(Author’s Note: As I type this, it is officially Memorial Day here in the United States. Just want to thank all of the members of our defensive forces in uniform who made the ultimate sacrifice. Without them, as well as our living veterans, this blog post amongst many others wouldn’t be possible. Thank you for defending our freedoms!)
It’s been a little while since I’ve written a piece for the blog, and there’s a good reason. A myriad of health problems stemming from a faulty appendix kept me from being a normal human being for a while.
Now that I summarized two months of my life in a single paragraph, time to get back to business!
Extreme Rules took place a little over a week ago on pay-per-view. As a show itself, I personally found it somewhat as take it or leave it on a match quality standpoint. In terms of booking decisions though, this show seemed well executed with one major flaw.
Let’s get the flaw right out of the way first. That is the No-Contest in the WWE Championship match between Ryback and John Cena. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if it were a different stipulation. But, and I mean BUT, THIS WAS A LAST MAN STANDING MATCH! The count of ten ends the match, no matter who is down.
The Royal Rumble of 2004 saw Triple H and Shawn Michaels just about kill each other in a Last Man Standing war. Shawn superkicked The Game, and both men fell. Earl Hebner counted to ten, thus resulting in a draw with Triple H retaining the World Heavyweight Championship.
For WWE’s sake, what was so hard about a double-countout? It makes Cena’s legit injury look even more legitimate while Ryback doesn’t look like he jobbed again. I understand the whole concept of crashing through the stage, but Batista & Undertaker did that before to a double-countout. This could have easily worked, and the angle wouldn’t need to be changed.
WWE really needs to be thankful that they were able to further the feud with continuity, because that NC in a LMS match is a bullshit way to go. Thankfully it won’t be a crippling issue as the months go forward.
Now to the positives, and there were two major ones.
First off, need to tip my hat to The Shield.
This unique trio has opened my eyes. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns have all exhibited tremendous ability in the ring. Better than that, the WWE has booked them to be almost indestructible. Dean owns the United States belt after he pinned Kofi Kingston, while Rollins/Reigns owning the Tag Team belts after they ruled supreme over Team Hell No. Their matches at Extreme Rules were amongst the best on the card, and with time will bring justice to the main event. I can’t wait until one of these guys gets the WWE Championship. With Money in the Bank coming around, it may be sooner than later.
Now to the title portion of the program.
Brock Lesnar and Triple H took their long-running feud inside of a shiny new cage to end the show. Over the course of a year, these two have beaten the living crap out of each other. Whether it’d be Brock breaking Trips’ arm multiple times, or Triple H knocking out Lesnar cold at WrestleMania, the climax would inevitably hit soon. Soon being Extreme Rules.
I’ll admit I wasn’t the biggest fan of this match going in. I haven’t seen ‘Mania yet, but I did watch SummerSlam. That match felt pitifully slow, and when Brock put Triple H in his Kimura, it felt like as if all of us were gonna tap out to boredom.
However, this cage match had just enough to keep it going forward.
For example, I liked how Triple H went after Brock’s knee. Lesnar sold it like a monster was wounded mortally! Also, I liked how Paul Heyman (a main instigator of this whole angle) got his licked in, plus got his ass kicked. Heyman was never one to shy away from getting into the fray, and he didn’t disappoint here. Plus I liked how Triple H played by his figurative sword but would ultimately die by it too.
The ending may have been somewhat weak, but I didn’t mind the outcome. Brock Lesnar winning was the only realistic way to go. Brock losing would have been like Lesnar turning into the 2013 version of Brian Pillman: the world’s richest jobber. While jobbing doesn’t always have a bad connotation, it can definitely leave the wrong impression in certain situations. Fortunately, WWE did the right thing and let Brock go over massive.
From here, Brock can only feud with one man.
A man whose penchant is to elicit strong hometown reactions, and a man whose manager (plus Curtis Axel) will inevitably turn on him with a broken arm in tow.
Don’t forget people… PAYBACKS ARE GONNA BE A BITCH!