The entire purpose of WWE’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view at the time of its inception was that every match on the card would have some sort of gimmick or stipulation. While that was true in 2009, the show quickly dwindled into a normal event with only a handful of mostly lame gimmicks like it is today.
At the time of this posting, Extreme Rules 2021 doesn’t even have a single gimmick for any of its matches announced. That’s likely to change even as soon as tonight, but it goes to show how little effort has been put into keeping this “the one night a year WWE goes extreme.”
While thinking about that, I decided to look back on the history of Extreme Rules to determine just how many different types of matches we’ve had over the years, what WWE tends to prefer the most and the statistics behind this variety of gimmicks. Some of the results might surprise you.
Non-Gimmick Singles Matches
Out of the 109 matches that have taken place, a shocking 32 have been singles matches with absolutely nothing to them other than that a few had a title on the line.
That’s nearly a whopping THIRD of the matches not following the whole namesake of the pay-per-view!
I’m not of the opinion that every single match should have something to it, as that exhausts things that could be a bigger deal for other pay-per-views and even television episodes down the line, but it’s rather alarming how WWE went from 100% of the show being that idea to 33% not having to fit the bill.
The Variety of Tag Team Matches
It’s barely a stipulation, if you can even count it as one, but there have been 6 regular tag team matches so far at Extreme Rules:
- Tag Team Match: Kelly Kelly and Mickie James defeated Beth Phoenix and Rosa Mendes] 
- Tag Team Match: The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) (with Xavier Woods) defeated Cesaro and Tyson Kidd (c) (with Natalya) 
- Tag Team Match: The New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods) (c) (with Kofi Kingston) defeated The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch) 
- Tag Team Match: The B-Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel) defeated Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy (c) by pinfall 
- Tag Team Match: The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper and Rowan) (c) defeated Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) by pinfall 
- Tag Team Match: The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) (c) defeated The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) by pinfall 
On two occasions, a mixed tag team match was on the card. One of them was actually an Extreme Rules scenario, too:
- Mixed Tag Team Match: Rich Swann and Sasha Banks defeated Alicia Fox and Noam Dar 
- Last Chance Winners Take All Extreme Rules Mixed Tag Team Match: Seth Rollins (c) and Becky Lynch (c) defeated Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans by pinfall 
Spicing things up a tad bit, but nothing outside the norm, there has been one six-man tag team match:
- Six-Man Tag Team Match: The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns) defeated Evolution (Batista, Randy Orton, and Triple H) 
One match was a regular tag team affair, but had an extra stipulation attached to it:
- Tag Team Country Whipping Match: Jack Swagger and Michael Cole defeated Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross 
A Tornado Tag Team Match has been featured twice:
- Tornado Tag Team Match: The Shield (Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins) defeated Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) (c) 
- Tornado Tag Team Match: Gallows and Anderson defeated The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) 
At the bare minimum, you can say WWE tries to count a tag team match as a gimmick, but that’s stretching it.
Arguably even worse than a tag team match, although technically more of a stipulation than that, is the handicap match.
True, it’s a gimmick, but it’s a weak one. Nobody really looks at an Extreme Rules card with a handicap match on it and thinks “wow” by any means.
Nevertheless, there have been 4, wherein one was actually a Handicap Hog Pen match for the title of “Miss WrestleMania” if you’d believe that:
- Handicap Hog Pen Match: Santina Marella defeated Chavo Guerrero and Vickie Guerrero (c) 
- Handicap Match: Ryback defeated Aaron Relic and Jay Hatton 
- Handicap Match: Alexander Rusev (with Lana) defeated R-Truth and Xavier Woods by submission 
- Handicap Match Bayley (c) defeated Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss by pinfall 
A No DQ Match By Any Other Name
Something that bugs me to no end is how WWE has what feels like 500 names for what is essentially the same match.
