@wrestlingchron @wwe I still see them together, although them now in the role of challengers does add something extra for Payback.
— Martin Dixon (@BunnySuicida) May 20, 2013
Last night was WWE’s Extreme Rules Pay Per View which which was held in St. Louis. Going into the PPV there was a lot of potential for the card to deliver a solid show and in some areas there was potential for the landscape of the WWE to be changed for the foreseeable future. Question is, did Extreme Rules live up to the hype?
As the days dwindled and the night of Extreme Rules came closer the anticipation of what could happen began to grow in a somewhat divided WWE fan base. On one side fans didn’t care for the show as they weren’t excited for another Triple H/Brock Lesnar match despite it being contested inside the confines of a steel cage. Not to mention the absence of the World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler and the change to the original match which was supposed to be a triple threat ladder match into an I Quit match for right to be number one contender. On the other hand what I feel was a nice audible to combat the loss echoes the sentiment of many fans: adding The Shield to card and putting them in matches where they could possibly win the United States and Tag Team Championships respectively was a brilliant, albeit possibly desperate, move on the part of WWE.
Even with all the members of The Shield competing for gold there were obvious missteps in terms of logic and moments that would evoke a head scratch or two. There was a tiny bit of me that was looking forward to the strap match between Sheamus and Mark Henry. The World’s Strongest Man has been dishing out some solid work as usual and lives up to my claim of him being the best trash talker in the WWE. It’s no secret I’m not big on Sheamus. Although his feud with Big Show was entertaining and the two had some good matches I feel like Sheamus tends to follow a strict blueprint of how he wants the matches to go and doesn’t deviate from that which makes his matches predictable. However how can watching two men beat each other with a leather strap not be entertaining?! As for the match itself it didn’t deliver any wow moments and the ending left a big void in terms of building a climax. The whole point of a strap match is not only to beat your opponent with the strap but also having to drag his incapacitated body with you as you touch all four corners right? I have no qualms with Sheamus winning the match however wouldn’t it have looked better if Sheamus had to not only touch three corners but on the final one drag Henry’s massive frame to a post to come out victorious? The feat of strength would rival Henry’s feat of pulling two semi trucks a few feet. It would come off as Sheamus had to fight and give it everything he’s got to get the win. Instead Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick and was right in place for the final corner and we’re all left sitting and wondering how that happened so fast.
One other head scratching moment had to come during the final moments of the Last Man Standing match between Ryback and WWE Champion John Cena. The match overall was pretty solid. There were a few tables and chairs used but nothing too drastic or what most would consider extreme. I became invested in the match because it seemed as if fellow staff member Brendan’s prediction of how the match would end was about to come true. On our last podcast episode Brendan had mentioned how most of Cena’s no DQ/Extreme Rules type matches always end somehow with Cena and his opponent on the stage area and Cena using the stage props to knockout his opponent and come out as the victor. It honestly looked like that was going to be the case as the two battled throught the crowd and made their way to the front of the stage on the ramp. Cena went for the AA but it was countered by Ryback who turned it into a bear hug and drove Cena through the make shift prop wall full of lights and such. Sparks crackled and flew and when officials and camera men were finally able to get to both men they were completely laid out. Ryback was able to get to his feet but John Cena had to be put on a gurney for medical attention. Now logically you’d think Ryback would be the winner as he was able to get to his feet but according to officials the match was deemed a no contest. Head scratching overload.
Obviously the huge bright spot of the night was The Shield sweeping and winning the United States Title (Ambrose) and the Tag Team Titles. (Rollins & Reigns) No disrespect to Kofi and certainly none to Kane and Daniel Bryan but I feel like WWE realizes they have something special on their hands and they are doing everything really careful for this not to get Nexus’d.
I am totally on board with The Shield taking all the gold. It adds to the myth that these men are unstoppable as a unit or individually and maybe this will lead to the titles being taken more seriously by WWE and title reigns will add to the legitimacy. We all complain about how WWE doesn’t care about any of their titles or their prestige but that can all possibly change now that something as big, popular, and talented as The Shield now hold gold.
