The Extreme Rules pay-per-view is here. Here are some notes from the Kickoff show.
- The panel that was on set to discuss the PPV included host Renee Young with Booker T, Jerry Lawler and Corey Graves.
- There were a lot of video packages about the matches on the Kickoff show as well as uses of the phrases “WWE Universe” and “new era” too often.
- Becky Lynch and Paige joined the panel to talk about the Women’s Title match. Lynch was really good in saying that Charlotte’s been successful as the champion without burying her for being a heel.
- The Dudley Boyz went to the ring for a heel promo. On Twitter I predicted Big Cass would come out to beat them up. That’s what happened. The crowd was into Big Cass as they chanted “How You Doing?” while he kept mentioning food items that Bubba likes to eat. It was kinda like a Steve Austin 2001 promo with the “WHAT?” chants. Anyway, Cass ended up beating them up pretty easily while knocking Bubba out of the ring and hitting D-Von with his finisher. Like I said, the crowd was into it.
- The Miz did some interview with Jojo while Maryse was with Miz and he did this over the top acting routine. The Kickoff panel laughed about it saying he was terrible. Lawler liked it since he’s a heel.
- There was a Q&A with Rusev and Lana sitting at the “social media lounge” to answer questions. She looked hot. Matchka means “crush” in case you were dying to know.
- A video package aired about the main event.
The announcers for the Kickoff Show are Mauro Ranallo and Byron Saxton.
No Disqualification: Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler
I’m a little surprised that this match is starting about ten minutes to the top of the hour. I thought it would be before that. Corbin sent Ziggler into the ring post to take advantage. I like the “Tiger Driver 91” sign in the crowd. Corbin beat on Ziggler with some punches. Corbin applied a chinlock to wear him down. Ziggler made the comeback with clotheslines, a Stinger Splash in the corner and then Corbin bailed to the floor. Corbin snapped the neck of Ziggler against the rope, Ziggler came back with an elbow and a dropkick for two. Rollup by Ziggler gets two. Corbin hit the Deep Six spinning slam for two. Great DDT out of the corner by Ziggler followed by the Fameasser for two. As I write all the time in a Ziggler match, that is always one of the best two counts in WWE. Ziggler missed a superkick and Corbin nailed him in the groin or as Ranallo put it he “pulverized Ziggler’s plums.” Corbin hit the End of Days slam for the win after eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Baron Corbin
Analysis: **1/4 A cheap win for the heel, which is fine with me because heels should cheat when they are able to do so. It was weird seeing a No DQ match without any weapons being used because the whole point of a No DQ match should be about weapons being legal. There was just a spot where Ziggler was sent into the post, but that’s something they can do in any match. I guess they kept it minimal because of the matches still to come.
The Kickoff show ended and it’s time for the main show.
Thoughts On Cody Rhodes Leaving WWE
I was surprised on Saturday when Cody Rhodes tweeted that he asked for his WWE release. On Sunday, WWE confirmed the release. Rhodes went on Twitter to post a long message saying he wanted to go back to being “Cody Rhodes” for the past six months and they wouldn’t let him do it. He complained about the head writers of Raw and Smackdown not having time for him while mentioning one of those writers had an affinity for “developmental divas” as he said.
It’s easy to see why somebody like him would be frustrated to be where he was in his career because he’s been in WWE for ten years. The Stardust gimmick was clearly going nowhere, he knew that, wanted to try being “Cody Rhodes” again and they didn’t want him to do it. The crowd would have loved him fighting for his family’s name especially after Dusty’s death last year. When the company tells you no when you want to do something significant for your career it’s a message that says they don’t believe in you as much as you think they should.
I think this is going to be a problem for WWE going forward because the current roster has over 100+ people counting NXT. How many of them are on a PPV show? It’s about 30-40 people. They have two house show tours every weekend plus two NXT groups some weekends. You can’t use everybody on every show and you definitely can’t “push” everybody either. Of the current roster, there are probably a lot of disgruntled people there.
Guys like Cody and Wade Barrett (who recently left as well) had spent a long time there and probably have money saved, so they’ll be okay without WWE. Others that are there aren’t going to be so lucky. As great as it is that WWE is bringing in this talent from other companies and loading up the roster, it’s going to be tough for a lot of wrestlers to get a fair shot.
