Extreme Rules Winners And Losers: WWE Gets Creative As The Demon Suffers First Main Roster Loss

Extreme Rules didn’t look like much of a card coming into Sunday’s pay-per-view. The hope was that lackluster card could out-perform how it looked on paper. All that said, the show hit a home run in a number of different ways. From the great in-ring action to the creative finish that no one could have seen coming, this was a very strong pay-per-view heading into the WWE Draft.

Winner/Loser: Opening Match

An unadvertised match might wind up being the best match of the night as a six-man tag match between New Day and AJ Styles, Omos, and Bobby Lashley was quite entertaining. The action was fast and furious and it was a strong way to open the show. Considering the level of talent involved, it’s frankly shocking WWE didn’t build up to this match prior to the kick-off show.

The match wasn’t perfect. WWE missed an opportunity early on to have Big E meet face-to-face for a crowd-popping moment between the WWE Champion and Omos. One can also argue that the pin shouldn’t have come at the expense of Lashley, a talent WWE needs to keep protected after he lost the title. Still, those are minor critiques of an otherwise strong opening contest. Lashley cut a strong promo after the second match of the night seemingly setting up a big title match on Monday’s Raw. Big E accepted. Really, this was an overall winner.

Winner: Usos vs. Street Profits

On a number of occasions, it felt like The Street Profits might actually regain the SmackDown Tag Team titles. That made for an extremely entertaining and fun match that the Usos eventually won. This was a great contest that got the live fans chanting “this is awesome” a couple of times. The real standout was Montez Ford. The fans are really behind him and it appears he’s on the verge of really breaking out which could leave WWE with a difficult decision. Do they push Ford without Dawkins? Or, do they keep The Street Profits a team and let Ford’s momentum build?

WWE was two-for-two in terms of strong matches to open Sunday’s pay-per-view. The second was better than the first and the first was a pretty good match. The Usos and The Profits have built some strong in-ring chemistry over the year and this may have been one of their better bouts.

Winner: Charlotte Retains, Destroys Lilly

Another strong match between two of WWE’s best female workers, Bliss vs. Charlotte included a fun storyline shift and offered some excellent in-ring action. This might have been the match coming into the show with the most unpredictable outcome and the contest featured a number of false finishes that made it tough to predict how things might go.

This feud is far from over as Charlotte retained her Raw Women’s Championship, but proceeded to tear Lilly apart after the match. Alexa Bliss was livid and attacked Charlotte, only to be left laying at ringside. After Charlotte exited the arena, Bliss showcased a range of emotions as she was angry, distraught, and devastated that her friend was seemingly gone. She screamed and left the ringside area embracing a torn doll while foaming at the mouth. It seemed to tease some sort of turn for her character.

Winner: Damian Priest Retains

It was hard to imagine Damian Priest losing the U.S. Championship with how hot he’s been. Still, the crowd was clearly behind Jeff Hardy and it appeared at times WWE might pull the trigger on a title change. This was another strong match showcasing WWE’s ability to book Triple Threat matches quite well.

Hardy fans will argue that he should have won, but they’ll likely still walk away happy considering how effectively this match was booked and how Hardy looked good in the loss. He stood in the ring after the match and posed with Priest to the delight of the crowd. It’s funny how the fans have rallied behind Hardy after his 24/7 appearance. It’s not clear if they would have otherwise but WWE may have stumbled onto an underdog they can really push after a creative decision they likely didn’t give much thought to.

Winner: Lynch vs. Belair, Sasha Banks Returns

Anyone who believed the 26-second win by Lynch at SummerSlam was because she couldn’t wrestle a full match ate a lot of crow on Sunday night. Her match with Bianca Belair was incredible. Lynch hasn’t lost a step and, in fact, she might be even better. She and Belair had incredible in-ring chemistry and for as many strong matchups as there were during this pay-per-view, it’s going to be hard to top this contest. The more the match went on, the better it got and the harder it was to predict a winner. In short, the Lynch vs Belair match was out of this world. The finish worked too since neither woman deserved to lose.

Not often does a run-in after such a great match makes for good booking, but in the case of Banks coming back to attack Belair and then Lynch, this really worked. Sasha never lost her title and it’s logical she would be upset about the fact these two women were putting on a five-star match without her involvement. It sets up the WWE Draft nicely and it’s hard to know where WWE will go with this. Clearly, it’s not over for any of these three women.

Winner: Reigns Retains, Balor Resurrected

In one of the craziest finishes WWE has ever pulled off, they went to a place we’ve never seen them go creatively. As the Extreme Rules match between The Demon and Roman Reigns came to a close and everyone was laid out on the outside of the ring, The Demon’s music started to play and the lights went red. Seemingly responding to the music, Balor began to pulsate while knocked out and then popped up as though he was never hurt. He started to take it to the Universal Champion, and went for a Coup’ de gras off the top rope, only to see the rope break. Suffering his first defeat on the main roster, The Demon took a spear and was covered for the loss.

This was insanely creative and opens up so many storyline possibilities. It was perhaps the best job WWE has ever done of getting themselves out of a corner they’d walked themselves into with Balor’s win/loss record.

Extreme Rules Match Results:

* New Day defeats AJ Styles, Omos and Bobby Lashley after Lashley inadvertently spears Styles and gets caught in the Big Ending finisher. The heels seemed to have the upper hand, but some dissension about who should get the finish and the win ultimately cost Styles and Lashley.
* The Usos retain their SmackDown tag titles over The Street Profits. A double splash off the top rope wound up keeping Montez Ford down for the three-count.
* Charlotte retains her title with a Natural Selection for the win and the three count. The takeaway was the action after the match as Alexa Bliss seemed to lose her mind after Lilly was destroyed.
* Damian Priest Retains the United States Championship after pinning Sheamus in a Triple Threat Match. A number of false finishes brought the match to a close with a fun series that saw The Celtic Warrior rolled up for the loss.
* Becky Lynch retains her title after Sasha Banks came down and attacked Bianca Belair to end the match. Banks then attacked Lynch and left both women laying after mutual back-stabbers.
* Roman Reigns retains championship after Balor was resurrected by his theme music, only to have the top rope break during his finisher. He took a spear and the pin.

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