Monday, April 30, 2012

4/29/12 Extreme Rules

Randy Orton vs. Kane (Falls Count Anywhere): ***1/2

Brodus Clay vs. Dolph Ziggler: *3/4

Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show (Tables; IC Title): *1/2

Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan (2 out of 3 Falls; World Heavyweight Title): ****

Ryback vs. Aaron Relic & Jay Hatton: N/A (squash)

CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho (Chicago Street Fight; WWE Title): ****1/2

Beth Phoenix Layla vs. Nikki Bella (Divas Title): *1/4

John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar (Extreme Rules): ***3/4

We're in Chicago for Extreme Rules! Expect an awesome crowd!

We start off with Kane/Orton. Not surprising anymore that family members get involved (whether real or storyline), but it's at least a way to extend the feud. Doesn't take long for the action to spill to the outside. Lead pipe early on, which Orton uses. Into the stands! Huge shots from both guys, heavy barricade use. Several minutes in the stands...even going UP into the crowd even more. They make it to the stage and more physicality there. Pin attempts all over the place; glad they're really making use of the stipulation. Now to the backstage area! HA, unused talent watching Extreme Rules! Ryder gets involved! Hey, what was the last smart move Ryder made? Looks like the cameraman got too close...went flying! OK, back to the ring, I guess. A "Colt" sign in the stands...Colt Cabana, me thinks. Orton with a chair. Several shots to Kane! Announce table time? Hangman's DDT from the announce table (the American table, BTW)! Only two there. Already a great match. RKO countered, Orton into post, Kane gets two. Orton superplex from the top...only two! RKO...countered! Kane chokeslam...TWO! Crowd loves that one. Chair placed in the center. Tombstone? Countered...RKO on the chair! That gets three. Awesome opener.

Teddy's pouring champagne for Eve and Laurinaitis. Vintage cartoon-y ring! Laurinaitis talking with HHH? Nice ringtone for that one, Johnny.

Brodus has a PPV match! And Hornswoggle is there again. Guess it's something to do. Brodus faces Dolph tonight. Swagger in a nice suit. Any stipulation in this one? Not sure. Crowd is fired up for this one. This is Brodus' first non-squash match since his new gimmick started. Swagger runs over Brodus for heel heat. Brodus powers out of the Ziggler sleeper to start a comeback. Swagger knocked off the apron. Ziggler runs into a headbutt. Brodus splash gets three.

Show and Cody find out what the stipulation is.Teddy spins the wheel. Tables! Cody and Eve basically blame Teddy.

Show starts off a house of fire. HUGE back body drop from Show, but that's natural coming from a 7-footer. Lots of huge Show chest slaps to Cody. Table is set up on the outside, and a table now in the ring. Show props that second table in the corner. Cody springs off the table with the disaster kick! Very nice. Show runs over Cody after that. Cody mentions something about his hip. Show on the apron, Cody with a dropkick. Show's foot goes through a table. Show with one of those "oh shit" looks. Ref sees it and Cody's the champ. Again, Show doesn't need the title, so this was a good title change, and a nice way to at least make it look like a fluke. Match really wasn't anything special, though. Show will probably get his rematch, but would be unsuccessful if so. Cody needs new challengers. End this feud.

Post-match, Show spears Cody. Chokeslam through a table. And then Cody's picked up...and thrown through the table on the outside. Crowd loves this stuff. Cody walks off under his own power, and he gets a few pops for that.

DB confident for his 2 out of 3 falls match and does his YES YES YES spiel. AJ shown in the background. DB gets a huge pop. Those "YES!" chants are awesome. Sheamus with an "18 Seconds" T-shirt. Main event intros from Lilian. At least DB will last longer than 18 seconds here.

DB avoided a Brogue Kick early on. That close to one fall. Nice touch. "Daniel Bryan" chants. Very nice chain wrestling. Rolling senton from Sheamus got two. Sheamus with a TEXAS CLOVERLEAF, WHOA. That was a bit unexpected. DB with a small comeback, but Sheamus caught him off the apron and planted him into the barricade. DB caught Sheamus on the top. Nice job by DB to work on Sheamus' left shoulder. Pace slowed now. DB stays on offense with knees and kicks. Euro uppercuts from DB. Yeah ref, DB's got 'til FIVE! Sheamus mounts a spirited comeback. Sheamus counters a DB top-rope hurricanrana and scores the battering ram for a close two. 12 minutes in and no fall yet. YES Lock countered a couple of times. Sheamus' left shoulder goes into the post, and DB attacks that. Relentless assault on Sheamus, and DB ends up getting DQ'd. Fall #1 to Sheamus about 15 minutes in.

DB then gets the YES Lock in. Sheamus refuses to tap! He keeps fighting! Sheamus then passes out, so fall #2 quickly to DB. Ringside doc comes in, then two docs. Nice real-life touch. DB panders to the crowd. Cole somehow is amazed at DB's strategy. Like we've never seen something similar before....

