Welcome one and all to the live coverage of WWE Extreme Rules here at TJRWrestling! We are covering it live from the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore. Thanks for joining me for this show.
The boss man John Canton is unable to watch live tonight due to watching the NBA Finals with some friends, but he will have his review of Extreme Rules up by Monday morning, so check back on the site for that. I’m going to do more of a running blog than play by play, so let’s get right to it!
Kickoff Match: Apollo Crews (w/Titus O’Neil) vs. Kalisto
I joined this match in progress. I cannot get past the blatant gimmick infringment that Kalisto is taking from Drago right now. Some decent offense in this match from what I saw. Apollo wasn’t working as a heel, which just makes this dynamic weird. Titus was mad at Apollo for his offense (at least I think that was his excuse for being up on the apron) and Kalisto capitalized and hit the Salido Del Sol on Apollo for the win.
Breaking News as we head into the actual show… David Otunga has a full beard now. Handle yourselves accordingly.
Intercontinential Championship Match – The Champ Can Lose On A Disqualification
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. The Miz (w/Maryse)
Maryse looks amazing as always, so at least we’re off to a good start. The It Couple made their entrance and then we went into a very long video package going over the feud between these two, dating back to their time on Smackdown Live. Ah, the good ol’ days. I just noticed no LED wraparounds on the turnposts. Last time that was the case Braun and Show broke the ring, so that’s why I’m bringing it up.
No attempt by Maryse to get Ambrose DQ’ed immediately which just makes this match even dumber in my book. Michael Cole went out of his way early on to give well wishes to Harley Race. I thought that was a classy call by the company. Not much of a match early on, a lot of the ref finding Ambrose in situations that almost get him DQ’ed. For example, Miz grabbed a chair when the ref wasn’t looking but when the ref turned around, Ambrose had it in his hands. Miz hit a DDT on the apron which garnered little reaction sadly. Miz controlled the match after that DDT. Ambrose finally got back into the match after blocking back to back attempts from the top rope by Miz. Ambrose went for his standing elbow drop off the top to the floor. He missed Miz completely but Miz sold like he connected. Dean ended up selling his knee after missing a top rope attack of his own and Miz went to the Figure Four. Ambrose got to the ropes of course. Dueling “Let’s Go Ambrose/Miz” chants break out a couple times but for the most part, the crowd seems quiet. Miz ripped off the top turnbuckle at one point and Ambrose went to slam him into it but the ref was watching, so he stopped himself. He ended up turning around into Daniel Bryan’s running knee strike for a good near fall. Ambrose blocked one of the YES! Kicks and turned it into a Figure Four of his own which got a good reaction. Maryse got on the apron and Miz yelled at her to slap him, which she did. The ref debated disqualifying Ambrose but he said he know what she was trying to do so he just kicked Maryse out instead. Maryse refuses to leave and as the ref is dealing with her, Miz throws Ambrose into the ref and the ref assumes Ambrose did it on purpose. The ref is debating whether to DQ Ambrose and in the meantime, Miz comes from behind and hits Skull Crushing Finale. The ref comes back in the ring and counts the 3. New IC Champion. Right guy won, horrible ending. This was not their best effort, but the stipulation obviously hamstrung them.
Winner: New Intercontinential Champion, The Miz
Michael Cole made the point that with The Miz’s win, he is now the second most winningest IC Champion, only behind Chris Jericho. The Miz has 7 reigns now, Cole said Y2J has 9 reigns, but I’m almost positive he got to double digits.
Bayley cut a backstage promo. She was almost onto something by saying she studied Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman, & Steve Blackman for this match… but then had to incorporate the Wonder Woman movie and how seeing it inspired her.