I’ll miss Cody in WWE. He is only 30 years old and I felt like he had main event potential if he was used right. Instead, he’s gone. I think he might be back one day because he’s young and I assume he went out on good terms, but for right now in his career he thinks this is the best thing for him. He may be right about that. I wish him the best.
Let’s get to the PPV portion of the show.
WWE Extreme Rules
Newark, New Jersey
May 22, 2016
There was a video package featuring the key feuds going into the show with a main focus on the Reigns/Styles main event match.
The Usos made their entrance. The announce team is Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield and Byron Saxton. The German announce team is also at ringside as well as the Spanish announce team.
Tornado Tag Team Match: The Usos vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
The tornado rules means all four guys can be in the ring at the same time and they can brawl outside the ring too. The G&A team were dominant early on. They managed to isolate Jey in the ring as they continued to work on him in the ring. Gallows had Jey on his shoulders, but Jimmy knocked Anderson off the apron. Jimmy with a dropkick on Gallows. Anderson with a clothesline on Jey on the floor. Anderson nailed a great running knee to the face of Jey in the ring for a two count. Gallows with a boot to the face for two. Jimmy tripped up Anderson and the Usos hit a double superkick on Gallows. I should note too that the crowd was booing The Usos. Gallows avoided a corkscrew attack and nailed the Gallows Pole slam. Samoan Drop by Jey on Gallows. Anderson with a Spinebuster on Jey for two. All four guys were down in the ring. Anderson charged in at Jey on the floor, but Jey nailed a superkick to knock him down on the floor. Jey with a running butt splash on Anderson against the barrier. Gallows with a huge clothesline on Jey. Gallows dumped Jey over the barricade. Gallows grabbed the ring bell. Jimmy nailed a superkick on Gallows in the ring. Jimmy missed a top rope splash because Gallows moved and Jimmy hit the ring bell. Anderson back in the ring as Gallows picked up Jimmy and G&A hit the Magic Killer double team move for the win after 10 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Post match, The Usos did a big sell job with the referees having to help them out of the ring. Cole claimed that you know G&A will get involved in the main event so now we don’t know if The Usos will be able to be there.
Analysis: **3/4 That was a pretty good tag match with the right team getting the win. It was clean just as it should have been too. The crowd booing the Usos was pretty telling. It shows that the fans are sick of cheering for them probably because of their association with Roman Reigns. I think they’re good performers just like Reigns is, but if the people reject them it’s time to change some things about them. I like how G&A have been booked aside from losing clean to The Usos last week. That shouldn’t have happened. At least this win makes up for it.
There was a commercial for Camp WWE on WWE Network. I’ve tried watching it, but it’s not for me.
The ravishing Russian Lana introduced her fiancé Rusev. Cole introduced us to the other announcers seated in the arena. They are Portuguese announcers, Russian and Japanese with Funaki mentioning he was #1 announcer I assume.
United States Title: Kalisto vs. Rusev
Rusev was in control early on with power moves. He went after the ribs of Kalisto, who was selling the big attack Rusev did against him on Raw. Rusev with the bearhug to show off his power. The crowd was chanting “Let’s Go Rusev” at one point. Rusev did a Torture Rack submission although he didn’t really move him around on his shoulders. When Lex Luger did it, he put more force into it. In this case it’s just a move and not a finisher. Kalisto locked him into a sleeper only for Rusev to counter by dropping back to crush Kalisto. Kalisto came back with a Tornado DDT off the middle ropes. Kalisto with a corkscrew cross body attack and then a snap hurricanrana gets a two count. Rusev missed an attack, which sent him to the floor. Kalisto attacked with a headscissors on the floor that sent Rusev into the steps at ringside. That was a good spot. Kalisto hit a springboard splash off the top rope for a two count. Kalisto tried to get the crowd behind him with the “Lucha” chant. Rusev shoved him off and went to the floor. Kalisto went to the top and hit a moonsault to the floor. That was awesome looking. With Kalisto on the top, Rusev slammed him onto the apron that is the hardest part of the ring. The ref called for the ringside doctor to check on Kalisto. Rusev pulled him off. The ref tried to keep Rusev off him. Rusev kept at it and applied the Accolade submission move in a manner in which he bent back a lot. Kalisto tapped out right away, which gave Rusev the submission win after 10 minutes.
