Extreme Rules 2018
[Kick-Off Show] The DELETERS of Worlds (c) bt. The Authors of Pain in a Tables Match
Live from PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Following the opening video package of the show, the commentators spoke over an aerial shot of the building. Surrounding the arena, were police cars and police officers. This heightened security was a response to this Monday’s appearance of Braun Strowman, despite him being barred from the building. In order to appease Paul Heyman, who this week threatened to pull Brock Lesnar out of the show, WWE increased security to avoid an appearance from “Mr. Money In The Bank” Braun Strowman.
Falls Count Anywhere
Sanity vs. The New Day
Due to the nature of this match, it was very difficult for the referee to keep up with the action. As a result, his role was limited to attempting to count a pinfall when he saw one. Introducing various weapons, Sanity and The New Day went all out to kick off the show with a wild brawl. While it would seem that Sanity would have the edge in a match of this type, The New Day showed once again that when they’re backs are against the wall, they come out swinging. This match was no different, and when it came down to it, Kofi Kingston was able to pin Alexander Wolfe, following a Trouble In Paradise to his Trash Can covered head.
The New Day bt. Sanity
Despite the huge impact they have had on Smackdown Live in such a small amount of time, Sanity were unable to defeat The New Day in their first major rivalry. Following the match, the man who has vowed to bring chaos and confusion to Smackdown led his men away, ensuring Sanity could regroup for their next mission. Celebrating in the ring, The New Day were put over as one of the greatest three men groups in WWE history.
Ahead of the first match on the Raw side of the show, the history between Bayley and Sasha Banks was recapped. Last month, Sasha Banks attacked Bayley in the middle of the ring, the moment described as “the point of no return” in their friendship. Since then, Sasha Banks has launched a campaign of verbal abuse against Bayley, and her fans. This past week on Raw, things became so heated between the two women, that the decision was made to add a Special Enforcer to the match. Following the video package, that woman made her entrance.
Extreme Rules; Ronda Rousey is Special Guest Enforcer
Bayley vs. Sasha Banks
Given the Extreme Rules stipulation, Ronda Rousey’s only job was to ensure that the match remained a match, and didn’t descend into a fight. This job would be more difficult than it sounds, as Bayley came straight out of the gates with arms swinging. On a number of occasions, Ronda stopped the two women from fighting up the ramp and even into the crowd. The emotional Bayley managed to get out some of her aggression early on, but it quickly became clear that Sasha’s game plan was to use that against her. She did this very well, and it was on this forward thinking that the match tipped in her favour. Also the first to introduce weapons into the match, Sasha Banks used a miscommunication between Bayley and Ronda Rousey to secure control of the match.
While the two women went back and forth, there wasn’t the number of nearfalls that would be expected between these two competitors who know each other so well. It was also on Sasha Banks’ first attempt at a Banks Statement that she secured victory. When Bayley had reached the ropes, Banks noticed a Kendo Stick to her side. Picking it up, Sasha rolled the move back through to the ring, using the Kendo Stick to assist the Banks Statement. Now only focussed on removing the Kendo Stick from her face, Bayley was left with little chance of escape. After a few moments, Bayley was forced to swallow her pride, submitting to the Banks Statement.
Sasha Banks bt. Bayley
Having kept her eyes on Ronda Rousey while locking in the Banks Statement, Sasha took a little too long to release the hold for Ronda’s liking. As a result, Rousey climbed up on to the ring apron.
Releasing the hold as soon as it appeared Ronda was going to enter the ring, Sasha Banks release the hold, instead focussing on boasting about her victory. While she enjoyed goading Rousey, it was clear Banks wanted nothing to do with her. As Rousey entered the ring to check on Bayley, Sasha Banks left up the ramp, posing at the top of it after a huge victory against Bayley
In the office of Kurt Angle, Jason Jordan approached his father. Later tonight, Jason Jordan will take a lie detector test, as he looks to clear suspicion that he may have been involved in an attack that put Chad Gable out of action last month.
Jason Jordan was looking forward to the opportunity to clear his name, asking his father if everything was prepared. Kurt Angle was busy, but ensured Jordan that everything was ready for them to go ahead.
Ahead of the match between Asuka and Carmella for the Smackdown Women’s Championship, Charlotte Flair cut a promo. She promised to ensure that there would be no excuses following the match, vowing that the best woman would win.
Smackdown Women’s Championship
Carmella (c) vs. Asuka
Going into the match, it was clear that Carmella was up against in, and the opportunistic Champion had to do everything in her power to try and escape with the Women’s Championship. This included literally trying to run away from her problems, only for Charlotte Flair to block her path. When it came to the actual in-ring part of the match, Carmella was blown away by Asuka, and it was clear that she would have to do something drastic to keep hold of the title. When her usual tactics didn’t work, Carmella found herself almost resigned to her fate, eventually submitting to the Asuka Lock.
Asuka bt. Carmella (c) to become the NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion!
Following her victory, Asuka was joined in the ring by Charlotte Flair.
