Written by: Alexander Settee
Extreme Rules 2011, May 1, 2011, St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, FL
Announcers: Josh Matthews, Jerry Lawler, & Booker T
Opening Match, Last Man Standing: Randy Orton vs. CM Punk
The Setup: They’ve been feuding since Punk cost Orton the WWE Title at Royal Rumble, and it continues here in spite of Orton’s clean win at Wrestlemania because God forbid anything be settled on the biggest show of the year.
The Action: The GM dings in right off the bat and declares that all members of Nexus are banned from ringside so that we can settle things for good. Punk exposes a buckle right off the bat, but it goes unused for now. They trade offence early on with neither guy putting the other down for any significant count. Punk gains control by using a kendo stick, but Orton keeps getting up. Orton catches him coing off the top and briefly takes over, but gets catapulted to the exposed buckle. They trade finisher tries which ends with Punk getting tossed into a chair to the floor. Orton puts him down a couple of times, but Punk keeps getting up. Orton sets up the RKO, but Punk counters to the GTS, which hits, but Orton is up at 9. Orton gets the RKO out of nowhere, but Punk just makes it up at 9. They go to the floor where Punk puts a chair around Orton’s neck and posts him, but that’s not enough either. Orton gets an RKO on the announce table and then sets up the punt, but Punk avoids that and drops him on the steps. Orton gets up again and goes nuts with the kendo stick. He then connects with an RKO off the top and that’s finally enough to keep Punk down for the 10 count at 20:06.
The Verdict: This wasn’t quite to the level of some LMS matches we’ve seen in the past, but it was still quite good, and a fine way to kick things off here tonight. ***1/2
United States Championship Tables Match: Sheamus vs. Kofi Kingston
The Setup: This was scheduled to take place Friday on Smackdown, but Sheamus laid him out and it never happened. So Teddy Long had ordered it added to this show in a Tables Match.
The Action: Kofi takes it to him and tries getting a table, but Sheamus stops him. He does eventually get one and lays Sheamus on it, but Sheamus is quickly off of it. Sheamus gets another one ready, but Kofi slips out. A table gets brought in the ring and Sheamus beats Kofi with it before setting it in the corner, but again Kofi is able to escape before being put through it. They keep teasing a finish, but each time Kofi uses his athleticism to save himself. Sheamus tries a suplex through a table on the floor, but Kofi kicks him to the floor and then he Boom Drops Sheamus from the top through the table that’s out there and he wins the US Title at 9:08.
The Verdict: There was pretty much no heat here, and although the finish was pretty spectacular, this was really a nothing match. *
Todd Grisham interviews R-Truth about no longer being in the main event. He calls it a conspiracy that his opportunity was stolen by John Morrison, and notes that if there’s one thing he can’t stand, it’s a thief.
Country Whipping Match: Jack Swagger & Michael Cole vs. Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler
The Setup: After the decision reversal loss at Mania, Lawler won a rematch on Raw and got to pick whatever he wanted, so this is what he went with.
The Action: Cole comes out covered in bubble wrap and cuts a promo about how he’s not scared of Lawler and Ross, but he makes sure to hide behind Swagger when that actually come out. Swagger gets whipped repeatedly and tags out. The bubble wrap then proves effective as the whip has no effect, so Lawler punches him in the face instead and then rips it off. Swagger comes back in and takes over, tying Lawler to the ropes with the strap. Lawler comes back after avoiding the pump splash, but goes after Cole and that lets Swagger get him from behind. Swagger hooks the ankle lock, but Ross forces the break by whipping Swagger from the apron. Lawler tags him in and he whips Swagger some more, then he hooks his own ankle lock on Swagger. Swagger dives and makes a tag the Cole doesn’t want, so JR drags him in and takes it to him. Swagger comes back in, but JR low blows him, which allows Cole to roll up JR and he’s pinned at 7:03.
The Verdict: I guess the feud is continuing based on that result, but I don’t really need to see Cole and JR in the ring again. 1/2*
Falls Count Anywhere Match: Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio
The Setup: Here we have another rematch from Wrestlemania to settle things that weren’t settled there.
The Action: They brawl up onto the stage right away. Rey knocks him off of it and connects with a vertical press for 2. They go into the crowd and then brawl up the steps and into the concourse where they each get a couple of 2 counts. They make their way back to ringside and trade some more nearfalls. Mysterio connects with a top rope shoulderblock for 2 and then sets up the 619, but Rhodes gets himself out of the way. Rhodes uses an Alabama Slam for 2. Mysterio spits the Japanese green mist in Rhodes’ face for some reason, and that’s enough to set up the 619 which gets the pin at 11:42.
The Verdict: We get back to a good match with this one as even though they brawl through the stands is cliched, they did a fine job working some cool spots into it. The stuff back in the ring was good too and it ends up being a fun match overall. ***
The women are all standing around backstage chatting when Layla comes in. They note that they don’t like her, but they like Michelle even less so they wish her luck.
Michael Cole then comes out to join the announce team for the rest of the show.
No DQ, No Countout, Loser Leaves Town Match: Michelle McCool vs. Layla
The Setup: In spite of all their attemps to reconcile their issues over the past month, nothing has worked and it’s come down to one of them having to be gone for good.
