By Long Shot contributor Tim Simko
Extreme Rules started with their traditional kickoff show, which is their show before the show. It was announced on RAW last week that The New Day would face off against Tyson Kidd and Cesaro. In addition, it has been announced that Daniel Bryan has been pulled from the match card. Instead, Bad News Barrett will face off against Neville. Neville was the longest reigning NXT champion in WWE’s developmental territory, and has been making waves since his debut on the roster. While I’m disappointed in Bryan’s absence, I am pleased to see an up and coming superstar face Bad News Barrett in what I consider a bonus match in the preshow.
Barrett made his way to the ring. He took the mic and announced he has some bad news. Daniel Bryan is not medically cleared to compete at Extreme Rules against Barrett and it’s all because of him. Barrett said Bryan isn’t man enough to face him and is terrified of losing his Intercontinental Championship. Barrett proceeded to call out Neville and Neville came out to a great ovation.
The bell rang and Barrett went for a headlock as fans chanted for Neville. Neville countered and rolled up Barrett for a two-count. Barrett sent Neville to the corner of the ring and stomped into him. Neville flipped across the ring and attempted to pin Barrett for another two-count. Barrett was sent to the floor and Neville kicked him off of the ring apron. Neville walked towards the apron as Barrett countered. He tossed Neville into the barrier as the preshow went to a commercial.
I am enjoying this pre-show bonus match, however I am not a fan of the commercials. I suppose this is the price we pay for having bonus matches.
The show came back from commercial and Barrett had Neville in the ring. Barrett blocked a counter attempt from Neville with a kick to the gut for a two-count. Barrett laid Neville on the turnbuckles in the corner and hit him repeatedly. After a series of two-counts by Barrett, he hit Neville with a backbreaker for another pin attempt. Neville started to make a comeback with kicks. Barrett went back out to the floor and Neville jumped out of the ring onto him. Neville brought Barrett back into the ring and used a suplex pin on Barrett for a two-count.
Shortly after, Barrett used his Winds of Change signature slam but Neville kicked out at two. Barrett attempted his Wasteland finisher but Neville managed to escape. The match started going back and forth as Barrett caught Neville with Wasteland for another two-count. Barrett signaled for his Bullhammer elbow finisher but Neville ducked and hit Barrett with an enziguri. Neville went to the turnbuckle for the Red Arrow finisher but Barrett countered. Barrett missed another Bullhammer attempt. Neville kicked Barrett in the head and went back to the turnbuckle and hit his Red Arrow finisher for the win.
It was a great bonus match by both competitors. Neville has a bright career ahead of him, and I hope Barrett is giving more promotion in the future as he is one of the most underrated and underutilized talents on the roster.
After some video recaps and match previews for the Pay-Per-View event, WWE’s announce team welcomed viewers to the Extreme Rules Pay-Per-View. It appears that with the absence of Bryan, The New Day’s match has been moved to the main show. Not a bad move, and this showed why wrestling promotions write “card subject to change” when they promote live events.
The 2015 WWE Extreme Rules PPV opens up with Lilian Garcia informing us that the Chicago Street Fight will open the show. We shoot to the announcers, who welcome us to the show.
Dean Ambrose made his way out to the ring for the Chicago Street Fight. Luke Harper came out next and within seconds, Ambrose started to attack him. The referee tried to stop the fighting and then rang the bell.
The match was a fast paced hardcore brawl featuring plenty of chair shots and kendo stick hits.
Ambrose went for a tornado DDT, but Harper pushed him off and shoved him face-first into a steel chair that was placed between the bottom and middle ropes.
The fans let their voices be heard, as they chanted loudly supporting Ambrose.
Sidenote: I love Chicago crowds.
The brawl made its way into the backstage area, with both Ambrose and Harper using a plethora of weapons at their disposal. They continue to fight until the fight is taken off-screen.
The camera cut to a backstage segment featuring Kane and Seth Rollins as the Chicago fans chant “CM Punk” at the top of their lungs. Is it safe to assume the Harper/Ambrose match was a no contest?
Also, I really love Chicago crowds.
