May 3, 2010
Alexander Settee

Extreme Rules 2010, April 25, 2010, First Mariner Arena, Baltimore, MD
Announcers: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, & Matt Striker

After I'd originally heard that it survived the big PPV shakeup, Backlash is in fact dead, replaced this year with Extreme Rules moving from the June slot it was in last year. What hasn't changed though is the idea of doing several Wrestlemania rematches in the top slots on the show, except they'll now all have Extreme stipulations to them. I expect the show to be fine, although these themed PPV's are becoming a bit tiresome as they're forced to shoehorn in gimmick matches whether they fit the angles or not. So let's see what we get.

Opening Match, Street Fight: Triple H vs. Sheamus
HHH fails to show for his entrance, so we cut backstage where Sheamus is beating him down. HHH gets a brief comeback before Sheamus lays him out with his trusty pipe. The match is off for now as HHH is attended to by the trainer.

So instead, we get Miz and Big Show out to the ring. Miz cuts a promo bragging about how great they are and how no other teams are even in their league. Teddy Long comes out to give them a match, saying that if they lose, their opponents will get a future shot at the belts. But Miz keeps talking, and so Teddy adds more teams to the match until we have a Gauntlet Match with any team that beats the Champs getting a Title shot tomorrow on Raw.

The Miz & The Big Show vs. John Morrison & R-Truth
A Wrestlemania rematch kicks the gauntlet off. Miz and Morrison start with Morrison getting a quick rollup for 2. Miz pounds him down and sends him off the ropes, but Morrison goes through the legs and gets an armdrag. Tag to Truth and they nail a double hiptoss and a standing moonsault/legdrop combo for 2. Truth whips Miz off the ropes, but he holds on and tags Show who comes in with a clothesline. After some chops, he tags Miz back in and Miz nails a boot to the face for 2. Miz beats him down for a bit, but Truth comes back with a dropkick and both guys tag. Morrison holds hi own with Show for a bit, but goes to the 2nd rope and gets caught. As Show goes for the Chokeslam, Morrison hooks him around the ropes in a sort of triangle choke. But because itís in the ropes and he wonít break by five, Morrison is disqualified at 3:13. Yes, not only do we have a DQ here at Extreme Rules, but they went with one of the lamer reasons there is to call for one.

The Miz & The Big Show vs. MVP & Mark Henry
So we get the next team out and the match continues. Show is out from that choke, so MVP charges right in and covers, but Show kicks out at 2. Show then blocks a big boot and tags Miz. MVP nails him and gets a quick cover for 1, and then a suplex for another 1. Tag to Henry, who misses a charge in the corner and tags right back out. MVP nails a back suplex and then goes Balliní for 2 with Show making the save. Show then boots Henry and charges MVP who low bridges him and he goes to the floor. MVP then nails the Playmaker on Miz, but from the floor, Show catches him with the Big Right Hand and Miz covers for the 3 count.

The Miz & The Big Show vs. The Hart Dynasty (w/Bret Hart & Natalya)
Now The Harts come charging in and immediately nail Miz with the springboard Hart Attack for the 3 count at 0:12 to become the number one contenders, and of course they would go on to win the belts the next night on Raw. I think this would have been better if they had just done MizShow against the Harts in one match because it looks cheap for a face team to come in and take advantage of a beaten down heel team. Iíll give it *1/2 for the whole gauntlet.

Cabello Contra Nada: CM Punk (w/Luke Gallows & Serena) vs. Rey Mysterio
Apparently the reason for Mysterio not putting his mask on the line here as rumoured is because they felt that would take away all the intrigue because it would guarantee a victory for Rey. So with nothing on the line, it can now go either way. Punk jumps right on him and works him over until Rey comes back with a dropkick. They go to the floor where Rey gets him with a headscissors to the apron. Back in, they trade finisher tries which ends up with Punk nailing a powerslam for 2. Punk tosses him so Serena can get some shots in. Punk gets him back in the ring and hits a slingshot senton for 2. He goes for a sunset flip, but Rey rolls through and kicks him for 2. Punk regains control and pounds Rey down in the corner until the ref pulls him back, and then Luke Gallows gets in his shots. Punk covers for 2 and then gets another 2 off a double underhook backbreaker. Punk hooks a bow and arrow, but Rey escapes and gets on top for 2. Punk clotheslines him for 2, and then drops some legs for another 2. He hooks a Gory Special, but Rey escapes only to get kicked. Punk sets up a powerbomb, but Rey lands on top of him and gets 2. Rey then sends him to the buckle with a headscissors and goes up, but gets crotched. Punk goes for the GTS, but Rey gets away and armdrags him to 619 position. Serena grabs the leg as Rey comes off the ropes to break it up, but the ref sees it and sends both she and Gallows to the back. Punk is distraught at this turn of events and ends up getting dropkicked to the floor. Rey follows with a moonsault, and then gets him in and hits a springboard legdrop for 2. Irish whip is reversed, but Punk puts his head down and gets kicked for 2. Rey hits a springboard senton, but a second try sees him get dropkicked for 2. Punk hits a springboard clothesline for 2. GTS is countered again, to an inside cradle for 2. Punk gets him with a kick to the head for 2, then misses a charge and gets set for the 619 again. The move hits, but a masked man comes out from under the ring and slides in a chair. While the ref gets rid of that, the guy (a resigned Joey Mercury) flapjacks Rey on the floor and then rolls him back in. Punk nails the GTS and that gets the 3 count to win it at 15:59. His post match celebration includes relaxing in the barberís chair to mock Rey, which was cool. Really good match here and it suggests that the feud will continue which Iím all for. ***3/4

