Extreme Rules 2021
Date: September 26, 2021
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee, Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
It’s the night they go extreme without remembering to go extreme. This year’s edition features six matches with one match having any kind of extreme stipulation. The fact that they have been hyping up the Draft and Crown Jewel at the same time doesn’t exactly make this show feel important. Let’s get to it.
Kickoff Show: Carmella vs. Liv Morgan
This was moved up from the main card and we hear about how Carmella’s face pays the bills. It separates her from people like Liv, who should be ashamed of herself. Carmella: “I’m hot and you’re not.” As the Spanish commentary is on in full, Morgan jumps her before the bell and the fight is on, unlike the Spanish commentary anymore. Carmella avoids a charge to the floor and kicks Morgan in the face for two. The Bronco Buster (McAfee: “I’m gonna bust your sternum with my a**!”) hits Morgan, allowing Carmella to shout that she is hot and Morgan isn’t.
We hit the chinlock and the Spanish commentary is back. Carmella gets two off a faceplant but Morgan is back up with a faceplant and a running knee in the corner. A double stomp in the corner gets two and it’s off to an exchange of rollups. Morgan is back up with a Codebreaker for two more but Carmella kicks her to the floor. This time Morgan kicks her face first into the announcers’ table, setting up Oblivion for the pin at 7:49.
Rating: D+. Well that certainly was a TV level match that they added to the pay per view. I’m glad to see Morgan get a win but when you go 1-1 against Carmella and Zelina Vega over the course of 24 hours, your career might already be in trouble. Morgan is stuck in the bottom of the division at the moment and until that changes, none of this matters.
The opening video talks about how Extreme rules in this kingdom and looks at the rest of the card. So the Kingdom is one match on the card?
New Day vs. Bobby Lashley/AJ Styles/Omos
Bonus match for the sake of getting THE WWE CHAMPION on the show. The commentary now sounds like the French version as WWE continues to find new ways to look lame. AJ takes Woods down into a very early Calf Crusher so it’s off to Kofi Kingston as commentary has finally gotten better. With that going nowhere, Big E. comes in instead and gets to face Lashley, who runs him over.
Back up and Big E. takes him into the corner for the Unicorn Stampede but everything breaks down for a big staredown on the floor. Back in and Lashley launches Kofi into the wrong corner so Omos can take over on him. A delayed suplex sets up a chinlock from AJ but Kofi fights his way out. That’s not enough for a hot tag though as Lashley takes out the rest of New Day, setting up a lifting Downward Spiral for two on Kofi.
Kingston spins out of the Dominator and slips out of the running powerslam, allowing the hot tag off to Woods. An enziguri sets up a tornado DDT for two on Lashley but Woods gets planted right back down. Back up and Woods shoves him off the top, setting up a missile dropkick. The double tag brings in Big E. to face AJ, with the latter getting suplexed over and over. AJ manages to get in a shot of his own for the near fall but the Midnight Hour gets two with Lashley making the save.
Lashley hits a quick spinning Dominator for two but Kofi is back up to knock Lashley outside. Big E. launches Kofi onto Omos, who chops him out of the air. Back in and Lashley runs Big E. over and loads up the spear but AJ tags himself in. Lashley tags himself back in as AJ misses the Phenomenal Forearm. A spear hits AJ by mistake and the Big Ending finishes Lashley at 18:15.
Rating: B+. They had me worried that Big E. was going to take the fall here but they did a nice job of letting him get the big win. Big E. can get his next opponent in the Draft so this was a good way to use him. I know New Day has been around for a long time but the fans still react to them and they can put on a good match like this one. Solid opener here with the fans still hot, so good choice to start things off well.
Smackdown Tag Team Titles: Usos vs. Street Profits
The Profits are challenging and McAfee makes fun of the commentary issues during their entrances. Montez Ford has taped ribs so Angelo Dawkins takes Jimmy into the corner to start. A dropkick staggers Jimmy and Dawkins runs him over, setting up a pair of dropkicks to put the champs on the floor. Back in and a kick to the ribs puts Ford in trouble and the Usos drop him ribs first onto the top. The tape is ripped off and a belly to back suplex has Ford in even worse shape.
