Welcome to Ringside News’ coverage of Extreme Rules 2018, which kicks-off at 6 PM ET, and the main card commences at 7 PM.
Tonight’s Extreme Rules card is a hefty one but maybe it’s more flash than substance. Considering the PPV theme, there’s actually only four matches with stipulation – five if you count James Ellsworth in a shark cage. I guess that’s down to most of the feuds lacking any real intensity. however one feud that did escalate this past week was Bobby Lashley and Roman Reigns. That feud was a shoe-in to fit the hardcore match type but instead, WWE gave that to Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax for no reason whatsoever. Lashley and Reigns could have a decent match but had weapons been involved fans would have been far more interested. Perhaps we’ll get a stipulation on the kick-off show.
One of the most anticipated matches on tonight’s card is that of Dolph Ziggler Vs. Seth Rollins for the Intercontinental Championship, under Iron Man rules. This match should be amazing and McIntyre in Dolph’s corner will only make it more so. Rollins is awesome but Dolph should retain here and keep surging up the card. Another exciting match is Rusev Vs. AJ Styles for the WWE Championship. Finally fans are getting to see Rusev in a prominent position, even if it is a hold-over until SummerSlam. These two will have a great match and hopefully management give more to Rusev down the line.
Elsewhere tonight, Team Hell No reunite to face the Bludgeon Brothers for the Tag Team Titles, Asuka battles Carmella with Ellsworth suspended above the ring in a cage, Jeff Hardy faces Shinsuke Nakamura for the U.S Championship, and Kevin Owens will be trapped within a steel cage against Braun Strowman. It’s a good card but the matches really need to deliver after a few sloppy months of TV. The pre-show starts at six and features two matches, including a tables match between The New Day and Sanity. Are you excited for the show? Let us know in the comments or download the Ringside Talk app, and remember to follow us on Instagram! Enjoy the show!
The pre-show begins with the panel of Renee Young, David Otunga, Sam Roberts, and Booker T. The quartet run down the entire card for tonight. We see Charly Caruso backstage and she mentions that Hulk Hogan is here and has been reinstated to the WWE Hall of Fame. That must lead to some awkward meetings.
Finn Balor joins the panel and says he doesn’t envy Kevin Owens being in the cage with Braun Strowman tonight. The panel say Owens’ best bet at survival is to try and escape right away. Young asks Balor how he feels about his match against Baron Corbin. Balor says he has been dealing with bullies like Corbin his whole career and tonight will be no different. Roberts says Corbin is Stephanie McMahon’s right hand man, so beating may make her an enemy. Balor says he wants to be in the title picture and if that means making an enemy of Stephanie then so be it.
Sin Cara sets the pace early with two headscissor takedowns, followed by flipping Almas over the top rope. Cara looks for a suicide dive but Almas sidesteps and he crashes into the barricade. Almas throws him back inside the ring as we see replays.
Almas then slows things down, stomping on Cara and taunting. Almas hangs Cara in the ropes and hits a neckbreaker for a two count. Sin Cara starts a comeback but eats a nasty back-elbow from Almas. Cara rolls from the ring and Almas follows-up with Tranquilo – laying on the ropes – and Zelina Vega does the same beneath him.
The broadcast goes split-screen, to show a commercial for Extreme Rules, meanwhile Almas has Cara grounded via an armbar. Sin Cara starts fighting back with some chops, then a springboard crossbody, followed by a springboard moonsault. Sin Cara tosses Almas to the corner and lands an impressive reverse frankensteiner for a two count. Almas takes to the top rope but Cara hits an enziguiri. Cara goes to the apron and meets Almas on the top rope.
Almas knocks Cara down to the tree of woe, looking for the double foot stomp, but Cara drops down and tosses Almas off, who lands on his back on the apron. Almas climbs to his feet and Sin Cara leaps off with a hurricanrana to the floor! Sin Cara gets him back inside and lands a frog splash but Vega gets on the apron to distract the referee. In the meantime, Almas hits Cara with a dropkick into the corner, followed by the double knees. Almas hits Cara with the hammerlock DDT for the win.
A solid match that featured just one botch by Cara. They have good chemistry but Almas and Vega should be main eventers not on the kick-off.
