Archive for August, 2016

extremeI’ve always been a fan of these extreme rules PPV’s from WWE. For me they hark back to the good old days of ECW and the more brutal side of wrestling. Tables, ladders, chairs, bins, bats; all is fair game and for this very reason everything is a bit more unpredictable. Ever since WWE went PG-13 its rare to find events that hark back to the previously mentioned ECW or even WWE during the 1990’s attitude era. There has been the odd match here and there but it is these extreme rules matches that really bring back the good old days. In fact the Extreme Rules PPV started as an ECW (well the rebooted 2006 season) event called One Night Stand which ran from 2006-2008 before getting renamed to what we know today.
With such a large array of talent in the WWE nowadays and with many pushing the slightly edgier violent side can this event be one to truly remember or just another middle of the road PPV much like the latest Wrestlemania? Let’ have a look.
The Usos VS Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows:
Tag team matches really arn’t what they used to be but with this being a Tornado Tag match (all four wreslers in the ring at the same time) it instantly makes it slightly more interesting. Almost straight away we have out of the ring action with the Usos trying to survive a reasonably vicious onslaught. There re some pretty brutal moves performed especially by the heavy hitters Anderson and Gallows, but that isn’t to say the Usos are lightweights. The Usos throw some pretty cool highflying moves but they seem to be lacking something. The chemistry just doesn’t seem quite there and everything feels a bit too planned like they don’t quite trust one another in improvising. Overall its better then the usual tag match which every PPV seems to require but it definitely isn’t required viewing.
Rusev vs Kalisto:
Here we have the David vs Goliath match of the night. I have never really seen anything worthwhile in the character of Rusev. It almost feels like WWE is trying to find another wrestler like they used to have in ‘The Big Show’. A large intimidating figure who is almost unstoppable. Rusev for me doesn’t have the needed presence. As a character he is almost a satire which is so incredibly over the top, is hard to take seriously. This match rally is the usual filler for the bigger matches of the night. I’m sure some people will enjoy it but it’s just fairly boring and never feels like it belongs in Extreme Rules. There is nothing really to keep you viewing apart from the fact that you know that the upcoming matches of the night should be awesome.

After a rather stupid an tiresome talk by ‘The New Day’ we are treated (I say it very loosely) to yet another tag team match;
The New Day vs The VaudeVillians:
Its sad to see some good wrestlers reduced to this stupid representation of wrestling. At one point Big E was a truly brutal wrestler as he worked his way up through NXT but now is just a shadow of his former self. Its just a disappointing idea which just gets worse every time they come out. The match is literally your usual pay by play tag match that everyone has seen numerous times before. Nothing new, nothing particularly original, just a fairly poor match which has next to no redeeming features.
Kevin Owens vs The Miz vs Sami Zayn vs Cesaro:
After a pretty awesome video build up it’s quite nice to see what might be an awesome match between a group of talented and brutal wrestlers. We get a good mix of styles and characters ,all of which play quite nicely off one another. It opens with a little clever unexpected humour, but quickly develops into quite a technically impressive display of complicated manoeuvres and some good chemistry. Everyone has their time to shine and stand in the spotlight while the others get beaten up. Its nothing necessarily new but it is performed very well. It’s very watchable and there is always something interesting to watch going on. There are some very clever fake falls an constant uncertainty of who will win. This is the sort of match I enjoy, as it builds nicely and stays consistently fun. If anything it falters a little towards the end of the match but even then it doesn’t detract too much.
Chris Jericho vs Dean Ambrose:
Now this is the first truly massive match of the night with two of the biggest stars in WWE. We get an epic build up even if it is a little silly. The setup for the match is very reminiscent of TNA wrestling’s ‘ Raven’s House of fun in which weapons are hung around the ring ready to be used. The only difference here is the items are a lot more tame for the most part. It almost feels like they are trying to be like their older more violent selves (well at least Chris Jericho who’s been around for a long time) but are being held back by the more family friendly take on wrestling. It’s a bit of a shame as this really should be a good extreme match. Even when the barbed wire two-by-four gets into the hands of Jericho, it’s never actually used, its casually thrown aside. It harks back to the reasonably recent Dudley’s match in which they were about to light a table on fire but never got a chance. It feels like WWE can’t decide how it wants to be. It keeps teasing and teasing but never fully pays off (well it occasionally does such as Reigns vs Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31). In a PPV entitles Extreme Rules you’d expect more extreme matches but this really is lacking. Jericho and Ambrose work well together but I can’t help but feel the match would be far better on a different wrestling promotion such as TNA. Its a real shame as both wrestlers are capable of so much and here they are wasted in a PG version of what should be a truly brutal and breath-taking match. Its definitely not the worst match of the evening but it really isn’t the best these two can produce.
Charlotte vs Natalya:
Charlotte is easily one of the most unlikeable and most annoying characters to come out of the WWE Divas program. She lack talent and has literally no redeeming features. I understand she is meant to be the ‘bad guy’ but still she sucks. WWE are really trying to make divas matches more interesting but they are sorely lacking.  There is only so many times you can watch such an awful character and individual perform in a ring next to some truly talented individuals. I find it sad that WWE constantly has to rely on these stupid twist endings to matches to try and keep people watching. If anything it has the complete opposite effect as its less about skill and more about bad writing. A new low point for the night.

AJ Styles vs Roman Reigns:
AJ Styles has been my favourite wrestler since watching him in both Ring of Honour and TNA. He is what WWE has been lacking over the years and someone who brings his years of experience to the ring. It’s amazing how from his first appearance in the new roster at Royal Rumble he has taken over and has quickly risen to places many wrestlers have hoped for. I will admit that his amazing assortment of moves has been trimmed with the PG-13 nature of WWE which does put a bit of a knock on his performance but he is still up there with the best, if not the very best. Reigns is truly intimidating and has created a great character which for some reason the fans of WWE seem to dislike. The two of them work off one another superbly and they really do put on a good show. It is easily the best match of the night. It never feels as extreme as it should do and it would be mazing to see these two battle it out in one of the other wrestling promotions which arn’t so worried about being so family friendly. There is a lot less in the way of highflying manoeuvres then I would have expected but what we have is a pretty good battle of brawn. Yet again it is spoilt by the need to have a stupid intervention by the Usos, Anderson and Gallows. Its still a really good match and is well worth watching, it’s just a shame Styles isn’t given more leeway to bring his more dangerous yet very phenomenal aerobatic manoeuvres to the ring. Its the best thing of the night and really the only worthwhile match of the event.
Overall the event was a dud which happened to have one awesome match and a couple of middle of the road ones. It’s a shame that WWE won’t go back to having the attitude it used to and I feel it is holding them back (even if they have managed to buy up most of the best talent form the different promotions).
This event gets a thumbs down from me.

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