WWE Extreme Rules 2014: Best Stipulations in History of PPV
WWE's Extreme Rules pay-per-view is the one night of the year when every match on the card is allowed to have some sort of stipulation. Granted, that hasn't been the case with recent installments, but it certainly was early on after the event's inception in 2009.
From Table matches to the ever-infamous "I Quit" bouts, well over a dozen different types of matches have been held at Extreme Rules over the years. They have also made the event one of the must-see shows of the year with its intense action and sheer unpredictability.
Many matches in the history of Extreme Rules have been named some of the best bouts of the year, all thanks to the various stipulations attached to them. Extreme Rules has never failed to entertain, so here's hoping the tradition will carry on with this year's installment.
For two decades, the Ladder match has been one of the most anticipated bouts in WWE. Whether it be a briefcase or a championship title hanging in the balance, the contest's competitor always put everything on the line in order to emerge as the victor.
Ladder matches are always exciting, so it's no surprise that two of the best Ladder matches in recent years took place at Extreme Rules. The first came at the inaugural event in 2009, when Jeff Hardy challenged Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Edge and Hardy have history in this kind type of matchup, so it only made sense for them to compete in one to conclude their long-running rivalry. The insane spots performed by both men and emotion of Hardy's title win made the match one of the best of the year.
At 2011's installment, Christian and Alberto Del Rio battled in a Ladder match for the vacant World Heavyweight Championship. The styles of both individuals meshed perfectly with this kind of contest, making it that much more entertaining.
In the end, Christian ascended the steel structure to capture the prestigious prize for the first time in his career. Both this bout and the clash between Hardy and Edge were show-stealers, with no match being able to top either of them.
Falls Count Anywhere
A Falls Count Anywhere match allows its competitors to brawl anywhere around the arena (or even outside of it, if they please), and the pinfall or submission win doesn't need to come in the ring. Therefore, it takes the viewers on a fun ride and forces the combatants to get creative.
The first Falls Count Anywhere match to occur at Extreme Rules was in 2011, when the raging rivalry between Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio came to a head. The two had a handful of good matches in the past, but they all paled in comparison to the match they had at the annual extreme event.
As expected, Rhodes and Mysterio took the fight all over the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa. At one point, Rhodes hit his Beautiful Disaster kick on Mysterio after jumping off a concession stand. If that isn't an awesome visual, I don't know what is.
Mysterio had his fair share of cool spots as well, and the great chemistry the two have together made for an exciting encounter. The match ended up back in the ring, where The Master of the 619 sprayed green mist in the face of Rhodes to score the victory.
The following year, Kane and Randy Orton met in a match with the same stipulation. It made for an enjoyable opener to that year's event, as the two rivals hit each other with everything in each of their arsenals.
Like Mysterio vs. Rhodes, the crazy contest pitting Kane against Orton finished inside the squared circle when Orton hit The Big Red Monster with an RKO on a chair for the win. It may not be looked back on as one of the most memorable rivalries in history, but the matches between Kane and The Viper were always entertaining.
Last Man Standing
The rules of a Last Man Standing match stipulate that a competitor must keep their opponent down for a 10-count in order to emerge victorious. Thus, these kinds of matches always involve scary risks being taken as well as complete chaos.
A total of three Last Man Standing matches have been held at Extreme Rules over the years. The first came at 2010's event, when John Cena and Batista fought for the WWE Championship.
Of the series of matches Cena and Batista had that year, I found this one to be their best. They took the action all over the arena and put each other through tables.
The only thing that took away from the bout was the fact that it ended with Cena tying Batista's legs with duct tape to win.
In the opening slot of the next year's installment, Randy Orton took on CM Punk in a WrestleMania rematch. Punk and Orton have always had great matches, and this one in particular wasn't any exception.
Without any interference from The New Nexus, Orton managed to connect with an RKO on Punk from off the top rope to score the victory.
In 2013, Cena competed in his second Last Man Standing match at the event against Ryback. With the WWE Championship on the line, both competitors gave it their all, but the bout ultimately ended in a draw after Ryback tackled Cena through the stage wall.
Extreme Rules matches, the very match that the event itself is named after, has been contested at four of the last five installments. It allows the competitors to use every weapon at their disposal in order to put their opponent away for the three-count.
At the inaugural event in 2009, it was only fitting that the ECW Championship be contested in an Extreme Rules match. It featured the likes of Christian, Tommy Dreamer and Jack Swagger, with the stipulation being that if Dreamer couldn't capture the title, he'd leave the WWE.
Sure enough, Dreamer pulled out the victory by nailing Swagger with his signature DDT. It was an emotional win for the ECW veteran that was met with a very nice pop from the live New Orleans crowd.
In 2010, Jack Swagger once again competed in an Extreme Rules match, this time defending his World Heavyweight Championship against Randy Orton. To the surprise of many, Swagger scored the clean win over The Viper, one of his few successful title defenses as champion.
Two years later, Brock Lesnar wrestled his first WWE match in nearly eight years against John Cena. With no disqualifications and no count-outs, Cena and Lesnar took each other to their respective limits with Lesnar bloodying Cena within minutes of the bell being rung.
This bout was seen as one of the best of 2012 due to the sheer physicality. After enduring an incredible amount of punishment, Cena somehow managed to emerge victorious after hitting Lesnar with an Attitude Adjustment on the steel steps.
At 2013's installment, Orton battled Big Show in an Extreme Rules match in his hometown of St. Louis. The two had a rather entertaining matchup that concluded with Orton bringing his punt kick out of retirement to secure the victory.
Kane and Daniel Bryan will have a tough task ahead of them tonight, but knowing the great chemistry those two have together in the ring, I'm confident they can continue the strong streak of awesome Extreme Rules matches.
One of the most historic stipulations in pro wrestling history, the steel cage has been known to be the place where ruthless rivalries are settled. Thus, it comes as no surprise that four Steel Cage matches have been held at Extreme Rules since 2009.
At the inaugural event, Randy Orton and Batista met in a Steel Cage match for the WWE Championship. The caged animal unleashed all of his pent-up frustration on Orton inside the steel structure, hitting him with a Batista Bomb to secure the win and WWE title.
Though championship gold wasn't up for grabs in this contest, Edge and Chris Jericho competed in a Steel Cage match in 2010. The technical skills of both individuals made it a must-see contest, with The Rated-R Superstar pulling out the victory following a vicious spear.
In the main event of 2011's installment, The Miz defended his WWE Championship against both John Cena and John Morrison in one of history's only Triple Threat Steel Cage matches. It featured several sweet sweets, one of which being Morrison executing a Starship Pain from the top of the steel structure.
Interference from R-Truth cost Morrison the strap, allowing Cena to capitalize and nail a top-rope Attitude Adjustment on The Miz for the win.
The matchup returned to Extreme Rules in 2013 for Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar. The Steel Cage proved to be pivotal for this rubber match with Lesnar emerging as the victor after giving The Game the fight of his life.
At this year's Extreme Rules, John Cena and Bray Wyatt will settle their score in a Steel Cage match as well. Will they, too, steal the show at the annual event?
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is a journalism major at Endicott College. Visit his website at Next Era Wrestling and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.