WWE gets extreme on this first Sunday in June as they bring us the “Extreme Rules” pay per view event, live from Baltimore, MD and Royal Farms Arena. The show will air live on WWE Network and pay per view outlets starting at 7PM EST with the kickoff show and 8PM with the card proper. Championships will be decided in stipulation matches, but the main event features five men battling in an Extreme Rules match for the right to go on and face the Beast, Brock Lesnar. The advertised card is as follows:
- Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Seth Rollins; Extreme Rules Fatal Five-Way match to determine who will face Brock Lesnar
- Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Bayley; Raw Women’s Championship, Kendo Stick on a Pole match
- The Hardy Boys (c) vs. Sheamus and Cesaro; Raw Tag Team Championship, Steel Cage Match
- Dean Ambrose (c) vs. The Miz (w/Maryse); WWE Intercontinental Championship, if Ambrose is disqualified he loses the title.
- Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries; WWE Cruiserweight Championship, Submission match
- Rich Swann and Sasha Banks vs. Noam Dar and Alicia Fox; Mixed Tag match
- Kalisto vs. Apollo Crews – Pre-Show Match
It’s Renee Young, Sam Roberts, and David Otunga on the pre-show panel. Otunga’s got a beard. They talk about the show, and Sam Roberts says he’s surprised at how much abuse the talent will put themselves through for our entertainment. Charly Caruso checked in to hype that she will be hosting a Twitter Q&A with the Hardys.
The panel hyped WWE Network and all that viewers can get with a 30-day trial. When I was getting on the Network, it kept trying to say I wasn’t a current subscriber. Uh, sorry, WWE…been paying since day one.
The panel set up a video package for the Intercontinental Championship match, then they discussed it. Otunga said Ambrose has to change his style to keep the title. He said Miz found a way to shift the rules in his favor. Roberts said that Miz will strategically put things in place to win the title and won’t care if the fans aren’t happy or not. He added that a champion has to be aware of when a challenger has stacked the odds in their favor and needs to maintain his composure. They made predictions, but put Renee on the spot (they’re married, so, yeah…) and she said Ambrose would win. Roberts picked the Miz, calling him the most strategic in the ring.
They hyped Crews vs. Kalisto for the pre-show then Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss, which they would preview next.
Back with the panel, they previewed Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley with a video package. Please, please, don’t show the “this is your life…” segment. Oh, shit, they did. They just cut the rest of the garbage. Nia Jax joined commentary to help with the preview. Jax has “all faith in her” to win and said she has a lot of fury in her “five stack,” then said it would take a miracle for Bayley to win and lacks the extremeness in her. “How much extremeness does a girl who dresses like a 12-year old, and wears a side ponytail and a training bra to the ring really have?”
Jax is extremely wooden with this, at least in my opinion, and they keep rounding back to “she doesn’t belong here” in regard to Bayley. She said that whoever wins is just keeping the title warm for her, but she’d prefer to face Alexa. They tried to make predictions but Jax cut Roberts off from what he was saying. This was as bad as the “this is your life” segment in terms of selling the match. Well, nothing can be that bad, I suppose.
They showed fans still waiting to get in, then previewed the Cruiserweight Championship match with a video package. In strong contrast, Neville and Aries’ voice-over work for this package is very good here and the production gives this a big fight feel. The panel asked how unstoppable Neville then discussed Aries’ use of his Last Chancery submission previously in other matches. They noted the use of submission work in this match and how the fans would get to see a different side of cruiserweight talent. The panel made predictions, with both men picking Neville.
They previewed the mixed tag match and recapped the history of how it got built. The panel noted that Sasha got involved in a dramatic situation and that’s how she’s ended up in this spot. Otunga compared this to soap opera stars working against two wrestlers who can go. Roberts picked Sasha and Rich Swann to win and dance again.
They showed the Hardys getting ready to talk to Charly Caruso in the back.
Q&A time in the Social Media Lounge with the Hardys and Charly Caruso. Matt said they’re ready and a steel cage is an extreme match and that’s their element. A fan asked why they came back, and Matt said it was the right time and they were ready to come back. Jeff said they wanted to end their careers end where it started. A fan asked why they chose the cage, and Jeff said he loves cage matches. A fan asked if they had anything to say before the match. Jeff said if it doesn’t happen tonight, it won’t happen. Matt said it’s their last chance, and they’re going to move on to the next challengers.
