Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/07/15/wwe-extreme-rules-2018-report-feat-roman-reigns-vs-bobby-lashley/
Welcome to POST Wrestling’s coverage of the WWE Extreme Rules event from the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The kickoff featured Renee Young, Booker T., Sam Roberts and David Otunga on the panel.
Charly Caruso was backstage and announced that Hulk Hogan was reinstated into the Hall of Fame and he is backstage mingling and “back in the family.”
Finn Balor was interviewed by the panel about his match with Baron Corbin.
ANDRADE CIEN ALMAS VS SIN CARA
Sin Cara was sent to the floor with a spinning back elbow in the center of the ring.
Sin Cara came back and hit a quebrada with Almas standing. Sin Cara landed the tilt-a-whirl destroyer again. Almas set him up for the double foot stomp and Sin Cara avoided it.
Sin Cara attempted a head scissors to Almas off the apron and didn’t land it at all. Vega distracted and allowed Almas to hit a running dropkick and followed with the running knees into the corner and the hammerlock DDT for the win.
WINNER: ANDRADE CIEN ALMAS AT 6:52
I wouldn’t put this at the level of their television match this past and the head scissors to the floor but badly blown.
Shinsuke Nakamura was interviewed by the panel while backstage and wouldn’t respond to their questions and claimed there was a “bad connection”. This was atrocious and went on way too long.
Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre interrupted and Ziggler cut a good promo about his match tonight, Drew McIntyre defeating Seth Rollins on Raw and retaining the title tonight.
NEW DAY VS SANITY IN A TABLES MATCH
Big E went for a spear early in the match to Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe on the apron with a table on the floor but was stopped.
Woods and Kingston hit a pair of tope con giros to the floor and Killian Dane followed with a suicide dive to both.
Dane dropped Woods with a Michinoku Driver on top of Big E but was hit with Trouble in Paradise by Kingston.
Kingston and Wolfe were on the edge of the apron, he bit Kingston and led to Young sending him through the table on the floor and won.
WINNERS: SANITY AT 8:24
It was a standard, tables match with Dane standing out on the Sanity side. I wouldn’t say this exceeded any expectations.
They showed Ronda Rousey arriving at the building with Travis Browne.
MATT HARDY & BRAY WYATT VS BO DALLAS & CURTIS AXEL FOR THE RAW TAG TITLES
They showed Rousey on camera in the front row and led to a chant for her as the match began.
There was a little bit of reaction to Bray and Dallas being tagged in together. Dallas didn’t engage and tagged out as the audience booed.
Dallas and Axel got the advantage on Hardy in their corner. They built to Wyatt and Dallas being tagged in, Wyatt attacked with a splash into the corner and hit a uranage.
Dallas shoved Hardy into Wyatt from behind and sent Wyatt to the floor. Dallas hit a spinning neck breaker with Hardy draped on the top and Dallas pinned Hardy.
WINNERS: THE B TEAM AT 7:59 TO WIN THE RAW TAG TITLES
The match wasn’t anything special and they went with the surprise title change. The takeaway was the tease of a problem between Hardy and Wyatt with Dallas shoving Hardy into Wyatt. The B Team is this year’s Heath Slater & Rhyno and they’ll get some attention, but I don’t see it having legs. Dallas & Axel were interviewed by Charly and said, “The B Team stand for best.”
Renee Young interviewed Kurt Angle and he recently re-opened negotiations with Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar. Heyman stated Lesnar isn’t interested in returning. Angle says Lesnar can either show up on Raw to agree when to defend his title or be stripped of his title.
FINN BALOR VS BARON CORBIN
Corbin attacks Balor at the beginning of the match and controls the start. The story is that Corbin’s size is his strength and he is overwhelming Balor with that advantage.
Balor caught Corbin with an enzuigiri, he went for the coup de grace and was stopped with a chokeslam into a backbreaker. Coachman announced this may be the best Corbin as ever looked.
