Yup – it’s me again, the Bright Side guy doing live PPV coverage. Only this time, I’m taking my coverage… to the EXTREME. *Raven pose*
We start with a reminder that every match tonight is under Extreme Rules, and a quick rundown of the card: Cena vs. Khali, McMahon vs. Lashley, Edge vs. Batista.
And we are indeed LIVE from Jacksonville, FL, home of a truly mediocre NFL franchise, and no ECW history whatsoever. A perfect choice for ECW’s headlining PPV, right?
Run-through with the announcing crews: King and JR, Taz and Joey Style, and JBL and Michael Cole.
To my surprise, our first match is:
Randy Orton vs. RVD, Stretcher Match: Ortons enters with his new dispassionate expression, and RVD walks in with no apparent side-effects from the beating he took last week. RVD starts the “points at himself” routine, but only gets to “R-V-” – and smacks Orton with an inside spin kick to the side of the head. RVD goes on the offensive, looking more serious (and motivated) since his promo at ONS two years ago (still one of my favorite PPV moments ever). The first five minutes are all RVD – spin kicks, leg drops, even a dropkick to the head. JR helpfully points out that all of RVD’s offense so far has been targeted at Orton’s head. RVD blocks a kick from Orton, but Orton counters with the forearm shiver to the head. And yup, we have the first appearance “The RVD Concussion face”. Orton immediately goes from the RKO, but is countered with a kick to the head. RVD attempts to leap up to the top rope, but loses his balance and falls to the floor. Since it’s part of the storyline, there is no “You f*cked up” chant. (Also, because this isn’t an ECW crowd anyway.) Orton throws him back in, and starts in with his own.. umm… let’s call it “methodical” offense. Orton tries to push RVD onto the stretcher, but RVD grabs the bottom rope. So, Orton decides to just punch him in the head a few times instead. A kick to the head, then Orton lifts RVD onto his shoulder and just drops him. They go to the floor, and RVD finds some new life – punches and kicks to the head, and then RVD drives him headfirst into the steel post. RVD sells the concussion for a few more moments, then lifts Orton on the stretcher. But, instead of trying to run for the “finish line”, he climbs up to the apron, and drops a spinning leg drop onto the small of Orton’s back. RVD gets up limping, rolls Orton back into the ring: leg drop, clothesline, goes for the Rolling Thunder – but Orton hits the best counter EVER by catching him mid-flip into a power bomb. Wow. Orton sets up RVD to suplex him out of the ring, but RVD counters with a dropkick right to the face. RVD sets Orton onto the stretcher, and AGAIN goes for a follow-up move – but this time, the somersault plancha misses its mark. Orton loads RVD, and begins a SLOOOOWWWW walk back up the ramp. RVD pops up halfway there, they exchange punches and elbows, and RVD gives Orton what looks like a palm to the face. Orton collapses face first on the strethcer, and RVD quickly pushes him the last 3 feet over the finish line. Well, that was… unexpected. Winner: RVD
Post-match shenanigans: RVD celebrates, and of course Orton attacks him from behind. RVD stumbles to the ring post, and Orton delivers a running kick to Rob’s head (nice “smack” sound, too). RVD rolls into the crowd, and Orton follows. Orton drags him to the barrier, pulls him over with a front-headlock, and delivers a rather sick DDT on the floor. The EMTs run down, get RVD in a neckbrace, place him on a backboard, and stretcher him out. Orton hits his pose, and the boos are… well, less than one mght expect.
Backstage with Vince and Shane McMahon. Vince is looking forward to his match, and wants to put an end to Lashley tonight. Vince also confesses to Shane that he’s worried about something “bad” happening to him (Vince) tonight – some kind of “growing cancer” that he’s been feeling inside. Shane convinces him there’s nothing to worry about, and runs out to find Umaga.
