Ending a weekend filled with professional wrestling action, WWE looks to prove it is still atop the mountain in terms of sports entertainment with the Extreme Rules pay-per-view live from Philadelphia on Sunday night. After some last-minute additions, suddenly all of the company’s main roster championships will be on the line during a bloated 12-match card that begins at 7 p.m. ET (kickoff show one hour earlier) and may go late into the night.
While it is important that WWE put on a good show Sunday, what is perhaps even more integral is the company setting a course for SummerSlam, its second-biggest pay-per-view of the year. With just four weeks until SummerSlam — and new executive directors taking over its television programs this week — WWE must find a way to improve its creative direction while still delivering a great event.
CBS Sports will be with you the entire way Sunday updating this story with live results and highlights along with a detailed recap and grades at the bottom of the post. Listen to our complete WWE Extreme Rules preview in the latest episode of the State of Combat with Brian Campbell podcast (timestamp 1:28:32), and don’t forget to subscribe.
2019 WWE Extreme Rules matches
- Winners Take All — Universal and Raw Women’s Championships: Seth Rollins & Becky Lynch (c) vs. Baron Corbin & Lacey Evans (Extreme Rules)
- WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Samoa Joe
- United States Championship: Ricochet (c) vs. AJ Styles
- Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler
2019 WWE Extreme Rules live results, highlights
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2019 WWE Extreme Rules recap, grades
Intercontinental Championship — Shinsuke Nakamura def. Finn Balor (c) via pinfall to win the title (Kickoff Show): Much like Nakamura did in his win over Balor, the champion utilized the ringside barriers to rough up the challenger. The bout started slow but picked up late once Nakamura hit Balor — seated on the second rope — with a sliding powerbomb. Balor bounced back with a double stomp and dropkicked Nakamura into the corner. However, when Balor went for the Coup de Grace, Nakamura dodged out of the way and drilled Balor with a Kinshasa to the back of the head and then another to the front of his face.
This marks consecutive losses for Balor to Nakamura and what feels like a rushed title change considering this match was not even booked until a couple hours before Extreme Rules and suddenly wound up on the kickoff show. (It could’ve been on the main SummerSlam card!) Perhaps we will get a rematch if WWE decides to go the way of the Balor-Lashley feud by taking the title off the popular Balor only for him to win it back at one of the company’s biggest shows of the year (as the Demon even). This was not as special as it could have been due to booking and card placement. Nakamura is the third man to hold the WWE and NJPW intercontinental titles (MVP, Chris Jericho). Grade: C+
Cruiserweight Championship — Drew Gulak (c) def. Tony Nese via pinfall to retain the title (Kickoff Show): Nese did not execute it well, but he did hit an interesting moonsault onto Gulak, who was hanging between the middle ropes on the ring apron. The challenger followed with an extremely impressive 450 — driving his knees into Gulak’s chest for a two count. Once he recovered, Gulak hit Nese with a powerbomb and a Cyclone Crash for the 1-2-3. It would not have been fair to expect much out of Gulak after his war with Matt Riddle on Saturday night, but this did not live up to the quality of prior cruiserweight showcase matches. Grade: C
Roman Reigns & The Undertaker def. Shane McMahon & Drew McIntyre via pinfall (No Holds Barred): The crowd erupted for Taker every time they had a chance, particularly when he hit Old School early. A staredown with McIntyre moments later provided a potential SummerSlam preview. Taker later got his move set in against McMahon and prepared to powerbomb him into an announce table … until Elias appeared out of nowhere and drilled Taker in the back with his guitar. McIntyre hit Reigns with a Claymore outside the ring and followed with another to The Undertaker, who was distracted as he choked Elias. Taker was then placed onto the table and driven through it by McMahon, who hit his patented elbow drop from the top turnbuckle. McIntyre and Elias dragged Taker back into the ring, propping him up in the far corner with a trash can in front of his so McMahon could hit Coast-to-Coast. Reigns woke up and hit Elias with a Superman punch only to be taken out by McIntyre. Taker was dragged into the middle of the ring but immediately sat up and hit chokeslams on McMahon and Elias. With Taker’s back turned, McIntyre prepared for a Claymore, but Reigns intercepted him with a spear. Reigns then threw a wounded McMahon into Taker for a Tombstone Piledriver and the victory.
