The main event of AJ Styles vs. Roman Reigns at Extreme Rules on Sunday night was as great as you would expect, even if there was a bit too much interference involved. The Club and the Usos got involved liberally, and the Usos even dragged AJ off of a pin at one point, which was a surprisingly aggressive move for a generally face team. Reigns got up after a Styles Clash, a Styles Clash onto a chair, and about 20 chair shots, to deliver a single spear and win the match. I like Roman Reigns, but if they wanted to differentiate Reigns from John Cena, this ending was a lousy job of it.
But I digress, this is about Seth Rollins. Yes, the man himself, The Architect, made his return to WWE at the end of the night. It's worth noting that this is just seven months after he tore his ACL, which is an incredible recovery when you consider that sometimes an injury like his takes up to a year to heal. Rollins came down after the match, with a new shirt and a new hairstyle, and delivered a Pedigree to Reigns. He then held up the belt to the cheers of the crowd, as the announcers reminded us that Rollins never actually lost the belt last year.
There is potentially big money to be made here for WWE, probably more than the planned Rollins/Reigns feud from last year. Rollins' return makes him instantly a babyface. He got a titanic ovation on Sunday night, and probably will Monday in Baltimore. He's made to be a babyface, and almost certainly will ride that wave. The only thing that makes it still a question is that he used a Pedigree, which is an odd move for a babyface to use. Meanwhile, Reigns is acting more and more like a heel as the weeks progress. He's not a full-blown heel, but he's definitely a tweener that leans toward a heel at this point. To have that dynamic working here is important, and it's a dynamic that can carry the company through the summer.
Rollins is back, and he gets to enter a very exciting period for WWE, coming off of a strong pay-per-view. We'll see what he can bring now.
The rest of Extreme Rules:
-Charlotte beat Natalya after some chicanery. As Natalya took advantage, Ric Flair's music hit. But, since Ric couldn't come down to ringside, an imposter came down with his robe, who was revealed to be Dana Brooke. She got on the apron, and grabbed Natalya, and that was enough for Charlotte to recover and get the win.
-Dean Ambrose beat Jericho in the first ever “Asylum” match. If there were doubts about what it was, it was simply a cage match, where you weren't allowed to escape, where weapons were hanging down. It was a bit of a dud of a match, up until Ambrose pulled out a surprise weapon: a bag of thumbtacks. Jericho actually ended up going into the thumbtacks, and didn't take it particularly well, allowing the small objects to run up and down his arms. It was surprising to see thumbtacks in the WWE in this era, but just showed what they needed to do to make the match come together.
-Miz, Cesaro, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn put on what had to have been the Match of the Year to this point in WWE. All four meshed together perfectly to put on a fantastic story. False finishes without making them ridiculous, high-impact moves perfectly told motivations. The match had everything. Miz winning almost seemed inconsequential at the end. Kudos to all four of these guys for a fantastic match, and hopefully we get more of it in the future.
-The New Day retained their titles against The Vaudevillains. In a bit of a surprise twist, Xavier Woods wrestled instead of Kofi. In a bigger twist, he actually kicked out of The Vaudevillains finisher, the Whirling Dervish. He then picked up the pin.
-Rusev finally got back to his true monster ways, and dominated Kalisto en route to winning the U.S. title. Hopefully this is the beginning of a true push for Rusev, and not just putting the title on him because they need it on a heel for a quick transition to another face.
-The Goodbrothers (Anderson and Gallows) beat The Usos in a Texas Tornado match. For some reason, the Texas Tornado match also turned into No DQ, but WWE never really keeps track of stipulations, so it is what it is.
-In the preshow match, Baron Corbin beat Dolph Ziggler after having to resort to a low blow, in a No DQ match.
Thoughts? Questions? Leave them in the comment section, email me or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster. You can also find my podcast, Jobbing Out, at https://soundcloud.com/jobbingout