The Way Too Long Review for WWE Extreme Rules 2010

What a marvelous scam this is.  The WWE calls Wrestlemania the biggest show of the year and charges premium prices for it.  Then the next month the WWE airs another pay-per-view with most of the same matches, only the stipulations are in theory more exciting and the cost is less.  And yet somehow it’s the Wrestlemania show that gets more buyers.  You would think someone would have taken notice by now.

April 25, 2010 from Baltimore, Maryland.  Applecore.  Baltimore.  Who is your friend?

Match #1: Street Fight
Sheam…

Or not, as Triple H doesn’t show up.  Yet, they play all his special effects and stuff.  One would think that they would check to make sure the guy is in place before they do this.  The announcers are at a loss for words, then we cut to a shot in the back, where the fight is already on.  Sheamus ends up clubbing Trips with a lead pipe.  Mr. Green, in the Hall, with the Lead Pipe.  Match is scrubbed before it even starts.

-And now Big Show and Miz are out even though they’re not booked to be on the show.  Miz grabs the stick and laughs about Triple H’s plight.  Show just mugs for the camera while Miz talks about how much better he is than Bret Hart.  Miz demands competition, so Teddy Long comes out and grants their wish.  Miz starts to talk more trash and thus Teddy keeps adding more teams and we have a gauntlet match with three teams.  Miz asks if that’s all he’s got and starts to ask for a fourth team to be added, but Big Show cups his mouth.  If a team beats Showmiz, they get a title shot on Raw the next night.

Match #1: Gauntlet Match
Part One: Big Show & Miz vs. R-Truth & John Morrison

I wonder if this will get more time than their match at Wrestlemania XXVI did?  Michael Cole must be high because he notes that Morrison & Truth gave the champs a run for their money at Wrestlemania.  I guess he paid as much attention as the fans there did.  We start with Morrison getting a rollup for two.  Miz brawls him down but misses a clothesline and gets taken over with an arm combo.  Tag to Truth and the babyfaces hit a double armdrag and a double splash for two.  Shoot off and Show gets the tag, then swats off Truth.  Show brawls Truth down and skillet-chops him, then tags Miz who boots Truth in the face for two.  Now a chinlock after all this action.  Truth fights back, so Miz releases and runs the ropes, leading to Truth springing up with a back-elbow.

Tag to Show, hot tag to Morrison who hits a dropkick.  Show is only staggered by it and swats Morrison to the corner and tries to load up the chokeslam, but Morrison turns it into a standing triangle-choke.  Show ends up in the ropes, but Morrison won’t break and he gets disqualified.  Crappy start to this thing.

Part Two: Big Show & Miz vs. M.V.P. & Mark Henry

MVP charges in and covers Show for two.  Tag to Miz, but MVP clotheslines him coming in for two.  Snap suplex for two.  Tag to Mark Henry, while Miz reaches for a tag partner who’s not there.  Miz punches him but it’s not effective and Henry headbutts him down.  Whip to the corner, but Mark misses a charge and tags MVP.  Big Show is still selling the triangle choke on the floor, so MVP brawls Miz around and hits the face-breaker.  Ballin’ Elbow gets two as Show is finally in to save.  Henry gets booted with a sidekick from Show to knock him out, then MVP low-bridges Show out of the ring.  Monty loads up the Playmaker and hits it, but Show hits the knockout punch to finish.

Part Three: Big Show & Miz vs. The Hart Dynasty

The Harts have Bret with them and get a bigger pop than anything they got at Wrestlemania.  Faster than I can type that, they kick Show off the apron and hit the Hart Attack on Miz for the pin and the title shot on Raw.  That’s it?  Jesus, this whole thing barely lasted six minutes, including entrances.

1/2* Tacked on at the last second and it felt like it.  I guess letting eight guys get a pay-per-view payday is nice and everything, but maybe they should have stuck two of the teams in a dark match (actual dark match for this show was Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler) and then put the remaining teams in a tornado match or something to keep the show’s theme.  They didn’t even need to give the Harts an excuse to get a tag title shot.  It’s wrestling.  Come up with one on Raw.  The match up I actually had interest in seeing here was MVP & Mark Henry vs. Big Show & Miz.  Call me crazy, but Miz is exactly the type of heel that can get a good match out of Mark Henry, and MVP works way better as a tag wrestler.  Morrison & Truth showed no chemistry with these guys at Wrestlemania and it carried over to the rematch.  Nobody had time to build anything meaningful and it’s only because Show and Miz kept everything coherent that I even give it a half-star.  And why bother bringing the Harts out if the whole thing would only last ten seconds?  This was such a waste of time.

-We get an update on Triple H’s condition.  The update is: there is no update.  What is this, Inside Pulse Wrestling?  Sheamus shows up to call Trips a coward and brag about how Trips can come out and get his ass kicked or forfeit.  Either way, Sheamus wins.

Match #2
Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk
Special Stipulation: If CM Punk loses, he must shave his head.

Why haven’t Linda McMahon’s opponents used this angle in an attack ad yet?  The basic idea seems to be “anti-drug types BAD, drug users good!”  Hardly a family-values campaign position.  And yet her opponents are still focused on her being an idiot and are ignoring this issues.  So I made my own ad.

Michael Cole wonders out loud what CM Punk will look like bald.  Matt Striker suggests he’ll look like a cross between Dr. Evil and Hillbilly Jim.  Did he just pull a random name out of his ass?  Hillbilly Jim was a foot taller than Punk, weighed 100lbs more, was NOT bald, and was not covered head-to-toe in tattoos.  I guess he meant the beard, which is big but still not even close to Hillbilly Jim levels.  And it’s not the same color either.  Yeesh.  Was there a turning point where Striker went from being a good color commentator to being the commentary equivalent of getting your ears scrubbed out with steal wool?  Either way, Striker has officially had his balls cut off and thus I’m guessing he’s in for the long haul now.  Another one of Vince McMahon’s “home grown announcers,” as Joey Styles put it.

