Extreme milestones: a history of hardcore

Page 5 of 5
April 25, 2013

Aug. 27, 2000 — Tables, Ladders & Chairs
The bar is irreversibly raised with the premiere of the Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match at SummerSlam. In a breathtaking display of fearlessness, Edge & Christian retain the WWE Tag Team Championship over The Hardy Boyz and The Dudley Boyz.

Feb. 25, 2001 — Three Stages of Hell
Triple H and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin go to war in a contest billed as “Three Stages of Hell.” The first bout is a standard singles match, but the last two falls are decided in a Street Fight and a Steel Cage Match. The Game emerges victorious.

Aug. 25, 2002 — An unsanctioned comeback
After a four-year-plus sabbatical from the ring, Shawn Michaels returns to defeat Triple H in an Unsanctioned Street Fight. A chair, a ladder and HBK’s leather belt are all used during the contest.

April 18, 2004 — Randy Orton’s hardcore defense
“Legend Killer” Randy Orton successfully defends the Intercontinental Championship against Cactus Jack in a Hardcore Match at WWE Backlash. WWE’s Apex Predator suffers a harrowing fall onto thumbtacks before coming back to RKO Cactus onto a barbed-wire baseball bat for the win.

June 12, 2005 — ECW reunites for a night
Four years after the folding of ECW, WWE hosts a reunion for ECW Originals called One Night Stand. Legendary rivalries from The Land of the Extreme, such as Rey Mysterio vs. Psicosis and Masato Tanaka vs. Mike Awesome, play out at the WWE-produced event.

June 11, 2006 — RVD wins the WWE Title
Before an infamously raucous crowd in New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom, Rob Van Dam upends John Cena to win the WWE Championship at a reprisal of One Night Stand. Five days later, ECW officially relaunches as a sports-entertainment brand under the WWE umbrella.

June 7, 2009 — WWE’s new hardcore holiday
WWE creates a new pay-per-view event titled Extreme Rules. The hardcore-themed event is replete with stipulation matches, including a No Holds Barred Match, a Samoan Strap Match and a World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match between Edge and Jeff Hardy.

June 7, 2010 — A brutal beatdown
Wade Barrett leads the newly formed Nexus, a collection of eight rookies from WWE NXT, in an attack on John Cena. The Nexus members assail Jerry Lawler and ringside personnel, as well as destroy the squared circle, during the melee.

April 29, 2012 — Lesnar’s extreme return
Brock Lesnar loses to John Cena in The Anomaly’s return to WWE action. WWE officials nearly call the Extreme Rules Match prematurely when a Lesnar elbow lacerates Cena’s head in the opening minute.

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