It's been a while since we've had a WWE Home Video review on the site but they're back, as we take a look at the latest release Extreme Rules 2016, which is being released on DVD and Blu-Ray today in the UK. With Chris Jericho, Cesaro, AJ Styles, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn all on the main card, how would WWE's "most extreme night of the year" turn out?
The first ever Asylum Match is the main event, as Chris Jericho and Dean Ambrose continue their feud inside a steel cage with various weapons attached to the top, in a mostly dull encounter. The match feels like it goes on forever, and the crowd begin to lose interest after ten minutes of nothingness. Both performers do take nasty bumps and weapon shots, but in the twenty five minute match, there's about five minutes of worthwhile action.
Roman Reigns defends his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against AJ Styles in a brilliant Extreme Rules match. There's a great mixture of styles spread throughout the match with the pair brawling around the arena, creating big spots and then a boat load of false finishes that have the Chicago crowd going nuts. There's plenty of interference from the pairs respective factions, adding to the drama of the match and producing some sweet moments of their own.
In what is arguably the best match of the show, Cesaro, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn challenge for the Intercontinental Championship, in a Fatal Four-Way Match also involving title holder, The Miz. The bout twist and turns, all four men being involved in exciting multi-man spots and plenty of well-timed cut offs and breath-taking near falls. A United States Championship bout between Rusev and Kalisto is less exciting, with the two men never quite connecting in what becomes a fairly disjointed class. Natalya and Charlotte's Submission battle over the Women's Championship features some nice wrestling, but never feels like a grudge match, with the finish being a particular cop out.
Whilst the crowd is reluctant to go with the match, both The Usos and Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows put on strong performances in an enjoyable Tornado tag bout, that does it's job well. A Tag Team Championship match between The New Day's Big E & Xavier Woods and The Vaudevillains is frustratingly brief, but the two tandems manage to squeeze a lot of satisfying action into their short clash.
A No Disqualifcation match between Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler (from Extreme Rules 2016 Kick-Off) is a solid enough match for the Kick-Off show, but nothing worth going out of your way to see.
Charlotte and Natalya's Contract Signing featuring Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon (from Monday Night RAW), features some great work by the Women's Champion on the mic in front of her home state crowd, but gets a bit lost towards the end, shifting focus onto Stephanie and Ric Flair rather than the match. Cesaro teaming with Sami Zayn against Kevin Owens and Intercontinental Champion The Miz (from Thursday Night Smackdown) features some great build for their Four Way bout, showcasing the relationships between character, whilst also having entertaining action in it's own right. World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns' match with Luke Gallows (from Thursday Night Smackdown) is a little pedestrian in the ring, but the action on the outside and after the match, involving The Club and The Bloodline picks things up. Dean Ambrose destroying Chris Jericho's light-up jacket (from Monday Night RAW) is a fun segment, helped by Jericho's reactions and Big Cass putting in a star turn.
ATPW Scale Blu-Ray Rating - 5.93/10
The main feature is two match PPV, but what a two matches they are. The Fatal Four-Way and Reigns v Styles will both be contenders for WWE's match of 2016 and are definitely worth a watch. The majority of the show's undercard is also pretty easy going, with a couple of tag team matches being especially fun bouts. The main problem with the card is the length of the Asylum match, which takes up about 15 minutes more than it needed to, or had content for, but that match also includes the most "extreme" moments of the entire show. There's nothing that's particularly blow away good in the special features, but the tag bout is a good watch if you missed it on Thursday Night Smackdown.
Coming out with an above average rating, that's ever so slightly below being good, this certainly wouldn't be a bad addition to your collection. WWEDVD.co.uk is your cheapest option here at £13.99, but you can also find Extreme Rules 2016 at Amazon, Zavvi, Hive, Base.com and Blackwell.
Special thanks to Fetch Publicity and Freemantle International.