Brawl to start, with Punk winning out and stomping Mysterio in the corner.  He yanks Mysterio to the center of the ring and brawls him some more.  Rey reverses a whip and dropkicks Punk, then knots up his legs with some kicks.  Punk tries to shuffleboard Rey out of the ring, but Mysterio sticks the landing and headscissors him into the apron.  Back in, Mysterio dropkicks Punk into the ropes to prep for the 619, but Punk catches him charging and loads up the GTS.  Mysterio fights that off but gets caught in a powerslam instead for two.  Punk tries the shuffleboard spot again and this time it works.  He ties up the referee while Serena kicks Rey in the stomach.  Punk follows Mysterio with some light brawling on the floor, then tosses Rey back into the ring.

Back in, a flip-over splash gets two.  He puts Rey in a headscissors and clamps tight on it, scowling like he’s the long-lost son of Bluto the whole time.  Mysterio fights out, so Punk goes for a sunset flip.  Mysterio rolls through it and hits a buzzsaw kick for two.  Punk shifts momentum back into his favor by clubbing Rey over the head with an instant replay window.  Actually, he tosses him into the turnbuckle, but we don’t see that because we need a replay of that buzzsaw kick of Rey’s that he SO hasn’t done in every match he’s been in for the last couple years.  Such a unique move requires us to see it again because we might never get another chance.  I’ll treat myself to 3D Dot Game Heroes for the Playstation 3 to ease my suffering somewhat.  As for the Make-a-Wish kids, I’m working on a lame CafePress t-shirt where all the proceeds will go to them.  So shut up people.

Back to the match.  Punk clubs at Mysterio on the ropes, then ties up the referee to give Luke Gallows a free shot, which gets two.  Punk loads up a back-breaker, but we only get to see the end of it because the semi-retarded rodents who run the WWE production truck decide that viewers would rather look at the barber chair instead.  Can’t we get some kind of law passed where fucking up the relatively simple job of filming a wrestling match without interruption is punishable by death via lethal injection… only instead of sodium thiopental you use Tabasco sauce instead?  That would be swell.

Punk hooks Mysterio into a bow-and-arrow lock, but Mysterio kicks his feet off the ground and flips into a cover for two.  Punk follows this with a clothesline for two.  Punk fires off a trio of legdrops for two.  Punk elbows at Mysterio’s back and then hooks in a Gory Special.  Mysterio looks rather comfortable in it, then escapes.  Punk tries to load it up again, but Rey falls on top for two.  Kick in the corner and a shoot off, reversed by Punk, but Rey ends smacking him on the turnbuckle.  Mysterio climbs but Punk crotches him and loads up the GTS.  Mysterio wiggles free and sets up Punk for the 619, but Serena trips him up running.  The referee catches them and ejects them.  Punk is pissed that they’ve been sent away and watches in horror as they walk up the ramp.  Mysterio then nails him with a stiff dropkick to the back of the head, then a beautiful Asai moonsault on the floor for a double KO.

Back in, we don’t actually get the privilege of seeing Mysterio dropping the dime and creating a believable near fall because the sheep rapists in the production truck decide to cue up a replay, and this one actually does drown out the entire section where Rey rolls Punk in the ring, climbs the ropes and drops the dime.  So all we get is Mysterio covering for two.  I actually have this theory that they all have short attention spans, and the following conversation takes place multiple times during any given pay-per-view.

Douchebag: WOW!  DID YOU SEE THAT?  THAT WAS THE MOST INCREDIBLE MOVE!  I HAVEN’T SEE THAT SINCE THE LAST TIME I SAW THESE GUYS WRESTLE!

Twat Waffle: I didn’t see anything.  I was busy trying to figure out how many of my fingers I can fit up my ass.  What was it?

Douchebag: It was a spectacular move!  I can’t believe you missed it, considering that 99.99999999% of the people watching at home saw it.

Twat Waffle: Well I didn’t, so cue up an instant replay!

Douchebag: But it looks like they’re already doing a different move and this will interrupt it.

Twat Waffle: I don’t care.  I can’t divide all my time between producing this show, reading Mein Kampf, and butt-fucking you.  If I miss a move, I’m the producer and I should see it, so that I can see if it deserves an instant replay or not.  So cue it up so I can decide if it merits a third look.  Besides, 0.00000001% of the people out there missed it too, and some of them might not own a DVR.  And after the match they’ll want to go to the bathroom, grab a beer, and if they’re like me, see how many toothpicks they can fit in their peehole.  They won’t stick around for the post-match replays.  So just do it.

Douchebag: Yes sir.  Oh, and I can fit eleven.

Twat Waffle: Fingers in your ass or toothpicks in your peehole?

Douchebag: Um, toothpicks sir.  I only have ten fingers after all.

Twat Waffle
: Well that’s why you come to me for help, son.

Anyway, so Mysterio drops the dime, I get a nasty case of eye strain, and it gets two and eye drops, respectively.  Shoot off and Punk lowers his head into a kick for two.  Rey slowly gets to the apron and hits the seated senton.  He goes for a springboard-crossbody but Punk dropkicks him for two.  This time they time the instant replay right, but then the second problem with instant replays in professional wrestling rears its ugly head: they always pick an angle that exposes the move as being not as good as it looked the first time around.  I know I must sound like a broken record here but instant replays have totally fucked up the viewing experience of this, an awesome match.  Someone should lose their job for it.

