El Torito def. Hornswoggle (‘WeeLC’ Kickoff Match)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — It was dubbed “the biggest little match in WWE history.”  The titanic tussle between Hornswoggle and El Torito did not disappoint. After El Torito sent Hornswoggle crashing through a tiny table to earn the victory, the WWE Universe could only chant one thing – “This is awesome!”

The WWE Universe was not sure what to expect when the leprechaun-turned-rocker and the pint-sized bull locked horns. Their questions were answered before the bell even rang. Nearly everything inside the arena was shrunk down to match the stature of the tiny competitors. Calling the action were Micro Cole, JB-Elf and Jerry “The King” Smaller, a tiny referee officiated the bout, while a mini ring announcer introduced the competitors, giving this battle between WWE’s smallest competitors a big match feel.

Hornswoggle took control of the bout until the first weapon, a tiny chair, came into play. Torito used the seat to launch himself onto the ropes and colliding into his little foe. Thanks to a distraction from his 3MB bandmate Jinder Mahal, Hornswoggle was able to scale to new heights on a step ladder. Though he was initially afraid to jump, the leprechaun leapt off the tiny ladder with a little encouragement. Unfortunately, Torito moved out of the way, leaving Hornswoggle to  crash into the canvas.

While 3MB and Los Matadores neutralized each other at ringside, Hornswoggle regained control bybattering El Torito and laying him out on the miniature announcers’ table. The leprechaun risked life and little  limb with a daring elbow drop off the ring apron and through the table.

After emerging from the pint-sized wreckage, Torito had enough awareness  to avoid a chairshot that sent Heath Slater hurtling through a stack of miniature tables. The tiny bull also prevented Mahal and Drew McIntyre from meddling any more, sending them crashing through undersized  ladders and tables at ringside.

Torito saw Hornswoggle standing in front of a miniature table inside the ring and leapt into action. Seeing red, the bull springboarded from the top rope onto his foe, sending him through the table. The crushing blow was exactly what El Torito needed to earn the three count and etch his name into WWE history by winning the first WeeLC Match.

Cesaro def. Rob Van Dam and Jack Swagger – Triple Threat Elimination Match

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.– At Extreme Rules, the freakishly powerful Cesaro reigned supreme over Real American Jack Swagger and the high-flying Rob Van Dam in a furious Triple Threat Elimination Match.

Prior to the start of the personal free-for-all, the outspoken Paul Heyman stole the spotlight early, professing the virtues of the Extreme and his “Paul Heyman guys” amidst the eardrum-shattering collection of jeers courtesy of the WWE Universe in the IZOD Center. The instant the bell rang, though, the fast and furious showdown transformed the Heyman show into an absolute thrill ride from start to finish.

With all three Superstars well-versed in the extreme, the brutality quickly spread both inside and outside the ring. However, moments after Cesaro displayed his renowned super-strength by suplexing Jack Swagger into the ring while perched on the second turnbuckle, RVD closed out The Real American with the Five-Star Frog Splash, sending both him and his mentor, Zeb Colter, back to the showers.

The action continued with one jaw-dropping maneuver after another, testing the determination of both competitors. While RVD introduced the trash can, Cesaro quickly kicked it back at him. The weapon then helped switch momentum back and forth. But when the King of Extreme tried to deliver his second Five-Star Frog Splash of the night with the trash can on his adversary’s chest, Cesaro moved at the last second,  then hit RVD with the Neutralizer onto the metal implement for the three-count.

Cesaro scored a strong victory equal to his power at Extreme Rules. What’s up next for the Swiss Superman? Find out on Monday Night Raw.

Alexander Rusev def. R-Truth & Xavier Woods (2-on-1 Handicap Match)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Alexander Rusev’s matches since his WWE debut one month ago could hardly be called competitive. And at Extreme Rules, The Bulgarian Brute continued his reign of dominace with a huge 2-on-1 Handicap Match victory over R-Truth and Xavier Woods.