Taker stared Reigns down after the match, the two nodded at each other, and Taker slapped him on the chest as a sign of respect and approval. Taker held his head high and was given a featured spot in the center of the ring to receive adulation ffrom the fans. “We don’t know how many more times we are going to be able to enjoy what we witnessed tonight,” Michael Cole said. Predicable booking can be good booking, and Reigns saving the day was certainly predictable (as was the table spot with Taker considering the noticeable additional padding). Still, the crowd was hot for the entire match, the action was constant and Taker looked the best he has in years. Great start to the main show. Grade: B
Raw Tag Team Championship — The Revival (c) def. The Usos via pinfall to retain the titles: These teams got going at a breakneck pace, but the match slowed down considerably with The Revival on offense looking to wear down Jey Uso. A hot tag to Jimmy Usos livened the pace up again, but Dash Wilder countered his flurry with a sit-down powerbomb for a 2.5 count. A corkscrew off the top rope and assisted Samoan drop got a similar count for the Usos, but a brainbuster from Scott Dawson followed by a superplex splash combination from the Revival would have resulted in the fall if Jey had not broken it up with a splash of his own. Dawson grabbed Jey’s leg as the Usos attempted a double dive outside the ring, distracting Jimmy and giving Revival an opportunity to hit him with Shatter Machine for the win. Classic, quality tag team wrestling that suffered from a crowd reaction standpoint due to it following the Undertaker. Grade: B
Aleister Black vs. Cesaro: Attempting Black Mass at the opening bell, Black instead was dealt a blow by Cesaro, who mocked his competitor’s sit-down pose. That angered Black, who immediately tossed Cesaro outside the ring, hit him with a moonsault and sat down himself. Black drilled Cesaro with a meteora early, but when attempting it a second time latter, Cesaro caught him and hit him with an elevated European uppercut for a near-three count that was only avoided because Black grabbed the bottom rope. A leaping Cesaro was caught with a knee strike to the chin, giving Black an opening to concentrate on Cesaro’s injured left knee with kicks and a knee bar. The men then traded uppercuts in a tangle that Cesaro won, but after Black avoided a Gotch Neutralizer, he caught Cesaro with Black Mass for the sudden 1-2-3. Pitch-perfect PPV singles debut for Black, and Cesaro proved to be the right opponent to help him shine. Grade: B+
Backstage gift exchange: With R-Truth and Carmella searchign for Drake Maverick, Bliss was shown giving Cross one of her T-shirts as a gift. The Street Profits were shown in the background mocking being touched by the moment and then asked the ladies “where the party at?” after Bliss becomes champion. Bliss corrected them that she and Cross would be co-champions, which led to the Profits to laugh hysterically at the notion. Cross yelled at them before they hit the ring.
SmackDown Women’s Championship — Bayley (c) def. Nikki Cross (via pinfall) and Alexa Bliss to retain her title (2-on-1 Handicap): Stuck between the ring apron and the ring, Bayley fought back against Cross, who dominated the start of the match. Bliss ran in with a baseball slide to drill Bayley in the back before demanding a tag from Cross. After Bliss hit Bayley with the handspring double knees, Bayley turned aggressive; she dove through the ropes to take out Cross and then snapped Bliss on the same rope. Cross tagged herself in, but Bayley locked her in Jaime Noble’s old Trailer Hitch (a “deathlock” submission) move before dodging a flying Bliss, who attempted to interfere. Bayley locked Bliss in the crossfafce simultaneously in a cool spot, but Bliss bit Bayley’s hand to escape. Bliss interfered again to break up the submission on Cross and kept jumping into the ring, giving Cross an opening to hit a tornado DDT for a 2.5 count. Bliss got tagged in, but Bayley blocked Twisted Bliss with her knees; Cross tagged in and Bayley drilled her with a knee before hitting an elbow drop for the underdog win.
This match was better than the crowd gave it credit for being, especially the ending, though Bayley does need to go back to the Bayley-to-Belly (Kairi Sane does the elbow drop so much better) and probably should have won with the double submission. That said, there was no return by Sasha Banks, nor was there a turn between Bliss and Cross … so it kind of felt flat as if fans were waiting for something to happen. Grade: C+
Braun Strowman def. Bobby Lashley by 10 count (Last Man Standing): Lashley attacked Strowman before the match began and got the first long count after the bell following a spear at ringside. The two brawled into the crowd, up the stars into the merchandise area before coming back down the stairs into the arena. Lashley picked Strowman up and drove him through the barrier into the ringside area (opposite way it normally goes). Lashley then shoved Strowman into the announcer’s table, which fell over due to his size; Strowman got back at him by catching Lashley flying over the barricade and using his momentum to throw Lashley into the international announcers area. The two eventually climbed stairs again and wound up on a seating platform. Strowman kicked open a small gate and lifted Lashley for a powerslam into darkness (a padded box placed at an entryway into the arena floor. Fans chanted “E-C-W” as Strowman punched through the box and Lashley was counted down. Great, physical match between these two with an ending that suffered some for the TV viewer because the massive padding was so visible. Definitely delivered a nice follow-up from the Raw shocker a few weeks ago, though one wonders if putting Lashley over would have been a better idea. Grade: B
SmackDown Tag Team Championship — Daniel Bryan & Rowan (c) vs. The New Day vs. Heavy Machinery: Live now.