Extreme Rules 2012 was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by WWE. It took place on April 29, 2012 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. It was the fourth event under the Extreme Rules chronology.
Eight professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the event's card, which featured a supercard, a scheduling of more than one main event. There were three main events which resulted in John Cena triumphant over Brock Lesnar in an Extreme Rules match, CM Punk defeating Chris Jericho in a Chicago Street Fight to retain the WWE Championship, and Sheamus beating Daniel Bryan in a 2-out-of-3 falls match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
Extreme Rules featured professional wrestling matches that involve different wrestlers from pre-existing feuds, plots, and storylines which will play out on WWE's primary television programs, Raw and SmackDown. Wrestlers portray villains or heroes as they follow a series of events that build tension and culminate in a wrestling match or series of matches.
On the April 2 episode of Raw, John Cena spoke about his loss to The Rock the previous night at WrestleMania XXVIII. After concluding his statement, he asked for the Rock to come out and talk. Instead, Brock Lesnar made his WWE return after being away since 2004. Lesnar deceived Cena by teasing a handshake in order to execute his F-5 maneuver, dropping Cena onto the mat. The next week, General Manager John Laurinaitis revealed that he signed Lesnar to bring "legitimacy" and for Lesnar to become the "new face of the WWE;" Laurinaitis also announced that Lesnar would face Cena at Extreme Rules. On April 16, it was announced on WWE.com that the match will be an Extreme Rules match.
Both Lesnar and Cena have a long history between each other. On the February 6, 2003 edition of SmackDown, Cena called out Brock Lesnar with a rap freestyle and challenged him for a match. On February 13, 2003, they had their first match in which Lesnar defeated Cena with the F-5. After the match, he hit another F-5 onto the ring post, injuring Cena. After returning, Cena used a modified version of the F-5 as his finisher, which was then known as the F-U, a pun on the name F-5. Cena won a tournament to earn a WWE Championship match at 2003's Backlash pay-per-view against Lesnar, in which Cena was defeated.
At WWE's Royal Rumble PPV event on January 29, Sheamus won the Royal Rumble match to earn the opportunity to face either WWE Champion CM Punk or World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan for their respective title at WrestleMania XXVIII. Sheamus elected to wrestle Bryan and defeated him in 18 seconds to win the championship at the event. On the April 10 episode of SmackDown, Bryan used his rematch clause as ex-champion to announce a 2-out-of-3 Falls match for the championship at Extreme Rules between him and Sheamus. The stipulation was due to Bryan wanting to prevent Sheamus from scoring another quick victory.
On the January 2 edition of Raw, Chris Jericho returned to WWE He made it clear that he wanted to reclaim his title as the "best in the world," which CM Punk had claimed to be since winning the WWE Championship at Money in the Bank 2011. Punk defeated Jericho at WrestleMania XXVIII, but since then, Jericho attacked him several times. On the April 16 edition of Raw, Jericho announced that he will face Punk in a Chicago Street Fight at Extreme Rules for the WWE Championship.
Another rivalry heading into Extreme Rules is between Randy Orton and Kane. In July 2011, Kane lost in a Street Fight to Orton, and the two shook hands after the match as a sign of respect. In 2012, a newly re-masked Kane now viewed this event as a sign of weakness, hence Kane started a feud with Orton and defeated him at WrestleMania XXVIII. Yet, on the April 6 episode of SmackDown, Orton defeated Kane in a No Disqualification match. On the April 10 episode of SmackDown, Kane attacked Orton and his father "Cowboy" Bob Orton. On the April 20 episode of SmackDown, it was announced that Kane and Orton would face off at Extreme Rules in a Falls Count Anywhere match. On April 23 edition of "Raw" Orton attacked Paul Bearer who is Kane´s father, but Kane seem not to care about it proofing he has no humanity.
On April 23, it was announced that the fifth match for the event is a rematch between Big Show and Cody Rhodes for the WWE Intercontinental Championship; Big Show won the title from Rhodes at WrestleMania XXVIII.
On April 26, it was announced that Nikki Bella would be defending her WWE Divas Championship against Beth Phoenix after Bella defeated Phoenix on the April 23 episode of Monday Night Raw. Despite Phoenix suffering a sprained left ankle during the aforementioned match, she hasn't been medically cleared to compete.
On the pre-show, The Miz challenged Santino Marella in a standard match for the United States Championship. Before the match, Miz complained about being in the pre-show after he was in the main event a year ago at Extreme Rules 2011. The title match ended with Marella pinning Miz after hitting the Cobra.
