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.