Reviews

The John Report: WWE Extreme Rules 2022 Review

wwe extreme rules 2022 review tjr

The 2022 version of WWE Extreme Rules featured six stipulation matches with only two titles on the line. Some of the stipulation matches on the card include a Strap Match, Fight Pit Match, Ladder Match and an Extreme Rules Match too.

Extreme Rules is the third last WWE Premium Live Event (or pay-per-view) of the year. They advertised six matches going into it with none one of the men’s titles on the line. I think part of the reason they do Saturday shows in the fall especially is to avoid the NFL Sunday night game, which is a smart move. It also makes me happy as an NFL fan. I also think doing Saturday shows are better for fans in the UK and elsewhere outside North America as well. There was no Kickoff Show match.

WWE Extreme Rules
From Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
October 8, 2022

The opening video package featured a kid at a spelling bee with Paul Heyman telling the kid to spell “extreme” as we got a video package hyping up the card. That was a unique video.

There was an impressive pyro display to start the show. Michael Cole and Corey Graves welcomed us to the show with Cole noting it was a sold out show. Cole from Smackdown and Graves from Raw are the commentary team for Premium Live Events moving forward.

The Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook Match is up first with The Brawling Brutes led by Sheamus up first. They were cheered by the fans since they are faces now. There were kegs, stools and other weapons around the ring. There was a “white rabbit” video with the rabbit jumping into an “X” in the ground of a graphic just like on Smackdown.

Imperium was up next led by Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER, who was joined by Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci.

Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook Match: The Brawling Brutes (Sheamus, Butch & Ridge Holland) vs. Imperium (GUNTHER, Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci)

There are no rules in this match. It ends by pinfall or submission and all weapons are allowed.

It started out as a slugfest in the ring, then Butch went after Vinci and they were fighting on the commentary table. Sheamus sent Gunther into the barricade. Holland launched Kaiser into the turnbuckle leading to a Butch kick. Butch dropkicked an upside-down Kaiser. Gunther chopped Butch down. Vinci with a spinebuster on Holland, Kaiser followed up with a kick and Kaiser kicked Butch out of the ring. Sheamus went after Kaiser and Vinci on the floor, so Walter joined in. Imperium was destroying the bar setup around ringside. Sheamus was whipped shoulder first into the steel steps. Butch got back into it with a dive onto Vinci and then the barricade was knocked down due to the impact. Sheamus was held by Kaiser/Vince as Gunther unleashed a flurry of chops and kicked Sheamus in the head. Gunther suplexed Sheamus onto the top of a wooden bar structure. Back in the ring, Gunther hit a running kick on Holland while Butch was being stomped on as well. Butch hit a jumping kick on Gunther, but Vinci and Kaiser kicked Butch to keep him down. Holland picked up Kaiser and Vinci at the same time, Holland slammed them at the same time and Gunther hit a boot to the face. Vinci and Gunther did an Imperium Bomb on Holland on the floor (Powerbomb with a forearm combo) to put Holland down. Butch was all alone in the ring as he tried to fight, but it was a 3 on 1 attack on Butch. Gunther held Butch upside down while Vinci and Kaiser hit simultaneous dropkicks. Imperium posed in the ring while the three opponents were on the floor. Butch was held by Kaiser and Vinci as Gunther hit Butch with chops. Sheamus fired back up by tossing Vinci and Kaiser into the barricade. Sheamus was cheered by the crowd as he got into a brawl with Gunther, who hit a German Suplex on Sheamus. Sheamus came back with a clothesline, then a corner clothesline and Gunther hit a boot to the face. Sheamus hit a powerslam on Gunther. Sheamus hit the ten beats forearms to the chest with the fans chanting along as Butch and Holland joined in with their own punches/kicks for Gunther. Sheamus hit the White Noise slam. Sheamus set up for the Brogue Kick, Gunther was back up and Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick. Vinci broke up the pin with a top rope splash on Sheamus. Vinci clotheslined Holland, who powered out of a move and Butch hit a forearm on Kaiser to knock him out of the ring. Gunther with a dropkick on Butch and Holland. Sheamus with the backbreaker. Sheamus applied the Cloverleaf submission just like on Smackdown and this time Kaiser hit Sheamus in the back with a shillelagh. Butch broke up Gunther’s pin attempt. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. They got into a fight where they were all down on the mat, then Gunther and Sheamus got into a slugfest again, Gunther with hard chops, Sheamus with punches and they were both down. Both teams regrouped on opposite sides of the ring. Kaiser did a spinning slam on Butch, Vinci with a springboard cross body block on Holland and Sheamus hit a jumping knee on Gunther for two as Gunther’s buddies broke up the pin. Kaiser and Vinci cleared off the commentary table. They wanted to do a move to Holland, but Butch hit a moonsault off the top of the barrels onto Kaiser, Vinci and Holland on the floor.

