Fans often complain about how few title changes happen at middle-tier pay-per-views. There’s no way they can make that argument after watching WWE Extreme Rules.
If nothing else, Extreme Rules was a pay-per-view where the creative team in WWE were not afraid to crown new champions and shake things up with Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff set to take over Monday and Tuesday nights. In total, four titles changed hands, including the big one, The Universal Championship.
Considering Extreme Rules is not one of WWE’s main pay-per-view events, this development was a bit surprising.
The Extreme Rules Title Changes
During the Extreme Rules Kick-Off show, Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Finn Balor for the Intercontinental Title. It was a decisive win that hints at Nakamura getting another strong look by WWE creative and pushing forward as a legitimate contender.
Of course, not everyone will love the fact Balor lost… unless he joins The Club.
Speaking of The Club, AJ Styles walked away with a belt, beating Richochet for the United States Championship. In addition, Daniel Bryan along with Rowan lost their belts to New Day. Finally, Brock Lesnar cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase to take the Universal Title from Seth Rollins, becoming the three-time Universal Champion.
Why Did WWE Go This Route?
Earlier reports suggested there might be some alterations to the Extreme Rules card to effectively put an end to some of the current storylines. This many title changes suggested there was some of this thinking at play.
At the same time, Seth Rollins losing his title has to suggest a storyline will be started between himself and Lynch, one that includes him likely being upset that he either lost the title worrying about her safety or jealous she still holds a title and he does not.
What Executive Directors Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman will do with their respective brands is anyone’s guess. But, when it comes to the championship scene on the red and blue brand, it appears they have a clean slate. This is what WWE wanted.
Is this wise? Especially when you consider that early reactions from the fanbase are that they aren’t too happy with Brock Lesnar holding another title?