Welcome to the TJR review of WWE Extreme Rules. There are twelve advertised matches counting the Kickoff Show, so that’s more than usual. Let’s get to it.
WWE Extreme Rules
From the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
July 14, 2019
The Intercontinental Title match was first on the Kickoff Show. It was added earlier in the day. They had the Smackdown announce team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton call the match.
Intercontinental Championship: Finn Balor vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Nakamura earned this match after beating Balor non-title on Smackdown. Nakamura with a sunset flip rollup, Balor rolled through and hit a low dropkick. Nakamura set up Balor on the apron, then followed with a knee lift. Balor with a jumping kick that sent Nakamura off the top to the floor. Balor followed up with a running somersault dive over the top onto Nakamura on the floor. Balor sent Nakamura into the barricade two times. Back in the ring, Nakamura with an armbar and Balor went to the ropes to break the hold. Nakamura with a knee drop leading to a headlock. When Balor broke free, he hit an overhead kick to knock Nakamura down. Balor with boots to the face, low dropkick and a running dropkick to the back of the head. Balor with an elbow drop to the chest for a two count. Balor hit the Slingblade, but Nakamura came back with a jumping kick. Nakamura charged against the turnbuckle, Balor moved and Balor connected with a jumping kick. Balor went up top, Nakamura tripped him up and hit a sliding snap German Suplex that put Balor down hard on the mat. I like that move a lot. Nakamura charged, but Balor hit a double foot stomp to the chest and Balor with a dropkick that sent Nakamura to the turnbuckle. Balor up top, he went for the Coup de Grace, but Nakamura moved and Nakamura hit a knee to the back of the head. Nakamura followed up with the Kinshasa knee strike for the pinfall win at 7:40.
Winner by pinfall and New Intercontinental Champion: Shinsuke Nakamura
Analysis: **3/4 A solid match with Nakamura beating Balor for a second straight time to become the champion. There was some nice counter wrestling here because they are so familiar with eachother. I’m not sure why Balor had such a boring and uneventful title reign, but he barely defended the title or appeared on TV regularly. Weird. Perhaps they took the title off Balor to get him into a storyline with AJ Styles and The Club either as an ally or as rivals.
Nakamura celebrated with the IC Title. It’s his first time holding that title.
The announcers for the Cruiserweight Title match were Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness and Aiden English.
Cruiserweight Championship: Drew Gulak vs. Tony Nese
Gulak was cheered during his entrance because he is from Philly. Nese with a back elbow, he avoided a clothesline, kick to the chest and a sweep kick. Nese with a clothesline that sent Gulak over the top to the floor. The fans booed Nese even though he was the face because it was in Drew’s hometown. Gulak jumped off the apron with a clothesline on the floor. Gulak grabbed a chinlock as they cut to the split screen with a commercial for the PPV. Gulak with a dropkick followed by another chinlock. Nese powered out of it with a powerslam for a two count. Gulak worked over Nese with kicks, but then Nese got a hold of him and hit a German Suplex into the turnbuckle. Gulak with an elbow to the face, Nese to the apron, Nese with a forearm and Nese hit a moonsault off the middle turnbuckle while Nese was on the middle ropes. That was unique. Both guys were down for a bit. Nese went up top with a 450 Splash and it was good for a two count. That was a rough landing because Nese’s knees hit the chest of Gulak, so that probably hurt more than Nese landing on his chest. When Nese went for a leapfrog, Gulak rolled him up, then Nese rolled through and went for a slam. Gulak countered a Powerbomb attempt into a Powerbomb of his own for a two count. Gulak lifted Nese up onto his shoulders and hit the Cyclone Clash slam for the pinfall win at 7:25.
Winner by pinfall: Drew Gulak
Analysis: **1/2 It was a solid match that was a bit on the short side since they didn’t even get ten minutes. The crowd was into most of it since Gulak is from Philly. I liked the offense from both guys and the last few minutes featured some big moves from both guys. Gulak winning was expected since he just won the title last month.
That was the last Kickoff Show match. There are ten advertised matches for the main show.
Extreme Rules Main Show
The opening video package focused on the big matches of the show and it was well done as usual. The WWE video production team is outstanding.
There was a shot of the live crowd in Philadelphia and it looked like a full crowd. Michael Cole welcomed us to the show.
The video package aired to set up Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre vs. The Undertaker and Roman Reigns as the first match. Shane and Drew were beating up Roman when The Undertaker randomly showed up, so we have this match.
Shane McMahon entered first on his own with ring announcer Mike Rome giving him the special “best in the world” introduction. Greg Hamilton does it better, but Mike did better here than he did on Raw. The Raw announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Renee Young are calling the action for this match. Drew McIntyre was next to join his partner Shane. This fan was ready with a sign for Drew. For those that don't know, The Rock used to love the use the "roodypoo" name for phrases like how he wanted to "whip all your roody poo candy asses," for example.
Roman Reigns was up first for his team with Cole screaming about the “Big Dog” as usual. The Undertaker was last and he took his time to get to the ring because that’s what he does. The crowd popped big for The Undertaker. They love him as they should.
It took Undertaker about four minutes to get to the ring. The bell rang to start the first match after 18 minutes and there was no promo to start the show.
No Holds Barred Match: Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon vs. Roman Reigns and The Undertaker
There are No Holds Barred rules, yet you must tag in and out of the match. If you can't get DQ'd, why not just stand in the ring instead of the apron? It's not like WWE is going to explain that.
