WWE Extreme Rules 2017 Thoughts and Results
WWE’s Extreme Rules PPV wasn’t an extreme night and really didn’t feature any “extreme” matches, at least not to my standard.
My high school/university days were spent watching the Attitude Era and ECW when “extreme” MEANT “extreme.” Nonetheless, the PPV had some great moments and matches but some illogical moments and stinkers as well.
Dean Ambrose (Champ) vs. The Miz –
Intercontinental Championship Match
The stipulation in this match was if Dean Ambrose got disqualified, he’d lose the championship. I was hoping we’d see a quick title change by having The Miz do something “extreme” to provoke Ambrose into getting disqualified right away like bringing up Rene Young in some capacity verbally or on video. It didn’t happen and we got a wrestling match for most of the time they were in the ring.
In the closing third of the match, The Miz tried to get Ambrose disqualified by having Maryse slap him, removing the turnbuckle pad, and trying to get chairs involved. After the ref sent Maryse to the back, she came back out and the ref turned his back on the action to yell at her. It gave The Miz the perfect opportunity to throw Ambrose into the ref to make it look like Ambrose attack the ref on purpose.
Here’s where the logic of what happened next made no sense and ruined the whole match for me. If the ref was convinced Ambrose hit him on purpose, why not DQ him right there and then instead of arguing with him? The Miz ended up hitting Ambrose with the Skull Crushing Finale while the ref had Ambrose distracted. Technically, the ref was the cause of Ambrose losing and he would know that – so why would the ref pop back into the ring for the three count when the ref was now clearly at fault? It was stupid booking and made no sense but The Miz winning the title last night was the right call. Let’s just get the rematch out of the way on tonight’s Raw and have both men move onto new feuds.
Winner: The Miz
Alicia Fox & Nam Dar vs. Rich Swann & Sasha Banks – Mixed Tag Match
Fox and Banks were clumsy during the match while Swan and Dar tried their best with the limited time they had. It was nice to hear Swann’s hometown crowd get behind him and make more noise during the match than what was expected. It wasn’t a good mixed tag match and it wasn’t “extreme” at all. Very forgettable.
Winners: Rich Swann & Sasha Banks
Alexa Bliss (Champ) vs. Bayley –
Kendo Stick on a Pole Match
What a shit show this “match” was. This did nothing but make Bayley look stupid and bury her. At least Bliss benefitted by looking relentless and doing what she had to do to keep the title. There was no match here in my eyes. Unless this is all a tactic to bringing Bayley down so low they can rebuild her and tell the story they should have told with her in the first place, I’m really confused to what they’re doing with her.
Winner: Alexa Bliss
Side note: While Bayley does pander to the younger girls in the crowd and exudes the “role model” persona, I cannot believe that Vince and co. have messed her up so badly on the main roster. Charlotte and Bayley’s program should have went on until WM where the two would have a one on one match where Charlotte would finally lose her PPV streak and Bayley would overcome it all to win the big one. Nope. That didn’t happen because that would make sense and make for good storytelling. Now Charlotte is trying to pull of being a face on Smackdown, Bayley looks like an idiot who can’t get anything done, and Banks is relegated to trying to boost 205 Live’s wrestlers. Insanity. I bet Bliss is laughing it all up.
The Hardys (Champs) vs. Cesaro & Sheamus –
Steel Cage Match for the Raw Tag Team Championship
I really enjoyed this match. Well, most of it until the disbelief from illogical decisions occurred close to the end of the match. All four men put forth a great performance with good spots, aggression, and actual wrestling. My problem with the match was after Jeff Hardy got out of the cage. With Matt down, why would Cesaro & Sheamus inflict more punishment when they could just walk out the door to win? Why would Hardy come in just to do a high spot and risk himself getting knocked out when he has already left the cage? Why would Cesaro & Sheamus climb the cage with both Hardys down instead of walking out the door or at least jump off from the middle to win the match? I know it all tried to build suspense but it took me out of the match a bit at the end.
I think the right team one, though, as Cesaro & Sheamus have been on fire and deserve to be champs. It also makes for a better story having the faces chase the heels for the belts. I’m curious to see where this goes next. I don’t see it being prolonged for five weeks until the next PPV.