Winner by submission and New US Champion: Rusev
Post match, Rusev celebrated winning the US Title for the second time. The doctor at ringside checked on Kalisto.
Analysis: **1/4 A decent match that had the right guy get the win again. It was a competitive match with Kalisto getting in a decent amount of offense in and it looked like he might retain at a few different points, but I don’t think the crowd was that interested in him. The crowd didn’t like him that much. Rusev winning after he “injured” Kalisto and then finishing him with the Accolade put over Rusev strong. That’s what they needed to do with him. I’m 3-0 in predictions so far with the heels dominating at this point.
A commercial aired for Shane McMahon talking to Mick Foley on a “podcast” on WWE Network tomorrow after Raw May 23. Podcast or video interview? Call it what you want.
They showed a clip of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie that is in theatres on June 3. WWE star Sheamus is in the movie as Rocksteady.
The New Day entered for the Tag Team Title match.
Xavier Woods complained about how The Vaudevillains destroyed the time machine. Big E said it was just an empty refrigerator box. Woods said “ladies and gentle-ladies” while saying his Twitter DMs are still open. He welcomed people to try to console him. Big E tried to get him to stop, so Woods said “let me shoot my shot” and the crowd cheered that. Fans chanted “New Day Rocks” for them. Kofi Kingston, who was holding a Booty O cereal, said that Big E was holding English and Gotch. It was actually a couple of garden hoes with Big E saying they were going to put some hoes in the ground since they are in the Garden State. They ended it with their “New Day Rocks” trombone playing leading to the crowd playing.
Analysis: As always a solid promo by the champs. Their face promos are still good although I liked the heel promos more because making fun of the crowd or city is fun. The “let me shoot my shot” bit was funny. It worked better than they probably thought it would.
WWE Tag Team Titles: Big E & Xavier Woods (w/Kofi Kingston) vs. Aiden English & Simon Gotch
It’s normally Big E & Kingston for the champs, but Woods gets a shot now. English started with Woods and Woods bumped to the floor, so the heels took control early on. English with a back elbow as Cole mentioned English was a trained actor that even performed on Broadway. Saxton tried to tell us that they lived this way 24 hours a day. Gotch had Woods in a headlock. Woods nearly broke free and then he hit an enziguri kick to create some space. Hot tag to Big E against English. Belly to belly time by Big E with three of them to English and one to Gotch. Big splash for Big E. He does that move better than anybody. I know it’s just a basic splash, but he elevates a lot. With English on the apron, Big E charged and English got his knee up to knock him down. English hit a sweet DDT like move. Tag to Woods. Gotch sent Big E into the steps. English knocked down Kingston on the floor. Gotch and English had Woods in their corner as they hit the Whirling Dervish forearm into a neckbreaker finisher only for Woods to kick out at two. Both Vaudevillains were shocked. Cole put it over saying nobody kicks out of that. Woods boot to the face of Gotch. Big E hit a Spear on English on the apron that sent them both to the floor. Kingston got in a cheap kick on Gotch. The ref didn’t see it. Woods nailed a running knee to the face for the win after seven minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The New Day
It looked like Big E may have hurt his arm a bit on that spot the floor. Hopefully it’s nothing serious.
Analysis: ** The champs retain as expected. They built up the spot well with The Vaudevillains hitting the Whirling Dervish finisher. Woods kicking out of it drew a good reaction. Big E did an excellent job after the hot tag. Those suplexes were great. Love the spear through the ropes as well. Woods getting the win was awesome because he’s not in their matches that often. The guy has a lot of talent too. Give him more of a shot. I think New Day will feud with Gallows & Anderson soon. I’m 4-0 on predictions so far.
AJ Styles was backstage as Renee Young asked about Anderson and Gallows possibly interfering. Styles said he’ll walk out as WWE Champion and he’ll continue to be phenomenal. Styles walked into a dressing room that said “The Club” on it.
A commercial aired for Money in the Bank on June 19. It’s one of my favorites PPVs of the year.
Kevin Owens entered first for the IC Title match while Cole noted that Owens has appeared in every pay-per-view in his first year and is the only guy to do that. He said Undertaker did it as well, but JBL pointed out that Undertaker didn’t have a match at SummerSlam 1991 in his first year. Cesaro, Zayn and Miz were out next. JBL told Saxton to shut up when The Miz walked out. That was funny.
