WrestleMania XXX is now well in the rear-view mirror. Will Daniel Bryan retain his newly won WWE World Heavyweight Championship against his former tag-team partner Kane? Will the Shield prove that they can adapt or will Evolution’s reunion be the undoing of the Hounds of Justice?

Will John Cena be able to stop Bray Wyatt’s message from spreading? Tonight we should have the answers to those questions as Extreme Rules comes to us live tonight from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The Kickoff Show is hosted by Josh Matthews with Booker T, Alex Riley and their guest, Sheamus. They discuss their picks for the three big matches on the card tonight.

Kickoff Match: WeeLC- Hornswoggle (w/ 3MB) vs. El Torito (w/ Los Matadores)

With a special match of course comes special guest commentators- a trio midget announcers- Micro Cole, Jerry “The Mini-King” Lawler and Wee-BL. I am not making this up. There’s also a guest announcer, and while it is a little person, it’s not a woman so we don’t have a Minian Garcia (I thought up that one all by myself).

So during the match, we have both sets of commentators going back and forth. So you know, every potential pun in this article is not intended. We also have a mini ref and mini versions of tables, ladders and chairs. WWE really did go all out to bring back old school midget wrestling. It might have been a ridiculous match, but it sure was entertaining.

Torito starts off the match hitting a hurricanrana and then a suicide dive on all 4 members of 3MB. Hornswoggle attempts to outdo Torito, but he runs into the bottom rope. This gives El Torito a chance to get a mini chair and use it to hit a modified Bronco Buster on Hornswoggle.

Chaos ensues, and we go to ads. We return and all 7 wrestlers are involved in one way or another. Hornswoggle hits a rolling thunder and then puts El Torito on the mini announce table and hits an elbow dive thru the table. And we get a “This is awesome!” chant.

We’re not done yet 3MB all get in the ring against El Torito. Lots of crazy stuff happens. In no particular order, Los Matadores, Jinder and Heath go through both tables and ladders. Drew does a swan dive into a table and El Torito hits a West Coast Pop to drive Hornswoggle through a table inside the ring for the pinfall win.

Winner by pinfall…El Torito

Rating: 6/10

We go backstage with Byron Saxton, Zeb Coulter and Jack Swagger talking about the three participants in Swagger’s elimination match. Of course, Zeb says Jack is going to win.

The Pre-Show crew talks about Evolution vs. The Shield. Sheamus gets scolded by A-Ry for saying ass on the program. A Ry says the Shield can win, but they have to wrestle the absolute perfect match for that to happen.

Match 1: Triple Threat Elimination- Rob Van Dam vs. Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Coulter) vs. Cesaro (w/ Paul Heyman)

There seems to be something wrong with the audio. Not sure if it’s on my end (I’m watching it on the WWE Network) or if there’s audio issues at the IZOD Center.

Before Cesaro comes out, Paul Heyman shows up. He speaks briefly about this being his night because of his roots of hardcore. Of course, he then has to bring up Brock Lesnar and the Undertaker.

Early in the match, RVD monkey flips Cesaro onto Swagger after somersaulting over Swagger. EVD vs Cesaro vs Swagger is trending on Twitter already. RVD is able to sunset flip Cesaro out of the ring on the floor before Swagger gets him with a running clothesline for a two-count.

The WWE may have finally figured out how to get fans to boo RVD: have him interrupt a Cesaro Swing. Swagger is only spun around six and a half times before RVD breaks it up, which the WWE Universe does not like.

At this point, I’m not sure if this is a WWE triple threat match, or one like the ECW three-way dance because Cesaro breaks up a submission attempt by Swagger on RVD. RVD then hits a Five Star Frog Splash on Swagger for a pinfall. The announcers aren’t sure if Swagger kicked out, but finally Lilian says that Swagger is eliminated, and we now get the answer that it’s the three-way dance variety.

We now get another great demonstration of Cesaro’s strength: he hits RVD with three consecutive gutwrench suplexes, never once breaking his hold à la Eddie Guerrero. Wow. Cesaro then gets RVD with the German suplex for a two-count. Then Cesaro decides to do something dumb. He gets on top of the barricade for some reason. RVD catches him and goes old school ECW on him but can’t get the pinfall.