Sandman, Tommy Dreamer and CM Punk vs. Matt Striker, Elijah Burke, and Marcus Cor Von, Six Man Tables Match: I am greatly amused when the WWE staff move away from the barrier after Sandman reaches into his pocket for another beer. (Random musing: how many beers can Sandman fit into that outfit?) Punk gets a very healthy crowd pop on his entrance. We start with Dreamer and Cor Von, back and forth power moves, with Cor Von hitting an underhook suplex. Burke tags in, hits a kneedrop to the head. misses a splash in the corner, and gets caught by a bulldog. Sandman tags in, hits a flapjack, Burke hits a knee and tags in Striker. Sandman tags in CM Punk, who hits the corner knee/bulldog combo. Dreamer tagged in, hits a second rope elbow. Dreamer and Punk do the “Get the tables” bit, but Cor Von breaks up Tommy getting said tables outside the ring. Punk hits Cor Von with a tope suicida, then catches Burke back in the ring with a top rope clothesline. (Wow – obviously nobody told him to play it safe with tonight’s match.) Sandman has his cane and threatens Striker with it. Striker ducks out the ring – but Sandman follows him and clocks him with the cane out there. Dreamer and Punk try to suplex Stiker through a table, but Cor Von and Burke move the table (however, Striker still takes the suplex on the floor – oops). Back in the ring, Cor Von plants PUnk in the corner with a body slam, and Burke hits his “corner elbow drop” thingy. The New Breed sets up the table in the corner, but Sandman and Dreamer break up that attempt. Sandman sets up Striker for a hurricanrana, but Striker tosses him over the ropes. Dreamer catches Striker with a modified powerbomb, Burke hits a big clothelines on Dreamer, Punk hits an enziguri on Striker, Cor Von hits a powerbomb on Punk. Whew. Cor Von lays Punk on the table in the ring, goes up the rope – but gets smacked by Sandman’s cane. Striker pulls Sandman off the apron, and Sandman’s head bounces off the steel steps. Striker climbs the ropes – Dreamer hits a piledriver on Burke, Punk catches Striker on the ropes. Dreamer lays Striker on the table, and Punk hits a Superplex on Burker, *through* Striker on the table. Winner: Sandman, Tommy Dreamer and CM Punk
The WWE draft is one week from tomorrow.
Backstage with Edge, and who wanders in but his former tag partner Randy Orton. Orton reminds us that Batista used to be his partner too, back in the Evolution days. Orton also takes credit for taking out RVD, and for “ending the career of Shawn Michaels”. Orton lets Edge know that if he makes it to Smackdown, Edge is “next”. Edge is unimpressed.
The Hardys vs. The World’s Greatest Tag Team, Ladders Match: And we start with all four in the ring, of course. Matt hits a bulldog on Shelton, the Hardys hit a double suplex on Hass. Hass comes off the ropes with a double clothesline. TWGTT each grab a ladder, as do both Hardys. Back in the ring, a standoff – until the Hardys toss the ladders over their heads and dropkick both members of TWGTT. Matt sets up a ladder in the corner, tosses Hass into that, then throws another ladder on Hass to make “a ladder sandwich”. Then, one more ladder, just for good measure. Benjamin attacks, but gets sent into the ladders. Jeff hits the leg lariat, Benjamin falls to the mat with the ladder on top of him. Matt throws another ladded on top of him, Hass finally stumbles out, and Matt throws a third ladder on top of Shelton. Whew. Jeff sets up the ladder in the middle of the ring and starts to to climb but Hass pulls him off. Hass goes for the belt, but Matt catches him with an electric chair. Both Hardys climb up, but Hass tosses a ladder at both to knock them off. TWGTT both do a step-over toe hold on Jeff, and attempt to do some sort of roll-through maneuver to flip Jeff onto a ladder, but it just does not come off well – and the crowd lets them know their displeasure. TWGTT both climb – Shelton gets pulled off by Matt, Hass gets yanked down by both Hardys, but fights them off. Hardy set up in the corner – dropkick by Shelton onto the ladder. TWGTT set up the Joey Mercury broken-nose spot, but the Hardys counter – double-hip toss on Shelton, then Hass is thrown off the top rope. Shelton is clotheslined to the floor, and the Hardys go after the three big laddders from the ramp. Hass gets dropped face first on the ladder outside the ring, Shelton catches Matt with a suplex. Shelton charges, Matt dropkicks over the rope, out of the ring, onto a ladder being suspended between the apron and barrier. OUCH. Matt puts Shelton on top of the ladder, Jeff climbs the corner – but Hass catches him with a German suplex from the top rope. Matt hits a side effect on Hass. Matt sets up a ladder in the middle of the ring, and actually reaches the belts before TWGTT push the ladder over. Matt tosses out of the ring by Shelton. TWGTT starts to set up a very involved spot – Shelton puts a ladder in the ring next to the ropes, Hass sets up a big ladder on the floor, with a smaller ladder leaning on that one, and then puts Matt on top of that smaller ladder. Back in the ring, Shelton hits an exploder suplex on Jeff, then climbs the ladder inside the ring. Shelton points to his head (yes, sir, you are indeed nuts), then leaps off the ladder onto Matt – who is probably 12 feet below him. Jeezus. Hass climbs the ladder inside the ring, but Jeff meets him halfway up. Jeff hits a superplex off the top of the ladder. Jeff starts the sloooowww climb up, while Benjamin tries to hit a springboard… something. He slips off the rope, but manages to catch the ladder with just enough of his feet to knock it over and send Jeff into the ropes (and I’m sure Jeff helped there a lot too). Best. Blown Spot. Ever. Benjamin gives another shot to Jeff with the ladder and starts to climb – pushed off by Matt, and Benjamin lands on the second rope. Matt sets up a second ladder (?) in the middle of the ring, gets his hands on the belts until Benjamin stops him. Now, all four men climb up, and all four men go down, with TWGTT getting by far the worst of it. Hardy hits a swanton on Hass, and Matt gets both belts. Winner: The Hardys
Backstage with Khali and his interpretter. Khali: “Bugga bugga. GWAR.”
