The John Report: WWE Extreme Rules 2018 Review

It’s time for WWE Extreme Rules. The first Kickoff Show match started at around 6:15pmET, so let’s get to it. The crowd was still filing into the arena as this match was about to begin.

At the start of the Kickoff Show, it was announced that Hulk Hogan was backstage at Extreme Rules, which we already knew as I covered earlier. It's interesting that WWE would announce it, though. It could lead to Hogan's return to TV in the very near future.

WWE Extreme Rules
PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
July 15, 2018

Andrade “Cien” Almas (w/Zelina Vega) vs. Sin Cara

Cara got in some offense early when he dumped Almas over the top to the floor, but his dive didn’t work because Almas caught him and sent him into the barricade. That led to Almas taking over with some hard chops. Almas connected with a running back elbow that knocked Sin Cara down. Almas and Vega did their tranquilo pose against the ropes, which is cool. A commercial aired hyping the event. Almas had an armbar locked in, Sin Cara came back with chops and a springboard cross body block. Moonsault off the middle rope from Sin Cara. They did a spot where Sin Cara hit a hurricanrana where he spiked Almas for a two count. Vega was freaking out at ringside. Almas avoided a suplex, boot to the face and Cara hit an enziguri kick. They battled by the ropes, Almas wanted a double foot stomp, but Sin Cara came back by shoving Almas onto his back on the apron. Sin Cara jumped off the top with a hurricanrana onto the floor. That was impressive, but they were back in the ring as if nothing happened. They went into the ring, Sin Cara hit a Frog Splash. Vega distracted the ref. Almas with a dropkick that sent Sin Cara into the turnbuckle. Almas with a double knee attack against the turnbuckle. Almas with a Hammerlock DDT for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Andrade “Cien” Almas

Analysis: **1/2 It was a solid match with Sin Cara hitting a lot of cool moves, but Vega played a big factor in the finish. The distraction spot by Vega was very basic because she just stood on the apron causing the false finish. Using Vega in a role like that is great because there aren’t enough managers in WWE. She’s good at it. Almas can be a huge star if he continues to rack up the wins. I hope he has a meaningful feud soon.

The second Kickoff Show match took place at 6:43pmET.

Tables Match: The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) vs. Sanity (Eric Young, Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe)

To win the match, you must put one member of the other team through a table.

It started with a brawl with Kingston clotheslining Wolfe out of the ring, Woods whipped Young out of the ring and Big E sent Dain into the steel steps. New Day grabbed a table from under the ring and set it up on the floor. Young and Wolfe stomped away on Big E in the ring. Big E sent both guys onto the apron, but his charge attempt was blocked by knees from Young and Wolfe. After a Wolfe neckbreaker, Young went up top and hit an elbow drop on Big E. There was a split screen with a commercial for Asuka vs. Carmella on half the screen as the action continued.

Back to the action, Woods and Kingston sent Young and Wolfe to the floor. Woods and Kingston hit somersault dives over the top to take out the heels on the floor. Dain hit a suicide dive to take out Kingston and Woods while they were celebrating. Dain and Young each grabbed tables from under the ring and set them up on the floor. Big E and Woods did a double team uranage backbreaker on Dain to take him out. Big E and Woods had Wolfe and Young on their shoulders leading to Kingston hitting a double stomp off the top rope. That was impressive. Young was set up on a table. Dain was back in with a slam on Kingston. Dain with a clothesline to Big E and a sitout slam on Woods while splashing Big E at the same time. That was unique. Kingston with a kick to Dain followed by the Trouble in Paradise kick. Wolfe got back into it, he tried putting Kingston through a table, Kingston fought back and Young recovered. Wolfe was biting Kingston, who was on the apron. Young hit an elbow drop off the top rope that put Kingston through the table on the floor. It went about 8 minutes.

Winners: Sanity

Analysis: **3/4 It was a fun match with the right team going over. I loved the spot with Kingston hitting the double foot stomp off the top rope to take out two Sanity members. It was a risky move because of the rough landing for Kingston, but he landed safely, so it was fine. Tables matches are hard to do sometimes because there’s no drama of nearfalls. They told a good story, though. I liked the match.

Ronda Rousey was shown walking backstage with her husband Travis Browne. They did not mention her husband’s name. He’s a UFC fighter.

The final video package on the Kickoff Show was about Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley, which is expected to be the main event.

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Extreme Rules Main Pay-Per-View

The opening video package focused on the key matches on the show as usual. It looked like a sold out show with a vocal crowd in Pittsburgh.

Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt were up first for their Raw Tag Team Title defense. Good reaction for them. Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel aka The B Team are the challengers.