With suspicions about her intent from some sections of the WWE Universe, Flair proved the doubters wrong, congratulating the new Smackdown Women’s Champion, and raising her hand in the ring.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins
Leading into the next match, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn cut a promo on their way to the ring. Speaking to Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, who were already in the ring, Owens & Zayn claimed to have a plan to stop the former Tag Team Champions. Once the match got underway, this was clearly not the case. Before the match, the wheel was spun, landing on a “Street Fight”. However, the stipulation was barely explored, and after a lot of stalling a posturing, the match was short. When Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens brawled up the ramp, Roman Reigns squashed Sami Zayn, hitting him with a series of his signatures moves. The commentators compared this to last month, when Roman Reigns defeat Jinder Mahal in under five minutes. It was barely much longer on the clock when Reigns hit Zayn with a Superman Punch from “The Big Dog”. Reigns followed this up with a Spear to Zayn, scoring another decisive victory.
Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins bt. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
Following the match, an impressed Seth Rollins joined Roman Reigns in the ring, celebrating with his partner.
Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship
Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. AJ Styles
Competing in yet another match for the WWE Championship, this contest marked the first time Shinsuke Nakamura came in as Champion, having defeated AJ Styles in a Last Man Standing match last month at Money In The Bank. Throughout the month, AJ Styles had been forced to deal with Andrade “Cien” Almas, as the Smackdown Live newcomer looked to make his name off the former WWE Champion. Shinsuke Nakamura took advantage of that, but still had a lot to prove, given claims were made that his victory last month was lucky. With no excuses in a Steel Cage, this match would be definitive, either proving Shinsuke Nakamura to be the real deal, or reaffirming AJ Styles’ position at the top level on Smackdown Live. Going back and forth, with a number of nearfalls, it was AJ Styles who picked up the victory, defeating Shinsuke Nakamura with a Styles Clash. This came after Shinsuke Nakamura broke what had appeared to be a “gentleman’s agreement”, with both men avoiding the escape route to win the match. When Shinsuke tried to escape the Cage, he was knocked back down to the mat from about half way up, and this allowed AJ Styles to take the control he needed to regain the title.
AJ Styles bt. Shinsuke Nakamura (c) to become the WWE Champion
Celebrating the victory, which makes him a now 3 time WWE Champion, AJ Styles left the cage. Left in the Steel Cage, Shinsuke Nakamura was left to consider his 6 month plus chase of the WWE Championship, and where he goes from there.
Looking back at the night so far, footage was played from the “Kick-Off Show”, in which the Raw Tag Team Championship Tables match between The Deleters of World and The Authors of Pain was recapped. Replaying the finish, The Authors of Pain looked in complete control, setting Bray Wyatt up for an assisted Powerbomb. However, coming out of nowhere, Matt Hardy took a dive from the second ropes, to the outside of the ring where The Authors of Pain were. Connecting with Akam, Matt Hardy sent himself and Akam through the Table, securing the victory for his team. After that, it was time for the Lie Detector Test of Jason Jordan.
Coming down to the ring, Kurt Angle described the set up, introducing Jason Jordan to the ring. Chad Gable walked down to the ring soon after.
As Kurt Angle continued to explain what was going on, he reminded viewers of the attack on Chad Gable several weeks ago, which happened moments before Jason Jordan reappeared after his injury layoff. This led to suspicion from Chad Gable, who reluctantly made the accusation last week on Raw. Outraged, Jason Jordan demanded the Lie Detector Test. After Kurt Angle explained this, Elias made his way out, stoking the flames.
Taking a seat at ringside, Elias looked to get under the skin of Jason Jordan, and the General Manager Kurt Angle. He took great delight as Jason Jordan was hooked up to the Polygraph. Jason Jordan was happy to take the test, hurrying up the staff. Jason Jordan was then asked if he was in the building on the said date, at the time of the attack. Jason Jordan said he was, and the test proved he was telling the truth.
Jason Jordan was then asked if he had returned solely to take the place of Chad Gable in his match with Elias. Jordan said he did not, and was again proved to be telling the truth. Elias commented on this, but was silenced for the final question when Kurt said “can somebody cut this guys mic?” The final question was simple, did Jason Jordan attack Chad Gable. Answering no, the Lie Detector suggested that Jason Jordan was telling the truth. Chad Gable and Kurt Angle were satisfied with this, but somewhat surprised by a strange - over the top - celebration from Jason Jordan. Punching the air, more like someone who had gotten away with something, rather than an innocent man, Jason Jordan aroused suspicion. Saying he was “so happy to clear [his] name”, Jason Jordan hugged both Chad Gable and Kurt Angle, before leaving the ring to gloat to Elias. Left in the ring, Gable and Angle shrugged, accepting the result of the polygraph.
It was then time for the Raw Women’s Championship match. Joining the ring were six Lumberjacks. These were Ember Moon & Natalya, The Riott Squad’s Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan, and the returning Alexa Bliss & Mickie James.
Having been “on vacation” for the last few weeks, Alexa Bliss and Mickie James expected a warm welcome, but certainly didn’t get one from their fellow Superstars. They were also frustrated when the music of Ronda Rousey hit, and she stood at the top of the ramp.
