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Extremely Decent

Editor's Note: The following article is written in tag-team format, courtesy of "Above The Law". Introducing first, from Charlotte, North Carolina, DJB! (whose words are in regular font). And his tag team partner, from Buffalo, New York, Christopher Casúr! (whose words are in italics)

When you have an entire show based on the the extreme concept chances are it will be either very entertaining or incredibly horrible. When you consider a "Hog Pen" match an Extreme Rules match you are certifiably batshit crazy. I missed "The Rock" on TBS to watch this pay-per-view. At least I didn't have to pay for the viewing.

I just wonder if the E really is dumb enough to realize that John Cena vs. Big Show in a submission match and Batista and Orton inside a steel cage isn't going to do anything for the already horrible buyrate ER expects. Hell Mania reportedly only got around 975,000 buys. Ouch!

To be honest, I was halfway excited about this show. There were a handful of matches that I was legitimately shoot excited about seeing, and as MMA has proven, all it takes is one or two strong matches to get someone to watch. I knew a few matches on this card were going to suck, but I really didn't care.

Despite having no reason to take the United States Championship off of MVP the E did anyway, I don't know if it was to make Kofi Kingston the 19th or 20th man to hold both the IC and US Championships, but either way it made the belt what Vince Russo seems so fond of calling it, a prop. No build, no purpose, free TV match and a title change with the defeated champion smiling at the new champion.

Going into the Fatal Four Way there were two schools of thought, they're going to hotshot it twice, making Kofi a transitional champion, or attempt to give Kofi a rub of defeating three challengers in one night. Well, Kofi won the match, and now prepare to lose the United States strap in the shuffle.

Hopefully they took the belt off of MVP in order to push him up to the main event. His immediate confrontation with Randy Orton after being drafted to "Raw" would be a good indication of this. For the moment, it's nice to see some semblance of a midcard with talented workers in the company. It's irritating to see two midcard belts in a company that has a paper-thin midcard. I'd like to see the belt become more prominent around the waist of a red-hot babyface like Kofi.

Is there a kind of stipulation match that John Cena won't be facing overwhelming odds and come out on top? The odds were "stacked" against him at Extreme Rules, and folks he did it again.

Not 100% sure but word going around is that a writer for the E suggested a Cena heel turn and Vince thought it was the stupidest thing he'd ever heard, Cena's merch sells too good. Gee, I wonder why either myself, Christopher Casur, Andrew Gray, or Dante Ross never thought of that? Probably because we knew Vince would terminate our contracts.

When WCW was in dire straits in 1996, they turned things around by taking their biggest star and turning him heel. Fast forward to modern day. WWE's profits aren't what they used to be. This idea wouldn't work here now...why?

Another lesson from WCW. Keep doing the same thing too often for too long and people will get tired of it. Cena keeps winning and keeps winning. How can anyone get behind a never-say-die babyface if he's never presented as being in legitimate danger? Do something, anything, with Cena, because what you're doing now isn't working.

The highspot of the evening through the end of the Cena/Big Show match was the dose of nostalgia we recieved when Tommy Dreamer captured the ECW Championship. That's only nostalgic if you've followed Dreamer and the old ECW. Dreamer never wanted the strap when Paul-E was running shit, but got saddled with it, but this time he's got the big Silver belt and hey Paul-E, he likes it.

Reports online and through the WWE Universe are saying that Dreamer signed one of those magical one day contracts to compete in this match, and as luck would have it TD got the belt. It's an ECW retirement angle, and I'm not sure how many fans it'll draw in, but I'm sure it's a great retirement angle to others.

The things I'm playing over in my head though are the duration of his reign, and just who he'll put over when the time comes. Hopefully they build a star for this, not have Christian or Jack Thwagger be the guy to take it off of him and send him back to Yonkers.

It was my understanding that, were Dreamer to win the belt, he would vacate it. Since, you know, you can't have a champion that's not under contract. Just ask Bret Hart. If that were the case, I normally balk at the idea of tournaments, since it usually buries all the participants in favor of the two guys who would have been legitimate contenders anyway, but given the nature of ECW, I think a tournament to determine the new champion would be ideal. Give some of the roster's talent either a push, or simply some exposure. Building new superstars. What a crazy idea, huh?

