Cewsh Reviews – WWE Extreme Rules 2012
Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the blog that is illegitimate in every sense of the word, Cewsh Reviews! We have a special treat for you tonight as big Brock Lesnar has come to the WWE to cast his impressive shadow across the entire wrestling landscape. Here, tonight, he is going to wrestle his first match in nearly 5 years and he’s doing it against the face of World Wrestling Entertainment himself, John Cena. When these two men collide, shit is going to go down in a big, big way, and that’s not even remotely all that this show has to offer. We have brawling brutes fighting mat generals, giants fighting crazies and I think there may even be some time to see a monster fight a snake. As far as circuses go, this one sounds pretty awesome, but since we grade wrestling shows I guess we’ll have to see how this show is at being one of those.
So without any further ado, let’s do a motherfucking review!
Cewsh: “He ought to be worried about what’s running down his leg.”
This video centers around one idea. Brock Lesnar is going to murder John Cena. Also, Brock Lesnar is worse at cutting promos than I would be at fighting ninjas with sausage links.
That’s two ideas? Right, the video is centered around those two ideas.
Vice: Aaah, Extreme Rules. If it weren’t for BROCK FUCKING LESNAR coming back, I most likely would not have bothered with this show. And if Cewsh asked me to review it, I’d probably tell him I had more important things to do, which would actually be clipping my toenails or something.
But.. BROCK LESNAR. On a side note, this review being late is mostly my fault. Been swamped with work and haven’t had a solid enough block of time to get down and dirty with this.
Cewsh: If I had to sum up this feud in one word, that word would be “lazy”. If I had to sum up this feud in two words, those words would be “really lazy”. And if I had to sum up this feud in Esperanto, I would say, “Atendi, homoj ankoraŭ parolas Esperanto?”
The point here is that this feud clearly got its beginnings thanks to Randy Orton coming back from injury too late to be in any major Wrestlemania storylines, and Kane having nothing to really do after they built him up for several months to be cannon fodder for John Cena. These are not auspicious beginnings for a feud, and things have only gotten worse since then. Now this feud has seen the 39th resurrection of Paul Bearer, Bob Orton getting hit with pipes, and a persistent lack of interest from everyone beholding it. So now, finally, it’s time for the blow off match, where one of these two men will win and we can move on with our lives.
This is a gimmick match, which historically have not been Kane’s best matches, but that seems to suit these two just fine as they come brawling right out of the gate. Now, this is one of those Falls Count Anywhere matches where they take a grand tour of the entire backstage area like they’re trying to pick up some extra cash on the side by giving the cameraman and the referee a guided tour of the building.
But surprisingly, doing this makes the match a great deal more fun and less plodding, and by the time they get back to the ring, the Chicago crowd has warmed up to them considerably. They get solidly behind Orton as they fight goes on, and when Orton dusts off Kane with an RKO onto a chair, the crowd seems genuinely happy about it, to the point where you might wonder if they think they’re watching two other wrestlers at work.
You’re not going to find anything groundbreaking here, but I think it’s fair to say that these two guys did their jobs as well as could be expected when you pair a methodical babyface against a methodical heel and give them nothing to fight for. Now Orton can be off to something more significant, and Kane can bide his time until Big Show has nothing to do so that they can team up again.
Poor Kane. It’s a hard knock life for sociopath burn victims.
70 out of 100
Vice: These two had a really, really boring match at Wrestlemania. The falls count anywhere stipulation gives them a chance to have a more entertaining match. And it is still not a very good match, though it did have a few little good moments. These are both guys who need a particular kind of opponent to have a great match together, and unfortunately, the right opponents are not each other.
Kane getting the win at Wrestlemania shocked me, so I was thinking Orton would have to get the win here. And he did.
Also I have to bring this up: for YEAAAAAAARS, people have been demanding that Kane bring the mask back. Now he has it back, and I don’t think I’ve heard a friggin’ thing about it since the first night. And its not like it’s suddenly made Kane interesting. Or good. Is that why everyone’s so quiet?
Cewsh: Brodus Clay is terrible.
