First off, I’m sorry I nailed so much of the WWE Extreme Rules 2017 Kickoff Show stuff in the drinking game. I had no idea and just guessed on some of the more ridiculous things that could happen and thus, they happened. But man, this PPV, huh? Let’s get right into the recap.
WWE Extreme Rules 2017 Recap – Kickoff Show
Despite waiting until the last-minute to drop any details, the Kickoff Show is a relatively standard Kickoff Show. Your panel is Renee Young, Sam Roberts, and a “fresh off the movie set” David Otunga. Strangely, Otunga is back for the Kickoff Show, but Booker T calls the Kickoff Show match and the PPV. I guess that’s a “win”.
Charly Caruso is in the social media lounge (as I called it in the drinking game too, sorry) with the Hardys.
Also, Nia Jax joins the panel to discuss the “stick on a pole” match (sorry again, really, I hope you didn’t play this drinking game) and Kurt Angle joins right before the main show starts and is the first WWE employee to say “Great Balls of Fire” on the air.
We have one match for the Kickoff Show, announced Sunday morning. Kalisto vs. Apollo Crews. Yeah, that random feud that gets a few minutes of time on Raw each week gets the match. You know, instead of the Goldust vs. R Truth feud that actually has a story building around it. Sigh.
Kalisto is out first (w/ his totally not Lucha Underground inspired gear). Titus O’Neil (in a suit) is out next with Crews.
Match #1: Kalisto vs. Apollo Crews (w/ Titus O’Neil)
Surprisingly, this is one of the better matches on the show – despite having almost no build and it getting added the day of the PPV. Even though both may be rocky on the mic, delivering in the ring has never been a problem for either guy. The only times this match drags are when the “Titus Brand” story gets involved – largely because it’s not even clear where they’re going with it. Kalisto hits his obligatory crazy spots and it’s a shame he’s not being pushed as a monster on 205 Live. Crews really gives it is his all here too, despite being saddled with such a confusing alliance with O’Neil. The finish comes when Titus gets up on the apron to coach (?) Crews and causes him to eat a Salida del Sol. Kalisto even uses O’Neil to push off of to hit the move. Cool stuff.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Way better than it had any business being. It’s like Kalisto and Crews decided to just go out there and put on a show and it worked incredibly well.
After that match, we get the aforementioned segment of Kurt Angle on the panel and we head into the main show.
WWE Extreme Rules 2017 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. We get the expected Extreme Rules hype video, pyro, and we’re live from Baltimore.
The Miz’s music hits first and he and Maryse are out in their PPV body armor. We get the video package for this match and then Ambrose is out.
Match #2: Dean Ambrose (c) vs. The Miz (w/ Maryse) (If Dean Gets Disqualified He Loses the Intercontinental Championship)
Yeah, so if you wanted a bunch of spots where Dean almost gets himself disqualified this is your jam. Otherwise, this was a below average match for the Miz since he’s saddled with the selectively enforced stipulation here. I say selectively enforced because referee John Cone goes into business for himself towards the end of the match when the predictable “Maryse slaps Miz” spot happens. He “knows what they’re up to” and ejects Maryse from ring side. Hey, it’s not Miz & Maryse’s fault that Angle booked this with a vague and utterly ridiculous stipulation. And in all honesty, the moment the bell rang, Maryse should have gotten in there and just assaulted Miz. New champion. But nah, why ruin the fun of a match where the ref keeps having to remind Dean that everything he’s doing would get him disqualified? Seriously, this match is not very good and the only thing that saves it is the result. Not the finish – the result. The finish is hot garbage in and of itself. After Maryse is ejected, she comes back and distracts Cone. Miz sends Ambrose into Cone and Cone falls out of the ring. Cone starts threatening to DQ Dean, but nah, Miz comes up from behind, hits the Skull Crushing Finale… and gets the clean win. Yes, that’s right. The WWE went out of the way to build this stupid DQ stipulation and then had Miz go over clean. WHOA… SWERVE!
Verdict: Thumbs Down – The match is absolute trash, but at least Miz having the IC Title means that title just got elevated again. Obviously a smart move if they’re really planning on Brock holding the Universal Title until WrestleMania.
Next, Charly is backstage with Bayley. It’s worth noting that during the Kickoff Show they didn’t show any “Bayley, This Is Your Life” footage. Bayley references it here briefly, but for the most part it appears WWE has retconned that disaster out of existence. In this interview, Bayley name drops watching Steve Blackman matches to get psyched up and claims she can get extreme. Wow, a Steve Blackman reference on 2017 WWE TV. Twenty-something year old me who used to take Steve Blackman signs to Raw and SmackDown tapings shed some tears of joy over that.
Next, it’s mixed tag time. I’d say “purple ropes” mixed tag team time, but alas, no purple ropes. Who woulda thunk? Alicia and Dar are out together. Swann gets his own entrance (and hometown pop) and waits for Banks who is out in color coordinated gear for her team.
Match #3: Noam Dar & Alicia Fox vs. Rich Swann & Sasha Banks
So, Rich Swann and Naomi are the only two people on the WWE main roster allowed to go over in their hometown? Noted. As I suspected, Swann and Banks get the win here. The only real notable spot is Sasha doing a double knee off the ropes onto Dar. Swann hits the Phoenix Splash to get the rare hometown victory. I’ve had a really hard time getting into this program and this short match didn’t do much for me either. On a show as bad as this one got, however, this is “okay”.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – I’m not a huge fan of this program, but the action was good while it lasted.
Post-match, Swann and Banks dance together in the ring.