Balor kicked out of a Deep Six and hit the shotgun dropkick in the corner. He went for the coup de grace a second time and was stopped on the turnbuckle.
Corbin grabbed him for the End of Days, it was countered with an inside cradle and Balor pinned him.
WINNER: FINN BALOR AT 8:19
The match was decent and was at the level I anticipated. There was an attempt at a story and Balor sneaking away with the victory. This didn’t feel like the finale to this feud.
They cut to the back and The Bludgeon Brothers were attacking Daniel Bryan and Kane. Bryan was run into a garage door and they attacked Kane’s left leg with a mallet.
CARMELLA VS ASUKA FOR THE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S TITLE
The shark cage was lowered for James Ellsworth to be locked in. He was entertaining with his reaction to the cage being lifted above the ring while inside.
Ellsworth tossed a chain from the cage within the first minute and Asuka prevented Carmella from using it.
Graves referenced “The Staircase” and said it’s not about who did the crime, but who does the time regarding Ellsworth throwing the chain into the ring.
Asuka stopped Carmella from using the spray bottle she used at Money in the Bank. The Asuka Lock was applied but Carmella reached the rope, it was stunning how little the crowd reacted to Asuka’s main submission.
Ellsworth opened the door and was suspended by the legs and hung upside down. Asuka kicked away at him like a heavy bag. The production team entered the try and get Ellsworth back into the cage and Asuka fought them off and continued attacking Ellsworth with kicks.
Asuka had to wait too long for Carmella to show up from behind and ram her head first into the shark cage and pinned Asuka.
WINNER: CARMELLA AT 5:24 TO RETAIN THE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S TITLE
‘This has not been a great show’ is my assessment after the first two hours. The matches have ranged from bland to below average. The visual of Ellsworth in the cage and being hung upside down was the high point.
After the match, Asuka was left alone with Ellsworth and attacked him with German suplexes, kicks and placed him into the Asuka Lock.
JEFF HARDY VS SHINSUKE NAKAMURA FOR THE UNITED STATES TITLE
They did the match introduction inside the ring and Nakamura hit Hardy with a low blow before the bell rung.
Hardy says to ring the bell and Nakamura hits a Kinshasa immediately and pins Hardy.
WINNER: SHINSUKE NAKAMURA AT 0:06 TO WIN THE UNITED STATES TITLE
It was well done for something different and Nakamura has champion presents better options than Hardy.
Randy Orton made his return after the match, stared at Nakamura and then attacked Hardy. The two had been involved in a program prior to Orton’s hiatus.
BRAUN STROWMAN VS KEVIN OWENS IN A STEEL CAGE MATCH
Strowman challenges Owens to fight him after he attempted to escape immediately. The match was all Strowman at the start until Owens caught him with a stunner. Owens attempted to climb out and Strowman slammed the door on him.
Owens handcuffed Strowman to the top rope. Owens gave him the “suck it” sign while Strowman was handcuffed and began to climb. Strowman broke free and chased Owens on top of the cage. The audience came to their feet as both stood at the top.
Strowman chokeslammed Owens off the top of the cage to the announcer’s desk and Owens won the match by default. The audience went insane for the bump.
WINNER: KEVIN OWENS AT 8:06
The bump off of the cage was frightening to watch.
They placed Owens on a stretcher and wheeled him to the back to sell the effects of the fall.
I’m not a fan of bumps like that and constantly going to these insane heights (literally and figuratively), but it got the biggest reaction on the show.
Tom Phillips stated that Jeff Hardy wants his rematch this Tuesday against Shinsuke Nakamura, but Paige hasn’t sanctioned it yet.
THE BLUDGEON BROTHERS VS DANIEL BRYAN & KANE FOR THE SMACKDOWN TAG TITLES
Bryan came out alone after the attack on Kane and it began as a handicap match.
The Bludgeon Brothers quickly took control, sending Bryan into the steps and targeting the ribs, which were injured in the earlier attack backstage.
