Powell’s WWE Extreme Rules live review: Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles in an Extreme Rules match for the WWE Championship, Charlotte vs. Natalya in a submissions match for the WWE Women’s Championship


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WWE Extreme Rules 2016
Aired live on WWE Network and pay-per-view
Newark, New Jersey at Prudential Center

The Extreme Rules event opened with a video package with the narrator saying we do what we want and make our own rules. “On this night, we rise,” he said. “We will come at them from all sides. A revolution unwilling to submit. Unhinged warriors of the rebellion.” There were clips shown of the top programs. “Tonight we go extreme,” the narrator said to close the slick video…

Pyro shot off on the stage and then the broadcast team of Michael Cole, JBL, and Byron Saxton checked in from ringside. Cole said there were 16,963 fans in the sold out building…

1. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows vs. The Usos in a tornado tag team match. Ring announcer Lilian Garcia explained the rules of the match that allow all four men in the ring at once. Gallows placed one of the Usos on his shoulders, then Anderson performed a running kick off the apron to he head of the Uso. Cole noted that it was a variation of the Boot of Doom finisher.

At 3:50, Anderson performed a running knee on Jey Uso and came up holding his chin briefly, but he seemed to be fine. Anderson and Gallows set up for their finisher, but Jimmy recovered and tripped Anderson from the floor. Jimmy motioned for the crowd to fire up as was booed loudly.

Gallows tossed one Jey Uso over the barricade at ringside and then barked at Anderson to get up. Gallows grabbed the ring bell from the timekeepers area and brought it into the ring. Gallows tried to use it on Jimmy, who superkicked him. Jimmy went for a top rope splash, but Gallows avoided it. Anderson recovered and they hit a tag team move for the win…

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson defeated The Usos in a tornado tag team match in 8:35.

Powell’s POV: The live crowd was tough on the Usos, so just imagine how they will be on Roman Reigns in the main event. The Usos sold heavily afterward and were escorted to the back by referees, so the broadcast team questioned whether this could have some type of effect on the main event. It’s a cool story to tell heading into the main event, though they will need to sell it more because the Usos didn’t take enough abuse to leave viewers thinking they can’t help Reigns.

An ad aired for the new Camp WWE…

2. Kalisto vs. Rusev (w/Lana) for the U.S. Championship. Eden Stiles was the ring announcer. The Bulgarian, Russian, and Japanese broadcast teams checked in. Kalisto opened up with kicks to the thighs of Rusev. Kalisto went for a springboard corkscrew move, but Rusev swatted him away Polish Hammer style. There were dueling “Let’s Go Rusev” and “Rusev sucks” chants.

Rusev wore Kalisto down by holding him from behind on the mat. Kalisto came back with a sleeper, but Rusv aggressively slammed backwards onto Kalisto to break the hold in a cool spot. Kalisto performed a tornado DDT from the middle rope. Kalisto followed up with a springboard corkscrew dive and then a nice huracanrana that drove Rusev’s head into the mat for a two count.

Kalisto sent Rusev to ringside and then performed a huracanrana that flung Rusev into the ring steps. Kalisto performed a springboard splash back inside the ring for a two count. Kalisto led some of the crowd in chanting “lucha” and then Rusev took a powder. Kalisto followed and performed a backflip onto him off the second rope at 7:50.

Kalisto rolled Rusev back inside the ring and went up top, but Rusev recovered and slammed Kalisto onto the ring apron. Cole reminded viewers that it’s the hardest part of the ring. JBL noted that Kalisto had an injured back from the Accolade he took on Monday. The referee called for help from the trainer, leaving Rusev to pace around the ring. Rusev pulled Kalisto back to the middle of the ring and then stomped his back. The referee intervened and checked on Kalisto. Rusev blew off the ref and eventually applied the Accolade. Kalisto tapped out…

Rusev defeated Kalisto in 9:40 to win the U.S. Championship.

Powell’s POV: A strange finish. I was actually waiting for the referee to disqualify Rusev for ignoring his orders and not allowing Kalisto to receive medical treatment. I’m not a fan of it because when there’s a legit medical situation, the fans will be left wondering why the opposing wrestler doesn’t do what Rusev just did. All of that said, it’s nice to see Rusev take a step forward by winning the U.S. Championship again. Now we wait to see if he’s a transitional champion for John Cena.

