WWE presented Extreme Rules on PPV, the only night of the year when WWE goes Extreme, from Tampa, Florida. The event featured two main-events as The Miz defended the WWE Championship in a Steel Cage Triple Threat Match against John Cena and John Morrison, and Christian and Alberto Del Rio elevated to new heights in a Ladder Match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Welcome back to The Wrestling Times. May 1, 2011, will be a day that lives in infamy as United States President Barack Obama announced on national television that Osama bin Laden had been killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan by American military forces and that his body was in U.S. custody. Give it up to our military forces, this, God willing, has brought some sort of justification to those who have lost loved ones since the start of The War on Terrorism. While that may be the news streaming throughout the known world, WWE had some memorable moments on May 1st as well. So you know the drill. Let’s discuss–are you ready?–Wrestling!
The Era of Awesome came to an end as John Cena won the WWE Championship. This marks Cena’s 10th WWE World Title, and ties him with Triple-H with 8 WWE Championship reigns. The Steel Cage match was a great blend of entertainment, with John Morrison scaling the cage like a panther, The Miz working double duty to assure that Morrison and Cena did not escape the cage, and a hellacious run-in by R-Truth.
The whole scene of R-Truth verbally laying it in to Morrison, beating the living hell out of him, and symbolically climbing out over the cage, was an incredible show. For years, R-Truth was irrelevant, but this heel turn and the intensity in his promos have sparked a new fire in his career. I’m very interested to see where he goes with this.
Though, many non-Cena fans are already dreading another “The Champ is HERE!” series of storylines, you have to give The Superman his dues. He walked in with one goal on his mind, and that was to walk out of Tampa, Florida as the WWE Champion. Interested now to see the confrontation between Cena and The Rock on Monday Night Raw.
A fan held up a sign that read, “Christian, Win it for EDGE!” In an emotional night, Christian finally won “The Big One.” Alberto Del Rio was inches away from picking up his first WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He worked Christian’s arm in several creative ways, including jumping off the “Hornswoggle” ladder with Christian, who was set up on the main ladder, and connecting with a Double Knee Armbreaker. Del Rio even had outside interferences: Ricardo Rodriguez passing him a steel chair, so Del Rio could wrap it around Christian’s arm, and Brodus Clay ran in to buy Del Rio more time.
Del Rio even trapped Christian within the ladder by pulling his legs through the ladder, as his upper body was trapped on the other side. Many may recall that spot from EDGE’s ladder match with Jeff Hardy two years ago at Extreme Rules. Jeff Hardy won the World Title with that maneuver, but Christian was able to will his way out and, with a slight distraction from EDGE, climb the ladder to win it.
What was so heart warming about the moment, was not that EDGE happened to be up the ramp to see the match, it’s that he ran down to the ring to see up close his friend of twenty-seven years finally reach the pinnacle of his wrestling career. The tears of joy streaming down both of their faces was priceless. If there was ever a match that had all the stops, all the drama, and all the emotion, it was this match.
Congratulations to Christian on not only realizing his dream of being the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, but on becoming the 11th Grand Slam Champion.
A match that many fans may be surprised to read was my most anticipated was the Michelle McCool and Layla match. Though not much focus was paid to the No Disqualification, No Count-Out aspect of the match, these women brawled their hearts out. Layla executed her Face Lift signature, and McCool connected with the Faith Breaker. But it was an emotional side roll up that would retire McCool. Say what you will about Michelle McCool, but she was one of the hardest working Divas in the company, especially in a division consisting of non-conventional wrestlers.
Speaking of non-conventional, Kharma (f.k.a. Awesome Kong) debuted at Extreme Rules, striking McCool with the Implant Buster. Question remains, will Kharma be considered a Diva? Or will she be considered a women’s wrestler?
The Last Man Standing Match that kicked off the event was brutal (in a good way). C.M. Punk, one of the greatest heels that WWE has on its roster, took charge of that match, and sacrificed his body to put on an amazing performance. And though Punk was unable to secure the assistance from The New Nexus, thanks to a decree by Raw’s General Manager, he punished Randy Orton. The best spot was Punk wrapping Orton’s head in a steel chair and sending him against the steel post. Now, recall when Punk did the same thing to Jeff Hardy on an episode of SmackDown in 2009? Same year the first reference to “The Enigma” occurred as well. But just as much as Punk brought it, Orton brought it ten times harder. Orton caught Punk off the top turnbuckle, mercilessly struck him with a kendo stick. Grabbed Punk’s languid body by the neck and connected with an RKO. Then struck with another RKO, and waited out the ten-count in position for yet another lightning fast RKO.
Although, Punk and Orton delivered one hell of a “Slobber Knocker,” it’s bothersome to know that the Orton-Punk feud went 3-Zip in Orton’s favor.
That’s it for this post. Other matches from WWE Extreme Rules included: Kofi Kingston defeating Sheamus for his second United States Championship in a Tables Match, The Big Show and Kane retaining the WWE Tag Team Championship in an impromptu Lumberjack Match against Wade Barrett and Ezekiel Jackson, Michael Cole rolling up Jim Ross in a Tag Team Country Whipping Match, which also included Jack Swagger and Jerry Lawler, and Rey Mysterio defeating Cody Rhodes in a Falls Count Anywhere Match.
After watching the video package on “Dashing” Cody Rhodes’s transformation to “Deformed,” it reminds me that Rhodes has to be the only superstar to ever turn from heel to heeler with this masked persona of his.
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