On This Day: May 1, 2011 – Extreme Rules 2011: Take Wrestlemania And Add Gimmicks

Extreme Rules 2011
Date: May 1, 2011
Location: St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Booker T, Josh Matthews

I see this show as being like TLC from last year: there isn’t much of a difference in the stories from here and Wrestlemania so here are a bunch of gimmicks tacked on and we hope that you watch our show and don’t notice that we haven’t put much thought into this past month. The main event tonight (possibly) is Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio for the vacant world title. If Christian doesn’t win here, I doubt he ever will. Not really but it sounds good. Let’s get to it.

Opening video is pretty much what you would expect: TONIGHT IS EXTREME!!!

CM Punk vs. Randy Orton

 

Last man standing here. New Nexus is with Punk as they continue to try to validate their existences. And never mind as an E-Mail throws them out. Punk takes the pad off a buckle before he even gets in. Hot start as they go right at it. We go to the floor quickly with Punk getting introduced to the barricade. They hit it off and are taking in a movie next Tuesday.

They go back into the ring as they’re keeping up that fast pace. The problem of course is that in last man standings, there’s no real point to buying into any counts until after at least 8 minutes. Punk grabs a kendo stick and the “brutal” part of the match starts. Multiple shots by Punk (Straightedge anyone?) gets about seven and now it’s payback time. Finisher attempts are exchanged and Orton sends Punk into a chair wedged in between the ropes to the floor for about 6.

Punk gets a solid kick to the head for about 8. As always in these matches, a lot of time passes with little happening due to the counting and setting up for the counting. Orton sends him into the barricade for six and we head back to the ring. GTS actually hits and Orton gets up at 9, only to fall back down a second later. That counts as being up though as it should. Punk throws in a chair and a Russian leg sweep onto it gets about 8.

To their feet and Punk tries another leg sweep. Orton pulls an RKO out of nowhere and both guys are down. Orton gets up as does Punk but he stumbles to the floor just after he gets up. Punk fights off the elevated DDT and wraps a chair around Orton’s throat to send it into the post. THAT gets 9 and Punk is ticked off. They go to the table and Punk tries the GTS on it….which wouldn’t add anything to the move but whatever. There’s the counter into an RKO onto the (non-breaking in this case) table and Punk stumbles to his feet somehow at 9. I would have bet on that being the ending.

Orton sets for a Punt but gets caught in a GTS into the steps. When I say the GTS I mean he gets dropped face first onto the steps which is really about all you can do with that move. Up at nine and Punk has a kendo stick. Punk sends Orton in and goes up top for some reason, only to have Orton intercept the stick and WEAR PUNK OUT with it as he’s hanging from the top. SUPER RKO from the top ends this with Orton barely beating the count.

Rating: B. I rather liked this one, mainly because they gave it a lot more time than I expected them to. I would have thought the ending was going to happen multiple times in there but they let it keep going. I think it was pretty clear Orton was going to win, but they had a lot of very close calls in there and it worked rather well. Much better than I expected actually.

Lawler heads to the back to get read and we recap the Draft.

Morrison is warming up.

Sheamus is ticked off that Teddy has added an extra match with him defending against Kofi in a tables match. He’s the US Champion and is defending against someone not from the US. He demands to see the birth certificate. This is FAR less stupid now that that whole issue is over.

US Title: Sheamus vs. Kofi Kingston

 

Booker continues to imply Kofi should turn heel as we hit the floor early. First table is brought out by the pale one and set up on the floor. Back to the ring and Sheamus gets caught on the apron, only to hit a slingshot shoulder block to take Kofi down. Table #2 comes in and lands on top of Kofi. We hear about how Sheamus beat Cena in one of these to win the title which still blows my mind.

Table gets set up in the corner but Kofi fights out of it. Sheamus moves to avoid Kofi’s dive but Kofi is like screw it and does the splits in midair to land on the ropes with the table between his legs. Big boot sends Kofi flying over the table on the floor as Sheamus takes over again. The corner table is set up in front of the corner and Sheamus hammers away. Sheamus can’t suplex him onto a table on the floor and gets caught by Trouble in Paradise but it doesn’t put him through the table. The Boom Drop as Sheamus turns around does however to give Kofi the title.