Back with the panel, they talk the United States Championship match between Shinsuke Nakamura and Jeff Hardy. Renee interviews Nakamura with some fan questions. She asks how he is but he doesn’t answer. Renee asks how dangerous Jeff Hardy is but Nakamura just smiles, doesn’t say anything. She asks if he can hear and he says yes. Sam Roberts asks a question about the match and Nakamura says he’s a clown, like Hardy. Booker then asks how he feels to face a legend like Jeff, to which Shinsuke says he respects him but he will take away his style.
We see a video package for the Ronda Rousey/Nia Jax/Alexa Bliss feud. They discuss the match and the fact that Ronda will be there live at ringside. Booker says if she’s smart, Ronda won’t do anything tonight, just analyse the match. During the discussion, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre walk-up and take over. Ziggler says people wanna talk about him. Booker T says Ziggler is like a new man since coming back to Raw. Dolph says he’s so good at what he does. He has made a career of turning no chances into success stories. He says he took the chance from Seth Rollins and won the IC title. He says having the fans like Rollins does can be very helpful in a night, but in the long run they hinder you and turn on you. McIntyre reminds us he beat Rollins won the match last week. Otunga asks if McIntyre plays into the game-plan, and Ziggler says yes. Ziggler says that Rollins has all these people behind him, but he has a giant psycho in his corner, which is all that really matters. Ziggler says he is the best and with McIntyre in his corner he may never lose again. The panel make their predictions and Rollins takes the majority.
The bell rings and all six men start brawling. Everyone gets cleared from the ring as New Day take charge. New Day set-up a table at ringside but then get jumped by Young, Dain and Wolfe. Inside the ring, Wolfe and Young beat on Big E. Young accidentally hits Wolfe, then E knocks them to the apron. He looks for a suicide dive through both of them but they get their knees up and clobber Big E.
Young moves the table around at ringside while Wolfe kicks E inside the ring. We get another split-screen commercial for Extreme Rules. Kofi, Woods and Dain just disappeared from this match. Wolfe and Young really slow things down and beat E all over the ring. They lift him up and attempt to throw him over the ropes through the table but Kofi and Woods appear on the opposite apron. Wolfe and Young get baited over the top rope to the floor, the Kofi and Woods hits flips over the top rope. Killian Dain returns and he hits a suicide dive onto Woods and Kofi.
Sanity stack two tables, one upside down and Wolfe looks to suplex Kofi from the top rope to the floor but New Day make the save. Woods and Big E grab Young and Wolfe in powerbomb positions, and Kofi leaps from the top rope with foot stomps to both men. New Day are in charge again and place Eric Young on top of a table at ringside. Killian Dain throws Kofi from the top rope, then drops Woods on top of Big E. Kofi kicks Dain in the face, then hits Trouble In Paradise. Wolfe lifts Kofi onto his shoulders on the apron but Kofi slips down and looks for a German suplex to no avail. Wolfe bites Kofi, who tries to pull away, allowing Young to jump off of the middle rope, catching Kofi in mid-air and slamming him through the table at ringside!
Back with the panel, Renee hypes tonight’s show and tells us that Ronda Rousey is in the building. The final match for discussion is Bobby Lashley Vs. Roman Reigns. Sam Roberts says Lashley has wanted this match for a long time. Booker says Reigns is the guy, and Otunga says Lashley wants to be the guy. Renee says tonight is personal and we’ll find out whose yard it truly is. We see a video package for the match and that’s all she wrote.
That’s it for the Kick-Off Show, not let the main card commence!
Extreme Rules 2018 opens with a video package before going live to the arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The WWE Tag Team Champions are out first to a muted reaction, but get a nice “DELETE” chant when they get to the ring. The B-Team are out second. We see Ronda Rousey at ringside, holding her ticket!
Matt Hardy and Bo Dallas start the match for their teams. Matt takes an early lead with punches and headbutts to Dallas. Hardy whips Dallas to the corner and then climbs the first rope and unloads some rights and lefts. Matt knocks Bo to the floor and lands a leg drop for a quick one count. Bo rolls from the ring, where he and Axel regroup.
Axel tags in and chokes Hardy against the middle rope with his boot before bringing Dallas back in. Bo grounds Matt with a headlock for a while. Hardy tries to fight back but Dallas backs him to the corner so he can tag Axel for a double team move. Axel knees Matt in the back before applying a submission.