Sheamus says he can go. DB charges...BROGUE KICK! Well, at least it was called that way. Slow crawl! Only two! Crowd is going nuts. DB on the comeback...HUGE kick to the head for two! DB to top, but Sheamus catches him. Superplex blocked by DB headbutts! Diving headbutt missed! DB misses the dropkick in the corner. Sheamus back with hammer blows. Irish Curse backbreaker! Brogue Kick for three! Just an outstanding match. Brilliant!

Santino and Khali watching Ryback squash. How the hell can those two communicate with each other?! It's a handicap match this time, but it won't matter. Why the hell do these jobbers even get on the damn mic? They are annoying. Ryback squashes them in little time. Oh a nice jawbreaker move on one of those guys! OK, next!

Time for the WWE Title match! Chicago Street Fight! Jericho out first so Punk can get the HUGE pop. New shirt for Punk! Punk's sister and mother in the front row. Main event intros.

Crowd is BONKERS before the match. It's street clothes for both. Punk grew his beard out a bit more for this. It'll just be a fight here. Punches and kicks to start. Punk has a chair, then a kendo stick. Punk tees off on Jericho. Punk swings for the fence but Jericho gets out of the ring. Chasing around the ring doesn't work for Jericho. ROFL, Jericho holds onto the ref's leg and takes a cheap thumb to the eye. Wouldn't matter if the ref saw it anyway. Jericho on the attack with the kendo stick. Fighting in the timekeeper's area. Huge chops from Punk. Running knee missed and Punk to the outside. Jericho beats Punk in front of sis and mom. SISTER SLAPS JERICHO! Jericho charges and Punk cuts him off. Punk has gone bonkers. Jericho thrown through one of those announce table covers...cover splits in half! There goes Punk's shirt. Punk piledriver countered by Jericho. Jericho hits Punk in the back with a TV monitor. Wooden announce table cover shattered over Punk's back. OK, so we now know it's wood. Back in the ring, Jericho gets two. Punk tries a slingshot top-rope move but slips. Jericho looks like he woulda caught him with the kendo stick anyway. Jericho with lots of taunting to Punk.

Jericho looks under the ring...and gets a can of beer? Nice. He opens it Sandman-style and pours it on Punk. He gets another can of beer, but Punk gets to him this time. More kendo stick shots. Swinging neckbreaker. Running high knee in the corner, then bulldog! Vintage Punk there. Kendo stick goes south on Jericho. GTS countered. Walls countered. Snap powerslam on Jericho gets two. Punk to the top, but Jericho gets to Punk. Superplex blocked. Mongolian chop knocks Jericho off. Savage elbow for two! Randy Savage chants. GTS countered, bulldog by Jericho. Lionsault...Punk got to him! GTS attempt, Jericho out of that! Punk into the propped-up chair in the corner, rollup for two! Both guys are exhausted. Codebreaker out of nowhere! Jericho with an evil grin. Wall of Jericho, Lion Tamer style! Then into Boston Crab style. Punk crawling to ropes, crowd is going nuts. Punk to ropes, but no rope breaks here in a street fight. Punk with a FIRE EXTINGUISHER?! YES! That was awesome. Jericho wipes his eyes with the ref shirt. Back to the announce table. Big kick and Jericho's on the table. Punk on the top, nearly falls off (oops), ELBOW THROUGH THE TABLE! YES! I'm loving this. They get back in the ring. Punk covers...TWO! Anaconda Vice! Remember, no rope breaks! Jericho grabs the kendo stick and hits Punk to get out. The crowd is standing.

Jericho with the stick. Punk with the chair. Chair shot from Punk. Codebreaker to Punk using the chair! TWO! WTF. Jericho furious. Oh snap! Jericho tries for the GTS! Countered! Jerichointo the exposed turnbuckle! Punk with a GTS for THREE! What a match. Wow. Punk with a nice leap into the stands after the match to celebrate.

We see the highlights from the U.S. Title match on the pre-show. Santino retained against Miz. I didn't rate that one, as a note.

So we get word that Beth isn't medically cleared. Still selling that injury well, love it. Bellas think they are free for the night, but Eve says the title's on the line anyway against a mystery opponent. I bet a ton of people thought it could be just one person.

Bellas out to the ring. And it's...LAYLA?! WTF. Crowd unfortunately doesn't know what to think right now. Layla's looking great, knee brace on the right knee. Fast-paced stuff, but crowd wants Kharma. Brie on the outside takes Layla's right knee out. Nice crossbody from Layla for two. Brie on the apron and gets knocked off. Weird rollups get maybe one or two. Big spin kick knocks Nikki out. Ref holds Layla back. Twin magic time. Brie goes for the facebuster, Layla counters with the Layout for three! Nikki in shock, and frankly, so am I. Definitely didn't expect Layla to win the title her first night back.

