The SmarK Rant for WWE Extreme Rules 2015
Live from Chicago, IL
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & JBL
To say there’s no buzz about this show would be a gross understatement.
Chicago Street Fight: Dean Ambrose v. Luke Harper
They brawl outside immediately and Dean hits him with a dive, although Cole clarifies that you have to pin your opponent inside the ring. So even in a no-rules street fight, there is in fact SOME rules. I mean, you wouldn’t want anarchy. Ambrose grabs a kendo stick and beats on Harper with that, but he gets suplexed onto an open chair in a spot that probably isn’t good for the longevity of his back. Harper beats on him with the kendo stick and drops him on another chair in the corner for two. Ambrose comes back with a slam onto the chair and a tornado DDT, and the crowd wants tables. Please, it’s not the properly approved PPV for tables yet. You might as well chant for stairs while you’re at it. Ambrose with the flying clothesline for two, but Harper counters the lariat with a big boot and they end up on the floor again. Ambrose chases him to the entrance with a kendo stick and we travel into the locker room and backstage area. Harper jumps into someone’s car and steals it, and Ambrose dives in after him as the match is apparently on hiatus at 8:30 or so. Apparently car theft laws are also suspended under the Extreme Rules banner. Nothing really to the match. **
Meanwhile, Seth Rollins continues to squabble with Kane in a segment that feels like it’s 10 minutes long.
Kiss Me Arse match: Sheamus v. Dolph Ziggler
Yes, they actually paid people to come up with this match stipulation. Ziggler really builds that heat here by making fun of Sheamus and his Mohawk on Twitter. Greg Valentine v. Wahoo McDaniel it ain’t. I will say, Sheamus’s new music is BADASS. I will also say that I will not be using the hashtag “KissMeArse” to discuss this match on social media. Ziggler slugs away in the corner and they head to the floor right away, but Sheamus beats on him while Jerry Lawler wonders if either guy has washed their ass in preparation for the match. Well, JBL would be the expert on THAT. Back in, Sheamus goes to a chinlock and then blocks the fameasser with a powerbomb for two. Sheamus puts him down with a pair of short-arm clotheslines and goes back to the chinlock while deriding short people. Just to be clear here, in WWE-land Ziggler is NOT tall? Because that seems weird. Ziggler slugs out, giving us our first “creating separation” of the night, but Sheamus pounds him down again and hooks the Cloverleaf. Ziggler gets a nice counter into a rollup for two and a superkick gets two. Sheamus gets the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker (which Cole is now calling the Irish Curse, something like the third or fourth move to get that name) and goes for the Brogue Kick, but Ziggler counters into a rollup for two, and a small package finishes at 9:25. This was fine, didn’t really go anywhere though and lacked a big heat sequence or climax. The crowd was shockingly into the stupid stip, however. **1/2 Seems really early to blow off the heat on Sheamus, but that’s the WWE midcard in 2015 for you. And as usual they renege on the stip, as Sheamus lays out Dolph with a low blow and Brogue Kicks him instead, then shoves Dolph’s face into his ass.
This week on the WWE Network, a bunch of crappy shows that no human being would possibly want to watch. Like really, a retrospective about Mayweather v. Big Show? Gee, I wonder why they’re suddenly reminiscing about that match? I thought PPV was dead! Although apparently King of the Ring is coming back, so there’s that.
WWE tag titles: Cesaro & Tyson Kidd v. The New Day
The Brass Ring Club are the clear babyfaces here. Tyson controls Kofi and gets a backslide for two, and Cesaro comes in for a slam on Big E and a double stomp for two. They fight to the floor with Tyson getting a nice somersault dive on Kofi, but the New Day double-teams him to take over. Kofi with a dropkick for two as the crowd is unsure what to chant for the champions. Big E misses a charge and lands on the floor, it’s hot tag Cesaro. He throws uppercuts on Kofi in the corner and gets a clothesline for two, but tries the Giant Swing and Kofi escapes to the top rope. Cesaro suplexes him and Kidd drops the elbow for two. Big E comes back in with the spear off the apron and it’s BONZO GONZO, but Kidd blocks Kofi’s wacky kick and hooks the Sharpshooter. Big E breaks it up with a suplex on Kidd, but Cesaro cleans up and gets the Giant Swing on Kofi. Cesaro gets distracted with Woods, however, and Kofi rolls him up for the pin and the titles at 9:40. Good double-team stuff here, but the finish was pretty bad. Still, Kidd and Cesaro are on another level of awesome right now. So of course they jobbed. ***1/2 I feel like we’re through the looking glass now, in an era where they talk about how the promotion is all about entertaining the fans and then they push guys who are defined by how much people hate watching them.
Meanwhile, the New Day’s victory promo is interrupted by Dean Ambrose crashing into the arena with the stolen vehicle, as they continue the match.
Dean Ambrose v. Luke Harper, Part 2
Back to the ring as both guys grab some chairs from under the ring and Harper powerbombs him on one for two. He buries Ambrose in chairs and goes up, and there’s already a million logical problems with that one, but Ambrose slams him off and hits the Dirty Deeds for the pin. Did that really need the 30 minute break? I mean, it’s kind of a clever idea, but it’s not like it made for a better match or anything.
