Extreme Rules 2016 was probably the best WWE pay-per-view of 2016, and it ended with a return that will change the landscape of the company heading into the summer. Seth Rollins ended Sunday’s pay-per-view by attacking Roman Reigns, coming back after an injury forced him to drop the WWE World Heavyweight Championship late in 2015.
Rollins was WWE’s top performer last year, putting on exciting matches as he defeated the likes of John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton and Sting to keep the title. By delivering a Pedigree to Reigns right before the PPV went off the air, Rollins inserted himself back into the title picture, likely setting up a match between the two at Money in the Bank next month. With Rollins back and Cena set to return from surgery on Memorial Day, WWE’s top stars are getting healthy just in time, setting up a big show for SummerSlam 2016 in August.
Before Rollins’ return, there were eight matches on the card, as well as a confrontation between Big Cass and The Dudley Boyz. Below are the results and a short recap for each match from Extreme Rules.
— Katie Linendoll (@KatieLinendoll) May 23, 2016
Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles (WWE World Heavyweight Championship Extreme Rules Match)
The match was similar to the one Reigns and Styles had three weeks earlier at WWE Payback, but it was even better. The Clubs and The Usos interfered towards the end, but their involvement was minimal. Styles looked ready to get the win in the closing moments, decimating Reigns with multiple chair shots. But Reigns has taken on the role of Cena in more ways than one, and it’s going to take a lot to have him pinned on a PPV. Despite the punishment he took, Reigns caught Styles mid-air as he went for a Phenominal Forearm, delivering a spear to end the match.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Charlotte vs. Natalya (WWE Women’s Championship Submission Match)
In a bizarre ending, Dana Brooke helped create a distraction and allow Charlotte to win the match with the Figure-Eight. Ric Flair was banned from ringside and Charlotte would’ve dropped her title if her dad had made an appearance during the match. In order to distract Natalya, Brooke dressed in a robe and came out to Flair’s music, walking towards the ring and drawing Natalya’s attention.
The Miz vs. Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens (Fatal 4-Way Intercontinental Championship Match)
This was the best match of the night, and one of the best Fatal-4-Way matches in recent WWE history. Sami Zayn looked poised to pin Cesaro after landing a Helluva Kick, but he was dragged out of the ring by Kevin Owens. As Zayn attacked Owens outside of the ring, The Miz crawled on top of Cesaro for the win. But that was just one part of a perfectly executed match that featured multiple exciting false finishes, making it look like Cesaro, Owens or Zayn would win at different times.
Winner: The Miz
Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho (Asylum Match)
The match was underwhelming for the most part, especially considering it followed the most exciting match of the night. Even with a kendo stick and a two-by-four wrapped in barbed wire at the wrestlers’ disposal, the match wasn’t all that brutal. That changed shortly before the conclusion, when Ambrose slammed Jericho onto a pile of thumbtacks, which allowed the Lunatic Fringe to hit Dirty Deeds for the win.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
The New Day vs. The Vaudevillains (Tag Team Championship Match)
The New Day might be babyfaces these days, but they were up to their old tricks on Sunday. With Big E and Xavier Woods wrestling in the tag match, Kofi Kingston delivered Trouble in Paradise from the apron to Simon Gotch when the ref wasn’t looking. That set up a kick from Woods to Gotch that ended that match, helping The New Day retain their belts.
Winner: The New Day
Kalisto vs. Rusev (United States Championship Match)
Kalisto got the better of Rusev in the early part of the match, dazing him as he sent him into the steel steps. But the match turned when Rusev pushed Kalisto off the top turnbuckle and onto the side of the ring. Rusev took advantage of Kalisto’s injured back and forced him to tap to the Accolade.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. The Usos (Tag Tornado Match)
Styles might have lost, but his buddies got the better of Reigns’ cousins. The Club used the ring bell to get the win, as Jimmy Uso landed on it when he tried to hit a top-rope splash. Gallows and Anderson hit Magic Killer for the win moments later.
Winner: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin (No DQ Match)
Before Draymond Green delivered a low blow to Steven Adams in Sunday’s NBA playoff game, Corbin used the strategy to defeat Ziggler. He hit Ziggler after The Showoff missed with a superkick, followed by End of Days for the win.
Winner: Baron Corbin