We get in a tug of war with Ford reaching for the tag but he has to send Jey into the post instead. The hot tag brings in Dawkins to clean house, including the spinning splashes in the corner. The Usos send Dawkins to the floor but their dives are both blocked. The fans want tables but instead they get a superplex into the double arm twisting neckbreaker for two on Jimmy. The Doomsday Blockbuster gives Ford the same but it’s back to Jey for the running Umaga Attack in the corner.
Ford makes a blind tag though and it’s the Anointment into the Cash Out, which hits Jey’s knees for two. The ribs give out on another Doomsday Blockbuster attempt and Jey hits the Superfly Splash for a very close two on Dawkins. Everything breaks down again and Ford hits a huge dive onto everyone outside. Dawkins gets taken down though and it’s a kick to the ribs into the double Superfly Splash to retain at 13:45.
Rating: B. Another pretty awesome match here with the story of Ford’s ribs carrying things. They had me believing that the title change was taking place more than once here so they did a nice job of building the drama. The Profits are made men in the tag division at this point, though splitting them up to let Ford go on his own wouldn’t stun me. Either way, heck of a match here as the hot start continues.
Bobby Lashley wants his WWE Title back.
We recap Alexa Bliss vs. Charlotte. Bliss wants to play with Charlotte and got her a doll of her own. Charlotte doesn’t play with dolls, sending Bliss into a rant about how she has an identity, unlike Charlotte when she doesn’t have a title.
Raw Women’s Title: Alexa Bliss vs. Charlotte
Hometown girl Bliss is challenging and puts Lillie on the post. Charlotte takes it outside to start and then throws Bliss back inside for some face rams into the mat. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two on Bliss and it’s time to crank on both arms. An inverted Gory Stretch has Bliss in even more trouble but she winds up in an electric chair. That means a hurricanrana can send Charlotte face first into the corner and things slow down a bit.
They head outside again with Bliss being sent hard into the barricade, giving Charlotte two back inside. The moonsault misses so Charlotte hits a standing version for two (ala Andrade), followed by a missed Natural Selection. They fight over some pinfall reversals until Bliss gets powerbombed for two. Bliss is back up with a heck of a Code Red for two but Twisted Bliss missed.
The Figure Eight is countered into a small package for two, followed by a hard DDT for the same with Charlotte putting her foot on the rope. With nothing else working, Charlotte throws Lillie at Bliss and hits a big boot. Bliss gets sent shoulder…..close to the post, setting up Natural Selection to retain at 11:27.
Rating: C+. This was far better because they didn’t do a bunch of stupid stuff. It isn’t a complicated idea and they made it work here. They had an intense match and didn’t do anything dumb. Charlotte winning makes sense in Bliss’ hometown, because you don’t want anyone getting too popular around here. That’s just not how WWE does things.
Post match Charlotte rips up Lillie, sending Bliss into a rage. The beatdown is on but since it’s Charlotte, she beats Bliss up again and sends her over the announcers’ table to leave. Bliss snaps and rips the top off the commentary table before going back inside to pick up the pieces of Lillie. A lot of emotional distress ensues.
Paul Heyman is on the phone when Kayla Braxton puts the microphone in his face. Heyman gets off the phone, saying he’ll call back in two minutes. Braxton asks who he is talking to, sending Heyman into a rant about how he doesn’t need permission to talk to other people. Is she worried about him talking to other women? He’s the special counsel to Roman Reigns, so now he needs to leave with the Usos.
United States Title: Damian Priest vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus
Priest is defending. Sheamus blasts Hardy to the floor at the bell so Priest goes right after Sheamus in a hurry. Some rapid fire kicks into a clothesline sends Sheamus outside with Priest following. Sheamus sends Priest into the barricade but Hardy is back up. The brawl lets Priest get back inside for a big flip dive over the top onto both of them. Back in and Priest beats up both of them, including the Broken Arrow to Hardy.
