Welcome to The Wrestling Kennection's LIVE Extreme Rules 2018 PPV Coverage!
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Singles Match Sin Cara vs. Andrade "Cien" Almas w/Zelina Vega
RESULT: Andrade Almas wins via pinfall; Almas hit Cara with double knees and the La Sombra (Hammerlock DDT) for the win.
THOUGHTS: A short but sweet opener with Almas getting yet another win over Cara. It was one of Cara's better few outings in 2018, as having a fellow former luchador in Almas allowed him to be more flexible with what he could do in the ring. Aside from that, hopefully this means that Almas can start moving up the ranks on the Blue Brand now that he's gotten his first real step out of the way.
6-Man Tag Team Tables Match The New Day vs. SAnitY
RESULT: SAnity wins the tables match; Alexander Wolfe held up Kofi for an elbow drop from Eric Young through the table for the win.
THOUGHTS: A rather underwhelming main roster PPV debut for Sanity. While they DID get the win, as they should've, their victory needed a better showcase, especially going up against a stalwart team of the last five years in New Day. Dain was surprsingly muted in this match, given the monster roles we've seen him in with War Games, the six-man ladder match for the NA Title, and the battles with AOP. All in all, a disappointing affair, with the only glimmer being the aforementioned fact that SAnitY won.
WK KING OF PPV Dan - 1 pt Ken - 1 pt Alison - 1 pt Julie - 1 pt Greg - 0 pts Nick - 0 pts James -1 pt
RAW Tag Team Championship The Deleters of Worlds vs. The B-Team
RESULT: NEWWW Champions The B-Team win via pinfall; Dallas pinned Hardy following a top-rope hangman's neckbreaker
THOUGHTS: Well I'll "B" damned. Dallas nets his first title on the main roster since his debut in 2014, and Axel gets his first tag title reign in over seven years. This match was played out with a bigger degree of straightforwardness and seriousness than I think a lot of us anticipated. That's not to say the match blew me away by any means, but it felt like a plainly solid affair that would've been better suited for a Kickoff match or on RAW.
What this means for Wyatt and Hardy remains a mystery for now, but I could easily see them winning back the titles the next night on RAW, with a rubber match down the line before SummerSlam, or Dallas and Axel simply retain and move on with a "Slater & Rhyno"-type run before getting mowed down by someone along the lines of The Revival, AOP or Dolph-intyre.
WK KING OF PPV Dan - 1 pt Ken - 1 pt Alison - 1 pt Julie - 2 pts Greg - 1 pt Nick - 1 pt James -2 pts
Singles Match Finn Balor vs. "Constable" Baron Corbin
RESULT: Finn Balor wins via pinfall; Balor countered the End of Days with an inside cradle for the three count.
THOUGHTS: Another solid, middle-of-the-road match. It felt more like a TV match; we got a good outing out of Corbin, who played up his wanna-be heel authority figure gimmick before the match, which I liked. This match serves like a microcosm of the PPV lineup up to this point; short, rushed, and somewhat underwhelming and uninspired.
WK KING OF PPV Dan - 1 pt Ken - 2 pts Alison - 2 pts Julie - 2 pts Greg - 2 pts Nick - 1 pt James -3 pts
Smackdown Women's Championship "Empress of Tomorrow" Asuka vs. "Princess of Staten Island" Carmella (c)
(James Ellsworth is suspended above the ring in a shark cage)
RESULT: Carmella wins via pinfall; Carmella pinned Asuka after ramming Asuka's head into the shark cage.
THOUGHTS: Where do I start with this? Carmella should've lost by countout with how long they took to get a strung-up Ellsworth down from the cage with her outside the ring the whole time. That itself was a glaringly bad spot, as the rules stated Ellsworth had to remain in the cage, so the ref seeing him should've resulted in Carmella being disqualified.
