The Hardys and Finn Bálor vs. Elias Samson, Cesaro and Sheamus
The Hardys come out and wait as Finn Balor makes his entrance. They hit the ring together as their opponents look on.
Matt and Sheamus start things off and they lock up. Sheamus with a European uppercut and head butts. Sheamus with a European uppercut and Matt with a kick and punch. Jeff tags in and they Irish whip Sheamus into the turnbuckles and Jeff with Poetry in Motion. Matt and Jeff with a double suplex to Cesaro and Balor goes after Samson as we go to commercial.
We are back and Cesaro tags in. Matt tags in and then Balor tags in and punches and kicks Cesaro. Balor with a snap mare and boots to the midsection. Balor with more boots to Cesaro. Cesaro with a sunset flip but Balor rolls through and drop kicks Cesaro for a near fall. Cesaro puts Balor on the apron and Sheamus tags in and connects with forearms across the chest. Samson kicks Balor in the ribs when Sheamus distracts the referee. Cesaro tags in and they kick Balor.
Samson tags in and kicks Balor in the midsection. Balor sends Samson into the corner and punches him but Sheamus tags in and hits a forearm to the kidneys and follows with a tilt-a-whirl power slam. Sheamus gets Balor on his shoulder for a back breaker. Jeff tags in and punches Sheamus and follows with a running forearm and reverse atomic drop and leg drop to the midsection. Jeff gets a near fall. Jeff with a kick and Sheamus avoids a Twist of Fate. Sheamus goes into the ring post shoulder first and Jeff goes up top but Cesaro pulls Sheamus to the floor.
Jeff with a cross body onto Cesaro on the floor. Jeff punches Samson on the apron but Samson holds the leg and Sheamus with a jumping knee to Jeff and he gets a near fall when Jeff gets his foot on the ropes.
We go to commercial.
We are back and Samson with a clothesline to Jeff and he kicks Jeff. Sheamus with a uranage back breaker for a near fall. Cesaro tags in and Cesaro wit a double sledge off the turnbuckles for a near fall. Cesaro with a front face lock. Cesaro with a boot to Balor but Jeff with a back body drop. Sheamus tags in and Jeff hits a Twist of Fate. Samson and Matt tag in and Matt with forearms and then he sends Samson into all three turnbuckles. Matt with a running clothesline followed by a bulldog and Side Effect for a near fall when Sheamus breaks up the cover. Cesaro sends Matt into the ring post and Sheamus tags in. Cesaro tags in and they hit the spike White Noise but Balor breaks up the cover.
Matt with a jaw breaker and Balor tags in and hits a forearm and clothesline on Cesaro. He knocks Sheamus and Samson off the apron. Balor with a running kick to Samson from the apron followed by an enzuigiri to Cesaro and he avoids a Brogue Kick. Sheamus is sent to the floor and Balor with a plancha onto Sheamus and Cesaro. Balor with Slingblade to Cesaro and then he hits a running drop kick. Balor goes up top for Coup De Grace and Matt with a Twist of Fate to stop Sheamus and Jeff with a cannonball to Samson off the apron.
Balor with Coup de Grace for the three count.
Winners: Finn Bálor, Matt Hardy, and Jeff Hardy
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Bray Wyatt vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe
Once the referee called for the bell, the action broke out into familiar pairings like Rollins vs. Joe, and the return of the heel alliance between the Destroyer and the Eater of Worlds. The latter pairing took us through a lengthy section of the match when Joe and Bray took out each of the other three competitors with a set of steel steps and the isolated Finn in the ring.
Some evasive maneuvers from Bálor happened just as Roman was rousing, and the Big Dog looked to clear his yard. The team-up managed to survive Reigns’ offensive, but when Rollins re-entered the fray, Wyatt threw Joe in front of a dive from the Kingslayer, and it was back to every man for himself.
Which made for some crazy action.
Roman speared Finn & Joe through the barricade while the Samoan had the Irishman locked in a Coquina Clutch. That was the opening for Rollins to fly, as he launched a Frog Splash from the top rope that landed on Wyatt and flattened an announce table.
A one-on-one battle between the former Shield-brothers followed, and there were nearfalls a plenty. The other competitors weren’t done, and Wyatt’s finish was teased amidst the chaos.
Finn managed to hit his finisher on Reigns, much to the delight of much of the crowd. But before the referee could count three, Joe slid back in and locked in his submission. There was no one to save Bálor, and while he didn’t tap out, he did pass out.
Winner: Samoa Joe
Back from commercial and Samoa Joe is watching Finn Balor’s entrance on a monitor when an interview rolls up. He says preparation is simple, you make things more predictable. While everybody’s watching Finn’s WWE 24 special and feeling feelings, he’s doing analysis and learning how to hurt him.
There’s the devil you know and the devil you don’t and Joe knows Finn very well. As for Bray Wyatt, he’s a very, very different man–
Finn Balor makes his entrance, and the match is up next after the break.
Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe
Three-way stand off, Wyatt sits down in the corner and bails, leaving Finn to attack Joe, throwing forearms. Samoa returns jabs and knees, chops in the corner, whip across, Balor to the apron, a kick, and Bray applauds. Finn throws Joe outside, he returns Wyatt to the ring and Balor gets in it with forearms and kicks.
