Another new intro, this time set to Marilyn Manson’s This Is The New Shit. Weird choice of song, not only was it four years old by this point and heavily censored (ARE YOU MOTHERblubblubs READY FOR THE NEW blubHIT?) but the themes of the song & album were about how everything had been done before and nothing was new (including Manson, who turned to shite after this) which is sending mixed messages for the brand with old ECW guys and the dudes Smackdown didn’t want. Manson’s a good metaphor for ECW, great in 1997 but damaged goods after 2001.
Hi everyone! Now that I can post on here as much as I like, here’s a cheap plug for a look back at Payback 2013 and seeing if the Ziggler/ADR feud was as good as I remember.
If you don’t want to click the link, the answer’s ”yes.”
You know what really grinds my gears about the finish to the Brock-Cena match? I’m watching this near-***** match, and I’m having the exact reaction as a jaded anti-Cena smark that WWE wanted. Lesnar is kicking the fucking shit out of Cena and I’m like “Yes! Kick the fucking shit out of this poser!” because although I like Cena as a worker I hate him as a character and sometimes it’s fun to mark out like that. So the match goes on, Cena is taking a vicious beating and bleeding all over, but gets the hope spots and I’m like “OK, Cena is taking a vicious beating but he keeps fighting, that’s pretty awesome of him if he’s losing”. And by the end, I’m WITH CENA. I’m sympathetic for him, and I’m ready to give him props and cheer for him once Brock finishes him off because he fought the good fight and lost like a man. And then he won as I was like “Well, fuck John Cena.” and everything was back to the way it was when we started. That’s what makes me so angry about the finish. They could have rehabbed Cena in exactly the way they’ve been desperate to do for years now and they FUCKED IT UP AGAIN. Never mind all the super-smarky armchair booking stuff that people will say motivating the anger and blah blah blah, but as a FAN I was going nuts for this thing and that ending just totally deflated me. I can only imagine what people who aren’t super-hardcore fans but wanted to see Cena beaten would have been thinking. Great job, WWE.
The SmarK Rant for WWE Extreme Rules 2012 Live from Chicago, IL Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & Booker T Opening match, Falls Count Anywhere: Kane v. Randy Orton They immediately fight to the floor and Kane gets two out there, then grabs the dreaded LEAD PIPE OF DEATH already. Back to the floor after trading some shots with that and they do the standard walk-and-punch brawl through the crowd and trade near-falls. They end up over by the entrance, where Orton gets a dropkick for two. Kane boots him down for two and they travel backstage and fight into the bathroom, so you know they mean business. Zack Ryder stupidly jumps in and attacks Kane long enough for Orton get a backbreaker for two, but Kane sends Orton into the CLANGY POLES OF DOOM to take over again. They’re pulling out all the stops here tonight! All we need is the craft services table for the full Russo monty! Sadly, no fresh fruits are used, as they head back to ringside again doing nothing of note. Back in the ring, Orton gets a clothesline out of the corner and the powerslam, and Orton venture out of the ring for a chair. Dammit, where’s the drink tray? What kind of a hardcore match is this? Orton pounds him with the chair and preps the announce table, hitting the draping DDT off the table to the floor for two. Kane counters an RKO and sends him into the post for two. Back in, Kane goes up and gets brought down with a superplex for two. Kane counters the RKO into a chokeslam for two. Kane sets up for the tombstone, but Orton counters into a chair-assisted RKO for the pin at 16:43. The stips ended up meaning basically nothing to the match aside from the one pre-taped backstage segment, but it was fine once it got back to the ring again. *** Meanwhile, Big Johnny and Eve get some champagne from Teddy Long. EXTREME Unadvertised Match: Brodus Clay v. Dolph Ziggler Swagger with the suit at ringside works much better as a bodyguard-type, actually. The crowd goes APESHIT for Ziggler, so I guess we’re in BIZARROWORLD. Brodus gets distracted by