Monday, May 2, 2011

JC's Take: Extreme Rules Review

Tonight the WWE brought us Extreme Rules. The match card looked solid on paper, so lets see what we get. I'm watching this on DVR and doing a write up as I watch it. Hopefully this is worth me getting up at 9 a.m. to watch it.

Randy Orton defeated C.M. Punk in a Last Man Standing Match: **3/4
OK opener, ok last man standing match. Didn't really get too into it. Punk brought the Nexus out to start, but the RAW GM banned them from ringside. The main weapon of choice in this match was the kendo stick. A chair was also used. Punk took a nice bump off of it. Orton threw him into the chair which was positioned in the corner, and Punk fell out of the ring. Punk put the chair around Orton's neck and put him into the ring post. The match ended with Orton delivering an RKO off of the top rope into the ring.

Like I said, ok match. Orton wins the feud with Punk in commanding fashion. He goes over to Smackdown as the top dog, and has the best argument to be the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. As for Punk, who knows. If the rumors of him wanting time off are true, then the loss makes sense. But if Punk is sticking around, even if only for a couple of months, there's no really telling where he goes. While still one of the best in the WWE, Punk has absolutely no direction and zero momentum right now. It'll be interesting to see what happens with him next.

Backstage, Sheamus talked with Teddy Long. He said he was upset that he had to face Kofi Kingston tonight, because he is the United States Champion, and he's facing a non-U.S. citizen. He demanded to see his birth certificate. Long said he should be more worried about his upcoming Tables match.

Kofi Kingston defeated Sheamus to win the United States Championship: **
Again, just an ok match. The match was bumped up a half a star just because of the finish. Awesome Boom Drop from the top rope to the table on the floor. But half of the match just seemed like the two of them setting up a table, then doing a couple of moves, then setting up another table. The US Title moves to RAW, which makes sense. Can't have both the U.S. and Intercontinental titles on the same show. Sheamus takes a loss and now needs to get some momentum back if he wants to be a top player on Smackdown.

R-Truth was interviewed next. He was upset at not being on the show. He said it was a conspiracy, but couldn't spell it. He said Cena and Miz didn't want him in the match, and the thief, John Morrison, didn't want him in it either. Truth said if there is one thing he hates, it is a thief. Truth had a nice angry look on his face as the promo ended. Is it possible to have a nice angry look?

I'd like to point out, at least at this point, how dead the crowd seems. They were hot in the beginning of the opener, but cooled down half way through the match, and were barely into Kofi/Sheamus.

Michael Cole & Jack Swagger defeated Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler in a CountryWhipping Match: *
Well, I'll give them this much. It was better than their Wrestlemania match. J.R. seemed believable as a man full of frustration and ready to take it out on Michael Cole. I still love Cole's facial expressions even though I'm starting to get tired of this angle. I thought this would end tonight, but it appears it won't. Ross was whippin Cole with the strap. Swagger tried to stop him, but he received a low blow. Cole rolled up Ross for the win. Not a spectacular match, but ok filler. It didn't drag in spots or go as long as the Mania match. It was what it was suppose to be.

Rey Mysterio defeated Cody Rhodes in a Falls Count Anywhere Match: ***
Ok, first the positives. This was a good match. Best of the night so far (I'm watching this on DVR Monday morning). I liked the brawling through the crowd. Cody hit a nice flying knee off of a concession stand. The action was back and forth, and non-stop. Unlike the Last Man Standing Match where the 10 counts break up the action, this one kept going throughout. Not a whole lot of weapons used, but non-stop brawling and action.

Now the negative. Why on Earth did Rey Mysterio win here? What was the point of it? Cody needed the win much more than Rey. Cody is pretty much the top heel on Smackdown right now. A win for Cody here would have made him a top star over there, a BELIEVABLE threat as a heel. Now, Cody has nothing to brag about on Smackdown. He goes back to the same old schtick he's been doing for ever now. If he would have beaten Rey, he could brag how he one-uped Rey Mysterio and is now a bigger star than Rey ever will be. Just a mind-boggling booking decision, especially now that Smackdown's top 3 heels all have looked weak recently: Cody & Sheamus lost tonight, and Wade Barrett hasn't looked strong in months. Oh boy, can't wait for the Mark Henry World Title push.

Backstage, Layla apologized to the Divas. Kelly Kelly said that while they didn't like her, they hated Michelle McCcool more, so she wished her luck.

