A card that looks good on paper, starts off strong with an impromptu gauntlet, a strong showing from CM Punk and Mysterio, but falls off a cliff and never really recovers. Edge & Jericho had a chance to save the show but disappointed in a big way, and while the main event wasn't a total disaster it was marred by an embarrassing finish and a slow first half. Don't even get me started on that abomination of a women's "match"...
- CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio
- Cryme Tyme Strap Match
- Extreme Rules World Title Match
- Triple H vs Sheamus
- Extreme Makeover Women's Title Match
- Edge vs Chris Jericho Steel Cage Match
- Last Man Standing WWE Title Match
WWE Extreme Rules
April 25, 2010
— I’m back with another Retro Review in my run through the history of Extreme Rules. This time we’ve landed in 2010 for the second annual event, with John Cena defending the WWE Championship against Batista in a Last Man Standing match. I remember that one and it’s not bringing back great memories, but let’s see what the rest of the card has to offer.
— Triple H’s music hits but he doesn’t come out. We head backstage where Sheamus is beating down The Game as a half dozen officials attempt to separate the two. Sheamus smacked him with a lead pipe, knocking him out cold.
— The Miz and Big Show, with both sets of WWE tag team belts, come out and brag about Bret Hart having to call them the greatest tag team in history after a recent match with Davey Boy Smith Jr. Miz demands real competition, and out comes Teddy Long to announce a non-title match against his surprises challengers… Miz keeps cutting him off and talking trash, so Teddy continues to add challengers and now we have a gauntlet match!
THE MIZ & BIG SHOW RUN THE GAUNTLET
So the stipulation is that the champions will continue to face challengers, and whoever defeats them will get a shot at the titles tomorrow night on Raw.
R-Truth and John Morrison are out first and actually got a tremendous reaction from the Baltimore crowd. Morrison shows off early with some dropkicks and a series of snap armdrags, taking it to MIz with some great double team offense.
Big Show tags in and swats Truth away like a fly. Truth keeps running into him and having zero effect, slowing things down for a beat as the giant worked him over. Eventually Morrision gets the hot tag and manages to climb up the big man and put him in a mounted triangle choke over the ropes. The referee ended up disqualifying him because he wouldn’t break the submission.
Mark Henry and MVP are the second team out to face the champions. Big Show is out on the floor clutching at his injured shoulder after being trapped in the ropes for so long. MVP drops Miz with a few knee strikes and the Ballin Elbow, but Show returns..and gets sent over the ropes by Henry. MVP hits the Playmaker on Miz and has the match won, but Big Show hit him with a KO Punch and the referee counts the three.
Bret Hart’s music sounds and the Hall of Famer leads the troops (Natalya, Tyson Kidd and Davey Boy Smith Jr.) to the ring, and starts barking orders. The Hart Dynasty kicks Show to the floor and destroys Miz with a top rope Hart Attack, getting the win!
While I’m not giving this seriers of matches an official rating, the segment as a whole was a lot of fun. The actual opener with Morrison and R-Truth was a decent little sprint with good work from both teams. The crowd was really into everything, and popped huge for Bret Hart leading his boys to the ring to get a bit of revenge.
I give this an unofficial “segment rating” of 7.5/10.
CM PUNK vs. REY MYSTERIO IN A HAIR MATCH
I remember this rivalry being really good back in 2010. A year before at the first Extreme Rules, Punk was positioned as a huge star with a clean win over Umaga, and later cashing in Money in the Bank to win the World Heavyweight Championship. Mysterio was in the middle of a personal rivalry with Chris Jericho at the time.
In a previous encounter Mysterio retained his mask, and avoided being forced to join the Straight Edge Society, so this time around it’s Punk’s hair that is on the line.
Mysterio starts big with a headscissors on the floor that sent him head first into the apron. He tries for an early 619 but Punk counters and goes for an early GTS – no dice for either man. The interference came into play within minutes, with Serena Deeb and Luke Gallows taking cheap shots on the outside while their cult leader distracted the referee.
They slow things down for a few minutes, until Mysterio rolled through a sunset flip powerbomb and dropkicked him in the face. The momentum didn’t last long after yet another big right hand from Gallows on the floor. That was kind of the theme of the match. Rinse, wash, repeat.
Punk took his time picking apart the lucha star with some great offense, including an Argentine Backbreaker and the Gory Special, busting out some classics. Eventually the ref has had it with the interfernce after Rey is screwed over for like, the 13th time, and ejects both Serena and Gallows from ringside.
