We’ve got a new Intercontinental Champion, new Tag-Team Champions, and a man worthy of facing Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title, at Great Ball of Fire… But what else happened at this years Extreme Rules?
Apollo Crews vs Kalisto (Extreme Rules Kick-off Show)
Result: Kalisto wins via pinfall
Thoughts: Well that was better than I think any of us expected?! High paced, explosive and a lot of fun – these two men proved why they were given this time. Sure, it was a throwaway match on a kick-off show but it told a decent enough story. It allowed Kalisto to pick up a win whilst also making us care about Apollo after being screamed at by his ‘coach’ throughout the entire match. Unexpectedly good start to the night.
Dean Ambrose vs The Miz (WWE Intercontinental Title Match)
Result: The Miz wins via pinfall
Thoughts: That ending was really, really weird but awesome and I don’t think anyone is complaining. Miz managed to get a clean win over Dean, kinda, and the Intercontinental Title is back in the right arms again. Now- only Chris Jericho has held the IC Title more but I hope that record doesn’t get broken; as I want Miz to hold that belt for years. He has done more for that title than anyone in recent years and it’s great he has it back. The match told a very simple story – the IT couple were constantly trying to get Ambrose disqualified and Dean was fighting against a broken system. This was probably the best match the two have had and I eagerly await the rematch. The referee, John Cone, played his part absolutely perfectly as well. Good start to the main card.
Noam Dar & Alicia Fox vs Sasha Banks & Rich Swann
Result: Sasha Banks & Rich Swann
Thoughts: Noam Dar lost to a man in his hometown. If you know anything about WWE – you know he’s completely dead in the water. The match was just a showcase for Banks and Swann. Two people who we know their talent and ability are amazing so why was this a match? I’m not saying this from a negative standpoint on the four involved. I am huge fans of literally everyone in the match and the disappointment comes purely from a place of want – I WANT everyone who was just featured to be put into credible storylines. This just, sadly, wasn’t it.
Elias Sampson’s Song
Thoughts: This was outstanding. Garnered proper heat, was honestly entertaining and he can actually play the guitar which helps. I was never a fan of The Drifter in NXT; It just did nothing for me in the way it was handled. However- I adore it on the main roster. He arrives at the perfect time and never stays for too long. A foreboding warning to whoever the winner of the main event may be and made sure the people he wanted to boo him- booed. Only criticism; I kept thinking he was going to play Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd. That would have been awesome.
Alexa Bliss vs Bayley – Kendo Stick on a pole match (Raw Woman’s Title Match)
Result: Alexa Bliss via Pinfall
Thoughts: What…what even was that?! Got just over five minutes, there were so many unanswered questions and the match was a complete let down. If one of the women used ANOTHER Kendo Stick, would they be disqualified? Why, logically, wouldn’t Bayley use the weapon as soon as she got it? I hate this story of ‘Bayley is a child whilst all the other competitors are women’. It completely buries, debatably, the most over NXT Woman’s champion in history and does nothing for Bliss when she ends up defeating her. Incredibly, incredibly poor.
The Hardy Boyz vs Sheamus and Cesaro – Steel Cage Match (Raw Tag Team Title Match)
(Result: Sheamus and Cesaro escape the cage first)
Thoughts: That is EXACTLY how you book a steel cage match. The brutality thanks to the constant barrage of men hitting steel, the intricate storytelling of Matt being left himself until Jeff couldn’t take it anymore and then the frantic race to escape by both teams= magic. The crowd reaction whenever anyone moved even halfway up the cage showed how invested they really were and we all felt the same at home. It’s obviously always awesome to see Jeff jump off of high things but when there is story attached to it – it makes it even better. Sheamus and Cesaro are the correct choice to have win; it allows the Hardyz to chase the titles which is always more entertaining and then it allows debatably the most entertaining tag team, apart from the Fashion Police, in WWE to be given the limelight. Bloody brilliant.
Neville vs Austin Aries – Submission Match (Cruiserweight Match)
Result: Neville wins via submission
Thoughts: So apparently, you can be counted out and disqualified in a, and I quote Mr Michael Cole, ‘match that will only be decided by a submission’? While the match rules were confusing- both Neville and Aries put on a show for a crowd that couldn’t have cared less. Both are two of the best workers and the chemistry they have together is completely evident in the finish- which was incredibly creative and made Neville look like a machine. The correct decision is to have Neville retain as he is fantastic but where do both men go from here? Potentially…to lesser feuds. A side note – it’s infuriating to see the way crowds react to Cruiserweight matches; especially one of that quality. Pay attention.
Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt vs Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor vs Samoa Joe (No.1 Contenders Match for the Universal Title)
Result: Samoa Joe
Thoughts: This was fantastic. Utterly, utterly mental and captivating for the entirety of the match. The early partnership between Wyatt and Joe, the tirade Finn went on, Rollins looking superhuman, Reigns destroying everyone and then Samoa Joe making Finn pass out. It had literally everything you could want; blood, weapons, fantastic wrestling and brilliant storytelling. The fact that we will now be getting Brock Lesnar vs Samoa Joe in just over a month – a match so many people would think we’d never see; is the icing on the cake.
While this match had multiple already made stars – literally everyone looked good as a result of this. Roman is constantly criticised for not being a good wrestler; this match proves all those who say that are wrong. Many have feared that Balor would be rusty since he returned, however, those worries were put to bed. Wyatt looked dominant. Rollins looked like he was running on 10000% energy and Joe looked like…a Destroyer. Fantastic main event and, even though there were many issues with the PPV, it made the fans and viewers at home happy which is exactly what should be happening. Brilliant.