Retro Review: WWE Extreme Rules 2013 – Rise of The Shield

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WWE Extreme Rules 2013 Review
St. Louis, Missouri
May 19, 2013

CHRIS JERICHO vs. FANDANGO

Jericho takes over early with two rolling elbows and a low dropkick, then flies off the top rope with a plancha to the floor. He spends a minute hanging out with fans and Fandango gets the boots up in the corner and follows with a knee strike. The dancer slaps on a side headlock but is shot into the ropes; Jericho tries to roll him up on the rebound but somehow it’s completely whiffed and he falls on his ass. They trade a bit of a simple offense before Y2J hits a diving crossbody from the top. Fandango rolls through and delivers a superkick for two. He heads up top for the diving legdrop, Jericho dodges, hits the Lionsault, but it’s not enough. Fandango with one final flurry and he tries for a sunset flip, but Jericho counters into the Walls. They tease the submission hard, but eventually Fandango gets to the ropes to break the hold. He heads up for the leg drop again, but Jericho has it scouted and counters with a Codebreaker out of midair to win.

A good match I thought could have been much better, but for whatever reason their timing and chemistry just felt “off” for the first few minutes. About halfway through things clicked and they managed to turn it into a fun back-and-forth. Jericho got his win back, so they say, but overall their WrestleMania match was probably a hair better. 

Rating: 5.5/10


DEAN AMBROSE vs. KOFI KINGSTON (c) FOR THE WWE U.S. CHAMPIONSHIP

The Shield come out through the crowd as a unit, but Ambrose sends the other two back so he can handle business on his own. He’s got the hair all slicked back, and clearly isn’t messing around tonight.

Ambrose takes the champion to the mat right away and keeps him there for a moment, showing off some impressive grappling. Kofi fires back with wild rights and lefts as the crowd roars, but runs into a pair of boots and a nasty lariat. Ambrose hits another lariat and begins stalking his prey, dodging a few strikes and applying a crossface chickenwing! The champ breaks the hold by ramming them both into the corner and follows with some short-arm clotheslines and a shotgun dropkick. He hits the Boom Drop and lines up for Trouble in Paradise, Ambrose rolls out of range, but still gets caught with the SOS for a nearfall.

Kofi to the top but Dean levels him with a flurry of punches, then sends him flying with an avalanche double underhook suplex from the top rope. The challenger has a wicked grin on his face now, but runs right into an enzuigiri. Kingston hits a springboard crossbody and nearly wins the match with a roll-up, but Ambrose kicks out. Trouble in Paradise connects, but Ambrose rolled to the floor in order to save himself. Kofi rolls him back in but Ambrose kicks out, dodges another Trouble in Paradise and connects with the Dirty Deeds! 1…2…3. New champion.

This is about as good a U.S. title match that you’re ever going to see in less than 7 minutes. Both guys worked hard and the action never stopped from start to finish. By the end it felt like Kofi was fighting for his life. JBL called him out on commentary for not taking the count-out victory and retaining his title, and it immediately came back to bite him. The desperation Trouble in Paradise flailing into the ropes, and Dean’s delivery of the Dirty Deeds was tremendous. It was the right time to put the belt on him and take the Shield, who were already blowing up, to the next level. This could have been an instant classic if given longer.  

Rating: 6.5/10


SHEAMUS vs. MARK HENRY IN A STRAP MATCH

Henry stands on the strap trying to look intimidating, so Sheamus pulls it out from under him and dumps the big man on his ass. He goes right after the knee and shoulder with heavy stomps, hits two corners, but Henry drops him with a shoulder tackle. He hogties the Irishman and drops him around the ring hitting three corners, but Sheamus drops him over the top rope to reset the match.

Henry wraps his opponent in the strap and body slams him. I’m not sure what that does, but there it is. He hits him with the strap a few times and goes for the corners, but didn’t realize Sheamus was also tagging the same corners as he went along, and had to stop and deal with him. Now it’s Sheamus’ turn to unload with shots from the strap. He gets to three corners, but is caught with a powerslam.

They fight outside and Sheamus ties the World’s Strongest Man to the ring post, then slams his shoulder into it several times. He begins his slow crawl around the ring and gets to three corners. Henry tries for the World’s Strongest Slam, but Sheamus slipped out and delivered a Brogue Kick, then fell into the fourth corner to win.

Not bad, but largely boring. I’m a fan of Strap Matches and thought this had potential, but never got out of first gear. I liked the finish, I’ll give them that.

Rating: 4/10


— AJ Lee talks to her boyfriend on the phone backstage before running into Kaitlyn. They take passive aggressive jabs at each other and end up brawling on the floor until officials celebrate them.