Mysterio with a baseball slide to the back of the objecting Punk, followed by a glorious springboard moonsault all the way to the floor. Back in the ring he went for another springboard moonsault, but this time Punk caught him right in the gut with a high-angle dropkick. He went for the GTS looking to put things away, but Rey countered and eventually connected with the 619.
Before he could make the cover, a masked man emerged from under the ring and rolled a chair into the ring, distracting the referee while he nearly decapitated Rey on the outside. Punk rolled him back in, hit the GTS and made the cover to keep his glorious, glorious hair.
This was a really well built match. You run the risk of annoying the crowd with so many blatant interferences, but in this case they responded well to everything Serena and Gallows did, and it just built more heat on Punk every time. They stayed hot for most of the match, and the surprise of the mysterious masked man was a serviceable way to protect Mysterio in losing to extend the program further, while giving Punk an “out” to keep his hair. They always had good chemistry working together.
SHAD GASPARD vs. JTG IN A STRAP MATCH
We’ve gone from CM Punk vs. Umaga in a strap match in 2009, to the former Cryme Tyme partners one year later. The crowd is completely dead as Shad bullied his former partner around the ring with ease, hitting three of the four corners before JTG dropped him over the ropes. He flies off the top with a Fameasser and manages to get to three posts himself, but Shad threw him over the ropers like a sack of potatoes.
I’ll give them this, they are laying in some sick shots with the leather strap, and Shad is coming off like a total monster, even if the crowd really doesn’t seem to care.
The finish is a little gimmicky, as Shad hung up JTG with the strap and basically carried him on his back around the ring while touching the corner posts. But every time he got to a corner, JTG also tagged the corner, and before they got to the fourth post, JTG dropped him with his finisher and hit the post to win.
I honestly thought they both worked hard and did everything right to execute the story they wanted to tell, but if you don’t really take them seriously as a tag team for years on end, there’s really no reason for the crowd to care about their breakup. Some of the strap shots got an okay reaction, but the dead crowd really hurt the overall energy.
JACK SWAGGER (c) vs. RANDY ORTON IN AN EXTREME RULES MATCH FOR THE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
I remember literally nothing about Swagger’s title run, so I’m vaguely interested in seeing what he can do with one of the most consistent top guys in the history of the business. Who knows, maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised.
The champion enters to a smattering of boos. He immediately takes Orton to the mat and does a bit of gator-rolling, controlling the first few minutes with some impressive grappling. He actually dominates almost the entirety of the match, in reality, as Orton only got brief flurries of offense and was grounded with suplexes and amateur takedowns over and over again.
As an exhibition to make Swagger look like a technical machine, this was excellent. As an “Extreme Rules” world title match? Not so much. The fans seemed to echo that mentality and were largely quiet until things really started to pick up in the last few minutes.
Heading towards the end they start bringing out the toys, as Orton blasts the champion with a trash can numerous times, and hits him with the title belt. He starts stomping away at the appendages and sets up for the Hangman’s DDT, nailing it. The Viper coils but sees a steel chair and decides to set it up in the middle of the ring. He tries for a running RKO into the chair, but Swagger countered and sent him back first through it instead. Gutwrench Powerbomb. 1…2…3.
As a wrestling match this really isn’t too bad. Like I said, Swagger looked tremendous and it’s not lost on anyone that he basically dominated one of WWE’s greatest stars with ease for a bulk of the match, and then pinned him clean in the middle of the ring to retain the world title. The crowd didn’t care at all, but on paper they really did everything they could – at least right here on this one night – to make Swagger look like a strong heel champion.
I was a bit disappointed as they didn’t really utilize the Extreme Rules stipulation, and the rare spots they did plan out involving weapons weren’t altogether that creative. The match isn’t bad, but it did drag in places and was marred by a non-receptive crowd.
TRIPLE H vs. SHEAMUS IN A NO HOLDS BARRED MATCH
Sheamus comes out first and demands that he be declared the winner via forfeit. Doctors announce backstage that Triple H will not compete tonight, but The Game blows past them and makes a beeline for the ring, injured arm and all.
Some heavy brawling to get things started as Triple H comes out swinging, taking him all around ringside and crashing through everything not nailed down. Sheamus responds with equally powerful blows, and both guys are really swinging for the fences. This feels really personal, and I’m loving it.
