Extreme Rules – A WWE Raw PPV Recap

Woohoo!  Let’s get Extreme! I doubt my crazy predictions will come true but maybe there’s a small glimmer of hope.

The Miz Vs Dean Ambrose

Michael Cole keeps mentioning that Dean has been holding the IC Championship longer than any other title holder in the WWE.  He’s losing it tonight, mark my words.

Ref John Cone really cares about Dean.  He stops him from using a chair against Miz to keep him from losing via DQ. He’s so thoughtful.

Later in the match, Miz tries for a Superplex. Dean manages to slip out and tries for a powerbomb.  Miz rips the top turnbuckle pad, revealing the dreaded, incredibly tiny, steel circle holding the ropes.  Not realizing this happened, Dean tries to send Miz into the corner.  Ol’ Saint John Cone sees this and stops Dean from the accidental DQ at the last second.

Here’s where it gets screwy. Maryse slaps Miz to draw a DQ, blantantly in front of Cone. Cone ejects Maryse.  She argues with the ref.  Miz capitalizes and throws Dean into Cone while his back is turned sending him tumbling out of the ring.  Like a jilted lover, Cone thinks that Dean did it on purpose.  Dean pleads while Cone slowly circles the ring towards the time keepers area.  Miz sees his opportunity and hits a Skull Crushing Finale.  Cone forgets the slight and slides back in the ring for the 3-count. Miz is your new Intercontinental champion.

I loved this match until the end.  Such a screwy finish.

Noam Dar and Alisha Fox Vs Rich Swann and Sasha Banks

This match goes exactly like you think it might.  The cruisers do their thing, but eventually Fox and Banks want to destroy each other and start fighting on the outside.  Perhaps it’s just Banks playing to Fox’s strengths, but it looked too much like a Diva’s fight than an actual wrestling match most of the time.  At one point, Banks gets to the top rope.  Noam sees that his love is in danger and pushes Alisha out of the way, eating a double knee from the top rope in the process.  It’s significant becuase it’s intergender wrestling that’s not just a slap.  It’s the real deal.

Rich Swann uses this and pulls Noam back in the ring.  He heads up top and hits a beautiful Phoenix Splash.  Rich Swann pins Noam Dar for the win.

Elias Samson Drifts In

He just shows up to sing a song about how Baltimore bathes in filth.  No impromptu match.  He’s just there to draw EXTREME heat.  And he succeeds.

Bayley Vs. Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women’s Championship in a Kendo Stick Match

Alexa retains with a DDT. This was as disappointing as I feared.  Thankfully it was mercifully short.

The rules were all screwy here.  They made a big deal to mention that the first person to pull down the kendo stick could legally use it in the match. Bayley clearly pulled it down but it didn’t seem to matter. Alexa smacked the shit out of Bayley and no one seemed to care.  Everyone except the ref.  He looked like every shot to Bayley was a shot to him.  Maybe he was suffering from too much empathetic pain to disqualify Alexa?  Or maybe he was just as confused about the rules as I was.

The Hardy Boyz Vs Sheamus and Cesaro

It’s a steel cage match.  I’ll spare you my rant on the cage door that will be opened for anyone that wants it.  Just know that I’m a fan of always having to crawl out the top of the cage.

The big thing here is that both members of your team have to have both feet on the floor at the same time in order to win.  Like the Ambrose IC title length stat and unlike the Kendo Stick match rules, this will come in handy later.

The first part of the match seemed a little boring to me.  It really picked up when Jeff was able to climb out of the cage and reach the floor.  Matt got pulled back inside and, despite his best efforts, suffered the wrath of Sheamus and Cesaro.  He ate a particularly brutal White Noise from the top rope.

Jeff tries to help out and open the door for his brother to escape.  Sheamus notices this and Brogue Kicks the door into Jeff’s face.  Matt is able to hold them off with two Twist of Fates, but it’s not enough.  Jeff comes to, climbs the cage, and hits a Whisper in the Wind.  His spot monkey addiction has taken hold.  Everyone is on the ground and they all slowly come to, except for Jeff.  Matt realizes that this is the opportunity and starts dragging Jeff to the door.  Sheamus and Cesaro start hurrying to climb the cage.  It’s close, but Matt is too late.  He’s not able to drag out Jeff in time.

Sheamus and Cesaro are your new WWE Raw Tag Team Champions!

Does this lead to a split with the Hardy’s?  Is Matt becoming broken?  I hope so…

Austin Aries Vs Neville in a Submission Match

I was skeptical going into this matchup.  We’ve seen it several times before and I was unsure how this outing would be any different.  I was unsure how a Submission match would make this fresh.

Somehow, being one of the more tame stipulations on the card, it seemed like the most brutal to me.  Perhaps it’s because A-Double and Neville are great at selling their respective submission finishers.

Aries did get Neville to tap out to a Last Chancery, but it was outside the ring.  It doesn’t count.

Neville regains control and gets Aries back in the ring.  He heads up top and hits a Red Arrow to his back, sufficiently weakening him to tap out to the Rings of Saturn almost instantly.  Neville retains.

The big question is who is Neville’s next challenger?  What’s next for Austin Aries?  These are the things that I want to know.

Fatal 5 Way for the #1 Contendership for the Universal Championship

Roman starts this match just hanging out in “his yard” while the others fight.  I realized the best way to position someone to face Lesnar is to beat Roman clean.  Let’s see if that happens.

There’s some great psychology in this match.  My favorite is the temporary alliance of Bray Wyatt and Samoa Joe.   Bray keeps toying with Joe.  Is this the moment in the match where he turns on Joe?  No.  But maybe now?  The uneasiness of Joe is palpable throughout the entire match.  He needs Bray to keep the other three from dominating but he knows that Wyatt is unpredictable.  Good storytelling.

Some great spots:

  • Joe intercepted Roman who was attempting a drive-by on Bray Wyatt.  There’s a lot of Joe out-of-nowhere, it seems.
  • Joe and Bray both do sentons on top of chairs on top of Bálor.
  • Bálor goes nuts and starts hitting everybody with chairs.
  • Roman spearing Joe and Bálor through the barricade.
  • Rollins hitting a frog splash on Bray to collapse the Spanish announce table.

And one terrible spot:

  • Seth hits the buckle bomb but Roman bounces out of it and hits a Superman Punch like he did on Raw on Monday.  I’m not sure if that makes Seth an idiot for trying the same move again or if the spot really is that idiotic?

The match started slow for me but I love it by the time it reaches the conclusion.  Bálor hits up the dropkick in the corner to Roman, goes up top, and hits the Coup de Grace.  But before he can cover Roman, Samoa Joe appears out of nowhere and locks the Coquina Clutch on Finn.  Finn can’t take it and taps out.  Samoa Joe is your new #1 Contender!

I love that they went with this option, but I don’t like that he might get squashed next month.  That’s a story for another time though.  Hopefully Joe will look like a million bucks in that match.