Extreme Rules 2013: Extremely Underwhelming

Extreme Rules 2013
Date: May 19, 2013
Location: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, John Bradshaw Layfield

This is a card that has gotten a long time to build itself up, yet the top matches are still pretty weak. The main events tonight are Ryback challenging John Cena in a last man standing match and HHH facing Brock Lesnar inside a cage. The rest of the card has been built up far better than these matches and should be much more entertaining. Let’s get to it.

Pre-Show: The Miz vs. Cody Rhodes

Cody starts fast by trying to jump Miz, only to be caught in a flapjack and a backslide for one. A clothesline puts Rhodes down but a kick to the face misses Cody, allowing him to hit a quick hot shot for two. The release front suplex gets two for Rhodes and it’s off to a bodyscissors. Back up and Cody pounds away before putting on an armbar.

A rollup gets two for Rhodes and it’s back to the bodyscissors. Miz fights up and hits some kicks to the ribs and head before getting a near fall off a sunset flip. Miz escapes CrossRhodes but the figure four is broken up as well. Cody dives off the ropes and lands in the figure four for the tap out at 4:52.

Rating: D+. This was nothing special and was the same kind of match you could see on any given Raw. Miz’s problem at this point is he has no reason to be considered a face other than the announcers treat him like one. He’s just a guy out there wrestling and the same could be said of Cody. That makes for a really dull set of matches, as there’s no reason to care about either guy and the matches aren’t all that great in the first place.

The opening video focuses on the main events and how tonight is different from the other nights of the year.

Chris Jericho vs. Fandango

This is a rematch from Wrestlemania where Fandango won his debut match in a major upset. Jericho goes after him to start and pounds on Fandango’s head to send the dancer out to the floor. Chris follows him out and sends Fandango into the barricade before dancing on the announce table. Back in and Jericho stomps away at Fandango to send him back to the floor. Fandango gets back in and gets a boot up to stop a charging Jericho in the corner to take over.

After a kick to Jericho’s ribs we hit the chinlock, only to have Fandango hit him in the ribs for another near fall. A slingshot legdrop gets two for Fandango and it’s back to the chinlock. Jericho fights up and hits some shoulder blocks followed by the top rope ax handle for two. Fandango kicks out of the Walls so Jericho goes up top for a crossbody, only to have Fandango roll through for a two count.

Fandango kicks Jericho in the face to keep him down before loading up the guillotine legdrop. Chris rolls away though and hits the Lionsault for a near fall. Can that even be called a finishing move anymore? Fandango tries a sunset flip out of the corner but gets caught in the Walls of Jericho, only to grab the ropes a second later. Jericho charges into a boot in the corner and Fandango goes up, only to dive into the Codebreaker for the pin at 8:32.

Rating: C+. This was better than their match at Wrestlemania and the ending looked good. Fandango isn’t going to lose his credibility now as he won the original match, which is what WWE usually gets backwards in their booking of these characters. Good opener here and the fans are fired up now.

Sheamus says that the trucks Henry has been pulling around don’t hit back like he does. Tonight, the Celtic Warrior goes extreme.

Video from Raw of Ryback attacking Cena’s bad leg.

US Title: Kofi Kingston vs. Dean Ambrose

Kofi is defending. Rollins and Reigns walk back up into the crowd to keep this as an actual one on one match. Feeling out process to start with Kofi trying a quick Trouble in Paradise but Dean grabs the rope. A hiptoss sends Ambrose down and Kofi pounds away in the corner. Dean comes out of the corner with a clothesline and drops an elbow for one. With Kofi against the ropes, Ambrose hits a hard dropkick for a near fall. Ambrose talks trash and puts on a crossface chicken wing of all things, complete with a grapevine.

Kofi fights up and sends Ambrose face first into the buckle to escape before dropping him with a dropkick. Boom Drop connects but Ambrose backs away before Trouble in Paradise can launch. SOS gets two on Dean and Kofi goes up top, only to be crotched down and caught with a butterfly superplex for two.

Ambrose charges into a kick to the face in the corner and there’s a top rope cross body for two for the champion. Dean goes to the apron and there’s Trouble in Paradise but it knocks Ambrose to the floor. Kofi throws him back in for two but another Trouble in Paradise only hits ropes. The bulldog driver gives us a new champion at 6:45.

