The One Extreme Wednesday of the Year: Wrasslin’ Wednesday 4/29/15

Wrasslin Wednesday Header

Derek: We’re coming to you live (two/three days later) from Chicago/Green Bay! Sunday was the one day of the year WWE goes extreme, so we’re following suit. I, for one, am typing this on top of a dragon riding a gryphon riding a motorcycle on a skateboard.

Photo too extreme

Photo too extreme-Ed.

The main event for next month’s Payback pay-per-view was already set on Monday night, but let’s review each of the Extreme Rules matches before we move on into such that tomfoolery. Starting with…

Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper (Chicago Street Fight)

Will: The Ambrose-Harper street fight was fun, and a worthy show opener that set the tone for the extreme-ness of the evening. Seeing two of wrestling’s most unhinged stars — that’s what commentary would have you believe, at least, even though neither guy does much crazy beyond making faces — tossing dozens of chairs into the ring was a throwback to the hardcore days of yore. Their driving off in an SUV was a neat wrinkle, and it made for a solid pop when they re-entered the arena to interrupt a New Day backstage segment. Good stuff from these two.

Derek: I only wish this match had gone on longer. Though they did come back and wreck a backstage segment, I would like to have seen them leave the arena again somehow. I would have been a huge fan of them disappearing and reappearing throughout the evening in a match that would technically last a couple of hours. Imagine the camera cutting to one of those panel segments everyone skips, and in the middle of a sentence, Harper and Ambrose are brawling on top of the table. Maybe they have unexplained weapons or something. I would have enjoyed it.

Thankfully, WWE decided to #FreeDean, as he won his first singles PPV match since September 2013. We did it!

we did it

Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler (Kiss Me Arse Match)

Will: Sheamus-Ziggler was way more fun than I expected it to be. Sheamus was booked like a monster heel, which worked given his motivation of ridding the wrestling world of “little fellas” like Ziggler, and Dolph sold everything wonderfully. Ziggler’s small package pin was kind of botched, which sullied things a bit, but it was a good match. There was plenty of comic relief beyond the wrestling: any time someone said “arse,” Sheamus’ hair fighting gallantly to stay in place, JBL saying “Ireland just got out of a recession, and now they’ve gotta deal with this?!”, and King quipping “It’s just a peck on the cheek!” I actually thought the commentators had a few good lines during Extreme Rules, and this match got more than a couple of them.

Derek: The ring announcer (I think it was JoJo? I can’t keep up anymore.) sure looked to be reevaluating her career choices while announcing the impending Kiss Me Arse match.

It’s been said before, but I’m really enjoying repackaged Sheamus. His new music alone is a huge upgrade. I was fine with his old music, but his new music is already one of my current favorites. His entrances keep getting better, too. Here’s his first one from earlier this month:

Naturally, Sheamus didn’t follow through with the match stipulation, despite losing. A classic heel tactic. Shouldn’t there be some kind of punishment for him, though? Can wrestlers just ignore match stipulations when they don’t want to? So far he’s only been rewarded for doing whatever he wants. But we’ll get to that later.

New Day vs. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro

Will: New Day v. Kidd & Cesaro was superb. Cesaro was definitely the star of the match, but everyone involved put in good work. The battle of quicks between Kofi and Kidd was fun, Cesaro pulled off some incredible spots, and the crowd was in on it all the way. People love the big swing. I’m not sure when Kidd & Cesaro became faces, or if they even are faces, but it was an excellent tag match nonetheless. I still don’t understand why grabbing a wrestler’s tights as you pin him is illegal.

Derek: This was the match of the evening. The pacing was excellent. It had my full attention from beginning to end. I can’t pick a particular spot or moment that stood out, but they didn’t stop. The match was just under ten minutes, and they used every second of it.

kidd dive

It’s fairly shocking to see New Day as champions already, but I don’t care who the champions are if we get more matches like that. I can’t remember the last time I saw a tag match as good.

