Welcome to this week’s Breakdown! Instead of doing like I normally do and talk about some issue at hand, considering Extreme rules is just about here, I want to promote the Predictions that myself and the other writers wrote up for you. We had a great group this time, and I hope you enjoy them.
Break it Down!
Opening Video: 6
It wasn’t too bad until they cut over for the Orton/Big Show recap. They did a good job of recapping what happened in the WHC picture on Raw while keeping the Narrator at a bare minimum until the end. I just hope that Miz TV will be kept short.
Miz TV: 6
Maybe it’s just me, but The Miz looks like his appearance has regressed back to how he looked about 2 years ago when he beat Cena at WM27. His clean cut jaw line makes it to where I can’t really take him seriously, and he seems to be a bit skinnier, especially in the face. And Big Show vs. Orton is the most anticipated match on Extreme Rules? I call shenanigans! Either of the Shield’s matches are more compelling than this. Show and Orton’s back and forth literally put me to sleep. I kid you not, I had to watch this on my DVR after I got home Friday night around 10 pm cst, and Orton and Show’s voices put me to sleep. And Orton really wants us to know that St. Louis is his home town! He mentioned it 3 separate times during a 2 minute promo! Zeb was the highlight of this whole segment for me, as he articulated his points better than everyone else in this segment in about half the time. ADR of course had to come out and kill my buzz. ADR giving the mike to Ricardo to say his name was a nice touch, though. ADR ought to consider doing that more often, as it gives him a bit of a pop. And now we have Henry? I see where this is going… I really hate Henry’s new catchphrase. Maybe it is just me, but I see it being one of those things that whoever he feuds with is going to turn it on him, and that will get old quickly. Sheamus did get a couple of good licks in with that strap on Henry! That is a match the one Extreme stipulation I am really looking forward to, if for nothing else but to see the welts on Sheamus’ pasty body!
Teddy Long on the Ramp: 0
I knew it! I absolutely hate when Teddy Long makes these stupid Tag Matches! But what made this one even worse was the fact that we had a commercial break, and THIS is the first thing we come back to! It makes absolutely no logical sense!
The Shield’s Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs. The Usos: 8.25
While it was a shorter match, I was very impressed with the Uso’s. They not only looked impressive with the smattering of offense they got in, but they also helped sell The Shield as a powerful tag team here. I shouldn’t have been surprised that Kofi came out to help the Usos, but it was a pleasant way to build towards his and Ambrose’s match at Extreme Rules. That Kofi needed the chair to stop the attack as he was being overpowered was also a nice touch, and I’m honestly glad for it. He looked like he had the fire that he had when he was booked with Orton a few years ago. If we can get back to the serious Kofi Kingston we had then, I will say that I may have been wrong in my article last month on him.
Winners: The Shield (Pin)
Backstage Segment: 6
Sandow was nice here on the mike. And I really hope that The Damien Sandow Show becomes a reality, as I think it could be a great heel talk show. In fact, do we even have one anymore? And we get a twofer with Teddy Long this week! Booker, please hurry back so the torture can end!
Obligatory Cena Recap: 3
Bleh, yet another week where we HAVE to see what happened between Cena and Ryback. I know they want to keep the feud fresh in our minds, but all this does is turn me further off of the show.
Tons of Funk vs. The Primetime Players: 7
I have to say that The Primetime Players have really improved over the last year, especially Titus. I saw PTP at a house show in Jonesboro back in September and while Darren wasn’t too bad, Titus was very visibly botching strikes and moves. Kane basically had to carry him the entire time they were in the ring together. I love that Tensai has really grown back into himself being “Sweet T”. He just oozes fun in the ring now!
Winners: Tons of Funk (Pin)
Chris Jericho vs. Antonio Cesaro: 7.5
Cesaro’s new look as he walks down to the ring reminds me of El Che. He just has that look of authority about him. ADR needs to watch Cesaro, as that is how you do a Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker! It looked liked Cesaro may have got Jericho harder with the European Uppercut than intended, as Jericho was holding the jaw after the match and his mouth was visibly bleeding after the Fandango attack. Jericho, of course, needed this win going into Extreme Rules, but yet again it looks like Cesaro is in WWE’s doghouse. This makes the third or fourth match in a row that he has lost since cutting that promo after his win over Ryder. WWE needs to either get behind him or just keep him off of TV for a bit until they have something more substantial for him. And while I am all for Fandango vs. Jericho 2 at Extreme Rules, I am getting tired of these repeated sneak attacks by Fandango. It is getting too predictable on when it is going to occur.
