WWE did not wait long for a title to change hands at Extreme Rules, having a big switch take place during the PPV's kickoff show.
Which matches are relegated to WWE's kickoff shows has been a hotly debated topic for quite a while now. Ever since The New Day and The Usos were continually doing battle on PPV preshows despite tearing the house down every single time. At Extreme Rules this weekend, with 12 matches scheduled, some were going to have to fill the kickoff show.
Under almost any circumstances, Finn Balor versus Shinsuke Nakamura is a main event anywhere in the world. The fact that it was the first match on a PPV's kickoff show is all the evidence you should need that WWE isn't using many of its Superstars to the best of their abilities. Two of the most talented wrestlers of the past decade battling it out in an arena that was still filling up at the time.
Superstars can approach kickoff show matches in one of two ways. By not even trying and having a bad attitude, or stealing the show and proving why they deserve better. Balor and Nakamura will hopefully always strive to do the latter, especially when the Intercontinental Title is on the line.
Since Nakamura beat Balor on SmackDown this week, and due to it being a kickoff show match, we weren't expecting a title change in this one. That's why we were incredibly surprised when Nakamura connected with a Kinsasha, and even more so when he covered Balor for a three count. After an extended period of time in obscurity, The King Of Strong Style is now Intercontinental Champion. His first championship on WWE's main roster.
There are rumors that after Extreme Rules, which continues to roll on as we type, WWE will start again with a clean slate. The first real chance for Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman to really start influencing the shows. Nakamura's title win is the first proof of the evening that those rumors are true. Here's hoping his victory is the beginning of him and his new title getting much more screen time.