Extreme Rules 2016 Recap/Analysis

For the first time in years, Extreme Rules actually lived up to its name. There was violence, brawling, insanity, and a long-awaited return that will change the main event scene of WWE for good.

Anderson & Gallows vs. The Usos (Tornado Tag Team Match)

The Usos and the Club wasted no time in going after each other right away, brawling both in and out of the ring. Gallows and Anderson hit a brutal Boot of Doom from the apron out of the ring. Gallows began taking some punishment, but Anderson intervened with a cruel knee to the head.

The Usos fought back, looking to hit their finishing splash, but Anderson prevented it. Gallows dodged a corkscrew move from the ropes, but went right into a Samoan Drop. The four men reached a stalemate. Anderson was the first to his feet, but he ran right into a kick from Jey Uso, who ran him into the barricade only to run into a clothesline from Gallows, who proceeded to throw him over the barricade.

Gallows, on his own, grabbed the bell itself, but ran into a Superkick. He dodged a splash, and Jimmy splashed onto the bell. The two finished him off soon after.

THANK GOD.

Kalisto vs. Rusev (United States Championship match)

Lana presented Rusev, which was certainly missed.

Kalisto immediately went to work attacking Rusev’s legs, utilizing his speed. He went for a corkscrew from the ropes, but Rusev swatted him with ease. He continued to dish out punishment on the Luchador, locking Kalisto into a less than comfortable bear hug, targeting his lower back.

Kalisto managed to reverse it into a sleeper hold of his own, but Rusev managed to slam him onto the ground. Kalisto bought himself recovery time with a DDT, dodging Rusev and hitting a corkscrew and hurricarana for a near-fall. He flew through the ropes and hit another hurricarana on Rusev out of the ring, sending him into the steel steps, but Rusev stayed alive.

Kalisto hit a moonsault from the top rope out of the ring, ascending to the top rope, but Rusev threw him off and onto the ring apron. Kalisto barely moved, and Doctors tried tending to him, but Rusev was relentless, locking in the Accolade for the win.

Rusev is on a hot streak, back to his old, dominating ways with a new undercurrent of entertainment that makes him easily watchable and extremely enjoyable. Best of luck to the new champ. Kill it.

Or, better yet, CRUSH IT.

The New Day vs. The Vaudevillains (WWE Tag Team Championship match)

The New Day cut a brilliant promo on the Vaudevillains, hilariously comparing the to garden hoes.

Xavier Woods and Aiden English started things off, with Woods hitting a hurricarana before interference from Gotch, who then tagged in, sent him out of the ring. Gotch took him back into the ring, and English took over, working Woods into the mat before locking in a chokehold. Gotch took over from there, and Woods hit a kick to buy himself time to crawl to Big E, who tagged in.

Big E hit belly to bellies on both English and Gotch before hitting a splash on English in the center of the ring. But English fought back, and Gotch and English teamed up, nearly pinning Woods. Big E returned with a fury, throwing English out of the ring. Kofi took English out, and Woods pinned Gotch to retain.

Always good to see Woods in the ring. The match was well-paced, and the right team won. Vaudevillains will get their shot, but these titles are not theirs to win just yet.

The Miz vs. Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn (Intercontinental Championship match)

Sami Zayn barely waited for the bell before taking Owens out with a Helluva Kick, and Cesaro took the Miz out with an uppercut, leaving the two babyfaces in the ring together. Sami went on the attack, hitting an arm drag and hurricarana. Zayn sent Cesaro out of the ring, and the Miz charged back into action.

Zayn threw them both out of the ring, flying to take the two out. Zayn dragged Miz back into the ring, but was driven into the turnbuckle. The two went to the ropes, but Owens flew back into action, targeting Zayn right away. He drove Zayn into Cesaro, slapping him silly.

Zayn looked to power back with a superplex, but Cesaro turned it into a massive superplex, tossing all three Superstars over his shoulder in an incredible display. Zayn hit a Blue Thunder Bomb and Miz kicked him out of the way looking to take advantage.

