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WWE 'Extreme Rules': Roman Reigns survives, Sasha Banks returns

Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Universal Champion Roman Reigns was able to survive The Demon Finn Bálor and Sasha Banks made her return in controversial fashion at WWE Extreme Rules.

Reigns defend his title against Bálor in an Extreme Rules match in the main event on Sunday. The bout allows for anything to happen.

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The Demon is Bálor's powered-up form, where he unleashes his dark side and dons red and black paint over his face and body. The Demon was undefeated in WWE and had only lost previously to Samoa Joe in NXT.

Bálor, the inaugural Universal Champion, used a collection of kendo sticks bound together to punish Reigns. The grapplers battled into the live audience at the Nationwide Arena in Ohio with Reigns notably putting on a mask given to him by his special counsel Paul Heyman.

Reigns, who took the mask off after re-entering the ring, later smashed Bálor through a table and followed that up with a Superman Punch. Bálor was able to stop the first Spear attempt from Reigns but the champ later connected with one.

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Bálor kicked out of the Spear and hit Reigns below the belt in the process. The challenger then went to the top rope and connected with the Coup de Grace, however, Reigns' cousins The Usos interfered and dragged Bálor out of the ring.

The SmackDown Tag Team Champions were no match for Bálor but it allowed Reigns to Spear his opponent through the ringside barricade. The Demon seemed down and out until a heartbeat sound played throughout the arena, giving Bálor a second wind as red lights were turned on.

Bálor viciously attacked Reigns with a chair and sent him through a table with a Dropkick. Bálor got back into the ring and got ready for his second Coup de Grace until suddenly the ring post broke. Bálor was sent crashing down to the mat and injured his leg in the process.

Heyman yelled at Reigns to get up with The Tribal Chief connecting with another Spear to win the match and remain Universal Champion. There was no explanation for the ring post breaking.

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Banks made her return as Becky Lynch defended her SmackDown Women's Championship against Bianca Belair.

The Boss was originally supposed to battle Belair for the title at SummerSlam in August, but was unable to compete. This led to the return of Lynch who beat Belair in mere seconds to become the new SmackDown Women's Championship.

The Man tried to win quickly again after offering Belair a handshake, but the EST of WWE was ready this time and got ready to perform the KOD before Lynch escaped.

Belair gave it her all against Lynch and used her superior strength to hold Lynch in the air for a Delayed Vertical Suplex.

Lynch kept applying the Dis-arm-her submission hold with Belair able to break free. Belair had the match won and set Lynch up for the KOD until Banks suddenly arrived and entered the ring to attack Belair.

The assault ended the match in disqualification, allowing Lynch to remain SmackDown Women's Champion. Banks also went after Lynch and took The Man down before leaving.

Also at Extreme Rules, Raw Women's Champion Charlotte Flair defended her title against Alexa Bliss.

Flair gained an advantage over Bliss by attacking her beloved but creepy doll Lilly who was placed on top of a ring post.

The Queen threw Lilly at Bliss, which allowed her to knock Bliss down with a Big Boot to the face. Flair then finished off Bliss and won the match after delivering the Natural Selection.

Flair threw Bliss out of the ring after winning and proceeded to rip Lilly apart. Bliss became enraged and attacked Flair before the champ got the upper hand. Bliss, alone in the ring, then started holding Lilly's remains and mourned the loss of her doll as the crowd chanted "Thank you Lilly."

Other moments from Extreme Rules included Liv Morgan defeating Carmella during the kickoff show; WWE Champion Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods of The New Day defeating Bobby Lashley, AJ Styles and Omos; The Usos successfully defending their SmackDown Tag Team Championships against The Street Profits; and Damian Priest successfully defending his United States Championship against Sheamus and Jeff Hardy.

Big E will be defending his WWE Championship against Lashley Monday on Raw. The first night of the WWE Draft will then take place on SmackDown Friday.

Reigns' next opponent is his old rival Brock Lesnar. Reigns will defend his title against The Beast on Oct. 21 at Crown Jewel.

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