It’s a busy weekend for wrestling fans. Saturday saw both AEW and New Japan Pro Wrestling put on high-profile wrestling events, but the biggest show of the weekend is WWE’s Extreme Rules. The pay-per-view, broadcast live on the WWE Network, is themed around hardcore matches. That means no rules, and weapons are encouraged.
But there should be some terrific wrestling, too. AJ Styles vs. Ricochet for the US Championship, Aleister Black vs. Cesaro and Samoa Joe vs. Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship all have the potential to be standout matches.
The main event will see Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch put their titles on the line (Universal Championship and Raw Women’s Championship, respectively) against Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans in a winner-take-all match. Elsewhere, The Undertaker will return to tag with Roman Reigns against Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre.
We’ll be updating this page, once the main card starts, with recaps on all the action, segments, title changes, surprises, great memes and match ratings.
Braun Strowman beats Bobby Lashley
These two big fellows start brawling immediately, before the bell can even ring. Strowman beats down Lashley, who retreats to the outside of the ring. Strowman follows him, though, for his patented running shoulder ram. Strowman runs around the ring to build momentum for another shoulder ram, but Lashley counters with a big spear.
Between this and Lashley’s suicide spear to Finn Balor at WrestleMania, we need to start an official Lashley vs. Reigns spear competition.
Lashley gets the “steel” steps and rams them into Strowman. Lashley hits him with the steps again, and Strowman tumbles into the crowd. Lashley follows him, and bashes him in the back with a chair. The two stumble into the merchandise stands of the arena. They brawl, and Strowman eventually suplexes Lashley into a merch stand. The announcers play up Strowman’s condition, after he suffered an apocryphal spleen injury on Raw a few weeks ago.
These chaps make their way back to the crowd. Strowman employs ye’ ol’ shoulder ram, but moments later Lashley drives Strowman through the barricade. Lashley is a freak.
Lashley does a Strowman-esque shoulder ram to Strowman through the German announce table, and then dunks the table over Strowman for a 9-count. Strowman stumbles into the crowd, and Lashley follows him by leaping right over the barricade. Strowman catches him and chucks him into the international announcer area. Bad time for non-English announce teams right now. They brawl some more and get a light “this is awesome” chant.
They ascend the stairs, and Lashley actually throws a “fan” into Strowman (definitely a plant). Strowman bats him away and hits Lashley with a chair. Strowman hits a Powerslam off a ledge through…a strange… box… thing? Braun Strowman is the last man standing.
Rating: 3 stars. Some cool spots, but a lot of average brawling and an underwhelming finish. Crowd liked it, though.
Bayley beats both Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross
If Cross and Bliss win, they become co-SmackDown Tag Team Champions. The story here is that Bliss is just using Cross, but Cross, I guess a loveable idiot, is the only one who doesn’t realize?
Cross begins with Bayley, but Bliss is quickly tagged in. Bliss then tags in Cross, who has a few exchanges with Bayley. The two wrestle outside the ring, but as Bayley stands on the apron to re-enter she’s shoved by Bliss and hits her head on the ring stairs. Bliss and Cross work over Bayley.
Cross traps Bayley in the ring apron, and Bliss hits her with a sliding drop kick. Bayley, still stuck, gets a hard slap from Bliss. Another hard slap from Bliss in the corner. Bliss traps Bayley in a tree of woe and hits her with forearms. Back in the middle of the ring, she does some flippy knee drops on Bayley. They exchange strikes and Bliss hits Bayley with a kick. Lots of leg slaps here. Bayley hits a clothesline on Bliss and a suicide dive on Cross to start a comeback.
Cross tags herself in, but Bayley gets the advantage and body slams Cross onto Bliss. Bayley gets a leglock on Cross and a crossface on Bliss at the same time for a creative spot. Cross eventually regains the advantage after distraction from Bliss, and hits a Tornado DDT. Bliss gets tagged in and goes for a Twisted Bliss but Bayley gets her knees up. Cross tags in and also jumps from the top rope but gets a knee to the chin from Bayley. Bayley gets a top-rope elbow to beat both Cross and Bliss clean.
Rating: 3.25 stars. Everyone worked hard here and there were no botched spots or boring stretches. Bayley beating both Cross and Bliss clean is a huge headscratcher, though, as it kills both Cross’ presumed eventual babyface turn.
Aleister Black defeats Cesaro
It’s the Striking Man from Amsterdam against the Swiss Superman. This could be a great match.
Black goes for his Black Mass roundhouse kick straight away, but Cesaro ducks. Black hits him with a leg kick in the corner, and Cesaro counters with a snug European Uppercut. (In Europe, do they just call that an Uppercut?”) Cesaro taunts Black with Black’s own sit-down taunt, but Black makes him pay with a flurry of strikes and a springboard moonsault. Aleister Black is super good.
Black dominates Cesaro, and hits a head kick that, once again, went off like a gun shot. These guys love a good leg slap and I’m all for it. Cesaro fights back and does a spectacular springboard European Uppercut. Cesaro, too, is super good.
The two go back and forth, and Cesaro puts Black in a hold. Black fights out and hits another springboard moonsault. Black goes for a double-knee slam, but Cesaro catches him, throws him up and hits an uppercut. Amazing spot.