I know, I know. The internet just collectively had a heart murmur as these seemingly forbidden words found themselves violating the sanctity of smarkdom, but hear me out. When Brodus Clay first redebuted several months ago, he was greeted at first with a mixed reaction from people. Some were upset that Brodus Clay, whom they had enjoyed on NXT, was being wasted in this wacky gimmick, while many others just enjoyed how wacky it was. I was one of the latter, and that was nifty and fine. It was fine several months ago. Since then, very little has changed, and the gimmick has gotten more and more strained, as the five minutes of thought that went into it creaked under the pressure of actually supporting a wrestling character. Clay has squashed the entire roster of Superstars to tepid reactions from the fans, and attempts to incorporate dancing old ladies, dwarves and actual children from the crowd into the act are coming off as sad and desperate. Add to that the fact that he hasn’t produced a half decent match since his call up, and the conclusion is simple. This doesn’t belong on television. This isn’t even Eugene. It’s Bastion Booger.
But hey, remember that time that Bastion Booger beat Mr. Perfect? No? Huh, weird. Maybe that’s because HAVING THE JOKE CHARACTER BEAT ONE OF THE MOST PROMISING TALENTS ON YOUR ROSTER IS FUCKING INSANE YOU BUNCH OF JACKMUFFINS. But somehow, despite all reason and theory, Dolph Ziggler spends a solid 5 minutes bouncing around the ring trying to make Clay look entertaining before losing definitively. But it’s not the loss that is bothersome, it’s the message. The message that even gimmicks that WWE doesn’t really believe in will be held above Dolph Ziggler time and time again. No matter how hard he works, nothing appears to change that.
And no amount of great bumping will take the sting off of that.
66 out of 100
Vice: Ziggler is one of my favorites. He’s just such a ridiculous wrestler with his personality and bumping, and I can’t help but completely and utterly adore him and hope he becomes a legitimate main event star at some point.
My thoughts towards Brodus are the exact opposite. I think he’s more than run his course at this point. He’s not a very good wrestler from everything I’ve seen, his gimmick is trash and he sucks at it, and I’d be fine never seeing him again. Whoops, I’m sorry. He says “MAH BAD” after slamming people. Best. Wrestler. Ever.
If this match was any good, it was because of Dolph bumping his ass off. I don’t even remember a thing about it outside of the finish and me spending the entire match wondering how this man has a job. And it’s even worse with the HORNSWOGGLE pairing. He’s a guy that does not need a job at all either.
I can only pray that one night Brodus will be dancing in the middle of the ring, and a person dressed in a horribly fake meteor costume will do a run-in and make the Funkasaurus extinct.
Cewsh: Sometimes I try to imagine what it must be like to find yourself in a feud with the Big Show.
Here you have a truly unique performer, who tries his ass off in every match and is probably a wealth of knowledge, who is always over and seems incredibly easy to work with. You would think that that would be a huge gift as a young, up and coming guy like Rhodes. But the trouble is that he’s a goddamn giant, and Rhodes isn’t. So while Rhodes may be thrilled to work with the man for all the reasons I listed, when it comes down to it, the man basically got handed a piece of paper that said, “Guess who won’t be doing any offense for the next 3 months?” on it.
So it is here, as Rhodes tries valiantly to fuck over the Big Show at every turn, and is utterly barreled over time and time again by the Showl Train, (that pun hurt me too.) The match hangs together just fine, since watching Show annihilate a smug little jerk like Rhodes is inherently satisfying, and the finish to the match where Show gets bumped off the apron and accidentally steps through a table much to his embarrassment, is one of the most entertaining finishes that I can remember to a match. I mean seriously, the look on his face when he realized being fat literally lost him the match is a treasure.
But I just can’t help but wonder what Rhodes is getting out of all of this. He wins the title back via the very most tenuous of circumstances, and he’s in the mix with a bigger star, but he’s hardly being made to look like an actual threat to anyone here. It’s like if you took Michael Jordan and made him play basketball against a 30 foot robot on the moon. No matter how gifted Jordan might be, he’s going to get stomped and made to look like a shithead, and the next time he has a shooting contest with Larry Bird over a Big Mac, people aren’t going to take him as seriously. Perhaps I’m worrying overmuch about this, and Show himself is hardly to blame. But when I put myself in Cody Rhodes shoes, only to see him get speared right out of them time and time again, feuding with the Big Show certainly doesn’t seem like the sum of its parts, and may actually be a huge momentum killer.
Hell, just ask Mark Henry.
75 out of 100
Vice: As much as I don’t really like the Big Show, these two are a pretty good pairing. They work well together. This match wasn’t amazing by any means, but it wasn’t bad for what it was, with how much time they had.
