Extreme Rules (2018)
|Extreme Rules (2018)|
|Date||July 15, 2018|
|Venue||PPG Paints Arena|
|WWE Network event chronology|
|Extreme Rules chronology|
Extreme Rules (2018) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event and WWE Network event, produced by WWE for their Raw and SmackDown brands. It took place on July 15, 2018 at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was the tenth event under the Extreme Rules chronology.
The card consisted of twelve matches, including two on the pre-show. In the main event, Dolph Ziggler retained the Intercontinental Championship by defeating Seth Rollins 5–4 in an Iron Man match that went into sudden death overtime. This was the first time that an Intercontinental Championship match was the main event of a WWE pay-per-view since Backlash in 2001. In the penultimate match, AJ Styles retained the WWE Championship against Rusev. On the undercard, Alexa Bliss retained the Raw Women's Championship against Nia Jax in an Extreme Rules match, Bobby Lashley defeated Roman Reigns, and Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Jeff Hardy for the United States Championship.
The concept of the Extreme Rules pay-per-view is that the event features various matches that are contested under hardcore rules; the defunct Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) promotion originally used the "extreme rules" term to describe the regulations for all of its matches. WWE uses the term in place of "hardcore match" or "hardcore rules". The 2018 event was the tenth event under the Extreme Rules chronology. Only one of the three hardcore-based matches on the card was an Extreme Rules match, with one of the other two occurring on the pre-show.
The card consisted of twelve matches, including two on the pre-show. The matches resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed villains, heroes, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches, with results predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw and SmackDown brands. Storylines were produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live.
At Money in the Bank, Alexa Bliss won the women's Money in the Bank ladder match. Later in the night, she interrupted the Raw Women's Championship match between Ronda Rousey and champion Nia Jax, causing a disqualification, and cashed in her Money in the Bank contract to win the championship. The following night on Raw, Jax invoked her championship rematch clause for Extreme Rules. Rousey was also suspended for 30 days as she attacked Raw General Manager Kurt Angle, who was trying to break up the fight between Rousey and Bliss. On the July 2 episode of Raw, the match at Extreme Rules was made an Extreme Rules match, and Rousey stated her intentions to be in the front row for the match.
On the June 4 episode of Raw, The B-Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel) won a tag team battle royal to earn the right to face "Woken" Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt for the Raw Tag Team Championship by last eliminating Heath Slater and Rhyno. On the June 25 episode of Raw, Axel defeated Hardy and the tag team title match was scheduled for Extreme Rules.
On the June 18 episode of Raw, Dolph Ziggler defeated Seth Rollins to win his sixth Intercontinental Championship after Drew McIntyre distracted Rollins. The following week, Rollins won a rematch for the title by disqualification after McIntyre interfered on Ziggler's behalf. On July 2, a 30-minute Iron Man match between the two was scheduled for Extreme Rules.
On the June 18 edition of Raw, Raw General Manager Kurt Angle scheduled a multi-man match for Extreme Rules, with the winner facing Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship. Roman Reigns, claiming to be the "uncrowned champion" due to the controversial finish of his championship match at Greatest Royal Rumble, and Bobby Lashley, claiming to be the only person who could legitimately match Lesnar, were the first two participants confirmed for the match. The following week, however, the match was canceled over contract disputes with Lesnar. Reigns and Lashley wanted to face each other, but Angle instead had them team up against The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder). Reigns and Lashley lost and in a rematch the following week, Reigns refused to tag in Lashley and Lashley abandoned Reigns to a post-match beat down by The Revival. A match between Lashley and Reigns was scheduled for Extreme Rules.
At Money in the Bank, Braun Strowman won the men's Money in the Bank ladder match. During the match Strowman threw fellow competitor Kevin Owens off a ladder through two tables. The next night on Raw, Owens attempted to befriend Strowman by saying he would protect him now that he had the contract. Strowman attempted a powerslam on Owens but Owens escaped. Over the next few weeks, Strowman continuously embarrassed Owens including flipping his car over in the parking lot, locking him inside a portable toilet and spraying him in the face with air freshener. Eventually, a Steel Cage match between the two was scheduled for Extreme Rules.
