WWE Extreme Rules 2018: Grading and Ranking all the matches
In midst of WWE's dry creative spell and all-time low ratings, a C-level PPV named Extreme Rules rolled around. Although the card was good on paper, the buildup to most of the matches was disappointing and cringe-worthy. The whole PPV was overshadowed by the fact that the main title of Raw i.e. The Universal Championship was not on the show.
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That being said, Extreme Rules had its ups and downs. While matches like AJ Styles vs Rusev and Seth Rollins vs Dolph Ziggler delivered, the PPV was also full of disappointing albeit boring bouts starring the likes of Team Hell No vs The Bludgeon Brothers and Carmella vs Asuka. Surprisingly, the pre-show was not bad at all. Andrade Cien Almas put up an excellent bout against Sin Cara and Sanity finally managed to pick up their first win in WWE against The New Day.
The PPV saw the B-Team continue their redemption story-line by winning the Raw Tag Team Championships, Braun Strowman destroying Kevin Owens, a return of Randy Orton and Nakamura finally earning his first main roster gold.
In this list, the matches will be ranked on the basis of the wrestling and the storytelling involved. A match with brilliant storytelling but worse wrestling (and vice-versa) will rank lower on the list. The pre-show bouts will not be included in this list and finally, these are just my personal opinions. Try not to get too worked up about the rankings.
Let's get started.
#10 Carmella(c) defeats Asuka for Smackdown Women's Championship
When it was announced that Carmella will defend her SmackDown Women's Championship against Asuka at Extreme Rules, expectations were already low. Then, when a stipulation was added that James Ellsworth will be locked inside a shark cage, we knew what to expect.
This match was heavily centered around the fact that Ellsworth is locked on top of the ring. From the start, Ellsworth tried interfering in the match by dropping some items from his cage to help Carmella. The fool even managed to unlock the cage and get trapped by a ribbon stuck in the cage. Asuka took her time with him and assaulted him a variety of kicks. As predicted, Carmella took advantage of this distraction and won the match.
Look, I know that Carmella is not a great in-ring worker and WWE has to introduce some clever booking to hide her flaws. But making her defeat Charlotte and Asuka repeatedly in stupid fashions has made them lose all their momentum. Carmella comes across as a transition champion whose gimmick is the fact that she is annoying.
Plus, WWE are making the same mistake they did in late 2016 by centering the championship around James Ellsworth. The whole Dean Ambrose vs AJ Styles rivalry was ruined by the unnecessary spotlight on James Ellsworth which ultimately made Styles look weak. Add in the fact that brilliant wrestlers like Becky Lynch and Naomi are sitting on the sidelines is just salt in the wound.