Gunther had the shillelagh in the ring and he hit Sheamus to knock him down. Gunther hit Sheamus with the shillelagh again for a two count. Holland and Butch were back into it to knock Gunther down with shillelaghs of their own. Butch and Holland attacked Vinci/Kaiser with shillelaghs to keep them down. Sheamus had a hold of Gunther on the floor and Sheamus gave him a Celtic Cross (Razor’s Edge) through the commentary table. Vinci was held by Holland & Butch, so Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick on Vinci for the pinfall win at 17:50.

Winners by pinfall: The Brawling Brutes (Sheamus, Butch & Ridge Holland)

Analysis: ****1/4 That was an excellent match. They probably could have used weapons more, but the whole point of Imperium as a group is that they are traditional pro wrestlers that don’t like using weapons, so it made sense for them not to do a lot of weapon spots. That spot with Sheamus hitting the Celtic Cross on Gunther through the commentary table was great and drew a big pop from the crowd. You don’t see Gunther getting put through tables very often. I think it made sense for Sheamus’ team to get the win because he’s lost to Gunther a few times now (including in cheap fashion one day earlier on Smackdown), so Sheamus needed the win. I think we’ll see another Gunther-Sheamus match for the Intercontinental Title fairly soon and Sheamus might win the title when that happens. This was a terrific choice for an opening match with a babyface win to start off the show.

Sheamus liked it.

The Brawling Brutes celebrated the win. The fans were happy about it. Those guys are really gaining steam as faces.

A video aired about Bianca Belair talking about her life and career.

The Miz was shown backstage with Megan Morant there to interview him. The Miz said that the reason he is here is because he’s going to have a birthday celebration on Monday’s Raw hosted by his wife Maryse and he was there to talk to Triple H. The Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty was there with a shirt for Miz, who was not amused by it. Miz stepped on the shirt and said that’s what he thinks about him and his city. Gritty threw the shirt back at Miz.

There was a video package for the Liv Morgan-Ronda Rousey match that’s up next.

It was announced that the only way to win was by pinfall or submission inside the ring. Ronda Rousey was up first looking serious as usual wearing a pink Gi in honor of the late, great “Judo” Gene LeBell and she had her black belt on. The Smackdown Women’s Champion Liv Morgan was up next with Cole noting that in 2014 in New Jersey, Liv was ringside at Extreme Rules.

Extreme Rules Match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship: Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey

Morgan brought a bat with her down to the ring and put it in the corner. Rousey prevented Morgan from getting the weapon. Rousey tied up Morgan in a submission, Morgan got out of it and Morgan got the bat. Rousey blocked the bat attack, Rousey did a takedown and Rousey sent Morgan out of the ring. Rousey hit a knee to the ribs. Morgan sent Rousey to the apron, then a knee to the face and Rousey pulled up the apron to stop Morgan. When Morgan screamed “come on” that led to Rousey slapping Morgan hard in the face. Morgan went under the ring, she grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed it in Rousey’s face. Morgan went for a move on the floor, but Rousey slammed Morgan on the floor. Morgan went for a leaping attack off the steps, so Rousey hit her in the ribs with the bat. Rousey hit Morgan in the body with the bat. Morgan with a step up enziguri kick to the head to knock the baseball bat out of Rousey’s hand. The fans chanted for tables as Morgan beat up Rousey with the bat a bit, but Rousey threw her Gi at Morgan. Rousey used her black belt to hit Morgan’s body with it. More bat shots to the body by Rousey, but Morgan managed to send Rousey into the ring apron. A table was set up in the corner of the ring. Rousey hit a step up knee. Rousey continued on offense by sitting on Morgan’s back against the ropes in a choke hold of sorts. Morgan managed to send Rousey to the floor to break free. Morgan got hold of a steel chair at ringside, which she used to jab Rousey in the ribs. Morgan went for a move to the back, it was botched and then Liv did it again to kick Rousey into the turnbuckle. It was supposed to be Morgan kicking Rousey into a chair, but the chair fell out of the ring. Morgan got a hold of the chair leading to chair shots to the upper body/left arm of Rousey. Morgan tossed Rousey the chair and hit double knees into the chair into Rousey’s face, so it was like a Codebreaker into the chair for two.