Cesaro hit an exploder suplex on Zayn and the Miz and proceeded to take the three others on a ride on the uppercut train. He looked to take Miz swinging, but Owens came back into action, nearly hitting his finisher on Zayn. Miz hit the Skull-Crushing Finale on Cesaro, but he kicked out.A furious Miz slapped Cesaro, but Cesaro hit an uppercut corkscrew, taking Miz swinging before locking in the Sharpshooter. Miz tapped, but the official didn’t see. Owens tried interfering, but Cesaro hit him with a Neutralizer. Zayn broke the pin.

Zayn and Cesaro traded near-falls. Zayn went for the Helluva Kick, and Cesaro hit an uppercut. Zayn ran into a Superkick, and Owens hit the Pop-up Powerbomb, and Miz interfered. Miz looked to pin Cesaro, who kicked out.

Zayn hit the Helluva Kick, but Owens broke it. Infuriated, the two brawled out of the ring, and Miz took advantage, covering Cesaro to retain.

Hello, match of the year candidate! This match was electric from start to finish, stocked full of thrilling near-falls and perfectly executed spots by all four men. I cannot wait to see the heights they will take each other to next.

Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho (Asylum Match)

Jericho called for the door to be opened, but Ambrose caught him immediately, throwing him to the ground soundly. Jericho went climbing, but Ambrose caught him, taking him down yet again, throwing him into the cage’s side twice.

The two climbed up, and Ambrose reached the mop first, hitting Y2J soundly with the mop with a smirk on his face. He mopped Jericho down with glee, but Jericho fought back with a missile dropkick, using the mop himself. He went for the barbed wire 2×4, but Ambrose hit a suplex from the second rope to delay him.

Ambrose and Jericho both ascended the cage, with Ambrose getting nunchucks while Jericho grabbed the 2×4. Turns out Ambrose can actually use them, and he took advantage. Jericho looked to escape the cage, and Ambrose followed him up. Jericho grabbed the kendo stick, knocking Ambrose back into the ring and sitting proudly atop the cage.

Jericho hit Ambrose with a  diving kendo stick, and used the nunchucks before hitting a suplex. Jericho grabbed the giant strap, whipping Ambrose, but the Lunatic Fringe fought back, grabbing the strap himself and returning the favor. Jericho launched Ambrose into the cage, looking to escape, but Ambrose caught him, and the two exchanged punches before Ambrose knocked Jericho into the ropes.

Ambrose retrieved the fire extinguisher, and Jericho grabbed the straitjacket. Jericho used the jacket to blind Ambrose and hit a dropkick, flinging Ambrose into the cage and hitting a second dropkick. Jericho nearly got Ambrose locked into the jacket, but Ambrose fought out, hitting a flurry of strikes and driving Jericho into the turnbuckle.

Ambrose hit a STUNNING Flying Elbow from the top of the cage and retrieved thumbtacks, spilling them on the ground. Jericho went for a lionsault, but Ambrose countered it. Jericho locked in the Walls, but Ambrose refused to tap, dragging himself to the kendo stick, which he used to break out of the hold. Jericho blinded Ambrose witht he fire extinguisher, hitting the Codebreaker, but Ambrose kicked out.

Jericho used the barbed wire 2×4, striking Ambrose, but Ambrose threw him into the thumbtacks and hit Dirty Deeds for the pinfall.

This match was way too long, but the shocking ending saved it. Kudos to Jericho for sacrificing his freaking body. Ambrose looked absolutely deadly as he left, which was great to see.

Charlotte vs. Natalya (Submission match for the WWE Women’s Championship)

Natalya went right for Charlotte’s legs, locking down the champ’s legs before Charlotte reversed into a headlock, applying pressure to Nattie’s jaw. Natalya hit a dropkick to Charlotte’s face, working Charlotte’s back, but Charlotte managed to leap over the ropes, noly to run into a clothesline.

Natalya pursued, but Charlotte, infuriated, hit her with a series of brutal strikes. Natalya sent her into the steel post, returning to the ring, but Charlotte retaliated with a boot to the face. Natalya locked Charlotte into an armbar, but Charlotte broke it by reversing into a powerbomb.

