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KELLER'S WWE EXTREME RULES TAKE
JUNE 7, 2009
LIVE FROM NEW ORLEANS, LA.
LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW
(For the most detailed match descriptions, check out James Caldwell's report. I'll present the key happenings here with my star ratings plus added analysis below.)
BOX SCORE BASICS
Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler introduced the show. Nice set with a big "X" shape above the stage.
(1) Kofi Kingston defeated William Regal, Matt Hardy, and MVP to retain the U.S. Title in 6:00. The four wrestlers decided to perhaps align in pairs, but Regal shoved Hardy into Kofi and MVP right away. Regal set up a Kofi for an underhook suplex off the top rope. MVP climbed to the second rope and was going to get under Regal and lift both for a triple tower spot, but Regal launched just as MVP slipped, so it led to an awkward landing for Regal, but he was fine. Kofi dove onto the heels on the floor a minute and showed off. Kofi got in the majority of the offense. Regal caught Kofi and threw him into Matt. Kofi landed on mat and scored an inadvertent two count until Regal broke it up. MVP went into his finishing sequence on Hardy, but Regal broke it up. Kofi then surprised Regal with his finisher for the win. Nice action to kick-start the energy in the show. (**1/4)
Josh Matthews interviewed Big Show outside the door of his trailer. When Matthews asked his strategy, Show said Cena is the one who needs to worry about a strategy. He said he's going to do worse damage to Cena than he did when he tossed him through a spotlight last month.
They showed Jim Ross and Todd Grisham at ringside who talked about the Rey Mysterio-Chris Jericho feud.
(2) Chris Jericho pinned Rey Mysterio in 14:00 to win the Intercontinental Title. When Jericho was introduced, he didn't walk out onto the stage. Instead, he was at a merchandise stand. He held a Rey mask and complained that he encourages fans to spend their hard-earned money on encouraging his deception. He walked to the ring DDP style through the crowd, blurting out "Don't touch me!" three times as fans got too close to him. He again vowed to tear off Rey's mask. Good action, as you'd expect from these two. Although it took a while to set up, the spot where Rey escaped from the Walls of Jericho by bashing Jericho with a chair was cool. It took Rey a long time to flatten the chair for the spot and it got a bit awkward. In the end, Rey went for a 619 after hitting Jericho with a chair, but Jericho yanked off his mask mid-flight and as Rey covered his face, Jericho schoolboyed him for the win. Rey scurried out of the ring covering his face. Very good match, living up to its potential. Jericho stood in the ring with the IC belt in one hand and Rey's mask in the other. (***3/4)
After a video package aired on the Randy Orton-Batista feud, Matthews interviewed Batista who said he's going to take his pride, dignity, and health. He said he won't stop until he completely wipes out his entire Legacy. Very intense.
(2) C.M. Punk beat Umaga in 9:00 of a Samoan Strap Match. They had a nifty graphic in the upper right corner that lit up an overhead image of a ring every time either Umaga or Punk slapped a turnbuckle. Umaga dominated early. He dropped Punk abdomen-first over the top rope, then kicked him to the floor. He had to somehow then get Punk back into ht ering so he had the slack to hit all four corner turnbuckle pads. Punk springboarded back into the ring and took Umaga down with a flying dropkick. Punk was the first to hit three turnbuckles, but Umaga stopped him by yanking him into his arms for a release one-arm slam. Umaga then walked leisurely to three corner buckles, but when he got near fourth, Punk held onto the bottom rope to prevent Umaga from having the length necessary. He then ducked a charging Umaga who flew over the top rope to the floor. Punk again got near the win, but Umaga went for a Samoan Spike to stop him. Instead, though, Punk ducked and hit the Go To Sleep and then fell backwards to hit the fourth turnbuckle. Okay for this type of match. (**)
Gregory Helms interviewed Christian, who said he's going to miss his friend Tommy Dreamer. He took a dig at his physique. Dreamer walked in and returned the friendly fire. Jack Swagger interrupted just as it began to get intense with a staredown. As Swagger began talking, they just walked away from him which upset him.