Swagger, and Ziggler dropkicks him out of the ring, allowing Swagger to get a cheapshot. Back in, Ziggler dropkicks the knee and hits the fameasser for two. He goes to a front facelock and adds a dropkick for two as the “Let’s Go Ziggler” chants get louder. Dolph with the sleeper, but Clay powers out of it and makes the comeback. The crowd actually boos the comeback, but Clay finishes clean with the splash at 4:15 anyway. Ziggler did what he could here. *1/2 Tables match, Intercontinental title: Big Show v. Cody Rhodes Cole notes that Show is one of only five men to hold all five of the current titles, including such names as Shawn Michaels. Uh, Shawn never held the US title. Perhaps he was thinking of the European title? Show tosses Cody around on the floor to start, but Cody gets a disaster kick off a table and they fight outside again. Show beats on him some more outside, but Cody dropkicks him off the apron on the way in, and he steps on a table to break it, for the backdoor Rhodes title win at 4:32. What a retarded finish that was. Show demonstrates some really bad sportsmanship, attacking Cody after the fair loss and chokeslamming him through the table. And then he presses him out of the ring and through another table, too. That was ridiculous, and this was barely even a match. ½* And why do they have to keep doing those stupid dangerous table bumps? No wonder guys have back problems. Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan lists all the advantages he has over Sheamus: Manlier beard, more chicks, less corned beef. All good points. And AJ is lurking in the background. World title, 2/3 Falls: Sheamus v. Daniel Bryan Crowd is split on Bryan, but Sheamus gets a giant heel reaction. Sheamus overpowers him and we’re already past 18 seconds, so good job on Bryan. They trade headlocks and Bryan tries a bodypress, but Sheamus turns it into a Regal roll for two. Texas Cloverleaf from Sheamus (which has an obvious gimmick name if he keeps using it), but Bryan reverses to a small package for two. Sheamus pounds away in the corner, but Bryan puts him down with a clothesline and out of the ring with a baseball slide. He dives and Sheamus catches him and spears him into the railing, but Sheamus goes up and Bryan brings him down to take over. The crowd starts a dueling “Daniel Bryan/18 Seconds” chant ala John Cena, which is interesting. Bryan works the arm with some nasty stuff and adds a dropkick to the shoulder for two. And now Booker is talking about “building momentum” and “creating separation” so those must be Vince-isms and not necessarily Cole-isms. Bryan chokes away on the ropes and goes back to the arm with a hammerlock. They slug it out and the crowd really starts to get into the “yes” thing until Sheamus puts him down with a kneelift and makes the comeback. Fallaway slam gets two. Sheamus misses a charge and Bryan kicks him in the corner for two. They fight to the top, but Sheamus blocks a rana and hits the shoulderblock for two. Bryan bails and Sheamus tries a suplex back in, but Bryan escapes and dumps Sheamus. He tries a dive, but Sheamus hits him with a forearm from the floor and tries the high cross. Bryan reverses that for two. He fights for the Yes Lock, but Sheamus keeps powering him off, so Bryan sends him into the post to injure the shoulder. Two more times for good measure, and he pounds the arm with kicks to the delight of the YES crowd. However, he kicks too much ass and gets himself disqualified at 15:00. That was BEGGING for a “I have until FIVE to break, referee”. Second fall and Bryan hooks the YES LOCK right away for the submission at 16:37. Aha, the old HHH v. The Rock “give up a fall to get a fall” strategy. The doctors check on Sheamus while Bryan leads an epic YES chant, but Sheamus is man enough to continue. Third fall and Bryan charges, but runs into a Brogue kick like an idiot. That only gets two, thankfully. They slug it out with Sheamus fighting from his knees, but Bryan knocks him out with a head kick and gets two. Bryan goes up and Sheamus follows with a superplex attempt, but Bryan puts him down and then misses his own dive. Bryan charges again and bumps in the corner, and Sheamus makes the comeback and hits the backbreaker. Brogue Kick finishes clean at 