Extreme Rules is now in the books and the first since WrestleMania XXX saw one championship title change hands.
Eight matches took place at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey as the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between Daniel Bryan and Kane topped the bill.
There was a lot of hype surrounding the event, after several episodes of Monday Night Raw that were of a high standard and the event proved to be a success.
Pre-show 'WeeLC' Match - El Torito def. Hornswoggle
Triple Threat Match - Cesaro def. Jack Swagger and Rob Van Dam
2-On-1 Handicap Match - Alexander Rusev def. R-Truth and Xavier Woods
Intercontinental Championship - Bad News Barrett def. Big E - NEW Intercontinental Champion
Six-Man Tag Team Match - The Shield def. Evolution
Steel Cage Match - Bray Wyatt def. John Cena
Divas Championship - Paige def. Tamina - STILL Divas Champion
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Extreme Rules Match - Daniel Bryan def. Kane - STILL WWE World Heavyweight Champion
The pre-show is one not a lot of fans were expecting to enjoy but in fact it ended up becoming one of the best and most fun pre-show matches since its formation. Hornswoggle taking on the athletic El Torito, joined by a midget referee, ring announcer and commentator JBElf, Micro Cole and Jerry Smaller. We were treated to some fun opening back and forth action toppes with miniature tables, ladders and chairs. There was a lot more action that expected, especially with the tables as El Torito put Hornswoggle through one before picking up the victory. A good opening match.
A lot was expected from the triple threat match as three different styles were brought to the table, as well as two excellent managers in Paul Heyman and Zeb Colter. The elimination stipulation brought an interesting twist to a match and it was difficult to call a winner from the beginning. All three men managed to look good when on the upper-hand but I would have had Rob Van Dam eliminated first, this would have allowed Cesaro and Swagger to get a decent match between the two after their lengthy partnership under The Real Americans. Nevertheless the match itself was a good one to watch.
Rusev was always going to defeat R-Truth and Xavier Woods, however the fact that he ended the numbers game so early was very effective, practically changing it into a singles match and this didn't do him any harm. Rusev has looked good from the day he entered NXT and the only way is up for him. A quick match with a predictable result and now he has a pay-per-view match under his belt.
Big E hasn't been a good Intercontinental Champion, it's as simple as that. It was inevitable yet vital that the WWE took the championship off of him and give it to somebody else; and who better than somebody who has been receiving an incredible reaction ever since his brilliant promo during the Hall of Fame ceremony, Bad News Barrett. Big E is a better challenger than a champion and hasn't been very active as a champion, it was clear to see that whoever was going to take him on at Extreme Rules was going to walk out as the new champion. Nevertheless the match itself was good, there's no denying that Big E is great inside the ring and it matched well with Barrett's brawling style. The finish was very entertaining and the reaction from the crowd after Barrett picked up the victory spoke volumes.
Easily the best match of the night between The Shield and Evolution, absolutely incredible. From start to finish every single spot was impressive and it really showed just how far the tag team division and NXT has come. Evolution are passing the torch on to The Shield and they deserve it more than anybody else on the roster. Seth Rollins played a vital role in the match, taking a beating for his team and then flying through the air - from out of nowhere - putting his body on the line. Dean Ambrose was also impressive in ensuring he didn't become the least impressive Shield member with his United States Championship holding him back. Roman Reigns picked up the massive victory which topped off their effort - but credit to Evolution for putting over a younger team after their highly anticipated reformation.
The second best match of the night told a great story between Bray Wyatt and John Cena. John Cena attempting to overcome Bray Wyatt for a second time whilst Wyatt continued his creepy antics to pick up the victory. As expected, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan played not only a pivotal - but an entertaining - role in the match with a steel cage in between. It was great to see Cena in a dominating position only to fall short time and time again due to Harper and Rowan not allowing Cena outside of the cage. There were a number of attempts to escape from the door, most notably when the lights went out and 'Little Johnny' was standing there singing "He's got the whole world in his hands" which was modified into a deeper tone, but equally as creepy.
Wyatt did escape after hitting the Sister Abigail and took Little Johnny with them, a good win and an important win also. A loss would not have hurt Bray Wyatt but a win has done him good, and this storyline can continue for even longer and remain just as entertaining.
This match should have taken place earlier on in the night. A wonderful night for Paige as she made her main roster pay-per-view and picked up the predictable victory. It wasn't the most special of matches, nothing spectacular but hopefully Paige uses this experience to continue improving on the bigger stage.
Not many fans were looking forward to this main event, simply because it didn't get as much hype as it should have but nobody was to blame, with Daniel Bryan's personal problems all we could do was sympathise with the champion as he was still determined to fight on and it was a surprisingly good match. For the most part it wasn't as extreme as some fans might have wanted it to be, a couple of kendo stick shots here and there but nothing like the older days. However it went up a notch when both men went backstage and Bryan brought Kane back into the ring with a forklift. But the stand-out spot from the match will always remain Kane falling through a table which was on fire, that itself made the match what it was; a good main event match.
Although it could have been a lot better, with the time this feud was given and the build-up with it, I feel they exceeded expectations with the performance both men put on.
All in all, it was a good event. All of the matches were of a good standard, The Shield picked up a massive win and looked impressive in doing so, Cesaro looked great and a win was important for him as a new Paul Heyman guy; whilst Bray Wyatt and John Cena took things up a notch. It certainly sets up Payback very nicely and is an event we should look forward to.
WWE fans - what did you make of Extreme Rules? Enjoy it? Hate it? Who stood out for you the most? Let us know in the comments section below or come discuss all things WWE with me on Twitter @RazK28!
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