A commercial aired for the Mick Foley podcast interview with Shane McMahon that will air tomorrow night (join me for live coverage). JBL said he couldn’t wait for the interview. He questioned what Shane will say about his father, his sister, and why he leapt off the Hell in a Cell at WrestleMania. Well, maybe two of those things are enticing. Anyway, Cole set up a preview of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie (they are sponsoring the show) that includes Sheamus as a villain…

New Day made their entrance to a big pop from the crowd. Cole set up a recap of the time machine skit from Raw and it included the finish with The Vaudevillains attacking them at the end. Kofi Kingston said so much for the morals and values from a bygone era. Xavier Woods said they destroyed his time machine, which drew more boos than any heel on the show thus far.

Big E said it was a box, but Woods cut him off and encouraged ladies to send him photos in his time of need. Big E said they were in the Garden State and would put a couple of hoes in the ground. The fans chanted along with the tag champions line and loudly chanted New Day Rocks. The Vaudevillains made their entrance…

3. Big E and Xavier Woods (w/Kofi Kingston) vs. The Vaudevillains for the WWE Tag Team Championship. Woods started the match and got the better of Aiden English briefly, but Simon Gotch distracted him long enough for Gotch to run Woods into the ring post. Later, Woods tagged in E, who hit multiple suplexes on both opponents and then performed a running splash.

English came back and got a near fall on Big E. English tossed E into his partners, then Gotch ran him into the ring steps. The Vaudevillains isolated Woods and performed the Whirling Dervish finisher, but Woods kicked out for a good near fall. Woods fought out of the corner. E returned to spear English off the apron. Moments later, Woods hit a running knee to Gotch and pinned him…

New Day defeated The Vaudevillains to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship in 6:25.

Powell’s POV: An entertaining match with a strong near fall for the challengers. New Day were super over with the Jersey crowd. I hope this wasn’t the peak of the Vaudevillains on the main roster. As much as I enjoyed the near fall, it’s worth nothing that the tag champs already kicked out of their finishing move. Will they continue to feud with New Day? Will they slide into a program with Enzo and Big Cass once Enzo returns?

Backstage, Renee Young interviewed AJ Styles and asked about the potential involvement of Anderson and Gallows. Styles said that no matter what happens, he will walk out with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and he will continue to be phenomenal. Styles entered a locker room marked “The Club” on the door…

Cole set up a video package on the Intercontinental Title match…

4. The Miz (w/Maryse) vs. Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn in a Fatal Four-Way for the Intercontinental Championship. Cole said Owens was only the second person in WWE history to appear on every pay-per-view in his first year. JBL jumped in and said Taker appeared at one show, but did not wrestle, whereas Owens has actually wrested on each pay-per-view event. Cool stat.

The bell rang and Zayn immediately hit Owens with a Helluva kick. Cesaro disposed of Miz, then Zayn and Cesaro squared off. Later, Zayn dove onto Miz and Cesaro at ringside, then threw Miz inside the ring to face off with him. Owens returned to the match and worked over Zayn. Cesaro tried to return, but Owens kicked him, then performed a senton on Zayn for two at 5:25. Owens taunted Zayn by yelling, “It’s my title” at him.

Owens went up top, but Miz returned to the ring and cut him off. Owen fought him off and then had to fight off Zayn. Miz and Zayn ended up going for a double superplex, then Cesaro snuck underneath to return it into a tower of doom spot. Cesaro was unable to get a pin.. Cesaro held up Zayn for a suplex. Zayn delivered knees to the head of Cesaro, then caught him with a Blue Thunder Bomb. Miz attacked Zayn. There was a cool spot with Cesaro performing a double exploder suplex a short time later.

Cesaro performed the obligatory running uppercuts on all three opponents. He went for the Swing on Miz, but Owens performed a suplex on Cesaro to break it up. Owens performed cannonballs on all three opponents. There was a nice series of rapid fire moves that resulted in Miz performing the Skull Crushing Finale on Cesaro and getting a two count.

At 12:30, Cesaro performed the Swing on Miz and the crowd counted 20 revolutions before Cesaro applied the Sharpshooter. Miz reached the ropes to break the hold. Cesaro tried to pull him back. Miz grabbed Maryse and Cesaro dragged them both into the middle of the ring. The referee got Maryse out of the ring and didn’t know Miz tapped out.

