El Jefe de Santo serves not only as a world-class champion, five-star chef, noted playwright and children's librarian but also reports to YOU, the fans, the happenings of the wrestling world. There are few things more grand in this life than a fine night spent being entertained by the men and women of the WWE.
WWE Extreme Rules: A DAMN Good Pay-Per-View
The pay-per-view event preceding Wrestlemania either tends to be really bad or just decent. We were, thankfully, given a gift in Extreme Rules. The event itself, a gimmick-laden bore usually, was at the opposite end of the spectrum this year.
A note before I continue on, though. The lateness of this write-up is due to the fact that my cable provider, Suddenlink, couldn't get their shit together the night of airing. I payed for what was essentially dead air. It never came back on Sunday night much to the dismay of everyone gathered in my apartment. Mortal Kombat was, thankfully, available for everyone to enjoy along with fajitas. Big props to my wife Sara for providing us all with delicious food.
Randy Orton v. CM Punk (Last Man Standing)
We started the night off with Randy Orton v. CM Punk in a Last Man Standing match. Their meeting at Wrestlemania was, at best, okay. This match, however, was awesome. Punk was accompanied by the Nexus gang upon entry into the arena. The anonymous RAW GM quickly banned them from ringside and Punk was left to fend for himself.
This match was, for it being PG, an awesome extreme affair. There was no blood, yet these spots were very physical and I cringed a few times. The RKO onto the announce table that didn't break, in particular, looked like it felt awful.
The kendo stick shots weren't the sort we've seen before in ECW or anything but it definitely looked as though the match was taking a toll on both. There was a lot of back and forth with the momentum swinging wildly at times. The crowd was definitely into it as each subsequent spot got the folks more and more involved.
The RKO that Randall nailed from the top rope was thunderous and was, finally, not from out of nowhere. I get a little tired of the "Out of nowhere!" finishers that Orton hits constantly.
This was just another reason why I think Orton, as a face, works. He's proven to us all yet again that he can take his share of bumps just like any other. His harcore match with Mick Foley was one of the first times I really started to respect Orton and this latest match has only reaffirmed it for me. My only worry is that CM Punk has, yet again, lost. Will he stick around? I hope so.
Kofi Kingston v. Sheamus (Tables Match - US Championship)
Nice to see the US Title getting some love considering the Daniel Bryan v. Sheamus match didn't even make it onto the televised portion of Wrestlemania 27. Seriously what the hell guys?
So, we've got a tables match between the Irish-born United States champion Sheamus and the high-flying, "Boom-Boom"-bringin' Kofi Kingston. I have a lot of love for both these guys. Kofi is a great performer while Sheamus has a lot of the tangible and intangible things that make for a superstar.
This match was, however, just okay. It had some great moments but overall was a bit "Eh.." The ending with Kofi hitting the big Boom-drop from the top rope to put Sheamus through the table was pretty great, though. The saving grace of the match was the fact that Kofi is such a dynamic and acrobatic performer. Sheamus just isn't geared to face that sort of guy and do so in that sort of match.
Jerry Lawler/Jim Ross v. Michael Cole/Jack Swagger (Country Whipping Match)
That's right! Bubble wrap! Michael Cole, that evil genius, wrapped himself in bubble wrap. This match was nowhere near as bad as I was anticipating it being mostly because Swagger and Lawler did the actual wrestling.
The results of Cole and Ross tangling for in-ring work the Monday prior resulted in a broken hand, busted lips and just an overall attitude of "Let's not have them wrestle, mmkay?" J.R. got some shots in on Cole once the bubble wrap was ripped away by Lawler.
Cole ends up getting the pin on Jim Ross, though, thus extending this dumb feud along for another month. Seriously. Can this be over now? I actually felt Cole was doing great work as a heel, but the rivalry is just not doing it for me anymore. I'd rather just have Cole be a humongous dick as an announcer and not worry with him having to take up ring-time on a pay-per-view.
Rey Mysterio v. Cody Rhodes (Falls Count Anywhere)
The last time these tangled was on the biggest stage of them all. Wrestlemania proved to be a great moment in this rivalry that gave us one of the better matches of the night. It was definitely the sleeper hit of the night in an event that was, for better or worse, a mixed bag in terms of match quality.
