I missed it live while in San Francisco but I spent Tuesday night getting caught up on Extreme Rules so let’s talk about the event.
Intercontinental Title: The Miz vs Dean Ambrose
So a lot of people have already made the joke but this had to be the dumbest stipulation possible for an “Extreme Rules” bout: “whatever you do Ambrose don’t get extreme or you lose your belt.” I appreciated the different ways they played with the near disqualifications. Ambrose grabbing the chair away from the Miz, avoiding the exposed turnbuckle, Maryse slapping Ambrose, the Miz throwing Ambrose into the ref. But I love most that the near DQs wound up serving to distract the Miz so he could get a more or less clean win.
Mixed Tag Match
So as a filthy, know-little casual fan, this match was basically Sasha Banks and three other people I didn’t know or care about. Don’t really have much to say about it since I spent most of it writing my Kinda Funny Live 3 recap.
Women’s Championship Kendo Stick on a Pole match
Well I just don’t really get what creative was going for here I guess. Bailey is just too nice to use a Kendo stick and get extreme? How does that help her? I like Bailey and I like Alexa Bliss but between this feud and the terrible This is Your Life segment, they need to abandon ship and send these two off in different directions.
By suggesting Bailey "can't get extreme" here, WWE is basically saying she never should have been a wrestler in the first place.
Tag Team Championship Steel Cage
So this match was fine and had a great finish but it felt like it could have been a lot better. The problem with steel cage choreography in something like these is it’s often too unbelievable and the pacing gets thrown all over the place. If both team members need to be outside the cage at the same time, you realistically wouldn’t want to leave unless you knew your partner could too. Too often here, one member would try to leave, abandoning their partner (as Jeff did, leaving Matt behind in a two-on-one). Now this can create a good moment for Matt if he performs well. But if not, he can be laid flat and the opponents can just stroll through the door. And the fact that the door was open (and not locked or something) also neutered this since realistically, anybody should have just tried heading for the door instead of climbing up and over. I get that they left it open for the photo finish ending but a lot of gripes could have been solved if it HAD been locked and Jeff managed to unlock it from the outside or something (but then you’d have to find another way for his corkscrew dive off the cage…). I’ll be interested to see if this leads to breaking up the Hardy Boyz and heading into the Broken angle.
A necessary palette cleanser between the cage match and main event. A solid match with a good build but as with a lot of the night’s matches, the refereeing didn’t always align with the “extreme rules” of the match so here you have a ref counting out when submission is the only way to end the bout. Having just watched Wrestlemania X-Seven there were definite shades of the Angle/Benoit match from that show here. You even have Neville tapping but it doesn’t count because it’s outside the ring (just like Angle tapped but the ref was out) before Neville comes back for the victory. I wanted to see Ares take the victory here to breathe a new dynamic into this feud because at this point, with Neville keeping his belt over three straight Pay-Per-Views, it’s time to shake something up.
Fatal Five-Way for the Number One Contender
Now this was a solid match. There were a lot of great pairings. And some really great spots like Reigns spearing Balor and Samoa Joe through the barrier and Rollins moonsaulting through Wyatt and the announce table. Camera choreography in a match like this is always important so as to tell the story of who is where and I thought it was a little weak here (there were a handful of times where only two men were facing off in the ring and I thought “ok but where are the other three?”). Samoa Joe ultimately getting the win is interesting. Him and Wyatt were probably the last two I expected and (if the rumors that Lesnar will retain all the way until Wrestlemania for a match against Reigns are true) it kind of sucks that he’ll be put up as a sacrificial lamb to the part-time Champ Brock, but hopefully they’ll at least give him a decent match and push for his troubles.