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Surprises at WWE Extreme Rules: The Road to SummerSlam just got interesting

wweRemember when we all thought SummerSlam was going to be another serving of Brock Lesnar-Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal title?

That clearly ain’t happening now, after Reigns lost by a clean pinfall to Bobby Lashley at Sunday’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view.

So, does that mean it’s now going to be Lesnar-Lashley, in a matchup of crossover MMA-wrestling stars, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn next month?

That seems to make the most sense after what we saw last night, though it doesn’t make sense if you’re assuming that the plan is to take the belt off Lesnar as he makes the transition back to the Octagon for a January match against UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.

I mean, no way WWE sends Lesnar back to UFC with a loss to a guy from Bellator?

Nice swerve there, and great booking.

In other news

  • A.J. Styles got another PPV win, with a clean fall over Rusev. There had been pretty intense speculation before the match that the result would put Rusev over, in a Jinder Mahal-like swerve. A.J. should be safe for a while as the cover boy of WWE 2K19.
  • You have to wonder if Shinsuke Nakamura is still nicked up from the dog bite from a few weeks ago. That would be the best way to explain the roughly 20-second U.S. title win over Jeff Hardy. We know today that the attack on Kane before the tag-title match between Team Hell No and Bludgeon Brothers was a storyline way to explain away a legit ankle injury for the Big Red Machine. No word on how long Kane will be out.
  • Ronda Rousey got involved in the Alexa Bliss-Nia Jax match, and, breaking news, after beating down the heels (Bliss and Mickie James), she didn’t ruin the moment with an awkward smile. Her glare could use some work, for what that’s worth.
  • Hulk Hogan is back in the WWE Hall of Fame. Meh. It’s hard to imagine how the Hulkster can be used on TV to advance anything. That moment seems to have long since passed.
  • Dolph Ziggler-Seth Rollins main-evented the show. Good for them. The booking on that match was horrible. Way too many falls in 30 minutes. These guys have gone a lot longer without a fall, and suddenly there are falls every couple of minutes? But still, like the idea of having them finish off the show. Bad booking, but good idea, and good reward for two guys who can work.

Review by Chris Graham