WWE EXTREME RULES 2017 is in the bag, which means it’s time for another round of the 3-Count Review and Smack Talk Pay-Per-Viewpoint Post-Show podcast!
As always, click the video at the bottom of this post to check out the podcast breakdown of everything on the show, but before we get into that, I want to focus on three things that standout from my mind in regards to EXTREME RULES 2017.
For this edition, let’s do another round of Green Light, Yellow Light, Red Light—effectively, what was a big positive, something mediocre in the middle of the road, and a big negative of the show.
This is my attempt to not be too negative, as my initial thoughts were that I would write up my top 3 least favorite aspects of this show, and then I realized I had more than 3 things to talk about, but let’s not wallow completely in the doom and gloom.
RED LIGHT = Filling in the Gaps
Brock Lesnar is holding your Universal Championship for what you may plan to be an entire year, and you think to yourself “but that’s okay that he never shows up, because we have more than enough talent to spread around.” Then, Braun Strowman gets injured and suddenly your go-to reaction to missing out on your main event and your Roman Reigns match is to make it harder to fill the card??
Not having Strowman vs. Reigns really did hurt the lineup, but by taking Balor/Wyatt and Joe/Rollins off the possibilities, there were only 6 matches announced ahead of time. One of them was rather useless (the mixed tag team match) and another had such an atrocious build and a lame gimmick that it wasn’t going to turn heads (Bliss vs. Bayley) so it isn’t as though those 6 matches were such high caliber that it had people buzzing like crazy.
It took until the day of the show to announce something for the pre-show? There wasn’t any kind of real advancement for the Kurt Angle story or the Enzo Amore attacker angle? Nothing for Goldust and R-Truth’s feud? Elias Samson didn’t even wrestle after singing his song??!!?
By the end of this event, I felt like this was more of an experiment in how little the writing team could do and still get away with it, rather than trying to actually make this a good pay-per-view event. There seemed to be no effort to give off the impression that this was a show worth checking out.
Per usual, I watched this show with a group of buddies and out of the dozen or so of us, everyone echoed the same sentiments of only watching it because there wasn’t anything else to do tonight. I had hoped we’d be proven wrong and there would be some surprises to make up for it, but this card felt like it was incredibly hollow and the bullet points that were holding up the thin foundation for it weren’t even good enough to help it stand up.
If I were in the group of talent that wasn’t utilized in any way on this show, I’d be furious that they didn’t give me 5 minutes to try to do something, anything to stand out, but WWE’s mentality must be more along the lines of preferring to work with very little and just moving right past it tomorrow night on Raw than to try to use what you’ve got waiting in the wings.
YELLOW LIGHT = Keeping the Title on Neville
After two people are feuding for an extended period of time, there seems to be a lot of compulsion to just switch who the champion is for the pure sake of something different. I was worried that would be the case here, as I frankly have lost all interest in Austin Aries as a babyface champion for the cruiserweight division.
Don’t get me wrong—I still think Aries is talented and has a lot to offer, but I’m starting to think it isn’t on 205 Live. I’d rather see Aries just shift his role onto the main roster’s midcard division for Raw or SmackDown to open himself up to newer opponents. Outside of a match or two with Akira Tozawa, there really isn’t anybody I’m interested in seeing him lock up with in the purple brand, but there are plenty more options for him elsewhere.
Neville, on the other hand, can have a solid feud for an event or two with Cedric Alexander, who I’m hoping is the next in line for a title shot, if not the person to dethrone The King of the Cruiserweights. I wouldn’t have been too interested in Aries winning the title and having to defend it in a rematch against Neville, nor would I want to see him against TJP again, so for Neville to move on to a new challenger, I feel that’s the best way to go.
I’m also at least mildly interested in why they specifically showed Aries sitting off on the side with that weird look on his face. Could this be the start of a heel turn? Was that just an awkward thing on the spot?
The Raw Tag Team Championship changing hands was a lateral move to me as I don’t really care, the women’s title staying on Alexa Bliss is something I’m happy about but the segment was just strange, but the Cruiserweight Championship was a situation where the ending of the match and the build leading up to it was bland enough that I can’t be super thrilled, but I think they made the right decision and I’m interested to see where things go from here.
GREEN LIGHT = The Miz Wins the Intercontinental Championship
This was great. Not only do I think The Miz is one of the best intercontinental champions in the history of the title (not the best, but getting up there on the list), I also think he’s one of the only people who understands how to make the most out of what he’s been given to work with and to force WWE to give more attention his way.
The Intercontinental Championship reign he had on SmackDown was one of the best parts of that brand from the past year, while Dean Ambrose hasn’t exactly been doing anything special. Baron Corbin was the bigger driving force of their feud and then when Ambrose moved to Raw, it’s been all The Miz. Hell, the Intercontinental Championship wasn’t even defended at Payback, but The Miz at least hosted an edition of MizTV, despite that being utterly forgettable.
Ambrose is better chasing titles than he is defending them. So far, he’s had a run with the United States, WWE and Intercontinental Championship belts and each time, it’s felt like he starts off with a bang and then quickly goes stagnant. By now, changing things up is good for him and it’s in better hands with The Miz.