it truly was a three match show and the three main matches delivered--i'm assuming the end of Big Show/Cody Rhodes was a mistake but it opened up more time for D. Bryan/Shamus and having the extended first fall leading to the DQ finish was excellent. And i have to give Shamus credit-first match of his that didn't bore me to tears
Punk/Jericho was fantastic and whether Jericho is staying or leaving this was not the match for Punk to lose
Cena/Lesnar was fantastic and i know there's already bitching in the IWC about Cena winning but i thought the telling of the story of the match it made sense--couldn't help seeing it thru my comic book geek eyes as sortof a Superman Vs Doomsday scenario--good guy gets his ass kicked to finally prevail in the end and i don't think losing hurt Lesnar at all
i'm optimistic to see where the WWE goes from here,especially if Cena is going to be taking some time off
Best Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus
Worst Match: Nikki Bella vs. Layla
Overall this show was a thumbs up. The early stuff wasn't much to speak of, and personally I thought the Kane vs. Orton match went too long. I thought Ziggler made Clay look really good, which, hey, if you're gonna job, job well I guess. I don't know if they were trying to do a double turn with Big Show and Cody or what, but it didn't really work. The stepping through the table finish just didn't work at all, so it kind of kill Show's heel turn before it even started.
Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus was really good, a 4-star match in my book, maybe 4 1/4. Bryan was made to look like a legit tough guy, which he needs if he's going to continue as a top heel. Sheamus was made to look like he has the guts and willpower to overcome an asskicking, and personally I thought he came off better tonight than he has since his feud with Mark Henry last year. It was a good call to not introduce A.J. at any point during the match and have Sheamus go over clean. He would have come off much weaker if A.J. had screwed Bryan somehow.
Jericho vs. Punk was a good match as well, 3 1/2 stars or so. It seemed to drag at points, and I didn't really enjoy Jericho's yelling or the spot where he poured beer on Punk again. That's been overdone on TV already. The fire extinguisher spot was really cool, as I don't think I've ever seen it done quite that way before. Punk botched a couple of big spots so that brought the match down a notch for me. I really liked the finish, with Jericho saying he's the best in the world right before Punk countered for the win. Overall a very solid match, if somewhat inconsistent.
Eve saying to Nikki "Don't worry, it's not Kharma" really pissed me off. It doesn't even have anything to do with the fact that Kharma wasn't on the show. It had to do with the fact that it came off as a direct shot to fans "in the know." It felt like a big "fuck you." If Kharma hadn't debuted and they just had Layla beat Nikki, it would have been whatever. I wouldn't have particularly enjoyed it, but I wouldn't have cared at all either. Of course the Layla vs. Nikki Bella match had no heat and came off like total shit, so in some sense it's ironic that in saying "fuck you" to the fans in the know, they ended up making their overall show slightly worse.
Lesnar vs. Cena was so much better than I expected it to be, even with Cena coming out on top. It obviously makes no sense that Cena got the win, and now that it seems likely he's going away for a while it makes even less sense. That said, Lesnar still came across like a monster, Cena looked like one super tough motherfucker for taking that much (legit) punishment, and I don't think Lesnar came off the show looking weak. He destroyed Cena and had him pinned for pretty much an 8 or 9 count before Cena kicked out, so even though he lost, he didn't REALLY lose...if that makes sense. I was also surprised (in a good way) by the crazy bump Lesnar took over the top rope, as well as the bump he took on the steel steps. Taking those bumps made Lesnar seem, to me, like he is with WWE for the long haul, regardless of whether he is or not. I'd probably give this match 3 3/4 stars. Even though it wasn't technically as good as Punk vs. Jericho, the story and the brutality of the match made it the second best on the card to me.
Overall a solid thumbs up from me. The show was better than Wrestlemania and probably the best show of the year for WWE to date.
