WWE Extreme Rules 2014: Most Memorable Moments from PPV Event
Extreme Rules 2014 has come and gone, and while it will be remembered as the night The Shield and Evolution tore the house down with a near-classic match, it will also be looked back upon as a night full of moments and memories that will be etched in the minds of fans for weeks and months to come.
Whether it was the fiery conclusion to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match or Seth Rollins' breathtaking flight, the show succeeded on the backs of high spots, violence, feats of pure strength and a tremendous (albeit brief) promo by the man behind the "1" in 21-1.
As the WWE Superstars celebrate a solid pay-per-view offering and management gears up to present the fans with a suitable followup Monday night on Raw, here is a look back at the top moments from WWE Extreme Rules 2014.
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5. "Ladies and Gentlemen, My Name Is Paul Heyman"
With Rob Van Dam and Jack Swagger in the squared circle for the night's opening contest, Paul Heyman made his way to the stage and addressed the WWE Universe.
"I am the greatest visionary in the history of sports entertainment," he said before bringing up his extreme past. He also made sure to remind fans that his client, Brock Lesnar, conquered the Streak.
He finished his brief promo by introducing his newest client, Cesaro, and dubbed him the new "King of Extreme."
It is always fun listening to Heyman talk about extreme and hint at his past as the revolutionary promoter of the upstart ECW back in the 1990s. That he was able to indirectly allude to it while bringing the promo full circle and reminding fans about Brock Lesnar's recent success is a testament to his promo abilities.
The nice little promo at the top of the show allowed Heyman to briefly wax nostalgic before heading to the ring to watch as Cesar defeated both Jack Swagger and Rob Van Dam in the night's action-packed first match.
4. Scorpion Cross Lock
Divas champion Paige's Scorpion Cross Lock submission is an impressive hold on its own.
The strength and balance needed to complete the move are hard to come by. Prior to Sunday's event, the only two main roster Divas to experience the maneuver were Alicia Fox and Aksana. While Aksana may be a former power lifter, both she and Fox are quite smaller than Tamina.
The second-generation competitor, the daughter of the legendary Jimmy Snuka, is the largest Diva on the roster, both in terms of height and weight. To see Paige squat down, lock Tamina's arms behind her back and lift her off the mat was truly special.
It put over Paige's natural strength and ferocity and is the type of physical display that will only help her get more over with the fans as her title reign and television exposure rage on.
3. Air Rollins!
The Shield and Evolution delivered on the hype and build with an absolutely outstanding match Sunday night. While Roman Reigns continued to surge with a pinfall victory over Batista, it was the so-called "architect" Seth Rollins who provided fans with the best and most memorable moment of the match.
Late in the contest, action spilled to the arena floor. Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Triple H and Randy Orton fought through the crowd, to the delight of the rabid East Rutherford fans. After Ambrose stumbled down a flight of stairs and the dangerous Viper and Game turned their attention to him, it appeared as though all hope The Shield had of leaving with a win was over.
Then, from out of nowhere, Rollins flew through the air and took out the former WWE and World Heavyweight champions with a high cross body block, ensuring that they would not be able to return to the ring and prevent Reigns from finishing off The Animal with a massive spear.
It was a wild and chaotic finish, the kind that The Shield has become synonymous with over the last two years.
2. Flaming Tables
Flaming tables returned to WWE pay-per-view for the first time in eight years during Daniel Bryan's WWE World Heavyweight Championship defense against Kane.
The main event of the evening, the match featured some truly memorable spots, including Bryan's use of a forklift to deposit the Devil's Favorite Demon back into the squared circle.
By the time Kane set up a table at ringside and retrieved gasoline from underneath the table, however, fans knew that everything they had seen prior to that moment would pale in comparison to the final high spot of the encounter.
The crowd grew louder and louder as Kane doused the table in gas, then set it ablaze with the assist of a lighter, despite having the ability to set off tremendous displays of pyrotechnics with a single raise of his arms.
He grabbed hold of Bryan, but the bearded Superstar fought him off and sent the Big Red Monster crashing through the table. Moments later, he picked up the pinfall victory and capped off his first successful title defense.
1. Say Hello to My Little (Possibly Demonic) Friend
Sunday's John Cena-Bray Wyatt steel cage match was not pretty.
For the second straight PPV event, the competitors struggled with chemistry, and fans responded in kind. They were largely quiet as Cena repeatedly found himself forced back in the cage by the constantly interfering Luke Harper and Erick Rowan.
Even Wyatt's trademark Exorcist walk failed to elicit the reaction it typically does. The crowd in East Rutherford was both burned out from the stellar match between The Shield and Evolution and disenchanted by the lackluster and boring match it was being exposed to.
By the time Cena mounted his comeback and looked poised to exit the cage and pick up a second straight victory over Wyatt, the crowd had seen enough.
Then it happened.
The arena went dark, and when the lights came back on, a young boy stood at the entrance to the cage and sang "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." His voice was not the angelic one some would expect from someone his age, though. Instead, it was deep and demonic as though it was coming directly from Satan himself.
Obviously, Cena was distracted, leaving him open to Sister Abigail from Wyatt.
Moments later, he walked out of the cage for the win.
The image of Harper and Rowan walking up the aisle, hand in hand with the young boy, was a haunting one and only added to the aura of the group.