Rating: C+. Not bad here and considering it was just a way to get a midcard title on Raw this was fine. Kofi of course is his usually solid self and Sheamus loses the title without getting pinned. This was perfectly fine and the ending plus some cool spots by Kofi were enough to push it over the top.

Truth complains about Morrison because that’s what he does anymore. He can’t spell conspiracy. The one thing he can’t stand is a thief which is what Morrison is. Back in the 80s this would have been a squash over a jobber and the point is just to establish that Truth is here for when he likely runs in later.

Michael Cole/Jack Swagger vs. Jim Ross/Jerry Lawler

 

Country whipping match here, which means they all have straps. Cole, I kid you not, is wrapped in bubble wrap. Ross has a legit broken hand after beating Cole up Monday. Cole gives us his resume as a reporter and insults all of Florida by saying everyone is old. Lawler vs. Cole to start as Lawler can’t hurt him. Lawler goes for the only unprotected part: Cole’s face. There goes the bubble wrap and it’s off to Swagger.

Basically this is Lawler vs. Swagger for all intents and purposes as they have a one on one match for a few minutes. Lawler gets him down but takes a chop block as he goes after Cole. Ankle Lock goes on for like 30 seconds as Ross WEAKLY hits Swagger to break the hold. Off to JR who puts an ankle lock on Swagger! Swagger escapes and I think accidentally tags Cole. Ross wastes WAY too much time for a clothesline and whips Cole a bit. Ankle lock goes on Cole and even takes Swagger out with a low blow. He turns to whip Swagger….and gets rolled up by Cole to end it. Dang it this is going to keep going isn’t it?

Rating: F. Hey look, Cole wins again and gets to run his mouth a bit more. Not as bad as Mania but still, DO SOMETHING ELSE! This has been done and it’s been done multiple times already so why do they keep going with it? Cole can still be a jerk but give us SOMETHING for a change instead. Match sucked too.

Over the Limit is in three weeks. Well of course it is.

Cena says he hasn’t been champion since June and will be champion again tonight. Short interview here.

We recap Rey vs. Cody. Not much to say here other than it’s been awesome from Cody and Rey messed up Cody, turning him into someone that thinks he’s grotesque despite looking the same as he always has. That’s some solid psychological stuff there.

Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio

 

Falls count anywhere. People hand out the bags which is a nice touch. Cody has promised to send Rey to the hospital on his way to Raw. Cody charges at Rey to start us off but Rey speeds thigns up to send him to the floor. They go up the ramp and Rey gets a seated senton off the stage for two. Out into the crowd as Rey kicks away at the head. NOT IN THE FACE!!!

Up towards the back of the arena with Cody kind of in control now. Into the back as this is more or less an old school hardcore match. Cody mangaes the Beautiful Disaster off a concession stand window for two. That looked awesome. Back to the ring as this has been a very stiff looking match. Rey tries his sitout bulldog but Cody reverses with a wheelbarrow drop onto the steps for two.

Cody picks Rey up like a 24 pack and throws him into the ring. Rey fights back and sets for the 619, intentionally exposing his knee brace. Cody counters and hits an Alabama Slam for two. Up we go but Rey FIRES GREEN MIST at Cody to send him flying. 619 out of nowhere and the springboard splash finishes completely clean.

Rating: B. Another good match here, mainly due to them beating the tar out of each other. This feud was solid and at least Cody got the win at Mania which looks better on his resume and will be what is remembered. Good stuff overall here and the mist was a nice touch despite messing up the racial stereotypes again.

Layla apologizes to the Divas for being mean to them over the years. They say they don’t like her but they like Michelle less.

Cole is back on commentary. Oh joy.

Michelle McCool vs. Layla

 

More or less a street fight here and the loser leaves WWE. Michelle wisely jumps Layla during her lay on the rope entrance. Out to the floor as this is another intense brawl. A shot into the table gets two for Michelle. Big boot misses and here comes Layla. Belly to belly gets two for Michelle as we hit the floor again.

They fight on the barrier of all things with Michelle taking over. DIAMOND DUST gets two for Layla as they come back in. Faithbreaker is countered into the Layout for two. Michelle counters a jackknife cover into a Faithbreaker (Styles Clash) but can’t cover immediately. Layla counters the cover into a rollup/crucifix pin to get rid of Michelle.

