Brock Lesnar cashes in Money in the Bank! Brock Lesnar is the new Universal Champion! Brock Lesnar is the top guy on a brand that as of now is being run creatively by Paul Heyman. In hindsight we should have seen it coming, really. I am Luke Owen give us a subscribe and help us reach our next target of 750k subscribers! Because it would be nifty to hit 750…. Hundred thousand subscribers. Be sure to also press the thumbs up, and leave a comment down below to answer our question of the day:
With all this great wrestling over the weekend, what was your favourite show? Perhaps it was Extreme Rules! In which case, vote in the poll above my head and let me know what you thought of the show, where you can choose from: Best of Both Worlds, Great Per View, Thumbs in the Middle, Meh Per View, and Worst of Both Worlds. This is WWE Extreme Rules 2019, a night where there are no rules… apart from the mixed tag match where there will still rules.
The pre-show had the usual bland nonsense: a panel of interested people spouting scripted lines, some backstage promos and video packages. But the Extreme Rules pre-show also contained, Baron Corbin’s hideous new shirt. MY EYES! Who would wear something that awful. Add to basket.
The pre-show also saw a very fun match between Shinsuke Nakamura and Finn Balor for the Intercontinental Championship, a title that has done Finn no favours, since he’s been on Smackdown TV once since May 14th. It’s now the middle of July. Shinsuke Nakamura finally returned to TV this week where he beat Balor to set up this match – which he did again only this time capturing the IC belt. Well, guess we won’t be seeing much of you on TV now, mate.
Drew Gulk retained his Cruiserweight Championship however in front of his home crowd against Tony Neese. This was solid stuff, but it wasn’t on the level of previous Cruiserweight matches, or Gulak’s match with Matt Riddle at Evolve’s 10th anniversary show the day before. Really, the Cruiserweight Championship hasn’t had much of a spark about it since the days of Cedric Alexander, Buddy Murphy and Mustafa Ali.
After a very cool intro package for the show, featuring close up shots of a lady’s mouth. Can you feel it now? We got our opening contest between Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon against The Graveyard Dogs. Which means it’s time to find out the results of Friday’s poll – what is the worst tag team name? And shockingly, but maybe not that shockingly, Besties Best For Business won with 60% of the vote – with Graveyard Dogs only earning 7%.
And while I don’t think anyone was particularly thrilled about another PPV match between Roman Reigns, Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon, the smoke and mirrors nature of this No Holds Barred tag match was a lot of fun. Taker and Roman both got moments to shine, Elias came in for some interference, and Shane played his greatest hits with an elbow drop through a table and the Coast to Coast with a trash can. However not even The OmniShane can survive the joint power of The Graveyard Dogs, who won when Undertaker Tombstoned Shane. It was waaaay better than his match with Goldberg and Saudi Showdown.
Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins cut a couple of horrifically scripted promos backstage that were so bad, Becky barely even tried to deliver her line about a statue being covered with bird poop.
The Revival defended their Raw Tag Team Championships against The Usos next, even though for some reason I wrote in my notes that The Usos were the champs. It’s almost like the titles don’t mean anything at the moment. I actually had really high hopes for this match based off their previous encounters, and the fact that both teams are among the best in the whole wrestling world, but the crowd were totally flat and didn’t pop for any of the nearfalls or big spots. And a quiet crowd would be a recurring theme for this PPV, with the Philly audience being virtually silent for most of the matches on the card. And to be fair, this match was a bit flat, and saw Revival retain with a Shatter Machine. Disappointing this was.
What wasn’t disappointing however was Cesaro vs. Aleister Black, the latter of which got an amazing hype package before hand. This was awesome from start to end. Cesaro hit a springboard European Uppercut – that was awesome – Cesaro caught Black’s Double Knees and hit a launching European Uppercut – that was awesome! – Cesaro tried another springboard but Black caught with a bicycle knee – that was even more awesome! Black finally won with a Black Mass out of nowhere. A great showcase for both men, and they felt so much more like big stars coming out of it. Do more of this, WWE.
Truth was looking for Drake Maverick backstage but instead stumbled upon Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross. Bliss gave Cross a present, her brand new coffee inspired t-shirt. She, she really likes this coffee gimmick, doesn’t she. Street Profits walked up for some comedy, with Nikki telling them that she and Alexa would be co-champions.
She was was however very much incorrect, as Bayley retained her Smackdown Women’s Championship in a 2-on-1 handicap match. And despite the teases on Smackdown and on commentary, there was no Sasha Banks on this show whatsoever. The match was so-so, and is hopefully the end of what has been one of the worst told stories of 2019.
Then came perhaps the best portion of the show, where Beefy Bobby Lashley took on Beefy Braun Strowman in a Last Beef Standing Match to determine in the Beef in the World. Ooh, it’s so beefy. These two lads threw each other from pillar to post all over the arena to thunderous applause from the audience – easily the loudest they’d been since Taker and Roman beat Drew and Shane. The finish saw Braun powerslam Bobby off a stage and through a mystery box of some sort, and then exploded out the wall like the Kool Aid Man to answer the 10 count. This was like a real-life Godzilla fight, and I loved every single moment of it.