If Dreamer actually is sticking around the defend the belt, I think the belt should go back to Swagger, he's going to be a premier player in the future of the company, so having him be the guy who sent Dreamer packing would be akin to Jericho talking about beating The Rock and Stone Cold in the same night.

With another guy's contract being up in the air, that left several things unanswered going into the World Heavyweight Championship ladder match. The smart move on the part of the company would be to put Jeff Hardy over and give him the belt.

I'm sure all the Hardy haters out there are figuring out how to use their emoticons to put a frown or a screw you in their comment to me about that statement, but they'll just have to get over it. "Jeff Hardy isn't a good worker," "Jeff Hardy has a drug problem," yeah, sure, he is, and he does/did, but he's also one of the most popular guys in the WWE.

State, country, region or continent there is a reaction for Jeff Hardy. Not a John Cena or Batista reaction where you can hear the boos, but an honest to God rafter rattling reaction. Who knows what exactly it is, or who ever cares, but truth be told it's there.

In an era that is largely based on visual pleasantry rather than emotion, Jeff Hardy can actually connect with fans. He's not jacked to the moon, nor does he possess a silver tongue. He's very much an everyman. He came from a small town in North Carolina and he does crazy shit to entertain the people that he once considered himself a part of. Hence, the major reactions.

John Cena turning heel would be catastrophic on the merchandise front, Jeff Hardy leaving would probably be catastrophic on the "SmackDown" ratings front. Argue all you want, but you're wasting finger use. With that said though what are the reasons not to give him the belt?

WWE doesn't have fire insurance on the belt? With "SmackDown" ratings not so hot anyway, Hardy leaving couldn't do much more to hurt the numbers. I'd be more concerned about the fact that Friday nights are already short enough on main eventers without one of the top faces going peace.

Apparently there weren't any reasons not to, because Jeff Hardy won the belt and held it for a few seconds. The Punk Era is back in business, and this time around, "Straight Edge really will mean he's better than you." With this it begs an answer, will Jeff Hardy really have to balls to tell the E, "Screw you I'm taking time off."

For the longest time, I argued that turning Punk heel would be the leverage that Punk detractors backstage would've needed to do him as they pleased, including the possibility of burying him or even getting him a nice set of walking papers. However, in this set of circumstances, I'm down with it. His main detractors are far away right now, and "SmackDown!" is badly in need of both main eventers and heels. Edge can only do so much for so long.

Now, whether or not Punk really is turning heel, or if it's just wishful thinking on DJB's part, we'll have to see. I'm hoping that this title run proves to be more successful than Punk's last, although, to be honest, that's not going to be a hard feat to accomplish.

In a show that was extremely par, the twist at the end turned out be a sort of saving grace. Jericho's ninth IC strap and the removal of Rey's mask, Punk defeating Umaga (and what has to be considered a heel turn) cashing in MitB to win his second World title by pinning Jeff Hardy, after the main event ladder match were ultimately what saved the show.

Overall, I didn't think this was a bad show at all. The matches I was excited about seeing delivered, and there was even a nice swerve at the end. What more could you ask for from a B-level show? Style points to DJ for COMPLETELY evading having to talk about Big Needle Dave winning the WWE Championship. Rumor has it that he's got a torn bicep. Good job, WWE. Put the title on an injured man for the second time this year. Even if he's not injured, why is he being given another title reign? *sigh* Better question, why do I even bother to let this get to me anymore?

Tha Results:
*CM Punk def. Umaga in a Samoan Strap Match
*Kofi Kingston def. William Regal, Matt Hardy, and MVP to retain US Championship
*Santina Marella def. Vickie Guerrero and Chavo Guerrero in a Hog Pen Match
*John Cena def. Big Show in a Submission Match
*Tommy Dreamer def. Jack Swagger and Christian to win ECW Championship
*Chris Jericho def. Rey Mysterio in a No Holds Barred Match to win Intercontinental Championship
*Batista def. Randy Orton in a Steel Cage Match to win WWE Championship
*Jeff Hardy def. Edge in a Ladder Match to win World Heavyweight Championship
*CM Punk def. Jeff Hardy after cashing in his Money In The Bank briefcase to win World Heavyweight Championship

10 comments: on "Extremely Decent"

NSD said...