Triple H basically told Kane and Rollins that Rollins is making his first defense as WWE World Heavyweight Champion and he wants to make sure Kane doesn’t mess it up. Kane assures Triple H that he will do what is best for business tonight as Chicago starts a “boring” chant.
After the segment, Ziggler’s music hit as he made his way out to the ring for the “Kiss My Arse” match. Sheamus came out next to a chorus of boos. The bell rang as Sheamus started to dominate the match. Sheamus went outside of the ring with Ziggler telling him that he’s gonna kiss his “arse” tonight.
The match has been completely one-sided, as Sheamus continued to inflict pain on Ziggler. Ziggler has spent the entire match defending himself.
Ziggler teased a comeback, but Sheamus quickly took back control.
Sheamus went for his finisher, the Brogue Kick but Ziggler avoided it. He tried to roll Sheamus up for a pin, but Sheamus kicked out at two. Ziggler rolled him up again for a pin, and won the match as Sheamus looked on in shock.
Sheamus tried to run away, dreading the idea of having to kiss Ziggler’s “arse.” He hit Ziggler out with a low blow and then Brogue Kicked him. With Ziggler unconscious, Sheamus grabbed him and put his face in his on the “arse” section of his trunks.
Although Ziggler being forced to “kiss arse” was predictable, it was nice to see Ziggler win the match. It was a great, shocking conclusion that caught the Chicago fans off guard. Also, it was interesting to see WWE keep it PG despite the stipulation. In the days before WWE went PG, we would’ve seen Ziggler’s face rubbed all over Sheamus’ bare buttocks. Sometimes, change is good.
The New Day members Kofi Kingston and Big E made their way to the ring next for their WWE Tag Team Championship match, accompanied by their teammate Xavier Woods. The crowd booed the group at the top of their lungs. As soon as WWE Tag Team Champions Tyson Kidd and Cesaro’s theme hits, the crowd’s boos change to cheers as they make their way to the ring.
Love them or hate them, Chicago is not afraid to let WWE know what they love and what they hate.
Official title match introductions were done as the match started. Kingston and Kidd started off with some back and forth action.
Cesaro and Big E tagged into the match. Big E started to get the advantage until Cesaro caught Big E with a slam that made the crowd and announcers cheer unanimously.
Big E and Kingston get in some offense, but the referee lost control of the match as an all out brawl ensued. During the pandemonium, Kingston managed to score a pinfall with a roll up.
I am disappointed to see Kidd and Cesaro lose their titles. Although they haven’t made much of an impact since winning the titles, I feel that it is mostly because of the lack of screen time and promotion that was given to the former tag team champions. Maybe this could see New Day grow into a more villainous group, and see Kidd and Cesaro transition into antiheroes. If not, maybe this could lead to a feud with the Lucha Dragons. Whatever happens, I hope this gives a shot of adrenaline to the tag team division.
The camera switched backstage to Renee Young, who asked The New Day about them winning the titles, as a car pulled in and Harper flew out of the door.
Apparently this street fight is still going on. This is interesting, I can’t remember the last time I saw something quite like this. Maybe back when the Hardcore Championship was actively defended 24/7?
Ambrose stood on the roof of the car. He flew off but Harper moved out of the way. Ambrose took out The New Day as Harper escaped into the arena.
Harper stood at the entrance as Ambrose came out. They brawled their way back to the ring.
Harper gained control and tried to put away Ambrose with a series of chairs, but Ambrose refused to quit. Ambrose started to make a comeback as he nailed Harper with his Dirty Deeds finisher on a chair to win the match.
It was definitely interesting to see the Street Fight split into two segments. Although the days of falling off of a Hell in a Cell cage and chairshots to the head are over, matches like these prove that even with PG restrictions it is possible to put on a classic hardcore match.
A video package aired for the “Russian Chain Match” between John Cena and Rusev for Cena’s WWE United States Championship. Rusev came out with a big chain across his chest, accompanied by his manager Lana. United States Champion John Cena came out next, getting unanimously booed by the Chicago crowd.
Chicago doesn’t care if you’re a good guy or a bad guy, if they don’t like you they’ll let you know.
The match started with a tug-of-war over the chain. Rusev sent Cena to the corner hit him with a splash. The green light comes on as the first corner was touched. Rusev touched the second corner but Cena took him out. Cena hit three turnbuckles but it was in vain as Rusev stopped his momentum.