Punk to the apron now where his hair completely covers his face, Cousin It style (even the announcers note it) and he hits a springboard clothesline for two.  Shoot to the corner and they trade reversals, leading to Punk loading up the GTS and then Mysterio countering it with a snap-rana for two.  Straight kick to the face by Punk but he’s seeing stars and can’t cover fast enough.  When he does, it only gets two.  Punk goes for a high knee in the corner, and then Mysterio botches a headscissors counter and totally plasters Punk’s face on the rope.  I bet that left a mark.  But now the 619 is perfectly set up and Mysterio hits it.  He sets up for the splash, but someone is hiding under the ring and slips a chair in.  The ref turns his back to get rid of the chair, allowing the “stranger under the ring” (I smell the name of the next WWE film) to hit a facebuster-powerbomb on the Mysterio on the floor.  Punk rolls Rey into the ring and hits the GTS for the pin.  Fans are pissed.  I think this might be the first time in WWE history that they advertised a hair match, and nobody actually lost their hair.  Unless you count all the times the clippers failed, in which case this is the 128th time that’s happened.

****1/2 Unlike their Wrestlemania encounter, they were given time to work a fully-realized story in the ring and they used it for all it was worth.  This felt like a homage to Mysterio’s classic battles with Eddie Guerrero in WCW.  The structure wasn’t totally sound, as an oddball double-KO spot here and there seemed to have dragged the pace down a bit, and there were a few niggling spots of sloppiness, but otherwise this was a solid, well wrestled, and very fun match.  Mysterio was in the hot post-Wrestlemania feud last year, with Chris Jericho, and it seems he’s set out to do it again in 2010 with CM Punk this time.  I heard Over the Limit had an, ahem, incident related to that red stuff that people have in them.  I’m pretty curious to see if the DVD edits out the pause.  In a way, I hope they do.  I’m not against fixing such things in DVD.  It could save what everyone is saying was the only flaw in that match.  Stay tuned because that review won’t be too far behind this one.

Match #3: Strap Match
JTG vs. Shad

You have to touch the corners to win.  Shad looks great, but he gets no reaction.  I haven’t seen him work since they broke up Cryme Tyme.  Considering the fact that he was sent to Florida while JTG remains on television, I’m guessing he didn’t do so good.  JTG doesn’t get that good of a reaction either.  Meanwhile, the announcers jaw with each-other over the mean streets they grew up on.  Jerry Lawler declares that Memphis is the second most dangerous city in the United States.  Well, maybe if you’re a teenage girl within walking distance of Jerry Lawler’s house.

Listen carefully and off in the distance you can hear Widro screaming “FUCK!  There goes the rest of our legal budget for 2010.”

Shad boots JTG down and quickly touches three corners.  JTG cuts him off there and starts to whip him with the strap, including a nasty shot across the arm.  Striker notes that the strap can break the skin.  Only if it wants to be released from its contract.  But that’s okay.  TNA will quickly snatch it up, rename it “The Cord” and put it in the main event of the next pay-per-view.  So JTG touches a corner but Shad has the weight advantage and yanks him to the apron, then whips him to the floor.  He starts to touch the corners but the strap isn’t long enough, and JTG hunkers down on the stairs.  Shad drags him to the apron again and lightly brawls him there, but JTG hangs him up and touches a corner.  Seated-senton and JTG touches three corners.  Shad saves and hits an atomic drop, then bails out of the ring.  He yanks JTG with authority into the post, then whips on him, jawing the whole time and then mugging for boos.  Back in, Shad ties up JTG and then drags him to the corners for the time-honored “both guys hit the turnbuckle but the heel doesn’t see the babyface doing it” ending, and sure enough JTG hits his Box Cutter armbreaker/backbreaker thingy and hits the final turnbuckle for the win.

**1/4 Not awful, but not really that good.  They should have dumped it and given the time to the opening tag stuff.  Both guys were handicapped by the gimmick and neither really seemed like they knew what to do with it.  A regular match would have worked much better.

-Meanwhile, the trainer has informed Four Eyes in the back that Triple H won’t be able to wrestle in his street fight.

Match #4: World Heavyweight Championship, No-Holds-Barred
(c) Jack Swagger… never thought I would type that part…  vs. Randy Orton

At what point did “make them job to everyone” become the standard method of building your hot rookie champion?  Let’s take at Swagger’s record in 2010, televised matches only.

January 4: Loses to MVP (Raw)
January 11: Loses to Santino Marella (Raw)
January 18: Loses to Mark Henry (Raw)
February 1: Loses to Triple H (Raw)
February 11: Beats Santino Marella (Superstars)
February 25: Beats Chris Masters & Santino Marella w/William Regal (Superstars)
Match 1: Beats Santino Marella (Raw)
Match 18: Loses to Christian, Mark Henry, & Yoshi Tatsu w/ William Regal & Zach Ryder (Superstars)
March 19: Beats Matt Hardy & MVP w/Dolph Ziggler (Smackdown)
March 26: Loses w/Raw team vs. Smackdown Team (Smackdown)
March 28: Wins Money in the Bank at Wrestlemania
March 29: Loses to John Cena & Randy Orton w/Batista (Raw)
April 2: Beats Chris Jericho for World Heavyweight Championship (Smackdown)

So in his run-up to winning the Money in the Bank, Swagger had two televised singles wins over the entire year, both of them against Santino and one of them on Superstars.  His overall record is 5 wins, 7 losses before winning the belt.  If you don’t count Superstars, then it turns to 3 wins, 6 losses.  Now some might argue that George Washington had the same 3-6 record before he became the first President of the United States.  And that might be true, but did he draw well as the World Heavyweight Champion?  No?  Then shut up.

