WWE: Extreme Rules 2014

extremerules_14

WWE: Extreme Rules
May 4, 2014
East Rutherford, NJ
IZOD Center

The current WWE champs are as follows:
WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Daniel Bryan (4/6/2014)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Big E (11/18/2013)
WWE U.S. Champion: Dean Ambrose (5/19/2013)
WWE Divas Champion: Paige (4/7/2014)
WWE Tag Team Champions: The Usos (3/3/2014)

Why you ask? Just trying to get caught up.

Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler.

  • Triple-Threat Elimination Match: Cesaro (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter) vs. Rob Van Dam

Is it just me or does Cesaro’s new theme music HAVE to go? It sounds like unidentifiable midcarder theme music to me. RVD breaks up the ménage a trois of punching only to be run down with a double back elbow by the team formerly known as the Real Americans. After Cesaro delivers a series of European uppercuts, Swagger puts him down with a powerslam. Van Dam kicks down Swagger and then monkey flips Cesaro on top of him. While Cesaro has caught RVD, Swagger boots down Cesaro. Swagger knees RVD in the corner, but then takes a backdrop to the floor. From the apron, Cesaro tries to backdrop RVD out, but winds up receiving a powerbomb onto the floor. Swagger takes advantage scoring some nearfalls on RVD, but Cesaro appears out of nowhere and grabs Swagger for the CESARO SWING! In the middle of the swing, RVD kicks Cesaro away. He heads up for the FIVE-STAR FROG SPLASH, but Swagger surprises RVD with the pop-up superplex and grabs the PATRIOT LOCK. For whatever strange reason, Cesaro breaks up the hold by nailing Swagger with the Springboard European Uppercut. Over in the corner, Cesaro delivers the No Leverage Superplex, ending with RVD flying in with the FIVE-START FROG SPLASH to Swagger! Cover, 1-2-3. (6:27) Cesaro immediately starts a series of Dead Lift Gutwrench Suplexes on RVD. Everest Suplex on RVD scores another nearfall. Van Dam takes a powder, but Cesaro won’t let up and blasts him with a double sledge from the second rope. He throws RVD into the wall, but gets stopped up on the barricade and draped for the Spinning Heel Kick off the apron. VINTAGE RVD! Back inside, Rolling Thunder gets two. Split-legged moonsault garners the same result. Heyman tries to coach Cesaro when he needs it most. RVD finds a trashcan under the ring, but it completely backfires when he gives the can the FIVE-STAR FROG SPLASH. That knocks Van Dam loopy enough for Cesaro to properly hit the NEUTRALIZER onto the crushed trashcan for the win. (12:35) At least RVD didn’t win on PPV in 2014. Fun opener to put over Cesaro. Nothing more, nothing less. **½

In the back, Daniel Bryan is meeting with a trainer when Stephanie McMahon appears. She pleads with Bryan to think of his new wife and not put himself in this kind of danger tonight when he faces Kane. In fact, she thinks he should forfeit the WWE title to prevent what will happen tonight. In hindsight knowing now what we got, it probably would have been the *best* thing. Bryan tells her to get out of his face and to shut her mouth hole. He’s leaving Extreme Rules with the WWE title. Despite being “PG”, Steph uses a dirty word. I wouldn’t imagine most kids heard what she said anyway. I mean if I was an 8 year-old kid, she would have lost me around the second or third sentence with that monotone voice of hers.

  • Handicap Match: Alexander Rusev (w/Lana) vs. R-Truth & Xavier Woods

Lana dedicates this match to her “role model” Vladimir Putin for some UBER cheap heat for all the rubes in attendance. I mean, why don’t you put on a KGB uniform and light the US flag on fire too while you’re at it? SHEESH. By the way, I love the show “The Americans” on FX. You should definitely give it a shot, but you need to start at the beginning of the new season because of the story arc going on. Anyways, Rusev divides and conquers this rap duo to start. First he takes out Woods before the bell. Once the bell rings, Truth gets in a few kicks and such, but he’s no match for Rusev. Before you know it, Rusev has Truth tapping to the straight face ACCOLADE hold. (2:53) After the bell, Rusev interrupts the trainers checking on Xavier and picks him up for the Samoan Drop on the floor to further the damage. ¾*

Renee Young meets with Evolution for a word backstage. Turns out Evolution have added a fourth part to the human psyche: the id, the ego, the superego, and the MASSIVE ego. Adapt or perish, Shield boys.

  • WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E vs. Bad News Barrett

Looks like New Jersey loves Barrett too. Big E shoulderblocks Barrett to the floor to start. Crowd didn’t like that one. Barrett eats the ringpost and then gets speared up against the post. Back inside, Barrett kicks Big E through the ropes and down to the floor. Barrett comes off the apron with the Cactus Jack Elbow Drop! BANG BANG! Back in the ring, Barrett uses some momentum to hit a funky vertical suplex out of the corner. He punishes Big E with a pair of big boots, but then gets caught in an overhead suplex. That signals the Big E comeback with the Belly to Belly Suplex and the Body Attack. Over to the apron, Big E spears Barrett down to the floor! That gets two. He goes for the Running Splash, but Barrett pops up and hits the Winds of Change for 1-2-NO! Big E misses a corner charge and takes WASTELAND for 1-2-NO! Barrett reveals the red elbow pad and calls for the end, but he charges into an STO. Cover by Big E, 1-2-NO! He delivers the Running Splash and tries the BIG ENDING, but Barrett slips away. As they start running the ropes, Barrett drills Big E with the BULL HAMMER! Cover, 1-2-3! (7:56) Razor Ramon, Jeff Hardy, Kofi Kingston, Christian, Chris Benoit, and now Bad News Barrett joins the company of these four-time IC champions. This was a good move. You had to know the tournament had to ultimately mean something. **

  • The Shield vs. Evolution

Shield wins the big showdown to start very easily and quickly. HHH and Rollins begin once everything settles down. Rollins beats Triple H in the corner and clotheslines him out for a suicide dive. Back inside, HHH turns Rollins inside out with a clothesline of his own. Tag to Batista, he’s BOOED right from the start. Rollins is now *your* face in peril stuck in the Evolution corner. This is such typical WWE tag formula. Ambrose gets the hot tag and rocks and rolls all over Evolution. He tries Figure-Fours in the middle of it all only to be nailed by HHH. Having enough on the other side of the ring, Reigns runs over and throws Bats into the barricade. He spies Triple H on the floor and goes for a SPEAR, but HHH sidesteps him and lets Reigns spear the steps instead. Evolution picks up where they left off with Ambrose beating him to death. Ambrose backdrops away a PEDIGREE and drops HHH with a DDT. HOT TAG TO REIGNS. He channels the spirit of the WOYAH with all these clotheslines. Bats tries to stick him quick with the DEMON BOMB, but Rollins flies in with a knee to the jaw. Superman Punch to Batista! TRIPLE POWERBOMB to Batista! Reigns covers the man, but HHH and Orton pull him out at the last second. While Orton beats up Ambrose, HHH completely walks away from another suicide dive by Rollins, who goes crashing into the barricade like a kamikaze plane. In the ring, HHH goes after Reigns. He ducks a Superman Punch and delivers the PEDIGREE. He tries laying Bats on top of Reigns, but Ambrose appears out of nowhere and jumps HHH as they go brawling over onto the announce table. Batista drapes an arm on Reigns for 1-2-NO! RKO to Reigns! Batista covers again, but Rollins AGAIN with the save. He starts brawling with Orton on the floor as they make their way over towards Ambrose and Triple H. They start heading through the crowd like we’re watching the Attitude Era. Eventually, Orton leaves Rollins behind and goes to help HHH double-team Ambrose when Rollins comes flying out of the mezzanine taking out all three. Big spot and all, but isn’t there two people in the ring? You know, the LEGAL MEN? All of a sudden, we go back to the ring where Bats plants Reigns with the Spinebuster. DEMON BOMB gets shoved away, and Batista eats the Superman Punch again. SPEAR! Cover, 1-2-3! (20:39) Not sure I dig the structure of this match. Wrestling is art, not a science. Tag wrestling can be one of wrestling’s highest art forms when it breaks out of that formula. Evolution was really working a regular tag match when I think it should have been a total brawl from bell to bell, and that brought it down for me because WWE tag formula can be so predictable. When the Shield was in control, they turned everything up to eleven as they often do. They managed to turn what felt formulaic into some unexpected moments, and that’s where wrestling becomes something greater to me. Clearly this was a match where the Shield had plenty to prove, and perhaps they booked it this way to make Evolution look like old hat so that the new up and coming Shield could look ten times more exciting. Who knows. Also, people have been giving Batista a TON of crap since he came back (myself included), but you have to hand it to the man jobbing like he’s been doing to guys he probably sincerely believes are “beneath him” professionally when he could easily refuse with the current WWE hierarchy the way it is. ***½