Worst of all, Asuka, once again, lost via stupidity rather than Carmella winning through any sort of wit or superior ability. Carmella's entire reign up to this point has been marred with nothing but bad booking, which makes her out to be a very weak champion, even by heel standards. Everything about this feud has gone downhill for all involved, and Charlotte can't return from injury soon enough.
WK KING OF PPV Dan - 2 pts Ken - 3 pts Alison - 2 pts Julie - 3 pts Greg - 3 pts Nick - 2 pt James -3 pts
WWE United States Championship Jeff Hardy (c) vs. "The Artist" Shinsuke Nakamura
RESULT: NEWWW Champion Shinsuke Nakamura wins via pinfall; Nakamura low-blowed Hardy before the bell, and hit a Kinshasa knee strike for the win.
THOUGHTS: This was an angle more than a match, set up to protect Jeff, as he is clearly more hurt than was indicated in the weeks prior. It served as an effective statement not only for for a rebounding Nakamura, but a returning Orton as well, who's post-match assault on Hardy indicates that he's looking to get back into the US Title picture and play some mind games with "The Artist" to boot, so to speak.
WK KING OF PPV Dan - 4 pts (LOCK) Ken - 4 pts Alison - 3 pts Julie - 5 pts (LOCK) Greg - 3 pts Nick - 2 pt James -4 pts
Steel Cage Match "The Monster Among Men" Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens
RESULT: Kevin Owens "wins" via escape from the cage; Strowman threw Owens from the top of a cage through an announce table and the ref declared Owens the winner.
THOUGHTS: Braun continues the long-standing tradition of proving that wins and losses do not matter as long as you hold the MITB briefcase. As I indicated on the preview show, having Owens win via escape would not hurt Braun in the slightest, and it became especially apparent when Owens got chucked off Foley-style from the top of the cage through an announce table. Hasn't been the best month for KO, has it?
WK KING OF PPV Dan - 4 pts Ken - 5 pts Alison - 3 pts Julie - 6 pts Greg - 3 pts Nick - 3 pt James -4 pts
Smackdown Tag Team Championship The Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs. Team Hell No
RESULT: The Bludgeon Brothers win via pinfall; Harper pinned Bryan following a powerbomb/clothesline combo.
THOUGHTS: The backstage attack prior to the match had me thinking they were going to write out Kane and either replace him (perhaps with Miz) or simply protect Bryan by having him wrestle in a near-unwinnable 1-on-2 situation. They did the latter for the most part, having Bryan look ever the valiant underdog, holding off Harper and Rowan long enough for Kane, boot cast and all, to hobble out for the lukewarm tag. Ultimately it wasn't enough, Bryan forcing himself back into the match, only to fall victim to 2B's overwhelming offense.
I could see Bryan and Kane receiving another shot once they're "healed up", and around that time we'll likely see either Kane go turncoat once again or Miz getting involved to heat up his feud with Bryan.
WK KING OF PPV Dan - 5 pts Ken - 6 pts Alison - 4 pts Julie - 6 pts Greg - 4 pts Nick - 4 pt James -5 pts
Singles Match "The Big Dog" Roman Reigns vs. "The Powerhouse" Bobby Lashley
RESULT: The Bludgeon Brothers win via pinfall; Harper pinned Bryan following a powerbomb/clothesline combo.
THOUGHTS: This went a little better than what Dan and I expected. The crowd tried to hijack the match early on, but Reigns and Lashley stuck to their guns and wrestled a simple. but effective power-vs-power match, interspersed with a number of amateur wrestling spots and suplexes thrown in and by Lashley. What I liked best about this was the character development; Lashley not only proved he was the better man than Reigns, but ironically defeated him with Reigns' signature spear, a move Lashley himself is more than familiar with.
With Angle's ultimatum to Lesnar earlier in the night looming large for tomorrow night on RAW and Lashley's clean victory over Reigns, it's starting to look more and more like Lesnar-Lashley for the Universal strap at SummerSlam. Strowman is still lurking around with the MITB briefcase, so one must be cautious when anticipating what will go down down in the coming weeks.