The Action: Michelle attacks while Layla is posing, and destroys her on the floor. Back in the ring, Layla fires back with some kicks which has Michelle begging off, but Layla’s having none of that. It goes to the floor again where Layla gets faceplanted off the barrier. Back in, Michelle takes it to her and gioes for the Faith Breaker, but Layla counters and hits a neckbreaker for 2. Michelle sets it up again and hits it this time, but she makes a lax cover and Layla hooks her down for the pin at 5:24. As Michelle cries after the match, we get the debut of Kharma, who is the former Awesome Kong, as she comes out and kills Michelle dead.
The Verdict: This was actually ok, and not even the worst match of the show as Cole and JR were much worse. * Michelle’s leaving is apparently legit as well as she doesn’t want to be a Diva anymore, but just wants to be Mrs. Undertaker.
World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match: Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian
The Setup: Edge’s abrupt retirement resulted in the Title being vacant. As Number One Contender, Alberto got in this match automatically, while Christian qualified by winning a battle royal on Smackdown.
The Action: The crowd is solidly behind Christian, but Alberto takes control early on. He tries getting a ladder in, but Christian dropkicks it in his face. They both try climbing are are stopped, but Alberto maintains control. He makes a ladder bridge between the ring and announce table, but nothing comes of it yet. Christian connects with a crossbody off a ladder to the floor and then climbs, but Alberto pulls him down. He starts going to work on the arm, but Christian perserveres and keeps fighting back. He backdrops Alberto on a ladder, but when he tries to ride on down onto him, Alberto kicks him down off the top. Alberto climbs and is stopped, but he continues the beating. He tries wrapping the arm in a chair, but that’s foiled and Alberto is posted instead. Christian sets up the spear and hits it, so I guess that’s his move now. He climbs, but gets pulled through the rungs and hung up. Alberto climbs over him, but Christian slips out just in time and makes the save. He ends up placed on the ladder bridge, but moves out of the way when Alberto goes to drop the elbow. Christian climbs and seemingly has it won as Alberto is down and out, but Brodus Clay comes in and pulls him down. Christian lays him out, but gets attacked from behind and put in the cross armbreaker. Alberto climbs, but out comes Edge in a jeep and his honking the horn provides enough distraction for Christian to tip him over and out to the floor. Christian climbs and gets the belt at 21:06.
The Verdict: I’m a Christian fan so it was great to see him get the big win here. It sucks that he would lose it 48 hours later, but in reality he’s not guy of the future so I don’t know that it makes that much of a difference anyways. Still it would have been nice to see him at least make it to the next PPV. As far as the match itself goes, it was great and easily the best one of the night. ****1/2
WWE Tag Team Championship Lumberjack Match: Big Show & Kane vs. Wade Barrett & Eziekiel Jackson
The Setup: Just a last minute addition to flesh out the show.
The Action: The Geek Squad is at ringside to try and control the action. Good luck to them. Barrett gets killed early on and tries rolling out, but gets put back in. Kane then gets tossed and gets beaten down, so Show goes over and kills a few of them. In the ring, Jackson takes it to Kane until they put each other down with a double clothesline. Both guys tag, but Jackson low bridges Show and he falls to the floor. Thye eventually get him back in where Jackson slams him. Barrett tags himself in and tries Wasteland, but it fails and he gets chokeslammed for the pin at 4:17. Everyone brawls after the match, but Kane and Show stand tall in the end.
The Verdict: Well, I expected nothing, and I got what I expected. 1/2*
Main Event, WWE Championship Cage Match: The Miz vs. John Morrison vs. John Cena
The Setup: Cena and R-Truth went to a double disqaulification in the finals of a number one contenders gauntlet match which somehow made them both worthy of a Title shot here. Morrison then goaded Truth into putting his shot on the line and won it to get in the match instead.
The Action: They’re trying to sell this as Cena’s last shot at the Title. Yeah, right. Pin, submission, or escape are the ways to win here. They start with a double team on Miz, but soon enough Morrison turns on Cena. Now, the usual three way formula is to have two guys go at it at a time while one guy rolls out and lays low, but with the cage they can’t really do that so they trade off far more often here. Miz hits Cena with the SCF, but Morrison climbs, so Miz have to stop him instead of covering. They fight up top where Cena joins them and they nearly drop Miz on his head with a double superplex. Morrison gets to show off his balance and leaping ability alot here At one point he gets crotched on the open cage door after falling off the top. Morrison nearly gets out again, but Miz just stops him in time. He knocks both guys down and then hits a sort of Starship Pain off the top. He crawls for the door, but R-Truth runs in and beats him down before climbing out to show that he could have won if not for Morrsion stealing his chance. Miz takes advantage and climbs, but Cena is there to make the save. They do the boo/yay punches on the top with Miz getting yayed. Cena powers out of a SCF off the top and hits the AA, and that gets the pin to end Cena’s ten month Title drought at 19:54.
The Verdict: I think that The Rock costing Cena the Title at Wrestlemania was supposed to be a big deal, but any effect that may have had was just wiped out when he wins it a month later. Oh well. The match was actually pretty good as I have to admit I was kind of expecting more of a trainwreck here. But they all did quite well. ***1/2
Overall Thoughts: All in all, this was a great show, and I would say it was easily better then Wrestlemania. Maybe that has to do with lowered expectations or something, but regardless I defintely enjoyed this show more. This one should end up a contender for best PPV of the year, but ironically will also probably end up as one of the least successful of the year as well. Thumbs Up for Extreme Rules, and if you did skip it, I’d say it’s worth going out of your way to check out.