NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- WWE (WWE) will air its Extreme Rules pay-per-view on Sunday night on the WWE Network and through local cable providers (Sorry, DirectTV (DTV) and DISH Network (DISH) customers. You're out of luck.) The annual event is WWE's no-holds-barred, weapons-filled extravaganza, and this year's event features three high-profile matches.
John Cena and Bray Wyatt will face off in a WrestleMania 30 rematch, this time in the confines of a steel cage. The enigmatic leader of the Wyatt Family has been converting followers away from the Cenation and over to his side, as arenas full of people have been singing "He's got the whole world in his hands" along with Bray. Earlier this week on Monday Night Raw, Cena addressed the fans from inside a cage, but Bray brought out a choir full of children (a huge portion of Cena's fan base) to torment him some more.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan will defend the title against Kane, his former tag team partner, in an Extreme Rules match. The two will be able to use whatever weapons and objects they want in this contest, which has become extremely personal after Kane demolished Byran with three Tombstone Piledrivers a few weeks ago and then attacked Bryan's new wife, Brie Bella, on Raw this week.
The third match pits The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins) against the newly-reformed Evolution (Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista). The Shield had served as Triple H's henchmen for months, but they rebelled recently and turned on their boss. They attacked Randy Orton and Batista for good measure, which led to Evolution's reformation. There are no titles on the line in this one. Only pride is at stake.
The WWE Network will air a marathon of past Extreme Rules pay-per-views this weekend to get fans hyped for the new installment on Sunday night, but there are plenty of extreme matches and moments to see on the Network at one's leisure. Sunday's pay-per-view will not be the bloody spectacle of 10 or 15 years ago, as WWE has transitioned to a PG product and toned down the blood and other aspects of the programming.
But the WWE Network allows fans to relive the Attitude Era and the more wild times, so we've compiled a list of 10 of the most extreme matches you can watch right now on the streaming service. These are in no particular order, but each brings something different to the table.
Triple H vs. Cactus Jack, Royal Rumble 2000
Triple H was the WWE Champion for much of early 2000, and he was set to defend the title at the Royal Rumble in Madison Square Garden against Mick Foley, aka Mankind, who grew up just outside New York City on the shores of Long Island. But Mankind admitted he was not ready for the fight, so he brought in a replacement: his alter (and in some ways, more violent) ego, Cactus Jack.
The two would engage in a brutal and bloody Street Fight that the ring could not hope to contain. This was Cactus' playground, but Triple H proved that he could more than hold his own against the hardcore legend. Cactus pulled out a two-by-four wrapped in barbed wire to use in the fight, and the two men would each get in some shots with the weapon.
Triple H handcuffed Cactus' hands behind his back and beat on him until The Rock interfered and freed the challenger. Cactus came back with a piledriver onto the announce table and emptied a bag of thumbtacks into the ring. Triple H would use this to his advantage and delivered a back body drop to his opponent on the tacks. He followed this up with two Pedigrees, one of which dropped Cactus right onto the tacks, to retain his title.
This was a brutal and bloody contest that led to a rematch one month later in a Hell in a Cell match that was just as violent as this rumble at the Garden.
Jerry Lynn vs. Rob Van Dam, Hardcore Heaven 1999
The entire ECW library could easily be on this list, but this one is violent even for the promotion that made wrestling violence famous. Lynn and RVD, who had a tremendous series of bouts around this time, engaged in a nearly 27-minute war for the ECW World Television Championship.
The match begins with some technical prowess from both men, but things turn extreme when RVD hits the Van Daminator and Lynn spills outside the ring and hits his head, which busts him open. RVD then tosses him over the guardrail and dives over it onto him. The action eventually returns to the ring, where the two exchange a series of reversals and showcase their athletic talents.
Of course, chairs and tables soon enter the equation, and RVD even hits his famous guillotine leg drop onto Lynn as he hangs over the guardrail. After a brutal display, the champ retains his title after two Five Star Frog Splashes and another Van Daminator. RVD then shows his respect for his opponent with a high five after the bell.Must Read: The Drunkest States in America
Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, WrestleMania 13
This is one of the most famous matches in wrestling history for numerous reasons. Bret Hart and Steve Austin pulled off a double turn that transformed the fan-favorite Hitman into a villain and Stone Cold into the bona fide antihero that would launch the WWE to the top of the wrestling world in the late 1990s.
The iconic image of this match is a bloodied Stone Cold locked in Bret's famous submission maneuver, the Sharpshooter. Austin screamed in agony with red blood streaming down his face. As announcer Jim Ross might say, "His face was the proverbial crimson mask." This image later turned into a T-shirt with the words "Blood Stone" written on it.
The two combatants used as many objects as they could find in this No Disqualification Submission match, including the steel steps, steel chairs and the ring bell. Austin even choked Bret with a television cable.