22:53. Tremendous match with a very unique heat. ****1/4 That’s exactly what I wanted out of Wrestlemania. And now we get three months of Sheamus v. Del Rio while D-Bry feuds with a girl. EXTREME Unadvertised Squash: Ryback v. Aaron Relic & Jay Hatton I’m kind of digging the “jobbers cut lame promos and then get destroyed” gag. The crowd is already hip to the room and chants “Goldberg” at him. Lariat and muscle buster finish the dweebs at 1:41. Meanwhile, CM Punk gives final thoughts before the title match. WWE title, Chicago Street Fight: CM Punk v. Chris Jericho Punk stomps a mudhole on Jericho and they head to the floor right away, where Punk finds a kendo stick to draw an “ECW” chant and inflict some damage. Jericho runs away until Punk caches him with a clothesline and lays into him with the stick again. Jericho finally hides behind the ref and gets a cheapshot, then sends Punk into the timekeeper’s cave. They fights on the floor and Jericho beats on Punk in front of his (allegedly drug-addicted) sister, prompting a slap from her and a comeback from Punk. Punk slams Jericho onto the announce table in a nice bump and tries a piledriver on the floor, but Jericho backdrops out and rams a monitor into his back. OUCH. Back in, Punk gets a backdrop suplex, but Jericho lays him out with the kendo stick and pounds him with it again. Jericho stops for the trashtalk and Punk rolls him up for two, but Jericho puts him down for two again. Jericho stops outside to grab a frosty cold beverage and pour it on Punk. Cole notes that this is the proverbial pouring of salt in the wounds. Actually it’s more like the literal pouring of alcohol in the wounds, which is much more painful I’d imagine. Jericho gets another can, but this allows Punk to make the comeback with the bulldog. Jericho reverses the GTS into the Walls, but Punk powerslams him for two. He goes up and Jericho wants a superplex, but Punk counters and gets the Macho Elbow instead. That gets two. Another GTS is countered by Jericho into the bulldog, but Punk blocks the Lionsault with the GTS…and Jericho escapes that too. He sends Punk into a chair for two. They’re just not clicking here, as the timing seems off and they can’t get the crowd to buy into the false finishes. Jericho recovers first and gets a Codebreaker, which sets up the Walls of Jericho in the middle of the ring. Punk gets to the ropes, but it’s no DQ, so Punk has to grab a fire extinguisher instead and sprays Jericho to break the hold. Well that works too. Punk chases him out of the ring with the extinguisher and high-kicks him onto the Spanish table, which means it’s time for the SUPER MACHO MAN ELBOW through the table. Back in, that only gets two, but the Anaconda Vice is hooked. Jericho grabs the kendo stick and whacks Punk in the face to escape, prompting a “this is awesome” chant from the crowd. They are certainly making up for the earlier problems. Punk attacks with the chair, but Jericho grabs it and hits a codebreaker with it for two. Crowd was PANICKED there. Jericho has had ENOUGH of this shit and stomps on Punk in frustration, then tries his own GTS, which Punk counters into the catapult into the steel and the GTS finishes at 25:11. Indeed, this was awesome by the end, a throwback to the crazy brawls of the Attitude era, but man they were losing the crowd bigtime leading up to it. ***1/2 Although the feud lost a lot of steam at the end and I’m hoping Punk moves onto something else now. Meanwhile, Eve reveals that Beth Phoenix is not medically cleared to wrestle tonight. What? So why advertise the match then? Eve immediately points out that it’s not Kharma. Divas title: Nikki Bella v. Layla That’s the big payoff? The crowd chants “We want Kharma” as Nikki goes after the bad knee and gets two. Layla comes back with a crossbody for two, but goes after Brie and gets rolled up for two. The twins switch off, but Layla pins Brie with a neckbreaker at 2:32 to win the title. DUD She doesn’t even look the same as before. Why even bother bringing her back? Brock Lesnar v. John Cena Brock is wearing the UFC gear tonight, which is pretty awesome. Brock takes him down for punishment and LEVELS him with a clothesline, and Cena is BLEEDING from the HEAD. Brock just destroys him on the mat and