WWE EXTREME RULES 2022 HITS & MISSES: Morgan vs. Rousey Extreme Rules, McIntyre vs. Kross Strap Match, Rollins vs. Riddle Fight Pit, more


WWE hires new writer for Bray Wyatt


OCTOBER 8, 2022

Announcers: Michael Cole and Corey Graves

Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook Match: The Brawling Brutes (Sheamus, Butch, and Ridge Holland) defeat Imperium (Intercontinental Champion Gunther, Ludwig Kaiser, and Giovanni Vinci)

The idea of this match was to establish which group had superiority amongst the ranks between the Brawling Brutes and Imperium. In addition, they needed to keep Intercontinental Champion Gunther, of Imperium, strong in preparation for his next title defense. It’s still odd they did the match between himself and Sheamus on Smackdown, the night before Extreme Rules, but so it goes. It does feel like this feud has gone on for a little while now, but it’s not at the point for me where I’m done. It has an Attitude Era circa 1997 feel to it when they had the Gang Wars featuring DOA, Los Boricuas, and the Nation of Domination. The difference is the matches between the Brutes and Imperium are better!

For the most part I enjoyed this match. They built nicely towards both teams facing off and Gunther getting a Celtic Cross onto the table. Holland had a cool spot with the double back drop on Imperium. At one point I felt like Sheamus could get the pin on Gunther after he hit the Brogue Kick, but I’m glad they didn’t do that. Too many champions have gotten pinned on TV and if they want to make the secondary titles feel important, they must protect the titleholders.

The Brawling Brutes needed a win in this feud. This was the perfect match to open the show and as Wade pointed out in his report, they had believable near falls and cool spots. In addition, I hope we all appreciate what Sheamus brings to the table. It’s such an odd situation because I feel like Sheamus should win the Intercontinental Championship, but they shouldn’t take it off Gunther. It’s nice that the conversation about the title means something for the first time in forever (and now I have the song from Frozen in my head. I have kids, what do you want from me.). Anyway, I think you can tell my grade for this match!

Hit or Miss: Hit

Smackdown Women’s Championship Extreme Rules Match: Ronda Rousey defeats Liv Morgan

I went into this reluctantly, because I haven’t bought the story between Liv Morgan and Ronda Rousey. This has felt a scenario where they wanted to do an Extreme Rules match because the calendar dictates as such, so let’s do what we need to do. Let’s give Liv and edge by having her use a kendo stick and a bat which is all well and good, but I’m sorry I don’t buy that that’s her character.

The match had some cool spots including Liv using the fire extinguisher and the senton off the top onto Ronda prone on the table. The bat spots were hit and miss for me (no pun intended), and more miss if I’m being honest. Liv smiling while she was in the biceps hold to finish the match was interesting, and it was equally interesting to see her smiling after the match. Is she going to turn heel and go crazy on Ronda? We shall see. I’m interested to see the follow up. I’ve said she’s turning heel for a while now, but that’s just based on what I see and not thinking it’s a good idea. As far as the match, I can’t give it a hit in good faith. The women worked hard without question but, I felt like Liv was “playing” an extreme character going in and Ronda just doesn’t make sense to me in an Extreme Rules match with weapons.

Hit or Miss: Miss

Strap Match: Karrion Kross defeats Drew McIntyre

This is the third straight match with the use of weapons, so it was hard to get into it. That said, I liked Kross playing mind games to start refusing to put on the strap. I know it’s useless to complain about this, but Kross attacking Drew and going into the stands should have been an automatic DQ. Nobody ever talks about pre-match attacks and just accepts them as part of WWE culture. I know they won’t change their philosophy, but I don’t care I’m pointing it out.

Once the match got going the main thing, I looked to see was Kross’s character work. I think Wade may be right. He plays a mean guy at a Halloween House scaring little kids. His wife’s acting is way over the top with her lip syncing Kross’s theme and her bugging out eyes. Thank God my wife was asleep, otherwise she’d be questioning us watching this.

Kross whipping Drew mercilessly was certainly a spot. The segment following that was cool for the most part. The two of them whipping each other was fine, but it wasn’t enough for me to give this a hit. The finish makes it a miss and I’ll tell you why. I get it’s a strap match and it’s no DQ, but why is outside interference allowed? This idea that every match with a weapon stipulation allows outside interference drives me crazy. It won’t change, I know, but that still doesn’t change how I feel. Secondly, Drew will ultimately win out this feud, but losing to a guy that will likely never be a top act hurts Drew even if he was “protected” by Scarlett using the pepper spray.  You can’t help but wonder what’s next for Drew, who very scarily is looking like a glorified jobber to the stars

Hit or Miss: Miss

Raw Women’s Championship Ladder Match: Bianca Belair defeats Bayley to retain the championship

This is another match with a weapon stipulation. I get this is Extreme Rules, but they can’t do this every year with multiple matches having weapon stipulations.