Now here’s his post-title win results.

April 5: Loses to Randy Orton in a non-title match (Raw)
April 9: Beats John Morrison (Smackdown)
April 16: Beats Chris Jericho and Edge (Smackdown)
April 19: Loses to The Undertaker in a non-title match (Raw)
April 23: Loses to John Morrison in a non-title match (Smackdown)
April 25: Beats Randy Orton (Extreme Rules)
April 26: Beats John Morrison (Raw)
May 7: Loses to Kane (Smackdown)
May 17: Loses to Randy Orton (Raw)
May 21: Loses to Kofi Kingston (Smackdown)
May 23: Loses to Big Show via DQ (Over the Limit)
May 28: Loses to Big Show & Kofi Kingston w/Drew McIntyre (Smackdown)
June 4: Beats MVP (Smackdown)
June 11: Loses to Rey Mysterio in a non-title match (Smackdown)
June 18: Loses to Rey Mysterio & The Big Show w/CM Punk (Smackdown)
June 20: Loses championship to Rey Mysterio (Fatal Four Way)

That’s a record of 5 wins, 12 losses.  Christ, he ended up even worse as champion than before!  Not just a little worse either, but a lot.  On Raw, which is far and away the highest rated show the WWE produces, he appeared four times as champion and lost all but once.

I think I understand the logic behind this, no matter how stupid it is.  Like they did with Sheamus, the WWE seems to be afraid of pushing a monster heel because they want the fans to believe that on any given show the title can change hands, and thus they have to order every pay-per-view because history will be made.  And that logic is faulty because a title changing hands isn’t the earth-shattering, historic moment it used to be.  It happens all the time.  A champion losing a match should be significant.  It shouldn’t be a big deal when the person who is officially the champion of the world actually WINS a match.  And with titles changing hands left and right, your favorite wrestler winning isn’t that big a deal either, because they are likely to go on a losing streak and drop the belt within two months anyway.

To the match.  The WWE had to really turn up Swagger’s music to drown out the silence his entrance got.  And has anyone else noticed that his hair is positively anime like?  Fans are super hot for Randy Orton though.  Lockup and Swagger takes Orton down by the leg then maneuvers into a cover for one.  Circle and lockup and Swagger gets a dragon screw, then a waistlock on the mat.  Orton stands up on it but swings and misses with his arm.  To the corner where Swagger hits a shoulderblock.  Swagger wastes time going for a ten-punch and gets clubbed down and elbowed off the top for one.  Wrap-around backbreaker gets two.  Swagger rolls out of the ring and grabs a chair, but Orton kicks it out of his hands.  Swagger panics and rolls into the ring, then misses with a kick as Orton climbs back in.  Jack bails to the floor again, then fights off Orton and tosses him into the rail.  Northern lights suplex on the floor by Jack, then he rams Orton into the post and tosses him back in the ring.

Swagger follows him in and covers for two.  Orton crawls to the corner and gets smacked around by Swagger.  Choke with the foot, and Swagger stands on the ropes for leverage.  Orton tries to fight back, so Swagger drives him to the corner and shoulderblocks him there.  Vertical suplex by Swagger, but he stalls and the crowd wills Orton back into it.  Swagger cuts off a comeback with a belly-to-belly suplex for two.  He stomps the stomach of Orton, then fires off another vertical suplex, then a back suplex.  Swagger is feeling good now and pushes Orton to the corner for a shoulderblock.  He charges but Orton gets a knee up.  Swagger still doesn’t want Randy to comeback and tosses him into the post.  Swagger remembers that this is a no-DQ match and grabs his belt.  He charges but Orton catches him and uppercuts him a few times.  To the corner, where Orton slugs him, but Swagger hits the clutch powerslam for two.  Very nice match thus far.

Swagger with a scoopslam to set up for the corner splash, but he takes a while to psych himself into it.  This gives Orton enough time to grab the belt and smack Swagger coming down off the ropes.  Clotheslines and a powerslam by Randy gets two.  Orton seems to have injured his arm, but then again this show was filmed on a day ending with the letter “Y” and thus he was due for an arm injury.  Orton shakes it off and preps for the rope DDT, but Swagger wiggles free and dumps Orton to the floor.  He bails and grabs a garbage can, but Orton kicks him to grab the can, then smashes the shit out of Jackie with the can.  Fans are loving it.  Swagger gets his face flattened on the table a few times, then Orton whips him into the stairs.  Orton preps Swagger’s head on the stairs and then stomps his brains out.

Back in the ring, Orton fires off a Garvin Stomp, but he misses a kneedrop.  Swagger bails and grabs a chair, but Orton boots him coming back in the ring and loads up the rope DDT, which has officially become his crowd-popping People’s Elbow.  Randy coils down for the RKO, but then his eyes meet the chair in the ring, and you might as well call Chuck Woolery because a love connection has been formed.  (Christ, that’s the lamest shit I ever wrote and I hate myself for it.)  Orton preps the chair and attempts to RKO Swagger on it, but Jackie blocks it and slams Randy’s back on it.  The chair is ruined and so is Orton’s spine, so Swagger gutbombs him for the pin.  After the match, Orton RKOs Swagger on the floor.