A short time later, Cesaro went for the Swing. Owens performed a top rope splash onto the knees of Miz. Cesaro performed the Neutralizer on Owens. Zayn ended up breaking up the cover in another very good near fall. JBL noted that he saw Pat Patterson backstage and assumed he would be loving the match. Zayn got a nice near fall on Cesaro off a cool rollup.

Zayn charged at Cesaro, who blasted him with an uppercut. Zayn came right back with an exploder suplex. Zayn set up for his finisher, but ran right into a superkick from Owens. Cesaro charged Owens, who performed a Popup Powerbomb. Owens went for a cover, but Miz blocked it. Owens knocked Miz down on the floor then got caught bickering with Maryse, which allowed Miz to hit Owens with his finisher.

The crowd cheered and chanted “Yes!” as all four men were down at 17:00. Zayn performed a Helluva Kick on Cesaro and covered him, but Owens pulled him off to break up the count. As Zayn attacked Owens at ringside, The Miz covered Cesaro and pinned him to win the match…

The Miz defeated Kevin Owens, Cesaro, and Sami Zayn to retain the Intercontinental Title in 18:15.

Powell’s POV: A very good match with good drama. It will be hard for anything to come close to topping this for match of the night. I like the Miz retaining more than most people probably do. I didn’t want to see Zayn or Cesaro win their first IC Title in a four-way. Give me a story focussed on one of them chasing and eventually winning the title when the time is right.

The Kickoff Show panel checked in and Rene Young helped the broadcast team recap what happened in the hour that led up to Extreme Rules…

A video package set up the Asylum match…

5. Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho in an Asylum match. The cage had all the weapons shown leading up to the event. They had a barbwire bat and other serious weapons, but they went the comedy route with a mop to start. At 7:00, Jericho pulled the barbwire bat down as Ambrose pulled down the nunchakus. Ambrose performed the Larry Zbyszko move set with the nunchakus and then struck Jericho with them.

They ended up bringing most of the other weapons into play. At 11:20, Ambrose slammed the strap over Jericho’s back a couple times and Jericho cried out in pain. Ambrose also appeared to catch Jericho in the face with one strap shot. Jericho came back and whipped Ambrose into the cage. Jericho told the referee to open the door, but the ref told him it stays close. Saxton said there’s no escape just as Jericho tried to escape over the top of the cage only to be stopped by Ambrose.

The remaining hanging weapons were a fire extinguisher, a bucket, a straight jacket, and a potted plant. Ambrose climbed up to grab the extinguisher rather than use the assortment of weapons already lying in the ring. Jericho threw the straight jacket over the face of Ambrose and got a two count. Jericho tried to place Ambrose in the straight jacket. Ambrose said no repeatedly and fought out of it.

There was a loud “We Want Rollins” chant, which is the most noise the crowd made all match. Ambrose and Jericho fought on the ropes. Ambrose knocked Jericho down. Ambrose looked to the bored crowd and then climbed to the top of the cage and ended up performing his elbow drop onto the standing Jericho to a flat reaction.

Ambrose pulled the bucket down and it contained a bag of tacks that got a tacks, which he spread around the ring for a better pop than the other weapons received. Jericho looked horrified and tried to escape, but Ambrose stopped him. Ambrose caught him in the electric chair, but Jericho rolled through for a two count. They took turns teasing one man landing on the tacks before Jericho ran Ambrose into the cage and then Ambrose comically fell in front of him.

Jericho ended up applying the Walls of Jericho. Ambrose grabbed the kendo stick and struck Jericho with it repeatedly to break the hold. Ambrose went to the ropes and Jericho ended up spraying him with the fire extinguisher. Jericho performed the Codebreaker for a two count. Jericho struck Ambrose in the gut with the barbwire bat a couple times and jawed at him to get up. Jericho went the Codebreaker when Ambrose stood up, but Ambrose caught him and dropped him onto the tacks. Ambrose performed Dirty Deeds on the thumbtacks and pinned him.

Dean Ambrose beat Chris Jericho in an Asylum match in 26:20.