The panel discussed the match. Otunga said he thinks the Hardys have a plan and there’s more to it. Roberts said the question keeps popping up is if the Hardys have won every match, and proposed it could be the night tonight for them to lose. Split decision on the predictions – with Roberts going with Sheamus and Cesaro, and Otunga picking the Hardys.
Match #1 – Kalisto vs. Apollo Crews (w/Titus O’Neil);
The Reax: Cole, Booker, and Corey checked in for the call. Cole said it was good to see Otunga and Booker just said “yeah it is.” Booker is taking his place at present, remember? Entrances took place for the match. They recapped the match between Titus and Kalisto on Raw that Titus won with the tights. A decent reaction for Apollo, after he worked the crowd. They’re still filing in.
Crews got Kalisto down with a go-behind, but Kalisto came back with an arm drag of his own. Early stalemate. Crews got Kalisto down and locked in a headlock, then Kalisto escaped. The crowd applauded it. Kalisto floated over a corner charge then ate a drop kick after a rope running sequence. The crowd got into it.
Kalisto did a headstand and backed into a huracanrana then hit a spinning leg scissor takedown, then another big move to the outside. The crowd popped for that nice series of moves. Kalisto set up for a springboard move but Crews met him with a kick. They ran a WWE Network ad.
Back live, Crews used a delayed vertical suplex and got two. Fans booed Titus playing to them at ringside. Crews looked for a slam but Kalisto floated over and rolled him up. Crews fired back with a clothesline for two. Kalisto fired back with kicks and a sunset flip for two. Crews hit an elbow for two, then bickered with O’Neil.
Kalisto fired back with kicks and a springboard corkscrew move before hitting a face first move that got him two. Booker said O’Neil needed to step back and let Crews do his work. Kalisto looked for Salida Del Sol, but Crews countered. After some jockeying, Kalisto used a small package for two. More back-and-forth led to a big spike DDT for two for Kalisto.
Kalito sprung off to Crews, who caught him for a Samoan Drop for two. Good sequence. Titus bickered at Crews, who went to hit his standing shooting star press for two. O’Neil got on the apron and “coached” Crews, who kept asking what he should do. Kalisto got between them and hit Salida del Sol while he kicked O’Neil to get the win.
This was a good pre-show match. The live crowd got into the offense from both men, and both men worked hard. Not the biggest fan of the Crews/O’Neil pairing, but it told the story between Crews and O’Neil anyhow so I’ll not be too hard on it here. I’d like to see Crews get a push on his own.
The panel hyped WWE Network some more, then turned their focus to the Fatal Five Way match that will determine Brock Lesnar’s next opponent. Kurt Angle joined the panel to discuss the match. He said this match could change the course of the new era, and said the man who wins is having to beat four other men, so that man should have a chance to beat Lesnar. He said no one can worry about injuries because they happen. Angle said everyone wants a claim to be the number one contender but they all have checked their egos at the door.
Otunga asked Angle about facing Lesnar, and Angle said he’s a force of nature. He put over his accomplishments and said the only way to beat him is to wear him down. “It takes a lot to knock him down and beat him.” Angle said he likes Samoa Joe and thinks he will win tonight. Angle put Rollins over as one of the best, but said Joe is hungry and will eventually get his shot. They made predictions – Otunga chose Wyatt, Angle chose Joe, and Roberts chose Rollins.
Time to go live with the pay per view as Renee checked out for them.
WWE “Extreme Rules” Pay Per View, Live from Royal Farms Arena, Baltimore, MD:
The show opened with a video package that focused on the various feuds and stipulations of the matches. They closed the package by focusing on the five men who will engage in the Extreme Rules Fatal Five Way match, saying one of them could change the course of the New Era. We’ve been hearing a lot of that New Era talk of late…
Crowd seems pretty healthy for this show. They seem loud and into the show as it opened with pyro. Cole, Graves, and Booker on the call as we opened with the Intercontinental Championship.
Match #1 – Dean Ambrose (c) vs. The Miz (w/Maryse); WWE Intercontinental Championship, if Ambrose gets DQ’d the title changes hands.
