WWE “Extreme” Rules

Look, I get that we can’t have ECW-levels of violence anymore, but this was just a regular PPV, with a couple of goofy gimmicks. I don’t want to see people getting their foreheads cheesegratered off anymore — I’m not eight. But I do want to see some meaningful storytelling that implements the use of weaponry — because I am twenty-five.

Let’s do this.

The pre-show has a rematch from Smackdown between Almas and Sin Cara, which is basically move for move the same match, including an Almas win. It was good, but the TV one was better. B-

Then New Day took on SAniTy in a Tables match, in what ended up being one of the more violent matches of the entire night. It’s good that the chaotic faction won the match, but this feud deserves more screen time, and longer matches, and more Nikki Cross. C+

The main show begins with The B Team getting an upset victory over Wyatt and Hardy, to capture tag-team gold. This is your Raw tag-team division folks. Smackdown really swept up the best tag-teams in the draft, and left the Revival behind to hang with the mish-mash pairings and the non-existent Authors of Pain. Good on Bo Dallas capturing main roster gold for the first time, but that’s about the only positive here. D

Finn Balor beat Baron Corbin in a match described by some as “having happened”. Constable Corbin is an improvement on Baron’s character, but they don’t take it far enough. Where’s the uniform, the badge, the truncheon? Balor is doing nothing other than smiling at the moment, he needs a meaningful feud once more. It’s a good job he’s so handsome, otherwise people would’ve turned on him a long time ago — he’s turning us instead. D-

Kurt Angle is backstage and gets the biggest pop of the night for announcing that he might strip Brock Lesnar of the title. A+, highlight of the show (oh dear)

Carmella once again defeated Asuka, with James Ellsworth suspended from a shark cage this time. It was five-hundred feet above the ring!!! At least that’s what JR would’ve said. I’ll give this match some credit, they kept it short. I didn’t mind the comedy, because we didn’t have fifteen minutes of piss-poor wrestling before it kicked in — just two. At least Carmella is scoring cheap wins, and not going over Asuka clean — who really shouldn’t be in this position. I love Becky, but it should be her putting over Carmella. C

Nakamura hit Jeff Hardy with a low-blow before the bell, followed by a Kinshasa (after the bell) for the win. Your new US Champion in six seconds. I was reminded of Jeff at Victory Road 2011, and I’m praying he wasn’t intoxicated. The PPV ran fifteen minutes short, so they clearly had time for a match. The re-match is booked for Smackdown, so I have no idea really. Oh, and Orton was there, but he attacked Jeff. N/A

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Kevin Owens took on Braun Strowman in a steel cage match, in another bout that felt rushed. After three minutes they were hitting their signature moves. I’m starting to think that this whole co-branded PPV thing isn’t very good. Owens won in what was the only truly “extreme” moment of the entire show. He was thrown from the top of the cage, through the announce table. This would’ve been great if the camera hadn’t picked-up on the crash-pad slowly deflating. Still, fair play to KO for taking that risk. C+

Daniel Bryan took on the Bludgeon Brothers alone, as Kane had been attacked backstage. After several minutes of decent underdog offence from D-Bry, Kane comes out in a moon boot for the save. It’s not enough, and the Bludgeons retain. This was one of the top-billed matches of the show, and other than some in-ring work from Bryan, it’s shot to pieces. Here you go guys, have eight minutes like everyone else on the card. C-

It’s time for Lashley vs Reigns. Cool — Rollins or Styles will main event! A good friend of mine, who watches the PPVs but not the weekly shows, managed to 90% guess what the build-up had been for this match, without having seen any of it. That probably says enough. The Universe are clearly finding it hard to care about either of these guys. Although Lashley did take a pretty sick bump to the outside. In terms of pure danger, that may have been as extreme as things get. D+

Alexa Bliss defeated Nia Jax in an extreme rules match that, thankfully, was all about Ronda Rousey. They had a good comedy moment early on, where Mickie handed Alexa weapons, only for Nia to take them and throw them away. Bliss continued her streak of taking bigger bumps than people expect from her, and Nia was…Nia. After about five minutes, Rousey jumped the barricade, with the chaos leading to an Alexa win. This was just a transition match, ahead of Bliss vs Rousey, so it was tough to care too much. C- 

Rusev then lost to AJ Styles, in what was match of the night for me. Rusev Day was in full-force and the big man proved he belongs in the main event scene. His subtle selling of the leg from inside of two minutes of a fifteen minute match was great storytelling. The result was what we expected, but at least they gave these guys longer than ten minutes. Styles was his usual self, and I wonder if they’re having him hold the belt for so long to beat CM Punk’s reign. I wouldn’t be mad, AJ is deserving. B

The Intercontinental title main events a PPV for the first time in decades! Rightly so, as it feels like the most important belt in the company right now. This match is tough to rate, as I can’t make Kayfabe sense of them scoring so many falls inside of thirty-minutes, when their Raw bouts have run twenty-five minutes with only a single fall. I thought the first half was sub-par, but after they got the match to 3-3, it was great. The last ten minutes were exciting enough, but the crowd really ruined a lot of the match.

Oh, you can count? Wow. I mean — that’s — you guys should be in Mensa!

This was a good match that could’ve been great. Ziggler is still champ, but I need Drew to become the star of this team at some point. B-

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A very very mediocre PPV, with no matches that’ll be remembered beyond six months from now. I’m nervous about the current state of the main roster. They seem to be resting on their billion-dollar preverbal laurels.

“I’€™d like to think that maybe this company will better after Vince McMahon is dead. But the fact is, it€™s going to be taken over by his idiotic daughter and his doofus son-in-law.” – CM Punk

Yeah Punk, but at least Triple H knows how to book a 2018 wrestling promotion.

Today is Monday, July 16th and Trump/Putin are having an unprecedented ninety-minutes alone together. So that’s — what — time to “do it” maybe — three times? 

Images from wwe.com

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