The real standout here was the finish, which was one of the most brilliantly fantastic finishes I’ve seen in years. It was executed perfectly by everyone. Cody nailed a perfectly placed dropkick. Big Show went through the table completely naturally without it looking really stupid and contrived (take notes, Matt Morgan), and had one of the best facial expressions he’s ever made.
Also, the ref timed it all perfectly too. When Big Show went through the table, there was just enough time for everybody to be like “…??? Does that count???” before the bell rang, but not too much time so that it’d drag out and be confusing and stupid (something TNA often does).
I’ve never really been a big fan of title changes during tables matches, as fairly often you’re not really BEATING the champion (which is the more or less the only way a title should change hands, in my eyes) and it just doesn’t seem as credible. I didn’t mind it here though. Partially because it’s just the IC belt, but also because in a way it really showed why Cody was the champ for so long and why it’s HIS damn belt. Post match stuff was good too.
Cewsh: We go backstage, to Matt Striker, who is interviewing a rather emphatic Daniel Bryan. Bryan lists many advantages he has over Sheamus in their match to come, (including comparative beard power,) and then insults the Chicago crowd well enough that they stop chanting “Yes!” to everything he says and start booing, like they never expected the heel might be mean to them.
I’m not sure when Daniel Bryan became a solid promo, or when he became a viable main eventer, for that matter. But here he stands, both of those things at the same time. He’s getting awfully close to becoming the complete package as a performer, and I’m not sure that anything can stop him from getting there at this point. As a guy who watch Ring of Honor from its infancy, this is GODDAMN BIZARRE.
Cewsh: After winning the Royal Rumble, Sheamus immediately set his sights on the World Heavyweight Championship. Daniel Bryan, who was enjoying the most flukey World title win since Jack Swagger’s, was squarely in his way and was much more focused on being cruel to his girlfriend AJ than on defending his championship against Sheamus at Wrestlemania. As a result, Sheamus beat Daniel Bryan quicker that you could get back from the kitchen with your soda, (personal experience speaking,) and Bryan was left out in the cold without his championship. Since that loss, though, Bryan has refocused himself on Sheamus, and dumped AJ brutally to remove her being a distraction. His plan didn’t really work at all, but he was at least prepared to bring it to Sheamus with all of his utterly superior wrestling skill and regain the championship that he felt he never should have lost to begin with.
Coming into this match with that as the backstory, it should come as no surprise that Bryan comes right out the gate attacking Sheamus here. What may come as a surprise, is that with his mat wrestling superiority and ring experience, Bryan doesnt just hurt Sheamus in the early going, he outright dominates him. Bryan lays waste to Sheamus’ arm and focuses on hurting it in ways that should be illegal in the more civilized countries. As the minutes tick on, Bryan just keeps on destroying Sheamus’ ability to effectively play Bop It with a gleeful smile on his face. Finally, Bryan just decides that patience isn’t a virtue he has much use for and just startswhaling away on Sheamus’ arm with kick after kick as Sheamus tries to get some kind of cover from the onslaught in the turnbuckle. After repeated warnings, the referee up and disqualifies Bryan, giving Sheamus the first fall of the match.
…only for Bryan to grin and drag Sheamus into the middle of the ring where a nice Yes Lock is ready and waiting for him.
Bryan, now realizing that he is firmly in control of the situation and can arrange matters to suit himself, starts showboating left and right. This is probably not a great idea, because he’s still in the ring with a rather large and angry Irishman, who responds to being large and angry by getting rather violent indeed. Sheamus fires up against Bryan and tosses him around like a ragdoll, all while doing an incredible sell job on his injured arm, to the point where he just flat out stops using it altogether. Bryan isn’t going to let the title slip out of his grasp again that easily, and the two men proceed to have one of the most edge of your seat thrill rides you’ll see anywhere this year as they race to the finish. And just when Bryan thinks he’s figured the big bull of a man out, Sheamus comes careening at him with a lights out Brogue Kick to put the title firmly out of his bearded grasp once and for all.
This match was an absolute pleasure to watch. Nearly every second of it fit seamlessly in with the rest of the match, the crowd was firmly behind BOTH men by the end, and both of them walk out of this looking far stronger than they did when they walked in. And while Daniel Bryan will surely get most of the credit for this match, it needs to be said that this was a star making performance for Sheamus, as he showed that he has a side to him that I was endlessly impressed with. At some point during the match, as Sheamus was firing up and running over Bryan like the bull he is, I remarked to Vice that he was really reminding me of Kenta Kobashi. Not that they’re comparable performers, but just that Sheamus has the potential to play that athletic bull of a man, who takes a vicious beating, (and sells it,) but just is too tough and dumb to stay down and know when he’s lost. To say that this conclusion endeared me to Sheamus is a rank understatement. The man’s stock exploded in this one match. Hell, even DANIEL BRYAN’S stock went up, and that was at a level only familiar to Microsoft in the 90s as it was.
