It's finally time for WWE's next pay per view, Extreme Rules. Feels like it's been a while, as Wrestlemania was six weeks ago! Tonight, John Cena defends the WWE Championship against Ryback in a Last Man Standing Match, and we find out who will take on the injured Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship. The card stacks up as follows:
The pre-show kicks off at 7:30 PM EST. Check in periodically throughout the evening for results and reaction to tonight's pay per view event.
We open with Renee Young introducing the pre-show. She is joined at a table set with Wade Barrett, Titus O'Neil, and Mick Foley. Barrett is dressed to fight, but O'Neil and Mick Foley are much better dressed. Barrett says the action might end up coming to him since it's the Extreme Rules pay per view. Titus says he'll be in human resources on Monday if that happens because he didn't sign up for that.
Renee poses what match each man is looking forward to. Barrett says he is looking forward to Randy Orton vs. Big Show and talks a little about that match. Titus picks Sheamus vs. Mark Henry in the strap match. Foley picks the Last Man standing match between Cena and Ryback. Dueling chants get going in the audience behind them. Young makes some comments that feed into a video package for the Cena/Ryback feud.
I really enjoy this format of the pre-show. We saw it at Mania, but to see it like this at every show is a nice touch.
The panel rejoins us and they talk about the Last Man Standing match. Foley points out that Cena reached a peak when he beat the Rock at Wrestlemania. Foley says it's hard to keep going when you're injured and Ryback might want the win more. Barrett basically repeats that same point in different words. They plug a poll on Facebook regarding the title match.
Seeing a bit of a hiccup in my feed off of WWE.com for the pre-show. I don't get why they don't just air the pre-show on the pay per view channel also.
With the glitches, we're going to have to fly by the seat of our pants here. The panel talks about the various extreme moments through the years, with Kofi Kingston being featured in one, and the Cena vs. Batitsta match being featured in a second.
Match #1 - Cody Rhodes vs. The Miz
The feeds were still sort of sketchy. Miz gets in some early offense in this one. Cody begins to take over and stomps on Miz's midsection.
In the end, Rhodes tries to set up Cross Rhodes, but Miz counters. Miz ends up locking in the Figure Four to get the submission win.
Winner - The Miz
With the way my feed was behaving, hard to get a good feel for what went on in this one. Simple enough pre-show match, I suppose.
They rejoin the panel for some final comments. They reveal the number one extreme moment as the end of the Cena/Lesnar match at last year's event.
Barrett refers to this night as a hospital night. O'Neil suggests that some titles will be changing hands tonight. Foley says either you like Extreme rules or you don't. Young also mentions the post-show for after tonight's event. You could hear JBL being introduced in the background right before the feed went, and he got a big pop.
I liked the format of the pre-show, but I haven't a clue what was going on technically.
Extreme Rules Main Show, Live at the ScottTrade Center in St. Louis, MO.
We open the show with video packages that focus on the WWE Championship match between John Cena and Ryback and the cage match between Triple H and Brock Lesnar. The announcers check in and it's JBL, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler tonight. Cole puts over the attendance of 17,529.
Match #1 - Chris Jericho vs. Fandango (w/Summer Rae)
The first big spot is when Jericho leaps from the top rope onto Fandango out on the floor. Jericho plays up to the fans from the Spanish announce table. Jericho tries a roll-up off the ropes, but it seems like he lost his grip or something, or migh have been covering a blown spot.
Fandango gets a run of offense. He leaves Jericho laid out and goes up for the top rope leg drop, but Jericho rolls out of the way. Fandango crashes and burns. Jericho hits a Lionsault for a good near fall. Jericho locks in the Walls a short time later, but Fandango is able to get to the ropes to break it.
The end comes when Fandango tries another top rope move. Jericho is ready for him and hits him with the Codebreaker to pick up the victory.
