The backlash from WrestleMania is now over as everyone goes onto bigger (and some smaller) things.
It was never going to be the most EXTREME of PPVs (yes, I'm still using the word EXTREME in CAPS LOCK), but the electric Chicago crowd gave the whole night a good feeling. While many of the past post-Mania PPVs have suffered and come across as B shows, this years show had a big night feeling about it, and that's something WWE should be looking to continue with.
Falls Count Anywhere Match
Randy Orton def. Kane
The constant walking around from these two men is something that summed up Falls Count Anywhere matches to a tee. While these matches are the same as any other No DQ match, WWE feel to need to use this match to go everywhere around the arena, from the crowd all the way through backstage.
And while that can be a good thing to see sometimes, with two such big men their wasn't a whole lot they could have done. The match just featured a lot of dragging, punching, kicking and shoving into any object nearby.
The match was a lot more intense then their match at WrestleMania, but it still just didn't hit home with me, and I guess it was never going to. Good to see Orton win, because it now (hopefully) means that this feud ends.
Brodus Clay def. Dolph Ziggler
I said that the only person that could get a good match out of Clay would be Ziggler, and only because he would sell his moves really, really well.
Granted, the match wasn't very good at all, but it once again showed that Ziggler deserves better, because he made Clay look like a monster.
Cody Rhodes def. Big Show
In the back of my mind I always thought that maybe Big Show would drop the title to Rhodes at Extreme Rules because a) he got his WrestleMania moment and b) Rhodes really needed to win it back.
Rhodes was in a rut where he was being embarrassed by Big Show and squashed to people like Great Khali. Thankfully though, that all ended last night as Cody regained the Intercontinental Championship.
The match was very like there match at WrestleMania, as there wasn't a whole lot that happened. The ending to this one however, while some may have found it as anti-climatic as the ending at WrestleMania, I thought this was an excellent cheap win for Rhodes.
The win was a fluke of course, and didn't make Cody look very strong, but it wasn't supposed anyway. It was a way to get the title back on Rhodes and to do it with as much heat behind it as possible.
World Heavyweight Championship
Sheamus def. Daniel Bryan
THIS was the type of match I wanted a WrestleMania. A hard-hitting match which saw both men work to their strengths.
Everything in this match just flowed so well. The pacing was perfect as we saw Sheamus try to dominate Bryan, only to be slowed down by the “professer” (as Booker called him). Bryan worked on Sheamus' arm beautifully, applying many different holds and some stand out kicks to go with it.
Having Bryan disqualify himself on perfect so he could set him self up for the Yes Lock was a very clever way to give Bryan the fall, and also made him look very calculating in doing so.
The ending to the match was fairly anti-climatic, but it really didn't take anything away from this fantastic bout.
Chicago Street Fight
CM Punk def. Chris Jericho
This match was totally different from their match at WrestleMania, but still equally as good in it own right. This was a great back and forth match which saw many good spots throughout the match.
The Chicago crowd wasn't as electric as I thought they would be, as they seemed to be fairly quite in the first 10 minutes or so. Things did pick up a little bit however and in the end added to the overall feel of the match.
It was a bit rough in places, but the main spots in the match did come off smoothly and really, its those bits that the match will be remembered for. If anything, this match showed that hardcore style matches in a PG environment can work, it just depends on how you utilize it all.
Right now this leaves Jericho 0-4 in PPV matches this year, so it will be interesting to see where it all leads him. As for Punk though, his enjoyable run as champion will continue for another while at least.
Layla def. Nikki Bella
While I'm sure many people were disappointed not to see Kharma be the mystery opponent (myself included), I was still delighted to see the return of Layla.
She looks to have brought in some new moves into her moveset and looked pretty impressive in her short match against Nikki. Was it too early to give her the title? I don't think so. I mean, its not like the Divas Title is that prestigious anyway. Still though, lets hope she has a good reign with the title.
Extreme Rules Match
John Cena def. Brock Lesnar
While we saw a great wrestling match from Bryan and Sheamus, and a fun WWE style hardcore match from Punk and Jericho, this was just an all-out fight.
I expected Lesnar to work his MMA style on Cena, but at the same time I didn't expect him to go so stiff on him. Straight off the bat we saw Lesnar throw down some vicious elbows that cut Cena open almost instantly. That image at the start of the match really sums up how this match went.
It was really something I hadn't seen before in a WWE ring. It was simply just MMA meets wrestling. All of it was surreal, unique and brutal. Seeing Cena get man handled like that was something that know one has ever seen before, and it all made for a very enjoyable match.
The match was well worked with Lesnar literally beating the crap out of Cena, only for him to get caught with a shot to the head with a fist full of chain and an FU onto the steps. While Cena won the battle, WWE did a good job of making it look like Lesnar won the war.
I know many people will be displeased with the ending, but frankly I didn't mind it at all. Lesnar looked incredibly strong in this match and it was his cockiness that just caught him in the end. In my eyes, it came off very well and didn't make Lesnar look weak at all. Also add to the fact that Lesnar still has another 11 months to go in his WWE contract, so there's a lot more to see from this man.
Overall, I thought this was an excellent PPV from WWE. The under card was moderately solid and featured some nice surprises, while the 3 main matches all delivered. I don't think we'll see 3 such fantastic matches on a WWE PPV that were all so different from one another in a very long time. It was just the perfect balance.
- Ryder looked pathetically weak trying to beat up Kane during that Falls Count Anywhere match.
- Big Show's reaction to stepping through the table was priceless.
- Anyone else tired of Brodus Clay's entrance? Even the generally hectic Chicago crowd didn't get up off their seats.
- I skimmed by that promo from those two jobbers, but it still looked quite hilarious.
- “Hey, hey, hey, I have 'till FIVE!”
- Punk's sister could have shown a bit more emotion and concern when watching his brother get beaten just a couple of feet away from her. Instead she just casually clapped while her brother was gasping for air.