WWE’s annual Extreme Rules PPV always finds itself full of gimmick matches such as table matches, ladder matches, street fights and things of that nature, so it’s no surprise that the 2016 version of Extreme Rules is also full of these types of matches. Sometimes it can result in overkill, other times it can result in an entertaining event. Let’s hope this event ticks the entertaining option.
- Kick-Off Show: Baron Corbin pinned Dolph Ziggler
- Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson beat The Usos in a Texas Tornado Tag Team Match
- Rusev became US Champion after defeating Kalisto
- The New Day successfully retained the Tag Team Titles against The Vaudevillains
- The Miz retained the I-C Title in a Fatal Four Way match against Cesaro, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
- Dean Ambrose pinned Chris Jericho in the first ever Asylum Match
- Charlotte retained the Women’s Title in a Submission Match against Natalya
- Roman Reigns retained the WWE World Title in an Extreme Rules match against AJ Styles
The event was, like most WWE shows, hit and miss. It had some belters and it had some mediocre contests too. It was just one of those shows that was “fine” but didn’t set the world on fire. There was one incredible match on the show and a couple of very good ones, which does mean it is worth a rewatch in the future, or worth visiting if you didn’t see it live.
Baron Corbin’s win against Ziggler in the Kick-Off match was necessary. Corbin won the Andre the Giant Battle Royale at WrestleMania but then lost to Ziggler at Payback, so it was important for the career of the rookie Corbin to regain momentum here. He did, though it does beg the question of how much WWE see in Baron with this being a pre-show match. He is in the early part of his career but he is lacking in the skills that many of his NXT-brethren possess. We’ll see what happens down the road for “The Lone Wolf”.
Gallows and Anderson have made a mark in WWE since their debut on RAW a couple of months ago. Aligning themselves with their real-life friend who they worked with in Japan, AJ Styles, had introduced the two men clearly into the minds of WWE fans. Their feud with The Uso’s has been played out with the repeating of them wrestling on television too much. This seemed like a feud-ending contest to me. It was okay but The Uso’s are stale and Anderson & Gallows are heels, so the fans seemed quiet at times, unable to choose a side. The right team won here.
Kalisto held onto the US Title longer than I ever expected. Sadly, the talented luchador didn’t really get a solid feud with someone of a similar size, instead working drawn out feuds with Alberto Del Rio and Ryback. Rusev winning here was the right move, and a good way for “The Bulgarian Brute” to rehabilitate from the bland and stagnant “League of Nations” faction.
The New Day and The Vaudevillains put on a fun tag team match and the response to Woods, Big E and Kofi is still great to hear. The Vaudevillains have a lot of potential as a mean spirited and blowhardy heel team going forward too. I expected New Day to retain, and they did. Can’t say it’s a bad call either, they are very over, and you might as well keep the ball rolling while it has momentum.
The Miz winning the Fatal Four Way was surprising to many people. I kinda expected it due to the fact that Maryse has been put with her hubby and it seems like WWE is in the midst of pushing The Miz again as a solid mid-card act. This was, without doubt, the match of the night, and one of the best WWE matches of 2016 so far. Owens, Cesaro and Zayn, along with the brash champion, put on a spectacular back and forth match that featured some incredible spots, some awesome psychology and plenty of great action. The fans loved it, I loved it, and the guys in the ring seemed to be on fire throughout, fully intending to steal the show, and steal it they did. Owens, Zayn and Cesaro are the future of WWE, and I think The Miz also showed his worth in this match too. Awesome.
Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho put on a fairly enjoyable Asylum match. A cage match with weapons hanging from above, this would have been better suited to being presented in the late nineties and early noughties. Still, the two pros did what they could in the PG environment and entertained. The final moments were surprising, with Ambrose pouring thumb-tacks into the ring and throwing Jericho into them, puncturing the arms and back of Y2J in a way I didn’t expect in the family era of WWE television. Ambrose needed a win, and he won, and strongly too.
Charlotte and Natalya have shown that they have chemistry and the ability to have great matches, but this, sadly, wasn’t their finest hour. This match featured interference from Dana Brooke, who is now aligned with Charlotte, and just felt “off”. It wasn’t as enjoyable as their prior encounters and I feel like most people are ready to see both women move on to new feuds after this. Charlotte was always going to retain here, it wasn’t a surprise that she did.
The main event featuring AJ Styles and the least-popular baby-face WWE World Champion in a long time, Roman Reigns, was a lot of fun and possibly the second best match on the card after the Four Way. Styles is great and Roman did some good stuff too. I think if WWE gave the big Samoan a character change that he could sink his teeth into it would help him no-end. AJ was beaten and after the match we saw the big return of Seth Rollins who ran in and pedigreed Reigns, much to the pleasure of the WWE Universe.
So, it was a decent show, like I said, but WWE need to do better than this moving forward. They have such a talented roster, but the way they book many of that roster is eyebrow raisingly weird. I hope Money in the Bank, the next PPV, is better than this.
Match of the Night: Owens vs. Zayn vs. Cesaro vs. The Miz
Worst Match: Corbin vs. Ziggler
Disappointing (Missed Potential): Charlotte vs. Nattie
Surprise of the Night: Rollins Returns