This was a special match, and took me completely by surprise. I can’t see any reason why Daniel Bryan shouldn’t be given 20 minutes on every PPV from now until the sun implodes.
93 out of 100
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval
Vice: When it comes to 2/3 falls matches, I absolutely love them. It’s a great stipulation and more often than not fairly well executed… but not in WWE. I never allow myself to get hyped for 2/3 falls matches in WWE, because more often than not I’m massively let down and raging at how poorly it was booked to such an underwhelming degree.
To put this match into perspective, it’s like an action movie where the blonde bimbo who has somehow managed to get herself involved in the situation says that there’s no way they’ll live, and the action hero turns to her and says something short and sweet like “watch”, as he pulls out his gun and Judo black belt, and kills off 35 villains in succession to save the day, and then promptly nails that girl to such a degree that she will never have sturdy legs again.
These two went all out and put on a fucking SPECTACLE of a match, and I absolutely loved it. This was both men’s best WWE match, and both came out of it looking phenomenal. I like Sheamus, but I’ve never been amazingly high on him. This match made me love him, because the dude just brought it. Bryan was absolutely fantastic here, and I’m glad he got to show off his talent. Though one question is.. why couldn’t they have done this at WrestleMania?
I thought the ending was a bit anti-climactic and could have been a lot hotter, but it worked just fine for what it was and didn’t hurt the match at all. Another thing that tickles me was how the crowd was booing the fuckshit out of Sheamus and treating Bryan like he was a legend. YES and NO chants for the win.
Cewsh: Oftentimes, in today’s wrestling world, squash matches get a bad name. They’ve become almost secondhand for worthless wastes of time that are used to give new monsters something to do from week to week while the writers think up something to actual do with them. But while this sort of uninspired, dull beatdown is the most common form of squash match around these days, (see Clay, Brodus and Tensai, Lord,) there is actually a goal that these matches are meant to achieve. The real idea is that, since local guys can be beaten half to death with no worries as to injuries or having to rebuild them later, a talented big man can lay waste to them in such dominant fashion that he sticks in the mind as being some kind of skinny white guy wrecking machine. Then, ideally, when he goes to wrestle the bigger names, you’ll remember how definitively he ravaged the unfortunates, and you’ll be curious as to how he’ll match up with the bigger names on the roster. This formula worked for Goldberg, it worked for Yokozuna and Scott Hall damn near made an art form of it.
So how does that tie into Ryback and this match? Simple. Ryback BEATS THESE GUYS HALF TO DEATH. He hits them from every side like a freight train, levels one with a clothesline that would stop a truck, and finishes another off with a running muscle buster that would make Samoa Joe jealous.
Then he piles up their corpses and demands to be fed more. This is not the kind of squash match that fucks around and wastes your time. This is the kind of squash match that lets you know that a shitkicker supreme has arrived and is aimed at the bad guys. In other words, it’s a success. A big one.
The funny thing is just how much Ryback’s squashes make Lord Tensai and Brodus Clay look like shit in comparison. His stuff looks incredibly crisp and brutal, and with the wrestlers watching and having a great time with it, it actually feels different and fun. Seeing Ryback destroy people so well is a treat. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite parts of the shows.
75 out of 100
Vice: People generally hate on squash matches, and rightfully so. Because often they’re booked in such shitty ways. Tensai’s squashes, for example, were some of the worst in a long time. I just don’t give half a shit about a guy hitting a big move, posing while trying to look evil (or Japanese), then slowly walking over to the guy to hit another big move, then more posing, blahblahblah it’s 5 minutes of utter boring crap. It’s just awful to watch.
Piss Bone, on the other hand, is brilliant with his squash matches. He gets Goldberg chants because there’s definitely a bit of a similarity with how his matches are handled, but you know what? GOLDBERG WAS FUCKING BRILLIANT. Chanting Goldberg is a massive compliment to the guy. Yeah it’ll be bad if they never stop chanting Goldberg, but eventually they’ll come around to chanting Ryback or Piss Bone. It’ll happen.
