Another Extreme Rules is in the books and from top to bottom, it was a pretty solid show. There were a few questionable booking decisions although it was mostly enjoyable. Good wrestling from top to bottom, a surprise return, and a weird finish to the main event. Let’s get into it
#1: AN “UN”-EXTREME PAY PER VIEW
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not one of those guys that goes crazy for gimmick matches. If WWE wants to have a full show with great matches and no gimmicks, I’m fine with that. However, when you have a show called EXTREME RULES, the expectation is that you should have more than one extreme rules match on the card. I’m not saying every match had to be Extreme Rules. Switch it up with a Tables match or an Ambulance match. It’s supposed to be the “One night a year where everything gets extreme.” In that case, you need more than one extreme rules match to do that. It’s not a huge gripe but more stipulations definitely would’ve helped the show.
#2: NEW DAY DEFEATS LASHLEY/AJ STYLES/OMOS
I was a little confused as to why there was no WWE Title match or, at the very least, a match featuring the WWE Champion on the Extreme Rules show. That was rectified on the Extreme Rules kickoff show when a backstage segment was recorded of The New Day in a backstage brawl with Bobby Lashley, Omos, and AJ Styles. Thus, a six-man tag was made. The match went nearly twenty minutes in what was better than a match you would see on Raw. The match came to an end when Big E hit the Big Ending on Bobby Lashley for the pin. All this did for me was make me want to see AJ Styles vs Big E for the WWE Championship. Big E vs Bobby Lashley was made for Raw for the WWE Championship in what will probably be the end of the rivalry…unless there’s a non-finish.
#3: THE USOS AND STREET PROFITS SHOW WHY THEY’RE THE BEST
I’ve said plenty of times over the years that I’ll take The Usos against any tag team in the world because of their overall package. The moves, the selling, the story, and so on. The Usos can do it all and do it at a very high level. The Street Profits matched them every step of the way. There are very few tag teams that can match The Usos’ intensity, but The Street Profits brought it tonight. They came up short, but this is a match I would not mind seeing them run back, possibly with Naomi and Bianca added to the mix. Montez Ford has star written all over him. Whenever the time comes that the Street Profits go their separate ways, Montez Ford will be one of the biggest stars in the company.
#4: CHARLOTTE DEFEATS ALEXA AND KILLS LILLY
Charlotte Flair proved once again why she is The Queen at Extreme Rules by defeating Alexa Bliss. The match was better than I expected, but I don’t think many people expected Alexa Bliss to actually win the match. I still fully expect Charlotte to have a lengthy run with the Women’s Title. The post match angle with Charlotte ripping up Lilly could’ve been a way to write Alexa Bliss off television or bring back the “old” Alexa Bliss. I’m not sure. The Lilly dolls sell extremely well and she’s over with the crowd, so it is hard for me to think they’ll just dump that entirely. Maybe we will get some answers on Raw tonight.
#5: DAMIAN PRIEST RETAINS THE UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP
In a match I don’t think was ever in doubt, Damian Priest retained the United States Title against Sheamus and Jeff Hardy. Jeff Hardy is still massively over with the audience in case you had any doubt. Priest continues to be one of the most protected guys on the entire roster. He has yet to be pinned in singles action since coming to Raw. The match was pretty good and Priest won with the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! (as John Canton calls it) for the pin. I think Priest will have a big 2022, but I think it’s time to move on from Sheamus when draft time comes around.
#6: THE BOSS IS BACK
Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch squared off last night for the Smackdown Women’s Championship in a hotly contested matchup. I thought they booked themselves into a corner before the show. I didn’t think Bianca should lose back to back title matches in a month. I also felt ending Becky’s reign after just one month would do more to hurt Becky and not really help Bianca. They got out of it by having Sasha Banks make her long-awaited return to attack both women. Normally I don’t approve of DQ endings like that after long matches. However, in this case, I think it worked because neither woman could afford to take a pinfall here. Sasha Banks made her intentions clear, but it also brings up an interesting problem for WWE. Obviously, they’re setting up a Triple Threat with Sasha Banks, Bianca Belair, and Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch. Unless they do that match this Friday, that would mean all three would have to be drafted to Smackdown. That would severely weaken Raw’s chances of having an interesting Women’s division. Sure, they could put women like Liv Morgan or Toni Storm there to give them some more airtime.
You need at least one ready-made star besides Charlotte and I was ready for it to be Bianca, Sasha, or Becky. It can’t be Becky Lynch because she’s the Smackdown Women’s Champion, unless they swap her for Charlotte and just have them trade titles like they did with The New Day and Street Profits in 2020. I don’t want it to be Bianca Belair because drafting her to Raw without her getting her revenge on Becky hurts her credibility in my opinion. That just leaves Sasha Banks, but it seems like she’s made for Friday nights and her story with Bianca isn’t finished either. It’s going to be interesting to see how they organize the women’s rosters coming out of the draft, but if those three are staying on Smackdown, they have a lot of work to do on Raw.
#7: THE HEAD OF THE TABLE REIGNS ONCE AGAIN
The main event is what really got people talking last night. Roman Reigns and “The Demon” Finn Balor put on a banger of a pay-per-view main event. It was the only Extreme Rules match on the show and it had everything: Chairs, Kendo sticks, tables, even fighting through the crowd which Roman kindly masked up for. I never had any doubt that Reigns would walk out the winner, but I will admit there were times in that match where I thought “this could be it.” Naturally, The Usos interfered as Balor was ready to put Reigns away. Finn fought them off until he was attacked by Roman. Then the shenanigans happened. First, Finn Balor was knocked out on the floor. Then, The Demon’s heartbeat started playing over the sound system and the lights flickered red. As this was happening, Balor kept flopping every time the heartbeat sound played. Eventually, the Demon music played and Finn Balor “resurrected” himself like something out of a movie. The music was playing as Balor was beating on Reigns. Finally, Balor rolled Roman in the ring and went up top for his finish. Then, the rope broke. Balor came crashing down, selling a leg injury, which was all Roman needed to hit the Spear and get the 1-2-3.
There has obviously been a lot of backlash online to the turnbuckle spot. Getting resurrected by a heartbeat sound and your music playing is cool but apparently, the top rope breaking is a bridge too far in professional wrestling. Could the finish have been better? Of course. The finish sucked, but it did protect The Demon character so he didn’t get beat straight up by Roman Reigns. Sometimes we forget to look at the big picture of things and just assume the worst every time. Yes, the finish was bad. However, if you’re okay with resurrections in pro wrestling, but a top rope breaking is too much for you, you might want to find a different form of entertainment to consume. It was all about the story and now the story shifts to Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar. Finn Balor will be fine.
That will do it for this month’s installment of 7 Thoughts. I thought the show was pretty good from top to bottom. Do I wish they could’ve redone a couple of those finishes? Yes I do, but it didn’t do much to hurt my enjoyment of the show. A lot of times this day and age we tend to overanalyze things and look for deeper meanings to everything. Sometimes we need to remember that we are all just fans. Whether it be AEW, NJPW, WWE, Impact, we are all fans. Take a moment to enjoy the era we are in instead of micro-analyzing every detail.
Thanks for reading. I’m on Twitter @GiftedMoney talking about wrestling among other things, so feel free to message me on there with any thoughts or comments.