WWE Extreme Rules 2019
July 14, 2019
Wells Fargo Center
Watch on WWE Network
Meet our reviewers
Kelly Harrass: It’s time for Kelly to feed Lord Titan’s Meat Machine once again. This time, things get Extreme (so we’ll just get more chairs and kendo sticks than normal)! Let Kelly handle the danger tonight so that you don’t have to and give him a follow on Twitter over at @comicgeekelly. Don’t try this at home and I hope you like it. Whoop whoop.
Garrett Kidney: Well what do we have here? It’s another WWE PPV. With a lot of matches. Some may say too many matches, but there is no way of truly knowing. His Maker ID in Super Mario Maker 2 is Q13-H68-R5G, go play his levels. They are true masterpieces. Follow Garrett on Twitter @garrettkidney!
Jack Beckmann: One might say that a person the age of Jack would have something better to do on a Sunday night than review a WWE show, however, that person would be wrong. Jack is here for some reason for the only night of the year where WWE gets EXTREMEEEEEEE, except for the TV shows where Vince wants to pop a rating and just about every house show. Follow on Twitter @packerman120.
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura def. Finn Balor (c)
Garrett: It’s a shame these two never had a G1 match so I can’t make a G1 match on a WWE show joke. New Japan Cup match on a WWE show jokes do however apply. Pretty much all of this match was rushed in after the commercial break as both these guys continue to operate in the muck of the going nowhere WWE midcard. Shinsuke is Shinsuke, he will always work to his push but Balor spending as long as he has doing absolutely nothing of note, going nowhere is a bummer. This was the end of Balor’s third midcard title run and the beginning of Shinsuke’s third and it all feels so meaningless. The closing stretch was fun, not much more to this. **3/4
Jack: Imagine telling yourself years ago that not only would no one be upset that these two would be wrestling on a pre-show, but that some (myself included) would be upset that this match was happening at all. Both Balor and Nakamura have dropped off immensely over the last couple years, with both seeming happy to collect the WWE paycheck while having piles upon piles of three star matches. This was no exception to the formula – as the pair had a perfectly fine match that didn’t overstay its welcome, ending in about eight or so minutes with a Kinshasa. Nakamura really has an attraction to Intercontinental championships, doesn’t he? ***
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Drew Gulak © def. Tony Nese
Kelly: Ya boy has arrived fashionably late to the review. Hello, how are you? I was under the impression that we don’t take commercial breaks during matches anymore and there was clearly a commercial break in this match. Maybe the old cocaine man already gave up on that. This was kind of your ideal preshow match. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either, so it won’t overshadow the main card, but it also didn’t kill the crowd. Years from now Monsoon Classic will post this match on YouTube. I’ll watch it again there and think that it was a solid little match. ***
Garrett: I really hope Gulak has the Buddy Murphy style 205 Live Cruiserweight title run. By that I obviously mean having figuratively invisible great matches on WWE pre-shows before becoming literally invisible on the main roster. Joking aside. He felt head and shoulders ahead of Nese here. I am not convinced that Gulak can quite turn the heads of the masses yet but he has a much better chance than Nese. Bar what felt like an abrupt finish, this was a really enjoyable pre-show match. Nothing you’ll remember tomorrow morning but a solid effort. ***1/4
Jack: I’ve tried many times to get into 205 Live, but for some reason, it never clicks with me. I imagine that is because of many reasons, but the one first and foremost is that when wrestlers ascend from 205 Live, they go nowhere. Look at Buddy Murphy for example – great string of matches with the Cruiserweight title, and now, you can’t find him with a search party. It’s hard to get excited about wrestlers and their long-term aspirations when you know they’ll disappear completely within 18 months. The match started off strong but de-escalated quickly once they just had to cut to a promo video for the inevitably shitty Undertaker tag. After the break, it picked back up a little bit, but when you compare this to cruiserweight matches of champions prior, it really pares in comparison. A good match that I’ll never think about again. Hell, I’m already forgetting about it as I’m finishing up this sentence. ***¼
— TDE Wrestling (@tde_wrestling) July 14, 2019
No Holds Barred Tag Match: The Undertaker & Roman Reigns def. Shane McMahon & Drew McIntyre
Kelly: Golly, those holds sure were not barred. Any hold you can think of, none of them were barred. Shane McMahon could have shot the Undertaker in the middle of the ring and the referee would only be able to shrug his shoulders. Historical precedent would then have to be set as the courts decide if WWE rules surpass the laws of the United States. Not only could Shane’s defense cite the No Holds Barred stipulation, but they could also argue that if Shane killed a man that was already dead, at most he could be charged with desecration of a corpse. None of that happened in this match though. What we actually got was solid. To his credit, Undertaker actually looked pretty good, carrying a good chunk of the match. Shane finally took the fall here, but we’ll see if this is the end of his push as the top heel or not (probably not). Roman and Drew were definitely not the focus of this match and that’s okay because those two have no chemistry. I appreciate this going on first because I’m still fresh enough to not fall asleep during Undertaker’s entrance or exit. I guarantee that Undertaker will be in bed before this show is over. I respect that. ***