Back from break, Elias Samson is in the ring and sings a song that burys Baltimore and seems to be vaguely about the Fatal Five Way winner facing Brock Lesnar. That’s it. No match. No one runs in to start something with Samson. He just sits there in Bray Wyatt styled lighting (complete with “fireflies”) and performs a song. And gets massive heel heat. Beautiful.
Next, it’s “stick on a pole” match time. Bayley is out first. Alexa enters last.
Match #4: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Bayley (Kendo Stick on a Pole Match for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship)
If a match could be the “match equivalent” of the “Bayley, This Is Your Life” segment – this is that match. Remember the stipulation that only the first person to get the kendo stick could use it? Yeah, WWE apparently didn’t. Bayley gets the stick first, Alexa takes it from her and hits Bayley a billion times and doesn’t get DQed. It’s like no one – refs, talent, announcers, booking committee, etc. were on the same page with anything for this show. Bayley hits her finisher, but is too injured from kendo stick shots to do anything. Alexa hits Bayley with the stick some more and then hits her DDT finisher out of nowhere to get the win. The match was just over five minutes and felt like a lifetime. Hard to believe this match was booked by the same company doing a women’s division Money in the Bank ladder match in just a few weeks.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – The whole “Alexa vs. Bayley” feud has been DOA since Alexa won at Payback. Give someone else a chance now, please. The only positive thing here was allowing Alexa to retain after making her suffer through the “This Is Your Life” disaster and this garbage heap of a gimmick match.
Hey, Adam Jones from the Baltimore Orioles is in the crowd… and he’s… dressed like Virgil. And he’s with two other guys in Money Inc. cosplay. Amazing.
Next, the steel cage lowers so now Jeff Hardy must go out there and die for the booking committee’s sins in an attempt to save this show. Shesaro enter first. Hardys enter last.
Match #5: The Hardys (c) vs. Sheamus & Cesaro (Steel Cage Match for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships)
Another match that had random additional stipulations added on when the match started. Now, suddenly, the only way a team can win is by escaping the cage – and both guys from the team have to be out before their team wins. Let’s make this needlessly complicated! So, it’s a cage match. The Hardys do their typical stuff and Jeff manages to escape the cage first without dying. Of course he then enters the cage again, by way of a Whisper in the Wind from the top of the cage to help Matt. From there, it’s a race between Sheasaro climbing and Matt attempting to drag Jeff’s body over the threshold of the door… because apparently Jeff has to escape again even though he escaped once already. Because reasons. Because we put no thought into the booking of this show. Sheasaro beat them out by a few seconds and become the new champs. On one hand I’m mad because the Hardys had to lose the straps in such an idiotic match. But, on the other hand, I hope this means Matt gets a bit of a break to spend time with his new son who is due to enter this world any day now.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – Much like the Miz match, okay result but not the best match we’ve seen these guys do. It seems too early for them to go “broken”, if they ever will be able to. But, I could see a Hardy split coming from this and with Revival almost back, they’re not necessarily needed for the division at this point.
The Cruiserweight Title match gets the “cool down” spot tonight. Aries (w/ no banana) is out first. Neville is out last.
Match #6: Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries (Submission Match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
I know when I think “Submission Match” I think of count outs and possible DQs for using a submission hold on the ropes in the corner. Don’t you? Yep, another match that suffers from no one really being on the same page as to what the stipulations allow and don’t allow. Add into it that I’m so incredibly bored with this feud – and this wasn’t the best watch. How many times must Neville beat Austin Aries until they let Neville work with someone else? I suppose one positive in this match was TJP doesn’t interfere, so at least we didn’t have to hear “TJP” get said 45,000 times. But, yeah, another Neville vs. Aries match. Yay. The only thing that sets this one apart is Aries attempting to slap the Rings of Saturn on, but it not being on Neville’s Level. Er, and the finish which had Neville landing a Red Arrow onto Aries’ back and then tapping him out with the Rings of Saturn.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – PLEASE GIVE NEVILLE SOMEONE ELSE TO FIGHT. Ali, Tozawa, Kalisto, anyone… please?
Next, we get the promo video for WWE Great Balls of Fire and OMG THEY PAID FOR THE LICENSING TO THE JERRY LEE LEWIS SONG AND IT IS A 1950s THEMED PPV!!! *Honky Tonk Man intensifies* *Deuce & Domino intensifies*
It’s already main event time and this PPV will be significantly shorter than the average episode of Raw. Entrance order is: Bray Wyatt, Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, and Roman Reigns.
Match #7: Bray Wyatt vs. Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor vs. Roman Reigns (Fatal Five-Way to Determine the Number One Contender to the WWE Universal Championship)
Match of the night – not that getting that is a real accomplishment on this show. The major story told here was the continuation of the tale they’ve been telling of Bray Wyatt and Samoa Joe teaming up only to turn on each other in these multi-man matches. Joe and Bray go on a run during this match that is quite incredible. The spots picked here managed to make every guy seem like a legit main event talent and like they belong in the Universal Title discussion. After a crazy barricade spear by Roman takes out Joe and Finn and Rollins Frog Splashes Bray through the announce table – we’re down to the Shield again. We get a nice sequence between Seth and Roman before the final sequence. The finish comes with Balor hitting a Coup de Grace on Roman, but Joe coming in, pulling him off the pin attempt into the Coquina Clutch. Finn passes out and Joe is heading to Great Balls to face Brock!
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Like I said in my prediction in the drinking game post, Joe is the best choice for a one-off special attraction match against Brock. This match felt like the only one on this show that had some considerable time and effort put into it from the booking side of things. Everything else felt like it was decided on within the last 24 – 48 hours.
We go off the air with Joe celebrating in the aisle. Hey, the hosts of the post-PPV “Raw Talk” are Renee Young and Corey Graves. I may actually watch one of these for the first time ever! See you in a few hours for Raw!
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