****1/4 Just a really solid meat-and-potatoes match.  Very basic in structure but perfectly executed.  Minor pacing issues (they used the heel-stalls-before-missing-the-move spot too much) slightly hampered things, but otherwise these guys stuck to the fundamentals and turned out a very good showing.  Keep it simple, stupid.  This match also hammered home how damn good Randy Orton can work as a babyface.  As a heel, he’s pitiful at timing, but here he allowed Swagger to build up enough steam that his comeback had a huge impact with the fans.  Randy Orton could be the biggest babyface of the upcoming decade, so I hope they don’t fuck it up and turn him back to being a heel, even if he likes it more.  Just think of the merch, Randal!

And let’s not forget about Jack Swagger, who held up his end of this match.  No carrying was needed here.  Jack was very impressive in his first real main event style match.  His offense is credible and feels like it’s building to something, unlike most guys who’s movesets feel more like a checklist of things they need to do before going to the finish.  The WWE really needs to be more protective of how they book him, because he has the talent to carry the heel end of uppercards for years to come.  This really felt like a coming out party, with Orton shining as the new heir to the babyface throne and the buckets of cash showered on that throne, while Swagger emerged as the heel the WWE will need to go to when they need a solid, four-star match high on the card.  Big props to both, because I figured going in that this was going to be a total garbage brawl.

-BUT WAIT~!! Now Sheamus is out with a lead pipe to demand that Triple H come out and receive his beating.  Cut to the back where Four Eyes is cut off from saying Triple H will not be able to compete by Triple H walking out of the dressing room ready to compete.  Shows what he knows.

Match #5: Street Fight
Triple H vs. Sheamus

Sheamus swings and misses with the lead pipe and Trips mounts some punches.  Sheamus misses with a clothesline and gets dumped over the top rope and to the floor.  On the outside, Triple H runs and clotheslines Sheamus in the back of the head, then slams him into the announce table.  Sheamus leans into the rail trying to catch a breath, but Trips won’t let up and brawls him around some more.  He tosses Sheamus in the ring and then catches him in a spinebuster.  KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~!! doesn’t work because Hunter’s arm is injured and he can’t hook it in.  Sheamus turns this into a short-arm clothesline.  Trips rolls out of the ring while Sheamus catches a breather.

On the floor, Sheamus axe-handles Trips in the back of the head, then slams him into the rail.  Another ram into the rail, and the announcers quit talking about the injured arm and start to talk about the neck, mostly because Sheamus is totally ignoring this rather obvious target.  They cover by saying that it’s a “nerve injury” that is messing with his arm and it’s how the neck works.  That’s great.  So why is he attacking the back?  He rams Trips into the rail again, then puts him on the apron and elbows him in the face.  Mounted punches and a cover for two.  Kneedrop for two.  More kneedrops by Sheamus, and he’s feeling pretty good about himself.  Another big kneedrop gets two, with Trips powering out.  That only pisses off the Irish dude so he brawls Trips in the corner and fires off another kneedrop to the back of the head for two.

Trips tries to brawl back but gets sledged down for two.  Now an armbar-chinlock.  The fans are lively at least.  Sheamus turns this into a plain chinlock, and both guys work the hold at least instead of just sitting there like a bump on a log.  Trips turns it into a back-suplex and then bails out of the ring to buy some time.  Sheamus isn’t a fan of time-shares and so he follows Trips out and gives him a neckbreaker on the floor.  Trips is a goner and Sheamus is loving it.  He rolls H-3 back in the ring and charges, but Trips gets a foot up.  Sheamus charges again but Trips sidesteps and posts him.  DDT leads to a double-knockout.

Both guys are up and Sheamus hits a clutch-backbreaker for two.  Mounted punches by Sheamus and he’s getting impatient.  Powerslam for two and two.  Sheamus then remembers the lead pipe and bails to grab it.  He charges for kill but Trips punches the pipe out of him.  Facebuster attempt by Trips, but Sheamus hits him with the lead pipe for two.  So it’s good enough to kill Mr. Boddy but not good to put Triple H down for the three count.  Next time maybe he should use a candlestick.  Sheamus rips his hair out in frustration and loads up for the Celtic Cross, or Pale Justice as it’s now called, which is apparently a reference to Dungeons & Dragons.  Huh.  I figured Sheamus was a Magic the Gathering player myself.  Anyway, he loads up whatever it’s called and then Triple H taps two islands and casts Counterspell on it, then catches Sheamus charging and backdrops him to the floor.

On the outside, Sheamus grabs a kendo stick and charges, but Trips hits a drop-toehold and takes possession of the stick.  He beats Sheamus up to the ramp and loads up the Pedigree only to get backdropped on the steel.  Trips is up only to get bicycle kicked on the ramp.  I would also like to note that Sheamus is doing a good job of showing the benefits of a wrestling albino, because the welts on his back from the kendo stick shots are easily visible.  It’s a nice touch.  Back in the ring, Sheamus fires off another bicycle kick, and Trips can barely stand, but crawls up the corner and shoves the referee off and tells Sheamus to suck it.  Sheamus offers up his boot instead of a blowjob, giving Trips a third bicycle kick, which Michael Cole correctly identifies as a third one.  This staggers Trips and allows Sheamus to hit a fourth bicycle kick, which Cole proclaims to be the third one.  Mind you, he had just called kick number three the third kick only seconds before.  So in addition to not knowing the names of the moves, Michael Cole can’t count to four.  If nothing else, he would make an interesting guest referee for a last man standing match.  “One… two… three… three… three… three… three…”  Anywho, Sheamus covers and gets the pin.

