Sunday, April 25, 2010

4/25/10 Extreme Rules

Tyson Kidd & David Hart Smith, R-Truth & John Morrison, and MVP & Mark Henry vs. The Miz & The Big Show (Gauntlet): I liked this match because it accomplished two things: (1) it got otherwise-unused talent on the show; and (2) it furthers the storyline between the Hart Dynasty and ShowMiz. Kidd and Smith get their Unified Tag Title match on RAW, and it should finally give the Hart Dynasty the tag gold. The triangle choke Morrison had on Big Show was pretty cool. I would give it higher, but the Hart Dynasty only needed about 10 seconds to win the match after ShowMiz dealt with two other teams. *3/4

CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio (If CM Punk loses, he is shaved bald): They got way more time this time, which is how it should have been at WrestleMania. Excellent match with a lot of excitement. Seems like we have the return of Joey Mercury (or whatever name they choose for him now) as the latest member of the SES. ***1/2

JTG vs. Shad Gaspard (Strap): Not much here. Just your typical strap match where both guys got their shots in on each other with that leather strap. Very common finish where both guys touch the first three corners and then JTG got the last corner at the end. I guess this storyline is continuing. *1/4

Jack Swagger vs. Randy Orton (Extreme Rules; World Heavyweight Title): Another great match that delivered. WWE may be PG now, but that did not stop these two from using garbage cans, chairs, and the title belt. I thought it was yet another stellar performance by Swagger as he continues to cement his main event status. The post-match RKO says these two will continue to feud. And based on the crowd reaction, the WWE Universe will probably want another match. ***1/4

Sheamus vs. Triple H (Street Fight): WWE gets another solid match here. Very physical contest that, despite the similarity between a "Street Fight" and "Extreme Rules," still managed to differentiate themselves. I thought 4-5 bicycle kicks was a bit excessive, but it was still an OK finish nonetheless. I believe HHH could be shooting a movie soon, so will the feud end here? Perhaps, based on the post-match attack. ***1/4

NOTE: They showed a teaser for WWE Over the Limit, to be held on May 23. Isn't it eerie how it was 11 years ago on May 23, at a similarly named PPV, Over the Edge, where Owen Hart fell to his death? And Bret Hart right now is involved in the WWE storylines.

Beth Phoenix vs. Michelle McCool (Extreme Makeover; Women's Title): I really was not expecting much in this match, based on how WWE has treated women's matches in the past. However, this was very good. It was very physical, we had some actual wrestling moves, and, most importantly, these two were given a decent amount of time to show their stuff. Frankly, I thought Layla and Vickie using the brooms to distract Beth (when Beth was on the second rope) just looked weird, but I'm glad the match was just not horrid. **

Edge vs. Chris Jericho (Cage): Yet another great match. We saw a few false finishes and excellent use of the cage. I loved the ending; it was fitting that Edge used the cage door to "injure" Jericho's left ankle and Achilles' tendon before putting him away. There were really no sick spots to push this over the top (even though we had a couple of good moments at the top of the cage), but it was still nice to watch. ***1/2

John Cena vs. Batista (Last Man Standing; WWE Title): Holy crap. The two basically tore each other -- and the ringside area -- apart. There was really nothing else these two could have possibly done, and there were so many times in the match where I thought the match was over. The duct tape finish was probably the most original finish I've seen in quite some time. I know people will hate the finish and say, "No, it humiliated Batista as he exits WWE," but looking at it from a match and storyline standpoint, it was brilliant. I mean, how else was anyone winning?

I understand people's concerns that the ending of the match was probably not the appropriate finish. After basically destroying one another for about 30 minutes, to win with duct tape was a buzz-killer.

Regardless, for the suspense and the physicality alone, this was the match of the night. Cena haters may riot, but it was entertaining. And if this is Batista's last match (as it is rumored to be), this was a nice way to go out. ****1/4

MVPs: John Cena and Batista go extreme -- on more than one spectrum.

Overall Rating: Who knows, maybe Vince McMahon finally took notice of TNA's strong matches lately, but this, to me, was WWE's best PPV this year -- and the best in a while. I'd say it was definitely worth the price of admission. See what happens when you don't have a gazillion matches AND you give matches proper time? Hey, the PPV even went to the top of the hour and did not end 15 minutes early! Wow. ***3/4

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