Out come the toys from under the ring! RVD gets a trashcan, but Cesaro slides into him to turn the weapon against RVD. The bent trash can comes into play as Van Dam hits the Van Terminator and then goes for a Five Star Frog Splash to top it off. Cesaro moves out of the way, but the trash can doesn’t. Van Dam eats the trashcan and here comes the Neutralizer on top of the trash can. Goodnight Irene! Sometime during that exchange RVD got busted open.

Winner by pinfall…Cesaro

Rating: 6.5/10

We go backstage and Daniel Bryan is getting looked at by a trainer. Stephanie shows up and asks Larry the trainer to give her a minute to talk to Bryan. Stephanie says she’s concerned for Bryan’s safety because she can’t control Kane and doesn’t know what he’ll do to Bryan.

Stephanie does say that Daniel doesn’t have to compete tonight if he doesn’t want to. All he has to do is surrender the title. Bryan tells her to get out and that he’s going to leave tonight as the champion. Stephanie says he’s going to leave tonight as Kane’s bitch.

Match 2- Handicap: Alexander Rusev (w/ Lana) vs. R-Truth and Xavier


Lana comes out and says tonight is dedicated to a very powerful man. Someone she admires and respects as her idol. No, it’s the Bulgarian Brute Rusev, it’s Russian President Putin. That really angers the crowd.

Before the match starts, Woods decides to rush into the ring without Truth. Not a smart idea because Rusev kicks him, knocks him out of the ring and basically removes him from the match. Trainers come ringside to check on Woods while Truth and Rusev battle.

R-Truth gets in some good aerial offensive moves and gets a two-count, but in the end Rusev’s power is too much. Out comes the Accolade and R-Truth has to tap out. After Rusev leaves the ring, Lana order him to attack Woods some more while the trainers are looking at him.

Winner by submission…Alexander Rusev

Rating: 3/10

Before the next match, we’re informed of the 2014 Special Olympics being held next month and see some of the athletes ringside tonight. We go backstage and Renee Young Young is talking to Evolution, all wearing their new matching t-shirts.

Hunter says that the Shield thinks the egos of Evolution will lead to their downfall. Hunter admits that all three members of Evolution have massive egos, but they are well deserved egos. He reminds us that the three men have won 31 world titles combined. Orton says the Shield will perish tonight.

Match 3: Singles for the Intercontinental Championship- Big E (c) vs. Bad News Barrett

No, Barrett isn’t happy to see us, that’s a microphone he has in his wrestling tights. He decides to forgo the platform and the gavel tonight. Something about everyone in the arena getting sick, but that will pale in comparison to what he’s going to do to Big E tonight.

The crowd definitely seems to be in Barrett’s corner for this one. One of the early spots has Barrett hitting the Cactus Jack elbow on Big E outside the ring. Big E can’t seem to get any offense in to start up the match. JBL describes Big E as being an Everlast punching bag and I can’t argue with that. Big E finally gets some momentum, hitting some nice suplexes and the crowd isn’t happy at all.

Big E gets Barrett outside the ropes on the apron and then hits Barrett with a spear. Barrett is able to turn Big E’s momentum into a Winds of Change for a two-count. Barrett hits the Wasteland but still can’t put Big E away. Out comes the Bad News Bull Hammer, but Big E avoids it and drives Barrett into the mat for another two-count.

Big E hits a big splash and down goes the straps. Barrett counters the Big Ending, misses another Bull Hammer as Big E runs by him. The third time’s the charm as Barrett finally connects with a running/flying Bull Hammer for the duke and we’ve got a new Intercontinental Champion!

Winner by pinfall and NEW Intercontinental Champion…Bad News Barrett

Rating: 6/10

The crowd is certainly happy with this result. Just a reminder that Adam Rose and the Exotic Express will be on tomorrow’s Raw. We’re now shown a package for our six-man tag match which is next.

Match 4: Six-Man Tag- The Shield vs. Evolution

All six men stare each other down in the ring and the Shield is able to rule the ring. Finally the match starts with Rollins taking on Hunter. “The Shield vs. Evolution” is trending on Twitter already. Cole asks JBL if youth or experience will win this match and Bradshaw says he’s going with Evolution.

Batista gets the tag in and goes to work on Rollins. We get some good views of the wily veteran Hunter getting in some good cheap shots on Rollins. All three members of Evolution get an extended beat down on Rollins. Rollins is finally able to counter an Orton attack, which allows him to tag in Ambrose, who goes to work on Orton.