Winner: The Miz to win the Intercontinental Championship
The Reax: The commentary team made jokes about the pyro going off and Booker said he felt like a rotisserie. Miz made his entrance then they recapped the feud again with a video package. Well, that’s one way to stretch a show out. Ambrose made his entrance and Cole gave him the kiss of death by mentioning his title run length.
Booker called Miz “another circumstance” when it came to winning titles by disqualification. The two worked some early chain wrestling as the commentary team said the key was for Ambrose to keep his emotions in check while Miz needed to irritate him. They called Ambrose “crazy like a fox” then wished Harley Race well as he recovered from a fall.
They went through a sequence of Miz slapping Ambrose then Ambrose attacking Miz in the corner. Ambrose fired off with chops and a big elbow then sent Miz to the floor with a clothesline. Ambrose followed with a suicide dive on the outside. Ambrose threw Miz into the barrier then drove Miz to the apron of the ring. He broke the count then got a chair.
Ambrose dropped it, then Maryse got in the middle of things. Miz got the chair and teased using it, then dropped it when Ambrose caught him. He fell as if Ambrose hit him (viva la raza!) but no DQ. They worked back in, and Miz hit a DDT on the apron to get a two count.
The two exchanged strikes in the ring, with Ambrose getting the better of it. He tried the Wacky Line, but Miz countered and hit a neckbreaker. The fans rallied behind Ambrose, but Miz draped him on the rope and hit a boot. Miz worked a neck vise. Ambrose worked out with a headbutt, but Miz caught him with a knee to the midsection then a big boot for two.
Ambrose worked some mule kicks to the legs to try and break a stretch, but Miz ripped Ambrose down by the hair then threw punches. Miz stared at the fans, who booed, then hit three running drop kicks then hit his running corner clothesline spot. Corey said Miz made the drop kicks famous. Daniel Bryan would like to have a word. Miz went top rope.
Ambrose countered with a Dirty Deeds setup, which Miz countered to try for the Skull Crushing Finale. Miz went top rope but got knocked to the floor. Ambrose followed with a dive of his own. Both men sold out on the floor as the official counted. Back inside, Ambrose went on a run hitting a fisherman’s suplex for two.
Miz countered a bulldog, but Ambrose ducked a kick to roll Miz up for two. A neckbreaker brought another two count. Now there’s split chants for both men. Ambrose went top rope then jumped over a charging Miz. Ambrose sold knee pain and Miz went at the leg. Ambrose tried to roll Miz up but Miz rolled through and locked in the Figure Four. Ambrose broke it in the ropes.
Miz went back to it but Ambrose cradled him for two. Ambrose went back to the buckle but Miz crotched him there. More split chants. Miz went up and joined him, trying to set up a superplex. Ambrose fought out and set Miz for a powerbomb, but Miz took the buckle pad with him. Ambrose looked to run Miz to the corner but it was the exposed buckle.
A bit later, Miz hit his Daniel Bryan kicks on a kneeling Ambrose. He wound up for the last one but Ambrose caught his leg and locked in the Figure Four and trash talked. Miz eventually broke it in the ropes and Ambrose held on for the full count before breaking it legally.
Ambrose countered a Skull Crushing Finale then hit a clothesline. Both men sold. There was a sequence where Maryse was on the apron and Miz begged her to slap him. She obliged, and the official questioned it. The fans yelled, Ambrose begged, and the official sent Maryse to the back. She didn’t completely go away, and argued with the official again.
Miz threw Ambrose into the official, and the official teased dq’ing Ambrose. As Ambrose argued with the official, Miz locked on the Skull Crushing Finale and Miz won “clean” with the pinfall. They recapped the closing sequence as Miz celebrated.
The match was good, and thank GOD they didn’t go with the finish I suspected when Maryse jumped on the apron and slapped Miz. At least they went with a pinfall. There’s an obvious rematch, which they could jump to on Raw, but here’s the hope that they build someone else to take on Miz in a long-term program. These guys were good together, but there’s no mileage left.
Charly talked to Bayley about her match with Alexa Bliss. A mixed reaction when she was introduced – interesting. Bayley said Alexa thinks a lot of things, including that her “this is your life” segment was good. She noted she has watched Sandman, Tommy Dreamer, and others as well as the Wonder Woman movie. She said that she felt empowered by that movie and she would do whatever it takes to get revenge and get back the Raw Women’s Championship.
