After an underwhelming PPV, the WWE came out strong to build up Extreme Rules. I can confidently say that they’re off to a good start.
We’ve been subjected to a lot of authority based stories within the past decade, and I think this might end up being one of the better ones. Considering that the two are siblings, they play well off of each other. The segment was built very well. Instead of Shane and Stephanie hogging the spotlight, they were simply a back drop to the IC title picture. By having those two interact with Owens and Cesaro, it makes the IC title a lot more important. The only thing that didn’t make sense was Shane agreeing with KO on how he’s owed a rematch, but then inserting him into a number one contender’s match.
Cesaro vs Kevin Owens
The Miz was a great addition to commentary. I personally love how he continues to act like he won the match against Cesaro clean. We don’t see that very often from heels these days.
The chemistry between Owens and Cesaro is always evident. They’ve squared off many times throughout the past year, and every time they find a way to make their encounters feel fresh. The spot of the match was Cesaro’s dropkick to Owens while he was on the top turnbuckle. The sell from Owens was priceless. Miz’s interference was easily telegraphed. Based on how the IC title match ended at Payback, I didn’t anticipate Cesaro or Owens winning clean. Regardless of it’s predictability, I was fine with how this ended, because there really was no other way.
Even though Zayn lost clean at Payback, the way his run in was booked, he didn’t look inferior to any of the others. Also, the massive pop he received showed that he belongs in this four way feud.
Tyler Breeze vs Goldust
As someone that’s watched Breeze during his peak days back in NXT, I’m always glad to see him wrestle.
Did Fandango spend the entire match gyrating his hips at ringside? I’m not sure if he did, but every time the camera was one him I found myself laughing. This was nothing more than a comedic match, and it filled that role pretty well. Every competitor involved was on point with their comedic timing, and I enjoyed it. I’m actually interested in seeing how this R-Truth/Goldust jealously angle turns out.
The New Day Promo
After his blunder, Big E showed that he’s a natural with the mic. He recovered so well from that botched line, and even turned it into a joke. Every week the New Day finds a pop culture reference to refer to, and this week it’s been about sliding into Beyonce’s DM’s. I for one find that joke hilarious.
Using Enzo’s injury as a way to generate heat was perfect for the Vaudevillians. I don’t believe they would have received that many jeers if they didn’t bring it up. Why did the Dudleys feel the need to interrupt? Their logic didn’t make sense. I’d still consider the Vaudevillians the number one contenders by default.
Also, Big Cass deserves some credit for being able to cut a decent promo without Enzo.
The Dudley Boyz & The Vaudevillians vs The New Day & Big Cass
For some reason, I didn’t have a care in the world for this match. Apart from Bubba shouting while he was beating down Xavier, nothing captured my attention. I also though this match went on too long.
Becky Lynch vs Emma
While it’s been a small feud, it’s been kept simple and consistent. I feel like this feud has been showcased on every show since it’s inception.
In terms of pure wrestling skill, these two are among the best in the women’s division, and they showed that in this match. Not only was their skill evident, but the two managed to tell their story throughout the contest. These two don’t like each other, and that’s what very apparent. As much as I enjoy Becky, I think Emma deserved a win on Raw. If they’re trying to build the women’s division, the top workers need to help the others gain credibility.
Ambrose Asylum w/Stephanie McMahon
I know that announce team can be a bit much at times, but their rant about “journalism” was hilarious.
This promo was awesome. There’s no better way to put it. Ambrose was perfect at antagonizing Stephanie, and her reactions were golden. The biggest swerve of the promo came when Stephanie welcomed Jericho out. For those of you that follow him on twitter he sent out this tweet earlier on:
So like most fans, I was convinced we wouldn’t see him until next January, for the Royal Rumble. That’s just another way Y2J enjoys trolling his fans, and it’s what makes him special. I believe that him and Ambrose have another match left in them for their feud. The potted plant spot was a nice touch to show how Jericho’s such a sore loser.
US Title Number One Contender Battle Royal
We don’t see many battle royals for title shots, so I actually enjoyed this match. Also, these are usually unpredictable, so that adds to the fun. I had Corbin and Crews penciled in as the favourites to win, so I was surprised when both were eliminated half way through.
Honestly, when I noticed that Sin Cara was one of the last five, I figured he had it won. However, Zack Ryder was definitely the better choice for being the loveable underdog in the final two. While the crowd was hot for Ryder, Rusev was the right choice to win. He’ll be perfect in carrying a feud with Kalisto, as the mic load is something he can handle.
Why did they put Kalisto on commentary? He was horrendous. A character such as his does his talking in the ring. At times, I felt like falling asleep.
As usual, Charlotte was on point with her promo. Along with that, she was able to garner a ton of heat. That shows that she’s completely gotten over as a heel. Her interaction with Charles Robinson was excellent. Once Natalya came out, the segment ended just how I expected. However, I didn’t expect for her to attack Ric Flair. For a match that was terrible at Payback, the follow up was rather decent.
AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, & Luke Gallows vs Roman Reigns & The Usos
From the second they announced this match, I was hyped up. For the first time in a while, we were given a six man tag match that carried a ton of context. Along with that, it was great to see the Bullet Club somewhat reunited on WWE television.
Reigns and Styles started where they left off at Payback. Usually the opening moments of a six man tag move slow, but neither of these men wanted to be victims of that trope. The first five minutes were explosive, and it was a blast to watch. The spot of the match goes to Styles countering a Superman punch into a Pele Kick. Second to that was Jimmy Uso’s super kick. After his loss at Payback, AJ needed to pick up the pin in this match. Not only did he need it, but he deserved it since he was the MVP.
The post match beat down was very well orchestrated, and I found myself marking out. Everything about it created tension between AJ and everybody else in the match. His friends now question him, and Roman despises him.
This episode of Raw ended up being a great follow up to a mediocre PPV. While some of the match ups and feuds will remain the same for Extreme Rules, they all have a new twist. Along with that, we were given some fresh programs as well. The low point of the show was the eight man tag match, while the high point was the main event. Overall, this show deserves a well earned 8/10.