At Money in the Bank, AJ Styles retained the WWE Championship by defeating Shinsuke Nakamura in a Last Man Standing match. On the following episode of SmackDown, Rusev won a gauntlet match also involving The Miz, Daniel Bryan, Samoa Joe, and Big E to earn a title opportunity at Extreme Rules.
Prior to the gauntlet match, Daniel Bryan had a stare down with SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper and Rowan). During the gauntlet match, The Bludgeon Brothers attacked Bryan, allowing Miz to eliminate Bryan. On the June 26 episode of SmackDown, Kane returned to save Bryan from a post-match assault from The Bludgeon Brothers, reuniting Team Hell No. SmackDown General Manager Paige then scheduled Team Hell No to face The Bludgeon Brothers for the tag titles at Extreme Rules.
At Money in the Bank, Carmella retained the SmackDown Women's Championship by defeating Asuka with the help of the returning James Ellsworth. On the following episode of SmackDown, Carmella attacked Asuka after a distraction by Ellsworth. On the June 26 episode of SmackDown, General Manager Paige scheduled a rematch for the title at Extreme Rules.
|English commentators||Michael Cole (Raw)|
|Corey Graves (all matches)|
|Jonathan Coachman (Raw)|
|Tom Phillips (SmackDown)|
|Byron Saxton (SmackDown)|
|Spanish commentators||Carlos Cabrera|
|German commentators||Carsten Schaefer|
|Ring announcers||Greg Hamilton (SmackDown)|
|Pre-show panel||Renee Young|
|Post-show panel||Renee Young|
Two matches occurred during the pre-show. In the first, Andrade "Cien" Almas, accompanied by Zelina Vega, faced Sin Cara. The ending saw Vega distract Cara, allowing Almas to perform a running double knee smash on Cara, who was seated in the corner. Almas performed a hammerlock DDT on Cara to win the match.
Next, The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods) faced Sanity (Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe, and Killian Dain) in a tables match. In the end, Wolfe restrained Kingston to allow Young to execute a diving elbow drop on Kingston through a table to win the match.
The actual pay-per-view opened with Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt defending the Raw Tag Team Championship against The B-Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel). In the climax, Dallas performed an elevated whiplash on Hardy to win the titles.
After that, Carmella defended the SmackDown Women's Championship against Asuka, with James Ellsworth suspended above the ring in a shark cage. As Ellsworth unlocked the cage door by picking the lock, he became trapped in the cage, hanging by his foot; Asuka then attacked Ellsworth. Production staff attempted to free Ellsworth only for Asuka to attack them, and continued to attack Ellsworth. Whilst the referee was distracted by Ellsworth being freed, Carmella shoved Asuka into the cage and pinned her to retain the title. After the match, Asuka applied the "Asuka Lock" on Ellsworth.
Later, Jeff Hardy defended the United States Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura. Before the match, Nakamura attacked Hardy with a low blow. Once Hardy was ruled able to compete, Nakamura performed a "Kinshasa" on Hardy to win the title in six seconds. After the match, Randy Orton appeared, making his return, and had a stare down with Nakamura, who was standing on top of the announce table. Orton attacked Hardy with a low blow before leaving, thus turning heel for the first time since November 2016.
In the fifth match, Braun Strowman faced Kevin Owens in a steel cage match. Owens used handcuffs to handcuff Strowman to the ring rope and attacked Strowman. As Owens attempted to escape, Strowman broke the handcuffs and chokeslammed Owens off the top of the cage through an announce table. As Owens touched the floor first, he was ruled the winner. After the match, medical personnel took Owens out on a stretcher.
Next, The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper and Rowan) defended the SmackDown Tag Team Championship against Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane). Due to an attack by Harper and Rowan earlier in the event that injured Kane's ankle, Bryan initially competed alone. Midway through the match, Kane appeared to participate and performed chokeslams on Harper and Rowan. In the end, Rowan and Harper performed a powerbomb/diving clothesline combination on Bryan to retain the titles.
After that, Roman Reigns faced Bobby Lashley. Lashley performed a spinebuster and a delayed vertical suplex on Reigns for a near-fall. Reigns performed a superman punch on Lashley for a near-fall. Lashley performed an overhead belly to belly suplex on Reigns over an announce table. Reigns performed a superman punch on Lashley, who was poised on the top rope. In the end, as Reigns went for a spear on Lashley, Lashley performed his own spear on Reigns for the win.