Bryan was being beaten down until Kane’s music played and he came out in a walking boot, which looked ridiculous with Kane’s regular ring attire.
Bryan tagged in Kane and the audience got behind Kane’s offense. Luke Harper attacked the injured left ankle and he tagged out.
Bryan fired up with Yes kicks. Rowan entered and dropped Bryan with a spin kick to stop his momentum. Rowan hoisted him onto his shoulders as Harper hit a clothesline off the turnbuckle and pinned Bryan.
WINNER: THE BLUDGEON BROTHERS AT 8:16 TO RETAIN THE SMACKDOWN TAG TITLES
This was a perplexing finish with Bryan being the one to take the fall as opposed to the 51-year old Mayoral candidate with an injured ankle. After all the Team Hell No stuff, this felt like such a flat finish.
Roman Reigns was backstage and The B Team were celebrating their tag title win and told Reigns, “if we can do it, you can do it”.
ROMAN REIGNS VS BOBBY LASHLEY
The announcers note the referee is giving them some leeway, “because this is not an extreme rules match.”
Reigns ran Lashley repeatedly into the barricade. The audience was starting to chant, including for “Rusev Day”.
Reigns sold his ribs while on offense in the ring. Lashley took over and hit a double axe handle from the top. They weren’t behind strongly behind Lashley. Reigns lifted Lashley and dumped him over the top with a fireman’s carry onto the floor.
Lashley recovered, he set up in the corner and was met with a superman punch in the center of the ring. Reigns ran around the ring and was caught with a belly-to-belly onto the announcer’s desk.
Lashley climbed to the top rope again, he was hit with a superman punch and Lashley fell. Reigns set up for a spear but was hit with a spear from Lashley and he pinned Reigns.
WINNER: BOBBY LASHLEY AT 14:53
The audience didn’t take to Lashley like a big babyface, but they were hotter for this match than most of the matches tonight. I liked the match, the two worked well together and I felt they went the right direction with Lashley winning.
ALEXA BLISS VS NIA JAX IN AN EXTREME RULES MATCH FOR THE RAW WOMEN’S TITLE
Michael Cole stated that Rousey’s suspension is up Wednesday.
Mickie James and Natalya were in the respective corners of Bliss and Jax.
Jax caught her on the floor and then sent her onto the chairs and garbage lids inside the ring. Jax dropped Bliss with a military press onto a garbage can.
Jax ran into the corner, missed Bliss and went into a chair set up in the corner.
Mickie attacked Natalya on the floor and this prompted Rousey to jump the barricade and toss Mickie into the barricade twice and hit the standing reverse kata guruma. Mickie and Bliss stopped Rousey and attacked her with a kendo stick on the floor.
Jax grabbed Bliss for a Samoan drop but was stopped by a chair shot from Mickie. Bliss hit a DDT onto the chair and pinned Jax.
WINNER: ALEXA BLISS AT 7:22 TO RETAIN THE RAW WOMEN’S TITLE
Rousey chased them off after the match.
The match was laid out well, it didn’t get a huge reaction until Rousey got involved and feels like the top star in the company with her charisma and audience engagement.
I thought the weapons assisted with Bliss getting the heat and winning with the use of chairs while placing focus on the bigger match with Rousey.
The SummerSlam ad ran and appears to be their attempt at using memes for all the talent.
AJ STYLES VS RUSEV FOR THE WWE TITLE
Aiden English came out and did a heel introduction for Rusev. The audience treated this as a big match when the bell rung and were chanting back-and-forth for both.
After controlling the start of the match, Styles knocked Rusev off the turnbuckle to the floor with a leg kick and lit him up with a series of leg kicks that would play a factor later.
Styles attempted to apply the calf crusher from the corner and Rusev blocked it by holding onto the ropes. Rusev went for a suicide dive and was stopped with a forearm strike from the floor.
Styles missed with a springboard 450 but landed on his feet, went for the calf crusher, Rusev countered with the Accolade and Styles avoided it.
