Okay this could easily be a work but we won’t know until Extreme Rules. Cena is hurt but aren’t they all injured all the time? This is also coming from WWE.com and any story they “break” has an equal chance of being real or just there to push a story ahead. Apparently crowds have not been reacting well to Ryback versus Cena so this could be a way to add something to it. However when rumors circulate that the Undertaker could be called in to save the PPV in the event Cena can’t perform (and already no Punk), it sounds off a few alarms. Love him or hate him, it’s impossible to deny that he is still the major draw of the WWE (sorry Punk fans, you know it’s true). Losing him for any amount of time right after becoming WWE Champion would be nothing short of a disaster for the Extreme Rules buy rate. Maybe Cena should have thought of that before he decided to spend the last ten years wrestling in sneakers. How could you not see a heel injury coming?
What better way to make us forget about Cena than with a gimmick match. The sidekicks to the three men in the World Heavyweight Championship match, Ricardo Rodriguez, Zeb Colter and Big E Langston, square off in a triple threat match. The winner of that match then gets to pick the stipulation for the triple threat title match at Extreme Rules. I’m just happy that there is going to be a stipulation in the match since so far, this card was looking anything but extreme. Smackdown GM made this match which clearly gives my boy Ziggler’s boy Big E the edge. Zeb leaves the ring and leaves Ricardo alone to be squashed by Langston. Rodriguez lays a couple of chops in but it only makes Big E angry, leading to a few back breakers. This match immediately seems too long to me as Big E is really taking his time with Ricardo. Langston then goes to spear Ricardo in the corner but Rodriguez jumps up and Big E’s shoulder goes into the ring post. Ricardo starts to capitalize with dropkicks and Zeb comes in the attack Big E as well. Rodriguez then tries teaming up with Colter against Langston, but Zeb draws Ricardo away, giving Langston the opening to run over him. Colter then pushes Big E away so that he can beat Ricardo himself. Langston then switches his attention to Colter, who fakes a leg injury to avoid contact. Ricardo then hits Langston while he’s distracted, but it has no impact. Big E hits a belly to belly suplex to lay out Ricardo and looks to hit him with the Big Ending when Alberto Del Rio runs in and enziguri’s Langston (triple threat rules so no DQ). Ziggler dropkicks Del Rio out of the ring, Swagger throws Dolph out and Langston clotheslines Swagger out, taking himself out of the ring as well. With only Ricardo and Colter in the ring, Zeb pins Rodriguez but AJ grabs the refs arm to stop the three count. While Zeb argues, Ricardo rolls up Colter from behind and gets the pin (why AJ didn’t stop that pin I’ll never know). So now Ricardo and Alberto Del Rio get to decide the stipulation for the World Heavyweight Championship match. Since there is already a cage match on the card, I’ll guess a table match, but a submission match is definitely a possibility.
Injury aside, John Cena is in the house…to introduce some Make a Wish kids to the audience on Make a Wish day. Yes it was a very nice thing and we all know how much charity work Cena does but it doesn’t exactly answer any questions.
The next match puts Randy Orton against Cody Rhodes. They start off with some old school wrestling, working the mat and the ropes before Randy threw Cody over the top rope. Rhodes held on and actually skinned the cat the get back in, but Orton was waiting for it and hit him with a dropkick after he got back in. Nice spot. Orton held control for a while after that, doing the Garvin stomp among other things before Cody pulled Orton into the bottom turnbuckle and went on the offensive. Oddly enough there is no sign or mention of Damien Sandow. Orton reverses a suplex for a two count but Cody hits a standing dropkick of his own to keep regain momentum. Meanwhile the announcers are talking about Cody living up to his dad Dusty’s standards, to which Cole said Dusty was handcuffed by Sapphire (just one of Dusty’s problems in the WWE). This match is really getting a lot of time. Orton controlled for another extended period but after Orton threw Cody back in the ring, Rhodes came out of nowhere with a disaster kick to knock Randy off the apron. After a few failed pin attempts Cody kept the momentum, countering all of Orton’s attempts to come back. Rhodes then called that the match was “done,” going to the top rope. Orton saw this and knocked Cody down to hit a snap superplex for a two count. From there Orton went into his signature move set, hitting the second rope DDT but Cody blocked the RKO and hit Cross Rhodes! Orton kicked out on two and half though to make Cody go mental. Big pop for Cody there. He yells at Orton that the Legacy is over and goes for the Disaster Kick, but Orton catches him for the RKO and gets the victory. Very good match but Rhdoes has to get the gold star here. He really worked his butt off and was excellent for the whole match. Afterwards, Matt Stryker spoke to Orton in the ring, and Randy said that the WreslteMania loss due the Big Show fuels him, and he’s never been more focused and felt more extreme. At that point, Cody tried to sneak up behind Randy and got a second RKO for his trouble. What an unnecessary ending to the match. I guess it was just to get the word “extreme” thrown in.
