Thanks to WrestlingINC.com reader Anthony ( @apimentel243 ) for sending in this in-person report for last night's Extreme Rules pay-per-view:
Hi WrestlingInc. staff! I attended Extreme Rules last night and just wanted to send some notes from the arena.
First off with the preshow, the crowd absolutely loved 3MB. Not sure how the pop translated on TV as I have yet to watch it on the network but they were over. As for the match, I was expecting an absolutely boring, sloppy match but I'm glad I was wrong. All members of 3MB are pros and worked their tails off. It's a shame they don't get more TV time. Los Matadores also looked great. Hornswoggle and Torito proved they can go just as well as the rest of the guys with no signs of letting their height play a negative factor. This match was highly entertaining and was an excellent opener to set the tone of the night.
Next up was the triple threat. RVD and Cesaro got great pops while Swagger's was also decent. Paul Heyman's promo was brilliant as usual and having Zeb Colter at ringside is never a bad thing. The match itself was great with the normal flow of a triple threat. The sunset flip on the outside by RVD was great and Swagger was also impressive with his big moves. Cesaro shined in the match with the triple gutwrench suplex and suplex from the apron on Swagger. Great, solid win for Cesaro. While they were airing the replay, it was interesting and amazing to see Paul Heyman talking to Cesaro in the ring. Paul looked like he was recalling the match and giving Cesaro some advice or kind of pep talk. It was great seeing Cesaro happy to soak up all the knowledge being relayed on him. These two are going to be great together.
Alexander Rusev versus R-Truth and Xavier Woods followed. First off, Lana is gorgeous in person and way more over than Rusev might ever be. Reminds me of Summer Rae/Fandango and Umaga/Estrada. It's sad because I actually like Rusev and big monster characters but it seems like Rusev is not much without Lana for the time being. Not much to say about the match. I'm surprised they let Truth get as much offense as he did and took out Woods. Rusev will need more high profile matches quickly or else he's doomed.
Bad News Barrett is out next to a massive pop! Almost everyone was on their feet for him and loved his bad news segment. Big E comes out to a swarm of boos. The boos were very loud in my section, almost Batista-like. The match was similar to a lot of the matches on Raw they've been having. Big E seemed as if he wanted to play up to all the boos but stayed in character the whole time. Big E was impressive with the spear into the post on the outside but Barrett had the crowd in the palm of his hand with the win. He looked very happy to have won the title. During the replay, Barrett genuinely appreciated all the cheers from the crowd by waving, smiling, and posing for pictures.
The 6 man tag was up next. Great moment seeing Evolution's entrance but the crowed HATED Batista. There were boos whenever he was on camera or in the ring. I was seated right where the Shield came out and got great pictures of them! The opening mood and tension was great. All 6 of these men knew exactly what they were doing. I have to give this match of the night. All of the spots were expertly executed and not overdone at all. Every single tag, spot, near fall and signature move were incorporated beautifully. During the match and off camera, I noticed that Dean Ambrose was keeping everything organized on the Shield's side. Roman would periodically check in with Ambrose while Rollins didn't need as much direction. It was great seeing these guys help each other out. Roman Reigns is, deservedly, the next big star but Ambrose deserves credit for giving him tips on inner workings of match psychology. Triple H and Randy Orton shined with their experience while Batista played up the bad guy role. The crowd loved the dives by Rollins and Ambrose and having Reigns pin Batista was icing on the cake. Once again, I can't justify how great all these guys, including Batista, are.
The Steel Cage match was up. John Cena came out to his usual reaction while The Wyatts came out to a great pop. It was eerie seeing the Wyatt's entrance live. All three guys are creepy as heck. The cage seems a little outdated and didn't prevent anyone from "escaping or entering". The match with Bray and Cena was very good and Harper and Rowan were great enforcers in preventing Cena from escaping. The match ran a little long in my opinion and bringing Harper into the cage was a smart idea. The finish was a little underwhelming for me but I understand why they did it. It looks like the feud between Bray and Cena isn't over but I think it's time for Bray to get a clean win.
Paige vs. Tamina was the worst of the night. Maybe worst is a harsh word but no one cared for the match. A ton of people used this time to go get food, use the bathroom, etc. The botched pin count was unsettling. I know they're trying to get Paige over but having no story to the match is what killed it. It makes some sense if they're trying to set up a Paige/AJ feud but who knows how long AJ will be out? Till then, I'm afraid were stuck with squash matches.
Finally it's time for the main event. Daniel Bryan is super over with the NJ crowd. Kane had his fair share of boos. The match seemed to be progressing nicely but then they went backstage and the crowd immediately booed. The backstage segment also ran way too long. It sucked the life out of the crowd. Having Bryan use the fork lift was a nice idea but I wished that segment was a little more extreme. The table and fire spots were great. It was scary when Kane went through the table because the fire didn't extinguish right away as it usually does. Kane's back and arm were very red so the poor guy must've felt a lot of the fire. Bryan gets a solid win but Kane sits up and hints the feud isn't over.
All in all, the show was way more than I expected. Kudos to everyone who performed. I've been to a lot of shows and Extreme Rules immediately goes to one of the best. Big fan of the site. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @apimentel243 .