David Reviews WWE Extreme Rules

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I’ve never been a huge fan of Extreme Rules. I grew up during a time that if you didn’t see a chair shot or a table being broken during a match it wasn’t considered extreme. WWE has done its job to make these Pay Per Views very PG, and this year seems to top the list. As of writing this only five of the 12 matches have a special stipulation, one of which is on the preshow. There seems to be nothing really extreme about Extreme Rules. Here’s hoping the event somewhat lives up to its name.

Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt (C) vs. The B-Team for the Raw Tag Team Championship

The B-Team has been fun, but give credit where credit is due, and Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt have a lot to do with that. Hardy’s broken universe is coming slowly, but it gets better and better with the weeks. Right off the back we are teased with a little brother vs. brother action between Wyatt and Bo Dallas, giving the crowd an early pop.

The B-Team actually had a great performance early on and got love from the crowd. Here I took these guys as just a comedic act. Wyatt vs. Dallas was brief but fun, the Deleters of World’s seemed to be taking over the match. Holy crap! Bo Dallas pinned Matt Hardy. I have no words. Did WWE give up on Hardy and Wyatt already? Is there a bigger storyline here? It was a good shock, but I don’t think the shock will last too long.

Match Result: The B-Team defeated Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt to become the new Raw Tag Team Championships

Match Rating: 2.75 Stars

Finn Balor vs. “Constable” Baron Corbin

Poor Balor can’t catch a break. He’s been stuck on the mid-card after coming back from injury and relegated to matches that mean nothing. At least he’s on the PPV, he could be sitting next to Bobby Roode backstage. Is there a reason Corbin fights in pants and a button down shirt? Seems like it would be uncomfortable for him.

Corbin’s best in-ring ability is his trash talking. It gives his character that heel feel and intensity. Both superstars kept it mildly interesting with Corbin getting the upper hand early. A quick Deep Six by Corbin almost ended it, which made me think if it’s really fair for Corbin to have the Deep Six and End of Days as moves? It’s almost like having two finishers.

Match ends with a quick roll up by Balor, meaning there’s probably going to be more Balor vs. Corbin in the near future.

Match Result: Finn Balor defeats “Constable” Baron Corbin by pinfall

Match Rating: 2 Stars

Asuka vs. Carmella (C) with James Ellsworth in a Shark Cage for the Smackdown Women’s Championship

Shark Cage matches are not extreme. They are an overrated gimmick match that should have been left in the 80s and 90s. Yet somehow, we’ve had more Shark Cage matches than casket, buried alive, and boiler room matches combined in the last few years. I’ve said my peace.

Early on Ellsworth threw a steel chain into the ring that Asuka kicked away. He then threw a spray bottle, but that gets blocked by Asuka as well. Asuka was on the top of her game early. She had Carmella in the Asuka lock but was too close to the ropes. This seemed a little too good to be true for Asuka.

Ellsworth managed to unlocked the shark cage but caught his shoe on the door leaving him hanging like a piñata for Asuka to kick. And those kicks by Asuka to Ellsworth’s leg sounded brutal, but Carmella was lurking right behind her. After pushing Asuka into the shark cage, Carmella picked up the win. Looks like Asuka will be moving to the back of the line now.

Match Result: Carmella defeats Asuka to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship

Match Rating: 1.75 Stars

Jeff Hardy (C) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the United States Championship

Why this match wasn’t a ladder match is beyond me. This would have been a great “extreme” match to have at Extreme Rules. Nakamura hit Hardy with a low blow before the match even begun. Could this be what we’ve been waiting for?

Nakamura hit the Kinshasa as soon as the bell rung and pinned Jeff Hardy. Nakamura has his first title on the main roster and I couldn’t be happier.

Randy Orton came out after the match and stared down Nakamura before kicking Hardy between the legs. Guessing Jeff didn’t want anymore kids because his groin took more of a beating than he did.

Match Result: Shinsuke Nakamura defeats Jeff Hardy to become the new United States Champion

Match Rating: 2 Stars (based just on shock factor)

Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens in a Steel Cage match

Kevin Owens tried to escape the cage from the start, but Strowman was having none of that. He even called Owens a coward, asking for him to fight him. Owens quickness put him on top shortly after, as Braun ran into the cage, stunning him. Strowman doesn’t stay down for long and completely dominates Owens.

Somehow Owens managed to get handcuffs and handcuffed Strowman to the ropes, seemingly giving him the advantage. That was until he broke the handcuffs and chased Owens up the cage. Strowman quickly grabbed Owens and threw him from the top of the cage onto the announcers table to the outside.

By far that was the spot of the night. I wouldn’t be surprised if Owens suffered an injury from that fall. Absolutely brutal.

Match Result: Kevin Owens defeats Braun Strowman by escaping the cage

Match Rating: 3 Stars.

Team Hell No vs. The Bludgeon Brothers (C) for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship

Earlier in the night Kane and Daniel Bryan were attached by the Bludgeon Brothers leaving Kane incapacitated. Bryan came out to the ring along, meaning Kane is either done for the evening, has mayoral duties, or will be making an appearance in the middle of the match.

Bryan used his speed to get an early advantage and even had a Yes-Lock locked in, but the numbers came into effect. Harper and Rowan used their fists, legs and even each other’s bodies to harm Bryan. Kane came to the rescue but was wearing a boot on his injured leg. After a failed tombstone piledriver attempt, Kane was left useless for the rest of the match. That left Bryan to fend for himself again and the Bludgeon Brothers were just too much for him.