***1/2 A pretty good effort in putting Sheamus over as an unstoppable monster heel.  This was exactly the kind of match he needed to have during his first reign as champion.  The problem is it went about five minutes too long and Sheamus wasn’t up to varying his offense to keep things lively.  He kept cycling through the same moves throughout, and Triple H didn’t seem up to carrying him to something that was special.  I don’t think it would have killed them to have cut out all the stuff at the beginning of the show and just had Sheamus slowly tear Triple H apart during this match, which would have freed up time for the opening tag match and made Sheamus look even more brutal than he did.  After over a decade on top of the company, they didn’t really need to protect Triple H like they did.  The fans will always perceive him as a tippy-top guy no matter how bad he gets his ass kicked.  But if nothing else Sheamus looked good for the first time since winning the WWE Championship and he would ride this wave all the way to… well actually scratch that, he wasn’t even included in the next pay per view.  I guess in the WWE Universe the saying is “strike while the iron is cool.”

-After the match, Trips requires four guys to help him up the aisle, but then Sheamus comes in to hit a third-third bicycle kick.  I’m having Gene Snitsky flashbacks here.  Trips ends up getting stretchered out, and sadly Sheamus doesn’t return to tip it over.

-Meanwhile, Edge talks about how you can win the upcoming cage match by escape, but he doesn’t plan on letting Chris Jericho climb out, nor does he plan on even trying to escape himself.  Thank God someone came to their senses and turned him back into a heel because he just plain SUCKS as a babyface.

-A makeup table is at ringside, which Michael Cole notes looks just like the counter of Matt Striker’s bathroom.  Matt says he has four sisters.  So Matt Striker just admitted he still lives at home.  All those who are surprised take one step forward.  Okay, count them Michael Cole.  “One, two, three, three, three, three…”

Ugh.

Match #6: Women’s Championship, just hit each-other with whatever crap you can find match
(c) Michelle McCool vs. Beth Phoenix

Lockup and they go to the ropes, but won’t break.  McCool kicks and uppercuts away, but Beth flips off the ropes and catches a rollup for two.  Michelle charges into a back elbow, then eats a clothesline off the second rope for two.  To the floor, where Phoenix elbows McCool down, then cuts off an attack by Layla, stealing a broom from her and chasing her off.  McCool uses hairspray on Beth’s eyes, then hits her with an ironing board for two.  Wouldn’t an iron be more effective?  She hits her with it again and slaps on a body-scissors.  McCool releases the hold and actually DOES get an iron, but the cord doesn’t stretch far enough and Beth grabs a schoolboy for two.  Kicks by McCool and she preps Beth in the corner with an ironing board, then dropkicks her for two.

McCool picks up a bucket of something at ringside, but throws it away because it grosses her out, apparently covering Matt Striker at ringside.  So she picks up the ironing board again, but Beth dropkicks her into the makeup table.  Vickie Guerrero and Layla hold Phoenix for a free shot but Beth ducks and McCool sprays them in the eyes instead.  Beth places her on the makeup table, then tips the table over.  That’ll learn her.  Vickie and Layla are still hilariously overselling the hairspray to the eye spot, while in the ring Beth beats over Michelle with a bucket that looks and sounds as if it weighs maybe a quarter of a pound, then covers for two.  Beth preps a couple ironing boards together and then sets up McCool for a superplex.  In a truly hilarious moment, Guerrero and Layla swat at her with brooms like a couple old ladies trying to shoo a stray cat off their porch.  That’s not very effective, so McCool takes things into her own hands and pushes Beth off the ropes and onto the ironing boards, with Beth taking the bump with true gusto.  It only gets two.  She loads up the Styles Clash, but Beth reverses and hits the Implant Buster for the pin and the title.

*** God help me, I actually was pretty entertained by this.  Don’t get me wrong, this was completely ridiculous, but if you’re going to do a comedy match at least try to make it funny.  I laughed out loud at Vickie and Layla’s antics, and at the same time I have to give props to Beth and Michelle for not just phoning it in.  There were a few pretty decent bumps by both gals too.  I’m sure I’ll get heat for this, because women are ICKY and shouldn’t be allowed to wrestle and to find entertainment in anything a girl does means you’re gay or something.  But I had fun watching and if you don’t go in expecting anything resembling a respectable wrestling match you’ll find at least three stars worth of entertainment.

-Meanwhile, Josh Matthews decides to talk to Chris Jericho.  Jericho shrugs off his loss the previous week to Heath Slater.

Match #7: Cage Match
Edge vs. Chris Jericho

Damn yo, Edge lost a lot of muscle.  He practically has no tone left.  So for any of you people out there looking for a radical new diet, it would seem blowing out your Achilles tendon is the way to go.  Jericho stalls getting into the cage, so he grabs a chair and heads for the door.  Edge grows impatient and dropkicks him through the door.  He lightly brawls Jericho on the outside and tosses him in the ring to begin the match properly.

Jericho starts to climb out before the bell even rings, but Edge grabs him by the tights and yanks him down, then pathetically stomps him in the corner.  Watching Edge do stomps and kicks these days is enough to break my heart.  He just doesn’t have the ability to do it anymore.  Shoot off and a clothesline to Jericho, and then he tries to catapult him into the cage.  Jericho catches the cage and tries to climb out, but Edge catches him and tosses him off the top rope.  Edge cages him, and Jericho checks his forehead for match-stopping blood.  Edge charges for a shoulderblock but misses and eats cage.  Jericho dropkicks Edgeworth into the cage, then catapults his throat into the bottom rope.  He mugs for boos, then mounts some punches and chokes with the foot.  Back suplex gets two.  Now to a chinlock.  Edge fights out and lowers his head into a kick, but then catches Jericho charging and backdrops him into the cage for a double-knockout.

