Episode 484: What Went Down at WWE’s Extreme Rules (2022)


I used to question why the WWE insisted on calling Extreme Rules by that name. Basically, Extreme Rules didn’t live up to the name as most of the matches were just regular matches and maybe had 1 or 2 “extreme rules” stipulations. I get it, though. Just because the pay-per-view is called Hell in a Cell, you can’t have every match set in that environment.

This time around, however, I’m glad to see every match that took place during Extreme Rules had some sort of crazy stipulation tied to it. It does feel very apt. Does it make the event any good, though? Well, let’s go check out what happened during the show!

The first match of the night was, as the WWE called it, a Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook match. This had the Brawling Brutes consisting of Sheamus, Ridge Holland and Butch take on Imperium which had GUNTHER, Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci. Despite the fancy name, a Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook is basically just a No Disqualification match but with various bar implements (and shillelaghs) strewn around the ring. This was just a brawl from the get-go and it was a ton of fun! Tons of hard hitting moves as well as fantastic comebacks. I love all the 3 on 1 moments like when Imperium dropkicked Butch in the face while he was in a tree of woe and when all of the Brawling Brutes got in on the action to beat down on GUNTHER while Sheamus was walloping him in the chest.

The finish came after Sheamus smashed GUNTHER with a shillelagh. The rest of Imperium tried to rescue their leader, only for Holland and Butch to take them out with shillelaghs of their own. Sheamus then slammed GUNTHER with a Celtic Cross powerbomb, sending the Ring General through the announcer’s table. This left Vinci all by his lonesome. Holland and Butch held him while Sheamus delivered a Brough Kick to get the pinfall victory for the Brawling Brutes.

This was indeed a Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook. A lot of the hits looked real and the spots all looked brutal. Everyone did get their moment to shine while not really stealing the focus of Sheamus and GUNTHER. The finish also saves GUNTHER from coming off as weak as well. Really fun match and greater than the sum of its parts.

The next match of the night saw Liv Morgan defend the Smackdown Woman’s Championship against Ronda Rousey in an Extreme Rules match. While it’s supposed to sound “extreme,” this is just your one of the mil No Disqualification bout. They tried to give it a go by having Liv Morgan and Ronda Rousey use various weapons like baseball bats and fire extinguishers to make it look brutal. Unfortunately, it didn’t as none of the hits looked like they really landed with any force. It did look like some of the hits with the bat connected but they came off as either glancing blows or would hit really “safe” spots on the body. I guess the table spot with Liv Morgan was cool but it certainly wasn’t enough to make up for all the safe spots in this “extreme rules” bout.

The finish came after the aforementioned table spot. Rousey managed to kick out after Morgan’s pinfall attempt and locked in an armbar. Morgan kinda powered out and hit a very weak looking powerbomb on the broken table, thanks to a lot of assistance from Rousey’s free hand. The Badest Woman on the planet kicked out and locked in some kind of triangle choke which the announcers called a biceps crusher. Anyway, Morgan never taps out but passes out with a smile. This gives Ronda Rousey the submission victory and your NEW Smackdown Woman’s Champion.

This was a dud of a match. I’m not trying to fault the women for playing it safe and being careful as to, you know, not permanently injure the other. However, if that was the case, they could’ve used some safer yet brutal looking weapons like your traditional kendo stick. The finish was also really confusing as the spot where Liv Morgan tried to powerbomb out of Rousey’s armbar looked dumb. This also looks like they’re setting up for a new gimmick for Liv Morgan with the smiling while passing out thing. That’s the only real interesting thing that came out of this lame match.

The next match had Drew McIntye take on Karrion Kross in a Strap match. Things started out well with Kross attacking McIntyre before getting hooked up to the strap. This led to a brawl to the outside where the Scottish Warrior got the upper hand, which allowed the official to put the strap on Kross to get the match to officially start. Sadly, things devolved from there as the match mostly consisted of either McIntyre or Kross whipping each other with the strap. That got boring really quickly.

The finish came after McIntyre hit Kross with his Futureshock DDT signature move. He then set up for his Claymore Kick finisher but Scarlett, Karion Kross’ valet, prevented Drew from doing so by getting in between him and Kross. Scarlett then sprayed McIntyre with pepper spray, blinding the Scottish Warrior. As all strap matches are technically No Disqualification, the match continued. This allowed Karrior Kross to hit Drew with Kross Hammer running forearm. This led Kross to get the pinfall victory.

Like I said, this started out great but just devolved into a lot of slapping each other with the strap. If they were a little more creative with using the stipulation, like maybe choking the opponent with it or something like that, it would’ve been more exciting. The finish also was very anticlimactic and didn’t have the necessary oomph I think the bookers thought it had.

