AS I SEE IT: A Not So Extreme Night
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
So WWE finally does it right. They take an wrestler whose reputation developed on the independents, built a character that fans aren’t embarassed to watch, who’s truly skilled, push him…all the way (and willingly too) to the main event of Wrestlemania 31…and put the belt on him.
Now….WWE bans his finisher. WWE has apparently banned the curbstomp, out of fears it will lead to head injuries.
I’m the first one to applaud the banning of chair shots to the head, because we’ve come to know the damage they can do. Hell, I’d be all for State Commissions (where they still exist) banning chair shots to the head to the point of stopping matches. Shots across the back work as well anyway. But to take a curbstomp and ban it…because there’s a lawsuit from wrestlers who worked briefly in WWE…many years ago (and whose physical damage will in fact never be tied to WWE)?
Really Vince? REEEALLY?
Whether or not WWE admits it, they’ve moved away from the asinine sealing of hardway cuts during matches out of fear of alienating advertisers, realizing it was killing the credibility of matches. Whether or not they admit it, the hardway juice of Brock Lesnar during the Wrestlemania 31 main event (part 1) added to the physically punishing look of the match…one that might have finally gotten the stink or “X-Pac heat” off of Roman Reigns.
But now to kill a trademark move of your Champion out of fear that it looks bad to a lawyer suing you over a failure to recognize the effect that concussions had on your talent sooner…is just plain wrong.
What’s next? Is WWE banning all suplexes? I mean, do we get Fluffy Bunny against Sammy Squirrel in a “Loser has to tell the winner he’s nicer” match at Summer Slam?
Then, there was WWE Extreme Rules.
One of the best matches of the show took place on the pre-show. Unless you had WWE Network you didn’t get to see it. Unfortunately, things went downhill from there.
It looked like a good start. Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper (or as we in Philly think of them Jon Moxley vs. Brodie Lee) in a street fight. They can’t screw that up, right? Good street fight brawl to start off the show…then Ambrose and Harper go to the back, Ambrose pushes a production trunk and a huge piece of pipe at Harper. Harper then gets inside a car, Ambrose jumps in the front seat and Harper guns the car, driving into suburban Rosement, IL and it’s scenic lansscape of airport hotels (it’s right next to O’Hare Airport). So a perfectly good match gets ruined…well, until later, but we didn’t know that for sure then.
Then we have the Kiss My….er. “Kiss Me Arse” match. The match is lame to begin with, and then doesn’t deliver on the stipulation after Dolph Ziggler wins, Sheamus stalls around, then nails him with a ball shot and makes Ziggler kiss his ass.
Yippee. Two matches. One non-finish and one non-delivered stip.
This was followed by the WWE Tag Team Championships Match with Cesaro & Tyson Kidd (and Nattie Neidhart being wasted playing wife/arm candy to Kidd) dropping the belt to the “New Day”. So you have an over tweener tag team dropping the belt to a tag team who gets greeted with “New Day Sucks” each match.
Then, out of nowhere…the Street Fight resumes with Ambrose and Harper brawling “back into the Arena”; and the match ends seemingly out of nowhere with Ambrose nailing Harper with Dirty Deeds to get the win.
Cena and Rusev was your basically sanitized Russian Chain Match. Nothing wrong with it as such, but the chain took away Cena’s ability to do much, and most chain matches tend to end the same way no matter what.
Reigns and Big Show seemed designed to continue the rehabilitation of Roman Reigns, building to the spot when Show got put through a table. Put it this way, if you watched Wrestlemania 31, and WWE didn’t already get over Reigns for you….you’re not being fair.
Then, the main event, with Rollins using the RKO (which was banned, remember?) to put out Orton so Rollins could scramble out the cage.
I’m sorry to be so negative about this PPV, but it seemed like a throw-away PPV, even before it started. Wrestlemania 31 was so good (as they typically are) that it’s hard to follow up, I suppose. But last night wasn’t even a particularly good RAW, let alone a iPPV, PPV, “special event” or meat loaf…whether for $9.99/month, $40.00 per view, or 5 cents.
Until next time…
— Bob Magee