Winner - Chris Jericho
This was a good opener despite that one clunky spot on the roll-up. Cole didn't exactly sell this being Fandango's first loss very well either. I'm good with the outcome too, since Jericho put Fandango over at Mania and Fandango can always get the win back somewhere down the road.
Josh Mathews talks to Sheamus. Sheamus says Mark Henry will find out tonight what happens when the Celtic Warrior gets extreme.
The announcers talk about the WWE Championship match coming up later and feed it into footage from Raw. The Shield attacked Cena, then Ryback came out to pick the bones and hit Cena's bad foot with a steel chair.
Match #2 - Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Dean Ambrose (The Shield); WWE United States Championship
Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns enter through the crowd. Rollins and Reigns bump fists with Ambrose then retreat to the concourse.
Ambrose grabs the early advantage. He locks Kofi in a cross face chicken wing and lays back. Kingston eventually frees himself and hits the Boom Drop. He cues up Trouble in Paradise, but Ambrose backs into the corner to avoid it. Kofi hits the SOS instead for a near fall.
Kingston goes up top but Ambrose stops that with a shot to the head. They battle on the ropes and fight for position. Ambrose hits a double-underhook superplex for a near fall of his own. Kingston is able to hit Trouble In Paradise, but Ambrose is on the apron and that sent him to the floor.
Kingston runs out to get Ambrose back in the ring. JBL scolds Kofi on commentary for not taking the count-out victory there. Kofi covers but Ambrose breaks the count up by grabbing the ropes.
Kingston hits a kick, but misses with Trouble in Paradise on the follow-up. Ambrose hits his headlock driver finisher to get the win. Rollins and Reigns run out to celebrate with him.
Winner - Dean Ambrose to become the new WWE US Champion
The male demographic was fully behind this change. It was a fair match, but these guys' timing seemed to be just a little bit off. They'll have better matches going forward, but this was solid.
We get a plug for the WWE app and the announcers move into talking about the Mark Henry vs. Sheamus feud.
Match #3 - Mark Henry vs. Sheamus; Strap Match Rules
There are red and green lights set up on the ring posts. They light red for Henry, and green for Sheamus when they touch each corner.
Sheamus snaps the strap to catch Henry off guard. Henry stands on the strap in response, but Sheamus yanks it out from under him.
Later on, Henry picks Sheamus up on his shoulders and starts going to corners. Sheamus is also touching corners and Henry is unaware. He slams Sheamus down in response. The official waves off the touches.
Sheamus eventually manages to get to three corners. Henry recovers and scoops Sheamus up for a slam. Sheamus counters out and hits the Brogue Kick and hits the final corner to pick up the win.
Winner - Sheamus
The live fans enjoyed it, but it was somewhat forgettable to me. As a viewer, the lights felt distracting, but I assume it helped the live crowd follow along so I'll not gripe too much.
AJ is on the phone with Dolph. Kaitlyn walks up and mocks her for being crazy. Kaitlyn walks away, then turns around and attacks. Tamina and the Bellas watch on, eating fruit, while the officials pull AJ and Kaitlyn apart.
Kaitlyn is the face, right?
We get an ad for the Wrestlemania DVD before our next match.
Match #4 - Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter); Number One Contender to Dolph Ziggler's World Heavyweight Championship under I Quit Rules
As Swagger and Colter come out, Zeb cuts a politically themed promo. He complains about the number of foreign players on the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. Two women are able to be seen in the frame that are hilariously upset at this, and one looks like she's going to fall asleep.
Del Rio gets a quick start. He gets a kendo stick out from under the ring. Swagger gets run into the ring steps and gets cut on his shoulder. He wipes the blood off then licks his hand. Swagger sells his other shoulder early as Del Rio works toward the Cross Arm Breaker.
Del Rio locks the hold on over the ropes. The referee asks if Swagger wants to quit but Swagger says no. He takes the mic and hits Del Rio with it to break the hold. A bit later, Swagger ends up on the second rope, back to the ring.. Del Rio beats him with the kendo stick, then hits him with the Backstabber.
