Extreme Rules, WWE’s annual show where every match is supposed to have a stipulation, seemed to feature WAY too many non-stipulation matches this year. In fact, more than half the card was standard matches. That is unacceptable from WWE.
I understand we’re in the PG era. Any reasonable WWE fan expects these types of shows to be tame compared to the shows of the Attitude Era. That being said, the show should have a variety of different matches that make it stand out from every other show on the year.
This year’s show did not have that.
Heading into Sunday, five of the 12 matches had a stipulation announced heading in. Only a handful, literally, had some sort of stipulation announced. Two of those didn’t even make the matches no-disqualification, which is the point of having an “extreme” show. James Ellsworth being suspended above the ring in a shark cage for the Carmella and Asuka match does nothing for the match regarding there being no rules. Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler’s Ironman match still let disqualifications count against the person’s fall total.
In reality, only three of the 12 matches have an “extreme” feel to it. One of those, Sanity vs. The New Day in a tables match is on the pre-show. If you don’t watch the pre-show, then you’ll only see two extreme matches: a steel cage match and an Extreme Rules match. That’s it. Only one championship match, Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax for the Raw Women’s Championship, had an extreme stipulation.
So many other matches on the show could’ve had a stipulation that made sense. AJ Styles vs. Rusev could’ve been a submission match. Bobby Lashley vs. Roman Reigns should’ve been a falls count anywhere match after the brawl they had on last week’s Raw. Just adding an “extreme rules match” stipulation to the rest of the matches would’ve made the show exciting and different. Instead, WWE played it safe, not putting forth any effort to make this show standout.
The matches were fun. It was a good evening, for the most part. But, it could’ve been so much more. That’s what I’ll remember from the 2018 edition of Extreme Rules.