Remaining away from the ring, it appeared that Ronda Rousey still had her eyes on Alexa Bliss and Mickie James, and would not be moving on, as the pair had hoped.
Lumberjack Match for the Raw Women’s Championship
Nia Jax (c) vs. Ruby Riott
Splitting into distinctive groups, each side of the bring had two Superstar surrounding it, apart from the ramp side. Half way down the ramp, Ronda Rousey stood, watching over the match. For much of the match, see seemed to be staring straight past the competitors, transfixed on Alexa Bliss. In the ring, after The Riott Squad’s effects were negated, the match was fairly straight forward. A standard Championship defence for Nia, a Samoan Drop, followed by a Running Leg Drop, was enough to retain the title.
Nia Jax bt. Ruby Riott
After the match, the focus shifted away from the victorious Nia Jax and to Ronda Rousey, who had ran off Mickie James and Alexa Bliss when they joined Logan and Morgan in targeting Nia. Standing tall at the top of the ramp, Ronda looked back towards the ring. It was suggested that it won’t be long before Rousey will be the one with her eyes on the Women’s Championship.
WWE Universal Championship
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Finn Balor
Prior to the Main Event, a video package played showing the record-breaking Universal Championship run of Brock Lesnar. Finn Balor’s short run with the title, of just one day was contrasted to this, and had been mentioned by Paul Heyman in a promo leading up to the match. Once in the ring, Paul Heyman introduced his client.
The match itself followed the fairly standard mold for a Brock Lesnar match, with the challenger suffering at the hands of “The Beast”. While Finn Balor managed some of his offence, using his speed to try and bring down the Champion, he struggled to maintain any control. In a game of cat and mouse, Finn Balor did manage a Double Footstomp to the back of the Champion, but was hit with a stiff Lariat as he tried to capitalise on the momentum. From here, the match was built around how far Brock Lesnar could throw Finn Balor across the ring. The athleticism of Finn Balor created some doubt during the later parts, but Brock Lesnar was able to defeat him after hitting him with an F-5.
Brock Lesnar bt. Finn Balor
As Brock Lesnar stood tall in the ring with Paul Heyman, it appeared as though it was once again “job done” for the Universal Champion, who would now turn his attention to Summerslam. However, out of nowhere, the big screen began showing the outside of the building, where Police Officers and Police Vehicles still surrounded the arena. While the commentators spoke of reports of an incident going on outside, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman were none the wiser. The Officers were seen looking up to the sky, as the sound of a Helicopter in the background got gradually louder. Eventually, the Helicopter was seen, hovering above the arena.
Cutting back to the inside, Brock Lesnar was still looking at Paul Heyman, confused. Heyman appeared just as dumbfounded as the WWE Universal Champion, asking those at ringside what was going on. As the scene unfolded, Police Officers were forced to flee the area, with the landing Helicopter lowering extremely close to them. When the Helicopter hit the ground, the side door was opened and Braun Strowman stepped out of it. Removing a headset with one hand, Braun Strowman used the other to pick up his “Money In The Bank” Briefcase!
The commentators reacted in complete disbelief, as Strowman walked towards the arena. Looking down the camera, Strowman said “Beastie Boy… I’m coming for you!”
Having cleared the line blocking him from the building, Braun Strowman made his way towards the arena. In the ring, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman appeared to have come to the same conclusion. Forcing Brock Lesnar to back down from a fight, Braun Strowman was able to do something that nobody had ever been able to before. Leaving the ring in a hurry, Brock Lesnar literally “ran away” from the threat of Braun Strowman, a surreal moment for those who have followed the Universal Champion’s career.
Managing to get away from the ringside area, just as Braun Strowman’s music hit, Brock Lesnar ensured his Championship reign would go on. Moments later, the man who had been “banned from the building”, made his way down the ramp. Once in the ring, having arrived at the building in the most spectacular fashion, Braun Strowman raised his “Money In The Bank” Briefcase high in the air. Looking to hype the crowd up, Strowman went to all four sides of the ring, raising the Briefcase repeatedly and encouraging the WWE Universe to make noise. As Extreme Rules went off the air, the commentators talked disbelievingly about Braun Strowman having apparently piloted a Helicopter to the building. They also put him over as the WWE’s biggest predator, with the most dangerous weapon possible (the “Money In The Bank” Briefcase).
With Brock Lesnar as the most unlikely of preys, and the Universal Championship in his sight, Braun Strowman stood tall to end the show. Michael Cole signed off, saying that “for the first time in his life… after a career of victimising his opponents… The Beast finally knows what it means to be the hunted!” adding “Braun Strowman is coming for the Universal Champion… and Lesnar’s only option is to run… and keep running!”
The New Day bt. Sanity
Sasha Banks bt. Bayley
Daniel Bryan & Samoa Joe bt. The Bar
Asuka bt. Carmella (c) [Smackdown Women's Championship; TITLE CHANGE]
Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins bt. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
AJ Styles bt. Shinsuke Nakamura [WWE Championship; TITLE CHANGE]
Nia Jax (c) bt. Ruby Riott [Raw Women's Championship]
Brock Lesnar (c) bt. Finn Balor [Universal Championship]