Reviews

The John Report: WWE Extreme Rules 2021 Review

Welcome to the WWE Extreme Rules review on TJRWrestling. I did not see the show live on Sunday night.

As a reminder, I have a listing of every WWE PPV that I reviewed in order by year. Thank you for supporting us at TJRWrestling. We appreciate you. Let’s get to the show.

Here’s the Kickoff Show match.

The Smackdown announce team of Michael Cole and Pat McAfee called the Kickoff Show match. The fans really like Liv Morgan. It’s really cool to see. Carmella did a pre-match promo about how beautiful she is. It was Carmella being an over-the-top heel saying her face separates her from nasty people like Liv. The bell rang to start the match.

Carmella vs. Liv Morgan

Carmella with a kick to the ribs, Morgan with a whip into the turnbuckle and then Morgan tried to kick Carmella into the turnbuckle, but Carmella stopped it. Morgan with a dropkick. Carmella bumped to the floor. Carmella tripped up Morgan on the apron and a kick on the floor. Back in the ring, Carmella hit back elbows to knock Liv down and then Carmella hit a bronco buster in the corner. Carmella told Morgan that she is hot and Morgan is not. Carmella with a suplex into a chinlock. Morgan with elbows to ribs and then Carmella with a sitout neckbreaker. Carmella stomped on the upper body of Morgan a bit. Morgan with a Thesz Press, then a running knee and a step-up enziguri kick to the head. Morgan stomped on Carmella near the turnbuckle and got a two count. The fans were chanting for Liv as Carmella sent her into the turnbuckle. They each got a rollup for two. Morgan went for an attack by the ropes, Carmella moved and Carmella sent Liv down. Carmella with a superkick for two. After Carmella complained about the pin, Morgan hit a double knee attack to the face for a two count. Carmella choked Morgan by the ropes and tossed her down. They were on the floor with Morgan kicked Carmella in the back so she went face first into the announce table. Back in the ring, Morgan hit the Oblivion (flatliner off the ropes) for the pinfall win at 7:53.

Winner by pinfall: Liv Morgan

Analysis: *** This was a solid match. They worked hard and made the most of the time given. I wouldn’t call it too short. It was just about right. It’s good to see Liv picking up the win. Her moves look impressive with the dropkicks and the unique finisher off the ropes. I like the name “Oblivion” too. Carmella knows how to get heat from the crowd, so it was a meaningful win for Morgan. I also think Carmella is really good at selling too, so that helped make Morgan’s win look more impressive.

Morgan was happy about the win and the fans showed her a lot of love with cheers. Carmella grabbed her nose to sell the bump into the table. Morgan told her: “You’ve never looked better.” Nice line.

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WWE Extreme Rules
From Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio
September 26, 2021

The opening video package hyped up the key matches on the show. They kept on mentioning the Extreme Rules nature of the show even though there’s only one match with that stipulation – Roman Reigns vs. “Demon” Finn Balor. Anyway, it was a good video as usual.

The New Day trio made their entrance with Big E wearing the WWE Championship around his waist. The Raw announce team of Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton were at ringside to call the action. This opening match was set up earlier in the day. AJ Styles and Omos entered next followed by the former WWE Champion Bobby Lashley on his own. They showed how Big E cashed in Money in the Bank on Lashley two weeks ago to become the WWE Champion.

Analysis: I think it was a smart move to get these guys on the show because there’s a lot of star power here. However, I think they could have set it up last week on Raw and that way there could have been more anticipation for the match.

The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. AJ Styles, Omos & Bobby Lashley

