Extreme Rules 2018 Review

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Extreme Rules 2018 Results:

  • The B-Team defeats Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt to win the RAW Tag Titles **1/2
  • Finn Balor defeats Baron Corbin ***
  • Carmella defeats Asuka to retain the SD Live Women’s Championship with James Ellsworth in a shark cage *
  • Shinsuke Nakamura defeats Jeff Hardy to win the US Title: N/A
  • Kevin Owens defeats Braun Strowman in a Steel Cage Match ***
  • Bludgeon Brothers defeat Team Hell No to retain the SD Live Tag Titles ***1/4
  • Bobby Lashley defeats Roman Reigns ***3/4
  • Alexa Bliss defeats Nia Jax in an Extreme Rules match to retain the RAW Women’s Title *1/2
  • AJ Styles defeats Rusev to retain the WWE Championship ****
  • Dolph Ziggler defeats Seth Rollins in a 30-Minute Iron Man Match to retain the IC Title ***1/2

 

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Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt(c) vs. Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas for the RAW Tag Team Titles

  • The crowd is hot for the “Delete” Chant. In my opinion, Bray and Matt haven’t been that hot as an act lately. 
  • Ronda Rousey and Zach Browne (her UFC fighter husband) are shown ringside. 
  • Matt Hardy and Bo Dallas start the match. 
  • Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas stare off, the Rotunda Brothers look like they are playing off of each other in this match. 
  • Elbow Drop by Hardy to Axel for the first near fall. 
  • Cheap shot by Bo to Hardy gets the B-Team back in charge. 
  • DDT by Axel to Hardy gets a near fall.
  • Side Effect by Matt to Axel opens up tags, Hot tag by Bray Wyatt against his bro. 
  • Neckbreaker off the top rope to Hardy by Bo gets the shock tag title win for the B-Team. 

Winners: The B-Team New RAW Tag Team Champions.

Rating: **1/2, While this was a very run of the mill tag match the ending made it memorable. Matt and Bray were getting stale and B-Team are a rare for WWE hot act right now and even though they don’t look incredibly strong I think they will have a solid short reign with the tag belts. 

  • Kurt Angle gives Brock Lesnar an ultimatum, if he doesn’t show up to RAW tomorrow to accept his duty as Universal Champion he will be striped of the title. 

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Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin

  • This match is pointless and both of these men have talent and deserve better. 
  • Cool silver attire on Finn Balor
  • Corbin is wrestling in the suit which is annoying as hell. 
  • Brutal catching punch by Corbin to Balor off the springboard for the first near fall. 
  • Corbin pulls Balor off the top rope Coup De Grace attempt for a backbreaker clothesline into a near fall. 
  • Deep Six by Corbin for a very near fall. 
  • Shotgun Dropkick by Balor but the Coup De Grace attempt was stopped by Corbin. 
  • End of Days attempt rolled up by Finn for the win. 

Winner: Finn Balor

Rating: ***, The match wasn’t that long and didn’t have any good spots but it was a good even sprint. Corbin and Balor end up looking good and there was some good near falls in this match which helped add to the evenly matched vibe of this match. 

  • The Bludgeon Brothers attack Team Hell No backstage. Kane is injured so this angle saves him from having to wrestle tonight. 

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Carmella (c) vs. Asuka for the SD Live Women’s Title with James Ellsworth in a Shark Cage

  • Ellsworth does get locked in and raised in the shark cage. 
  • Ellsworth passes Carmella a chain but Asuka grabs it and gets rid of it. 
  • James passes Carmella the spray bottle but again Asuka stops Carmella from using it. 
  • There is too much reliance on Ellsworth in this match leaving horrible momentum when there is just Asuka and Carmella in focus. 
  • Asuka Lock gets in but Carmella reaches the ropes.
  • James Ellsworth picks the lock and gets himself free but James gets caught by his leg and Asuka attacks.
  • Asuka attacks the security trying to put James back in the steel cage and continues to kick the hell out of Ellsworth. 
  • From behind, Carmella sneaks up and shoves Asuka into the Shark Cage and pins her for the win. 

Winner: Carmella Retains

Rating: *, last year the worst match of the year was Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss in the kendo stick on a pole match at Extreme Rules. This match right here is the worst I’ve seen this year so far. Ellsworth being the prime focus took all the momentum out of Carmella and Asuka. Asuka continues to look like shit and Carmella continues to be annoying. Whenever Asuka and Carmella were the focus I felt bad, both of these women had worked there entire lives to have their current career overshadowed by a chinless rodent-person. What a waste of time WWE can make itself!

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Jeff Hardy vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the US Championship

  • Jeff Hardy has some awesome Black and White facepaint on. 
  • The Hardy vs. Nakamura match has been actually interesting so far.
  • Low Blow immediately by Nakamura, the referee didn’t see it. 
  • Kinshasa after the bell rings for the win.