Edge is up and he fires off a couple of weak clotheslines.  I guess the new slower, low-impact Edge works in terms of storytelling.  I mean, he’s suffered one of the worst injuries possible and he came back too soon and thus it makes sense that everything he does would be missing some zing to it.  But it’s not really that comforting.  All his moves look like crap.  They did at the Royal Rumble, they did at Wrestlemania, and they do now.  Flapjack by Edge and a facebuster for two.  Jericho catches him charging with a kick and bulldogs him.  He goes for the Lionsault, sees Edge roll out of the way, sticks the landing and starts to climb the cage.  Edge catches him on the top, but Jericho counters with a visually satisfying single-leg takedown off the top rope and then goes straight into the Walls on the mat.  That was just sick.  Edge makes the ropes but they actually use logic and note that it’s no-DQ and the referee can’t force Jericho to break.  Edge climbs up the ropes and slings Jericho’s head into the cage, then hits the Edge-o-Matic for two, and then a double-knockout.

Both guys are up and Edge loads up the Impaler DDT, which Jericho turns into a Walls attempt, but Edge kicks out of it, then boots Jericho down.  He gets all wide-eyed as the kids in the crowd call for a spear.  Chris sees this coming and goes for the door, grabbing a chair in the process.  Jericho slams the door on Edge’s head and can climb down the stairs, but he’s arrogant and decides to climb back in instead.  JBL should sue Jericho for stealing his smirk, because it’s an uncanny resemblance.  Jericho grabs the chair and tries to kill Edge with it, but Edge ducks and hits the spear… for two.  Fans totally bought that as the finish.  Edge just sits there dumbfounded for a bit, then picks up Jericho and immediately eats a Code Breaker, making the spear the WORST MOVE EVER~!! and taking a two count in the process.  Jericho covers again for two, then starts to climb the cage.  Jericho gets both legs over, but Edge catches him and drags him back into the ring.  Jericho casually swats him down and crotches him on the ropes.  Jericho climbs over the cage but is too cowardly to drop down.

Edge yanks Jericho’s arm through the bars on the top of the cage.  They both straddle the top of the cage and slug it out.  Jericho wiggles his way back into the ring, then slowly pulls Edge back in, then hits a springboard version of the Code Breaker off the top rope.  Insanely dangerous bump by both guys there.  Jericho is knocked goofy by that and can’t cover right away, and then he covers for two.  A move that cool and visually spectacular should have been reserved for the finish.  Jericho kicks out Edge’s leg and grabs the chair.  He tries to break Edge’s foot, but it doesn’t work.  Edge cages Jericho a few times, then whips him to the corner, but again Chris climbs to escape.  He gets caught and slammed into the top of the cage a few times.  Edge goes bug-eyed again, while Jericho goes for the door.  Edge kicks him in the gut as he reaches for the exit, then slams the door on his foot.  Jericho starts to cry and beg for mercy.  Edge twists his foot around as the announcers sell the fact that Jericho hasn’t missed time due to an injury at all during all his years in the WWE.  Jericho’s whiny groaning reminds me of the boxing scene from Snoopy, Come Home!   Edge preps for the spear and hits a fairly weak ass looking one for the pin.

***3/4 Another match that overstayed it’s welcome by about five minutes.  A few insane bumps and a pretty good match structure were ruined by some serious pacing issues.  The lame ending didn’t help, and this is actually one of the few times I’m scoring against it.  I think the spear should be retired from Edge’s repertoire.  At one point it might have looked good, but with his balance and speed issues it’s simply not going to be a visually spectacular move anymore.  A more fulfilling ending here would have been Edge smacking Jericho in the foot with the chair and then winning by submission to an ankle lock.  That ending would have satisfied the whole foot injury storyline and blown off the feud in a logical way.  Oh, and having cage matches without blood is like having a Rambo movie without senseless killing.  It’s just not right.  Complaints aside, this was an overall fun match and a good way to cap off this feud.

Match #8, WWE Championship, Last Man Standing Match
(c) John Cena vs. Batista

Considering that this match marks the one year anniversary of the Edge/Cena last man standing shitfest that I DUDed and still get hate mail over, and also considering that in their previous match at Wrestlemania these two spent the entirety of the time allotted masturbating each other, I expect this to be a solid Worst Match of the Year contender.  My expectations are at an all time low.

Circle to start, then a long, dramatic lockup.  Yawn.  Batista misses a clothesline and gets shoulderblocked down.  He bails out of the ring to stall, then comes back in, and the same exact spot happens.  This time, Batista grabs a chair.  I can already tell this is the new all time worst match in the history of wrestling.  Suck it, 1999 Royal Rumble!  Batista comes in and swings with the chair.  He misses, and Batista eats a bulldog.  The referee starts counting, but Batista is up quickly.  Cena gets a fisherman’s suplex and forces a five-count.  Cena charges into the corner and the referee starts counting that.  Fucking kill me now.  Shoot to the corner and a clothesline and the referee starts counting, makes it to five.  Batista boots Cena in the face and Johnny Boy has to dramatically sell it.  Cena then loads up the FU but Batista posts him, then stands around and does nothing and fucking seriously, when did “lay on the mat and do nothing” or “stand around with your finger up your ass” become the WWE’s default method of blowing off feuds?

Yes, well besides Yokozuna’s reign.

Batista yanks Cena to the apron and starts to lightly brawl him.  He’s sucking so much wind that he could very well end up farting tornados by time this match is over.  I’m sure this conditioning will pay off in the MMA world when guys are throwing real punches at him and he actually has to do more than stand around.  He grabs a chair and pokes John in the knee with it.  Batista doesn’t wait for him to fully stand up and goes to work the knee.  He works the leg a little more, then clotheslines him down.  Six count follows.  If that doesn’t sound very long, mind you that I timed it: this was a twenty-one second break in the action.  This is exciting in the same way that Red Light – Green Light was when I was five-years-old.  Next up for the WWE: Cena vs. The Miz in a Red Rover Red Rover Send Shawn Michaels On Over Match (or RRRRSSMOOM for short – oddly that’s the same sound Triple H makes every time he hears Stephanie is pregnant again).

