Let me first welcome Kevin Kelly back to Wrestlezone. I have always enjoyed reading his perspective on things. If for some reason you haven’t read any of his work yet, I encourage you to do so.
The first PPV after WrestleMania has never been known for supplying us “match of the year” type performances. It has always consisted of several rematches from Mania and usually lacks the big night feel that other shows in the calendar year provide.
This year the WWE has altered much of the PPV schedule, and rather than what was “Backlash” for so many years in the month of April, we get “Extreme Rules.”
For what its worth, Extreme Rules is simple and exciting to hear as the theme for the night in comparison to the retaliation theme that “Backlash” was based on.
No blood, no chair shots to the head in the “Extreme Rules” PPV, I am skeptical but I am going to watch because its what I do.
The night started off well with Triple H not appearing on the cue of his music. Sheamus with the backstage attack was a nice unexpected start and rather “extreme” in nature. If you are going to have a street fight with someone, hit them from behind before the match starts, its what I would do!
After the delay of the match until later, the show began to become too intelligent for me.
When I say it became too intelligent, I am saying that there was a lot of mental and ring psychology going on, which for a show that is suppose to have every match be extreme, something wasn’t right.
Ring psychology is a beautiful art that the best in the business of a grasp of. Every match though had a slower pace than I was expecting.
Mysterio and CM Punk were my pick to have the best match from bell to bell with each other. The pace and moves were so much slower and grounded that I felt much of the intensity of conflict between the two gone.
Edge and Jericho got to a point where they were trying to milk the long rivalry that the crowd was chanting boring chants. It was the point that Jericho was begging for Edge to stop when Edge was on the offensive for the final few minutes. This was suppose to be Edge getting his revenge after a long injury process, losing to Jericho at Mania, now he has him trapped in the cage and Jericho is holding his ankle in pain while Edge stalks him. The crowd gave a big roar after the 3 count, I still don’t know how many were cheering in celebration for Edge, or in celebration that the match finally ended.
Batista and John Cena was slow but did have an entertaining sequence with the tables and such outside the ring. I kept getting a kick out of the whole night, Matt Striker citing the “experts.” He would say things like, “The experts would agree that the longer Cena is in an extreme environment with Batista, it doesn’t favor him.” That was not a direct word for word quote, but Striker had many statements that walked along those lines citing experts. I started to think that the PPV card had a BCS like committee polling who the probable winners would be. Perhaps he was watching the Chair Shot Reality and that sparked him to quote the “Experts” (that was a cheap plug but check out all episodes of the show at www.wrestlezone.com/videos).
Cena and Batista put on a match that I think we all expected. Few big spots, typical Cena comebacks, reminder that Batista tapping out doesn’t count. But how about the final 10 seconds?! Its no secret that Batista is packing his bags, but wow, lets make one of our top heels get beat by duct tape! WWE certainly knows how to make sure whoever is leaving them unexpectedly, doesn’t leave being feared or distinguished.
On a few positive notes, I was happy to see JTG and Shad get some time for their match. Again, not the most exciting match, only so much you can do in strap matches, but it was an interesting finish and hope to see more of JTG as a singles competitor.
Glad to see Swagger got a big win and still has the belt. After getting beat the last few weeks, I was happy that he did pin Orton. Speaking of Orton, that guy is good!
I have to finally admit it, Sheamus is here to stay. I have finally come to accept him as a major heel who will not be a one title run wonder. Again, I admit, I bashed how he was booked and shot to the top so fast, but he has sustained and emerged as one of the biggest heels with some great heat on him.