The first match on the show had Randy Orton facing Kane in a Falls Count Anywhere match. The match started with Kane and Orton brawling into the crowd and then backstage, where Zack Ryder made an appearance to attack Kane and allow Orton to deliver an inverted headlock backbreaker for a two count. Orton and Kane eventually headed back into the ring, where Orton was unable to beat Kane despite multiple pin attempts after repeated chair shots, an elevated DDT onto the floor and a superplex. However, Orton managed to survive a chokeslam from Kane to counter the Tombstone piledriver into an RKO on a steel chair for the pinfall victory.
The second match on the show had Brodus Clay facing Dolph Ziggler in a standard match.
The third match on the show had Big Show defend his Intercontinental Championship against Cody Rhodes in a Tables match.
After the first main event, the fifth match on the show had Ryback facing Aaron Relic and Jay Hatton in a handicap match.
After the second main event, the seventh match on the show had Nikki Bella defending the Divas Championship against a returning Layla in a standard match.
Main event matches
The first of the three main events was the fourth match on the card, a 2-out-of-3 falls match for the World Heavyweight Championship, where Sheamus defended his title against Daniel Bryan.
The next main event was the sixth match on the card, a Chicago Street Fight for the WWE Championship, where CM Punk defended his title in his hometown against Chris Jericho.
The final main event for the night saw John Cena face Brock Lesnar in an Extreme Rules match; this was Lesnar's first match in WWE since 2004. They started the match with Lesnar quickly causing Cena to bleed with a vicious elbow strike to Cena's head after a double leg takedown. Lesnar continued to dominate the match with his hard hitting offense, delivering punches, clotheslines and knee strikes to Cena, while the match had to be paused twice while a medic attended to Cena to clean up the blood. After the match restarted for the second time, Lesnar continued to brutalize Cena, hanging him from the turnbuckles and throwing him into the steel steps and the guardrail. Then, Cena desperately went for his finishing move, the Attitude Adjustment, but Lesnar countered into his own finishing move, the F-5. However, while throwing Cena to the mat, Lesnar inadvertently caused Cena to hit and knock out the referee, so by the time another referee got to the ring to make the count, Cena was able to kick out at two. Lesnar then brought the ring steps into the ring and slapped on a kimura lock on Cena while on the steps, but Cena eventually lifted and slammed Lesnar to break the hold. After Lesnar avoided a Cena diving leg drop bulldog, Lesnar then charged and leapt off the ring steps and over the top rope onto Cena, sending both men to the floor. When Lesnar tried the same move again, Cena countered by hitting Lesnar in the head with the metal chain that he brought to the match, bloodying Lesnar. Cena then fired up, delivered an Attitude Adjustment to Lesnar onto the ring steps and pinned him.
Extreme Rules saw the culmination of most of its feuds, some of which started before the previous pay-per-view, WrestleMania XXVIII. The Cena-Lesnar, Punk-Jericho, Sheamus-Bryan and Orton-Kane feuds ended at Extreme Rules; the only feud to continue on after the event was the Rhodes-Show feud, which ended before the next pay-per-view, Over the Limit.
Immediately after Extreme Rules on the April 30 edition of Raw, WWE's Chief Operating Officer Triple H refused to give in to Brock Lesnar's unreasonable contract demands, starting a feud between the duo and resulting in Lesnar attacking Triple H and (in storyline) breaking Triple H's arm. This led to Lesnar defeating Triple H via submission at SummerSlam. At WrestleMania 29, with Triple H's career on the line, Triple H defeated Lesnar in a No Holds Barred match. The feud ended in the main event of 2013's Extreme Rules, where Lesnar (with his manager Paul Heyman's interference) defeated Triple H in a steel cage match.
Also on the April 30 edition of Raw, General Manager John Laurinaitis, unhappy that his hand-picked star Lesnar lost to Cena at Extreme Rules, revealed himself to be Cena's next opponent for Over the Limit. The wrestlers later agreed that as a condition of the match, if Laurinaitis lost, he would be fired, and any wrestler who interfered would be fired. At Over the Limit, Laurinaitis defeated Cena after The Big Show interfered on his behalf. Show was free to interfere in the match because he had already been fired the week before Over the Limit by Laurinaitis after Show mocked Laurinaitis' speech mannerisms.
To determine the #1 contendership for CM Punk's WWE Championship, a Beat-the-Clock challenge was held on the April 30 edition of Raw. A series of five singles matches took place where the victor with the lowest match-time was deemed the overall winner; Daniel Bryan set the fastest time by defeating Jerry Lawler in under three minutes. Notably, during the Beat-the-Clock challenge, the Miz avenged his loss to Santino Marella by defeating Marella in a non-title match. Marella eventually lost the United States Championship in August to Antonio Cesaro at SummerSlam.
