And more Extreme Rules feedback

Hi Dave,
WWE Extreme Rules
Thumbs up
Best Match-Cena vs. Lesnar
Worst Match-Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes {I don't feel The Divas should ever be a part of this category}
I'd like to begin by saying that "Feedback" is supposed to be thoughts about the shows, as well as whatever stands out in each individuals' mind, not an entire event "Review" & especially not a match by match recap, all of which is done by Journalists like yourself especially. That said, here are my thoughts about the Lesnar/Cena situation & match.
To the point, Lesnar doesn't want to wrestle, was in for a 1 or 2 shot deal {Taker at WM maybe?}, and was the guy to not only erase Cena's loss to Rock but also to try & make him more of a fan favorite. Cena took a real beating, even giving "The Haters" what they wanted. He is now bigger then ever before & the MMA beater. When he "returns" he will be huge, as in stature. Whether the boos will change is yet to be seen. But if anything can change that, this would've.
We were all led to believe Lesnar signed a 1 year contract, that he would be groomed to be in one of the big matches at WM, & couldn't understand why he was facing Cena so soon. Everything makes sense now. I can see all of those stipulations Lesnar demanded last week now leading to him either quitting or being fired on RAW tomorrow night after Big Johnny reneges on those demands because Lesnar lost. No, there shall be no "RAW, Starring Brock Lesnar". Again, Lesnar does not want to be in Wrestling. We were all swerved & mislead. Well done Vince & co.! Overall good show.
John F. Raad, WON Producer.

Thumbs up
Best match Lesnar vs Cena
Worst match Big Show vs Cody Rhodes
Im torn I loved everything about the main event till the perplexing finish, I was on the edge of my seat entire match and than that, it left me with such a taste that I wanted to hate it. I still give it a thumbs up because the main was awesome before that and the Bryan vs Sheamus and Punk vs Jericho matches also delivered big.
Wade Haugen

My timing of writing this is about an hour after the show went off the air. I've been really trying to take in different perspective and insight on that last match. It was different, it was everything I love about wrestling in a 'blurring the lines of what's a work and what's genuine' sense, (Cena's improv post match promo) yet that can be a negative too. The Attitude Era was a lot of great collective things happening at once company wide that helped ease into that wrestling resurgence. The reason I bring up the Attitude Era - there was talk in those I heard from post show about the aspect of all the blood, the edgy 'fight' feel to the main event, etc. My thing is, that would-be negative I mentioned above, having Brock return/Brock in general is 1,000 MPH all horsepower and that proved to make a defining moment and feel tonight, but begs the bigger question of his usage long term - how do you follow tonight? How do you book him? He'll get heat, he's a natural, but will this vested interest die down, or will other significant changes happen outside of him as well? Who do you book him with? All's I know, the main event tonight was a hell of a lot better than your typical post 'Mania show.

The other top matches killed it, those 4 really performed. Sheamus and Bryan were the match of the night for me. At one point, right after the Austin/Hart pass out due to exhaustion LeBell lock spot, I took myself out of the match and thought, 'This is really starting to be something, it's interesting, it's everything WrestleMania for them should have been' and it really made the size difference everything look believable. Bryan is over, and the Chicago crowd helped that. There was no way to bomb the top three matches with that crowd, in my opinion. Especially if your names are Danielson and CM Punk.
Punk and Jericho had a great blowoff fight. A good sequel to their WrestleMania bout. It played on the family/Punk drinking storyline but also allowed for great brawling and spirit effort. The elbow spot off the top rope was a highlight and Jericho, like him or hate him as a shorter term guy always gives a great match. Keeping the belt on Punk makes sense, and brings me back to the Brock thing - CM revolutionized last year with his 'shoot' post Raw, and Brock is easily the top headline grabber this year so far - why not have those two interact? Be it verbal exchange, etc? Sounds like compelling stuff to me. If, they give a shit about the undercard how their booked AND have other great things happening at once (Bryan and his YES, starpower in Hunter, everyone else) they can really get something going here.

Just no more Ryback fillers please. I thought I was watching WCW Thunder.