Later, Swagger gains control and locks in the Patriot Lock. Zeb tries to hit Ricardo with Ricardo's own bucket. Ricardo ducks, but Colter throws Ricardo's towel in. The official thought it was Ricardo doing the throwing and calls for the bell. Another official runs out and explains, so they go to replay. They watch the replay, the determine the match needs to be restarted.
After the restart, Del Rio quickly gets Swagger in the Cross Arm Breaker. Swagger tries to roll out and counter, but Del Rio hangs on. Eventually Swagger yells that he quits.
Winner - Alberto Del Rio to become the new Number One Contender to the World Heavyweight Championship
Pretty heavily overbooked finish here that I just didn't really get into. My guess is that the controversial finish will translate into Colter arguing for either another triple-threat scenario or a rematch for the position.
Josh Mathews interviews Ryback. He says he should have been WWE Champion six months ago. He says that things will change tonight because Ryback Rules.
Match #5 - Kane and Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns (The Shield); WWE Tag Team Championship, Tornado Tag Match Rules
Cole points out that Team Hell No has held the tag team titles for 245 days. JBL asks Cole if he's trying to jinx them. The crowd is kind of flat for this one in the early going but they do pick up as the action continues.
Kane and Bryan dominate early. The crowd really gets hot for a suicide dive that Bryan hits to the outside on both members of The Shield. Action moves back inside, and Kane hits a top rope clothesline followed by a top rope headbutt from Bryan. Bryan goes for a cover but Reigns breaks it up.
Bryan locks Reigns in the No Lock, but Rollins hits a clothesline on Kane on the top rope then breaks up the submission hold. Kane hits Rollins with a chokeslam. A bit later on, Reigns hits his spear on Kane, but can't quite put him away.
The finish comes when Reigns puts Bryan in the torture rack position. Rollins goes up and hits Bryan with a knee/foot to the head. Reigns covers for the pinfall victory. Dean Ambrose comes out afterward and the three celebrate and pose with their title belts.
Winners - Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns to win the WWE Tag Team Championship
They really didn't need the stipulation in this one. It was a good match that could have used a little more time. I'm surprised the internet is still intact with The Shield picking up title gold tonight.
Renee Young, Wade Barrett, Titus O'Neil and Mick Foley check in for a moment at the pre-show podium. They talk about The Shield winning and hype up the post-show on WWE.com after the event.
Match #6 - Randy Orton vs. Big Show; Extreme Rules Match
Orton gets a rousing hometown ovation and smiles in response. He gets off to a fast start in this one and has the fans firmly behind him. Show catches up to him though and slows the pace down quite a bit. He sets a ladder between two chairs and hits a side slam for two.
Show puts Orton on the ladder and tries a Vader Bomb in the corner. Orton rolls out of the way and Show eats the ladder. The official tosses out the ladder and one of the chairs. Orton hits the elevated DDT from the top rope on Show.
Orton comes up holding the shoulder. He looks to the fans and gets them going and hits his Viper pose. He hears voices, and hits Show with the RKO. The fans count along but Show kills their momentum as he kicks out in two in a good near fall.
Later, Orton hits the RKO again, this time onto a chair. That doesn't get the job done either as Show kicks out. Show is down and Orton teases setting up for a third RKO. He shakes his head and flashes a devilish smile at the fans. He backs up and hits Show with his punt kick, which is enough to finish Show off.
Winner - Randy Orton
This was good. Orton played into the hometown fans well and his gestures and facial expressions kept them going. Nice tease of the punt kick too, with Orton teasing a third RKO before hitting it.
We get a recap of the Cena/Ryback story in video form.
