WWE Extreme Rules Results: 7-15-18
(5) BRAUN STROWMAN vs. KEVIN OWENS – Cage Match
Owens tried to flee by climbing the cage wall right away. Braun yanked him down. He tried a second time, but Braun yanked him down again. Braun yelled, “You say Fight Owens Fight? Don’t be a coward. Fight me!” Braun charged at Owens, but Owens moved and Braun hit the cage. Owens superkicked him quickly and then landed a cannonball in the corner. Owens quickly ran up to the top rope and splashed him for a near fall. A pin in a cage? Owens then crawled toward the door to escape, but Braun leaped at Owens and yanked him back in by his boot. Owens stood and begged for mercy. He tried a cheap shot. Braun blocked it and bashed Owens in the chest with a forearm. Then he threw Owens into the wall of the cage three times in a row. Fans kept chanting “One more time!” It shifted to “Get these hands!” Graves said Owens’ only strategy is to poke Braun in his eyes. Owens surprised Braun with a stunner out of nowhere. Owens crawled to the opening, but Braun yanked the door onto his face to stop him. Owens side-stepped a charging Braun who went face-first into the cage post. Owens handcuffed Braun to the cage. Cole lauded Owens taking advantage of the lack of rules. Owens punched away at Braun and yelled, “That’s what you get! What are you going to do now, huh?” Braun then one-handed choke slammed him hard. Strowman tried to break free. Owens shouted “Suck it!” and crotch chopped toward him. Then he climbed toward the opposite cage wall. Braun broke free with a yell and a yank. Braun met Owens on top with a beet-red face full of rage. He stood on the top of the cage and choke slammed Owens off the top of the cage as Cole yelled, “Oh my God, don’t do it, Braun!” Owens fell hard onto an announce table at ringside. Fans chanted “Holy sh–!” afterward. Braun, meanwhile, stood with his arms raised high on the top of the cage in quite a visual, trusting his balance. Owens was breathing as referees checked on him flat on his back. EMTs arrived with a gurney. Owens was wheeled out. They replayed the fall from several angles.
WINNER: Owens in 8:00. (**1/4)
There was a time where a bump like that would have been the talk of the wrestling world for weeks. There did appear on one replay angle to be some inflated padding or airbag of some sort under the tabletop that helped absorb the initial impact. It’s great if WWE is figuring out how to make that dangerous spot safer for the wrestlers who taking the bump, if that’s the case.
(6) THE BLUDGEON BROTHERS vs. DANIEL BRYAN – WWE Smackdown Tag Team Title match
Kane was too hurt to come out with Bryan. Bryan decided to fight anyway, without a partner being re-assigned. (This seems like a set-up to see if fans will chant “Hogan! Hogan! Hogan!” which would also explain why they announced Hogan’s return to the WWE Hall of Fame earlier.) The crowd very enthusiastically chanted for Bryan at the start. Bryan put up an early fight, but was soon overwhelmed by both Bludgeons. Phillips asked at what point Bryan thinks of his career and his family. Graves said he should have thought of that before he came out with Kane, and now his family life and future are probably lost. “Stevie Wonder saw this coming,” said Graves. Bryan eventually made a comeback and dove through the ropes at Erick Rowan, but Rowan caught him. Luke Harper dove through the ropes to try to hit Bryan, but Bryan moved, so Rowan took the impact. Then Kane limped out to the ring with his left foot in a protective boot. Bryan crawled over and tagged in Kane a minute later. The crowd cheered, but didn’t explode. He punched away at Harper and then choke slammed Rowan. Harper kicked Kane’s bad leg, so Kane tagged Bryan back in. Bryan hit a top rope dropkick, kipped up, and then showed fire. The crowd was with him and loudly chanted “Yes!” He Yes kicked Harper over and over as the crowd chanted along. Rowan tagged himself in, but Bryan didn’t see it. Bryan charged with a running knee, m but Rowan entered and cut him off, then spin kicked him. He tagged in Harper who clotheslines Bryan off of Rowan’s shoulders and scored the pin. That deflated the crowd.
WINNERS: The Bludgeon Brothers in 9:00 to retain the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Titles.
If Kane was injured coming into the match, this was a logical and suitable escape hatch from doing a full-fledged two-on-two. Bryan was protected in the the put up a big fight before losing with the odds stacked against him. Kane got to be heroic even in losing.