The SmarK Rant for WWE Extreme Rules 2017
Live from the EXTREME city of Baltimore, because they’re BaltiMORE extreme than everyone else!
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Booker T.
Intercontinental title: Dean Ambrose v. The Miz
The DQ rule is waived because it’s EXTREME to have screwjobs. They trade hammerlocks to start and Ambrose gets all riled up and slugs away in the corner, but breaks before five. Ambrose puts him on the floor with a clothesline and follows with a dive, but teases uses a chair before getting talked out of it by the ref. Really, if Dean is too dumb to remember the stipulations he agreed to, why is that the ref’s problem? Ambrose catches him with a DDT on the apron, which is the hardest part of the ring, ya know, and that gets two. We hit the chinlock, and Miz follows with the neckbreaker for two. Back to a chinlock, and Miz follows with a low kick for two. Miz pounds away on the mat and follows with dropkicks in the corner and the running clothesline, but Ambrose makes the comeback and boots Miz to the floor. Back in, Ambrose with the clotheslines and a Perfectplex for two. Rollup gets two. Neckbreaker gets two. Miz goes after the leg in the corner, but Dean gets a sunset flip and Miz reverses to a figure-four. Miz goes for it again, but Ambrose cradles for two. To the top, but Miz crotches him and the crowd is strangely split between them. They fight on the top and Miz pulls off a turnbuckle on the way down, resulting in Ambrose nearly running him into it before the ref stops him. Miz hits him with a running knee off that distraction for two. Miz with the Yes kicks, but Ambrose catches the leg and takes him down for his own figure-four. Miz teases tapping, but makes the ropes. They trade rollups for two and Dean hits the rebound lariat, but Maryse gets involved and slaps Miz, but the ref doesn’t buy it and tosses her out. Well, it was a nice try. Ambrose with a rollup for two off that, but Miz tosses him into the ref, and while Ambrose argues, Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale to win the title at 20:00. Good drama for the finish and I’m glad they didn’t just go with the cheap ending. Really good, hard-worked opener. ***3/4
Noam Dar & Alicia Fox v. Rich Swann & Sasha Banks
Sasha has fallen pretty far since Wrestlemania, no? Swann controls Dar and goes up, but the heels stop for some hugs and the women go. They trade kicks and Sasha goes for the Bank Statement right away, but Dar puts Fox’s foot on the ropes. Fox with a kick for two while Cole explains the ridiculously convoluted storyline for this curtain-jerk level mixed tag. Alicia misses a charge and hurts her leg in the corner, but Swann gets a hot tag and hits Dar with a headscissors and guillotine for two. Dar reverses to a rollup for two. They slug it out and Swann wins that one, but now everyone’s out to the floor for a brawl as this goes nowhere. Banks hits Noam with a flying knee to the floor, and Swann finishes him with a Phoenix splash at 6:14. This was a complete nothing match, but the crowd was into it. **
Elias Sampson sings us a song. So yeah, that happened.
EXTREME Kendo Stick on a pole match, Women’s title: Alexa Bliss v. Bayley
The treatment of Bayley on TV has been so botched lately that the crowd is now booing her and cheering Bliss instead. That’s just messed up. Of course, Bayley’s terrible promo before the match, where she points out what a terrible segment they had on RAW and says she studied Sandman and Tommy Dreamer matches for experience, probably didn’t help. Bliss quickly climbs for the stick, but Bayley slams her for two. Bliss slugs her out of the ring and they fight on the pole, but both of them fall out of the ring once the kendo stick is freed. Bayley with a suplex on the floor and she gets the kendo stick first and we get the chase. Had Bayley actually watched those Sandman matches she would have actually hit her with the cane instead of just standing there teasing it. Bliss grabs it from her and wears her out, but Bayley gets the belly to belly to cut her off. Bliss shoves her into the stick and continues hitting her with it, and a DDT gets the pin at 5:08. Complete squash for Bliss. DUD Like, that was just a complete humiliation of Bayley and the announcers were like “Well, she’s done, onto Nia Jax now, I guess.” I know people say “such and such was buried” but Bayley was legit BURIED here.