Morgan set up the table in the regular position in the ring and Morgan put Rousey on the table. Morgan went up top, very slowly, so I thought Rousey would move, but Morgan jumped off the top with a senton splash through the table. Morgan covered for two. Good nearfall there. Rousey went for an armbar, but Morgan managed to drive her back into the broken table that was in the ring. Rousey managed to apply the armbar on the left arm and she had Morgan left arm trapped. Morgan passed out in the hold so Rousey got the win. Rousey is the Smackdown Women’s Champion again. The match went 12:25. The replay showed that Morgan was smiling as she passed out.

Winner by submission AND NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion: Ronda Rousey

Analysis: ***1/4 The match was pretty good although I don’t think it reached a point where I’d call it a great or particularly memorable match. That spot where Morgan put Rousey through the table with senton splash was a smart way to get live a nearfall that the people might be. The whole match felt like Morgan was on the defensive with Rousey looking dominant. Rousey winning is what I predicted because I just didn’t get the sense that this creative was strongly behind Morgan as a long-term champion. Rousey got the title back that she lost to Morgan three months ago because of Money in the Bank. I can see Rousey holding the SD Women’s Title all the way until at least WrestleMania now, if not longer.

Ronda Rousey celebrated with the Smackdown Women’s Title. Morgan was smiling in the ring, so the idea seems to be that she likes pain or something along those lines.

They aired some commercials for a bunch of things including Crown Jewel coming up in four weeks.

This Monday on Raw it’s the “Season Premiere” episode with D-Generation X celebrating 25 years, plus Roman Reigns & The Bloodline are there. Also, Bobby Lashley defends the US Title against Seth “Freakin” Rollins, but that wasn’t mentioned.

A video package aired for Drew McIntyre facing Karrion Kross in a Strap Match up next.

Drew McIntyre was up first with Angela the sword in his hands. Good pop for Drew as usual. Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their entrance with the screen in black and white for most of it. When Kross got into the ring after Scarlett, the red color dominated the screen. It’s a cool entrance for sure.

Strap Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Karrion Kross (w/Scarlett)

It’s a strap match where a leather strap is placed on one wrist of each man and they can use it as a weapon. The match ends by pinfall or submission. Cole said that the strap is 13 feet long. While McIntyre was eager to put the strap on his wrist, Kross threw the strap away, Scarlett held onto the strap and Kross did a cheap attack on Drew. Kross tossed Drew over the barricade at ringside as they went fighting into the crowd. The match didn’t officially start yet. They went brawling into the crowd, then back to the ringside area and Kross tossed Drew over the barricade near the ring. Drew hit a suplex on Kross on the floor. Drew sent Kross into the ring post. Drew gave Kross a sidewalk slam onto the edge of the ring apron. Drew put the strap on Karrion’s left wrist and locked it in, so the bell rang to start the match.

Drew used the strap to hit Kross twice in the back. Drew with another lashing to the back two more times. Drew continued to lash Kross in the back, Scarlett got in the way and Kross drove Drew into the ring post. Drew was favoring his left arm, the referee Jessika Carr said she could get the medical team to check on him, but Drew said no. Kross sent Drew’s left arm into the ring post two more times. Back in the ring, Kross with a single arm takedown into the mat. Kross choked Drew across the middle rope along with an arm wringer that sent Drew into the mat. Kross went for a sleeper, Drew drove him back into the turnbuckle and Kross hit Drew with the strap to the chest. Kross drove Drew onto the commentary table with a flatliner-style move. Kross used the strap to keep Drew close to the ring post, then Kross lashed Drew in the back with the strap several times in the back. Kross continued to use the strap as a weapon on Drew’s back with Scarlett encouraging Kross to keep doing it. Back in the ring, Kross hit a Saito Suplex for two. Kross continued to use the strap to lash Drew’s back, but Drew was back to his feet with two clotheslines. Drew hit a belly to belly suplex across the ring along with a neckbreaker. Drew wanted a DDT, Kross drove him to the corner and Drew ran into an elbow. Drew managed to come back with a spinebuster for two. They got into a brawl as they exchanged punches with the fans getting into it. Drew with a strap shot to the back, then Kross did one and they exchanged more strap lashings. Drew did more strap shots to the back followed by a Future Shock DDT. Drew did a kip up, Drew set up in the corner with the 3-2-1 countdown only for Scarlett to step in front of Drew. Scarlett sprayed some perfume or pepper spray or something in Drew’s eyes. Kross hit a Kross Hammer forearm to the back for the pinfall win at 10:19.