Powell’s POV: Release the Kennel Match hounds! This was a campy garbage match mess. The effort was there and I’m sure Jericho will especially feel it in the morning, but the live crowd was flat for everything other than the thumbtacks. I dubbed this match the Clockwork Orange House of Lethal Lockdown fun based on two terrible TNA gimmick matches, and I’ll be damned if they didn’t pull out the thumbtacks, which are staples of TNA garbage matches. I hope no one kids themselves into defending this by saying the crowd would have reacted better if it didn’t have to follow the four-way. They had 26 painful minutes to get the crowd into the match and nothing worked.

A WWE Network commercial aired and then Noelle family, her mother, and siblings were shown at ringside. Cole pimped the WWE Cruiserweight Classic… A video package set up the women’s title match… Ric Flair was shown backstage wishing Charlotte luck before the introductions for the women’s match…

6. Charlotte vs. Natalya in a submission match for the WWE Women’s Championship (with Ric Flair banned from ringside). Cole said Charlotte is the first woman in history to have a match on eleven straight pay-per-views, plus she appeared on two network specials during that time. Natalya performed a slow paced version of her run over Charlotte into the ropes and then followed by the dropkick spot.

Later, Charlotte worked over Natalya’s knee and performed a moonsault and then a half crab. Natalya yelled no repeatedly, broke free, and performed a release German suplex. Natalya applied the Sharpshooter. The fans started looking at the entrance area. Charlotte reached the ropes. Cole explained that Natalya doesn’t have to break the hold until five. Huh?

Ric Flair’s music played and Natalya immediately released the hold and acted like she won. A woman dressed like Flair walked out and then revealed herself to be Dana Brooke. Charlotte took control and applied the Figure Eight for the submission win…

Charlotte defeated Natalya in a submission match to retain the WWE Women’s Championship in 9:50.

After the match, Ric Flair headed to the ring to celebrate with his daughter and Brooke, who wooooed and hugged Flair.

Powell’s POV: Saxton acted all pissed off about the way Charlotte won, but he wasn’t the least bit believable. I can’t blame him. I wouldn’t want to act outraged over that mess either. I turned on WWE Network and a TNA at its worst pay-per-view broke out mid-show. It feels like the four-way match was held a week ago rather than just two matches ago. I was looking forward to the women’s match and it just never got going. The crowd hasn’t come back to life since the four-way, nor has WWE given them any reason to. This show desperately needs a hot main event.

A video package set up the main event. AJ Styles made his entrance. The crowd started booing when AJ’s music stopped and continued through the introduction of Roman Reigns, who entered via the stage and held up his title belt. JBL spoke about how Roman’s match with Brock Lensar was a tossup until Seth Rollins cashed in Money in the Bank, and he said this might be Styles’ last title shot. Lilian Garcia delivered the in-ring introductions for the title match.

7. Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles in an Extreme Rules match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. JBL gave the recycled John Cena line about how everyone has an opinion on Reigns. The fans chanted “You Can’t Wrestle” as the match got underway. They cheered when Styles threw punches and kicks, then booed when Reigns shoved him down and followed up with clotheslines in the corner.

Reigns swung and Styles avoided the punch, but Reigns came right back with a high knee to the head of a charging Styles that caused Reigns men to fall down. There was an audible “Roman sucks” chant. Styles grabbed a chair from ringside, but Reigns cut him off and took the chair. Styles regrouped and roughed up Reigns on the floor. Styles tore the main broadcast table apart, then clotheslined Reigns over the barricade.

Styles hopped over the barricade and took the fight to Reigns in an aisle in hte crowd. Reigns fought back. Styles jabbed a chair into the gut of Reigns. They fought over to the Kickoff Show set. Reigns threw Styles onto what they called a glass table. It survived. Another loud “Roman sucks” chant started and then ended when Styles caught him with a kick to the head. Styles leapt off the table and put Reigns down with a Phenomenal Forearm.

Reigns and Styles fought back to ringside where Styles ran the head of Reigns into the ring post. Styles removed the padding around the “steel barricade” at ringside and slammed Reigns’s head into it. Styles pulled the ringside pads back and went for a Styles Clash, but Reigns broke free and punched him.

At 8:45, Reigns wanted to powerbomb Styles onto a broadcast table, but Styles fought out of it. Styles went for the Styles Clash on the table. Reigns broke free and punched Styles off the table. Styles charged at Reigns, who back body dropped him through the main broadcast table. Reigns rolled Styles back inside the ring and covered him for two.