The Raw announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Jonathon Coachman were shown at ringside. The Spanish announce team and German announce team were also at ringside telling you to visit tjrwrestling.net daily. Thanks guys.

Ronda Rousey was shown at ringside with her ticket in hand. Her husband Travis Browne was with her.

Raw Tag Team Championships: Deleters of Worlds (Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt) vs. The B Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel)

Hardy whipped Dallas against the turnbuckle followed by a leg drop. Wyatt tagged in against his brother Dallas with Dallas asking if he thinks he is scared of him leading to Axel tagging in. Wyatt with a stiff clothesline on Axel. Running headbutt to the chest by Wyatt on Axel. Wyatt missed a corner charge, Axel stomped away and Wyatt with a clothesline. Hardy tagged in to slam Axel’s head into the turnbuckle ten times, three clotheslines, a boot to the face and an elbow drop off the middle ropes for two. Axel with back elbows when Hardy went for a Side Effect leading to Dallas hitting a kick to the head of Hardy. Dallas stomped away on Hardy as the B Team took control. Axel hit a DDT that got a two count. Hardy connected with a Side Effect on Axel. Wyatt got the hot tag against brother Bo. Wyatt with a running splash on Dallas. Wyatt sent Axel out of the ring and hit a uranage slam. Wyatt did his upside down pose, Hardy tagged in and they teased their double team move, but Axel distracted them. Dallas sent Wyatt out of the ring. Dallas hit a neckbreaker after putting Matt’s feet on the top rope and covered for the pinfall win after eight minutes.

Winners and New Tag Team Champions: The B Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel)

Analysis: **1/4 It was an average tag team match with the heels winning clean. I’m surprised that there was a title change due to the win streak of The B Team, but good for WWE going all the way with them. The reason I didn’t expect the title change was the lack of face teams on the Raw roster. It may be short title reign. I’m happy for Curtis and Bo making the most of the opportunity given to them because they have wrestled well during this push. With that said, the Raw Tag Team division is very weak right now.

Dallas and Axel celebrated with the titles on the stage. Charly Caruso interviewed them. Axel said this is great. Dallas said they proved that the B in B Team stands for “Best Team.” They celebrated some more.

Kurt Angle was interviewed by Renee Young in the interview area. Angle said that he recently opened negotiations with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman for the Universal Title. Angle said that Lesnar refuses to defend the title against anybody in WWE. Angle said that Lesnar can come to Raw tomorrow to agree on the next title match or Angle can strip Lesnar of the Universal Title. The fans cheered.

Analysis: The expectation is that Lesnar is defending the Universal Title at SummerSlam. We may learn that officially on Raw, so it’s a good way to get people interested in watching Raw this week.

Finn Balor was introduced first for his match. Good reaction for Balor. Baron Corbin was up next in his TGI Fridays like attire.

Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin

Corbin hit a dropkick early on. Corbin used his power with clotheslines while against the turnbuckle. Corbin yelled at the fans about how Balor was too small. Corbin grounded Balor with a chinlock. Corbin did his favorite spot where he slid out of the ring and went back in for a clothesline. Corbin shoved Balor to the turnbuckle, Balor avoided an attack, Balor went for a springboard attack and Corbin decked him with a punch that got a two count. Corbin grounded Balor with a headlock again. Balor came back with a kick. Balor up top, Corbin back up, Corbin with a Chokeslam backbreaker that got a two count. Corbin yelled at ref John Cone for that nearfall. Corbin worked over Balor with forearms, Corbin with two clotheslines and Balor got back with a Slingblade neckbreaker. Corbin came back with the Deep Six slam for a two count. Balor came back with a double foot stomp. Balor with a dropkick that sent Corbin to the turnbuckle. Balor up top, Corbin brought him down and Balor with an inside cradle for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Finn Balor

Analysis: **1/2 The match was fine for the time given. Corbin was on offense for about 80% of the match, Balor made the comeback and the win was with an inside cradle because it was done to protect Corbin. I assume they’ll do a rematch soon, which might come as soon as Raw with Corbin getting the win back. That’s just how WWE tends to book these feuds.

A commercial aired for SummerSlam on August 19.

There was a shot of the Bludgeon Brothers beating up Team Hell No in the backstage area. Harper whipped Daniel Bryan into a garage door. Rowan grabbed a mallet and hit it into Kane’s left leg that was trapped behind a door. Paige and referees showed up to check on the wrestlers.

The video package aired for the Smackdown Women’s Championship: Carmella vs. Asuka.

Asuka got a big ovation for her entrance as the challenger in this championship match. The shark cage was in the ring. The international announcers were shown in the arena: Portuguese, Russian, Japanese (hey Funaki), Hindi guys look mad there’s no Jinder Mahal match, French with Ray Rougeau and the Mandarin announcers were last.