Strap Match: Shad Gaspard vs. JTG
So Cryme Tyme came to an end a few weeks back with Shad turning on JTG. Shad is also the one who gets repackaged as a result, suggesting heís the one they have plans for. The rules for the match are that you have to touch all four corners in succession to win. This wasnít going to be good anyways, so why not saddle them with a dumb stipulation? They start with a tug of war which ends with Shad crotching JTG with the strap and touching 3. JTG starts whipping him repeatedly and then touches one buckle before getting backdropped to the apron. Shad touches 2, but canít go further because the strap is too short and JTG is outside holding on. So Shad goes for him, but gets dropped on the ropes. JTG then nails him off the 2nd rope and touches 3 before getting pulled back. Shad works him over with the strap for a bit as the crowd sits there in dead silence. Then we go to the finish, which may as well be cut and pasted from almost any strap match of this type ever. The heel (Shad) drags the face (JTG) around touching the first three buckles, while the face touches them too as they pass by. They fight over the fourth one and whoever is booked to win, in this case JTG gets it first and itís over at 4:41. DUD

Todd Grisham gives us an update on HHH, saying the diagnosis is nerve damage in his arm and that his return for the match with Sheamus is doubtful.

World Heavyweight Championship Extreme Rules Match: Jack Swagger vs. Randy Orton
Swagger won Money in the Bank at Wrestlemania, and then used it to win the World Title from Chris Jericho on the next Smackdown, but heís been booked as a loser since then, losing matches to Orton, Undertaker, and John Morrison since the Title win. Thatís a great way to help out a guy that most fans already donít see as World Title caliber. Swagger takes him down with a front facelock and floats on top for 1. He keeps outwrestling Orton, but Orton finally gets away and nails him. Backbreaker gets 2 so Swagger goes to the floor and grabs a chair. Orton knocks it away, so Swagger wonít get in the ring. He eventually lures Orton outside and sends him to the barrier a couple of times. Back in the ring, that gets a 2 count and then Swagger continues to work him over. He hits a suplex and then a belly to belly suplex for 2. More suplexes follow, but then he runs into a knee and Orton sends him to the post shoulder first. Swagger goes out and grabs his belt, but at this point my video briefly cuts out. I come back with Orton nailing an uppercut, but then taking a spinebuster for 2. Swagger slams him and goes for a pump splash, but Orton grabs the belt and nails him on the way down. Orton then hits two clotheslines and a powerslam for 2. He sets up the hanging DDT, but Swagger gets off the ropes and backdrops Orton to the floor. Swagger grabs a garbage can, but Orton kicks it at him and then nails him with it twice. He rams Swagger to the table and then whips him to the steps. He then lays Swagger on the bottom part of the steps and stomps his head. Back in the ring, he works the Garvin Stomp, but a kneedrop misses. Swagger gets a chair, but Orton kicks him coming back in the ring and then hits the hanging DDT. Orton looks for the RKO, but stops to set up doing it on a chair instead. Swagger ends up countering and dropping Orton on the chair. He then hits the gutwrench powerbomb and that gets the 3 count to retain at 13:46. **1/2 Well, it would seem that Swagger finally gets that good clean win over a big name star, right? But no, just so we know who the real star is and that Swagger got lucky here, Orton drops him with an RKO on the floor so he can walk out while the Champ has to be helped to the back. I really hate this stuff where they do the wishy-washy half assed push for some guys and then scratch their heads wondering why no one gets over. If youíre gonna do something, do it right, which means either go all the way with the guy or donít bother and keep him as a midcard joke. This deal where theyíre doing both at the same time just ends up helping no one.

