Monday, July 16, 2018

WWE Extreme Rules 2018 Recap

This evening WWE presented Extreme Rules from the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA.  The card boasted ten matches with seven titles on the line. On a personal note, I understand that this is the “PG Era” of WWE but if you’re going to call a pay-per-view Extreme Rules then at least give us a TV-14 rating and a match or two that would pay homage to hardcore legends like Terry Funk, Mick Foley, Tommy Dreamer, and Raven. Nonetheless, this was an entertaining pay per view that saw some shocking title changes.  Without further ado, here’s the rundown of the card:

RAW Tag Team Championship
The Deleters of Worlds (Woken Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt) ( c ) vs. The B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel)
Winners: The B-Team via Pinfall

After several weeks of The B-Team impersonating the Deleters of Worlds and engaging in numerous singles matches, the rivalry finally came to a peak at Exreme Rules. This bout also presented us with the interesting dynamic of pitting real life brothers Bo Dallas and Bray Wyatt against each other. In the end, Hardy was shoved into Wyatt knocking him off the ring apron and leaving the disoriented Hardy susceptible. Bo Dallas hit the DDT as Matt Hardy’s feet were suspended on the ropes for the victory.

Finn Balor vs. Constable Baron Corbin
Winner: Finn Balor

Baron Corbin, sporting his new bald look, brutalized Balor for the majority of this match with several power moves and strikes. The match concluded with Corbin attempting the End of Days only to be rolled up in an inside cradle to lose by pinfall.

Smackdown Women’s Championship
Carmella ( c ) vs. Asuka
Winner: Carmella

This contest was a rematch of their meeting at Money In the Bank that ended with Asuka being distracted by the shocking return of James Ellsworth. To help eliminate the possibility of any outside interference, Ellsworth was suspended above the ring for this bout in a shark cage. Late in the match, Ellsworth picked the lock of the shark cage but when he attempted to climb down, his foot got caught leaving him hilariously hanging from the cage. In an attempt to free Ellsworth, the ring crew lowered the cage leaving Ellsworth exposed to several strikes from an unmerciful Asuka. While Asuka was distracted, Carmella snuck up behind her and shoved her headfirst into the steel cage allowing her to score the pinfall. After the match, Asuka not only assaulted the ring crew but also took her frustrations out on Ellsworth which culminated with him being placed in the Asuka Lock until he frantically tapped out.

United States Championship
Jeff Hardy ( c ) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Before the match even started, Nakamura nailed Hardy with a low blow as the referee handed the title to the ringside attendant. After the referee confirmed that Hardy wished to continue, he rang the bell. Nakamura wasted no time hitting the Kinshasa and quickly scored the pinfall victory to become new champion!

After being awarded the title, Randy Orton’s music echoed through the arena! The Viper came to the ring causing Nakamura to flee. After they engaged in a stare-down for a few moments, Orton turned to Hardy as he lay in the ring, grabbed his feet, and stomped him between the uprights!

Steel Cage Match
Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens
Winner: Kevin Owens

Kevin Owens thought he had the upper hand after he handcuffed Strowman to the ropes. As Owens began to climb the cage, Strowman broke free and chased him to the top. Strowman then choke slammed KO from the top of the cage and through the announce table!!! KO may have been rolled out on a gurney in a neck brace but he hit the floor first and won the match!

Smackdown Tag Team Championship
Bludgeon Brothers ( c ) vs. Team Hell No
Winners: Bludgeon Brothers

Following a backstage attack earlier in the evening at the hands of the Bludgeon Brothers that left Kane with an injured ankle, Daniel Bryan came to the ring by himself. After valiantly taking the fight to the Bludgeons for half of the match, Kane came to the ring in a walking boot. He was able to manage a couple choke slams but it wasn’t enough as in the end the Bludgeon Brothers were too much for Team Hell No.

Bobby Lashley vs. Roman Reigns
Winner: Bobby Lashley

Despite a Superman punch, Lashley turned the tides on Reigns to counter his spear with one of his own to earn the pinfall victory!

RAW Women’s Championship
Alexa Bliss ( c ) vs. Nia Jax
Winner: Alexa Bliss

Ronda Rousey was seated at ringside for this bout and unable to compete as a result of her “suspension” due to her actions the night after Money In the Bank. This match was contested under extreme rules which meant there were no rules. While Rousey did make her presence known late in the match, it wasn’t enough. The pinnacle of the match came as Nia Jax had Alexa positioned for the Samoan Drop only to have Mickie James come to the rescue with a chair shot to the back of Jax. Bliss then hit the DDT on Jax driving her head into a steel chair to set up the pinfall victory.

WWE Championship Match
A.J. Styles ( c ) vs. Rusev
Winner: A.J. Styles

Both combatants utilized an array of their signature moves-Rusev the Machka Kick and Accolade and A.J. the calf crusher and springboard 450 splash. Aiden English also did his best to try and ensure Pittsburgh would be celebrating Rusev Day, however, amongst his actions was the removal of the turnbuckle cover which eventually brought about Rusev’s demise. After Rusev was launched head first into the exposed metal turnbuckle and left in a daze, the match concluded as Styles hit the Phenomenal Forearm to earn the 1-2-3.

Intercontinental Championship
Dolph Ziggler ( c ) vs. Seth Rollins
Winner: Dolph Ziggler

This match was a 30-minute Iron Man match where the participant who scored the most pinfalls would leave victorious. The odds were stacked against Monday Night Rollins from the start as Ziggler was accompanied to the ring by Drew McIntyre. The first pinfall came after Rollins hit a Buckle Bomb on Ziggler. It didn’t take long for the second pinfall to come after Rollins took Ziggler out with a Curb Stomp. This was more than McIntyre could handle and he assaulted Rollins to make it 3-0 Rollins after a DQ. McIntyre was then ejected by the official, but before he left the ring, he unceremoniously hit Rollins with a Claymore Kick. In less than two minutes, Ziggler proceeded to tie Rollins at three with a series of super kicks and a Zig Zag. Pinfall seven was scored by Ziggler after he thwarted Rollins suicide dive attempt with a shot to the face followed by a pinfall with his feet on the ropes to make the score 4-3 in his favor. Rollins then won the next fall to tie the match at four with less than three minutes to go. Just before time ran out, Rollins landed another Curb Stomp, however, the clock expired before the referee could initiate his count. As Ziggler began to depart the ring, he was interrupted by RAW GM, and Pittsburgh’s own, Kurt Angle, who ordered the match be restarted under sudden death rules. After the match was restarted, McIntyre returned through the crowd to distract Rollins as Ziggler was able to finish him off with another Zig Zag to retain his Intercontinental Title.

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