As an undergraduate, I convinced three friends to start watching wrestling. We’d go to Buffalo Wild Wings and watch the pay-per-views. We’d discuss the matches—kicking ideas back and forth. After graduating, I moved away, and it was back to square one. Except, of course, I have my own wrestling column, and many of the readers here have already become regulars.
So, I thought, why not share my initial reactions from WWE Extreme Rules, down to the time they came to me in the night, and allow you all to add to them. Pick a number—agree, disagree, add to or take away. These are my initial, raw reactions to WWE Extreme Rules.
10. Is it strange that I’m more excited for Extreme Rules than WrestleMania 28? It’s not that I wasn’t excited for WrestleMania, but the build for it went on for so long I was ready to turn the page before I even got to it.
Big pop for Randy Orton (8:07).
I confess I was hoping the opening match would be Sheamus-Daniel Bryan. It would give WWE a chance to undo what they did with the WrestleMania kickoff. Oh, well. More to look forward to (8:08).
Randy Orton is a very tan man. I’d be interested in seeing him next to DJ Pauly D (8:09).
Lead pipe in the first minute! (8:09). Isn’t it amazing how you can always find the exact specific object you need under that WWE ring? We used to talk about what a demon the Hell in the Cell was, but the ring is pretty devious too.
Fighting through the crowd (8:11). Have you ever noticed that some arenas are far more excited when wrestlers fight through the crowd than others. You would think all fans would be. Tonight’s fans are, which is a good sign for the remainder of the show.
Somebody needs to tell Booker T to save his "special" voice for moments when the match might end. He calls punches with the same enthusiasm that Vince McMahon used to call false finishes.
Dropkick by Randy Orton on the floor! (8:14). Randy Orton doesn’t always get his just due. He is very good.
Zack Ryder attacks Kane! (8:17). I didn’t see that coming and neither did you. Some of you who have been fretting the state of Zack Ryder may want to take heart.
Excellent match so far. Perfect way to start the show. It's like a shot in the arm. Did you hear the fans when Randy Orton and Kane reentered the arena? (8:19). It was like starting over again.
Hard chair shots on Kane (8:20). Excellent build throughout this match. And a hyped crowd makes everything better (Thank you, Chicago) (8:22).
Randy Orton wins with the RKO on the chair at 8:25. That is what you call a statement match. It reminds me of the time Randy Orton schooled Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes at WrestleMania. He came out with that kind of energy. This is Randy Orton knocking on the door of the bigger picture again. And I don’t think it hurt Kane because it took a lot to beat him.
9. Triple H on the phone with John Laurinaitis (8:28). No thanks! When Triple H interjects himself, it rarely ends well for my viewing pleasure. Unless it leads to a Draft, which I would approve.
8. Brodus Clay and his dancing Divas—Naomi and Ariane. I like all of them. I don’t even know why yet, but I think he makes for a nice break in the seriousness of things without being a joke.
What isn’t funny, however, and is even quite sad is how Dolph Ziggler is floundering in WWE right now. I would like to see Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger go separate ways. I don’t even like that Jack Swagger is at ringside in his stupid dress shirt (8:34). The problem with having Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger together is they are both former world champions that dropped off the map afterwards. I associate them together with the slump they are in.
“Too much girth on the big man” says Booker T of Brodus Clay (8:36). Thanks for that pearl.
Oh. My. The match is over. Brodus Clay wins (8:37).
How do you folks feel about this? I’m not mad at Brodus Clay winning, but I’m not sure why it had to be against Dolph Ziggler. Zero to Ten: How mad does Dolph Ziggler’s current state make you?
7. Does Big Show seem taller in the spin the wheel segment? Something about everyone dressed in regular attire makes him look more like a monster than being half-naked? Who knew.
Tables match between Big Show and Cody Rhodes (8:40).
I think I’m now pulling for Big Show, just because it would be awkward for Cody Rhodes to try to put Big Show through a table. I’m not sure my eyes are ready. Of course, Big Show could sort of fall back or throw himself through the table, but it needs to look convincing or I’d just as soon Big Show keep the belt tonight (8:41).
Did I hear Owen Harts name? (8:42). I think I did. What a great, great guy Owen Hart was. Now I’m distracted from the match.
With a hyped crowd, there is so much pressure on each match. Who wants to be the guys who kill the crowd?
Lots of tables at ringside. How many do they need for a tables match? It’s not two-out-of-three tables…like the two-out-of-three falls match I’m looking forward to tonight (cheap plug!).
Cody Rhodes wins? (8:46) He wins on a technicality. I do not like this. It’s what I said a few paragraphs up. No need to win a title like that, but maybe that is just me.
I do, however, love how Cody Rhodes sold it. Winning like that could help him. It doesn’t do a lot for the quality of a match, but if it benefits his character, I will go with it.
Big Show puts Cody Rhodes through the remaining tables (Oh, that’s what they were there for…).
I recently called Cody Rhodes a treasure because of his family and potential. He proves it as he stands up from Big Show’s aftermath (8:53). He’s going to get it done in WWE if nothing goes wrong.