Garrett: Shane McMahon unloading punches on Roman Reigns will always be the most baffling sight to see. They spent this entire match tagging in and out in this NO HOLDS BARRED match. At one stage Undertaker grabbed a chair, ran off Shane McMahon and then returned to patiently wait in the corner until he was tagged in. On this the one night of the year where WWE goes EXTREME, they strictly followed the rules when they didn’t have to. How civil of them. A big problem with Undertaker since his shock (both in terms of result and match quality) loss to Brock Lesnar is that he has insisted on attempted to replicate his WrestleMania epics. Full of big moves and nearfalls, he simply couldn’t hold up to a match like that anymore. Honestly this is exactly what Undertaker should be in 2019 – light and fluffy, full of smoke and mirrors, play the hits. He doesn’t have to do anything more complicated than that to give the crowd what they want. Turns out he can’t do anything more than that either. This was a fun, crowd pleasing opener that went exactly as it should have. Shane died through a table and got his comeuppance at the hands of Undertaker. This should be the end of Shane, it won’t be but it should be. Pretty good stuff. ***
Jack: The Big Dog and the Dead Dog team up as part of the hottest tag team of the summer. As we all know, when TV ratings struggle, Vince panics, which is absolutely what led to the old carcass formerly known as The Undertaker wrestling on this show. Roman Reigns & Drew McIntyre began with a mediocre exchange, as two of the best hosses on the roster somehow have no discernable chemistry with each other at all. With that said, I greatly preferred their interactions to those between Shane and Taker, as Shane doing his shitty fake punches on Taker was some of the most laughable stuff I’ve seen in awhile. I was enjoying this a surprising amount during the Undertaker hot tag sequence (what a sentence), but my mood quickly turned when Elias interfered on McMahon’s behalf. It’s not only the pure interference spot that I disliked, it was the inaction afterwards as both Shane & Drew looked confused on what to do next. Luckily, they figured it out with Shane elbow dropping Taker through the table, causing a cut in Taker’s back to open. After all, as we all know, accidental blood greatly enhances a match. I had a good sentence planned to conclude my thoughts on this match, but then Michael Cole yelled BIG DOG STRONG and I forgot all of it. This was surprisingly good, kind of well-booked and a semi-enjoyable time. I may not feel BIG DOG STRONG after watching this, but I feel LITTLE DOG NOT WEAK, which is a start. ***½
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship: The Revival © def. The Usos
Kelly: This wasn’t the smoothest work from either team, was it? I’m not saying that it was poorly worked or anything, it just felt off. There were several times where the timing for all four men felt off. The match just never clicked. The crowd seemed dead for a majority of the time so it definitely didn’t click with them either. Both of these teams are very good, they just didn’t bring it tonight. **½
Garrett: I was watching this and trying to work out why this perfectly well worked tag team match felt so flat. Like everything should have gotten a reaction, but it didn’t There’s a simple explanation for that – the audience views The Revival as nerds. The Usos have a long history of tearing it up on WWE PPV, the Revival on the other hand have been booked into oblivion. So despite being a perfectly acceptable match, despite having the best WWE team of this generation in it – this just felt a little boring. Despite being champions, the audience doesn’t buy The Revival and it shows. They’ll need a lot more than this match to change that. **1/2
Aleister Black def. Cesaro
Kelly: Man, this was a really cool match between two guys who are just wrestling because they feel like having a match. Black wanted a match and Cesaro felt like hitting someone. That’s all the reason you need for a match sometimes. The work here was really snug, which led to some brutal looking strikes. The slow motion replay of Black kicking Cesaro in the head to finish the match looked fantastic. Both men came out of this looking great, but hopefully this is the kickstart they were hoping to get for a Black push. Perfect match for the early midcard of a four hour show! ***½
Garrett: This was likely designed as a showcase for Aleister Black but it did far more to remind me of why I love Cesaro. Amazing uppercuts, brilliant escalating intensity and best in class basing – he’s so good. It’s a shame he wasted so long in a team with Sheamus that was consistently less than the sum of its parts. He’s 38 now, so they may have missed the window on going all in on him but he was tremendous here. Good match all around – lacked heat because neither of these two have been presented as particularly important lately but the work was damn solid. The ship may have sailed on Cesaro but hopefully they won’t miss on Black. His presence is awesome, he feels different and his work is real good. Cesaro really showed up for him here too. ***1/4