Carmella walked out with the Smackdown Women’s Championship around her waist. She was looking great like always. James Ellsworth entered with her. Ellsworth went into the silver shark cage.

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Carmella vs. Asuka (James Ellsworth in a Shark Cage)

Ellsworth was freaking out while in the shark cage right above the ring. There was a camera in the cage.

Asuka kicked Carmella in the back. Carmella came back with a neckbreaker. Ellsworth dropped down a chain that he had in his jacket pocket, but Asuka got her hands on it. The ref Mike Chioda made her put it down. Asuka hit a running kick for a two count. Carmella tried using the chain, but the referee got it from her. Ellsworth dropped something to Carmella again, it was some spray, but Asuka punched her in the face. Asuka with a dropkick. Knee to the face by Asuka followed by a running hip attack for two. Asuka took down Carmella going for a submission, but Carmella got her feet on the ropes to break free. Carmella rolled to the floor. Ellsworth had something in his hands to try to unlock the lock. Asuka hit a suplex on the floor. Asuka sent Carmella into the barricade. Ellsworth broke free and then his clothing was stuck on the bottom of the shark cage. Asuka hit a running dropkick on Ellsworth, who was hanging upside down. There were some technicians that went into the ring to help Ellsworth, but Asuka kicked two of them and a third guy left. Asuka kicked Ellsworth repeatedly in the back. Carmella got back to her feet and she shoved Asuka into the side of the shark cage. Carmella covered Asuka for the pinfall win after about five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Carmella

Analysis: *  It was a short match that felt like it was shorter than the video package and entrances before the match. Carmella barely got any offense in the match. Asuka dominated, then she was booked like a fool that forgot Carmella was even in the match and Carmella won in cheap fashion. I thought Asuka would win because that’s her third title loss. I don’t remember a Royal Rumble winner that has been booked worse than Asuka after winning that match that is supposed to be important.

Post match, Carmella left with the title. Asuka got her hands on Ellsworth with punches and a spin kick. Asuka hit a German Suplex on Ellsworth. Asuka with a roundhouse kick on Ellsworth. Asuka slapped the Asuka Lock on Ellsworth and Ellsworth tapped out. The crowd didn't react to this much at all.

Analysis: That was Asuka letting her frustrations out after another tough loss. Sadly, the crowd isn't going to react to her as much as they used to because of the losses.

A commercial aired for Table for 3 on WWE Network with John Bradshaw Layfield, Bruce Prichard and Eric Bischoff.

A clip aired of Sanity beating New Day on the Kickoff Show. The B Team’s Tag Team Title win was also shown. A replay aired of Finn Balor beating Baron Corbin as well.

Jeff Hardy made his entrance as the US Champion. Shinsuke Nakamura entered as his opponent.

United States Championship: Jeff Hardy vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

They stood in the ring to allow for the introductions. Nakamura hit Hardy with a low blow before the match began. The ref didn’t see it because he was putting the US Title outside the ring.

Hardy got back to his feet, told the ref to start the match and Nakamura hit a Kinshasa knee strike for the pinfall win in about five seconds.

Winner by pinfall and New United States Champion: Shinsuke Nakamura

Analysis: I’m not going to rate it because it was so quick. I know Hardy has been dealing with a knee injury, so maybe that was a factor in booking such a short match. Nakamura winning the title is what I expected.

Post match, Randy Orton’s music hit. Nakamura left the ring and stood on the announce table. Orton was in his ring gear. Orton stood in the ring for a staredown with Nakamura. The fans were chanting “RKO.” Hardy struggled back to his feet, Orton tripped him up and stomped on Hardy in the groin. Nakamura was stunned by it. Orton left to boos from the crowd.

Analysis: It looks like Orton will be in a heel role. I’m fine with that because Orton is more comfortable as a heel. He has said many times in his career that he hates being a face and loves being a heel, so bringing him back as a heel is fine with me. Plus, Smackdown is strong on the face side with AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan, Jeff Hardy and others like Rusev if he turns face. Orton was out for a few months after knee surgery.

The video package aired for Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens with Strowman terrorizing Owens every week on Raw over the last month.

Braun Strowman entered first to a lot of cheers. Kevin Owens was booed, but not that much. The cage was lowered in the ring.