Later, Alexa Bliss, accompanied by Mickie James, defended the Raw Women's Championship against Nia Jax, accompanied by Natalya, in an Extreme Rules match. During the match, Natalya attacked James only for Bliss and James to throw Natalya into the barricade. Ronda Rousey, who had been in attendance in the front row, jumped the barricade and attacked James and performed a twisting Samoan drop on James. Rousey threw James over an announce table and chased Bliss, only for James to strike Rousey with a kendo stick. As Jax attempted a Samoan drop on Bliss, James and Bliss struck Jax with chairs. In the climax, Bliss performed a "Bliss DDT" on Jax on the chair to retain the title.
In the penultimate match, AJ Styles defended the WWE Championship against Rusev, accompanied by Aiden English. Styles applied the "Calf Crusher", but English pushed the ring rope, which Rusev grabbed to void the hold. Styles chased English, allowing Rusev to perform an overhead belly to belly suplex on the floor on Styles. Rusev performed a "Machka Kick" on Styles for a near-fall. Rusev applied "The Accolade", only for Styles to touch the ring rope. After Rusev collided with an exposed turnbuckle, Styles performed a springboard 450° splash on Rusev for a near-fall. Styles performed a baseball slide on English and a "Phenomenal Forearm" on Rusev to retain the title.
In the main event, Dolph Ziggler, accompanied by Drew McIntyre, defended the Intercontinental Championship against Seth Rollins in a 30-minute Iron Man match, marking the first time an Intercontinental Championship match was in the main event of a WWE pay-per view since Backlash 2001. Rollins performed a turnbuckle powerbomb on Ziggler and pinned Ziggler with a la magistral to make the score 0-1. Rollins performed "The Stomp" on Ziggler to make the score 0-2. McIntyre attacked Rollins, thus Rollins won a fall by disqualification to make the score 0-3. The referee ejected McIntyre, who performed a "Claymore" on Rollins before leaving. Ziggler pinned Rollins to make the score 1-3. Ziggler executed a superkick on Rollins to make the score 2-3. Ziggler threw Rollins into the ring post and performed a "Zig Zag" on Rollins to tie the score 3-3. Ziggler pinned Rollins using the ring ropes to make the score 4-3. Rollins executed a catapult into the corner on Ziggler, pinning Ziggler with a roll up to tie the score 4-4. Rollins performed a superkick and "The Stomp" on Ziggler, however, the time limit expired, thus the match ended in a draw at 4-4 and Ziggler seemingly retained the title. However, Raw General Manager Kurt Angle ordered the match to restart under sudden death overtime. As the match restarted, McIntyre appeared and distracted Rollins, allowing Ziggler to perform a "Zig Zag" on Rollins to win the match 5-4 and retain the title.
At Extreme Rules, General Manager Kurt Angle gave Brock Lesnar an ultimatum: show up on Raw the next night or agree to the terms of his next title defense, or he would be stripped of the Universal Championship. On Raw, Brock Lesnar was absent and as Angle was about to strip him of the title, he was interrupted by Lesnar's advocate Paul Heyman, who, on Lesnar's behalf, agreed that Lesnar would defend the championship at SummerSlam. Bobby Lashley and Roman Reigns won their respective triple threat matches to face each other the following week to determine Lesnar's challenger at SummerSlam.
Also on Raw, Rousey, who just had two days left on her 30-day suspension, appeared and attacked Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss and Mickie James. After they were separated, Kurt Angle extended Rousey's suspension by one week and said that as long as she does not break her suspension, she would receive a Raw Women's Championship match against Bliss at SummerSlam.
Team Hell No were assaulted by The Bludgeon Brothers backstage before their match, and (kayfabe) injured Kane's ankle. WWE later acknowledged the injury as a broken ankle, however, the real injury to Kane’s foot was he suffered tendinitis in his left heel. Thus once again caused Team Hell No to disband which resulted in Daniel Bryan then continuing his feud with The Miz on Smackdown Live.
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