-Live from somewhere WWE is too embarrassed to admit. (Don’t you love it when they do that?)
-Naturally, John Cena kicks us off and rips off Daniel Bryan in a goofy promo against Ryback. This is the EXACT reason why the hardcore fanbase can’t stand this guy. So, hustle, loyalty, respect, I am the best, blah blah blah until Vickie Guerrero interrupts (I feel like I’ve typed that last sentence at least 60 times). She runs down the card for Extreme Rules and brings out Ryback so Cena can do a comedic impression of him. Yeah, he’s certainly taking the “monster” Ryback seriously…this will draw millions.
So Ryback, destroyer of worlds for the last 6 months, now runs away from a fight. Why would you change exactly what got this guy over in the first place? Not every single heel has to be a sniveling coward. Ryback decides that the title match at Extreme Rules will be a Last Man Standing match (aka No One Has to Job Match).
-Michael Cole recaps Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar invading WWE headquarters, treating it like everyone was afraid for their safety. I guess the police don’t respond too quickly up in Stanford.
Randy Orton vs. Damien Sandow
Sandow sings a catchy tune to Orton’s theme music and pretty much perfectly describes my real life feelings of Randy’s work. I applaud Mr. Sandow for placing my thoughts into such a worthy song. Orton repays him by dumping Sandow to the floor and back dropping him onto the ring barrier.
More brawling on the floor leads to Orton trying the Draping DDT from the apron but Sandow runs him into the ring barrier to escape. Back in, Orton hits his backbreaker and hammers away in the corner before dragging Damien to the middle for a stomp. Orton eats up more offense with a suplex and the Garvin stomp (actually called that by JBL).
We return from a break with Sandow throwing some knees and hitting a Russian legsweep into the Elbow of Disdain for two. Orton slugs out of a chinlock and hits a clothesline, continuing his appetite for all the offense in this match. Sandow catches him with an elbow but Orton hits a dropkick on Damien when he comes off the second rope. Draping DDT hits and the RKO finishes the squash.
Winner: Randy Orton
-Total squash for Orton, which I don’t understand at all **. How does JBL justify calling Sandow “very game” when he hit about three moves the entire match? Big Show knocks out Orton on the entrance stage to continue their feud.
-Chris Jericho hits the ring to announce he has put together a judging panel to judge Fandango’s next match. Obviously, this is Tons of Funk because big, fat guys who dance are funny in Vince’s world. It’s kind of like his obsession with hillbillies in the 1980s.
Fandango vs. R-Truth
Fandango’s popularity is definitely fading from the post-WrestleMania show to say the least. Truth catches Fandango with a dropkick and hits a Falcon Arrow followed by an Axe Kick but Fandango takes a powder. Truth dances for the judges, earning a perfect 10, which Fandango actually sells. That’s dedication to your art I suppose. This is such an insult though that Fandango walks out on the match.
Winner by Count Out: R-Truth
-What, exactly, was this supposed to have accomplished? DUD. The entrances were seriously longer than the match.
-Backstage, Daniel Bryan reacts to the Shield attacking him after a match with Ryback. He challenges “the Ryback” to a rematch but Ryback turns him down. Kane defends his little buddy’s honor and Ryback heads for the hills once again.
-Well, the first hour sucked.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler
Something tells me we aren’t getting a finish in this match tonight. They do some reversal wrestling and Del Rio boots Ziggler in the back for two. Ziggler fires back with a stiff dropkick for two and follows that with a splash in the corner for a near fall. Del Rio manages to floor him in the corner though and hits a running enziguri (to the arm) for two. How would that get a two count? The pain in his arm was paralyzing him?
Ziggler blocks a suplex with his own for two and hammers away in the corner. He gets caught on a charge though and Del Rio hits some repeated strikes to Ziggler’s kidneys. Del Rio delivers a Back Stabber, sending Ziggler to the outside, while Jack Swagger and Zeb make their way to ringside for commentary and we take a break.
We return with Ricardo somewhat pathetically trying to get the crowd to cheer for Del Rio as he battles out of a chinlock. Ziggler floors him with a dropkick though for two and both guys sell. Dolph repeatedly drops elbows in a spot I enjoy and delivers a final jumping elbow for two. Del Rio comes back by slamming Ziggler to the mat for another double KO spot and the crowd gets behind the superheel Ziggler.