Before the match began, the Ravishing Russian, Lana, declared that she and Rusev would dedicate the match to their hero, Russian President Vladimir Putin, which elicited boos from the WWE Universe.

When R-Truth and Xavier Woods came out to the ring, Truth announced that they would be dedicating the match to the United States of America. This Cold War would get hot in a hurry; as the Americans made a beeline to their opponent, Rusev immediately caught Woods with a kick to the side of the head. This concussive blow knocked Woods into R-Truth sending both men flying off the apron before the referee could even start the match.

The Bulgarian Brute then brutalized Woods, thumping the Superstar’s face against the steel below the ring apron and suplexing him onto the unforgiving floor outside. This effectively made the match a one-on-one contest once R-Truth was pushed into the ring.

Rusev began the match hitting his already dazed opponent with clubbing fists to the back of the neck. When Rusev hurled his 300-pound frame with reckless abandon, R-Truth turned the tables by connecting with a boot. A dropkick off the second rope and a scissors kick maneuver nearly secured the big upset for the rapping Superstar.

Rusev’s explosive agility proved to be the difference in the contest. After a series of counters, both Superstars hit the ropes and ran across the ring, only for the Bulgarian Brute to launch himself skyward and impale Truth with a high leg to the skull. Lana gave Rusev the one-word command to “crush” and that was all the Ravishing Russian wrote. R-Truth tapped out mere seconds after Rusev’s Accolade was applied.

The European duo was not finished administering carnage. Lana gave Rusev another order outside the ring while Woods was being attended to by WWE medical personal, hitting the felled Superstar with a bone-rattling Samoan Drop. Somewhere in Moscow, President Putin is smiling.

Bad News Barrett def. Big E to become the new Intercontinental Champion

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.  – After besting a number of WWE’s finest in a tournament to determine the No. 1 contender to the Intercontinental Championship, Bad News Barrett backed up all of his talk, defeating the massive Big E at Extreme Rules and claiming the prestigious title for the fourth time.

One of the top brawlers in recent WWE history, Barrett defeated former World Champions Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus and Rob Van Dam to earn the opportunity against Big E at Extreme Rules. After delivering his trademark “bad news” oratory, Barrett riled up the rowdy New Jersey crowd – some of whom rallied around the British Superstar.

As the bout got underway, it was obvious that Barrett and Big E’s different styles would lead to a competitive matchup worthy of a championship held by  WWE Hall of Famers like “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig and Ultimate Warrior. The power and agility of the monstrous Intercontinental Champion was matched by the unorthodox, pure brawling repertoire of Bad News Barrett.

The resiliency of both Superstars was also on display as momentum shifted back and forth. Barrett and Big E traded counters as the action even spilled to the outside. Most impressive from both competitors was their ability to remain in the fight and either counter or kick out from pinfalls following their respective signature maneuvers.

Highlighting the importance of the Intercontinental Championship, the battle raged with the WWE Universe on the edge of its collective seat.  Late in the contest, Big E  ducked the challenger’s Bad News Bull Hammer Elbow, only to be caught by the devastating elbow as Barrett rebounded off the ropes.

For Big E, it truly was bad news as Barrett immediately secured the pinfall for the championship victory. Barrett’s victory was certainly good news for him, but the question remains: How long can he deliver the news in his favor?

The Shield def. Evolution

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Soldiers, it turns out, do win wars.

At Extreme Rules, the WWE Universe watched in astonishment as The Shield adapted and Evolution — at least on this night — perished during a raucous six-man brawl. For more than 20 minutes of uncontainable action, two of the most destructive factions in WWE history warred in a grueling fight that sprawled throughout New Jersey’s IZOD Center and culminated with Michael Cole’s call, “The times, they are a-changing!”

Indeed, the old guard fell to the new guard, as Roman Reigns pinned Batista after a Spear, demonstrating exactly what “true power” looks like.

The road to victory, however, was anything but easy for The Hounds of Justice. Despite speculation that their admittedly “massive” egos would be their downfall, Evolution’s veritable all-star lineup of WWE COO Triple H, Randy Orton & Batista — with a combined 31 World Title reigns among them — worked cohesively, and dominated much of the bout.