  • Cage Match: John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt (w/Luke Harper & Erick Rowan)

Cena tries to keep things basic with headlocks and the like to start, but Bray LOOOVES playing those mind games – trying to stay one step ahead of Cena while he’s pummeling him. Cena considers an early escape and sees Harper and Rowan waiting for him on the floor. Back down, Bray becomes the first to use the cage for violence. Meanwhile, the crowd is singing “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” while Wyatt conducts. Cena stops an escape out the door and catapults Wyatt into the cage. Another fast try at an escape for Cena, but he’s scared by Harper and Rowan again and stopped by Bray. Uranage gets two for Wyatt, but then Cena fires back with a dropkick. While Cena climbs the cage (like a putz), Wyatt CRAB WALKS towards the door. I mean, why not. Cena stops him from leaving, but gets nailed with the running body block. They take turns eating the steel, but Cena comes back with the usual. Wyatt prevents the AA from grabbing onto the cage, but Cena pulls him down into a sitout powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Rowan and Harper try to keep the door shut on Cena until Bray can bring Cena back to the center of the ring. Running senton misses, allowing Cena to run up the cage and over the wall. Unfortunately, Rowan climbs up the cage and powers Cena back in the cage. Bray meets Cena up on the top rope only to get a face slam down to the mat. Another escape attempt for Cena, this time Harper meets him up at the rim of the cage. They trade punches and Harper ends up falling down to the mat. Still sitting on the rim of the cage, Cena tries to block Bray from walking out the door by kicking the cage door back in Wyatt’s face. Meanwhile, Rowan is at ringside armed with a steel chair. Fearing his safety, Cena heads back into the ring to face now both Bray and Harper. Wyatt hits the running senton and wants Sister Abigail, but Cena counters to an STF. Bray crawls towards the door until Cena is being choked by the bottom rope to the point he has to release the hold. With the door open, Rowan and Cena get into a tug-of-war over Bray. Of course, Cena wins because he is ALL POWERFUL. Harper is finally standing up right, but he’s immediately thrown into the cage to knock him out again. Bray tries to climb out, but Cena brings him down with the ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT. Cover, 1-2-NO! Harper makes the save. Now is when Harper and Rowan become like every henchmen in the Batman TV series as they are easily thwarted all of a sudden. As Cena slowly crawls towards the door, the lights go out. Next thing we know, a white kid wearing all black is talking into a WWE microphone singing “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands” in a distorted voice. Once he finishes the chorus, the lights come back on and Cena turns back around into SISTER ABIGAIL! With that said and done, Bray easily walks out the cage with his crew for the win. (21:12) Pretty pedestrian cage match overall lacking any real drama. It was basically Cena comebacks and him being afraid to jump down to have to deal with Harper and Rowan. Of course, there’s the crazy demon-possessed child at the end, which just comes across as another corny moment in wrestling. **½

