10 Thoughts: WWE Extreme Rules 5.19.13 (John Cena, Ryback, Triple H, Brock Lesnar)
1. This is the first time I’ve been able to see the new preshow and the idea is growing on me. I like the idea of using different superstars/legends every time & also the fact that it doesn’t seem to be scripted at all. It allows some of the better talkers to show what they can do when not handed a script from a writer. I’m intrigued to see who is on future shows and who sinks or swims. That being said, there’s no way in hell I’m staying awake for a PPV post-show. For a company who already knows they have too much programming, why the hell would they add more?!
2. Dean Ambrose vs Kofi Kingston was one of the best matches of the year thus far. The only time the match’s paced slowed was when Ambrose locked on the classic Bob Backlund “Crossface Chicken Wing”. The ground game of Ambrose played off of Kingston’s aerial moves perfectly and the finish clean! A heel actually won a championship cleanly! Great match and great chemistry between these two wrestlers and I recommend going out of your way to see these match when you can.
3. I hate “I Quit” matches. Despite for the classic Bret Hart-Steve Austin WrestleMania 13 match, I have never seen a good “I Quit” match. And I think the main thing that ruins this match for me is the crowd silencing every time the referee has to ask a competitor if he wants to quit. The crowd always goes deadly silent and all emotion or heat built up in the match dies almost instantly. The only reason Hart and Austin went as well as it did was because Ken Shamrock (who was the special referee) didn’t have a microphone and wasn’t incessantly asking them if they wanted to “quit”. Alberto Del Rio & Jack Swagger, while they did try some new spots, never had a chance of capturing the magic of Austin & Hart and no one ever will. And what the hell was with the instant replay?! That was terrible!
4. Second title match of the night and the second time the titles changed hands. Team Hell No has run their course (245 days to be exact) and it was just time for them to drop the titles and go their separate ways. Don’t get me wrong, they had some fantastic moments but not many recently and The Shield are absolutely the right team to put the belts on. Not only are they heels, which allows a litany of babyfaces to challenge them, but they work fantastically together and are damn fun to watch.
5. The WWE Championship match is up next at 9:50 PM eastern. That leaves over an hour for John Cena vs Ryback and Triple H vs Brock Lesnar. Just reading those names in the same sentence as an hour time frame is wrong and kind of scares me a bit.
6. As much as I’ve soured on Ryback recently, his new heel persona allows him to showcase so many different and impressive moves. As a babyface, Ryback fell into the “5 Moves Of Doom” trap and only used his signature moveset so the face would have a connection with his character. Now he can do whatever the hell he wants and I know I’m far more impressed with his range than I was before.
7. Apparently electricity is Super Cena‘s kryptonite. First, at Backlash 2009, John Cena faced Edge in a Last Man Standing match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Cena seemed on the verge of victory when Big Show appeared and chokeslammed Cena through a nearby giant spotlight that was a part of the stage. The spotlight promptly exploded and Edge won the World Heavyweight title. Tonight, Cena has Ryback set for an Attitude Adjustment before Ryback slips out of the move and drives Cena through the lightboard set, causing “explosions” popping all around them. So far these are the only two times John Cena has ever not gotten up during a Last Man Standing match.
8. I REALLY like the look of the new cage. Sure it just looks like they took the top off of the Hell In The Cell but it looks more imposing than the cage that was made purely out of a chain link fence.
9. Finally, despite all the shenanigans, Brock Lesnar wins a match. His second match since returning to the WWE. If Lesnar hadn’t won this match tonight, there was no way to save his character or the mystique of him being the “unbeatable monster”. At least now Lesnar can move on to a different feud with some legitimacy behind him.
10. As a whole, this PPV ended up being a helluva a lot better than what it looked like on paper. Chris Jericho & Fandango started the show off strong. Dean Ambrose & Kofi Kingston was fantastic. The Shield vs Team Hell No was stellar. John Cena and Ryback had the big, memorable spot of the night. And the right man won between Triple H and Brock Lesnar. I was pleasantly surprised all around and I’m curious to see what plays out tomorrow night on Raw.