Layla defeated Michelle McCool in a Loser Leaves WWE Match: *1/2
Can someone explain to me how this match got the most crowd reaction the whole night. A good Women' match. Anytime a women's match can get the crowd semi into it, it is a good match. Layla reversed a McCool pin attempt into a 3 count for the win. Both sold their emotions well. Layla was upset that it came to this, McCool was upset that she lost. I'm still impressed with Layla's growth as a performer.

As McCool sold shock in the ring, Kharma's music hit and she slowly walked to the ring. She hit a powerbomb face plant on McCool as the rest of the Divas locker room watched on. So Kharma attacked a heel, but is suppose to be one herself? Confusing.

Christian defeated Alberto del Rio in a Ladder Match to win the Vacant World Heavyweight Championship: ***3/4
Very good ladder match. The key to ladder match's is to make sure that you do enough unique spots in it to make it not seem like a run of the mill ladder match. The use of the mini ladder was great. It played into everything that happened in the match. They didn't go overboard with big spots. That's ok. Every ladder match can't have high spot after high spot. I'm sure the WWE wanted to tone those spots down after everything that happened with Edge. Del Rio performed surprisingly well in his first singles ladder match. He took a pretty good bump on the ladder when he jumped off the turnbuckle onto it. It looked like he landed awkwardly and I thought he was hurt.

With Del Rio lying on the ground, Christian climbed the ladder. Brodus Clay pulled the ladder out from underneath him, causing Christian to hang from the rope holding the title. Christian fell down, but then pushed Brodus into the ladder before he fell out of the ring. Del Rio snuck back in, and applied the cross armbar using the mini ladder. With Christian out, Del Rio climbed the ladder. Somebody started honking a car horn, and they showed Edge in a jeep by the ramp. With Del Rio distracted, Christian pushed the ladder down, causing Del Rio to fall to the outside on Brodus and Ricardo Rodriguez. Brodus somehow got busted open pretty badly. Christian climbed the ladder to grab the World Heavyweight Title as he celebrated with Edge.

Like I said, very good ladder match. Being a Christian fan, it is very awesome to finally see him reach the top. Even if it is only for a month, just to be able to say you were World Champion means something. Some people will say he is only champ because of Edge's injury, and you know what, I don't care. Christian has busted his butt in this business for years, and he deserves to finally be on top. It would have been nice to see this main event, but that will depend on who wins the WWE Title match. Congratulations to Christian, you deserve it.

Big Show & Kane defeated Wade Barrett & Ezekiel Jackson to retain the World Tag Team Championships in a Lumberjack Match: *
Nothing more than filler and a way to advance the Corre break-up. Barrett tagged himself in and went for Wasteland on Big Show, but Show countered into a chokeslam for the win. Big Zeke was pissed. The lumberjacks brawled afterwards, and Gabriel and Slater at chokeslams from Big Show and Kane.

John Cena pinned The Miz in a Steel Cage Match which included John Morrison to win the WWE Championship: ****1/4
Very good Cage match. Not a match of the year candidate by any means, but a very good main event for a non-big 4 PPV. I had problems with the build to the match and the match format, but all three men pulled this match off very well. Morrison got his high spots in with the Starship Pain from the top of the cage, as well as using some of his parkour moves. Cena actually sold during the match for extended periods of time, which is a treat for people who hate seeing "Super Cena." Miz looked good as well. Even though he took the pin, there was no point in the match where he looked terrible.

While I usually have a problem with interference, I didn't mind R-Truth's here. Truth is gaining strong momentum as a heel. Morrison would have won in the eyes of fans had Truth not interfered in the match. Truth's symbolic climbing over the Cage as if he was suppose to be the winner was great. The match ended with Cena giving Miz the Attitude Adjustment from the top rope. Again, Miz can't look bad taking a pin with a move like that.

I'm surprsied Cena won here. If they were building to Cena/Del Rio, I thought Miz would retain here and Del Rio would win the title sometime between now and SummerSlam. Then the build to Cena beating Del Rio at SummerSlam for the WWE Title would have been in full swing. But Cena is the Champ, and now he gets to walk into the Rock's birthday celebration tomorrow on RAW to show off the title in Rock's face.

I thought this was a very good PPV. The main event matches were strong. I didn't agree with some of the booking decisions, mostly Cody losing, but the matches were all solid. It was satisfying seeing Christian finally win the big one. He deserves it. A solid PPV that I am giving a 7.

That's all I have for today.

Until next time,
Justin C

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