WWE Extreme Rules 2018 Results: Reviewing Top Highlights and Low Points
Before the roster can have the biggest party of the summer on August 19 with SummerSlam, they have to suffer through the danger of the Extreme Rules 2018 pay-per-view.
All but two titles were scheduled to be on the line, with five gimmick matches to spice things up.
Even a rather bland feud like Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley was at least advertised as having a lot of hype, with WWE promising that there was major potential behind it.
As always, any WWE event has the ability to be great, awful or any mix of the sort, no matter what the build was.
Now that Extreme Rules 2018 is in the bag, it's time for us to look back on what transpired and assess the top highlights and most unfortunate low points of Sunday night from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.
Presented in order of appearance, here are the segments that stood out as the biggest pros and cons of WWE's latest pay-per-view.
Highlight: The B-Team Wins the Raw Tag Team Championship
Having a title change take place to start a show is pretty much always a good way to kick off things.
In particular, the situation with the Raw Tag Team Championship was also an upgrade, as The B-Team has been consistently getting better reactions from the crowds than The Deleters of Worlds.
Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt dropped the ball, while Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel picked it up and ran with it.
The titles are only in limbo until The Authors of Pain come fully into swing and take them, so they might as well take them from a group that the audience cares about, rather than a team that failed to live up to the hype.
This was a smart move not only for the division itself going forward, but also to get this particular crowd excited early on.
Low Point: Asuka Loses Again to Carmella
After losing at WrestleMania, on SmackDown and in two matches against Carmella, it seems WWE has made the call not to invest in Asuka anymore.
If she would have won the SmackDown Women's Championship here, it would have offset those losses and helped turn things around.
Instead, she's officially fallen victim to the curse of an undefeated streak being the only thing keeping someone alive.
Whether keeping the title on Carmella is the best decision for SmackDown's women's division in the long run remains to be seen, but as far as Asuka is concerned, she's going to need severe rehabilitation to come back to the level she was at earlier this year.
Here's hoping WWE can turn things around for The Empress of Tomorrow, as right now, tomorrow doesn't seem like a brighter day.
Highlight: Shinsuke Nakamura Wins the United States Championship
By having Shinsuke Nakamura nail Jeff Hardy with a low-blow and quickly take the United States Championship, WWE managed to check off multiple great decisions in one swift motion.
Hardy's injuries need to heal, so this writes him off television for a while to allow for that time away.
Putting the belt on Nakamura also helps offset his losses, similar to what should have happened with Asuka.
After failing to capture the WWE Championship so many times in a row, his United States title reign will restore some of the credibility he's lost along the way.
This was a great decision in terms of not only furthering Nakamura's heel character, but also protecting Hardy in the eyes of the crowd to allow for a rematch in later months when Hardy's ready to go.
For now, though, it appears Nakamura will be busy with Randy Orton, who made a surprise return to cap off this segment as even more of a highlight.
Highlight: Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens Steel Cage Match
After torturing Kevin Owens the past few weeks, there was no way Braun Strowman was ending this night without doing something similarly brutal.
During the match, Owens played up his arrogant part perfectly, blowing a kiss to Strowman after handcuffing him in an attempt to escape the cage.
This only angered Strowman more, leading to The Monster Among Men choosing to throw Owens off the top of the cage into the commentary table.
He sacrificed the win but got the moral victory by being able to send Owens out on a stretcher.
This was an innovative way to end the match and still further the story while having one of the best spots of the night to live up to the Extreme Rules moniker.
Low Point: Dropping the Ball with Team Hell No
The reunion of Team Hell No was such a big part of this event that Daniel Bryan and Kane were even the Superstars chosen to be on the poster, but their involvement in the show itself wasn't up to par.
Not only did WWE miss an opportunity to have a segment with Dr. Shelby addressing Team Hell No alongside Bayley and Sasha Banks, but the match itself also wasn't much to make up for it.
Instead of having a regular fight, WWE hindered everything by doing an injury angle ahead of time.
This caused Kane to be unable to really move around and Daniel Bryan to wrestle most of a handicap match.
The whole dynamic was thrown off and not allowed to tap into its potential.
Low Point: Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax for the Raw Women's Championship
Even with the Extreme Rules stipulation and three extra people involved in the match from the outside, this segment left much to be desired.
The weapons spots were weak, with weak chair shots that looked like they wouldn't hurt more than being hit with a pillow and an unorganized mess surrounding it.
When much of this could be summed up by saying that Alexa Bliss failed to hit Nia Jax before Jax tossed the attacking weapon to her side, it certainly doesn't come off as impactful as anything that preceded it.
For the most part, this was a means to stall until SummerSlam, and it did its job in keeping Ronda Rousey in the limelight, but beyond that goal, it fell flat.
Highlight: Intercontinental Championship 30-Minute Iron Man Match
As expected, Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins put on arguably the best match of the entire night.
They are two of the best in-ring performers in WWE today, so they were easy to trust to pull off an Iron Man match like this.
One of the most interesting aspects was the 3-0 lead at the beginning, with the tie coming about from Drew McIntyre's interference.
Having him enter the fold and attack Rollins, beating him down for a disqualification to even the odds and give Ziggler a fighting chance, was a smart move to keep this fight from being too repetitive.
This also had some extra zing to it as the main event, as it felt like a title change could happen, particularly with the overtime swerve.
All in all, this was a great way to end the night and give some spotlight to the Intercontinental Championship, boosting its importance going forward.
What do you think were the pros and cons of this event? How would you rank the segments not mentioned on this list? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.