Charlotte locked in a submission move on Natalya’s legs, and Natalya reached the ropes for the break. Charlotte continued the assault, driving Nattie into the ropes with a suplex. Charlotte hit a moonsault into a half crab, and Nattie escaped, launching Charlotte with a German suplex, locking in the Sharpshooter.

Charlotte reached the ropes, but Natalya dragged her back into the middle of the ring. Dana Brooke emerged, dressed as Ric Flair, and distracted Natalya, allowing Charlotte to lock in the Figure 8 for the victory. With Ric Flair and Dana, she celebrated in the ring.

Great match, very intelligently put together, but what a screwy ending. Once again, Creative let its ladies down.

Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles (Extreme Rules match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship)

Styles was amped up from the start, utilizing his high energy against Reigns’ raw power. He drove Reigns into the turnbuckle, but Reigns shoved right back, slamming Styles into the turnbuckle with a series of punches. The two went after each other, and Reigns hit Styles with a knee to the chest.

Styles retreated from the ring, going for a steel chair, but Reigns caught him, grabbing the chair for himself and returning to the ring. Back outside the ring, Reigns looked to hit Styles with the chair, but Styles drove him into the announce table with a series of strikes. Styles cleared the table and drove Reigns over the barricade, driving Reigns through the crowd. Reigns threw Styles into the stands, but AJ fought back with a chair to the gut.

Reaching the kickoff panel set, Styles was thrown by Reigns onto the unforgiving glass table. Styles hit a desperate kick from the table, and then hit the Phenomenal Forearm. The two continued to brawl back to the timekeeping area, and Styles drove Reigns into the barricade, unpadded. He then peeled away the floor padding, looking for the Clash, but Reigns fought out of it, driving Styles into the steel steps.

Reigns looked to powerbomb Styles, but Styles fought out with furious punches. Styles looked for the Clash on the table, but Reigns sent him over the barricade again. Reigns hit Styles again with a back body drop onto the other announce table. Reigns returned Styles to the ring, but Styles did not surrender. Reigns went for the Superman Punch, but Styles reversed it, seemingly harming Reigns’ knees before driving him into the turnbuckle again.

Styles hit a running knee, but Reigns caught him, throwing him against the ring and barricade before throwing him into the table. Reigns went for the spear, but Styles dodged, returning Reigns to the ring. Styles ascended tot he top rope, but Reigns caught him with the Superman Punch, knocking Styles out of the ring. Reigns hit the spear, throwing Styles back into the ring, but Anderson and Gallows emerged, hitting the Boot of Doom. Reigns kicked out.

The Usos joined the fray, Superkicking Styles and hitting the splash, but Styles kicked out. Reigns took out Anderson and Gallows, going for the spear. Styles caught him, hitting the Styles Clash, and Reigns kicked out. Styles looked to hit it again on the chair, but Reigns threw him off. Reigns ran into a Pelee Kick, and hit the Clash on the chair, going for the cover, but an Uso pulled him off long enough to allow Reigns to kick out.

Styles went crazy on everyone, decimating the Usos and Reigns with the steel chair, and went for the Phenomenal Forearm, but fell to the spear.

Reigns held his title high, BUT THEN SETH ROLLINS RETURNED OUT OF NOWHERE, downing Reigns with a Pedigree and holding the title he never lost high to end the night.

First off…SETH FREAKING ROLLINS IS FREAKING BACK!

The crowd came absolutely unglued for the returning Superstar, giving him a hero’s welcome. Well deserved too.

Now, as for the match itself…

What a freaking disappointment. Once again, Roman Reigns took out Anderson and Gallows on his own, and then magically recovered from multiple steel chair shots to spear AJ Styles out of the air. What a joke. AJ deserved better. We as viewers deserved better.

Styles is one of the best wrestlers in the entire world. Not just in WWE, but in the world. He deserves better booking. Hell, Reigns deserves better. It feels like Creative is sabotaging him at this point.

All in all, Seth Rollins is back, AJ Styles should rule the world, and the IC boys deserve a trophy. Good night.

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