  • WWE Divas Champion Paige vs. Tamina Snuka

Paige makes her PPV debut here after ROBBING AJ Lee of the Divas title on the Raw after WrestleMania. Probably not the best first opponent for Paige, but here we are. She tries for a quick win until Tamina shoves her off the top rope to go to the floor. Back inside, Tamina slams her a bunch, but can’t get the win. Paige tackles Tamina to go back on the floor where she tries a headscissors off the apron, but Tamina counters and swings Paige into the barricade. Back in the ring, Tamina looks for a SUPER Samoan Drop, but Paige counters with a sunset flip powerbomb to mount a comeback. Tamina shuts her down with a Gunnslinger for two. Superkick by Tamina fails as she gets caught in the SCORPION CROSSLOCK for the tapout. (6:17) I think Paige is a case where she got over with the NXT crowd, but not everyone who watches Raw necessarily watches NXT, so it’s going to take her a while to get over on the big stage. We live in a day now where you only get over in wrestling if you’re interesting – no matter what your motives or ethics seem to be. With that said, Paige is going to have find a more interesting personality if she wants to remain in the company. *½

Elsewhere, Bray Wyatt gives the mischievous, rambunctious kid a sheep mask.

  • Extreme Rules Match: WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan vs. Kane

Bryan charges Kane in the aisle to get this one going. It proves to be a mistake after he gets in a few punches. In the ring, Bryan stops Kane up top and brings him down with a headscissors. He dropkicks Kane in the corner and then they go crashing on the floor. Kane puts Bryan down with a boot and throws him into the barricade. Back inside, Kane wedges a chair in the corner and then abuses Bryan with another chair. Bryan avoids a Chokeslam and a corner charge as Kane eats the chair. Missile dropkick and suicide dive follows from there. Bryan sets up an announce table for something ugly I’m sure. Kane battles back and looks to Chokeslam him on the table, but Bryan kicks him away and hits the Tornado DDT onto the floor. Kane sends Bryan into the steps and threatens another TOMBSTONE on the steps, but Bryan slips away and shoves Kane into the ringpost. Bryan unloads on Kane with a kendo stick as they head up the aisle, but then Kane throws Bryan into the LED screen. Time to go backstage! They brawl over to a parking area where Bryan finds a tire iron to hit Kane in the face. Well, that knocks Kane flat out. Bryan drags Kane onto a forklift pallet and drives the forklift to ringside so he can dump Kane into the ring. With the pallet left high in the air, Bryan climbs up and hits a Flying Headbutt to Kane! Cover, 1-2-NO! Kane fires back with a Chokeslam and wants a TOMBSTONE on the chair, but Bryan counters with a DDT onto the chair instead. Bryan beats Kane with a chair and grabs the YES LOCK until Kane manages to crawl out to the floor to escape. Bryan tries another suicide dive, but gets caught in mid-air and driven onto the announce table with a CHOKESLAM. Kane then takes it up a notch by setting up a table and LIGHTING IT ON FIRE. While it was clearly intended for Bryan, Kane gets knocked off the apron onto the flaming table. As he’s being doused by a member of the ring crew with a fire extinguisher, he stumbles back into the ring and gets met with the BUSAIKU KNEE KICK for the 1-2-3. (22:30) Pretty fun David and Goliath encounter with a few big moments. They lost me a little bit with the fight backstage, but brought me back with the headbutt off the pallet. After Bryan’s celebration, Kane sets the corners on fire to let him know that their feud is far from over. **½

Final Thoughts: The hottest feud should always go on last. They know going into a PPV what is over and what is REALLY over. If your world title feud is the hottest thing going, by all means put it in the main event. In this day and age though, I don’t feel that the world title match has to be the last match of the night. The Shield quickly became the hottest thing in WWE once Daniel Bryan’s title chase was over. This might have been remembered as a better show had they stuck the Shield and Evolution in the main event. Since it wasn’t, it feels like an average PPV with a really good match at the halfway point. There was nothing outlandishly bad here though, so I will give it a solid thumbs in the middle and leave it at that.

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Posted on July 1, 2014, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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