Early on, Evolution effectively isolated first Seth Rollins and then Dean Ambrose. The Game turned The Shield’s Architect inside-out with a vicious clothesline, and with Rollins hanging off the ring apron, Batista found opportunity to boot the blond-and-black-haired highflier in the skull. Ambrose managed to lock in a Figure-Four Leglock — alluding to “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, a founding member of Evolution who publicly endorsed The Shield days ago — but the advantage was short-lived.

Reigns’ Spear attempt outside the ring was sidestepped by The Game, causing The Powerhouse to slam into the steel steps. A dive to the floor by Rollins was similarly avoided by The Cerebral Assassin, leaving Rollins in a heap on the floor.

Evolution worked over their opposition methodically. “Bootista” chants from rained down as The Animal worked over his prey, and Ambrose looked downright punch-drunk after an exchange with Triple H, which ended with a fierce spinebuster by the 13-time World Champion.

The Hounds of Justice would not be denied, though. The trio’s Lunatic Fringe turned the tides with a DDT on Triple H, and once Reigns found his way into the contest, he turned into a one-man wrecking crew, taking out Orton, Batista and Triple H in succession.

The Shield looked to have the match locked up when they struck Batista with a Triple Powerbomb, yet savvy veterans Orton and Triple H prevented the pinfall. Reigns subsequently ate a Pedigree and an RKO, but thanks to his teammates’ efforts, he was never pinned.

At that point, all hell broke loose.

As the match’s legal competitors, Reigns and Batista, struggled to get to their feet inside the ring, the other four combatants embarked on a wild free-for-all that spilled out of the ring and, eventually, into the WWE Universe. All the while, a loud “This is awesome!” chant took over the arena.

Ambrose ran the length of both announce tables and leapt onto Triple H and Orton. Within minutes, Orton rebounded and sent the unstable Shield member flying down a flight of stairs. As The King of Kings and WWE’s Apex Predator worked over Ambrose hundreds of feet away from ringside, the collective jaw of WWE fans dropped as Rollins came flying down with an incredible cross body block off the balcony!

Back inside the ring, Batista dropped Reigns with a spinebuster and prepared for the Batista Bomb. But The Shield’s Punisher — perhaps mindful of this year’s Royal Rumble Match, which The Animal won after eliminating Reigns — shoved off Batista, recoiled and launched into a Superman Punch. A bone-rattling Spear later, and The Shield cemented their status as WWE”s new torchbearers.

Bray Wyatt def. John Cena (Steel Cage Match)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Sometimes it takes more than just charisma and a little black magic to compel a Universe. And sometimes it takes more than mere parlor tricks to beat John Cena. However, tonight, at Extreme Rules, Bray Wyatt managed to do both — he continued to charm the masses, swaying legions of WWE fans to his every whim as he defeated the Cenation leader in a brutal Steel Cage Match inside the IZOD Center.

With Wyatt disciples Luke Harper and Erick Rowan locked outside and stalking the structure from the onset, the 14-time World Champion came face to face with The New Face of Fear himself inside the imposing steel. And, though the cage served as a barricade of sorts to keep Harper and Rowan from getting in, Harper and Rowan did what they could to keep John Cena from getting out.

Wyatt was predictably brutish in the early going, and with his opponent down on the canvas, The Eater of Worlds served as conductor to the WWE Universe in attendance as they launched into an eerie rendition of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.”

Still, as he’s done over the course of his illustrious career, Cena found a way to lift himself up off the canvas, and straight to the top of the cage. With Harper and Rowan ever-present at ringside, though, escape seemed nigh-impossible. With a battered and bruised Cena in his arms, Wyatt waltzed around the ring with his limp opponent, swaying to and fro to a song only he could hear.