The next match of the night saw Bianca Belair defending her RAW Women’s Championship against Bayley in a ladder match. This definitely was the one I was looking forward to the most as these two have the gumption and creativity to do something with the ladder match stipulations. There were a few cool spots like Bayley doing a sunset flip to Belair into the ladder and Bianca pressing the ladder off her to send Bayley tumbling down. You also had the prerequisite Bianca Belair trademarks, like Bayley using Belair’s braid as a rope to slam The EST into a ladder and Belair using the same braid like a whip. There’s also Bianca showing off her power by doing a KOD on both Dakota Kai and IYO SKY at the same time. You know, the typical Bianca Belair stuff.

The finish came after Belair struck Bayley with her braid, causing her to tumble down. Bayley grabbed one of the broken ladders but Belair hoisted her into the air while she was holding onto the ladder. Belair did her KOD onto Bayley, sending her and the ladder into the mat. This allowed Belair to climb the ladder undisturbed to retain her RAW Women’s Championship.

While this wasn’t a bad ladder match by a longshot, it just felt underwhelming. It just lacked the certain oomph I expected it to have. The biggest issue for me is how “spotty” everything felt. They just took too long when it came to setting up the spots and this made a lot of the stunts look too coordinated and planned out. Like I said, this wasn’t a bad match but it wasn’t anything special as well.

The next match had Edge take on Finn Balor in an I Quit match. As this was an I Quit match, that means there would be no countouts and no disqualifications. So, of course the action spilled to the outside and into the crowd. You would expect things to heat up by this point but, to the contrary, it didn’t. Edge and Balor just seemed to meander through the audience and perform a few stunts here and there. Things eventually heated up when the rest of Finn Balor’s group, The Judgement Day, rushed the ring and they did a good job ratcheting up the tension. Things like 3-on-1 situation with Rey Mysterio trying in vain to make the save and Rhea Ripley handcuffing Edge to the ropes. Beth Phoenix, Edge’s wife, then went out and saved her husband by getting the key from Rhea, which led to Edge running through the Judgement Day.

This, sadly, wasn’t going to last very long as the finish did start when Rhea Ripley blindsided Beth with a loaded punch while Edge locked in the crossface with a bar on Balor. This led to the rest of The Judgement Day to hold back Edge. Rhea then threatened to strike Beth with a One Woman Con-Chairto if Edge doesn’t say I Quit. Edge eventually acquiesces, leading to Finn Balor getting the victory. Being the heels that they are, The Judgement Day still has Rhea Ripley smash Beth with the chair.

This match was a matter of trying to do too much. The entire time Edge and Finn Balor battled through the crowd felt unnecessary as they really didn’t do much of anything while there. Things only got interesting when The Judgement Day started interfering. Rey also looked like a buffoon as he was taken out quickly by Dominic, his own son who joined The Judgement Day a while back. Once that happened, we never heard from Rey again. The finish was a little over the top but still fit the entire mood that The Judgement Day are incredibly callous. If they got to the point when The Judgement Day rushed and all the craziness happened, this would have ranked much higher.

The final match of the night had Matt Riddle fight Seth Rollins in a Fight Pit match. This apparently was something they used to do in NXT. Since I never got to watch NXT regularly, this will be my first time watching a Fight Pit match. It’s basically like an MMA cage match as they take out the ring ropes and enclose the ring with a cage. The cage, however, is special as there are platforms on top of the cage walls for some reason. This did lead to some interesting moments, like Riddle using the cage wall as a platform to springboard off of to kick Rollins in the face. Things got uncomfortable once the competitors climbed to the aforementioned platforms above the Fight Pit as there were more than a few moments when it looked like someone was going to be sent flying off accidentally. Of course, there had to be that one big moment when Riddle hit his Broton senton splash to Rollins from the top of the cage. I expected it but it still looked fantastic.

The finish came after the big flying spot I just mentioned. Riddle locked in a triangle choke hold and Rollins tried to break free by powerbombing the Original Bro into the cage wall and the mat. However, Riddle didn’t let got even after that onslaught, giving Rolling no choice but to tap out.

This was a generally fun match but that’s because it was a new experience for me. If this was something like a Hell in a Cell match, then maybe I wouldn’t think of it as highly as I do because I would be familiar with the spots. As this was my first time witnessing a Fight Pit match, all the spots were really fresh to me. I do wish they utilized the cage a little more but that’s only a minor gripe overall.

Although that was the last match slated for the night, Extreme Rules wasn’t quite over as, while Riddle made his way up the ramp, all the lights went out any they started to play a creepy video package and showing off life-sized versions of the Firefly Funhouse puppets and The Fiend popping up around the arena. This led to a door opening and Bray Wyatt stepping out.

I actually liked this debut as, while it doesn’t really show us anything about Bray Wyatt’s new character, it’s filled with atmosphere and, since it is October and it’s the month for spooky stuff, it does feel right for the WWE to show off this new character.

Anyway, this year’s Extreme Rules was kind of a mixed bag. The only really excellent match for me was the Good Old Donnybrook at the start of the show. The rest of the card, besides the dud that was Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey, was generally okay. Bray Wyatt’s debut was also a neat way to close out the night. Overall, Extreme Rules was just extremely okay.


What did you think of this year’s Extreme Rules? Let me know in the comments section below!


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