WWE Extreme Rules 2017 was a night set for extreme havoc involving weapons and previously successful gimmicks. It literally was a night which was scheduled with malice and ill intent for everyone involved in terms of what’s legal and where.
From a kendo stick toting women’s championship match between Alexa Bliss and Bayley, to a championship tag-team matchup between the Hardy Boys and Cesaro and Sheamus inside of a steel cage. Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, and Bray Wyatt in a fatal-five way matchup to decide the number one contender for the Universal Championship. The winner of that match is eligible for a match to wrestle Brock Lesnar in July for his WWE Universal Championship.
Dean Ambrose vs. The Miz (Intercontinental Championship) – The Miz attempted from the very beginning to play on the emotions of Ambrose looking to get him disqualified. The lengths the Miz will go to to get under his opponents skin may, in fact, be unmatched. When all was said and done, the Miz hit a Skull-Crushing Finale for the victory and won the Intercontinental Championship via pinfall.
Sasha Banks and Rich Swann vs. Naom Dar and Alicia Fox – Fox was injured as Banks and Swann won via pinfall. Not a very entertaining match.
Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley (Raw Women’s Championship; Kendo Stick on a Pole Match) – This match started out with a lot of promise but ended without much middle ground and no substance as Bliss won via pinfall to keep her women’s title.
The Hardy’s vs. Cesaro and Sheamus (Steel Cage Match; Raw Tag Team Championship) – While it’s only been a few weeks since the Hardy Boyz burst back on the scene, they’ve been ultra busy in that short amount of time. In a match where the only way to win is to escape the cage, both teams battled it out on, and in the cage before Cesaro and Sheamus were able to get out of the steel structure and win the Raw tag team belts away from the Hardy Boyz.
Neville vs. Austin Aries (Submission Match; Cruiserweight Championship) – A surprisingly competitive match. Aries looked to have the contest won after he locked in the ‘Last Chancery’ out of the ring. Neville tapped out, but the ref informed them that a submission had to occur in the actual ring. Neville came back with a Red Arrow and the Rings of Saturn which abruptly ended Aries’ night and helped Neville retain the Cruiserweight Championship.
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe vs. Bray Wyatt (Fatal-Five Way; Determine Number One Contender for Universal Championship) – This main event was the only match on the card that truly lived up to its “Extreme” billing. After a hard fought match in which three of the contestants would find themselves half broken, Samoa Joe and Bray Wyatt battled it out to the very end with Joe getting the victory. The match was full of back and forth moments, and ended when Joe choked out Finn Balor. Samoa Joe will now face Brock Lesnar at the next pay-per-view for the Universal Championship. The match is one that wrestling fans have waited a long time to get the opportunity to watch.
It’s smart of the WWE to look to ‘cash-in’ on the wrestling ability of Samoa Joe, an under-rated cast-away who even though he’s been the champion in other places, has never gotten a title shot in the WWE. Joe is starving to prove his worth in the wrestling industry, and the WWE may have struck gold in the process. A beef between Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe should be one for the ages.
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