They all head outside again with Priest getting posted, leaving Hardy to walk into the Irish Curse for two. A tilt-a-whirl powerslam plants Hardy again and Sheamus hits the ten forearms to Priest’s chest. Hardy gets back up to roll Sheamus up for two with Priest making the save. Hardy hits the Whisper in the Wind onto both of them but Sheamus blocks the slingshot dropkick with a kick to the chest.
There’s an Alabama Slam to Hardy as Sheamus has lost his mask. The Cloverleaf goes on so Hardy makes the rope, which doesn’t matter because there is no rope break (how EXTREME). Priest makes the save and gets caught with White Noise but Hardy Twist of Fates Sheamus to the floor. The Reckoning is countered though and Hardy hits the Twist of Fate on Priest. Sheamus breaks up the Swanton and goes up where, after mocking Hardy’s dance, he drops a top rope knee to crush Priest for two more.
Sheamus flips up top but gets chokeslammed down, only to have Hardy Swanton onto both of them for the save. Priest and Hardy slug it out with Priest breaking up the Twist of Fate. Priest’s springboard is kneed out of the air by Sheamus so Hardy can come in and grab a near fall. A sunset flip gets two on Sheamus, who is back up with the Brogue Kick to Hardy. Priest is back up as well though and it’s a rollup to Sheamus to retain at 12:20.
Rating: B-. Dang they’re on a roll with this show and that’s a great thing to see. This was all about drama and again they had me wondering with some of those rollups from Hardy. The fact that he can make you believe that a surprise title change is coming makes things that much more interesting. Good stuff here, with Priest getting another win over a former World Champion as a good thing.
Big E. says he isn’t scared of Bobby Lashley and the title match is starting tomorrow’s Raw at 8pm.
We look back at the Kickoff Show match.
We recap Bianca Belair challenging Becky Lynch for the Smackdown Women’s Title. Becky returned at Summerslam and won the title from Belair in a surprise in 26 seconds. Now it is time for their straight rematch, with Lynch not wanting to hear Belair’s excuses.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Bianca Belair vs. Becky Lynch
Belair is challenging and Becky is mainly in white to change up the signature look. Becky offers an early handshake but they have to escape an exchange of finisher attempts, sending Lynch outside. Back in and Belair takes her down but has to slip out of a Disarm-Her attempt. Belair hits a splash for two and goes up, where she moonsaults back over Lynch. A dropkick puts Becky on the floor, where she has to yell at Cole for a bit.
Back in and Becky takes Belair down and shouts at the fans a lot. The running legdrop sets up an elbow, allowing Becky to yell at the fans even more. Becky tells the fans to shut their faces but also to cheer for the champ. So silent cheering? Or cheering from their elbows? Back up and Belair misses a charge in the corner, allowing Becky to hit the Bexploder for two. The kickout leaves Becky looking confused and we hit the camel clutch.
That’s countered into a suplex though and they’re both down. Belair gets back up and starts cleaning house but has to win a tug of war over her own hair. The spinebuster plants Lynch for two and there’s a fall away slam to make it even worse. The gorilla press is countered into a Disarm-Her but Belair is right next to the rope. They head outside with Belair loading up a double chickenwing, only to be sent into the steps.
Back in and Becky hits a top rope legdrop for two and the shocked kickout face returns. Another gorilla press is countered into a cross armbreaker but Belair flails around for the block. A chokebomb gives Belair two and it’s time for the exchange of rollups. Becky reverses into the Disarm-Her but has to pull Belair away from the ropes, allowing Belair to muscle her up for the KOD but Sasha Banks returns to jump Belair for the DQ at 17:30.
