WWE Extreme Rules might feel like a WWE tradition or even an ECW tradition but it actually has its roots in World Championship Wrestling. WCW Uncensored was their March pay per view to usually compete for the wallet of pro wrestling fans against WWF Wrestlemania. In order to entice the viewer, the show was supposed to be completely unsanctioned by the WCW Board of Director’s, allowing wrestlers to do whatever they wanted to. The first event in 1995 featured a Martial Arts match, a King of the Road match (where two wrestlers literally wrestled on a flatbed truck moving), a leather strap match and a Texas tornado tag match (which we will get tonight). 1996 featured the dreaded Doomsday cage match where the Mega Powers faced the Ultimate Alliance to end Hulkamania. In 1999 we got a dog collar match and a barbed wire first blood cage match and the final Uncensored featured a Yappapi Indian strap match (which you’d know if you watched Botchamania). While Extreme Rules used to happen in April and now in May, the idea still stands. This is a chance for the WWE to get their gimmick rocks off without having to think about it. Instead of allowing feuds to naturally build to these sort of matches, it’s sort of just a given. For WCW it was about taking eyes off of Wrestlemania by featuring gimmick matches. For the WWE today, it’s about giving the company an extra month to figure out what the hell they plan to build to for Summerslam. At the very least, the wrestling today is miles beyond what we got at times on those WCW Uncensored cards. Vincent versus Stevie Ray in a Harlem Street Fight anyone?
No Disqualification Match
Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin
Adam Berry, Josh Hendrickson, Ryan Smith, Shawn Wilken, Aaron Wrotkowski and Rich Laconi: Baron Corbin
THOUGHTS by Josh Hendrickson: In what started as a feeder feud for Corbin has turned into a legitimate back and forth battle. Both men have exchanged backstage, and pre-match attacks as well as facing off against each other at Payback. Their Payback bout ended in a surprising roll up victory for Ziggler, but expect the Lone Wolf to deliver some real pain in their extreme rules match. No disqualification means anything goes, and the audience can expect multiple kendo sticks, chair shots, and rough spots. Ziggler will no doubt put out a gutsy performance as he always does, but expect Corbin to come out on on top in this one!
United States Championship
Rusev vs. Kalisto (c)
Adam Berry, Ryan Smith, Aaron Wrotkowski and Rich Laconi: Rusev
Josh Hendrickson and Shawn Wilken: Kalisto
THOUGHTS by Aaron Wrotkowski: I was extremely disappointed back at Wrestlemania that it wasn’t the United States championship tossed into a scramble ladder match instead of the Intercontinental championship, which had a sensible singles match story with Zayn and Owens. I felt Ryback and Kalisto would be a weak match to place on the card and could have used some high spot theatrics. Now we’re in late May and Kalisto still does nothing for me as U.S. champion. Rusev is the perfect guy to take the belt and be a serious midcard threat. It might be a lather, rinse, repeat for him, but he shows more personality now than ever before. Rusev is one of the best heels in the company, and wearing the United States gold could give the WWE the look they need to see he could easily wear World Heavyweight championship gold later in the year.
WWE Tag Team Championship
The Vaudevillains vs. The New Day (c)
Adam Berry and Aaron Wrotkowski: The Vaudevillains
Josh Hendrickson, Ryan Smith, Shawn Wilken and Rich Laconi: The New Day
THOUGHTS by Shawn Wilken: Priming up to be the longest reigning tag team champions, The New Day’s train has not run out of steam yet. There was some worry that the lure would rub off eventually, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with New Day’s schtick. They continue to provide entertaining segments and solid tag team wrestling contests. If they can keep it going for this long, there may be nothing that can stop them for the time being.
