Extreme Rules 2019 Review

The Extreme Rules Kickoff Show started out like every Kickoff Show before, by bombarding us with every video package created for the pay-per-view half a dozen times before the main show. Somewhere between the third showing of the Rollins/Lynch package and the fourth showing of the Undertaker/Reigns package, we get our first match of the night, a last minute card change match with Finn Balor vs. Shinsuke Nakamura or the Intercontinental Title. It’s aggravating having to watch two amazing performers, and a WWE title, be relegated to the opening match of the Kickoff Show. It’s genuinely a complete waste of their talent and would’ve been better off not even airing on the pay-per-view like Drake Maverick and the 24/7 Title. Creative could’ve just as easily passed the title off on tomorrow’s episode of Raw.

The match itself was quick paced with a lot of fast strikes and high spots. There was nothing spectacular about the match seeing as how anyone with half a brain would know that the title was going to get passed. Nakamura would pick up the win after delivering a knee to the back of Balor’s head, followed by a Kinshasa, after rolling out of the way of Balor’s Coup de Grace.

After more of the same video packages and commentary on those video packages, the final match of the Kickoff Show would be Drew Gulak vs. Tony Nese for the Cruiserweight Title. Like every title match with this division, it was filled with high spots, quick strikes, counter combos, and hard slams. In the end, Gulak, the local hero, would keep his title.

Into the main show, we’re hit once again with every video package, making me wish for the ability to lobotomize myself. After that, we see a woman’s face, all in black and white, except for her red lipstick, asking us in a whisper if we’re ready because extreme is coming. The irony is that on a spinning wheel, they ran through all the options that would make Extreme Rules extreme, none of which were in the pay-per-view. but stop on the title of the pay-per-view. 

The first match of the night, surprisingly, was Undertaker/Reigns vs McMahon/McIntyre. McMahon and McIntyre would come down first followed by Reigns and Taker, each with their own entrance. Proof the Undertaker’s entrance is too damn long and making me yearn for the American Badass with his Limp Bizkit entrance, I got up, used the bathroom, walked into the kitchen to refresh my drink, and make a sandwich. When I walked back into my living room, he had just entered the ring. It wouldn’t be for another three minutes before the match started. 

The match itself was far better than expected, with Undertaker and Reigns dominating the first part of the match, separating Shane from Drew, almost like a real tag team, and dropping all their classic spots. Shane and Drew would pick up their own momentum with the aide of Elias interfering, and Drew delivering the Claymore on Reigns and Undertaker. Shane would drive Undertaker through a table and then perform his Coast-To-Coast before Reigns would get back into the fight, leaving Shane alone with a downed Undertaker. The Undertaker would do his classic situp and Chokeslam Shane and Elias before Reigns interfered with a spear to Drew who was ready to perform another Claymore on the Deadman. Ultimately, The Undertaker would Tombstone Piledriver Shane for the win.

The next match was The Usos vs. The Revival for the Raw Tag Team Titles. This match could’ve been something more than a regular tag team match, especially for Extreme Rules. What should’ve been an exciting match between two of the best tag teams in the world, we ended up with a technically sound, rather dull match that lasted eight minutes longer than it should’ve, especially since The Revival would end up winning with their Shatter Machine over Jay Uso. Sure, there were a couple of pops and some good spots, but much like the crowd watching, I simply wasn’t into it.

The next match would be between Aleister Black and Cesaro. For another match without stipulations, this was exactly what we needed to get out of the funk that was the prior match. It would be the first time in months since we last saw Black wrestle, so he definitely had something to prove going into the ring with the likes of Cesaro. Both men would put up a fantastic match, with each one-upping the other in moves. Black would pick up the win with his Black Mass. Hopefully with this win, and the quality match, we see more of Black in the future.

A worthless segment with R-Truth and Carmella looking for Drake Maverick leads to Alexa Bliss giving Nikki Cross a gift as soon as they leave the women’s restroom. The gift was a new Twisted Bliss Coffee t-shirt, making me wonder if Alexa Bliss has a coffee company that we don’t know about yet. The Street Profits would walk in on the segment and, in a dumb-down version of their usual selves, basically wanted to know where the celebration party would be at after Bliss and Cross win the title.

That segment leads into their match against Bayley for the Smackdown Women’s Title. Bliss and Cross dominated most of the match, quick tagging when they needed to, wearing down Bayley. Bayley would get a second wind and pin Cross after delivering her elbow from the top rope.

Strowman vs. Lashley was next and it was an all-out brawl. The two would tear into one another in the ring, through the crowd, out in the mezzanine, back down to the ring, over to the International Announcer team’s table, back through the crowd, and through an equipment holding station before Braun would pick up the win.

For the Smackdown Tag Team Titles, it was Daniel Bryan and Rowan vs. The New Day vs. Heavy Machinery. The match would start slow, but once the first tags were made, the match would pick up speed. The match would eventually turn to anarchy as everyone spilled out of the ring. Heavy Machinery would prove why they have a future with the amazing combos and slams, but The New Day would become your six-time WWE Tag Team Champions, meaning all of The New Day are champions. 

In a very fast, high-paced match, AJ Styles would face-off against Ricochet for the US Title with Gallows and Anderson circling the ring. Once again, this would be another match without stipulations, making it the fourth one of the night. Before the bell could ring, Anderson and Gallows jumped Ricochet, but he would bounce back and bring it to AJ Styles. After interference from Gallows and Anderson once more, AJ Styles would pick up the win and the US Title with a Styles Clash from the mid-rope.

Kevin Owens would face off against Dolph Ziggler and before I could finish typing my first sentence the match was already over with Owens stunning Ziggler for the win. Owens would then go on another rant about Shane McMahon hogging all the TV time.

The next match would be Kofi Kingston vs. Samoa Joe for the WWE Title. This would be another match that didn’t have stipulations attached, making it half of the pay-per-view card. Samoa Joe would dominate the whole match, using his size to his advantage. Kofi would get a few shots in, sure, but it was retaliated two-fold. Everything appeared to be in the bag for Joe, but then Kofi would counter, deliver the Trouble In Paradise and maintain his title.

The main event for the evening was Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch vs. Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans for the Universal and Raw Women’s Titles. Kendo sticks, chairs, and tables flew as these four battled one another inside and outside the ring. But it was when Baron Corbin delivered the End of Days on Becky Lynch that we saw Seth Rollins snap and unleash his rage all over Corbin. Corbin would curb stomp Corbin three times before pinning him and picking up the win.

And that’s when everything turned to trash.

As soon as Rollins won, as Paul Heyman had said last Monday, as he said earlier in the pay-per-view, Brock Lesner was going to cash in his Money In the Bank contract, Brock Lesnar, like at Money In the Bank came walking down at the last second, cashed in his contract, and won the title from Seth Rollins with an F-5.

Extreme Rules was turning out to be a really solid pay-per-view. We had a lot of great matches. But once again, WWE screws its fans by just handing something over the Brock Lesnar. Once again, on name alone, and not hard work, Brock Lesnar is Universal Champion. Once again, we won’t see the Universal Title but four or five times out of the year. 

This would’ve been a four-star pay-per-view. But because WWE just gave away the Universal Title again to Brock Lesnar, essentially slapping all the talent who put their bodies on the line for glory,

I rate (Half) Extreme Rules a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Daniel Hennessy