Views From The Turnbuckle: Extreme Rules Review, Did It Deliver?
Not to be outdone, Ambrose's teammates Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns continued the Shield's dominance in tag team competition, this time ending Team Hell No's 245 day reign as tag team champions. The match was a little bit short, but good none-the-less, as the Shield captured tag gold. Not only did the Shield gain greater prominence by winning the titles, but it also potentially frees up Daniel Bryan for a potential singles run.
From the good to the bad, the number one contenders match for the World Heavyweight Championship between Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger was a drag from start to finish. Despite Zeb Colters brilliant march on the IRS and his torching of the St. Louis Cardinals, the match was a less than stellar affair. Due to Dolph Ziggler's concussion, the match was hastily changed from a ladder match to an "I Quit" match. Instead of the usual feeling out process that typically takes place during such a match, Swagger and ADR got right down to business with the near "quits" taking place almost immediately after the bell rung. I didn't like how referee Mike Chioda seemed to ask either competitor if they wanted to give up after every single high impact move. An "I Quit" match is supposed to be a long, dramatic affair, but this one felt hurried and just like they wanted to rush right to the awkward finish.
The three remaining matches were a variety of mediocrity. Randy Orton vs Big Show was probably the best of the bunch, with the St. Louis red hot for their native son Orton. The return of the punt may also be an indicator in a turn in character (hopefully). Mark Henry vs Sheamus was a basic match, although it was cool to see a strap match, a classic stipulation rarely seen in today's eccentric wrestling culture. Sheamus winning is a step forward from him, but big Mark could really use a big win soon if the WWE wants to keep investing in him as a monster heel. Lastly, Fandango vs Chris Jericho was a very rudimentary contest. Fandango took a loss, and with his popularity looking more and more like a fluke, it will be interesting to see if the WWE continues to push him as strongly as they have been.
Extreme Rules has historically been a very good pay-per-view, but I don't feel like this year's installment lived up to the standards set by its predecessors. The word that keeps coming to mind when I think about this show is ordinary. Nothing really exciting or buzz-worthy took place, with the possible exception of the Shields dominance. I really hope that next year, the WWE a better formula heading into what is one of the most intriguing events of the year.
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