I love fast-paced, high energy squash matches like this. I could watch one every night and not get bored of them, because there’s nothing quite like seeing some scrawny little spitfuck get obliterated to such a wild degree by a goddamned mammoth. It’s just cathartic.
Cewsh: We go backstage to Matt Striker interviewing CM Punk, and Punk takes a moment to turn and listen to the crowd in Chicago cheering his name. Or, since it is probably a pre recorded backstage video, he could also be looking because he thought he heard a spooky ghost for all I know.
Anyway, Punk is all upset at Jericho and, in a show of truly groundbreaking tactical acumen, announces that he plans on beating Jericho, rather than losing to him. Seems like a pretty good plan to me.
Cewsh: Hoo boy, are you guys not going to like what is to come.
But before we go to far, let’s take a second to catalogue the story behind this match. The story goes that Chris Jericho was sitting at home on the internet, Googling the word “Fozzy” when he discovered that this young upstart named CM Punk was calling himself “The Best in the World.” Seeing as Jericho used to refer to himself as “The Best in the World At What I Do” he considered this to be clear copyright infringement. Rather than filing a claim to the patent office, however, Jericho decided to make a dramatic comeback to wrestling to huge cheers from the crowd. But week after week, Jericho didn’t do or say anything, and people began to wonder what the deal was with Jericho. Finally we found out, as after a failed bid to win the Royal Rumble, Jericho began to attack and belittle the WWE champion CM Punk for his copyright shenanigans. It was never made clear if the mysterious videos heralding Jericho’s arrival had anything to do with his intent to harm Punk, but most people went ahead and ignored that in their excitement to see two internet favorites meet at Wrestlemania.
So meet at Wrestlemania they did, after a long series of mockery from Jericho about Punk’s family and their issues with substance abuse. Punk defeated Jericho definitively, to prove himself to be more worthy of the nickname, and he thought it was all over. But the loss only spurred Jericho on more, and he redoubled his efforts to humiliate and belittle Punk in bizarre ways like showing him walking out of a pub, (where, you might be amazed to learn, they sell sandwiches,) and forcing him to talk a field sobriety test. All of this eventual led us to a street fight between these two here tonight.
Now let’s start off this review with the most important aspect to any match. Fashion. Who IN THE SHIT told CM Punk that dad jeans tucked into kickpads would make him look like anything other than a homeless MMA fighter, (hi Daniel Puder)?
I mean really.
As both men come to the ring, the crowd is clearly buzzing, and as expected, they go banana for CM Punk. Then the two men start street fighting and…and…well…
It’s really, really odd.
These two men, perhaps the two most highly regarded wrestlers of the internet generation, have what may be the least street fighty street fight in recent memory. Punk is in there throwing around spinning neckbreakers and aside from some early Kendo stick shots, Punk seems almost entirely disinterested in actually harming Chris Jericho in any significant way. They go on to just trades spots with each other for an exorbitant amount of time, including Jericho hitting Punk with about 3 Codebreakers, (including one with a chair,) that Punk sells about as much as you or I would sell being beaten savagely with one paper towel. Then Punk goes diving from the top turnbuckle to the announce table below with his Randy Savage elbow in a gorgeous spot…
…only for both men to be up and appear completely unfazed by it about 8 seconds later. Then they start trading submissions in the middle of their hardcore street fight, and finally Punk wins with the Go 2 Sleep after a little more than 25 minutes.
I honestly didn’t know what to make of this match when I watched it the first time and upon rewatching it, I really don’t have any better idea. For a feud based on a very personal conflict, and Jericho tearing away at the very most personal part of CM Punk, the match really lacked any kind of intensity to speak of. They both wore jeans and used a few weapons, and beyond that this wasn’t much different from the underwhelming Wrestlemania match. Again, the two didn’t seem to mesh well together here, and again a hot ending sequence helped to make up for the almost haphazard match that came before it.
I’m sure people are going to say that they loved this match, and maybe they even did. But as I watched CM Punk leap into the crowd and totally no sell the 25 minute beating he had just gotten, I just found myself shaking my head. Both of these guys are better than this. But this feud isn’t proving it.
70 out of 100
Vice: Going into Wrestlemania, I wasn’t very excited about Punk vs. Jericho in terms of the storyline, because it was just a giant mess. But deep down, I figured the match would at least be pretty good. I didn’t think it was very good. Here we are again, this time with weapons and an even more ridiculous storyline. What can possibly go wrong?
