Extreme Rules last night became the second WWE PPV to be broadcast over the WWE Network (and from what I understand it was not carried by many satellite and cable providers in protest) so I watched most of it even though I haven’t been paying attention to a lot of wrestling lately (again I mostly like the idea of an independent network being used to distribute premium content).
I have to say, for a PPV named Extreme Rules it was actually pretty tame. I remember the barbed wire and inferno matches of the attitude era, and it makes me wonder why they’ve retained an Extreme Rules concept in today’s PG WWE. There’s no blood, and ultra violence of the past. The most extreme moments of the night came courtesy of the SHIELD member who jumped from above one of the entrances to take out the Evolution, and the flaming table in the Kane vs. Daniel Bryan match. The main event match between Kane and Bryan took the action backstage and introduced a variety of weapons and even a forklift, but in the past this sequence of events would have featured an abundance of blood and gore. Without this it all felt tame, and quite boring.
Even the flaming table was too tame. Moments before it even happened a crew member rushed into position with a fire extinguisher, and with gas cans in view under the ring you already knew what was about to happen. It would’ve worked better as a complete surprise, not a safety first, get everything right, PG rated stunt.
Kane’s flaming table stunt failed to compare to the flaming tables of years past.
That said, the WWE Network again worked without issue, and I watched using the new Xbox One app. The quality was great and the service worked as advertised. I might not have been impressed with the PPV, but I am still impressed by the WWE Network and I applaud their new business model that isn’t controlled by overpriced cable companies who charge $60 for a few hours of content.