Extreme Rules is now in the past, at least for another year but how did the show fair? Well let’s have a look shall we.
Extreme Rules has been one of the better PPVs from the WWE throughout its shirt history as it has always offered a very different kind of event- one that is brutal and full of blood and violence. However over recent years, and last night very much fell into this category it has been more about the match stipulations than the feuds themselves ending or becoming more intense. In the current PG era this show has no real place, as even the Russain chain match was lacking intensity and the blood you would expect from what should be a feud ending match between two top stars- next year hopefully the PPV changes.
However that aside lets look at the card (Predictions here) and what it gave us- first and foremost it gave us an always excitable Chicago crowd that really helped this show all the way through from their excitement over the Ambrose and Harper match (More on this in a minute) to the level of excitement of the tag team champions and there ‘Holy Shit’ chants at Reigns this crowd was on board and engaged all night; giving the whole show an important feel.
The WWE did many things on this night, the first of these was opening the show was Ambrose and Harper and these two can really brawl and brought the crowd right into the match from the outset. This was a good 10minutes of fighting from the two before the WWE decided to throw them into a car and have them leave the arena- this instantly killed the momentum and had the crowd start booing right away. I’m not sure what the WWE thought they would get out of this approach but it definitely didn’t work.
The WWE also gave us a very exciting and well pieced together tag team contest where Cesaro was given a moment to shine off the hot tag and the crowd loved every minute of this. The match was given a good length of time to move along and set-up the finish too, while showcasing the talent of New Day and Cesaro&Kidd nicely. The match had some power spots, some high-flying moments and some outside interference but ultimately the end and the title switch to New Day felt odd and out-of-place as the team isn’t over at all, and it feels like Cesaro and Kidd could do so much more with the gold. However the match itself was solid and very enjoyable.
I might get heat for this, but I also thought the Reigns and Big Show match was well done- yes it wasnt the best match but who was involved it had some good moments and did what it needed to do- made Reigns look good while protecting the Giant. Why we need to protect the Big Show in 2015 is anyones guess but the finish did just this, while showcasing the power of Reigns. The match consisted of Reigns selling the power of the Big Show for the first half before coming back with his big moves and then eventually getting to spear the big show off one announce table and through another before placing atable on him and standing on it to keep him down. This match had moments of obvious set-up with the equipment and im not sure it was the right feud for Reigns after WrestleMania but it was enjoyable on the night. Especially watching Reigns get chokeslammed out of the ring through a double table.
In the good column was the performance of Naomi too, as she gave us the best singles performance we have seen from her and appears to be playing a hell much better than she did a face and seems really comfortable in the role. Her title match with Nikki Bella wasnt anything special, but it was well wrestled and got 10minutes- a near miracle for the Diva’s on a PPV. My only complaint is that Nikki retained with heelish actions- Brie kicking Naomi in the face- when it looked like the Bellas were set for a face turn this week. Other than that the match was solid, but the Diva’s division is in desperate need of some of the NXT talent sooner rather than later.
Now with the good comes the bad or the makes no sense column, and here is my first gripe; the Intercontinental title wasnt on the show. Now i like the idea of seeing Neville on the show- as he is one of my favourite athletes on the roster but with Bryan unable to compete why wasnt the title put on the line in that match? We have no idea if Bryan is out long-term or not, but surely the title should mean more than being left of even the Pre-show? with no Bryan on the show a new champion could have been the special moment to take its place that the fans would have loved, it would have also made sense as we saw Neville pin Barrett on Smackdown this week.
The worst of the night was easily the Russain Chain match, this should have been brutal and tiring for both men. However what we got was a poorly produced match, with a chain long enough to reach all the way across the ring and no real intensity of passion to win from either man. The crowd was so bored we got a Lana chant at one point that she even acknowledged to liven up the damn thing. Add to this the fact that Rusev has now lost his undefeated streak (WrestleMania I know) and then lost to Cena again the next month in this poor effort has really damaged his momentum. Not only was this bad, it wasnt even watchable in portions and now we have Cena and Rusev 3 at Payback- just brilliant!
Sheamus and Ziggler was a very good match after the first 5mins of posturing and rest holds that looked brutal and picked up the pace as both men hit their big signature moves and looked to score the win with a series of near falls. My only complain was having Sheamus lose after the dominant force he’s been since his return, and then have him heel it up afterwards instead of giving him the win and the instant heat. However his post match antics got the crowd truly involved, and is anyone better at getting crowds to instantly dislike them on purpose than Sheamus right now? I think not. This was a good match with an odd end.
Speaking of odd endings the PPV really suffered this month from just that! A main event for the WWE World HEavyweight Championship where it felt like all the focus was on Kane- and in the end it was- and not the competitors and their talent. Orton and Rollins had a good match that could have been great until Kane managed to get himself involved, take out both competitors and J&J security allowing Rollins to hit an RKO (wasnt this banned) on Orton and sneak out. This was so badly overbooked that it hurt the entire show and the competitors involved. Rollins and Orton put on a great match at WrestleMania and could have topped that here if the cage stipulation was the only one, but once again the WWE really killed the show right at the end.
Overall this wasnt a bad show, but being left with a sour taste at the end really isn’t a good feeling. For that reason unless you have to really see this event I wouldn’t go out of my way to check it out- instead I’d watch the returning King of the Ring this week on the WWE Network.