Reigns and McIntyre started with McIntyre hitting an overhead belly to belly suplex. Shane tagged in, Reigns overpowered him and Undertaker hit Shane with a shoulder tackle leading to an armbar. Taker is wrestling with a black tank top on. He is in good shape, but he’s opting for the tank top look. Taker wanted to do the rope walk, Shane blocked it and Taker hit him with a clothesline. Taker did the Old School rope walk leading to a punch to Shane’s shoulder. McIntyre tagged in for a staredown with Taker leading to punches. McIntyre with a kick, Taker no sold it and McIntyre hit a clothesline over the top to the floor. Taker with a leg drop on McIntyre while on the apron. Reigns worked over McIntyre with ten corner clotheslines followed by a boot to the face. Reigns with punch to Shane, a punch to Drew and Shane pulled the apron down leading to Reigns bumping over the top to the floor. Taker grabbed a chair and chased after Shane, who ran up the ramp. McIntyre whipped Reigns into the steel steps and went back into the ring with Drew hitting a suplex on Reigns. Shane went back to the apron as Drew hit a neckbreaker and Shane covered Reigns for a two count. McIntyre with an overhead suplex on Reigns followed by an armbar. Reigns got back into it with a Samoan Drop. The crowd was cheering as Taker got the hot tag.
Taker tagged in against Shane with Taker working him over with punches, a corner clothesline, snake eyes into the turnbuckle and Taker with a boot to the face of Shane. Taker knocked McIntyre off the apron and Taker hit Shane with a clothesline over the top to the floor. Taker cleared off the English announce table, which was in the middle of the three tables at ringside. Taker was about to slam Shane through a table, but Elias showed up with a guitar to the back of Taker. Reigns punched Elias and McIntyre came back with a Claymore Kick on Reigns to send him over the barricade. Elias went after Taker, but McIntyre hit a Claymore Kick on Taker as well. Shane told Drew and Elias to put Taker on the announce table. Shane went into the ring, he went up top and Shane jumped off the top rope with an elbow drop that put Undertaker through the table. McIntyre and Elias brought Undertaker into the ring and set him up against the turnbuckle. Shane placed a trash can in front of Taker. Elias held the trash can. Shane did the throat slash motion while he stood on the top rope and Shane hit the Coast to Coast dropkick into the trash can in Undertaker’s face. Reigns got back into it with a Superman Punch on Elias. McIntyre dropped Reigns with a Russian legsweep on the floor. Shane pulled Undertaker to the middle of the ring looking for a pinfall, but Taker sat up and gave Shane a Chokeslam. Undertaker gave Elias a Chokeslam as well. Taker faced the hard cam like a good company man and did the throat slash. McIntyre charged at Taker, but Reigns saved Undertaker with a Spear. That was really well done. Reigns whipped Shane to Taker and Taker hit Shane with a Tombstone Piledriver for the pinfall win at 17:01.
Winners by pinfall: Roman Reigns and The Undertaker
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a solid match that featured some big spots with Shane getting his high spots in. They did what I expected with Elias out there to make it look like the heels would win, but Reigns and Taker were too much for them. I’m glad it was Shane that took the pin instead of Drew because it was time for Shane to get beat in a match like that. The bad thing about this match is they said it’s No Holds Barred with tags, then they did tags for the first half and then it was ignored. It could have been ignored the whole time, so again that’s something I wish WWE was more aware of when they set up these matches.
Post match, Undertaker stared at Reigns and tapped him on the chest as a sign of respect. Reigns left as replays of the key spots in the match aired.
The Undertaker’s music hit as the 54-year-old legend did his posing in the crowd. It was noted by Cole that we don’t know how many more times we’ll be able to witness Undertaker and that’s a good point. It’s up to Undertaker. The Undertaker did his posing in the ring, then his long walk up the ramp and his fist raise to say goodbye for now.
Analysis: The Undertaker did well here. He was a lot better in this match than he was in his match against Goldberg last month.
Becky Lynch, the Raw Women’s Champion and WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins were interviewed backstage by Sarah Schreiber. Rollins said they know what is at stake and they know they are in the city of Brotherly Love in Philadelphia, PA. Rollins said that Philly’s Liberty Bell has a crack in it like the crack he’ll put on Baron’s head. Lynch said if they put up a statue of Lacey Evans then it would be covered in pigeon crap like her career after tonight. Rollins was confident and Lynch said the only thing that’s not an option is losing.
There was a commercial for Raw Reunion one week from tomorrow (July 22) on USA Network.
Analysis: Get a bunch of former stars on the show to try to boost the ratings. That’s fine with me.
The Revival were up next as the Raw Tag Team Champions. The Usos did a quick promo on their way to the ring.