Steel Cage Match: Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens

Owens tried to climb out, but Strowman kept pulling him back down. Strowman yelled at him saying he says “Fight Owens Fight” so he told him to fight. Strowman shoved Owens down. Owens ran the ropes only for Strowman to deck him with a kick. Strowman charged, Owens moved and Strowman hit the cage. Owens with a superkick followed by a cannonball splash against the turnbuckle. Owens up top and he hit a Frog Splash for a one count. Owens tried to crawl out of the door, but Strowman grabbed his leg. Owens begged Strowman, but that didn’t work as Strowman clubbed him with a punch to the chest. Strowman whipped Owens into the steel cage. The fans chanted “one more time” so Strowman whipped Owens into the cage again. Strowman picked up Owens on his shoulder and sent him face first into the cage. Owens slipped out of a Powerslam attempt, kick to the face and a Stunner connected for Owens, but Braun grabbed KO’s foot to keep him from leaving. Strowman slammed the door into KO’s face. Strowman charged in, Owens moved, Strowman hit the turnbuckle and KO hit two superkicks. Owens brought out handcuffs and cuffed Strowman to the top rope. Owens punched Strowman repeatedly. Strowman grabbed Owens by the throat and hit a one handed Chokeslam. Strowman tried to break free from the handcuffs by the door. Owens told Strowman to “suck it” and Owens did a slow climb out of the cage. Owens blew Strowman a kiss. Strowman broke his hand free of the cuffs. Strowman climbed to the top of the cage with Owens. They were standing at the top of the cage. Strowman gave Owens a Chokeslam off the cage through the announce table at ringside, so Owens won the match because he hit the floor first. Insane bump! Crazy. The match went 8 minutes.

Winner by escaping the cage: Kevin Owens

Analysis: **1/2 The match was on its way to being pretty good with Owens getting a solid amount of offense, but then they went with a spectacular finish that will make people forget about the action in the ring. It was all about the end of the match with Kevin Owens taking one of the scariest bumps I have seen in WWE in a long time. It was scary to see a guy get thrown off that height through a table. I thought Owens took a crazy bump at Money in the Bank last month, but this bump looked worse. I’m sure they practiced it and Owens is probably fine. My point is I don’t need to see a guy taking a crazy bump like that every month because it’s a PPV match where he has to put over Owens. I guess the story can be that Owens “won” the match because he left the cage first, but it was really about putting over Strowman’s dominance.

Post match, there were replays of the crazy bump that Owens took off the 15-foot high steel cage that put him through the table. Strowman laughed and said: “Your Winner, Kevin Owens.” Owens was getting helped by doctors and he was put on a stretcher.

Analysis: After watching the clip again, you could see there was an air bag under the table to soften the blow for Owens. It was still a crazy bump if Owens missed the table.

A commercial aired for Total Bellas.

The announcers talked about the WWE Super Show-down event in Australia in October.

A replay aired from earlier in the night when Randy Orton kicked Jeff Hardy in the groin.

The video package aired for The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Team Hell No for the SD Tag Team Titles.

Daniel Bryan made his entrance alone to a huge ovation. The Bludgeon Brothers were out next. No Kane with Bryan due to injury.

Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper and Rowan) vs. Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane)

Bryan got in a lot of offense in the first few minutes with dropkicks and cleaning house on both. I had a brief phone call while I watched the start of this, so my apologies for not getting every little detail. Bryan slapped on the Yes Lock on Harper, but Rowan broke it up. That led to the Bludgeon Brothers taking control with power moves. Rowan hit a backbreaker on Bryan. Harper with an elbow drop. Bryan managed to get going again by sending Rowan out of the ring. Bryan with kicks to Harper and a suicide dive on Rowan, but Rowan caught him. Harper ran the ropes and hit a suicide dive that connected on Rowan because Bryan moved out of the way. All three guys were down, so Kane entered with a boot on his injured left leg. Bryan kicked Harper to the turnbuckle and Kane tagged in. Kane attacked Harper with punches and Kane delivered a Chokeslam to Rowan. Kane with a Chokeslam to Harper as well. Kane tried a Tombstone, but Harper slipped out and kicked Kane in the back of the left leg. Bryan tagged in with a missile dropkick on Harper. Bryan worked over Harper with multiple kicks to the chest with the crowd chanting “yes” and Bryan connected with the roundhouse right kick. Rowan tagged in, he caught Bryan and shoved him into Kane. Spin kick by Rowan on Kane. Harper tagged in with a clothesline off the middle rope while Rowan hit a Powerbomb, so it was a double team clothesline off the middle rope. The match went about nine minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Bludgeon Brothers

Analysis: **3/4 The match told an interesting story with Bryan trying to fight alone for his team until Kane finally showed up limping with the bad foot. This did a good job of putting over The Bludgeon Brothers as a dominant heel team. It will mean a lot when they eventually lose the titles whether it’s to Team Hell No or somebody else down the line. I thought the finish could have been better. It felt a bit flat. Kane apparently had a legit left foot injury, which is why they did the ankle injury because he was unable to compete.