Batista is the 38th (39th if you count Inoki's win over Backlund) guy to win the wwe championship and the first guy in company history to win the wwe title in a cage.

And when the hell are they going to get a new wwe championship belt? Wasn't the spinning title supposed to be Cena's custom belt (much like Austin's smoking skull)?

Donnie Loves Bret said...

You guys do realize that John Cena jobbed to the Big Slow twice this year right?

D.J.B. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
D.J.B. said...

NSD that title doesn't spin anymore, so I'm guessing that they want us to forget that it was a one man custom deal.

Chris, can we please not talk about ECW Championship tournaments or possible tournaments and burying people...

Also, around 3 months ago, Batista stated that he had a full year left in him, so in 9 months when he comes back from his new torn biceps injury, does that mean he'll have 9 full months left? Potentially, a full "year" in Batista's world could last a good five years. In 3 months, out 9 months, that's a hell of a ration. This is Batista's 834th injury, yet he still has a job. Befriending the Game certainly does have it's advantages. Kennedy was the "injury prone" one though. Yeah, right.

Christopher Casúr said...

He jobbed to Big Show twice this year? How nice of him. However, two jobs does not negate him being overexposed, or going over pay-per-view after pay-per-view. I really don't remember the jobs he did. I do remember paying 40 bucks a pop to watch him have his hand raised in three different matches against Big Show this year though.

A large appeal of wrestling is the suspense of belief. However, that goes right out the window when a guy is booked to damn near never lose. And no, it's not just a smark problem, because I watched many of the other matches on this card intently, not knowing for sure who would win.

Red Dragon said...

First off I'd like to say thanks for this review, especially doing a tag team effort. If it isn't too much to ask though, would you two go back to getting Raw and Smackdown because the reviews that are being posted are fucking horrible. Sorry, but they are. Well, those aren't reviews they are recaps that I'm sure if he had opposable thumbs and a little intelligence my sisters teacup poodle could do. Bring back the opinions and do away with the drones.

As far as DJB thinking that Punk turned heel, I don't think that there is any way that he can't. Jeff Hardy is far too popular for that not to make Punk a heel. Even if he doesn't go full blown heel, I think the boos will drown out the cheers, maybe not this week, but in the weeks following, because how can Punk cut a promo and not mention beating an already beaten Hardy?

As far as Cena, fuck Cena. Fuck Batista, and just to get it off my chest because with Big Dave getting hurt for the 100th time and he'll be back now fuck Triple H. Someone's comment touched on it before, Kennedy's injury prone? No not really compared to Batista.

D.J.B. said...

I was thinking about how it felt like 1998, as far as title changes go. Since CM Punk won his first World Heavyweight Championship in June of last year the belt has switched hands 9 times. Four of those times the champion wasn't even champion for a month. Chris Jericho, Batista, John Cena and Jeff Hardy (whose few minute reign was impressive) all held the belt less than a month. The title has bounced back and forth between six guys, Punk, Jericho, Batista, Cena, Edge and Jeff Hardy. Wow, way to keep us guessing.

In the beginning of the attitude era in 1998 the belt only changed hands 4 times, 7 times in 97, and 12 times in 1999. 23 times in three years. 12 times so far from 2008 to 2009, so hell, they only need 11 more before the end of 2010 to reach the hotshot level we had during the attitude era, problem is, this isn't near as entertaining as the attitude era. Just thought I'd share those numbers.

Anybody want to wager? Anybody want to venture out there and set an over under for title changes between today 6/8/09 and 12/31/10 or just total from 1/1/08-12/31/10?

TimTS said...

Ok well it's a little over 18 months so I'm going to go with 13. As unlucky as the WWE fans right now.

Donnie Loves Bret said...

Well, more people saw Cena job to the Big Slow on free TV than the Big Slow jobbing to Cena on PPV.

CJF said...

I totally agree with a few things all y'all have have to say.

First of all, yes, Batista and Cena are no good.

Second, I dug the WWE title belt that Lesnar and JBL wore on SmackDown!, the one that was supposed to be a combination of the winged eagle and big gold belts.

Finally, Red Dragon's opening sentiment: the AngryMarks articles are getting to be a real drag, I'm sorry to say. I come to this site for the opinions on the shows more than anything... we don't need to know about every last arm-drag, armbar, or moss-covered, three-handled family gredunzel. That's all.