WWE Extreme Rules 2019 took place on Sunday July 14 on the The WWE Network from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA home of the extreme promotion in the 1990’s Extreme Championship Wrestling, ECW. How extreme would WWE get? How extreme would the quality be? Find out now in my report card.
Kickoff Match #1: Shinske Nakamura pinned WWE I.C. Champion Finn Bálor with the KINSHASA to win the championship in 7:35.
Grade: 2.25 stars, (C). It seemed these two were sleep walking during this match. This was not bad, but these two are capable of much more. I hope that the title change leads to a better match later on. It is good to see Nakamura motivated and back as a singles wrestler.
Kickoff Match #2: WWE Cruiserweight Champion Drew Gulak pinned Tony Nese with The Argentine Cutter in 7:45.
Grade: 1.75, (D+). Disappointing match between these two. It was criminally short and the ending came out of nowhere. Gulak winning was expected, but Nese never seemed like he had a chance. The match was a little sloppy too.
Match 1: Roman Reigns and The Undertaker defeated Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon when Taker pinned Shane with The Tombstone in 16:55
Grade: 3 stars, (B-). Interesting way to start the PPV. This was a very formulaic match. A tame No Holds Barred Match with very little done to distinguish it from a normal match. The match was solid and everything worked. I loved the visual of McIntyre stalking Undertaker only to be speared by Reigns. It will be interesting to see where these four go next.
Match 2: RAW Tag Team Champions The Revival defeated The Usos when Scott Dawson pinned Jimmy with The Shatter Machine. In 12:35
Grade: 3.25 stars, (B). Solid match between the two teams with many classic tag team spots. I love both teams, and I would a little bit of a longer match between the two. This was good though
Match 3: Aleistar Black pinned Cesaro with The Black Mass in 9:45
Grade: 3.5 stars, (B). Even though the storyline beforehand didn’t make sense, Black in a dark room begging someone to come and fight him and having Cesaro be the one to answer the call. It seemed like Cesaro would be the gatekeeper and Black would go on to another opponent quickly. This was a great match and these two guys showed off their masterful striking. I could watch these two strike all day.
Match 4: Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley defeated Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross in a handicapped match when she pinned Cross with a Top Rope Elbow Drop in 10:20
Grade: 1 star, (D-). Yawn! I really did not like this match. It felt flat. Despite having the advantage, it never felt like Bliss and Cross would win the title, and Bliss just is not excited when she has the advantage. Good win for Bayley, but no hint on what’s next for all three.
Match 5: Braun Strowman defeated Bobby Lashley in a Last Man Standing Match in 18:20.
Grade: 2 stars, (C-). This was a very long brawl throughout the building with a couple of cool spots sprinkled in. I am a little disappointed that the spear through the stage two weeks earlier on RAW was not followed up on. Strowman looked dominate here, so let us see where he goes next.
Match 6: The New Day defeated Heavy Machinery and Smackdown Tag Team Champions Daniel Bryan and Rowan to win the championship when Big E. pinned Bryan after The Midnight Hour in 13:58.
Grade: 4 stars, (A). Wow! Where did that come from? All three teams shined, and this was an amazing three-way tag tam match. Heavy Machinery showed why they would be a solid team for years to come, and Daniel Bryan showed he is one of the best right now. I hope that this means Bryan returns to singles action.
Match 7: AJ Styles pinned WWE U.S. Champion Ricochet to win the championship with a Second Rope Reverse Styles Clash in 16:33
Grade: 3.75 stars, (A-). This was not as great as I thought it would be, but it was still good. The Club’s interference was well done and these two worked a great WWE style match. I just feel these two are capable of a lot more. I hope we see more in a future match.
Match 8: Kevin Owens pinned Dolph Ziggler with The Stunner in 0:10
Grade: 0 stars, (F). Owens came out, stunned Ziggler and told Shane McMahon to kiss his ass. This was all about the post-match promo and hopefully this means Ziggler will take another sabbatical. He is talented, but if WWE does not want to use him to his fullest potential. What is the point?
Match 9: WWE Champion Kofi Kingston pinned Samoa Joe with Trouble in Paradise in 9:45
Grade: 3.25 stars, (B). I really enjoyed this match even though it was short. I liked the dynamic between the two wrestlers. I am just a little upset that the WWE decided to use Joe in this role. He seems like he will always be the groomsman and never the groom. It is a shame because if Joe ever wins the WWE Title, he will be the first man to win the WWE, NXT, TNA, and ROH World Titles. The most prestigious wrestling grand slam this century.
Match 10: Universal Champion Seth Rollins and RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch defeated Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans when Rollins pinned Corbin with three stomps in 19:55
Grade: 3 stars, (B-). The silliness aside, there were many rules for a no rules match; this was a good weapons match. They told their story as best they could, and we even got a controversial moment as Corbin hit The End of Days on Lynch towards the end. As a result of losing, Corbin and Evans cannot challenge Rollins and Lynch again as long as they are champions, but…
Match 11: Brock Lesnar pinned Universal Champion Seth Rollins with the F5 to win the championship in 0:13.
Grade: 0 stars, (F). The Beast In the Bank cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and easily defeated Rollins to regain the championship. I understand WWE wanting Lesnar to go into SummerSlam as champion, but Rollins was on fire at the end of the mixed tag. Why couldn’t Rollins grab a chair or a Kendo Stick to defend himself? Rollins looks weak after this PPV.
Overall Show Grade: 2.37 stars, (C). The reason why this grade seems a little low is that I figured in the Owens-Ziggler match and the Lesnar cash-in into the equation. Without those two matches, the grade would be a C+ (2.8) which is an accurate grade for this show. It was slightly above average. The Smackdown Women’s Match and Last man Standing are pretty skippable, but the rest of the show was good. I am interested to see what happens at SummerSlam especially with Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff getting creative power in their role as Executive Directors. Sometimes, something as simple as fresh eyes can improve a product. The WWE is on an upswing and I think it is only going to get better.