Match #2 – Noam Dar and Alicia Fox vs. Rich Swann and Sasha Banks;
Winner: Rich Swann and Sasha Banks
The Reax: Rich Swann got a HUGE pop for being the hometown boy. Cole introduced the foreign announce teams. Mixed rules in effect as men and women will work against each other. Fox quickly tagged out to Dar to get away from Banks. Swann got some offense, avoiding a corner charge then hitting a huracanrana off the top. Swann went top rope, but Dar tagged out to avoid the move.
The two women brawled, with Sasha throwing a kick. Sasha rolled over into the Banks Statement, but Dar pulled Fox’s leg to the ropes as the official was distracted. Fox threw a big boot then took over the offense. The commentary team talked about the love story that brought us to this as Fox hit a backbreaker. Fox loaded a big boot but Sasha ducked under. Tags out to the men.
Swann fired off with some fast offense, with a spinning leg drop for two. Dar escaped a move with a roll-up pin attempt. The two fired off with strikes at each other. Swann took a shot, but came back with a wild superkick. The women broke down into a brawl that spilled outside while Dar bounced Swann off the barrier outside.
Fox sold while Sasha perched on the ropes. Dar tried to protect her, but Sasha hit him with the double knees to him out on the floor. Swann hit a Phoenix Splash in the ring to get the win. Swann and Sasha danced to celebrate in the ring.
The crowd was into Swann as the hometown guy and Sasha as a top woman. The match served its purpose and was fine for what it was. Not match of the night material, but it was solid.
Elias Samson was introduced to sing a song, and he wasn’t well received. “Hello, I am Elias Samson.” He asked who wanted to walk with Elias, and apparently no one does. He said he was walking along the harbor and watched the people, and it inspired a song. So, he sang a song, of course insulting Baltimore. Corey said his ears were assaulted by that song.
The Raw Women’s Championship was up next, and Cole set up the match with a video package.
Match #3 – Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Bayley; Raw Women’s Championship in a Kendo Stick on a Pole match;
Winner: Alexa Bliss to retain the Raw Women’s Championship
The Reax: Bayley made her entrance, then Bliss. They talked about Nia Jax’s comments on the pre-show about Bayley not being able to get extreme. More foreign announce teams introduced and they’re from everywhere. China, Russia, Japan, a “hindi” team (India, I presume?), and Portugal. I’m not good with foreign languages, but it seemed like all of them referenced the five-way match because there’s no foreign translation for Brock Lesnar. JoJo handled the introductions. Bliss with a far better reaction, as the bad guy, than Bayley.
Bliss gave Bayley the pass to go get the stick but caught her and took her down. Bayley made an early play for the stick but Bliss slapped her down. Bliss made a play but Bayley met her there to throw strikes and stop her. Bayley grabbed it, then dropped it. Both fell to the floor and sold then both chased the stick. Bayley kept her from it then ran Bliss to the barrier and followed with a belly to back suplex.
Bayley got the stick. Bliss ran scared but got cornered in the ring. Bayley paused and taunted her, so Bliss speared her out of the corner then grabbed the stick and unleashed shots. Bliss taunted a bit then wound up again, but Bayley countered with the Bayley to Belly. Bliss landed on the stick, but perched it in the corner. Bayley pulled her away then ran her into it, then hit her DDT to win. Bliss left with the title and the kendo stick and celebrated.
I kept waiting for something to happen here. This was short by all standards and pretty much all Bliss the whole way. I’m not sure how to feel about this one. One thing I do find myself hoping for is a reset for Bayley to get her character back on track. The mixed reactions she got tonight were very telling.
Match #4 – The Hardys (c) vs. Cesaro and Sheamus; Raw Tag Team Championship in a steel cage match (winning team must escape the cage);
Winner: Cesaro and Sheamus to win the Raw Tag Team Championship
The Reax: The cage got its entrance music, then the teams. Challengers first then champions. As the bell hit Cesaro and Sheamus immediately went for an escape but the Hardys kept them in. Jeff attacked Sheamus, hitting his leg drop then clotheslining him over the ropes into the cage.