Bray with clubbing blows, knocking Finn down momentarily. Rolling solebutt, forearm scrapes in the corner, but Balor charges into a boot. Gamengiri connects, pin, Joe breaks it up and fires a headbutt off. Knee lifts, Finn is hurting and Samoa throws him outside before moving on to Wyatt. Drawing the Eater of Worlds up by his beard but Balor comes from behind with strikes.
Bray back up, he throws Finn outside and targets Joe but Balor is right back in and throwing hands. Kicks back the Eater of Worlds into the corner and lays Joe out with a kick. Forearm from Wyatt, off the ropes, that huge turning crossbody block and a right hand to keep him down. Slicing right backs Balor up in the corner, he sets him up top but Finn has punches to back him away.
Samoa comes in, catching Balor, climbing to meet him, thinking superplex, Bray gets under, Tower of Doom! Wyatt fired up, hanging from the turnbuckles, Sister Abigail clutched but Joe comes in with the Coquina Clutch! Finn breaks it up with a boot, stomping a mudhole in Samoa!
A boot for Bray, off the ropes for a tope con giro and we go to break.
Finn Balor makes his entrance and gets on the mic. He greets Grand Rapids and says Balor Club is in the building. They have their hands full, because at Extreme Rules, they have a fieful– whoops, fatal five-way match where the winner faces Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship.
Tonight Karl Anderson stands in his path, but don’t worry, because he’s focused, he’s r–
Enter Paul Heyman. He does his usual intro schtick and says one could make the argument that he’s out here tonight to scout potential victims for his client. Surely you heard Bray Wyatt paint a portrait of a WWE Universe without a Beast, well, he hates to vandalize his masterpiece, but if Bray steps in the ring with his client, Lesnar will paint him as a victim.
Then there’s Seth freakin’ Rollins, he wants to compete in a fatal freakin’ five-way at Extreme freakin’ Rules, Brock freakin’ Lesnar will make him a freakin’ victim. Plus Rollins is the focus of Samoa Joe, hired mercenary, badass assassin, but against Brock Lesnar, he’s a victim too.
Then we have the one that laid the Deadman down, Roman Reigns. The odds-on favorite. If Roman wins the five-way and challenges Brock, he will no longer be the end-all, be-all in WWE, he’ll just be Brock Lesnar’s victim. Which leads Paul to Mr. Balor. He asks if he can get in the ring and Finn invites him.
Heyman reminds him he’s just an advocate and respectfully submits that Balor is nobody’s victim. He knows that the other contenders in the five-way have painted him as the underdog, but Finn is no underdog. They may not see him coming, but Paul E sees him coming, the Balor Club sees him coming. What was that prophecy he said? If you believe it you can achieve it?
Paul believes in his heart that Finn is the most talented in-ring performer in WWE today, and perhaps more importantly, he believes that Balor believes that he’s gonna take the other contenders to the extreme, and he knows a little something about the word extreme. And furthermore he believes that Finn believes that he doesn’t look at Brock like a mountain of a man with all these accomplishments, he believes that his client is the same as the other men in the five-way.
That if he steps into the ring with his client, he, just like the others, will be Finn Balor’s victim. So he’s most looking forward to the possibility of Balor/Lesnar for the Universal Championship. On behalf of his client, he wishes Finn luck and shakes his hand.
Finn says he’s glad Paul is here. He wishes Brock was, but he isn’t, surprise surprise. But hey, being Brock’s advocate, maybe he can pass a message, and tell him that at Extreme Rules, he will win the five-way and go on to face Brock Lesnar for the title that he never lost, and you tell him that Finn said Finn Balor will beat Brock Lesnar.
The show opens with a recap centered around Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns again. closing on the brawl from last week. And thence into Raw’s intro video.
Commentary hypes up our Intercontinental Championship match and then Kurt Angle makes his entrance to really kick the show off.
He tells us that Braun suffered a shattered elbow last week and flew directly back to the United States for surgery on his elbow and may be out of action for six months. Strowman had set his sights on the Universal Championship, so he has given a lot of thought to who should challenge Brock Lesnar next, but it has to be earned, not given.
So at Extreme Rules, they’re doing a five-way #1 contender’s match for the Universal Championship. As for who’s gonna be in the match, it’ll be Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Bray Wyatt, and Roman Reigns. So whoever wants to slay the beast will have to win at Extreme Rules. It’s gonna be historical and it’s gonna be extreme, it’s true, it’s damn true.
He goes to leave but is interrupted by Roman Reigns. He gets in the ring and says we don’t need a five-way match because he’s the number one contender. This is his yard, he beat the Undertaker at WrestleMania, he put Strowman in that ambulance, and he’s the only guy around here that can beat Brock Lesnar.
Enter Finn Balor. He says he’ll tell Roman the same thing he told Seth Rollins– he was the first Universal Champion and he never lost the title, so, uh, if you want a piece of the Beast, the line starts behind him. Reigns tells Finn he has a lot of heart but he doesn’t have the killer instinct to beat Brock. Finn reminds Roman that he beat him on his first night on Raw as a counterpoint.
Enter Samoa Joe. He tells them they have it very wrong, it’s not about big hearts, about anybody’s yard, and definitely not about anybody’s club. It’s about two things, actions and results. Action, he locks the Coquina Clutch on Rollins; result, Seth is unresponsive on the ground and his body goes limp. Action, he enters the five way; result, he wins. Action, he goes on to face Brock Lesnar–