Noam Dar & Alicia Fox vs. Sasha Banks & Rich Swann
Dar’s music hit and I legitimately said out loud, “who the hell is this?” Definitely did not know his music. Swann gets a pretty solid hometown ovation. Alicia Fox is wearing Carolina Panthers colors and if Sasha Banks retired tomorrow it wouldn’t be soon enough. So I may be a little biased. Sasha scrwed up a headscissors but ended up turning it into a Bank Statement submission so no one really noticed it. Noam yelling out “Alicia FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOX” on the apron is entertaining me. I didn’t realize that Swann was from Baltimore, so even though this storyline leaves a lot to be desired, good for Swann to get this moment with the crowd behind him. Banks and Fox had a clunky spot in the corner that left Banks a little woozy and she made a tag that seemed a little early. She took a little bit to recover in the corner. Then she tried stopping Fox from breaking up a pin and almost whiffed completely. Banks went to the top rope and wanted to hit her double knees to the floor on Fox, but Dar saved Fox, which of course meant Dar caught the double knees instead. That seems like a really dangerous spot for Sasha. Dar got thrown back in the ring, Swann hit the Phoenix Splash and gets the win in his hometown. He better celebrate because that doesn’t happen often. Dar and Swann were fine, the women were not.
Winners: Rich Swann & Sasha Banks
Elias Samson is in the ring after a couple commercials to sing us a song. The crowd is all over him. So it is possible for someone to keep their charm from NXT. Nothing else to this. I like Samson, but obviously this belongs on Raw and not a PPV to kill time.
Raw Women’s Championship – Kendo Stick on a Pole Match
Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Bayley
They show that Izzy in the crowd as soon as Bayley comes out, so I don’t know if that’s basically a spoiler alert. Lot of Hugger Section signs in the crowd. I said in our preview that Bayley looks like she couldn’t find her confidence if it was six inches in front of her and she still looks that way coming out to the ring. She just doesn’t have that same flare anymore. It just dawned on me that there are probably no LED boars on the turnposts because of this pole match. Whoa… big match introductions for this match and there were VERY noticable boos for Bayley. That is certainly a first and that is not a good thing. Wow.
Dueling “Let’s Go Bayley/Bliss” chants to start as well. Early on it was all about getting the kendo stick. Bayley pulls it down but Bliss knocks her off the turnbuckles and it falls to the mat. Bayley nailed Bliss with a belly to back suplex on the floor and now has control of the kendo stick. Bayley hesitated using it though for some reason and Bliss speared her and got control of the stick. Which of course, she gladly uses. Bayley surprised Bliss with a Bayley to Bayley suplex but was too hurt to capitalize. Bliss shortly thereafter hit her DDT and…. that was it. Wow. I’m sorry Bayley, WWE booked you poorly and now apparently has lost faith in you because of it. This was short, to the point, and basically a squash match. Bayley got two big moves and nothing came of either.
Winner: Still Raw Women’s Champion, Alexa Bliss
Raw Tag Title Match – Steel Cage Match
The Hardyz (c) vs. Sheamus & Cesaro
Huge “Delete!” chants. All four men in the ring and it doesn’t look like there will be tags in this match. Cole just pointed out that there are NO pins or submissions allowed. It has to be escaping the cage and it has to be both members. I like that. Hard to call the action in this one, a lot of trying to escape by all four men. I like the tornado tag style though. Matt rams the back of Cesaro’s head into the cage repeatedly while the crowd yells DELETE! Nice double dropkick by the Hardyz ramming both of their opponents into the cage. Then they hit Poetry in Motion on both guys as they’re pinned against the cage. Jeff tried to escape but Sheamus grabbed him in a powerbomb but not before Jeff grabbed Cesaro in a Russian leg sweep and all three crash to the mat. Cool spot. Matt hit an elbow drop on Cesaro right after that. Cesaro & Sheamus didn’t stay down long though and send both Hardyz into the cage multiple times. Cesaro tries tossing Jeff into the cage but Jeff catches himself and tries to escape. No one is able to get out though. Jeff sends Cesaro into the cage and Matt hits a Tornado DDT on Sheamus to turn the tide again. All four men end up on the top of the cage and Jeff is trying to drop to the floor but Cesaro is grabbing him by the arm and Jeff is just dangling. Jeff finally manages to break free and it is now 2 on 1 in the ring. Matt hits double Side Effects to be able to make the climb. Matt ends up on top of the cage and there’s a tug of war between Jeff and Cesaro to get Matt on their side of the cage. Cesaro hits Jeff to the floor and then along with Sheamus they nail a double Razor’s Edge on Matt in the ring. Jeff tries to get back in the ring but Cesaro blocks the door. Jeff slams the door in Cesaro’s face but then Sheamus Brogue Kicks the door back in Jeff’s face. Matt once again takes out both of his opponents and gets to the top of the cage but Cesaro climbs up and hits his European Uppercut. Matt is knocked out and Sheamus grabs him in White Noise and drills it from the top rope. Jeff is back up and he’s climbing to the top of the cage and he comes flying down with Whisper in the Wind and takes out both of his opponents. Sheamus really took the brunt of it, Cesaro just fell down. The announcers say we’re back at square one now that Jeff is back in the ring. Cesaro and Sheamus are climbing the cage as Matt is dragging Jeff to the door. Jeff’s body is halfway out as Cesaro and Sheamus drop and we have new Tag Champs. I gotta give them credit, I like the attention to detail that Jeff had to leave the cage again because he reentered. Now let’s see if this leaves the Hardyz Broken.