6. HA! (8:54)
Why am I laughing? Daniel Bryan is on.
He said he is better than Sheamus because he gets more chicks and has a better beard. I hadn’t thought it over, but isn’t his beard truly more manly than that of Sheamus?
Come on. Be honest.
I was so excited about this match that it got its own column. Check it out HERE.
(Comment this column and that one if you want. I always want to hear from you!)
5. I missed the match following Sheamus-Daniel Bryan and a portion of the WWE Championship match while typing and posting the column I linked above.
But I’m back (9:51).
Seems to be mid-match between CM Punk and Chris Jericho. I predicted the Hart family would be at ringside. Excuse me, the Punk family. Nice of Jerry Lawler to act respectable towards them when he tormented the Hart family for so many years.
CM Punk has a ‘Drug Free’ T-shirt on but a grown-out beard that argues otherwise (9:52).
Michael Cole just told Booker T “If you fight like you commentate…” (9:56). I laughed so hard. I promise I don’t even hate Booker T, but he is definitely still “under construction” as an announcer. At least he might outlast Mick Foley. In reality, I sort of like the unpracticed style. It’s more WCW. Everything in WWE is always so polished and practiced.
I’m going to lean on my readers to let me know what they thought of this match from start to finish. It’s difficult to come in midway and say. I like the intensity and the old school “come dressed as you are” street-fight style.
CM Punk elbow through the table. I just gave that a standing ovation (10:07).
Did you see the last kendo stick shot on CM Punk. That stick wrapped around his head and caught him in the face. Chris Jericho was like break the damn hold already! This is Awesome Chant (10:09). I think I missed a great match here.
CM Punk wins by pinfall (10:11).
Look forward to hearing what you all thought of this match. I was listening to it on headphones while doing my column-posting duties. While that is not the same as watching it, you should experience what it’s like to hear the crowd reactions in your ear while not seeing the footage to match. It was a crazed crowd, and I have a feeling they earned the reaction.
4. Eve said, “Don’t worry it’s not Kharma” about the mystery opponent for Nikki Bella (10:16). Please don’t tease me about Kharma. Just don’t.
It’s Layla (10:19).
Jerry Lawler just said she looked delicious (10:20). I think he’s past the age I want to hear him talk like that. If ever I wanted to hear him talk like that.
Okay. True story. I was in the midst of typing this sentence: You know what happens when people switch? The other one gets pinned." And it happened before I could finish the sentence. New champion (10:23).
3. Triple H will be on RAW tomorrow. I now have my Triple H will be on RAW tomorrow uneasy feeling. Thanks, WWE.
2. It’s time for Brock Lesnar versus John Cena (10:27).
I am more excited to see former UFC Fighter Brock Lesnar than former WWE wrestler Brock Lesnar. I hope we see a new style from Brock Lesnar.
While the video package continues (10:27), let me say how strange it feels that the Rock wrestled John Cena this month. Brock Lesnar has done well to change the mood of WWE and shift the focus. But it all comes down to this. The match has to live up to or surpass the hype.
Good luck, guys.
Brock Lesnar has gloves on! (10:29). That excites me more than it should.
Breaking news: a mixed reaction for John Cena (10:31). Please do alert the presses.
We have been putting the emphasis on Lesnar needing to win. The announcers just pointed out that John Cena needed this. They are heavily emphasizing the loss at WrestleMania and what it would mean to lose twice. Could this be foreshadowing for some sort of breakdown?
John Cena is bleeding! (10:34). If you search my articles, I wrote one saying the match had to have blood. I’m pretty sure I was mocked for saying that. I love that they are using Brock Lesnar’s MMA style, but I don’t like this stop of the match stuff.
John Cena runs in a second time and gets grounded. We are watching something we have never seen in pro wrestling with this emphasis on MMA at this level. How often can we say we are seeing something new?
John Cena’s character may need time off if he drops this one (10:37).
Announcers are hard selling for Brock Lesnar. He hit John Cena in the ribs with his knee and they acted as if they heard it. Really?
It is clear that 'John Cena dominated' is the message they want to drill home (10:43). They keep saying as much and every time John Cena tries to get an offense, he can’t. Old school ref bumps all over the place (10:44). This is nWo-style destruction going on. Only, it’s one man.
Come on, Brock Lesnar, at least sell the leg drop off the top….nope (10:47).
Brock Lesnar just propelled himself at John Cena and fell with him (10:48). That was ugly.
The place is shaking after a one-move response from John Cena. Brock Lesnar is bleeding, too (10:50). John Cena…wins…!? (10:51).
1. I have been watching wrestling 21 years, and I have not seen much like that main event. I think it was a good move to let John Cena win. He needed it, but there was no making Brock Lesnar look weak. He didn’t show up to win. He showed up to change the climate of WWE, and that is what he did tonight.
That was grown-man fighting, and John Cena was part of it. I hope the Cena haters won’t be too hard on this match just because John Cena won. Even Chicago is enjoying it. That was one hell of a fight. And I am far more pumped about RAW tomorrow than I was after WrestleMania.
Great night of wrestling for my tastes. What say you, reader?