Extreme Rules 2016 is in the books! Since I didn’t post any predictions, I figured I’d post a review and my impressions of the night.
Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler were on the kickoff show in a NO DQ match. This came after a good in-ring segment between the Dudley Boys and Big Cass. I think unfortunately for Corbin, Big Cass is the new giant on the block and this might lead to these two squaring off. Nothing much can be said about this match. The NO DQ stipulation didn’t come into play until the end when Corbin hit Ziggler with a low-blow followed by an End of Days for the win. This should be the end of this feud so we’ll see what’s next for both men.
I thought this was a fun Tornado tag match to kickoff the actual pay-per-view; non stop action and the right team won. I liked the commentators reminding us how this might affect the main event with Anderson and Gallows for sure planning on showing up and that the Usos might be doubtful for an appearance.
Kalisto and Rusev had another fun, little match. Rusev dominated the match. Actually Rusev dominated the pre-show as well with his antics during the social media segment. Kalisto did a tremendous job selling a back injury because for a moment I thought was legitimate. Rusev took advantage and almost broke Kalisto in half for the championship victory. Also, I learned that “machka” means crush and that’s exactly what Rusev did to Kalisto in this match.
The New Day are always entertaining to see but it felt like they showed up, defended the title, retained and left. This was a quick match and they took care of their business. I worry for the Vaudevillains now coming out of this match. I thought at least if they got one reign it would extend their relevancy in the tag division but now they could fade into obscurity like the Ascension or the Shining Stars.
This Fatal 4-Way was a contender for match of the night and it’s not surprising based on who was in the match. I can only implore you to go back and watch this match if you haven’t. The near falls were so creatively disrupted by each man. Multi-man matches can be hard to smoothly execute but I loved the sequence of Cesaro uppercuts on the other three men and Owens’ cannonballs in the corners. Although Miz picked up the win, it was so underhanded and undeserved that it added to the classic nature of this match. Personally, no one man came out of this match looking weak and I’ve watched this match three more times since last night.
The Asylum match was not contender for match of the night. I think the idea behind the match was creative but it was difficult to execute. Jericho and Ambrose did what they could but given the PG-climate of WWE and creative restrictions put them in a bad spot. The match went long and the one-time use of a weapon from above just made the fight a bit silly at times. The ending was great with the use of thumbtacks and Ambrose was the right winner.
These two women have had better matches and so they’ve set a high bar for expectations. This match didn’t come close to their previous, outstanding bouts. Dana Brooke made a surprising appearance in an effort to distract Natalya and ensure Charlotte remained champion. I guess we’ll see what’s next for Charlotte and which woman will get a shot at this coveted title.
This main event was awesome. Both men hit hard and put it all on the line for the WWE Championship. I’m growing a bit frustrated with the unwarranted boos of Roman Reigns and even stupider chant of “You still suck”. I guess fans are entitled to cheer and boo who they want, but I want to say for the record I think Reigns is at his best in matches like these. Styles going through two tables and almost being concussed was as hard hitting I’ve seen between competitors not named Brock Lesnar. The interference by the Club and the Bloodline advanced the story of the match which was tremendous. Eventually, Styles went nuts with the chair. Reigns pulling out the victory after all the chair shots is up for criticism. Overall, another outstanding match and I was hopeful we might get one more because Reigns and Styles have great chemistry. That match may come at another time because one man showed up to stake his claim at a WWE Championship match…a rematch in fact. SETH ROLLINS made his return and hit the Pedigree on Reigns to a thunderous ovation. My only complaint is that Rollins needs a new finisher but it’s good to see him back and healthy.
Overall, with two great matches on the card and the rest be passeable, I’d give Extreme Rules 2016 a 7.5/10.