Kevin Anderson

Can someone please explain to me why Cena can"t defeat a movie star who has been out of the business for SEVEN years, but can take out a behemoth of a legit fighter, especially after being pummeled pillar to post. BS, and way to instantly bury Brock!
Robert Romano

Overall thumbs up
Best Match:
1. Sheamus vs. Bryan; excellent match with both guys working hard. Think this was Sheamus best match ever, all due to Bryan.
2. Punk vs. Jericho 
3. Cena vs. Lesnar, very good match even with the not so logic finish. It kind of remind me of the Hokuto/ Kandori match in 93, in the sense that everything was sell like the ultimate shoot match. It will be interesting what they will do with Lesnar now.

Worst Match: Ryback squash. It is just wrong to put that kind of match on a ppv. And the company is the one to blame for the Goldberg chants!

Keep on the good work!

Leonardo II Mendez
San Sebastian, PR

Thumbs in the middle
Best match: Punk-Jericho
Worst match: Kane-Orton
I watched this match with about 400 people at Sam's Town Casino. Biggest pops were for Bryan and, surprisingly, Cena. Usually Cena gets booed. But its almost if the crowd of mostly regular viewers decided to hate Lesnar just for not being a regular wrestler. I thought this was an interesting dynamic. The "Yes" chant came out during any high spot.
Kane-Orton: I am biased. I now hate everything Kane is involved in. It's always boring and always predictable. 
Big Show-Rhodes: Didn't hate the ending. But, Show is like Kane. I can't remember the last time he did anything I cared about.
Clay-Ziggler: As soon as this came I on I thought, "They are going to make Ziggler job to this guy." I'm sure many people will complain about burying Zig. At the end of the day, not bad for a comedy match. Ziggler deservers better. But so do a lot of people on the roster.
Ryback-jobbers: The thing here, to me at least, is jobbers don't deliver when they don't seem to have a chance --- even just by looking at them. So it's pretty much pointless if you can't build someone as unstoppable. I did love that the crowd went with the "Goldberg" chant. Great stuff from that point of view.
Bryan-Sheamus: Fine with me. Still not understanding the DQ. But whatever.
Punk-Jericho: Great match. Maybe ****. One of the better "street fights" I have seen. I'm glad Punk won, as it was somewhat of a surprise. I'm not sure if the feud continues of not. But overall it was the best match of the show. By a lot. Although what was with the jeans inside the boots? My girl does that with Uggs. But this just looks weird. 
Divas: When I saw the text that there was a surprise Diva I was pumped to see Kharma. Not such luck and I took the chance to get a beer. The Bellas do look good, so I'll miss them when they are gone.
Lesnar-Cena. Not a bad match. I am being overly critical tonight. But the MMA ground-and-pound stuff was lame. Most people don't even like real ground and pound. And I still can't tell if the blood was hardway or not. I'm sure you can tell on the replay. The Cena win seemed to be one of those thing that was done just to swerve the Internt crowd. Nevertheless, the crowd loved the ending where I watched. I am curious to see where they will go from hear. Alas, a $5 million jobber doesn't seem like good business. But who am I?
Overall, not awful. But not great. Punk-Jericho was the highlight in my eyes. A lot felt like filler. 
Mike Trask
Las Vegas

thumbs up
best daniel bryan
worst the bella twins match
all in all dave a really good show besides lesner killing cena and cena hitting one move and beat the guy who destoryed him for about 20 minutes, if this wasn't his first match back sure but it was and hes beatable now and if everything he did in the match didn't beat cena how bad was really.
mark boric

: Thumbs Slightly Up!

: Best Match  Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan

: Worst Match Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes  

The Extreme Rules PPV wasn’t as good as I had hoped but still decent. I didn’t expect to see Ryback and Brodus Clay in action. I just wished it was against each other for something different. Sheamus and Daniel Bryan put on a great match as did John Cena and Brock Lesnar. The Randy Orton vs. Kane feud is beyond boring and the match went too long as did CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho although that one was not bad. The IC title match with Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes was garbage. The Bella Twins suck and I’m glad Layla got the strap. One thing I didn’t like was Dolph Ziggler jobbing to Clay as he has worked long and hard to elevate himself and I hope he doesn’t lose momentum ala Cody Rhodes and The Miz.

-Ed Ludwig

Burnaby, BC 

WWE Extreme Rules: Big Thumbs Up despite some disappointment
BEST MATCH: Lesner/Cena
WORST MATCH: Big Show/Cody

Hi, Dave and Bryan

I thought Extreme Rules was a great PPV until that confounding finish.

I only really paid attention to the three big matches; everything else was decent enough filler (Dolph is the best bumper in the business, and I loved the "Goldberg" chants during the Ryback match) for a B-level PPV.

