Written By: Alexander Settee
Extreme Rules 2009, June 7, 2009, New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, LA
Announcers: The Teams of: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler, Todd Grisham & Jim Ross, and Josh Matthews & Matt Striker
Opening Match, United States Championship: Kofi Kingston vs. William Regal vs. Matt Hardy vs. MVP
Kofi won the Title from MVP last Monday on Raw, so MVP is invoking his rematch clause here. Regal and Matt have been doing the dirty work on behalf of Vickie Guerrero lately, leading to them getting put in here as a reward, and so here we are. Match is one fall, which sucks for multiway matches, but what can you do? The heels and faces seemingly form alliances to start, but that lasts all of a few seconds before Regal throws Matt to the wolves. MVP and Kofi last a bit longer before Kofi nails a dive on him and Matt as they go on the floor. He and MVP then go in the ring where miscommunication leads to a bit where they just kinda collide and fall down in ugly fashion. Kofi then comes back and shows off his leaping ability in taking out MVP, but gets nailed by Regal. They go up, but MVP recovers to meet them and all three go crashing to the mat. Matt takes advantage covering each one in succession, but only gets 2 counts. He then gets the 2nd rope legdrop on MVP for another 2. Kofi is back with a couple of clotheslines and a dropkick. He slams Regal on Matt and gets both with the funky legdrop, then covers Matt for 2. He continues to control for a bit before getting caught by Regal and suplexed, but he still manages to land on top of Matt for 2. MVP gets a belly to belly on Kofi for 2, and then takes Hardy down with a facebuster. The Ballin’ Elbow follows, but then he gets attacked by Regal and sent to the floor. Regal then tosses Matt, and tries to toss Kofi, but Kofi hangs on and comes back with Trouble in Paradise. That gets the 3 count to retain at 6:43. This was pretty good, but too short to come across as anything special unlike that match from Monday. I do like Kofi though, so good for him on getting a run as champion. **
Big Show interview is up now where he promises to make things worse for John Cena then he already has.
Intercontinental Championship Match, No Holds Barred: Rey Mysterio, Jr. vs. Chris Jericho
I thought that everything on this show was no holds barred by default. Why do they have to specifically mention it for this one? In any case, Jericho starts his entrance from the merchandise stand where he goes off on the idea that Rey profits from sales of his masks. He then makes his way down through the sea of hypocrites and liars, promising that he will not only walk out with the IC Title, but with Rey’s mask as well. Jericho is Rey attacks and beats Jericho down on the floor. The beating continues until Jericho gets an elbow up and sends Rey to the barrier. Rey then flips over a whip to the steps and dropkicks them back at Jericho. He connects with a rana from the apron, and then gets him back in and nails a springboard legdrop for 2. Jericho comes back with a boot and drops him on the ropes for 2. Rey avoids a charge in the corner and goes up, but Jericho crotches him. Jericho sets up the springboard dropkick, but Rey gets the boots up and Jericho lands in the corner. 619 around the ringpost hits and knocks Jericho to the floor, although the live shot didn’t actually catch it and it takes a replay to confirm it. Rey then jumps on him from the top to the floor, gets him backing, and covers for 2. He sets up the 619 again (Is anyone else sick of this move yet?) but Jericho comes off the ropes and they collide. Rey recovers first and gets a cradle for 2, reversed by Jericho fro 2 of his own. Rey tries a sunset flip, which is countered to an attempt at the Walls, which in turn is countered to a cradle for 2. Solid kick gets another 2 for Rey, but then he runs into a Jericho clothesline. Jericho covers for 2 and then tosses Rey to the floor. After dropping Rey face first on the floor, he gets him back in and covers for 2. Jericho goes to a chinlock and makes a play for the mask, but Rey manages to escape with it. Jericho charges, but hits the post and goes to the floor. Rey connects with a suicide dive through the ropes. Back in the ring, Rey gets a springboard press, headscissors takedown and a rana for 2. Drop toehold sets up the 619, but Jericho counters to a spinning backbreaker for 2. He then hits a powerbomb and goes for the Lionsault, but that misses and Rey gets him with an inverted 619. The springboard splash is countered to the Codebreaker, but Rey still kicks out at 2. Jericho gets a chair now, but Rey dropkicks it back in his face and gets 2 off of that. Arabian facebuster connects and get Rey another 2. He then sets the chair in the corner and drop toes Jericho onto it. Rey leaps off of it and gets caught in the Walls. He maneuvers himself towards the chair though and nails Jericho in the head with it. Jericho falls on the ropes of course to set up the 619, but as he comes in, Jericho rips the mask off. Rey covers his face in shame allowing Jericho the easy rollup for 3 at 14:43. That’s a relatively common finish in Mexico actually. Jericho celebrates the win with both his new belt and the stolen mask, and presumably this leads to another match where Rey puts the mask on the line. Jericho really has been the MVP of the company over the last year or so. ****
Next up we get a video package on the angle from last Monday involving Randy Orton, Ric Flair, and Batista. This is followed by comments from Batista in which he promises to both take the Title and destroy Orton’s Legacy.