Rusev tagged two turnbuckles but Cena stopped him. Rusev sent Cena over the top rope and used the chain to pull Cena up by his arm. Rusev hit Cena with a kick to the ribs.
Rusev suplexed Cena into the ring and tagged a turnbuckle, but Cena hit him with the chain. Rusev blocked Cena’s Attitude Adjustment finisher and beat Cena down.
Cena went under the bottom rope to the floor and pulled Rusev into the ring post twice. Cena went back in the ring and Rusev appeared to be out. Cena hit the first two turnbuckles but couldn’t move Rusev to get to the third. Rusev held onto the chain and Cena went back to wear him down. Rusev hit a big heel kick off the ropes and then hit Cena with a chain shot to the gut. Rusev whipped Cena over the back with the chain.
Rusev hit three corners but Cena rolled to the floor to stop him from hitting the fourth. As Rusev reached for it, Cena pulled him back. They met in the middle of the ring and fought back and forth. Rusev kicked Cena in the ribs and Cena fell to his knees as Rusev continued his assault with a series of punches. Rusev went to the top but was yanked back down by Cena.
Cena wrapped the chain and hit Rusev with a clotheslin. Cena hit a shoulder tackle. And went for another but Rusev caught him for a slam. Fans chanted for Lana and she got on the apron as the crowd went insane, which upset Rusev.
He sent her to the back, which drew the ire of the fans. Cena ducked a chain shot and slammed Rusev. Cena hit his five-knuckle shuffle and went for the Attitude Adjustment again but Rusev blocked it.
Rusev caught Cena with an Alabama Slam and stomped Cena in the back. Rusev went for his Accolade submission finisher but Cena countered with the STF submission. Cena tagged three corners but Rusev went to the floor to stop the fourth. Cena brought him back in and went for another Attitude Adjustment but Rusev slid out and hit him with a kick before stomping Cena in the spine. He locked in The Accolade.
Cena stood up and walked with Rusev still on his back with The Accolade. Cena tags the corners, but Rusev gets credit for them. Realizing Rusev is about to win, he hits the Attitude Adjustment. This clears all of the lights off of the turnbuckles. Rusev and Cena both tagged one corner each. Cena tagged another as did Rusev, and they both hit a third. They faced off as Rusev went for a corner but Cena pulled him in with the chain and hit another Attitude Adjustment. Cena hit all four corners for the win and retains his United States Championship.
Although he fans don’t care for Cena, I don’t mind him being shuffled into the middle of the match cards. He brings attention to the U.S. championship, and other guys get attention in the main event so it is a win-win in my book.
I am concerned for Rusev though, as undefeated guys are always put in a sink or swim situation once they are finally defeated. With Rusev losing twice to Cena, I am afraid of what the future holds once Rusev finished this feud. I am not sure if this is the final match in their feud, or if Cena/Rusev IV will take place at next month’s Payback event.
The Bella Twins came out to cheers next as Nikki Bella prepared to defend her Divas Championship against Naomi. Are they good guys now, or are they still villains? It’s frustrating when WWE doesn’t cement characters in hero or villain roles.
Naomi came out next and the match started with Nikki putting Naomi in an armbar. Naomi got out of it and knocked Nikki down for a two-count. Nikki got a two-count out of the blue as her sister Brie cheered her on from ringside. Naomi grabbed Nikki by her hair and bulldogged her into the turnbuckle for a two-count.
Nikki blocked Naomi’s Rear View finisher, but Naomi knocked Nikki down. Nikki ended up on the floor while Brie checked on her. Naomi came out and kicked Brie then took Nikki back into the ring. As Naomi entered the ring, Nikki kicked her and then hit her with clotheslines and a dropkick. Nikki hit a clothesline in the corner and an Alabama Slam for a two-count. Naomi blocked a forearm strike dropped Nikki for a two count. Nikki dodged a split-legged moonsault and knocked Naomi down with a knee for a two-count. Nikki went for her Rack Attack finisher but Naomi fought out and hit her Rear View finisher for a two-count. After more back and forth action, Nikki hit a springboard kick to the face for another close near fall.
