WWE Extreme Rules 2016 Reaction
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Cautiously coined as the night where WWE loses its proverbial white hat and embraces the “extreme,” this allows for existent feuds to flourish in stipulations that can either offer help or harm.
We had instances of both scattered throughout the show, but needless to say, what was best remembered was the fatal four-way WWE Intercontinental Championship match and the Extreme Rules main event match between WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns and AJ Styles.
The rest fell a few crowbars short of a hardcore slobber-knocker.
The Pre-Show Breakdown
– The in-ring segment with The Dudley Boyz and Big Cass was obviously designed as a way for the seven-foot tall wisecracker to get one over on the veteran loudmouths in his hometown. We did like how the Dudleyz initially went for pops upon Extreme Championship Wrestling references, though it would’ve been stronger in a city like Philadelphia. However, they set up Cass’ interruption quite well as they used it as a comparison to why the “new era” sucked. This was one of Cass’ better bits as he related it to random foods and “How you doin’?” mainly. The physicality was good for what it was, as Cass was initially outnumbered by the heels but got the momentum back to hit the East River Crossing on Bubba Ray. It should be noted that the crowd chanted for Enzo Amore, but no appearance. We’d guess this was to set up a feud between the Dudleyz and Cass/Enzo upon Amore’s return.
– Baron Corbin has been presented as a strong threat for the most part on the main roster save for that one loss to Dolph Ziggler, but they had the chance to make him avenge that. It’d also be done in a no disqualification match to keep up with the “extreme” theme. Some pros to the bout were that Corbin got to display his power and the crowd was firmly behind Ziggler, which gave his comebacks some life. This was more of your straight-forward bout, as it poorly manipulated the stipulation besides for the finish where Corbin blatantly low-blowed Ziggler to lead to the End Of Days. We walked away from this with the knowledge that the right guy went over, but we have no desire to see this develop any further. Move both guys onto new territory please.
– The opening video was generically cryptic, but described “extreme” pretty nicely in context to the show’s most important bouts – the four-way IC Title match, Charlotte-Natalya and Reigns-Styles. Not bad.
– While an odd choice to open the show, the tornado tag match between The Usos and Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson made effective use of the time given and indirectly hyped the main event with a taste of the chaos we could see. Kudos for the quick pace, as it felt like a personal feud right from the first punch on the stage. This was an anti-Reigns crowd, so The Usos were booed heavily by association, yet Anderson/Gallows never played up on the cheers and stayed remorseless machines. That said, liked the finish that showed the Magic Killer after Jimmy Uso landed on the ring bell upon a missed frog splash. A good opener, all things considering. Anderson/Gallows also get built up with the win, so they salvage something even if Styles doesn’t win the main event.
– WWE United States Champion Kalisto had seemingly been on a high ever since he won the Title, but Creative never knew how to push him correctly. Was he the fighting Champion? Was he defending his heritage? Was he an underdog? We never quite knew. Hell, there were times it never even felt like he was US Champion upon all those pointless six-man tag matches he partook in while Champ. It’s not for a total loss, as Kalisto’s downfall has also meant Rusev’s resurgence with Lana, headed back to his former glory days. As far as their match, it was okay, but got better as it went along. The story here was Kalisto and how he nearly put the Bulgarian Brute away, but after Rusev backdropped him onto the apron, he never recovered and despite the Referee’s attempts to back him away, Kalisto was caught in a merciless Accolade and submitted. Hopefully, Rusev’s more than a transitional Champion for John Cena to swallow upon his return, but we have a bad feeling.
– While it was cool to see The Vaudevillains almost rejuvenated with their main roster push, we knew they’d just be another team to add to the defeated list of the WWE World Tag Team Champions, The New Day. On the surface, the “clash of eras” storylines was a decent one and allowed for some great heel beatdowns. We started off with a promo from the Champs that blended your usual unicorn shenanigans with a dash of mild sexual humor to a rouse of crowd applause. We did like that they had Kofi Kingston/Xavier Woods as the team, but all in all, an average match with one good near-fall and that was the first team to kick out of the Whirling Dervish finisher. After a tease of glory, it was back to business as New Day retained. We’d take a guess that maybe Anderson/Gallows could make a run for the Titles?
– Styles’ backstage promo hyped the main event as the challenger exclaimed that no matter what happened with Gallows/Anderson, he’d “continue to be phenomenal” and walk out WWE World Heavyweight Champion. That’s confidence.