Winner by pinfall: Karrion Kross

Analysis: **3/4 It’s a tough match to rate. I don’t like the Strap Match because I think the wrestlers are limited in what they can do. They spent nearly half the time brawling before the match officially started. The actual match was fine with each guy getting control at different times. Drew got screwed again just like at Clash at the Castle because this time Scarlett used the Pepper Spray to blind Drew and that led to Kross hitting one big move for the win. I think the guys worked hard, they did the best they could with the strap, but it’s a tough style of match. WWE doesn’t do Strap Matches that often because they are hard to do and this is an example of that. I thought Kross should win because it was his first PLE match since coming back to the company.

The announcers said that the spray bottle was Pepper Spray. Drew was grabbing his eyes because he was selling it like it blinded him and the referee had a towel/water with him. Kross and Scarlett were laughing about the win.

Analysis: I am fine with Scarlett playing a big role in the match. If you are going to have somebody at ringside, they should be part of the match a bit. I also think they’ll keep the Kross-McIntyre feud going in the weeks ahead.

There was a video about Edge showing highlights from his career.

The Miz was on the phone talking to Maryse and said that he hasn’t talked to Triple H. Gritty was there, Miz yelled at him that he was on the phone and Miz left.

A video package aired for the Bianca Belair-Bayley Ladder Match for the Raw Women’s Title.

Bayley made her entrance for the Raw Women’s Title match. Bayley was in some cool looking red-black gear. No Damage CTRL members at ringside with Bayley. They showed NXT’s Nikkita Lyons watching at ringside. That dress she was wearing will make her popular. Bianca Belair made her entrance as the Raw Women’s Champion.

Ladder Match for the Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair vs. Bayley

There were ladders surrounding the ring for this Ladder Match while the Raw Women’s Championship was above the ring. The first woman to climb a ladder and pull down the title will be the champion.

They went for the ladders right away with two ladders set up in the ring within the first minute. Bayley tried to attack with a ladder, but Belair managed to knock her out of the ring. Belair tripped up Bayley, they were fighting on the floor and Bayley sent Belair into a ladder against the ring. Bayley did a catapult that sent Belair onto a ladder, but Belair managed to land on the ladder. Belair went into the ring to climb a ladder again although Bayley was there to stop her. Belair tried a ladder climb, Bayley stopped it and Belair shoved Bayley into the ladder. Belair gave Bayley a body slam onto the ladder that was in the ring. Belair bounced off the ropes with a standing moonsault. Bayley was able to stagger Belair a bit, a ladder was set up against the turnbuckle and Bayley hit a sunset flip that sent Belair into the ladder. That was a cool spot. Bayley with a ladder climb, Belair stopped that and Bayley used the ladder to hit Belair in the ribs two times. They were on the floor, so Bayley set up a ladder bridge from the barricade onto the steel steps. Bayley put Belair on the ladder, Bayley hit an elbow drop onto Belair, who was on the ladder and they were both in pain after that. Bayley got a ladder out from under the ring, but the metal stabilizer pieces broke. That led to Bayley trying to rap Belair in the ladder, but Belair avoided it and Belair grabbed half of the ladder as a weapon onto Bayley’s back.

Belair set up a big ladder under the title. Bayley was back into the ring as they fought over who was going to climb. Belair hit a spinebuster. Belair climbed up again, Bayley kicked the ladder and Belair bumped to the ring leading to a bump onto the floor as well. Bayley grabbed a metal piece from her knee brace, tossed it aside and Bayley went for a knee attack, but Belair moved. Belair hit the KOD slam. Belair set up the ladder, Belair climbed and here’s the run-in with Dakota Kai & IYO SKY to shove the ladder, which knocked Belair down. Cole claimed that Alexa Bliss and Asuka were injured on Raw, so Belair didn’t have any help. Belair fought back against Kai & Sky leading to Belair hitting a double KOD on them. It wasn’t that great of a move, but it was effective enough. Bayley was back in the ring using half a ladder to throw it on to Belair’s back. Bayley whipped Belair into a ladder against the turnbuckle. Bayley hit her Roseplant finisher slamming Belair into the mat. Bayley placed Belair under a ladder, Bayley climbed up the ladder very slowly, so Belair pushed on the ladder and Bayley bumped into the ropes. After they sold for a few moments, Belair and Bayley each climbed up the ladder. Bayley sent Belair into the ladder. Belair used her braided hair to hit Bayley in the back to knock Bayley down. Belair hit Bayley with the hair a few more times. Belair picked up Bayley for a KOD, Bayley had half a ladder in her hands and Belair hit a KOD on Bayley onto a ladder. Belair climbed up and grabbed the title to win the match at 16:40.