This proved to be a great showcase for a young superstar and an older one who still has the juice left to put on one hell of a show. The action quickly left the ring and went into the crowd. It spilled into a concession area backstage where both Rey and Cody had some fantastic spots. I loved the way they made use of the entire area and I was a bit disappointed, actually, that they ended up making their way back to the ring. Falls count anywhere guys. Pin him on top of a Toyota Corolla or something in the parking lot! C'mon!
The picture to the right should also let you know that we saw a bit o' the green mist. I was excited to see a move like that from Mysterio and it just made this feud all the better in my eyes. It ended with a 619 and a face victory, but I wasn't really surprised by that. Perhaps this will push Cody to go further into the darkness and become what we all want: Dr. Doom. DO IT CODY.
Michelle McCool v. Layla (Loser Leaves the WWE)
The setup for this match was quite good. We've seen great teams split up before and this is no exception. The build-up to this match was better than the actual match though that does not mean it was a bad one. The in-ring action was decent, but the storytelling of the match itself was great. The biggest thing about it was Kharma's debut. The former TNA knockout made her presence known and did so by giving Michelle McCool a thunderous Implant Buster.
The entrance was fantastic and the atmosphere with her in the arena was something to see. McCool is going on break for a while after this, but more importantly it looks like there are going to be bodies laying around this division with Kharma's entry into the fray. The shot of the girls gathered around the television set backstage was great. FEAR was in those eyes, man. FEAR.
We have a credible women's division, folks. Kharma, Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Tamina and Gail Kim. Yes please.
Christian v. Alberto del Rio (Ladder Match - World Heavyweight Championship)
This was the match I had been dying to see. Christian, a favorite of mine for years now, was finally getting a real shot at the title against the up and coming Alberto del Rio.
I was a little worried about the match involving Ladders because, well, del Rio's style doesn't complement the stipulation very well. Christian, thankfully, delivered with his usual high-speed style that has made me a peep from day one.
Yeah. The picture tells the story here and Christian is now the World Heavyweight Champion. This was a moment that should have closed the show, honestly, but I'll forgive Vince for that. This was Christian's Wrestlemania moment that we hear so much about, but it happened at Extreme Rules of all places.
Edge rode out in a Jeep just in time to see Christian topple the ladder with del Rio on it. He then made his way up the rungs to claim his prize. I was literally pumping my fist in the air and exclaiming, "YES!" when I saw this. It's about fucking time. Pardon my language but this has been a long time coming. He got his title and took a beating in the process, but man this match was well worth the price of admission. A+ guys. A+.
Big Show & Kane v. Wade Barrett & Ezekiel Jackson (WWE Tag Championship)
I'm going to be real honest here folks. I skipped over this match because of two reasons.
A) We all knew that Big Show and Kane would retain and they did.
B) The Corre gimmick is just done. It needs to end and Barrett needs to defend that Intercontinental Title that he wears around his waist. Get rid of the Corre and go solo, man. You've got the chops, Wade.
John Cena v. The Miz v. John Morrison (Triple Threat Steel Cage Match - WWE Title)
This match should have taken place before the prior but we all know that Vince is going to give priority to Cena here. That said I didn't hate this match like I expected I would.
Morrison definitely helped to infuse what could have been a rather so-so match with some much needed life. The Starship Pain from the top of the cage was just fantastic. My jaw fell open when he nailed it and, for all his issues with being mostly a mid-card guy, I was impressed.
Miz and Cena both had some genuinely good moments here and the Attitude Adjustment from the top rope that Cena hit was quite good.
The best part of match, though, had to be the interference of R-Truth. I can't say enough how much I'm enjoying this turn for Truth. Whether it's backstage segments where's spouting nonsense and just being a jerk ("It's a conspiracy! C-O-N..uh..SPIRACY!) to just beating John Morrison senseless I'm loving it. One of the best things WWE has done lately is to let Truth run wild.
John Cena is, of course, your new WWE champion. I wanted Miz to retain so badly here, but I knew that it was not meant to be. The match itself was actually quite entertaining if not quite as good as the Ladder match before it.
Overall? This was a GREAT pay-per-view that served as an amazing follow-up show to Wrestlemania. We didn't the physicality of the Taker/HHH match, but then again it didn't need it. All the hardcore-esque matches were fairly physical if not bloody. The only complaint I had was Booker T, honestly. He just didn't bring it that night or something. Just spout bad one-liners and you're good with me, man.
Agree or disagree? Too bad, El Jefe de Santo isn't taking complaints at this time as he is currently wining and dining your Mother. Well, if you really feel its necessary leave a comment, email or send him a message via Twitter.