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura New Champion!

Rating: N/A, The immediate Shinsuke win was a bad decision especially when no match so far has been any good and this could’ve been. However, I think Nakamura is the perfect person to be US Champion. He fits in the upper middle card well and can carry the title through good matches and couldn’t win the WWE Title because AJ is a strong champ. I’m excited to see Nakamura’s reign. 

  • Randy Orton returns (goddamnit) and kicks Hardy in the nuts. 

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Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens in a Steel Cage Match

  • The feud has been abhorrent so far, Owens being dumped off the stage in the porta-potty was horrible and Strowman looks like such a bully that he is the heel in this match and Owens is the face even though according to WWE the roles are switched. Who is writing WWE storylines?
  • Owens keeps trying to escape early on but fails. 
  • Strowman charges at Owens but Owens dodges sending Braun into the steel, Superkick, Cannonball and Frog Splash combo by Owens for just a near fall. First actual sense of urgency in a match so far tonight.
  • Strowman sends Owens into the steel cage, Crowd chants “One More Time”  so Strowman does it twice more. 
  • Snake Eyes into the steel cage by Strowman sending Owens face first. 
  • The Crowd in Pittsburgh is annoying, being silent but  occasionally chanting crappy taglines like “Get These Hands” or “One More Time” 
  • Stunner by Owens to Strowman opens an opportunity to escape but Strowman grabs him and closes the door on the face of Owens. 
  • Owens handcuffs Strowman to the top rope, great strategy, but instead of escaping attacks Strowman to get revenge. One-Handed Chokeslam by Strowman, Strowman tries to break free. So, Braun can flip a truck, dump a piece of the stage on Lesnar and Kane but can’t easily escape handcuffs?
  • Strowman breaks free of the handcuffs.
  • On top of the cage, Braun sends Owens through the announce table ringside. Great spot but Strowman just made himself lose. “Holy Shit” Chants. The only great spot of the show so far. 

Winner: Kevin Owens via escape

Rating: ***, this is the only match so far that feels like it fits on an Extreme Rules card and not on a C-Grade PPV. However, like a lot of steel cage matches the constant escape attempts ruin the momentum of the match. Strowman spends a lot of the match in charge but when Owens is in charge there is a good sense of urgency to the match. The end of the match was dumb but a good spot while the Chokeslam off the cage was a good spot it ended up with Owens winning and Braun saying “Screw it, I lost” and leaving. If I was booking WWE I might make matches seem like they mean something this match looked like it didn’t mean anything. 

  • Jeff Hardy requests his rematch for the US Title for Tuesday’s Smackdown. 

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(C) Bludgeon Brothers vs. Daniel Bryan (Kane out due to attack earlier) 

  • Daniel Bryan and Rowan start the match.
  • Another good underdog moment for Bryan. 
  • Supercanrana by Bryan to Harper. 
  • Yes! Lock on Harper but Rowan drags out Bryan and stops the hold. 
  • Ringside, Rowan bodyslams Harper onto Bryan. Good strong tag team spot.
  • Crowd chanting “We Want Kane” 
  • Suicide Dive by Bryan caught by Rowan, Harper suicide dives but Bryan dodges so Harper takes out Rowan. 
  • Kane comes down with a foot cast kinds weakening his character as a demon. 
  • Slow Hot Tag by Kane, Chokeslam to Rowan and Harper.
  • Kane attempts a Tombstone on Harper, Harper escapes and kicks out the leg of Kane. 
  • Hot Tag by Daniel Bryan. 
  • Rowan makes a blind tag and stops the Running Knee by Bryan, Double Powerbomb by 2B closed. 

Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers Retain

Rating: ***1/4, The best match of the night so far but not by far. Also saying it’s MOTN is not saying all that much. The underdog 2-1 beginning was good and Bryan continues to be amazing. 2B looked great too and continued their solid tag title reign. When Kane comes down the match slowed down but didn’t take away the momentum. 

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Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley

  • Slow starting pace.
  • Drive-By by Reigns gets the first near fall.
  • Lashley is dazed by an early match elbow by Reigns. 
  • “Rusev Day” Chants start the series of chants, “CM Punk” follows right after. 
  • Reigns tries to hit Lashley with the steps but Lashley blocks starting a tug of war for the steps won by Lashley. 
  • Powerslam by Lashley for another near fall. 
  • Sloppy Crossbody by Lashley takes down them both, Lashley heads to the top rope to hit a double ax handle. 
  • Reigns throws Lashley over the top rope ringside, great spot and hard landing by Lashley, Lashley gets in at 8, Reigns leg drops Lashley over the middle rope for a near fall.
  • Vertical Suplex by Lashley to Reigns for a very near fall. 
  • Spear attempt by Lashley caught with a Superman Punch by Reigns for another very near fall.
  • Reigns charges at Lashley ringside but Lashley catches Reigns with an Overhead Suplex onto the announce table.
  • Reigns Superman Punches Lashley off the top rope.
  • Spear attempt by Reigns caught with a spear by Lashley for the win. 

