For the past few years, the post WrestleMania pay-per-view, Extreme Rules has always served as rather disposable middle ground between past feuds and storylines yet to come. The 2013 event is no different in this regard, featuring two direct WrestleMania rematches, a few matches designed solely in the fallout, and only two, sadly disposable matches meant to set the stage for the months to come. It wouldn't be so bad if the outcomes weren't so telegraphed and tired, namely the WrestleMania rematches, which this year serve one purpose: let the losers save some face. It also doesn't help that one of the WWE's biggest draws, C.M. Punk was absent from the event and Dolph Ziggler was sidelined by an injury.
In terms of completely disposable and forgettable, the match thrown together to account for the recovering Ziggler, fits the bill, pitting two poorly utilized wrestlers, Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger in a number one contender's match that also haphazardly tied to Swagger's pro-American/anti-immigrant storyline that only treads water thanks to Zeb Colter as an effective, old-school mouthpiece. The match is mildly entertaining, but the end result is meaningless in the long term. Equally meaningless is the match between Randy Orton and Big Show, which feels like a tired rehash of numerous such encounters, precipitated by a lazy betrayal by Big Show at WrestleMania. The placement of the match, frankly feels like filler between two of the card's bigger showpieces.
In the middle of road lies a WrestleMania rematch between Chris Jericho and Fandango, a strap match between Sheamus and Mark Henry that would have been more exciting sans gimmick, and the launching of Dean Ambrose forward in power by putting him over Kofi Kingston in a match for the US Title. This match coupled with the entertaining Shield (Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) vs. Team Hell No match for the tag titles, continues the slow-build of the Shield as force within the company, although the end outcome is a bit mystifying. In hindsight, the match also sets up Daniel Bryan's path towards the main event by finally breaking a required link with Kane in the tag division.
Last but not least, John Cena and Ryback turn in a decent Last Man Standing match for the WWE title; again this is a match with an obvious outcome, but truth be told, Cena gets a chance to shine against Ryback, who with each passing month grows less impressive in terms of in-ring ability and character. The ending is handled much better than I expected, with a huge gimmicky finish that signals the merciful end of the feud coming at the next month's event. Finally, the WrestleMania rematch between Triple H and Brock Lesnar. Anyone who actually thought Lesnar would leave a loser after the logically inept conclusion to his WrestleMania match against Triple H is either lying or doesn't fully comprehend pro-wrestling. The match is your standard brawl and even though Lesnar goes over to maintain his remaining mystique, the booking of Triple H as an unstoppable force in 2013 is more than a little sad. As is the case so often, the main event match sums up the event in a nutshell: mildly entertaining filler.
The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer sports brilliant, rich color reproduction of the event itself. Detail levels are not as strong as something sourced from a modern HD broadcast should be, possibly due to some minor compression artifacts that seems to be the standard for WWE DVD releases (it's much better than a few years back).
The Dolby Digital English 5.1 audio is a solid, albeit non-mind-blowing experience. Commentary is front and center, but never mixed to overpower the sounds of the arena, nor do the mics focused on the in-ring action feel off-balance. A few matches in, and the sound isn't as immersive as being live (simply due to the constant commentary), but there's nothing to detract from the experience.
The extras consist of an entirely disposable pre-show match between The Miz and Cody Rhodes as well as a post-show highlight package.
A true "filler" event in every sense of the term, "Extreme Rules 2013" doesn't contain a single match worth re-watching and knowing the outcome of a few storylines set-up here (namely the Triple H concussion fiasco), chances are in a year no-one will remember much about the event at all. It's solely a disc for those who can't have anything less than complete collection. Skip It.