Kick-Off Show Madness
The action at Extreme Rules kicked off on the kick-off show when bitter enemies Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin went at it in a No Disqualification Match. This feud has been long standing and goes all the way back to the post-WrestleMania RAW when Corbin destroyed Ziggler. The match was fast paced as from the get go Dolph nailed the “Lone Wolf” with a huge head butt. From that point on it was a complete back and forth between these two bitter rivals.
Then Ziggler looked as though he had begun to take control of the bigger Corbin. That was until Baron Corbin was able to hit Deep Six but he only got a two count. Ziggler rallied and wasted no time continuing his attack, unleashing an array of fists, elbows, and head butts when it appeared that Ziggler had set Corbin up for the Superkick but he missed, Corbin took advantage of the match stipulation hit Ziggler where it hurts and that was Ziggler’s match done and dusted as Corbin hit the End of Days.
The Lone Wolf promised to “hurt” Ziggler in the No Disqualification match and it appears as though that Baron Corbin did indeed follow through on his promise. Will Dolph Ziggler look for more only time will tell?
The Usos bell gets Rung
The opening bout of the Main Card saw the first installment of The Club v The Bloodline as Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson took on The Usos. Since debuting a month ago Gallows & Anderson have battled The Usos and over the last few weeks, things between these teams have become more spontaneous and even more brutal. During this match, the well-travelled team of Anderson and Gallows made sure The Usos were battered and bruised after this match.
This match started as the Good Brothers made their way to the ring. The Usos met them at the pass and this match began in a manner that would be evident throughout the match. For the early part of this match, the Usos took control but that was until The Club’s muscle took The Usos apart as Jimmy Uso went head-first into the stairs and Luke Gallows then hoisted Jey Uso onto his shoulders for an Anderson Boot of Doom off the apron.
Then this match then broke down into a brawl which suited Gallows and Anderson as the big man wiped out both Jimmy and Jey then brought the game-changing ring bell into the match. However Gallows was nailed with a Superkick but saw the splash coming avoided it and Jimmy suffered a match-ending Magic Killer moments later.
It's a New Day for the Tag Champions
The New Day then made their way to the ring ahead of the Tag Team Championship match and produced their usual antics until The Vaudevillians made their way out to the ring. The New Day tried to make this a fast paced match. The Vaudevillians, however, would not let this happen and they made use of any opening they could get. Aiden English and Simon Gotch looked to close the deal several times over, even hitting their signature Whirling Dervish maneuver, but Xavier Woods dug deep to kick out at two. The New Day took control of the bout when Big E hit an apron spear and this led to Kofi Kingston getting involved which allowed Woods to hit a Shining Wizard for the 1-2-3 and still the W-W-E World Tag Team Champions, The New Day.
The Mexican Fly is finally Swatted
In what was surely the biggest mismatch in recent times in WWE, the United States Champion Kalisto (who did not look 100% due to the spine-jarring Accolade he suffered on RAW) took on a rather confident Bulgarian Brute, Rusev. The Injury made the match a tall order (no pun intended) for the more agile competitor. Throughout the match, Rusev targeted the injured back of the champion. He locked his opponent in a devastating bear hug, targeting Kalisto’s lower back.
It would not be Kalisto if he did not provide a fight back and he punished his massive foe with a sleeper hold and hurricanrana that propelled Rusev head-first into the steel steps. Then came the game changer when Kalisto was driven spine first onto the ring apron. Then Rusev disregarded the referee and the big man locked in the Accolade which forced the champion to tap out.
An Awesome Fatal Four Way
Going into Extreme Rules it looked as though The Miz had the deck stacked against him as he faced Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Cesaro in what was a frantic match. Immediately after the opening bell Zayn knocked Owens out of action with a Helluva Kick. While Cesaro took out The Miz with an uppercut turning a fatal four way into a one on one match for a small amount of time. This match had it all. Cesaro hit uppercuts left right and centre, Zayn was dropping Blue Thunder Bombs and hurricanrana's and Kevin Owens was firing off cannonballs.