– Now to what everyone was talking about – the WWE Intercontinental Championship fatal four-way between Champion The Miz, Kevin Owens, Cesaro and Sami Zayn. On the surface, it was two already established feuds (Owens-Zayn, Cesaro-Miz) meshed together for the purpose of an upper midcard Title fight. On some recent shows, it was the primary focus besides the Bloodline-Club saga, which was nice to see. The build prior had been fantastically done. Each guy had their own case of victory and there was no bad scenario any outcome. That said, the action was completely separate from the build and also well-done in that regard. After the bell, Zayn hit one emphatic Helluva Kick on Owens to knock him out cold for the first few minutes. That was only a precursor of what was to come, as the action only intensified. The various “tower of doom” spots were well-timed and it was entertaining to see everybody interact with one another. Insanely awesome near-falls throughout and only got better towards the end. This shaped up into seriously one of the best fatal four-ways in WWE history. It was that good. Of course, the crowd also added to it with their enthusiasm and like all good things, it had to finish. We liked how it involved Owens and Zayn, as Zayn finished off Cesaro and didn’t get to reap the benefits because Owens took him out and before he could cover Cesaro, Miz beat him to it to “steal” and retain. We know one thing – Miz 2016 certainly beats Miz 2015. We’re more than okay with this move. Definitely on the Match of the Year list.
– The Chris Jericho-Dean Ambrose feud suffered from some superficial abnormalities that prevented it from a truly “personal” feel. It was more about talk shows, strait jackets and potted plants than anything else. That could be forgiven with a great match and while we had hints of that at Payback, they didn’t go all the way. The Ambrose Asylum match was essentially a glorified cage match with added weaponry, but there was no life to it. Maybe it was because it followed the fantastic four-way, but it was literally both men climbing the cage to bring down weapons and use them. The pace was too slow and the fact that it was 26 minutes was ridiculous. That said, the only highlights were Ambrose’s elbow drop from the top of the cage and the thumbtack spot thanks to how Jericho sold it, with tacks pierced into his triceps. That Ambrose won wasn’t a problem, but we utterly hope both men find something new. No desire to see this feud any further along.
– Maybe it was the injury to Sasha Banks, but for some reason, they won’t let up on the feud between WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte and Natalya. Don’t get us wrong – it has been mostly good, but they’ve done little to truly convince us that Natalya’s the one to uncrown Charlotte. They’ve explored every scenario possible, with their last match in a “screwjob” finish that told us they were fresh out of ideas. In retrospect, the submission stipulation mixed with the barring of Ric Flair from ringside fit the event’s theme, yet it didn’t feel as dramatic as originally thought. The only thing that came out of this was the apparent new partnership between Dana Brooke (who came out dressed as Flair as a means of distraction to cost Natalya the match) and Charlotte. Not a terrible idea, since it pushes Brooke to the top, but it felt pretty random upon first glance.
– The Extreme Rules match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship between Champion Roman Reigns and Styles was one of the show’s first booked bouts, which was all fine and good, since it continued the Styles-Reigns program. It allowed Styles to hang in the main event scene (three months into his WWE stint, a surefire good sign for his standing with Vince) while it also helped Reigns explore his character depth a bit, as he delved further into tweener territory with the “Guy” nickname and acknowledgement of mixed reactions. On top of many physical encounters with Styles/Reigns, you also had the underlying theme of “The Club vs. The Bloodline” with Reigns’ cousins The Usos clashing with Anderson/Gallows, Styles’ friends from Japan. This bout did what it needed to in terms of a “freestyle chaos” pace, as they went all over the arena and back to ringside for some brutal-looking announce table spots (poor Styles) but we expected Anderson/Gallows and The Usos to come out and it happened towards the end. More back-and-forth action as we saw Reigns kick out of two Styles Clashes, but he eventually put Styles away. The post-match was the “shock” of the night as we saw Seth Rollins lay Reigns out with a well-defined Pedigree to a favorable reaction. The key would be the follow-up. It made sense for Rollins to cast revenge on the guy who has what he never lost, but what would the face-heel alignment be? It’d be weird for Reigns to be a tweener and then suddenly go back to white babyface, but only in WWE. Overall, a strong main event to end things on a good note after a hit-or-miss hourly trifecta.
- Pre-Show – No Disqualification – Baron Corbin def. Dolph Ziggler via pinfall
- Tornado Tag – Karl Anderson/Luke Gallows def. The Usos via pinfall
- WWE United States Championship – Rusev (w/Lana) def. Kalisto (Champion) via submission to become new Champion
- WWE World Tag Team Championships – Big E/Xavier Woods (w/Kofi Kingston) (Champions) def. The Vaudevillains via pinfall to retain
- WWE Intercontinental Championship – Fatal Four-Way – The Miz (Champion) (w/Maryse) def. Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Cesaro to retain
- WWE Women’s Championship – Submission Match/Ric Flair Banned From Ringside – Charlotte (Champion) def. Natalya to retain
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Extreme Rules Match – Roman Reigns (Champion) def. AJ Styles via pinfall to retain
Posted on June 4, 2016, in WWE and tagged AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Big Cass, Big E, Byron Saxton, Cesaro, Charlotte, Chris Jericho, Corey Graves, Dana Brooke, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Extreme Rules, JBL, Jerry Lawler, Kalisto, Karl Anderson, Kevin Owens, Kofi Kingston, Lana, Luke Gallows, Mauro Ranallo, Michael Cole, Natalya, Renee Young, Roman Reigns, Rusev, Sami Zayn, Seth Rollins, The Dudley Boyz, The Miz, The Usos, The Vaudevillains, Xavier Woods. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.