NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 23: Brock Lesnar in action during his fight against The Undertaker at the WWE SummerSlam 2015 at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on August 23, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)

Extreme Rules have been a yearly PPV in WWE since 2009, where it evolved from the One Night Stand PPV that ran from 2005 to 2008.

Given most stipulation matches have their own shows, this is one of the only times fans are treated with extreme type matches.

Here are eight of the very best matches in Extreme Rules history.

Hornswoggle vs El Torito – Wee-LC, 2014

This would have to be the most surprising match on the list, but the WeeLC match on the Extreme Rules 2014 pre-show was a great match. A stellar Tables, Ladders and Chairs (TLC) match between two dwarf wrestlers should never have been as good as it turned out to be.

The match saw Hornswoggle, who was never considered a real wrestler, face El Torito, an accomplished luchador outside WWE. So the match had some skill involved.

What helped make this match work was that WWE went all out for it, even having a little people commentary team, who were way better than anyone expected them to be.

Also, having 3MB and Los Matadores ringside meant they got involved, providing us with most of the big spots one comes to expect from a TLC match, elevating it beyond pure comedy.

Last year, Hornswoggle looked back on the match as a guest on the New Day: Feel the Power podcast.

"We get to WeeLC and were told it needed to be gimmicky and 'haha,' but we could do whatever, and we did," he said.

"Our goal that night was to blow people away and we surprised everyone."

According to Hornswoggle, they even received a standing ovation once they got backstage.

Rey Mysterio vs Chris Jericho – No Holds Barred, 2009

This match, however, on paper is much more likely to find itself on a best matches list.

Involving two of the greatest superstars of all time in Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio, this match was sure to live up to the hype.

This was one of the more underrated feuds of either wrestler's career, and the first program between the two despite knowing each other for 15-years to that point.

The match became memorable before the bell even rang, with Jericho cutting a promo from the merchandise stand before making his way to the ring through the crowd.

Jericho promised to not only win the Intercontinental Championship but also rip off Mysterio's mask, the focal point of the story. Losing the mask was not part of the match stipulation, this would come in their final match at The Bash PPV.

As for the match itself, the veterans combined their phenomenal wrestling ability, some outside action and a steel chair to deliver an excellent match that moved away from the typical tired formula that comes with the No Holds Barred stipulation.

Both got to pull out different styles not really seen, with Mysterio bringing intensity to the fight and Jericho working more of a powerhouse style against the smaller man. They also worked on the 'smaller' intricacies, something people say is missing a lot nowadays.

The story of the mask and Jericho having Mysterio's finisher the 619 scouted told for a great story and some unique moments, with Rey hitting a 619 around the turnbuckle and another to the back of the head rather than the face.

The creative finish of the bout, brings it up a level, with Jericho reversing said finisher by ripping off the mask, and rolling up the distracted Mysterio for the three count, thus winning his record ninth Intercontinental Championship.


Edge vs Jeff Hardy – Ladder Match, 2009

On the same night as the above match, the main event of Extreme Rules 2009 was a real treat.

Two masters of the ladder match, Edge and Jeff Hardy, competing for the World Heavyweight Championship in said match? Give me that all day, every day.

The rivals helped revolutionise the ladder match in the early 2000s in the chaotic tag team ladder and TLC matches between The Hardy Boyz, The Dudley Boyz and Edge and Christian.

That is really all the build-up needed, but Hardy and Edge did have some recent history that added fuel to the fire.

Hardy won his first WWE Championship at the end of 2008, but his reign ended a little less than a month when Edge defeated him at the Royal Rumble.

The two crossed paths again when Edge successfully defended his world title against Hardy at Judgement Day. Yes, the two fought over both WWE world titles in a six month period, it's a long story.

A key part of the story for this match was, Hardy always provides the highlight reels but Edge always wins.

True to form, both competitors brought their ladder match skills to the dance and provided yet another excellent match.

This wasn't a chaotic match like the two had during the Attitude Era, but a believable one on one fight with ladders.

The match still had high-risk moments, but they were built properly and they had meaning. You could see both wrestlers were worse for wear after each spot.

The end of the match was another unique and creative finish, just like Jericho and Mysterio earlier in the night. Edge was trapped in between rungs of the ladder and could do nothing but helplessly watch as Hardy grabbed his title.

Everything was right in the world, the fan favourite overcame his arch-rival to win the gold, but a twist would end the night. CM Punk would cash in his Money in the Bank contract on a less than 100 per cent Hardy to steal the championship.

This swerve was a bonus to an already fantastic match and would set up a memorable rivalry, the last for Hardy in WWE until he eventual return eight years later.


Roman Reigns vs The Big Show – Last Man Standing, 2015

Before Roman Reigns was the biggest heel in the company and the beloved undisputed face of WWE, fans made things difficult for WWE and Reigns.

A certain demographic of fans had realised Reigns was the company's new golden boy, and wanted nothing to do with him.

This caused WWE to change plans at their biggest show of the year, Wrestlemania. Reigns had failed to capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, a backflip from what was planned.

Since the Shield were split, Reigns had yet to have an impressive match, something fans ridiculed him for.

His opponent, The Big Show was not exactly the youngest wrestler on the roster, which combined with his size, limited what he could do at that time. The previous one-on-one matches between the two had also been just plain awful.

As a result, the expectations heading into this match were low.

However, having the stipulation of Last Man Standing, this match ended up being a surprise hit.

The two were freed up from the restraints of a traditional match and therefore were able to play to their strengths. The match was a brawl with countless power moves, two strengths of both competitors.

They were given plenty of time to tell their story, therefore they didn't rush through spots like some matches do. There was a good use of weapons including tables, a fan favourite, with the severity building to another great finish.

