WWE Extreme Rules 2014 goes down this Sunday, live on … what are we calling pay-per-views now that they’re on a subscription-based network? Subscript-o-views?
Whatever. If you’re unaware, the Extreme Rules concept started out as a balls-out tribute to the late, great Extreme Championship Wrestling, christened ‘One Night Stand’ and featuring ECW stars going nuts on each other in their signature style. WWE tried to slowly transition it into a thing WWE guys could be on, and when they realized they couldn’t make the crowd do or react how they wanted they simply changed it to WWE EXTREME RULES. It’s the one night a year when matches have wacky stipulations, except the several other nights a year when this occurs.
There’s still a lot of good stuff on the shows, though … 2012 in particular was incredible, with a 2-out-of-3 falls match between Daniel Bryan and Sheamus and a John Cena/Brock Lesnar match where Brock forgot wrestling was fake and just punched Cena in the face. Other events have featured violent classics as well, but today we’re going to focus on the five least extreme things to ever happen at an Extreme Rules show. We’ll figure out how we define “least extreme” as we go.
If you don’t agree with our choices or have something even LESS extreme, let us know in the comments section below.
5. CRYME TYME EXPLODES (Extreme Rules 2010)
On paper, it’s a good idea. A tag team has been together for years, and suddenly they’re at each others’ throats. The situation escalates until you’re pitting them against one another in a strap match, a brutal concept where two men are tied together at the wrist by a long, leather strap which can be used for dragging, throwing or whipping. Strap matches have been bloody, legendary affairs, and it’s hard to pick a match which can so easily illustrate fury driven to its breaking point.
Or, you know, you break up Cryme Tyme (a tag team based on the ‘Homeboy Shopping Network’ sketches from In Living Color like 15 years too late), put them in a strap match where the strap is basically a rectangular piece of terrycloth and have the guy who wins do so on a technicality. That’s how the rivalry was blown off. Shad drags JTG around the ring to touch all four corners, but JTG has also touched the corners, so he hits a move at the last second and wins. That should’ve “ended his forward momentum” or whatever the announcers kept putting over as the point of the entire thing, but I guess everybody was happy to see it end and didn’t want to speak up.
RIP Cryme Tyme, your gimmick was money.
Money. Yeah, yeah.
4. PUDDING MATCH (One Night Stand: Extreme Rules 2007)
Remember that epic Candice Michelle/Melina feud? No? Uh, shit, I had this whole thing planned …
One Night Stand 2005 was a reunion of important ECW talent, from Mike Awesome and Masato Tanaka to Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero. 2006 maintained a lot of that same flavor and was main-evented by a Rob Van Dam/John Cena WWE Championship match so wild it invented the “If Cena Wins We Riot” trope. WWE didn’t like that crowd much. So in 2007, Bobby Lashley was winning the ECW Championship in a match against Vince McMahon and the ECW spirit was being kept alive by two Divas with little-to-no wrestling talent in a kiddie pool full of pudding. It even had a dab of whipped cream in the middle.
This would’ve been higher, but the finish is someone being held under pudding against their will and being drowned into submission, and that’s pretty hardcore.
3. JOHN CENA FORGETS HOW SUBMISSIONS WORK (Extreme Rules 2009)
Yes, this is less extreme than the pudding match.
John Cena loves to use the STF to finish his opponents. A step-over toehold facelock. The Big Show realized that Cena wasn’t physically able to put the move on him, so he challenges him to a submission match. He’s right, too … Cena CAN’T put the move on him. But John Cena’s never met an odd or a logistical error he didn’t love, so he wins the submission match with the STF anyway. BOM BADA BAAAAAAAA!
The unextreme aspect of the finish is how Cena accomplishes the move. He ties up Show’s leg in the ropes to simulate the “step-over” and puts him in a crossface. If “winning a submission match by putting a dude’s body in the ropes” isn’t stupid enough on its own, Show’s leg slips out almost immediately after the move starts, meaning Show loses to a crossface and not the STF, rendering the entire odds-overcoming story moot. BOM BADA BAAAAAA!
2. COUNTRY WHIPPING MATCH (Extreme Rules 2011)
So, about all that stuff I wrote about JTG and Shad. Forget all that. The greatest-ever perversion of the strap match is Extreme Rules 2011’s Country Whipping Match, pairing Jerry The King Lawler with Jim Ross (yep) against Jack Swagger (who should’ve been able to literally murder both Lawler and Ross with both hands tied behind his back) and Michael Cole, dressed in bubble wrap.
If that description isn’t enough to justify a #2 spot, imagine ten minutes of Swagger moving around in a semi-circle as slowly as possible while a gaggle of old men limply wave those half-assed WWE straps at one another. Cole gets stripped of his bubble wrap because taking off Michael Cole’s clothes is HILARIOUS to somebody, JR gets the most offense despite looking like a stiff breeze could knock him over and give him brain cancer, and Cole wins with a roll-up.
Don’t worry, guys, the payoff to this story was Michael Cole winning and being right and totally fine.
1. THE MISS WRESTLEMANIA HOG PEN MATCH (Extreme Rules 2009)
This might be the least extreme thing that has EVER happened, Extreme Rules or not. WWE or not.
To recap, WWE decided to have a “Miss WrestleMania” crowned at WrestleMania, so of course it was won by a cross-dressing Santino Marella, pretending to be his twin sister “Santina.” That hot feud bubbled over into Extreme Rules, wherein Santina was tasked to defend her Miss WrestleMania crown against Vickie Guerrero in a hog pen match. It’s a match where you wrestle in mud and slop and shit and throw your opponent into a pen with some pigs in it. Because pigs are like snakes, and if they touch you you are dead from fear and humiliation.
The worst part is that the match isn’t even Vickie wrestling Santino in a wig and bra. It’s Chavo Guerrero wrestling Santino in a wig and bra, getting his ass kicked, and everybody basically just screaming and rolling around in shit. If Chavo hadn’t once feuded with Hornswoggle for a year and taken a paint can to the head from Macaulay Culkin it’d be the low point of his WWE career. Vickie would be figuratively rolling around in shit for the remainder of hers.
Note: Santina Marella is still technically Miss WrestleMania.