Ruse's Muses

Ruses WWE Extreme Rules 2010 Review

The “Extreme Rules” moniker conjures up images of battery, destruction, flailing bodies and an array of perilous weaponry, but WWE’s latest pay-per-view was surprisingly short on munitions and massacre.
Instead, it focused on the weaving intricacies of in-ring combat, absorbing storytelling and some damn fine wrestling. Extreme Rules wasn’t bad, it was just different to what was expected.
The show opened – or was supposed to – with the street fight between between Triple H and Sheamus, but as The Game’s music roared around Baltimore’s 1st Mariner Arena, cameras cut backstage where the 13-time world champion was being trampled on by The Celtic Warrior.
It appeared that the beat-down would prevent The Cerebral Assassin from getting his hands on the Irish wrecking machine, what with Todd Grisham reminding us every so often that Hunter was terribly hurt, but midway through the evening, the King of Kings resurfaced – the bout was back on.
I would have preferred it if the street fight had been contested with both competitors in urban apparel – like the garb showcased by Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes in White Men Can’t Jump, or if Sheamus had been in it, VERY White Men Can’t Jump, but alas no, generic trunks it was.
The Dubliner pulled out the win over his ailing rival, courtesy of four pump kicks, in match that was slow and structured but also quite enthralling. The victory, but more so the performance, reaffirmed how significant Sheamus has become in the WWE, though the pre-battle ambush suggested the Irishman needed a weakened Triple H in order to prevail, and that I wasn’t so fond of.
ShoMiz were not booked to appear in any capacity heading into the evening, but they were soon put to use, wrestling the first match of the programme. Miz’ gargantuan gob got him into trouble, with his bragging bringing out Teddy Long – the seemingly-designated PPV general manager – who organised a tag-team gauntlet match, with the stipulation being that should ShoMiz get beaten, then the team that defeated them would get a title shot on the following night’s Raw.
The tag champs saw off their Wrestlemania opponents John Morrison and R-Truth, as well as MVP and Mark Henry but were knocked off their pedestal by The Hart Dynasty. I have a feeling that the gold may slip from ShoMiz on draft night.
CM Punk was not battling for a title shot, he was just fighting to keep his slick locks, something he accomplished by pinning Rey Mysterio. The talented duo gave us what we should have seen at ‘Mania, a lengthy, fast-paced contest with classy reversals and interesting manoeuvres.  The Second City Saint saw his minions Luke Gallows and Serena banished from ringside but a hooded follower – believed to be Joey Mercury – appeared from under the ring to ambush Mysterio and help Punk seal the deal.
The match was augmented by the lack of weaponry, as even though the finish wasn’t clean, it revolved around the magnificent talent that both men possess. I don’t know if their feud is now over, but I would relish seeing another coming together if it isn’t.
Shad and JTG’s strap bout followed – a contest that sounded as if it was taking place in a library. No-one made any noise for Shad, while about three people cared enough to dully cheer JTG – if a gnat had farted, you’d have heard it.
The combat itself didn’t deserve such pallid silence because it was actually quite good. JTG boxed clever, showing some intelligent strategy and outfoxing Shad to come out victorious, but the larger competitor also had his moments and displayed some pretty intense aggression.  Both men have some serious upsides and could have productive futures, but if the audience remain this muted towards them, they could struggle to make an impact.
Getting over is certainly not a problem for Randy Orton – his reception was electric. Fan support, however, was not enough to see The Viper beat Jack Swagger. The match was more methodical than manic early on but it burst into life in the latter stages when The All-American American counted an RKO, Orton smacked his back on a chair and Swagger deployed the gutwrench powerbomb for the 1-2-3.  The Legend Killer hit his notorious finisher afterwards though, to infer that their rivalry is not yet finished.
Beth Phoenix accrued her third Women’s Championship after dethroning Michelle McCool in an “Extreme Makeover” match, a contest nowhere near as bad as it sounded, with only Layla and Vickie Guerrero’s bizarre mop-wielding antics tarnishing the segment.
Should McCool’s derriere have fallen out of her pants, I would have raised an excited smile, but catching a glimpse of Chris Jericho’s pale behind during his battle with Edge did nothing for me. The meeting itself wasn’t a bum though (see what I’ve done there?)
The Canadians meshed excellently, mixing swift in-ring escapades with nuanced narrative, such as when Jericho could have waltzed out of their steel-cage setting but his desire to end Edge’s career made him turn around and continue his onslaught. It proved to be the wrong decision – The Rated-R Superstar hit the spear on his loquacious adversary to accumulate the win and seemingly settle the rivalry.
And then it was time for the main event, the one match of the evening where weapons were not a pleasant aside but the main meal. Tables were bashed, barricades were smashed, steel steps were used, flesh was bruised, duct tape was applied, Batista cried, Cena won and we were done. Or in less poetic terminology, The Chain Gang Soldier wrapped The Animal’s legs around the ring post, trussed his feet together and ensured he could not make the ten-count.
It was a captivating contest and if, as rumours suggest, it is Batista’s final match with the ‘E, he proved to his host of doubters than when conditions are right, he can put on a cracking show. Not the greatest of all time but well worth seeing – a sentence that also sums up Extreme Rules 2010.

One reply on “Ruses WWE Extreme Rules 2010 Review”

The fact that WWE removed the concept of blood and gore from this PPV, really hurt it the PPV in an overall feel. Some matches really delivered, and literally saved this year’s Extreme Rules from flopping.

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