So Raw presents Extreme Rules. The kick-off show featured a regular match featuring Apollo Crews vs Kalisto. Aside from the great chain wrestling that first started the match it didn’t have much impact on anything. Kalisto wins using the distraction from Titus O’Neil.
Dean Ambrose vs. The Miz.
What a way to kick off an extreme rules PPV than with a match where the stipulation is that if Ambrose gets disqualified he loses the title. Wow! So Extreme!! NOT!!
I have to say that the Miz has certainly upped his game in 2017. He brings it every night and puts on a great performance no matter who he is fighting.
It was an ok match with Dean Ambrose looking flat while the Miz was putting on a clinic. We got to see all of the trademark moves we have grown accustomed to but not much else. There were a couple “disqualifiable” moments but in the end Miz wins clean.
Don’t know what happened to Elias Sampson who teased his presence for the match last week. Guess he drifted too far and missed the show.
Noam Dar/Alicia Fox vs. Rich Swan/Sasha Banks
So Alicia Fox hasn’t wrestled hardly at all in the last several years but she’s been a decent mascot for different wrestlers. Sasha Banks was in a title position up until a few weeks ago. Rich Swan was cruiserweight champion until Neville returned from injury and now they are all in a match together with Noam Dar.
This seemed like a slap in the face for fans, not to mention some of the participants. Nothing was extreme about the match, though Rich Swan does have some amazing high flying moves.
Several parts seemed very unchoreographed or sloppy and it’s surprising someone didn’t get injured. Swan/Banks get the win and do a little dance afterwards. Nothing special.
Oh – The Drifter Elias Sampson has arrived. I guess the drifter persona has been dropped since he now says “who wants to walk with Elias?” Another pointless song to offend the hometown with no one coming out to interfere. Really this had no purpose other than to waste time.
This PPV so far seems to be filled with extra long promos the explain matches and pointless things in between matches. Apparently they wanted it to be 3 hours but with 6 matches on the card the writers didn’t know how to fill things in.
Women’s Championship – Kendo stick on a pole match.
Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss
First off, this type of match is embarrassing in general. Ranks right up there with the coal miners glove, beer bottle, or anything else hanging on a pole.
This was sad because it appeared the stick fell off the pole and was just forgotten in the ring for a few minutes while the women figured out what to do. Bayley got the stick but never used it. Bliss took over and used the cane without hesitation. Several blows were felt by Bayley and of course the blatantly obvious pause when there was a shot to her head – must be extreme but no one can get hurt.
Tag team titles – steel cage
Hardy Boys vs. Shaemus and Cesaro
So they changed the rules a bit for this one where both members of the team had to excape the cage to win. Not new, but at least not common.
It was a decent back and forth contest with both teams being safe with one another. No major bumps for the bulk of the match.
Jeff Hardy escaped first which left brother Matt on his own with both Shaemus and Cesaro. A double team ensued for quite some time with Jeff not being allowed back in.
The culmination started with white noise off the top rope to Matt Hardy. Jeff Hardy climbed back up and re-entered the cage with a whisper in the wind from the top. Jeff was pretty much out of it after that which allowed Shaemus and Cesaro to climb together and escape while Matt tried dragging Jeff to the door.
With the titles changing hands it will be interesting to see what happens with the Hardy Boys now. My guess is an unsuccessful rematch and if rumour holds true a breakup of the team for them to go on singles runs. Jeff has always been the favourite in WWE’s eyes so if the “broken Matt” gimmick doesn’t get sorted soon I can see Matt Hardy becoming an after thought again.
Austin Aries vs. Neville
So let’s gets the fastest guys who are notorious for high flying action and put them in a submission match. Great booking right?
The match seemed slow, uninspired and the crowd didn’t seem into it at all.
The referee threatened disqualification a couple times and was putting the count when they were out of the ring. Does this mean it was more than submission?
Even though Aries got Neville to tap, it was outside the ring and didn’t count. Neville took advantage of a mistake and got the win.
Samoa Joe, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, Finn Bálor
The winner of this match will get a shot at Brock Lesnar in his first title match in 91 days! So much for the champion having to defend every 30 days. The title has become a joke and my only hope is that it will change hands so the new champ can be a full time wrestler. Oh, to make things better the next PPV where this will happen is a 50’s themed Great Balls of Fire?!?
Bálor had the crowd support with the intros but I was surprised at the support for Reigns. I figured he would still be boo’ed out of the building but he actually had a mixed reaction that kept things neutral.
Overall it was a decent match. Everyone had a chance to shine and showcase their signature moves. Each man in the match took time fighting everyone else which gave some dream matchups that could be explored later.
It was nice to see some chairs and other weapons used so that the extreme rules could be added to the match. It still seemed relatively careful though so that none of the big talent got injured. Roman Reigns did take a good shot to the face from Finn that split his lip.
In the end, there were some big bumps, and some decent choreography and thankfully the WWE didn’t continue the Roman Reigns push for now. Samoa Joe wins by putting Bálor out. No one interfered and surprisingly Finn didn’t tap which means he stays strong.
Overall another poor showing for Raw at a PPV event. Crowd was there but not invested for the bulk of the night. If something doesn’t happen soon I feel like things could spiral downhill and we could see wrestling hitting a low point unlike anything in a very long time. WWE tends to go in a roller coaster motion and when it’s up it’s up and when it goes down it happens quickly. They always come back though and I’m sure this is no different. I just hope it improves fast as there is some amazing talent that could be wasted.