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BALTIMORE — The veteran Hardy Boyz are known as one of the most extreme tag teams in the history of sports-entertainment, but when it comes to brutality, “The Bar” was raised at WWE Extreme Rules, where Cesaro & Sheamus escaped a steel cage with the Raw Tag Team Titles in their grasp.
Seeking to end the “nostalgia” surrounding Matt & Jeff’s triumphant return to WWE at WrestleMania 33, The Alabaster Gladiator and The Swiss Superman took the brothers to their limit at WWE Payback, going so far as to knock one of Jeff’s teeth out of his head (Sheamus was more than happy to take credit for that accidental dentistry). When The Hardys defended the Raw Tag Team Titles that night, the disappointed brawlers snapped, brutalizing the brothers after the bell.
Cesaro & Sheamus would later earn the No. 1 contendership in a Tag Team Turmoil Match last month, but when Matt defeated The Celtic Warrior two weeks later, he earned the right to name the stipulation for the title defense at WWE Extreme Rules. Matt chose a Steel Cage Match, in which the only way to win would be for both partners to escape the unforgiving steel.
Having competed in two of the three prior Tag Team Steel Cage Matches in WWE pay-per-view history, The Hardys went into this contest with a clear advantage. Unfortunately, brute force and the numbers game trumped experience in this case.
After Jeff escaped over the top of the cage, Matt was in a 2-on-1 situation against the barbaric challengers, who nearly drove the disadvantaged champion through the ring with a modified double Razor’s Edge, followed up shortly by a top-rope White Noise.
To help even the odds for his brother, Jeff climbed to the top of the cage and hurled himself onto Cesaro & Sheamus with an awe-inspiring Whisper in the Wind. The high-risk move briefly incapacitated Jeff and officially brought him back into the fray, and as Matt dragged his prone brother through the cage door, Cesaro & Sheamus climbed over the top of the steel structure and narrowly won the race against time.
Now that the title reign launched at WrestleMania has come to a disappointing end, will Matt & Jeff recapture Team Red’s tandem prizes, or will Cesaro & Sheamus continue to raise “The Bar” in Raw’s chaotic Tag Team division?