Winners: New Tag Team Champions, Sheamus and Cesaro
Cruiserweight Championship – Submission Match
Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries
Unless this show is ending early, we have over an hour left and only two matches. I would expect the main event to go 40 minutes plus at this point. Neither man got much of a reaction, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. Aries is wearing the Kinetic tape on his shoulder blades that Cesaro typically wears. Not sure if that’s to help with a legit injury as he doesn’t normally wear that. Aries was the first one to go for his submission finisher but Neville went right to the outside. He ends up getting thrown into the guardrail though. Aries connects with a ax handle off the top rope to the floor but starts to sell his left knee and now Neville attacks it. Neville continues to work the knee and the crowd is already booing the match. Neville baseball slides into Aries on the apron which sends him to the floor and now he’s selling the leg and a shoulder. Not sure if the shoulder is part of that injury I mentioned earlier with the Kinetic tape. Neville tried to come from the top rope but Aries caught him and turned it into a Figure Four. Seriously? Miz and Ambrose both worked this hold. In a match designed for any submission you can think of, you use a move the crowd has already seen multiple times? That’s just lazy in my opinion. Aries went to the top rope after hitting a neckbreaker in the ropes and went for a missile dropkick but Neville moved and immediately locked on the Rings of Saturn. Aries gets the ropes and the crowd boos. They want this match over and it hasn’t even been that long. Neville went for it again but Aries reversed it into his own version. Neville grabbed the ref like he did in last month’s match and the ref almost DQ’ed him again but Aries convinced him not to. Aries turned around right into a Superkick though. Aries blocked a top rope Superplex and countered it into a sunset flip powerbomb which he immediately turned into the Last Chancery. Neville tries to escape and ends up on the floor but Aries doesn’t break it. Neville taps out on the floor but the ref doesn’t allow it, so Aries has to put Neville back in the ring. Aries connects with a Roaring Elbow that sends Neville back to the floor and goes for his suicide dive but Neville ducks and Aries hits the floor. Neville gets him back in, goes for his Red Arrow, lands it right on the back of Aries and locks on the Rings of Saturn and Aries taps out immediately. The crowd could’ve cared less. The 205 division is in an ugly way right now. I hope the fact that Aries technically made Neville tap out doesn’t give him yet another shot.
Winner: Still Cruiserweight Champion, Neville
Our first Great Balls of Fire promo is shown… UGH. It’s a 50’s themed video with the actual Great Balls of Fire song used for the theme. Which makes it worse honestly, because it shows that’s exactly why Vince used this name for the show and how out of touch he is. The crowd he’s catering to has probably never even heard that song before. I could go on and on, but we have five weeks of this to come. FIVE.
Extreme Rules Fatal 5 Way – Winners Takes On Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title
Finn Balor vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe vs. Bray Wyatt
Michael Cole confirms that the winner of this match will take on Brock Lesnar at GBOF. We’re :12 past the hour when Roman comes out last, so they’re going at least 30 minutes. First pinfall to win, so they have not changed it to elimination style as some had hoped. Seth seemed to get a bigger ovation than Finn but the whole crowd threw their arms up with Finn (I love that camera shot in front of Finn with the crowd behind him). Lots of boos for Roman as expected.
