Review for WWE Extreme Rules 2018
Extreme Rules was such a disappointing show that I almost gave up on wrestling altogether. Remember how last time I said “if I ever see James Ellsworth again I may consider quitting watching forever.” After watching, I almost packed away my Ultimate Warrior mask, my vitamins, cans of Steveweisers and keys for the Smackdown Hotel and wanted to go watch something, anything else.
Once again WWE presented a show that was sub-par full of matches that didn't satisfy me in any way.
Once again, this show was far far too long to the point where if I had watched this live (bear in mind in the UK this would have started around midnight) I probably would have fallen asleep.
Once again, Brock Lesnar does not appear and once again the WWE Champion is not in the main event.
Considering how popular both AJ Styles and Rusev are this is such a shame as I can't remember the last time he even main evented a PPV and ever since the PPVs have been co-branded he has been shunted around the card like he doesn't matter. This is not to say that Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler didn't deserve the spotlight for their Iron Man Match, but that's not the point. AJ Styles against Rusev was a good match throughout and I was happy with the outcome. This can't be said about Ziggler and Rollins which felt like a terrible end to what was a great match. At times it felt amazing, but then it just failed for me.
The few highlights on the show are few and far between. Braun Strowman against Kevin Owens had its moments and the ending was certainly memorable. Not as memorable as everyone keeps saying, but certainly memorable. Finn Balor against Baron Corbin was good, not great or memorable, but certainly a good match between them. My favourite match and moment of the night was the sight of the B-Team of Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas defeating 'Woken' Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt for the Raw Tag team titles which was such a great match, simply because no one ever thought it was going to happen. Later on in the show when they were trying to celebrate with Roman Reigns was hilarious.
The Bludgeon Brothers against the reformed Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) was an absolute waste of time and such a waste of the amazing build the return and match. Roman Reigns against Bobby Lashley was a pointless match given far too much time for what is essentially just two big guys going at each other and afterwards I saw little point in the match or its outcome. Shinsuke Nakamura against Jeff Hardy was short and by short I mean in the time you would take to read this sentence the match would be over. Who did it benefit?
We had the rematch between Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss. This could have been great. It could have been. The interactions with Ronda Rousey and the whole build was fantastic, but it was clear that this match was not about Nia Jax and so I knew she wasn't winning the belt back. However, that was a Five Star Classic compared to Asuka against Carmella with James Ellsworth in a cage? What? In? The? World? Did? I? Just? Watch???? I cannot believe after everything Asuka did that she has fallen this far from where she should be. The question used to be 'Who's ready for Asuka?' well based on the last few months... EVERYONE!! Push. Gone!?!
With this PPV being so long it once again was spread over 2 disks which I am seeing as a positive as it is meaning that they are having to put more Extras on to show it is worth it. They include the match between Sin Cara and Andrade 'Cien' Almas is a good match, but so far away from his 5 Star matches Almas was having in NXT it is shocking. The Tables match between The New Day and SAnitY was great and it is odd that they didn't include it on the main card as it was better than most of what they included.
Also included are three extra segments from Raw and Smackdown. A match between Braun Strowman and Kevin Owens was never really meant to be a match and was quite clearly just a way to show how scary strong Strowman is. The confrontation between Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley was just an excuse to have a multi-man brawl in the ring and didn't do much to make me want to watch the match. A MizTV interviewing Team Hell No was a fantastic way to showcase the four tag teams with interruptions from The Bludgeon Brothers, SAnitY and The New Day.
Extreme Rules 2018 could have been a good PPV. It had its moments, but they were so few that everything else felt worse because of it. I watched with my head in my hands at some moments and there were matches that were just plain awful. Although I appreciate WWE trying to put the spotlight on the Intercontinental belt and boost the value of the mid-card all it really showed me is how unimportant they view AJ Styles as WWE Champion. There is very little on this PPV that I would want to watch again.