Kester's WWE Extreme Rules Rundown: Daniel Bryan dives off of a forklift, The Shield stand tall over Evolution, and Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena disappoints
By Ryan Kester
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
This match had its highs and lows. Some of the spots that made for great visuals, like the forklift headbutt and the flaming table finisher, but they were also accompanied by suspension of disbelief-breaking moments, like Bryan driving Kane through the arena on the aforementioned fork lift, and an entire fire hydrant being readily emptied on Kane after he went through the flaming table.
Outside of the hardcore moments of the match, the actual wrestling was solid. Kane plays a good large man foil to faster opponents, and Bryan has perfected his moveset to work with the WWE style and the two set up several spots that drew the crowd into the match. I can only hope, going forward, that WWE allows Bryan to wrestler a normal match without all of the gimmickry; it's how he got over and it's what the crowds are looking for to react to.
The Shield vs. Evolution
This was, by far, the match of the night. All six men gave it their all and the latter half of the match shined with memorable spots and at least one showcase moment for each participant.
The right team went over. The Shield has rekindled the fire they had for most of their run, and every member feels like a big deal. Ambrose's unpredictability, Rollins' fearlessness, and Reigns resilience were all highlighted well. It's rare that a match containing six men managed to get more than the man that made the pin over, but the two teams managed to find a means of accomplishing that last night.
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
Unfortunately, WWE didn't managed to get the booking right across the board. Yes, Wyatt ended up winning his PPV contest with John Cena, but he did so after a poorly designed match that once again differed from the story that led up to it.
Wyatt was portrayed as getting in Cena's head and being not only an equal, but someone that had managed to upset Cena more than anyone Cena had faced to date. Once the two were actually in the cage, however, Cena had no issue dominating from the opening bell, and while a visual win was all but assured to protect Cena—despite the fact he does not need it—there was no reason to have Cena visually win over half a dozen times. All that does is le the air out of the hottest heel act that WWE had at its disposal, and if continued, will do more to have Wyatt come out of his feud with Cena in a worse spot than he was when they started.
Outside of showcasing yet another visual win for Cena, I didn't have a problem with the creepy demon kid spot for the finish. Wyatt stalking Cena with his sinister visage in the low light was fantastic in that moment, and it's something that will remain memorable for some time. One can only hope that this isn't a sign that the Wyatt act as a whole will include children from now on, however, as the demon voice had already worn out its welcome by the time it reappeared in Wyatt's promo celebration. On top of that, when there's a kid involved, they typically serve as a distraction from the act they are associated with than they do enhancing the act.
Extreme Rules was a passable PPV. The hardcore shows tend to involve more gimmickry than I care for, but the six man tag delivered in a big way and most of the matches delivered quality action and solid storytelling. The biggest disappointment is the way the Cena and Wyatt match was handled considering it was the most interesting story going into the show only to be squandered by sloppy booking once the match started.
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