— Zeb Colter comes out and does a long, rambling promo about the U.S. government using the IRS to profile people like him and take advantage of Real Americans like himself. He trashes St. Louis because their baseball team has too many Latinos. I was bored within the first 15 seconds but it just kept going on, and on, and on…

ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. JACK SWAGGER IN AN “I QUIT” MATCH

Swagger attacks with a kendo stick right away and thows Del Rio into an exposed piece of the barricade. They brawl into the steps, into the ropes, and Swagger continues to use the kendo stick, and the referee constantly askes if they want to quit. Literally every 15 seconds, sometimes more, he asks it into the microphone in the same monotonous way.

Swagger hangs him up in the ropes and blasts him with the kendo at least two dozen times, but del Rio refuses to quit. Ricardo helped get him free and he surprised Jack with a cross armbreaker over the top rope, but again he used the stick to get free. “Welcome to Jack Swagger’s America!”, he screams. Okay bud. Whatever you say.

He turns his attention to get a steel chair and del Rio hits an enzugiri, and a series of clothelines. ADR with a nasty superkick. Now it’s his turn to use the kendo stick, hitting his opponent with it several times before delivering a backbreaker. Swagger counters the armbreaker into a massive uranage slam. He hits a running splash in the corner and a gutwrench powerbomb, but it’s not enough.

Swagger is getting frustrated, but goes back to the well hitting a second gutwrench powerbomb. Del Rio still refuses to quit, even when he gets put in the Patriot Lock and is flailing around the ring in pain. Swagger grapevines the hold making it even worse. Zeb Colter throws a white towel into the ring and claims Ricardo threw it. He calls the match a forfeit in favor of Swagger, but another referee runs down and explains to him what happened.

Instead of just resetting it, the referee asks for a monitor and asks to see a replay. After watching it back he THEN decides to restart the match… Del Rio barely pulls himself to his feet using the ropes, and Swagger goes right after him with stiff kicks to the knee and the ankle. Del Rio hit a superkick to the elbow then floated into the cross armbreaker, wrenching away on the hold. Swagger tries to power him up, but Del Rio just reapplies the hold even tighter, and Jack is forced to quit.

Eh… This is one of those times where objectively, I thought both wrestlers did a great job and worked really hard to put together a good match. I just wasn’t invested in it at all. The pre-match promo from Colter took the air out of the building. The referee constantly asking for both guys to quit went beyond annoying, and actually made me turn the volume off after awhile. All of that made 11 minutes feel like 30 minutes. It was really awkward having Colter do anti-immigration promos while showing a bunch of clips of white people in the crowd looking bored as hell. I really don’t think the two wrestlers involved actually had anything to do with it being a mediocre end result. Neither guy jumps off the page to me generally speaking, but this was a rare time where I actually thought Del Rio was doing a great job as the babyface, and sold his ass off. Oh well. 

Rating: 5.5/10

DANIEL BRYAN & KANE (c) vs. THE SHIELD (ROMAN REIGNS & SETH ROLLINS) FOR THE WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

We’re told this one is to be fought under Tornado rules, so I expect this to be wild. Bryan and Rollins go right after each other with wild rights and lefts while the two bruisers size each other up, and end up brawling around at ringside. The Shield get the first upper hand putting the boots to the Big Red Machine and getting him up for a double superplex.

Bryan counters a top rope powerbomb with a Frankensteiner, then does a suicide dive taking out both Shield members on the floor. The champs run wild with Yes Kicks in opposite corners, which brings the crowd to life. They hit Reigns with a sideslam/lariat combo and Kane flies off the top rope with a diving lariat to Rollins. Bryan follows with the Flying Headbutt, but Reigns saves the match.

Bryan applies the Yes Lock and nearly has him put away, but Rollins springboards all the way across the ring to break it up. Chokeslam from Kane. Spear from Reigns. Everybody is down. The Big Dog stomps a hole in Bryan before throwing Kane hard into his own partner. Rollins with a flying knee strike from the top rope. Kane hits a second spear on the big man, but this time it’s Bryan to save the match at the last second.

Bryan fires up with Yes Kicks to Reigns, and the crowd goes insane. He counters a roll-up with the Yes Lock, but Reigns gets free and throws him into another knee strike from Rollins on the apron. He goes to the top and Reigns puts Bryan on his shoulder, holding him there for a nasty diving knee to the back of the head. 1…2…3.

I’m gonna say exactly the same thing that I said about the Ambrose/Kingston match. This was exactly as awesome as it possibly could have been, given that they only had 7 minutes to put together a championship match. The Shield all proved on this show that they could deliver awesome performances in very little time. Another good match that could have been a great, great match if given proper time. But at the same time, it didn’t feel like they really got cheated. Had this been on TV, it probably would have gone over over like gang-busters. 