Winner: Bianca Belair

Analysis: ***1/2 This was a very good title match with each woman getting plenty of offense and doing a lot of cool spots. They didn’t do any spots that were that scary or anything like that, so I’d call it a logical Ladder Match. There weren’t that many climbing attempts although the end of the match featured several of them, so that made it more interesting towards the finish. Bayley worked hard, she was really aggressive throughout the match and I thought she was a capable challenger. However, Belair continues to thrive as a dominant champion. I’m not surprised by the result because I picked Belair to win.

Bianca Belair sat on the ladder with her title while Bayley was selling on the floor. Belair was really happy about the win.

A video aired about Roman Reigns.

The announcers talked about the Season Premiere of Raw in Brooklyn on Monday with D-Generation X on hand to celebrate 25 years of DX. Also, Johnny Gargano faces Austin Theory and Bobby Lashley defends the US Title against Seth “Freaking” Rollins.

When they showed some scenes in Philadelphia, there was somebody in a White Rabbit outfit taking photos with fans.

There was a video package for the “I Quit” Match between Edge and Finn Balor.

Edge made his entrance first to a huge ovation. Edge was fired up as usual. Finn Balor had a cool entrance with the graphics on the screen along with a black mask on his head that had spikes all around it. That was pretty cool.

I Quit Match: Edge vs. Finn Balor

The referee was Chad Patton with a microphone in hand to ask the guys if they quit during the match.

Edge was in control early as he drove Balor into the turnbuckle followed by a neckbreaker. Edge was pulling on Balor’s nose. Edge with a hard whip that sent Balor into the turnbuckle. Balor hit a running dropkick to the knee. Balor stomped on the back of the left knee of Edge. Balor stomped on the back of Balor’s left knee. Balor wrenched on the left knee against the ropes. Balor took down Edge while stretching the left leg. Balor applied the Figure Four Leglock with Edge telling the referee to get the microphone out of his face. Edge reversed the Figure Four Leglock briefly, then Balor turned it back over and Edge Balor to knock him out of the ring. Balor tripped up Edge against the ring apron followed by Balor stomping on Edge’s back repeatedly. They were over by the commentary table with Balor sending Edge into the hood of the commentary table repeatedly, Edge said “no” when asked if he quits. Edge got some offense going by sending Balor into the ring post, but Balor hit the Slingblade neckbreaker on the floor. Edge picked up Balor at ringside and tackled him through the barricade. Balor tried to run away in the crowd, so Edge chased after him. They were fighting out in the crowd with Edge hitting a suplex on the floor. Balor said “Never” when asked if he wanted to quit. Edge grabbed a hockey stick and hit Balor with it. They were over by the glass table where the Kickoff Show set was. Edge with a Crossface move where he put the hockey stick in Balor’s mouth and Balor was screaming in pain, but Balor managed to break free. They were fighting in the crowd again, this time with Balor climbing the stairs surrounded by the fans and they were in section 110/111. Balor sent Edge into the wall. Balor charged, but Edge caught him and sent Balor face first into the concrete where the 110/111 sign was. Edge charged, Balor avoided him and Edge went running into the steel railing. Ouch. Balor was choking Edge against the railing, Edge said “no” and Balor kept on going. Balor jabbed Edge in the ribs with a chair. They made their way back to ringside with Balor chopping Edge over the barricade. Balor used a chair to jab Edge in the ribs.