The Usos vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows
Adam Berry, Ryan Smith, Shawn Wilken, Aaron Wrotkowski and Rich Laconi: Anderson and Gallows
Josh Hendrickson: The Usos
WHO BEATS WHO
Adam Berry and Ryan Smith: Gallows beats Jimmy
Shawn Wilken, Aaron Wrotkowski and Rich Laconi: Gallows beats Jey
Josh Hendrickson: Jimmy beats Gallows
THOUGHTS by Adam Berry: This could be fantastic. I feel that the Uso’s might get a little shown up by how brilliant Gallows and Anderson are. However it’s great to have a prelude match to the Main Event. We could literally see what happens in this match have a direct effect on the Reigns and AJ Style match – I can’t remember the last time something like that happened.
Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho
Josh Hendrickson, Ryan Smith, Shawn Wilken and Rich Laconi: Dean Amrbose
Aaron Wrotkowski: Chris Jericho
THOUGHTS by Josh Hendrickson: This feud has used a good mix of comedic relief and viciousness that has kept fans interested. It has seen Dean Ambrose go crazy over the loss of his potted plant mitch, Chris Jericho watching in agony has is fifteen thousand dollar light bright jacket getting destroyed by Ambrose, and Jericho showing his vicious side by beating down Dean while he was in a straight jacket. The first ever asylum match adds an interesting twist to the match and gives the feud a more intriguing end. Surrounded by a steel cage with weapons hanging above the competitors, and no escape possible expect this match to full of high intensity spots, and maybe even a little bit of straight jacket revenge. In the end Dean continues his PPV winning streak against Jericho to move onto bigger and better feuds.
Intercontinental Championship Fatal 4-Way
Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn vs. The Miz w/ Maryse (c)
Adam Berry and Rich Laconi: Sami Zayn
Josh Hendrickson, Ryan Smith and Aaron Wrotkowski: Cesaro
Shawn Wilken: The Miz
WHO GETS PINNED
Adam Berry: Kevin Owens
Josh Hendrickson, Ryan Smith, Aaron Wrotkowski and Rich Laconi: The Miz
Shawn Wilken: Sami Zayn
THOUGHTS by Rich Laconi: The Miz has done an excellent job carrying the title and drawing ire from the fans with real heel heat. The Zayn/Owens fued does not need the title, but at some point Zayn has to grow in prominence in the eyes of the fans. Cesaro seems poised to take the belt here, but the main roster fans have not been privy to Owens stealing something from his friends Sami. Sure the NXT packages show how Owens injured him and took that title, but it does not carry the weight that seeing the same situation occur with a major title. Sami should have walked out of Mania with the belt, but the WWE chose to swerve us with Zack Ryder’s win. Sami gets his tonight so that there’s more pathos added to the feud with Owens. The IC title will add months to the program with these two.
WWE Women’s Championship
Submission Match/Ric Flair is banned from ringside
Natalya vs. Charlotte (c)
DOES RIC FLAIR STILL GET INVOLVED
Adam Berry, Josh Hendrickson and Aaron Wrotkowski: Yes
Ryan Smith, Shawn Wilken and Rich Laconi: No
Adam Berry, Josh Hendrickson, Ryan Smith, Shawn Wilken and Rich Laconi: Charlotte
Aaron Wrotkowski: Natalya
THOUGHTS by Ryan Smith: Sooner or later, Sasha Banks is going to take the Women’s Championship from Charlotte, but if they want to make that match convincing, they need to build Charlotte up. Having the very first reign of the new championship end because Flair interfered is just ridiculous.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Extreme Rules Match
AJ Styles vs. Roman Reigns (c)
Adam Berry, Josh Hendrickson and Rich Laconi: Roman Reigns
Ryan Smith and Aaron Wrotkowski: AJ Styles
THOUGHTS by Rich Laconi: Although Reigns will win this one, how he wins it will have implications for the future. Finn Balotr could make his long awaited main roster debut, or that could happen tomorrow. Styles has taken on a bit more of a heelish twinge to his character, but it may not be enough. He will not turn full heel here and it is possible he could wave off or even stop his friends from helping him, allow Roman to win the match. This would then allow for his friends to abandon him for a leader who is willing to take more liberties: enter Finn Balor. This would also allow for Roman to stay as a tweener, doing nothing that makes him the bad guy in this match. He’ll just continue being “The Guy”.