Raw Tag Team Championships: The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson) vs. The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso)
There were a lot of quick tags early on. The Usos hit a double kick to Wilder, but when they went for a superkick, Dawson pulled Wilder out of the ring. The Revival went back in the ring, but The Usos tossed them out of the ring and The Usos hit dives over the top to take out both guys. Wilder drew Jey out of the ring, Dawson hit Jey with a clothesline and The Revival whipped Jey into the barricade to take control. Back in the ring, Dawson with a leg drop, elbow and headbutt. Dawson slammed Wilder onto Jey for a two count. Wilder with a catapult that sent Jey into the bottom rope. Dawson tagged in, he prevented Jey from tagging out and Jey hit Dawson with a belly to back suplex. Wilder went after Jimmy, the referee made Dawson leave the ring, so he didn’t see Jimmy get the tag. The Revival worked over Jey with punches. Wilder tagged in with an elbow drop off the ropes. The fans chanted “Uso” to try to help Jey get going as Dawson set up Jey for a superplex. Jey with a headbutt (I think) on Dawson while they were on the top rope and they both landed on the floor. Wilder got the tag, but Jey broke free and tagged in Jimmy, who hit Wilder with a cross body block for two. Jimmy with a Samoan Drop on Wilder and a Samoan Drop on Dawson. Jimmy hit a running hip attack on Dawson and Wilder came back with a sitout Powerbomb for a two count. Dawson and Wilder charged, Jimmy kicked them and a corkscrew off the top for two. Jey tagged in, Jimmy launched him into a Samoan Drop from Jey for a two count. Dawson with a punch to knock Jimmy off the apron, Dawson with a kick to Jey and a brainbuster got a two count. Dawson hit a superplex on Jey, Wilder tagged in and hit a splash off the top, but Jimmy broke that up with an Uso Splash. Jey covered Wilder, but Dawson broke it up. All four guys were down selling. Jey got back up with a superkick on Dawson and Wilder. Jimmy got the tag, Dawson pulled Jey out of the ring and Dawson made a blind tag leading to the Shatter Machine double team move for the pinfall win at 12:35.
Winners by pinfall: The Revival
Analysis: *** It was a good WWE tag team match with a lot of moments where it looked like either team could win. The Usos selling is always excellent, which is why they are one of the best babyface teams ever because they know how to build up to the big comeback. The crowd wasn’t into the whole match, but they got into it by the end. It was a relatively clean win for The Revival, who I expected to win. I thought they'd have a better match. There was nothing wrong with it. I just had expectations for more of a classic tag team match.
A commercial aired for SummerSlam in Toronto on April 11. It’s over two hours away from me, but I don’t know if I’m going.
The Smackdown announce team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton took over. A video package aired to see how this Aleister Black vs. Cesaro match was set up.
Cesaro made his entrance. They showed the international row of announcers: Portuguese, Russian, French, Hindi, Japanese (hey Funaki) and Mandarin. That led to the usual Graves joke about hanging out with the Mandarin announcers.
Aleister Black made his entrance with a serious look on his face. I have liked Black’s theme song since the NXT days.
Cesaro vs. Aleister Black
Cesaro with a belly to back suplex and then he tried the Neutralizer, but Black got out of it. Black kicked Cesaro, then sent him to the floor and hit a moonsault onto Cesaro on the floor. Back in the ring, Black with a double knee attack out of the corner followed by a kick to the back of the head. Black kicked the legs of Cesaro, he went for a move off the ropes, but Cesaro shoved him over the top to the floor. Back in the ring, Cesaro with a springboard uppercut for a two count. Cesaro with a clothesline and then a gutwrench suplex for another two count. Cesaro with a running double foot stomp to the chest of Black followed by an armbar on the left arm. Black with a moonsault off the middle ropes onto a standing Cesaro. Black with kicks to the chest and he went for the double knees off the ropes, but Cesaro caught him, launched him into the air and hit an uppercut. That was amazing. Cesaro with another uppercut. Black with a backslide pin for a two count. Cesaro went for a leaping attack off the middle ropes, but Black hit a leaping knee to the face for a two count. Cesaro sent Black outside the ring. When Black went back into the ring, Cesaro was hurt with the left leg injury due to all the kicks. Black slapped on a kneebar submission on the left leg of Cesaro. When Cesaro realized he couldn’t get to the ropes, Cesaro slapped on a Sharpshooter and a Crossface submission. Black elbowed the left leg to get out of it. When they got back up, Black hit a lifting knee to the face of Cesaro. Both guys were down. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them although they were quiet for most of the match. Black connected with uppercuts on Cesaro, then Cesaro came back with uppercuts of his own. Black fought out of a Neutralizer attempt by hitting the legs of Cesaro and then he hit the Black Mass spin kick for the pinfall win at 9:45.
Winner by pinfall: Aleister Black
Analysis: ***1/2 It was a very physical, hard-hitting match. That spot where Cesaro caught Black, launched him in the air and hit an uppercut was amazing. Cesaro is one of my favorite guys to watch. I would have liked to see them get more time, but it was what I expected. There was a nice story with Black targeting the left leg of Cesaro, which played a factor all match long with Cesaro selling the left knee injury throughout the match. Black winning clean with the Black Mass kick was the obvious outcome. I would like a rematch soon, please.
R-Truth and Carmella were shown walking down a hallway with Truth having a “Wanted” sign looking for the 24/7 Title for Drake Maverick. Alexa Bliss and Bayley were there. Truth asked if she had seen “Hornswoggle” and she said yes, but then Carmella told Truth not to listen to them. Bliss gave Cross a Bliss t-shirt. The Street Profits team of Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins showed up to ask where the party at when Bliss is the new Smackdown Women’s Champion. Bliss told them it was “co” champions and the Street Profits laughed at them. Dawkins said that they Trust the Process (cheap pop in Philly) and they argued about not sharing things. Cross said that they will prove them wrong when they become the Smackdown Women’s Co-Champions. Ford yelled about Nikki being intense.