Sheamus and Cesaro ran both Hardys into the cage then tried to escape, but the Hardys kept them in. After whipping Jeff into Cesaro, Matt and Sheamus tried to escape. Their teammates kept their opponents in. The Hardys trapped both opponents between the cage and the ropes and bounced their heads off of the cage, then hit stereo drop kicks against them. Poetry in Motion for both men as they were trapped between the buckle and cage.
The Hardys tried escaping, and Sheamus and Cesaro gave chase. They fought on the ropes, with Cesaro and Sheamus working Jeff’s back. A bit later, Matt tried an escape but Cesaro gave chase. Cesaro loaed Matt onto Sheamus for a rolling senton. They started to try and escape but Matt held on. The heels beat on Matt, threw Jeff into the cage then flapjacked Matt into the other side of the cage.
Jeff fought back, avoiding a flapjack by grabbing onto the cage and climbing. The heels gave chase to stop him. Sheamus worked on Matt as Cesaro tried to escape. Jeff pulled him back but took a double team from Cesaro and Sheamus.
Cesaro stood Jeff up for a Brogue Kick from Sheamus, but Jeff countered and threw Cesaro to the cage. Matt hit Sheamus with a tornado DDT. The Hardys went for the escape but the heels met them. Jeff made it to the floor, and it’s now 2 on 1 against Matt. Side effects for both heels, and Matt went for the escape.
Cesaro went to the ropes to get Matt, and Jeff gave the assist. Cesaro sent Jeff back to the floor and pulled Matt back in. They double teamed Matt with a Celtic Cross. Jeff held the door shut, then slammed it on Cesaro. Sheamus Brogue Kicked the door then tried to escape but Matt held on.
Matt and Sheamus struggled, and Matt hit a Twist of Fate on Sheamus. Matt tried for an escape but Cesaro caught him and loaded the White Noise from the ropes. They hit it, then Jeff rejoined the match to hit a Whisper in the Wind from the top of the cage. Big pop from the crowd for that one.
The crowd is into this and it seems to have built nicely. Sheamus and Cesaro exited from one side, and Matt dragged Jeff to the floor. Sheamus and Cesaro got there first. They showed a fan sitting with their head on their hands bored as they announced Sheamus and Cesaro as the winners.
At least they can’t play the “controversy” finish unless that’s where they were going and it got effed up, because clearly Sheamus and Cesaro did hit first. A solid match that built nicely to the finish, but the finish left people down. They showed a lot of reaction in the crowd and no one cared about it. It’s not that the heels winning got heat – people didn’t care. At least that’s going by the visual shots they showed. That’s a problem.
They hyped the musical act that provided the theme song then fed it to a video package to hype up the cruiserweight match.
Match #5 – Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries; WWE Cruiserweight Championship, Submission Match (must win by submission);
Winner: Neville to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
The Reax: The commentary team noted that it was Aries’ third attempt to win the title. Neville jawed at Aries before the bell. Early stalking before they tied up. Aries went with kicks, then after a tie-up Neville focused on an arm bar. Aries rolled Neville up in a submission, but he got his leg on the ropes to break it. Neville jawed at the crowd as Booker compared Aries to Dean Malenko.
They teased a test of strength, but Neville went for the leg. Aries countered with a guillotine, but Neville backed to the corner then threw some strikes. Aries floated over a charge, cartwheeled past Neville, then boxed his ears. Aries teased the Last Chancery, but Neville rolled away. Aries met him outside and whipped him hard to the barrier twice. He dropped Neville across the ring apron.
Neville rolled through and walked away from a possible dive, but Aries went top rope and dove onto Neville. Aries sold his leg, then Neville went at the leg with a dragon screw takedown. Neville locked in a leg hold to try and get the submission, but Aries kicked his way out. Neville went top rope but Aries hit a forearm that sent Neville to the floor.
Aries fired back with strikes then hit three shinbreakers before a release back suplex. Aries teased the Five-Arm but Neville got a leg up. Aries caught him and used a dragon screw of his own then tried to lock in the Figure Four. Neville kicked Aries to the floor, and the commentary team noted that he landed on the floor hard on his arm.
Neville slammed Aries’ arm on the apron then threw him in. Neville played to the crowd then threw a strike. Graves said that he has never enjoyed Neville’s work as much as he does now. Neville went top rope and in a clumsy spot Aries caught him and locked in the Figure Four. Neville first tried rolling over but they rolled through, and he eventually got to the ropes.
