- Category: Idiot Box
- Created on Thursday, 23 May 2013 17:37
- Written by Romeo Moran
- Hits: 5862
1:10: So this opening video montage is talking about lawlessness… but technically, there are rules. There’s still some method to the madness. Not exactly lawless now, is it? Not the best video montage, either, thanks to this silly logic.
3:58: We’re opening tonight’s show with Jericho vs. Fandango. Better to get it out of the way now, I suppose, but jerking the curtain imposes an obligation on these two to deliver in some form or fashion.
5:38: Summer Rae is almost like Kelly Kelly 2.0, but slightly better in the ring from what I’ve seen so far. That said I do like (looking at) Fandango’s original brunette partner better. Summer Rae’s face does not cut it for me.
6:39: And here’s 2013’s Entrance Theme of the Year!
8:16: I don’t care what you say or what you think of this guy, but that giant Taker-style Fandango symbol hanging above the ring is fucking boss. It’s perfect for a smug show-off douche like ‘Dango, and it makes you wonder why Dolph Ziggler doesn’t have one of those with the outline of his carbonara hair.
11:41: Fandango’s pants, tho…
11:57: JBL, really? Fandango’s first match ever in the WWE? Michael Cole commentated on NXT season 4; you can’t even sell that bullshit to him, and Cole is the king of bullshit.
13:19: Curtis showing some great agility on that over-the-rope leg drop. My problem with that now is the same problem I had with Alberto del Rio when he was a heel: fancy, athletic high-flying moves are the work of a face. But so far, the ballroom dancer gimmick requires some grace and I’ll let it slide for now, since Fandango makes up for it by being good at being an asshole. (That, and he gets booed anyway just because.)
15:17: Also, Fandango has a better grasp of psychology than the Miz does.
16:04: This still feels like a TV match so far, which in itself is not a bad thing, but this is a PPV. Combine that with the fact that their match at WrestleMania, the biggest show of the year, was a normal match, and this is a gimmicked PPV. Why couldn’t they have a stipulation? Why not cover the ring with that on-the-fly parquet floor they had for the dance-off? Imagine landing on that thing, that’s pretty extreme, isn’t it? Fandango wouldn’t be able to feel his ass for a month after missing his top-rope leg drop.
16:38: Crowd’s hot for this match, plus some people were Fandango-ing earlier. I think I like them.
17:13: Wait, what exactly was Fandango planning to do with that flying move? A flying walk-right-into-the-Codebreaker? I hate it when two guys telegraph a standing top-rope move. One of the most obvious things a viewer can spot in wrestling. (Aaaand they showed it again on the post-match replay.)
17:22: Jericho with the win, evening out their series to 1-1 – meaning this feud is not over yet. (Cue groans from Fandango haters.) Their match at Payback, the next PPV, should have some sort of gimmick or should be substantially longer. Holding out some hope, given what Jericho is capable of. Anyway, it was a decent opener, but nothing to write home about. Like I said, it was a match I could’ve expected of them on TV. 1.5 stars.
19:08: You just repeated the question, Sheamus. We’re not stupid.
19:35: The Celtic Warrior should be something Sheamus always is. The Great White, while interesting when it was first thought of, is ridiculously stupid and does nothing for Sheamus or his character at all. He’s as pale as a ghost, he’s huge, but nobody thinks of a damn shark when they look at Sheamus. Celtic Warrior, though, that’s what the fiery red hair always connotes.
22:09: SOS! I’M EATING SHELTON!
22:37: Dean Ambrose is wearing a T-shirt underneath is protective vest that makes him look slightly like John Travolta in Grease, and- wait, Reigns and Rollins are heading to the back?! That means no Shield pick-and-roll?! You mean they’re actually going to start putting over Ambrose as a singles star here?!
23:51: I swear to God, I’m waiting for Ambrose to start busting out “Greased Lightning” any moment now. It doesn’t help that some of his jerky gestures kind of look like greaser dance moves. I bet Deuce and Domino wished they were this badass. (They were cool, they were even a good team, but they were not badass. Except for Crack ‘Em in Da Mouf. That was badass.)