Reigns broke out a crucifix sit-out powerbomb for a two count. Cool move. Moments later, Reigns went for a spear, but Styles clipped his knee. Reigns sold a knee injury. He rammed Styles into the corner, but went back to holding his knee. Styles suplexed Reigns into the corner.

Roman’s knee didn’t seem to bother him moments later when he caught Styles at ringside, flung him, then powerbombed him through the Spasnish announce table at 13:30. Roman tried to follow up with a spear at ringside. Styles moved and Reigns crashed onto, well, a pad. There was a dueling chant with the Styles fans winning out.

AJ set up for his finisher, but Reigns caught him with a Superman Punch that knocked him to ringside. Reigns speared Styles on the floor. Reigns rolled Styles back inside the ring. Anderson and Gallows ran out and attacked Reigns at 17:15 and hit him with the Boot of Doom. They placed Styles on top of Reigns, who kicked out at two.

The Usos ran out and threw superkicks that cleared Anderson and Gallows from the ring. They superkicked Styles and one of them performed a top rope splash before rolling Reigns onto Styles, who kicked out at two. Anderson and Gallows destroyed the Usos at ringside. Anderson and Gallows returned to the ring and ate Superman Punches.

Reigns set up for his finisher in the corner, but he ran into a boot from Styles, who followed up with a Styles Clash for a very good near fall at 19:20. Styles placed the chair in mid-ring and went for move, but Reigns backdropped him and Styles’s leg landed on the chair. Reigns went for a spear, but Styles caught him with a leaping kick and then followed up with a Styles Clash onto the chair. One of the Usos grabbed Styles, who kicked himself free and then covered Reigns for another good near fall at 20:50.

Styles picked up the chair and struck Reigns with it a couple times. The Usos ran in and Styles worked them and Reigns over with chair shots and cleared the Usos from the ring. Styles went to the apron and went for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Reigns caught him with a spear and pinned him…

Roman Reigns defeated AJ Styles in an Extreme Rules match to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in 22:10.

Reigns celebrated his win. Seth Rollins ran out and attacked Reigns and put him down with a Pedigree. The fans roared for Rollins, who had a black t-shirt with a new design and new black and gray/silver pants with the same SR logo. Rollins picked up the title belt and looked at it. Rollins held up the title belt and the crowd cheered to close the show…

Powell’s POV: A strong main event with very some good near falls even for someone who assumed Reigns was going to retain. The finish looked great even when they replayed it in slow motion. The live crowd came to life for the main event. It’s not the dynamic that WWE would like for Reigns regardless of how they attempt to recycle the John Cena lingo. The majority of the fans despise Reigns. It seemed like every fan treated Rollins like a returning hero. So naturally Reigns will be the babyface and Rollins will be the heel. Wait, does that make any sense to anyone who doesn’t work for WWE?

Overall, the four-way match and the main event delivered big. This show needed a hot main event coming off the ridiculously long and painful Asylum match, and the letdown women’s match, and we got it. Throw in the Rollins return and they close the show strongly enough that most viewers will leave satisfied. I will have a lot more to say later tonight in members’ audio with Jake Barnett.


Readers Comments (4)

  1. “I hope no one kids themselves into defending this by saying the crowd would have reacted better if it didn’t have to follow the four-way.”

    Oh come off your damn pedestal already, Powell. I do think that it did have a hand in the crowd being so deflated, at least during the opening moments (and you’re the one kidding yourself if you think otherwise), but I think the real culprit was that is just went way too damn long. They could have easily cut about 10 minutes off that match and it would have been much more entertaining. Bryan Alvarez said that a segment got cut which made the match go longer than it should have, so take that for what you will.

    Anyways, huge props to Jericho got taking that thumbtack spot. It’s a silly spot, but I’ll never deny anyone’s toughness for agreeing to be on the receiving end of thumbtacks.

    • I’ll also never deny anyone’s stupidity for agreeing to be on the receiving end of thumbtacks. A ridiculous and unnecessary spot. What a mess matches like that are, geeky freak shows

  2. It reigns again, the Roman empire stand stronger than ever. Come on Roman.

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