Come to think of it, my favorite Tchaikovsky in those days was "Francesca di Rimini," which has a certain crassness of its own..
Fokine choreographed something to Francesca di Rimini but I don't know if it survives. Has any ballet composer ever choreographed to Rienzi?
I just tumbled over this thread this evening and I suppose you may have long since gotten the answer, but Roland Petit used the Rienzi overture for his Proust ballet. As I remember, he used it for the closing scene, but it's a dim memory...and he may have wanted a bit of bombast.
I recently attended a concert with Tchaikovsky's fourth symphony on the program and I'm afraid bombast is very much how it seemed to me...though often as if on the verge of becoming something greater and more moving...but it never quite happened. That it happens in many of his other works, I certainly find...and it may be I simply failed to 'get' the symphony on this hearing.
Regarding lists or announcements of the "10 best" or even one's "favorite", I sometimes think that if one is going to start down that road (and probably one ought not) it's best not to hedge with humility or subtlety: "my opinion..." or "from the perspective of a ballet lover...." Just go for it and be wrong rather than mealy-mouthed!
It makes it more of an intellectual challenge for everyone and second it's...uh...more fun--possibly just because it is "aesthetically incorrect" to be ranking things that can't always be ranked. I love to shock people when they ask my favorite novel by giving them an immediate unequivocal answer (it's almost always Middlemarch) because it's obvious they expect a much more refined answer about the "impossibility" of having a favorite, or about how different traditions have different strengths etc.
Of course, on the internet one always tries one's very best to be polite!