WWE Intercontinental Title: The Miz (w/Maryse) vs. Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn
In a four way match it's first fall gets the win. I think Maryse looks tremendous. Just want to get that out there. Zayn hit a Helluva Kick on Owens as soon as the bell rang with KO rolling to the floor. Cesaro hit an uppercut shot on Miz to send him out of the ring. Cesaro faced off with Zayn as they reminded us of how great they are together. Look up their NXT matches from two years ago. Miz sent Cesaro out of the ring and Zayn sent Miz to the floor too. Zayn with a somersault dive over the top to the floor to take out both guys. They looked like they were setting up the Tower of Doom corner spot, but Owens broke it up by knocking Miz to the floor and then he sent Cesaro into the ring post. Owens with a huge clothesline to Zayn followed by a hard kick to the back. Owens with a senton splash on Zayn gets two. Owens punched Miz off the apron to send him into the barricade. Owens tossed Zayn into Cesaro on the apron. When Zayn was on the top rope, Owens tripped him up. Owens was on the top rope with Miz and Zayn trying for a suplex, so Cesaro showed up with a Powerbomb on two guys for the Tower of Doom spot. That led to some nearfalls for Cesaro. Zayn with a Blue Thunder Bomb on Cesaro, Miz kicked Zayn and Miz got a couple of nearfalls. Miz with an exploder suplex on Zayn, Cesaro grabbed Miz for a German so it was a double suplex spot. Fans chanted “This is Awesome” for them.
Cesaro was on fire doing uppercuts on all three guys as they were all standing up against turnbuckles. Owens with a German Suplex on Cesaro. Owens with a clothesline on Miz, a cannonball on Cesaro, a cannonball on Miz and a cannonball on Zayn too. Zayn avoided the Popup Powerbomb and hit a Tiger Suplex on Owens. Cesaro sent Zayn out of the ring after a huge uppercut. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Cesaro for a two count. Miz was my pick to win and I thought that was it, but Cesaro was able to kick out to keep it going. Cesaro with a springboard corkscrew uppercut on Miz. Cesaro did the Cesaro Swing spot with the crowd counting how many spins: 20. Cesaro applied the Sharpshooter on Miz. Miz reached the rope, but it doesn’t cause a break in a four way. Maryse was in the ring and the ref got her out of there. Miz tapped, but the ref didn’t see it so Cesaro was screwed out of the win. Owens with a rollup on Cesaro gets two. Owens with a Six Star Frog Splash on Miz as he was against the ropes being held by Cesaro. Cesaro came back with a Neutralizer on Owens that Zayn broke up. Zayn came back with a sunset flip into a quick Powerbomb for a two count. What an incredible move that was. The replay of it was even better. Cesaro crushed Zayn with an uppercut. Zayn hit an exploder suplex on Cesaro into the corner. Owens back in the ring with a Superkick on Zayn and then Owens hit a Popup Powerbomb on Cesaro. Miz broke up the pin. Owens sent Miz into the barricade. Maryse yelled at Owens, which allowed Miz to come back with a Skull Crushing Finale on Owens on the floor. Miz tried to cover Cesaro, but it was only good for two. The crowd gave them a standing ovation with loud “yes” chants. All four guys were down. Miz went to attack Cesaro. Zayn with a Helluva Kick on Cesaro, but Owens yanked Zayn out of the ring. Oh man that drew massive heat. Zayn was angry and went after Owens on the floor with Zayn throwing Owens into the barricade. Miz slid in to the ring, covered Cesaro and that was enough for the win after 20 minutes. Zayn crawled back into the ring right after the fall.
Winner by pinfall: The Miz
Post match, Miz was exhausted as he celebrated the win. Zayn was so frustrated by the loss. Miz got a kiss from Maryse for the win. Cole put the match over as a Match of the Year contender.
