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From all the messages in my inbox and tweets I received (@MikeKillam) throughout the night, it seems like near everyone enjoyed last night's Extreme Rules Pay-Per-View. I had the honor of being there live, and if there's one thing I can say about the show, it's that the Chicago crowd was on fire! It's near impossible to capture the true electricity in an arena on television, but from the pre-show to the main event there was hardly a minute without some sort of chant going on. Chief among them: YES!
Randy Orton def. Kane - Falls Count Anywhere
Extreme Rules was filled with heels getting cheered and faces getting boo'd, but this was about as pure a match as you're going to find. Chicago was almost entirely pro-Orton, and Kane received a very strong negative reaction. It was actually refreshing in its simplicity. As unimportant as this feud has been since before WrestleMania, I thought both men did a great job bringing it to life in the last four weeks.
I always find it amusing that most Falls Count ANYWHERE matches end in the middle of the ring, but if you know anything about crowd psychology it makes perfect sense. Being there live, I can tell you an arena goes flat anytime the workers go off-screen. That being said, they managed to keep us into it by giving Zack Ryder some time, which got a great pop. Typical arena brawling kept me from really getting too excited, but when they stayed within the confines of a wrestling ring these two did great! Nice near-falls, a brutal chair barrage by Orton and a great ending. From a few seats behind commentary, we heard Kane's head hit the floor off that announce table DDT!
While Orton and Kane redeemed themselves with this match, I hope this is the end of their feud. I doubt anything more interesting can be milked out of these two together.
Brodus Clay def. Dolph Ziggler
Officially the best match of Brodus Clay's on-screen WWE career, thus far. How's that for shallow praise? Dolph Ziggler was the star in this short match, but what else is new...? Constant "let's go Ziggler" chants throughout the match, with a lot of boo's from my section when Brodus picked up the win, which were of course drowned out on TV by the music. Brodus isn't exactly the best ring worker in the business, but he and Ziggler worked a great short-match that I had zero problems with.
While I love Vickie and appreciate the unique managerial reaction she gets for her "clients", it's time for Ziggler to drop her like...well, the Miz (that never gets old!). Vickie and Swagger get heat, Ziggler gets a face reaction - it's sending a mixed reaction. After observing some of the other people around our seats, it seems like some of the mainstream fans just don't know what to do, so they do nothing.