US title, Russian Chain Match: John Cena v. Rusev
Rusev attacks in the corner and touches two corners, but Cena quickly touches three before Rusev cuts him off. Rusev dumps him and ties him in the ropes for some punishment, then back in for two corners. There’s a major issue here in that the chain is WAY too long to build drama. The guys are just walking around the ring touching the corners, without having to sell the drama of dragging the other guy around. Cena runs Rusev into the post and touches two corners, but Rusev beats him down with the chain. At this point the announcers discuss what an underdog that Cena is, because this is Rusev’s match. A match that has never been broadcast on WWE TV before and thus is Rusev’s first time. They’re kind of contradicting themselves there. They keep hitting each other with weak shots from the chain as this has no drama to it, and the crowd is so bored that they chant for Lana. Lana waves at them, which angers Rusev and he sends her back to the dressing room. So now Cena comes back after 10 minutes of nothing and hooks the STF. And…? This match is STUPID. Cena touches two and now Rusev gets the Accolade. Again I ask, and…? Cena powers out and runs Rusev into a pair of corners, which light up for Rusev, but Cena cuts him off with the FU. Both guys are down and they crawl around the ring touching corners and then Cena gives him another FU and touches the fourth to retain at 13:33. Just because Eddie Guerrero had one good “touch all four” match 11 years ago doesn’t mean we need to ever see it again. **
WWE Divas title: Nikki Bella v. Naomi
Apparently Naomi is now a Sasha Banks-esque heel and Nikki is the babyface. Because reasons. WWE: Where we’re telling stories, except when we’re too lazy to actually tell the story. Naomi controls with a chinlock and drops an elbow for two, but Nikki rolls her up for two. Naomi bulldogs her into the turnbuckle for two and a kick out of the corner for two. Nikki mounts the comeback, but Naomi gets the butt splash for two. A moonsault misses, but Naomi escapes the Rack Attack and rolls her up for two. Nikki gets a jumping kick out of the corner for two and Brie adds a shot from the outside, and the Rack Attack finishes at 7:15. This is apparently shocking behavior to the announcers. Dull and way too long. With AJ and Paige gone there’s literally nothing left in this division of interest. *1/2
Meanwhile, Rusev yells at Lana in Russian, and she goes to see the Authority.
Last Man Standing: Roman Reigns v. The Big Show
Roman slugs away on the Human Pee Break and dumps him before grabbing a table, but Big Show shoves it back under the ring in a cute spot. Reigns hits the apron kick and gets another table, but this time Big Show uses his frying pan sized hands to break it. Roman grabs a kendo stick, but Show slugs him down and breaks that, too. So that’s where all their budget on the Network went to – replacing needlessly broken weapons. Show punches Reigns down, but he grabs a chair and beats on Show with that. See, but we already had all the chair spots in the street fight, so why drag them out again on the same show? Reigns grabs a pair of tables, but Show hits the KO punch and Roman is up at 8. Show tries a chokeslam onto the table, but Reigns gets a samoan drop through it and Show is up at 8. Show with a spear for an 8 count and he goes up with a pump splash that misses by a foot and still gets an 8 count. My god, if that splash had actually made contact, Reigns would be DEAD! They slowly lumber to the top rope and Reigns goes down, but comes back and slams Show off. Two superman punches follow, but Show blocks a third and chokeslams him through a pair of tables at ringside. Luckily, Roman is up at 9. Show charges and goes through a table for 8, but bails to the floor and Reigns spears him through the barricade. Show is up at 9 and goes to the announce table, so Reigns spears him from one table to another and buries him under the Spanish announce table rubble to win at 19:45. Probably as good as you were going to get out of this, although the stalling early hurt it a lot and you’ve gotta wonder how many crazy beatings that they can put Reigns through in order to make up for their lousy booking of him. ***1/4
Bo Dallas joins us to tell us how smelly that Chicago is. You tell ‘em, Bo! Sadly, Ryback does not Bo-lieve and comes out to beat him up.
And then to waste more time, we get ANOTHER WWE Network commercial.
Meanwhile, Rusev announces that he’s facing John Cena AGAIN next month, this time in an I Quit match. Come on, really, four PPVs in a row? Why not continue Cena’s open challenge with a mystery opponent or something more interesting?
WWE World title: Seth Rollins v. Randy Orton
This show has really been dragging since the tag title match so hopefully this is quick. Seth tries to run right away and Orton pulls him down and slugs away. Rollins climbs for it again and Orton slugs away in the corner, but Rollins powerbombs him for two. They keep kicking and punching and Seth gets a clothesline for two as the crowd completely dies off. Orton makes a comeback and Rollins keeps trying to run away, then hits Orton with the flying knee off the top rope for two. Orton comes back with the powerslam for two, but Rollins escapes the draping DDT and gets a superkick for two. They fight to the top again and try to escape, but now J&J Security comes out to interfere in the match where no one can interfere, and Rollins is saved. Kane tells them to get lost and Orton takes over on Rollins again with the draping DDT, and a Pedigree for two. Orton tries to go for the door and Kane won’t let him out, but then Rollins goes for the door and he slams it in his face, too. So now Kane and J&J all head into the cage, where no interference can possibly happen, and Kane chokeslams the security geeks and then Orton and Rollins as well. I don’t even understand what the motivation is supposed to be at this point. Kane puts Rollins on top for two, but Orton gives Kane an RKO and then Rollins gives Orton an RKO and exits the cage to retain at 21:04. Well that was definitely not quick. Or particularly good. **1/2 So apparently due to controversy, this feud MUST CONTINUE. Because otherwise what would they fill time with?
Nothing bad tonight, although the cage match was a boring letdown and took the show down from thumbs up territory for me. I didn’t regret the three hours, particularly, so I’d call it thumbs in the middle tonight.
Check out my rundown of the show at the Sporting News as well: