Get comfy, everyone. This is likely to be a very long post. I COULD break it into two, but then I’d just be postponing other posts that need posting. Post.
Let’s start with Extreme Rules. I must say that it’s always the PPV shows that I expect the least out of that always end up entertaining me a lot more than other shows. The same thing happened with Breaking Point last year. I had lukewarm interest going in, and it turned out to be one of the best shows of the year. Same goes for Extreme Rules. I think, anyway. Though it could also be due to the fact that I’m basically ignoring the commentary now, seeing as how it’s the worst I’ve ever heard. Anyway, let’s look at the show and talk about the matches.
ShowMiz loses a Gauntlet Match against the third of three teams
As soon as Teddy Long started counting the teams ShowMiz was going to face, I knew immediately who they were going to face, and even predicted the correct order. I know that this is impossible to verify for anyone other than myself, but I’m taking it as a victory anyway. Morrison and Truth are first, and though they lost by DQ, it was an innovative way to lose, with Morrison nearly causing Show to pass out via a submission hold with ring rope assistance. Then we got Mark Henry and MVP, who did a decent job jobbing and the usual “Big Show punch to the guy covering Miz” end. And, of course, the Hart Dynasty runs out, hits the Hart Attack 2.0, and wins the match to earn a Tag Team Title match on Raw the following night. Now, while I think that they should save most of their title changes for PPVs, I’m okay with this, especially since the Dynasty ended up winning last night. I really hope that this is a true resurgence of the tag team division. It’s been helped immensely over the last nine months or so by Chris Jericho, The Miz, and Big Show, but they’re all singles competitors working in the tag division. This will give Miz time to actually defend the US Title (finally). I truly hope that Creative doesn’t ruin the tag division with the Dynasty at the top. I really want to see this work out.
CM Punk defeats Rey Mysterio
Apparently this wasn’t an Extreme Rules match, which is odd considering the TITLE of the show. Anyway, this was leaps and bounds better than their Wrestlemania match. They got a lot of time this time (about ten minutes more than their WM match), and it really helped them tell a much better story. Were it not for the cage match later on, I probably would have called this the match of the night. Very well-done overall by both competitors, and a really great performance by Punk, whom I’ve been very down on the last few months. I felt like he’d gotten very sloppy and lazy in the ring. But this match gives me hope. Rey was Rey, and there’s nothing wrong with that. A highly enjoyable match for sure. In the end, though, Punk kept his hair. And I’m sure that we’ll discover the identity of this mystery man soon. From what I saw, it’s a white male and I’m pretty sure he’s bald as well. So, unless he’s someone from FCW joining the roster, it should narrow down the possibilities a bit. Ooh…interesting thought…what if it’s Kaval? Now THAT would be awesome. It’d be a great way to bring him up to the main roster. I’ve been looking forward to his debut for a long time.
JTG defeats Shad Gaspard in a Strap Match
I should have listened to Andy Knowles in the picks section from this past week’s Pro Wrestling Rewind. He talked about a strap match with (if memory serves) Bret Hart and the British Bulldog where Bulldog carried Bret to the corners, but Bret hit the turnbuckles without Davey Boy knowing it, then hitting the last turnbuckle first and winning, and I realized that that was probably what was going to happen. And indeed, it did. I don’t fault WWE for doing this. It’s actually a very creative (no pun intended) way to do a strap match. And even though it was the shortest match on the card (unless the women’s match was shorter), it was still decent overall. I was quite surprised that JTG managed to win, but hell, booking in WWE is insane right now, so maybe they’ll give JTG a push.
Jack Swagger defeats Randy Orton in an Extreme Rules match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
Orton really carried Swagger through this whole match. Even though I don’t particularly see a bright future for a face Orton, he did do his job well this time against Swagger. Swagger employed Swagger tactics, to my complete and utter lack of surprise, and the match, much like a lot of Swagger wins, just kind of ended instead of having any sort of build to the Doctor Bomb. Swagger still has no grasp of basic psychology, and until he does, I cannot support a decision to put any title on him. Let’s hope that some of the fresh blood on Smackdown will give him a good challenge and, sooner or later, take the title away from him. That being said, it was still a decent match.
Sheamus defeats HHH in a Street Fight
Say what you will about HHH, but the guy can sell like a mother when the time comes. I was tremendously impressed with his performance against the Celtic Glass O’Milk. He made Sheamus look a lot better than Sheamus has shown since his debut. He (Sheamus) still wasn’t impressive, but at least someone was willing to put him over decently. Yes, the extenuating circumstances make Sheamus look like a complete coward. I don’t have a followup to that, I just thought it needed to be pointed out that Sheamus’ character is a coward. I thought that the sledgehammer was going to make an appearance, but I (and I’m sure many other fans) were sorely disappointed. Still, it was a good way to get HHH off TV for a while so he can recuperate from the various injuries he’s been suffering through for a while. I wonder who Sheamus’ career is going to steamroll over next?
Beth Phoenix defeats Michelle McCool in an Extreme Makeover Match to become the NEW Women’s Champion
Holy crap, I did not expect this. I figured with McCool dating The Undertaker that she’d be untouchable as far as the Women’s Championship was concerned. I was apparently wrong. And that isn’t a bad thing at all. I’m glad she finally got a healthy dose of reality (and an ironing board to the face). For a WWE women’s match, this was a hell of a lot more brutal than I was expecting. I’m glad that various household items were used. While an ironing board is padded, it still had a nice effect overall. A decent, short match with an unexpected result and a NEW champion. Congratulations, Beth Phoenix! Maybe this is the dawn of a new era in WWE women’s wrestling. It’s going to have to be with Mickie James gone. But I’ll talk about that in another entry.
Edge defeats Chris Jericho in a Steel Cage Match
Match of the night, bar none. I’d even go so far as to say that if you didn’t get to see this, buy or rent the DVD specifically for this match. I’d go so far as to say that this was an order of magnitude better than their Wrestlemania match. There’s just something about a steel cage that brings out the greatness in nearly everybody. These two had one of the best matches of the year, maybe the best of the year so far. It also had the spot of the night: a top-rope Codebreaker that has to be seen to be believed. I hope I’m not getting anyone’s hopes up as far as this match is concerned, but it was really damn entertaining. And seeing the dark side of Edge return was a blessing I thought might never happen again what with his face turn and all (though that’s now a question mark thanks to the ending of Raw). Anyway, these two guys had a hell of a match, and they told the best story of the night by far. I was hoping this would be the end, but since both guys were drafted to Raw, that may well not be the case.
John Cena defeats Batista in a Last Man Standing Match to retain the WWE Championship
If I take one thing away from this match, it’s the brilliance of John Cena at the end of this match. I could not have asked for a more intelligent way to defeat an opponent in a Last Man Standing match. If you didn’t see it, but want to know what he did, I’ll tell you now. After a very intense match, in which both men took a ton of shots and barely made it to their feet before the count of ten, Cena locks Batista in the STFU for a long time. Batista barely stands up in a corner, so Cena ducks out of the ring, pulls Batista’s legs out from under him, raises Dave’s voice about an octave by ramming his junk into the steel post, and then proceeds to wrap duct tape around Dave’s boots, making it impossible for Batista to move or stand! To put it bluntly, I fucking loved the end of this match. After 20+ minutes of beating the crap out of each other, Cena figures out that there’s nothing he can do to damage Batista physically enough to keep him down for a ten count. So he out-smarts Batista and humiliates him at the same time. It was one of the best endings to a match I’ve ever seen. I just loved it.
And there’s Extreme Rules. I went 5-2 with my picks. Not bad, all things considered. And I’d suggest picking up the PPV on DVD when it is released, it was actually that good.
Now, let’s go through the draft picks really quickly, since I’m already over 1700 words. I’ll list the acquisitions by brand to keep things simple, and I’ll put the Monday night picks and the supplemental picks together for ease of use.
Raw Acquisition Get!