Hardy fights to his feet after a minute and catches Axel with a Side Effect and makes the tag to the Eater of Worlds – Axel also makes a tag. Bray goes to work on his brother with some of his big signature moves. He slams him with a urinagi and does his back bend in the corner. Hardy tags in and they set up for their finisher. Axel causes a distraction and Dallas is able to hit a suspended neckbreaker on Hardy to get the pin and the win!
Dallas and Axel celebrate like crazy after the match. They walk up the ramp with their titles where Charly Caruso interviews them. She asks how they feel and Axel rhetorically asks “how does a rainbow feel?! How did Stretch Armstrong feel when he landed on the moon?!” They say it feels amazing and they’ve proven that the B stands for “best”.
We go backstage for an interview with Renee Young and Kurt Angle. Young says Angle called for this interview. Angle says he did because he has an update on the Universal Championship. He says he negotiated with Paul Heyman, who informed him that Lesnar has no desire to return right now. He says he is tired of it and the fans are also, which led him to cancelling a match. And yet he turned up at UFC and stood face-to-face with their Champion. Angle says Lesnar can come to Raw tomorrow night and negotiate a title defence, or he will strip him of the Universal Championship. That announcement led to a massive cheer and Yes! chant from the crowd in Pittsburgh.
Finn Balor makes his entrance to a great reaction. Corbin is out second – I don’t understand why authority figures in WWE wrestle in suits, what is the possible logic behind that?
Both men circle the ring and lock-up Balor applies a waistlock, but Corbin uses his power to force Finn to the corner. The referee forces a break, so Corbin elbows him Finn the face. Corbin continues to elbow away at him before punching him in the midsection. The Constable stands on his neck for a few moments before getting him to his feet. Corbin then connects with a knee to the midsection. Balor reverses a whip and rolls through a sunset flip to dropkick him in the face. Corbin quickly lifts him up and powers him to the corner before hitting some stiff clotheslines and throwing him down. Corbin shouts insults at Balor.
Corbin applies a head and arm lock. Balor fights up, but the Constable takes him down. Balor makes a mini-comeback, but Corbin slides out of the ring, runs around and slides back in to clothesline him down for a two count. Corbin stomps him and talks some trash. The Constable knocks him off the top turnbuckle and continues talking trash. Corbin then shoves him to the corner. Balor avoids an avalanche and shoulders Corbin in the midsection, then goes for a slingshot move, but Corbin dodges and punches him. Corbin reapplies the head and arm lock. Balor fights up, but Corbin stops him.
Corbin goes to the middle rope, but Balor kicks him. Balor goes to the top rope, but Corbin grabs him and hits a chokeslam onto his knee for a near fall. Corbin gets in the referee’s face. Balor avoids a clothesline and connects with the Sling Blade. Balor tries to follow-up, but Corbin stuns him with the Deep Six for a near fall. Corbin is frustrated and starts elbowing Balor repeatedly. Corbin lifts Balor onto his shoulder, but Finngets out, sweeps the feet, and double stomps him. Balor quickly dropkicks him into the corner and heads to the top rope. Corbin gets up and crotches him atop the turnbuckles. Corbin brings him down and looks for the End of Days, but Balor counters into an inside cradle for the win!
Balor scrambles from the ring while Corbin is livid as soon as the bell rings. Corbin argues with the referee and puts his hands on top of his head. Not the best match but at least it was quick.
The camera’s cut backstage where we find the Bludgeon Brothers beating the holy hell out of Team Hell No. Kane is on the ground, being stomped, while Bryan is tossed into the garage door. Rowan uses the mallet to smash Kane’s foot! The Champions walk off and Paige runs up with some referee’s to help.
We return to the arena and out comes Asuka. Carmella is second, accompanied by Ellsworth. Before the match begins, officials come into the ring and open the shark cage door for Ellsworth to get in. Saxton says Ellsworth can do some DDP Yoga up there to pass the time but Graves says it’s dangerous to do yoga at that altitude. Ellsworth starts freaking out as soon as the cage begins lifting. The cage is only lifted to ten feet or so, I think Jericho was a lot higher up.
Asuka immediately takes control with a few knees to the stomach and a kick to the back. Carmella counters a suplex and drops Asuka on her back. The referee checks on Asuka, meanwhile Carmella motions for Ellsworth to give her something. Ellsworth drops a chain down to her, but Asuka steps on it and shows it to the ref, who confiscates the chain. Asuka kicks Carmella in the face for a near fall. Carmella tries to get the chain again after knocking Asuka down with a kick to the head, but the ref stops her.