Video package for Cena and Lesnar shown. Extreme Rules is that different from a street fight?

Lesnar out first. He's in MMA-style gear with all his sponsor logos. He does look a little doughy, but still a lot of muscle. Cena has his usual mixed reaction, and he has his chain on.

Bell rings. Cena charges and Lesnar takes him down. It'll be a brawl all night. Lesnar with HUGE elbows on Cena. Huge clothesline. The match is barely 10 seconds in, and Cena's ALREADY busted open! That third elbow DECKED Cena. Cena takedown. Lesnar fights out and pummels Cena. It's more MMA style here, fellas. Brock with about a dozen shots to Cena's head. If this was MMA, Lesnar would have won by TKO already.

Ref stops it for a bit so the doc can stop that bleeding. Oh no, not Cena! Cena's up -- and Lesnar takes him down again. Total domination by Brock early on. Lesnar with MORE punches and knees. OW. Cena to the floor. Normal guys would be unconscious by now. Cena struggles to pull himself back in the ring. He's got a good cut on the left side.

Cena gets an elbow and tries for the AA. Brock gets out and hits a couple of German suplexes. Cena throws big elbows. Shoulderblock into Lesnar -- and ref Charles Robinson gets taken out as well. Ref bump NOW?! Lesnar with a shoulder tackle of his own. Brock with more shots to the open wound. Brock then attacks Cena's left arm. Huge armbar, then tossed into the barricade. Brock now with Cena's chain. Oh snap. Brock throws it down...he doesn't need any more weapons. Lesnar wraps the chain around Cena's legs. Cena struggles to get up, and gets clotheslined back down. Cena put on the top to get beat up some more. He ends up upside down around the ringpost. Brock is completely dominating. Not sure if I've ever seen Cena get whipped like this. Oh, and the ref's still down.

Cena's trying to get shots in, and Brock just tosses him into the steps. Brock just tossed the ref back in the ring. Cena with the chain, Brock says no and chucks the chain to the outside. Cena tries the AA, Lesnar counters! F-5! And the ref got KO'd when Lesnar completed his finisher. Oops. New ref! And naturally, Lesnar only gets two. Poor ref #2 gets destroyed. Brock's getting more money!

Brock gets the bottom (heavier) portion of the steps in the ring. Two more refs are at ringside now. Brock on the steps as Cole says Lesnar's like the King of the WWE right now. Cena "you can't see me" and he fights back again. Lesnar gets the upper hand AGAIN and now the Kimura lock on the steps -- with a leg scissors. Cena's screaming in pain. The crowd is LOUD. I mean LOUD. SuperCena arrives. He picks Lesnar up and slams him on the steps to break the hold. Cena to the top rope for the legdrop, but he misses and rolls to the outside. Lesnar momentarily doesn't know where Cena is but then spots him. Back on the steps as the king, eyeing his prey. Cena on the apron. Lesnar off the ropes, off the steps, and flies over the top into Cena! Brock holds his knee, but Cena is completely nuked. Brock's smiling that he's hurt. Taunts Cena. Gonna do it again! Lesnar off the ropes -- and Cena DECKS him with a chained-right hand!

Holy crap, the crowd is VERY LOUD. Going BONKERS. Brock's busted open from that chain shot! AA on the steps... and that got THREE?!?! WTF.

Trainers attend to Cena in the ring. Brock is woozy but refuses any help. He struggles to even stand and walk.

Cena on the mic after the show to thank the fans. He says he's probably taking a vacation. Whether the vacation was already planned or he legitimately got injured, it was a nice way to end the show.

I'm honestly unsure what to think of Cena/Lesnar. On the one hand, there's a lot of good because Lesnar absolutely pummeled Cena. I honestly have never seen John legitimately beat down in such a way. Lesnar even walked out without medical help, which shows his unbelievable toughness. Finally, the crowd was JACKED. People wanted extreme, and they got it. Blood in the PG era is very rare, and they let it happen here.

However, I totally despised Cena winning with basically just two moves: a hard chained right hand and an Attitude Adjustment. After a beating that could have killed a normal man, SuperCena rose again and felled the former UFC heavyweight champ. While Lesnar can still say he probably knocked Cena out of action, it likely would have been better had Brock won. It's just unrealistic to think two big moves could keep Lesnar down like that.

People may say Lesnar and Cena shouldn't get a huge rating since it really was a fight...not a wrestling match. It was never advertised as a wrestling match. Brock is a fighter out to destroy people. He nuked Cena. That Kimura he had Cena in more than once was just deadly. Do I think it was four stars? Not at this time, but it's VERY close.

The PPV, as a whole, was a huge success. It'll be up there as one of the best of the year, even when taking other promotions into account. ****

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