Mixed tags! Matches where breaking the rules means losing your belt! Submission matches! LET’S GET EXTREME! Yup, Sunday night was the one day of the year where WWE gets extreme, apart from all those other days that they do it. For some daft reason, I sat down and watched all of it despite having all the enthusiasm of Dean Ambrose (more on that below). So here are ten things I observed during WWE Extreme Rules.
I never thought I’d see the day where I was pleased to see The Miz take the Intercontinental Title off of John Moxley. However, Dean Ambrose has somehow managed to become one of the dullest wrestlers on the roster. I don’t know if it’s down to the booking or his own motivation but Ambrose has been awful for quite a while now and it’s showing no sign of changing. He sleepwalks through matches, and this was duller than a Rip Rogers’ Twitter rant. Of course, they weren’t helped by a dodgy stipulation and the fact we’ve seen this a million times, but this isn’t a one-off thing. I don’t know how you get Ambrose to give a shit, but damn do I wish WWE could figure it out.
What A Waste
Noam Dar, Rich Swann and Sasha Banks are talented wrestlers (Alicia Fox is nearly a wrestler), and this mixed tag match was a massive waste of time. The match itself was fun enough (although WWE’s mixed tag rules ruin tag team wrestling), but it could have been better. All you’d have had to do is split it into two separate matches and give them 10 minutes each, and you would have an instant improvement. WWE is wasting a lot of talent at the moment, and as a fan, it’s getting hella frustrating.
The Drifter Drifts Into Heat
Elias Samson gets heat. It’s hard to say whether it’s go away heat or proper heat, but it is definitely heat. The question is what do they do with him next. On Raw (spoilers ahead) he had a confrontation with Dean Ambrose but as Dean then spent the rest of the night hunting Miz it didn’t seem to be setting up a feud. The heat will linger for a while, but the longer he goes without a programme, the more likely it is that it will drift into hate.
How To Destroy A Bayley
What the fuck have WWE done with my Bayley? Holy shit, but they are buggering everything up. People were booing her! Would anyone have guessed that would happen when we were wiping away tears after she’d finally beaten Sasha? She looked like an idiot in this match after she demanded to get ‘extreme’ and then hesitated when she had the chance to do it. My one small inkling of hope is that these two defeats to Alexa (both of which are basically squash matches) are WWE hitting reset on her character, and we’re going to see the shy and timid Bayley that started her career in NXT. Please God, let that be the case.
Stupid Cage Matches
Tag team cage matches are always a mess, and despite having four incredibly talented wrestlers in the ring, this one didn’t buck the trend. The escape stipulation just doesn’t work with four men. There were countless times when either team could have just walked out the door, while apparently, Jeff Hardy had to escape again because he reentered the cage and that’s before we talk about why the hell Jeff left in the first place, leaving his brother alone with Cesaro and Sheamus. I’m happy to have this feud continue (there aren’t any viable contenders in Raw’s tag division till The Revival return) but let’s stay away from cages from now on.
Fly Cruiserweights Fly
‘Right, you know those small guys we brought in because they can fly about the place?’
‘Why don’t we put them in a match where they have to slow everything down and work submission moves?’
Can We Shut Them Up Please?
The commentary throughout this show was atrocious. Booker T has somehow got worse during his time away from the booth while Cole and Graves weren’t so much commentating as just occasionally shouting buzz words. We all know it’s not entirely down to the men in the booth, and they’ve got the old man jabbering in their ear, but it’s got to the point where I’m considering watching these shows on mute. What do we have to do to get a commentary team that takes this stuff seriously?
Joe Takes On The Beast
Samoa Joe vs. Brock Lesnar is an exciting match. I can’t help thinking about how much more excited I’d be if it had happened ten years ago, but it’s still exciting now. Joe is a guy who can go out there and stand up to Brock rather than playing on the defensive for the whole match, and I’d absolutely love to see him suplex Lesnar right back. We all know who is going to win, but if the war is good enough, then I’ll be happy.
But Reigns Looks Strong
Samoa Joe may have won the main event but let’s make no mistake, it was all about making Roman Reigns look strong. Big Roman is still the man in WWE’s mind, and the plan is for him and Brock to go head to head at WrestleMania. The question now is where does he go next? It’s going to be hard to keep him strong all the way through to ‘Mania and booking like this is going to do anything to appease the boo boys.
What A Waste Of Time
Extreme Rules was a massive waste of time. The main event was alright, and that’s as positive as we can get. I probably didn’t do it any favours by watching it directly after I finished off The Best Of The Super Juniors and that incredible main event but nothing on this show gave me a smidgen of the emotions that that one match did. Everything here felt like pointless filler and if you’re daft enough to still watch Raw and haven’t caught up with Extreme Rules yet, you won’t have missed anything if you skip it outright. WWE are in a horrific slump at the moment and with every Network Special that I sit through, I question why I keep bothering.