Nikki Cross entered first, then Alexa Bliss was next and it’s good to see her looking healthy after dealing with a sinus infection over the last week. Bayley was up last as the Smackdown Women’s Champion. The Spanish and German announce teams were shown at ringside. They must be happy their tables aren't broken yet.
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross
The team of Bliss and Cross had to tag in and out. Bayley started with Bliss for a bit, Cross tagged in and Bayley hit her with a clothesline. Bliss got the tag, Bayley sent Cross out of the ring and Bliss shoved Bayley off the apron onto the steel steps. Bliss and Cross made some quick tags as they worked over Bayley with Cross hooking the arms into a neckbreaker. Bayley looks more tanned than usual, but maybe that’s just because Cross has no tan. Bayley tossed Cross out of the ring, Cross pulled out the ring apron and trapped Bayley, which is the Finlay apron spot. Bliss hit a sliding dropkick on Bayley and Bliss got the tag leading to a hard slap to the face for a two count. Bliss with another had slap to Bayley’s face. Cross stomped on Bayley while she was in a tree of woe position against the turnbuckle. Bliss worked over Bayley with forearms. Bayley knocked Cross off the apron and Bliss choked Bayley followed by a hair ship into the mat. Bliss hit Bayley with the knees to the ribs two times for a two count. Bliss with a forearm to the face, then a kick and Bayley came back with a clothesline. Bayley hit a suicide dive under the middle ropes onto Cross on the floor. Bayley with a neckbreaker using the ropes for an assist for two. Cross tagged back in and Bayley hit a belly to back suplex. Bayley gave Bliss a body slam onto Cross. Bayley took down Cross by the legs and she slapped on a grapevine submission on the legs of Cross. Bayley also gave Bliss a Crossface submission at the same time. Bliss bit Bayley’s hand to break out of it. Cross couldn’t get to the ropes, so Bliss hit Bayley with a forearm to break the hold. Bayley drove Cross into the turnbuckle, but Cross came back with a Tornado DDT out of the corner for two. Bliss tagged back in and went for Twisted Bliss, but Bayley got the knees up to block. Bliss tagged out, Cross off the top and Bayley hit her with a knee to the head. Bayley went up top and hit the top rope elbow on Cross for the pinfall win at 10:30.
Winner by pinfall: Bayley
Analysis: **1/2 The match was decent. There was no miscommunication from Cross and Bliss, which was a bit of a surprise, but I don’t mind Bayley winning clean and looking like a dominant champion. This is the way Bayley should have been booked a few years ago when she was a champion on Raw. At least they got it right this time. I assume WWE is going to have Charlotte Flair as the next opponent for Bayley because I doubt Flair is going to be on the sidelines for a major event like SummerSlam next month. Sasha Banks might return soon as well although she may on Raw.
A commercial aired for the WWE Universe mobile game and for WWE Shop as well.
The Raw announce team was back in control with a new announce table. The video package aired for Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley.
Bobby Lashley entered first with an intense look on his face. Braun Strowman got a big ovation from the crowd for his entrance.
Last Man Standing Match: Bobby Lashley vs. Braun Strowman
Lashley charged at Strowman, but Strowman was ready and sent him out of the ring. Strowman whipped Lashley into the barricade two times. Strowman sent Lashley in the ring, the bell rang to start and Strowman connected with two running splashes. Lashley left the ring, so Strowman hit him with a running shoulder tackle. When Lashley got back up, Strowman ran around the ring again and Lashley stopped him with a Spear. The referee was John Cone and he counted Strowman down, but he got back up. The announcers talked about the rumored injuries for Strowman, which is a way to mention the bullshit injuries they tried to come up with for Braun. Lashley grabbed the steel steps and hit Strowman in the head with them. Lashley hit Strowman with the steel steps to send him over the barricade. They went brawling into the crowd with Lashley hitting Strowman with a chair shot to the back. Lashley hit Strowman with punches to the ribs. They reached the top of the stars in one section of the arena and they went into a hallway near the concession stands. Lashley whipped Strowman into a wall followed by punches to the head. There were fans nearby with Event Staff there to keep them away. Lashley tossed over a table at a merchandise stand. Strowman sent Lashley into the padded signage that had the t-shirts on it and then Lashley’s body hit the cement hard. Strowman decked Lashley with a punch. They went back towards the arena as they went down the stairs and Strowman decked Bobby with a punch followed by a boot to the face. The referee counted Lashley down for a seven count. When Lashley got back up, Strowman ran him over with a running shoulder tackle. Lashley got back into it with a Spear that sent them both through the barricade into the ringside area.
Lashley drove Strowman back first into the side of the ring apron. Lashley imitated Strowman with the running attack and a shoulder tackle that knocked Strowman over the German announce table. Lashley tipped the table over. Strowman was trapped under the announce table and he crawled out from under the table to break the count at 9. Strowman went into the crowd, Lashley jumped over the barricade and Strowman tossed him onto the some of the announcers in the foreign announcer row. It was Funaki, which was smart since he’s a former wrestler. Strowman was grabbing at his left side around the ribs because he was selling that injury most of the match. Lashley hit Strowman in the back with a garbage bin. Strowman got back up at the count of 8. Strowman with a running kick followed by a hard right hand to the face. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Strowman kicked him, Lashley told him to bring more, so Strowman kept punching him. They went up the stairs in the back part of the arena, Lashley shoved a fan (likely a plant) at Strowman. They were over by some gimmicked stage area. Strowman hit Lashley with a chair to the back. Lashley tried to block Strowman from picking him up, but Strowman picked him up and Strowman gave Lashley a Powerslam off the staging area in the crowd and they went crashing through some gimmicked table that was down there. The fans chanted “holy shit” for them. The fans also chanted “ECW” for them. Strowman was crawling out of the wreckage, then he broke through some wall that was set up and Strowman won the match at 17:30.