Match Result: The Bludgeon Brothers defeated Team Hell No to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championship

Match Rating: 2.75 Stars

Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley

I’m so happy to not see this match being the main event. Hopefully this is the match Lashley needs to put him back to that main event level.

Lashley started off the match physically wrestling Reigns to the ground. It didn’t take Reigns long to get the upper hand as the crowd filled the air with boos. Man, whatever match Reigns is in just doesn’t get the attention it deserves. All the crowd does is hijack the match with chants, and that’s that the match hadn’t been terrible thus far.

Lashley and Reigns surprisingly have had great chemistry. The match feels like a big hard-hitting match. Every elbow or fall seems like it’s taking every breath out of these guys. As Reigns seemed to be powering up his spear, Lashley hit him with a spear of his own to get the win.

I am completely in shock Lashley got this W, but I am not upset. These guys put up a nice, fast paced match that elevated Lashley. We might just be getting Lashley vs. Lesnar, fingers crossed.

Match Result: Bobby Lashley defeated Roman Reigns by pinfall

Match Rating: 3 Stars

Nia Jax vs. Alexa Bliss (C) in an Extreme Rules match for the Raw Women’s Championship

Both women had someone come out with them. Jax had Natalya and Bliss had Mickie James. Jax took control of the match from the start, taking every shot Bliss sent her way, and filling the ring with different weapons.

Jax took a hard shot into a chair that took her out of the match, giving Bliss and James the advantage to take out Natalya. This infuriated Ronda Rousey, who jumped the guard rail, from ringside to make the save. Unfortunate for her the numbers were too much and James subsided Rousey with a Kendo stick.

As Bliss made her way back into the match Jax seemed to set her up for the Samoan Drop, but James once again saved her and attacked Jax with a steel chair. Bliss then hit Jax with a DDT on the chair and retained her title.

Match Result: Alexa Bliss defeated Nia Jax to retain the Raw Women’s Champion

Match Rating: 2.5 Stars

Rusev vs. AJ Styles (C) for the WWE Championship

Rusev finally gets his first WWE Championship title shot and it’s long overdue. Unfortunately, he is going up against the best in the world, fight me on that, AJ Styles. My only concern is that Styles still can’t main event a freaking PPV. I don’t understand how WWE continues to have him not finish off the night. It just seems disrespectful to me.

Rusev’s brute strength played well early on as he threw and picked up Styles like a rag doll. Styles sold every move beautifully. The story telling was perfect. Rusev attempted to put Styles in the Accolade, but because of his injured leg he could not complete the hold. During this time Aiden English uncovered the top turn buckle, but it was Rusev who ended up crashing into it, dazing him. Styles then ended the match with a Phenomenal forearm and secured the victory.

Match Result: AJ Styles defeated Rusev to retain the WWE Championship

Match Rating: 3 Stars

Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler (C) in a 30-minute Iron Man match for the Intercontinental Championship

For the first time in ages the Intercontinental Championship is main eventing a PPV. This might not be HBK/Bret Hart or even Rock/HHH, but there must be a reason these guys are headlining Extreme Rules.

Rollins attempted multiple pin falls to get started and a little after four minutes he picked up the first fall, putting Ziggler at an early disadvantage. Three minutes after that Rollins hit the Curb Stomp to put himself up two falls to none. Drew McIntyre had enough of Rollins show boating and attacked him, throwing him all across the ring, but this caused Rollins to pick up a disqualification victory.

Ziggler being down three to zero, covered Rollins after the attack to pick up his first fall. One minute later, Ziggler hit a superkick and picked up his second fall. Ziggler proceeded to hit a Zig-Zag and tied it up three to three with more than 15 minutes still left. With the match basically back to square one, Ziggler rolled up Rollins and used the rope as leverage to pick up his fourth fall to overcome a three to zero deficit.

Ziggler played defense for the rest of the match, while Rollins was on the attack trying to keep Ziggler in the ring to tie the score up. With six minutes to go, Rollins hit a Frog Splash, and like AJ Styles main eventing a PPV, he once again couldn’t get a victory with it. With three minutes remaining Rollins cradled up Ziggler, after hitting the back of the ring post, and tied everything up four to four.

With just 15 seconds remaining, Rollins managed to hit Ziggler with a superkick and a Curb Stomp, but the time ran out on Rollins leaving it all tied up and in a draw.

Before Ziggler could walk out with the title, Kurt Angle claimed that this match wouldn’t end in a draw and would go into sudden death.

As the match was restarted, McIntyre appeared on the ring apron distracting Rollins and leaving him open to a Zig Zag from Ziggler, allowing him to get the decisive victory.

Match Result: Dolph Ziggler defeated Seth Rollins to retain the Intercontinental Championship

Match Rating: 4 Stars

Extreme Rules was exactly what I thought it would be, not that great. Don’t get me wrong, Reigns/Lashley, Ziggler/Rollins and Styles/Rusev were good matches, but every match seemed rather quick. Besides the Iron Man match it didn’t feel like any match lasted longer than 10 minutes. Not to mention nothing about the event screamed or even whispered extreme to me. WWE needs to do better with this PPV or just can it all together.

Extreme Rules Rating: 2.75