Jack: I was gone getting coffee during the last match, but I am now back! Watching this singles match really hit home for me just how good the G1 has been, as while this match was perfectly fine, I’ve seen ten singles matches better than this one within the last week, which diminishes perfectly good matches like this. One of my favorite spots of the match came when Black hit a sick knee on Cesaro, who was coming off a springboard off the ropes. The knee connected flush with Cesaro’s jaw which both looked and sounded gnarly. Black hit Black Mass (which also looked awesome) which ended a very fun affair. I’d be a big fan of a significant Aleister Black push if he can keep having matches like this, and Cesaro proved he can still go as well. ***½
.@WWEAleister turning out the lights!
— TDE Wrestling (@tde_wrestling) July 15, 2019
WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley © def. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
Kelly: This went exactly as I expected. WWE heels act like dunces and Bayley overcomes the odds. Handicap matches are rarely good and this was no exception. More than anything, this match was an argument that rather than just defending every title for the hell of it, maybe you don’t have to defend every title every show. This felt like a time waster for Bayley rather than an important title match. There are better ways to keep your champions relevant. **¼
Garrett: Bayley defending the title in a handicap match? That seems unfair. Bayley should try to get more equitable match stipulations when they renegotiate their CBA…oh wait. This was fine. The crowd didn’t particularly care. Bayley OVERCAME THE ODDS. **1/4
Jack: The Street Profits had a brief backstage segment with Bliss & Cross before the match. As someone who doesn’t watch NXT TV, this segment only convinced me that the Profits are just two annoying, horny dudes who are somewhat good looking. From what I understand, they are good wrestlers, so perhaps I’d push that more if I were holding the proverbial pencil, but what do I know? The funniest and most memorable part of this match came when Bayley somehow got her foot stuck in the ring apron and had to spend a good ten seconds trying to get free from the apron’s claws. Side note – with how much Bliss interfered during this match, and considering they got to choose the stipulation, why didn’t Bliss & Cross make this a handicap match where both could be in the ring at the same time? I suspect we’ll never know the answer to that. Overall, the work in this was remarkably fine, and it thankfully didn’t overstay its welcome. I suppose that is all you can ask for with most WWE matches like this one nowadays. **1/2
Last Man Standing Match: Braun Strowman def. Bobby Lashley
Kelly: I LOVE watching people count. The more a wrestling match reminds me of Sesame Street, the better. It’s just the best when someone challenges the referee to count to ten and they put the match on hold to see if he can do it before a guy stands up. I hate this stipulation. I hate it I hate it I hate it. That being said, this was incredibly fun. These big boys smashed into lots of things; each other, commentators, a merch stand, fake fans, the guard rail, some weird platform they built, and I’m sure a lot more than I’ve forgotten. The cherry on top of this match was Braun Kool-Aid Manning his way through a wall to reveal that he was still standing. Big, dumb, and fun, this was everything it should have been. ***¾
Garrett: This was big, this was dumb, this was mostly two large men running into each other and it was pretty fun. Last Man Standing matches are tricky – you have to strike the right balance between enough counts to have credible, logical escalation without doing so many that most of the match becomes watching a man repeatedly fail to count to ten. They perhaps did a few too many counts here but who really cares. They kept running into each other until one couldn’t stand. The finish was a little lame predominantly because you couldn’t actually see the landing of Strowman’s powerslam out of the stands (not to mention the referee just started counting without being able to see either competitor) but I will take a fun hoss fight on WWE PPV. ***1/4
Jack: While I don’t think he’s a good wrestler anymore, Bobby Lashley’s matches always carry a sense of danger with them that makes him stand out amid the incredibly vanilla WWE main roster. It feels that any of his matches could turn into a disaster in mere seconds, which is kind of cool. We got one particularly funny disaster moment when Lashley attempted to jump off the railing to the outside and do something to Strowman, but he instead got irish whipped into some poor, unsuspecting announcers on the INTERNATIONAL ANNOUNCE DESK. Whatever it was they were attempting to do, it didn’t look good. There was a period of time near the beginning of the match where I was prepared to heap praise on it, but after about fifteen minutes of very simple walk and brawling, my attention rapidly waned. Thankfully, Braun did a sick powerslam off an arena section entrance that sent both men into a black abyss, which is also how I’d describe creative. That is how the match ended, which I’m fine with, as you can’t really top what they finished with. Braun’s biggest problem in my eyes is that he isn’t a believable monster, but in this match, Braun managed to regain a bit of the monster aura that made all of us gush about him years ago. I can’t say this was a good match, but I had enough fun watching it, and sometimes that’s all a match needs. ***1/4
Oh, we have fun!