Thumbs WAY Up
Best Match: Lesnar vs Cena
Worst Match: Bellas vs Layla (well, I fast forwarded through it, so for all I know it was 5 stars)
I bought this PPV with huge trepidation, as I don't trust WWE A-shows to deliver my money's worth these days, much less B shows. That said, I'm glad I did. Lesnar vs Cena was one of the best WWE main events in eons, on par with any of the big matches at recent Wrestlemanias, and superior to most in terms of realism and spectacle. I figured the workload on this show was going to be primarily shouldered by Bryan/Sheamus and Jericho/Punk, and while all four of those men definitely delivered, the stars of the show were definitely Brock and Cena. I expected the main event to be relatively short given Brock's time away from the ring, and Cena not being particularly good at carrying a match, and was shocked at how long it was and how effectively booked it was. I expected something similar to Sting vs Vader at Great American Bash '92, and we got that and then some. I ordered the show scared to death Cena would go over, and certain I would be furious if he did, but somehow they made it work (at least to me). Lesnar came across as nothing less than an unstoppable monster (though I have to wonder if Vince doesn't scream at him for licking the blood off his gloves), and Cena came off as gutsy but totally overmatched. All the blood and legit punishment actually made the Cena win work, which I didn't think was possible. Brock can be built back up with next to no effort after the showing tonight, and Cena seemed to actually get some cred from one of the most Cena hostile crowds in the country.
If you have been sick to death of the mindless garbage that WWE has been churning out for most of the last few years, and want a reminder the good old days, BUY THE REPLAY. For 2 long, great matches and one instant classic, you'll be hard pressed to feel ripped off.
Best Match: Cena- Lesnar*
Worst Match: Handicap
Okay bad first the asterix' are there because...HOW DO YOU HAVE CENA WIN AFTER ALL THAT PUNISHMENT, let alone the ridiculousness from a long term booking perspective??? I would have bet the FARM that the chain and FU on the steps was solely a hope spot/avenue for cena to save face. I believe a ton of cena haters actually were rethinking their stance seeing the character just get destroyed to that point and for he himself to allow that to be presented that way..then boom he just wins in the end anyway and the venom rises again. Lesnar as a monster doesnt really work when he gets beat by about 1/8th of the damage that cena took. Personally, in retrospect I would have preferred a more even match period if Cena was going to win. You don't do the banana peel finish here. Lesnar was adding to that feeling of just being an off the charts unstoppable force and Cena could have got in those couple of hope spots fine and long term maybe other opponents get more hope spots but the money was in booking Lesnar as he was when he first came up - as something DIFFERENT operating on another level. Hunter ruined that first attempt with the feeling that he shouldnt be winning by ref stoppage and I hope a similar decision wasnt made here. How does Vince and/or HHH Steph etc manage to screw up the easisest laid booking? Invasion, Goldberg, Lesnar here all the way back to the Show stuff that was talked about by you guys? I could go on and on but Im sure this will be a hot topic to follow so I will shut up and leave it to the pros..
Anyway the show itself was great, another great crowd in Chicago really helped the event and I felt good about the last minute call to buy my 4th straight PPV (when I hadnt even bought 4 close to each other in prior years). I liked the proper use of the banana peel in Show-Rhodes, was glad Sheamus and Bryan got all that time, Jericho-Punk was a thrillride (didnt have the same intangibles as MITB but you cant have that all the time). I loved the Ryder sneak attck on Kane. Odd to see the handicap match and Clay-Ziggler. Watching that main event was very surreal at times and intriguing and exciting about 99% of the way until that decision at the end.
1) Why not have Swagger lose to Clay? No offense to Swagger but not the same upside as Ziggler
2)Was Layla a swerve for the Kharma news leaking out? Its the DIVAS guys come on
3)Punk and Jericho just had to be a bit more careful calling spots, especially with the HD.
4) Was that Cena's attempt to go Punk at the end? How could Cena even talk after that while Lesnar had to slink and crawl away..(oops tangent again..nevermind)
This show was very entertaining though and I cant let the bad outweight the good (Rise Above Hate I guess). Really looking forward to audio and newsletters this week. NOT puchasing Over The Limit based on fear of the booking direction/foul aftertaste of the show.