While the ref is throwing it from the ring, Ellsworth drops a spray bottle down to her. Carmella readies to use it, like Ellsworth did on SmackDown, but Asuka blocks it and knocks it from her hands. The Empress of Tomorrow applies the Asukalock, but Carmella gets her feet on the ropes to force a break. Ellsworth tries to pick the lock. The action spills to the outside, where Asuka hits a suplex on the floor. Ellsworth manages to free himself, but he somehow gets caught by his foot and hangs upside down in the ring.
Asuka smiles and starts nailing him with kicks to the head and body. The ring crew brings the cage down so he can be unhooked. Asuka takes out the ring crew, leaving just one guy who turns tail and runs. She starts beating on Ellsworth again. Carmella sneaks in behind her and runs her head into the low hanging cage. She makes the cover and gets the pin!
Carmella wins again! Asuka is furious and attacks the production crew again before attacking Ellsworth again. Asuka kicks him in the head and gives him a German Suplex. Asuka is livid. Mella is money but where does Asuka go from here? Let us know your thoughts!
Jeff Hardy is out first to a great reception, followed by Nakamura. We get ring introductions for both Champion and challenger. Before the bell can ring however, Nakamura low-blows Hardy! The ref checks on Jeff, who says he’s good to go.
The referee rings the bell and Nakamura runs across the ring, hits a hard Kinshasha and wins!
Wow. Didn’t see that coming but it lends credence to Jeff being hurt. Nakamura is celebrating with the title when, out of nowhere, comes Randy Orton! The Viper has been injured for months but here he comes., stalking towards the ring but Nakamura slides out and stands atop the announce table. Orton climbs into the ring and stares at Shinsuke. Hardy gets back to his feet and Orton flips him onto his back, then stomps on his crotch! Poor Jeff. The fans start to boo as Orton leaves the ring. Orton walks off and Nakamura looks puzzled.
We get a video package for the Strowman/Owens feud. Braun is out first, followed by the terrified Kevin owens.
Owens tries to escape as soon as the bell rings, but Braun stops him. KO tries several times to escape, but each time Braun prevents him. Strowman yells at him to fight back. Kevin gets pumped up and runs at him and unleashes a few right hands. Strowman pushes him away, then kicks him in the chest to knock him down. Braun runs at Owens, who moves, causing Braun to crash into the cage wall. Owens hits him with a superkick and a cannonball in the corner. He follows up with a frog splash from the top rope for a one count.
Strowman is back to his feet and Owens begs him to leave him alone. Unsurprisingly, Braun does not, and instead hits him with a clubbing blow to the chest before throwing him into the cage wall. The crowd chants “One more time” and Strowman is happy to oblige. The crowd chants for it again and Braun provides. Next, Braun picks him up and throws him like a lawn dart into the cage wall. Strowman paces around before lifting KO up, but Owens hits a Stone Cold Stunner out of nowhere and starts crawling to the door. Braun stands on his foot to stop him, then slams the cage door into Owens’ head.
Strowman takes a run-up but KO sidesteps him in the corner and hits two superkicks. He grabs a pair of handcuffs from somewhere and locks Braun to the top rope. He uses the opportunity to take a few cheap shots. Owens then turns to leave the cage but stops to give Owens an old-fashioned crotch chop with “Suck It!” for good measure. Owens then climbs the cage wall and stops to blow Braun a kiss. Incensed, Braun rips the handcuffs apart, then runs and leaps to the top rope. Owens desperately tries to climb out but Braun catches up with him using freaky speed. Strowman and Owens stand atop the cage and Braun throws Owens off with a chokeslam through the announce table below!!
That was insane! Braun stands atop the cage, smiling and uncaring that he lost. Owens thrashed around after hitting the table, he may have really hurt his head. Braun climbs down as E.M.T’s come down and get KO onto a stretcher. Owens is stretchered out of the ring while Braun is already gone.
We see replays of the United States Championship match, then Randy Orton’s return and apparent heel turn. Hardy has asked for his rematch this Tuesday night. We also see a replay of Team Hell No being attacked backstage, earlier tonight.
Daniel Bryan is out first and he’s by himself, holding his ribs. Kane is not coming. The Champions are out second and Bryan has quite the hill to climb.