Mean Charly Caruso then tried to segue from that match by saying: “Wow, and that is exactly why it’s called Extreme Rules”. That was poor Charly, you need to have a word with the Queen of Segues Kayla Braxton. Charly interviewed AJ Styles, who said that he was going to take away Ricochet’s United States Championship, and then wouldn’t let Charly join in on the Too Sweet. Not fun being on the mean end of the stick now is it Charly?!
The crowd quietened back down again for The Planeteers of Daniel Bryan and Rowan defending their Smackdown Tag Team Championships against Heavy Machinery and New Day, which saw Big E and Xavier Woods become 6x Tag Team Champs in WWE. This was pretty good action to be fair to the six guys, who did several big dives and some wonderful nearfalls, but the crowd just weren’t into all the action.
New Day celebrated backstage with Kofi Kingston who were set to be interviewed by Kayla, but Paul Heyman stormed past them and stole the microphone to cut virtually the same promo he did on Monday’s Raw – teasing that Brock would cash in later tonight. Yeah, okay there, Paul. You’ve tried this one on us for months now. We all know Brock isn’t going to cash in. He’s gonna do it at Summerslam or the first show on Fox, you can’t fool me, Paul.
The solid action continued as AJ Styles with The Club in toe took on Ricochet for the United States Championship. Laurie Blake brought up a good point in our predictions video for this show, where he said that WWE were in a tricky spot here. Ricochet has just won the US title – his first title on the main roster – so you don’t to take the belt off him too early, but AJ has just turned heel with The Club and has already lost to Ricochet on Raw TV so you don’t really want him to lose again. And credit to WWE, they booked around this brilliantly – with Ricochet on several occasions overcoming the odds of having Gallows and Anderson on the outside and nearly picked up with the win with a huge Shooting Star Press – but Karl Anderson was there to point out that AJ’s foot was under the ropes – playing off the finish to Raw a couple of weeks ago. Gallows crotched Ricochet on the top rope, allowing AJ to hit a middle rope Styles Clash for the win. This was excellent pro wrestling.
We got a recap of Kevin Owens’ antics on Smackdown, and his tweet where he listed all of the WWE talent that aren’t on the PPV including Viking Raiders, AOP, Kabuki Warriors and Billy Kidman. Owens then pinned Dolph Ziggler quickly with a Stunner in a match that was announced earlier in the day. It’s another big win for Owens, and another big loss for Ziggy Stardust.
Speaking of losing all the time and Kofi Kingston retained his WWE Championship over Samoa Joe in a pretty standard match. There was some really good stuff in here with a vicious Joe targeting the fingers of Kofi – even shutting them between the steel steps to play off Kingston’s middle finger angle from Smackdown. There was even a nice call-back to Joe losing via roll ups off the Coquina Clutch – with Kofi trying to do the Piper/Bret spot but Joe instead just slammed him into the mat. But the crowd never bought into Joe winning, and Kofi proved them right by pinned him with the Trouble in Paradise. This crowd were so unconvinced of Joe winning, a large portion of them started chanting for Lesnar to cash in. Kofi really needs a big WWE Championship feud leading into Summerslam – one where his title actually feels like it’s in jeopardy as opposed to facing midcard acts like Dolph and Joe.
And the main event of the show was the match no one cared about: Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins taking on Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans in a mixed tag match with EXTREME RULES. Rules that are so extreme, the men can only take on the men and the women can only face the women, and there have to be legal tags. Umm… EXTREME! This sadly falls into a lot of logic holes. Why do they need to obey these rules, if they can’t be DQ’d if they break them? And these holes are probably one of the reasons the crowd weren’t into the match either – apart from the fact that Becky and Seth were defending against Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans again. There was even a point where the crowd didn’t really pop for the good guys doing joint dives through tables on the outside, again chanting for a Lesnar cash in, totally not buying into Baron Corbin’s nearfalls on Seth. In fact the only thing the crowd popped for was Corbin giving Becky the End of Days – which they came unglued for! Seth then unloaded on Corbin with kendo stick and chair shots, finishing him off with three curb stomps.
But before Seth could celebrate, the familiar sound of Brock’s music hit and he stormed to the ring with a ref in toe. After a couple of German Suplexes, Heyman officially cashed in Money in the Bank, and Lesnar became a three-time Universal Champion with a single F-5. Heyman and Brock celebrated on the ramp, here we go again.
Apart from the sour taste left in my mouth from the main event and its following angle, Extreme Rules was a great show. The first few hours in particular are among the best the company has put out in 2019. Even the matches that were so-so weren’t terrible, and you had the highs of Cesaro vs. Aleister Black, Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley, and AJ Styles vs. Ricochet. In fact if you’ve not watched the show, just turn it off after the US title match and you’ll do yourself a favour. WWE Extreme Rules 2019, was a Great Per View.
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