Roman Reigns was shown walking backstage. The B Team walked back there celebrating their Raw Tag Team Title wins. They told Roman that he can beat Bobby like they did and they can all celebrate together. Reigns didn’t shake their hand. Reigns kept on walking.

Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley is next with a video package recapping their rivalry. I thought that was going to be the main event, but it’s not. That’s fine with me.

Analysis: Two hours into this show with no matches over ten minutes yet. That is weird.

Roman Reigns made his entrance to the usual loud reaction that is a mix of cheers and boos. There was not much of a reaction for Bobby Lashley. His song is too generic.

Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley

Lashley took down Reigns with an overhead suplex. Reigns decked Lashley with an uppercut. Reigns sent Lashley into the turnbuckle. The fans were booing as Reigns hit a back elbow. Lashley was against the ropes, so Reigns hit a Drive By dropkick for a two count. Reigns slapped on a headlock. Lashley tried to get going and Reigns dumped him out of the ring. Reigns sent Lashley into the barricade two times. The fans were chanting “Rusev Day” because they don’t like Reigns. Reigns whipped Lashley hard into the steel steps. They battled over the steel steps, Lashley took down Reigns and Lashley connected with a clothesline. Back in the ring, Lashley hit a clothesline followed by an overhead belly to belly suplex. Lashley with a running clothesline, Reigns got a boot up and a leaping clothesline from Reigns. Ten corner clotheslines from Reigns. Lashley came back with a powerslam for a two count. Reigns with two forearms, Lashley with a running cross body block and Lashley went up top, which is rare for him. Lashley jumped off the top rope with a double axehandle that knocked down Reigns. Reigns went for a Samoan Drop, Lashley held onto the top rope and Reigns tossed him over the top to the floor, so it was a huge bump onto the left side for Lashley. That’s a dangerous spot. Lashley tried to get back in the ring, so Reigns hit a leg drop to the back of the head that barely connected for two. The fans were doing the “Let’s Go Roman/Roman Sucks” chant. Reigns set up for a punch, but Lashley caught him with a spinebuster. Lashley hit the delayed vertical suplex for a two count. That’s a move that Lashley has won with even though it’s a weak finisher.

Lashley set up for a move, he charged in and Reigns decked him with a Superman Punch for two. Lashley left the ring. Reigns charged after him and Lashley hit a belly to belly suplex onto the German announce table. It did not break the table. The ref must not have been counting at a normal speed because they easily got back in the ring to break the count. Lashley went up top, Reigns ran at him and hit a Superman Punch that knocked Lashley off the top. Reigns ran the ropes and charged in, but Lashley decked him with a Spear for the pinfall win after 14 minutes. There was a cheer for the Lashley win.

Winner by pinfall: Bobby Lashley

Analysis: *** The match was pretty good with the two men exchanging power moves throughout the match. I was shocked by the finish because I expected Reigns to get the win. I don’t think many people expected Lashley to win and not only that, but it was a clean win for Lashley. I thought the finish was good with some big spots towards the end of the match with Lashley hitting that belly to belly to suplex and shortly after that he got the Spear for the win. The crowd hated Reigns as usual, so Lashley going over made them happy even though the reaction to the finish was that loud. When Lashley covered after that Spear, I doubt most fans thought that was the finish.

Post match, Lashley celebrated the win on the stage while Reigns was selling the rib injury in the ring. The announcers wondered what this meant for the future.

A commercial aired for the movie Mile 22 with Mark Wahlberg and Ronda Rousey.

The video package aired for Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax for the Raw Women's Title.

Nia Jax made her entrance first with Natalya by her side. Alexa Bliss entered with the Raw Women’s Title around her waist and the lovely Mickie James was with her. Bliss had a staredown with Ronda Rousey at ringside. Rousey’s suspension expires on Wednesday.

Raw Women’s Championship Extreme Rules Match: Alexa Bliss (w/Mickie James) vs. Nia Jax (w/Natalya)