Winner by pinfall: Braun Strowman
Analysis: ***1/2 It was an entertaining brawl with a big ending that the crowd loved. Both guys worked hard and they had the kind of match that was a lot better than a regular match between them would be. I thought it was a smart idea to go into the crowd because that made the fans feel like they were involved a bit more. Strowman getting the win was likely done to have him move on from this rivalry because Strowman has had nothing interesting to do all year. I picked Lashley to win because I thought he could use a meaningful win, but Strowman rarely loses, so I understand why it was booked this way. It might be time for WWE to push Strowman to the main event again.
— TDE Wrestling (@tde_wrestling) July 15, 2019
AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were interviewed by birthday girl Charly Caruso. Styles talked about his friendship with his buddies and how he was confident he would beat Ricochet for the US Title. The guys did the “Too Sweet” hand gesture, then told her to join and Styles said no she can’t join. The heels left.
There was a commercial for the Raw Reunion episode on Raw on July 22 in Tampa. Some of the names in the commercial were Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Kevin Nash, Razor Ramon (Scott Hall), Eric Bischoff and more.
The New Day duo of Big E and Xavier Woods entered for the Smackdown Tag Team Title match. They showed Saxton dancing to New Day music with Graves getting angry about it. Heavy Machinery were up next and they did a pre-tape promo as well about how they are going to win because the yare blue-collar solid. Daniel Bryan and Rowan were next as the Smackdown Tag Team Champions.
Smackdown Tag Team Championships: Daniel Bryan and Rowan vs. Big E and Xavier Woods vs. Heavy Machinery (Otis and Tucker)
Woods started with Bryan and then Tucker tagged in to show off some athleticism with a cartwheel. Rowan tagged himself in, he sent Tucker out of the ring and after he knocked down Woods, he hit a running splash for two. Rowan squeezed the head of Woods. Bryan tagged back in with a running dropkick on Woods. Bryan slapped on a surfboard submission on Woods to stretch him a bit. Rowan went back in with a pumphandle backbreaker on Woods and Rowan knocked Big E off the apron. Bryan whipped Big E into the steel steps. Woods with a jumping kick on Rowan followed by a dropkick. Bryan got the tag and Otis got the tag from Woods with Otis hitting Bryan with two shoulder tackles followed by a spinning body slam. Otis with an overhead suplex on Bryan across the ring. Otis hit a running splash on Bryan near the turnbuckle. That led to Otis doing the Caterpillar into the elbow drop. Tucker got the tag leading to Otis launching Bryan into Tucker for a slam for a two count. Big E tagged the back of Bryan and Big E hit a belly to belly suplex on Tucker, but the splash didn’t work because Tucker got the knees up. Otis tagged back in, he lifted Big E and Tucker hit a cross body block off the top for a two count for Otis. That was well done. Rowan back in with a slam on Tucker and a spin kick on Otis. Rowan sent Woods out of the ring followed by Rowan hitting a running cross body block on Woods on the floor. Bryan with a running knee attack off the apron. Big E sent Rowan out of the ring with a clothesline followed by a Spear on Bryan on the apron to take him down. Otis teased a dive out of the ring, the crowd came alive for it, Otis stopped and jumped off the apron onto Woods, Big E and Rowan. That was funny. Tucker went up top, and jumped onto Rowan and Big E with a cross body block. That was impressive by the 300-pounder Tucker.
Otis sent Big E back into the ring, Otis picked up Big E and Tucker hit the Compactor on Big E with Woods breaking up the pin at two. Woods was launched into the air into a powerslam by Otis. Rowan went back in leading to Otis and Tucker sandwiching Rowan, then each guy with running splashes on Rowan and they set up Rowan on the top rope. Heavy Machinery tried a superplex, but Big E hit both of Heavy Machinery with slams off the ropes. Bryan tagged Otis to become the legal man. Big E hit a superplex on Big E off the top rope. Bryan went up top and hit a headbutt onto Big E. Bryan slapped on the LeBell Lock on Big E and Bryan pulled back on the leg of Big E as well. Big E got his whole body under the bottom rope with Bryan letting go. Bryan worked over Big E with the Yes Kicks to the chest, but Big E no sold it and got back to his feet. Bryan with a hard slap to the face of Big E and Bryan slapped him again. Big E hit Bryan with a hard clothesline. Bryan jumped onto Big E for a moonsault, Big E caught him and Woods tagged in with the Midnight Hour double team move on Bryan and Woods covered Bryan for the pinfall win at 14:02.
Winners and New Smackdown Tag Team Champions: The New Day
Analysis: ***3/4 That was a great tag team match. It’s not easy doing a triple threat tag team match with six guys involved, but they put it together well and they built the match up to have an exciting finish. I thought Big E was booked well in this match because he dominated everybody, especially Bryan at the end of the match. I continue to be impressed by the Heavy Machinery duo. They are doing well and holding their own against great wrestlers every week. In my preview, I picked New Day to win because of the story of them holding the Tag Team Titles while Kofi is WWE Champion and I wanted Daniel Bryan to get a singles push again. I really enjoyed that match.