John Cena vs. Rusev (Russian Chain Match)

Will: The Russian chain match was kind of awkward, super gimmicky, but ultimately fun. The result was vintage LOLCENAWINS (or is it CENAWINSLOL), but I was into it more than I thought I would be. Who knew it could be such a thrill watching two guys try to touch the corners of a square? Rusev sending Lana backstage will turn into a new subplot and solidified his heel credentials. I wonder if this marks the end of the Rusev-Cena feud? (Sidenote: holy crap were the commentators washing Cena’s balls. It was like Jim Nantz waxing poetic about Tiger Woods in ’97 as he walks up the 18th fairway at Augusta. I really hope “Big Match John” doesn’t catch on. Ugh.)

Derek:You’re in luck, because Cena-Rusev IV is upon us! Lana secured one more match between the two at Payback. At long last, they will have an “I Quit” Match.

Cena will probably win again. I doubt anyone would dispute that. The question is when Lana’s inevitable face turn is coming? She’s been popular for a while, but now that Rusev is treating her like crap, it’s just a matter of time before she turns on him. Would she join Cena as his manager? Would she ditch the thick Russian accent, since she’s from Florida?

lana wave

Nikki Bella vs. Naomi

Will: Naomi’s boots deserve at least 5000 words. After last being seen in a garish green leopard print ensemble, she came to the ring for Extreme Rules in straight black ring gear, including black boots with neon soles that changed color during the match. They were among the best parts of the night, and maybe the year. Naomi has done a great job since being freed from the Usos (it felt good not seeing them on the card, I’m sorry to say), and her move set is one of the freshest in WWE. Her finisher is still lame, but the women’s division is growing stronger thanks to talent like hers.

Derek:Yes, the boots are incredible.

naomi shoes

Naomi, like Sheamus, also got some new music and a new entrance. She definitely needed it. She was still using Brodus Clay’s music from her days as a Funkadactyl. Unfortunately, unlike Sheamus, her new music is horrendous. WWE hasn’t updated her music on WWE.com yet, so I can’t share it here. I’m not sure if they just haven’t gotten around to it or they’re having second thoughts. I hope it’s the latter.

Roman Reigns vs. Big Show (Last Man Standing Match)

Will: I gotta say, Roman Reigns v. Big Show was legitimately good! Who knew?! Show looked as strong as he has in months, and Reigns looked good battling back against the giant. Roman’s constantly going under the ring for weapons felt like a mild departure from his character, but the crowd ate it up; could he be sneakily getting semi-over? There were some terrific spots, the chokeslam through the tables outside the ring being the best.

Not every move was well-executed, but Show’s sheer mass had something to do with that. One thing that tarnished this match: both men made objectively stupid wrestling decisions, even in (especially in?) kayfabe. Why is Show going to the top rope? Why is Reigns trying to suplex him off the top rope? Some liberties were taken to set up the desired action, but I suppose that’s wrestling. Both guys looked good; good on them.

Derek: Roman is slowly showing that he’s capable of having decent matches. I still can’t stand his promos and I don’t think he’ll be as over as Vince wants him to be until he improves in that area. That said, this was the most “extreme” match on the card. Maybe it seemed better because I had zero expectations for it, but this was the only match that could compete with New Day v. Kidd/Cesaro.

Bo Dallas Interlude

bo

WWE, Inc.

Will: Bo Dallas is fun. I wish I didn’t know he was Bray Wyatt’s brother, because that’s all I see when I look at him.

Derek: They should absolutely be a tag team. They would be this generation’s Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection.

Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton (Steel Cage No RKO Match)

Will: Orton-Rollins…didn’t totally make sense to me, with the ending being the biggest question mark. I’m sure Rollins’ use of the RKO was explained on Raw (I didn’t watch); I hope they did it well. Stealing finishers is always fun, and Orton doing a Pedigree was a wonderful thumb in the Authority’s eye. I don’t quite get what Kane is up to, but I enjoy seeing him raise a little hell; the #FreeKane movement lives on.

