5 best main events in WWE Extreme Rules history
Extreme Rules is the night of the year when WWE takes things “to the extreme.”
Since its inaugural event in 2009, Extreme Rules has become a staple of the WWE pay-per-view calendar.
The event card features matches with some special stipulations, in keeping with the Extreme Rules theme. Such stipulations include Falls Count Anywhere matches, Steel Cage matches, No Holds Barred matches and much more.
These special stipulations can often lead to spectacular moments, violent matches and interesting storytelling for major feuds.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the five best main events in WWE Extreme Rules history.
#5 Jeff Hardy vs Edge – World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match (WWE Extreme Rules 2009)
The very first Extreme Rules pay-per-view in 2009 saw Edge defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a ladder match against Jeff Hardy in the main event.
The two legendary WWE Superstars have a lengthy history against each other that dates back to the very first Tables, Ladders and Chairs match.
As expected from the two competitors, the main event featured a plethora of innovative and exciting offensive maneuvers.
The closing moments of the match saw the Iconoclast climb the ladder to retrieve the title. However, Hardy then pulled Edge’s legs through the rungs of the ladder, trapping the Rated R Superstar.
This allowed the Charismatic Enigma to climb the ladder and capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the first time in his career.
But Jeff Hardy’s title reign didn’t last long. Shortly after the match, CM Punk came to the ring and cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase for the title.
Punk hit the GTS twice onto an already exhausted Hardy to capture the Championship for the second time in his career.
#4 Bray Wyatt vs Finn Balor vs Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe vs Seth Rollins – Extreme Rules match (WWE Extreme Rules 2017)
Extreme Rules 2017 saw Universal Champion Brock Lesnar refuse to defend his WWE Universal Championship at the event.
To counteract this, Monday Night RAW General Manager Kurt Angle announced that the show would be main-evented by a number one contender’s match to determine Lesnar’s next Title challenger.
Angle selected five of RAW’s top superstars to face off in a Fatal-5 Way Extreme Rules match. These WWE Superstars consisted of Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe and Finn Balor.
It was an exhilarating rollercoaster from start to end. The closing moments of the match saw Samoa Joe lock in the Coquina Clutch on Finn Balor, causing Balor to pass out and give Joe the shock victory.
This booked Samoa Joe’s opportunity to challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at the upcoming Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view event.
#3 John Cena vs Batista – WWE Championship Last Man Standing Match (WWE Extreme Rules 2010)
John Cena and Batista’s rise to the top of the WWE card seemingly parallels each other. Both men won their first WWE World Championships in featured matches at WrestleMania 21 and went on to become the respective faces of Monday Night RAW and Friday Night SmackDown.
The two juggernauts clashed in a featured match at WrestleMania 26 that saw the Cenation leader defeat Batista to capture the WWE Championship once again.
The WrestleMania rematch took place at Extreme Rules 2010, in which Cena defended the WWE Championship against The Animal in a Last Man Standing match.
After a physical encounter, Cena used some ingenious tactics to keep Batista off his feet in their contest. The leader of the Cenation duct-taped the former Evolution member’s legs to the steel ring post.
This prevented Batista from being able to make it to his feet before the count of ten, thus allowing Cena pick a victory and retain his WWE Championship in the process.
#2 Roman Reigns vs AJ Styles – World Heavyweight Title Extreme Rules match (WWE Extreme Rules 2016)
Roman Reigns defended the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against AJ Styles in an Extreme Rules match at the Pay-Per-View in 2016.
The contest was a rematch from Payback the previous month, where The Big Dog had successfully retained the World Heavyweight Championship against Styles.
The tremendous match saw incredible spots, such as Reigns being hit by a Phenomenal Forearm off the Kick-Off Show table by AJ Styles. This was then followed by The Phenomenal One being put through the ringside announcer’s table.
Despite him hitting two Styles Clashes, with one coming on a steel chair, The Big Dog was still able to kick out at two.
AJ Styles then attempted another Phenomenal Forearm, but Reigns countered this with a spear mid-air. Reigns then got the pinfall and retained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
#1 Brock Lesnar vs John Cena – Extreme Rules match (WWE Extreme Rules 2012)
Extreme Rules 2012 saw Brock Lesnar compete in his first WWE match in over eight years.
The Beast faced off against John Cena, who had just been defeated by The Rock a month prior in the “Once in a Lifetime” main event of WrestleMania XXVIII.
The main event of the Extreme Rules match was physical, brutal and violent, with The Beast Incarnate busting John Cena wide-open in the first few seconds of the bout with some vicious elbow strikes to the skull.
Lesnar largely dominated the match. However, the tide turned after the Cenation Leader struck him in the skull with a thick steel chain.
This allowed John Cena to take advantage and hit Brock Lesnar with an Attitude Adjustment onto the steel ring steps in the center of the ring for a victory over one of the most dominant wrestlers in WWE history.