This Week In Wrestling

ThisWeekInWrestling

ExtremeRules

Winners: Shinsuke Nakamura, Drew Gulak, The Undertaker and Roman Reigns, The Revival, Aleister Black, Bayley, Braun Strowman, The New Day, AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, Kofi Kingston, Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch, and Brock Lesnar.

The Intercontinental Championship kicked off the pay-per-view as Finn Balor defended the belt against Shinsuke Nakamura; Balor worked the high-flying route while Nakamura went for the submissions and, obviously, the strong style strikes. Balor mounted a comeback with the Sling Blade but missed on the Coup de Grâce and got murdered with a Kinshasa to the back of his head and then finished off with another to the face to crown a new Intercontinental Champion. I can only hope that this is classic backwards-booking from the WWE and that these two will get another chance to face-off and for this feud to get some actual heat behind it rather than them just randomly fighting one week and then trading the belt by the weekend.

Drew Gulak put the Cruiserweight Championship on the line against Tony Nese next, which is a good sign when the Cruiserweight Championship is higher on the card than the Intercontinental Championship. Anyway, Gulak started off all piss and vinegar but Nese grounded him and made him work for it all the way; Nese landed the 450 Splash for a two count and they traded a few counters before Gulak hit his finisher and retained the championship.

Surprisingly, the Undertaker, Roman Reigns, and the WWE’s biggest main roster star of the last millennium, Shane McMahon, opened the Extreme Rules card! Oh, also, Drew McIntyre was there. For a “no holds barred” match, these guys sure did adhere to the rules of the tag team format throughout making you question why this wasn’t a tornado tag team match. Anyway, ‘Taker got interrupted by Elias as he threatened to smash McIntyre through an announce table, which allowed Drew to hit a Claymore and Shane to smash him through a table with a Diving Elbow Drop. Shane also hit ‘Taker with a Coast-To-Coast (with a trash can…because it’s extreme!) but Reigns made the save, Speared McIntyre, and ‘Taker pinned Shane after hitting him with the Tombstone Piledriver. After the match, ‘Taker gave props to Reigns, because the last time a WWE legend did that everything worked out really well, and hopefully that’ll be the last we see of Shane for a few days.

The Raw Tag Team Champions was up next as the Revival put the belts on the line against the Usos; after some countering, stalling, and back-and-forth, the Revival managed to cut Key off from Jimmy and work him over. Jey eventually made the hot tag and Jimmy ran wild for a bit but, after everything had descended into chaos, the Revival were able to hit the Shatter Machine and keep the belts a little longer.

Cesaro took on Aleister Black afterwards, with Cesaro playing some mind games by stealing Aleister’s taunt and attacking him at every turn with those awesome uppercuts. At one point, Cesaro caught Aleister off a Meteora and turned it into a Pop-Up Swiss Uppercut, which was an awesome spot but, in the end, Aleister countered the Gotch Neutraliser, hit the Black Mass, and got the win.

Bayley found herself defending the SmackDown! Live Women’s Championship against both Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross afterwards; Nikki and Alexa were tagging in and out for this match, because that’s always a good way to lose the numbers advantage. However, the heels worked Bayley over throughout the entire match, beating on her and toying with her and forcing her to rally back and overcome the odds by countering the Twisted Bliss and pinning Nikki with a Diving Elbow Drop, which will no doubt annoy Alexa on this week’s Raw.

Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley butted heads in a last man standing match next; this started as a brawl and was a pretty decent big man brawl all throughout. Strowman took control early, so Lashley hit him with a Spear, smashed him with the steel steps, and forced them to fight through the crowd. They beat the hell out of each other, with Lashley even using a fan as a shield at one point, until Strowman took them both tumbling into the void with a Running Powerslam and then burst through a wall to be declared the winner when Lashley never turned back up.

Afterwards, Daniel Bryan and Rowan defended the SmackDown! Live Tag Team Championships against both Heavy Machinery and the New Day; Xavier Woods was the lamb to the slaughter for the most part as he got worked over by Bryan and then beaten down by Tucker and Rowan…basically everyone got a chance to beat the piss out of Xavier until he made a desperation tag to Otis, who immediately clashed with Rowan. In the end, Big E turned the tide of the match and straight-up destroyed Bryan with a Clothesline after Bryan slapped him in the face and, in the end, the New Day hit the Midnight Hour to once again become the champions.

AJ Styles and Ricochet were up next in a high-flying, technical contest for the United States Championship; Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were in AJ’s corner, which paid off near the end when they pointed out that AJ’s foot was under the ropes and saved him from being pinned following a Shooting Star Press. The Club ended up distracting Ricochet just enough for AJ to hit a Styles Clash from the second rope and regain the championship, which I am really hoping will lead to a ladder match between the two at SummerSlam, if only to continue the epic matches these two put on.

Afterwards, Kevin Owens hit Dolph Ziggler with a Stunner and pinned him in about ten seconds. I guess that really is it for Ziggler’s main event push…until the next time.

Kofi Kingston put the WWE Championship up for grabs against Samoa Joe after that, with Kofi attacking right away, only to end up on the receiving end of a classic Joe beat down. Every time Kofi tried to rally with some high-flying moves, Joe ground him down, slapped him about, and stomped him into the match. Joe kicked out of the SOS and transitioned into a Coquina Clutch but Kofi turned around into a Trouble In Paradise to retain the belt. Joe looked like an absolute beats in this match but it’s hard to take him seriously when he constantly gets pinned when he challenges for World Championships; he could just as easily have ended up being disqualified or something to lose rather than getting pinned but, on the plus side, facing Joe really adds to Kofi’s credibility and presentation.

Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch (who are in a relationship, if you didn’t already know) put the Universal and Raw Women’s Championships on the line against Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans (who are not a couple, as if you didn’t know…) in a winner take all, extreme rules intergender tag team match to end the night. After Becky quickly took out Lacey, Rollins and Corbin went at it, with Rollins avoiding being walloped with a kendo stick. Rollins and Becky even took it in turns to make a fool of Corbin, which is always good, and there was never really a moment where Corbin and Lacey took any sort of control or got any significant advantage. Instead, Rollins and Becky flew all over the place taking them both out, until Corbin hit Becky with an End of Days. Rollins got super pissed off and attacked Corbin with a kendo stick and a steel chair and then ended him with three consecutive Stomps to keep all the belts exactly where they belong…

Until fucking Brock Lesnar showed up, chased in, hit one F5, and once again became the Universal Champion…because that is exactly what we need right now!

Raw

Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman showed up to gloat and parade around with the Universal Championship; Heyman mocked Rollins and then set-up a big battle royal for later in the night to decide Brock’s SummerSlam opponent.

After that bullshit, Ricochet teamed up with the Usos to take on the Revival and…Robert Roode…random…in a two-out-of-three falls tag team match; Ricochet earned the first fall nice and early with a Codebreaker and then Jey got isolated for a stretch. Although Jimmy got the hot tag, he was pinned stupidly easily to even things up but, despite Jimmy then taking the heat for a while, Ricochet got the decisive victory with a 630 Splash to Roode. Afterwards, AJ Styles and the Club crashed the party, beat up the faces, and laid out Ricochet with the Magic Killer to keep everything moving along.

Samoa Joe made short work off Finn Balor afterwards with…a roll up…but the Balor attacked him after the match anyway…but then Bray Wyatt (as “the Fiend”) made a dramatic return and laid out Balor with Sister Abigail. After all that, Zack Ruder pinned Mike Kanellis after one Rough Ryder and in less time that it takes to blink; Maria then berated Mike some more after the match because…I honestly have no idea.

AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson then solidified their newest reunion by taking on and defeating the Lucha House Party, because nothing says “dominating stable” like beating three guys Lars Sullivan (remember him?) could take out single-handed.

After that, Natalya, Alexa Bliss, Carmella, and Naomi took part in an elimination match to determine the next challenger for the Raw Women’s Championship, which was ultimately won by…Natalya? What is going on this week? I like Nattie but this was a great opportunity to actually put some effort behind someone new, like Ember Moon, but hey, y’know, whatever…I guess…

After R-Truth surprised Drake Maverick in a hotel room to regain the coveted 24/7 Championship, we finally got that battle royal I mentioned at the start of the show, which featured Baron Corbin, Braun Strowman, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Cesaro, Big E, Roman Reigns, Lashley, Sami Zayn, and Seth Rollins. A brawl kicked things off before Corbin and Lashley targeted Rollins and Strowman; Cesaro got dumped by Lashley after running wild and nearly taking out Mysterio, then Lashley got taken out by Strowman, who got into a big ol’ face-to-face with Big E. however, Big E got planted by an RKO and chucked out by Zayn, who also got thrown out after eating an RKO and a 619. Reigns, Rollins, and Strowman were left fending off the dastardly heels after Corbin tossed out Mysterio; Rollins got rid of Corbin and then eliminated Reigns and Strowman at the same time after getting hit with a Spear from reigns by accident. In the end, the status quo prevailed an Rollins eliminated Orton to get his rematch at SummerSlam.

SmackDownLive

Shane McMahon dominated the beginning of the show this week, first sending Kevin Owens home and then hosting a “town hall” for the roster to air their grievances regarding him and his reign. This was basically just a dick-stroking session to show off that Shane can give heels matches and opportunities for praising him and cut off the mics of anyone who speaks up against him and the only thing it really led to was the first match of the night.

This saw Cesaro and Aleister Black going at it once again; both guys threw stiff strikes at each other to start with but Cesaro managed to gain the upper hand after a flurry and with a ground-based game. Despite dominating Aleister for the most part, Cesaro couldn’t get a win with the Crossface and ended up falling to the Black Mass once Aleister made it to his feet.

 After getting into an altercation during the town hall meeting, Charlotte Flair took on Liv Morgan…I don’t think I’ve ever seen Liv take the mic, much less notice that she was a face. Anyway, it was academic as Charlotte got the win with little effort.

Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville were up next as they took on Ember Moon and Bayley in what amounted to little more than a squash match, as the faces got the win after a Bayley-To-Belly/Eclipse combo. Afterwards, Bayley granted Ember a shot at her championship, finally giving Ember something meaningful to do.

The New Day popped out to show off their gold and ended up in a six-man tag team match against Samoa Joe, Elias, and a reluctant Randy Orton; this saw the faces staying in control, for the most part, using their experience as a trio and tag team to keep the heels on the defensive. Things fell apart at the end, though, with Joe Chokeslamming Xavier Woods out on the floor, Elias taking out Big E, and Orton pinning Kofi Kingston with an RKO, apparently setting him up as Kofi’s next opponent.

The Iiconics finally put the WWE Tag team Championships on the line against the Kabuki Warriors but, once Asuka and Kairi Sane started to gain the upper hand, the champions took the easy way out and retained via count out to extend their laughable reign. Afterwards, Andrade and Apollo Crews went at it yet again, with Apollo getting the win in about a minute following a roll-up. Exhilarating.

SmackDown! Live ended with another Extreme Rules rematch, this time between Dolph Ziggler and Kevin Owens; unlike Extreme Rules, though, this was actually a competitive match that saw Ziggler keeping Owens grounded and frustrated in the early going and Shane’s goon squad show up for the middle portion. Owens still kicked out of the Zig-Zag, though, and looked to have the match won with a Stunner but Shane McMahon interfered to screw up the match and ate another Stunner for his troubles.

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