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Monday, May 23, 2016

The RAW View: Cody Rhodes & Extreme Rules 2016




Hello and Welcome to the Basement… 

Tonight was the Extreme Rules, which of course aired live on the WWE Network. Because this is only a couple of weeks after Payback, it’s a firm reminder of why having the Network trumps paying for these events on Pay-Per-View!

Before we get to tonight’s events, lets talk about Cody Rhodes, aka Stardust, who asked for his release and stated as such via Twitter on Friday. I saw a lot of comments from people saying the WWE wasted him and that he deserved better…. Better than what? He was a solid wrestler who went up and down the card, having some high-profile matches and feuds while winning several championships. The fact is he’s been on the WWE main roster since 2007, and after 10 years, there’s not much for him to do with the influx of new talent. It’s the nature of the business and he probably knows this. Now he can go elsewhere if he wants to continue wrestling, reinvent himself and then comes back to the WWE down the road. It’s happen before and continue to happen. His brother Dustin Rhodes, aka Goldust, is proof of that.


Anyway Let’s Get To Breaking Down Extreme Rules

First off… Renee Young had a great dress… it was extremely good. See what I did there?

The fun of the night started with the Dudleys heeling it up in the ring only for Big Cass to come down to take them down both verbally and physically. Crowd chanted for Enzo Amore, but he’s still on the shelf with the concussion, but this would’ve been a great spot for him to make his return. Cass looks like a huge star on the rise and you can’t teach that.

Baron Corbin defeated Dolph Ziggler in a no-DQ match, I’ve said it before, but Baron needs to run through guys like Ziggler, who had too much offense in the match. He sells too much for guys much smaller than him, and it’s why he isn’t getting over the way he was on NXT. There was some nice continuity tying this to their match at Payback. Finish came with Baron hitting an uppercut to Ziggler’s groin and hitting the End of Days

The Usos vs The Club match was under Texas Tornando Tag Rules… it wasn’t anything special, lots of brawling and chaos. Finish came with Jimmy Uso missing a splash on Gallows, and landing on the ring bell and the Club won with their Magic Killer finish. Nothing really memorable happened here.

Rusev won the US Title defeating Kaliso via submission. I really liked this match bell-to-bell, there was a storyline reason for Kalisto losing, having strained muscles in his back. Rusev looked big bad and brutal, dominating the match like he should, swatting Kalisto down like a fly. Kalisto did get a hope spot with a nice flurry, but Rusev would not be denied, power slamming him off the top rope onto the outer frame / edge of the ring and locking in the accolade. Both guys got over here, with Rusev looking like a beast and Kalisto looking valiant in defeat

The WWE Tag Team titles remain with the New Day, who were represented in their match with the Vaudevillains with the combo of Big E and Xavier Woods, the weak link of the New Day. Aiden English and Simon Gotch should’ve won this match as dominated two-thirds of the match, had the New Day on the ropes, but then stupidity reared its ugly head, with Xavier of all people kicking out of the Whirling Dervish. Kofi Kingston got involved nailing Gotch with the Trouble in paradise, which allowed Xavier to get the win.

The Miz remained in the Intercotinetnal Champion, pinning Cesaro to retain a chaotic Fatal-Four Way match that included the Quebeccers. Maryse stole the show with her presence at ringside, particularly any time she was leaning forward, you could yodel in that valley. There was a sweat spot of Cesaro hitting Miz with German Suplex at the same time Miz had Zayn set up for an Exploder Suplex. 

The Asylum Cage match between Jericho and Ambrose went way too long. From an aesthetic standpoint, it was just the normal steel cage painted black with weapons hanging above it from a lighting rig, The match rules were that it had to end by pinfall or submission… which seemed pointless, I would’ve thought having a 10-count finish or even the rule being get your opponent in the straightjacket and beat them to the point they said I Quit would’ve been how this match was won. The set up of the weapons was absurd, as some where used for comedic effect, others for just specific moments…. And it exposed the over planning that goes into matches like this when Jericho was LOOKING FOR A WEAPON TO USE when he all he had to do was look down.  The finish came when Ambrose counter a codebreaker, dumping Jericho onto Thumbtacks and then hitting the Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap-T on Jericho for the win. Good lord was this horrible.

Finally we got to the main event, Charlotte versus Natalya in a Submissions match for the Women’s Championship, and Ric Flair is banned from ringside. Thank goodness for that, because Ric’s presence has taken away from many Women’s matches. I did find it funny that the WWE made a fact to point out how over-pushed Charlotte is, having matches on 13 straight WWE Network Events. The match was great, down to basic wear down wrestling, since this match was a submission match, so you had to have psychology and work towards that style of victory, and both women did that. However Dana Brooke came out dressed as Ric Flair, causing a distraction which allowed Charlotte to take the advantage and to lock in the Figure-8 for the submission victory.  I really liked this match and the result continues the story of Charlotte being unable to do anything on her own, and it gets Dana Brooke aligned with folks that can cover her weaknesses.

The night closed with the Extreme Rules match for the WWE Title between Roman Riegns and AJ Styles… this was basically another gimmick match designed to hide the fact that Roman can’t do squat, as they went all around the arena for the first good portion of the match. When they got back to the ring, a ‘knee injury’ was introduced to try and gain sympathy for Roman while showing how big a ‘bad ass’ he is. What really made this pointless was the commentary saying with the knee injury, Roman loses much of offense… but then he ended up doing things he shouldn’t be able to do with a weaken knee. The Usos and The Club got involved, AJ hit two Styles Clashes, one on a steal chair and both of which Roman kicked out. If that moved wasn’t already pointless and buried thanks to Jericho kicking out of it, it is now. AJ went for tor the Phenomenal Forearm but is speared in mid air, Roman get’s the win.

However the event ends with Seth Rollins returning to a heroes welcome, hitting the Pedigree on Roman Reigns and posing with the WWE Title. If Seth is still playing a slimey heel, I’ll be disappointed considering he has all the motivation to be a babyface as it’s clear he’s Roman’s next challenger.

So all that being said… what are my overall thoughts… this PPV was very… sloppy. Somethings I liked,The Women’s Championship match, The US Title Match and the chaotic fun of the Fatal-Four Way plus Seth’s return, but there was a lot that just went beyond the realm of credibility, in particular the Asylum and WWE Championship matches, with others being beyond idiotic decisions, such as the amount of offense Dolph got in and the result of Tag Team title match.

Overall… I’ll give Extreme Rules 2016 a C… pretty much average. So that will just about do it, tomorrow night I’ll be doing the RAW View and we’ll see where things go from here.

Catch ya then.

Smite 12/9/2018