(3) Tommy Dreamer defeated Jack Swagger and Christian to capture the ECW Title. Josh Matthews and Matt Striker called this, of course. Dreamer looked emotional as he walked to the ring. Dreamer used a Singapore cane and Christian a trash can lid early. Christian turned on Dreamer with a shot with the lid. Dreamer came back with an overhead suplex using the cane for extra leverage. Dreamer leaped off the ring apron with a trash can in hand and flipped into Christian and Swagger at ringside. Late in the match Swagger set up Drewamer for a suplex. Christian got under them and powerbombed both to the mat, with Dreamer landing on a trash can. An "Oh my God!" chant broke out. Swagger caught Christian leaping at him with a crutch and dropped him face first over an exposed turnbuckle. Dreamer broke a crutch over Swagger's head and then gave him a DDT for the win. Good amount of actions and big spots without being excessive. Lived up to it's billing without grotesque thumbtacks, broken glass, and other geek show stunts. (**1/4)
They showed Chavo Guerrero warming up Vickie Guerrero backstage with some boxing moves. Then Cole threw to Jerry Lawler in the hog pen with about eight young pigs and a bunch of mud. He explained the rules.
(4) Santina pinned Vickie Guerrero and Chavo Guerrero in a Hog Pen mud match in 3:00. Vickie wore a nice yellow dress to the hog pen. Lawler asked why she was dressed up. She said she made it a handicapped match and Chavo was added. That was news to Chavo. Chavo and Santina threw mud at each other. Santina threw Chavo into the attached pen with the little pigs, almost crushing one that hadn't scurried to the opposite corner in fright first. Chavo rubbed Santina's face in the mud a minute later. He then welcomed Vickie into the mud where she got her dress dirty as she moved in for the win. Instead, Santina got up and threatened to throw slop on her. Chavo hit Santna from behind. He threw slop toward Chavo, who moved and it all went over Vickie. Santino threw Vickie to the ground and scored a three count. Vickie was upset with Chavo afterward and she tackled him. They rolled around in the mud as Cole laughed. Harmless WWE-style fun, I suppose. Not for everybody, but kept short.
After a video package on Randy Orton and Batista, Goldust and Hornswoggle made fun of the mud-covered Vickie and Chavo. Chavo assured Vickie everyone was laughing with them, not at them. They walked up to Edge who said, "Just two months away from me and look what you've become." Chavo defended her, saying she was traumatized. Edge said he wanted to talk strategy with his wife. Vickie was upset she wasn't there for him minutes ago. She said for the first time he's going to face Jeff Hardy all alone. Edge yelled, "Do you know who you are talking to?" He said he made her and she's nothing without him. She said he's never cared about her and never has. She broke down and said she needed time to herself. Edge said he can fend for himself, but first he had some advice. He told her to get herself a good divorce attorney.
(5) Batista pinned Randy Orton in 8:00 of a cage match to capture the WWE Title. Orton tried toe scape from the start. Batista kept stopping him from climbing over the top or through the cage door. Orton got very little offense. At 6:00 Orton backdropped Batista over the top rope into the cage. Orton then climbed to the top rope again. Batista caught him and set up a Batista Bomb. Orton held onto the cage, but Batista yanked him free. Orton slipped out and went for an RKO. Batista escaped and hit the Batista Bomb for a sudden decisive win. Short but good pace. (**1/4)
(6) John Cena beat The Big Show in 19:00. What you'd expect here, with methodical attempts at various submission holds, one after another, with Show dominating most of the attempts. At 10:00 Show shoved Cena over the top rope to the floor. Back in the ring he applied an abdominal stretch. At 12:00 Cena escaped and went for an STF, but Show easily blocked it and kicked Cena to the floor again. Cena battled out of a bearhug, then did the You Can't See Me routine. After the Five Knuckle Shuffle, Lawler asked what that was going to accomplish. Show went for a chokeslam, but Cena countered with an FU. Cena rolled Show onto his stomach and again went for an STF. Show elbowed out of it. At ringside Cena shoved Show into the ringpost at 18:00. Show crawled into the ring. Cena leaped off the top rope and overshot and missed on a legdrop. The announcers sold it as if he hit it. Cena wrapped Show's leg inot the middle and lower rope. Cena then applied the front part of the STF. Show's leg immediately snapped free of the bottom rope, ruining that gimmick. Show tapped out anyway. (**)