— TDE Wrestling (@tde_wrestling) July 15, 2019
WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The New Day def. “The New” Daniel Bryan & Rowan © and Heavy Machinery
Kelly: This match felt weird and disjointed to me, but I suppose it should with how different these three teams are. I was worried about writing this because I had literally no opinion of the match… right up to the Bryan/Big E segment. What a fantastic closing stretch! I loved Bryan wrapping up Big E in submissions and E struggling with his entire heart to get out of them. I loved Big E absorbing all of Bryan’s strikes and asking for more. This is a main event player! Both of these guys looked amazing here. I wish that had been a closing stretch to a big singles match, but I’m happy with what we got. ***¾
Garrett: Unlike the previous tag team title match, these guys took a crowd that wasn’t super interested and whipped them into a frenzy. Everybody looked great here, Rowan looked like a monster, Heavy Machinery had their best showing to date while the usual suspects looked as good as ever. It seemed like the match peaked with a really fun dive sequence but then a heck of an exchange broke out between Daniel Bryan and Big E. I want a Daniel Bryan vs. Big E match right now. I want a Big E singles push right now. Every month he kills it on these shows, he’s looked like a superstar for five years and yet he still stuck in the exact same place. He’s so good. For the love of all that is holy, would this company please strap the rocket to him. It’s so long overdue. Super fun tag title match. Big E and Daniel Bryan are great pro wrestlers. ***3/4
Jack: A 3-way tag team match? What am I watching here, AEW? All jokes aside, this was a fantastic match, perhaps the match I’ve most enjoyed on the WWE main roster this year. It was a perfect spotlight for all three teams and it had a killer closing stretch that made the crowd and myself pop big. I previously hadn’t thought much of Heavy Machinery, but I must admit that they were excellent here. If all Heavy Machinery matches were like this one, with Otis using his power and Tucker his athleticism, I think that they could be one of WWE’s top tag teams. Throughout every interaction of this match, I was smiling, which was not an emotion I ever expected to feel watching a WWE show, especially this one. I can’t gush about this match enough, no hyperbole, it was that good. More of this, WWE, please! And I’ll echo Garrett’s thoughts – Please push Big E. He deserves it. Make him the star you know he is. Do it! ****1/4
GET EEEEEEEEEM @WWEBigE!