As the referee was distracted, Brie hit a kick to Naomi’s face, and Nikki picked Naomi up and hit her Rack Attack finisher, 1-2-3.
I still don’t know whether the Bellas are heroes or villains. They were cheered and acted good, but two weeks ago they were bad guys. Nikki also won the match because of interference, which is a typical villain tactic. In addition, there was no major event to trigger such a change. I am a believer that you shouldn’t change someone from bad to good or vice versa without some type of story attached to it.
As for this match, the divas division still needs a lot of work. The finisher names are also a bit sexist in my opinion, and The Rear View finisher is one that isn’t quite believable. With the NXT divas hungry for a top spot, and Eva Marie training with Brian Kendrick, it is time to take the divas division to a place it hasn’t been in almost a decade.
I never thought I’d say this, but save us Eva Marie!
Roman Reigns and Big Show made their way out next for their Last Man Standing match to boos and jeers from the crowd. They started to fight and Big Show took control early on. Fans chanted “you sold out” at him because of his alignment to The Authority. Reigns fought back and clotheslined Show to the floor.
Reigns brought a table from under the ring and fans cheered. Show stopped him and put the table back under the ring. Reigns shoved Show into the ring post and hit a dropkick. The referee started his count on Big Show as Reigns brought the table back from under the ring. Show got up at the count of five and sent Reigns into the barricade. Show broke the table in half to foil Reigns’ plan.
Reigns grabbed a kendo stick and hit Show with it until Show shoved him into the ring post. Reigns stood up at the count of six and Show pushed him in the ring. Show broke the kendo stick in half and yelled at fans. Reigns fought back and beat down Show in the corner.
Reigns came off the second rope and Show knocked him out of the air. Reigns got to his feet and rolled to the floor. Show pulled Reigns up with one hand but Reigns hit him.
Reigns grabbed a steel chair and brought it in the ring, hitting Show with it repeatedly. The referee counts as Show makes it back up. Reigns brought a table from under the ring; he brought another table in but walked right into a knockout punch from Big Show. The referee started counting.
Reigns made it back up as Show set a table up. Show went for a chokeslam but Reigns blocked it and slams Show’s face into the table. Reigns put Show through the table with a Samoan Drop and they were both out as the referee counted.
Show got to his feet at eight, and knocked Reigns back down after a big spear. Reigns got up at eight and Show started hitting him again. Show hit a splash in the corner and the referee started counting. Reigns got up as Show went to the top. Reigns knocked Show down, as his groin area hit the turnbuckle hard. Show screamed out in pain as the fans laughed.
Sidenote: I’m not sure how often WWE takes their shows to the Chicago area, but they need to travel there more often.
Reigns brought two more tables from under the ring, and set both of them up side by side on the floor. He climbed to where Show is still sitting, and Show shoved him to the mat. Show climbed up but Reigns caught him and threw him to the mat. The referee started counting again.
They both got up and Reigns hit his Superman Punch signature move on Show. Reigns hit a second one but Show was still standing. He went for a third one punch but Show blocked it. Show grabbed Reigns by the throat and chokeslammed him from the ring to the two tables that were set up on the floor.
Reigns made it to his feet right before the ten count and Big Show looked on in disbelief. Show went to the floor and grabbed the pieces of the steel steps. He put the steps in between the barrier and commentator Jerry Lawler’s end of the announce table. Show took apart the announce table, and the announcers scattered. Reigns crawled up in the ring as the fans chanted for commentator JBL.
Show entered the ring and mocked Reigns. Show went for a spear but Reigns moved and Show crashed. They were both down as the referee began a count.
They both got up and Reigns hit a spear. Show rolled to his feet on the floor. Reigns ran around the ring and speared Show through the barricade to a huge ovation from the crowd. It doesn’t matter what crowd it is, a spear through a barricade can win over anybody.
The referee counted as both men were down, and both of them got up at seven. Show stumbled around the debris as Reigns stepped up on the announce table. Show grabbed him by the throat and climbed up with him. Reigns hit elbows on Show but Show sent him off the announce table and into the apron. Reigns ran back up the steel steps that were put there earlier and speared Show from the announce table through the Spanish announce table.