They were in the ring with Balor using a chair to hit Edge in the ribs. Balor hit repeated chair shots to the break. Edge said “I don’t quit.” Edge hit a side Russian legsweep takedown along with a submission where Balor pulled back on the arms. Balor applied a crossface submission. Balor let go of that and drove his knees into Edge’s ribs repeatedly. Edge managed to get some momentum back by sending Balor into a chair that was wedged against the turnbuckle. Edge used a chair to hit Balor into the left knee a few times. Edge drove the chair onto Balor’s left knee. Edge applied the Edgucator submission, Balor sounded like he might quit, but Damian Priest showed up. Edge clotheslined Priest out of the ring. Dominik Mysterio was there as well, Edge set up Balor on the apron and Edge ran the ropes with a Spear on Balor onto the others on the floor. That’s a Big E spot that is fitting for Edge. When Edge was setting up in the corner, Rhea Ripley arrived and handcuffed Edge to the top rope. Ripley had the key in her hand. Edge was handcuffed to the top rope trying to fight against Balor, Priest & Dominik, but Edge couldn’t do it and Edge was beaten up. Balor used a kendo stick to hit Edge repeatedly in the back. Rey Mysterio’s music hit as the legend ran down to the ring with a chair in hand. Rey knocked down Priest and Rey hit a springboard attack on Balor. Rey hit a 619 kick on Priest. Dominik punched his father Rey off the apron to the floor. Dominik sent Rey into the barricade and into the ring post as well. Dominik stomped on Rey repeatedly while Cole was screaming about it: “What is wrong with you? He’s your father, for God’s sake.” Balor continued to beat up Edge with kendo stick shots to the back. Beth Phoenix, who is Edge’s wife, showed up in the ring and took the kendo stick from Balor. Beth beat up Balor and Priest with the kendo stick. Rhea Ripley was in the ring to face off against Beth as the fans chanted “yes” for this with Beth telling Rhea this is a dream match. Beth and Ripley exchanged punches, Beth ran off the ropes and Beth hit a Spear on Ripley. Beth got the handcuff key from Ripley, so Beth used the key on the handcuff and Edge was free.

Edge hit a Spear on Priest. Edge stared at Dominik, the fans really wanted Edge to do it and fans chanted “who’s your daddy” at Dominik. Edge kicked Dominik in the groin and shoved him out of the ring. Balor was back in to hit Edge with the Slingblade. Balor charged, but Edge was back up with a Spear. Edge hit another Spear on Balor. Edge hit a third Spear on Balor with the crowd cheering loudly for it. Beth brought a chair into the ring. Edge used the bottom steel part of the chair and tried to choke Balor, but Ripley was back in the ring to punch Beth down. Ripley had brass knuckles in her hand. Priest hit the South of Heaven chokeslam on Edge. Balor went up top, he hit the Coup de Grace finishing move and Balor did that double foot stomp move a few times. Balor told Edge that this is his last chance to say it. Edge: “Go to hell.” Ripley grabbed Beth by the hair with Ripley grabbing Beth’s head to show that Beth was knocked out. Ripley brought in two chairs. Ripley put a chair under Beth’s head, Ripley teased doing a Conchairto, so Edge said “I Quit” a few times and that was it. The match went 29:55.

Winner: Finn Balor

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a very long match, which is fitting for an “I Quit” Match where you must wear somebody down before you can beat them. It’s tough to rate it highly because it was such a cheap finish, but it was fitting for the story for Balor to win because of The Judgment Day group. Using Beth to help Edge was a clever way to get Edge out of the handcuffs and then the drama involving Beth being knocked out by Ripley’s brass knuckles. A clean finish would be nice, but I didn’t expect it in this instance. I picked Balor to win because I believe the hype that he’s going to get a big push as a heel, so he needed this one and I’m glad he did. It’s another match where I think they went too long because it didn’t need to go nearly 30 minutes, but that’s what they did.

After the match, Ripley continued to taunt Edge and Ripley hit the chair so she did a Conchairto on Beth. The crowd was booing loudly.

The Judgment Day left while Edge checked on his wife. Edge was screaming for somebody to help Beth was others filled the ring to check on her.

Analysis: I assume this is building to Phoenix vs. Ripley as a singles match at some point soon. It could also lead to Edge/Phoenix vs. Balor/Ripley as well.

A video aired about Charlotte Flair. She has been off WWE TV since last May, so nearly five months now.

The Miz was shown at Triple H’s office door. Gritty was there again, so Miz punched him repeatedly and told Gritty to get out of his face. Dexter Lumis was standing beside Miz. Lumis choked out Miz with his Silence move to put Miz to sleep on the floor. Lumis picked up Gritty and Gritty kicked Miz in the ribs.

Analysis: Riveting television. I get why they did it to have Gritty kick Miz at the end and pop the crowd, but it wasn’t that interesting overall.

A video package aired for the Matt Riddle-Seth “Freakin” Rollins match. The video was narrated by BT Sport’s Ariel Helwani. It covered the last few months of the Riddle-Rollins story.

The NXT Champion Bron Breakker was shown in the crowd.