Match #7 - John Cena (c) vs. Ryback; WWE Championship, Last Man Standing Rules
Ryback dominates the early going. Cena gets some offense in, but Ryback knocks him down with a clothesline and then hits shoulder blocks in the corner. Cena gets a hope spot when he lifts his feet up into a charging Ryback. Ryback catches Cena off the ropes though and slams him down hard.
Ryback shakes the ropes and trys to heel up with the fans but there's not much reaction. The official counts any time one of the men is down. The announcers give us a replay of Ryback hitting a powerbomb-style slam on Cena. Cena tries the AA, but Ryback avoids it and hits another slam.
The two men exchange punches, and Cena gets the better of the exchange. He hits a shoulder block, but on the second Ryback catches him and hits a fall-away slam into a table set up in the corner of the ring.
Later, the two men battle mid-ring. Cena gets the better of the exchange and hits a powerbomb on Ryback. Cena stumbles to his feet and retreats to a corner while the official counts. Ryback gets up at eight.
About 11 minutes in, Ryback hits a clothesline. He cues up a second but Cena ducks it and trips him. Cena locks on the STF. Cole is sure to point out there's no submissions in the match. Ryback eventually acts as if he's out in the hold.
Cena goes out to get a table. Ryback recovers and the two fight. Cena fights him off and hits the AA through the table. Both men get to their feet again. This time, Cena goes up top but gets caught up there.
Ryback hits Shellshocked. The crowd seems into this, but they didn't respond to Ryback hitting his finisher. He yells, and gets a few boos. Cena manages to make it to his feet at nine. Ryback drags Cena to the ring post and gets a chair.
Ryback can't use the chair though because Cena kicks it into him. Cena recovers and hits a spear through the timekeeper area. They get to their feet and fight out on the floor. Ryback uses a piece of the arena's hockey board on Cena.
Cena locks on a sleeper. He lets it go once Ryback falls to the floor. Cena puts Ryback on a table where two guys are typing. He pushes the laptops away and goes up into the bottom bowl of the arena and jumps onto Ryback, driving him through the table.
Ryback gets to his feet again. This time, Cena sprays him with a fire extinguisher repeatedly. He then holds it over his head, charges, and hits Ryback with it. Rinse and repeat a second time. Cena gets up and cues the AA, but Ryback slips out. He picks Cena up and drives him through the lights on the stage.
Both men disappear behind the lights. The official sells it by acting confused and surprised. He runs backstage to find both men down and being tended to already. Ryback is on the ground, and Cena is laying on a single bar, which he falls off of.
Ryback is helped away by a trainer and an official. Cena gets a neck brace and the trainers and officials put him on a stretcher. For some reason, the arena starts chanting for Foley. Cena is wheeled off.
Match ends as an apparent no-contest, Cena retains.
Not a pleasing finish, but it's a finish I like. The two worked a long, violent match and that spot was done well to look impressive. No big pyro burst, nothing overdone.
The story being told here is obviously that this is far from over. WWE REALLY needs to get some serious heat on Ryback for starters. He was getting no reaction. Also, Cena needs to treat it seriously - if he does that, this can make money.
The announcers talk about what we just saw. JBL says that "we get carried away sometimes" and admits that things just went too far. Cole walks us through the footage again. Lawler agrees that things did go too far tonight.
We get a video package to set up the main event.
Before the main event, the announcers tell us this is a new cage specifically designed for this match. It's about a foot higher and reinforced. The announcers make their picks as to who will win, and Lawler says Triple H has more to lose than Brock does.
Match #8 - Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Triple H
Justin Roberts introduces the main event. He says the only way to win is by pinfall, submission, or escape the cage with both feet touching the floor. Brock is introduced and he and Paul Heyman make their way to ringside.
Triple H isn't going to wait for entrance music though. He runs out and attacks Brock from behind at ringside. He batters him around at ringside, then throws him in the cage. He jumps off the ropes and attacks.
Trips throws Lesnar into the cage a couple times then hits him with a spinebuster. JBL talks about Matt Hughes being seated behind the announcers and there to support Lesnar. Lesnar sells a knee injury after he tries a running knee that Trips avoids. Lesnar crashes knee-first into the cage.