The bell rings and Bryan uses his speed to attack the leg of Rowan but the big man pushes him away. Rowan stomps Bryan in the corner before tagging Harper. They try to hit a double team move, but Bryan reverses and kicks Rowan out of the ring.
D-Bry gets on the top rope with Harper and sends him flying with a hurricanrana. He gets Harper into the Yes Lock, but Rowan pulls Bryan out of the ring to break the hold. He throws Bryan into the steel steps and then slams Harper onto Bryan to hurt the ribs further. Harper and Rowan take turns beating seven shades of you-know-what out of Bryan.
Bryan low-bridges Rowan out of the ring and hits Harper with kicks to the leg. He tries to hit a suicide dive to Rowan, but the big man catches him in mid-air. Rowan holds him for Harper, who looks for a suicide dive of his own, but Bryan moves and Harper takes out his own partner with another suicide dive. Kane’s music hits and he comes limping to the ring with a brace on his leg.
Kane climbs to the apron. Bryan and Harper battle in the ring until Daniel kicks him into the corner and leaps to make the tag to Kane. The Big Red Monster unleashes uppercut after uppercut on Harper, then hits the Chokeslam to both men while limping. He tries to hit a Tombstone, but his leg gives out and Harper kicks it to take him down. Bryan tags in and hits a missile dropkick followed by the Yes Kicks to Harper. Rowan makes the blind tag and counters the running knee from Bryan with a spin kick. The Bludgeon Brothers hit their finisher on Bryan to get the win and retain their titles.
Kind of a surprise result there, what was the point of the reunion? I guess maybe the feud isn’t over yet. Harper and Rowan celebrate with the belts after the match, while Kane helps Bryan from the ring. What a strange card this has been, every match has been fairly quick and feel more like an episode of TV than a PPV.
We see Roman Reigns walking backstage when he runs into The B-Team, who are still celebrating. They tell him he can join them if he beats Lashley tonight. Reigns just stares at them until they leave. The fans boo Reigns for not joining the boys. This match is up next, which makes me wonder what the main event is. I assume it will be Rollins Vs. Ziggler but I hope it’s Styles Vs. Rusev, it makes SmackDown look bad if Raw’s mid-card title main events.
Reigns is out first to the standard chorus of boos. I can’t tell if the fans are starting to like Lashley, or if he’s just more popular by default.
The bell rings and they stare at each other before locking-up. Reigns forces Lashley to the corner where the ref calls for the break. They lock-up again and this time Lashley uses his amateur wrestling background to outmanoeuvre Reigns and slam him to the mat. Again they tie-up and Lashley suplexes him, amateur-style. Lashley takes Romans back and eats an elbow for it. Lashley leap-frogs Roman and turns around into an uppercut.
Reigns takes Bobby to the corner and punches him, then takes him to another corner and hits him. Reins slows things down considerably, hitting a back elbow off of a whip for a one count. The fans start booing. Reigns chokes Bobby on the ropes, then runs around and hits a Drive-By Kick for a two-count. Reigns grounds Lashley with a headlock and the fans are seemingly chanting “We The People” and “CM Punk”. Lashley starts to fight back but Roman throws him from the ring.
Roman grabs Lashley and tosses him into the barricade, then another part of the barricade. Reigns slides back into the ring to stop the referee’s count and the fans are now chanting “Rusev Day”. Lashley eats an uppercut and Reigns throws him to the steps but Bobby jumps on top of them, only for Reigns to knock him off to the floor. Reigns then throws him into the steel steps for real this time. Back inside the ring, Lashley tries to up the momentum with a belly-to-belly and a corner splash but Reigns replies with a big boot. Reigns unleashes lariats in the corner until the referee forces the break. Roman hits the ropes and Lashley catches him in mid-air with a powerslam for a two-count. The fans are so disinterested in this, it’s a good job it wasn’t the main event.
Lashley lands a running crossbody on Reigns, then takes to the top rope and hits a double axe handle. Reigns reverses Lashley and looks for a Samoan drop but Bobby grabs the top rope. Roman tries to wriggle him free but gives up and tosses Lashley over the top rope to the floor for a nasty bump. Lashley gets back into the ring for 9 but as he was climbing in, Reigns caught him with a leg drop across the ropes. Reigns takes to the corner as the fans tell him he sucks, and looks for a Superman punch but Lashley catches him with a spinebuster. Lashley lifts Reigns up and hits the stalling vertical suplex for a very near two count.
