Sunday, June 7, 2009

Kick-Out's Extreme Rules 2009 Review

Wow.

Kofi Kingston vs. MVP vs. William Regal vs. Matt Hardy was a solid opener, but completely unsurprising. You don't put the belt on Kofi only to have him drop it six nights later in a Fatal Four Way. That said, I doubt that Hardy and Regal will be leaving him alone any time soon, so expect the dubious duo to continue focusing on the US Title.

Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio was top notch, I think I could watch these two wrestle every month for half a year and never get bored. Jericho is really playing his role to the hilt and every time he's on screen, he just keeps getting better. The match was great, but Jericho was the star by not only winning the IC Title for the unprecedented ninth (yes... NINTH) time, he did exactly what he said he was going to do and took Mysterio's mask. Jericho's really upping the a-hole factor here, but what makes it so good is that he does exactly what he says he'll do. He's that guy you can't stand who's always right but you wish he wasn't, a perfect gimmick for him.

CM Punk vs. Umaga was pretty good, but I think I enjoyed their match from Smackdown just a bit more. Strap matches are still a fun, but sparingly used match type, and considering the contrast in styles, they really made it work. I still can't get over the fact that Punk can hit him with Go To Sleep... I remember a few years back when people complained about him adopting the move since he'd never be able to hit it on "big guys." Ha. Plenty more Punk discussion to be had later in this review.

Vickie Guerrero vs. Santina Marella was unsurprisingly awful. Some might say it was so bad it was good, but if I may borrow a line from the movie Ghost World, this match was "so bad it went past good and back to bad again." Just painful... I had to apologize to the friends I had over for making them watch. And those poor piglets in the separate pen, they had to watch it too! Cruelty to animals and humans alike.

Christian vs. Tommy Dreamer vs. Jack Swagger was a great match with a great ending. Fun WWE-style hardcore action and yes, Tommy Dreamer capturing the ECW Title! It might not mean much to a lot of WWE fans, but that could very well be my personal favorite moment of 2009. It wasn't up there with Ric Flair's retirement or anything, but that was just a really great moment. Swagger and Christian deserve major credit as well, they worked really hard in there and everything just came together for something really special. E-C-DUB! E-C-DUB! E-C-DUB!

Randy Orton vs. Batista... okay, anyone want to tell me what the hell that was? That may be the worst WWE Title match I've seen since Big Show was feuding with The Big Boss Man. What was that? Five minutes? A five minute steel cage match? They've been building Randy Orton as this menace to WWE since January, he takes out the entire McMahon family and Triple H and then Batista comes in and makes it look that easy? Are you kidding me? The Golden Boy gets steamrolled? This also kills the potential MVP/Orton feud, which is the most excited I've ever been about something involving Randy Orton. Something's definitely up here, this makes no sense.

John Cena vs. Big Show was just boring... I don't really know how else to describe it. I know the story was centered around Cena not being able to lock in the STF, but this feud was just not designed for a submission match. I want to see Cena put Big Show through a 14,000-watt searchlight, not try to wrestle him to the mat. These two guys needed a nasty brawl and maybe a time machine to erase the fact that every time they've ever been in a match against each other, Cena always wins. It was completely predictable, we knew Cena would find a way to lock in the move and there wasn't a chance that he was going to tap out. I love Cena and Big Show is great in the right environment, but I really hope this feud is over once and for all.

Jeff Hardy vs. Edge stole the show, but who's really surprised by that? They won the Kick-Out!! Poll for most anticipated match by an overwhelming margin (48%, Jericho vs. Mysterio came in second with 25%), and they did not fail to live up to the excitement. They came up with some really innovative uses for the ladder - I loved Hardy doing his front suplex onto the upside down ladder and the double bump through the ladder bridging from the ring to the guardrail - they really went out of their way to give the crowd something unique. We've seen these guys in dozens of ladder matches over the last ten years and just when you think you've seen it all, they still manage to do something new without getting too contrived or too dangerous. Not that there weren't plenty of dangerous spots in this match, but it's not some of these lunatics on the indy scene. Can't believe Jeff Hardy won it, we were all going nuts at my place, thrilled that Jeff seemingly defied all the rumors about him leaving WWE. Of course, the cheers turned into stunned silence for...

CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy. Did not see that coming, even though I was suggesting it earlier this evening. Let it be known that while I did say I wanted to see CM Punk cash in, I meant against Edge, not against Jeff Hardy! It's funny, even though CM Punk is probably my favorite wrestler right now, it was absolutely heartbreaking to see Jeff Hardy get robbed of the World Heavyweight Title. That's how you build an effective heel, and I suppose the CM Punk heel turn is on the way. There's no way you can have CM Punk do that to the #1 face in the company and expect him to continue getting cheers. Plus, there's a ready-made storyline between the two, but I'll talk more about that on this week's episode of Kick-Out!! Radio.

Overall, I'd say Extreme Rules was a good PPV... not the best ever, but good. Normally, I'd complain that there were too many title changes, but all of them made sense tonight except the WWE Title. Rey Mysterio has to fall before he can get vengeance on Jericho; Tommy Dreamer as ECW Champion is just plain awesome; the coveted Miss WrestleMania crown was restored to its rightful owner (rolling my eyes as I type that); and CM Punk just gave us what could be the most shocking moment of the year (maybe he'll repeat at The Slammys). I will say that having Punk turn heel is a bit odd since Smackdown is overflowing with top heels and if Jeff Hardy is taking time off (which could still be 100% dirtsheet BS), that only leaves Rey Mysterio until Undertaker comes back. Only time will tell and I won't be able to offer an informed opinion on the subject until this week's Smackdown. Friday can't come soon enough, can we just switch Raw and Smackdown's timeslots? Please?

4 comments:

  1. I've read that perhaps the reason behind that most puzzling of matches has to do with the condition of one of the competitors in it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I feel the same way about CM Punk taking Jeff Hardy's belt. Kinda sucks, IMO.

    ReplyDelete
  3. But I can see how that heel turn would go against Hardy... I am thinking about who else in the Smackdown locker room that turn could work against though.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I thought that the pure shock and greatness of the Smackdown angles and matches more than made up for Raw's bullshit. So, good show.

    ReplyDelete