World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) returned to pay-per-view (PPV) last night (Sun., April 29, 2012) for the Extreme Rules event at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois.
And for the umpteenth time, John Cena has risen above all else and stood tall at the end of the night. This time, a returning Brock Lesnar -- booked as an unstoppable monster -- was made to do the job. We'll see if they can figure out a strong way to recover from this but the fact that they have to recover at all is sad, if only to me.
But while I wasn't pleased with the ending to the Extreme Rules show, the comments section in the live blog was fantastic, as always. The "Comment of the Night" goes to brock2n, who, when asked what the real life purpose of a kendo stick is, replied, "Caning shitheads who key cars in Singapore."
Well done, sir.
Enough with the small talk, though. If you want full results from Extreme Rules last night, click here for the running live blog. You can also listen to Sergio and I on the Cageside Live podcast gabbing after the show right here. Time to get to reactions, posted after the jump.
- As Sergio and myself explained in the Cageside Live podcast immediately following the show last night, Cena winning just didn't serve the storyline that I would have been most compelled by. No, time will not stop for Brock Lesnar now that he's tasted defeat. And yes, they will find a way to write themselves out of this because, well, they don't have a choice. Raw is tonight and they have to do something. But no matter what it is, it's not likely going to live up to the brilliant storyline C.J. Bradford laid out when he first told us why Cena had to lose to The Rock at WrestleMania 28. It all feels for naught now and that's reason enough not to be happy with last night's finish. Plus, quite frankly, I'm sick and tired of seeing Cena standing tall at the end of every goddamn show. Sure, it doesn't happen EVERY time but 857 out of 887 makes it feel that way.
- CM Punk and Chris Jericho, meanwhile have told a mostly entertaining story with a ton of potential that has, well, really gone nowhere. In fact, Punk has essentially assumed the role of Cena, overcoming the odds at every turn. Sure, I understand that if you're running a PG program, the hero overcoming the villain is almost always going to be the end game but again, it's tired. It's why the formula hasn't produced better ratings. There was a time when the hero didn't always prevail and that period was the most successful in the history of the business. That's not surprising, or at least it shouldn't be.
- Ryyyyyy-back. Ryyyyyy-back. Ryyyyyy-back.
- Benny Camer or we riot.
- Though it came as no surprise, it was a welcome wrinkle seeing Sheamus have a damn good match in defense of the world heavyweight championship. He won't always have Daniel Bryan around to help guide him there, so it should be interesting to see what he can do with Alberto Del Rio. In fact, it should be interesting just to see what they do with Sheamus going forward. I'd like to see further character development with his angry Irish gimmick.
- As for Bryan, he deserves to stay as close to the top of the card as possible. A feud with Randy Orton sounds like it could produce some show-stealing matches.
- Speaking of Orton, I still can't believe he could drag three good matches out of Kane the way he has. That's not to take anything away from "The Big Red Monster," it's just to say that Orton has been doing the damn thing ever since losing the world title to Mark Henry and he's seemingly gotten very little in return. Maybe he's the next guy to feud with Brock Lesnar, if previously rumors are to ring true. He deserves something big after putting so many guys over and working so well with everyone on the card over on Smackdown.
- Big Show never should have been given the Intercontinental title, so it's good to see Cody Rhodes get it back. As stated previously, though, Rhodes has looked terrible since losing the belt and this all feels like a time consumer on whatever show it's on instead of a compelling storyline. Now's the time to let Rhodes feud with someone like Dolph Ziggler so they can have a meaningful program over the secondary title.
- Brodus Clay is still dancing and that's still fun. But he's also finally starting to have real matches and it's going about as well as expected so far. Ziggler could make a broomstick look like it has believable offense, so we shouldn't look into it too much but there may be a future for Clay just yet. Stay tuned.
- I still can't believe Brock Lesnar jobbed in his first match back in eight years. As our loyal Cagesider joliemadchen mentioned, the reason had to be because Vince McMahon wanted his WWE homegrown John Cena to defeat the former UFC champion. Right? RIGHT?!?!?
- Triple H calling John Laurinaitis is a recipe for some sort of disaster I want no part of.
Overall, Extreme Rules featured a lot of great in-ring action from the big stars in the company. Everyone from Lesnar to Cena to Punk to Jericho to Sheamus to Bryan to Orton delivered in a big way. One could argue that, on the whole, this was a better event than WrestleMania 28.
Despite the finish, the show gets an A. Damn good from top to bottom.
But that's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off with all your thoughts on WWE Extreme Rules from last night. What's your grade for the show?