At the end of an entertaining Extreme Rules pay-per-view, Daniel Bryan retained his title in a main event that brought many wrestling fans back to the Attitude era.
The match, an extreme rules match, featured savage beatdowns with chairs, kendo sticks and other weapons, a brawl that went through the backstage area to the parking garage, cars being destroyed, a forklift being employed, and finally, a flaming table that Kane went through.
It was the kind of violence in a match that, for the most part, had been toned down over the past decade.
The match was paced very well, and in large part because of the fact that we haven't seen that type of match in a while, it was really refreshing and entertaining. If this era has done one thing, it's made any sort of violence mean that much more. In the Attitude era, we really were desensitized to matches like this, and now it really seems special, as it should.
It should also be noted that that on a card where there was more build to two other matches, this match was the main event. It's partially because of the nature of the match, with the brawl in the backstage and the broken announce table, but it also may have been to send a message to the people who thought that Daniel Bryan's reign would be mismanaged. After all, one of the biggest complains about CM Punk's reign was that he wasn't in the main event enough.
It looks like this feud will continue, as Kane sat up and set off his pyro at the end of the night. The question is where it will go from here. After a match like that, you'd have to think that the next match would have to be something like a Hell In A Cell. If they can put the same passion into the next match that they did into this one, the fans that were clamoring for a shift away from the PG-era matches should be quite happy.
The Rest of Extreme Rules:
** Bray Wyatt beat John Cena in their steel cage match. The match itself was OK. There were times it felt a little disjointed, and the psychology of the match didn't quite mesh. Like, why was Bray Wyatt trying to escape the cage so early in the match, when he had wanted this match in the first place? It's a small thing, but those small things are what Wyatt had excelled at so far in his run.
However, what has everyone buzzing is the end of the match. When it looked like Cena would escape the cage, the lights went out, and when they came back in, a kid stood there (I believe this was actually the kid from the Cam Newton Play 60 commercial). The kid, in an exorcist-like voice, sung to Cena, and when Cena backed away horrified, he fell into a Sister Abigail from Bray Wyatt. Later in the pay-per-view, the Wyatts did a promo, and the kid said “Follow the Buzzards” in the same weird voice. The voice makes me think that they've taken the “brainwashing” aspect of Wyatt's gimmick, and taken it to a whole new level. If that's the case, I think it could end up being a problem pretty soon. One thing that's worked really well for Bray Wyatt is that while he's a cult leader, he's been somewhat grounded in reality. If he suddenly has some sort of supernatural powers, it could end up hurting the Wyatts. So hopefully they aren't going that far with him.
** The Shield won cleanly over Evolution in a strong match. I’m surprised, because in my PPV prediction column, that was the one finish I really couldn’t see happening, as all three members of Evolution have now looked terrible over the past month or so.
This match was pretty good, though in my eyes, not quite as good as the Shield’s match with the Wyatts at Elimination Chamber. There was a point where it got a little bit too spotty. However, some of the spots were pretty incredibly, including Seth Rollins diving off of a balcony onto Triple H and Randy Orton. Batista ended up taking the pins after Roman Reigns speared him. After taking the fall both at Wrestlemania and now Extreme Rules, I wonder if he’s going to take some time off to promote Guardians of the Galaxy, because otherwise I don’t get it.
** Paige won in a decent match against Tamina. I'm still not completely pleased with how they're building her, and I think it's starting to show. As we get farther away from Wrestlemania weekend, the reactions seem to get worse. Granted, tonight might have been just because the match was used as the buffer between Cena/Wyatt and Daniel Bryan/Kane, but it's not a good sign that she barely got any reaction.
** Bad News Barrett beat Big E for the Intercontinental title. The match was pretty strong. Two powerhouses who are also pretty agile. If the WWE is smart, they’ll start a feud between these two now, because I’d like to see these two have a few more matches.
** Alexander Rusev beat R-Truth and Xavier Woods. He took out Woods before the match, and while Truth got some offense in, Rusev ended it fairly quickly. Lana dedicated the match to Vladamir Putin before the match, so I guess they’re really going to start playing up the specific ethnicity factor, as opposed to just making him a generic foreign monster.
** Cesaro, as expected, won the Triple Threat match. It wasn’t anything overly special. RVD eliminated Jack Swagger, before Cesaro and RVD had what’s become a fairly standard match for RVD. I’m a little surprised they didn’t showcase Cesaro more in the match, as RVD got the most offense in, but Cesaro ended up with the win, which is what matters.
** The “WeeLC” match between El Torito and Hornswaggle, which El Torito won, wasn’t half bad. It was a clear comedy match, and other than a slight over-reliance on short jokes, it was actually pretty entertaining. Some nice spots too, like having Jinder Mahal go through a bunch of tables.
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