(7) Jeff Hardy defeated Edge in 21:00 of a ladder match. At 4:00 a spot got botched as Hardy torqued the ladder as Edge threw him into it, and while nothing bad came of it, but it could have been bad. Edge charged at Hardy in the corner with Hardy propped against a ladder, but Hardy moved and Edge flew into it head-first at 5:00. Hardy swing kicked the ladder into Edge. At 9:00 Hardy set the ladder upside down like a "V" and then dropped Edge abdomen first over it. It closed shut like a venus flytrap around Edge. Hardy then hit a Twist of Fate at 10:00. When Hardy climbed a ladder, Edge moved. Edge knocked the ladder over and Hardy leaped off the ladder and held onto the title belt dangling above the ring. Edge yanked him down, and the belt didn't come with him, so the match continued. Hardy landed jaw-first on the edge of the ladder. At 15:00 they took it to ringside. Edge bridged a ladder on the ring apron and ringside barrier. Hardy fought back and put a knocked out Edge on the bridge. He then set up a huge ladder at ringside. Edge got up and met Hardy at the top of the ladder. They tipped over and both bumped onto the bridged ladder. Edge landed more in the middle and the ladder gave in, whereas Hardy overshot the ladder slightly and landed on the mat at ringside and Hardy grasped at his shoulder right away. Back in the ring they exchanged punches, but Hardy shoved Edge who knocked into the ref. Hardy climbed the ladder and grabbed at the belt. Edge climbed another ladder and dove at Hardy. Hardy, though, blocked the spear attempt and turned it into a Twist of Fate out of mid-air. They both landed hard. As they climbed a ladder, Hardy yanked Edge through the rungs of the ladder so he was basically trapped dangling from his armpits. Hardy then grabbed the belt to win as Edge looked on helplessly. (****1/4)
(8) C.M. Punk pinned Jeff Hardy to win the World Hvt. Title in 1:00. Punk cashed in his Money in the Bank ladder match and took advantage of an exhausted Jeff Hardy. He hit the Go To Sleep, but Hardy kicked out. Hardy scored a near fall with a small package. Punk then hit another Go To Sleep for the win. The crowd seemed to feel a bit betrayed by Punk cutting their Hardy celebration short. The show ended with Punk running around the ring celebrating, belt in hand.
OBSERVATIONS, ANALYSIS, AND NITPICKS
OPENING FATAL FOUR-WAY: I wonder if Mr. Kennedy can be blamed for the botched spot on the triple stack suplex attempt that went wrong?... Regal was rough on Kofi in that match and in general showed really good aggression...
JERICHO VS. MYSTERIO: Great opening heel promo from Jericho, and a creative twist to have him start at the merch stand. It's that reverse psychology of the heel telling fans not to buy a mask. Hopefully Jericho's getting a share of Rey's merch revenue given how all-out he is going as a heel to help Rey sell those masks... Jericho damn near showed all of Rey's face when he pulled the mask two-thirds off. I wonder what percentage of WWE viewers have any idea that Rey wrestled in WCW without the mask for a while?... Ross said on Smackdown on Friday and again tonight that Rey told him he's never wrestled someone smaller than him. I wonder how many times Jericho has wrestled someone more than two inches smaller than him and substantially lighter? Rey gives Jericho a chance to wrestle more naturally instead of always having to toss around someone substantially heavier than him. It's gotta be nice for him, but then it's right back to fighting guys at least 20 or 30 pounds heavier than him... At 8:00 Jericho wasn't good at hiding some spot-calling...
PUNK VS. UMAGA: Nice graphic to add a little video game element to the match stipulations (and keep WWE fans from having to keep track of four turnbuckle taps!)... Umaga still never seems in any hurry to do anything, including win matches... Punk's post-win celebration continues to be the best in wrestling... The announcers did a good job putting over Punk's win as a big upset considering the stipulations. A nice boost for Punk as it establishes he's higher than Umaga in the roster depth chart, which is a good thing, as Umaga is merely a decent utility guy...