24:00: M-M-M-Monkey flip!
24:34: This is a traditional match-up for the U.S. title, but don’t tell me it couldn’t have been better served as a Falls Count Anywhere match. That would’ve been a great fit considering Ambrose’s character and style, and the antics of the Shield.
25:52: I like this crossface chickenwing. I like it a lot. This should be a finisher, and Ambrose’s current finisher should be a set-up to this move.
27:59: BUTTERFLY SUPERPLEX!
29:04: See this spot? The Trouble in Paradise to the outside? That would’ve been a more dramatic spot if this were Falls Count Anywhere.
29:20: Great move to have Ambrose break the plane of the bottom rope instead of kicking out of Trouble. I don’t care what you say, but Trouble is a devastating move notwithstanding its slow, obvious set-up. Not everyone should be kicking out of it.
29:45: Kofi missing Trouble and hitting the top rope was a good visual.
29:54: And just like that, Ambrose swooped in and hit the snapmare driver for the pin and the win. That was really quick, but you know what the storyline implication of that match time is? It showed that Dean Ambrose can finish quickly… without the help of the Shield. That makes him really, really dangerous. Good match, even though I wish it was longer. 3 stars.
33:55: Oh boy, strap match. The WWE hasn’t had a good strap match since Eddie and JBL’s Texas Bullrope Match, and even that was a pretty anticlimactic way to have the WWE Championship change hands.
36:09: Okay, I’m glad Cole made reference to that match. Would be hard not to, since JBL is right there with him.
39:10: This match needs MORE COWBELL~!
40:40: That strap looks like a giant flatworm. Or a giant bandage. Or no – it looks like what Andre the Giant’s handwraps would look like if he wore handwraps, and if they picked them out of the garbage after a few days. It hardly looks extreme at all.
45:05: That was a really quick strap match. Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick after touching three turnbuckles to clear Mizark out of the way to hit the last turnbuckle. It was a good brawl, but there wasn’t much drama to the whole thing. Not only was nothing on the line, but there’s a formula for some good strap match drama and it wasn’t utilized to the fullest, perhaps because of the short match time. 2.25 stars.
47:31: Real-life adult version of the Coppertone baby. That was a good one.
48:04: Wait, so Kaitlyn has body image problems now? This Kaitlyn? A former bodybuilder?
50:37: Damn, I wonder if Dolph lost a tooth in that kick.
53:40: Zeb is really the best thing that’s happened to Jack Swagger.
54:40: On the flip side, it sounds really, really stupid when Swagger bellows WEEEEE THE PEOPLEEEEE. You the People. So what?
55:29: What? No boxer’s robe? That was a good look on del Rio.
56:20: Thank you, King, for diverting the discussion from politics to what it’s about in the ring. Granted, it’s not saying much, but I’d rather these guys talk about the match than their nation’s politics.
57:02: Cole with another JBL match reference, this time the I Quit match between him and Cena back in Judgment Day ’05.
57:14: Wow, that was pretty damn early to ask him if he wanted to quit. He only just took apart the barricade and you’re already asking him if he wants to quit? THIS IS NOT BALLET!
58:17: Swagger’s already bleeding from his shoulder. That’s how it should be.
58:42: Has anyone ever had a sword fight in a Singapore Cane match? Probably in the old ECW?
1:01:41: “Welcome to Jack Swagger’s America” makes a lot more sense than WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE THEEEEE PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEOPLEEEEEEE.
1:03:40: Del Rio does set the house on fire as a face well. It looks believable on him. Maybe he really is better off as a face.
1:03:46: JBL compared Swagger to a piñata. That was racist, man. Just because del Rio is a Mexican, the thing he’s whacking on is already a piñata?
1:04:30: That was a great-looking powerslam by Swagger.
1:07:34: Colter threw in the towel Ricardo Rodriguez was holding and the ref thought RR did it, awarding Swagger the victory (cueing in his music which sounds like, ironically, a beat Pitbull would rap to). A second referee – who is all mic’d up – is telling the first that Colter did it. And now… the ref is now consulting instant replay. Instant replay. In professional wrestling. The lack of which has always been a plot device in wrestling storylines.
