Kicking off this high-stakes Gauntlet Match to determine the challenger for WWE Champion AJ Styles at WWE Extreme Rules were Daniel Bryan and Big E. The two combated at a rapid pace, and Bryan advanced after withstanding Big E’s explosive powerhouse attack and caught him with the Running Knee for the three-count.
There would be no rest for The “Yes!” Man, however, as out next was Samoa Joe. The two fought ferociously, with Joe looking to prey on the worse-for-wear Bryan. When the action spilled to the outside, Joe locked Bryan in the Coquina Clutch trying to put Daniel to sleep as the referee began to count to 10. However, Bryan slid out of the hold and used his momentum to make Joe stumble prior to getting back into the ring right as the referee was nearing the 10-count. Joe was shocked, but Bryan’s craftiness was enough gain the victory over The Samoan Submission Machine.
However, before the next Superstar could arrive, The Bludgeon Brothers reemerged and savagely attacked Bryan, laying him out with a vicious assault. This left Bryan ripe for the picking against the next Superstar to enter the contest, who, as fate would have it, was Bryan’s longtime rival The Miz. Simply being able to just pick the bones of Bryan at this point, Miz made quick work of Daniel, finishing him off instantly with the Skull-Crushing Finale.
With Miz having taken out the wounded Bryan, all that was left between him and a WWE Championship Match was Rusev. Both Superstars were surely feeling lingering effects from the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match two days prior, but both were also going to give it all they had, as they were now only one step away from a WWE Championship opportunity at WWE Extreme Rules.
Rusev and Miz jockeyed for position, but after several close calls, Miz attempted to follow his “It” Kicks with another Daniel Bryan impersonation by going for Bryan’s signature Running Knee. However, The Super Athlete countered with a kick that knocked The A-Lister straight down. From there, Rusev applied the Accolade to get the tapout victory and earn the right to challenge The Phenomenal One at WWE Extreme Rules for the WWE Title.
After Rusev’s monumental win, Styles arrived, laid his WWE Title down as to suggest it was a line in the sand and then shook The Bulgarian Brute’s hand. However, when Rusev’s trusty songbird sidekick also tried to put ‘er there with Styles before pulling his hand away, AJ gave him a swift punch to the jaw for his troubles.
Styles and Rusev seemed to respect one another, but what will happen next as WWE Extreme Rules approaches?