The fans were chanting “New Day Rocks” as Woods started with Styles and sent Styles into the turnbuckle. Styles got a roll through into a Calf Crusher on Woods, but Woods quickly got out of it. Kofi worked over Styles with some kicks, Styles ducked a Trouble in Paradise attempt, but then Styles got a chop block to the back of the left leg. Big E tagged in for the first time with a clothesline on a running Styles. Big E tossed Styles towards Lashley and called Bobby to come in, so Lashley faced off with Big E. Lashley with punches, a kick and a running clothesline. Big E came back to drive Lashley into the turnbuckle. That led to New Day doing the Unicorn Stampede in their corner with repeated stomps, but Lashley bailed to the floor. Kofi dove onto Lashley, who caught Kofi and Woods kicked Kofi to knock them both down. They went back into the ring with Lashley punching Kingston and Lashley tossed Kofi across the ring. Lashley with a running shoulder tackle on Kofi against the turnbuckle. Omos tagged in for the first time with a corner clothesline on Kofi. Omos with a forearm to Kofi’s back. Kofi tried to fight back, but Omos decked him with an uppercut. Omos with a delayed vertical suplex that led to him doing a front suplex on Kofi. Styles tagged in with a headlock on Kofi followed by an elbow to the back. The fans chanted for Kofi. Styles punched Woods off the apron, Styles accidentally hit the referee, yelled at him and Kofi came back with a double foot stomp to the chest. Lashley tagged in, he took Big E off the apron and whipped Big E into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Lashley hit a lifting flatliner on Kofi for two. Lashley set up for a slam off the shoulders, but then Kofi broke free and kicked Lashley in the chest. There was nobody on the apron for New Day as Kofi tried to tag out. Lashley worked over Kofi with punches, then a lift and Woods was back up, so he got the tag. Woods with a jumping kick, then a corner splash on Lashley and a running dropkick. Woods wanted a DDT, Lashley powered out and Woods hit a jumping kick. Woods with a Tornado DDT for a two count. Lashley got a hold of Woods leading to a powerslam for two.

Lashley set up Woods on the turnbuckle as Lashley worked him over with punches. Woods knocked Lashley down and hit a missile dropkick. Big E was back up, so Big E tagged in against Styles with Big E hitting belly to belly suplexes, then a belly to belly slam and Big E also knocked Omos off the apron. Big E hit a big splash on Styles. Styles with strikes, then a kick to the head and when Styles charged, Big E caught him for a uranage slam that got a two count. Big E set up Styles on the top turnbuckle, Styles fought out of it and tripped Big E into the top turnbuckle. Big E sent Styles to the apron, Styles avoided a running attack and got a pin attempt for two. Styles with a kick to the head. Kofi tagged in with a kick to Styles. Kofi went up top and did a double foot stomp into a Powerbomb by Big E so Kofi got a two count as Lashley broke up the pin. Lashley had Kofi on the shoulder and hit a spinning slam for a two count. Lashley charged, Kofi moved and Lashley went through the ropes to the floor. Kofi sent Styles to the floor. Big E launched a running Kofi over the top, but Omos was there to chop Kofi out of the air. Styles hit a forearm off the apron onto Woods on the floor. Lashley hit a flatliner on Big E. Lashley wanted to finish off Big E, so Styles tagged himself in, then Lashley tagged himself back in. Big E avoided Styles jumping off the top, then Big E avoided a charging Lashley and Lashley hit Styles with a Spear by accident. Big E hit a Big Ending slam on Lashley for the pinfall win at 18:15.

Winners by pinfall: The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods)

Analysis: ***1/2 This was a very good match. It was really long since they went nearly 20 minutes, but they made the most of the time and told a good story. I like that Big E got the win since he’s the WWE Champion that should get wins in matches like that. Styles and Lashley had communication issues towards the finish, so that cost them the match. The New Day guys were their usual awesome selves. Omos was barely in the match, which is probably a smart move since he’s so inexperienced. Woods, Kingston and Styles kept the match going to set up the finish.

Becky Lynch was shown putting the Smackdown Women’s Title on an equipment box and she was taping up her wrists.

There was a video for Connor’s Cure in honor of Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month in September.

It was time for another tag team match as The Street Profits made their entrance as the challengers to the Smackdown Tag Team Titles. The Smackdown announce team of Michael Cole and Pat McAfee were at ringside to call the Smackdown matches. There were apparently audio issues during the Kickoff Show, so Pat said some Spanish words to have fun with that. The Usos were next as the heel Smackdown Tag Team Champions that were booed by the fans. They showed highlights from Smackdown when Roman Reigns beat Montez Ford in a competitive match. Ford got attacked by a chair after the match as well as Roman slamming him through a table. Ford had taped ribs to sell the injury from Smackdown.

Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)

Dawkins with a shoulder tackle early, then Jimmy hit him with a punch and Jey tagged in, so Dawkins hit him with a shoulder tackle. Ford tagged in, Profits hit dropkicks on both Usos and then a double clothesline sent The Usos out of the ring. Back in the ring, Ford with a double leg takedown on Jey, then Jimmy made the blind tag with a kick to the injured ribs and Ford went down. Jimmy stomped on the ribs of Ford and tossed him back into the ring so Jey could tag in as The Usos suplexed Ford so he went ribs first into the top rope. Jey with a belly to back suplex on the floor. Back in the ring, Jey with another belly to back suplex. Jey grounded Ford with a waistlock, Ford fought back with punches and nearly tagged out, but Jey hit him with a forearm. Ford avoided a corner splash, Jey hit the ring post (with his hand to make noise) and Dawkins got the tag against Jimmy. Dawkins was on fire with clotheslines, a back elbow, two corner splashes and a bulldog. Jimmy sent Dawkins to the apron, Jimmy with a kick. Jimmy tried a suicide dive, but Dawkins caught him with an overhead suplex. Dawkins punched Jey and threw him into the barricade. Jimmy went up top, Dawkins met him and hit a superplex right into a twisting neckbreaker for a two count. Good sequence by Dawkins there. Ford got the tag, went up top, did a “suck it” gesture and then a top rope Blockbuster for a two count. Dawkins went for the spinebuster, Jimmy got out of it, Jey made the tag and The Usos hit the double team spinebuster for a two count. Jey hit a running hip attack on Dawkins, then Ford made a tag that Jey didn’t see. Ford with a kick, Dawkins with a spinebuster, and Ford went up top with a Frog Splash, but Jey got the knees up for a two count. Ford with a rollup for two. Ford with a kick to the head. Dawkins back in, Jey shoved Dawkins into the ropes while Ford was on the top. Jey with a superkick to Dawkins. Jimmy tagged in, Uso Splash off the top and that got a two count. Great nearfall. Some fans were chanting “this is awesome” although it wasn’t that loud.

The Usos charged at the Profits, Ford was legal and Dawkins sent both Usos to the floor. The Usos came back with a whip into the barricade. That led to Ford hitting a somersault dive over the top (over the ring post) and landed perfectly on both Usos. What a great move! Back in the ring, Ford jumped off the top with a Frog Splash on Jey for the one…two…and no because Jimmy made the save. What a great nearfall that was. The fans were really buying into that as a finish. Jimmy tagged in, Dawkins saved his partner and Dawkins ate a double superkick. Ford with a rollup on Jimmy, but Jimmy came back with a kick to the ribs. The Usos hit a double superkick to the head. There was another tag, both Usos went up, Jimmy hit an Uso Splash on Ford’s upper body and Jimmy hit the Uso Splash on the lower body. Jimmy covered Ford for the one…two…and three. It went 13:45.

Winners by pinfall: The Usos

Analysis: ***3/4 An entertaining match as usual from these teams. Ford did a tremendous job of selling the ribs throughout the match while coming back for more and coming close to winning a few times. Dawkins was great as the power guy with some big moves. The Usos got a bunch of believable nearfalls before the win. I’ve said many times that as long as The Usos get more than ten minutes, you know it’s going to be a fun match to watch. They always deliver. That Frog Splash nearfall was amazing. That’s exactly the kind of spot you want to do to get the crowd into the match even more. These teams are awesome in their roles with the Usos working so well together as heels while Street Profits are fun babyfaces to watch. Great job by both teams.

Bobby Lashley did a promo into the camera saying Big E was a coward because of how Big E cashed in the Money in the Bank contract after Lashley had to beat Randy Orton and hurt his knee. Lashley called Big E a “chicken shit” and it was not bleeped. Lashley dared Big E to defend the WWE Title one on one. No New Day around. Lashley: “I want my title back.” Lashley stared into the camera.

Analysis: Good job by Lashley showing intensity. I don’t remember the last “chicken shit” usage in WWE, but it’s a nice thing to do once in a while to show somebody is angry.