I’m just going to hit the high spots in this match as I can only assume there will be a lot to follow and John will have play by play tomorrow. Roman started the match as the only guy in the ring. Everyone except Seth came in one by one and Roman took them all out. Seth came in last but Bray and Joe cut off Roman before anything could happen. Balor repeatedly stomped everyone but Roman to keep them out of the ring and then did his dive over the top rope to take them all out. Lot of chants for Joe in this match. If he were to win, I would expect a huge reaction. The crowd has not had much to get excited for tonight so the finish is going to be quite interesting here. Bray and Joe double teamed Roman on the outside and attacked his ribs. We’re about 8 minutes into the match. Bray and Joe take the top portion of the steel steps and run around the ring, taking out the three babyfaces.
The heels stuck together for awhile and beat on Balor in the ring. Seth was finally the one to come in and break it up. He got a DDT from Bray on the bottom portion of the steel steps for his troubles. Bray brings a chair into the ring and lays out Balor and Roman with it. He teased hitting Joe but instead set it up on Balor’s chest so Joe could do his running senton. Bray followed up with one of his own on the chair as well. Balor ended up sending Joe into the chair that was set up in the corner. It came time for Roman to finally shine but he started it by whiffing on a Drive-By on Bray. I thought there’d be a lot more going on at the same time but really it’s a glorified Triple Threat match with 2 guys “recovering” on the floor. Bray nailed Roman with a urinagi on the announce table and the table doesn’t budge. It became Rollins’ turn to take on the heels and he landed a double Blockbuster off the second rope. Rollins hit a couple dives to the outside on Joe but that allowed Bray to get the advantage on him. Rollins got the first near fall of the match at about 18 minutes in with a Falcon Arrow on Bray. Joe came back in the ring ring and the heel tandom offically died as he went right after Bray. Joe countered Sister Abigail into the Coquina Clutch but Balor returned to drill him with a chair. Roman tried to get back in the ring but Balor blasted him with a kick from the apron. Balor was all over the place on the floor and ended up repeatedly beating Bray’s head into one of the announce tables. He then clears off another one and tries to put Bray on but Joe came from behind and locked on the Coquina Clutch. They moved backwards towards the timekeeper’s area and Roman came from out of nowhere and speared both of them through the guardrail! Meanwhile, Rollins sees Bray on the table and he goes to the top rope and hits a hell of a frong splash, twisting his body in mid air, through the table! This match has picked up in a hurry! We’re 25 minutes in.
It’s now finally time for Rollins vs. Roman as they’re the only two standing and they get into the ring. Both men countered each other a couple times but Rollins was favoring his knee so after he tweaked it a bit, he turned around into the Superman punch. Good near fall there. Great action with these two. Rollins landed a second frog splash, this time in the ring on Roman but another near fall. Rollins missed a Phoenix Splash, Bray came in and missed a Sister Abigail which led to him getting a Spear from Roman. Rollins doesn’t allow a pin, tries for his knee strike but gets another Superman Punch instead. Balor is back in the ring and it’s down to him and Roman. He connects with a shotgun dropkick and then lands the Coup De Grace on Roman. He goes for the pin but here comes Joe! Joe with the Coquina Clutch and Balor passes out! Joe is the #1 Contender! That went around 31 minutes. The ref only raised Balor’s hand once but I’ll admit that’s nitpicking on my part.
Winner: New #1 Contender, Samoa Joe
The first 20 minutes were pretty meh, the last 10 minutes or so were quite good. The right guy won. You had a perfect opportunity to get to a dream match that you probably wouldn’t have had a chance for otherwise if Strowman doesn’t get hurt, and they took it. Joe vs. Lesnar will sell itself and at least the worst named PPV of all time will have a match worth seeing.
This show was largely forgettable. The lack of excitement definitely came through in this show. The last 10 minutes of the main event was good and the cage match was solid but nothing you have to go out of your way to see. Thank you for following along with me tonight, I’ll see you all on Wednesday for NXT. Until next time, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… but if you do, name it after me!