Well, Tom and Jim each went 6-2 in picks that had a finish on Sunday night at Extreme Rules. Since the John Cena vs. Ryback match ended in a No Contest (more on that in a bit), we’re throwing that match out. (I mean, who would pick a No Contest in a Last Man Standing match!). So, with a dead even Extreme Rules, Jim maintains his lead with a 20-6 record, to Tom’s 17-9 record. Let’s get to our REACT!
I have alot to say about one particular match, but I’ll start at the beginning of the show and work my way there.
I wasn’t surprised Jericho won (hence my pick of him), and I’m glad that it seems they had a better back and forth match than Wrestlemania. I am still really high on Fandango and hope that WWE stays behind him and doesn’t just kill off his push like they have with so many before him (see: Cesaro, Antonio).
Ambrose winning the US Title setup what was to be The Shield’s night. I thought he’d lose this match by DQ with the other members attacking Kofi, and lead to an eventual title change down the road, but they went with it here. It’s clear that Ambrose has a bright, bright future in WWE, which is no surprise to those of us who watched him as Jon Moxley on the indy scene. First step, first gold, good job Ambrose!
Sheamus and Del Rio each won, makes sense as it keeps two guys strong to challenge Dolph Ziggler when he is back from his concussion. I hope they do something with Henry soon though and keep him as the monster he deserves to be. The guy is money as a beast monster killing everyone in his path!
Of course I love that The Shield won the tag titles. It was time to move them off of Bryan and Kane, and while I haven’t seen Raw yet, I like that they had Bryan snap on WWE.com about losing the titles. You know, losing a title should make you mad, after all, they are supposed to be important right? So, great job there. Reigns and Rollins will make great tag champs and the strong build for The Shield continues. For all WWE does wrong (and they do plenty), they have gotten this right at almost every turn.
Interesting in this day of concussion awareness, and with Dolph Ziggler just legit suffering one due to a kick to the head that they had Orton use the punt kick again as a finish in the Extreme Rules match. Don’t get me wrong, they can play it off that it took something that “extreme” to finish off The Big Show (and I expect they will), and I like it. But, I don’t expect to see the punt kick back anytime soon either...too risky if he hits it flush.
Ok, this brings us to the WWE Title Match. What in the blue hell was WWE thinking here? You have a Last Man Standing match. You have Ryback killing Cena for most of the match (good, a monster heel should look strong, that’s what makes them a monster!). Then you have the huge bump to “end the match”...and it’s a No Contest? Ryback is back to his feet, and it’s a No Contest? Are you kidding me? That’s a crappy ending if it’s on Raw, and people actually paid to see this show and this match and that’s the ending you go with? And then, just to top it off, they put video up on WWE.com afterwards of Cena “refusing medical attention” and walking off on his own power?!?! So, Ryback kills him the whole match, lays him out with a hellacious bump, and he walks away? Does anyone in WWE wonder why people call him “Superman”? I mean, the guy can’t be bothered to sell for anything, and WWE is A-OK with that it seems (and likely writes it all that way, so I can’t even lay that all on Cena). Ryback should have won the title, as the money is in the chase of wanting to see the bad guy get his. Now, you just proved that the bad guy can’t do a damn thing to Cena even after beating the holy hell out of him for the whole match and knocking him out cold. I know they’ve set up an Ambulance Match (stupid gimmick that I’ve never liked) for Payback...but why do I think he can do anything to make Cena even need an Ambulance? He didn’t after that beating? Why should I pay to see that? Oh yeah, I shouldn’t! Does WWE understand they are in the business of trying to make money, not turn it away? UGH. Just stupid stupid booking on that one.
Lesnar winning the main event was absolutely the right call, though I do wish they hadn’t had Paul Heyman be the reason for his win. Lesnar needs to win on his own even as a heel, because that’s the character. He’s that damn good and that tough. If anyone hit the cheap shot to lead to the win, it should have been him, not Heyman, but other than that, well done WWE, you got it right (for now at least).
Unfortunately, I didn’t see the show as I planned to so I am reacting to & giving my opinions based on what I have read only.
As you could tell from my Head 2 Head picks, I was favoring strong heels going over (Fandango, Mark Henry) and it was what keeps the distance between Jim and I in our competition.
The strong points coming out of this show for me are as follows:
1. The continued build and growth of The Shield. WWE is doing it right there and they deserve credit. I will be interested to see who steps up as challengers for the tag titles because Team Hell No was such a strong babyface team that there was no other babyface teams being built up. Maybe it is a good excuse to turn the Primetime Players or pair up two singles guys like Randy Orton & Sheamus or Kofi Kingston & The Miz. I, like Jim, love Dean Ambrose winning the U.S. Title. So deserved.
2. Brock Lesnar winning his feud with Triple H. I still don’t know where WWE is going or what they want to do with Lesnar, but with this matter behind him he can move forward. Maybe an extended feud with John Cena (if Cena loses the title to Ryback in June) or maybe Randy Orton or Sheamus. Whatever Lesnar does, it needs to be big. You don’t sign him and feature him for limited dates unless it can make money.
3. Del Rio being solidified as #1 Contender. As much as I still hope WWE gives us a Ladder Match with Ziggler, Del Rio & Swagger, I have my doubts because of the concussion lingering effects that might be present or could be re-triggered if Dolph goes too hard, too fast. With Ziggler’s legit wrestling background as an amateur (something I cannot recall WWE touting) they could really create something cool between he and Del Rio in a ground-based match that would be extremely safe and of course, play up that Del Rio’s armbar is as dangerous as advertised. We shall see where it goes next.
My weak points:
1. The Last Man Standing outcome. Perhaps they should have had the Ambulance Match on this show and saved the Last Man Standing match for “Payback.” It’s not just the Super Cena issue, it is bass ackwards booking and I cannot believe WWE doesn’t think that it creates an issue with fans that pay for PPVs.
2. Mark Henry & Fandango losing. More than just the difference between Jim and I in the Head 2 Head contest, I think that WWE really should be building up their heels a bit better. Sure, you do have The Shield, but Henry can pull two semi-trucks on Smackdown, yet cannot use leverage in a Strap Match to beat Sheamus? C’mon, man! Fandango is the lesser of the two that I have issue with and I still see him winning the feud with Jericho.
3. Does Jack have any Swagger left? I know WWE used the “instant replay” gimmick with Swagger’s loss here, but he’s now been bested by Del Rio on the big stage in back to back months. WWE has every right to pull back on his push after the DUI and marijuana incident a few months back, but do they want to wipe the slate clean after the time investment put into him & Zeb Coulter?
There you have it. Did you see the show? What thoughts did you have? Leave us a comment below and we’ll respond and engage with you.
Check back later this week for a potential UFC preview ahead of Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 2 and do not forget that next week Tuesday night, May 28th we have our next *LIVE* podcast and interview with one of the big stars of Dragon Gate USA/EVOLVE ahead of the EVOLVE tripleshot on May 30, June 1 and June 2. We will announce just who will be joining us most likely on Memorial Day. Have a great holiday!