Best Match: Cena/Lesnar
Worst Match: Rhodes/Big Show
I had Bryan/Sheamus penciled in as best match, but Cena/Lesnar was such a great spectacle and so different from what we usually see that I have to go with that. I was impressed that they actually were finally able to get a crowd to cheer for Cena, but I'm conflicted about the finish. If they built up Brock as an undefeated monster, he could've been a huge money-drawing heel until Cena came back and beat him... but to be honest, he still may be if Cena is going to sell a beating away for a while, and Brock can say that he got over confident for a split second and lost, but it will never happen again and now he's madder than ever. The spectacle of the blood and stiff moves really made it feel totally different and special. Sheamus/Bryan deserve tremendous credit... their match was very sharp, and you don't realize how good of a worker Sheamus is because they never put him in a spot to go this long and he usually doesn't get to work with someone as great as Bryan. Punk/Jericho delivered, as well.
WWE Extreme Rules
Best Match: Punk v Jericho
Worst Match: Layla v Nikki Bella
This card was a thumbs down until about 75 minutes into the show. Bryan and Sheamus picked up the crowd, which clearly wanted Bryan to go over. Several of the people watching from my vantage point expected AJ to interfere, but I guess they are booking that down the line. The best decision might be to "swap" Jericho for Bryan in the draft and give Sheamus and Punk new opponents to work with.
Lesnar is a monster and you don't beat a monster in his first match in. Especially when you've invested so much in him. Regardless of him coming back next month and burying Randy Orton, what was the point of going so long? Cena is not the Undertaker - WWE is counting on him coming back HEALTHY in a few months, and then working a regular schedule. I think they cost themselves some money here.
WWE Extreme Rules Feedback
Best Match: John Cena vs Brock Lesnar
Worst Match: Aaron Relic and Jay Hatton vs Ryback
I thought the show was really good tonight. I absolutely loved Bryan vs Sheamus and not only would it have been great at Mania but I would say it was better than any match at Mania. The dq at the end of the first fall and the submission for the second fall were well-booked and very well-done by both guys. This match would almost always have been my match of the night but Lesnar vs Cena was not just credible but also very creative. In fact, I would say creativity was the theme of the show for me, including Bryan vs Sheamys and Punk vs Jericho. The Ryback match didn't come off well but the concept was ok.
Lesnar and Cena really seemed to bring in the best of both mma and pro wrestling for this match. WWE not having had blood in a long time really added to the match as well. Even in losing Lesnar came off as a major star and I would say it even plays off his first UFC match with Mir (referee stopping it early, allowing Lesnar to eventually lose even though he was dominant). I look forward to whatever comes with Lesnar and think that word of mouth could make people want to seek out this match and then see whatever comes up.
Thumbs Up. Very good show – better than I expected.
--Daniels vs. Sheamus was the best match. Nice to see Brian get his opportunity to shine on the big stage, and Sheamus really delivered too. Both guys did very well for themselves.
--Punk vs. Jericho was also very good, but not quite up to the match I just listed. Great intensity, told a story and had a strong finish.
--Show vs. Rhodes was better than expected – good, not great. I actually liked the finish because I didn’t see it coming, and for a few seconds wondered if it was an accident (though the post match clearly showed it was planned). About as good as I could expect from these two.
--Kane vs. Ortin, was just average. I may be in the minority, but I feel Orton and Kane are both guys that need to be carried. Just didn’t care.
--Clay vs. Ziggler was a shame to see from the perspective of Ziggler doing the job, but Dolf was amazing in creating a fun match while “working with a broom”. Ziggler reminded me of Curt Hennig here.
--Other prelim matches were all duds, but served their role as filler.
--Cena vs. Lesnar. Great match – odd finish. The brutality and realism was off the page. I thought the multiple ref bumps took away modestly because their “fakeness” was too opposite to the realism otherwise created in the match. Not sure if Lesnar losing was simply to create a surprise, because Vince felt a guy coming off of two high profile UFC losses could not win his first match in WWE, if Vince felt Cena just needed a win after losing to Rock, or Lesnar’s time with the company is shorter than we were lead to believe. But if Cena is really taking time off, being destroyed by Lesnar here to set up a rematch down the road seemed like a much wiser finish. We’ll see where things go from here to (hopefully) make sense of it. If Lesnar needed to lose, the finish with the chain was at least somewhat face saving -- but still odd.