Hello everyone, STVO here! I apologize for the late report of this and Anime Central 2012 (which will be out this week!) I just want to let you know if I haven’t already that April 26-29th was one amazing weekend! I wish it were still going on as for the most part reality can really bite. Post con-depression did get to me for a while, but it was good to see everyone and it was real nice having a rather exciting wrestling event following the epic weekend. Since it has been over a week since Extreme Rules has moved on, I’m not going to make this report long as there likely have been many other reports that are already on the web, but I’ll give you some of my insight.
The Pre-Extreme Rules YouTube match of Santino Marella vs. The Miz opened up the show. It was a decent match and as I predicted Santino would make the Miz lose by performing the Cobra to end the match. It’s kind of depressing to see The Miz go from WWE Champion/main eventer to “dark match”/pre-show opener. Santino was pretty over with the Chicago crowd for the most part.
Randy Orton vs. Kane was a very good way to open the show! Kane and Orton battled all over the arena. My group and I were at the very top, we knew they wouldn’t battle to the top but we were trying to encourage them with “go up top!” chants. Oh well, we actually had a very good view for the whole event!
Back onto the match, I knew Orton would win and am fine with the result, but as a fan of Kane I definitely was rooting on the Big Red Machine.
Brodus Clay’s entrance had the crowd and myself on their feet! My section and I were dancing and singing “Somebody Call My Mama!” It’s real funny though, while the crowd was hot for Brodus’s entrance, as soon as the match started, there were surprisingly several “Dolph Ziggler” or “Let’s go Dolph!” chants. Sorry Funkusaurus, I guess we were just using you for your entrance theme. L Looks like that doesn’t matter though, Brodus won the match anyway. Honestly, what is with these once main-eventer/future main-eventer heels losing to comedic faces? I like the Brodus Clay character but even I felt that Dolph Ziggler should have won this match, as he is a solid superstar and really should be closer to the main event scene. I mean he was just feuding with CM Punk at the beginning of this year!!
Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes was for most part unmemorable in my opinion. There was a real nice spot with Cody pulling off a nice reversal kick off of a table stacked against the ring post to the Big Show. The ending while it makes sense was real corny. Big Show came close to land on a table on the outside. He prevented his fall by holding onto the ropes but stepped on the table and broke the table with his weight resulting in Cody Rhodes to win back the Intercontinental Championship. While the title will likely help Cody more than The Big Show, the fluke victory was a little too cheesy for me. The crowd and I did root Big Show on for his post-match beating onto Cody by putting him through two tables!
Okay, so I was really tired from the convention and was getting a bit restless and on top of that getting pretty hot from being in cosplay at Extreme Rules. By the way, I think that will be my last cosplay at a live stadium event (unless it’s more comfortable.) Got many funny looks and one picture request, but other than that, too much work. Because of all this I decided to get a drink and some food to keep me up so I missed a good portion of the Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus match because the people working the concessions were a little slower than I was wishing. Oh, let me show you some pictures of my friends and myself at Extreme Rules. 3 out of 5 of us were in cosplay, haha.
Fortunately I finally was able to watch a replay of this match. A lot of this should have been what happened in their WrestleMania match. A very entertaining match but I have one slight nitpick: Why did Daniel Bryan get disqualified in this match? First off Daniel Bryan was only kicking Sheamus (I guess he went against the referee’s orders, but really?) and second off this PPV is called EXTREME RULES! Wasn’t the original theme of this event supposed to be that every match is under Extreme Rules so anything goes? I know a slight nit pick, but you might as well call the show Backlash instead of Extreme Rules if you’re going to do that. Anyway, I enjoyed the match with the fact that they made it seem like Daniel Bryan had the major advantage including making Sheamus pass out during his match. The crowd leaned more towards Daniel Bryan in cheers but many fans also chanted “18 seconds” in response to “Daniel Bryan.” There were also fans chanting “Yes” followed by other fans chanting “No.” It was very much a similar “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” moment for Daniel Bryan.
The next match was hilarious to me. Hilarious in the sense that you know WWE wants this guy to be massively over but right now it isn’t currently working. Ryback (Skip Sheffield turned Terminator) squashed two jobbers. I do have a problem with this match being on the main PPV card because this is something we typically expect only to happen on a show like WWE NXT or perhaps Smackdown. I actually do like Ryback as he has some very impressive strength and I enjoyed Ryback’s previous character of Skip Sheffield. The fans were chanting “Goldberg!” during the match, which was seriously hilarious! Maybe it’s just me, but perhaps before Ryback’s matches, maybe HE should be cutting a promo instead of the jobbers? The jobbers aren’t going to be on the roster full-time, why do they have more personality than Ryback? Maybe Ryback can say something like “I’ll go easy on you, but I can’t promise you won’t be injured.” It’s not great, but it’s probably better what they’re currently doing.