There was a commercial for WWE Crown Jewel on Thursday, October 21 at 1pm ET. An afternoon of writing for me. That’s cool although some of the Saudi Arabia shows have been bad too.

The WWE Draft begins this Friday, October 1 on Smackdown and continues Monday, October 4 on Raw.

There was a video package about the Raw Women’s Title match between champion Charlotte Flair and challenger Alexa Bliss, who uses dolls like Lilly to play mind games. Bliss gave Charlotte a doll named “Charly” and then Charlotte destroyed the doll. Bliss got the upper hand in their last encounter.

Alexa Bliss got a pretty good pop from the crowd and she brought Lilly the doll with her. Bliss put the doll on the turnbuckle by the ring post. Charlotte Flair was up next wearing a robe as usual with some boos and a cool-looking entrance. They did not announce Bliss being from Columbus, Ohio even though that’s where they were. In Charlotte’s case, they did announce her from the Queen City. It’s weird how they don’t announce certain things.

Raw Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair vs. Alexa Bliss

Flair shoved Bliss down. Bliss came back with a headscissors and a dropkick. Bliss wanted a DDT, Flair avoided it and Bliss sent Flair to the floor Bliss hit a somersault dive onto Flair on the floor. Flair did some neck stretching against the ropes. Flair hit a backbreaker for two. Flair stretched the back of Bliss while pulling back on the arms. Flair stretched Bliss across her back. You could see them talking to eachother to set up the next spot and then Bliss did a hurricanrana that sent Flair into the bottom turnbuckle. Flair came back with a backbreaker and sent Bliss into the turnbuckle. Bliss sent Flair into the turnbuckle followed by a dropkick. They were on the floor, Flair got a hold of Bliss and swung her into the barricade. Back in the ring, Flair went for repeated pinfalls and got two counts. Flair hit a running clothesline on Bliss. Flair went up top, she jumped off with a moonsault attempt, Bliss rolled out of the way and Flair hit a standing moonsault for two. That’s an Andrade spot, so it’s a tribute to Charlotte’s fiancé that is no longer in WWE. Bliss rolled out of a Natural Selection attempt and hit a senton splash for two. They got into an exchange of pin attempts and Flair hit a Powerbomb for two. Flair looked frustrated while the fans cheered for Bliss. Flair went up top again with a moonsault, Bliss got the boots up and Bliss hit a Sunset Bomb for a two count. Bliss slowly went up top, Flair was near the ropes, so Bliss stomped on the back. Bliss went for Twisted Bliss off the top, Flair moved and Bliss got a cradle to counter a Figure Four attempt. Bliss with a DDT for two as Flair got the foot on the bottom rope. Flair got a hold of Lilly the doll, tossed it at Bliss and then hit Bliss with a boot to the face. Smart move! Flair whipped Bliss into the turnbuckle and hit the Natural Selection for the pinfall at 11:25.

Winner by pinfall: Charlotte Flair

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a competitive match with Flair controlling most of the match until Bliss made a comeback and got some nearfalls. The finish was a bit flat with the kick, the whip into the turnbuckle and Natural Selection. I was a bit surprised that Flair didn’t go for the Figure Eight submission more or attack the knee like she usually does, but I guess they were going for a different kind of match. The doll played a factor in the finish with Flair using it to cause Bliss to get off her game and Flair capitalized to get the win. The result was what I expected.

Post match, Flair kicked Bliss out of the ring. Flair ripped apart Lilly the doll and the fans were booing her for it. Flair held up the Raw Women’s Title as well as part of the doll. Bliss came back with punches and kicks that knocked Flair out of the ring. Flair tossed Bliss over the over the announce table. Flair was booed by the fans, so Flair mocked the fans.

Bliss was screaming at ringside and pulling her own hair out. Bliss went into the ring and held onto some of the pieces of the doll before she broke down in tears. The fans chanted “Thank You Lilly” as Bliss screamed. Bliss had some white tablet substance in her mouth that was supposed to lead to her foaming at the mouth, but then it didn’t work and it just looked awkward. Bliss did some more screaming and crying.

Analysis: That post match attack likely means the feud will continue although maybe it’s just the end of Lilly the doll for now. It could lead to a different side of Bliss. I think Bliss is a good performer, but I’m not sure about the gimmick. The spot with the tablet that was going to lead to foaming by the mouth failed too, so that looked strange.