Lashley goes to the corner and waits for Reigns to get to his feet. He looks for a spear but eats a Superman punch from Reigns for a two count! Both men roll from the ring. Reigns does his roar and runs around the ring, looking to spear Bobby but the marine grabs him and hits a belly-to-belly onto the announce table. Back inside the ring, Lashley goes to the top rope but Roman comes from nowhere with another Superman to knock him off. Roman talks trash to Bobby before roaring again and running for a spear but Lashley catches Reigns with the spear out of nowhere and wins!
Reigns is furious after the match while Lashley celebrates up the ramp. The announcers say Lashley must be number one contender now, then they show the replay of Angle talking about Lesnar earlier tonight.
We see Ronda Rousey at ringside with her husband Travis Browne. Alexa and Mickie James are out first, followed by Nia Jax and Natalya.
The bell rings, and Bliss tries to run away but Jax stops her, so Bliss slaps her. Bliss then looks worried and gets out of the ring. Mickie James gives Bliss a kendo stick. Bliss hits her once, but the second shot is blocked and broken over her knee. Bliss starts pulling out garbage cans and chairs, but each weapon is taken away by Jax and thrown into the ring. Jax floors her and puts her back in the ring.
Jax avalanches Bliss in the corner and then slams her onto the steel chair. Bliss tries to hit her with the chair in desperation, but Jax takes it away from her. Jax sets up the garbage can and press slams Bliss onto it. Ronda Rousey is enjoying this from ringside. Jax grabs her, but Bliss hits her a few times with the garbage can lid. Bliss throws the remnants of the garbage can onto Jax as well. Bliss wedges a chair in the corner and attacks Bliss. Jax charges, but Bliss moves, causing Jax to hit the chair headfirst. James gets on the apron, but Natalya pulls her off and hits her with a garbage can lid. Bliss attacks Natalya and sends her into the barricade. Rousey looks furious at ringside, her blood pressure is rising.
James and Bliss double-team Nia on the floor. Rousey has had enough and she jumps over the barricade and grabs James before sending her into the barricade twice. Rousey gets her in the ring and lifts her up for a modified Samoan Drop – that was awesome. Rousey then sends James outside, chases her like a phenom around the ring, and sends her over the table. A loud “Ronda Rousey” chant picks up. Bliss tries to run away, but Rousey catches her. James then cracks Rousey with the kendo stick twice in the back. Jax catches Bliss coming off the top rope and goes for a Samoan Drop, but James hits her with the chair. Bliss gives Jax a DDT onto the chair for the win and they high-tail it out of the ring.
Rousey storms the ring after the match but Bliss and James retreat up the ramp. The announcers say there will be repercussions for Ronda’s actions here tonight.
Aiden English is out first, and he sings a song that insult the Pittsburgh fans. He is followed by Rusev, then the Champ. We get ring introductions for both men.
The bell rings and Rusev forces Styles to the corner. Styles avoids Rusev in the corner and hits a few kicks to the leg. The Champion takes the challenger down with a dropkick to the knee, but Rusev returns the favor with a hip toss. He knocks AJ down with a stiff shot for a one count. Styles chops at the big man with more kicks to the leg. The Bulgarian Brute plants him with a spinebuster for a near fall. He slows down the pace a bit as he hits Styles with a sidewalk slam.
Rusev controls the pace as the crowd chants for both men. AJ manages to regain some momentum by kicking Rusev’s leg out from under him while he is on the middle rope to knock him down to the floor. Styles sticks him with a Phenomenal Forearm from the ring. After a few counters, Styles drops the Bulgarian Brute with a reverse DDT for a quick two count. The Bulgarian holds onto the ropes to avoid a Calf Crusher. AJ ends up on the apron and hits an enziguiri. He goes for a springboard 450, but Rusev rolls out of the way. He counters the Calf Crusher into The Accolade but Styles escapes it as well. Stalemate.
Styles counters the fallaway slam, rolls through, and locks in the Calf Crusher. English helps Rusev reach the ropes to break the hold. AJ tells the ref but to no avail. Rusev rolls to the ring, where AJ follows him. Rusev catches AJ with a belly to belly on the floor and rolls him back in the ring for a Machka Kick. Styles finds a way to kick out at two and Rusev can’t believe it. He holds his injured left leg as AJ tries to recover. Rusev lines up for another Machka Kick, but AJ ducks and nails him with the Pele Kick. Rusev gets back to his feet, lifts AJ up and hits a roundhouse to the face for a close two count. His leg is too injured to apply the Accolade when he tries the first time, but he locks it in halfway and Styles struggles until he reaches the bottom rope.