1:09:10: JBL hit it right on the head: WHEN DID WE START USING REPLAY?
1:09:50: Okay, that was ridiculously dumb. Del Rio hit a stiff kick on Swagger’s right arm, and Swagger is selling it. Del Rio then proceeds to lock in his cross armbreaker on the left arm, which leads to Swagger quitting eventually. What the hell was that? Either del Rio messed up by not working on the proper arm (because the left arm is what is usually worn down) or he messed up by not paying attention to which arm he was working on.
1:10:40: I don’t even know what to say. The upside is that a #1 contendership was fought hard for. The downside is that not only did we start disregarding precedent by using instant replay in a sport notorious for not using instant replay (BECAUSE THAT’S HOW DIRTY FINISHES ARE POSSIBLE AS PLOT DEVICES IN THE FIRST PLACE) and for relying on an authority figure on a mission to overturn a match result because he was the one who saw it from the back, this exhibits once again the inconsistency that defines terrible, imaginationless booking. Swagger wasn’t man enough to not quit anyway, so what was the point of the restart? Either you stick to a dirty finish or you have Swagger lose without complications. I would’ve much rather let Swagger win dirty and have del Rio address the loss on RAW, continuing the drama of who gets to face Dolph Ziggler. That’s two birds with one stone! HOW HARD COULD THIS BE? 2.25 stars, because I at least have to acknowledge that these two work well together.
1:11:39: Does anyone else find it funny that when the voiceover guy in the “Don’t Try This At Home” video montage says “separations,” Cena was being shown?
1:12:34: If you’re not WWE champion because other people play by different rules, shouldn’t you be taking your frustrations out on the God damn Shield, Ryback?
1:14:11: Time for the Tornado Tag match. Great way to wash the taste of the last match off. Tornado tag still means no pick-and-roll, though.
1:15:50: I like Bryan’s black-and-red duds. I really do.
1:16:50: That was an amazing alley-oop by the Shield there. Not alley-oop the move, but Rollins and Reigns’s one-two with Rollins dishing Bryan to Reigns, who finishes with a huge clothesline.
1:17:13: Shield just going ham here as they double suplex Kane.
1:18:19: Is that… is that a dude in the crowd with an Ash Ketchum hat?
1:18:34: The crowd just loves Bryan. He gets reactions whatever he does.
1:18:55: This time it’s Hell No cleaning house and they are in absolute top form here. Great tag team match so far.
1:20:10: The tornado tag stipulation adds a sense of urgency to every big move. That’s how you create drama, WWE. That’s how you make a match memorable. That’s what’s been missing lately.
1:21:00: “You tried to break my arm, I’ma break your face!” Great stuff from Reigns here.
1:21:41: This is what I was talking about with the drama. Reigns hits his huge Spear on Kane, and no one else is in the ring. Had Bryan not jumped in there and broke the pin up, the Shield would’ve won it right then and there. That made breaking it up really important, because there is no tag team partner standing in the corner! You don’t know if Bryan could make it! This is why the crowd is going apeshit right now!
1:22:12: Absolutely BEAUTIFUL launching of Bryan by Reigns into a jumping enzuigiri from Rollins!
1:22:32: The Shield win after a flying knee to Bryan’s head! New tag team champions!
1:22:44: It was great, but I really, really wish that match was longer. There was no reason why that match shouldn’t have been longer. But that’s the story here: the Shield is such a dangerous, well-oiled machine that they can decimate opponents – even the best of them – quickly. Add to that the fact that the tornado tag stipulation was designed to exact a lot of chaos in the shortest amount of time. 4 stars.
1:25:18: Why is Titus O’Neil part of the post-show? What could he possibly add to Wade Barrett and Mick Foley?
1:25:55: What makes you think the Prime Time Players could beat the Shield, Titus? You guys can’t even beat the Rhodes Scholars.
1:28:50: This Orton/Show match should not be this late in the card. This sequencing is really problematic, given that the good matches have been getting short times tonight.