The lumberjacks are announced for the next match – it’s a mix of Raw, Smackdown, and ECW guys, all of whom apparently had nothing better to do tonight.
Mark Henry vs. Kane, Lumberjack match: Henry tosses Kane out of the ring, but the lumberjacks are scared off when Kane stands up quickly. Kane off the ropes, knocks Henry out of the ring with a kick. Four lumberjacks jump on Henry, and he tosses him them all off with a shrug. Kane hits a punch, and Henry rolls out of the ring – well, that’s not a spot you often see in a lumberjack match. Chavo gets squashed between the two competitors. Henry slams Kane into the ring, and the lumberjacks toss Kane back in the ring. They exchange blows, until Henry catches Kane in a blind charge with a powerslam. Kane with a couple of headbutts, but Henry takes him down with a clothesline. Then, the standard big man spot: a bear hug. Kane counters and goes for a chokeslam, but his back hurts too much to lift the big man. Henry back to the bear hug. Kane chokes his way out, and tosses Henry to the floor – unfortunately, on the heel side of the ring. Kane climbs in the corner, and hits a splash to the floor on Henry, Master, Thorn and Nitro. Kane with a corner clothesline, and a top rope clothesline. Kane hits the chokeslam on Henry, but gets jumped by Chavo and Kenny Dykstra. Dykstra gets a chokeslam all of his own, and Henry goes back to the bear hug… again. Kane is bent over, sucking wind, and.. the ref calls it? Winner: Mark Henry An extreme rules match is won by… a bear hug? Really? Wow.
Backstage, there’s a confrontation between the Hardys and the TWGTT, apparently about who suffered more in the match. So, of course, they come to blows.
Recap of the McMahon/Lashley feud.
Vince McMahon vs. Bobbly Lashley, Street Fight for the ECW Championship: McMahon enters the ring with Shane and Umaga, and Shane actually tries to start the match along with. Lashley decides to after Umaga instead, who is outside the ring – and almost kills himself hitting a tope. Shane chases outside, sends Lashley back into the ring, and hits a few blows on the kidneys. Lashley picks Shane up in a military press and tosses Shane onto Umaga, still down on the floor. Lashey and Vince now face off -with Lashley giving the beatdown in the corner. Shane runs in and is tossed over the ropes. Umaga gets a bit more success, but misses a splash in the corner. Shane runs in again, this time with a chair, but gets caught. Lashley lifts Vince up for the powerslam, but is countered by a blow from Umaga. Shane hits a DDT on Lashley, on the steel chair (great sell by Lashley). Now the beatdown commences: Vince with a series of clothesline, Umaga with some elbows and a choke, Vince with a kick to the stomache. Shane tosses Lashley to the floor, Vince follows and chokes him out. Shane grabs the ring bell hammer and continues with the choking. Umaga and Shane lay in a few more shots, and Vince kicks Lashley a few times while Shane holds him down. Vince again chokes him out, this time with a mic cord. Back in the ring, Umaga with a Samoan Drop, but Lashley kicks out at 2. Vince with the three point stance, hits a (weak) spear, 1-2-no. More choking. Shane and Vince stretch out Lashley on the mat, Umaga goes for the big splash, but Lashley sits up – pulling Vince into harm’s way. Lashley pops up, takes down Umaga and Shane with clotheslines. Umaga charges and goes over the top rope. Shane is caught in a belly-to-belly and gets tossed over the ropes to the floor in a nice spot. Lashley picks up the chair, and cracks Vince over the head with it. Lashley then lays in about 8 shots to Vince’s back with the chair, while Joey Styles almost has an orgasm. Running powerbomb, 1-2-.. Umaga pulls Lashley out to the floor. Lashley goes after another chair, but gets a high kick in the neck. Umaga splashes Lashley on the floor from the apron. Umaga takes apart the Spanish announce table and sets Lashley up on it. Shane climbs to the top rope, and hits an elbow drop straight through the table. Umaga rolls Lashley back in the ring, Vince goes for the cover, 1-2-kick out. Umaga back in, sets up Lashley in the corner, hits the running buttslam. Shane sets up the trash can on Lashley’s face (held by Umaga) and climbs the ropes. Lashley dodges the Van Terminator, and Umaga takes the can. Spear for Shane, speak for Vince. Cover, 1-2-3. Winner: Bobby Lashley
Santino and Maria backstage, interviewed by Todd. Maria does her little faux-intelligent routine, and exchanges a quick kiss with Candice. Santino: “I love America!” And, of course.. the punch line from Ron Simmons.