the ref pulls him off to check on the cut, but after it’s stopped Brock comes in again and brutalizes him on the mat. Brock dumps him out of the ring as Cena continues to bleed from his SKULL and the doctors keep stopping it. Cena keeps fighting and tries the FU, but Brock puts him down with a pair of german suplexes. Cena fights back and the ref gets wiped out, but Brock casually puts Cena down again and then wipes the blood on his chest. This is what I paid $55 to see. Brock fights for a KIMURA in the corner and dumps Cena like a sack of garbage again and gets the THUG LIFE CHAIN, but he doesn’t even WANT it. This is a man’s man. So he instead delivers a knee to the ribs, and uses the chain to tie up Cena’s legs before hanging him in the corner and beating the shit out of him some more. Cena fights back again, so Brock sends him into the stairs and then tosses Little Naitch into the ring with one hand in an awesome visual. Cena crawls in with his chain, but Brock steps on his hand and delivers an F-5, knocking the ref out a second time. Another ref comes out and counts two, so Brock destroys him as well. Brock gets the stairs involved as an army of refs wearing gloves head out, and Cena fights back again, only to get caught in a kimura. I would advise tapping out here, but Cena powers him up and slams him on the stairs. Cena goes for the hail mary pass, heading up with the legdrop, but Brock moves and Cena splats and lands on the floor. Brock taunts him from the stairs in a spectacular visual while Cena fights to the apron again, but Brock charges and launches himself at Cena, hurting his own leg in the process. Then he LAUGHS IT OFF and awaits Cena’s return again…and this time Cena hits him with the chain to block the charge. Cena makes the comeback, drawing babyface heat in Chicago because this is such an awesome match, and Brock is bleeding all over the place. And Cena finishes with the FU on the stairs at 17:50. Are you fucking KIDDING ME? They put Cena over? That was the most ridiculously short-sighted booking decision I’ve seen in years. The match itself was unbelievable, a brutally realistic FIGHT unlike anything seen in WWE main events, maybe ever. I was almost literally jumping up and down in my living room by the end, even at 1:00 AM and a long day. ****3/4 for the match, negative one million stars for the worst decision they could have possibly made. The Pulse That flushing sound in Chicago is all the money from Brock going down the toilet. That being said, this was probably the best show since Money in the Bank, easily. The big three matches all delivered (or in the case of the main event, over-delivered), but holy shit why would you spend all that money on Brock and then have him just get beaten like another guy? Huge thumbs up.
Man, I’m almost tempted to download the abdomination that was EXTREME REUNION just to see if it could be as bad as promised. Vince and Dixie have been SERVED, indeed. Anyway, a real wrestling promotion is doing an actual, non-“tape delayed” PPV tonight, and it’ll actually be the fourth one in a row I order, which is the first time in many years when that has happened. Buyrate prediction: Brock’s not moving ratings and he won’t move buyrates either. It’ll do better than last year, but only like 10% more. So we’ll say 140K domestic and 220 worldwide. EXTREME RULES match: Brock Lesnar v. John Cena I think they go all-in with Brock and resist their temptation to have smiling Cena triumph in the end. Brock destroys Cena in a quick match, but maybe takes an FU during the comeback before shrugging it off and hitting the F5 and choking Cena out with the head-and-arm choke like he did against Shane Carwin. I think Cena’s getting beat, and tapping, to injure him and take him off TV for a while. CHICAGO STREET FIGHT, WHICH IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT THAN EXTREME RULES match: CM Punk v. Chris Jericho On one hand, WWE logic says that Punk is due to job in Chicago, but sane person logic says that Jericho is on the way out again for the summer and people aren’t buying into the storyline anyway. Really, Punk is the long-term guy with the belt until they’re ready to pass it to Brock, so there’s no point in interrupting his 6 month reign for a month just