Samoan Strap Match: Umaga vs. CM Punk
Another gimmick rematch from Judgment Day here. It’s stressed that Umaga has the advantage because this is a Samoan Strap Match, and he’s from Samoa you see. How that works, I don’t know. Has he even been in one before? Punk starts with some kicks, but ends up running into an elbow. Umaga gets 2 buckles before Punk breaks it. I’ll mention here that they have an on screen graphic for this match showing a ring, and when on guy touches a corner, it lights up in their colour. I’ve seen a lot of people comment in other reviews that this thing was a huge disaster, but really, the timing was off on the first two tries, and then they got it just fine. It was kind of redundant with all the emphasis that the ref was placing on the touching and the breaks, but I wouldn’t call it a disaster or a waste or anything. Umaga misses a splash allowing Punk to get 2 buckles, but then Umaga gets him with a Samoan drop. He whips Punk with the strap, and keeps working him over. Crescent kick sends Punk to the floor, so Umaga goes for the buckles, but there’s not enough slack to get the two further ones. Punk comes back in with a springboard clothesline, but can’t get the GTS. Umaga hits a spin kick, but misses a charge to the corner. Bulldog leads to Punk touching 3, but Umaga drags him back in to a slam. Umaga gets 3 of his own, but Punk hooks himself in the ropes so that he can’t reach the fourth one. He’s the able to pull Umaga out over the top. Punk gets 3 again before Umaga drags him back. He goes up, but Punk slams him off and touches 3. Umaga holds him back for a bit and then charges, but gets picked up and nailed with the GTS. The ref is pretty lenient on the whole momentum breaking thing because the 3 from before are still good after all that and he then gets number 4 to win it at 8:58. Definitely a style clash between these guys and the stip doesn’t do anything to help that. *1/2 for what turns out to be Umaga’s swan song in WWE. For now anyways. Remember, he is big, so he could be brought back any time.
Christian gets promo time now. He talks about how he’s friends with Tommy Dreamer, and that he’s really going to miss him when he’s forced to retire after the match tonight. Dreamer appears and offers a rebuttal, followed by Jack Swagger, but when Swagger walks in, everyone just kinda leaves.
ECW Championship, Hardcore Match: Christian vs. Tommy Dreamer vs. Jack Swagger
What’s the difference between a no holds barred match like we had earlier, and a hardcore match like we have here? And again, is the point of this PPV not that all matches are “Extreme Rules”? Sorry, I just have a bad habit of overthinking sometimes. Anyways, Dreamer’s career is on the line as this is the final day of his contract (storyline wise) and if he comes up short he will not be renewed. And who says the hardcore ECW fanbase doesn’t pay attention to the current version. There’s like six of them right there in the front row. Swagger starts out in control of both guys, but then they go for the weapons and that takes Swagger out of his element so he gets beaten with a trash can lid and worked over with a Singapore cane. Dreamer gets 2 from a Russian legsweep, but then Christian turns on him. Dreamer comes back with a suplex, and then backdrops Swagger out. He then gets a garbage can roll on both guys. After getting Swagger in the Tree of Woe, Dreamer looks to dropkick a can in his face, but he gets tripped up by Christian who steals the spot for himself. That gets him 2. Swagger uses the cane on Christian for 2, and then hits a belly to belly suplex for another 2. Gutbuster leads to a press slam for yet another 2, and then Swagger goes to pull the turnbuckle pad off, but Dreamer nails him with a cane. Christian gets Swagger with an inverted DDT for 2, but then gets nailed by Dreamer with a lid. He misses an elbow though. Christian dives on Swagger, who gets a can up in time. Dreamer takes the time to get more cans in the ring, but that leads to Swagger catching him with a belly to belly suplex. He then sets up a superplex which he gets with help from Christian. Christian then gets 2 counts covering both. He then gets a crutch, but Swagger nails him before he can use it. Swagger then misses a crutch shot, and Christian sets up the Killswitch, but Swagger counters that by dropping Christian on the exposed buckle. Dreamer comes back with the cane and nails Swagger. DDT follows, and that gets the 3 count to make Dreamer the new ECW Champion at 9:39. They appear to be losing confidence in Swagger as he takes another fall here even in spite of not being the champion anymore. I guess that creates the issue of Christian losing the belt without getting pinned as well. Dreamer celebrates his championship win with his six remaining fans. **1/2
Hog Pen Match: Santina Marella vs. Vickie Guerrero (w/Chavo Guerrero)
Lawler introduces the match from inside the pen and has it bang on when he says “this match is gonna stink”. Vickie makes it a handicap match with Chavo as her partner, and then orders him to start. He and Santina roll around in the mud for a bit with nothing really happening. The ref is wearing hip waders in a kind of a nice touch. Eventually Chavo has Santina beaten down to the point where Vickie wants in. He tags her and she does nothing. Santina grabs a slop bucket which draws Chavo back in, but the cruel hand of irony sees Vickie hit with it anyways. Santina the takes out Chavo and pins Vickie to win back his Miss Wrestlemania crown at 2:46. Cole and Lawler sound pretty forced in trying to convince us that this is the funniest thing they’ve ever seen, and that just makes a bad thing worse. And even though she obviously has no business wrestling, as a performer, Vickie will be missed. -***
Another recap of the Orton/Batista issue in case you had flipped to some other channel while they were running it earlier.
Meanwhile, Vickie and Chavo have made their way backstage where Vickie is pouting about the loss of her crown. After a random run in with Goldust and Hornswoggle, she gets back to the office where Edge is waiting. He wants her help in his ladder match later on, she asks where his help was in the last match, and now they’re getting divorced. My only thought here: They brought Goldust in, and had him get in to full costume and face paint, all for a five second cameo that wasn’t even funny.
WWE Championship, Cage Match: Randy Orton vs. Dave Batista
Orton got himself DQ’d last month at Judgment Day, so now we get a return match in a cage to settle things. Wow, that’s like, old school, and stuff. Pin, submission, or escape are the ways to win this particular cage match, and indeed Orton leaps right for the top right off the bat. Batista stops him of course and works him over. Orton gets the knee up on a charge and climbs again, but Batista is still too fresh. Clothesline and suplex get 2 for Batista. Now Orton goes for the door after a shot, but still can’t get anywhere. So he counters a slam and sends Batista to the cage, then follows up with a backbreaker. For the door again, but stopped once more. Batista sends him to the cage on each side (no blood) and hits a powerslam for 2. He then gets a spinebuster, but Orton backdrops out of the Batista Bomb. Orton climbs again after a dropkick, but decides to come back for a punt. Batista avoids it though and after trading finisher attempts Batista gets the Batista Bomb and it gets the 3 count at 7:04. The winner and new WWE Champion, the injured, and in need of surgery, Dave Batista. If he’s hurt I guess that explains why the match was kept short, but why put the belt on him at all then? *1/2
Submission Match: The Big Show vs. John Cena
The idea here is that Show asked for this match knowing that Cena’s submission finisher, the STF has been shown to be unusable on him and therefore it’s a match he can’t lose. Of course Show had no established submission hold prior to the announcement of this match, but he did hook Cena in the camel clutch on Raw to at least give him something going in here. Cena pick some shots, but ends up running into a clothesline. They trade finisher attempts with Show just laughing him off. Cena then runs into a crescent kick. As Show works him over, Lawler notes that if Show connects with the Right Hand of Death, Cena will be out and that will apparently count as a submission. But just a couple of minutes ago, Cole declared the Attitude Adjustment to be useless because Show can’t submit if he’s put out by it. For an event that’s supposed to have no rules to begin with, the rules here tonight sure are making my head spin. Cena gets tossed on a bulldog attempt. The story of the match so far is that Cena has no answer for Show’s size advantage, which would be fine except for the fact that this line is simply not believable considering the number of times in the past we’ve seen Cena defeat and even manhandle Show. Show goes to a full nelson, and good thing Gorilla Monsoon isn’t here because he doesn’t even come close to getting those fingers locked and he would otherwise be the target of scathing criticism. Cena gets out and goes to a sleeper, which is actually more of a chinlock, but in any case it proves to be his first effective move of the match, taking Show down. Show gets out anyways and hits a flapjack to regain control. After a suplex, the pump elbow misses, but Cena fails on a slam attempt and Show falls back on top. Show goes to a sort of inverted headlock, which no one is buying as a finish. Cena is out and blocks a chokeslam, but still gets tossed. On the floor, Show sends him ribs first to the post. Back in the ring he then hooks an abdominal stretch and I don’t think that Monsoon would be impressed with that one either. Cena breaks that and hits a DDT, but once again the STF fails. He comes off the top, but Show has one more weapon in his arsenal of crappy submission moves, the bearhug. Cena breaks this one too, takes him down and hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle. After an Attitude Adjustment, he goes for the STF yet again, but still can’t get it. Show comes back with the Right Hand of Death to send Cena to the floor, although there’s no indication that the ref is considering stopping it as the announcers speculated earlier. Cena recovers to run him to the post in any case. As they make their way back in, Cena goes up and connects with the top rope legdrop. He then hooks Show’s leg in the ropes, which is apparently supposed to represent the ST portion of the STF. Not only did this look bad to begin with, but Show’s leg clearly came unhooked only seconds later. The announcers of course sell it like it’s in there the whole time. Cena then grabs the facelock part of the move, and that gets the tap out at 19:05. This felt like it dragged on way too long, and the biggest problem was that Cena was never in any believable trouble because Show has no over submission move and instead fell back on basic resthold stuff. ½*