Melina vs. Candice, Pudding match: Umm, right. Melina shows up in a two-piece, to my surprise. And goggles – hey, that’s actually smart. As for the match itself – well, they roll back and forth, there’s lot of hair puulling, they come out of the pudding a couple of times, Melina hits someone in the audience with pudding (and apolgizes), and Candice gets Melina to tap out by holding her face under the pudding and screaming, “Give up!” Winner: Candice
And the crowd doesn’t have one good chant – how disappointing. Maria comes down to, uhhh… pudding-side for an interview, and of course ends up in the goop. And the ref too.
Recap of Edge and Batista.
Edge vs. Batista, Cage match: The bell rings, and Edge immediately runs for the door. Tossed in by Batista, so he tries to climb over the top. Pulled down, throw in the corner, shoulderblocks. Tossed again to the corner, Edge runs up the ropes and tries to get out of the cage. Caught by Batista again. Back in the ring, Batista locks on a Camel Clutch (!). Shoulder block for 2. Clothesline for 2. Edge with a couple of forearms, and back to climbing the ropes. Batista yanks him down, gets a rear clothesline for 2. Verticle suplex for 2. Batista goes to climb the ropes himself, Edge hits a a dropkick to Batista’s knees. Spear from Edge, into Batista who is outside the ropes. Baseball slide by Edge. 1-2-no. A couple of blows to Batista’s knee, Edge calls for the door, but only gets halfway out. Edge with a reverse faceplant. Edge up the ropes again, Batista follows and hits a superplex for 2. Batista climbs, Edge follows, Batista slams him head into the cage and throws him off. Batista sets up for a splash off the top, but Edge catches him with a dropkick. Edge motions for the spear, they charge at each other, double knockdown. Batista recovers first and drives Edge into the cage wall. Clotheline from Batista, caught in a backdrop, Edge off the ropes, Batista hits a spinning sideslam, 1-2-no. Edge to the top rope, missing the missile dropkick. Monkey flip by Batista into the cage, 2 count. Clothesline in the corner, followed up by a lawn dart into the cage. Edge is bleeding – looks like from the mouth. Batista misses a blind charge, Edge with the spear. 1-2-no. (JBL with the shout-out to Florida championship wrestling – nice.) Batista tosses Edge off the top rope for 2. Batista shouts for the Batista Bomb, lifts Edge up, Edge shifts his weight to throw Batista off balance towards the rope. Edge immediately begins to climb, and gets a leg over the top of the cage before Batista catches him. Edge with two low blows on top the rope, causing Batista to crotch himself on the top rope. Edge climbs again, while Batista crawls for the door. Batista gets halfway out head-first, whle Edge drops to the floor. Winner: Edge
Post-match, Batista throws a tantrum on the Smackdown announcing table.
Summerslam: Sunday, August 26
The Great Khali vs. John Cena, Falls Count Anywhere match: The pop for Cena is overwhelmingly positive, in case you’re curious. (A bit of a change from last year’s PPV, eh?) Cena with a couple of quick kicks to the legs, but gets dropped with a forearm to the back of the head. Khali begins the slooooowww beatdown: elbow in the corner, kick to the head, punch. (There are literally about 15 seconds between each of those moves.) Cena with a comeback try, but gets caught by that high leg sweep Khali broke out a couple of weeks ago. Bodyslam by Khali. Khali misses a legdrop. Cena drives Khali’s head into the mat. Cena climbs to the top – Khali swats him off, down to the floor. One-foot pinfall on the floor for 2. Cena comes back with punches and kicks to the ribs, but misses a low dropkick and hits the stairs. Khali bounces Cena’s head off a monitor on the Raw announce table. Cena motions for the big chop – caught by Cena, so Khali throws him over the barrier. They walk into the crowd – where most of the audience members don’t reach to Khali’s shoulder. Cena smacks Khali with a monitor, and goes for the FU. That works out about as well as you expect. More slow punching and kicking from Khali, as we move around the arena. (Slowly.) Khali misses a forearm, so Cena drops the boom on Khali. (Literally – he hits Khali with the boom camera.) Another FU attempt – Cena gets him off off his feet, but it’s stopped with an elbow to the jaw. Khali presses Cena over his head, and drops him onto a… crane? near the entrance. Cena ducks a punck, lifts Khali up for the FU – and tosses Khali off the crane, down to the floor in an admittedly impressive spot. Cena crawls down to the floor, 1-2-3. Winner: John Cena
Tags: ECW, Raw, Smackdown, WWE