Rating: 6.5/10

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— Dean Ambrose rushes the ring and the new champions all pose together with their three titles held high into the air. Jerry Lawler poses the question – who can stop the Hounds of Justice?


RANDY ORTON vs. BIG SHOW IN AN EXTREME RULES MATCH

Orton goes for the kendo stick right away and tries to chip away at the giant, but Show takes him down in one punch and easily breaks the stick across his massive knee. Orton gets a second kendo stick and this time goes after Show’s knees, but again the big man murders him with an overhead chop, and snaps it over his knee. He lays in another big chop, but Orton wriggles free and sends him flying into the ring post.

We have a ladder. The Viper cannot get any momentum going as Show easily puts him back down every time he gets close to rallying. This goes on for several minutes as Show slows things down, bludgeoning his opponent with knee strikes, splashes in the corner, nerve holds, etc. Total dominance. Orton eventually catches him with a low dropkick to the knee, fires up and… gets caught by a chokeslam from the second rope.

Show sets up two chairs in the corner and puts the ladder in between them. The Viper is crushed with a sidewalk slam and placed on the ladder – and I think you can see where we’re going with this – but Show crashes and burns with a top rope splash and turns the ladder into scrap metal. Orton drags his frame up into the ropes and delivers a Hangman’s DDT and starts to fire up the crowd. He looks for the RKO and gets it – hell of a sell from Big Show, who somehow kicks out at two-and-a-half.

Orton is absolutely livid and can’t believe his opponent kicked out of the RKO. He grabs a chair and leaves a few bruises on the giant’s back, stalking him around the ring. Show takes a chair shot to the ribs and doubles over, but saves himself with a monster spear. Both are slow to get up. Orton kicks his opponent in the face hard and delivers a second RKO on top of the chair. He’s starting to hear voices and backs into the corner, as the crowd goes crazy. PUNT KICK DELIVERED! 1…2…3!

This was so, sooooo much better than I expected it to be. Orton sold his ass off early on and made Big Show look like a genuine monster. I thought Show also did a great job keeping the pace up, and keeping things interesting, while admittedly I thought they might have a problem keeping things from grinding to a halt. I was actually surprised by Show kicking out of the first RKO, and I thought everything from that point on was tremendous. The crowd reflected that as well. 

Rating: 7/10


JOHN CENA (c) vs. RYBACK IN A LAST MAN STANDING MATCH FOR THE WWE CHAMPIONSHIP

Cena spends the first few minutes trying and failing to overpower his opponent, as Ryback easily takes him down with shoulder tackles. John eventually takes him down with a shoulder tackle of his own, but the big man immediately popped back up and leveled him with a lariat to the back of the neck. Military press slam. Deadlift powerbomb. Total dominance from the challenger.

Ryback eventually gets thrown to the floor and Cena hits a backpack stunner, before goes crazy with right hands. He went for another shoulder tackle but Ryback threw him overhead through a table! Cena gets up by 9 and hits a sit-out powerbomb, then delivers the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He tries for the AA but Ryback shook him off and hit a spear.

Cena won’t stay down and jumps on him like a monkey. The announcers play it off like it’s a sleeper hold, but he’s literally just hanging on to him, waiting to be slammed into the mat. Which he is. The champ looks in the STF and holds on to it until Ryback actually passes out. Eventually he breaks it and sets up a table, but turns around into a facebuster. The big man goes for Shellshock, Cena struggles free and hits the AA through the table!

Ryback barely gets up by 9 and pretty much right away delivers Shellshock. Alright then. Cena uses the ropes to break the count at 9. They fight outside and Cena kicks a chair into his opponent’s face, then spears him through the barricade. Both guys are down. They’re up at 9 and start fighting out into the arena. Ryback somehow removes a section of the barricade and smacks the champ with it.

Cena rallies back and locks in a sleeper, properly this time. It’s still not enough so he puts the big man through a table with a diving elbow drop off the scaffolding. That’s not enough either. Cena stalks him with a fire extinguisher and probably gives him some cold burns. He goes for the AA off the stage, but Ryback picks him up and spears him through the entrance set. If you’re reading this in July 2019 or shortly thereafter, it’s almost exactly the same spot from Raw where Strowman put Lashley through the lighting grid, but with way less pyro. Cameras finally get backstage and they’re both knocked out, buried under rafters and electric equipment, with glass everywhere. EMTs arrive and put both guys on stretchers. This one is a No Contest.