Rating: B. Dang it when did WWE remember how to be great? These two had a heck of a match going and the DQ actually makes sense for a change. You don’t want either of them losing and Banks returning is about as good of an idea as they had. Belair continues to look like a star and that’s what either women’s division has needed. Yes it’s more of the Horsewomen, but now someone new is coming in and that’s a great thing to see for a change.
Post match Banks beats Belair down and looks at Becky….before beating her down as well. The big brawl is on with Belair getting to leave, saying she’ll see the two of them on Friday. I’ll certainly take that over another Two Woman Power Trip.
We recap Finn Balor vs. Roman Reigns for the Universal Title. Reigns has been fighting off a bunch of people who want the title, including attacking Balor. This didn’t sit well with Balor, who has brought back the Demon for the big title match.
Universal Title: Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor
Balor, as the Demon, is challenging and this is Extreme Rules. They extremely start with an extreme lockup and Reigns throws him down in an extreme manner. Balor starts kicking at the leg (McAfee: “He might be possessed but he has a brain!”) but Reigns is back up with a Samoan drop. It’s FINALLY time to get some weapons going, as Reigns grabs a kendo stick. Balor rolls outside though and rises up, this time with a bunch of kendo sticks tied together.
The bunch of sticks are enough to put Reigns down but he’s right back up to send Balor outside. That’s fine with Balor, who is back up to stomp away on Reigns. There’s the running kick to the face from the apron and it’s time for a table. Reigns isn’t having that though and puts it back under the ring, making him even more hated. Instead it’s time for a chair but Balor sends him into the steps. NOW it’s time to set up the table and the fans are rather pleased.
That takes too long though and Reigns hits a running boot to the face, sending Balor into the post. Reigns tosses him over the barricade and follows out to send Balor into the Kickoff Show area. Balor is tossed onto the Kickoff Show table but he kicks his way to freedom. A high crossbody off the table sends Reigns through the first table of the night for the big crash.
They head back to the ring, with Balor setting up another table. That takes too long though and it’s a release Rock Bottom to drive Balor through the table. Balor is back with the Pele Kick but the Superman Punch gives Reigns two. The spear is cut off with a kick to the face and Balor hits the Sling Blade….only to get speared down for two, with the kickout hitting Reigns low (to steal a counter). The Coup de Grace connects but the Usos pull Balor out at two.
It’s time for another table but Balor fights back and powerbombs Jey through the announcers’ table. One heck of a spear drives Balor through the announcers’ table and everyone is down, but the red lights start flashing and Balor pops up again. With the red light through the arena and Balor’s music playing, Balor unloads with a chair and dropkicks Reigns through the table. Back in and Balor goes up top….but the top rope breaks. Reigns hits the spear for the pin to retain at 19:40.
Rating: B. I’m not sure on this one, but what mattered here was giving you the belief that the title could change hands. The rope breaking was at least something unique and I’ll take that over the Usos coming in for the DQ or something like that. Balor was not going to win here and that’s all well and good, but they did have a fun match on the way there. I’m not sure how extreme a good chunk of it was, but at least the last few minutes worked well. It might not have been logical, though I’ll take what I can get around here.
Overall Rating: A. Yeah this was great and I don’t know what else there is to say. You had one great match after another and almost nothing was bad. The lack of extreme didn’t help, but that’s on the show’s name rather than anything else. I mean, it can only be so extreme when the main event ends with a rope break (dang I wish I could take credit for that one). Overall, this was an outstanding show and one of the best things WWE has done for a very long time. As usual, WWE is at its best when they have no expectations and there were a grand total of none coming into this one.
New Day b. Bobby Lashley/AJ Styles/Omos – Big Ending to Lashley
Usos b. Street Profits – Double Superfly Splash to Ford
Charlotte b. Alexa Bliss – Natural Selection
Damian Priest b. Jeff Hardy and Sheamus – Rollup to Sheamus
Bianca Belair b. Becky Lynch via DQ when Sasha Banks interfered
Roman Reigns b. Finn Balor – Spear
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