1:30:04: Orton loves his hometown so much he momentarily turned into a member of the Spirit Squad for a second there.
1:31:04: Aw, come on, Show, that was a perfectly good kendo stick. You ain’t have to break it like that.
1:31:31: Oh wait, turns out we have another one.
1:32:49: Orton’s bust out the ladder now. I guess he wants to make up for the fact that we’re not getting a ladder match tonight. (Thanks, Swagger.)
1:34:44: Big Show’s still pretty damn agile for a guy his size and age. I think he wants to compete with Kane here.
1:37:50: Damn, I thought Show was gonna sit on Orton there; turns out he was planning to Vader Bomb him. And Vader Bomb right onto the ladder he goes as Orton rolls out the way.
1:39:20: Show kicks out of an RKO. That’s one. (One what?) One kick-out.
1:40:08: You know what I realized has been missing lately? A Superstar who specializes in a particular weapon. I haven’t seen anyone with a weapon specialization since… Finlay and his shillelagh.
1:42:14: He can’t be…
1:42:23: PUNT! RKO PUNT!
1:42:49: Good match. Definitely more than I was expecting, but I was hoping for more weapon use and interaction. Crowd gave it a lot of energy, and I really appreciate them for that. What I don’t really know is what Randy won here. What did you win, Randy? What is this really about? 3.25 stars.
1:45:12: Time for Cena/Ryback. Are we really ready for this?
1:45:44: And this is also the second straight Extreme Rules that the WWE title is not involved in the show’s main event. What’s even more interesting is that Cena’s not involved in the show’s main event. Cena main events more nowadays than the WWE Championship does.
1:52:18: Cena’s never lost at Extreme Rules? Cole, were you not calling last year’s match against Brock Lesnar? Surely you mean Cena’s never lost a Last Man Standing match?
1:54:23: STOP REPEATING IT. CENA HAS LOST AT EXTREME RULES.
1:54:41: Not even five minutes into the match and Cena’s already hitting 5MoD?
1:55:32: Ryback’s so hot right now. Ryback. /Mugatu
1:57:08: Can I just say that I really love Rybeezy’s deadlift powerbomb? I think that should be a finisher, but Shell Shocked is good either way.
1:59:03: Ryback’s setting up a table. Allusion to the fact that this match could’ve been a tables match?
2:00:30: If Cena’s really working this match with an injured foot, I applaud him. He’s stupid, but I applaud his strength.
2:02:39: Well… that’s an awkward move. What exactly… that was a sleeper hold?
2:03:40: I like that Ryback’s looking stronger here. It’s as he should look. He hasn’t been subject to the count yet as far as I can tell.
2:04:31: Cena wants Rybeezy to pass out because he’s figured that’s the only way ‘Beezy’ll be staying down. That’s clever.
2:05:22: That said, Cena already knows the ultimate Last Man Standing Hail Mary play. Why not just duct tape ‘Beezy’s legs to the ringpost again?
2:07:45: Seriously, if Cena’s ankle is as injured – and ankle injuries are serious business – as he says it is, how does he let people perform moves on it?
2:10:00: Cena still with the submission strategy. He’s telling a good story tonight, friends.
2:12:18: FIRE EXTINGUISHER! Oh, how I’ve missed you so! I haven’t seen you since Over the Limit 2012!
2:13:51: RYBACK RAMS CENA INTO THE LIGHTS OF THE EXTREME RULES SET!
2:15:31: Cena’s down. The match seems to be over.
2:18:46: Okay, I’ve seen people react to this ending, saying that Ryback should’ve won since he got to his feet, and people reacting to that by saying that the match couldn’t have been over in a draw without a 10 count… but look at that scene. Paramedics are all over the place. How insensitive and plain ridiculous would it look if the referee started counting to ten when there is carnage all around them and the paramedics are making an effort to get Cena some medical attention? I point the blame to the stupidity of the finish that was booked. If the intention was to execute a spot that saw both men being down for the count, then they went overboard by executing a spot that did just that but also created a situation where the normal match protocol would look downright insulting. Why not just have them break the Spanish announce table together? Or fall from the stage? The match was fun, but the finish robbed all momentum from everyone. 3.25 stars.