Another enziguri in the corner misses but Del Rio lands on Ziggler’s head in a screwed up spot but he still gets two. Alberto hits Divorce Court on Ziggler while Zeb Colter alludes to racism and Ziggler hits a neckbreaker for two. Ziggler heads up and Del Rio charges but completely and totally blows the spot by completely whiffing on whatever it was he tried to do. That was terrible. Del Rio somewhat makes up for it by bringing Ziggler down with a reverse superplex, but only slightly.
Both guys fight to their feet and Ziggler hits another neckbreaker but a splash in the corner only hits turnbuckle. Del Rio launches into his comeback with Ziggler bouncing around like a ping pong ball and hits a superkick for two. They battle over the cross armbreaker spot but AJ jumps on the apron to distract the referee. Big E Langston attacks and tosses Del Rio into Swagger at the commentary position.
All Hell breaks loose as Swagger floors Langston and posts Del Rio. Jack drags a ladder out from under the ring and destroys everyone with it. The crowd was definitely reacting to the ladder spots, that’s for sure. Obviously, all this chaos causes the bell to ring.
-The match itself was actually pretty good and the finish popped the crowd. Del Rio blew two pretty big spots in the match but Ziggler was his usual fired-up self and more than carried his weight. No one cares about the world heavyweight title at all but this was a good segment for the most part ***.
-Meanwhile, Kaitlyn gets a text message from a secret admirer while the Funkadactyls warn her. Natayla puts Great Khali on the assignment to figure out who the admirer is…SMELL THE MONEY.
Kofi Kingston & The Usos vs. The Shield
Ambrose beats the hell out of Jimmy in the corner but gets caught with a clothesline and slammed down. Rollins tries to come flying in but gets caught with an uppercut from Jey. Rollins drives him into the corner though and Jey gets destroyed by Reigns. The Shield double team Jey and Rollins hits a dropkick. The crowd is not into this heat segment at all because Jey Uso is a big loser but that really shouldn’t surprise anyone reading this.
Reigns hits a suplex for two and Rollins checks in for a chinlock. He blasts Jimmy with a kick to prevent a tag but gets a little cocky with the trash talking, leading to a Samoan Drop and the hot tag to Kofi Kingston (finally waking the crowd up). Ambrose takes a flying clothesline and the Boom Drop but Dean avoids Trouble in Paradise. Kofi fights off Rollins and hits a springboard body press for two, saved by Reigns, and chaos breaks out. Reigns destroys an Uso on the outside and Ambrose takes advantage of a Rollins distraction and hits a Headlock Driver for the win.
Winners: The Shield
-Seemed worse than it was because the Usos have no heat whatsoever but the ending was fast-paced and tight. The Shield continue to be booked perfectly, one of the few huge successes of WWE in the past year **3/4.
Antonio Cesaro vs. Zack Ryder
Ryder gets the All-American Wrestling entrance and barely gets a camera acknowledgment of his existence. Cesaro dominates Ryder and hits a double stomp followed by an impressive gutwrench suplex. Floatover fisherman’s suplex gets two and Ryder makes a brief comeback with a facebuster to zero reaction. Missile dropkick puts Cesaro down but Antonio hits the Very European Uppercut and the Neutralizer finishes things.
Winner: Antonio Cesaro
-Total squash, as expected *.
-Well, the second hour was a bit better, so maybe the third hour will save this show and break the tie.
-After tons of build up, Paul Heyman finally introduces the footage of him and Brock Lesnar invading WWE HQ. Heyman records everything on his camera phone while Brock stands there and looks menacing (not hard for him to do). They head up to the Executive Floor and glare at a picture of the Rock (FORESHADOWING) while Heyman baits Lesnar by noting there are no pictures of him in this hallway.
They finally reach Triple H’s office (“Killer Kowalski? Who did he ever train?”) and Brock intimidates the secretaries. Brock poses with one of Hunter’s world title belts and makes himself comfortable in the office. He crushes a laptop with alarming ease and a keyboard doesn’t stand a chance either…seriously intimidating. For whatever reason, Triple H apparently has a sledgehammer mounted to his wall so Lesnar uses it to destroy Hunter’s desk. Heyman was pretty entertaining here and definitely kept the segment moving along nicely. Heyman promises Triple H will be taken to the extreme and Brock will no longer be held back.
