Extreme Rules served as a 2010-2011 season finale for the WWE.
Almost all the matches were the culmination of feuds which participants were split after last week’s draft.
In terms of entertainment, I think Extreme Rules was a success, especially after the mixed reviews of WrestleMania 27.
Most matches were very good, with a lot of great moves, incredible spots and huge bumps. Even the fillers’ quality was acceptable.
However, in terms of the storylines, the pattern was clear: seven of eight matches were won by the faces.
The only winning heels were Michael Cole and Jack Swagger…who faced two 60-year old announcers, one of which wasn’t even a professional wrestler.
Randy Orton defeated CM Punk for the third time; Kofi Kingston took Sheamus’ United States Championship; Rey Mysterio got revenge from Cody Rhodes; Layla retired Michelle McCool; Christian won the World Heavyweight Championship against the original No.1 contender; Big Show and Kane crushed The Corre and John Cena dethroned The Miz.
Seven feuds, seven happy endings.
I don’t remember seeing such an unbalanced booking in a previous PPV. It’s the WWE’s trending of the past season: Good guys always win.
Yes, the usual storyline in the male soap opera called wrestling is simple: the heel takes advantage at first, usually cheating of getting outside help, but in the end the face bounces back and wins.
But to make this work, the bad guy has to win once in a while. The hero is as strong as the quality of his opponents. If the public knows that the good guy will always win, they will lose interest sooner or later.
And that’s happening in the WWE. The company seems terrified of letting the heels look strong and make the faces vulnerable.
In the past months, the heels only can win by cheating and even getting help is not a guarantee to beat the Superman on the other corner.
When was the last time Randy Orton or John Cena lost cleanly? Who was the last heel that won a championship cleanly and not using the Money in the Bank contract?
CM Punk is one of the most talented wrestlers in the WWE, but his PPV record in the last 12 months is 0-9.
Alberto del Rio is supposed to be the next WWE top heel, but he has lost three World Heavyweight Championship matches.
Cody Rhodes did a fantastic job in his feud with Rey Mysterio, but that wasn’t enough to give him the push of winning the rivalry.
Six months ago Wade Barrett was the leader of the strongest stable in the WWE, today The Corre is a joke.
Of course, some of the faces' victories were justified. It was a good time to end The Miz's first reign and Sheamus needed to drop the U.S. title to a RAW superstar.
In terms of entertaining, WWE Extreme Rules was a success.
But the storyline is clear: Welcome to Heel’s Hell.
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