Winner: Bobby Lashley

Rating: ***3/4, Wow, this match was great for these two guys. Everyone who said either of these guys can’t wrestle just got proven wrong. I did not expect this match to be as good as it was but I knew Reigns and Lashley could find an okay match. The match had great near falls, good wrestling logic and great spots. Lashley looked great in a match for the first time since his return and the match is the new MOTN, even though again that isn’t saying much.

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Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Nia Jax in an Extreme Rules for the RAW Women’s Title 

  • Mickie James accompanies Bliss and Natalya accompanies Jax. Ronda Rousey is shown ringside.
  • The commentary is burying the extreme rules stipulation.
  • Jax awkwardly throws Bliss onto a chair.
  • Jax delivers a good gorilla press to Bliss onto a trash can, Rousey is shown in approval.
  • Bliss attacks with a trash can lid to finally gets her back in charge. 
  • Crappy dropkick by Bliss gets the match’s first near fall. 
  • Commentary putting over Bliss’ cheating strategy being allowed in this match but Alexa doesn’t even address that in the match. 
  • Bliss side-steps Jax sending her into a chair in the corner. James gives Bliss a trash can lid but Natalya takes James out, Bliss takes out Natalya but Rousey hops over the barricade to literally destroy Mickie James. Rousey chases Bliss but James comes back to attack Rousey with a kendo stick. Overbooking at its finest!
  • Jax catches Bliss but James attacks Jax with a steel chair giving Bliss the upper hand to hit the DDT on the chair for the win. 

Winner: Alexa Bliss Retains!

Rating: *1/2, while Bliss did look good in this match, this was overbooking at it’s finest. 5 Women were in the focus in this match which was a one-on-one women’s title match. Rousey is continuing to look better in the WWE too but there were too many shenanigans in this match to set up Bliss vs. Rousey at SummerSlam. Also, the in-ring work was sloppy and, like many other matches on the show, had the momentum taken away because of other people in the match.

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

  • A good pre-match video package makes Rusev look disliked by the crowd which is very wrong.
  • AJ working the leg of Rusev. Rusev is doing a good job selling it. 
  • Slow start especially for an AJ Styles match. 
  • Styles kicks Rusev’s leg on the top rope sending him to ringside, Springboard Forearm dive by Styles takes Rusev out ringside. 
  • Reverse DDT by Styles gets the match’s first near fall.
  • Styles goes for the calf crusher by Rusev powers through and punches AJ and sends him to ringside, Suicide Dive attempt by Rusev caught with a Forearm by Styles. 
  • Calf Crusher attempt rolled into the Accolade but AJ fights out, forearm by AJ caught with a boot by Rusev. These two are doing a really good job looking evenly matched.
  • Calf Crusher by Styles finally in, Aiden English pushed the ropes to get Rusev rope break. Styles chases English, Rusev catches Styles with a ringside belly to belly suplex. In-ring, Machka Kick by Rusev for a very near fall. Awesome sequence. 
  • Another Machka Kick attempt dodged and Styles hits a rebound Pele Kick, Atomic Drop/Superkick combo by Rusev for a near fall. 
  • Rusev goes for the Accolade but can’t because of the leg injury, great wrestling logic actually used in WWE, Rusev gets the hold with one leg but Styles grabs the ropes. 
  • English exposes the top turnbuckle behind the refs back, Rusev charges at Styles but Styles side-steps sending Rusev into the steel. Springboard 450 by Styles for an amazing near fall. Another great sequence. 
  • Styles dropkicks English down and out, Phenomenal Forearm closes. 

Winner: AJ Styles Retains!

Rating: ****, Easily MOTN and one of WWE’s best world championship matches this year. The challenger, Rusev, was elevated to a whole other level hanging with Styles honestly better than Nakamura could. The Aiden English interference sequences led to fantastic near falls. As always, AJ Styles is fantastic. I can now confidently say Rusev has a great future in WWE. The selling of the leg from Rusev was great wrestling logic which is rare in WWE. A good example of showing WWE is able to book good matches with actual logic. I’m super happy with this match. The slow start keeps it at 4-stars but it elevated into something special by the end. 