Derek: As a fellow charter member of the #FreeKane movement, it pains me a bit to say this, but it would be nice if they would move this story along. A couple of weeks ago, I was pining for a Kane face turn. Now I almost don’t care. I just want the cycle to stop. Rollins says something Kane doesn’t like. Kane confronts him. They have some kind of altercation. They get past it. Rollins says something Kane doesn’t like …

kane didn't like that

Okay, that’s enough! Kane is the best part of these segments. His acting has been great, especially compared to the exaggerated game of charades Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury are always playing. But let’s advance the story. I can only watch this same cycle so many times.

Will: All in all, I say it was a pretty damn good PPV. Every match had me interested, which is more than I can usually say. WWE may not have the strongest main events, but (as Grantland’s David Shoemaker noted), the midcard is as strong as ever.
Derek: Agreed. With that in the books, I’ll take us home with a bullet point recap of Monday Night Raw.
  • Rollins kicks off the show, writing yet another chapter in his cold war with Kane. Rollins “accidentally” refers to Kane as the Cryptkeeper instead of the gatekeeper, since the Cryptkeeper is also a relic from the 90’s. Kane compares Rollins to Justin Bieber, leading to an evening of “Jus-tin Bie-ber!” chants from the Green Bay crowd.
  • Randy Orton and Roman Reigns emerge, each claiming a shot at Rollins at Payback. Kane decides to let the WWE Universe decide who Rollins will face on the WWE App. The fans can choose between Orton, Reigns, or both. Kane decides he will team with Rollins against Orton and Reigns in the main event.
  • King of the Ring is back! Monday kicked off the tournament with four matches, the first being Dolph Ziggler vs. Bad News Barrett. Sheamus taunts Ziggler with images from the night before. BNB capitalizes on the distraction and advances.
  • At last, we learn that Bray Wyatt has been talking to … Ryback? Oh, uh, okay. I like Ryback and all, but that was a little anti-climactic.
  • Heath Slater answers John Cena’s U.S. Open Challenge. He manages to get in a shot at Aaron Rodgers before Rusev assaults him. The segment ends with Rusev taunting Cena from afar, his challenge left unanswered. As mentioned, the FINAL BATTLE will be an “I Quit” Match at Payback.
  • R-Truth advances to the King of the Ring semi-finals by pinning Stardust. Yes, everything in that sentence is 100% true. He will face BNB.
  • With Naomi heeling it up, the Bellas have somehow turned face by default. I wonder if it has something to do with Daniel Bryan’s injury? They frequently used Brie for injury updates during his last injury. Boy, the Bellas have had a weird story arc over the past year. Anyway, Naomi pins Brie, and her awful music makes my dog leave the room.
  • It’s Sheamus vs Ambrose in the third King of the Ring match. Ziggler decides to assault Sheamus in retaliation. As a result, Sheamus wins by disqualification. A shame, since Dean promised that he, as king, would waive tariffs on ale, ban pop country, and settle all legal disputes with street fights.
  • Damien Sandow returns, giving a very candid assessment of his career that was very reminiscent of that time Ryback briefly told his life story. Curtis Axel interrupted to let Axelmania run wild, and Damien Sandow … copied him. Yes, copied him. Like a child. Then he beat him up. Still, let’s all just pretend that didn’t happen.
  • Our final King of the Ring match is Neville vs. Luke Harper. Neville wins the right to face Sheamus after defeating Harper with a Red Arrow.
  • I didn’t see the other King of the Ring matches, but they apparently already took place on the WWE Network. So here are the results: Neville pinned Sheamus after a Red Arrow and BNB pinned R-Truth after a Bull Hammer. In the final match, BNB won clean to become King of the Ring. Not sure why it didn’t happen on Raw or a PPV.
  • Orton and Reigns win in the main event, after Kane and Rollins (surprise!) can’t work together. But Kane remains in The Authority. Kane closes the show by announcing a Rollins vs. Reigns vs. Orton main event at Payback.

The wait for this one will be short, as Payback is on May 17th. That’s WWE’s one day for revenge. And if Kane doesn’t maybe possibly consider almost leaving The Authority, we’ll kiss your arse.



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