Countdown to Extreme Rules: ER 2009 review
By Ben Smith
Match #1: Kofi Kingston vs William Regal vs MVP vs Matt Hardy
This was a terrible way to open up the show. First of all I don’t know what is so “extreme” about a fatal 4 way, but I guess WWE sees any non singles/tag match as an extreme match. The horrible thing about this was that Kofi dominated most of the match and the two guys I like in this match (Regal and Hardy) barely got any offense in outside of a few cookie cutter moves, most of the time they were just punching bags for Kofi’s sloppy moves. The way this 4 way was booked was terrible too, basically two guys go at it while two others are hurt outside the ring, then one of them knocks out one of the guys in the ring and the process continues, its lazy booking and it dragged down the match. Then Kofi won, lol this match somehow just got even worse, somehow his terrible spotty moveset used to be even worse, who knew. Awful match with terrible booking, please WWE if you’re going to do a four way don’t make it just a rotating singles match, that is so damn boring.
Match #2: Rey Mysterio vs Chris Jericho in a No holds barred match
Oh shit I didn’t know we were going to get a match from this amazing 09 feud, hopefully this is on the level of their other matches, can’t remember if this one was good but I’ll assume it is. This completely lived up to expectations and them some. This match was almost the polar opposite of the subpar opener in that it flowed perfectly and didn’t feel too structured. The counters by Rey and Jericho were so unique and the story they told in the ring of Rey doing anything he could do to keep the fans from seeing his face resulted in him losing the match. Jericho was such an amazing heel in this, just being the biggest asshole in the ring and him yanking off the mask in the middle of countering the 619 from Rey was awesome, just made the crowd hate him so much. Funny think was that a good 85% of the crowd was cheering for Rey but the 3-4 guys in front of the camera HATED him and booed every time Rey would hit a move. So Jericho gets the win and the IC title, not to mention the mask. I’m going to need to check out the rest of their series because this one was just so fun to watch.
Match #3: CM Punk vs Umaga in a Samoan Strap match
So what is the difference between a Samoan Strap and a regular strap? Fun fact: pretty sure this was Umaga’s last WWE match as he was released soon after (RIP L). Shit this is the type of match that has that shitty stipulation where in order to win you have to touch all 4 corners, the evil stip that made a Henry vs Sheamus match absolute shit. This actually wasn’t THAT bad, it still was pretty mediocre because the strap match stipulation limits what the workers can do so much. The strap itself was used well in the match which means that if they didn’t have to use that fucking four corner rule then the match would actually be pretty damn entertaining. They did what they could though and while most of the match was spent laboring back and forth between ring posts, it certainly could have been much more boring. I personally thought the ending was awesome, Punk hits the GTS on Umaga and essentially collapses into the 4th ring post for the win. It was an exciting ending and a surprising one as I thought Umaga picked up the win to set up Punks big moment later a la Seth Rollins, but Punk needed the win against a monster like Umaga so I liked him winning. Decent match that could have been much much worse.
Match #4: Tommy Dreamer vs Christian vs Jack Swagger in a hardcore match
Interesting match here, I didn’t know that Dreamer was still wrestling with the WWE in 2009 tbh, thought he had retired by then, this should be decent just based on the fact that its hard to find a bad 2009 match featuring my man CHRISTIAN. This was a really good match just because of the story they told in the ring, it was basically Tommy Dreamer channeling his past and going all out in a hardcore ECW esque match to keep his career alive. I personally thought that while the action in the ring wasn’t fantastic, it worked as a hybrid between a hardcore spotfest and a good story told in the ring, something you don’t see too often, and it made up for the workers not putting on a very good performance in the ring in technical terms. Dreamer winning the ECW title was a nice moment, probably the last old ECW guy to hold the title before it was retired and it just made his whole career come full circle I guess, even if Christian would win it back relatively soon. The match was entertaining and was a good emotional victory for Dreamer, and sometimes you gotta take that over awesome wrestling skills.
Match #5: Santina Marella vs Vickie Guerrero and Chavo Guerrero in a hog pen match
Yeah my new promise is to not skip matches when I review shows, even if they are literally the worst sounding matches ever, such as this match which takes place in like a mud pit, who thinks of this shit? There's not much I can say about this tbh, its basically the grossest match possible with mud and pig slop being thrown throughout the match, I don’t think too highly of Chavo but even he deserves more then this shit, just terrible.
Score: DUD OF ALL DUDS
Match #6: Batista vs Randy Orton in a steel cage
This is what we almost got as our WM 30 main event (thank you Bryan). Going in I wanted this to be relatively short due to the match not sounding like it would be very good, but 7 minutes for a WWE title match? That’s a joke, especially in a stipulation like the steel cage. The match was ok for the time it got, Orton and Batista don’t have the best chemistry but they did an average job here, especially given the time they got was so limited. Was also surprised Flair didn’t make any sort of appearance due to his involvement in the feud, but maybe Orton beat him so badly that he was just selling the injury? Anyway this was just an average RAW match with a cage involved, in the end Batista hit a Batista Bomb and won the match. Honestly, why use this stipulation if the finish is just going to be a standard finisher for a pin? Seems like a waste of a usually decent stipulation to me. Anyway average match, not very good or very bad and they didn’t really have the time to develop any sort of story, like I said, felt like a RAW match for most of it. Batista wins the title only 2 months after Randy gets his big main event win at mania, short title reigns seemed to dominate 2009-2010 so I guess it’s nothing out of the ordinary.
Match #7: John Cena vs The Big Show in a submission match
Ugh, these two have the worst matches, and I can already see the terrible STF with Cole marking out, this will probably get tons of times too L. My WWE network stream kept freezing throughout this as if god was telling me THIS MATCH SUCKS STAY away, I probably should have listened. This match is basically exactly what you would expect it to be, a pretty boring slow match that in the end Cena overcomes the odds against the giant. These Cena vs Show matches are always booked as CENA CANT WIN, but has Show ever actually beaten Cena on PPV? Pretty sure these matches exist just to have Cena overcome the odds and be super Cena at his finest. I don’t mind Cena most of the time but this was just way too obvious of a finish and I don’t like Show at all but these two simply have zero chemistry. They would wrestle on PPV once more in 2012 and that sucked too, and they’ve stayed away from each other since for the most part, but this was just awful stuff.
Match #8: Jeff Hardy vs Edge in a ladder match
If it wasn’t for the great IC title match this would probably me my match of the night, which certainly isn’t saying much given this lackluster card but this was pretty much exactly the kind of match you’d expect from these two in a ladder match. Some good callbacks to the early 2000’s TLC days and plenty of exciting spots throughout the match. I thought they did a good job at making sure both guys got good offense in, and both men seemed like they legitimately beat the crap out of each other. The selling is what you’d expect from these guys who basically just act like whatever crazy spot they just took absolutely knocked them out, which I guess makes sense given the violence of the spots themselves. Ending to the match was really weird, with Edge basically just getting stuck in the ladder while Hardy wins, kind of a stupid finish tbh after the pure violence that these men had taken throughout the match. Crowd really wanted Hardy to win so that ended the show on a happy moment right?
WAIT! CM PUNK IS CASHING IN!!!
Match #9: CM Punk vs Jeff Hardy
Hardy actually stays alive through this short match, kind of a good way to make sure this became a feud and not just a squash and move on. Punk obviously wins this and gets his second World Championship reign, this one was much better then the first one though and led to an excellent program with Hardy.