It was a busy, busy weekend in the world of professional wrestling. Evolve held their 10th anniversary event. AEW held a charity pay-per-view called Fight for the Fallen, NJPW are in the midst of their G1 tournament, and in WWE, amongst change to their backstage show-runners, Extreme Rules took place. We run down the PPV, highlighting its highs, and despairing at the inevitable lows in a night of title changes.. All aboard.
** KICKOFF SHOW **
WWE Intercontinental Title Match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Finn Balor (c)
It’s so sad to see a match of this calibre on the pre-show – but it’s happening, here we are. A solid match, nothing too intense for a pre-show. Read this carefully, and believe it, Nakamura delivers a CLEAN Kinshasa for the win! What is happening to Balor? Wait, hold up, does this mean Balor is now free to join the club? Long-term planning may be back…
Result: Nakamura WINS via Pin…NEW INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION!
WWE Cruiserweight Title Match: Tony Nese vs. Drew Gulak (c)
Chaotic energy it of course was! Nese at one point landed a 450 literally knees-into-chest which looked like it hurt a tad. Cyclone Crash from Gulak for the clean win in front of his hometown crowd (for once – stupid Vince).
Result: Gulak WINS via Pin.
** EXTREME RULES 2019: MAIN SHOW **
All credit too WWE, their video packages are always fire. Although the Taker promo at the beginning did have the iconic Sting bird call embedded in it, which confused me. The opener also suggested that the event was absolutely littered with various match types, when in reality it’s a fairly tame card in that regard.
No Holds Barred Match: The Undertaker and Roman Reigns vs. Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre
I just need to state that I absolutely hate how much the WWE milk the time we spend watching these damn PPV’s – It took until the 18-minute mark for this match to even begin (Taker slow walk of doom included). Anyway, the match. Taker looks a LOT better than he has done the last few appearances. Taker spent much of the match actually in the ring, Roman ominously looking on. When Taker was in the ring he looks really sharp too (you still got it chants a ‘plenty), as if his SaudiMania appearance struck a chord within him to come back stronger, faster.
For a no holds barred match this was a pretty weapon-free showing, the only real example of “breaking the rules” coming from a classic Shane O’ jump on top of Taker on the announce table (Elias cameo assistance credited) and a Coast to Coast on Taker through a “trash can”. The match ended with choke-slams for all, spear to Shane O’, Tombstone for Shane O’, 1-2-3! And a lovely near-kiss moment for Taker & Roman, aww, cute.
Result: Roman & Taker WIN via Pin.
Note, we’re now already 40 mins into a 10+ match PPV event – outrageous.
Backstage we join The Man & The Man’s Man who deliver a really corny promo, they just suck as a couple on screen – quite clearly delivering unnatural lines. Interesting however was the promo for “RAW Reunion” in a week’s time where it had Stone Cold, NWO, plus many other legends – THAT could be good!
RAW Tag Team Titles Match: The Usos vs. The Revival (c)
Nothing major to really speak of here, not memorable. Scott Dawson took a real nasty bump landing on his back on the top rope (which was hella cool looking). Surprisingly, the Revival win clean with the Shatter Machine! I guess the Usos aren’t getting a push soon?
Result: The Revival WIN via Pin.
The crowd were kind of dead during this, which, is worrying considering we’re 1 HOUR into the PPV and only 2 matches out of 11. For those wondering, I have Old Pulteney (Noss Head Edition) keeping me company tonight with a side of Coke Zero. THAT is how you cope. THAT is how you see the good through the bad and the funny through the awfulness.
Cesaro vs. Aleister Black
Not much was expected past a solid match with two great workers. Sure enough, we got just that! Unsure why this was picked over the IC title for the main show, but who am I but a mere man. Black Mass wins the match which was a pretty decent back and forth – this wont damage Cesaro but Black needed this! Hopefully this proves to Vinny Mac that Black is THAT good (and Cesaro for that matter) and should have a storyline going into SummerSlam.
Result: Aleister Black WINS via Pin.
Backstage we get R-Truth looking for Hornswoggle/Drake Maverick but runs into Alexa and Nikki. After Carmella takes him away, we’re left with Alexa giving Nikki her own t-shirt which is, nice? Then the Street Profits turn up yelling and bouncing all over the place whilst wearing their NXT Tag Titles. I am unsure why these guys are being used in this way, until they drop those belts they aren’t here to stay.
2-on-1 Handicap Match for the SmackDown Women's Title: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. Bayley (c)
Come on, be good – I screamed at the TV in a low volume as my dog may have kicked off if I woke him. Maybe I should have shouted a tad louder as I don’t think they got the message for the most part in quite a snooze of an opening 10 mins. Bayley got the CLEAN pin after an elbow drop from the top rope, which was surprising considering we all expected a big (ish) angle to come out of this match. We didn’t even get any tension between Alexa & Nikki? Odd result.
Result: Bayley WINS via Pin.
Last Man Standing Match: Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley
Now I know how this sounds, but Bobby Lashley is a bloody chiselled sculpture of a bloke! Damn muscles with muscles on them (I like his music too – unfortunately). On that, BRAUUUUUUN comes out screaming and pacing and roaring at little children on the way to the ring and it’s fantastic. This. Should. Be. Fun! The referee wastes no time in counting, any moment he gets he’s counting, we get it mate you can count – calm down, a bit. We had a decent tour of the arena, from the crowd section, to the merch stalls behind the stands, and then back into the crowd (cue many tiny hands trying to pat the sweaty men as they pass).