John Morrison - Finally, the Guru of Greatness becomes the Monday Night Delight. It’s taken a year, but Morrison is back on Raw. Yes, he’s a face, but I guess the people like it. I’ve been pulling for Morrison ever since he dropped the Johnny Nitro gimmick and became awesome. While I don’t particularly enjoy his face persona or his finisher (yes, it’s pretty, but it’s very unreliable. He needs a finisher that can be hit with precision on a daily basis), I have high hopes that Morrison will climb the Raw ranks soon. He’s being referred to as the next Shawn Michaels, and in time, he may very well become just that. I look forward to him wrestling on Raw.
R-Truth – The only reason I can see Truth moving to Raw is to continue teaming with Morrison. Or to become an “image enhancement talent” for the main eventers. I’d love to see Truth get some gold around his waist, lord knows he’s got the talent. But until Creative understands that Truth has got all the abilities in the world, they’re not going to push him any higher than the mid-card, which is a shame. I hope Truth gets an actual push this time.
Edge - Monster win for Raw, major loss for Smackdown. I was expecting either Edge or Jericho to move to Raw simply to make their feud officially done. It was over for about an hour or so. But that’s okay. I still think that Edge and Jericho have some unresolved issues. As, apparently, do Edge and Randy Orton. Remember Rated RKO? I sure do. I’d love to see these two beat the crap out of each other. Anyway, Edge will only benefit from moving back to Raw. Especially if he turns back heel.
Chris Jericho – Five months after being banished from Raw, Chris Jericho is back. He doesn’t need the Unified Tag Team Titles to appear on Raw now. I’m betting that with Batista heading out the door very soon (reports are that he’s leaving after the next PPV (praise (insert deity or lack thereof))), Jericho is going to retake the mantle as top heel on Raw. Hell, he’s been filling that role for quite some time. He’s still got a few good years in him, so I’d expect him to be at or near the top of the card for a while to come.
The Great Khali and Ranjin Singh – Wasn’t Khali leaving for India a couple of weeks ago? Wasn’t his career basically over? Why is he still around? Huh? Can anyone answer that for me? I hope he leaves soon, as soon as Batista, preferably.
The Hart Dynasty – It was inevitable. On Raw, these three are going to get a lot more publicity. And I really hope that they create a major resurgence in the tag team division. I actually want to see the Dynasty face off against any tag team in the world right now. Uncle Bret isn’t going to be around forever, so let’s hope these three can stand on their own once he’s actually through with WWE. I’d almost like to see them compete under Freebird rules, with Nattie Neidhart competing in some tag matches. We all know she can kick ass with the best of them, so why not let her start fighting the guys? She’ll (hopefully) be holding a title of her own soon enough, so until then, let her compete as an equal against the men. Eh? EH? I hope we get these guys at least once a week on TV, preferably twice. They can only get better from here.
Ezekiel Jackson - Ahmed Johnson, Jr. is currently out with an injury. I wouldn’t mind if he never returns, personally. Maybe he and Kozlov can start up a feud again. It’ll be bowling-shoe ugly, but it will give Vince a major boner, I’m sure.
Goldust – Wow, what a steal! Best pick of the draft! In all seriosity, Goldust is nothing more than an “image enhancer” these days. I’m not saying I don’t like him. I actually do like Dustin Runnels. But his character and career are basically done. He’ll job to the young talent and team with the young faces to give them experience. But I don’t see any titles in his future, or much of a push.
OVERALL – Raw gets two massive names in Edge and Jericho, a strong main-event-waiting-to-happen in Morrison, and the tag team champs, and not much else. Still, with the imminent departure of Batista and HHH heading to the DL, having some of these guys on the show is going to help tide Raw over for the forseeable future.
Smackdown Acquisition Get!
Kelly Kelly – Wait, she was drafted on Raw? Wow, what a waste of a draft pick. Smackdown is already in the hole. Kelly’s a decent athlete, but she’s nothing special in my book. Just another bleach-blonde bimbo with no personality. I wish Gail Kim had been drafted to Smackdown. She might have a chance at not getting buried over there.
Big Show – After ShowMiz lost the tag straps, Show knocked Miz out, effectively turning face. This will not help him, as it makes any losses of his entirely unbelievable. I kind of hope he takes more of a backstage/managerial role than a full-time wrestling gig. His best years are well past, and his only chance of still working well in the ring is as part of a team. I don’t want to watch him wrestle any more singles matches. I like him, don’t get me wrong. I just think it’s about time for him to hang up the boots for good. I’d like to see him become a GM or something. Move Teddy Long to Raw to become the permanent GM, and put Show as the new Smackdown GM. Why not?
Kofi Kingston – After his epic move to the main event was quashed by Randy Orton (sidebar: now that I think about it, Randy Orton has ruined the pushes of three very promising black wrestlers in Kofi, MVP, and Mark Henry…coincidence? I find it difficult to believe…digression over), there was nothing for Kofi to do on Raw. So the logical move was to move him to Smackdown. I cannot wait for Kofi to take Drew McIntyre out and win the Intercontinental Championship again. From there, the sky is the limit. I’d really like to see more of the angry, intense Kofi we saw during his feud with Randy Orton. I pray that we get that. I don’t think he’ll get far if he sticks with his happy-go-lucky Jamaican tribute gimmick. And he desperately needs a new finisher. I hate Trouble in Paradise. Use the S.O.S. as a finisher. It looks awesome. Anyway, this will be a huge benefit to Kofi, especially with Edge and Jericho gone from Smackdown.
Christian – …WWE did the exact same thing a couple of years ago with the Hardys. Matt and Jeff were both on Smackdown for like ten minutes during the Draft a couple of years ago, then Matt gets drafted to ECW. No more Hardy Boyz! And now, we had Edge and Christian on the same brand for about a half hour. Then Christian gets drafted to Smackdown. I really would have liked to see one last match with E&C together again. Just one match would have made me happy. Yes, a move to Smackdown will benefit Christian immensely. He won’t get lost in the shuffle like he would have been on Raw. But damn, I really wanted to see Edge and Christian one last time. Maybe they’ll team up when they’re both World Champions. You never know…
Chavo Guerrero – Mister Image Enhancement gets a brand change. He’ll still be doing the same thing he’s done for the last three years. Unless WWE brings the Cruiserweight Championship back, there’s nothing even remotely interesting for Chavo to do on either brand. So here’s to another forseeable future of jobbing for the former Kerwin White.
Cody Rhodes – This could not have come at a better time for Rhodes. He needed a fresh start away from Orton and Dibiase, and what better place to do so than on Friday nights? I think Rhodes can work as either a face or a heel, but we have yet to really see him as himself. Now that he’s out of the shadow of Orton, he’ll get his chance to shine. Rhodes is young and has a ton of upside. Let’s hope he gets to show us that he’s as good as his lineage.
Chris Masters – Wait, he’s still employed? Huh. I don’t see much of anything for Masters in the future. Wasn’t he fired once for violating the drug policy too many times? Or is he on thin ice and one more positive test result will cause him to become “future endeavored?” Either way, I doubt Masters will be doing much of anything on Smackdown seeing as how we haven’t even SEEN him on TV in some time. If he returns looking like the Ultimate Warrior circa 1996 instead of circa 1989, we’ll know why.
Hornswoggle – Just…just go away and die already. You’ve destroyed enough careers already. What, are they bringing back the Chavo/Swoggle feud? Is this the Robert Roode/Eric Young of WWE? Jesus, make this little bastard go away.
Rosa Mendes – Who cares? Zack Ryder. Anyone else? Didn’t think so.
MVP – I REALLY hope that MVP turns heel again. He was golden on Smackdown back in 2006-2007 as the US Champ. His feud with Matt Hardy was one of the better ones a couple of years back. And now that he’s older and wiser, he should get some main event push on Smackdown. I wouldn’t mind seeing MVP take Swagger out and capture the World Heavyweight Championship, then turn on the crowd and go full-brown heel with no indications he’s about to do so. I think that as a heel, he has the potential to be a world champ. I just don’t see it with him as a face, though. Let’s hope he gets the push he deserves.
Okay, that does it for this monster entry. My hands and my brain are tired of typing and thinking, respectively, and I can’t seem to spell more than a dozen words correctly before going back and fixing something. So, with that done, I’ll sign off for now. Look for entries about NXT and the WWE’s releases from last week soon. Probably not for a couple of days. I’m burned out after writing this. So, until next time, stay awesome everyone!