There were some commercials.

Paul Heyman was shown talking on his phone telling somebody it was going to be the biggest draft in WWE history. Kayla Braxton showed up asking who he was talking to. Heyman told the person on the phone he will call them back. Heyman asked Braxton if she’s jealous that he is talking to other women. Heyman said if it is Brock Lesnar, he’s allowed to talk to him. Heyman mentioned Crown Jewel with Roman Reigns facing Lesnar. The Usos walked by with the Smackdown Tag Team Titles and Heyman said he had to go with them.

Jeff Hardy got a big pop from the crowd and the fans were totally behind him. That was cool to hear that ovation for Jeff, who isn’t booked that well, but he’s still so popular with the fans. They showed Jeff beating Sheamus on Raw to earn his spot in this match. Sheamus was up next as another challenger and the lone heel in the match. Damian Priest was up last as babyface US Champion that won the title from Sheamus at SummerSlam. The announcers put over how Priest was red hot this year as he continues to rack up the wins.

United States Championship: Damian Priest vs. Sheamus vs. Jeff Hardy

There are no countouts or disqualifications in a WWE triple threat match. They are almost extreme rules.

Sheamus is still wrestling with the protective mask on his face. Sheamus hit Jeff with a running knee that knocked Jeff out of the ring. Priest worked over Sheamus with kicks, then punches and clothesline over the top to the floor. Priest sent Sheamus into the barricade. Jeff got back into it with a leaping attack off the steps onto Priest. Sheamus whipped Jeff into the barricade. Jeff came back with a diving attack off the apron onto Sheamus on the floor. Priest jumped over the top onto both guys on the floor. Priest with running back elbows on both guys and then a sitout Falcon Arrow on Jeff for two. Sheamus with an uppercut. Priest went for a spin kick, Sheamus caught him and sent Priest into the ring post. Back in the ring, Sheamus hit Jeff with a backbreaker. Sheamus with a knee lift that knocked Priest off the apron to the floor. Sheamus with a powerslam leading to him asking: “Are you not entertained?” The fans booed. Sheamus with forearms to the chest of Priest, but Priest blocked and Priest slipped off the apron. Priest kicked Sheamus and then delivered his own forearms. Sheamus with a neckbreaker on Priest on the ropes, but then Jeff hit a dropkick on Sheamus. Jeff with an inverted atomic drop, low dropkick and then Sheamus got the knees up to block a splash. Jeff with a Russian legsweep and then a pin attempt for two as Priest made the save. Hardy got some momentum going with a Whisper in the Wind spinning attack off the top onto both opponents for a two count on Sheamus. Boot to the ribs by Sheamus to Jeff. Sheamus hit an Alabama Slam for a two count and Sheamus lost his mask at that point. Sheamus applied the Texas Cloverleaf submission on Jeff, who crawled to the rope and put his hand on the rope, but there’s no disqualification, so Sheamus held on. Priest grabbed the nose of Sheamus, then Priest to the apron and a kick to the head. Sheamus hit a White Noise slam on Priest. Jeff with a Twist of Fate on Sheamus. Priest with a bell clap on Jeff’s head, Priest went for The Reckoning, Hardy tripped trying to reverse and Jeff hit the Twist of Fate on Priest. Jeff went up top, but Sheamus shoved Jeff into the ropes. That drew big boos since the crowd wanted Jeff to win. Sheamus went up top, mocked Jeff Hardy mannerisms and hit a knee drop on Priest for two. Sheamus taunted the fans some more. Sheamus wanted a Brogue Kick, Priest avoided it and Sheamus kicked him down again. Sheamus up top, Priest got a hold of him and hit a Chokeslam off the top. Jeff went up top and hit a Swanton Bomb on both guys as Priest tried to pick Sheamus. The fans were firmly behind Jeff chanting “Hardy” for him. Jeff was too hurt to make the cover. Jeff and Priest exchanged punches, Priest got a kick to the head and when Priest went for a springboard attack, Sheamus hit him with a jumping knee. Jeff shoved Sheamus out of the ring and Jeff got a pin on Priest for two. Sheamus back in, Jeff rollup for two and Sheamus back up with a Brogue Kick on Jeff. Priest with the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Sheamus for the pinfall win at 13:25.