Brock hits a running slam and yells about his knee. "Oh, my knee, Paul!" Triple H targets the knee now. The fans cheer for Triple H, but between spots they're kind of sitting on their hands like in the previous two matches they had.
Lesnar locks on the kimura lock, but Trips goes after the bad knee to break it up. Lesnar hits a clothesline and Heyman tells the official to open the door. Lesnar limps for the corner, but Trips clips him.
Trips makes a play for the door, but Heyman shoves the official out of the way and slams the door on Triple H's head. Brock takes advantage, hitting the F5 but only getting a two count out of it.
Heyman can be heard asking "what do we do?" Brock asks for a chair. Heyman retrives it and feeds it into the cage. Lesnar hits Trips on the back with it. He tells Heyman his knee is really bad but Heyman tells him to shake it off. Cole gets upset over Heyman's answer.
This is interesting. Are they setting up some sort of face turn for Lesnar with this ongoing "shake it off" dialogue with Heyman? It plays into the point Trips made about Heyman losing his meal ticket last week. Maybe someone attacks Lesnar by the end of this?
Trips keeps working the leg of Lesnar. He slaps on the figure four leg lock. Heyman yells at Lesnar to not tap. Lesnar eventually is able to roll the figure four over into an Indian death lock and put the pressure on Triple H. Lesnar gets up on one leg and climbs up the ropes. Triple H has opportunity to exit, but instead hits Lesnar in the bad leg with a chair.
Trips climbs to the top rope and smiles. He pulls out a silver sledgehammer that was at the top of the cage. Brock sweeps his legs out, knocking Trips off the ropes. Lesnar gets the sledge but can't use it. Trips knocks it away and locks Brock in the sharpshooter.
Heyman pleads with Lesnar to get out of the hold. Heyman decides to enter the cage and charges at Triple H. Trips releases the hold and hits Heyman with the Pedigree. Lesnar grabs the sledge and goes to use it but he gets a kick and a Pedigree too. Lesnar kicks out in a good near fall here.
Trips gets the sledge. Heyman hits a low blow on him though. Lesnar can be heard saying "that's my manager." Brock sells the knee injury and uses the ropes to stand. He grabs the sledgehammer and slams it into Trips.
Lesnar gets to his feet and holds his arms up. The fans boo him. Lesnar hobbles over to Triple H and lets out this primal scream. The announcers beg the question if Brock should have just left the cage. Lesnar hits Trips with the F5 and pins him to pick up the win. Afterward, Lesnar places the sledgehammer on Trips and leaves. JBL says that the message is if you live by the sword you die by the sword.
Winner - Brock Lesnar
The announcers talk briefly then turn it over to the panel that is hosting the post-show. Triple H is getting attention from the trainers, then he crawls to the ropes. The announcers walk through the replay of Lesnar hitting the F5 to win, then Heyman raising Brock's hand on the stage. Trips manages to roll out of the ring and gets helped to the back as his music plays. He gets a polite ovation to end the show.
This was a strange match, but it was compelling. I liked it. They seemed to tease a face turn for Lesnar there for a while with Heyman egging him on with the knee injury. It would have come far too soon but it definitely would have been a shocker. Maybe this is just seeds for a future change.
The end result left the fans quiet. No real heat on Lesnar for winning, nor any real response to him limping to the back. Not even really that much response to Triple H as he made his exit either.
Overall, the show was pretty newsworthy. The Shield picked up two titles. Cena and Ryback fought to what amounts to a draw, so that story should go to the next level. This show wasn't red hot, but it wasn't full of filler and garbage that no one would ultimately care about. It was a solid pay per view event with some title changes and some surprising finishes.
Be sure to tune in for our live Raw coverage tomorrow night for all the fallout. Thanks for following along tonight.