— WWE (@WWE) July 15, 2019
There was a commercial for NXT this week with Adam Cole defending the NXT Title.
There was a shot of Kofi Kingston backstage celebrating with Big E and Xavier Woods in the Gorilla Position. Kayla Braxton tried to interview them, but Paul Heyman showed up and stole the microphone.
Paul Heyman appeared on the stage to let us know he’s the advocate for the soon to be WWE or Universal Champion Brock Lesnar. Heyman said that he is Philadelphia, which drew cheers. Heyman said that he is the entire concept of extreme, which also drew cheers. Heyman said if he’ll be damned if he leaves Philadelphia on an extreme show without making history. Heyman said that tonight, in that very ring, his client Brock Lesnar will cash in the Money in the Bank contract and the fans cheered. Heyman said he’ll have the honor and privilege of leaving Philadelphia with either the WWE or Universal Champion Brock Lesnar. Heyman said that him telling you this would make him a stupid son of a bitch. Heyman asked is he telling the truth or is he Paul Heyman?
Analysis: The mystery of when Lesnar will cash in continues without an answer yet.
AJ Styles entered with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson with him to watch his back. Ricochet was up next as the US Champion with the fans cheering him.
Ricochet was attacked in the ring by Gallows and Anderson. The referee broke it up. Even though the referee saw the attack, he didn’t eject them from ringside.
United States Championship: Ricochet vs. AJ Styles (w/Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson)
Ricochet took down Styles with a headscissors followed by a dropkick. Ricochet with arm drags, then a running chop and a corner clothesline. Ricochet with a dropkick that sent Styles out of the ring. Styles to the floor, Ricochet kicked him and hit a Shooting Star Press off the apron onto Styles on the floor. Gallows distracted Ricochet, so Styles took over the offense with a cheap shot to the back of the neck. Back in the ring, Styles with a hard whip into the turnbuckle. When Ricochet tried to get going again, Styles hit him with a running elbow to the face. Styles slapped on a chinlock to ground Ricochet. Styles charged, Ricochet stepped off the face with a dropkick and then a step up enziguri knocked Styles down. Ricochet with a running forearm followed by a headscissors across the ring. Ricochet with a kick to the face by the turnbuckle and a springboard clothesline. Ricochet jumped onto Gallows and Anderson on the floor as well. Ricochet with a springboard moonsault (or Lionsault) on Styles for a two count. Styles went for an attack off the ropes, Ricochet caught him with a Northern Lights suplex and then a suplex got a two count. Styles got back into it with a fireman’s carry into the knee. Ricochet sent Styles into the turnbuckle. Styles sent Ricochet to the apron, which led to a DDT attempt by Ricochet, but Styles turned it into a suplex into the turnbuckle for a two count. Nice move. Ricochet went for a rollup, Styles got out of it and Styles hit a move into a reverse DDT for two. Styles with a forearm. Ricochet avoided the Phenomenal Forearm and Styles hit a sitout slam that sent Ricochet face first into the mat for a two count. Styles picked up Ricochet leading to Ricochet hitting a hurricanrana out of it.
Each man got back to their feet as the fans chanted for both guys. Styles worked over Ricochet with strikes, jumping kick by Ricochet and a Pele Kick by Styles. Ricochet with a spinning neckbreaker and Styles hit a brainbuster out of it for two. They battled on the top rope with Ricochet knocking him down with a palm strike, then Ricochet drove Styles throat first into the top rope. Ricochet went up top and hit a Shooting Star Press and Anderson told the referee that AJ’s foot was under the bottom rope. It was true without Anderson touching the foot, so the referee stopped counting at two. Anderson went on the apron, Ricochet kicked him into the ring, the referee was distracted by Anderson and Gallows tripped up Ricochet on the top rope. Ricochet was upside down on the turnbuckle and Styles hit the Styles Clash off the ropes for the pinfall win at 16:30. That finisher looked awesome.
Winner by pinfall and New United States Champion: AJ Styles
Analysis: ***3/4 It was a very good, back and forth style match where they each hit big moves. Ricochet came close to winning several times, but as I predicted, Styles got the win thanks to the help from his friends. It makes more sense for the heel Styles to hold the title because it gives Ricochet something to chase. They can also find a tag team for Ricochet to team up with for some six-man tag team matches. This wasn’t the memorable, epic kind of match that I was hoping they would have, but it was still enjoyable.
Styles celebrated with the US Title along with his buddies. That is the third time Styles has won the US Championship.
There was a commercial for the WWE 24 special about Batista that premiered last week. It was really well done.
A video aired showing the issues with Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler from last week’s Smackdown. It led to a memorable Owens promo at ringside trashing Shane McMahon that was one of the best promos on TV this year.
Kevin Owens made his entrance with the face cheering him as a new babyface. This match was added to the show earlier today, they also said it would be on the Kickoff Show about two hours before the show and then it got moved here to the main show. Dolph Ziggler was up next as the opponent.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens
Ziggler got in KO’s face, he slapped him and Kevin Owens hit a Stone Cold Stunner for the pinfall win after about ten seconds.
Winner by pinfall: Kevin Owens
Analysis: That was quick. No point in rating it, but it did put over Owens in a big way to win so quickly.
Kevin Owens did a promo after the match saying he was worried that he may lose his job, but after The Undertaker gave Shane McMahon a Tombstone, he got to live another day. KO ended it saying that he speaks for people in the back when he says that Shane McMahon can kiss his ass and go straight to hell. The fans cheered and he left.