The crowd didn’t like the finish as soon as they realized they weren’t getting a real winner and loser. I don’t really blame them. WWE at this point kept doing all these things to keep Ryback “safe”, so he never had to lose clean, or in this case lose at all, but they did it so many times he never actually won the big one, and eventually people just stopped caring. This match was okay, and at times I’d even call it pretty good, but also lagged in places and the crowd lost interest for quite a bit of it. On the plus side, Ryback really did look unstoppable, especially in the first half of the match. The problem, again, was the finish. If they had trimmed about 5 minutes off the run time, and pulled the trigger on Ryback winning, it would have been much better. They had already fed CM Punk’s title reign to The Rock at this point, and completed the transaction with Cena beating Rock at WrestleMania, so there really was no reason not to do it. 

Rating: 6.5/10


BROCK LESNAR vs. TRIPLE H IN A STEEL CAGE MATCH

Triple H attacks the Beast while he’s making his entrance, slamming him into the cage. The brawl spills inside the ring and the match begins, with Lesnar throwing his opponent overhead into the cage, crumpling to the ground. He continues to bash his head against the metal over and over again until the Game is lying on the ground, picks him up and hurls him back into the cage. Effortless carnage.

Slam into the cage. Slam into the cage. This goes on for some time, in between Lesnar doing laps in the ring, or mocking the fans, not taking things seriously at all. Hunter responds with a few stiff right hands, but is immediately suplexed. Slam into the cage. Slam into the cage. Hunter comes back again with a low dropkick to the knee, then ducked a splash sending the Beast into the cage. Brock is right back in control with a running powerslam, but his knee is know completely shot as he screams out, telling Paul he heard something “pop”.

Triple H hears it and goes right after the knee with stomp after stomp, for the first time having a real opening. He tries for the Pedigree but gets caught in the Kimura instead. Lesnar is actually worried now and tries to escape the cage out the door the first chance he gets, but the Game chop blocked his knee. He almost escaped himself, but Heyman slammed the cage door into his face, knocking him back into an F5 from the Beast Incarnate.

Lesnar demands a chair and is given one. Heyman locks the door and now has the key, as his client unloads on the Game with shot after shot from the chair. He’s cocky again and continues to stalk him with the chair, taking several minutes to slowly stalk him around the ring. Eventually Triple H catches him with a knee lift, and delivers a Spinebuster on the chair. He goes nuts with chairs hots of his own to the knee, but is clearly in pain and may have busted ribs and a screwed up shoulder.

Heyman screams for Hunter to “please top” as he dropped elbows and knees on the injured knee of the Beast, who can barely limp around the ring at this point. Lesnar still manages to lock in the Kimura, but is slammed into the corner to break the hold, and Hunter goes right back to the knee with a dropkick. The Figure Four is locked in and Hunter punches away at the injury at the same time, until Lesnar is eventually able to turn the hold over.

Brock climbs the cage with one leg but Triple H throws the chair into his knee, then suplexes him down to the mat. He has a smile on his face and reveals that there is a spray-painted silver sledgehammer hiding in the cage. Lesnar kicks him low while he’s waisting time smiling, grabs the hammer, but Hunter ducks the shot and locks in a Sharpshooter! He hangs on to the hold forever and Lesnar has basically passed out.

Heyman opens the cage and tries to help, but is immediately dropped with the Pedigree. Lesnar is up, and takes a Pedigree himself. 1…2…NO! He’s got his sledgehammer again, but Heyman recovers and punches the Game in the balls. The Beast has the hammer and drills his opponent in the jaw with it, knocking him out cold. Lesnar slowly lifts him up, hits the F5, and this one is over. Lesnar wins.

A good, old-fashioned steel cage beatdown. This was slow-paced and physical as all hell. Lesnar dominated 80% of the action, if not more, and used the cage well as a gimmick. It really felt like they were trapped in there together, and were big enough to make throwing each other into the steel mesh over and over again look believably painful. I didn’t mind Lesnar needing help to win, especially after, if you want to be technical, Triple H also “cheated” and hid a sledgehammer on top of the cage. While the crowd wasn’t always popping off at every spot, there was still a general buzz. It wasn’t like the Ryback/Cena match where it felt like they just didn’t care at certain points – this was more like, they knew they had to pace themselves, and knew it was going to be a long, slow haul to the finish line. 

Rating: 8/10


FINAL THOUGHTS

The best thing Extreme Rules ’13 has going for it is that nothing is all that bad. There were several good matches that could have been much better with more time, and some that would have been much better with less time. Big Show & Orton worked their asses off in a solid plunder match, The Shield all won titles, and a great, old school main event saved the PPV from being totally forgettable.

HERE