Although I’m excited for The Shield’s new gold a small part of me is sad and a bit scared for Team Hell No. Sure Kane and Daniel Bryan will be well off as solo main event stars but does this mean no more Hell No? I asked twitter users what they thought would happen to Team Hell No and I did get one good response:
Although I’m not a fan of back to back PPV rematches, Team Hell No and any variation of The Shield is fun to watch so we’ll see what happens leading up to the next PPV, Payback.
The Extreme Rules match between Randy Orton and the Big Show wasn’t spectacular but we did see things get somewhat extreme. Show took a serious bump when he set up a ladder vertically propped up by two chairs. He went for the corner turnbuckle splash but Orton moved sending Show crashing into the ladder. The one big moment came when Randy Orton brought back the infamous punt kick to help him get the win. Now, this may be considered a reach, but could Orton bringing back the punt mean we may get the menacing, ruthless, heel Randy Orton back? The one who doesn’t follow the rules and will win at any cost? We all know Orton desperately wants to go back to being a heel, so do we Randy, so do we.
The I Quit Match was another match that was solid yet uneventful. The kendo stick was used often but the match was mainly a contest between two well versed submission wrestlers trying to get the other to submit. Zeb Colter tried to use Alberto Del Rio’s white towel as a sign ADR had quit by throwing it into the ring. The official thought it came from Ricardo and awarded the match to Swagger. This actually would have been a great way to close the match however another official pointed out what Zeb did and Mike Chioda asked to see the replay. When he saw what had happened he immediately restarted the match and a few moments later Del Rio got Swagger to quit. The finish somewhat enraged fans as they think this is WWE setting the precedent for instant replay in pro wrestling. I honestly just believe it was just a work to have the match end the way it did and it won’t be happening again. At least I hope not.
The Jericho/Fandango match was nothing to rave about. Pretty much went down as I predicted in the podcast episode. Decent match. Jericho over Fandango as sort of a nod to all the hard work he’s done with younger talent as well as his overall body of work since his return at the Royal Rumble.
The main event of the evening and what I would consider the match of the night, the steel cage sort of caught everyone off guard by how good it was. Things really could off went south when Brock went to smash his knee into Triple H but The Game moved out of the way sending Lesnar’s knee into the steel cage. Lesnar screamed in agony loudly and so often I’d never heard him actually scream in pain that way, hard to tell if the injury was legit or if he was selling. The back and forth between the two and it’s impeccable timing and flow kept my eyes glued to the screen. Brock kicking out of a Pedigree and Triple H kicking out of the first F-5 sealed it for me as this being an actual good match. Heyman’s involvement was spot on too. Not too overdone. Came in, got a pedigree for his troubles, but also assisted his client by hitting Triple H in his king of kings if you catch my drift. Hunter disguised a metallic sledgehammer in the construction of the cage which was a nice touch. However the sledgehammer was his downfall as Brock was able to use it and clock Triple H in the jaw. Now if you watch the replay you can see Brock in my eyes didn’t cover the top of the sledgehammer all the way and what caught Triple H caught him flush. His body falls and his limbs are literally lifeless. You have to have thought The Game fell to the same fate as World Heavyweight Champ Dolph Ziggler and was knocked out. Brock hits another F-5 on one knee and picks up the victory. Shocking end to this feud as I didn’t see Triple H setting aside his ego and letting Brock win their rivalry 2-1.
I asked wrestling fans on twitter a variety of questions on how they thought the PPV was. I asked what was the biggest surprise of the night:
I also asked on a scale from 1-10 how would you grade the Extreme Rules PPV and why:
So now I ask you reader: On a scale from 1-10, what would you grade the Extreme Rules PPV and why? And what was the biggest moment of the night? You can leave a comment below, on our Facebook or send us a tweet on Twitter.
written by: Erik Vasquez of The Wrestling Chronicle. All images used, recounts, and descriptions are property of World Wrestling Entertainment and were used under the sole purpose to inform.