Analysis: I'm ready for the Kevin Owens babyface push. I really think he can catch fire and win over the fans due to his promos, plus his ability in the ring. It's just a matter of WWE giving him a chance to show what he can do.
There was a WWEShop commercial.
The video package aired for Kofi Kingston vs. Samoa Joe for the WWE Title.
Samoa Joe was interviewed by Charly Caruso by the curtain. Joe said that he’s going to end the WWE Title reign of Kofi Kingston. Joe said that he’s going to turn that dream into a nightmare. Joe told him that the nightmare begins when Kofi stares up from the canvas looking at the new WWE Champion, Samoa Joe.
Samoa Joe entered first as the challenger with fans chanting “Joe” during his song. Kofi Kingston entered with the WWE Title around his waist as he tossed pancakes into the crowd. They stood in the ring as Greg Hamilton did the championship introductions for them.
WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston vs. Samoa Joe
Joe was in control early by using his power including a running back elbow that knocked Kingston down. Joe with a running splash against the turnbuckle followed by a jumping kick to the head. Kingston avoided a Joe attack, he landed on his feet and hit a dropkick to send Joe out of the ring. Joe came back with a punch to stop Kingston from an attack on the floor. Joe covered for two. Joe pulled on a finger of Kingston, then put it against the steel steps and stomped on the finger. It was payback after Kingston gave him the middle finger on Smackdown two weeks ago. Kingston with chops to the chest, a dropkick to the face and a leaping clothesline. Joe sent Kingston to the apron, Kingston up top and he hit a cross body block off the top for a two count. Kingston ran the ropes leading to Joe catching him and hitting a powerslam for two. Joe with a Powerbomb that he transitioned into a STF submission. Kofi got his foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. Joe did some heel taunting, so Kingston came back with the SOS for a two count. Kingston charged for the Trouble in Paradise, but Joe grabbed him, slammed him into the mat and a running senton splash for a two count. There were fans chanting “we want Lesnar” and others chanting “no we don’t” to counter them. Kingston sent Joe into the ropes and hit a Trouble in Paradise kick for the pinfall win at 9:20.
Winner by pinfall: Kofi Kingston
Analysis: **1/2 It was a decent match that did not live up to the hype as a WWE Title match. I liked the story of Joe working on the finger of Kingston and Kofi was selling it, but they didn’t have enough moments where it looked like the match might end earlier than it did. It was also a surprise that they didn’t even get ten minutes considering this was for the WWE Title. I hope they go back to Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan again, but there are a lot of options.
There was a commercial for the Rocket League video game. There was a commercial for SummerSlam on August 11 in Toronto.
The video package aired for Winners Take All with Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch vs. Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans.
Baron Corbin entered first for the heel side followed by his tag team partner Lacey Evans. When Lacey entered, the camera zoomed in on her ass. Is the Attitude Era back? Kidding. Becky Lynch was next with the Raw Women’s Championship. She had some gear that was similar to what she wore at WrestleMania, but the top was a bit different. Seth Rollins, who is sometimes known as The Man’s Man (I guess), was next as the Universal Champion. Good reactions for Becky and Seth.
Analysis: Think of all the talented names on the WWE roster now. It’s hard to believe that Lacey Evans, who still has a long way to go as a performer, is main eventing a PPV in 2019. This is not a strong main event.
Winners Take All Extreme Rules Mixed Tag Team Match for the Universal and Raw Women’s Championships: Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch vs. Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans
This is another match where there are tags even though there are no rules in the match. Evans has “SETH” embroidered on her red shorts. Lynch kicked Evans out of the ring. Corbin got the tag, so Rollins went after him, Corbin got a rollup and Rollins hit a Blockbuster. Corbin left the ring, he grabbed a kendo stick from under the ring and Corbin hit a knee to the ribs of Rollins. Slingblade by Rollins on Corbin. Evans tried to hit Rollins, then she tried to flirt with him and Lynch attacked Evans with several kendo stick shots to the back. Rollins worked over Corbin with a kendo stick as well. Lynch with a baseball slide on Evans, Rollins with a suicide dive on Corbin, Evans with a forearm on Evans and Rollins with another suicide dive. Back in the ring, Corbin knocked down Rollins with punches. Corbin had a steel chair that he used to hit Rollins in the back two times along with a chair to the ribs for two. Evans tossed two more chairs into the ring. Rollins countered a Corbin slam attempt into a rollup for two. Corbin came back with a kick to the ribs followed by a DDT onto the chair for two. Cole screamed about Corbin possibly winning there, but the crowd barely reacted to it. Corbin with a chair to the ribs of Rollins. A chair was wedged against the turnbuckle, so after Rollins kicked Corbin in the head, he whipped Corbin into the chair. Lynch got the tag, she went after Evans on the floor with some weak looking chair shots to the back. Lynch whipped Evans into the barricade and back into the ring. Back in the ring, Lynch hit a bulldog into an open seated chair in the ring. Lynch hit a Bexploder Suplex onto the two steel chairs in the ring. Lynch put a chair onto Evans and followed up with a leg drop off the middle ropes for two. Corbin went back into the ring to save Evans and Rollins hit a knee to the face of Corbin. Lynch jumped off the top and hit a missile dropkick that hit a chair into Corbin’s face. Evans tripped up Lynch and she hit an elbow drop. Evans jumped from the middle ropes to the top rope and hit a moonsault onto Lynch for a two count. Evans was bleeding from the lip. Lynch avoided the punch, rollup for two and Lynch with a reverse DDT on Evans.