A vertical suplex and another exciting count follows.  Cena up to get chop blocked, then he bails out of the ring and tries to slug it out, but he can’t stand up.  He reverses a whip and sends Batista to the stairs.  Five count on both guys follows.  Back in the ring, Batista decides that what this match that is 90% laying on the mat needs is a rest period, so he hooks on a figure-four.  Look closely and you can see both guys gently massaging each-other’s dicks.  Johnny reverses and the hold is released.  Count follows on both guys.  Goddamn this is the most exciting match EVER!  Five-stars all the way.  It’s so intense!  Actually, what it really needs is a double-clothesline spot where both guys do nothing for a referee’s count of seven, which is about as long as it takes for me to go to the kitchen and microwave some delicious kettle corn.

Both guys to their feet, and Cena is now wiggered up.  Shoulderblocks, protoplex, and the five knuckle shuffle.  Batista rolls out of the ring and grabs something.  I can’t see what it is, but he clearly stabs Cena with it.  IT WAS A KNIFE!  WOOO HOO, GOOD BYE TV-PG ERA, HELLO TV-MA ERA!  BRING ON THE STORYLINE WHERE VINCE MCMAHON IS REALLY THE ILLEGITIMATE CHILD OF JIM ROSS!

No wait, it was a dildo.  That’s still kinda a TV-MA object, right?

Never mind, it was the thing they use to tighten the turnbuckle.  It was likely the least harmful object under the ring.  ‘Tista feels like a total pussy (he is) and grabs another chair.  Cena proceeds to FU him on the chair.  Nine count follow, then Batista throws the referee into the turnbuckle, crotching Johnny Bravo who was climbing.  Spear to Cena and an eight-count, then another spear and another eight count.  Hey Batista, since the bulldog spot Cena gave you earlier was a two count, maybe you should mix that with the spear, which is an eight count move.  8 + 2 = 10, get it?  Oh that’s right, I forgot you were mentally retarded.  Let me explain it to you in words you might understand.

Head go THUMP, body go POW, you go “YEA!”  Get it?  Go for a Speardog.  Speardog good.

Still not following?  Okay, wait right there.  I’ll grab some sock puppets.

Aw crap, he’s already gone to look for stuff under the ring again.  He finds a toolbox full of heavy metal objects, plus the box itself sounds like it has some weight to it.  Of course, Batista is one of the last living examples of Cro-Magnon Man and thus these modern, shiny tools only serve to frighten him.  Instead, he grabs a table, which weighs less than an El Grande Meal at Taco Bell and likely is more healthy for you as well, even if you’re falling through it and not eating it.  He drags it in the ring and preps it in the corner, then almost gets caught in the STFU.  He kicks Cena off, causing Johnny B. Good to fly through the table.  A long count follows.  On the floor, Batista rams Cena into the corner and another count follows.  Highlight of the match so far is a little kid screaming “I HATE YOU BATISTA!” and Batista screaming “I HATE YOU TOO!” back.  I have nothing to add there.

Cena up, and Cena down after he gets whipped through the guardrail.  I’m suddenly realizing that I’m not hating this match as much as I was earlier.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s god-awful and embarrassing, but in an endearing kind of way.  Cena beats the count, and now Batista is very, very upset.  He preps the announce table, rams Cena into the post, and then sets up the steel stairs next to the table.  This is your Dr. Evil Memorial Overly Elaborate and Exotic Death Scene.  Naturally, Johnny Fairplay hoists Batista up and FUs him through the table.  Batista barely beats that count up.  Cena-Magnon Man also ignores the scary tools in favor of a table.  He preps it and loads up Batista in an FU, but Dave wiggles free and spinebusters Cena through it.  He beats the count at nine.  Batista loads up the powerbomb and hits it, but Johnny Knoxville is up at nine again.  Batista tosses the base of the stairs in the ring, but gets snatched in the STFU.  Batista taps, but Cena won’t let go until Batista is out cold, but not out cold enough, and he beats the count.  Cue the Looney Tunes ending.  Johnny Unitas crotches Batista and ties his legs together with tape, and that’s the finish.  Yeesh.

*** It wasn’t as bad as Edge/Cena, mostly because they kept the overselling of routine moves to a minimum.  The bulk here focused on high-impact stuff and when it was going, it worked.  The opening segment plus the lack of extreme violence really hurt this one quite a bit.  The cartoonish ending was almost a slap in the face after all the big spots that preceded it, but at the end of the day I’m eating crow because I shit on this match before it ever aired and it turned into something borderline worthwhile.  Just fast-forward past the opening ten minutes.

Special Feature: You get Shawn Michael’s retirement speech from Raw on March 29.  Not really.  It’s just a three minute clip of it.  One of the lamest extras ever, for sure.

BOTTOM LINE: Of the eight matches on this show, six of them earned passing grades.  Skip the opening gauntlet crap and you have a contender for one of the best WWE pay per views in years.  Mysterio/Punk was an easy match of the year contender, and Swagger/Orton was a shockingly well executed match that hit all the right marks.  Edge/Jericho and Triple H/Sheamus aren’t really slouches either.  Unless you’re disappointed at how pussified the Extreme Rules concept has become (mind you, this used to be the show that was ECW One Night Stand) you’re certain to get your $15 worth out of this show.  Big thumbs up!

Thanks to Chris for editing!

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