Ambrose gets in a groove, knocking Batista off the apron and then locks in a figure four on Orton, but Hunter and Batista quickly intervene. Reigns and Batista get in a few shots on the outside but when Reigns goes for a spear on Hunter, the COO sidesteps it, driving Roman into the steel steps.

Big Dave gets the tag and the crowd starts chanting “Boo-tista”. Batista taps in Orton and the Viper starts dissecting the US Champion. Hunter gets in and Ambrose is on spaghetti legs right now. Hunter taunts Dean, tags in Batista who puts Dean in a headlock. The crowd chants that Dave can’t wrestle. Dean tries to counter but eats a big boot before Hunter gets tagged in.

Hunter goes for a Pedigree but Dean is able to counter it and hit Trips with a DDT. Ambrose gets a hot tag to Roman and Hunter tags in Batista and the two enforcers go at ti. Roman goes to work on all three members of Evolution. Dave grabs Roman and gets ready to deliver the Batista Bomb. Seth Rollins hits Dave with a flying knee to prevent it and Roman then hits Batista with the Superman punch. The Shield motions for the triple powerbomb on Batista. They hit it but Hunter is able to break up the pin.

Hunter nails Roman with the Pedigree and then Ambrose goes after Hunter outside the ring. In the ring, Batista puts a hand over Roman’s lifeless body but Roman kicks out at two. Orton slithers into the ring and hits Reigns with an RKO. Rollins is able to make the save and goes to work on Orton outside the ring as well. The cameraman on the outside gets knocked over during this scuffle.

Orton and Hunter go to work on Rollins next to where Lilian is sitting. Out of nowhere Ambrose comes running across the announce table to knee both Orton and Hunter, sending both men into the walkway where the crowd is. While those four men battle in the stands, the two legal men, Batista and Reigns, are still recovering in the ring. Some big move is hit outside because the crowd goes nuts.

Dean gets tossed down a set of stairs and Hunter and Orton start a beatdown. We’re now getting into old school ECW territory because while this is happening, Seth Rollins somehow positioned himself in the section above those three men and hits a diving cross body on all three men. The “Holy S&*t!” chants are well deserved.

Back in the ring (finally) Dave hits Roman with a spinebuster. Before Dave can hit the Batista Bomb, Reigns hits him with a Superman punch and then nails a spear on Dave for the duke.

Winners by pinfall…The Shield

Rating: 8/10

After the match Roman goes to both Ambrose and Rollins. The three men are exhausted, but victorious. The steel cage begins to lower and we’re shown the package from the Cena/Wyatt match.

Match 5: Steel Cage-John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt (w/ Eric Rowan and Luke Harper)

What did you think of WWE Extreme Rules?
It was great – 28%
It was okay – 27%
Didn’t like it – 13%
Didn’t see it – 32%

This is one of the cage matches where you can win by pinfall or submission in addition to escaping the cage. Once Bray has finished his entrance we’re told that “WWEExtremeRules” is the top trend on Twitter.

The crowd is clearly behind Bray in this one. “Let’s go Wyatt” chants are heard and Bray continues to taunt John. After a few quick minutes John tries to escape only to have Harper and Rowan dissuade Cena. Bray launches John into the cage, gets him stuck between the rope and the cage and has Rowan run into John from the outside of the cage.

Bray stops his offense for a second, which allows him to momentarily conduct the WWE Universe in a rendition of “Whole World”. Bray opens the cage door but John stops him, shoves him to the ground and catapults Bray into the cage. John tries to climb out the cage and gets to the top before Bray pulls him back.

John again tries to escape but Bray catches him. Bray flattens John but can only get a two count. This doesn’t seem to bother Bray in the slightest. Bray lifts Cena to his feet and then proceeds to waltz with Cena for a few seconds (you read that correctly) before Wyatt delivers a slam and another two-count.

John gets some offense in and starts climbing up the cage. However Bray decides to crab walk in the opposite direction to the cage door. Cena has to jump down from the cage to prevent Bray from exiting. Bray gets even more methodical, taking his time as he tosses John into the cage.

