The summer of WWE continues. There are a lot of problems in WWE at the moment and any WWE fan can list them all off for you at a moment’s notice. I’ve been right there with them, though things have gotten slightly better in recent weeks. One of the underlying problems has been the amount of shows that the company has been running and it’s time for another one in the form of Extreme Rules, which doesn’t have the most extreme set of rules. Maybe the card itself will surprise me. Let’s get to it.
Aleister Black vs. Cesaro
This was literally set up with a knock on the door and even though that is where the story was supposed to go, it doesn’t make things that interesting. There is no history between the two of them but that’s kind of the point with Black. I have no idea how they’ve managed to screw up Black’s push so badly but I’ll take what I can get, even if it has taken this long.
The knock is answered:
Raw Tag Team Titles: Revival(c) vs. Usos
These two are joined at the hip and that’s fine by me. The best part about this whole thing has been the Revival getting away from the HORRIBLE pranks at the hands of the Usos, which didn’t help anyone whatsoever. The Revival enjoying the good life is funny enough, though at least they’re not looking like the bad end of jokes and that’s better than nothing at this point.
Thankfully this is done:
SmackDown Tag Team Titles: Daniel Bryan/Rowan(c) vs. New Day vs. Heavy Machinery
As I was getting ready for this show, I wasn’t sure if New Day was doing anything on the show or who had these titles. That’s how little they matter and that says a lot about the tag division as a whole. Heavy Machinery doesn’t exactly belong in this match after they lost last month but when has that bothered them before? The titles are nearly ice cold right now so this isn’t the most important match on the show.
Remember how the champs got their titles:
Cruiserweight Title: Drew Gulak(c) vs. Tony Nese
Somehow this isn’t on the Kickoff Show (yet) but you can probably pencil it in. Gulak won the title from Nese in a three way at Stomping Grounds and this is his first title defense. What matters most here is Gulak’s new, aggressive character which has gotten him a lot further than his entertaining For A Better 205 Live deal. He’s fitting well as champion, though I’m not sure how long he’ll have the title.
These two fought not very long ago:
SmackDown World Title: Kofi Kingston(c) vs. Samoa Joe
This has been a better feud than anything Kingston vs. Ziggler did, mainly because it feels like something fresh. What matters here is having a good match, because this feels like a one off match instead of the start of something big. While there is a chance that we could see a rematch at Summerslam, odds are this is going to be it and there’s nothing wrong with that.
This sums up a lot about the feud:
Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley
This is Last Man Standing and a result of the two of them blowing up part of the set a few weeks back. It feels like we’ve seen this kind of thing from Strowman for years now as he gets to look dominant in a story like this, though I have no reason to believe that he’s going to win the title in the end. Lashley has looked great as well, though there is a lot more to be done with Strowman, at least in a company that makes sense.
They went boom:
Undertaker/Roman Reigns vs. Shane McMahon/Drew McIntyre
No Holds Barred for the sake of McMahon. The match itself isn’t what matters here, as the whole point is much more about who Undertaker gets to face at Summerslam. Odds are that it’s going to be McIntyre, but I’m not sure who would win once we get there. That’s for later though so for now, we get more McMahon getting to hang with multiple time World Champions, if not beating them.
At least there is a reason for all of this:
SmackDown Women’s Title: Bayley(c) vs. Nikki Cross/Alexa Bliss
This feud has gotten a lot of time in recent weeks, though I’m not entirely sure which way it’s going. That’s the best thing about it though, as they really could take it in a lot of different directions and see what they can find. Cross is being conned by Bliss, but Bayley has been showing some more heelish tendencies as of late. That opens up a lot of doors and any of them could be followed up on here.
Now with power of attorney:
US Title: Ricochet(c) vs. AJ Styles
This one is going to come down to how much you believe the stories about Paul Heyman being so high on Ricochet. At the end of the day, Ricochet is the kind of guy who could be turned into a new top star for the company in the blink of an eye and it seems that they’re heading that way. At the same time though, Styles is Styles and you don’t want the newly reformed Club losing their first big pay per view match.
They’ve done this before:
Universal Title/Raw Women’s Title: Seth Rollins/Becky Lynch(c) vs. Lacey Evans/Baron Corbin
We’ve covered every possible bit of ranting that can be done about this match and these feuds but now we get an Extreme Rules match for both titles. The big story here is the real life relationship between Lynch and Rollins (because that’s REAL while everything else is fake) vs. the business relationship between Evans and Corbin, because that’s what we want at an EXTREME show.
Consider this a warmup:For the sake of my sanity (again with the sanity), I’ll go with the champions retaining here because….how could Corbin ever be World Champion? I mean I know he will be someday, but egads the possibilities of that give me hives. I’m not sure where this takes Rollins and Lynch (though the Power Couple battle against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon is starting to seem plausible) but for now, they keep the titles.
Main event aside, this is actually a pretty good looking card and I don’t remember the last time that was the case for a WWE pay per view. There are a few violent matches sprinkled here and there but did anyone really expect an actual EXTREME show from this event? You take what you can get here as the nightmare summer continues. I don’t know what Heyman and Bischoff have in mind for Summerslam, but it almost has to be better than what we’ve been doing for the last few weeks. At least it’s going to be fresh and that’s what matters most.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the History Of In Your House.
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