The crowd was impressed as a “holy shit” chant broke out. As both men got up, Show fell back down and Reigns tipped the announce table over on top of him. Show was trapped under the announce table as the referee counted. Reigns stood on top of Show and the flipped table and counted with the crowd as he won the match.
Although I wasn’t looking forward to this one, I have to admit it exceeded expectations. It is hard to be excited for a match you’ve seen many times, but the Last Man Standing aspect really changed things up. Many fans were upset and irate at WWE thrusting Reigns into the main event picture so soon, but now he seems to be on a more natural path. Hopefully, this performance and other performances can help to win the crowds over and give him a more organic rise to the top of the WWE.
I only hope that we can see Reigns wrestle someone else now.
Randy Orton and Kane walked up to each other backstage. Orton reminded Kane that they used to wrestle one another and says Kane traded his mask in for a suit. Orton said he knows who the real Kane is and walks off.
This was a good short segment that is building on the idea that Kane will soon transform from the corporate stooge gimmick back into the monster that he once was. Whether this means he will go back to wearing the mask, or reinventing himself remains to be seen. But it looks like the days of Kane fighting in suit pants and a wifebeater are coming to an end.
The camera goes back to the announcers and they have to stand for the rest of the show because of the destruction caused by the previous match. They hyped the return of Tough Enough and some of the audition videos are shown.
Bo Dallas made an appearance and started to berate the city of Chicago. This led to Ryback coming out to silence Dallas. Dallas tried to cut Ryback off but ended up taking a Meathook clothesline and Shellshocked finisher as the crowd cheered.
That was another great segment, Dallas continues to irritate fans as Ryback is still promoted as an unstoppable force. Don’t fix what isn’t broken.
In a backstage interview, Lana reveals that the Rusev vs. John Cena feud will end at WWE Payback in an “I Quit” match. It will be a great way to end the feud, but I only hope they have some sort of direction for Rusev to go in once the feud ends. These brute monsters always seem to get lost in the shuffle once they start losing matches.
The main event was next as WWE announcer Eden reminded fans that the RKO is banned in this match. Kane made his entrance first for his role as “gatekeeper” of the cage.
Orton came out next to cheers, followed by WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins. Rollins came out without J&J Security. Rollins entered the cage as Kane locked the door and Eden gave formal ring introductions for the main event.
As the match began, Rollins immediately tried to climb the cage but Orton brings him down and started on the attack. Rollins blocked a shot into the cage wall and hit Orton back with strikes. Rollins beat Orton in the corner. Then Orton came out of another corner with a clothesline.
Rollins tried to escape again but Orton grabbed his leg and pulled him to the mat. Rollins is the so good at being the cowardly villain at times. Orton hit Rollins with a series of uppercuts. Orton kept control as the crowd is split on who to cheer for. Orton and Kane stared each other down as Orton went back to stomping on Rollins. Orton catapulted Rollins into the cage but Rollins hung onto the cage and tried to escape. Orton stopped him again.
Rollins made a comeback and went for a pin on Orton. Rollins told Kane to open the door and as he tried to walk out, Orton hit him from behind. Rollins countered and sent Orton face first into the cage wall, he went for a pin but only got a two-count.
Rollins hit Orton with stomps in the corner now, he sent Orton into the cage again. Orton made a comeback with an uppercut but Rollins countered again for another two count. Rollins hit a splash in the corner on Orton. Orton side-stepped Rollins and sent him face first into the cage.
Rollins made another comeback and climbed the cage as Orton followed. Rollins had one leg over the cage but Orton brought him back down to the top rope. They traded punches and Rollins knocked Orton to the mat. Rollins hit a flying knee to Orton’s face for a two count. Rollins climbed the cage again and made it to the top before Orton made it to his feet. Orton stopped him and climbed up. They both sat on top of the cage and fought back and forth. They went back down to the top rope. Rollins knocked Orton to the mat. Rollins leapt off the top rope but Orton caught him in mid-air with a powerslam for a 2 count. Orton moved Rollins to the rope for a DDT but Rollins countered. Rollins hit a superkick on Orton for a two count. Rollins climbed up to the top of the cage with Orton following close behind.
