WWE Extreme Rules 2015 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterApril 26, 2015

WWE Extreme Rules 2015 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: WWE.com

    At WWE Extreme Rules 2015, the sports entertainment giant promised its annual plunge into brutality. The violence knob did not get turned up as much as it should have, though.

    Seth Rollins and Randy Orton collided inside a steel cage in a title match that was more about the RKO and Kane than two men trying to hurt each other. John Cena and Rusev didn't turn the chain that tied them together into a weapon often enough. 

    It was Roman Reigns and Big Show who most crammed savagery into their matchup. 

    In front of Chicago's reliably raucous crowd, Reigns and Big Show delivered the best match of the night. They left a string of broken tables in their wake. 

    Elsewhere on the card, The New Day took home the tag titles, Neville replaced Daniel Bryan, and Nikki Bella remained champion. 

    The night featured several good matches, but few great ones. Company officials plugged the WWE Network often on a pay-per-view that was free to new subscribers. A fantastic show that alluded to more excitement ahead would have been the better advertisement for the streaming service.  

    The following is a look at every Extreme Rules match, complete with highlights and letter grades. 

Bad News Barrett vs. Neville

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    Credit: WWE.com

    After announcing that Daniel Bryan wasn't cleared to compete, Bad News Barrett told fans that he would throw them a bone and fight Neville.

    Barrett withstood Neville's early flurry and sent him crashing into the guardrail outside. He then grounded the high-flyer as the audience rooted for the underdog to make a comeback.

    Gutting it out, Neville fought back. Some forearm strikes and his usual gravity-defying offense provided some momentum.

    Even when Barrett hit his signature moves, Neville kicked out. Barrett, though, couldn't kick out after the Red Arrow.

    Result

    Neville wins via pinfall. 

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Barrett calls himself the "Michael Jordan of England."

    Barrett floors Neville with a nasty big boot.

    Neville rotates in the air over the top rope to crash into Barrett.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    Bryan's injury became a great opportunity for Neville.

    The Newcastle native not only pushed Barrett but got a major win here. He and Barrett told a compelling story of a new arrival to the scene proving himself against a dangerous bruiser. The near-falls were done perfectly.

    Neville's best match on the main roster so far puts him in the thick of the Intercontinental Championship picture. It will be a thrill to have him there.

Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler (Kiss Me Arse)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    After some shoving from Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler pounced. The Showoff brawled with the bruiser, sending him outside of the ring. That's where Ziggler hurt himself by DDTing Sheamus on the outside.

    The momentum then shifted. Sheamus abused his opponent for much of the match. The Celtic Warrior took his time in weakening Ziggler with power moves and hard strikes.

    A worn-down Ziggler fought back with a superkick but found himself under Sheamus' thumb again.

    Soon, a small package surprised the Irishman and had him enraged when he realized the referee had counted to three. Sheamus resisted kissing Ziggler's butt. In fact, he hit a low blow and a Brogue Kick instead.

    While Ziggler was out, Sheamus rubbed his foe's face against his "arse."

    Result

    Ziggler wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Ziggler hits a DDT on the floor outside.

    Sheamus hits a sit-out powerbomb.

    "Little fellas don't belong in my ring!" — Sheamus

    "Pucker up!" — Chicago fans to Sheamus

    Grade

    B-

    Analysis

    Hard-fought action and a well-told story ends in goofiness. Ziggler and Sheamus worked hard here, but the buttocks-centered shtick felt out of place and dragged on too long. 

    At least WWE didn't have the on-a-roll heel actually get humiliated. The final moments created some decent heat for Sheamus. This all just felt more like something worthy of Raw, though.

The New Day vs. Cesaro and Tyson Kidd (Tag Team Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The Chicago fans treated the tag champs like babyfaces and trashed The New Day.

    Tyson Kidd and Kofi Kingston kicked things off for their respective teams with fast-paced action. Cesaro soon collided with Big E. No team had much of an advantage early on.

    Everyone traded high-impact moves as Xavier Woods cheered on his neon-clad brethren. 

    Kingston survived a glut of punishment to keep the match going. He and Big E nearly grabbed the win a few times, but Cesaro made the save just in time.