On the third try, Styles applied the calf crusher and Rusev fought to the bottom rope while English pushed the rope towards Rusev. Styles chased after English on the floor and ran into a belly-to-belly from Rusev. Rusev followed with a Machka kick in the ring for a near fall.
Rusev attempted the Accolade but his left knee has been hit with so many kicks that he can’t base on the leg, so he applied it on the right side of Styles’ body, who gets to the rope.
English removed the top turnbuckle pad, Rusev chased after Styles and ran head first into the exposed buckle. Styles hit the springboard 450 for a big near fall that the audience bought into. Styles killed English with a running dropkick through the ropes.
Styles called for the Phenomenal Forearm and hit it for the victory.
WINNER: AJ STYLES AT 15:39 TO RETAIN THE WWE TITLE
This was a great title match and one of Rusev’s best matches of his career, perhaps the best of his career. The leg kicks set up a great payoff later in the match during the Accolade set up. I thought the turnbuckle being removed was the set up for a tremendous near fall spot. This delivered.
Rollins was interviewed backstage.
DOLPH ZIGGLER VS SETH ROLLINS IN 30 MINUTE IRONMAN MATCH FOR THE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE
Ziggler had the word “EVIL” written on his tights, perhaps he’s revealing his G1 pick.
Rollins caught Ziggler with a magistral cradle just before the 5-minute mark of the match to go up 1-0.
The audience started counting down each minute like it was the Royal Rumble.
Rollins hit the stomp to go up 2-0 at the 8-minute mark.
Rollins started tapping his foot for the superkick when Drew McIntyre attacked Rollins and caused a disqualification for Rollins to go ahead 3-0. McIntyre continued his attack on the floor running Rollins’ back into the apron and barricade. McIntyre hit the Claymore kick before he was sent to the back. Ziggler scores his first fall with 20-minutes remaining and it’s 3-1.
Ziggler hit a superkick immediately and scored his second fall.
Because of the chanting, they removed the clock from the screen and led to a “where’s the clock?” chant. This was annoying. Because the clock was gone, they just did the countdown chant repeatedly.
Ziggler hit a Zig Zag and tied it 3-3.
Ziggler nailed Rollins with a forearm from the floor and used the middle rope for leverage to pin Rollins and the referee missed it. Ziggler is ahead 4-3.
Graves compared Rollins to the Atlanta Falcons collapse in the Super Bowl.
Ziggler’s strategy was to kill time with a long sleeper spot and then running away from Rollins.
There was a GIF captured of Ziggler telling Rollins, “It’s worse than when the clock was here.”
The audience cheered as the clock was restored on the screen.
Rollins kept going for covers, he hit a big frog splash for a two-count. He hit the superplex into a Falcon Arrow for another two-count.
Rollins stopped a superkick, catapulted Ziggler into the corner and rolled him up to tie it at 4-4 with 3-minutes remaining in the match.
Rollins applied the sharpshooter onto Ziggler, then transitioned to a crossface, he released to go for the stomp and Ziggler avoided it and rolled to the floor. Rollins sent him back into the ring, he took a famouser but Rollins kicked out.
Ziggler set up for a superkick but instead, Rollins landed one, hit the stomp and rolled on top but was too late and it ended in a tie.
WINNER: DRAW AT 30:00 (4-4)
Ziggler was awarded the title and his music played but was interrupted by Kurt Angle. He called it an “incredible match” but said nothing was settled and they are going into sudden death overtime.
Drew McIntyre returned to distract Rollins and led to Ziggler hitting the Zig Zag and pinned Rollins in 14-seconds of the overtime period.
This match had a lot of problems and most of them were courtesy of the audience. As a match, it told a strange story of the babyface going up by a huge margin and blowing the lead, but the audience took this down significantly and became a major distraction.
You can argue over these shows being too long, the layout of the match or even the performers, but the fact was this match didn’t work.