But in the end, Austin passed out from the blood loss and special guest referee Ken Shamrock awarded the match to Bret, who would continue to attack Austin after the match ended to cement the double turn.Must Read: The Drunkest States in America
Edge and Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz, WrestleMania X-Seven
These three teams engaged in a series of Tables, Ladders and Chairs (or TLC) matches in 2000 and 2001, but "TLC II" at WrestleMania X-Seven takes the cake. The amount of chair shots, table crashes and ladder falls in this match are too numerous to list, but several moments stand out.
Throughout the match, each team had the benefit of outside interference. Lita interfered on behalf of the Hardys, Spike Dudley for the Dudleys and Rhyno for Edge and Christian. At one point, Spike and Rhyno were on tables outside the ring, and Jeff Hardy performed a Swanton Bomb off an extremely tall ladder to crash through both men and the tables.
Jeff later went to grab the Tag Team Championship belts that were hanging over the center of the ring, but Bubba Ray Dudley pulled the ladder out from under him and Jeff held onto the cables in mid-air. Edge then set up an even larger ladder and speared Jeff straight to the mat in one of the most memorable moments of the show.
Eventually, Bubba Ray and Matt Hardy would climb the same ladder to go for the belts, but Rhyno would push them over the side of the ring to send them crashing through four tables. He then lifted Edge and Christian to victory.Must Read: The Drunkest States in America
Undertaker vs. Mankind, King of the Ring 1998
You knew this match had to appear on this list, right? The second Hell in a Cell match in history produced perhaps the most iconic moment in the Attitude Era when the Undertaker threw Mankind from the top of the cell and sent him plummeting 20 feet and crashing through the announce table.
"Good God almighty! Good God almighty! They've killed him!" announcer Jim Ross famously exclaimed. "As God as my witness, he is broken in half!"
Officials would try to stretcher Mankind out of the arena, but Foley wasn't done. He climbed back to the top of the cell to face the Undertaker once more.
And Taker promptly chokeslammed him through the roof and into the ring.
"Good God! Good God! Will somebody stop the damn match?" Ross exclaimed. Color commentator Jerry "The King" Lawler added a succinct, "That's it. He's dead."
The TV cameras fortuitously captured another iconic image of Foley in the corner of the ring as he smiled with his mouth and lips covered in blood. A loose tooth hung beneath his nose, as a steel chair had fallen from the top of the cell and onto Foley, which dislocated his jaw.
The match continued after that and Mankind, of course, would litter the ring with thumbtacks. Undertaker chokeslammed him onto the tacks and planted his bloodied and beaten opponent with the Tombstone Piledriver to score the pin.
This match helped launch Foley's career into the main event and to this day remains one of the most brutal spectacles in wrestling history.Must Read: The Drunkest States in America
Elimination Chamber Match, SummerSlam 2003
The Elimination Chamber match debuted in 2002 and pit six men against each other inside a massive chain link structure that surrounds the ring. Two men start the fight and the other four randomly enter at timed intervals. The last man standing is the winner.
The second Elimination Chamber match occurred at SummerSlam 2003 and pit World Heavyweight Champion Triple H against Shawn Michaels, Goldberg, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton and Kevin Nash. Each man got in their shots throughout the contest, but the truly extreme moment occurred when Goldberg speared Jericho through one of the glass pods, which shattered on impact and left Jericho in a heap.
Goldberg and Triple H would be the last two men in the contest, but some timely assistance from Triple H's buddy Ric Flair and The Game's trusty sledgehammer would allow Hunter to escape with the belt.Must Read: The Drunkest States in America
Kurt Angle vs. Shane McMahon, King of the Ring 2001
Shane McMahon, son of WWE owner Vince McMahon, was never a wrestler in the traditional sense. Kurt Angle, on the other hand, was a traditional wrestler in every sense of the word, as he won the gold medal in the Olympics in 1996. So when the two met at King of the Ring in 2001 in a Street Fight, the styles were different, to say the least.
Angle, who had wrestled two other matches earlier in the night as part of the King of the Ring Tournament, clearly had the technical advantage, but Shane O' Mac used a variety of weapons to even the odds in this 26-minute bout.
So what makes this match stand out from the other numerous Street Fights and hardcore matches? Well, Shane was not a wrestler, but he is known for the multiple high spots he delivered throughout his career, from falling off the TitanTron at SummerSlam in 2000 to jumping off the TitanTron at Backlash in 2001. This match with Angle contained another of his famous spots.
The two fought to the stage area, where Angle tried to execute an overhead belly-to-belly suplex through a plate glass pane that was part of the stage set. But the glass didn't break, and Shane's head spiked off the floor. So Shane let Angle do it again, and this time McMahon's body shattered the glass.