Bryan/Sheamus was fantastic; however, I didn't like the abrupt ending with the Brogue Kick. It seemed to be building to something more, but he just ended up hitting it and getting the three. Still, I loved the strategy of Bryan at the beginning in wearing the big man down, and they still put Bryan over big despite the loss. Another note: Michael Cole was pretty darn good in selling not just the match, but the strategy in Bryan's gameplan. It's a huge positive how they've toned Cole down, and he's been doing a helluva job lately in trying to get the matches over instead of doing bad comedy bits with the other announcers.

Punk/Jericho was good but surprisingly not super intense or memorable. Plodding and only interesting in spurts. Really about a 3 star match, but I would give it the extra 1/4 star because, halleluiah, they didn't do a lock up to start their STREET FIGHT! Some of the spots actually hurt the main event (So you're telling me Jericho kicks out after an elbow drop through the table, but the monster Brock Lesner gets pinned after being hit with a chain and Cena's finisher?) later, but still, they laid out a good match; it was just odd how the match lacked a lot of intensity aside from the bit where Jericho went to attack Punk's sister which really seemed to fire up the crowd (as did the subsequent intensity and violence in Punk's actions), but it just seemed lacking for how long it was. I loved Punk's celebration at the end.

Lesner/Cena: Again, Cole was great before and during this match, just selling the hell out of the entire thing. I was on the edge of my seat the whole match thinking, "Damn, they're going to do it right!" And then they did their usuall WWE ending. Unfortunately, unlike the last time they were in Chicago for a PPV, they didn't go with the obvious (and smart and correct) finish for a much heated, much anticipated main event. It was still a great match with a great crowd that was just so different than anything WWE has done recently (until that ending).

It reminded me a bit of the Diesel/Shawn In Your House (Good Friends, Better Enemies) grudge match where Shawn survives a brutal beating at the hands of a sadistic bad ass that is only interested in killing their opponent. When Lesner finally did go for his pin, I thought the ref bump -- although contrived -- was a good touch since I figured Cena was going over. They had me fooled for awhile, though, as the layout for this match was 5 stars. Just awesome main event booking and drama until that ending. It's not that Cena won (really he survived it; it's not like this was a typical Cena match where he puts his opponent away, and fans walk away thinking Cena has just beaten "another guy"), but it was more in how they had him win. Why not have Brock kick out at like 3 1/2 and then kill Cena after he got the pin and stretcher him out if Cena is just going to leave anyways? Cena's speech was nice, and it actually got him over with the Chicago crowd (amazing that Cena can be a good babyface when he's not SuperCena...what a noble concept!), but it also kind of killed how awesome the match was.

I'm sure Lesner will come out and just destroy Cena tomorrow night -- injuring him in front of a much larger television audience. At least, I hope that's what they do.

Still, this was a fantastic B-level PPV with three good-to-great matches; despite some nits to pick here and there, this Extreme Rules was an easy thumbs up!

Kevin J. Olson
Salem, OR
Thumbs in the middle
Best match: Danielson/Sheamus
Worst match: Show/Cody
Losers: People who like good finishes
Hey Dave and Bryan,
I'm not gonna lie, my expectations were low coming in. The first half of the show, to put it bluntly, sucked. A Kane/Orton match that nobody cared about. Show/Cody. Two squash matches that were filler, and I barely paid attention to. Thankfully, Sheamus/Danielson didn't disappoint...almost, but I'll get into that in a moment. Punk/Jericho largely good, though dull at points. Using Punk's sister was a nice touch. Divas bathroom break. Cena/Lesnar...almost didn't disappoint.
Where to begin?
I think I'm starting to agree with Todd about how WWE really doesn't want to pin ANYBODY. Is it that hard to book somebody strong, and stay that way? Obviously, they can, since they feature Goldberg squash matches on a PPV with countless stupid finishes. Like I said, I really liked the Bryan a point. I wasn't a fan of the DQ and passing out spots. Is that going to lead to something? Why couldn't there be a clean finish for all three falls? Why even have belts if a guy who gets humiliated all the time loses until he gets a fluke win, like in Cody's case? Did Cena really need to go over? I realize they might have done the Lesnar/Mir finish, where Brock is winning until he has the slip on the banana peel. I don't understand why they'd bring in Lesnar just to have him as another guy on the roster within four weeks time. If it leads to something, great, but if things have been like this for some time now, why would we expect them to have a clue overnight? This PPV was going to be a thumbs up, until the finishes dragged it right back down to the middle.

