Facts from WWE Extreme Rules, Sunday 4th May 2014

Some reactions to last night’s pay-per-view. Spoilers abound throughout, as does enthusiasm about good professional wrestling. 

  • I didn’t see the pre-show as it’s now not available on YouTube. I’ll be writing about this later. Still, from what I saw of the highlights throughout the show, there was much hilarity about the concept of people being short.
  • Paul Heyman was welcomed as a returning hero by the New Jersey crowd. This is possibly because his CLIENT, BROCK LESNAR, CONQUERED THE UNDERTAKER’S UNDEFEATED STREAK AT WRESTLEMANIA.
  • Cesaro won the elimination triple threat, beating Rob Van Dam and Jack Swagger. Van Dam has now evidently crossed the line into completely useless.
  • This was the first match in which the announce team revealed that they had no idea what the stipulations were throughout.
  • Bo Dallas’s latest vignette features a woman taking a pregnancy test. It would have been even funnier had she been ecstatic about not being pregnant.
  • Because all of Eastern Europe is the same, Lana invoked the name of Vladimir Putin for some instant heel heat for her and Alexander Rusev. The problem with this plan was that Lana is so spectacular that people enjoy seeing her and nobody gives a toss whether or not Rusev crushes R-Truth and Xavier Woods.
  • The other problem with this plan was that Sky Box Office later panicked and removed Lana’s promo from the repeats.
  • Evolution cut a promo backstage, emulating Randy Orton’s usual sartorial style by all wearing trunks and t-shirts. Triple H talked about them all having massive egos. It sounded like he was talking about a part of their physical anatomy. The viewing public nearly puked.
  • Bad News Barrett won the Intercontinental Title from poor Big E, who’s become somewhat lost in the shuffle. I can’t believe they still haven’t let him FIVE anyone. What’s the point of giving him new theme music that refers to FIVING people when you don’t let him FIVE people? Ridiculous.
  • The Shield v Evolution was the match of the night. I legitimately thought Seth Rollins had died, twice, for the 18th pay-per-view in a row. This was exceptional work all round, with the Shield showing why they are the most amazing stable of a generation – they work as individuals and as a group. Rollins risked his neck by leaping from a great height to protect Ambrose; Ambrose whaled on anyone he could find in revenge for their previous misdeeds; Reigns carried Ambrose out at the end. They may have their differences, but they are a united pack of hounds.
  • Dean Ambrose properly applying a figure four was a thing of beauty. Let us hope that’s officially been wrested from Miz’s incapable grasp now.
  • John Cena v Bray Wyatt inside a cage was bizarre and long-winded, but concluded in a sinister child singing into a vocoder.
  • Paige beat Tamina Snuka in a stupidly slow match.
  • At this point Jake the Snake Roberts began to tweet about a nice meal he’d had that day, which was both adorable and hilarious.
  • Daniel Bryan v Kane featured the devil’s favourite demon pouring petrol over a table, and Jerry Lawler coughing like Karen Smith in Mean Girls.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7RyFbMbJGc
  • It is somewhat less than extreme when someone begins to pour petrol and a fire officer immediately runs to the ring with extinguisher poised. It removes the sense of peril somewhat.

Overall, not as good as WrestleMania, but that was the best pay-per-view in years. The Shield v Evolution was an obvious and clear highlight, with everything else falling unsurprisingly short, but as with every PPV the pay-off may well come on RAW tonight.

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