It’s time for one last look back at the WWE Extreme Rules. I hope that you enjoy, and feel free to share your takeaways/future booking plans or whatever from the PPV. The only rule is “have a take, be respectful of other’s opinions and don’t be a dick.” We all have opinions, we’re going to disagree, just be cool about it.
WWE should drop the Extreme Rules PPV…
Why?: It’s very simple to me, and that is the fact that the “Extreme Rules” PPV is just a fancy gimmick name that WWE hopes will sell network subscriptions and what ever limited PPV buys are still out there; but in reality it’s an antiquated concept from a bygone era in wrestling. Long gone are the days of the attitude era, random head shots with chairs, blade jobs and women being put through tables on a whim. The times have changed, and there is nothing wrong with that, but it feels like everyone knows that the times and the WWE have changed, everyone except for the WWE themselves. I talk a lot about the best bookers and companies do their best to put performers in positions to succeed, to maximize their positive traits while hiding the bad ones. WWE continually attempting to make the “Extreme Rules” concept work these days is the complete opposite of that. Extreme Rules is an extremely lame concept, the gimmicks are lame ones, they ask the performers to work what should be dangerous (or at least ones that look dangerous) stipulations, but they repeatedly come off poorly. The performers have to hold back, they can’t get into the creative process of these gimmicks or go full out because they will either get punished by management or god forbid they get hit just right and we see a trickle of blood, their matches will be ruined or stopped completely. Extreme Rules is a dated concept that has no place in current day’s WWE; they will never go all out on the gimmick due to their current business mentality and that’s ok, they just need to stop trying to fool the fans and themselves because “Extreme Rules” has no place in current day WWE.
It’s All About The Kids… And Their Parent’s money…: Again, the big reason that the Extreme Rules concept fails in current day WWE is because they have no desire to allow it to be an ECW or attitude era throwback show to maximize the gimmicks, that is party because “Extreme Rules” is a set PPV, and there is very little build to make you care about the stipulations, let alone the stripped down Mickey Mouse versions of formerly fun and crazy gimmicks and that is because their business model has changed and those things do not go along with the current day WWE business plan. To be perfectly clear I have no objection to WWE’s base of business, it doesn’t hurt my feelings that they are PG, what bothers me is when they do stupid things like running an EXTREME RULES PPV THAT IS NOWHERE NEAR EXTREME. WWE targets kids, they have made new network partnerships and those partnerships have created more TV revenue than ever before. It has also allowed WWE to score more high profile, and better paying sponsors than at any time in their history. It’s all about making those business connections, changing the perception that wrestling draws bad advertisers and trying to capture the kids so that they can get the money from the parents, and hopefully hook those kids for life, and hope that they produce another generation of fans. I have no issue with “PG wrestling,” because smartly booked wrestling and well-worked wrestling matches can speak for themselves and be very enjoyable with out death defying stunts, chair shots to the head and razor blades. The Attitude Era and ECW; had good wrestling and stories. But you can’t sell your fanbase a false bill of goods, promising “the most extreme night of the year” while delivering extreme mediocrity as far as the “Extreme Rues” theme goes. Now I don’t want to see them go the opposite direction and produce something like “Chutes and Ladders on PPV,” but if you’re not going to fully embrace the gimmick, just drop the PPV and try to come up with something new, or heaven forbid, look into WCW’s past and borrow a gimmick from there.
Extreme Rules in 2017: I really liked that the pre-PPV video package showcased Shane McMahon doing all kinds of cool/dangerous/extreme shit that no one on the PPV will be allowed to do, and I was right. The PPV seems to have brought out the usual wide variety of opinions, which I always find it fascinating how so many look at one thing and see it in so many different ways. It’s honestly one of the best parts of wrestling, there is no right or wrong interpretation, but there are a LOT of interpretations to be sure. It seems that I found more enjoyment out of the PPV than many did, and that’s cool, I can understand those that disliked it and are frustrated with the product. For the most part, I found Extreme Rules 2017 to be a good “wrestling” show overall. Outside of the Bliss vs. Bayley debacle, the undercard was really strong and featured a lot of good wrestling, unfortunately for some of the matches, I felt that they were fighting against the gimmick, and desperately trying to keep the audiences engaged. The first of those matches was the cage match; I hate escape only cage match rules, because it limits your options in match layout and without near falls, hurts the amount of drama that you can create (as the constant climbing gets repetitive). I grew up an NWA fan, I grew up with bloody cage matches to a finish, and so matches like this don’t connect well with me. I feel that they all worked hard, and that what they did with a gimmick I don’t enjoy was good, but it was a let down. They did the same thing here that they did years ago with the Hardys, maybe in like 2000; Jeff got out, Matt had to survive, but came back in with a cool move off the cage, but the champions couldn’t retain. But with the Hardys dominating the feud, and WWE wanting to switch the titles with out having them get pinned, which is exactly what they did here. It felt a bit disappointing considering the talent involved. The next match that suffered in one that SHOULD have been great. Neville vs. Aries, in a submission match, was not a match the fans wanted to see and the sound of silence during the match was proof of that. These are not only two gifted cruiserweights, but two of the most gifted performers on the entire roster. Unfortunately they have the 205 Live stank on them, and were put into a stipulation match that no one wanted. People have been dying for these two to cut loose, to work a fast paced, highflying match that steals the show but WWE keeps refusing to allow that to happen. They had a match that as far as the work was good, they tried to engage the crowd, they tried to make then care, but the fans didn’t want to watch Neville & Austin Aries go low level grapple fuck for 17-minutes. And this is coming from someone who loves EVOLVE and the Catch Point guys.
OH MY GOD! GRAB A CRISP FUCKING HEADLOCK… TO THE EXTREMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!