Pete Staiano

Thumbs Up
Best Match: Punk-Jericho
Worst Match: The filler.
Going into this PPV I felt it could be better than Wrestlemania and it was, though only marginally. The problem with this show was that for all the great matches, I could have done without the Ryback match or the Brodus Clay match. I don't have problem with unadvertised matches, nor matches to cool down the crowd nor the performers involved. But there is no reason to have these meaningless matches on a very pricey PPV. Matches like these ultimately force viewers to skip ordering them altogether and watch PPVs illegally.
Aside from those matches and the Big Show-Cody Rhodes match (they are really faltering in advancing Cody Rhodes), the rest of this PPV was very good. Even the Divas match was interesting, I've always been a fan of Layla's work and it was cool to see the switcheroo backfire on the Bellas. Loved the Orton-Kane opener, mainly because I was so surprised by it, as I had almost zero expectation to be entertained by it. I have no problems with long matches opening shows. As someone raised on these styles of matches through the late-90s, it was a nice throwback. I also liked how they involved Ryder and Kane doing the throat-slash and attempting a piledriver was a cool touch as well (though, it did make me cringe slightly that this and Paul Bearer's appearance could foreshadow another fraternal feud). More importantly, especially considering if the backstage rumblings are true, Orton came out very strong. I feel that he's been severely underutilized and needed a solid win in a meaningful match to get back his momentum.
I was slightly underwhelmed by the Sheamus-Bryan match. To me Sheamus is still quite clunky in the ring and the size difference didn't help either (there's no way Bryan is over 200 lbs.) But it was still a nicely structured match with really good in-ring psychology. I still think Sheamus has a lot of potential so I think it's the right call to keep him as champion. WWE does have a tough task in figuring out what to do with Bryan though. I think the best thing is for him to be a full-fledged tweener and even insert him into Sheamus' feud with Del Rio, maybe even have a Smackdown match with Sheamus and Bryan teaming up to face Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez and then maybe move him over to RAW and have him feud with Punk for Summerslam.
My match of the night was Punk and Jericho. The two worked their butts off again and I think this time they really hit the nail on the head. As someone that enjoys details, I loved that they wrestled in denim. It was a nice mixture of stipulation match brawling, wrestling, and high spots. I actually wouldn't mind if they have another match next month, but if they do then it probably would have been better for Jericho to win here.
Totally unsure in what to expect from the Cena-Lesnar match. I have to admit I took a sabbatical from wrestling during Lesnar's first run, so I wasn't so excited about his return. The story that they were playing up was good, but it was heavily hampered by the fact that it was rushed. Cena probably should have taken a loss here to someone else to play up if the loss to The Rock had any effect on him. The match itself was insane, moreso considering all the very young Cena fans sitting front row. If they hadn't closed up Cena's cut, it would probably be up there with the crimson Eddie sported in that match against JBL. Lesnar looked like a total monster...even in defeat. I knew that Cena winning the match would elicit groans from a lot of people on the Interwebs, but all things considered this is probably the smartest of scenarios. If Cena is going away due to rest or film a movie, it makes the return match even more appealing. In a kayfabe sense, if Lesnar would lose this match which he totally dominated, it would make a hard sell for anyone to willingly wrestle/fight him. Now that Lesnar has lost, he becomes angrier and hungrier which leads to him losing his cool on someone that then naturally leads to his next feud. In fact, what transpired reminds me a lot of Lesnar's first UFC match, where he seemed to have the upperhand throughout, only to unexpectedly get caught and tap out. After that match, more people were talking about Lesnar than Frank Mir.

Henry Gomes

Thumbs up.
Best match: Punk / Jericho
Worst match: Show / Rhodes
Great Pay Per View all the way through, with no really bad matches. 
Hitting the highlights:  
- Show vs. Rhodes was probably the worst "match" but I loved the execution. That's the problem with table matches, as well as first blood matches. It could end by accident.
- Bryan vs. Sheamus was the best match up to that point, with great psychology that included Bryan throwing the first fall in order to wear down Sheamus. The match told a good story, but the ending was a bit anticlimactic. Still, the right guy for the moment won.
- Punk vs. Jericho was the best match on the show. Can these two have a bad match? With Jericho calling Punk a piece of trash, to pouring beer on him, to almost attacking Punk's sister, there would have been a riot if he'd won. The elbow to the table outside was a surprise, as we didn't think Punk would hit it that well.
- Cena vs. Lesnar played out as a perfect Rocky vs. Drago fight. Lesnar was an unstoppable monster, and all Cena was missing was Mickey in the corner yelling at him to give up. It was very refreshing seeing Cena play this roll. He wasn't expected to win, and when he did he had the crowd behind him. Did people forget the last time we saw Brock in a WWE PPV he was being booed heavily against Goldberg?
This is one of those Pay Per Views I'll probably end up buying the DVD just to have on in the background.
Don Cameron