Analysis: ****1/2 Wow that was an outstanding match. I had high hopes for the match, but they even exceeded what I thought they would do just because they built up the nearfalls so well. It looked like any of them could win at different points in the match. It’s hard to really go over everything here, but I think it’s pretty telling when the crowd stands on their feet to give them a standing ovation during the match. Those guys all earned it. Give a lot of credit to Zayn, Cesaro and Owens for being three of the best guys in WWE while Miz isn’t at their level all the time, but he showed he is good enough to be part of something special. The big spot was Zayn about to get the win, Owens breaks him out of the ring and Zayn loses his mind because Owens is a thorn in his side again. Great storytelling with those two being involved in that way. Miz getting the stolen pin was the right way to go because he’s better with the title while the other three guys should be factors in the Money in the Bank match. I highly recommend you check out that match if you missed it because it’s one of the best of the year. I don’t think a lot of people picked Miz to win, but I did so I’m 5-0 in the predictions so far. One of the best WWE matches of the year, but Nakamura vs. Zayn is the leader in that category. For main roster, this might be first at this point.
The PPV Kickoff panel of Renee Young, Jerry Lawler, Booker T and Corey Graves talked about the show. They showed clips of action from the Kickoff Show.
Ambrose vs. Jericho video package aired. RIP Mitch and RIP jacket.
Chris Jericho with his scarf made his entrance. He’s not wearing his regular trunks. He’s wearing jean shorts because it’s more of a fight.
Asylum Match: Chris Jericho vs. Dean Ambrose
There’s a black cage surrounding the ring with weapons on top of the cage. You can only win by pinfall or submission.
Ambrose was the aggressor early on as he tossed Jericho into the cage. JBL said that Jimmy Hoffa’s buried somewhere in New Jersey and he wishes Saxton was too. He’s so friendly. Ambrose tossed Jericho into the cage again. Ambrose tried to climb, but Jericho threw him down. Jericho grabbed a mop, Ambrose took it from him, hit him with the mop stick and Ambrose hit him in the ear with the mop. Ambrose hit Jericho in the back with the mop stick. Ambrose put the mop in Jericho’s face to piss him off. Jericho hit a missile dropkick for a two count. Jericho hit Ambrose in the head with the mop. Jericho climbed up for the barb wire bat, but Ambrose stopped him and Ambrose hit a back suplex off the top rope. Ambrose climbed up to get some nunchucks while Jericho got the barb wire bat. Ambrose won that battle as he knocked Jericho down with the nunchucks. Jericho climbed up the cage again and Jericho tried to climb out. Ambrose went after him. Jericho grabbed a kendo stick. Jericho hit Ambrose in the back of a couple of times, which sent Ambrose to the mat. Jericho beat on Ambrose with the kendo stick. Jericho grabbed a leather strap. Jericho hit Ambrose in the back with the strap a few times. Those straps always have a good sound, so they work well as weapons. Ambrose was able to come back by grabbing the strap while tossing Jericho off the middle ropes.
Ambrose nailed Jericho in the back with the strap. Ambrose hit him several more times. Jericho sent Ambrose into the cage. Jericho told the ref to open the door, but the ref said it stays locked for this match. Jericho called the ref an idiot. The wrestlers exchanged punches on the top rope, then Ambrose crotched Jericho on the top rope. Jericho talked to him on camera, but I couldn’t make out what he said. Ambrose took down the fire extinguisher. Jericho went for the straitjacket and pulled it down. Jericho tossed the jacket on Ambrose and Jericho hit an enziguri for a two count. Jericho put the straitjacket on Ambrose although he wasn’t able to lock it in. Ambrose was able to fight back with some forearm smashes and his bounce off the ropes clothesline for two. This crowd has been quiet for much of the match. Jericho hit a backbreaker for two. Ambrose with a bulldog. Jericho went after Ambrose on the ropes, but Ambrose was able to knock him down. Ambrose went to the top of the cage and hit a flying elbow attack on Jericho, who was standing in the ring. That gets a two count. The crowd barely reacted to the nearfall after a cage dive. Ambrose got a mop bucket that was above the ring. Ambrose had a black bag and he dumped the contents in the ring – thumbtacks. Jericho tried to leave. Ambrose put Jericho on his shoulder and Jericho rolled through for a nearfall. Ambrose teased slamming Jericho on the tacks, but Jericho kept fighting back. Jericho sent Ambrose face first into the cage. Jericho goes for the Lionsault, but Ambrose blocked it with his knees up. Jericho came back with the Walls of Jericho. Ambrose got out of that. Jericho sprayed him in the face with the fire extinguisher and hit a Codebreaker for two. Jericho hit Ambrose in the ribs with the barb wire bat two times. Jericho went for another Codebreaker, Ambrose caught him and Ambrose slammed him back first into the thumbtacks. Huge ovation for that. The crowd was waiting for it for several minutes. Ambrose hit the Dirty Deeds DDT on some of the thumbtacks for the win after 27 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Dean Ambrose
Post match, Jericho had the tacks in his back and arms. There was blood. Ambrose was able to limp away as the winner. If you’re wondering, nobody used the potted plant that was there as a weapon.