Street Fight: Sheamus vs. Triple H
Sheamus comes out as Orton is still making his way to the back from the last match and they have a brief staredown which I guess plants seeds for a future feud. Sheamus has his pipe from the earlier attack with him and wants the win by forfeit if HHH canít come out. But sure enough, our hero does come out albeit with his arm hanging limp at his side. HHH attacks, clotheslining Sheamus to the floor, then rams him to the table and whips him to the barrier. In the ring, he nails a spinebuster, but he canít hook the Pedigree due to the arm. Sheamus nails a clothesline, putting HHH back on the floor, and now he goes to work, running him to the barrier. Back in, he works HHH over and gets a few 2 counts. HHH fires back but then takes a clothesline for 2. Sheamus keeps working on the arm and neck. HHH suplexes out of a rear chinlock and they go to the floor again where Sheamus hits a neckbreaker. Sheamus pounds him down some more, but ends up running into a boot. He charges again, but gets run into the post. HHH hits a DDT, but hurts himself as well and canít capitalize. Sheamus hits a backbreaker for 2, and then a powerslam for another 2. He grabs the pipe, but HHH nails him and hits a facebuster. Sheamus gets the pipe again, and this time gets a shot in with it for 2. He sets up the Razorís Edge, but HHH escapes and backdrops him to the floor. HH goes after him, but gets nailed. Sheamus grabs a kendo stick, but HHH drop toes him to the steps and he uses the stick on him. They go to the ramp where HHH tries the Pedigree again, but still canít hook it. Sheamus backdrops out and nails a bicycle kick. He gets him in the ring and nails a second one, but HHH gets back to his feet. Sheamus hits a third one and then a fourth one and that keeps HHH down for the 3 count at 15:50. They go to stretcher HHH out, but heís a man and wants to leave on his feet, so Sheamus hits another bicycle kick and now HHH is leaving on the stretcher whether he wants to or not. For the story they were telling, it went too long, and HHH got too much offence in. I mean the guy was for all intents and purposes crippled, and it still took Sheamus nearly sixteen minutes to beat him. Besides that issue, it was a fine match. **3/4

WWE Womenís Championship Extreme Makeover Match: Michelle McCool (w/Layla & Vickie Guerrero) vs. Beth Phoenix
This is somewhat reminiscent of the Jeff Jarrett/Chyna Good Housekeeping Match from 1999, although I doubt that either of these girls held Vince McMahon up for $100,000 to go through with it. So thereís a table full of make up and various household accessories at ring side for them to use. I guess you donít want to just do the same hardcore match over and over again, but was this really the best idea they could think of? Beth starts off with a quick cradle for 1 and then a 2nd rope clothesline for 2. They go to the floor where Layla tries using a broom, but Beth chases her away. The distraction though allows Michelle to get some hairspray and spray Beth in the eyes to take over. She throws an ironing board at Beth for 2 and then hits her with it again. Layla hands her an iron, but in some sort of wacky miscommunication, continues holding on to the cord so Michelle canít use it effectively and Beth rolls her up for 2. Michelle retains control and gets Beth to the corner and dropkicks it into her for 2. She starts looking for other stuff, but just grabs the board again, but this time Beth dropkicks it back at her. Vickie and Layla get involved again, holding Beth for another shot of hairspray, but Beth moves and they take it which leads to some great acting from Layla. Beth puts Michelle on the table of stuff and then dumps it over. She then hits her with a mop bucket for 2. After setting Michelle on top and going up with her, Vickie and Layla hit her in the leg with brooms and Michelle is able to shove her off for 2. They do a sequence of trading finishers, and Beth hits the Glam Slam, which gets the 3 count and the Title at 6:36. Ĺ*

Cage Match: Edge vs. Chris Jericho
Rules for this one are pin, submission, or escape, although both guys have vowed not to escape so they can inflict as much damage as possible. Jericho stalls getting into the cage, and then stops to grab a chair. Edge dropkicks it into his face through the door and beats him up on the floor before the match has even started. He gets him in the ring and weíre underway with Jericho immediately climbing, but he gets cut off and beat on. Edge slingshots Jericho to the cage, but Jericho hangs on and climbs only to be cut off again. Edge runs him to the cage, but then misses a charge and hits the cage himself. Jericho hits the springboard dropkick and goes to work, hitting a back suplex for 2. He keeps on Edge for a bit until taking a backdrop to the cage. Edge runs wild now with a couple of clotheslines, a flapjack, and an implant DDT for 2. Jericho kicks him coming off the ropes and hits the bulldog. He goes for the Lionsault, missing, but landing on his feet. He climbs, but Edge stops him again, so Jericho hooks him in the Walls. Edge makes the ropes, but thereís no rope breaks at Extreme Rules, so instead Edge uses them to leverage himself out of the hold and send Jericho to the cage for 2. They trade counters leading to Edge hitting a big boot. Edge sets up for the spear, but Jericho avoids it and dives for the door. The chair from earlier is in Jerichoís reach on the floor and he gets it, but Edge knocks it away. Jericho takes advantage though and slams the door on Edgeís head. Jericho has an easy walk out the door, but realizes that Edge is vulnerable and decides to go back in and inflict more damage. He has the chair, but misses a shot and takes a spear. Edge covers, but Jericho kicks out at 2. Edge moves slowly in following up though and takes a Codebreaker, but that only gets 2 as well. Jericho climbs, I guess regretting that he didnít take the win by now, but Edge drags him back in again. They fight on the top rope which ends with Edge getting crotched. Jericho goes over again, but Edge grabs him through the top part of the cage. They go on top of the cage and fight, but that ends up going nowhere as they just climb back down onto the top rope. Jericho then hits him with a springboard Codebreaker, but that only gets 2 as well. Jericho then misses a chair shot and gets sent to the cage three times. On a corner whip, Jericho uses the momentum to start climbing, but holds on and rams him to the top of the cage. Now Edge starts beating on him mercilessly, slamming the door on Jerichoís ankle a couple of times and then wrenching on it while Jericho screams for mercy. This is drawing the wrong kind of hear here as the fans seem sympathetic for Jericho and appalled at Edge. And then Edge hits him with a spear and pins him to end it at 20:00. This was a pretty good match, although the lack of blood in the company is especially glaring in a match like this. ***