Rating: C+. This was exactly what it was supposed to be. Kofi was given the title to drop it to someone like Ambrose and he did that just fine. Kingston is the kind of guy who can bounce back no matter who he loses to so he’ll be just fine. This should be the first of many titles for Shield and it’s a very good sign that they’re getting gold this soon.

Shield comes out to celebrate post match but doesn’t beat Kofi down.

We look at Henry vs. Sheamus, which is built around Henry displaying his power and Sheamus outsmarting him. Tonight they’re tied together with a strap and you have to drag your opponent around the ring and touch all four corners in succession (meaning that if you get three but your opponent breaks your momentum, you have to start over again) to win.

Sheamus vs. Mark Henry

There are lights in each cover to keep track of who has touched which with Sheamus having green lights and Henry having red. Sheamus trips Henry down to start and Mark is already ticked off. They slug it out and Sheamus goes back to the leg to put Henry down again. Sheamus gets one corner but Henry easily pulls him to the middle of the ring to break the streak. Henry gets smart by hogtying Sheamus’ feet together, only to have Sheamus break the streak after one buckle.

Sheamus knocks him over the top and out to the floor, only to have Sheamus get on the apron and pop Henry in the face. In a smart move, Sheamus runs the apron to get three straight buckles, only to have Henry take him down with a clothesline. Back in and Henry puts Sheamus on his shoulder before walking around to the corners. Sheamus is touching them as he goes along though and it’s 3-3. Henry catches on though and headbutts Sheamus down, breaking both streaks. Sheamus comes back with forearms to the face and drops a bunch of knees to slow Henry down.

We finally get to what we wanted to see: Sheamus whipping Henry with the strap. A beaten down Henry has trouble stopping Sheamus from getting to the first three buckles but Sheamus charges into a spinebuster to break his momentum. Back to the floor with Sheamus pulling Henry into the post in a smart move. They go back inside with Sheamus getting three but getting caught in the World’s Strongest Slam. Before Henry can drop Sheamus though, the Celtic Warrior bails out and Brogue Kicks Henry down, allowing him to hit the fourth buckle at 7:58.

Rating: C-. This was pretty underwhelming given what was expected of them. The problem with these matches is the same every time: it becomes about strategy instead of the violence that the match was built up on. Strap matches are always better when the guys get to destroy each other, but that might be interesting so we better not do that here.

AJ is on the phone with Dolph when Kaitlyn comes up. Apparently AJ has said she’s too distraught to face Kaitlyn so AJ makes fun of the secret admirer. Kaitlyn calls her Looney Tunes and AJ is mad. Kaitlyn quotes Porky Pig which AJ calls appropriate and the beating is on.

Here are Colter and Swagger with Zeb complaining about the IRS and AP phone tapping scandals before ripping into the St. Louis Cardinals for having too many Latin players.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger

This is an I Quit match for the #1 contendership. Del Rio hits a fast clothesline to send Swagger to the floor. A flying knee takes Jack down on the floor and it’s already weapons time. Del Rio’s first choice is a kendo stick but Del Rio gets caught in a belly to belly to put him down. Swagger pulls the barricade covering off but Alberto sends him into the steps before Jack can do anything else.

Alberto goes after the arm as is his custom before stomping it against the steps. Back in and Swagger gets in some kendo stick shots to give Jack control. The fans want Ziggler but they get more kendo stick shots to Del Rio’s leg. Swagger ties Del Rio’s arms in the ropes and pounds away at his chest with the stick. Alberto gets his arm free and catches Swagger in the armbreaker while in the ropes, only to fall backwards onto the floor.

Jack brings in a chair but gets caught by an enziguri to put him down. Del Rio fires off his usual clotheslines and the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker followed by the low superkick. Swagger gets caught in the ropes and Del Rio pelts his back with the stick before hitting the Backstabber for good measure. The armbreaker is countered into a belly to belly suplex and the gutwrench suplex puts Del Rio down again. He still won’t quit but the no’s are getting weaker.

