By Jason Powell
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WWE Extreme Rules 2016 Kickoff Show
Aired live on WWE Network and social media
Newark, New Jersey at Prudential Center
Renee Young introduced the show as shots aired of fans entering the building. Inside the arena, the Asylum match cage was already lowered around the ring. Booker T, Jerry Lawler, and Corey Graves joined Young as the panel for the pre-show. Booker said he can feel it in his bones that history might be made at Extreme Rules. Lawler said that might be Arthur. Arthur who? Arthuritis.
Powell’s POV: I swear I’m not making up that Lawler joke.
Tom Phillips checked in from the social media lounge. He immediately had to laugh and do a clap take at a corny Booker T joke, so he’s earned his check for the evening. Phillips said he will be joined by Rusev and Lana in the masturbation den, er, social media lounge.
The panel discussed the Chris Jericho vs. Dean Ambrose match and a video package was shown… The focus shifted to the Charlotte vs. Natalya match and they also aired a video package…
Paige and Becky Lynch joined the panel to discuss the women’s title match and sat on opposite sides of Uncle Jerry. Becky said Charlotte has won eleven straight pay-per-view matches and she’s done it by being resourceful. She said her biggest resource, Ric Flair, will be backstage. Lawler said he’s been in the Figure Four and in the Sharpshooter. He said the Figure Four hurts more.
Powell’s POV: My younger brothers seemed to disagree with Lawler’s statement on the submission holds when they became experts at taking those moves roughly 30 years ago. In all seriousness, I liked what Lynch and Paige brought to the table. It was nice to hear them talk about the match in a serious manner, which gave us a break from Booker T’s happy Michael Irvin routine.
Mauro Ranallo and Byron Saxton introduced themselves on commentary…
The Dudley Boyz headed to the ring for a promo. They spoke about how they have competed in more extreme rules matches than anyone in the locker room. Bubba brought up ECW and led the crowd in a chant. D-Von reminded the fans that they could watch ECW on the WWE Network, which led to boos.
Bubba said the fans needed to stop acting like geeks who do whatever they want them to do. Bubba said they were responsible for killing off ECW. He said the company went straight into the toilet when they left. Bubba said that’s the same place that most of the careers of the “new era wrestlers” are headed. Bubba teased doing the “Get the tables” bit with D-Von, but he instead asked if they could get out of New Jersey.
Big Cass made his entrance with a mic in hand. He said Bubba wouldn’t tell D-Von to get the table because he ate everything on the table. He ran through a list of food and the fans chanted “how you doin’?” after each food. Cass said they will do what the Dudleys used to do in front the bingo hall only they will do it better and in front of millions of people.
Cass entered the ring and was immediately attacked by Bubba and D-Von. Cass hit the East River Crossing on D-Von. Cass quickly fought them off and then went back to ringside and had the crowd chant along with the sawft bit…
Powell’s POV: No luck when it came to getting Enzo Amore back in his home state. As great as it would have been to see him for the first time since he suffered a concussion, I would have been disappointed if they had wasted his return on the Kickoff show. By the way, Cass failed to perform the East River Crossing on Bubba, who suddenly is on the receiving end of a bunch of jokes about his weight. Coincidence?
Backstage, Jojo interviewed The Miz and Maryse about the four-way. Miz spoke about his challenging acting roles and said none are as big as his role tonight. Miz performed a monologue of the Kurt Russell speech from the movie “Miracle” complete with dramatic music. Miz wanted a second take…
Powell’s POV: My home state hero Herb Brooks just turned over in his grave, perhaps from laughing.
Rusev and Lana were interviewed in Phillips’ beat-off booth. Rusev said he already called his mom and told her he is the U.S. Champion. Phillips read questions submitted via Twitter. Rusev mocked Kalisto’s speed and said Kalisto a 120-pound kid, whereas he is a man. Rusev said his favorite thing about America is the opportunity to make money. “I like money,” he said…
Powell’s POV: Rusev slipped out of his accent more than Lana did.
A video package aired on the Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles feud…
1. Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler in a No DQ match. The Dre trophy was at ringside. Ziggler had a late flurry, but Corbin came back with a spinning slam for a two count. Ziggler ended up catching Corbin with a DDT and a Fameasser for a near fall of his own. Corbin low blowed Ziggler as the broadcast team reminded viewers of the No DQ stipulation. Corbin followed up with End of Days and got the win.
Baron Corbin defeated Dolph Ziggler in a No DQ match in 7:00.
Powell’s POV: The match was fine, but it was tame for a No DQ match aside from the low blow. The only thing really different about the match otherwise is that Ziggler wore a t-shirt.
The Kickoff Show panel discussed the match and delivered a final pitch for the actual Extreme Rules event. Michael Cole was shown making his entrance to end the show…
Join me on the main page for live coverage of the actual Extreme Rules event.