WWE Extreme Rules 2017 (Review)

WWE goes extreme, as five men battle to determine who becomes the first challenger for Brock Lesnar’s WWE Universal Championship. Alexa Bliss looks to defend her WWE RAW Women’s Championship against the woman she took it from, Bayley…


Dean Ambrose (C)
vs.
The Miz (with Maryse)
WWE Intercontinental Championship
If Dean Ambrose is disqualified, he loses his Championship
3star
(Winner via pinfall, and new Champion: The Miz)

Noam Dar & Alicia Fox
vs.
Rich Swann & Sasha Banks
2half_star
(Winners via pinfall: Rich Swann & Sasha Banks)

Alexa Bliss (C)
vs.
Bayley
Kendo Stick on a Pole match for the WWE RAW Women’s Championship
1star
(Winner via pinfall: Alexa Bliss)

Matt Hardy & Jeff Hardy (“The Hardy Boyz”) (C)
vs.
Sheamus & Cesaro
Cage Match for the WWE RAW Tag Team Championship
3star
(Winners via escaping the cage, and new champions: Sheamus & Cesaro)

Neville (C)
vs.
Austin Aries
Submission Match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
3star
(Winner via submission: Neville)

Finn Balor
vs.
Seth Rollins
vs.
Samoa Joe
vs.
Roman Reigns
vs.
Bray Wyatt
Fatal-5-Way Extreme Rules Match to determine #1 Contender for the WWE Universal Championship
3half_star
(Winner via Referee Stoppage: Samoa Joe)


Review

WWE Extreme Rules 2017 was a well-presented show, but one that felt lacklustre in the ring. Whilst much of the lineup looked good on paper, it under delivered and the undercard in particular was very weak.

The Miz and Dean Ambrose got the show off to a decent start, having as good a match as these two will likely ever be able to have with each other. Both men gel on the mic, but not quite so much in the ring, but there was enough here to enjoy, particularly the spot where Ambrose almost got himself disqualified as he was about to hit Miz’s head into the exposed turnbuckle. The Miz has been in the Intercontinental Championship title picture non-stop for about 14 months now, and I’d hoped to see him step up into a bigger non-title feud, so it was disappointing to see him win the belt yet again. Yes, he built the championship up in 2016, but we are in a new year now, and The Miz really should be allowed to get some high profile feuds going.

Whilst it was nice to see Sasha Banks once again in a non-title match, and certainly her character will be helped by this break she’s had from championship matches, her mixed tag match was simply there to offer a fun little contest for the audience that didn’t really progress anything of real substance.

The RAW Women’s Championship match, however, was far worse and easily the weakest match we have seen for that title since it was introduced in April 2016. Not only were Bayley and Alexa Bliss given barely any time to work, they were handcuffed by a match stipulation that meant they then had to devote a large percentage of their few allotted minutes to retrieving a kendo stick from a pole. Putting the stick on a pole in the first place was a bad call, but whoever chose to give these ladies such a short amount of time to work in really needs to be given a slap, as it ended up being the worst match of the night and perhaps the worst PPV match in WWE this year.

The title matches that followed fared much better, although the Hardy Boyz versus Sheamus and Cesaro wasn’t without its problems. I can only assume Jeff Hardy is still working hurt, which is why they had him leave the cage so early on, but the end result was largely a 2-on-1 beatdown on Matt Hardy, leaving us with a match that was okay, but should have been great.

Neville and Austin Aries did some great work though, and I’m happy they resisted the urge to put the championship on Aries, as a longer stint for Neville is the right way to go. I’ve no idea who his next challenger will be, but I’d like to see Tozawa get a PPV opportunity against him. I was happy to see this match get the semi-main event spot.

The main event itself made up for what was a generally weak show. All five competitors had opportunities to shine, there were some big spots, and I enjoyed the lack of near falls. Multi-man contests can often descend into desperate attempts to grab sneaky pins, but that didn’t happen here, and we even had a distinct lack of finishers, so it really was booked differently to your typical WWE main events. Samoa Joe getting the win came absolutely out of left field, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to see him go up against Brock Lesnar at the upcoming WWE Great Balls of Fire 2017 event.

As written earlier, the presentation of the show was absolutely fine, but the wrestling never felt like it really got out of first gear, with a few exceptions of course. The main event saved this show from a truly underwhelming rating.

Match of the Night

Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe vs. Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns

Rating

2half_star

You can view this event via the WWE Network app, or at WWENetwork.com.
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