Tonight was the annual WWE Extreme Rules event and I was very concerned going into tonight because the location this was was in Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love was home for Extreme Championship Wrestling(ECW) for many years, so putting extreme in a WWE setting is a big risk especially in this town. The Philly fans are hardcore just like the wrestling they use to watch, so going in I knew WWE was going to have to deliver a show for the ages. Before I begin with my thoughts on this extreme night, here are the results of tonight’s show:
-Kickoff Show: Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Finn Balor to become the new WWE Intercontinental Champion
-Kickoff Show: Drew Gulak defeated Tony Nese to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championships
-The Undertaker and Roman Reigns defeated Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre in a Nold Holds Barred Match.
-The Revival defeated The Usos to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships
-Aleister Black defeated Cesaro
-Bayley defeated Alex Bliss and Nikki Cross to retain the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship
-Braun Strowman defeated Bobby Lashley in a Last Man Standing
-The New Day defeated Heavy Machinery and The Planets Champions to become the new Smackdown Tag Team Championships
-AJ Styles defeated Ricochet to become the new United States Champion
-Kofi Kingston defeated Samoa Joe to retain the WWE Championship
-Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch defeated Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans to retain the WWE Universal and Raw Women’s Championships
-Brock Lesnar cashes in Money in the Bank on Seth Rollins to win the WWE Universal Championship
I usually don’t have much to say about the Kickoff shows, but when have two title matches worthy of being on the main show than it’s best to talk about them. Shinsuke Nakamura and Finn Balor tore the house down on Smackdown this past week and they got go at it again tonight. The match was definitely worthy of being on any pay-per-view and now that Nakamura is the new Intercontinental Champion we will have an exciting match to look forward to at Summerslam. I have to give Drew Gulak a lot of credit because he had a hard fought contest against Matt Riddle the night before at Evolve 131. He still brought his best at Extreme Rules and again shows one more reason why the 205 Live guys deserve so much better. I hope going forward that the 205 Live Roster will compete with guys on Raw and Smackdown.
The Main Show started off with a No Holds Barred match with Roman Reigns and The Undertaker taking on Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre. I was very confused by this match because it was a No Holds Barred match, but you had tag in and out. It finally started getting chaotic during the middle of the match with interference from Elias and spots on the outside. The Deadman looked a lot better in this match and it was definitely redeeming to see him get a good clean victory. Another tag team match took place after this one and it was for the Raw Tag Team Championships between The Usos and The Revival. These are the absolute two best tag teams in WWE right now and they proved why WWE should be putting more focus on the tag team division than they have been. The Revival came out on top tonight, but I don’t think you’ve seen the last of these two team in the ring together.
For weeks now, Aleister Black has been calling out for someone to knock on his door and pick a fight. This past Tuesday on Smackdown, Cesaro answered the challenge and it made for one of the hardest hitting matches I’ve seen in a long time in WWE. The Philly fans really appreciated the effort by both men and so did a lot of others. I am not sure what the future holds for either man, but I wouldn’t be bothered one bit if they faced off again. Another thing we’ve seen for weeks is Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross and their blooming friendship. It has been a really intriguing story because Nikki is not someone you would think to put Alexa with. With Bayley winning tonight, I think the friendship it’s near it’s end with a match coming at Summerslam. I could be wrong but that’s the way I see it going at this rate.
Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley did a lot of dumb things leading up their match, but it got really serious three weeks ago when they started an electrical fire on Raw. This was a chaotic, hard hitting and biggest hoss fight if I’ve ever seen one. It was good to see Strowman get the victory because he’s lost a lot of momentum in recent months. One thing that I absolutely loved about tonight is the tag team action we’ve seen. The Smackdown Tag Team Title Match was absolute fire and it resulted in The New Day capturing a set of WWE Tag Titles for the sixth time. I feel like the tag team divisions are polar opposite. Raw seems to be on struggle bus and Smackdown just has it going on. I look forward to seeing what new challengers come at The New Day and who might be able to topple them.
While the New Day has remained a steady force, The Club reunited to become a force of their own. AJ Styles set his sights on Ricochet a few weeks ago and it’s been a lot of fun watching Styles working as a heel again. I feel like Styles is much more aggressive as a heel and we saw it again tonight. I am a little disappointed that Ricochet only held the United States Championship for a month, but I am really hoping this turns into something bigger for Ricochet and AJ Styles. Speaking of bigger plans, I have a feeling something big is in store for Kevin Owens. He came in, gave Ziggler a Stunner and beat him within five seconds. Owens is starting to take on the persona of a Stone Cold Steve Austin and it’a quite entertaining. Owens has always been great on the mic and his in ring work is pretty good too. Heading into Summerslam, I think he has the most interesting storyline of what they could do with him.
Only thing I didn’t care for is Samoa Joe losing in another title match. He’s been in six title matches involving the WWE and Universal Championships in the last two years and he’s not won any of them. I really do think they either need to pull the trigger on him becoming the main title holder or leave him out of the title picture completely. Joe and Kofi did have a great match with really good psychology in it, but will Joe ever get the WWE Championship? That’s a question that will have to be answered at a later date. The Main Event was a Winner Take All Match involving Seth Rollins, Becky Lynch, Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans. Both Rollins and Lynch put their belts on the line and if one of them lost they were both going to lose their titles. Similar to the first match, I don’t understand why you have to tag in and out in a match with no disqualifications. It really ruins the psychology to these types of matches. The end of the match got chaotic with kendo sticks, chairs, tables and Baron Corbin giving Becky Lynch the End of Days. This led to an angry Rollins who ended up beating Corbin to win the match.
Rollins win and concern for Lynch were short lived because Brock Lesnar cashed in his Money in the Bank Briefcase to become the new Universal Champion. I’m sure this move will get a lot of negative reaction, but it added to what was a really excellent show. Extreme Rules was an exceptionally well done pay-per-view. I do think they need come up with a new name for the pay-per-view because when I think Extreme Rules, I think of hardcore wrestling and the lineage of ECW. At the end of the night, I am going to give Extreme Rules and 8 out of 10. There wasn’t one bad match and I feel this was a good show to settle things now that Paul Heyman is taking over Raw and Eric Bischoff taking over Smackdown. Tonight, we didn’t get extreme hardcore wrestling but we did get an extremely well done show.