Extreme Rules is billed as the one night of the year that WWE gets Extreme and it seems that WWE managed to live up to the hype. There were some fantastic matches on display in Baltimore, Maryland last night with two Championships changing hands and a new number one contender being crowned.
There was an Extreme Rules match as the main event between five of the biggest stars on Monday Night Raw right now and it seems that WWE chose the right winner with Samoa Joe walking out with the victory.
The other extreme matches included a steel cage encounter between The Hardys and Cesaro and Sheamus with the Tag Team Championships on the line and a Kendo Stick-On-A-Pole match between Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss and former Champion Bayley as they hoped to end their feud.
As with many WWE pay-per-views, the company has made many positive strides moving forward but at the same time, the company seems to have taken a few steps back with certain feuds.
Here are ten things that WWE got right at this year’s Extreme Rules event and on the flip side, the five things that the company managed to get right.
15. Wrong: Kendo-Stick-On-A-Pole Rules
Alexa Bliss defended her Raw Women’s Championship against Bayley in what was a Kendo-Stick-On-A-Pole match, meaning that the only legal object that can be used in the match is the kendo stick. The rules state that the person who takes the stick down is then able to use it, but it seems these rules went out the window on the night.
It was Bayley who took the kendo stick down but it was Alexa who ended up picking it up and using it. Since the use of weapons except the specified kendo stick would be a disqualification, why wasn’t this a disqualification? This was Bayley’s perfect chance to get extreme and it seems that she just didn’t have it in her and WWE changed the rules for Alexa so she could take advantage.
14. Wrong: Kick-Off Show Matches
WWE had announced six matches for Extreme Rules up until Sunday morning when they realized that there couldn’t be an hour long pre-show without a match, so they brought in Titus O’Neal along with Apollo Crews to represent the Titus Brand against Kalisto.
It was a very good match between two men who have a lot of technical ability and a match that shouldn’t have been relegated to a place on a pre-show. It is a match that has been stuck in a bad storyline rotation, and both Apollo and Kalisto deserve better. The match should have been announced much sooner to give the WWE Universe the time to find out and be aware that there was a match on the show.
13. Right: Alexa Bliss Retained The Women’s Championship
The Raw Women’s Championship has been something of a hot potato ever since Raw became a brand on its own almost a year ago, but thankfully it seems that WWE learned their lesson and are finally allowing Alexa to have a lengthy run with the Championship.
It wouldn’t have made any sense to have Alexa drop the title back to Bayley last night, so at least that was one thing that WWE ensured happened despite the odd stipulation and the fact that the match definitely wasn’t up there as one of the better ones last night. The feud between the duo is expected to continue though, although Nia Jax is still lurking in the background and waiting.
12. Wrong: Lengthy Video Packages That Are Then Repeated
WWE’s kickoff show is shown on YouTube and on Facebook live now and the company has realized that they can use it as one final push at advertising the show. They seem to want to put all of the video packages, no matter how lengthy they are, into the show and then force the WWE Universe to watch them all over again when the show actually starts.
It is understandable that WWE is still trying to promote their product throughout the preshow, it is just sad that fans that are watching both the preshow and the main show are forced to watch the same thing many times over. The preshow needs to become something more so that it’s worth watching since many people skip it now.
11. Wrong: No Braun Strowman?
It would have been a fantastic moment last night if Roman Reigns was about to win the match like much of the WWE Universe predicted only for Braun Strowman to run out of the crowd and shout “I’m not finished with you yet!”
Obviously, Braun has recently had surgery and it is unknown to the WWE Universe as to what condition the former Wyatt Family member is currently in physically, but doing a few moves on Roman could easily have fit around his physical condition. WWE managed to make the best of Braun’s injury by making this match but it could have been made so much better with a little creativity.
10. Right: Extreme Level Spots
Last night was Extreme Rules and that means that you have to lift the wrestling to the next level and there have to be extreme level spots throughout. It seems that once again it was Jeff Hardy and Seth Rollins who pulled out their moves when it was needed.
Jeff Hardy hit Whisper in the Wind from the top of a steel cage as a way to save his brother, but it seems that instead it cost his team the match and their Championships, while Seth hit an incredible frog splash across onto the announcer table onto Bray Wyatt, something that, in the grand scheme of things, probably ended up costing Rollins the match. Extreme spots are the most memorable moments of the night, but sometimes they are not worth the pain the superstars causes themselves.
9. Wrong: Pre-Show Interviews Were Shocking
Has Jeff Hardy always been bad at interviews or is it a new thing? The Hardyz talked to Charley Caruso before their match with Cesaro and Sheamus and it seems that both men forgot how to act during a professional interview.
It was mentioned by many people on social media as well that both men seemed awkward and uncomfortable. It just didn’t feel right all the way through and there was a sigh of relief when it was actually over. David Otunga made his return to the panel last night next to Sam Roberts who made David look just as bad as he has always been. How does this man still have a job?
