WWE Extreme Rules is done and dusted, Bray Wyatt is back, and fans enjoyed a right old night of it in Philadelphia.
Wyatt’s much-teased return to the fold finally came off at the finish of the Premium Live Event – taking the roof with it.
An eventful night also featured a title change as Ronda Rousey defeated Liv Morgan for the Smackdown Women’s championship, while Bianca Belair retained her gold at the expense of Bayley.
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The Brawling Brutes got the better of Imperium in a Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook Match, and the deadly Judgement Day got one over on Edge in the most sinister of manners.
Drew McIntyre had a fairy miserable night and was downed by Karrion Kross, while Matt Riddle stood tall over Seth Rollins after their Fight Pit match.
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Here Daily Star takes a look at five key takeaways from a busy night of action as focus now switches to the new ‘seasons’ of Raw and Smackdown, continuing with Monday’s episode of Raw.
Calm and caution needed after Wyatt’s return
It’s understandable that Bray Wyatt is the talk of social media today after his stunning return at Extreme Rules.
Wyatt has been gone from WWE for more than a year and has been missed by fans who valued his creativity, even if they didn’t necessarily always appreciate his end product – The Fiend for instance will always be a solid idea that never quite connected the way that was intended.
It is important to tread carefully from here, not just for Bray but for the talent he’ll be working with. After all, several WWE stars suffered a misstep in their career trajectory after being involved in storylines with Wyatt, and it’s hard to imagine his creative work will be any less unconventional this time around.
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Everything we know about the man himself says Wyatt needs freedom, appreciation and support behind the scenes, but also has to be managed carefully, too.
Triple H told BT Sport’s Ariel Helwani last month that Wyatt was “one of the most crazy, creative people I’ve ever been around.”
WWE’s Head of Creative added: “His mind never stops thinking of creative, but it’s like being in a whirlwind of stuff. Without the harness and someone to point the tornado, it’s just all over the place.
“He’s a victim of his own mind… but I loved working with him. He’s a wonderfully free-flowing creative mind.”
Wyatt deserves a high-profile platform on which to work, and if anyone can give him the right amount of space and time, it’s Triple H – but ensuring we get the best version of Wyatt without jeopardising the legitimacy of other top acts in the company might not be as straightforward.
It should be fascinating.
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WWE sees the future in Bianca Belair
This isn’t the first time we’ve waxed lyrical about the EST and the future she almost certainly seems to have in the world of professional wrestling.
She’s already headlined WrestleMania with Sasha Banks and also overcame Becky Lynch at this year’s SummerSlam, so Belair’s stock was already high going into Extreme Rules.
But after Bayley ended her run of matches without being pinned at Clash at the Castle in Cardiff, it seemed a safe bet WWE were building towards The Role Model netting the gold on Saturday night.
As it is, Belair retained – and then some. In one of the matches of the night, the EST saw off Dakota Kai and IO Sky before eventually nailing Bayley with a KOD onto a broken ladder to keep her reign intact.
It was a decisive win that, without necessarily hurting Bayley, underlined Belair’s importance to WWE and the obvious value they see in her as a performer and star.
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Drew McIntyre needs a boost
WWE did such a brilliant job of promoting Drew McIntyre and building him up prior to his Clash at the Castle match against Roman Reigns in October that fans genuinely believed he was about to end Reigns’ historic title run in the dying seconds of that bout.
Fast forward a month, and it’s fair to say that stock has fallen slightly through no fault of the Scot’s.
There’s no doubt Karrion Kross is quite the talent and is someone Triple H rates very highly, yet something in this feud between the two big men just isn’t clicking.
The fireball mishap on Smackdown recently did no favours to anyone involved, and the finish of their clash at Extreme Rules felt equally as flat – McIntyre downed after being pepper sprayed by Scarlett.
There will be better and brighter days for Drew on the way, that’s the life and cycle of being a WWE Superstar. Fingers crossed they aren’t too far away.
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The Judgement Day have arrived
Finn Balor has been doing an outstanding job of playing the bad buy in WWE after years as a babyface. He told Daily Star recently it’s a role he much prefers, and this comes across explicitly on screen.
The Judgement Day were bad enough – that is to say evil enough – before Extreme Rules, having orchestrated the turn of Dominik Mysterio on his father, Rey. However, there was something about the finish of the I Quit match between Balor and Edge that just pushed things forward a notch and really turned up the heat.
If the faction had been earning their stripes as a heel faction over the last couple of months, they very much graduated with honours after threatening to blast Beth Phoenix with a Con-Chair-To if husband Edge didn’t quite – then following through on the threat anyway once he had.
It was chilling, unnerving stuff, and we’re here for it.
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Give Seth some gold
While wrestling might be a form of entertainment rather than a legitimate combat sport, winning and losing still matters. Champions get the kudos, the exposure, the money, and those being pushed to win matches on television soak in the adulation or fury of fans depending on their character.
Seth Rollins is so, so good, that he appears to be the exception to the rule. With the exception of Clash at the Castle in Cardiff, Seth never seems to win on Premium Live Events anymore, yet somehow his star power never seems to wane.
That speaks tremendously to his ability and stature – he’s an incredible performer and one of WWE’s top stars. Nonetheless, we think it’s time Seth started to get a few more Ws.
He was beaten in a Fight Pit Match against Matt Riddle on Saturday to resume what’s become normal service, but hints have been dropped recently that he might now be setting his sights on US Champion Bobby Lashley.
Lashley is himself enjoying a great run with that gold, but maybe it’s time for The Visionary to add another title to his glittering CV.
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