Analysis: *1/2 I was bored by this match. So was the crowd. It was a below average match that went too long and the crowd wasn’t that interested in it. It was not the great match that I expected it to be. I like both guys a lot and their last match at Payback was great – it’s just a case of the gimmick match not working. The weapons they used just didn’t work that well. The crowd was pretty lethargic for much of the match. Maybe it’s because any match that followed the 4-way match was going to get a bad reaction, but I don’t think the crowd was into this that much. The only thing that really led to a big reaction was when Jericho was slammed onto the thumbtacks. The crowd loved seeing that. If this was 15 minutes instead of 27 minutes they would have had a better match. It wouldn’t shock me if they don’t do another Asylum Match for a very long time. This didn’t work because some of the weapons came off as comedy spots instead of being a violent match. I went with Ambrose for the win as did most people, so 6-0 on predictions so far.
A video aired showing some WWE Network shows coming soon. They showed The Foley Family at ringside because there’s a “Holy Foley” show coming to WWE Network.
A video package aired for the Women’s Title match.
They did the big in-ring intros for the women. Both Natalya and Charlotte looking great.
Submission Match for the WWE Women’s Title: Charlotte vs. Natalya
No Ric Flair at ringside because he’s been banned. You can only win by submission. The ref is John Cone so no Charles Robinson screwjob here.
Natalya was aggressive early on as she applied a leglock, but the Charlotte came back with a STF like hold. Natalya with a back suplex using the ropes for an assist and then a running dropkick. Natalya did the surfboard submission on Charlotte. Always a cool looking spot. Natalya with a discus clothesline sent Charlotte outside the ring. Charlotte came back with some huge chops on the floor. Back in the ring, boot to the face by Charlotte. Charlotte went for a figure four, but Natalya applied an armbar as JBL called her Natalya Hart even though it’s Natalya Neidhart. Charlotte broke the armbar by picking her up and hitting a powerbomb. Charlotte worked on the legs of Natalya with a leglock submission move that Natalya was able to break with the ropes. Charlotte with a suplex that sent Natalya’s legs into the ropes. Charlotte went to the top rope and hit a Moonsault. It looked like she wanted to pin, but no pins here. Charlotte applied a half crab. Natalya was able to get out of that. Natalya hit a German Suplex. Natalya with the Sharpshooter. The crowd got into it now. Charlotte was able to get to the ropes. Natalya was able to drag Charlotte back into the ring still in the Sharpshooter. Ric Flair’s music played. There was somebody in the Ric Flair robe. It was Dana Brooke. Natalya sent Charlotte out of the ring. Brooke was on the apron. Natalya went after her. Charlotte attacked from behind. Charlotte applied the Figure Eight submission on Natalya and Natalya tapped out after about 12 minutes.
Winner by submission: Charlotte
Post match, Charlotte celebrated with Brooke. Ric Flair walked down to ringside to celebrate with them.
Analysis: **1/2 That was a solid match from the ladies with another finish that was groan inducing. I'm just tired of the babyface women consistently booked like idiots and usually losing these matches due to a disqualification. I think not being able to do nearfalls hurt them a lot because the crowd wasn’t into it as much as they might normally react to things. I thought Natalya should have had more offense because she really didn’t do much before setting up the Sharpshooters spot. As for the Brooke involvement, I didn’t see it coming. Now that Emma’s out for the rest of the year most likely after back surgery it seems like they want to pair Brooke with Charlotte. I’m okay with it because they are both heels. I actually thought Charlotte would win clean. This would mean they might do this match again although I’m not sure what the plan is going forward. I think Sasha Banks will win the Women’s Title by SummerSlam. In terms of predictions, I’m 7-0 with one match left.