CM Punk made the crowd really hot when he came out and went on to defeat Chris Jericho. Easily the biggest pop of the night. While I’m perfectly fine with CM Punk continuing his reign as the top champion in the WWE and am happy he has been the longest reigning WWE champion in recent history, I wonder where they are going to go with Chris Jericho? Is Chris Jericho okay with being in a similar position he was in previously before he decided to take off from the WWE? As of this Monday night on Raw, both he and Randy Orton were added to the World Heavyweight Championship match at Over the Limit against Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus. Personally, I hope he gets another world title reign but with the rumored Fozzy concert tour he’ll be doing this summer, I’m not sure how likely that will be.
Layla vs. Nikki Bella was a match that a good majority of the crowd could not care any less about. I remember that a lot of us were anticipating the return of Kharma to be Nikki’s mystery opponent. No offense to Layla, she is beautiful and a decent talent, she and most of the other Divas are not very exciting to watch on TV. In fact, a couple of us started randomly chanting for TNA Knockouts like Gail Kim, Velvet Sky, ODB, and Mickie James.
Finally, the main event of the night happened. John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar ended the show. Brock Lesnar dominated the majority of the match. While the fans were already chanting “Cena Sucks” and “Let’s Go Cena” most fans weren’t as hyped for Brock when he first came out. It wasn’t until Brock started manhandling John Cena that more cheers began (I personally was going wild for Brock throughout the whole thing.) There was one moment where several of us believed Brock had an injury. Brock jumped up and showed no injury was had and we went wild in cheers for him. Eventually John Cena came back in the match by using a chain on him and giving him an attitude adjustment in the middle of the ring to win the match. This win lead to my group and I leaving even when Cena gave his post-match speech.
Here’s the problem I have with this. You sign Brock Lesnar to a limited appearance $5 million contract for one year. You start off his return as a powerhouse and even have him dominate John Cena in the majority of the match. Then Cena pulls a “Super Cena,” wins the match, and then talks about how he will be taking time off in the near future possibly. Look, I get that Cena lost to The Rock earlier in April and could have used a big win, but I think Brock Lesnar could have used this win a lot more than Cena could have. If it were me booking I would have had Brock win the match, cause Cena to be taken out on a stretcher (this was one of the rumored scenarios for this match allegedly), then they can resume the events of Lesnar attacking HHH on Raw and “quitting WWE” already. How many of you guys really want to see John Laurinaitis vs. John Cena at Over The Limit? I sure as hell don’t. I think they should have had Brock injure Cena, give Cena 2 months off, have him return in July and challenge Brock Lesnar to a match at Money in the Bank where Cena could have got his win back and have HHH and Brock Lesnar go at it at Summer Slam.
I don’t think things are doom and gloom for Lesnar, not by a long shot. They can be however if he continues to lose most of his matches. I get that WWE hired him to help put over stars and that’s fine but you’re attracting a much wider audience with Brock Lesnar now! When I told former WWE fans that he was back, they had a sparked interest and even some of the UFC never WWE fans were interested in this development. Again, as long as they use Lesnar right, he doesn’t have to plow through every opponent, but he shouldn’t lose too often, then I think he will be $5 million well spent. Personally though, if they plan to job him to HHH, Randy Orton, and CM Punk the next few times he wrestles, then I personally think it is time they write Lesnar off as a $5 million loss.
Overall Show Opinion: Even if Extreme Rules didn’t come off as good on TV, going to a live event makes a PPV or even a Raw that much better because you get to join in the cheers, you get to hear/see the pyro and live entrances, and it’s overall a larger than life feel. But like last year, Extreme Rules is usually a PPV that will deliver the goods. Aside from a few filler matches, we received three excellent matches of John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar (IMO way better than Cena/Rock), Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus, and CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho. Randy Orton vs. Kane was a hot opener to a great show as well. While the Lesnar losing decision has me puzzled, it still didn’t change me from enjoying the show. Overall I would say it’s an 8 out of 10.
BTW, I bought a Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan Shirt.