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Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Seth Rollins in a 30-Minute Iron Man Match for the IC Title

  • A very fitting stipulation for these two men. Also, the IC Title is in the main event! Rollins has elevated the title to the SKY. 
  • Why is there still a record scratch on Ziggler’s theme song? 
  • Drew Mcintyre accompanies Ziggler to the ring because Mcintyre beat Rollins last week on RAW. 
  • Slow start but it’s a long match so the pace should escalate soon. 
  • Buckle Bomb into a roll-up by Seth Rollins gets the first fall 5 minutes in. Crappy first fall. 
  • Diving Plancha by Rollins wipes out Ziggler ringside. McIntyre and Rollins face-off. 
  • The crowd is counting down the seconds like a Royal Rumble and making the buzzer sounds, most interesting the Pittsburgh crowd has been all night. 
  • Fameasser attempt by Ziggler follows into a roll-up sequence, Rollins powers into a powerbomb but Ziggler fights out, Rollins fires back with a Curb Stomp for the second fall 8 minutes in. 
  • Rollins calls for a 2nd Stomp but Drew McIntyre attacks Seth getting Rollins the 3rd fall via DQ also 8 minutes in. McIntyre throws Rollins against the apron and the barricade, Referee kicks out Drew but Drew leaves after hitting the Claymore kick on Seth, Ziggler goes for the pin and gets his first fall 10 minutes and 30 seconds in. 
  • Superkick by Ziggler for his second fall, 11 minutes later. 
  • The match has WAY too many falls so far, takes the piss out of the stipulation. 
  • Ziggler sends Rollins into the post and hits the Zig Zag for his third fall 12 minutes in. JEEZ STOP WITH THE FALLS.
  • Suicide Dive attempt by Rollins stopped with a forearm by Ziggler, Dolph rolls Rollins up using the ropes for ANOTHER FREAKING FALL STOP IT. Dolph goes 4-3. 16 minutes in. 
  • Ziggler gets a Sleeper Hold in deep on Rollins, they spend about 2 minutes in the hold until Rollins fights out.
  • Suicide Dive by Seth finally hits but Ziggler rolls ringside again so Rollins hits another Suicide Dive immediately afterward too. Springboard Forearm to get back in the ring by Rollins gets a near fall and shockingly not another fall. 
  • Blockbuster by Rollins for another near fall, the crowd goes ballistic for whatever reason. 
  • Ziggler drops Rollins off the top rope with a dropkick sending Seth ringside, Rollins gets back in at 9.
  • Ripcord Knee by Rollins hits for another near fall.
  • Frog Splash by Rollins for another good near fall. 
  • Awesome Falcon Arrow by Rollins for another believable near fall. 
  • Stomp by Rollins dodges and rolled up by Ziggler for a near fall, Rollins slingshots Ziggler into the corner and rolls him up to tie 4-4, 27 minutes in.
  • Sharpshooter by Rollins, shoutout to the iron man match with Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels at WM 12, Rollins transitions into a Cross Face, Rollins releases and goes for a Stomp but Ziggler rolls out and tries to escape ringside. Rollins gets Ziggler back in the ring but Ziggler fires back with a Fameasser for an amazing believable near fall. 
  • Ziggler tunes up the band but Rollins catches Ziggler with a Superkick of his own and follows it up with a Stomp, Rollins goes for the pin but the time runs out. So due to the tie, Dolph Ziggler retains. 
  • Kurt Angle comes down and gets some cheap pops and announces a Sudden Death Overtime. 
  • Drew McIntyre comes back to distract Rollins and Ziggler hits a Zig Zag for the win.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler Retains!

Rating: ***1/2, These two successfully put on a good match while at the same time burying the Iron Man stipulation. The first 15 minutes of the match sucked with a fall a minute but as soon as Drew McIntyre left the match turned on. After getting used to the constant falls, the match delivered some amazing near falls especially with the fameasser towards the end. The near falls really built to Rollins’ desperation with the closing seconds of the match being fantastic with Rollins hitting his sequence of moves and hitting the stomp towards the end but the time running out. Overtime was useless because Ziggler retained either way but overtime just made the end confusing and screwing over Rollins with the final McIntyre interference makes the feud have to continue. The match was a tale of two halves. Good choice for the main event though regardless. 

Show Grade: C-

Last Word: The show played out like the main event did, the first half sucked with Orton’s return, Asuka vs. Carmella and Jax vs Bliss making a near nightmare PPV for any wrestling fan. As soon as Bobby Lashley vs. Reigns surprised with the good match they had and Jax vs. Bliss ended the show got solid. Styles vs. Rusev was MOTN and a very good WWE Title match and the Iron Man main event was a good match even though it wrecked the importance of the stipulation. The show looked good on paper and wasn’t explicitly horrible but didn’t live up to the expectation it had built. 

 

 

 

 

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