Another Camp WWE commercial. They are really pushing this show.
Video package aired for the main event.
AJ Styles entered first. Huge reaction and an ovation for him. Roman Reigns got his usual mixed reaction. They got the in-ring intros.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Extreme Rules Match: Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles
Since it’s an Extreme Rules match, all weapons are allowed and there are no disqualifications and no countouts. The match begins at 10:30pmET so they should get 20-25 minutes.
They brawled it out early on. Some fans chanting “you can’t wrestle” at Reigns. That’s a dumb chant. Reigns hit a flying knee attack on Styles to send Styles out of the ring. That was a surprising move, but it worked. The crowd chanted “Ro-man Sucks” to the New Day chant. Of course the announcers don’t put the chant over. Reigns had a chair. He was able to send Styles into the barricade. Styles avoided an attack as Reigns swung the chair and hit the steps with it. Styles gave Reigns a clothesline that sent him into the crowd. Styles and Reigns brawled into the crowd. The cameras followed them as they went to the set where the Kickoff Panel was. Reigns tossed Styles onto the glass table. Styles came back with a kick to the face followed by a Phenomenal Forearm attack. They went back to the ringside area. Styles sent Reigns into the top of the barricade at ringside. Styles took off the mat by ringside to expose the concrete. Styles wanted the Styles Clash, but Reigns fought out of it with a punch. Reigns cleared off the German announce table. Styles fought out of a Powerbomb attempt by punching Reigns in the face repeatedly. There’s a “You’re An Idiot” sign in the crowd. Who? You. Reigns with a punch sent Styles over the barricade. Styles charged at Reigns, which was a mistake because Reigns hit a back body drop that sent Styles crashing through the English announce table – that’s the table in the middle of the three at ringside. That's a huge bump with a lot of height on it. I think fans were chanting “you still suck” at Reigns. They went into the ring where Reigns covered for two.
Reigns picked up Styles, put him above his shoulders Razor’s Edge style and then into a sitout Powerbomb for two. When Reigns tried a Spear attempt, Styles did a shoulder tackle in the knee to take Reigns down. Styles with a suplex into the turnbuckle. Styles attacked Reigns outside the ring, Reigns caught him, slammed him into the side of the ring and into the barricade. Then Reigns gave Styles a Powerbomb through the Spanish announce table. He launched him into it. Another huge bump for Styles. Reigns went for a Spear outside the ring, but Styles moved and Reigns went crashing through the barricade at ringside. Fans were chanting for Styles while some were chanting for Reigns. Styles went to the top rope for the forearm, but Reigns caught him with a Superman Punch. Styles took a hard fall to land on the floor. That was nasty. With Styles on the floor, Reigns nailed him with a huge Spear on the floor. Reigns was selling his knee injury, which is good.
Reigns rolled Styles into the ring. Here come Gallows & Anderson. They nailed the Boot of Doom double team move on Reigns. Anderson put Styles on Reigns for a two count. The Usos ran out and they hit superkicks on both Anderson and Gallows. Double superkick on Styles. Another superkick on Styles. Superfly Splash by one of the Usos on Styles. They put Reigns on top of Styles and that’s good for a two count. Anderson back in the ring. Reigns with a Superman Punch for Anderson and then a Superman Punch for Gallows on the apron. Styles hit a boot to the face to counter the Spear. Styles Clash connects. Styles covers for one…two…no. Reigns kicks out. The crowd was mad about that. Reigns hit a back body drop to back out of another Styles Clash attempt with Styles’ leg hitting the chair. When Reigns went for a Superman Punch, Styles hit a Pele Kick on him. Styles hit a Styles Clash on the chair. One of the Usos pulled Styles off from the cover, Styles kicked him away, covered again and got two. Basically it was a way to delay the pinfall a bit setting up the kickout by Reigns. Reigns had the steel chair in his hand. He nailed both Usos with it multiple times. Styles hit Reigns with the chair as well. He probably did about ten total chair shots there. He was going wild with the chair shots. Styles went to the apron, jumped up for the Phenomenal Forearm attack, but Reigns caught him with a Spear and Reigns covered for the win after 22 minutes. Boos from the crowd as the champ retains.
Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns
Analysis: ****1/4 That was great. I loved the intensity of the match, the big spots they did that worked really well and Styles took some huge bumps. The two table bumps plus that nasty Spear on the floor looked like they hurt a lot. Then there was that fall from the top to the floor that may have been the most painful at all. I thought Reigns did a pretty good job of selling the knee injury although he probably could have done it a bit more. The interference by G&A as well as The Usos was pretty obvious before the match started, but I thought the spots they did really worked. There were nearfalls because of the interference. Nothing wrong with that. That final spot was awesome looking. It’s not easy to jump off the top ropes and drill a guy with a perfect Spear, but they timed it perfectly. If there’s a complaint then it’s the fact that Styles hit the Styles Clash twice (second time on a chair) and Reigns was able to kick out both times. For the second one there was slight distraction caused by an Uso. Basically this the same sort of “Superman” booking we see from WWE’s top faces all the time whether it’s John Cena, Steve Austin, The Rock, Hulk Hogan or Reigns. That’s just how it’s always going to be. It does hurt Styles a bit that he could hit Reigns with two finishers and multiple chair shots, yet he wasn't able to win. Reigns hit him with a Spear and that was enough for the win. Granted, Styles did take a beating prior to that with some huge bumps including two table bumps, a nasty bump on the floor and a Spear on the floor. Since I picked Reigns (like most people), I went 8-0 in my predictions. Hope you bet on what I picked!
Reigns posed with the WWE Title in the ring. Seth Rollins ran to the ring (no music)! He nailed Reigns with a Pedigree. Crowd going wild! Yes! This is great! Rollins slowly grabbed the WWE Title and held it up in the air. The show went off the air with Rollins holding up the WWE Title that he never lost. Awesome ending.
Analysis: There was news earlier in the day that Rollins was backstage and that he could show up. I’m glad it happened because he was the best performer in WWE the last two years. He was my Wrestler of the Year both years. His presence will certainly help. Is he a face or a heel? I would think they’ll just use him as a face similar to the way Styles was a face against Reigns. It would be dumb to try to get the crowd to boo him. The response for him was really cool. In case you forgot, he tore his ACL/MCL/meniscus in his knee last November. Seven months later here he is. Welcome back Seth.
Will they jump right into Rollins vs. Reigns at Money in the Bank? Maybe. Remember that was the Survivor Series main event, so it would make a lot of sense. I think they’ll have to do Rollins vs. Triple H at some point soon. That would make sense anyway. There are a lot of options. I’m excited to see where things are headed.
Five Stars of the Show
1. AJ Styles – Took so many big bumps. What an amazing performance.
2. Sami Zayn
3. Kevin Owens
5. (tie) The Miz
5. (tie) Roman Reigns
Welcome back Seth. I would put him here, but the other six deserve it. I’m sure Seth will find his way back in the stars spot soon.
It gets a 7 out of 10 from me.
That’s a good score, but it wasn’t the PPV of the year like I thought it might be. The midcard matches weren’t as exciting as I had hoped with that Ambrose/Jericho match running too long. The finish of the women’s match wasn’t something I liked much either.
It’s pretty obvious that the two highlights were the IC Title and WWE Title matches. I gave the nod to the IC Title match as the better of the two as you can see by my ratings, but both of them were fantastic wrestling matches. The main event had the luxury of more weapons being used, bigger spots and the run-ins leading to believable nearfalls. I think the IC Title was better as a pure match.
The show was predictable at least to me because I went 8-0 with my predictions. There weren’t any surprises in that regard. I don’t think it really hurts the show, though. I just wish some of the finishes were better and if they shaved off 10 minutes from Jericho/Ambrose to give to other matches it may have helped.
Lastly, the ending with Rollins was well done. They didn't really mention him on WWE TV, so it was a nice surprise for most fans watching. Here's hoping he never gets hurt again.
WWE PPV Rankings In 2016 So Far
Payback - 7.5
Royal Rumble - 7.5
Extreme Rules - 7
WrestleMania 32 - 6
Fastlane - 6
That’s all for now. Back with the Raw Deal on Tuesday (I won’t see it live due to Raptors game) and then Smackdown on Friday.
Thanks for reading. Go Raptors.
John Canton – firstname.lastname@example.org