Bliss with a hard slap. Jax stared at Bliss, so Bliss left the ring and Bliss grabbed a kendo stick from James. Bliss hit Jax with the kendo stick. James kept handing weapons to Bliss and Jax tossed the weapons into the ring. Jax with a running body attack that knocked down Bliss on the floor. Back in the ring, Jax with a splash. Jax tossed Bliss onto a trash can in the ring. Bliss tried attacking with a chair, Jax grabbed it and headbutted Bliss to knock her down. Jax with a gorilla press slam on Bliss onto a trash can in the ring. Rousey cheered that. Bliss rolled to the floor. Jax rolled her back in, which led to Bliss grabbing a trash can lid. Bliss hit Jax five times with the trash can lid. Bliss hit Jax in the back with the trash can. Bliss hit a dropkick for two. Jax with a forearm. Bliss set up a chair against the turnbuckle, so Jax charged in and predictably went into the chair after Bliss moved. That was so obvious. James had a trash can lid, so Natalya took her down. Natalay hit James with the trash can. Bliss and James whipped Natalya into the barricade. Rousey jumped the barricade and sent James into the barricade two times. Rousey went into the ring and hit a slam on James. They left the ring where Rousey sent James over the announce table. The fans chanted “Ronda Rousey” for Rousey. Bliss ran away and James saved her buddy by hitting Rousey in the back with a kendo stick two times. Bliss jumped on Jax, but Jax caught her and wanted a Samoan Drop, but James hit Jax in the back with a chair. Bliss hit Jax in the back two times with a chair. Bliss hit a DDT onto Jax on the chair and Bliss covered Jax for the pinfall win after 8 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Alexa Bliss

Analysis: *1/2 It was a gimmick match with a lot of interference and action outside the ring. When Bliss went back in the ring to finish off Jax it was as if none of that mattered because all people really cared about was Rousey getting her hands on Bliss. I liked how Mickie was booked because it was the most active she was outside the ring during a Bliss match. I know it’s because it was Extreme Rules, but I’m just saying they should have James cheat for Bliss more if she is going to be out there. The match was okay. If I never see Bliss vs. Jax for a while I’ll be happy. They just don’t have good chemistry.

The replays aired of the key spots in the match showing how Bliss and James outsmarted the faces. Rousey stared at them with a mean look on her face.

Analysis: I think it will be Rousey vs. Bliss at SummerSlam. It should be a singles match rather than involving Jax in it.

A commercial aired for SummerSlam on August 19.

The video package aired for AJ Styles vs. Rusev for the WWE Title. That means Rollins vs. Ziggler is last.

Aiden English was on the stage with #AndNew on the back of his jacket for the new WWE Champion. English ripped on Pittsburgh a bit during his song and then he noted that we’ll see history on this day because today is Rusev Day. That led to Rusev making his entrance to a good ovation.

AJ Styles was cheered heavily for his entrance as usual. Styles is the WWE Champion that continues to be one of the most popular wrestlers in the company. They stood in the ring for the introductions.

WWE Championship: AJ Styles vs. Rusev (w/Aiden English)

Rusev used his power early with a clothesline. Styles with some kicks to the legs. Rusev took him down with a slam followed by two vertical suplexes. Rusev with an elbow drop. Rusev with a back body drop that Styles sells so well by getting a lot of height when he takes the move. Rusev with a belly to back suplex. Rusev slapped on a bearhug to continue the story where he worked on the back of Styles. Rusev wanted a superplex off the top, but Styles slipped out, kicked Rusev in the legs and Rusev went crashing to the floor. Styles with a forearm attack. Back in the ring, Styles with a clothesline followed by a forearm. Styles with a corner clothesline. Rusev powered out of a move that Styles attempted, but Styles came back with a reverse DDT for two. Some fans started a “Rusev Day” chant. Rusev drove Styles back first into the turnbuckle. Styles wanted the Calf Crusher, but Rusev held onto the ropes to counter. Rusev decked Styles with a punch that sent Styles out of the ring. Rusev charged in, but Styles came back with a forearm splash. Styles hit an enziguri kick. Styles went for a 450 Splash, Rusev moved out of the way, Styles rolled through and Rusev went for the Accolade, but Styles escaped. Styles with a hard kick to the leg. Styles went for an attack, but Rusev countered with a kick that knocked him down. The fans were chanting “AJ Styles/Rusev Day” as both guys were down.

Rusev went for a fallaway slam, Styles rolled through and slapped on the Calf Crusher on the left leg of Rusev. Rusev crawled towards the ropes with English pushing the ropes towards Rusev while the ref never saw it. Styles stared at English because he saw him push the ropes. Styles chased English on the floor and Rusev hit Styles with an overhead belly to belly suplex on the floor. Back in the ring, Rusev with a Machka Kick for two. That was a great nearfall. Rusev set up for another Machka Kick, Styles moved and hit a Pele Kick. Styles ran the ropes, Rusev with a knee to the ribs and a kick to the head. Rusev went for the Accolade, but his left knee was hurting and he couldn’t apply it. Rusev tried a modified Accolade without his left leg, so Styles got to the ropes. English tore the cover off the turnbuckle, which nobody in the ring saw. Rusev punched his left leg to get feeling into it. Rusev charged in, Styles moved and Rusev went head first into the exposed turnbuckle. Styles went up top and hit a springboard 450 Splash for a two count. Styles hit a running dropkick that knocked down English on the floor. Styles jumped to the top and connected with the Phenomenal Forearm on Rusev for the pinfall win after 16 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: AJ Styles