Cage match, RAW World tag titles: The Hardy Boyz v. Cesaro & Sheamus
The champs keep the challengers from running out, but Cesaro tosses Matt into the cage and they double-team Jeff and send him into the cage as well. Everyone continues trying to climb out with no luck and more people are randomly thrown into the cage and try to climb out. Matt makes it to the top of the cage, but Cesaro cuts him off and Sheamus adds the rolling senton. Sheamus goes for the door but Matt grabs the leg, so it’s more people going into the cage. They’re really playing that card a lot here. So far the entire match has been “ram someone into the cage, try to climb, get cut off, repeat”. Sheamus misses the Brogue Kick on Jeff and Matt hits him with a tornado DDT, and everyone climbs to the top for the big finale. Jeff fights off Cesaro and hits the floor, leaving Matt alone with both heels. Matt hits the Side Effect on both guys and climbs to the top, but the heels cut him off, hit him with a double powerbomb, and Sheamus kicks Jeff off the apron. Matt comes back with a Twist of Fate on Sheamus, throws Cesaro off the top rope, and climbs out, but Cesaro catches him and it’s more DOOM for Matt. So this brings Jeff back into the match with the Whisper in the Wind off the top of the cage. Cole notes that the match is reset and Jeff has to escape again now. Zuh? Cesaro & Sheamus go over the top, but the Hardyz go for the door, and Team Europe gets there to the floor faster and win the titles at 15:00. Really messy and disjointed match with a weak finish. The escape nonsense really hurt it, sucking most of the drama out of the match. **1/4
Submission match, Cruiserweight title: Neville v. Austin Aries
So we had one delay while the cage was set up, and another while the ropes were turned purple. They trade wristlocks to start and Aries tries an armbar, but Neville makes the ropes. Um…so? It’s a submission match. Why is the ref counting? Aries with an attempt at a guillotine, but Neville breaks out in the corner. Aries with a slingshot into the Last Chancery, but they fight to the floor and Neville gets sent into the railing. Neville tries to walk away, so Aries dives onto him and hurts his knee in the process. Back in, Neville goes to work on the leg, but Aries makes a comeback with three kneebreakers and they fight on the apron. Neville goes back to the knee again and then works on the arm while yelling at the crowd, who don’t particularly give a crap about this match. Aries catches him with a figure-four, but Neville makes the ropes. Aries with a neckbreaker and he goes up and misses a missile dropkick, allowing Neville to get the Rings of Saturn. Aries makes the ropes and people boo because this match is kind of sucking and I think the crowd just wants it to be done. Neville drags him back for another try, but Aries reverses to his own shitty version, and Neville grabs the ref to break. So I guess the actual stipulation is that pinfalls are removed, but you can still be disqualified. They fight to the top and Aries gets a guillotine, into the Last Chancery, but Neville escapes to the floor while still in the hold and taps out there. That doesn’t count, because reasons. That would be a cool and EXTREME finish, but not in THIS match, I guess. Aries tries to follow with a dive and misses completely, looking like a complete goof, and Neville hits the Red Arrow and finishes with the Rings of Saturn at 17:15. So basically they just did a normal match, but more boring and shitty. *1/2 OK, three matches in this series is more than enough now, time for a new challenger.
#1 Contender match: Bray Wyatt v. Roman Reigns v. Seth Rollins v. Finn Balor v. Samoa Joe
Finn Balor is merely wearing the leather jacket, so you can likely discount his chances. Reigns clears the ring to start, but Wyatt and Joe team up to beat on him and toss him. Joe and Rollins trade dives and Balor stomps on various people, but Roman throws him into the railing to stop him. Joe and Bray team up on Roman again outside and hit the babyfaces with stairs. They beat on Seth for a while outside and then double-team Finn and abuse him with a chair. Finn makes his own comeback, but Roman reappears from the void and clotheslines people. Joe hauls him out of the ring and Bray slams him onto the table. Back in the ring, Rollins fights off the Joe/Bray team with a blockbuster on Bray for two, but he gets tossed again and we finally get the Joe v. Bray showdown. Joe with the enzuigiri for two. Finn comes in with a chair to clean house and gets a nice running kick to Roman’s face off the apron, then dropkicks Bray into the railing. Roman comes back with a spear through the railing on Joe and Finn (seriously, is that timekeeper railing made out of balsa wood or something?) and Rollins splashes Bray from the top and onto the table. Back in the ring, it’s the showdown between Rollins and Reigns that we’ve already seen a bunch of times and they slug it out, leading to Roman hitting the superman punch for two. Rollins with the seated superkick for two. Seth goes up with the frog splash for two. Phoenix Splash misses and Bray tries Sister Abigail, but Roman saves with a spear. Rollins with the buckle bomb on Roman, but he no-sells and hits the superman punch. Finn makes his comeback and hits the double stomp on Roman, but Joe ambushes him with the choke for the win at 28:00. Well, he can kindly shut the hell up about not getting his return title match now, since he just got choked out in a #1 contender match. At least Joe v. Brock is something new and different. Typical multi-man “everyone hits their finishers” main event, nothing particularly memorable but hard-worked. ***1/2
This was OK. They desperately need something new and this wasn’t it, but it was something to fill 3 hours and that’s what it delivered. All the babyfaces are complete losers and they wonder why ratings are down 20% this year. Thumbs in the middle.