— TDE Wrestling (@tde_wrestling) July 15, 2019
WWE United States Championship: AJ Styles def. Ricochet ©
Kelly: Remember back when the Bullet Club would interfere in every New Japan Title match they were involved in and everyone hated it. Me too, I hate it here too. Man, I don’t know what happened with this match, but I was incredibly bored with this one, especially considering the two men involved. AJ Styles will go down as an all time great and Ricochet is one of the most dynamic wrestlers in the world. I can’t understand how this match was so terribly dull. I guess these guys had an off night. The finish looked cool though. **¾
Garrett: The year is 2019. The match featuring Shane McMahon and The Undertaker was better than a long AJ Styles vs. Ricochet singles match. What led us to such a world? Who knows – but it is the world we live in. This was very boring. The brilliant, dynamic AJ Styles that showed up for the Seth Rollins match two months ago is gone again. The slow, boring, methodical AJ Styles of the last two years was back in full force. It’s honestly pretty amazing that AJ Styles vs. Ricochet got time on PPV in WWE and it was among the least interesting matches on the show. Imagine telling somebody that in 2014. AJ is champ but it’s the midcard title so who cares – AJ will probably just lose his next TV match like all midcard champions anyway. What a crushing disappointment, this was extremely dull. **1/2
Jack: If you’ve seen AJ Styles wrestle in the last two years, you’ve seen this match. Ricochet added some flips to attempt to add a little bit of juice, but at the end of the day, this was the AJ Styles three star formula we’ve gotten to know quite well as of late, except a little bit worse. The only cool thing that happened in this match was the finish, and part of my excitement at that was that I wouldn’t have to sit through this boring slog of a match anymore. I have nothing left to say about this match, as it was incredibly unremarkable. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. **1/2
— TDE Wrestling (@tde_wrestling) July 15, 2019
Kevin Owens def. Dolph Ziggler
Kelly: Owens killed Ziggler with a stunner and it was awesome. NR, but it was a ***** segment
Garrett: Perfect. ****
Jack: SQUASH (not the vegetable)! I’m so glad they kept this short. So, so glad. Kevin Owens squashing someone rules, and the fact that that person is Dolph Ziggler is even better. Perfect. NR
WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston © def. Samoa Joe
Kelly: At this point, you have to assume that a good chunk of the roster has decided that since this is a lower tier PPV, they’re putting in less effort. This goes back to what I was saying earlier in this review, maybe we don’t have to defend every belt on every show. Maybe Kofi could have taken the night off instead of wasting this match on a nothing feud. And I don’t want to hear that the fans were into it because they were dead as Undertaker when Shane killed him in my fantasy booking. It’s always a bad sign when you can hear individual fans. *½
Garrett: This was long and boring and nothing happened and then Kofi won out of nowhere. **
Jack: I’ll admit, I couldn’t pay attention to this as it was entirely uninspiring and just plain boring. It’s clear that Kofi Kingston’s sixty seconds of fame are up, and the crowd clearly doesn’t believe in him anymore. If I were holding the pencil I’d belt up someone with momentum like Kevin Owens, but WWE seems content to keep trotting out the midcarder masquerading as a main eventer as one of the major champions for months on end. Meh. I’m just glad this is over. **
Last Chance Winners Take All Mixed Tag Team Extreme Rules Match For The WWE Universal Championship and WWE Raw Women’s Championship: Seth Rollins © & Becky Lynch © def. Baron Corbin & Lacey Evans
Kelly: This was very stupid, but not in the fun way we got with Braun/Lashley. Lacey wacked Becky in the head with a chair like an idiot and that was funny. This was your basic WWE Extreme match with chairs, tables, and kendo sticks. It was fine at best. My favorite part had to be Rollins actually definitively beating Corbin after three curb stomps. You had the first two for good measure and then the third for the execution. Everything else was pretty lame though. I will give credit to Evans and Corbin for having shocking good chemistry. I wouldn’t keep them as a pushed act, but keeping them together would probably be a good idea. **
Garrett: This is a wrestling match in which things happened. Some were extreme. Some were less extreme. Legal tags were enforced. Legal tags were not enforced. Four wrestlers competed using a series of wrestling moves to try and secure victory. Some were successful. Some were unsuccessful. Chairs were used as weapons rather than sitting on. Tables were used for smashing rather than dining at. Kendo sticks were used for thwacking rather than…whatever people actually use Kendo sticks for. It all sure did happen. It was truly, undeniably a wrestling match that happened. **1/2
Jack: The best part of this entire section was Brock Lesnar cashing in on chickenshit Seth Rollins when his also shitty girlfriend with whom he has no chemistry was unable to save him. The worst part was everything else. When WWE’s bullshit is at its dumbest, it is incredibly dumb, and this was no exception. **
.@BaronCorbinWWE is going D E E P !
— TDE Wrestling (@tde_wrestling) July 15, 2019
WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar def. Seth Rollins ©
Kelly: Fucking sure, I guess.
Garrett: Then Lesnar cashed in on Rollins and really who cares? We are back to where we started before WrestleMania. Nothing says exciting quite like returning to the status quo. Maybe none of the last three months actually happened and it was all a collective delusion. At least in that world last month’s Rollins/Corbin match didn’t happen. That world is probably better than this one. Brock Lesnar is champ again, Seth Rollins is still a nerd, Brock Lesnar SLAYED the Beast Slayer making him the Beast Slayer Slayer. WWE is exactly where it’s been for the last five years. Hurray! NR
Jack: This happened.