Roman Reigns finished off Big Show with a giant spear off an announce table through another one, before flipping the first table on top of Show to keep him down for the 10 count.

Evolution vs The Shield – Six-Man Tag, 2014

Just a year prior to the previous match, the fans were still totally behind Roman Reigns, as a part of The Shield.

The Shield, comprising of Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose had just turned face a couple of months prior after serving as mercenaries for despised Triple H and The Authority.

The stable had also been putting on absolute clinics, with their six-man tag-team matches.

The build-up to this match was Triple H needed to teach the young group a lesson after they turned against him and acknowledged the love from the fans.

Therefore Triple H reunited one of the greatest groups of all time in Evolution, as an extension of The Authority, who terrorised the WWE and fan favourites like Daniel Bryan since Summerslam 2013.

The three members, Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista were already despised for their program against Bryan, so it was easy to root for The Shield.

This match also told the story of the new generation vs the old guard who had been holding the new stars back.

As for the match itself, it didn't have an extreme stipulation, but it didn't need it.

The two teams fought all over the arena, with the most memorable moment being when Seth Rollins jumped off a guard railing in the crowd high above to take out Triple H and Orton. Leaving Reigns to secure the win over Batista in the ring.

The match started slow but worked its way up to the frantic style The Shield were known for.

While the match was tamer than their No Holds Barred rematch a month later, it was still an excellent brawl and then it became the night the future had arrived.


Christian vs Alberto Del Rio – Ladder Match, 2011

A feel-good and emotional match, that was still a really good match had those factors not been involved.

Originally this was supposed to be a rematch between Edge and Alberto Del Rio, but Edge had to immediately retire after their match at Wrestlemania 27.

This match was now for the vacant World Heavyweight Championship, with Edge's best friend since childhood, Christian taking his place.

There was strong reasoning for either man to win. Del Rio had lost in his first shot at the title after winning the Royal Rumble that year and he was clearly a future world champion in the eyes of WWE.

Meanwhile, Christian was the feel-good story. He had never been world champion in WWE and fans clamoured for him to finally win the big one and honour Edge.

The match started slowly with Del Rio focussing on hurting Christian with a ladder but it built pace and suspense as it went along.

The ending was full of twists, with Brodus Clay interfering on behalf of Del Rio and Edge providing a timely distraction for Christian to finally scale the ladder and win.

This was compelling viewing, especially for Christian fans such as this writer, who longed for him to finally win a world title in WWE. This, mixed with the understanding that Vince McMahon simply didn't like Christian was suspenseful.


Brock Lesnar vs John Cena – Extreme Rules Match, 2012

Probably the highest-profile match in Extreme Rules history took place in 2012 when a returning Brock Lesnar took on John Cena.

Lesnar shockingly returned the night after Wrestlemania 28, and laid out the face of WWE.

This was Lesnar's first WWE appearance since 2004, and the anticipation of this match was through the roof.

Fans were unsure what they would see, would it be the Lesnar of old, or a more modern Lesnar, similar to that we had seen in the UFC?

Since this was WWE, people did not expect the latter.

The match began with Lesnar hitting a takedown and elbowing Cena in the head until he bled. From this point on, we were going to see a match unlike anything we had seen before, or at the very least, had not seen in such a long time.

Lesnar brutalised Cena in this match, but Cena managed to hit in a lucky shot with a chain to steal the win.

This was unlike any match Cena has competed in, and it looked like his 'superman' status was in trouble.

Looking back today, this match may seem like a typical Lesnar match, but for the time, it was fresh.

At the time, this match received raves of praise but many were upset that Cena beat Lesnar in his first match back. Given the uncertainty of his future and only being contracted for a few matches, it somewhat made sense though.

Those who wanted to see Lesnar decimate Cena completely would have to wait for Summerslam 2014 in one of the most shocking title matches ever.


Roman Reigns vs AJ Styles – Extreme Rules Match, 2016

Roman Reigns appears on this list once again, this time for his match against one of this era's greatest wrestlers in AJ Styles.

Coming off of Wrestlemania 32, both were pitted together to help legitimise each other. Reigns as a worthy champion and Styles as a WWE superstar.

Reigns had won the title off of Triple H in one of the most boring and predictable Wrestlemania main events ever, while Styles lost to Chris Jericho in his first Wrestlemania match.

Styles built his name as the best wrestler around the world in nearly every other major promotion, but it was time to do it in WWE.

This match definitely achieved its desired outcome. It had everything, from fighting outside the ring and in the crowd to great in-ring sequences. Styles technical skills and slick counters meshed well with Reigns' powerful offence.

The two fought around and on the kick-off show panel desk, probably the most memorable part of the match, given it was unique.

Interferences from Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson and The Uso's only added to the drama already set up with all the close near-falls.

The finish saw Reigns hit an amazing counter, a spear to a mid-air AJ Styles, for the victory, continuing the theme of the crazy counters.

This match helped establish Reigns as a worthy champion, to an extent, while Styles came out looking better than he did, having just only missed out.


Honourable Mentions:

Roman Reigns & The Undertaker vs Drew McIntyre & Shane McMahon – No Holds Barred, 2019

The Undertaker's last normal wrestling match was a real treat that showed he could still go, after his atrocious match with Goldberg that year.

Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan – 2 out of 3 Falls, 2012

A fantastic match that the fans needed after the 18-second match the two had at Wrestlemania 28.

Bray Wyatt vs Finn Balor vs Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe vs Seth Rollins – Extreme Rules Fatal 5-Way, 2017

With all the big names involved, this was guaranteed to be a great match.

The Miz vs Cesaro vs Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn – Fatal 4 Way, 2016

A match involving three of the best in-ring wrestlers in WWE and an underrated Miz who was enjoying his career-best run as Intercontinental Champion. This match was arguably the best on the night.