After a cheap plug for the Divas reality show on E!, Brie Bella took on Naomi. So here’s another chance for Sandow to come out but so far no luck. Hopefully he’ll be in an actual match. I’ve said this before, but Naomi actually looks like she can do some things in the ring. She hits an enziguri and pulls off some other moves, but with the ref looking the other way, the Bellas do some twin magic and Naomi gets rolled up in a small package for the pin. No idea how she could fall for a small package but anyway, the Funkadyctles argue and the ref gives the match to Naomi via DQ, sending the Bellas in on the attack. They take down Cameron and he can move on.
The Shield in the ring to address the crowd after they attacked the Undertaker on Smackdown. Yup, the Undertaker was on Smackdown. He beat Dean Ambrose but got attacked and power bombed through a table. I just can’t go over how much he’s performed since WrestleMania. It’s great to see. He must be feeling pretty good, or the WWE must be giving him a lot of money due to all of the talent not being around post ‘Mania. As great as it is to see him, it just displays even more how thin the current roster is. The Shield run through all of the success they have had, saying that no one has been able to beat them, including the Undertaker. They are just about to talk about to talk about Cena and Ryback when 3MB comes out (what?). They say that the Shield has unfinished business with 3MB, and will “rock their face.” 3MB surround the ring and they start brawling. The Shield overpower them of course but all of a sudden Team Hell No come out. The slide into the ring and the Shield slide out and get away. Kane and Bryan take their frustrations out on 3MB, with Heath Slater getting chokeslammed while Bryan gets a YES! chant going. Don’t they kind of seem like sore losers now?
Backstage, Cena is getting his ankle taped when Ryback tells him that all the tape in the world doesn’t change the fact that he’s hurt. They are supposed to be partners against the Shield. Cena responds by saying he bets he’s better on one leg than Ryback is on two. Ryback say’s he “can’t take that chance” and leaves. Is he going to pull a Tonya Harding and take out Cena’s leg?
After Cole and Lawler showed us how ordering Dominoes Pizza works, DOLPH ZIGGLER headed down the ring for a match against United States Champion Kofi Kingston. Kofi starts off strong with a Russian leg sweep and a kick to the face for a two count. Ziggler avoided the SOS but ran into a swinging round house kick on the apron. Kingston then went for a springboard move but Dolph caught him in the air with a standing dropkick to send him out of the ring. Back in the ring Dolph continues to control things, hitting a somewhat modified version of the Rude Awakening. Kofi began to fight back with a flurry of kicks, leading into the Boom Drop. Ziggler then ducked under Trouble in Paradise and hit the jumping DDT for a two count. Kofi then responded with an SOS for a two count of his own, and followed by evading a fame-asser and connecting on Trouble in Paradise. Ziggler was only saved when AJ put Dolph’s foot on the rope to stop the pin attempt. Dolph rolled outside the ring where Langston tried to revive him, but Kofi jumped off the apron and took out Big E. Kington then rolled Dolph back into the ring and hit a cross body splash off the top rope but only got a two count. AJ then came in the distract the ref, but Kofi knocked Big E back off the apron. Ziggler rolled up Kofi from behind, but Kingston reversed it and Dolph kicked out on two. Ziggler then went for a dropkick but Kofi caught him and hit a sling shot into the corner. Kofi then went to the top rope for a 180 splash for some reason, missing because Dolph rolled away seemingly before Kingston even started to jump off. Ziggler hits the Zig Zag and your World Heavyweight Champion wins the match. Of course you-know-who stole the show. Great match. The roll up spot at the end got a huge reaction. After the match, Big E hit Kofi with the Big Ending to add an exclamation mark.
Backstage, AJ and friends run into Kaitlyn and they have a trash talk session. Ziggler and AJ were specifically on with their banter during the segment, which ended when Kaitlyn got a letter and an ugly hat from a secret admirer. Fifty bucks says its Cody Rhodes (okay five buck. No, ONE DOLLAR!).
More backstage drama as Ryback goes up to Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox, saying that he won’t let John Cena leave him to face the Shield alone again. Guerrero suggests that Ryback team up with Kane and Daniel Bryan instead, making it a six man tag match. Ryback says that Ryback rules (just because) and that he already teamed up with them and declines their help. What a bitch.
Jack Swagger out to the ring for a match against Zack Ryder (oh boy). Ryder had us rewatch Colter losing the opening match tonight, rubbing the defeat in their face. Swagger then goes on to beat the snot out of Ryder, hitting two Swagger bombs. He goes for a third but Ryder gets a leg up to block it and goes on the offensive. The flurry gets stopped when Swagger hits a nice looking gutwrench powerbomb, and follows with the Patriot Lock for the submission win. They rub it in with some slaps after the match and we’re out with little time wasted.
Mark Henry in the ring next to prove that he is the strongest man in the world. He asked Vickie Guerrero for two opponents for a tug of war and got Tensai first. Tensai loses badly so now Brodus Clay comes out. This is horrible. I thought he was going to take on two people at the same time. No dice. Henry beats him too but now Sheamus is coming out to challenge him as well. Henry reluctantly accepts and this segments has to continue. Sheamus moves Henry a little but Mark pulls Sheamus right to the red line. Sheamus then let’s go of the rope to send Henry flying back. Mark then gets Brogue Kicked and knocked out. Once again, Sheamus loves to act like a heel.