Rollins got the tag, he grabbed a table from under the ring and he got Becky to get another table from under the ring. Seth and Becky set up a table on the floor outside the ring. They set up the second table near the first table that was set up on the floor. Corbin drove Rollins into the barricade and Evans whipped Lynch into the barricade. Corbin sent Rollins over the barricade at ringside. Corbin sent Rollins into the top of the announce table. Corbin brought two kendo sticks into the ring as Corbin and Evans each hit Rollins in the back with kendo sticks followed by Evans hitting Rollins in the ribs with the kendo stick. Lynch got back into the ring as Corbin and Evans hit a double Chokeslam for a two count. The crowd was quiet for this. Remember when they said that wrestlers needed to do tags in this match? That was ignored after the first five minutes. Corbin and Evans picked up Rollins, but Lynch got back into it with Seth and Becky hitting a double suplex on the bottom of the ramp. Lynch put Evans on a table and Rollins put Corbin onto a table. Lynch with a leg drop off the middle turnbuckle onto Evans through a table. Rollins stood on the ring post and hit a Frog Splash onto Corbin through the table. Back in the ring, Rollins went for the Stomp, but Corbin caught him with a Powerbomb and the Deep Six Slam for two as Lynch made the save. Evans got back in the ring and Lynch tossed her out of the ring. Corbin grabbed Lynch and hit her with the End of Days slam. The fans booed loudly while Rollins was furious about it. Rollins went crazy on Corbin with the kendo stick and then Rollins hit Corbin in the back with the steel chair about six times. Rollins with The Stomp on Corbin once, Rollins with The Stomp on Corbin twice and Rollins hit The Stomp for the third time and Rollins covered Corbin for the pinfall at 19:48.
Winners by pinfall: Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch
Analysis: **1/4 This was just an average match that went too long. Rollins and Lynch busted their asses to try to carry their opponents, but it wasn’t that interesting. The key spot in the match was Corbin hitting his finisher on Lynch, which infuriated Rollins and that was a good way to get into the finishing sequence with Rollins wanting revenge. I think that table spot that Seth and Becky did with the splashes back to back was a great idea. They executed it well. The first ten minutes were boring due to the tag team rules being enforced in a match with "Extreme Rules" otherwise. Things picked up from there, which allowed them to have a passable match. I just think with the roster that WWE has right now, they can put on much better main events than this.
Brock Lesnar’s music hit and he had Paul Heyman with him along with a referee. The crowd reacted to Lesnar with a pop in a big way when his music hits. Lesnar went into the ring where he hit Rollins with two German Suplexes. The Money in the Bank contract was officially cashed in and the bell rang.
Universal Championship: Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar hit the F5 on Rollins and covered him for the pinfall win after twelve seconds.
Winner by pinfall and New Universal Champion: Brock Lesnar
Analysis: Here we go again. It’s the third Universal Championship reign of Brock Lesnar. It’s not a major surprise because Paul Heyman has a lot of booking influence on Raw now, so Heyman wanting Lesnar wit the title was a strong possibility and I’m sure Vince McMahon likes that idea as well since Lesnar has had two long reigns with the title in the past. I thought Rollins would have a longer reign as champion, but with ratings going down and attendance going down, this was likely WWE’s decision to try to make things better with Lesnar as champion again. Lesnar as champion isn't going to make live event attendance better, but maybe Raw crowds will be bigger.
Lesnar celebrated with the title. There were replays of what happened. Rollins was frustrated about the loss. Lesnar and Heyman left together to end the show.
This show had a runtime of 3:53:44 on WWE Network.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) July 15, 2019
Five Stars of the Show
- Daniel Bryan
- Big E
- AJ Styles
- The Undertaker
It gets a 7.5 out of 10 from me.
There were good matches all night long with several matches in the three-star range. What that means is they were good, but not necessarily great matches. I didn’t rate anything at four stars or over even though I thought there could be two or three matches at that level.
I’m hoping that Paul Heyman as Executive Director of Raw and Eric Bischoff as Executive Director of Smackdown will lead to some more exciting storylines because going into this show, there just wasn’t enough intrigue in some of these matches. We need more long term stories and better payoffs than what we usually get.
I did well in my predictions because the only match I got wrong was Braun Strowman beating Bobby Lashley. I thought that maybe Lashley was going to get a big win, but I shouldn’t pick against Strowman, who rarely loses. I didn’t predict Lesnar to win the Universal Title although maybe I should have done it since Heyman said it was going to happen. Sorry for not trusting you, Paul!
To sum it up, I'd call it a solid night of wrestling, but not necessarily a show that you need to go out of your way to see if you missed it.
Here are my rankings of 2019 WWE PPVs so far with a score out of 10:
WrestleMania 35 – 7.5
Elimination Chamber – 7.5
Extreme Rules - 7.5
Fastlane – 7.5
Royal Rumble – 7
Stomping Grounds – 6.5
Money in the Bank – 6
Super Showdown – 3.5
I have four PPVs at 7.5 this year. That's odd. I guess I'm reluctant to give out an 8 out of 10 score, but maybe we'll get one of those or even higher before the end of the year.
Thanks for reading this review. My contact info is below. I’ll be back during the week with Raw and Smackdown reviews as usual.