The beating of Cena continued, and at times Wyatt appeared to be simply toying with his prey, hurling Cena into the unforgiving steel again and again. When Cena found a second wind and rallied, however, it soon became a question of not if Cena was locked inside the cage with Wyatt, but if Bray was trapped inside with an increasingly aggressive Cenation leader. After a ring-shaking powerbomb to his foe, Cena looked to be in prime position to walk out of the door and directly to victory.

But Harper and Rowan served as the barbarians at the gate in reverse, keeping Cena inside and feeding him back into the waiting arms of Bray Wyatt. Again Cena fought back and put Bray on his backside, but this time it was Rowan who halted the Cenation leader’s descent of the cage towards the arena floor.

After a huge bulldog from the top rope, Cena again climbed to the top, only to be met by Harper. This time, though, Cena brought Harper inside the structure with him, dumping the behemoth down onto the canvas beside Bray. Rowan again turned Cena back, and Wyatt took full advantage. The former WWE Champion was able to reverse an attempted Sister Abigail into an excruciating STF, but Wyatt broke the hold. Now locked inside with both Wyatt and Harper, Cena’s uphill battle grew steeper.

Even a stunning AA off the top rope to Wyatt was rendered for naught, as Harper broke up the attempted three-count. With monsters both inside and out, Cena and Rowan met at the top of the cage, where Cena incapacitated the giant before putting Harper down, as well.

Then, with all three Wyatt Family members lying prone, Cena had not only victory in sight, but the opportunity to literally leave the Wyatts — and their twisted message — inside the steel cage. Just as he climbed through the ropes and out the door, though, the lights in the IZOD Center cut out and a child appeared at ringside, disturbingly singing Bray Wyatt’s twisted hymn over the sound system in an eerily distorted voice.

A stunned Cena stepped back through the ropes and into the ring, where he was met with a prompt and devastating Sister Abigail by Wyatt, who proceeded to climb through the ropes and down the steps to the ringside floor — and to a haunting victory.

While it can be said that, even in defeat, Cena stayed true to himself — and to the remaining members of the Cenation — Wyatt’s sway over the masses only grew over the course of this battle of good vs. evil , and the image of The Wyatt Family, walking hand-in-hand with a cloaked child, will remain in the collective psyche of the WWE Universe for a long, long time.

Divas Champion Paige Knight def. Tamina Snuka

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.— Less than a month since her stunning WWE debut win over AJ Lee — breaking the Black Widow’s record-long title reign of 295 days — Paige put the Divas Championship on the line against AJ’s former bodyguard, Tamina. Despite numerous successful showings since her historic victory on the April 7 edition of Raw, the raven-haired Diva’s Extreme Rules title defense marked her toughest test yet.

The challenger for the coveted title, who overcame nine other Divas in a dominating display on WWE Main Event to become the No. 1 contender, has demonstrated an imposing in-ring arsenal that makes it seem inevitable that we will one day witness the second-generation Diva holding the butterfly-emblazoned title. However, that day wasn’t May 4 at Extreme Rules.

The Divas Champion began the highly-anticipated contest with a flurry of high impact maneuvers to her intimidating challenger, but it didn’t take long for AJ’s former bodyguard to take control of the bout. The No. 1 contender continued to control the contest using her size and strength, delivering one dominating move after another.

The youngest Divas Champion ever was not about to give in; however, as the tenacious titleholder mounted a gritty comeback, trading blows with her much larger opponent. In the end, the Divas Champion’s intense, in-your-face in-ring attack proved to be more than her formidable foe could handle. When the opportunity presented itself, Paige locked in her trademark modified Scorpion Crosslock submission, forcing Tamina to tap.

With a history-making introduction and successful WWE pay-per-view debut in the books, what does the “Diva of Tomorrow” have in store for the WWE Universe next?

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan def. Kane (Extreme Rules Match)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The smell of charred human flesh hung heavy in the air of the Izod Center in the moments after the Extreme Rules Match between WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan and Kane ended. Everyone had expected the former tag partners to put each other through hell in this bout. Few took those words literally.