Overall, thumbs are confused
Best Match: Punk vs Jericho
Worst Match: Big Show vs Cody
Miz vs Santino: Who cares, Miz should leave the WWE.
Kane vs Randy Orton: Match was fine, but this feud must end.  Kane really showed his age in this match, it is probably time for him to hang up the big red pyro. 
Big Show vs Cody: Creative finish, and being creative isn't always a good thing.  So Big Show is a heel again? If so, where do they go from here?  Another title feud, Big Show vs Sheamus, no buys~!
Please let Cody has a feud with Christian or Ziggler, I just want to see him in good matches, is that too much to ask?
Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan: I was just confused by this match.  So, Sheamus got a DQ fall for Bryan kicking too much ass. Bryan then made Sheamus pass out, and had to wait forever till he recovered.  Daniel dominated the entire match, for the most part.  And when the dust settled Sheamus walks away with the belt.  Does Sheamus look stronger after this match, not really. Are people still going to think Daniel Bryan is better than Sheamus, Yes! Are people going to turn on Sheamus, Yes!  Is rather poor Daniel Bryan going back to the mid card, sadly Yes!
Ziggler vs Clay: Dolph is probably their best young guy besides Dragon, but yet all he does is job, job, job.  The Funkasaurs gimmick is starting to grow stale, and adding Hornswoggle isn't going to help anything. 
Ryback vs Jobbers: The jobber promos are one of the best parts of the show. This might be a nitpick, but the crowd really should be chanting Dick the Bruiser instead of Goldberg.  I'm pretty sure Goldberg only beat contract guys unlike Mr. Bruiser who beat many many skinny jobbers. 
Punk vs Jericho: I almost wish Brock wasn't on this show at all, since this match would have been great to finish the PPV. Jericho actually got the fans to jeer him, so congrats Mr. Jericho. Punk should never do that flying elbow to the Spanish announce table, he is going to kill himself eventually with that move.  When he slipped, I was certain doom was going to occur. 
Everything made sense, I like the family involvement; even with his sister called him Punk isn't of Phil, which was whacky.  I like that they wore jeans instead of their trunks, since street fight = street clothes.  (Does Punk shop at the House of Necro Butcher?) 
All in all, the right guy won clean in this gimmick match. 
But, both men need to move on to different opponents, since just having Punk trying to complete his hat trick isn't a very compelling.
Layla vs Nikki Bella: I like Layla, and she really seems to work harder than any other Diva on the roster.  So hooray for having her first championship without Mrs. Undertaker, I think.  It was almost cruel to poor Layla for the Kharma tease by Eve, who is almost reaching Mr. Anderson turn the channel heat with me.  The name tag thing is beyond idiotic, especially with its 'Price is Right' size. 
Brock vs Cena: All I have to say is this match was surreal.  Cena busted open hard ways along with all of those shots from Brock really made you feel sorry for the guy.  Brock was beyond reckless, and I was certain that he messed up his knee at one point.  We haven't seen blood forever, and it brought a nice realism to the match.    
All that being said, if Lesnar is sticking around, and Cena is going off to film The Marine, then Vince has lost his mind and needs to retire.
There is no reason, no reason, no reason why Brock should have lost that match unless he is done after tonight. 
If Brock is done after tonight, then congrats WWE, since you really put over your top guy as a tough son of a bitch.  (Which he is, obviously his left arm is probably five times the size of his right arm now.)
I'm nearly certain that Brock is not done tonight; so he needs to just kill everybody tomorrow night, include Triple H.  And when that doesn't happen, oh well, Vince didn't mind wasting $50 million on his wife Senate campaign, what is $5 million among friends? 
But, I will be charitable; therefore, I won't know how I feel about this show until tomorrow night, my thumbs are confused at this point.
-John Pinkus

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