Things are about to get X-treme here at Cult of Whatever with this year’s review of WWE Extreme Rules. Be reminded that WWE actually spells Extreme with an ‘E’ for Entertainment.
The White Ranger Has Returned
Lost in the hype surrounding Seth Rollins’ (squee!) return is an amazing main event match that topped the last meet up between AJ Styles and Roman Reigns for the WWE title. The main difference? No McMahon shenanigans. Sure there was interference, but we all expected that. These two beat the heck out of each other and once again AJ proved he should be in the main event scene wherever he’s wrestling be it gas station parking lot, high school gym, Japanese stadium or the “big time” in WWE. Roman proved yet again he’s better at matches than he is at reading whatever nonsense WWE writes for him to say week to week. As much as this was definitive win #2 for Reigns it feels a lot like the Finn/Joe feud where either man could’ve won. Honestly, I’d be happy to see these two main event for another couple of shows.
Obviously, the big story is Seth Rollins returning early from injury. This felt big, but it didn’t feel as epic as it could have without his music and while using another man’s finisher. Please bring back the Curb Stomp, WWE, please! I get the idea here, though. Roman will overcome Seth then Rollins and HHH will feud over the Pedigree for reasons. Still give Seth his independence via his own finisher at some point along the way and keep giving us great main event matches and storylines.
“Nature Boy” Dana Brooke
Look, we get it WWE, the Flairs are better than the Harts, but are they better than the Neidharts? All joking aside, Natalya is a great worker, but she’s not Bret’s kid. She’s Jim’s kin and has fully, supremely, most definitely surpassed him in popularity and workmanship about a decade ago so I get pairing her with the bigger name in the Hitman. That being said this feud has been all about Flair and I’m not talking about Charlotte. Yes, Charlotte has had her time to shine and this was a fine match, but it wasn’t anything we haven’t seen before. One day soon Lil’ Naitch, not you Charles Robinson, will have to leave the nest and become her own on the main roster.
Every time they seem to be hinting at a split, however, they just reinforce the bond with something like Dana Brooke coming out as the Nature Boy with full on bleached wig, gown and theme music. They’re not technically breaking the rules, but the booking is really stretching to find any way they can to keep Nattie the loser and Charlotte the champ. Charlotte goes over Natalya with the Figure 8 and Dana gets the MVP. Seriously, she got called up to be Emma’s heater since they had great chemistry in NXT. What happens NXT…er…next? As luck would have it the main roster is Emma’s kryptonite so she gets hurt and Dana is left fledgeling for all of a week. Good on the WWE writing crew to position Dana with another suprerior in Charlotte. Miss Flair has the makings of a great heel stable and Dana Brooke can learn on the fly. On a side note, Natalya please work on your selling. You’ve been in the business over a decade and you still look like you’re a little kid ordering a happy meal while wrapped up in any submission.
This match was looooooooong. Granted it was a fun build up if you didn’t take the feud too seriously. I mean it was over a broken house plant and a guy’s sparkly jacket. There were some great moments like Y2J coming out in his “ready to fight” jeans that were a tad too stylish and tight along with his usual expensive scarf. For whatever reason they felt they needed to use almost every weapon in the match which made the match drag, but there was a “Moppy” reference in 2016 so I might let the length slide. Sticking with the mop, the highlight of Michael Cole’s play by play career has to be the call that Ambrose, “poked Jericho in the ear with a mop.” When it was all said and done Jericho took a nasty bump onto a bunch of tacks and all I could think was “what are you doing you idiot?”
Fatal 4 Cesaro
The match started with a Helluva Kick to Kevin Owens so that should pretty much tell you how much fire this bout had. There was the usual two in the ring, two selling on the outside selling for a decent portion of the match, but when it got fun Cesaro uppercut everyone and KO cannonballing everyone. Zayn and Owens got the better of each other when Sami Helluva Kicked Cesaro to only be distracted by Owens and then for Miz to pick up a sneaky win. A big nitpick was for how long it took Miz to cover Cesaro for the win. If that’s tightened up by 10ish seconds we’ve got one heck of a finish to a great match and Cesaro doesn’t look quite as weak.
Big E, Please Stop Spearing People to the Floor
The title isn’t clever. Please Big E, it’s super cool and impressive, but stop it. You could tell he was hurting from it after the match the way he was holding his arm/wrist. It’s odd that Kofi would interfere since New Day are being pushed as a face team, but I supposed he had reason with the Vaudvillains attacking him first. Still, that felt a bit too tweener. Saying that, I would love to see more Xavier in the ring with the Vaudvillains and we clearly need a retmatch. Re-match Please! Re-match Please!
Plain and simple, Rusev crushed. Kalisto got a bit of offense in, but it was mostly the Bulgarian Brute. He even got in a bit of American pride with throwback to Lex Lugar’s Torture Wrack. I was really anxious for a couple of minutes after the apron spot. The referee kept backing up Rusev and the WWE viewer in me felt he’d get himself DQ’d, but the right guy won for the right reasons after a brutal Accolade. If this leads to a competitive feud with John Cena for the US Title I’m all for it. Big Match John in the Torture Wrack is something we didn’t know we needed.
The Bloodline vs The Club
The Club defeat The Bloodline (or are they the Usos?) They say “Uce” to each other, but have Bloodline on their gear now. Moving on, admittedly I’m not a huge fan of the Usos’ super bland style and this match shows why. For the most part it’s what we’ve seen way too many times between these two teams and the Usos in general. It was, however, won by the right team after a gnarly bump off the top rope by an Uso then The Magic Killer by the Club. The right team won and hopefully these teams don’t touch for many, many months…years…decades…
Big Cass defeats Bubba Ray Dudley. Not much here other than Big Cass showing he can work a decent solo match and sustain the act while Enzo is gone. I hope WWE keeps he and Enzo together for a long time until they eventually split and no one gets buried due to it. They’re both Shawns! Vince stop looking at Cass like that. Vince. Vince! I get it. He’s 7 feet tall and you can’t teach that.
Baron Corbin defeats Dolph Ziggler. Corbin is clearly a star, but needed another year to marinate in NXT. He’d be great as a top level contender then monster heel champion that others like Apollo Crews could chase after Samoa Joe and Finn Balor finally graduate to the main roster.
This is my first review and it happened to be on a very solid show so I’m going to be a bit generous.
Lake’s Take: 7.5/10.