I’m a little numb to ladder matches at this stage of my life, so it was hard for me to get into this. In addition, we once again had outside interference with Damage Ctrl (Iyo Skye and Dakota Kai). You had that in the last match Scarlett and would get it again in the I Quit match. Anyway, I like aspects of this match including the double KOD Bianca hit on Skye and Kai, as well as KOD’ing Bayley while holding the ladder. I also liked Bayley trying to use a part of her knee brace. While I enjoyed those aspects the match just didn’t hit. I never was able to get past my issue of them having a ladder match. Why did they need it? It was the first match in their series. This is another case where I felt the calendar and not the feud dictated the type of match they had.

I know there was discussion of changing the title, but I didn’t feel that.  I also didn’t feel Bianca “had to retain” either.  I feel like both characters are just checking boxes when they perform on TV rather than being effective characters.

Hit or Miss: Miss

I Quit Match: Finn Balor defeats Edge.

Edge and the Judgment Day have been involved for quite some time, but I thought they’ve found an effective way to keep things moving. The Judgment Day still doesn’t work for me, but it’s in a better place than what it was when it first started with Edge.

I thought this match went long, and sometimes Triple H wants long matches to a fault. I get building to the dramatic finish, but they could have shaved about 5-10 minutes off and it still would have worked. You knew Rey Mysterio and Beth Phoenix were getting involved, but that’s ok. Edge basically gave away the ending during his pre-tape promo last week. I like the heat Judgment Day drew for getting Edge to quit and still attacking Beth. Before that, Edge kicking Dominik in the balls the way Dominik did to him at Clash of the Castle was cool. We’re obviously heading towards something with Edge, Rey, and Beth against Rhea Ripley, Damian Priest, and Finn. It works for me, and so did this match despite the length.

Hit or Miss: Hit

Fight Pit Match: Matt Riddle defeats Seth Rollins with Daniel Cormier as the special referee

I’m in a weird place with this match. Now I should put the disclaimer in that I don’t watch UFC or any mixed martial arts sports, so I don’t have the connection to it like a lot of people following the Torch have. I am aware of it on a peripheral basis, so take that as you will. That being said …

I feel like I’m supposed to like this match because of the fight pit and Daniel Cormier as the referee. It put Seth Rollins in a different situation against a guy who’s familiar with the environment having the MMA experience and working this match with Timothy Thatcher in NXT. There are the whole “cool” and “dangerous” aspects to this match aesthetically when you look at the pit. “My god, how is this going to go?” “Man, they can get really hurt?” “How is Cormier going to get involved?” There were a lot of intriguing aspects, but I’m sorry it didn’t do it for me. Perhaps it being the last match in a series of matches with stipulations hurt and the impact of the fight pit just wasn’t there? I thought there would be more fighting on top of the pit as there was in the match between Riddle and Thatcher, but there wasn’t. It felt more like a wrestling match taking place in a fight pit. They may as well have done a steel cage of Hell in a Cell (calendar doesn’t all that). The Cormier involvement of “don’t touch me your fight is with him” didn’t feel like it fit what was going on but rather just him getting involved for the sake of doing so.

I liked the pedigree Rollins hit. I liked the RKO and the Senton Riddle hit off the upper ledge. I didn’t hate the match overall, but I can’t grade it a hit even though the effort was evident.

Hit or Miss: Miss

Bray Wyatt Return

This was amazing. First, I liked how Bray didn’t get involved in any of the matches. We’re so trained to expect a return to involve someone interfering in a match, but they didn’t do that here. I like how they showed all the characters from the Firefly Funhouse and the Funhouse itself in cobwebs, which made sense given he’s been gone for over a year. It sure seems we’re headed back to the cult leader character, which had its issues, but it’s sure better than the Fiend in my opinion. It will be interesting to see the character, whichever version we see, under the guise of Triple H vs. Vince, with whom Bray seemed to butt heads with through the years.

Hit or Miss: Hit

Final Score

Hits 3
Misses 4

The misses have it, this report is adjourned. See you in about a month for Crown Jewel folks.

Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!

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