WWE's Extreme Rules pay-per-view ended on Sunday night with Brock Lesnar once again hoisting the WWE Universal Championship over his head after cashing in the Money in the Bank contract on Seth Rollins. This marks the beginning of his third reign as champion, leaving many fans angry over the fact that WWE was going back to having "The Beast" be world champion and infrequently appear on WWE television.
Long-time fans of WWE know that the company will sometimes recycle ideas that previously worked in the past. But as Botchamania's Matthew Gregg (better known as Maffew) pointed out in a graphic on Tuesday, WWE is repeating more than just Lesnar being Universal Champion.
don't know who pointed this out but July 2019 = October 2017
Brock Lesnar as Universal Champ— MaffewBotchamaniaGuy (@Maffewgregg) July 16, 2019
AJ Styles as U.S. Champ
New Day as SD Tag Champs
Kevin Owens & Shane McMahon feuding
Finn Balor & Bray Wyatt going at it with new outfits pic.twitter.com/Zn75RrsITV
Gregg pointed out that as of Tuesday, WWE's current product looks almost identical to how it did back in October 2017. On top of Lesnar being in his record-long 504-day championship reign, AJ Styles was the United States Champion, The New Day were tag team champions, Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon were feuding and Finn Balor was feuding with an alter-ego of Bray Wyatt.
In WWE's defense, there are a few differences this time around. Owens and McMahon have swapped the heel-face roles this time around, Styles is a heel and aligned with The Club this time and Wyatt is using his new persona as "The Fiend" rather than attempting to portray Sister Abigail in a match against "Demon" Balor (which wound up never happening).
But it wasn't just Gregg who noticed.2comments
"This person here pointed out yesterday: I listened to your extreme rules review with Vinny and you asked if you had stepped into a time machine," Figure Four Wrestling's Bryan Alvarez said on a recent podcast. "In October of 2017, this was 2 and a half years ago. Brock Lesnar was the Universal Champion, A.J Styles was the United States Champion, The New Day were the Smackdown Tag Team Champions, Shane McMahon was feuding with Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler was feuding with the Miz. We are exactly where we were 2 and a half years ago after last night's Extreme Rules."
Hopefully WWE can shake things up going forward. So far the company has announced two matches for SummerSlam on Aug. 11 — Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins for the Universal title and Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch vs. Natalya.