2:19:54: King just said what I said. They went too far, but instead of eliciting a dramatic reaction from everyone, now they’ve just left people to debate over the wisdom, logic, and logistics of that decision.
2:22:42: I didn’t see this segment in full, but damn, they really showed Triple H’s full name onscreen? On a scale of the dead horse to a double-tapped zombie, how dead is kayfabe?
2:26:22: Time for the steel cage match. There weren’t that many video packages and throwaway segments, but how is it that the undercard matches still got less time? Maybe we shouldn’t have had Sheamus/Mizark.
2:27:33: Hunter attacks Brock as he’s making his way down to the ring.I guess the match doesn’t start until both men are inside the cage, so…
2:29:50: Brock threw Hunter to the cage wall and for a moment there I swore the wall was going to give way and break completely… allowing Triple H to win.
2:30:43: Seriously, that east wall has a lot of give.
2:31:07: Beautiful German suplex there. I haven’t seen a good one since… well, since Benoit. (Oh no, he mentioned Benoit!)
2:32:35: Is it just me, or are Brock’s underarms… yellow? Like, neon yellow? What the fuck is that? Stay away from those ‘pits, Hunter.
2:33:10: Brock is saying that his knee broke, and is clutching it is pain. Not sure how much of this is him playing possum.
2:33:42: And Triple H don’t care about your broken knee!
2:34:26: Heeeeeere’s the Kimura. Took him less than 10 minutes to break it out.
2:35:53: F-5! F-5! F-5! F-5! F-5! At least Brock can sell an injured part of the leg better than Cena can.
2:37:21: Brock tries to go for another F-5, and this time his knee buckles. Told you he can sell it better.
2:38:18: Brock being injured is interesting. Normally the face is the one battling through a severe injury, and the heel is to capitalize on it, as Ryback did with Cena just earlier. This time it’s the heel who isn’t just working with a tweak in his knee. It’s strange because it’s usually to build the face up and garner him some sympathy for the fans, but who – in theory – is going to sympathize with Brock, the asshole in this match-up? (Or at least, the bigger asshole, considering who he’s facing?)
2:40:20: Figure four! Miz, take notes.
2:42:14: Brock’s climbed up to the top, but Triple H bashes him on the bad knee with a chair! That’s gotta hurt.
2:42:55: TRIPLE H HAS A SILVER SLEDGEHAMMER AT THE TOP OF THE CAGE!
2:43:54: Triple H now has a sharpshooter locked in. Man, he really hates this Brock Lesnar guy, doesn’t he?
2:44:52: Brock kicks out of a Pedigree and the crowd is going batshit crazy!
2:46:24: Brock’s got the silver hammer. He’s got bad intentions – and he schedules an ambush meeting with the head of the sledgehammer and the side of Hunter’s jaw!
2:47:33: Instead of leaving the cage, Brock has other plans and delivers another F-5 to Hunter. All you had to do was walk out of the cage, son. You already knocked him out.
2:48:08: Wait, that F-5 was for the pin and win. That was… pretty anticlimactic. 2.75 stars.
2:53:12: Triple H is struggling to get up. I believe this is the set-up to this Monday’s little concussion angle during the match with Curtis Axel. (Whom I will deal with in a future article.)
2:54:21: And that was the show. I won’t get into the post-show anymore, as this article is already long enough. All in all, there wasn’t enough drama and urgency to sustain some major interest throughout the proceedings, thanks to most of the show being either rematches from WrestleMania or not well-developed. As always, the only things that really drew me in were anything in which the Shield was involved. Imagine that – in 2013, a WWE Tag Team title match would be the most interesting and exciting match on a WWE pay-per-view. They need to review that match and take notes on what made it so interesting. (Hint: it’s the fact that even if we have an idea on what’s about to happen, anything can still happen in the mad chaos of a tornado tag match. Or a generic tag match, even.)
I’m telling you this: the WWE needs more imagination. And no other event underscored that need more than an event named Extreme Rules. B-
Images from WWE.com