John starts his Five Moves of Doom but when he loads Bray up for the AA, Bray is able to grab the cage. John then is able to counter that counter and deliver a powerbomb for a two-count. John wants the door opened but Harper blocks it. John then tries to outmuscle Rowan and Harper comes to help Rowan. This allows Bray to recover and go back to work on John.

Cena again climbs the cage. He gets to the outside of it but Eric Rowan starts climbing up, catching John on his shoulders. This allows Rowan to lift and carry John back into the ring where Bray and John trade blows on the top rope. Cena once again tries to climb the cage. (You think by now Cena would just try to pin Bray)

This time Luke Harper climbs up the cage to stop Cena. John tosses Harper into the ring and tries to climb out again. Bray gets the door opened but Cena kicks it closed. Rowan picks up a steel chair and forces John to go back into the ring. Bray gets a few moves but again just a two-count.

Bray then goes for Sister Abigail but John counters it into an STF. Bray drags himself to the edge of the ring and is able to force Cena to break the hold when John’s throat gets caught on the bottom rope. The door is still open and Rowan and Cena play tug-of-war with Bray. Cena wins and Bray comes back into the ring.

Now it’s Bray’s turn to try to escape by climbing the cage. Cena catches Bray and is able to deliver an modified AA from the middle turnbuckle. Harper breaks up the pin attempt. Cena clotheslines Harper and yet again tries to escape. Rowan climbs up again. Cena grabs Rowan’s beard and drives him into the top of the cage when he yanks the beard. John then hits Harper and all three Wyatt members are down. The cage door opens and Cena crawls toward the cage.

Just as Cena gets to the outside, the lights go out. We hear a distorted version of “Whole World” and when the lights come back we see one of the choir kids from Raw, right in front of John’s face, singing the song in that unusual distorted voice. That understandably freaks out Cena which allows Bray to hit Sister Abigail.

Bray doesn’t go for the pin. Instead Bray easily walks out of the cage and gives the choir singer a hug. Harper and Rowan hold the kid’s hands and the four of them slowly walk away, pausing at the top of the entrance. Bray mocks Cena’s hand gesture and John, still in the cage, looks like somebody walked over his own grave.

Winner by escape…Bray Wyatt

Rating: 6/10

We go back to the pre-show guys who talk about their favorite matches so far. We’re shown a recap of the WeeLC match. It’s time for the Divas title match.

Match 6: Singles for the Divas Championship- Paige (c) vs. Tamina Snuka

Tamina comes out by herself and is not wearing one of AJ’s shirts like she used to. This could be the sign of Tamina finally moving up. Paige starts off actually with a lot of aggression. She does a good job of limiting Tamina’s power at the start.

Paige goes to the top turnbuckle but Snuka knocks her off the ropes and finally Tamina gets some offense, wearing down the Divas champion. King comments that Tamina could be the enforcer member of the Shield, and with the way she’s currently dressed and acting, I’m in agreement along with JBL.

The fight spills outside the ring and Tamina is able to counter a hurricanrana by Paige and swing Paige’s upper body into the crowd barricade. Snuka lifts up Paige on her shoulders and takes her up to the top rope. Paige gets a sunset flip to counter Tamina’s move but can’t put Snuka away. Paige then lets out a banshee-like scream but still can’t put the challenger away.

The two trade some more shots. Snuka goes for a superkick but Paige is able to slap on her modified Scorpion Cross Lock, forcing Tamina to tap out.

Winner by submission and STILL Divas Champion…Paige

Rating: 4/10

While the Paige celebrates, Wyatt’s music hits and we go backstage to see the child, who Bray calls “Little Johnny”, in a room with the Wyatts. Bray talks to the kid and presents him with a sheep’s mask. As Johnny talks, his voice is still distorted and he happily puts on the mask. We’re shown the package for the strap match and it’s now time for our final match of the night.

Main Event: Extreme Rules Singles Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship- Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kane

Daniel doesn’t even wait for Kane to make it down to the ring, jumping his former friend outside the ring and we’re off and running. Kane knocks down Bryan and the toys are coming out early as Kane picks up a Singapore version of his namesake and unloads on the champ.

The fight goes towards the announce table. Kane picks up a steel chair, places Bryan between the chair and himself and then body slams Bryan on top of the guardrail which is on top of the chair.