Aiden English pulls the cover off the top turnbuckle while the ref isn’t looking. Rusev stomps on him to go for his submission one more time. AJ escapes and Rusev charges at him. Styles moves and Rusev hits the exposed turnbuckle. Styles takes to the apron and hits the springboard 450, but Rusev kicks-out at two! AJ drills English with a dropkick through the ropes to send him flying. He sets up for the Phenomenal Forearm to Rusev, leaps and lands it for the big win!
It was not to be Rusev’s day. AJ celebrates with the title after the win while English explains to Rusev that he tried to help with the exposed turnbuckle.
Immediately following Extreme Rules, you can see the post-show on the WWE Network, which will feature Bobby Lashley and Carmella.
It’s main event time. We see Seth Rollins walking backstage and Charly Caruso stops him for an interview. Rollins stops her and says he knows he has to face three opponents tonight: Dolph, Drew, and the clock. He says he doesn’t know how many falls it will take, you can’t treat this like a normal match and throw caution to the wind. What he does know is that he will leave tonight as the new Intercontinental Champion.
Seth makes his entrance to a big reaction. Drew and Dolph are out second – who would have guessed Ziggler would be main-eventing a PPV in 2018? He and Drew are becoming the breakout act of the year. We get ring introductions for both men.
The bell rings and they circle each other before locking-up. Rollins takes the arm but Dolph grabs the rope to force the break. Rollins attempts to engage Dolph in amateur wrestling and Ziggler again grabs the rope. Rollins looks to grab the first fall with a roll-up but Ziggler kicks out. Ziggler then looks for a roll-up of his own but Seth reverses it into a backslide pin for a two-count. Rollins looks for a backdrop, Dolph jumps over for a sunset flip pin, but Seth sits down for a pin attempt. Dolph escapes and leaves the ring to regroup, while Rollins does jumping jacks.
Ziggler gets back in and Seth hits him with a running back elbow. Seth chops him in the chest, then leaps over Dolph but eats a punch to the head. Michael Cole points out that Dolph has never went 30 minutes in a singles match in his career, whereas Rollins did over an hour recently in the gauntlet match on Raw. Rollins lifts Ziggler and hits the buckle bomb, then grabs Dolph wraps his arm around his leg and rolls Dolph up and scores a fall!
1-0 Seth Rollins
Ziggler again leaves the ring to regroup but Rollins hits a tope to take him out. Rollins stares at McIntyre who walks around the ring. Rollins whips Dolph into the barricade, then hits his head of of the apron. McIntyre is watching very closely as Rollins tosses Dolph back inside. Ziggler uses the slight distraction to leap on Rollins and unleash a fury of punches. Ziggler grabs Rollins for a suplex but Rollins lands on his feet and chops the chest of Dolph. He throws him to the corner and hits a running forearm, then looks for another but Seth catches him with a dropkick to the knee. The fans keep chanting the numbers as the clock ticks down the last 10 seconds of each minute, like at the Royal Rumble. Ziggler looks for a roll-up but Seth rolled through and lifted him up for a powerbomb. Dolph rolled down the back of Seth, who escapes the pin attempt and catches the downed Ziggler with The Stomp for the second fall!
2-0 Seth Rollins
Rollins is beginning to look cocky and he goes to the ropes and starts stomping for a second Stomp. Just then, Drew McIntyre storms the ring and beats Seth down to a pulp in the ring. He beats on him over and over until the referee pulls him off and gives a DQ fall to Rollins.
3-0 Seth Rollins
Drew doesn’t stop there though, he clotheslines Seth over the top rope. He punches him on the outside, then lifts him up like for a spinebuster and slams him into the ring, then the barricade multiple times. He throws him back inside and the referee tells McIntyre he has to leave the ring and go to the back. McIntyre acts as though he’s done, then runs and hits a Claymore on Rollins! McIntyre leaves, Dolph crawls over and pins Rollins.
3-1 Seth Rollins
We have 19 minutes left. Ziggler gets to his feet slowly, then stands in the corner and waits for Rollins to get to his. Ziggler catches Dolph with a superkick and scores another fall!