Black hits a series of kicks on Cesaro, and Cesaro goes for another springboard uppercut but Black counters with a mid-air knee strike. Cesaro starts selling his left leg, after Black has kicked it throughout the match. Black does a leglock takedown, but Cesaro counters it into a sharpshooter and transitions into a crossface. Black counters into a pinfall attempt for a 2-count and then hits a knee to Cesaro’s face. Crowd chants that this is awesome. Sure is, Philly.
Black hits a few uppercuts on Cesaro, but Cesaro counters with a flurry of uppercuts of his own. Great intensity. Cesaro goes for a Neutralizer, but Black counters and hits a Black Mass for the win.
Rating: 4 stars. These two beat the crap out of each other. The crowd was into it because the action was outstanding, but the match was hurt by the crowd not really being invested in either character. Still, absolutely fantastic wrestling.
The Revival retains WWE Raw Tag Team Titles
After a bad comedy promo with Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins, The Revival are out to defend their Raw Tag Team Championships. The Usos cut a dual promo in their entrance welcoming us to the Uso Penitentiary. The Usos are great.
After back and forth action, with tags in and out for both teams, The Usos end up doing an over-the-top-rope dive on The Revival. The Revival double team Jey Uso on the outside, and The Revival tag in and out to work him over. No flips from them so far. Just fists. (And slams.)
Dash Wilder tags in Dawson, who cuts Jey off from Jimmy Uso. Jey eventually makes the tag, but The Revival distract the ref, who missed the tag and doesn’t let Jimmy in. The Revival hit a backbreaker-elbow drop combo on Jey.
After countering a superplex, Jey tags in Jimmy for the hot tag. Dual Samoan Drops on Wilder and Dawson. Wilder cuts him off, though, and hits a sit-down Powerbomb. Wilder tags in Dawson, and the two try to double team Jimmy, but Jimmy hits a corkscrew moonsault on both. The Usos hit a tandem Samoan Drop on Dawson for a 2-count.
After some action, Dawson hits a superplex on Jey Uso and Dash follows with a top-rope splash, but Jimmy breaks up the pinfall with a top-rope crash of his own. Awesome spot. Jey Uso hits a superkick on Dawson that sounded like a gunshot, and follows with one on Dash. Jey hits the ropes for a plancha but gets leg dragged by Dawson, and The Revival hits a Shatter Machine for the 3 count.
Rating: 3.5 stars. Terrific wrestling, but held back by a crowd that was only semi into it.
The Undertaker and Roman Reigns defeat Drey McIntyre and Shane McMahon
The main show is kicking off with one of the card’s biggest matches, featuring a rare appearance by The Undertaker.
Shane is out first, and makes the announcer introduce him as “the best in the world”. Did you know Chris Jericho invented that? McIntyre, who looks like he’s made of solid stone, follows. Reigns gets a decent reaction, followed by a huge pop for The Undertaker.
Reigns and McIntyre start. Michael Cole explains this is a no-holds-barred match, meaning no disqualifications, but the wrestlers still need to tag each other in and out. OK. McIntyre tags in Shane, the crowd boos. Reigns, after a few exchanges, tags in Undertaker. The crowd cheers. After some punches in the corner, Undertaker goes for Old School and crowd chants that he’s still got it. We will see, Philadelphia, we will see.
After some action, Reigns finds himself in the ring being pummeled by Shane, and the McIntyre tags in and puts Reigns in an armhold. Reigns comes back with a Samoan Drop, and Undertaker gets the hot tag. He hits Snake Eyes and a big boot on Shane and clears the ring of both Shane and McIntyre.
Undertaker takes apart the announcer’s table and sets up Shane for a Last Ride. Elias comes out of nowhere and breaks his guitar over Undertaker’s back. Reigns fights him off, but eats a Claymore Kick from McIntyre. McIntyre then hits another Claymore on Undertaker. McIntyre looking like a killer.
Elias and McIntyre put Undertaker on the announcer’s table, and Shane hits the flying elbow from the top rope through the table. Elias and McIntyre bring Undertaker into the ring, and position him in the corner. Shane hits a Coast to Coast dropkick. Greatest hits of Shane, here.
Reigns hits Elias with a Superman Punch, but McIntyre takes him out with a Russian Leg Sweep. In the ring, Undertaker sits up to a petrified Shane and hits a Chokeslam on him. McIntyre pops up behind Undertaker, but Reigns hits a spear on McIntyre. Undertaker Tombstones Shane and gets the 1-2-3.
Reigns gives the ring to Undertaker, and Cole tells us to breathe him in because we don’t know how many more times we’ll get to experience The Undertaker.
Rating: 3.5 stars. Undertaker clearly wanted to prove, after the disastrous Saudi Arabia match with Goldberg, that he’s still got something. He did well here, didn’t botch anything and never looked noticeably slow. The match was also helped by a hot crowd.
Extreme Rules’s hour-long preshow had two matches, one of which crowned a new champion. Here are the quick results.
Shinsuke Nakamura wins the Intercontinental Championship from Finn Balor: Nakamura pinned Balor after a Kinshasa knee.
Drew Gulak retains the Cruiswerweight Championship: Gulak pinned Tony Nese with a Cyclone Clash.