So Triple H finally appears to answer Heyman and promises to win because he’s already knocked out Lesnar. Pretty typical HHH promo follows and, since the ring is his real office, he won’t be very hard to find.
-Recap of Kane and Ryback making their match for later tonight.
AJ Lee & The Bellas vs. Kaitlyn & the Funkadactyls
AJ controls one of the fat guy’s dancers with brutally boring offense but she whiffs on a charge to the corner and Cameron hits a cross body. She makes the hot (?) tag to Kaitlyn and no one will tag her and she spears AJ for the win.
Winners: Kaitlyn & the Funkadactyls
-Wow, what a waste of time DUD.
-Mark Henry hits the ring and introduces a recap video of all the times he has laid out Sheamus backstage. To counter, Sheamus shows the videos of him cheating at all the strength games they’ve been playing. How is that supposed to make him a babyface again? It just makes him a jerk. Anyways, Wade Barrett interrupts this thrilling segment and we cut to a break.
Wade Barrett vs. Sheamus
Henry is on commentary while Sheamus hits a running knee lift and hits repeated forearm shots on the apron. Barrett hits the floor and Sheamus pretends to toss Wade into Henry, behaving like a bigger jerk. Then he lays out Henry with a Brogue Kick and hits a shoulderblock off the top onto Barrett for two. Sheamus looks for the Irish Cloverleaf but Barrett fights out and hits a sidewalk slam for two.
Sheamus recovers with an Irish Curse backbreaker but Barrett ducks a Brogue kick and goes low with a stiff kick and a forearm gets two. Barrett looks to finish but Sheamus counters with White Noise and the Brogue Kick finishes things. What’s the point of ANY secondary title at this point?
-The match was probably better than ** but the booking pissed me off. The Intercontinental Champion is supposed to be the third-best wrestler in your company (after the two world titles) but they are clearly booked as a curtain jerker. Sheamus isn’t over, he’s not a compelling character, and he’s not a star on the rise. Why should he beat Wade Barrett? Then, WWE will sit in a meeting and wonder why no one is buying Wade Barrett in the main event of Hell in a Cell next year or something.
-Henry beats down Sheamus with a belt because “that’s how I do!”
-When did this show become five hours long?
-Ohhhhh, Fandango vs. Chris Jericho in a dance-off next week. I’m sure millions upon millions will tune in to see two wrestlers dancing. Is this seriously the same company I’ve followed religiously since 1990? It seems like a parody of a wrestling company at this point.
Kane vs. Ryback
This is the main event? Yeah, Cena’s injury is just fine, guys. Kane attacks early and gets two before adding a powerslam for a one count. Ryback clotheslines Kane to the floor and introduces him to the ringside barrier. Hey, do you like commercials, because WWE is going to show you some now.
We return with Ryback hitting a splash for two and they screw up a spot until Ryback hits a Thesz Press and the crowd starts turning on the match. Ryback preps the clothesline but runs into a big boot and Kane looks to finish. Uppercut puts Ryback down and a running DDT gets two. Corner clothesline hits but Kane runs into a spinebuster and Ryback tries for Shell Shocked but Kane suplexes out. Kane heads up top but Ryback crotches him and hits Shell Shocked for the win.
-God, this match was boring *.
-The Shield’s music hits, causing Daniel Bryan to hit the ring and Ryback to run away once again. John Cena, ever the spotlight hog, heads out to help Bryan. Ryback returns with a chair but smartly uses it on Cena instead of the Shield and stands tall as we fade to black.
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it a thousand more times: This show is just too long. My God, between the endless recap videos, the movie trailers, the “comedy” sketches, and the pointless squash matches, you basically fall asleep around the two-hour mark. It’s amazing in a world where WWE controls 90 percent of the wrestling talent, they can’t put three hours of TV together that doesn’t bore the crap out of me. There was a pretty good Ziggler-Del Rio match somewhere around hour 7 but the rest is just too long-winded and boring to be memorable.
-Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @MikeShannon22.