Winner: Chris Jericho (Sub)
Zeb Video: 9
It’s been awhile since we have had one of these! It was very poignant towards the issues facing the nation. And he did an excellent job on bringing it back full circle to Ziggler, ADR, and Extreme Rules. But one thing on here echoed something I stated in my predictions. “Real Americans don’t quit.” If Swagger quits, will that be the last straw for Zeb?
Damien Sandow vs. The Miz: 7
So we now get an explanation to why Miz vs. Rhodes is on the Extreme Rules card! And while I think it makes sense, it still feels like a way to just give both of them a show bonus on Extreme Rules. Cody, please don’t be a cheerleader for Sandow. It doesn’t suit you. And Miz, despite looking a little gaunt, looks like he hasn’t missed a beat in his time off. I just hope that his match at Extreme Rules is as polished as this one was.
Winner: The Miz (Sub)
Aksana vs. Diva’s Champion Kaitlyn: 4
Just, please, get this abominable “Secret Admirer” storyline over. And please keep Aksana out of the ring! She is just awful! And whoever thinks she adds anything to the Diva’s Division is crazy. Sadly, Kaitlyn’s spear this week looked much better than Big Show’s last week.
Winner: Kaitlyn (Pin)
Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar Recap: 3
I am just sick of this feud already. I cannot wait for Extreme Rules to be over just so I don’t have to see the endless recaps and posturing of these two men. I know the match itself will be good, but everything we’ve had to endure to this point has just gotten tired.
Six Man Tag Match
Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, and Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger, Mark Henry, and Big Show: 6
I absolutely loved that Lillian and Ricardo switched up the Spanish/English introductions! They need to do this more often! And I don’t know when they switched back to ADR’s original theme, but I am glad they did. The “Fiesta Mix” really didn’t work. I do want to say that I hate how Swagger looked after the WWE Rewind of him concussing Ziggler. He looked very dismissive of it, like it was no big deal. And then he has the gall to point at Del Rio and say,”That’s going to be you next”! I’m sorry, maybe it is just because I know what it is like to have to live with the effects of a concussion for the rest of my life, but I don’t take threats of injuring someone like that, even in storyline or kafabe, as a joke or a way to get heat. He needs to check his ego before he is on the other end of a beating. Ok, my rant is over. Maybe it is just me, but did anyone else notice how much JBL pushed the fact that both Swagger and Del Rio have huge egos? Yet again, I think it was a subtle dig from VKM at both men, as they have both been known to be a bit of a prima donna in the locker room. While I know that these matches are usually nothing special, this one seemed even blander than normal, in part thanks to the simply slow and awful way the show was booked. Of course, the end of the match devolved into the brawl that we always expect, with Orton hitting an RKO on an unsuspecting Swagger for the win. You would think that by now, if Orton is the legal man during these kinds of matches, the heels would be watching out for the move!
Winners: Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, and Randy Orton
Overall Match Grade: 6.5
Overall Segment Grade: 4.5
Overall Show Grade: 5
I know that WWE considers Raw’s broadcast the go home to any PPV, but Smackdown should be. And if this is the quality of show they put out right before a PPV, even if it is only a B Level one, then what is to make me think that Extreme Rules will be a PPV worth ordering. WWE needs to reconsider how they manage the creative side. Smackdown has been growing worse over the past few weeks, and while I want to attribute it to the summer lull, I know it is really just that the injuries and product quality have diminished the show that far. We see basically the same people every single show these days. I hope we get some fresh faces soon.
Last week’s trivia question was quickly answered! I expected it to last a bit longer than it did. So this week’s question should pose a bit more of a challenge! A lot has been said about The Undertaker’s storied Streak. But Undertaker holds another record that goes unnoticed by a lot of people, which is the record for most WWE PPV appearances. Who, on the active full-time roster, has the most appearances and how many do they have? Here’s hoping I stump you this week!