This was just.. awful. I found it infinitely boring and messy, and nothing about these two works well. They’re trying hard, but totally failing. Their feud sucks outside the ring. Their chemistry sucks inside the ring. It’s just no good.
Cewsh: Here’s the rundown on this match. Beth Phoenix was the Divas champion. Nikki Bella beat her for the title on Raw kind of out of nowhere, which theoretically set the stage for a rematch here at Extreme Rules. However, Beth wound up with a leg injury and couldn’t compete, promoting WWE to announce that there would be a surprise replacement to face Nikki Bella for the title. Obviously, people immediately assumed that this would be Kharma making her triumphant return, and eagerly awaited her appearance.
So when Nikki Bella came down to the ring and waited for her opponent to reveal herself, the crowd was buzzing with anticipation. Music finally hit, and out from behind the curtain came…Layla?
Yes, Layla El, who hasn’t been seen since around the breakup of Laycool, arrives to general confusion and a rather noticeable, “We want Kharma” chant. Then she has a 3 minute match, hits a Rude Awakening neckbreaker and wins the Divas title without any fanfare whatsoever.
Look, what do you want me to say? That this was anti climactic? Of course it was. That expecting Layla to be over upon her comeback was a fallacy? Of course it was. That putting the title on someone within 3 minutes of their re-debut is a terrible choice? Obviously it is. Increasingly I find that there is very little to say about these Divas matches that isn’t “It sucked, but they tried.” I try not to blame the women involved who have such little training, or the writers behind it who are restricted by having nothing to work with. But at a certain point, the eternal tread of weary disappointment has to stop. I’m not sure when it will, but I don’t have much hope of it changing directions before we get there.
58 out of 100
Cewsh: Once upon a time in the universe of Double We, there was a gallant champion named Sir Cena of John. He was a champion of the people who lived his life by the very strictest of moral codes and did all he could to be a hero to all. But over time those people he fought to protect began to resent his omnipresence at the head of their kingdom, and some citizens began to boo Sir Cena. The gallant knight fought on despite all of this, until he was bested by a legendary knight from the past. This seemed to shake our hero’s confidence to the core, as he wondered whether he had the power to continue defending the kingdom if he wasn’t its greatest warrior. Then, just as he was beginning to doubt his great strength, a dark force arose from his nightmares. A monster called the Brockle Snar. This monster took advantage of our heroes weakness and doubt, and quickly made the kingdom his own, as the other knights attempted to rally Sir Cena to take up his great cause again. Finally, driven by pride and determination, Sir Cena of John rode out to fight the Brockle Snar, and put an end to its corrupting influence before it over ran all that was good in the kingdom. He was overmatched, and he knew it. But a hero ever fights, and so he marched bravely on to destiny.
Ending aside, I have to say this match was fucking brilliant on so many levels. Partially because it’s my hero Brock Lesnar beating up my least favorite wrestler John Cena, but also because it was just so well done. Brock is a goddamn animal here, and this is one of the most brutal asskickings I’ve ever seen in an American ring. I do have to give a lot of props to Cena, because he takes a ton of punishment. Allowing himself to get his head split open the hard way by some barbaric elbows is great. And that’s only the beginning of the punishment.
Brock was so dominant here. Every time Cena started to make any sort of comeback, Brock would cut him off and make him suffer even more for it. Loved him towards the end when he brought the steps into the ring and stood in the middle of the ring like he was an emperor. I was kind of afraid of how his performance would be, since he hasn’t wrestled in so long, his work after his WWE stint was beyond atrocious, and he’s had numerous health problems over the past two years. But aside from being an extremely sweaty bastard (literally dripping sweat towards the end), he seemed to be in good shape.
Didn’t get tired, still had tons of energy. Such a stiff match.
But now the ending! I didn’t like it, which must be shocking. Brock absolutely dominates the entire match, but then Cena hits TWO moves and wins, then cuts a promo. This was a poor way of handling it all, in my eyes. For the record, I’d have been fine with Cena winning if it was done in a different way.
Cena punches Brock in the face with a chain, Brock spends about 30 seconds getting back to his feet. Cena AA’s him onto the steps for the pin. Brock leaves. Cena cuts promo.
Everything prior to the finishing sequence is pretty much the same. However, don’t have 30 seconds in between the chain shot and the AA. Find a way for Cena to punch Lesnar right in the face with the chain, have him be out on his feet and fall back into the ropes, which causes him to fall forward onto Cena’s shoulders. AA. Pin. Cena rolls off Brock, 99% dead. Brock leaves in about the same way he does, though a little bit more pride in his body language, because Cena is barely moving. Lesnar lost the battle, but good fuck did he win the war. Cena starts moving a little bit as the show fades to black, but he’s still clearly destroyed.