Winner by pinfall: Damian Priest

Analysis: ***1/2 That was fun. They did a nice job of making the last few minutes exciting with the nearfalls that were very believable. All three guys had moments where it looked like any of them could win. In the end, Priest got the W with the dreaded ROLLUP OF DEATH~! That should be the end of Priest’s rivalry with Sheamus since they have feuded for a while now. I can see one of them going to Smackdown. The fans wanted Jeff to win more than anybody in this match, but they like Priest too. It was cool to hear how much the fans rallied behind Hardy and I hope WWE was listening because they need to use Jeff better.

Post match, Priest shook Jeff’s hand and they hugged. The fans liked that show of respect.

Big E was in the locker room with the WWE Championship. Big E said he doesn’t hide behind a single soul. Big E mocked Lashley for whining about a sore knee when Big E cashed in Money in the Bank. Big E told Lashley to get ready for a WWE Championship match at the start of Raw on Monday.

Analysis: That’s pretty big to do a WWE Title match on Raw. I like that.

There were some commercials.

There were highlights shown of Liv Morgan beating Carmella in the Kickoff Show match.

Bianca Belair was shown warming up for her Smackdown Women’s Title match up next.

The video aired about the story between Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch and the former champion Bianca Belair. Good video that took about four minutes.

Bianca Belair made her entrance as the Smackdown guys were back on commentary for the final two matches. They spoke about how this could be Belair’s last shot at the Smackdown Women’s Title since the WWE Draft starts on Friday. Becky Lynch was up next as the Smackdown Women’s Champion with a mix of cheers and boos for the confident champion dressed in white. The women stood in the ring for the championship introductions. They did announce the hometowns of these two women, but not Bliss earlier.

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair

Lynch wanted a handshake, Belair didn’t want that, Belair nearly hit the KOD and Lynch bailed to the floor. Belair with a running shoulder tackle. Lynch with a knee to the ribs. Belair overpowered Lynch with whips into the turnbuckle two times, a slam and a running splash for two. Lynch sent Belair into the turnbuckle and hit some kicks to the ribs. Belair hit an impressive backflip off the ropes leading to a dropkick. Lynch tried to run away again, then she used the hair against the ropes to knock down Belair. Lynch hit a sliding leg drop and an elbow. Lynch used the hair for a takedown again. The fans were booing Lynch so Lynch told them to “shut your face” and told them to “cheer for the champ.” Belair sent Lynch into the turnbuckle, but Lynch came back with an Exploder Suplex for a two count. Lynch applied a chinlock, Belair broke free by driving her into the turnbuckle and Belair hit an impressive suplex. Belair got some momentum with two dropkicks, then a backflip out of the corner and Belair hit a suplex. Belair hit a delayed vertical suplex followed by a kip-up and the fans were cheering for Belair. There were punches from Belair, then Lynch grabbed the hair again and Belair hit a spinebuster for two. Lynch went off the ropes, Belair caught her and hit a fallaway slam for two. Belair was frustrated by that.

Lynch to the apron, she got a couple of kicks to the head, Belair got back up quickly and tried to press slam Lynch, but Lynch got out of it. Lynch went for the Disarm-her submission, but Belair’s leg got to the bottom rope to break up the hold. Lynch pulled on Belair’s hair again, then Belair sent her out of the ring. Belair went for a slam on the floor, but Lynch managed to send Belair into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Lynch jumped off the top with a leg drop for two. Lynch hit another leg drop off the ropes, this time to the back of the neck for a two count. Belair slipped out of a slam attempt, Lynch countered a suplex and Lynch went for the armbar, but Belair fought out of it. Belair powered Lynch back up and hit a sitout spinebuster for two. Belair fought back against Lynch with forearms, then each woman got rollups and Lynch went for the armbar again. Belair countered the armbar to lift Lynch over her shoulders and that’s when Sasha Banks showed to attack Belair! There’s the DQ finish at 16:30.