Main Event, WWE Championship Last Man Standing Match: John Cena vs. Dave Batista
Cena starts off by shoulderblocking Batista to the floor, and then when Batista gets back in, Cena does it again. Batista grabs a chair, but Cena ducks and then connects with a bulldog and suplex for a 4 count. Corner whip sees Batista get the elbow up and Cena goes down for 2. Clothesline puts Cena back down for 5, while a big boot only gets 3. Obviously no one believes in these counts as finishes, but I like that they do them anyways. Cena gets up and tries the Attitude Adjustment, but Batista escapes, and clips the leg. He goes to work on it, hitting it with a chair for a 4 count. The leg work continues for a bit and then Batista nails a short clothesline for 6 and a suplex for 7. Cena rolls out to try and recover, but Batista goes right after him. A whip to the steps is reversed with Batista hitting, but Cena is down as well. They both get up at 5. Back in the ring, Batista hooks a figure four. TNA star Ric Flair gets mentioned by name here which shows you exactly how concerned they are about their competition these days. Thereís no submissions of course, but the move will wear down the leg some more. Cena eventually reverses, so Batista breaks the hold. Both guys stay down for 6, and then they do a double clothesline for another 6. Cena comes back now with the two shoulderblocks and the Protobomb. Five Knuckle Shuffle hits, but just makes Batista angry more than anything. He goes to the floor where he finds an extra turnbuckle and nails Cena with it. He then gets a chair, but Cena avoids that and drops Batista on it with an AA. Batista does get up at 9 though. Cena goes up for the legdrop, but Batista shoves the ref to the ropes to crotch him. A spear then gets 8, and when Cena gets up, Batista hits another spear for another 8. He goes under the ring again, and this time finds a toolbox, which he dumps out, but thereís nothing there to his liking, so he grabs a table instead. He sets it in the corner, but by now Cena has recovered and looks for the STF. Batista kicks him off and he goes through the table for an 8 count. Cena rolls out, so Batista sends him to the post for a 7 count. He then whips him through the timekeepers pit for a 9 count. He preps the announce table, even making a point of throwing a monitor at Michael Cole, which sadly did no damage. He then bring the steps over so he can do a Batista Bomb, but Cena counters to the AA through the table. Batista barely gets to his feet at 9, so now Cena sets another table in the ring and sets up another AA, but gets countered to a spinebuster through it. That puts Cena down for 9. Batista then hits a Batista Bomb, but again Cena makes it to his feet at 9. He get the bottom part of the steps in the ring now, but Cena drop toes him into them. The STF is hooked, with Batista tapping, which means nothing, but eventually he does pass out. The ref counts, but he struggles to his feet at 9. Cena then trips him up and drags him to the corner, crotching him on the post. He then grabs a roll of duct tape from the toolbox Batista found earlier, and tapes Batistaís feet together. Batista is not out of it, but he canít get up because his feet are bound so heís counted down for 10 at 24:35. To me, this is the kind of stipulation that should definitively end a feud, not set up a rematch at the next PPV. This is a symptom of doing all these theme PPVís where they do stipulations based on the title of the show rather than whether the feud calls for it or not. So I hate the finish here, but it was still a really good match leading up to it. ***1/2

Overall, this was a pretty good show, with mostly pretty good matches, but it lacks a great match to put it over the top. Punk/Rey, Cena/Batista, and Edge/Jericho all deliver some good action and Swagger/Orton and HHH/Sheamus arenít even that far behind. The only things that sucked were the matches that were meaningless anyways, so thatís not hurting the show much. I think thereís enough here to call it a reluctant and unenthusiastic Thumbs Up because it really was a good show, but I have no problem with never seeing it again.

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