Aries hit a neckbreaker through the ropes then went top rope to try a missile drop kick that air mailed. Neville immediately locked in the Rings of Saturn. Aries dragged back to the ropes to get the hold broken. Fans didn’t like that, for some reason. Neville tried to lock it in again, but Aries countered with a version of his own.
Neville grabbed the official, so Aries stopped him so he didn’t DQ Neville. He turned around into a superkick. Neville perched him on the buckle and set for a superplex, but Aries countered out. Neville went back up but Aries locked in a guillotine. He sent Neville to the mat with a sunset flip bomb, then locked in the Last Chancery. Neville slipped outside then Aries locked it back in. Neville tapped but it didn’t matter.
Aries got Neville to the apron, then Neville draped Aries’ arm over the rope. Aries came back with a Five Arm then tried a dive but Neville ducked. He threw Aries in, hit the Red Arrow, then locked in the Rings of Saturn to win.
It’s “heels win all the title matches” night for WWE. This was a good match and the fans reacted to certain spots for it. The finish was a creative one, with Neville using both of his trademark moves to score the win. It seems Aries does not factor in to be the top of the division, and I can’t see how they go back to this match again as it was a pretty straight ahead finish here. Looks like TJP will end up being the next one up.
We got a promo for “Great Balls of Fire,” which is five weeks away in Dallas, TX. Cole hyped it as the first defense for Brock Lesnar since his win at Wrestlemania. It’s time for our main event, the Fatal Five Way match, to determine his contender. We got a hype package for the match.
Match #6 – Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Samoa Joe; Extreme Rules Fatal Five Way Match to determine Brock Lesnar’s next contender;
Winner: Samoa Joe
The Reax: First entrance was Bray Wyatt, then Seth Rollins. Rollins got a rousing pop, he’s Seth Freaking Rollins, after all. They recounted Rollins cashing in at Wrestlemania to win the title in the match between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar. Samoa Joe was out next, then Finn Balor, then Roman Reigns was out last. Of course to a chorus of boos.
Rules are pretty simple – there are none. First pin or submission is the winner and will go on to face Lesnar. Joe on Rollins, Balor on Wyatt. Reigns watched. The four men fought to ringside as Reigns just stood in the ring and watched on. Wyatt roughed Balor up and entered the ring to face Reigns. No one likes Reigns. The two threw strikes, then Reigns hit Wyatt with a Samoan Drop. Joe tried to load one but Reigns slipped out and hit him with one too.
Balor entered the fray, with Reigns trying to load him up too. No luck, as Balor escaped and landed on the apron. He tried a kick but Reigns blocked it and threw a punch. Rollins entered the ring and the two stared each other down. Joe and Wyatt went at Reigns, and Rollins pulled Joe off to get a piece of him. A bit later, Joe tried a dive but Rollins avoided, ducked in, and hit one of his own.
Balor stomped away on everyone and followed with a dive on Joe, Wyatt, and Rollins. Reigns came back and threw a right then threw Balor to the barrier. He roughed Balor up on the apron. Wyatt reached through the ropes to attack Reigns, who set him up for the Drive By. Joe cut him off then roughed Reigns up against the barrier. Joe and Wyatt teamed up to work on Reigns, throwing him into the steps. The crowd wanted tables.
The two hit Rollins with a piece of the steps, then Balor, then Reigns. The fans loved it, so they took a bow. Joe and Wyatt continued to team up and attack Balor. Joe threw Balor in as Wyatt kicked Rollins. They took turns throwing punches at Balor. Balor started to fight back with strikes but the two just continued to control the action. Joe thought about a cover but backed off.
More 2-on-1 offense from Joe and Wyatt until Rollins hit the ring to start attacking Wyatt. He started off with fast-moving offense with a running drop kick and a face-plant to Joe in the buckle. Rollins teased a dive, but Wyatt cut him off and followed with a DDT onto the steps. Back in the ring, Joe locked in the Coquina Clutch, but Balor flipped his way out and hit a stomp.
Wyatt hit the ring with a chair and unloaded on Balor and Reigns. He smiled at Joe then hit Balor again, then put the chair on Balor’s chest to let him hit the back senton. They set it up again for Wyatt to hit one of his own. Wyatt teased a cover, but Joe pointed at him. They perched the chair in the corner and kept the assault on Balor. Balor avoided a charge from Wyatt with a boot, then threw Joe into the chair.