Analysis: ***3/4 That was a very good match that was competitive. I liked the story of the match with Rusev working over the ribs of Styles while Styles weakened the knee of Rusev. That played a part in the final few minutes because Rusev was unable to apply the Accolade correctly due to the knee left leg injury he was selling for most of the match. A key turning point in the match was that English exposed the turnbuckle, Rusev ended up hitting the steel that was exposed and Styles won shortly after. It could lead to a Rusev/English split soon to make Rusev more of a face. Styles retaining is what I expected. I’m hoping his next challenger is Samoa Joe, who I would love to see as the WWE Champion at SummerSlam. That’s nothing against Styles because he’s great, but I think the timing is good for a title change. Nice job by Styles and Rusev in this match.

Post match, Rusev was frustrated as he looked at English and realized he hit the exposed turnbuckle. Styles left up the ramp with the WWE Title.

A commercial aired for WWE Network shows coming soon. I think it’s the same commercial they have aired for about three months.

There’s an Extreme Rules post show hosted by Renee Young and Sam Roberts with Bobby Lashley and Carmella as two of the guests.

Seth Rollins was shown walking backstage for the main event. Charly Caruso showed up for an interview. She asked how Rollins will deal with everything in this match. Rollins said he’s against Ziggler, McIntyre and the clock because it’s an Ironman Match. Rollins said it’s time to burn it down.

Seth Rollins made his entrance. Great ovation for him with the crowd chanting “Burn It Down” at the right time of the song.

Dolph Ziggler entered with the IC Title and his buddy Drew McIntyre with him. Ziggler looks more orange than he ever has before. I don’t know if he slept in a tanning band or he just put on too much spray tanner before the match. It’s hard not to notice.

Intercontinental Championship 30-Minute Ironman Match: Dolph Ziggler (w/Drew McIntyre) vs. Seth Rollins

There’s a clock in the upper left corner in the ring and scoreboard in the lower left corner.

The first three minutes was all about posturing and stalling with nothing going on. Ziggler bailed to the floor to stall. Rollins with a body slam. Rollins went for a springboard move, but Ziggler stopped him with a punch to the face. Rollins came back with a Buckle Bomb and a la magistral cradle for a pinfall about five minutes into the match.

Seth Rollins leads 1-0

Rollins followed up with a belly to back suplex. Ziggler bailed to the floor. Rollins jumped over the top with a cross body block to take out Ziggler on the floor. Rollins whipped Ziggler into the barricade. Back in the ring, Ziggler took control with punches and a neckbreaker for two. Rollins came back with a forearm to the face and Ziggler with a dropkick to the knee. Rollins went for a Buckle Bomb again, Ziggler slipped out and Rollins hit The Stomp for the second pinfall after eight minutes.

Seth Rollins leads 2-0

McIntyre went into the ring and he attacked Rollins with punches. The referee said that would be a disqualification fall.

Seth Rollins leads 3-0

McIntyre drove Rollins into the barricade as well as the side of the ring apron repeatedly. McIntyre sent Rollins back in the ring. The referee ejected McIntyre from ringside about ten minutes into the match. McIntyre hit a Claymore Kick on Rollins. Ziggler was still out on the mat. Ziggler managed to crawl over and covered for his first fall over 10 minutes into the match.

Seth Rollins leads 3-1

When Rollins got back up, Ziggler hit a superkick and covered Rollins for a pinfall 11 minutes into the match.

Seth Rollins leads 3-2

Ziggler went for another superkick, Rollins moved and got a rollup. Ziggler sent Rollins into the turnbuckle and Ziggler hit a Zig Zag for the pinfall about 12 minutes into this match.

The match is tied at 3-3

The match was even. Rollins got going again with a Slingblade. Every minute in the match, the crowd chants down from 5-0 to for every minute and then does a buzzer sound as if it was the Royal Rumble. It’s annoying. Rollins sent Ziggler out of the ring. Ziggler came back with a forearm to block a suicide dive and Ziggler got a rollup with his feet on the middle rope for another fall. That was about 15 minutes into the match.

