Monday, April 27, 2015

Extreme Rules Review

Originally, the plan was for New Day vs. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro to be on the Kickoff show. However, the Tag Team Title match was moved to the main show in favor of a match between Bad News Barrett and Neville. Daniel Bryan could not compete so instead we got this. And what we got was fun. Neville and BNB worked well together and put on a fine show. It wasn't anything special but was a good first outing for Neville's first Pay-Per-View match. They did well with their time, had some cool spots and everything looked good. In the end, Neville picked up the win with a beautiful Red Arrow. A fun start to the show. ***

To open the actual Pay-Per-View broadcast, we got the Chicago Street Fight. Dean Ambrose, who hasn't won a singles PPV match since September 2013, took on Luke Harper. This was exactly what it needed to be as it was two guys having a fun hardcore match. This gave me a feeling of the Attitude Era Hardcore Division as they brawled backstage and used as many random weapons as they could. They would leave in a car, giving me flashbacks of the Hollywood Backlot Brawl. Harper and Ambrose wouldn't return until an hour later, where the fight made it back to the ring and they brought out a ton of chairs. Technically, this went about 55 minutes, but Ambrose was able to finally win a PPV match. What we actually got was relatively fun and enjoyable. ***

Next, we move into the "Kiss Me Arse" match between Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler. Even with the strange stipulation, I knew these two could deliver and that's exactly what they did. Unfortunately, the early goings were a bit dull as they seemed to be filling time. Once it kicked into next gear though, things got really good. We saw some hard hitting stuff and a good amount of near falls that weren't overdone. Dolph won with an inside cradle, which surprised me, but it was wise since it didn't make Sheamus look bad. He refused to kiss Ziggler's arse though, so he low blowed him, hit him with a Brogue Kick and shoved Dolph's unconscious face into his pasty white ass. It ended up being really good, despite the ass. ***1/4

I'm so happy that the Tag Team Championship match made the main show because it was great. Despite the New Day gimmick not being very good, the guys involved can still work, and of course our Tag Team Champions are damn good. Everyone played their part and Kidd and Cesaro looked surprisingly comfortable in the face role. Cesaro got the hot tag and the match picked up big time. They seemed to have things won but a distraction from Xavier Woods allowed Kofi Kingston to roll up Cesaro with a handful of tights and win the titles. Absolutely shocking as I didn't expect this, but man this was fun. The only issue I had with it, is the fact that we got rollup finishes in two straight matches. However, it was important to keep Kidd and Cesaro looking strong. ***3/4

Next on the card is the Russian Chain Match for the United States Championship. John Cena vs. Rusev Part III. This is the first Strap/Chain match that I can recall having light gimmicks on the corners. I guess us millennials can't count on our own. They worked a slower style old school match but it didn't click the way their previous encounters did. Rusev kicked Lana out from ringside, taking away the best thing about this. Cena won after an AA and touching the fourth turnbuckle. This was the wrong stipulation for these two as it was not at all the way they should have ended this thing. Then, we get told later in the show that it isn't the end. Lana goes to the Authority and sets up an I Quit match between the two next month. So, there's the WWE booking Rusev great for a year only to have him say I Quit on TV. Terrible. *1/4

Nikki Bella takes on Naomi next for the WWE Divas Championship. Naomi finally ditched the Brodus Clay theme, wore strange shades and had neon, color changing boots. This was better than I expected it to be, but it was still odd that it seemed like the Bellas don't know if they're supposed to be faces or heels. They're in the dark like the fans. Naomi got some near falls and the Bellas seemed like faces early, but then Brie got in a cheap shot kick that allowed Nikki to score with the Rack Attack and retain the title. It's nice to see another girl get in the title picture but there was just something missing here. *3/4

Our semi-main event was Roman Reigns against Big Show in a Last Man Standing match. I expected this to suck hard but it didn't. Show didn't want to use weapons early because he felt he didn't need them which was cool. The spots came big as he was put through a table, then Chokeslammed Reigns through two tables outside but he still somehow got up. They did the tired Spear through the guardrail spot but busted out a cool one from one announce table through the other. That should have been the finish in my mind. Instead, Show got up, just to sit back down so Reigns could put the announce table on top of him. I got the idea behind it but maybe he should have done the spear and then instantly put the table on top. Having Show get up and sit down was strange. Still, better than I expected by a fair amount. ***1/2

The main event was on, and of course, Kane was a big factor. Honestly, it seems like the WWE has forgotten how to book Steel Cage matches. I can't remember the last really good one. Considering we had the awful Bray/Cena one last year I didn't have high hopes here. Basically, Kane gets pissed in the end, comes in and Chokeslams everyone. Why is the story about Kane and not about the two great performers and the WWE Title? Orton would RKO Kane, followed by Seth RKOing Orton before exiting the cage and retaining. But the RKO was banned. So we got a screwy finish, mixed in with the over use of Kane. This felt like a cheap WCW like ending. Not a very good match. **1/4. Overall, the entire show was solid. Nothing was out of this world but there were three matches that I thought weren't very good. 6/10.