    A distraction from Woods helped Kingston steal a win after all of that.

    Result

    The New Day wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Cesaro catches Big E in midair and slams him.

    "Most athletes don't have to announce that they don't suck." — John "Bradshaw" Layfield

    "What did we do? We're winning!" — Woods

    Cesaro catches Kingston out of the air and hits a backbreaker.

    Big E spears Kidd off the ring apron.

    Natalya slaps Woods.

    Grade

    Analysis

    Had there been more buildup before this or had WWE developed The New Day's characters more, this title change would have had more impact.

    A really fun match came courtesy of a stockpile of athletic skill in the ring. Everyone involved contributed. The ending fell flat, though.

    The New Day just hasn't made a connection, as either heels or babyfaces, with the fans to warrant being champs.

Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper (Chicago Street Fight)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Luke Harper and Dean Ambrose didn't wait to enter the ring to start fighting. They brawled on the entrance ramp before Ambrose started pulling out chairs and a Kendo stick.

    Harper took shots with the weapons, but soon he started dishing out violence of his own.

    The pace slowed as the two men pounded on each other. Harper saw many of The Lunatic Fringe's moves coming, responding with overpowering blows. The rivals took their brawl to the back, where sound equipment, water bottles and a pipe all became ways to inflict punishment.

    Harper then drove off in a car with Ambrose in the front seat.

    During an interview with The New Day nearly 30 minutes later, Harper and Ambrose returned. Their fight traveled back to the ring area.

    Amid a hill of steel chairs, Ambrose prevailed. Dirty Deeds was enough to keep the big man.

    Result

    Ambrose wins via pinfall. 

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Ambrose whales on Harper with a Kendo stick; Harper soon returns the favor.

    Harper suplexes Ambrose onto a chair.

    Ambrose hits a rebound clothesline off the ring apron.

    Harper powerbombs Ambrose onto a chair.

    Harper buries Ambrose under a stack of chairs.

    Grade

    Analysis

    Having such little backstory hurt the significance of the violence here. The rivals delivered some fun spots, though, and did their best to make the most of the bout.

    The two men driving off in the middle of the match hurt its momentum. It's an out-of-the-box move, but one that didn't work. 

    Still, this was entertaining, and Ambrose finally getting a pay-per-view win post-Shield was the right move. 

Rusev vs. John Cena (Russian Chain Match for United States Championship)

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    A tug of war opened this contest. Rusev then took to hurting John Cena. He controlled the action, dissecting the United States champ with a predatory glare on his face.

    Cena fought back after knocking Rusev into the ring post.

    The Bulgarian Brute dominated, though. So much of the match featured him on the attack, clubbing Cena with either fist or chain.

    Lana waved to the appreciative fans. Rusev sent her to the back as a result. That distraction created an opening for Cena.

    The champ's offense didn't last long. Rusev clamped on The Accolade, and Cena nearly cost himself the match by ramming the powerhouse into two corners, starting the four-corner process.

    An Attitude Adjustment made that mistake a memory, though. Cena used the move to tap the last corner and keep his title.

    Result

    Cena wins via touching all four corners.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Rusev strings up Cena outside of the ring with a chain.

    Rusev misses a top-rope slash and falls onto the chain.

    Grade

    C

    Analysis

    Like Mark Henry's and Sheamus' strap match from 2013, a lack of brutality hurt this match. The bout didn't maximize the stipulation. It didn't have the intensity and drama one would expect from a third installment of a trilogy like this. 

    The grinding pace would have been fine with a more violent, nasty contest. Instead, it dragged. 

    Lana and Rusev's tension is the most noteworthy moment of the match.

Naomi vs. Nikki Bella (Divas Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Naomi's aggression served her well early on. She kicked Nikki Bella to the ground and wore her down with a succession of wear-down holds.

    Nikki's flurries ended quickly. Naomi stayed on top with forearms and kicks to the ribs. The champ failed to hit her biggest weapons, but her sister at ringside helped make up for that. Brie kicked Naomi to set up Nikkii's Rack Attack.

    Result

    Nikki wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Naomi counters an Irish Whip by yanking on Nikki's hair.