8. Wrong: The Steel Cage Match Was A Shambles
WWE changed the rules of the Steel Cage Tag Team Championship to state that the only way to win was for both members of the team to get out of the cage. This allowed the match to have a few good high spots and there was a lot of slow motion climbing before Jeff Hardy managed to climb out of the cage and leave his brother to the wolves.
Hardy was taken down by a double White Noise off the top rope and Jeff decided he needed to help so he made the choice to get back into the ring by hitting a Whisper In The Wind off the top of the cage. This move took more out of Jeff and he was unable to be dragged out of the cage before Sheamus and Cesaro jumped, so they were then announced as the winners and the new Champions.
7. Right: Mixed Tag Match Worked Well
There is always room on the card for a mixed tag match, especially if it works as well as the one between Sasha Banks, Rich Swann, Noam Dar, and Alicia Fox. It seems that these four stars have become well acquainted with each other over the past few weeks and actually managed to put on a very good show.
Sasha and Rich predictably walked out with the win in Swann’s hometown, but the match itself was well structured and Rich pulled off a great Phoenix Splash to secure the win for his team before the duo once again danced for the audience to Swann’s upbeat theme song.
6. Wrong: Enzo Amore’s Storyline Wasn’t Continued
Enzo Amore and Big Cass were not featured at Extreme Rules at all last night, which is strange considering they are one of the faces on the advert for Great Balls Of Fire in five weeks time. Over the past few weeks, Enzo has been the subject of two different attacks and it is currently unknown who the person is attacking the voice of the team.
There are many rumours that link the assault with Big Cass but that is yet to be confirmed even though it seems that WWE has dropped many hints. Last night would have been the perfect place to continue this, but it seems WWE instead decided to allow both men to have the night off instead.
5. Wrong: No Interference In Dean Ambrose Vs The Miz
Whenever there is a stipulation that a DQ will cause a title change, it is obvious that there won’t be a DQ in the matches. Maryse really should have been banned from ringside since Kurt Angle is a face GM so he shouldn’t have allowed a heel to have so much advantage to begin with.
The match ending was a bit messy, with the referee looking as though he was about to DQ Dean Ambrose after The Miz pushed the former Champion into the official. The ending was a straight forward affair after all, though, with Miz hitting the Skull Crushing Finale to walk out a seven-time Champion. There was no interference of any kind and Maryse was hardly even used. It feels like it was an opportunity wasted.
4. Right: Neville Versus Austin Aries
The match of the night has to go to the men from 205 Live as they collided in a hard-fought submission match that saw Austin Aries lock in The Last Chancery and have Neville actually tap but it was on the outside so it didn’t actually count. Aries also locked in Neville’s own finishing move in a bid to embarrass him too, but that also failed.
Neville took the advantage and hit a Red Arrow onto the back of Aries to then lock in The Rings of Saturn to win their match and presumably end a feud that has engulfed the Cruiserweight Division for the past few months. After that match last night, if WWE can find a way to prolong the feud then the WWE Universe would happily watch that all over again.
3. Wrong: What Was Elias Samson Doing?
It was thought that Elias Samson would be the one who interfered in Dean Ambrose’s match with The Miz to get him disqualified after The Miz attacked him in his debut match on Raw. After it didn’t happen, fans thought that maybe WWE didn’t want to bring him to Baltimore for a few second cameo, but then they decided to allow him to sing a song to the crowd instead.
The character of Elias Samson is still in his early days on the main roster and many of the WWE Universe are unsure of what is actually going to happen for him in the future, but if the last few weeks are anything to go by, he is set to become one of the strangest stars in the company.
2. Wrong: No Backstage Segments All Night
With the exception of the preshow, WWE didn’t have a single backstage segment all night. Instead, they opted to show adverts for John Cena‘s new TV show called American Grit and the embarrassing advert for Great Balls Of Fire a few times.
Usually, when The Cruiserweight Match happens, there needs to be a backstage segment while the ropes are changed back to the red ones, but there was no need last night. Kurt Angle made an appearance on the kickoff show panel and said everything he needed to say so there wasn’t any interviews or buildups that needed to happen backstage, which was slightly odd.
1. Right: Samoa Joe Versus Brock Lesnar
WWE have done a like for like swap with Braun Strowman’s injury costing him the chance to face The Beast, and it seems that Samoa Joe was the perfect replacement. It was an incredible fatal-five way main event match that had everything for everyone with all five stars having completely different styles, but it was Joe who came out on top.
The thought of a match between someone who is referred to as Triple H‘s Destroyer and a man that had left destruction in his wake for the past few years is a mouthwatering prospect and it is probably the best option that WWE had moving into the next pay-per-view so that the company didn’t have to change all the plans they already had.