El Torito vs. Hornswoggle
This was entertaining as hell, I don’t care who you are. The miniature announce table and team, some surprisingly great spots. The best of which was an elbow drop on Torito from Hornswoggle on said mini announce table. The interferences from 3MB weren’t needed, these two should have just been allowed to go, as they were entertaining enough on their own and can actually move like the best of them. I know this was intended as comedy, but I was genuinely entertained. A good showing from El Torito and Hornswoggle, hats off to both men.
Match Grade: B
Cesaro vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Jack Swagger
A great match to open the PPV, I’m glad it was added to the card. Some great spots to give love to here, one early on in the match being RVD hitting Cesaro with a round house kick as Cesaro was on his ninth swing, Swagger being the victim. Swagger was eliminated in glorious fashion when Cesaro suplexed Swagger into the ring from the outside followed immediately by a frog splash. It was then Cesaro and RVD and they have really come into their own as far as their in ring chemistry goes. Great psychology from Heyman throughout the rest of the match screaming at his client that he warned Cesaro of Rob’s prowess. In the closing moments a trash can came into play, dented ceremoniously when Cesaro kicked it into the chest of RVD. RVD got the upper hand and set up a five star frog splash with the trash can on top of Cesaro but nobody home, Cesaro hits his finishing move on the trash can to pick up the victory. I actually hope we get to see more out of these two. PS, if we do we need to start getting Paul Heyman reaction shots when the crowd starts chanting ECW.
Match Grade: A
Alexander Rusev vs. R-Truth & Xavier Woods
The thing to note in my eyes in this particular match was before the bell even rang, with Truth and Woods trying to run into the ring guns blazing to get the jump on Rusev, they failed and the action spilled outside the ring. Xavier Woods suffered a body slam on the outside and a great spot in which Rusev baseball slid Woods half under the ring face first into the metal ring railing. Back in the ring R Truth gave a valiant effort, landing some offense in before Rusev began to dominate and ended it with his patented submission maneuver. I’d like to avoid giving Rusev the squash match after squash match Goldberg syndrome, I’d like Rusev’s next opponent to be a fellow powerhouse to give Rusev a real challenge. Big Show? Mark Henry? PS, excellent move to get heat by Lana dedicating the match to Putin. Classic!
Match Grade: B-
Intercontinental Championship: Big E vs. Bad News Barrett
A fairly physical match, it’s great to see the IC title gain some prominence on the card again. What gives me faith that this new found attention to the title will continue, is that by the end of this match it was around the waist of one of the strongest fan favorites currently. Every audience seems to eat Bad News Barrett up, and it was a long time coming. Big E gave Barrett enough of a fight in the match that I hope they don’t just neglect Big E and give him a rematch, these two worked well together. The match saw Barrett hitting Big E with everything in his arsenal, all of which got great reactions from the crowd, love the set up for the bullhammer which Barrett landed to pick up the victory and become the new Intercontinental Champion. I really hope this match and the victor signifies a new breath of life for the midcard division. Let’s capitalize on this.
Match Grade: B
Evolution vs. The Shield
MATCH OF THE NIGHT, HANDS DOWN!! The future is indeed here. What I love about this is that the WWE seems to acknowledge the undeniable talent of all three members of the Shield and consistently gives all three proper time to shine in their matches. I love seeing all these men work, I will say for me personally there is something about Ambrose’s style in particular that just grabs me. When he was tagged in he came in cocked and ran through Evolution like only his crazy ass can. Some great in ring action for most of the match that mastered the suspense a match can carry, Evolution wore down the likes of Rollins and Ambrose not letting them get the tag for most of their time in the ring, great psychology from Orton at play here. Eventually all hell broke loose with the action spilling outside for HHH, Orton, Rollins and Ambrose. They brawl their way through the crowd and end up performing a spot that will be played on highlight reels for years to come: Rollins performing a suicide dive from the stands onto his opponents, and Ambrose was even collateral damage. Back in the ring Roman Reigns was able to hit Batista with a superman punch and a spear to pick up the victory. This match was everything I wanted and more, believe in the Shield baby.
Match Grade: A++
Cage Match: Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena
This match was slow and methodical but pretty damn entertaining if you ask me. Now here’s the thing, I’m torn on the gimmick used of Rowan & Harper continuously intimidating Cena every time he tried to exit the cage. Part of me thinks this approach makes sense, Bray is a cult leader, and whats the point of having a cult if they aren’t there to do your bidding in the fashion Harper and Rowan were here, it made for good drama. On the other hand, I hope that a stipulation is added if Cena and Wyatt have a future match (no Wyatt Family at ringside) that would show us Bray would make a formidable threat standing on his own. That said, the in ring action was awesome, Bray gets better with every match in my humble opinion and I was never a Cena hater and I am a fan of his ability to tell a story. Another disturbing moment saw Cena on the cusp of exiting the cage through the door after incapacitating the entire Wyatt Family, only to see another deranged child distract a shocked Cena. Wyatt capitalized by hitting Cena with a Sister Abigail and exiting the cage to pick up the victory. Said child makes his way up the ramp holding the hands of Rowan & Harper, this is eerie shit at its finest folks. I’m glad Bray picked up the victory, in HEEL fashion. And I look forward to Cena and Bray having a final blowout at Payback.
Match Grade: A
Divas Championship: Paige vs. Tamina Snuka
Paige has so much presence, it’s hard not to be captivated by her. This was a short but sweet divas match with Tamina dominating most of the proceedings. One great spot took place outside the ring with Tamina countering some attempted offense by Paige by swinging her into the railing. Paige finally got the upper hand and locked her submission move in on Tamina, who tapped quicker then I thought she was going to. A great match, which unfortunately the crowd was too exhausted to show much appreciation for. But Paige continues to shine, so feed her more!
Match Grade: B
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
This match was a tribute to the attitude era obviously. These two took advantage of the extreme rules stipulation immediately, kendo stick here, body slams on chairs there, foreshadowing of broken tables. Eventually, in something we haven’t seen in a long while the action spilled to the backstage are, though not before Kane slammed Bryan into the stage so hard the lighting went out. Kane slammed Bryan into a barrel filled with ice water and threw a tv at Bryan, nobody home resulted in the tv following into said ice water barrell. Some poor schmucks car was decimated with Bryan being slammed on it, followed by Kane throwing a fire extinguisher that misses it’s mark and makes its way halfway through the windshield. Bryan gets the upper hang again and can’t drag Kane back to the ring, luckily a forklift was there at Bryan’s disposal. Bryan loads Kane up, drives the forklift to the ring with Kane passed out on a pallet, and dumps Kane back into the ring, and performs a headbutt off the palet. A definite “holy shit” moment. Kane gets his second wind and chokeslams Bryan through the announce table and sets up another table, and sets it on fire. This comes back to haunt Kane as Bryan knocks Kane off the apron onto the table, peeps were on him with that fire extinguisher in the blink of an eye. Bryan hits Kane with a running knee to retain the title. What did I think of this match! It’s matches like this that turned me into a fan folks! Would I mind Kane getting another shot at Bryan after this? Hell no! See what I did there? Bring it on!
Match Grade: A+
Overall Extreme Rules Grade: A+. Great matches, great drama, this PPV took advantage of its name. Well done by everyone.