so they can put it back on him again. I think Punk retains in a fun brawl and Jericho goes away to tour with Fozzy for a while. EXTREME 2/3 FALLS match: Sheamus v. Daniel Bryan Bryan’s going to be mighty over, and maybe we can hold out hope that Del Rio’s involvement in the World title will mean a three-way at the next show instead of a singles match, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on AJ successfully interfering or anything. Sheamus will retain in two straight falls, probably one even shorter than Wrestlemania, but it’ll end up being a great match hopefully. SPIN THE WHEEL, MAKE THE DEAL! Big Show v. Cody Rhodes Cody had the crap beat out of him on Smackdown by two different people and looked like a jobber, so naturally he’s getting the title back here because Big Show hasn’t even defended it since winning. What a disaster this program has become for Cody. Not even a beautiful one. Stipulation guess: DQ rule is waived, because that costs the least money and that way Show doesn’t have to job. EXTREME FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE match: Kane v. Randy Orton Much like Randy Orton, I just don’t give a shit anymore about this feud. Paul Bearer helps Orton win somehow, hopefully it’s good and ends this program forever. EXTREME WOMEN’S match: Nikki Bella v. Beth Phoenix Guess they realized no one was buying the ankle injury storyline. Nikki uses TWIN MAGIC to retain and gets squashed back to the indies by Kharma tomorrow night on Monday Night RAW Starring Brock Lesnar. EXTREME YOUTUBE PRE-SHOW match: Santino v. The Miz They’re doing nothing with the Miz, so look for him to beat Santino clean and win the US title. Really, as long as the two World title matches deliver and Brock beats the jorts off Cena, this is a thumbs up show, so it should be a challenge for them to fuck it up. We’ll see tonight I guess.
Hey Scott,I was just sitting here thinking about what I think would be an awesome way to do the Cena – Lesnar feud from this point. Thought it might make good conversation for your blog…..Someone posted a comment about running a “Knightfall” (from Batman) storyline involving Punk. I think there is some money to be made from copying the storyline from Rocky 3, where Lesnar just destroys Cena at Extreme Rules and takes the belt. He then destroys everyone else in his path for months on end, while Cena continues his downward spiral and loses at all pay per views because his “head isn’t in the game” after the loss to Brock. Then sometime after Summerslam, The Rock returns and helps Cena regain his edge ala Apollo Creed did with Rocky. Cena then begins the climb once again to the top, building to another showdown with Lesnar at Wrestlemania next year with Rock in his corner. In the meantime, Lesnar could get cockier and cockier about the ease with which he is chewing people up. Hell, to kickstart the whole storyline at extreme rules, Lesnar could pull Cenas dad from the crowd before the match and clothesline him or something leading Cena to be distracted and easy pickings for Brock in a 5 or 10 minute match. And how awesome could the motivational workout videos of Rock and Cena be with Rock bringing the fire back to Cena. Whether anyone else would be into or not, it would hook me on the product again.
I think if you’re gonna do that one, you’d have to do it at Summerslam because it’s too long term to do in a promotion as accelerated as WWE. I think it’s a terrific idea, though, with Cena being forced to go to his hated enemy for help because Brock is just too much of a threat. It’s a pretty classic story, actually, which is why Rocky 3 used it and was such an awesome movie.
They really should put one of the belts on Lesnar right away, though. Having the two World titles as undercard matches underneath Brock does the belts no good. If Brock is the top guy in the promotion, he should be the champion, period. What I really wish is that there was a MITB briefcase floating around that Brock could get, because Daniel Bryan pulling out every cheating trick in the book to regain the belt from Sheamus at the PPV by the skin of his teeth and then getting immediately destroyed by Brock (complete with “shitting his pants” terror on his face) would have a really fun vibe to it.