WK KING OF PPV Dan - 6 pts Ken - 7 pts Alison - 5 pts Julie - 6 pts Greg - 4 pts Nick - 4 pt James -6 pts
RAW Women's Championship Extreme Rules Match "The Goddess" Alexa Bliss (c) w/Mickie James vs. "The Irresistible Force" Nia Jax w/Natalya
RESULT: Alexa Bliss wins via pinfall; Bliss hit Jax with a DDT onto a steel chair for the three count.
THOUGHTS: I'm not really sure what to make of this. Ronda, who a lot of us thought was going to be a critical factor in the outcome of this match, ended up serving as little more than window dressing for a "PG-streme" match with a rather flat finish. The only thing the finish of this match assures is that it's looking more and more like Ronda versus Alexa for the RAW Woman's Title at SummerSlam.
WK KING OF PPV Dan - 7 pts Ken - 8 pts Alison - 5 pts Julie - 6 pts Greg - 5 pts Nick - 4 pt James -7 pts
WWE World Championship "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles (c) vs. "The Bulgarian Brute" Rusev w/Aiden English
RESULT: AJ Styles wins via pinfall; Styles hit the Phenomenal Forearm on Rusev for the three count.
THOUGHTS: Match of the Night here, in my opinion. Rusev showed his main event chops here versus Styles, taking AJ to the limit and showing an artful blend of heel AND face styling, using nefarious moves to debilitate Styles, but play to the crowd enough that it remained split on who they wanted to win. Very few on WWE's current roster can effectively play a crowd like that and have them believe he could pull off the win, even for a split second, which speaks volumes for the kind of charisma that Rusev truly possesses as a bonafide top-tier performer.
In the end, though, AJ put him away in a great back-and-forth match, as many of us expected him to, albeit with mistimed assistance from Aiden English, which may spell doom for the "Rusev Day" partnership as implied by Lana several weeks ago.
WK KING OF PPV Dan - 8 pts Ken - 10 pts (LOCK) Alison - 6 pts Julie - 7 pts Greg - 5 pts Nick - 4 pt James -8 pts
WWE Intercontinental Championship 30-Minute Ironman Match "The Show Off" Dolph Ziggler (c) w/Drew McIntyre vs. "The Kingslayer" Seth Rollins
RESULT: Dolph Ziggler wins the Ironman Match by a score of 5-4; the match originally ended in a 4-4 tie, but GM Kurt Angle restarted the match with a Sudden Death rule. Ziggler hit a Zig-Zag on Rollins off a distraction by McIntyre, who was barred from ringside during the original match, to secure the winning fall.
THOUGHTS: The biggest surprise coming out of this match wasn't just that it was the main event, which I appreciated, as it shows a certain level of trust in Ziggler and Rollins as main event talent, but that the match was a main event without a litany of outside involvement aside from McIntyre, who we knew was going to be involved anyway. In the sense of the match itself, the lack of outside involvement (i.e. a returning Ambrose or Jordan) didn't take away from what was ultimately a solid see-saw battle for the IC Title.
However, because of the lack of surprises, the ending falls a little flat. While extending the match with a Sudden Death stipulation was a nice touch by Angle, McIntyre helping Ziggler to retain the title was rather anticlimactic without someone coming out of nowhere to either neutralize McIntyre or end up costing Rollins the title anyway. It was that anticipation of a surprise appearance not going through that dims the match a little bit in my eyes.
With the exception of the main event and Styles-Rusev, none of the matches had any real PPV impact, any sort of momentous feel to them. While a number of them had moments that were fun, like the B-Team winning and Owens doing his best Foley impression, it felt more like slogging through a four-hour episode of RAW than any sort of quality Pay-Per-Viewing.
WK KING OF PPV Dan - 9 pts Ken - 11 pts (WINNER) Alison - 6 pts Julie - 7 pts Greg - 6 pts Nick - 5 pt James -9 pts