In what is becoming a post-WrestleMania tradition, WWE went to the extreme with their latest pay-per-view offering from St. Louis. Several stipulation matches took place to further feuds stemming from WrestleMania and three championships were on the line as all three members of The Shield were looking to claim gold.
Brock Lesnar and Triple H had their rubber match inside a steel cage in the main event while John Cena defended the WWE Championship in a Last Man Standing Match against Ryback. With World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler out with a concussion, former champions Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger battled for the next title shot. And The Shield tried to become the new United States and Tag Team Champions.
(1) Chris Jericho d. Fandango
This was a good opener. Fandango missed his top rop leg drop which led to a Walls of Jericho attempt. Fandango made it to the ropes, but later would go up top again and jump right into the Codebreaker as Jericho picked up the win. The Fandango character is growing on me, but I just don't see it having longevity.
(2) Dean Ambrose d. Kofi Kingston to win United States Championship
You had to figure The Shield was winning all the gold at Extreme Rules. Kingston hit the Trouble in Paradise which knocked Ambrose off the apron. Kingston hurried to get Ambrose back in the ring. JBL wondered why Kingston even bothered considering he could keep his title. Once back in, Ambrose barely grabbed the bottom rope during the pin attempt. Kingston missed another Trouble in Paradise and Ambrose capture his first title with a headlock driver. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, who weren't at ringside, came back out to celebrate.
(3) Sheamus d. Mark Henry in Strap Match
Red and green lights were in each corner to let the crowd know when Sheamus or Henry had touched a turnbuckle. They did the spot where Henry carried Sheamus around as he touched, but didn't realize Sheamus was doing the same. Eventually, Henry figured out and slammed Sheamus. At the end, Sheamus had touched three corners. Henry went picked him up, but Sheamus got out and hit the Brogue kick before getting to the fourth corner. The match was fine. You don't see strap matches that often so it was a fun novelty.
(4) Alberto Del Rio d. Jack Swagger in I Quit Match
With Ziggler out, we got the continuation of a feud no one wanted. Swagger got Del Rio in the Patriot Lock and Rodriguez teased throwing in the towel. He got into it with Coulter who threw in the towel which led to the finish since the referee saw the towel and called it. In a weird spot, another referee ran out to say what happened so the original referee looked at a replay. The match was restarted and Del Rio won with the cross armbreaker. Let's hope Ziggler beats Del Rio quickly after returning so we can all move on.
(5) The Shield d. Team Hell No to win WWE Tag Team Championship
This was held under tornado rules which I totally forgot even while watching the match. Cole mentioned how long Team Hell No had been champions and JBL gave him crap about jinxing them. Sure enough, The Shield took the titles when Reigns got Bryan up in torture rack position and Rollins came off the top with a knee. It's nice that all three members are champions, but it doesn't matter if WWE doesn't make the titles feel important. The Tag Team Titles were built back up thanks to Bryan and Kane so I'm not worried about that, but the US Title needs a purpose.
(6) Randy Orton d. Big Show in Extreme Rules Match
It was better than I thought it would be. Orton tried everything to put Show away including the draping DDT and an RKO on a chair. In the end, Orton resorted to the punt kick to win. The feud appears to be done so now Orton needs to be put back in the main event picture.
(7) Ryback vs John Cena went to No Contest in Last Man Standing Match for WWE Championship
Speaking of better than expected, Cena vs Ryback was a pleasant surprise. They brawled around the ring and out into the crowd. All the big moves were used (AA, Shellshocked, etc). Cena put Ryback through a table and later used a fire extinguisher. The big spot came at the end where, on the stage, Ryback plowed Cena through the lighting set next to the entrance. The match just ended and Cena had to be put on a stretcher while Ryback eventually made it to his feet. I guess at the least Ryback didn't lose and this will continue the feud into WWE Payback.
(8) Brock Lesnar d. Triple H in Steel Cage Match
Right off the bat, Triple H ran out and attacked Lesnar before they got into the cage. Inside, Lesnar ran his knee into the cage and sold it for the rest of the match. Triple H went to work on the knee including a Figure Four. Heyman got in the cage, but took a Pedigree. Triple H hit the Pedigree on Lesnar for two. He grabbed a silver sledgehammer from above the cage. Heyman gave him a low blow. That allowed Lesnar to hit Triple H with the sledgehammer and the F5 to win. It took Triple H a long time to get up. I'm curious to see where things go from here for Lesnar and Triple H.
Overall, I think Extreme Rules was better than I thought it would be. We were missing that one great match which could've been the ladder match that was cancelled. Ryback vs Cena and Lesnar vs HHH were good though and it was cool to see The Shield get some gold. I'm sure we'll get some follow up on Cena, Ryback, HHH, and Lesnar on Raw.