At Over the Limit, Punk retained his title in controversial fashion when Bryan rolled back onto his shoulders as he applied the "Yes!" Lock on Punk, Punk tapped out immediately after the referee counted a pinfall win for Punk. Punk would continue to hold the WWE Championship until January 2013 when he was defeated by The Rock at the Royal Rumble, a title reign of 434 days.
Before Extreme Rules, Alberto Del Rio defeated World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus via disqualification on the April 6 edition of SmackDown to earn a future title shot. After Extreme Rules on the May 7 edition of Raw, Sheamus and Randy Orton faced Del Rio and Chris Jericho, with Sheamus accidentally delivering a Brogue Kick to Orton followed by Jericho hitting the Codebreaker on Sheamus and pinning him. Orton then gave Sheamus an RKO after the match. Due to this, the World Heavyweight Championship match at Over the Limit was made a fatal-four way match. Sheamus pinned Jericho at Over the Limit to retain his title. Sheamus remained as World Heavyweight Champion until October 2012, where he lost his title to Big Show at Hell in a Cell.
Cody Rhodes' feud with The Big Show continued after Extreme Rules, ending on the May 7 edition of Raw when Show defeated Rhodes in a title match via count-out, but this meant Rhodes retained the title. At Over the Limit, Christian made his surprise return after a month's absence from injury and won a battle royal to earn an Intercontinental title shot later that night; Rhodes lost the match and the title to Christian.
After Nikki Bella lost the Divas Championship to Layla at Extreme Rules, both Bella Twins received a title shot in a triple threat match on the April 30 edition of Raw. Layla won the match quickly and the Bella Twins were "fired" from WWE (in actuality, the twins' contracts expired). Layla moved on to feud with the evil Beth Phoenix, which included title matches at Over the Limit and No Way Out; with Layla retaining both times. Layla remained Divas Champion until September 2012, where she lost her title to Eve Torres at Night of Champions.
After Extreme Rules, both Brodus Clay and Ryback's winning streaks continued through Raw and SmackDown into Over the Limit as Clay defeated the Miz while Ryback defeated Camacho. Clay's streak ended at 24 wins on the June 25 Raw with a loss to Big Show. Ryback's streak ended at 38 wins in October 2012 at Hell in a Cell with a loss to CM Punk. Meanwhile, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger moved on to feud with tag team champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth but would fail to win their title.
The PPV was mostly well received by critics and fans alike. The Canadian Online Explorer's professional wrestling section described the event as "outstanding" and "a show where all the big matches delivered in spades", rating the entire event a 9 out of 10, while also rating each of the main events 9 out of 10. Benjamin Tucker of Pro Wrestling Torch rated the event 8.5 out of 10, stating that "with a solid undercard and three four-star-plus matches, the show was a lot of fun to watch and had a lot of emotional highs." James Caldwell, also of Pro Wrestling Torch, described the PPV as "excellent", praising the strong matches and performances, the "nice pace with downs to follow the big ups" and "an intense main event". Fans also praised the event's match quality, but raised concerns about Cena beating Lesnar in Lesnar's first return match.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Pre-show: Santino Marella (c) defeated The Miz to retain the WWE United States Championship (4:40)
- Randy Orton defeated Kane in a Falls Count Anywhere match (16:45)
- Brodus Clay (w/ Hornswoggle, Cameron, & Naomi) defeated Dolph Ziggler (w/ Jack Swagger & Vickie Guerrero) (4:17)
- Cody Rhodes defeated Big Show (c) in a Tables match to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship (4:37)
- Sheamus (c) defeated Daniel Bryan in a 2-out-of-3 Falls match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship (22:55)
- Fall one: Sheamus won by DQ
- Fall two: Daniel Bryan won by submission ("Yes!" lock)
- Fall three: Sheamus won by pinfall (Brogue kick)
- Ryback defeated Aaron Relic & Jay Hatton in a 2 on 1 handicap match (1:51)
- CM Punk (c) defeated Chris Jericho in a Chicago Street Fight to retain the WWE Championship (25:15)
- Layla defeated Nikki Bella (c) to win the WWE Divas Championship (2:45)
- John Cena defeated Brock Lesnar in a Extreme Rules match (17:43)
Other on-screen talent
- Extreme Rules 2012 Official Website
- Extreme Rules 2012 at CAGEMATCH.net
- Extreme Rules 2012 at Online World of Wrestling
- Extreme Rules 2012 on WWE Network
|One Night Stand|
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|2012 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views|
|Royal Rumble • Elimination Chamber • WrestleMania • Extreme Rules • Over the Limit • No Way Out • Money in the Bank • SummerSlam • Night of Champions • Hell in a Cell • Survivor Series • TLC:Tables, Ladders & Chairs|