Brock dominates Cena for the majority of the match, cutting off any sort of comebacks he could ever hope to have. Cena looks like he’s about to be defeated without getting one significant piece of offense in. Brocks goes for the big attack and Cena blasts him in the face with the chain. Brock starts bleeding, but isn’t knocked out. He’s just very wobbly on his feet. Cena fires up with his one good arm, and starts punching him in the face. Brock goes for a wild swing, but Cena ducks it and punches him some more. Brock goes for another wild swing, but Cena again ducks it and starts punching the face and stomach. Brock is now backed into the corner. Cena just goes apeshit on him.
Brock goes for the big knee strike, but Cena catches it. While holding Lesnar’s leg, Cena kicks him square in the balls (REVENGE) and then yanks Lesnar out of the corner onto his back. He goes to slap the STF on Lesnar, but Lesnar breaks it up by rolling over onto his back, but Cena falls into the mount position and starts blasting Lesnar with punches and elbows. Brock bucks Cena off, and before he can even get back to his feet, Cena is already swarming him with knees. Brock gets a punch or three in, but Cena is now the one to cutting the comebacks off. A few more rounds of Brock trying to push Cena away to no avail, but Cena is possessed. Brock finally scores a clean elbow to the head that wobbles Cena. One, two, three more elbows. Cena goes for the wild swing, but Brock counters it by hoisting Cena up on his shoulders for the F5.
Cena elbows Lesnar in the head, which slows him down ever so slightly. Again. Again. Again. Cena is now fighting for his life here, and just elbows the everlovingfuckshit out of Lesnar’s giant head. Brock is severely wobbly and drops to one knee with Cena still on his shoulders. Cena keeps firing away, but is clearly running low on energy. Now it’s an elbow once every three seconds or so. Brock starts tipping over, and Cena’s got one leg down on the mat. Cena fires off another desperation elbow. Just as it looks like Cena’s about to get both feet on the ground and get out of Brock’s arms, Brock SCREAMS as he jumps back to his feet and goes to F5 the bijesus out of Cena. But through a combination of using TOO much force and Cena using momentum to his advantage, he slips out of it and lands on his feet. Brock goes to catch him again, but Cena quickly scoops him up and gives him a massive AA onto the steel steps, and falls down on top of him for the win. Then Cena can cut a promo if he wants.
Ok, so, yeah, I got carried away there. But, I think the ending just came off fairly poorly. Again, I’m fine with Cena winning and I’m not in the “zomg they BURIED Brock Lesnar!!!” boat by any means, but I just don’t think it came across well. It would have been much more effective if it wasn’t the typical Cena match formula that he’s been using 99% of the time since 2006.
Still though, it was a job done very well by both guys and came across great. The ending isn’t even that bad from a general standpoint—I just am bothered by it for reasons obvious to anyone who has ever spoken to me about John Cena.
Cewsh: There is a reason why these reviews are not just me sitting here and bombarding you with endless references to early 90s toy commercials , and are, instead, a team effort. The idea is that between Vice, Mrs. Cewsh and I, we represent virtually every possible realm of opinion on most every issue or topic that comes up. As a result, the three of us are almost never in agreement for any length of time. Of course, whenevr John Cena comes up you can go ahead and chop “for any length of time” and “almost” out of the preceding sentence. The reason that I’m telling you this, is because I want the significance of the following statement to register.
Every word that Vice said above is dead on accurate.
He’s completely right. The match was an amazing barbaric spectacle of one man, (in this case Brockle Snar,) beating another in a way so crushingly dominant that it didn’t even make the other man look weak. It just made his beating seem inevitable. I really can’t express enough how thoroughly they accomplished their goal of making Brock Lesnar seem like a nearly invincible murderbeast in the ring, or how surreal it was to see John Cena busted open and utterly at the mercy of a man who hardly even seemed to be trying.
Lesnar beat Cena to a pulp, and almost contemptuously unveiled a Kimura submission that looked like about the most painful thing you can do to a person’s arm other than make them use it to play Superman 64.
