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ThomHodkinson

Thom Hodkinson's Pay-Per-Review: To the Extreme

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Hello once again, and welcome to my new monthly blog, The Pay-Per-Review. Here, I'll be giving my opinion (which will be pointless) of the happenings and events in the most recent PPV. Today, we take it all the way up to 11 with WWE Extreme Rules 2013. So, without further ado, let's get right into it!

CHRIS JERICHO DEF. FANDANGO
I'm a bit disappointed in all honesty. Disappointed with the very thin reason for this "feud". Disappointed with Fandango in general. But most of all, I'm disappointed that this was just a normal, run of the mill match. The point of Extreme Rules is that each match has that little extra... something. I wanted more from this match. Is that so wrong? Johnny Curtis is supposed to be a great performer, but I think this character may be holding him back. Still, that mid-air Code Breaker was a great touch. Plus, seeing Fandango grabbing the ropes in the Walls was a pretty good moment. But next time, I'd like more from Dancey Pants.

US TITLE MATCH
DEAN AMBROSE DEF. KOFI KINGSTON (C)
BELIEVE IN DEAN AMBROSE! I don't mind admitting that I'm a total fan boy for The Shield, but why wouldn't I be? For me, Ambrose is their break-out star. His whole persona just draws you in. The wild stares, the terrific Dolph-Ziggler-Matching sells, the top-notch moves. I love this guy.
Anyway, the match. I thought that this contest was brilliant. I'm not usually a Kingston fan, but I was impressed with this one, especially missing Trouble in Paradise for the 39507th time and landing painfully into the ropes, which left the vulture of Ambrose to pick the meat off the bones, land his finisher and become the new United States Champion. Kofi's run was short but sweet. Nothing like Antonio Cesaro's run as champ (Give him another shot, c'mon!) but it had it's moments. That doesn't matter though, because now, the most exciting young superstar on the roster has gold. We have ourselves a champion to believe in.

STRAP MATCH
SHEAMUS DEF. MARK HENRY
Did the rules of the Strap Match change in the last few years? This whole "Referee decides on the momentum" thing was awful. I mean, in all honesty, right before Sheamus hit the last turnbuckle, did he not lose the momentum when Mark Henry attempted to stop him? What a load of bullshit. And as for that strap, it looked like it was made out of foam. Pathetic. NEXT!

A little side-note for the Diva's backstage rumble - At last, a Divas feud to invest in.

#1 CONTENDER: WHC. I QUIT MATCH
ALBERTO DEL RIO DEF. JACK SWAGGER
BULLSHIT! TOTAL BULLSHIT! You can't win an I Quit match by having a manager throw in the towel. You win by making your opponent say "I Quit". That's why it's called the "I Quit" match.
Apart from that, it was a pretty good match, a lot of devastating spots and some interesting moments. By the way, what the hell was that Instant-Replay screen about? What happened to the days of old where they played back the decisions on the Titan-Tron?
Be honest. You wanted the Triple Threat Ladder Match where Dolph Ziggler inevitably wins too, didn't you? It's ok. Hopefully he'll be back in time for Payback and we can put all this behind us.

WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
TORNADO TAG MATCH
THE SHIELD DEF. TEAM HELL NO (C)
YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!
What a great match. Everyone did brilliantly and worked their asses off. Kane & Bryan have been very valiant champions, but have only held the title for this long because there's been no-one else in the company worthy of holding the belts. Until now.
First of all, how awesome is it that we get a Tornado Tag Match? I used to love these as a youngster, especially on the old WWE Video Games. It gives the Tag Team concept a nice little spice and I have missed it so. Hopefully The Shield could revive this stipulation in Title defences to come.
And let's talk about that ending. A Torture Rack/Flying Knee Attack combo? F***ING A! That looked hella painful and just what I've come to expect from Rollins & Reigns. Now that all 3 Shield members have title belts, how are they going to cope with having targets on their backs?

EXTREME RULES MATCH
RANDY ORTON DEF. BIG SHOW
Nearly.... almost..... there... What? Oh sorry, I'm just trying to work out how close we are to an Orton heel turn. I'll be honest, it's been a long time coming and I was really hoping to see it in his hometown. Could you imagine, pissing off an arena full of your biggest fans by turning your back on them and joining the Dark Side? That's gold, right there.
Anywho, the Match itself was pretty good, with memorable moments including Big Show's mid-rope splash onto an Ortonless ladder. The highlight though, without a doubt, was the awesome return of the very punishing Punt Kick. The replay showed the brutal kick to the head in all it's glory, it looked painful as hell. Dolph & Show could swap concussion stories!
A good match, some strong moments, but for god's sake, WE WANT TABLES!

WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
LAST MAN STANDING MATCH
JOHN CENA VS RYBACK (NO CONTEST)
This is honestly the best possible outcome of this match. The ending gave Ryback the opportunity to keep up his destructive persona, whilst also making sure John Cena retained the WWE Title. But, once again, the old rules of LMS has changed and if I were the referee, I'd still call the 10 count on both of them and declare it a draw. But that's just me, whatever.
I was fairly impressed by Ryback during this match, he showed some great offence and took Cena to the brink and back. As a Heel, Ryback will work so much better. He has the look, the attitude and the moves down and most of all, he's gone straight into a feud with Golden Boy. But here's the kicker... what's Ryback's PPV record like? He hasn't won a match on Sunday Nights since Money in the Bank! Is it a case of throwing the Beast from Sin City into the Main Event too early? If last night was anything to go by, maybe not.
Oh, and thank you Cena for showing off your 5 Moves of Doom AGAIN! I've never been his biggest fan, but last night was another match where he failed to impress anyone over the age of 8. Come back soon Punk. You're sorely missed.

And now, it's time.... for the MAIN EVENT OF THE EVENING

STEEL CAGE MATCH
BROCK LESNAR DEF. TRIPLE H
What a great match! The fury and anger between these two was immense and the Lesnar's Knee injury was a nice touch. Without it, Brock would've won this hands down, but making him vulnerable gave Trips an in that he sorely needed. Liking the new cage design, butt not huge on the spray-painted sledgehammer that was hidden in the cage (I mean, seriously. When they were doing the routine checks on the cage, did not one man stop and say "Hey, what's this silver sledgehammer doing here? That could be a problem!"?).
I called this one as a Lesnar W from the word go, because why would Brock Lesnar agree to a WWE contract where he only wins a quarter of his matches? Hopefully, last night's match will put the feud to bed. I'm longing to see Lesnar face a different foe. Perhaps even challenge John Cena to the WWE Championship at Summerslam (Fingers crossed). Lesnar will be out for a while to "rest up his knee" which may even put Paul Heyman out of the spotlight for a while. Shame, because I, like Lesnar, Punk and most of the IWC, am a Paul Heyman Guy

Overall, I'd say last night gave me a lot more than I'd expected. No Punk or Ziggler made me lose some hope in the event, but some decent - great matches really saved this from being another throwaway PPV.

WINNERS & LOSERS

WINNER: Fans of The Shield
Since their main roster debut appearance at Survivor Series, myself and many others have been following the Trio of Rollins, Reigns & Ambrose with great curiosity and delight. Last night's Championship Haul was what we'd all been waiting for. These young men have worked hard to get to this point, from their beginnings as Kings of the Indie Circuit, their times as main players in FCW/NXT and including the last 6 months. Last night proved, without any doubt, that The Shield are a incredible as a team and as individuals, shaking up the WWE Landscape for a long time to come.

LOSER: Daniel Bryan & Kane
Holders of the Tag Team Titles since Night of Champions, this pair have laying waste to any and all opponents who get in their way. They have been a perfect pairing of aggression, domination and technical ability. But now their run is over, thwarted by Rollins & Reigns. A lot of speculation is circling around the future of Team Hell No, all signs pointing to a break-up. So what does the future hold for Big Red & Goat Face. We'll have to wait & see.

WINNER: Triple H
"Hold on there Thom, He lost his match to Brock Lesnar. How could he be a winner?"
It's all business. Paul knows that Brock Lesnar sells. He's drawn in a section of fans that gave up on the WWE around 2004, and he's even drawn in a crowd from UFC. He knows to keep Lesnar around as long as possible, and to let him win 2/3 matches against Hunter Hurst-Helmsley. Paul Levesque is a business man, and with last night's loss, He's made a great deal.

LOSER: Cody Rhodes & The Miz
One former WWE Champion Vs The Future of the Company. And you bury it in Pre-Show? Pfft!
You'd have been better off having the Diva's Title Match to fill that slot. Build the feud up well enough and you still can. In fact, saying that...

WINNER: The Diva's Division
It's about damn time! Throwing AJ into the mix against Kaitlyn is smart. Everyone loves that little minx (A little too much, sometimes) so setting he up for a title shot was genius. Not only that, but you also have her as a heel, which is even better. If you call up a couple or more ladies from NXT, like Paige or Emma, you could have the makings of the saviours of the Divas.

LOSER: Ziggler and his fans
Just as he'd finally reached the apex of his career, he's been sidelined by a dope-head. Terrific. Then his brother loses his job at NXT. Lovely.
Then he has to sit back and watch an I Quit match between 2 men who he should've been clambering up a ladder with. Peachy.
I'm still hoping that match can happen at some other point, but until then, our imaginations will have to do the trick... sigh...

So there we have it, my thoughts on this year's Extreme Rules. Let me know what you think in the comments below. Any and all are appreciated. If you so wish, you can follow me on Twitter @Thomhodkinson. I don't post up a lot of Wrestling-based stuff, but if you want, it's there.

See you guys next time for WWE Payback.
Btw, during the Payback ad, did Randy Orton seem a bit.... heel-ish to you?

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