Extreme Rules was last night and the first post WM pay per view was a solid show overall. Daniel Bryan’s precious bunny neck caused him to miss the show, but rising star Neville took his place. In a shocking twist, John Cena retained his US title and Sheamus made an unconscious Dolph Ziggler kiss his ass. Let’s get to the 5 stars from last night’s Extreme Rules show.
At this point, if I’m reviewing a show or pay per view that Neville is apart of, there’s a 100% chance he’s going to be one of my stars. I don’t want to jinx it, but I can’t compliment WWE enough for how they’ve booked Neville since his debut. After a quick first squash, he was put into a match with the WWE Champion, then Dolph Ziggler, and now Bad News Barrett. Although he lost to Rollins and Ziggler, he proved he can hang with them immediately, which I believe does more good than having him squash a bunch of low card guys. I also love that the mid card titles are now something guys of value are trying to attain. The WWE has this weird theory that whoever loses a title automatically becomes the new #1 contender. It’s fine, but my problem with that is that it delays the start of new feuds. Neville beating Barrett twice in the same week automatically puts him in either the #1 contender spot or somewhere close, so when Bryan returns there are going to be at least two people gunning for his title. Also, this was Neville’s first pay per view win since joining the main roster, and he won clean.
One of the things I wasn’t looking forward to last night was seeing either Sheamus’s or Dolph Ziggler’s ass, and luckily we didn’t see too much. Ziggler won the match, but Sheamus was the one who got the upper hand (cheek) on Ziggler. Dolph is not the brightest bulb in the world, and for some reason he thought the guy who returned from injury with a Mohawk and a newfound sense of hurting people was just going to pucker up and kiss his butt. Instead, he got a low blow and a boot to the face, and then had his unconscious face rubbed against Sheamus’s ass cheek. Not Ziggler’s finest moment, but bad guy Sheamus is a guy I can get behind. You’re not going to root for him because he’s an asshole, but I’m all for him having hoss fights with the likes of Ziggler and Bryan and Neville. Also, his new music is awesome and I’ll never get tired of typing that.
New Day won the tag titles, but Cesaro, per usual, was the star of the match. Slowly transitioning Cesaro and Kidd to good guys while simultaneously turning New Day heel is not as easy as WWE is making it look, but it’s working perfectly. They knew the Chicago crowd would be cheering for Cesaro and Kidd and they knew that the same crowd would be chanting ‘New Day Sucks’, so why not feed into that? Cesaro and Kidd haven’t been together long but they’re both excellent in the ring and have created some fun to watch tag team moves. The over the rope suplex followed by a top rope elbow drop and the swing into the dropkick are crowd pleasers, and just make a tag team match better. Cesaro snatching Big E and Kofi out of the air and throwing them around will always be impressive, and I’d be fine with watching him do that for every match until the end of time. The end of the match makes sense, too, as New Day is using their 3 on 2 advantage to distract teams and win matches. That’s what smart heel teams do, but I do hope that Cesaro and Kidd stay in the tag title hunt.
4. The Last Man Standing Match
I went into the Last Man Standing match last night with zero expectations, but Big Show deserves an ice cream cone or something for his performance. He and Reigns just basically beat the crap out of each other, and while the crowd was clamoring for tables throughout the night, I’m glad they saved it for this match. The WWE and it’s superstars/divas are over saturated because we see them so much. On a week that includes a pay per view, the WWE puts on 8 hours of television, plus Main Event, Superstars, Backstage Fallout videos and whatever else they have planned for that week. With so much TV time to produce, certain shows can feel monotonous and employ the same kind of matches. If Ambrose/Harper had put themselves through tables in the opening match, the Show and Reigns table spots wouldn’t have been as effective. Reigns looked great, and Big Show looked like a worthy adversary, which also helps out Reigns. The table spots were also really well done, especially Big Show choke slamming Reigns from the ring to the outside through two tables and Reigns spearing Show from on top of one table and through the next one.
5. Seth Rollins
What a slimy piece of shit Seth Rollins is. The ending of the main event cage match between Orton and Rollins for the WWE Championship saw Seth Rollins use the RKO on Randy Orton then weasel his way out of the cage. As Extreme Rules was going off the air, the announce team was arguing about whether or not that was legal, since Rollin’s own stipulation for the match was banning the RKO. I’m sure there will be a 20-200 minute talking session to open up Raw dissecting whether this was legal or not, but either way I loved it. How much of a dick do you have to be to ban a guy’s finishing move, then not only use that move during the match, but use it to beat him and retain your title? That’s next level heel work, and Rollins is the most exciting part of the show. One of the friends I was watching this with brought up a great point about the main event scene right now without John Cena – you don’t automatically know who’s going to win. With Rollins as the champion, there’s always that chance that he’s going to lose the title, and that makes for exciting, unpredictable TV.