WWE’s annual Extreme Rules Premium Live Event was Triple H’s second show as the head of creative, as Vince McMahon stepped down earlier this year. Instead of stacking the card with 10 one-off matches, Triple H carefully set up feuds that made their stipulations feel integral to the story of those wrestling against one another.
The show opened with the Brawling Brutes, which consists of Sheamus, Ridge Holland, and Butch, facing off against Imperium, with Gunther, Ludwig Kaiser, and Giovanni Vinci, in a six-man tag team Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook match.
The six men battered each other with canes, wooden tubs, and their fists. It set the tone for the evening, for sure. The Brawling Brutes came out on top, with Sheamus hitting the Brogue Kick on Vinci to get the win.
The second match of the evening pitted the Smackdown Women’s Champion, Liv Morgan, against former MMA fighter, Ronda Rousey. The two fought in an Extreme Rules match.
Rousey and Morgan gave each other everything they had. They used bats, fire extinguishers, and more against one another. However, in a shocking finish, Rousey defeated Morgan with an armbar, which caused Morgan to pass out.
This really brought down the mood for me, as this finish really fell flat.
The match that followed didn’t help bring my energy back up. It was Karrion Kross versus Drew McIntyre in a Strap match. This fight was so slow, and felt like it took forever to get to the point. Kross attacked McIntyre before the match started to give himself the advantage. In Drew McIntyre fashion, he got back up and beat up Kross as much as he could.
Unfortunately for McIntyre, Scarlett, Kross’ manager, distracted McIntyre and pepper sprayed him. Kross then hit the Kross Hammer on him for the 1-2-3.
This match could’ve been a lot more fun, in my opinion. The two men have had great feuds in the past, but it just fell flat.
Next on the card was Raw Women’s Champion, Bianca Belair, facing off against the returning Bayley in a ladder match. In the middle of the match, Belair hit her finisher the KoD on Bayley and began to ascend the ladder. Unfortunately for her, Bayley’s stablemates Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai came out and attacked Belair.
Belair came out on top and hit the two with a double KoD. She then hit Bayley with her signature braid, hit her with a KoD on a ladder, and snatched the title from the top of a ladder to retain the championship in a really fun match!
In the penultimate match, Edge faced Finn Balor in an I Quit match to seemingly close out their summer-long feud. This was my match of the night and my favorite I Quit match in recent memory. The two fought all over the arena, hit each other with random objects, and attacked one another from large heights.
The match ended with Edge’s wife, Beth Phoenix, coming to save him from Balor’s stable, The Judgment Day. However, Judgment Day’s female member, Rhea Ripley, got a hold of Phoenix and knocked her out. Balor, Dominik Mysterio, and Damian Priest held onto Edge while Ripley teased hitting Phoenix with a “Con-Chair-to,” which caused Edge to yell “I Quit,” granting Balor the victory. Ripley, however, hit Phoenix with the chair anyways, teasing a possible intergender match for the future.
This match was one of the longest matches of the evening, and it didn’t feel like it all. I really recommend giving it a watch if you can.
In the main event, Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins faced off against Matt Riddle in a Fight Pit match, with former MMA fighter Daniel Cormier as the special guest referee. This match was not very memorable, and it was a lot shorter than I expected.
The two fought all throughout the Fight Pit, with Rollins even going to the top of the cage and hitting a Pedigree on Riddle. The match ended suddenly, with Riddle using a triangle submission on Rollins, which caused him to tap out.
What followed the match is what caused fans to talk, though. After Riddle’s hand got raised on the entrance ramp, the lights went out, and mysterious figures from the Firefly Funhouse appeared in the audience. This signaled the “White Rabbit” reveal that had been teased for weeks prior to the event.
A video was shown on the tron with distorted music from Bray Wyatt’s Firefly Funhouse, and even showed his old set.
As soon as the fans began to catch on, a door appeared on stage with smoke coming out from the bottom. Once the door was kicked open, a large blue light appeared from behind it, with a figure holding a lantern. Once the camera panned forward, it was revealed that Bray Wyatt was making his return. The crowd went wild as he stood still for a moment, and then blew out his lantern, just as he did years prior.
This return was one of the best WWE returns I have seen in a long time. The amount of production that was put into it made it feel so special. It made me really excited to see what Wyatt has in store for fans.
Extreme Rules overall was alright. Gimmick shows are usually not my favorite, but this show was definitely an improvement from last years. I would recommend watching the opening match, the ladder match, the I Quit match, and Wyatt’s return, as those had super fun moments in them.