WWE Extreme Rules 2017 Review

Kickoff: Apollo Crews vs Kalisto

This match got announced at the very last minute. It actually has some potential to be a fun match though. It starts off well with some nice athletic moves from Kalisto but he gets caught trying one springboard too many. Then, annoyingly, there is an advert break. Please stop doing this, it is incredibly fucking frustrating. Back in the ring we get some more fun wrestling before a miscommunication between Apollo and Titus O'Neal allows Kalisto to pick up the win with a Salida Del Sol. This was possibly the best non-WrestleMania kickoff match in a while, I'm not 100% sure as I forget kickoff matches easily. ***

Intercontinental Title, If Dean Gets Disqualified He Loses The Title - Dean Ambrose vs The Miz

Kicking off the main card with the literal antithesis of the PPV name seems like a plan. Miz starts off by trying to annoy Ambrose enough to make him lose his cool and get DQ'd. After they get that out of their system they set about having a regular back and forth match. Ambrose injures his knee coming off the top and Miz jumps on it immediately, locking in the figure four. Dean escapes and Miz goes back to the get Dean disqualified plan. He tries to get himself run into an exposed turnbuckle before Ambrose applies a figure four of his own. Miz has had enough and tells Maryse to slap him but the ref ain't having that shit and ejects Maryse. As Maryse argues with the ref Miz throws Ambrose into him. As the referee contemplates the DQ Ambrose loses his focus and eats a Skull Crushing Finale and pinfall loss. Miz is a 7 time IC champion. This had the potential to be a really good match but it was hindered by the stipulation and the fact that at 20 minutes long it outstayed it's welcome somewhat. The referee also looked like a complete moron, not the only time that would happen tonight. As it was it was a decent show opener. ***

Rich Swann & Sasha Banks vs Noam Dar & Alicia Fox

This played out pretty much exactly as I expected it to. When it was Dar vs Swann it was fun but when it was Banks vs Fox it fell apart somewhat. Even after 10+ years Alicia Fox isn't very good. It was a short match with the highlight being Sasha hitting the double knees on Dar to the outside. The faces won when Swann hit a Phoenix Splash. **

Elias Sampson plays a song for us.

Raw Women's Title, Kendo Stick On A Pole Match - Alexa Bliss vs Bayley

Well this was a strange one. The kendo stick came into play very early. Bayley chased Bliss with it but hesitated in using it allowing Bliss to take it away from her. Bliss then beat the shit out of Bayley with it, hit a DDT and pinned her. 5 minutes. It was almost a squash in how one sided it was. Bayley looked like a fucking idiot here. It was character assassination. *

Raw Tag Team Titles, Cage Match - Hardy Boyz vs Sheamus & Cesaro

This has Smackdown Here Comes The Pain rules, both men have to escape the cage and there are no pins or submissions. The Hardy's try to escape early but get cut off. Both teams use the cage as a weapon as the match builds up. There is a great looking spot where Jeff is about to escape but Cesaro grabs him by the arm leaving him dangling, only held up by the strength of Cesaro. Jeff wriggles free and escapes though. This leaves Matt on his own in the cage. Matt repeatedly tries to escape but gets thwarted at every turn. After one of his escape attempts the heels hit a double team White Noise which convinces Jeff to do something about it. He climbs to the top of the cage and, as expected, jumps off it. According to the commentary this means that he is back in the match. OK. Both teams make their escape and Shesaro climb out before the Hardy's can escape through the door. Good match even with the weird match re-entry. I can understand people being pissed at the nonsense with the rules though. ***1/2

Cruiserweight Title, Submission Match - Neville vs Austin Aries

This was a really good match that had some really weird, unnecessary issues dragging it down. I shall explain. Even though this was a submission match, where you had to win by submission, you could apparently be counted out or disqualified. Utter fucking nonsense. The crowd seemed subdued too. I'm not sure if this was due to the nonsensical nature of it or whether they just didn't give a shit. The wrestling was really good though, with both men working over body parts and attempting a variety of submissions. In the end Aries missed a suicide dive which allowed Neville to hit the Red Arrow and apply the Rings of Saturn for the win. It was a different kind of match for the cruiserweight division but I liked it. It would have been far better if the rules made any sense though. ***1/2

Number 1 Contenders Match, Extreme Rules - Seth Rollins vs Samoa Joe vs Bray Wyatt vs Finn Balor vs Roman Reigns

Finn Balor isn't wearing the Demon paint tonight. The match starts with everyone except Reigns brawling on the floor, with Reigns just standing alone in the ring looking smug. It's great. The match quickly finds a structure where Joe and Wyatt work together to take out all of the other wrestlers. They do a lot of the early work. They use the ring steps to take everyone out. They then roll Balor in to the ring and work him over with a chair, both of them hitting chair assisted sentons. Balor fights back and Reigns wakes up to make a fightback. Joe pulls him out of the ring though and Wyatt gives him a uranage on to the announce table. Rollins hits a double blockbuster on Joe and Wyatt. He then hits a suicide dive on Joe and goes for one on Wyatt but Wyatt pulls Joe into its path. Rollins hits a falcon arrow on Wyatt for 2. Joe breaks up a pin attempt by Wyatt and he is not best pleased by Wyatt's actions. The 2 of them go at it. Joe reverses a Sister Abigail into a Coquina Clutch, which Balor breaks up with a chair. He then hits a brutal looking kick on Reigns and dropkicks Wyatt and Joe into the barricades. He then sets up Wyatt on the announce table but Joe puts him in a sleeper. Reigns returns again to spear them both through the barricade. Rollins takes advantage of the situation and splashes Wyatt through the announce table from the top rope. He starts to favour his injured knee after this. Rollins and Reigns are the only 2 standing in the ring and they go at it. Rollins hits a buckle bomb on Reigns who no sells it and hits a superman punch. Balor counters a spear attempt with a slingblade, then hits the shotgun dropkick and Coup de Grace. His pinfall attempt is broken up by Joe, who applies the Coquina Clutch and forces Balor to pass out. We have Joe vs Lesnar at Great Balls Of Fire. This was an excellent main event where all of the competitors worked incredibly hard to overcome the usual pitfalls of the multi-man format. Reigns did his lying on the outside for extended periods of time thing that he did at a previous Royal Rumble but it didn't harm the quality of the match. ****1/2

Overall Grade - B/B-

The main event was a superb way to end the show and the finish was brilliantly done. The undercard was a mixed bag though, which wasn't helped whatsoever by the the weird rules and the way the referees just looked stupid. Also, if referees were always this shit WWE would kayfabe fire the lot of them.