They didn’t do anything to reinvent the wheel, in terms of laying this one out. Sheamus targeted the shoulder with every move and it kept him in total control of the offense for most of the match, with The Game struggling to fight his way back, in theory getting the fans behind him a bit more with each attempt. Pretty simple structuring.
A little too simple as it turns out, as Sheamus brings the match to a grinding halt over and over again, and the fans just aren’t responding to it. Perhaps because this is the second “extreme” match that has made no effort to be extreme.
After an eternity Sheamus gets his hands on a lead pipe, and smacks it upside The Game’s head, but only gets a two-count. Hunter tosses him over the ropes and fights back with a kendo stick, leaving bright red welts all over his body, before smacking him right between the eyes. He tries for a Pedigree on the stage, but gets back body dropped over head onto the metal, wrenching his injured arm in the process.
Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick on the floor and slowly drags Triple H all the way back to the ring, before delivering a second Brogue Kick. Instead of going for a cover he just stands there for some reason with a stupid look on his face. The Game gives him the DX crotch chops, and Sheamus responds with a third Brogue. He hits a fourth Brogue Kick, and finally pins the man to win.
I really liked the first couple of minutes, and the last couple of minutes. Everything else in between basically slowed to the speed of watching paint dry. They did very little to keep my attention, and I actually yelled “PIN HIM YOU MORON!” at the TV when he just stood there for hours after hitting his finisher twice. At least the strap match was short…
— After the match medics and officials helped Triple H walk up the entrrance ramp, until Sheamus came back out and Brogue Kicked him for the fifth time. Time to spend more time on this segment as they have to load him up on a stretcher and wheel him out…
— Edge is interviewed backstage and promises he won’t let Jericho escape the cage tonight in their match. He’s not even going to try to escape. This ends tonight.
MICHELLE MCCOOL (c) vs. BETH PHOENIX IN AN EXTREME MAKEOVER MATCH FOR THE WWE WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Oh no… We’ve got Vickie Guerrero and Layla at ringside for this one, and tables full of makeup and fashion products sitting out in front of the commentators. Lipstick and foundation are the “extreme” weapons these women will be allowed to use in this championship match.
This is a champions… match…
Beth bullies the champion out to the floor and Layla tries to hit her with a broom in the slowest swing of anything in recorded history. Phoenix of course chases her around the ring and runs right into a can of hairspray shot into her face, and suddenly McCool is back in control.
Oh cool, an ironing board gets dropped into Beth’s chest. Vickie and Layla try to restrain the champion and Michelle accidentally hairsprays her own friends. Beth puts her on top of a table and then just sort of… knocks the table over, I guess. She starts hitting her with a plastic toy bucket, because her more effective fists have apparently stopped working.
Yeah, I’m done. There’s a few more minutes of nonsense before Beth hits the Glam Slam and wins the title. I hate everything about this match.
— Chris Jericho is interviewed backstage and questioned about losing to an NXT rookie last week, and says it doesn’t matter because Heath Slater is a no-name jobber and Jericho is a big game hunter. The war between him and Edge ends, and it ends tonight.
EDGE vs. CHRIS JERICHO IN A STEEL CAGE MATCH
Let’s see if two of the all-time greats can save this sinking ship in the eleventh hour… Edge is coming into the match with an injured ankle after Jericho smashed it between the ring steps a few weeks back, so that’ll more than likely be the story here.
We’re startin’ slow, again. After some explosive offense early on from Edge, he missed a spear and crashed into the cage, and Jericho hit his triangle dropkick smashing him back into the cage. From there it’s Rest Hold City. I mean what feels like 10 minutes have passed and it’s all Jericho just working a few holds, and Edge every once and awhile showing signs of life.
After one of his many comeback attempts finally work, Edge hit a big running boot in the corner and could have climbed out of the cage, but instead looked around like a psycho and lined up for the spear. Jericho dodged the spear and the two struggled by the door, with Edge trying to keep him in the ring.
Jericho finally shakes off Edge and walks out of the cage, makes it halfway down the ring steps… and goes back. Are you kidding me? He grabbed a chair and did the worst attempt at swinging it at a person you’ll ever see, and Edge of course caught him with a spear. Does anyone care that the world title is on the line?
Because Jericho intentionally decided not to end the match, this went on for another eternity as they went back to the same formula with Edge trying to fight his way back. Instead of winning the match himself he just kept the cage door open and mocked Jericho for not being able to crawl to the floor.
