The Shield are the real deal...
Day after day, week after week, month after month, The Shield steal the show.
And Extreme Rules was no different. Their match with Evolution didn’t get off to the most spectacular of starts, but by the night was through we’d seen exactly why The Shield are the hottest faction in the WWE today.
For me, the beauty of The Shield is that their standout performer changes every time they show up. One week it appears Roman Reigns is the next big thing, then Dean Ambrose reminds us of his wonderful mic work and charismatic personality, but not before Seth Rollins steals the show with his kamikaze style.
At Extreme Rules, this was all too apparent. Ambrose got a big pop for his sprint across both announcers’ tables before launching himself on Triple H and Randy Orton, and then Rollins went one better with his sensational dive from way up in the crowd. All the while, Reigns was in the ring taking care of Batista.
Ultimately, it was enough to prove to us that The Shield really are the real deal. Victory over an iconic faction such as Evolution merely confirms their standing as the most dominant and exciting force in the WWE today.
...as is Daniel Bryan
But The Shield weren’t the only impressive babyfaces of Extreme Rules. In fact, given that he did it all on his own, Daniel Bryan arguably outperformed any one member of The Shield in terms of entertainment value.
His match with Kane featured parking-lot brawls, forklift trucks, the wholly shocking addition of a flaming table and a Superman-esque dive from the top of the forklift to the other side of the ring.
Who ever said that the PG rating made for boring television?
But it wasn’t just with high-flying, thrill-seeking stunts that Bryan managed to impress. He also looked incredibly strong against an opponent who has been booked as an absolute monster in recent weeks.
If ever there were any questions about the WWE's faith in Bryan, I think such doubts were silenced this past Sunday. Bryan was the ultimate babyface, thrilling the crowd and looking stronger than ever in what was a hugely important first defence of his WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
For me, at least, it was enough to prove that Bryan is indeed the now of the company. And I wouldn’t expect that to change anytime soon.