It was main event time between Rollins and Riddle. Daniel Cormier entered in his referee shirt. Matt Riddle the Bro was up first with the fans cheering loudly for him. Seth “Freakin” Rollins was up next with the crowd singing along with Set’s theme song. The Fight Pit cage was lowered on the ring.

Fight Pit Match: Matt Riddle vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins

The referee was UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier. The only way to win is by knockout or submission. The Fight Pit setup for this match is that it has a cage surrounding the ring, then there’s a layer on top with more fighting area on the platform.

They started off with a feeling out process as Riddle got some kicks to the bodies and Riddle was able to avoid a takedown attempt. Riddle got a takedown with a lifting slam followed by punches. Riddle with a kick to the body and Riddle jumped off the side of the cage with a springboard kick to the head. Riddle punched Rollins repeatedly, Cormier pulled Riddle back and Riddle elbowed Cormier by accident. That led to Cormier aggressively pulling Riddle off Rollins and Cormier told Riddle to fight Rollins, but don’t fight Cormier. Rollins came back with a forearm that sent Riddle into the cage. The fans were singing the Rollins song. Rollins wanted a German Suplex, Riddle landed on his feet and Riddle wanted a triangle choke, but Rollins did an eye gouge. Rollins sent Riddle into the cage. Rollins shoved Cormier out of the way a bit, so Cormier warned Rollins to keep his hands off Cormier. Rollins sent Riddle into the cage again followed by some punches from Rollins. Seth continued on offense raking Riddle’s face against the cage, then a forearm to the head and a forearm to the back of the head. Cormier counted Riddle down, Riddle was back up and Rollins hit two superkicks. Cormier counted again, but Riddle got back up. They did some more brawling by the cage with Rollins suplexing Riddle into the cage. Rollins climbed up to the top of the pit and Rollins said “Seth Freakin’ Rollins” like “Rob Van Dam” and Rollins hit him with a Frog Splash off the wall of the cage. Rollins waited while Cormier counted Riddle down, but Riddle was back up, so Rollins put his boots in Matt’s face. Rollins called Riddle a loser saying the people know it, Riddle’s family knows it and Rollins applied a submission on the head/neck, but didn’t lock it in. Riddle broke free leading to an RKO by Riddle to drop Rollins in the middle of the ring. Good spot there as both guys were down with Cormier counting and they were both up by eight.

They exchanged strikes, Riddle with a kick to the body, Riddle with punches and Riddle wanted another RKO, but Rollins pushed him off. Rollins bounced off the cage and Rollins hit The Stomp to a big reaction. Cormier wasn’t counting fast, Rollins wasn’t happy about it and Riddle got back up. Rollins climbed to the upper level of the cage and walked around on the platform. Riddle climbed up after Rollins on the platform. Rollins was biting Riddle’s hand. Riddle applied a sleeper while against a chain connected to the cage. They were fighting on the structure with Rollins ramming Riddle’s head into the cage repeatedly. While they were on the platform, Riddle tried a hurricanrana and Rollins countered by giving Riddle a Buckle Bomb into the cage. Graves said he was worried about both guys falling down because they were high up there. Cormier was trying to explain to them that the decision had to take place in the ring. Riddle managed to knock Rollins off the platform and back into the ring. Riddle held onto a steel chain to prevent being thrown off the platform. Rollins gave Riddle a Pedigree onto the platform. Rollins was yelling at Riddle to count him, but Cormier explained that you had to be in the ring to count. Rollins wanted the Stomp again, but Riddle avoided it and hit an RKO. Rollins fell back into the ring. Rollins grabbed onto a steel crossbeam before he fell back into the ring, so it wasn’t a dangerous fall. Riddle jumped off the top level of the pit and hit a Floating Bro backsplash on Rollins in the ring. Ouch. Riddle hit it perfectly. They were both selling for several moments after that. Riddle went for a Triangle Choke submission. Riddle had it locked in perfectly, Rollins did a Powerbomb into the cage two times to try to get out of it, but it didn’t work. Riddle held Rollins in the move on the mat and Rollins tapped out to give Riddle the win at 16:35.

