The History of Extreme Rules
Back in the mid-aughts, Vincent Kennedy McMahon was tired of defiling the corpse of World Championship Wrestling (WCW). So he turned his sights to the other company that had alternately harmed and pushed his business to new heights - Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW).
ECW One Night Stand took place in June of 2005 and was billed as a one-time only reunion show. Remarkably, the show was pretty true to its roots - even the WWE workers who wrestled on the show had ties to the Philadelphia-based promotion that had taken the 90s by storm and given birth to today's "smart marks". For that reason, it was also a huge success.
It certainly wasn't because of the build, which saw WWE focus mostly on an invasion angle of non-ECW affiliated guys like Kurt Angle, JBL and Eric Bischoff.
That would be a sign of things to come. Like a later "Once in a Lifetime" match, One Night Stand would occur again in 2006. At least that show kept its reunion theme. When the third One Night Stand happened in 2007, it was taken out of New York and the Hammerstein Ballroom (to Jacksonville, FL) and featured a decidedly un-ECW main event - John Cena vs. The Great Khali.
One Night Stand would continue on as WWE's June pay-per-view (PPV) through the following year before changing it's name to Extreme Rules in 2009. Lip service was still paid to that year's show having ECW roots, but by 2010, Extreme Rules was its own entity.
WWE now refers to this year's show as the fifth annual PPV with the name.
In 2010 it moved from June to May, providing the other interesting bit of history for this event. After a decade of Backlash, Extreme Rules has become the show that follows WrestleMania on the WWE calendar.
The former post-Mania staple was old enough that it started life as an In Your House. As a matter of fact, Backlash: In Your House in 1999 was the last show branded as such before the then World Wrestling Federation (WWF) went to individual titles for all of their annual shows.
Both monthly PPVs and giving each show its own brand identity were responses to WCW having made the same move first, so the Backlash-into-Extreme Rules event has a couple of influences from vanquished Attitude Era foes.
That 1999 show also established the trend of the show after the Granddaddy of Them All featuring rematches from the Show of Shows. The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin went to war in Providence, RI over the WWF championship, just as they had a month earlier at WrestleMania XV.
Cageside Seats has you covered backwards and forwards on everything that's going down at Extreme Rules 2013.
And, of course, the StoryStream of match previews will give you insight into each and every contest set to go down at the ScottTrade Center in St. Louis, MO.
It'll be hard to top:
Extreme Rules 2009 While it wasn't a classic show from top to bottom, it had at least three moments that I don't seen anything at the May 19th show touching.
In one of the last true to connections to ECW, Tommy Dreamer was in a triple threat match against ECW champion Christian and Jack Swagger. The story was that Dreamer's contract had expired and he was given a one-day extension to participate in the match. If he didn't win, he could never wrestle for ECW again. The champ and Dreamer were respectful of each other with Swagger as the arrogant disrespectful heel. Dreamer won after a match full of kendo sticks and high spots, and afterwards shared his celebration with the New Orleans crowd.
Two men with ECW ties went no-holds barred for the Intercontinental belt. A recently returned Chris Jericho momentarily unmasked Rey Mysterio and used that distraction to win the IC strap for a record-setting ninth time.
Despite a grueling strap match that included a decent-looking GTS to the Samoan monster Umaga, CM Punk would cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase on Jeff Hardy to win the World Heavyweight Championship (WHC). Hardy himself had just captured the belt from Edge in a very good ladder match. This started an epic feud between the Charismatic Enigma and the Straight-Edge Superstar that would see the big gold belt change hands between them twice more that summer.
Video courtesy of WWEFanNation on YouTube
Just hope it doesn't stink as bad as:
Backlash 2002 The easier pick may have been One Night Stand 2007 what with the aforementioned Cena-Khali showdown and ECW champion Vince McMahon (vs. Bobby Lashley!). But despite a very strong Edge - Kurt Angle singles contest, the 2002 show was more disappointing than anything else.
Maybe it was being the first company event held in Kansas City's Kemper Arena since Owen Hart died. But this show never got out of it's own way, and a hot open by Tajiri and Billy Kidman was immediately cooled off by a done-but-not-yet-unwatchable Scott Hall and Bradshaw.
The over-the-hill gang stealing the thunder of the young, future of WWE guys like Brock Lesnar and Edge was a theme of the night. Nowhere was this more clear than in Hulk Hogan's Undisputed championship win. HHH did his best to carry the Hulkster to more than a typical Hogan match, but, alas, this was a typical Hogan match.
But the real bummer was a 30 minute hugfest between Stone Cold and Undertaker. I'm not the biggest Austin fan, but I recognize him as one of the greatest of all time. And the other guy was the bleedin' Phenom, regardless of gimmick. But SCSA's body wouldn't let him do what he was once capable of, and the finish involved special guest referee Ric Flair and future SportsCenter anchor Johnathon Coachman.
Need I say more?
Video courtesy of WWEFanNation on YouTube
I gotta tell you Cagesiders - I'm not optimistic that this won't be one of the weaker Extreme Rules / post-'Mania offerings that WWE has ever offered up. The best hope would be to give the tag title match a lot of time and that they have a big surprise debut or return up their sleeve.
How are you feeling about the show? Planning to buy it?
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