Edge smashes his ankle in the cage door and stomps away at it, while Jericho screams out “no more, please!” and is actually crying like a baby. Finally he spears the man, makes the cover, and ends their rivalry.
That last sequence with Edge basically torturing Jericho was fantastic, but I expected more from these guys especially given how good they were during this time period. They went 20 minutes and nothing happened! I’m all for slow-paced, old school style matches, but you can’t come at me with a program this hot, between two guys who are supposed to be trying to kill one another, and then go out there with all the intensity of a game of checkers.
Especially if I’m supposed to believe that both of these guys are so obsessed with hurting each other that they would intentionally throw the match just to go back and inflect some more moderately dosed out pain? I don’t think so. I stopped caring about the outcome the minute Jericho stopped caring about the outcome.
JOHN CENA (c) vs. BATISTA IN A LAST MAN STANDING MATCH FOR THE WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
Oh no… I remember hating this match because of how it ends, but admittedly I don’t remember anything else about it outside of what I considered, at the time, one of the worst endings to a main event PPV match that I had ever seen. Let’s see how it stacks up a decade later.
Cena starts with a few big suplexes but quickly gets taken down with a few massive shoulder tackles and a running forearm that knocked his lights out. Batista goes after his left knee with multiple chop blocks, then wraps it around the ring post and smashes it with a steel chair. We have our first count of the match, as Cena gets back to his feet by 7.
Both guys collide and we’re already at the point where they’re both dead. Cena hits a shoulder tackle, they both corpse for an 8-count. Batista hits a clothesline, they both corpse for a 9-count. Literally nothing has happened to merit this level of exhaustion from two world class athletes.
Finally Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment on top of a steel chair. He sets up for a diving leg drop, but Big Dave sent the referee into the ropes to knock him down. The spear connects, and again we get a count. A second spear connects, and this time it’s only John who is down for a count of 8. All sorts of stuff is removed from under the ring including a tool box full of stuff, and a table.
Cena catches him in the STF suddenly, but wouldn’t you know it he’s positioned perfectly for Batista to kick him backwards through the table he just set up. The Animal is fired up now and delivers a spinebuster into the ring post, then whips John so hard he breaks through the barricade. Somehow he still gets up at the count of 9 though – Batista might actually kill a man he’s so pissed.
He clears the commentary table and drags the ring steps over, setting up for a Batista Bomb through the table, but Cena struggles out and delivers a second Attitude Adjustment sending him crashing through it. This time is Big Match John’s turn to look completely incredulous that his best move through a table still couldn’t get the job done.
He goes shopping under the ring and sets up another table, but Batista shakes off the Attitude Adjustment and delivers another Spinebuster, this time through the table. Still not enough, boys and girls. The challengers hoists him up and delivers a thunderous Batista Bomb, the ref begins his count, but Cena pops back up before 8 again. Somehow. The dude is immortal, I guess.
The champ locks in the STF and The Animal immediately taps out, but this one can’t end in a submission. He looks the hold on trying to choke Batista unconscious. The ref begins his count again, but he’s back up by 9. Cena drags him to the corner and smashes his balls into the post, then starts duct tapping his boots together. Batista realizes what is happening but can’t do anything about it. He must have used the entire role of tape, the ref begins his final count, and this one’s over because he literally can’t stand up.
Yeah. I still hate the finish just as much as I did in 2010. What kind of asshole babyface retains his title that way, much less the closest thing WWE has to Captain America? I’ll even admit they were starting to turn things around and have a hell of a match in the second half, but the finish just let all the air out of the balloon. I actually loved the intensity and the genuine anger at not being able to put each other away, once they really got going. I will never understand this finish. Who benefits from it? Your biggest star just looks like he couldn’t find a way to win without resorting to cheap, bottom of the barrel tactics. Your most convincingly dominant star looks like a complete bitch flailing around the ring with his feet tied together.This was a whole show of WWE not caring how any of their top stars were coming across in their matches.
A card that looks good on paper, starts off strong with an impromptu gauntlet, a strong showing from CM Punk and Mysterio, but falls off a cliff and never really recovers. Edge & Jericho had a chance to save the show but disappointed in a big way, and while the main event wasn’t a total disaster it was marred by an embarrassing finish and a slow first half. Don’t even get me started on that abomination of a women’s “match”…
Killam’s WWE Extreme Rules Retro Reviews: