quality.
A 2-out-of-3 Falls Match at Extreme Rules would have allowed these two Divas to really tell a story. A quick pinfall for Tamina, perhaps via her brutal superkick, would have put the champion on the back foot.
This kind of match would also showcase Paige's varied move set. She has already beaten opponents with three different finishing moves. In a 2-out-of-3 falls contest, she could have kept her opponent guessing throughout the lengthy bout.
If the WWE is serious about revitalising the Divas Division, a stipulation like this could be really valuable. Talented Divas deserve time to display their skills, and Extreme Rules would have been the ideal platform.
Big E vs. Bad News Barrett: Street Fight
The WWE Intercontinental Championship was not defended at WrestleMania. Big E's belt was at its lowest ebb, with few defenses allowing him to make his mark as champion. The No. 1 Contender's tournament on Raw in recent weeks has helped the strap seem like something worth wearing.
Tournament winner Bad News Barrett will finally get his shot at Extreme Rules, but it will be in straight singles competition. With a powerhouse and a bare-knuckle brawler in the ring, this should have been a Street Fight.
An all-out war in the ring between two powerful men would have been the final step to cement the Intercontinental title as a coveted prize again.
It also would have been a nice touch to see Barrett win with a set of brass knuckles in an homage to fellow Englishman William Regal.
Cesaro vs. Jack Swagger vs. Rob Van Dam: Tables Match
There's an argument that the very fact this is a Triple Threat match gives it an extreme stipulation. The matches are contested under no disqualification rules, but this is often ignored.
Any match featuring Rob Van Dam at an event called Extreme Rules is desperately in need of a stipulation. A ladder match requires a title, so the best possible choice for this bout would've been a tables match.
Van Dam's extreme spots are well-known, and there would have been plenty of near-misses hinting at his victory as well as creative use of chairs. Jack Swagger has also shown a real brutality during this rivalry, so the hardcore nature of the match would suit him too.
At the climax, Van Dam could have had Cesaro laid out on a table ready for a Five-Star Frog Splash finish. The "Swiss Superman" would've caught RVD with an uppercut in midair, forcing him to fall through the table.
The Shield vs. Evolution: Elimination Tag Match
Since this match was announced for Extreme Rules, there has been talk of WWE resurrecting the War Games match. A more appropriate stipulation for The Shield vs. Evolution would have been an Elimination Tag format, similar to the traditional Survivor Series matches.
Whenever The Shield is involved in a beatdown, there's always talk of the "numbers game." The constantly changing dynamic of an Elimination Tag match would have added real intrigue to the storytelling aspect of the battle.
This also would've presented the opportunity for the match to come down to Triple H and Roman Reigns. The two are already reported to face off at SummerSlam in August, and Extreme Rules could have sowed the seed of that epic fight.
Whoever had left victorious, an Elimination Tag match would have made this stable battle closer to the war that fans had been promised at Extreme Rules.