Backstage again, Maddox informs Team Hell No that Ryback has left the building. Kane says that they want revenge for what the Shield did for the Undertaker, and want to match no matter what. Vickie then has Maddox go to Cena. Cena then orders him to tell Vickie that he will be joining Kane and Bryan against the Shield. If Maddox wasn’t going to ask him to join already then what was he there to do? Ask to keep him out of the match? I’ll ignore the painfully awkward Maddox jabber, since that just comes with the territory these days. Okay I can’t do it. What is the end game with this guy? Where is his skill? What to they see in him?
Former United States Champion Antonio Cesaro now gets the job to Alberto Del Rio. They start with some grappling leading into Del Rio taking charge, hitting an enziguri in Cesaro’s arm, setting up for the arm breaker. Cesaro turns the tide though, pulling an arm lock on Alberto. Del Rio then pulls off a hurricarrana and follows it up with a back stabber. Antonio escapes the cross armbreaker however and gets out of the ring to regroup. Del Rio goes out to pursue him but Cesaro responds by hitting a back body drop onto the apron, then a running uppercut into the corner. Del Rio hits a tilt-a-wirl back breaker to get back into it, following it up with a german suplex for a two count. Alberto then goes to the top rope for a double axe handle, but Cesaro meets him with an upper cut for a two count. Del Rio then dodges Antonio running into the corner, hits a side kick to the face and goes for the cross arm breaker. Cesaro reverses it into a pin attempt initially, but Del Rio rolls him back over to lock in the arm breaker and get the submission win. Solid match from both men. Cesaro really deserves a push for the way he’s jobbed for everyone lately. After the match, Del Rio announces that the Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship will be a ladder match. So that’ll be cool I suppose.
Fandango out to face Khali…in a dance off. After Lawler gave Khali the chance to further butcher the english language, he butchered the art of dance with Natalya. Fandango then described Jericho’s dancing on Dancing with the Stars as “clumsy” and did his typical dance moves. The crowd apparently cheered more for Khali, and Fandango got revenge by beating up Khali, finishing him off with the top rope leg drop.
Now that that is out of the way we can move on to the main event. John Cena and his busted Achilles and indeed in the ring and will compete, so I guess we can put all that to rest. This six man tag match is how Cena has been booked since the injury, giving him as little stress as possible on the leg. The Shield surrounds the ring and goes on the attack, but the faces fight them off and force them out of the ring. The official match starts with Kane against Ambrose. Kane lands an extended vertical suplex before Ambrose tags in Reigns who gets more of the same. Reigns then drives Kane into the Shields corner to have Rollins take on Kane, but he gets thrown into the faces corner instead. Kane is overly aggressive on Rollins, looking to get revenge on the Shield. He grabs the ref by the throat when he tries to separate Kane from Rollins, and is saved from being disqualified when Cena tags himself in. Cena then delivers one kick and tweaks his injured leg, leading Bryan to tag in and let Cena heal up. Bryan and Amrose end up in the ring with Daniel administering a flurry of kicks and a Mexican surfboard before Kane gets tagged back in. Kane goes for the top rope chop but Ambrose moves away and Rollins beats down on Kane. Back from break Ambrose is working on Bryan. He and Rollins their double drop kicks and Seth takes over the action. Daniel tried fighting back but Rollins hit him with a roundhouse kick for a two count and Roman Reigns got tagged in. At this point I wonder what the plan would have been if Cena was healthy. Would would Ryback have joined Cena instead? Would have made a lot of sense. Anyway Bryan finally reached Kane on a hot tag and he started cleaning house. With Reigns out after Bryan pulled the top rope down on him running in, Kane hit Ambrose with a sidewalk slam and Rollins got thrown out of the ring. Kane hit Ambrose coming off the top rope and was about to go for a choke slam to end it, but Kane wanted revenge for what happened to the Undertaker and went to the announce table. Outside the ring, Kane got speared by Reigns and almost got counted out. Coming back in, Ambrose did the Undertaker throat gesture but Kane countered with a choke slam. Cena then got the hot tag and hit the five moves of doom on Reigns. Rollins then went for a splash on Cena but John rolled it over and pulled up Seth for an Attitude Adjustment. Cena’s leg gave out however, leading to Reigns spearing Cena and getting the pin. After the match, Ryback came to the stage to stare at Cena, who is getting worked on by the medical staff as the show ends.
So for all intents and purposes John Cena is locked in for Extreme Rules, and will be protected as much as possible so that he is good to go against Ryback. I think there is something to be said for the fact that I didn’t miss Ryback on this show. I found it odder that Jericho was constantly mentioned during a segment while he wasn’t around.
Right now three matches are confirmed for Extreme Rules. Cena versus Ryback in a non extreme match. Lesnar versus Triple H three, and Swagger versus Del Rio versus Ziggler, which is the most unique match. You then have Sheamus versus Mark Henry, Kaitlyn versus AJ, and Randy Orton versus the Big Show? I’m also expecting Team Hell No to face the Shield somehow but no idea how that will work. Would you blame me if I skipped Extreme Rules right now?