Literally anything these guys did the crowd eat it up, holy s**t chants at any given moment – mostly unnecessary. They did however fall over Funaki and the international announce tables which are littered throughout the crowd which drew a pop. The finish came with quite a decent spot, Braun slamming Lashley from the crowd down into what looked like a massive black cardboard box “room” of some sort….as the ref counted to 10, Braun literally punched out of the box leaving Lashley lay there. That was alright actually, touché.
Result: Strowman WINS via, standing…
AJ Styles backstage interview accompanied by Gallows & Anderson. Default, but got over the too-sweet once again (here’s hoping that Balor can join!). Another RAW Reunion preview, it looks damn good…
Triple Threat for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles: Heavy Machinery vs. The New Day vs. Daniel Bryan and Rowan (c)
What you would call a bathroom break of a match for the first 10 mins. Otis jiggled on the apron for most of this which was delightful, as Bryan carried everyone through the match as you’d expect. Heavy Machinery were classic tag team. They were the match MVP’s. I’d give my life for Otis. A very subtle tag from Bryan confused the pack near the end ultimately nearly stole the victory via a LaBelle Lock on Big E! BUT…The Midnight Hour lands on Bryan and we have NEW Tag Team Champions!
Result: The New Day WINS via Pin…to become 6 x NEW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!
Backstage we see the New Day celebrating but then Paul Heyman runs through and out to the ring! He does the usual, and we all join in. Adamant that Brock will cash in tonight. Do we believe him? No. Do we want to? Yes. Does any of this matter anymore? Rhetorical.
WWE United States Title Match: AJ Styles vs. Ricochet (c)
Of course, AJ comes out to the ring with The Club, shenanigans are afoot! Moments later, The Club beat down Ricochet before he can flip around the ring somewhat! The ref checks he’s ok and the bell rings. Fairly dull match if I am quite honest, the crowd were very dead perhaps now having a breather after the tag title bout. The Good Brothers cause distraction…. AJ Styles hits the Styles Clash from the top rope for the win!
Result: AJ Styles WINS via Pin…NEW UNITED STATES CHAMPION!
Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler
For the past couple of weeks, Kevin Owens has been the TOP guy, must see TV from him alone. It’s a shame this match has essentially been chucked on to the card last minute, but I am hoping it’s genuinely a build to something much bigger. Absolutely perfect match. Match of the night? Match of the year? You decide. Kevin Owens takes a slap in the face, but instantly replies with a Stunner for the win in 20 seconds after the bell.
Result: Kevin Owens WINS via Pin.
After the match, Kevin Owens cuts another scathing promo against Shane O’, throws the mic away and leaves to a big pop. Effective.
WWE Title Match: Samoa Joe vs. Kofi Kingston (c)
Joe take control early on and dominates Kofi, methodically taking him apart slowly. Truly it doesn’t look good for Kofi, Joe looking the far superior wrestler. For about 10 minutes Kofi is beat down, but one SOS out of nowhere to Joe and he’s back in to it. Warrior. “We Want Lesnar – No We Don’t!” chants fill the arena! Literally out of nowhere again, a random SOS and Kofi wins clean for the win. Kofi in this match took a LOT of punishment, and only scored ONE dropkick and 2 x SOS’ to defeat Joe. Not good for Joe’s momentum but very good for Kofi going into SummerSlam, especially with the absence of Brock Lesnar – does he show up in the main event? Let’s see…
Result: Kofi WINS via Pin.
Winners Take All Extreme Rules Match: Lacey Evans and Baron Corbin vs. RAW Women's Champion Becky Lynch and WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins (c)
Oh no, Seth & Becky have matching ring gear – hold my bucket lads! Becky & Lacey kick off the match in a scrappy affair before Seth & Baron come through with some heavier offense. Lacy gets a little too close to Seth and so Becky unloads with a Kendo stick – I’ve NEVER understood why they’ve been lying around the ring, who needs them?! Chairs, tables, ladders, I can kind of understand – but Kendo sticks?
The crowd do not like this match.
Neither do I.
This is our main event.
Is it bad that at nearly 4am I started looking at Amazon Prime Day Deals during this? I literally missed nothing. As I focussed back in, Seth & Becky jumped from top ropes onto Corbin & Evans who lay on tables on the outside – as Cole screamed “things just got extreme!”. Not really Cole, not really. END OF DAYS FROM CORBIN ON BECKY! Fantastic. The ladies have beaten down on the men throughout, but once they touch a woman it’s chaos – and I for one don’t understand it. Seth Rollins goes nuts, Curb Stomp x 3 for the win.
Result: Rollins & Lynch WIN via Pin.
Brock Lesnar is ACTUALLY here!
Brock Lesnar is CASHING IN HIS MITB!
F5 to SETH!
BROCK LESNAR IS YOUR NEW UNIVERSAL CHAMPION!
End of PPV!
That escalated quickly…
Let’s see what RAW can do now? There’s a worry that the horrendous Brock Lesnar title reign is back again.
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