Winner by disqualification: Bianca Belair (Becky Lynch retains the Smackdown Women’s Title)

Analysis: ***1/2 Good match that maybe went a bit long, but they did a nice job most of the way. The finish knocks it down about a quarter star because when you go nearly 20 minutes and do a DQ finish it’s frustrating for the audience. Belair keeps getting better every time I see her while Lynch showed that he hasn’t missed a beat. They have wrestled at live events over the last month, so they certainly did some spots that they were familiar with. Since they probably didn’t want to beat Belair again and it was too soon to get the title off Lynch, the DQ with Banks interfering is what they opted for. I don’t like it as a finish, but it’s fine.

Post match, Banks hit running knees on Belair. The fans booed Banks for her actions. Lynch stood up with the Smackdown Women’s Title in her arms and Lynch gave Banks a thumbs up gesture. Banks teased that she was cool with Becky, but then Banks hit a Backstabber attack on both women. Banks stood tall as her music played. When Banks was in the aisle she said: “I’ll see the two of you next Friday” referring to Smackdown. Belair and Lynch stared at Banks in the aisle to end the scene.

Analysis: There was no explanation given for why Banks missed SummerSlam, but now she’s back. I don’t know if there was an injury or a health issue. I guess we don’t have to know. This sets up a triple threat match between these three women most likely although maybe it will go in a different direction if somebody is drafted off Smackdown and moved to Raw. I don’t know where it’s going.

It was made official: Big E will defend the WWE Title against Bobby Lashley at the start of Monday’s Raw.

There were commercials for NXT 2.0, the WWE Draft, the WWE games available on Draftkings, the Broken Skull Sessions interview with Seth Rollins and Pediatric Cancer Awareness month.

The video package aired for the Universal Championship match with Roman Reigns facing “Demon” Finn Balor.

Roman Reigns made his entrance as the WWE Universal Champion with “Special Counsel” Paul Heyman by his side. Normally the champion is last, but this time he is out there first. Reigns did his usual slow-walking entrance. “The Demon” Finn Balor was up next. He got a big ovation. Balor was the first Universal Champion. The “demon” character of Balor hasn’t lost when he’s been on Raw or Smackdown although he did lose in NXT, which is not mentioned. The fans were clearly behind Balor here.

Extreme Rules Match for the WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (w/Paul Heyman) vs. “Demon” Finn Balor

I know it’s Demon Balor, but I’m going to keep calling him Balor in the writeup. The announcers usually called him “The Demon” during the match. They started off a bit slow with each guy trying to feel the other guy out as McAfee said. Balor did some face/eye-gouging. Reigns used his power to hit a suplex. When Reigns left the ring and grabbed a kendo stick, the fans cheered because they wanted to see weapons. Balor went to the other side of the ring and Balor had about four kendo sticks tied together. Balor beat on Reigns with the kendo sticks to knock the champion down. Reigns hit corner clotheslines and tossed Balor out of the ring. Balor came back with a move where he trapped Reigns against the ring apron and then a running kick on the floor. When Balor grabbed a table from under the ring, the fans cheered and Reigns hit a clothesline. Reigns put the table under the ring, told the crowd “no tables” and the fans booed. Reigns brought a steel chair into the ring. Reigns attacked with the chair, but then Balor tripped him up and stomped on the chair on Roman’s chest. Balor whipped Reigns into the steel steps. Balor whipped Reigns into the barricade. When Balor brought a table into the ring, Reigns hit a Drive By dropkick on the apron with Balor hitting the ring post. Good spot there. Reigns tossed Balor over the barricade into the crowd. Reigns put on a mask and then beat up Balor in the crowd Reigns sent Balor into the glass Kickoff Show desk. Reigns tossed Balor onto the desk. Reigns tried a move on that glass table, but Balor knocked him down and Balor hit a cross body block of that glass table and sent Reigns through a table that was placed there. Some fans chanted “holy shit” for that. They went back to the ringside area.