Main Event, World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match: Edge vs. Jeff Hardy
They’re calling this one ten years in the making, noting that although these guys have faced each other in ladder matches many, many times in the past, they have never done so one on one. Hardy got a non title win over Edge on Smackdown which gave him the right to pick the stip, and this is what he wanted. There’s a crazy number of ladders at ringside for this, as they’re set up all around the ring and up the aisle on to the ramp. They go back and forth for a bit to surprisingly little heat. I guess the fans know nothing can really happen until at least one ladder gets involved. Jeff goes for the first one, only to get it dropkicked in his face. That ladder gets set against the apron, and Jeff actually ends up backdropping Edge onto it. Jeff climbs, but gets taken down and planted into another ladder. Edge whips him into one in the corner, but misses a spear and hits it himself. Jeff gets the seated dropkick with the ladder in front, but a second try misses. Edge slams the ladder on Jeff’s leg and then hooks a Sharpshooter. After holding that for a bit, he lets go, tosses Jeff, and goes to climb, but Jeff makes it back and stops him by dropkicking the ladder over. Jeff sets one upside down and just drops Edge on it. After a Twist of Fate, Jeff climbs a bigger ladder, but not under the belt. Edge senses the leap coming and moves, but Jeff tips himself over and grabs on to the belt. Edge has to scramble to get him down before he can unhook it. Whisper in the Wind off the ladder leads to a clothesline that takes both of them to the floor. Edge is up first and nails a big boot. He sets a ladder between the apron and the barrier, but Jeff blocks the attempt to suplex him on it. He sends Edge to the barrier and then tosses a ladder at him. More brawling on the floor leads to Jeff ramming Edge to the barrier by leaping into the crowd. He then sets Edge on the ladder that’s still straddling the barrier and apron and climbs, but Edge recovers and meets him up there. In the big spot of the match, they go crashing through that ladder, which gets bent six ways from Sunday and couldn’t have felt good no matter what. Back in the ring, Jeff climbs for the belt, while Edge climbs another ladder. He goes for the spear off the ladder, but Jeff counters it to a Twist of Fate (I’ll be generous and go with it). They both climb again, with Jeff getting knocked down, but he grabs Edge’s leg to prevent him from climbing, and then pulls him through and hooks him in between the rungs. Edge is stuck, so Jeff climbs, grabs the belt and is the new World Heavyweight Champion at 20:07. Now this was more like it. I don’t think we’ll be remembering it forever as they claimed during the buildup, but it was still very good. ****1/4
That would seemingly end the show on a high note, but no we’re not done yet. Here comes CM Punk and he wants to cash in his Money in the Bank contract right now, so here we go.
Impromptu World Heavyweight Championship Match: Jeff Hardy vs. CM Punk
Punk connects with the GTS right off the bat, but Jeff kicks out at 2. Punk has this look on his face like “How dare you do that”. Jeff actually comes back with a small package for 2 and Punk gets that look again. Now he gets serious though and connects with a high kick and a second GTS to get the 3 count at 1:02. How about that? Both guys won their second World Titles on the same night. DUD
Well, a lot happened on this show with five Title changes including two of the same Title as well as the ends of the road for Umaga and Vickie Guerrero. Two matches hitting the **** mark is no small feat and I’m really liking this Jericho/Mysterio stuff so hopefully rumours of Mysterio’s departure are just that and we can see that thing play out. On the down side, the hog pen deal was a horrible waste of time, but at least it was short, and that cage match, for being such a high level thing was really disappointing. The submission match also dragged things down quite a bit, so I think that the best I can do is call it a Thumbs in the Middle. If you missed it, you’ll want to check out the IC match and the Main Event, but everything else can safely be avoided.