Make no mistake. If there were a class on how to book a dominant heel, this match would deserve to be a case study right off the bat. Cena looks utterly sympathetic and super tough for withstanding the violent onslaught, and Lesnar looks like some kind of warrior god deigning to beat up the biggest star in wrestling on his lunch break. It’s an incredible effective match, that has endless things to say for itself.
…until the end.
Now look, I don’t want to make a big stink over the events that transpired. Lesnar’s hubris gave Cena a chance to recover, and Lesnar came charging off of the stairs he set up in the middle of the ring directly into a chain punch from Cena. Then Cena hoisted Lesnar up for an AA onto the steel steps and got the win, even though Lesnar was up seconds later and Cena remained beat to hell. That’s a damn effective finish and if Cena has to win, that’s virtually a perfect way to do it. Brock underestimates Cena and walks into a desperation AA to give Cena the win by an inch. Honestly, it’s even more perfect, because all through the match as Cena was getting wrecked, he kept going for his biggest moves out of nowhere, because he knew that ending things quickly was his only possible chance of winning. But see, there’s a problem. After Lesnar runs into the chain and goes down, Cena climbs into the ring and prepares for his last ditch AA while firing up. Then he fires up some more. And some more. In fact he stands there dancing around and waiting for Lesnar for nearly a solid minute before Lesnar finally stands up into the AA. And while this may seem petty on the surface, in 45 seconds, they nearly managed to undo the entire match by having John Cena appear completely unharmed and by wrecking the flow of the match. A desperation AA by a half dead Cena is impactful. A premeditated AA with a minute of jumping up and down is just all wrong.
I hate to be that guy that harps on John Cena for no selling or anything, (we already have a guy for that,) but in this case, just a sliver of that seeping into an otherwise faultless match took this from a classic to merely being very good. That 45 seconds docked probably 6 points off of this match score. And with his promo afterwards, they’re probably lucky that it wasn’t more.
88 out of 100
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval
Cewsh: Looking back on the things that I said about the majority of the show, you might think that I abhorred the thing outside of the two really good matches. While I wouldn’t call it WWE’s best work, I certainly wouldn’t say that. The truth is that WWE is very close to be an incredibly satisfying wrestling promotion, and its proximity to excellence is just shining a spotlight on the small mistakes that are dragging them down and away from being as good as they are capable of being. Little stuff like the timing on a finish, or the style a street fight is wrestled can drastically change how a match is seen, and this show had enough that it added up to an event that was frustrating at times, even as it exceeded expectations at others.
But make no mistake. The pieces are all here, and they have my attention week by week, waiting to see if they’ll put them together. Somehow, I think that they just might.
Vice: This show was better than Wrestlemania. It had a couple things I didn’t care much about, but also had some great stuff. Overall, it was worth my 3 hours.
Well that’ll do it for us this week, boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed getting extreme with us, and while we’re not admitting to anything outright, getting an STD test wouldn’t be an unwise decision after we’re done here. Next week we’re going in a totally different direction as we jump back in time to the year 1990, and skip over to WCW to take in the wondrous splendor of WCW Capitol Combat 1990. And while there are a million things I could tell you to prepare you for that show, I’m only going to name one. Robocop.
Oh that’s right, fuckers. It’s going to get metal.
But as always and until then, make sure that you keep reading, and give some careful consideration to the idea of being good to one another.
In addition to that sweet review goodness which is only like a week late, I am here to make a formal announcement.
For those of you who don’t have any idea what that long string of nonsensical letters mean, they stand for the Cewsh Reviews Super Mega Ultra Technicolor Dream Card 3. And just as the name implies, this is the third year that will will be creating an entire dream card out of individual matches that you, our darling readers, submit to us.
So here’s how it works. You choose between 1 and 3 matches that you would like to see us review as part of this mega event, and we will take all the submissions and throw them into an Optimus Prime Mr. Potato Head. Then we’ll pull out 8 matches completely at random and compile them into a show which we will then review most awesomely. Only one match per person can actually make the cut, (so if we pick out all 3 of your choices, only the first one chosen gets in,) so choose your matches carefully. Do you want to torture us with the worst the wrestling world has to offer? Do you want to see what we think of your favorite match? Do you want us to wax poetic on the finest matches in wrestling history? The power is entirely in your hands, where it belongs.
Past versions of this saw us review a match where people eat bread. Just keep that in mind. BREAD.
So just submit your choices to us any way you find most convenient, whether it be via email, tweet, or just right here in this thread and submissions will remain open until June 1st. Happy submitting!
For reference and fun, feel free to check out the first two:
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