3-2 Seth Rollins
Dolph is beginning to look smug. He stands in the corner again and starts stomping up the band. He looks for a superkick but Rollins avoids it. Dolph catches him with a back elbow, then hits a Zig-Zag and ties the score at three-apiece with just over 17 minutes left.
Rollins avoids a Ziggler splash in the corner. Ziggler runs at Seth in the corner again but eats a big boot. Rollins leaps over Dolph and catches him with a sling blade. Rollins clotheslines Ziggler over the top rope, then hits the ropes for a big suicide dive but Ziggler hits him before he can come through the ropes. Ziggler slides in and pins Rollins with his feet on the ropes!
4-3 Dolph Ziggler
This is a fun match and the fans couldn’t be less interested. They’re doing the Rumble countdown whenever they please now and it’s seriously annoying. Ziggler grabs Rollins in a chicken-wing. Rollins fights to his feet and tries to fight out but Dolph grounds him again with a front facelock.
Dolph reverses Rollins to apply a sleeper hold. I understand these guys have a plan for the match but seeing as the fans are hijacking the match, they should call an audible and try to shut them up, rather than slow things to a halt. Rollins fights to his feet and backs Ziggler to the corner to try and force the break. Ziggler holds on, so Seth runs him into the turnbuckles and this time it works. Both men are down with just under 12 minutes to go.
Rollins sends Dolph to the outside with a clothesline then hits a suicide dive. Seth throws him back inside to try and capitalise on the momentum but Dolph rolls right back out the other side. Rollins wastes no time and hits another suicide dive out the other side. Seth takes to the apron and hits a springboard clothesline to Ziggler for a near fall. Rollins hits a blockbuster to Dolph for another two count, meanwhile the fans started cheering loudly about something, it might have been the 10 minute mark. Seth takes to the top rope but Dolph hits him with a dropkick and he falls to the floor.
Rollins just beats the ref’s count at 9 and Dolph looks for a snap DDT but Rollins throws him off. Rollins grabs him for the ripcord knee but Dolph kicks out. Rollins takes to the top rope but Dolph again cuts him off and hits the ropes to crotch him. Seth grabs Dolph and drags him up the ropes. He looks for a superplex but Dolph punches him away, then Seth headbutts him to the mat. Rollins lands a huge frog splash but Ziggler kicks out. Both men are down and there’s jut over six minutes left!
Rollins dropkicks Ziggler in the back and out of the ring. Rollins brings him back inside and sets him on the top rope. Rollins fights Ziggler atop the ropes and hits the superplex, then the falcon’s arrow and… two count! Rollins stares at the clock and can’t figure out what to do. He climbs to his feet and looks for The Stomp. He hits the superkick to Dolph, then misses The Stomp. Rollins and Dolph trade reversals until Rollins hits a sunset-flip roll-up and gets a fall!!
They get to their feet, stare at each other, then start brawling. Seth tips Dolph onto his back, then applies a Sharpshooter. Ziggler can’t reach the ropes but he releases it anyway and applies a crossface in the centre of the ring instead. Ziggler can’t even see the ropes and Rollins is cranking it in with just over a minute left. Rollins released the hold and looks for The Stomp but Ziggler rolls from the ring. Ziggler tries to escape over the barricade but Seth pulls him back into the ring. Ziggler catches him with a Fame-Asser for a near-fall!
Ziggler goes to the corner and lines-up a superkick but Seth catches him with one, then hits The Stomp. 6 seconds left and Seth crals to make the cover but the buzzer rings! The time limit has expired.
Ziggler starts to leave but out comes Kurt Angle. He says that was an incredible match but their feud isn’t settled. He says the fans don’t want to see a tie. He says his hometown does not want to see a tie and the fans freak-out. He tells Dolph to get back into the ring because we’re going to sudden death. First fall wins!
The referee calls for the bell to restart the match. Dolph comes back towards the ring. From nowhere, Drew McIntyre scales the apron and Seth knocks him down. Ziggler runs into the ring and hits Seth with the Zig-Zag for the 123!
Ziggler and McIntyre retreat with the Intercontinental Championship, while Seth Rollins gets to a knee and looks pissed as all hell. That was a great main event, ruined thanks to a ridiculous crowd. I imagine this feud will continue but I’m glad to see Dolph retain.
That’s it for Extreme Rules 2018. Let us know what you thought of the matches and I will see you here tomorrow night for all of the fallout on Raw! Until then, safe travels!