Balor sent Reigns into the ring. Balor tried to set up the table, Reigns back up and Demon dropped him with an elbow to the chest. Balor set up the table, but then Reigns was back up and gave Balor a uranage slam through the table for two. Balor with a Pele Kick and Reigns hit a Superman Punch. Reigns went for a Spear, but Balor got a boot up and hit a Slingblade neckbreaker. Balor charged and Reigns hit a Spear for two. A lot of wrestlers don’t kick out at two, but Balor did it and when Balor kicked out he used his right arm to give Reigns a low blow to the groin! That’s what Reigns did to Balor in the past. Balor hit Reigns with a dropkick to send him out of the ring. Balor hit a somersault dive over the top to the floor. Back in the ring, Balor up top and he hit the Coup de Grace double foot stomp, but The Usos were there to break up the pin! The Usos whipped Balor into the barricade and hit a double superkick. Balor fought back against both Usos as he took out Jimmy by the barricade. Balor gave Jey a powerbomb through the announcer’s table. When Balor turned around, Reigns was there and he hit a Spear on Balor through the table.

That’s when the lights in the arena went red and Balor’s music started to play. Balor was bouncing on the floor as if it was his heartbeat. Balor was back up and threw Reigns into the ring post. Balor hit Reigns with a steel chair. Balor with a running dropkick and Reigns bumped through the table. The music of Balor was playing as a red light filled the arena and there was smoke in the building as well. Balor tossed Reigns in the ring. When Balor stood on the top rope, the top rope collapsed and Balor went down! McAfee: “How the hell does that even happen?” The rope snapped. Balor was holding his left knee. Reigns got back up and hit Balor with a Spear for the pinfall win at 19:46.

Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns

Analysis: **** This was a great championship match as usual whenever Reigns has these title matches on PPV. There hasn’t really been a bad PPV match from Reigns as this heel character in the last 13 months although some have been short. Balor put up a fight, he nearly got the win after the double foot stomp, but there were The Usos as usual and they saved Reigns. Balor nearly won when the lights went red and then Reigns found a way to overcome to keep the title. The spot with Balor on top as The Demon and then the top rope breaking was something I don’t recall WWE doing before, so it was a way to give us a new finish. Some people are going to hate it for sure, but it’s a way to give Reigns a cheap win because he only won due to Balor collapsing to the mat.

After the match, Reigns had a shocked look on his face as if to wonder “what happened?” and Reigns was looking up to the heavens as if something was there helping him. They showed some replays of the finish.

Reigns celebrated in the ring with the Universal Title, The Usos and Heyman by his side. Cole mentioned Reigns will face Brock Lesnar at Crown Jewel next month. There was another plug for Big E vs. Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship.

Reigns continued to celebrate with The Bloodline with Reigns walking out as the Universal Champion. Acknowledge him. End show.

This event had a runtime of 2:51:42 on WWE Network. Sometimes PPVs go over three hours, but they kept this one right under that number.

 

Five Stars of the Show

  1. Roman Reigns
  2. “Demon” Finn Balor
  3. The Usos
  4. Becky Lynch/Bianca Belair
  5. The New Day

 

Final Thoughts

I’m going with a 7 out of 10 for this show.

It was a show with good in-ring action all night long although there wasn’t anything major that happened. I don’t know if the average WWE fan would love a show like this, but if you appreciate good action then there was plenty to like here. I thought Reigns/Balor was the best match while the first two tag team matches were pretty good too.

There were six matches all between 11 and 20 minutes, so everything got a solid amount of time. Sometimes I write these final thoughts saying I wish some matches got more time, but with this show I didn’t have that feeling at all. I think maybe they could have added a match or two although this format is fine.

In terms of the results, I don’t think there was anything that was a surprise. Most of the winners were what we expected. Some of the finishes were different and I’m sure they upset some fans, but I get that WWE had to try to come up with creative ways to finish the matches.

Nice job by the Columbus crowd. They were vocal all night.

Here are my rankings for WWE PPVs in 2021 so far.

Money in the Bank (July 18) – 8.5

WrestleMania 37 (April 10 & 11) – 8

Royal Rumble (January 31) – 8

WrestleMania Backlash (May 16) – 7.75

SummerSlam (August 21) – 7.25

Elimination Chamber (February 21) – 7.25

Extreme Rules (September 26) – 7

Hell in a Cell (June 20) – 7

Fastlane (March 21) – 6.5

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