That would have been enough, but Angle did it again. And again. And again. He would try to suplex Shane three more times through the glass, but only one of those attempts was successful.
Shane would try a shooting star press later in the match, but he missed. Angle ended the fight with an Angle Slam off the top rope to score the pin over his bloodied opponent.Must Read: The Drunkest States in America
The Rock vs. Mankind, Royal Rumble 1999
This could easily have been an all-Mick Foley list, but this contest with The Rock is particularly noteworthy for one outburst of brutality.
Mankind had captured his first WWE Championship on the Jan. 4, 1999 edition of Raw Is War when he defeated The Rock. The Great One tried repeatedly to get a rematch but Mankind refused until they landed on the stipulation of an "I Quit" match. No pinfalls, no submissions. The two men would just beat the life out of each other until one of them said "I quit."
The match was brutal from start to finish, but things got uncomfortable when The Rock handcuffed Mankind in the ring and clotheslined him to the mat. He placed a steel chair on his head and delivered the People's Elbow (known at this time as the Corporate Elbow) to his opponent. Mankind refused to quit, so The Rock smashed him in the head with a chair 10 times as they moved from the ring to the entrance ramp. Mankind collapsed to the floor unconscious, but screamed "I quit" three times in a row. Fans would later learn this was a recording of an earlier promo Mankind had delivered during the build up to the match.
The knowledge that Foley's wife and two young children were in the crowd very close to the action makes this even harder to watch. The unprotected chair shots were so brutal that Foley would say on the Beyond the Mat documentary in 1999 that he never thought he was a bad father until that match.Must Read: The Drunkest States in America
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Triple H, No Way Out 2001
After a long absence to heal from surgery, Stone Cold Steve Austin returned to the then-WWF in late 2000. The storyline excuse for his absence was that he had been run over by a car at Survivor Series in 1999. After multiple twists and turns, Triple H revealed himself as the mastermind behind the plot. The first Three Stages of Hell match in history at No Way Out in 2001 would be Austin's chance for revenge.
The buildup to this match prevented the two men from touching each other until the bell rang. If either one broke the contract, Austin would lose his WWF Championship shot at WrestleMania X-Seven and Triple H would be suspended for six months. The two played mind games with each other as the match approached, and Austin even delivered his patented Stone Cold Stunner on Triple's on-screen (and later off-screen) wife, Stephanie McMahon, while Triple H planted Austin's friend and WWF commentator Jim Ross with the Pedigree.
So when the bell rang, these two tore into each other like wild animals. This was no typical two-out-of-three falls match, though, as each fall had a different stipulation. The first fall was a standard contest, which Stone Cold won after he hit the Stunner. The second fall was a Street Fight, and each man took advantage of various weapons in this no-disqualification bout. Triple H picked up the win here with a sledgehammer shot to Austin's head, followed by a Pedigree.
The third fall was a Steel Cage match that also featured the use of weapons. Triple H narrowly earned the win when he hit Austin in the head with a sledgehammer at the same moment Austin hit him in the head with a two-by-four wrapped in barbed wire. The two men fell to the ground limply, but The Game landed on top of his opponent.
This match also stands out for its rarity. Only four Three Stages of Hell matches have taken place in WWE history.Must Read: The Drunkest States in America
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock, WrestleMania X-Seven
This match has gone down as arguably one of the greatest contests in wrestling history. It featured the undeniably top two stars of the Attitude Era (and two of the greatest of all time) fighting for the richest prize in the business in the main event of the biggest show of the year (and some would argue WrestleMania X-Seven was the greatest one ever). It simply did not get any bigger than this and arguably has not gotten bigger since then.
This match is not a bloodbath by any means, but the lengths to which each man went to win the WWF Championship blew away the thousands of fans in attendance and the millions watching at home. The two men busted each other open with the ring bell. Both men used the Sharpshooter. Stone Cold even got so desperate that he used the Million Dollar Dream, a maneuver he had not used since he was the Ringmaster in his early days in WWF.
The Rock hit Austin with his own finisher, the Stunner. He planted him with the People's Elbow, but Vince McMahon, who had come down to the ring to watch the match, pulled Rock off of Austin after he tried to pin him. The Rock chased Vince around the ring and ran right into Austin, who nailed him with his own finisher, the Rock Bottom. Austin would eventually hit the Stunner, but Rock kicked out.
Then the unthinkable happened. Austin asked Vince McMahon, who had been his blood rival for so many years, for a steel chair, which the Rattlesnake used to hit The Rock. But this was still not enough to keep the champion down for a three count. Stone Cold hit another Stunner, but the Rock again kicked out at two. An irate Austin then pulverized The Rock with 16 chair shots and covered him to become the new WWF Champion.
Austin had taken extreme measures and joined forces with his archenemy to secure victory. The two celebrated with a handshake and some beer to close the show.Must Read: The Drunkest States in America