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Out For Blood: The Best 'Extreme Rules' Matches In WWE History

Prepare for WWE's next big event by looking back at some of the most epic Extreme Rules matches in history.

By Ethan Absler
Split image of John Cena and Brock Lesnar

After a successful and action-packed Clash at the Castle earlier this month, WWE fans are already clamoring for the next premium live event, Extreme Rules, on Oct. 8.

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Extreme Rules has a storied history throughout WWE. The inaugural event took place in 2009 and showcased at least one No Disqualification or No Holds Barred match. Since then, it has grown into a fan-favorite show where the WWE Universe shows up hungry for violence and gets just that.

With the stage set for some of the most intense matchups of the year, we decided to look back at the history of Extreme Rules and highlight some of the greatest matches to ever happen at the show.

The Shield vs. Evolution – Extreme Rules 2014

Two of the greatest stables in WWE history squared off at Extreme Rules, 2014. The six-man tag team match was one of the greatest bouts either team has ever been involved in. Most notably, the action spilled outside the ring and continued all over the arena. Seth Rollins and Randy Orton, in particular, used the No Disqualification stipulation to their full advantage and showcased some of their offensive creativity. Rollins hit a Cross-Body off the balcony at the top of the entrance ramp. Not to be outdone, Orton hit his signature hanging DDT from a light display.

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The match ended after Reigns practically Batista in half with one of his most vicious Spears of all time. The match itself told an incredible story and featured six Superstars who could all be future Hall of Famers.

Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena – Extreme Rules 2012

Extreme Rules 2012 was an awesome show all around, but the WWE Universe remembers it for the brutal match between John Cena and a returning Brock Lesnar. The Beast Incarnate was making his long awaited return to a WWE ring and who better to test him than one of the greatest of all time, Cena?

Lesnar absolutely dominated Cena throughout the match, busting him open with a chain early on and tossing him around the ring like a ragdoll. Despite the punishment Cena endured, he was somehow able to mount a comeback and pick up a shocking victory over his opponent. Although the outcome did no favors for Lesnar, he went on to win the WWE Championship a few short years later… from Cena. These two have amazing chemistry and one final Cena vs Lesnar match would be one for the ages.

The Miz vs. Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn – Extreme Rules 2016

This fatal fourway is one of WWE’s most underrated matches of all time and one of the best battles for the Intercontinental Championship in the history of the company. All four men brought out their A-game with awe-inspiring acrobatics, high impact spots, creative sequences and actually convincing near-falls that kept fans on the edge of their seats the whole time. The match showcased how good Cesaro truly is and allowed for Zayn and Owens to extend their rivalry. The match ended with a crafty Miz truly stealing the victory while Owens and Zayn were occupied battling each other on the outside.

Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles – Extreme Rules 2016

In another amazing match at Extreme Rules 2016, The Phenomenal AJ Styles challenged Roman Reigns for his WWE Championship. Styles absolutely brought out the best in Reigns as this was arguably his best match to date and one of his best matches ever.

The bout was hard-hitting and action packed. Styles attempted to use his quickness and technicality against The Tribal Chief, but Reigns was just too powerful. In the end, Styles thought he had an opening against the Champion and went for his Phenomenal Forearm finisher. The Big Dog saw it coming, however, and Speared Styles in mid-air to retain his title in convincing fashion. At the time, this was Roman’s stiffest challenge yet, and he proved himself by retaining his title in one of the best matches of the year.

Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe- Extreme Rules 2017

While Extreme Rules 2017 will go down in history as a solid show, the main event will be remembered as one of the best matches of the year. WWE’s five best superstars at the time squared off for a shot at the Universal Championship and told a great story while doing so. The 30-minute match featured false finishes as well sa moments where it looked like each of the five competitors may walk away with a win. It was really one of WWE’s most unpredictable matches in recent memory. When the dust cleared, Samoa Joe took home the victory and earned a shot at the Universal Title which he would challenge for unsuccessfully.

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