While I don’t mind it when there’s a special nickname for it, like the Miracle on 34th Street Fight, I refuse to play dumb when WWE tries to act as though a No Disqualification match is any different from a No Holds Barred match, an Extreme Rules match, a Street Fight, or how a multi-competitor match like a Triple Threat or Fatal 4-Way has no disqualifications. Those are the exact same thing and it’s ridiculous to try to play it off like it’s special.
If you count the number of matches that are basically the same in that they’re just No DQ with a different name to it, you end up with 21 matches (1/4 of the overall matches in the history of the event).
There were 3 designated Street Fights:
- Street Fight: Sheamus defeated Triple H 
- Chicago Street Fight: CM Punk (c) defeated Chris Jericho 
- Chicago Street Fight: Dean Ambrose defeated Luke Harper 
There were 7 regular Extreme Rules matches:
- Extreme Rules Match: Jack Swagger (c) defeated Randy Orton 
- Extreme Rules Match: John Cena defeated Brock Lesnar 
- Extreme Rules Match: Randy Orton defeated Big Show 
- Extreme Rules Match: Daniel Bryan (c) defeated Kane 
- Extreme Rules Match: Roman Reigns (c) defeated AJ Styles 
- Extreme Rules Match: Alexa Bliss (c) (with Mickie James) defeated Nia Jax (with Natalya) by pinfall 
- Extreme Rules Match (Only for Ziggler): Drew McIntyre (c) defeated Dolph Ziggler by pinfall 
One match was even an Extreme Makeover Match:
- Extreme Makeover Match: Beth Phoenix defeated Michelle McCool (c) (with Vickie Guerrero and Layla) 
You want a No DQ match? Here’s two of them:
- No Disqualification, No Countout Loser Leaves WWE Match: Layla defeated Michelle McCool 
- No Disqualification Match: Baron Corbin defeated Dolph Ziggler 
How is that any different from No Holds Barred? It isn’t, but there were 2 of those:
- No Holds Barred Match: Chris Jericho defeated Rey Mysterio (c) 
- No Holds Barred Tag team Match: The Undertaker and Roman Reigns defeated Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre by pinfall 
Triple Threat? Fatal 4-Way? Fatal 5-Way? Three of the first, two of the second and one of the last:
- Triple Threat Hardcore Match: Tommy Dreamer defeated Jack Swagger and Christian (c) 
- Fatal 4-Way Match: Kofi Kingston (c) defeated Matt Hardy, Montel Vontavious Porter and William Regal 
- Triple Threat Elimination Match: Cesaro (with Paul Heyman) defeated Rob Van Dam and Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter) 
- Fatal 4-Way Match: The Miz (c) (with Maryse) defeated Cesaro, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn 
- Fatal 5-Way Extreme Rules Match: Samoa Joe defeated Finn Bálor, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Bray Wyatt by technical submission 
- Triple Threat Match: The New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods) defeated Daniel Bryan and Rowan (c) and Heavy Machinery (Otis and Tucker) by pinfall 
The One-Timers Club
A number of matches only happened once and are oddballs to the lineup:
- 2-out-of-3 Falls Match: Sheamus (c) defeated Daniel Bryan 
- 30-Minute Iron Man Match: Dolph Ziggler (c) defeated Seth Rollins 
- Asylum Match: Dean Ambrose defeated Chris Jericho 
- Eye for an Eye Match: Seth Rollins defeated Rey Mysterio 
- Kendo Stick on a Pole Match: Alexa Bliss (c) defeated Bayley 
- Kiss Me Arse Match: Dolph Ziggler defeated Sheamus 
- Lumberjack Match: Big Show and Kane (c) defeated The Corre (Ezekiel Jackson and Wade Barrett) 
- Gauntlet Match: The Hart Dynasty won 
- Hair Match: CM Punk defeated Rey Mysterio 
- WeeLC Match: El Torito defeated Hornswoggle 
- Wyatt Swamp Fight: Bray Wyatt defeated Braun Strowman 
It’s crazy to think there’s only been one lumberjack match, for instance.