ECW TITLE THREE-WAY: Nice to see Dreamer given the title win. Dreamer showed some nice emotions, not surprisingly, afterward, tearing up and lingering with some fans with a Tommy Dreamer ECW fan. Striker did a nice job setting the stage as best he could within the parameters of what history WWE acknowledges and putting over Dreamer's win as a big deal. It's only right that his name be marked down in the history books as an ECW Champion...
ORTON VS. BATISTA: Batista's quick win seemed to shock the crowd. They even seemed a bit letdown or just surprised. This might be bad news for Jeff Hardy, though, as WWE likes to give fans something to cheer for so they don't feel upset with the $40-50 spent on these shows... Batista moved around in the match just fine... This could be a short reign with the Ric Flair storyline and Triple H returning leading to a quick turnaround...
CENA VS. BIG SHOW: Plodding match that didn't need 19 minutes dedicated to it... The final minute was really hurt by the fact that Show's leg snapped out of the ropes almost instantly, although on replay they conveniently (smartly) edited that out as not everyone necessarily caught the leg slipping out of the ropes. It was clever in concept for Cena to use the ropes, but he applied so clumsily and then it came out so quickly, a few more dry runs practicing that sequence would have been a good idea. That, combined with Cena totally overshooting on the legdrop off the top rope really put a damper on the finish of an otherwise borderline decent match. It didn't help Cena, either, that fans had to wonder why he didn't, you know, learn a couple more submission holds instead of stubbornly insisting on using the STF to win...
HARDY VS. EDGE: Nice to hear Grisham citing Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon as the "litmus test" of all ladder matches... Nice creative finish for the ladder match, with Edge trapped in the ladder... Overall, a very good ladder match, but it's tough to say it was a classic or one for the ages. It was just another very good in a series of good ladder matches we've seen in recent years... Good final twist with the Punk victory. Not sure how many people were thinking along those lines. I wasn't. I was surprised WWE gave the belt to Hardy with his lack of commitment to renewing, but that made sense to move it to Punk. Smackdown needed a new top babyface other than Undertaker, and with Hardy's days apparently numbered, this elevates Punk. It might also position Punk as a heel who betrayed a friend, so it could be the start of a heel turn. But then Edge would have to turn babyface to give some strength to the babyface side of the ledger...
OTHER THOUGHTS: It's nice to see WWE address the Edge-Vickie marriage. Instead of just dropping it or occasionally referencing that Edge and Vickie are husband and wife, it'd be nice if they found a way to get out of that storyline. It'd have been nice if they had an idea of how they were going to get out of it from the start, as this seems a bit improvised, but it's something...
Jim Ross after a dive to ringside by Rey Mysterio at Jericho: "It looked like Mysterio was in the air for five minutes!
Todd Grisham: "That primitive strength of Umaga shining through, preventing Punk from touching that fourth turnbuckle."
Christian: "I sure am going to miss Tommy Dreamer. Tommy's my friend. I'm gonna miss him. I'm gonna miss riding up and down the roads from city to city busting on each other. I'm going to miss making fun of how when he takes his shirt off he looks like a melting candle."
Tommy Dreamer: "As for my body looking like a melting candle, what does that make yours? The wick?"
Matt Striker: "The long road from Gleason's Gym has finally paid off. Thomas John Laughlin is the ECW Champion and for one moment, all is right in the world."
Jerry Lawler on the Hog Pen match: "This is the type of match where opponents have to look out for number one and try not to step in number two."
Jerry Lawler after the Hog Pen match: "Vickie and Chavo are going to have to walk through a car wash."
Edge: "Tonight it all ends. First, Jeff Hardy, then this sham of a marriage."
Batista after his title win: "This is for you, Ric. This is for you, Ric."
Michael Cole with a slight overstatement: "Big Show wears a ring that is twenty-two and a half inches."
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