    Naomi kicks Brie to the floor.

    Grade

    C-

    Analysis

    Dominating the match for so long makes Naomi look strong going forward. She thrived in the big moment, looking like a star.

    This was no classic, though. A lack of highlights, Nikki missing a few kicks and a lack of buildup held it back. And on a night celebrating stipulations, couldn't WWE have given the women something to work with here?

    The cheap ending signals that Naomi's feud with the Bella sisters isn't over. She'll get more chances to prove she can flourish atop the Divas division.  

Big Show vs. Roman Reigns (Last Man Standing)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Big Show overpowered Roman Reigns again and again. The big man ran Reigns over, whacked him with a Kendo stick and punched him out of midair.

    Reigns looked to even the odds with a steel chair. He clanged one against Big Show's back before DDTing him onto the weapon.

    Big Show's Knockout Punch didn't keep Reigns down. A Samoan Drop through a table didn't put Big Show away.

    Reigns brought out more tables, looking to ramp up the destruction. Big Show evaded getting thrown threw them. He sent Reigns through the tables in his place courtesy of a chokeslam.

    The World's Strongest Athlete had a desperate look in his eye when that failed to get him the win. He missed diving into Reigns and broke a table with his body instead.

    Debris soon surrounded the men as they battled around the announce table. It took burying Big Show under that table to get Reigns the win.

    Result

    Reigns wins via 10-count.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Roman Reigns is a getting a physics lesson right now. Big guys win collisions." — John "Bradshaw" Layfield

    Big Show breaks a table with his fists.

    "How do you slay the giant?" — Michael Cole 

    Reigns gets to his feet after getting chokeslammed through two tables.

    Reigns spears Big Show through the guardrail. 

    Reigns spears Big Show through the announce table.

    "Roman Reigns has arrived tonight." — Michael Cole

    Grade

    A-

    Analysis

    Reigns and Big Show most lived up to the name of the pay-per-view. They left the most splintered wood behind them. They delivered the most big moments.

    While there was not a great energy early on and the match overused the 10-count, this bout built to a powerful climax.

    This was clearly designed to maximize Reigns' win, catapulting him forward. WWE did just that. Reigns took a hell of a beating and looked like a superhero in toppling Big Show.

Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton (Steel Cage Match for WWE World Heavyweight Title)

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    With Kane guarding the cage door, Seth Rollins and Randy Orton went to battle. The champion tried to escape early, but he found himself in a slugfest with Orton.

    The Viper and Rollins traded big blows, each man flinging each other into the cage wall. Rollins soon took control. He mocked his opponent as he left him wobbly. 

    Rollins tried to escape often. Each time, though, Orton caught him and dragged him back inside.

    Things then began to get chaotic. 

    J&J Security tried to climb into the cage, but Orton knocked them to the floor. The challenger then nearly got a win using Triple H's trademark move. His escape attempt didn't work either.

    Kane closed the cage door as Orton tried to leave.

    Rollins inadvertently dropkicked the door into Kane's face. That set the big man off. Kane climbed into the ring, where he chokeslammed J&J Security before doing the same to both Orton and Rollins.

    The champion recovered, hit Orton with an RKO and escaped for the win.

    Result

    Rollins wins by escape.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "This is what you wanted." — Rollins to Orton

    Rollins leaps off cage wall to hit a diving knee. 

    Orton hits a powerslam after catching Rollins, who had just jumped off the top rope.

    Orton hits a superplex from the top of the cage. 

    Orton uses the Pedigree to get a two-count.

    Grade

    B

    Analysis

    For every high this match delivered, it also handed fans a low to counterbalance it.

    Rollins and Orton worked well together again. Kane's rage was a nice touch on top of that. The flaws of the bout held it back, though.

    It's never good when the announcers are bickering at the end of a pay-per-view because they aren't sure about the rules of a match and what should have happened. That confusion had to be present in fans' minds too.

    And for a cage match, there wasn't the level of intensity one would expect. The PG Era forces WWE to not use blood in these contests, but wrestlers can still get more aggressive and sadistic than these foes did.

    This felt like a setup for the next title match more than a bit of action to savor on its own.