Winners: Cesaro & Sheamus
Neville vs. Austin Aries – Submisson Match for the Cruiserweight Championship
This match was good for the most part, although it really slowed down in some spots. One thing I didn’t understand about this match was why the ref would be staring the 10 count when the wrestlers were out of the ring when this was a win by submission only match. It makes no sense! In an “I Quit” match, which is basically what you’re doing when you tap out to a submission, there are no count-outs.
With that confusion out of the way, I did enjoy Aries doing everything possible to bring the pain to Neville and vice versa. I guess Aries has a small out with Neville tapping out to Aries’ Last Chancery at ringside (and the ref telling Aries he had to win in the ring).
The match ended with Aries lying near the turnbuckle and Neville delivering what looked like the most painful Red Arrow I’ve seen yet. Just the noise their bodies made when they collided made me cringe. From there, a visibly exhausted Aries tapped out to Neville’s Rings of Saturn submission. Great ending and again, the right person won. I just wonder if they’re going to extend this program now that Aries is 0-3 against Neville on PPVs. There just doesn’t seem to be any Crusierweights that are on Neville’s level (say that three times fast!)
Anyone else notice Aries’ weird staring/smiling face at the camera when he was sitting down outside the ring while Neville was show-boating his win in the ring? Odd.
Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe –
Fatal 5 Way #1 Contenders Match
I’m not going to go into huge details about the match because so much good stuff happened and you NEED to watch this match. It was exciting and all parties involved seemed to give it their all for about 30 minutes straight (when they weren’t resting on the outside of the ring).
Yes, there were the mandatory times where some of the participants were beat up so bad they needed to take a 5-10 minute breather on the outside of the ring so the people could focus on just 2-3 people. Examples are Balor taking a beating for almost 10 minutes before he disappeared, Reign’s usual hitting of the ring post during an attempted spear, followed up by being hit with the steps and then staying on the outside, and Rollins having a 10 minute rest while Balor was getting beat up.
I loved (and laughed at) Reigns at the beginning of the match just trolling the crowd while he just stood in the middle of the ring watching the other four beat the crap out of each other. That was good planning by WWE. What I didn’t like was, once again, the announcers showing bias for Reings (thanks, Vince) and Reigns not selling (or at least staying down after) the onslaught he received from the other competitors during the last 8 minutes of the match. I hated when Hogan hulked up, I hated when Cena turned into Super Cena, and I hate the same shit with Reigns. I bet the kick to the face by Balor must have hurt, though!
Amazing spots during the match included Seth Rollins’ top rope frogsplash onto Wyatt who was lying down on the announcer’s table, Reigns spearing Joe and Balor through the barricade, and Balor’s running drop-kicks to the other participants who were lying outside against the barricade.
The ending of the match was well done with each participant trying to take out each other. In the end, Balor was about to get the win with a pin on Reigns until Joe got behind him and locked on the Coquina Clutch. Balor didn’t even tap out! He fought it from within until he passed out – something we haven’t seen for a long time on WWE TV. I think the match really protected all of the wrestlers with the finish and made them all look strong.
I’m all for the finish here and I can get behind Joe as the number one contender. If you missed Talking Raw following the PPV, make sure you watch Joe’s segment on the show. He was serious and explained again what makes him tick. This is something he should be saying in front of a live crowd on Raw. From now until the Great Balls of Fire PPV (ugh, that name) in five weeks, Joe should do NOTHING but decimate every opponent and not look weak at all in order for people to believe he stands a chance at beating Lesnar. I hope he’s just not fed to him like others. Then again, that lazy ass Lesnar can’t even show up on TV. This IS WWE, though and who is to say Joe will still be going against Lesnar if Joe puts his spot on the line in the next five weeks.
Winner: Samoa Joe
Another side note: Can anyone explain to me with ratings in a decline and people tuning out how does Vince and his team think the best idea is to have the belt on someone as lazy and self-serving as Brock Lesnar? Don’t get me wrong, if I was in his shoes and allowed to barely “wrestle” and appear only here and there for a huge amount of money per year, I’m sure I’d take advantage of it, too. But for us fans, it’s complete bullshit. Bring some prestige to the title and having a defending champion. Allow the boys that do the work day in and day out to run with the title and elevate themselves! End of rant.