Dolph Ziggler leads 4-3

Ziggler had Rollins trapped in a headlock for a few minutes. Ziggler slapped on a sleeper hold for a few more minutes. Rollins managed to send Ziggler face first into the turnbuckle. Rollins sent Ziggler out of the ring. Rollins hit two suicide dives back to back to take out Ziggler on the floor. Back in the ring, Rollins with a springboard clothesline for two. Rollins with a Blockbuster off the middle rope for a two count. The fans were chanting “yes” and I was told it’s because the clock was removed from the screen, but then they put it back on. Rollins up top and Ziggler hit a dropkick that sent Rollins to the floor. Rollins crawled back in before the ten count. Rollins sent Ziggler across the ring and Rollins hit the ripcord knee for the two count. They battled on the top rope fighting over a superplex. Rollins with a headbutt that knocked down Ziggler. Rollins up top and he jumped off with a Frog Splash for a two count. Rollins hit a seated dropkick that sent Ziggler out of the ring. Rollins brought Ziggler back in looking for a superplex, but Ziggler knocked him down. Rollins popped up with a superplex into a Falcon Arrow slam for two.

There were less than five minutes left in this match with Rollins down one fall to Ziggler. Rollins set up for the Stomp with the fans chanting “Burn it Down” for him. Rollins went for the Stomp, Ziggler avoided it, Ziggler kicked the knee and got a rollup. Rollins with a slingshot that sent Ziggler into the ring post. Rollins with a rollup that got the pinfall.

The match is tied at 4-4

There were less than three minutes left. Rollins grabbed Ziggler and trapped him in a Sharpshooter submission. When Ziggler got close to the ropes, Rollins transitioned into a Crossface submission. Rollins went for The Stomp, but Ziggler rolled out of the ring all the way to the floor. Ziggler tried leaving through the crowd, but Rollins rolled him back in. Ziggler with a Fameasser left with about 47 seconds left. Ziggler wanted a superkick, but Rollins connected with a superkick. Rollins hit The Stomp, but the time ran out before the ref could count. Rollins was too late to cover.

Ziggler was handed the title since he was the champion and it was a draw...or so we thought.

Kurt Angle’s music hit and the Raw General Manager said that we didn’t want to see a tie, especially in Kurt's hometown. Angle restarted the match.

The match restarted, McIntyre was on the apron, Rollins hit McIntyre with a knee and Ziggler hit a Zig Zag on Rollins for the pinfall win. The restart lasted about 15 seconds. The whole match was 30:15 or so.

Winner by 5 falls to 4: Dolph Ziggler

Analysis: ***3/4 It was a very good match with a lot of cool moments, but the booking was weird. Angle was there to restart the match when it was tied, but when McIntyre interfered after he was banned there was nothing done by Angle. That doesn't make a lot of sense in the storyline. Rollins was incredible in terms of his offense early on, then selling the attack from McIntyre and the drama towards the finish. I thought the booking of the first seven falls was different from most of us would have expected because seeing seven falls in 15 minutes is so rare. I get why they did it that way because it built up the excitement for the final few minutes of the match. The crowd reactions hurt the match because they were going off with their mock buzzer throughout the match without reacting to a lot of the cool stuff the guys were doing. I’m fine with Rollins not winning back the IC Title. He should be going after the Universal Title even though it might not happen right away. It was a fun match that I liked a lot, but it was not a match of the year contender type match. They still deserve a lot of praise for the match quality. It was well done. Could the booking have been better? Yeah, I think so. The match was not interestinging as it could have been.

Ziggler celebrated the win with McIntyre putting Ziggler on his shoulders in celebration. The announcers bickered about how it wasn’t fair that McIntyre was able to interfere at the end of the match.

The show ended with Rollins looking frustrated about the loss. That was it for Extreme Rules.

This event had a run time of 3 hours, 41 minutes. Money in the Bank last month went 4 hours, 15 minutes, so I'm fine with this show being shorter. Money in the Bank was a much better show too.

Here's what Rollins tweetd after the show to let you know that he definitely heard the crowd with their annoying chants.

 

Five Stars of the Show

  1. Seth Rollins
  2. Dolph Ziggler
  3. AJ Styles
  4. Rusev
  5. Kevin Owens

 

Final Thoughts

It gets a 5 out of 10 from me.

This was an average show. It was a boring show for most of the night with a lot of short matches where nothing interesting happened. The first two hours were really uneventful and poor. The bigger matches like Ziggler/Rollins and Styles/Rusev were very good. They helped the show a lot. I liked Lashley/Reigns enough because it was an outcome that surprised me more than anything else on the card.

 

Pay-Per-View Rankings for 2018

Royal Rumble – 8

Money in the Bank – 7.5

WrestleMania – 7

Fastlane – 7

Greatest Royal Rumble – 6.5

Elimination Chamber – 6

Extreme Rules - 5

Backlash – 4

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Thanks for reading this review. My contact info is below. I’ll be back during the week with Raw and Smackdown reviews as usual.

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport

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