Another powerbomb puts Del Rio down but he grabs the armbreaker out of nowhere. Remember that rope breaks don’t count here as they mentioned on Raw. Swagger counters into the Patriot Lock but Del Rio still won’t give up. Swagger grapevines the leg but Del Rio won’t quit. Out of nowhere, Colter grabs the white towel that Ricardo was carrying and throws it in, which counts as Del Rio quitting, giving Swagger the win at 9:25.

Actually scratch that as another referee comes out and says that Colter threw it in. We look at a replay and the referee says if Del Rio can continue, the match will restart. Del Rio says let’s continue so Swagger goes after the leg again. Alberto fires off a superkick to the arm and puts on the armbreaker but Swagger won’t say it. Scratch that as he does quit at 13:50.

Rating: C. Well that helped absolutely no one at all. I’m not sure what in the world the point of the false finish was given that it was resolved in literally two minutes. Swagger taps out to Del Rio again which continues to make him look worthless in this persona. I’m guessing this allows them to do the threeway anyway, making this match pretty much pointless all around.

Ryback says all Cena has left are words, but Cena is a liar. Tonight Ryback Rules and he wins the title.

Tag Titles: Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins vs. HELL NO

This is Texas Tornado rules, meaning all four men are in the ring at the same time. The fact that there were some deaths a few days ago due to tornadoes in Texas makes this bad timing for this gimmick. Kane and Bryan are defending. It’s a big brawl to start as you would expect with the champions taking over. Bryan puts Rollins in the surfboard and Kane adds in a low dropkick for two.

Kane gets double teamed down in the corner and then Bryan gets the same treatment. Reigns loads up a powerbomb off the middle rope but Bryan counters into a rana to put everyone down. Kane grabs both Shield members by the throat before shoving them to the floor, allowing Bryan to hit the suicide dive to take both guys out. The champions take turn hitting clotheslines on both guys in the corners before Kane hits the top rope clothesline on Rollins, allowing Bryan to hit the Flying Goat for two.

Bryan gets the NO Lock on Reigns but Rollins finally makes the save. A chokeslam puts Rollins down but Roman catches Kane with the spear. Back up and Reigns shoves Kane into Bryan, only to get caught around the throat. Seth comes in off the top with a knee to Kane’s head, allowing Reigns to hit a second spear. Bryan makes the save but can’t get the NO Lock on Reigns. Rollins makes the save so Reigns can put Bryan in a torture rack. Seth comes off the top with a knee to the chest, good for the pin and the titles at 7:24.

Rating: C+. Again this was ok but nothing great. They could have used another five to ten minutes here but for some reason they’re flying through these matches tonight. Shield winning was the only logical conclusion as there was nothing left for Bryan/Kane to do with the belts at this point. Decent but not great here.

We look at the pre-show match.

There’s going to be a post show with Mick Foley, Wade Barrett, Titus O’Neil and Renee Young.

Big Show vs. Randy Orton

This is an Extreme Rules match, meaning anything goes. Orton agreed to trust Big Show at Wrestlemania but annoyed Big Show by taking the tag himself, causing Show to knock Orton out. Orton gets a big reaction as the hometown boy. Show shrugs off an early flurry by Orton before running Randy down with a big shoulder. JBL incorrectly says that Orton’s dad was in the main event of the first Wrestlemania. He was at ringside but not in the match.

We head to the floor with Orton getting in some kendo stick shots, only to have Show take the stick away and break it over his knee. Orton pulls out another stick but Show breaks that one as well. Show puts Orton up against the announce table for a LOUD chop, only to be rammed face first into the post to give Orton a breather. It’s ladder time but Show slams it off Orton’s head to put Randy down again.

Back inside and Orton’s shoulder hits the post but Randy comes back with a dropkick. Orton pounds away in the corner but Show easily picks him up and slams him down for two. Show throws the ladder inside and gets a few chairs for good measure. He sets up the chairs in the corner and bridges the ladder across them like a mini platform. Show lays Orton on the ladder but misses a Vader Bomb and crushes the ladder, giving Orton two.

The Elevated DDT connects and Orton goes into his place. The fans get all fired up and there’s the RKO but Big Show kicks out at two. That’s one of the few finishers that has been protected over the years so it had to be kicked out of eventually, as in WWE finishers mean nothing anymore.

Orton gets another chair and cracks Show in the back with it over and over again. They head back inside for a shot to the chest, but Big Show hits a spear to put Orton down. Not that it matters though as Orton kicks him in the face and hits an RKO on the chair. Instead of covering though, Orton shakes his head and has a freaky smile on his face. The Punt makes its return and that’s enough for the pin at 13:05.

Rating: B-. This was the match of the night so far but even still it wasn’t all that great. The Punt was a nice addition but I’m rather surprised that they would allow it given what happened to Ziggler recently. Still though, not bad here and Orton winning was the right move for the hometown crowd.

We recap Cena vs. Ryback. At Wrestlemania, Cena won the title while Ryback lost to Mark Henry. The next night Ryback turned on Cena due to Cena constantly leaving him to be beaten down by Shield. Cena injured his ankle on a European tour so tonight it’s a last man standing match, playing to Ryback’s advantage.

Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Ryback

Last man standing, which means you have to keep your opponent down for a ten count to win. Also Cena is defending if that wasn’t clear. Ryback shoves Cena down to start and the fans chant Goldberg at the challenger. Cena’s ankle is strong enough to survive a leapfrog and there’s a bulldog to take Ryback down. After Ryback hits some shoulders in the corner, he catches Cena diving off the middle rope in a powerslam for a six count. A gorilla press puts Cena down for eight.

Cena pulls himself to his feet and then pulls the top rope down, sending Ryback out to the floor. With Ryback up at six, John slides a table into the ring. Ryback escapes the AA though and hits his over the shoulder Stunner for an eight count. The table is set up in the corner now but Cena takes Ryback down with some shoulder blocks. Ryback catches him in mid-air though and hits a fallaway slam through the table. Cena makes it up at nine and avoids a charging Ryback, sending him shoulder first into the post.

The ProtoBomb sets up the Shuffle but Ryback again counters the AA. A weak spear puts Cena down but Cena pops back up and hits a powerbomb of all things for an eight. Back up and Cena puts him in a kind of choke hold, only to be countered into a spinebuster. That and the Meathook are enough for a seven but Cena grabs the STF out of nowhere. Ryback is out but Cena is pulling in another table just in case. He’s up at eight and Ryback is all fired up.

Ryback loads up the Shell Shock but Cena escapes and hits the AA through the table to put both guys down. Both guys get up at nine and Cena goes up, only to get caught in a Shell Shock. Cena gets up at nine and they head to the floor where Cena plows Ryback through the barricade but only for a nine. They head into the crowd where Ryback rips up what looks like a hockey board and knocks Cena senseless with it. It’s still not enough though and Cena puts on a sleeper.

After choking Ryback for a good while the monster stays down for nine. Cena puts Ryback on a conveniently placed table and dives off a balcony with a splash through said table. Ryback is again up at nine so Cena sprays him with a fire extinguisher. They head up to the stage with Cena hosing Ryback down again and again before hitting Ryback in the face with the fire extinguisher.

Ryback again gets up at eight but the AA is countered, allowing Ryback to drive Cena through a the set (as in through the electrical light grid and off camera). Both guys are out behind the set with a bunch of glass under them. The referee asks for medics and Cena is out cold as Ryback is helped to his feet. Shouldn’t that count as Cena not being up and Ryback winning? The match is thrown out at about 24:00.

Rating: B. That’s a pretty cheap (yet good looking) ending as Cena couldn’t keep Ryback down and now we’re going to get a rematch at Payback. It was certainly entertaining though, which is mostly because of how much more time it got than any other match. That’s the problem with a lot of the matches tonight: they’ve been WAY too short.

Ad for Payback in four weeks.

We recap HHH vs. Lesnar. They’ve been feuding for a year at this point, trading wins at Summerslam and Wrestlemania. Lesnar then trashed HHH’s office and tonight is the rubber match.

The cage has a new design and is higher than the usual one.

Brock Lesnar vs. HHH

You can win by pin, submission or escape. HHH jumps Lesnar in the aisle and rams him into the cage before HHH’s entrance music even starts. They get inside the cage with Brock in big trouble early on. A spinebuster puts Lesnar down as JBL goes through Brock’s MMA history. Brock counters the Pedigree with a backdrop into the cage before ramming the Game’s head into the steel. HHH is thrown into the cage and Brock is already in full control.

The Game sends him into the cage but Brock just smiles and rams him right back into the steel. Brock misses a flying knee into the cage and shouts to Heyman that his knee is hurt. HHH goes up top but Brock is there to meet him. Lesnar is shoved back down though and the knee is hurt again. The facebuster puts Brock down again as HHH is calling some loud spots tonight.

Brock counters the Pedigree attempt into the Kimura but HHH goes back to the knee to escape the hold. A big clothesline puts HHH down and Brock wants the door opened, but a chop block by HHH puts him down again. Now HHH goes for the door but Heyman slams the door on his head. An F5 gets two and Brock tells Heyman to get him a chair. Lesnar hits Trips with the chair but Brock’s knee is too hurt to keep going. Another F5 attempt fails as the knee gives out.

Now HHH gets the chair and beats on Brock’s knee to send Lesnar into the corner in a heap. A quick Kimura attempt gets Lesnar nowhere and it’s Figure Four time. The ropes mean nothing (Heyman: “BREAK THE FRIGGIN HOLD!”) so Brock has to turn the hold over to escape. With HHH down, Brock tries to climb over the top but HHH gets a chair shot to the bad leg to bring him down. HHH has a big dumb grin on his face and climbs to the top where he pulls out a camouflaged sledgehammer.

Brock gets the hammer away but HHH takes him down and puts on a Sharpshooter of all things. I don’t think I’ve ever seen HHH use that. It’s clear that HHH doesn’t have a lot of experience with the hold as it’s a pretty ugly version. Heyman comes into the ring and gets caught in a Pedigree, but there’s one for Brock as well. That only gets two so HHH gets the hammer, only to have Heyman hit him low. A sledgehammer shot to the face puts the Game down but Brock doesn’t cover. Brock hits a one legged F5 for the pin at 20:10.

Rating: B. Not bad and probably their best match yet, but at the end of the day we’re celebrating the fact that HHH didn’t put himself over Brock Lesnar in a cage. The fact that we’re a year into this feud (with no guarantee that it’s over) and HHH almost beat him in what should be Brock’s signature match is a sad reality. Good match but it didn’t need to exist.

Overall Rating: C+. This is a hard one to grade. On one hand, it’s certainly not awful and there are some solid matches on the card. However, most of the matches felt like afterthoughts to the main events which were matches that weren’t all that interesting coming in. The main events are good examples of good matches that don’t make up for the lame buildup to them. At the end of the day, people weren’t that interested in either of the matches but the payoffs were both good. Decent enough show but it could have been WAY better.

Results

Chris Jericho b. Fandango – Codebreaker

Dean Ambrose b. Kofi Kingston – Bulldog Driver

Sheamus b. Mark Henry – Sheamus touched all four corners

Alberto Del Rio b. Jack Swagger – Cross Armbreaker

Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins b. HELL NO – Torture Rack/Top Rope Knee Drop Combination to Bryan

Randy Orton b. Big Show – Punt

Ryback vs. John Cena went to a no contest

Brock Lesnar b. HHH – F5

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

 

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4 comments

  1. M.R. says:

    Glad to hear I didn’t miss a great show, I had to spend the night watching the Billboard Music Awards. Don’t get married.

  2. The Killjoy says:

    Orton continues to prove he is under utilized, Swagger and Dutch Mantel continue prove they are dumb characters, Shield gets titles, Triple H looked like a moron.

    Looked like a good show to me. Except for the end of Ryback/Cena. They clearly fall after breaking the wall, but you don’t hear a thud for another 10 seconds. You’d think they fell down a shaft or something.

  3. Jay H says:

    Solid PPV tonight,not a bad Match all night. Both Main Events delivered,Shield gets some Gold,and Randy Orton breaking out the punt kick was a nice touch.

  4. chris says:

    Good God The post show was talking about the very real possibility, of a fourth match between Lesnar and H.