Winner by submission: Matt Riddle

Analysis: ***1/2 I thought it was a very good match for most of it. The finish was a bit flat, but it came after Riddle did that big move off the top of the Fight Pit platform, so I understood why they decided to end it there. They probably could have done more to make it look like Rollins had a chance to win with some submission moves. Having Cormier count both guys down at different points in the match made it feel a bit like a Last Man Standing Match instead of a Fight Pit Match, so that was a bit confusing. They did make it clear that you had to win by being in the ring, not on the platform, so Rollins yelling at Cormier to count while Riddle was down on the platform made Seth look dumb a bit. Anyway, it was an entertaining match for the most part, but I wouldn’t call it great at any point. The Floating Bro spot by Riddle was the highlight. Riddle winning was the right move.

It looked like the show was about to sign off, but then the lights went out. Cole was selling it by asking if they were still on the air. The arena was dark. The crowd popped big because they knew what it meant. The lights were on in the crowd, which was the “firefly” thing that Bray Wyatt used to do. They had Bray Wyatt singing “He’s got the whole world in his hands” like he did in the past.

They showed some things around the building that were part of Bray Wyatt’s career including The Fiend mask. Somebody was dressed kind of like the Sister Abigail character with a mask. The fans popped big when they saw that. There was a Fiend mask on the commentary table, so Cole and Graves were freaked out by that. There was somebody dressed like The Fiend at ringside, so that drew a big pop as well. They also showed the Firefly Funhouse set that they used to have for Bray and all the toys/puppets looked like they were dead. They played the Firefly Funhouse song, but it had technical difficulties. I think the idea was that now that Bray is back, those puppets will come alive again.

A door was shown by the entrance area. There was a lantern and a man in a mask. The mask was removed to show that it was Bray Wyatt. The fans chanted “holy shit” for it. Bray stared at the camera and blew out the lantern like he did many times in the past. A new logo appeared on the screen. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: That was really awesome. I was trying to write about it as I watched it, but I admit it was hard to pay attention to what I was writing because I was amazed by it. The crowd reaction really told the story because they were so happy to see Bray back in WWE. Welcome back, Bray. I’m glad he’s back and no more “White Rabbit” clues. Bray is back home in WWE. The “holy shit” chant was cool to hear. Whether he’s the “original” Bray Wyatt or if he turns into The Fiend again, I don’t know. I think the original Bray character is better, but I think The Fiend was interesting to people that like supernatural characters in wrestling. I don’t know what he’ll be. I’m intrigued to see what happens just like I’m sure a lot of you are interested to see what happens.

This event had a runtime of 3:11:05 on WWE Network.

The Bray video is on WWE’s Youtube channel as well.

 

Five Stars of the Show

  1. Bray Wyatt – Welcome back.
  2. The Brawling Brutes
  3. Imperium
  4. Bianca Belair-Matt Riddle
  5. Seth Rollins-Bayley

 

Final Thoughts

I’m going with a 7.5 out of 10 for this show.

I enjoyed the show for the most part. It wasn’t as good as Clash at the Castle or Summerslam, but that’s okay. Those were bigger shows with more title matches on the shows too. The ending with Bray Wyatt returning to WWE is what I’m going to remember the most about this show. All of the clues building up to it were smart and the payoff was Bray’s return with the fans popping huge for it. It was really produced in a cool way and Wyatt got a huge response when his face was shown in the final moments of the show. I’m glad Bray is back in WWE. I hope The Fiend character goes better this time if that’s the direction they go in or if there’s something else for him.

As far as the best match goes, I thought the opening Donnybrook 6-man tag team match with The Brawling Brutes beating Imperium was the best match. The crowd loved Sheamus and the Brutes, which shows the story is working very well. The Ladder Match with Belair-Bayley was very good and I enjoyed the Riddle-Rollins Fight Pit Match in the main event.

I thought the Edge-Balor match was really good as a story more than the match, which went nearly 30 minutes. Lots of drama during the finish and after the match as well. I didn’t like the Rousey-Morgan and Kross-McIntyre matches that much. I still enjoyed Extreme Rules for the most part. A 7.5/10 show is very good, it just wasn’t at the 9/10 level like Clash was.

Here are my WWE Premium Live Event (PPV) rankings for 2022 so far.

Clash at the Castle – 9 (September 3)

SummerSlam – 8.25 (July 30)

WrestleMania 38 – 8 (April 2 & 3)

Money in the Bank – 8 (July 2)

Hell in a Cell – 8 (June 5)

WrestleMania Backlash – 7.75 (May 8)

Extreme Rules – 7.5 (October 8)

Day 1 – 7.5 (January 1)

Elimination Chamber – 6.75 (February 19)

Royal Rumble – 6 (January 29)

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.

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Thanks for reading this review. My contact info is below.

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport