Linus Report: WWE Extreme Rules, 26/04/2015

Hey, it’s WWE Extreme Rules! Because EXTREME = COOL, right?

On the pre-show, which I watched because I have no life, Bad News Barrett fought Neville in a super match, which Neville won with the Red Arrow.

The show proper started with the Dean Ambrose versus Luke Harper Chicago Street Fight. This was a Falls Count Anywhere, No DQ match, so of course it didn’t actually start until they were in the ring, after they’d already been brawling for a while.

They fought for a bit in the ring, and some chairs and a kendo stick came into play, before they brawled to the back. Harper found a car, and climbed inside, and Ambrose dived in after him as the car roared away. Um, yeah, that was a thing.

The announcers wondered what was going on, and they cut backstage to HHH telling Kane to go and find those crazy guys because who knew what trouble they could get up to.

Seth Rollins walked in and he & Kane went face-to-face. HHH told them to stop acting like children. Because they’ve done this exact same thing for weeks, the crowd started chanting boring and were rapidly faded down.

Kane vowed to do what was best for business. I hope that’s continue to be an amazing angry Dad, because that’s ruling right now.

So, even though Ambrose versus Harper was a Falls Count Anywhere, and was presumably still going on, they moved on to the next match – PLAY THROUGH! – and the Kiss Me Arse contest between Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose.

Poor JoJo, the ring announcer, had to speak those ridiculous and filthy words. I felt her shame.

Sheamus and Ziggler had a match and it was a good match. Ziggler won with a roll-up – gotta save the big moves for these PPV encounters, right? – and readied his arse for a kissing.

He told Sheamus that it was his own fault for demanding this match, and Sheamus did everything he could to avoid the stipulation. Finally, he kneeled down behind Ziggler but instead of kissing his arse, he fouled him and then hit a Brogue Kick for good measure.

So, let me get this right? To avoid kissing Ziggler’s arse, Sheamus instead brought his forearm into contact with Ziggler’s shaft and balls? Freud would have a field day.

Sheamus rubbed his backside in Ziggler’s face and then left the ring and walked up the ramp, exposing his buttocks and imploring the crowd to kiss his arse.

Hey, it’s The New Day! They came out and cut their usual promo and the camera caught an absolutely BRILLIANT non-reaction from a fella that looked like Denzel Washington.

WWE Tag-Team Champions Tyson Kidd & Cesaro came out, with Natalya, and they had a very good match with Big E & Kofi Kingston. Kidd & Cesaro repeated their trick from the recent European tour swing of stomping The New Day in rhythm with the New Day Sucks chant.

The New Day won, to become the NEW WWE Tag-Team Champions, when Kingston rolled-up Cesaro to make it two-for-two for that deadliest of moves.

They threw to the pre-show crew – minus Backstage Renee – who talked about what they’d seen this week. Sadly, no Daniel “Gadget” Richardson visible behind them this time.

Backstage Renee was, erm, backstage, and she talked to The New Day about their title win. The interview was interrupted by that car that Luke Harper stole roaring into the interview area, and Luke Harper stumbled out of it. The New Day helped him up and all four of them were felled by a Dean Ambrose knee off the top of the car.

Ambrose and Harper brawled back to the ring, and the referee appeared from nowhere. Presumably he’s been following them around Chicago. They should have had photos appearing on Twitter throughout the show of them brawling at Wrigley Field, and the Sears Tower, and other Chicago landmarks. That would have ruled. Instead, we will NEVER KNOW what happened.

They did a “throw a ton of chairs into the ring” deal, and Harper buried Ambrose under them before going to the top rope. Ambrose popped up and tossed him off onto the chairs, before hitting Dirty Deeds for the win. I think they ended up going about an hour. Good job.

They showed a video package of the John Cena versus Rusev feud, and then Rusev came out for the Russian Chain match. Cena was out next, the referee attached the chain to both men’s wrists, and the match was on.

So here’s the thing: four corners matches are a tough sell. It’s an awkward stip to keep ahold of, but it’s traditionally been part of a wider match that includes a lot of choking and bleeding. Neither of those things are allowed in the WWE these days so that made their job more difficult.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the chain was far too long – you should really have to physically DRAG your opponent around the ring to touch the corners – and the crazy traffic lights were a distraction rather than an addition.

AND… they fucked up the ending. The referee was supposed to reset the lights when either man hit an offensive move and Cena hit an AA when both were on three lights before touching the fourth corner. Such a stupid mistake.

BUT! They worked hard. And, hampered by the gimmick as they were, they put together a decent contest for what it was. Cena won but this isn’t over by a long chalk…

Oh, yeah, during the match the crowd chanted for Lana and she got up on the apron to acknowledge their cheers. Rusev got angry – quite rightly, IMO – and sent her to the back. Tease tease tease.

Backstage Renee spoke to Roman Reigns, who spoke with so… many… dramatic… pauses. Is that this charisma that people keep telling me he has? He’s a vacuum, an empty vessel. If he were a great worker it’d be okay but he’s not even that. I… just… don’t… get… it.

Hey, it’s the Bella Twins! They came out foe Nikki’s match with Naomi, who was wearing black pleather and crazy colour-changing light-up shoes.

They had a fundamentally-sound professional wrestling match. It wasn’t at any point bad but neither was it at any point exciting, compelling, or entertaining. It just was. Naomi’s shoes were cool, though.

Oh, Nikki Bella won, with the Rack Attack, after Brie nailed Naomi on the outside. Yeah, the babyfaces cheated. WELCOME TO WOMEN!

Backstage, Rusev yelled at Lana in foreign. She walked away, head bowed, and knocked on a door. The camera panned back to reveal it was The Authority’s door!

They showed a video package on the Roman Reigns versus The Big Show feud. It did not make me want to watch this match any more.

So The Big Show and Roman Reigns had a Last Man Standing match. I have a slight issue with Last Man Standing matches in that if you’re lying on the mat in an ordinary match the referee will still count to ten and then end the match if you fail to answer the count. The only difference here is that it’s “falls” count anywhere. Why not use the Texas Death Match rules where you have to make a pin first? Maybe that “D” word..?

Anyway, these guys worked their asses off. They broke a ton of tables and took some huge bumps. The pace was slow, because The Big Show going twenty minutes in 2015 meant it had to be, but it kept the attention.

The finish came when Reigns speared The Big Show through the Spanish Announce Table, and then tipped the regular announcers’ table on top of him. The Big Show failed to answer the ten count and Reigns was your winner.

Backstage, Randy Orton talked to Kane, and reminded him that he used to be scary. He said he hadn’t forgotten, even if Kane had…

Huh, it’s Bo Dallas! What’s he doing here? Oh, he’s out to tell the crowd that they’re smelly idiots. He told them that they should treat each other nicely and then told them to shut up. Confusing. Finally, he told them to raise their hands in the air and Bo-lieve!

He was interrupted by The Ryback, who came out for no other reason than to bully Bo Dallas. So many mixed messages on tonight’s show. So The Ryback killed Bo Dallas in a non-match. *shrug*

Backstage, Byron Saxton talked to Rusev, who ranted about Cena. Lana appeared and said it was done – Rusev would face John Cena one more time at Payback – in an I Quit Match. How good is Rusev that he’s still over as a bad ass after lying down for Cena THREE times already this year?

Hey, it’s our main event! It’s Seth Rollins versus Randy Orton, in a Cage Match and the RKO is banned! Also, Kane is the Gatekeeper! That means he will stop anyone getting into the cage and also open the door when either man calls for it. Basically, he’s a referee. I hope all referees in cage matches are called Gatekeepers from hereon in.

These two had as good a cage match as you can have in the WWE in 2015, with some shenanigans from J&J Security thrown in for good measure.

Kane’s impartiality was tested when Orton tried to leave the cage through the door and Kane slammed it shut on him. Impartiality FAIL.

Orton argued with Kane and Rollins lined up a dropkick, but Orton moved and the dropkick hit the cage door and knocked Kane to the floor.

Angry, Kane got back up and slammed the cage door shut on both Orton & Rollins. He stomped into the cage and looked VERY angry. J&J Security tried to assuage him but he hit a double chokeslam on them before hitting another on Orton.

Rollins looked relieved and made to escape but Kane hit a chokeslam on him, too. With Orton & Rollins both down, Kane looked conflicted before draping Rollins’s arm over Orton’s chest and moving to leave the cage.

Orton kicked out before the three-count, and Kane turned back. Orton hit an RKO on Kane, but then Rollins hit an RKO on Orton, before crawling through the cage door to win the match.

This was a great match. But it wasn’t without its issues. The finish was schmozzed and it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out on Raw because the RKO was banned and Rollins shouldn’t have been able to use it. Also, remember the last time you saw a Cage Match without interference? Actually, I do – it was on Lucha Underground, where they do things right.

So this was a Good Show. The in-ring mostly delivered but it was let down by the feeling that – Reigns versus The Big Show apart – none of these matches achieved anything towards ending their respective feuds. I get that, with twelve PPVs a year, modern wrestling is a different beast, but a show where nothing was resolved in 88% of the feuds? Disappointing. Still, there’s some interesting stuff set up for Payback if they keep on that course…

Comment