However, it was the fires of hell that proved to be the deciding factor in this punishing encounter as The Devil’s Favorite Demon tumbled into the inferno of a flaming table — one which he had personally set ablaze — before being put down by Bryan’s running knee.

The horrifying sight of crew members running towards Kane’s flaming body with fire extinguishers defined the high drama of this vicious brawl, but it was an ugly scene from the very beginning. Aching to get his hands on The Demon who attacked his wife and attempted to end his career, Bryan ran up the entryway and laid into Kane as soon as he emerged from the back. It was an admirable display of guts from the defending champion, but it was also misguided.

Targeting the vulnerable neck of his opponent — an injury sustained when Kane nailed him with three Tombstones on Raw, including one on the steel steps — the twisted Superstar laid Bryan out with a series of targeted strikes before beating on him with a kendo stick.

It was all Kane from the get-go with Bryan occasionally rallying — with a top rope Frankensteiner here, a suicide dive there — only to have his legs cut out from under him repeatedly by his onetime ally. The Demon took slow pleasure in assaulting the champion, slamming him onto steel chairs and slapping him with a kendo stick with sadistic glee. At times, it seemed as though Kane wasn’t so much interested in winning the WWE World Heavyweight Title as he was in brutalizing Bryan.

Of course, quit is not a word in the autocorrect of the “Yes!” Man’s cell phone, so he fought back every time he found an opportunity. He slammed into his opponent with a suicide dive and blistered him with the top of the announce table. The champion even fought off an attempted chokeslam through the announce table and scored with a tornado DDT on the arena floor, but nothing Bryan did could stop The Demon. Kane hadn’t seemed this indestructible since he first emerged in WWE to terrorize his brother, The Undertaker.

When The Demon attempted to Tombstone Bryan on the steel steps, Bryan fought him off and began to blister him with a kendo stick as the WWE Universe chanted “Yes!” with every swing. The brawl spilled into the bowels of the Izod Center from there with Kane pinballing Bryan against the jagged edges of tables and into the unforgiving steel of parked cars. It was here that the WWE World Heavyweight Champion got his hands on a tire iron, which he used to knock The Demon out cold.

Now tasked with moving the lifeless body of a 300-pound monster, Bryan ingeniously moved his opponent onto the front of a forklift and drove the machine back towards the ring. After expertly depositing Kane back onto the canvas — Home Depot must occupy a place on Bryan’s resume — WWE’s “Yes!” Man climbed on top of the forklift and launched himself onto his fallen challenger with a blistering head butt.

Kane kicked out, but the exhilaration of the maneuver inspired something in Bryan. He threw himself at the big man with scary intensity, but Kane snatched him out of the air and chokeslammed him to the mat. Bryan powered out of the pin attempt and avoided another Tombstone before obliterating The Demon with 10 chair shots and applying a “Yes!” Lock with the aided pressure of a kendo stick.

The Demon escaped the hold and ended up on the outside of the ring where he again grabbed Bryan in midair and chokeslammed him through the announce table. At this point, Kane pulled a second table out from under the ring, covered it in gasoline and set the table on fire. It’s horrifying to think what may have happened had The Demon succeeded in depositing the champion onto the searing flames, but Kane’s plan failed. Bryan managed to fend the monster off and send him falling backwards off the apron into the inferno.

Crewmembers rushed toward the flaming body of Kane with fire extinguishers as he writhed in the fire. Lost and seemingly panicked in the white plumes of the extinguishers, The Demon found himself turned around in the ring where he met the brunt of Bryan’s running knee. That, as it turned out, was enough to put Kane down for the three count.

Bryan had survived his encounter with The Demon — flourished even — but there was little time for a chorus of “Yes!” chants. By the time the champion made it up the aisle with his two titles, walls of flames blocked his exit as the haunting organ of Kane’s entrance theme piped up. The Demon had already made it to his feet in the ring with his flesh still simmering. Bryan stared back at the ring, horrified, as he locked eyes with the monster he’d just conquered. It was a brief moment, but the message was unmistakable.

For Kane, this fight is far from over.