Reigns hit Wyatt with a Drive By, then started to take over the offense. He hit Balor with a powerbomb then Wyatt with his clothesline corner spot. Joe splashed Wyatt then took a boot from Reigns. A bit later, Reigns called for the Superman punch but Joe dragged him out. Wyatt helped Joe out, hitting a uranage on the announce table. “One more time” chants.
Rollins got in the fray, hitting a dive to the outside. He hit both Joe and Wyatt with boots on their charges, then hit a double blockbuster. He scored the first near fall. Rollins hit a dive on Joe, then sent Wyatt to the floor. Rollins went for another dive but Wyatt shoved Joe in the path of it. Wyatt hit a uranage in the ring.
Rollins hit a falcon arrow for a two count. Rollins looked for his flying knee, but Wyatt stopped him and hit Sister Abigail. Joe hit the ring for the save, and now Joe and Wyatt went at it. Joe hit a splash and an enzugiri for two. Joe took a crash block from Wyatt off the ropes.
Wyatt looked for Sister Abigail on Joe, but he locked in the Coquina Clutch. Balor hit the ring with a chair and attacked both men, following with a double stomp on a chair on Wyatt. Chair shot to Reigns for good measure. Balor followed with a series of shotgun drop kicks to Joe, Wyatt, and Reigns. “Finn’s a one man wrecking crew right now!”
Balor repeatedly ran Wyatt’s head off the table then ripped another announce position apart. He knocked Wyatt onto the table, but Joe jumped Balor from behind to lock in the Coquina Clutch. Reigns broke that apart with a big spear through the commentary position. Rollins went top rope and frog splashed Wyatt through the table. Big series of spots right there.
Reigns and Rollins are standing, and they got in the ring. They faced off while the fans split chants for Reigns. Rollins threw punches, Reigns countered with one shot. Rollins came back with one of his own, then threw an enzugiri. Reigns hit a Superman punch for a near fall.
Reigns set for the spear, but Rollins rolled him up for two then followed with a kick for two again. Rollins went top rope for a frog splash for another two count. He ripped back the protective pad on his foot then tried the Phoenix Splash. Reigns rolled out of the way. Wyatt entered the match and tried for Sister Abigail but gave it up when Reigns tried for a spear.
He cut Reigns’ spear off with a boot then tried it on him. Reigns shoved him off and hit a spear, but Rollins grabbed him and hit a buckle bomb. Reigns came out of the corner with a Superman punch, then hit one on Balor as he charged Reigns in the corner. Reigns called for the spear again, but Balor hit a slingblade then his shotgun drop kick.
Balor went up top and hit Coup de Grace but Joe reentered the match for the Coquina Clutch on Balor. Balor went out, and Joe will be the man to go on and face Brock Lesnar. Joe stared at the hard cam momentarily then backed away to celebrate on the ramp. The commentary team recapped the highlights of the match. The camera focused on Joe as he screamed “bring me Lesnar” to end the show.
I like this. Joe is a monster, and he feels like a realistic opponent for Lesnar. Of all of the men in the ring tonight, he seems to be the least likely to be hurt by a loss to Lesnar (assuming that’s how it goes) but can physically match up size-wise with Brock. He’s also a fresh opponent – I sort of didn’t want to see Rollins in there, and I think you save Finn for a bigger match. You DEFINITELY don’t want Roman in there if the plan is to put them together again at Wrestlemania either. The match was very good too, with everyone getting their chances to shine. They also did a good job of booking Roman with what seemed like a “less is more” philosophy.
All in all, not a terrible event but not a great one either. I’d say the main event brought this event up to average for me, at best. Nothing really seemed to have heat on it. The work in the ring was mostly good (still scratching my head at Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss), and the crowd seemed into the show for the most part. I think the overall biggest issue for me is that we’ve seen the parings interact so many times on Raw before we got to tonight that it seemed, I guess, anti-climactic? Not sure how to describe it. A very weird overall feeling to this show in all.
Maybe Raw will change that tomorrow night, and I’ll be back with Raw reaction tomorrow starting at 8PM EST. See you then!
Refresh the page for all of the reaction to tonight’s broadcast.