Wrestling Review: WWE Extreme Rules (2019)

All the rules get thrown out when the WWE presents Extreme Rules. In the main event, both the Universal Championship and the Raw Women’s Championship will be on the line as the current champions, Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch, team up to face Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans in a Winner Takes All Match, contested under Extreme Rules. Both the Raw and SmackDown tag team championships are on the line in separate matches, where The Revival will defend against the Usos, and Daniel Bryan and Rowan will face both the team of Heavy Machinery and two-thirds of the New Day with the titles on the line. Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley will do battle in a Last Man Standing Match, following their set-destroying brawl from a few weeks back, and finally, Aleister Black will get the fight he wants as he faces off against Cesaro. All of this and much more at WWE Extreme Rules.

+ Ricochet (c) vs AJ Styles (United States Championship): this was fine, but the overbooked garbage before the match almost ruined it. Styles should be in a much higer position than this middle of the card, least-important-championship drivel, and Ricochet should not be in matches against someone of that higher stature, because win or lose he will come out of is worse off. Still, this was a good match that probably would have been great anywhere else in the world
+ The Planet’s Champions (Daniel Bryan & Rowan) vs Heavy Machinery (Tucker & Otis) vs The New Day (Xavier Woods & Big E) (SmackDown Live Tag Team Championships): this was easily the match of the night, not least of all due to the fact that Big E and Bryan should be the world championship rivalry. The segments when they were in the ring together were some of the best on the whole show, and both of Heavy Machinery (and Otis in particular) will be big stars in their own right
+ Bobby Lashley vs Braun Strowman (Last Man Standing Match): this was ugly and slow, but in a way that suited the competitors and the story. This was not the best LMS match I’ve ever seen, but both guys are good at the brawling style (though Lashley should be doing more than just that), and it was at least something a little bit extreme on this show built around that concept
+ Aleister Black vs Cesaro: this was an incredible match in front of a crowd that did not care for it at all. Cesaro is too damn good to be rotting in this company’s mid card, and Black was so hot upon his main roster debut that it feels almost intentional at this point how not-special he feels anymore
+ The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson) (c) vs The Usos (Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso) (Raw Tag Team Championships): this was very good, as you’d expect from these teams, who truly are two of the best real (that is, permanent) tag teams on the planet. Dash and Dawson have such an old school mentatlity and it contrasts so well with the Usos’ more modern approach
+ Shane McMahon & Drew McIntyre vs Roman Reigns & The Undertaker: a good spectacle, but very standard with everything going as you think it would. This was the best the Undertaker has looked in years, but neither of Undertaker or even Reigns are anything compared to the look, ability, promo and presentation of Drew McIntyre. Shane McMahon needs to stop wrestling
+ Drew Gulak (c) vs Tony Nese (Cruiserweight Championship): I am getting sick of saying it, but this was yet another good cruiserweight title match relegated to the death slot. Gulak got some crazy home-town support, but you’d never know it from the main show
+ Finn Balor vs Shinsuke Nakamura (Intercontinental Championship): this was really good, perhaps too good to be wasted on the pre-show. I can hardly fathom having Finn Balor on your show, as a champion, and hiding him away on the show nobody watches

Seth Rollins (c) & Becky Lynch (c) vs Baron Corbin & Lacey Evans (Extreme Rules Winner Takes All Match for the Universal Championship and the Raw Women’s Championship): despite the addition of the Extreme Rules stipulation, this was an absolutely horrible match that only exposed Rollins as being a poor champion, Becky as being a weak champion, and both the bad-guy team as being absolute idiots. This was barely fit to be a Raw main event, and by the time it was done I was ready to tear the whole PPV apart, despite enjoying the rest of the show. This Rollins title reign has been ass, and I cannot wait for him to stop being the focal point of Raw
Kofi Kingston (c) vs Samoa Joe (WWE Championship): this started slow but began to build in intensity, and then just as it was getting good it suddenly ended. That ending left a really poor taste in my mouth, not due to the winner/loser or even the way it happened, but it just needed another 5 or 10 minutes before it happened
Kevin Owens vs Dolph Ziggler: this was a huge waste of time and should have been the opening segment on SmackDown
Bayley (c) vs Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross (2-on-1 Handicap Match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship): this was not very good at all. I am glad that for once the good-guy is the underdog, but Alexa and Nikki have defeated Bayley one on one before, so if they lose, they are jokes, and if Bayley wins, she is an unstoppable god. That pedantic complaint aside, simply put this was not a well wrestled match

Should you watch this event: The last three matches on the show were all bad in their own way, and that left me feeling like the whole show sucks. Truthfully, the rest of the show wasn’t quite that bad, with both both of the Tag Team Championship matches being pretty good, and both the mid-card titles being defended in pretty good matches as well (though one was on the pre-show). This was okay, but frankly you’d be better watching any of the NJPW, Impact or AEW shows that have been on lately instead.

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