Kane tosses Daniel into the ring. Kane tries to toss a chair into the ring, but it hits the top rope and bounces back. Kane grabs it, finally gets it inside the ring and the crowd mockingly applauds the effort as Kane gets a second chair and sets it up in between the turnbuckles. That allows Daniel to pick up the kendo stick and get a good lick in.

Kane picks up the other chair and hits Bryan once in the gut and once on the back. We’re told that “Little Johnny” is now the top trend worldwide on Twitter. Kane positions the char and hits Bryan with a sidewalk slam on top of the chair but gets just a two-count. Kane then loads up for a chokeslam but Daniel counters it and drives Kane into the chair Kane had set up.

Daniel goes top rope and hits Kane with a missile dropkick and then a suicide dive outside the ring. Both announce tables starts to get taken apart as Bryan begins using pieces from both tables as weapons. Kane then tries to chokeslam Daniel through the Spanish announce table, but Bryan counters it and ends the move via a swinging DDT but Kane is able to toss Daniel into the ring steps and prepares another Tombstone Piledriver off the steps.

Daniel is able to reverse the piledriver attempt. He picks up another Singapore cane and starts to unload on Kane with strikes but then Kane grabs Bryan and tosses him into the entrance barricade, shutting off the lights when Bryan hits them. Kane grabs Daniel and it looks like we’re about to go backstage!

Kane grabs a monitor and tosses it at Daniel. Bryan ducks it, and since he (Bryan) was next to some water, that’s a good thing as the monitor instantly shorts out when it hits the liquid. The carnage backstage continues and Kane and Bryan eventually go out to the parking lot. Bryan picks up a snow shovel and starts to get nasty, hitting Kane a few times.

Bryan gets tossed on the hood of a car. Kane picks up some kind of metal tank and tosses it at Daniel. Daniel avoids it, but the tank goes through the car’s windshield. Daniel backs up to another car and when Kane goes for a punch, Daniel ducks it while Kane punches through the window, injuring his hand in the process.

Daniel then goes to the open drunk of the car and pulls out a tire iron and clocks Kane right in the head with it. It seems like the fall must take place inside the ring because while Kane is definitely down for the count. Daniel can’t really drag Kane anywhere so he moves him next to the forklift and unloads on him a few more times. Daniel then loads up the forklift and starts driving it back toward the ring.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more unusual, Bryan then shows his ring savvy by using the lift itself to dump Kane back inside the ring. If Daniel ever gets sick of pro wrestling, I think it’s safe to say he’s got a good backup career as a forklift operator because he did that without any problems.

Daniel climbs to the top of the forklift and proceeds to hit Kane with a diving headbutt. He goes for the cover but Kane kicks out. Bryan starts to work himself into a frenzy and the YES! Movement becomes vocal. Kane sits up and when Bryan goes for a running knee, Kane hits him with a chokeslam but Bryan is able to kick out.

This infuriates the demon. He puts a chair in the ring and motions for another piledriver. Daniel blocks it and then picks up the chair. Bryan hits Kane with at least 10 chair shots across the back before he slaps on the YES! Lock. Kane grabs the kendo stick, hits Daniel a few times but Bryan takes it away and much like he did against Randy Orton, uses the kendo stick for added leverage.

Kane finally escapes the hold and gets to the outside of the ring. Daniel goes for another suicide dive but Kane catches him and instantly chokeslams Bryan into the announcers table, breaking it. Kane rolls Daniel back in the ring and brings out a table from under the ring. While he’s doing this, you can see WWE staff bringing an extra fire extinguisher to ringside so I’m going to assume we get a flaming table.

It looks like that observation was correct as Kane goes back under the ring and grabs an emergency red gas can and starts dousing the table. Kane lights the table but Bryan meets him on the ring apron. Bryan uses the ropes to knock Kane off the apron, through the table and INSTANTLY two fire extinguishers are used on Kane. This disorients the Big Red Monster as he gets back in the ring and immediately eats a running knee for the three-count.

Winner by pinfall and STILL WWE World Heavyweight Champion…Daniel Bryan Rating: 7/10

Show Rating: 6.5/10

Daniel celebrates near the entrance. Kane gets back up and is not happy. He does his signature fire move and out shoots the flames. Bryan just stares back at his former friend and we go off the air.

Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist currently living in Atlanta. He wants to know if you think Daniel Bryan should moonlight as a forklift operator? Email him your thoughts.