WWE Extreme Rules 2015 is Not Extreme Enough

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Out of every event in the calendar year, WWE’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view is advertised as the most hardcore, brutal one of them all. This year, that’s far from the truth, and it isn’t because the rest are going to be super bloody, but that this one won’t be.

Considering the laundry list of gimmick matches that WWE has at its disposal, it’s underwhelming to say the least that this card has these stipulations. Yes, a Last Man Standing Match, a Steel Cage Match and a Chicago Street Fight are perfectly legitimate, but everything else is less than impressive.

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Three of the matches have no stipulation attached to them whatsoever: the pre-show Tag Team Championship match, the Divas Championship match, and the Intercontinental Championship match which may not even end up happening at all to begin with! At one point in time, Extreme Rules operated under the tagline that every match operated under some sort of extreme scenario. That in itself could be reason enough to be disappointed in the namesake of the pay-per-view.

Then, there’s the issue with the Kiss Me Arse Match. Of course, this doesn’t have any effect on the match whatsoever as it is a stipulation where the winner has to do something after the match takes place. Is it a stipulation? Sure, but it’s not a rule that influences the match and it’s certainly not an extreme one at that.

One can make a stronger argument for the Russian Chain Match being okay for this pay-per-view, but the likelihood that this will bring out the savage side of either John Cena or Rusev is slim. If the terrible beatdown segment from this past episode of Monday Night Raw is any indication of what’s coming our way, this should be hilarious and not in a positive way. This is the top of the food chain and the current United States title-holder against a man that goes by the nickname The Bulgarian Bruteā€”a nigh unstoppable wrecking ball. None of this should be laughable, but it probably will be unless it’s tamed so much that it is just flat out boring instead. For that matter, what makes this a Russian chain match, anyway? At least the Chicago Street Fight takes place in Chicago, but unless these chains are all imported from the USSR, it sounds like a normal chain match….yay.

At least we do have those other three matches, though, right? Well, that’s assuming that they not only make up for the lack of interesting gimmicks for the rest of the card, but they don’t fall into the worst case scenario and also fail to deliver on their end of the bargain.

Last Man Standing is a situation where if it’s done correctly, it can be amazing, but if booked poorly, it can be nothing but a long, drawn out time filler. The entire thing hinges on the action stopping and the referee counting before a wrestler stands up and then the action picks back up. The best matches have been filled with tons of crazy spots so the fans believe every time a wrestler is down, there’s a chance he won’t get back up. The worst ones have 9-count after 9-count where it’s obvious that this isn’t a big enough move to finish the match, so essentially we’re all just taking a break to check our phones for a good 30 seconds or so (since to a referee, each second lasts at least three, if not five). Neither Big Show nor Roman Reigns is the type to compare to someone like a Jeff Hardy who would take more risks, so this will probably be very slow with just a couple of halfway decent bumps. Would this pay-per-view be amazing to you if one of these two speared the other one through the security barricade? Well, too bad, because that will probably be one of the biggest highlights of this match.

Yes, the Chicago Street Fight should be kind of nuts, as Luke Harper and Dean Ambrose have proven themselves in this regard. That is the biggest saving grace of this entire card when hoping to see what is advertised. On the optimistic side of things, we can at least expect the two crazy ones duke it out in a pretty rough way. On the pessimistic side of things, WWE has a track record from past events of cutting the midcard matches short and hindering them as far as what violent things they can do (on top of the list of already banned moves such as chair shots to anything but to the back, which is always lame to watch). Even this match could find itself in a position where the “don’t” list outweighs the “do” and after an elbow drop from Ambrose and a couple of kendo stick hits, it’s over.

But the main event of the evening is literally surrounded by a steel cage, so that has to be good! Unfortunately, history has shown that that isn’t necessarily the case. Having the cage means almost nothing anymore. A couple of times during the match, one person will throw the other into the ropes and they’ll bounce off and shake that side of the cage a bit, but this is basically just a singles match. Worse still, both men won’t be able to do their finishers, which are the two most entertaining things either of them can perform outside of Seth’s Phoenix Splash! Now, we’ll have to settle for his new finisher, which is nothing more than an average facebuster-style maneuver similar to the one that Christian would do for regular filler. The only time things could possibly get extreme during this WWE World Heavyweight Championship match are when the rules are thrown out as “nobody can enter the cage” inevitably turns into “somebody has interfered in the match anyway”, but even that isn’t a guarantee that it will be anything more than Kane slamming the door on Orton’s face or chokeslamming him. That sounds like a far cry from insane.

By all means, wrestling doesn’t need to be bloody or violent to be entertaining, but when a pay-per-view revolves around the gimmick that matches should be as dangerous as they can possibly get, it’s easy to see why this event is not going to meet expectations. If the final product is as bad as it seems like it might be, this won’t exactly end up convincing a lot of first time free network subscribers to start spending their money on the events which follow.

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