Powell's WWE Extreme Rules Hit List: Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H in a cage, John Cena vs. Ryback non-finish, Randy Orton vs. Big Show stands out, The Shield capture gold, Chris Jericho vs. Fandango
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members are listening to the 76-minute audio review of WWE Extreme Rules that Chris Shore and I recorded last night. They will be listening to my audio review of WWE Raw later tonight. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership now via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
WWE Extreme Rules Hits
Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H in a cage match: A good main event and considering the finish of the WWE Championship match this was placed properly in the final slot on the show. That said, I was left feeling sympathy for Lesnar's character when he was selling a knee injury and his manager was telling him to shake it off. If you read my review last night then you know I was actually left wondering whether they were about to turn Lesnar. Perhaps they were planting seeds for that to happen at some point, but otherwise I'm not really sure what the knee injury accomplished aside from having an excuse for Lesnar to disappear from WWE until his next big match (which absolutely, postitively should not be against Triple H). The end result is that the right guy went over because Lesnar needed the win much more than Hunter, yet Hunter looked like he couldn't put a guy away with a bum knee, couldn't put out Heyman with a Pedigree, and Lesnar didn't leave with the type of heat that would make fans want to see someone put him in his place.
John Cena vs. Ryback in a Last Man Standing match: I like general idea of the finish because there was no way Ryback should have lost the match, yet I also didn't feel like Ryback should win the title here. My biggest issue with the finish is that they just avoided having an actual finish. Why not have the referee count both men down or at least start counting and then wave it off to imply that the match was over because both men were down but he was more concerned with their wellbeing to waste time counting? Fortunately, the wrestlers worked really hard and the production team should have no trouble making this match look like a war to help set up the rematch.
Randy Orton vs. Big Show in an Extreme Rules match: A pleasant surprise. It's not a surprise that these two were able to have a good match, but the build for the match left me feeling underwhelmed and disinterested. Orton really played to his hometown crowd nicely by working them into a frenzy with his demands for them to get louder. I wish we would see inspired Orton more consistently. I really enjoyed the build to Orton's punt kick. The fans really bought into the near falls off the two RKO's and it was logical for Orton to bust out the punt kick on the extreme pay-per-view.
Chris Jericho vs. Fandango: A good match with one minor hiccup that they recovered from nicely. Jericho going over was a nice surprise for me. Dot Net's Chris Shore was strongly opposed to Jericho winning, but I felt it was long overdue since he's lost so many times on pay-per-view. Fandango's loss didn't set him back any in my eyes and I assume he will still come out on top of the program since Jericho has been all about making other wrestlers look good during his recent runs. Jericho's win prolongs the feud or at least keeps it interesting, whereas a Fandango win would have felt predictable and damaged my interest in seeing a third pay-per-view match between the two.
Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns in a tornado match: The match actually fell below my high expectations. They didn't get much time and the tornado gimmick seemed to work to their disadvantage. It was still entertaining and it was intriguing to see The Shield walk away with gold in both title matches.
Dean Ambrose vs. Kofi Kingston: A decent match that left me feeling like these two are capable of having much better matches together. I hope they get another shot at it. I also hope that Ambrose winning the U.S. Championship will lead to the champion and the title being showcased properly. There's no need for John Cena to beat Ambrose in a champion vs. champion match or for Randy Orton or Sheamus to defeat the champion in non-title matches that never lead to title matches.
Overall show: A quality no nonsense show. We didn't get the corporate feel good videos like we saw at WrestleMania 29, bad filler matches thrown onto the pay-per-view, or bad comedy segments. They remained focussed on the eight advertised matches and those matches delivered. I gave the show a B grade. It was semi-newsworthy with The Shield capturing gold and featured quality ring work from start to finish. It was missing a truly great match or a hot angle to really put it over the top, but this was a satisfying event.
WWE Extreme Rules Misses
WWE Pre-Shows: Technical issues once again made for a lousy viewing experience. I know WWE likes to drive viewers to its various online platforms, but is there a reason they can't also air this on the pay-per-view channel as they did in the past? The pre-show should help sell the show, but the viewing experience has been so frustrating lately that it has to be driving away some potential last minute buyers. On a positive note, it was nice to see the return of the panel discussion for the pre and post shows. Here's hoping they settle in a couple of regulars and then rotate a wrestler or two who does not appear on the show. Jim Ross was good at WrestleMania 29 and seems perfect for the role of a regular panelist.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger in an I Quit match: The work of the wrestlers was Hit worthy. The Miss is due to the overbooked replay finish. I assume the idea was to create some controversy heading into Raw with Zeb Colter asking the obvious question of why replay was used here when it's never used in other matches. I can't imagine WWE is going to make replay a permanent fixture, but perhaps they went this way to set up a rematch between the two to drag their program out another month if Dolph Ziggler's concussion prevents him from returning in time for WWE Payback next month. By the way, I enjoyed Colter's promo early on and the outrage that some of the middle aged women expressed in the crowd, but it once again went on longer than it needed to.
Sheamus vs. Mark Henry in a strap match: Henry's apparent injury was likely the reason the match slowed down and perhaps why it was so short. The red and green lights used in the corner looked a little silly watching at home, though I could see how it would be beneficial for the live crowd. I expected a hard hitting strap match, but the shots Henry gave Sheamus on Raw to set up this match were far more brutal than anything we saw here.
Kaitlyn and A.J. Lee: This felt random and out place. Was I supposed to look at Kaitlyn as the angry heel? I'm guessing not, but that's how she came off since she was the one insulting A.J. and eventually attacking her.
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