Rating: C+. I liked this again. The Divas can do pretty well if they’re given the proper amount of time. Layla winning here is probably due to Michelle leaving soon if not tonight apparently which is fine. Definitely one of the better matches with the females in awhile as this worked fine. Layle is getting a lot better every time she gets in there, which is definitely a good sign.

Layla cries as she leaves.

Michelle gets the goodbye song treatment but Kharma (Awesome Kong) debuts. Implant Buster kills Michelle dead with ease. All of the Divas are freaked out. Beth is made to look the most prominent here.

Alberto gives Ricardo instructions on how to announce the ending.

We recap Edge’s retirement and the title being vacant. This gets the 3 Doors Down video again which makes me smile. Edge was supposed to defend in a ladder match but had to retire due to a neck injury so Christian took his place by winning a battle royal.

Smackdown World Title: Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio

 

Ladder match here. Well we’re in Christian’s match with Edge’s momentum behind him in his (kind of) hometown. If he doesn’t win here, he’s never going to have a better chance. Brawl to start and Christian goes for the ladder only for the king of the golden banana hammock to take over. Baseball slide into the ladder into Del Rio as Christian takes control right back.

First ladder is brought in and Del Rio gets in a shot to take over. Christian is knocked to the floor as Del Rio gets the big ladder set up between the table and the ring like a platform. Suplex is blocked but Christian is kicked into the steps hip first. The Canadian gets knocked off the top onto a ladder and then jumps onto Del Rio to keep the advantage for the most part.

Up goes Christian but we’re only about 8 minutes into this so that’s not the ending. They slug it out but the Killswitch is avoided. Del Rio is sent into the ladder arm first. Big ladder goes up in the middle of the ring but Del Rio chucks a stepladder at Christian for the save. Codebreaker to the arm with Del Rio on the small ladder and Christian coming off the big ladder which looked awesome.

Del Rio works on the arm a bit as Cole declares Christian done. The small ladder (I smell an alliance with Horny) is used again but Del Rio goes crashing into the big ladder to put him down. Christian goes up again, only to get caught by Alberto in a kind of powerbomb move which is countered by a rana by Christian. They fight over a chance to put the other through the ladder platform but Christian gets a suplex onto a ladder to put Del Rio down.

Alberto goes up, only to be stopped but the arm goes out on Christian as Alberto keeps control. Chair slipped in by Ricardo which goes nowhere. Back in the ring Christian busts out a SPEAR to put Del Rio down. I guess he isn’t a master of it though as Del Rio makes the save by pulling Christian through the rungs of the ladder. Christian slips free, sending Alberto into the corner where the stepladder gets kicked into his face again.

Christian gets laid out on the platform ladder and Del Rio goes up for an elbow/legdrop/splash/whatever. Christian moves though and the ladder DOESN”T BREAK. FREAKING OW MAN! There goes the Canadian but Brodus runs in to move the ladder and pull him down. Stepladder shot puts Clay down as Del Rio comes back in to take over. Cross armbreaker with the arm in the ladder makes Christian tap which means nothing.

Christian is busted open so we bust out the towel. Alberto sets up the ladder and has to take his time as first aid is administered, making this look REALLY FREAKING STUPID. He goes up but a horn honks and Edge is in a car. Brodus is busted BAD. The distraction lets Christian shove Alberto onto Clay and Christian is champion. One important thing here: Edge stands off to the side for a good while to let Christian celebrate on his own.

Rating: B. Another rather good match here and this is the right move. I’m skeptical about Christian as champion still, but this was 100% the right call given the circumstances. He gets the chance to run with things here, despite being 37 now. It’s a gamble, but it’s not a huge walk the plank one so I don’t have many complaints here. Rather good match too but nothing we haven’t seen before for the most part.

Edge celebrates with Christian but DOESN’T STEAL THE SPOTLIGHT.

Package on Orton’s movie at a film festival. I think they’ve figured out the idea here: let the actors do the acting and let the WWE guys have supporting roles. It’ll do a lot better.

Riley gives Miz a pep talk as the fans can be heard heckling Del Rio.

Tag Titles: Kane/Big Show vs. Wade Barrett/Ezekiel Jackson

 

Lumberjack match here which is really needed as it’s 10:15 and we only had the Raw title match left. Show vs. Barrett to start us off as Show dominates. Kane comes in with his low dropkick for two. Everything breaks down quickly as Show beats up various jobber lumberjacks as Jackson runs over Kane to take over. Double clothesline puts both guys down as this is a bit of a mess. It’s a bonus match though so you really can’t complain that much.

Off to Show who cleans a few rooms but gets sent to the floor by Jackson. Jobbers pound on him which means they’ll be his dinner later. DH Smith is actually here. Wow indeed. They finally get Show back in and Jackson slams him, but Barrett wants the glory. The glaring between the foreigners allows Show to grab a chokeslam to retain over Barrett. Just a quick match here.

Rating: D+. Again, it’s a bonus match so you really can’t complain much here. They filled in the card and pushed the whole Corre breaking down thing. This was fine for what it was as they weren’t expected to do anything of note. I’m done will filling in space here but with this sentence I get four lines out of it so I’m happy.

Raw World Title: John Cena vs. The Miz vs. John Morrison

 

In a cage and it’s pin, submission or escape. Miz tries to run but the not brothers John save him. Midnight Express flapjack puts the champ down as we’re firmly into the three way formula already. Everyone beats on everyone as the former tag champions……and by that I mean Miz and Morrison…..go up but Cena makes the save. Miz and Cena fight on the top rope for a bit and down goes Cena.

Morrison tries to make a quick escape as Miz tries a pin but the champion saves. They sit on top of the cage and slug it out as Booker says they’re 20 or 30 feet in the air. I give up. Cena pops up and it’s a double suplex to Miz but they kind of botch it into almost a double brainbuster. That looked SICK. Back to the formula again and down goes Morrison.

Cena locks on the STF but Miz tries to escape. Cena lets go for some reason and no one escapes. Morrison gets thrown into the cage, only to jump up the wall and almost escape. He’s a wildcard in this and changes the whole thing, as wildcards are designed to do. With the Johns on top, Miz tries to go out the door. Morrison kicks the door onto his head but gets crotched on said door.

Miz wisely pulls Morrison back into the cage because Morrison was about to just fall onto the floor. Cena gets two on Morrison. BIG DDT on Cena by Miz gets two. Miz rams Cena into the cage and Morrison almost escapes, only to be caught again by Miz. They slug it out on top of the cage again and Miz can’t quite get down. Miz goes down so Morrison launches a Starship Pain off the cage to take out both guys in a cool spot.

Morrison almost gets out but of course here’s Truth to slam the door on Morrison’s head. Truth comes into the cage and destroys Morrison. Axe kick to Cena as Booker is confused. Jumping downward spiral (NAME THAT MOVE ALREADY!) to Morrison as Truth climbs the cage. He hasn’t touched Miz. Truth climbs out of the cage and has the big freaky eyes going on.

Everyone is down now and Miz is the first one up. He goes to escape, for some reason not going through the door, only to be caught by Cena. They slug it out with the boo/yay which is required for Cena matches anymore. Skull Crushing Finale is blocked into a big old FU off the top (stealing moves from Orton Cena? Really) and Cena is champion again.

Rating: B-. Well we all knew the Truth interference was coming and that Morrison wasn’t walking out with the title which is fine. The ending sets up a rematch and Truth vs. Morrison which is fine on both counts. This was a pretty solid main event to a pretty solid show which is always a good sign. They worked the formula and they worked it well here, so no complaints for the most part.

Overall Rating: A-. Dude this show was pretty awesome. There are good matches throughout, some history thrown in there and two bonus matches, one of which was pretty good. This is a lot like TLC: it wasn’t meant to be an epic show but rather fun instead and that’s just what they did here. Good stuff throughout and not boring at all with everyone working hard. That’s what you want here and it paid off. Very good show and rather fun overall.

Results

Randy Orton b. CM Punk when Punk couldn’t answer the ten count

Kofi Kingston b. Sheamus – Boom Drop through a table

Michael Cole/Jack Swagger b. Jim Ross/Jerry Lawler – Cole pinned Ross with a rollup

Rey Mysterio b. Cody Rhodes – Springboard splash

Layla b. Michelle McCool – Crucifix Pin

Christian b. Alberto Del Rio – Christian pulled down the championship

Big Show/Kane b. Ezekiel Jackson/Wade Barrett – Big Show pinned Barrett after a chokeslam

John Cena b. John Morrison and The Miz – Cena pinned Miz after an Attitude Adjustment off the top

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book on the History of the WWE Championship from Amazon for just $5 at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C3RZIR8

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