Extreme Rules 2017 Preview

So it’s time for one of the least gimmicky gimmick pay per views that WWE offers. I get the idea behind what they’re doing here but can you really consider a lot of these matches to be EXTREME? It’s a good idea if the bigger matches are all extreme (Is that really the best name they can come up with? It sounds so officially and corp……yeah that’s the best we’re getting.) but it really feels like a bunch of gimmick matches which are lumped together under the EXTREME banner. Let’s get to it.

Women’s Title: Alexa Bliss(c) vs. Bayley

There’s no announced Kickoff Show match this time around so we can jump straight into the bigger matches. This is kendo stick on a pole match with the big idea being that Bayley can’t get extreme with the stick. I mean, this ignores the time where she beat the fire out of Tommy Dreamer with one on Edge and Christian’s show. This lead to the not as bad as people thought This Is Your Life Bayley which again saw Bliss beat the heck out of her.

I smell a screwy finish here with Bayley using the stick but still losing the match somehow. Bliss needs to hang onto the title for a good while as she’s blown the roof off all of the expectations she had upon winning the title. Bayley continues to flounder on “Monday Night Raw” (A popular NXT talent being used horribly on the main roster? Really?) but I’m sure she’ll land on her feet eventually.

Tag Team Titles: Hardys(c) vs. Sheamus/Cesaro

Wake me when this one is over. This is a fine example of a feud that has dragged on for the better part of forever (really only about a month and a half) because there’s little reason for them to be fighting anymore other than the “Monday Night Raw” tag division is a barren wasteland. I know it’s asking a lot but the precious, overworked (and overstaffed) writing staff could build up more than one team at a time.

I’ll take the Hardys to retain here, even though they’re rapidly turning back into the standard version of the team. There isn’t much of a reason to care about them now other than nostalgia and hoping that they get to use the Broken characters down the line. They don’t need to be crushed or anything similar but I could go for some new champions. However, that seems to be the Revival’s spot to take and I think we’re all the better for it.

Intercontinental Title: Dean Ambrose(c) vs. The Miz

Again, WHY IS THIS FEUD HAPPENING AGAIN? Miz moving to “Monday Night Raw” was the worst thing that could have happened to him as he easily could be feuding with Randy Orton over the Smackdown World Title right now. Instead though he’s feuding with Ambrose again and chasing yet another Intercontinental Title. This time around though he can win the title via DQ and that sounds like a way to a screwy finish.

In theory this should be Maryse slapping Miz or something of a similar simple manner for a quick DQ. However, instead they’ll likely have Kurt Angle come out and say “eh that’s not happening” so the match can continue with Ambrose retaining. There’s no reason for Ambrose to keep the title (which he’s had for FIVE MONTHS) but I have a feeling they’re going to keep the belt on him even longer for absolutely no apparent reason.

Cruiserweight Title: Neville(c) vs. Austin Aries

This is their third straight pay per view match and also shows the major issues with having so many TV shows and pay per views. They had a great match at “Wrestlemania XXXIII” and a slightly less great match at “Payback 2017” but after seeing them fight in almost every possible style of tag match possible, I’m sick of watching them over and over again. This time around it’s a submission match, which at least adds a new element to the match.

I think I’ll go with Neville retaining here as him tapping out on Monday made it feel like they were setting up doubt that won’t go anywhere. If nothing else this seems likely to set up Akira Tozawa as Neville’s next challenger, which certainly wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. Either way, I’m sure the match will be entertaining and I’m sure TJP and possibly Jack Gallagher will be interfering as well.

Rich Swann/Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox/Noam Dar

I’m sorry what now? This is the best they can do and yet American Alpha is stuck on the “Smackdown Live” bench for weeks at a time? This is really all they can come up with for Banks (I reserve the right to retract this is it helps set up a Banks heel turn) when you have Dana Brooke sitting around? Or Mickie James and Nia Jax perhaps? It’s two feuds put together and while that’s usually good, Banks feels completely forced into this spot.

I’ll take Swann and Banks in what should be the Kickoff Show match at worst. Swann is entertaining in the ring and has a gimmick with the dancing thing but Dar really doesn’t feel like he’s all that special. Fox is good in the crazy role and Banks is great by definition but that doesn’t mean we need to be having this match on pay per view.

Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Seth Rollins

And WWE still seems confused by why the “Monday Night Raw” ratings suck. This is about an opportunity to be destroyed by Brock Lesnar at a nothing show in July and that’s really all they’ve got. The title isn’t on the line here and Lesnar isn’t going to be seen but we’re supposed to get fired up about a match with a stipulation that might change anyway? I mean, do you believe WWE won’t change the match before July? Nothing is actually on the line here and it’s basically a glorified prequel.

I’ll take Rollins to win here as there’s a reason for Lesnar to want another shot at him after their match at “Battleground 2015”. Paul Heyman even referenced that the night after “Wrestlemania XXXIII” so it’s definitely been considered. Not that it matters though as this is just a pit stop on the LONG road to “Wrestlemania XXXIV” where Roman Reigns can save us all again and we can boo him our thanks.

Overall Thoughts

Overall “Extreme Rules 2017” feels very skippable. The wrestling should be good enough but that doesn’t mean it’s a show you need to see. You have a match setting up another pay per view main event and a bunch of rematches, plus Banks slumming it with the cruiserweights. That’s really the best thing we can get out of WWE on the monthly pay per view schedule? Why do these things exist again? The show will likely be entertaining and the main event sounds fun but it’s not a show I’m looking forward to watching.

 

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2 comments

  1. Liam Fenech says:

    Whoever finishs Lesner I don’t care who it is I will cheer them out of the goddamm bulding as it means I can finally re subscribe to the network as Lesner will be gone for good!

  2. Bloodbuzz Bunk says:

    You have nailed the overall point on the head about WWE’s year long booking of this Lesnar reign being so transparent.

    But to cut them some slack this PPV was supposed to have 3 big men’s singles matches, two of which were likely blow offs to their feuds. Strowman’s injury really screwed them over at the last minute so them throwing them all together in one big match isn’t the worst idea ever.

    A few points on the main event. Seeing as this is a thin card and if they give the 4 other matches some time it will still need to go like 45 minutes. So this should be a war. Also the rumor among the sharps in the betting community is that Joe is gonna win. This could be the best move ever if they let Joe be angry, cut menancing promos, and eventually go toe to toe with Brock. This could also be the worst if he gets a Lesnar 7 minute squash special.

    If they really needed a secondary crusierweight match to fill time on this show why didn’t they just wait and do Tozwa v Kendrick here? Would have made Tozwa look like a champ in waiting.