The Miz was arguably the cleverest man in the match as he bided his time. With a little help from Maryse who stepped in front of Owens on the ringside floor to prevent him from attacking Miz. Amid the confusion of what was happening Kevin Owens saw his finale when Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale. In the ring, Zayn hit another Helluva Kick on Cesaro and 1-2…….. Owens managed to break up the pin attempt and the two former best friends brawled outside the ring allowing The Miz to retain his title in a fantastic match.
Ambrose Sharp as a Tack in Asylum Match
It was historic and what transpired in the very first Asylum Match was very brutal and few expected that it would end with the screams of Chris Jericho after hundreds of thumbtacks pierced his flesh. Almost all the weapons available to both these men were used inside this unique structure. Nunchucks, a Kendo Stick, a leather strap etc. were just some of the wide array of weapons that were used in this match.
To say this match was chaotic is an understatement. Jericho came seriously close to victory when he nearly wrapped Dean Ambrose up in a straitjacket. However, The Lunatic Fringe fought his way out and clicked into second gear. The madman then took to the skies with a flying elbow. Then came the most innocuous of the weapons the plastic bucket along with a fire extinguisher. Jericho went for a Codebreaker, only to be caught in mid-air by his opponent. Jericho was then slammed back-first into the pile of razor-sharp steel tacks. Then Jericho was made to pay as he was hit with a Dirty Deeds once again into the thumbtacks and just like that the match was over.
Natalya left Hart-Broken once Again
The Playing Field was leveled by Stephanie and Shane McMahon for this match as Ric Flair was banned from being in his daughter Charlotte’s corner. It looked as though Natalya finally had the number of the Women’s Champion. Throughout the match, it was all about wearing down each other sufficiently so that it would make it almost impossible for the other to survive. Natalya was able to turn the tide and lock in the Sharpshooter.
As Charlotte looked like she was ready to tap, Ric Flair’s music hit and it looked like Ric had come to ringside, but it was not The Nature Boy. It was Dana Brooke and then Charlotte seized the opportunity and locked in the Figure-Eight to make the third-generation Superstar tap out.
It's A War to End All Wars
Then came the main event of the evening. When you’re the WWE World Heavyweight Champion you never get a moment's rest as AJ Styles and Roman Reigns took their match all over the arena. The Phenomenal One to change his game plan on the fly as he was no match for the Big Dog’s power. Styles took the action out into the WWE Universe and the championship struggle made its way to the set of the Extreme Rules Kickoff set, where Reigns threw Styles onto the panel’s desk in hopes of taking a breather but Styles fought back and he hit a savage Phenomenal Forearm.
The Battle then made its way back to ringside. AJ ripped padding off of the ringside barricade and exposed the unforgiving concrete floor of the Prudential Center. Reigns were able to avoid splatting on the concrete floor. The fight was then taken to the German Announce table and AJ went through the English announce tailbone first.
Then Roman Reigns grabbed AJ Styles and whipped him into the LED board on the ring apron and the barricade before viciously power bombing Styles through the Spanish commentary table. Someway AJ managed to pull himself up and he looked like he wanted to fly only to have been met with a Superman Punch. Then came the reinforcements when Gallows & Anderson and The Usos made their way to the ring to aid their respective men.
AJ then hit 2 Styles Clashes but still could not win the match and Styles then went mad and unleashed a chair attack on the champ and his family. The challenger then spring boarded into the air, aiming to connect with the Phenomenal Forearm, but flew straight into a Spear, which allowed Reigns to pin Styles and retain the title.
A Shocking Return
As Reigns began to celebrate his victory he was then attacked by the returning Seth Rollins who had been Rebuilt & Redesigned and now he is out to reclaim the title that he never lost in the first place and this was an emphatic statement to the entire locker room as he hit a Pedigree on Reigns.
Overall this author was really happy with Extreme Rules the only problems with the event were the finish to the Women's Championship but having looked back at it again this writer believe's that it is a way to keep Dana Brooke relevant with Emma being injured.
The other is the length of the Asylum Match as the time spent on this match could have been better used elsewhere to make some of the other matches that bit longer.
Brendan's Rating- 7.5/10