Rollins tried to drop to the floor but Orton grabbed his hair. J&J Security came down to help Rollins but Orton pulled Rollins back over the top of the cage and hit a superplex for a two count.
J&J told Kane to let them in the cage but he yelled at them to get away from the cage door. Orton tossed Rollins across the ring. Rollins countered Orton and pins him between the ropes and the cage. Rollins climbed the cage but Orton pulled him onto the top rope and Rollins lands hard on his groin.
Orton walked to the cage door but went back to Rollins and hit the top rope draping DDT. Orton did his usual taunts that he does before an RKO finisher, as the commentators stressed that his RKO maneuver was banned. Orton instead hits WWE COO Triple H’s finisher the Pedigree for a two count. I hoped that Orton would use that maneuver, but I started to doubt that it would happen. It is always exciting when something you hope for comes to life on the television screen.
Orton argued with the referee as the fans started a big “yes!” chant. Orton attempted to hit his punt kick maneuver on Rollins right in front of Kane and the cage door. However, Rollins dodged it and hit Orton with a kick. Kane unlocked the door as Rollins crawled to it. Orton pulled Rollins back for a backbreaker. Orton walked over to the cage door, but Kane shut the door. Rollins attacked from behind but accidentally knocked Kane back into the barricade.
Rollins tried to crawl out of the cage door but Orton grabbed his leg. Kane got up and slammed the cage door into both Rollins and Orton. Kane took off his jacket and tie while screaming in anger. J&J Security yelled at him but he went inside the cage. Kane hit J&J Security with a double chokeslam. Kane teased going after Rollins but he grabbed Orton by the throat instead and chokeslammed him. Rollins went toward the cage door but Kane pulled him back and chokeslamed him also. Kane placed Rollins on top of Orton but Orton kicked out at two.
Kane grew frustrated and tried to hit a Tombstone on Orton but Orton countered. Orton hit Kane with a RKO. Rollins snuck up on Orton and hit an RKO on him. Rollins then crawled out of the cage for the win.
After the match, the announcers argued about whether the RKO was banned for just Orton or for both of them. They also argued if Orton broke the rules of the match when he hit his RKO on Kane, who wasn’t an official competitor in the match. Extreme Rules went off the air with Rollins holding his title in the air.
The main event was exciting as the finish with Rollins using the RKO was unexpected. Also, Kane beginning his slow transition back into a monster while remaining with The Authority will make for great TV. He will likely continue to harm Rollins, while helping him to retain his championship. With this fragile relationship, fans will await the day Kane completely snaps and attacks every member of The Authority.
Also, Rollins is an excellent villain. He reminds me of Chris Jericho and Edge in the way that he can be strong and cocky when he needs to be, but can also change into a coward or a wimp in a heartbeat. It is crazy to think that he went from wrestling at AIW here in Cleveland to winning the main event of Wrestlemania.
Cena and Rusev’s feud continuing at Payback will also be interesting to see, as an “I Quit” match guarantees another all out brawl between the two. Although I am scared about Rusev’s future following that matchup, I am looking forward to seeing the two in one last clash.
I am disappointed to see that Daniel Bryan has missed the Pay-Per-View event, however his health always comes first. One positive of the current WWE product is that they’re very health conscious whereas in the past they would’ve sent him out there injured and hoped for the best.
I am disappointed that Miz vs. Mizdow ended so abruptly on last week’s RAW. They could’ve easily had a matchup in their feud on this Pay-Per-View, or even the pre-show. I recall a feud 10 years ago between former WWE wrestlers Kurt Angle and Eugene where Eugene won Angle’s gold medal and Angle was on a mission to win them back. Imagine if Mizdow would have won last Monday and Miz was forbidden from using his one name, gimmick, and mannerisms. Miz would have been going insane, and would’ve done anything and everything to win his name back. This could’ve led to a series of good matches and given Mizdow some much-needed direction since he became a heroic character at Wrestlemania. There are rumors that Miz is leaving for a while to film a movie, but I think WWE could have easily postponed what will likely be another straight-to-DVD release in favor of a feud that fans anticipated for months.
Monday April 27, I will be providing results and a review for the next episode of RAW. This episode will cover the fallout from this Pay-Per-View, as well as setting up feuds for the upcoming Payback Pay-Per-View.