The Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena winner from Extreme Rules 2012 will upset some and leave others scratching their heads. Cena defeated Lesnar in a fantastic match that was longer and better than most expected, yet the finish is what some people will be talking about for weeks.
Overall this was one of the best shows the WWE has put on in years. There were some dull moments but overall you had three solid main-events. The two title matches were very good and the intensity in the main-event is something you don’t see often on a WWE pay per view. I’d go out of your way to catch the replay if you were skeptical about ordering it live.
I also think it should be noted how red hot the Chicago crowd was for most of the night. I think Chicago may be the most responsive WWE crowd on the circuit right now. I’d love to see the WWE do a WrestleMania at some point in Chicago (although it probably would never happen due to weather implications).
[adinserter block=”1″]John Cena defeated Brock Lesnar in an Extreme Rules Match that was far and away better than anything you probably expected. This was probably as good if not better than any John Cena match you will ever see. Lesnar took down Cena immediately and pounded him. Lesnar busted Cena open in the opening minute with a flurry of elbows. Cena then wound up taking Lesnar down (he should compete in UFC, Lesnar was rarely taken down in the UFC). Cena wound up with a nasty cut at this point. The referee stopped the match momentarily to check Cena’s cut. Lesnar then attacked him again and mounted him with vicious ground and pound. Lesnar kicked Cena to the floor after a brutal knee to the ribs.
Cena came back and went for an Attitude Adjustment only to get suplexed repeatedly by Lesnar. Cena fought back and nailed Lesnar with a shoulder tackle which knocked the referee out of the ring. Lesnar recovered quickly. I’ll give Cena credit here as even some of the tough Chicago crowd cheered Cena during his brief comebacks. Lesnar nailed Cena with a hammer fist and then wiped Cena’s blood on his chest. Lesnar than sunk in a Kimura on Cena’s arm before Cena hit the floor. I guess Brock finally worked on his submissions. Lesnar was just a monster here. Lesnar went back to the Kimura on the floor before rolling Cena back in. Lesnar brought Cena’s chain into the ring.
Lesnar dropped the chain and instead wound up stomping Cena. Lesnar hit another knee to the ribs. Lesnar then tied Cena’s legs together with the chain. Lesnar hung Cena upside down from the turnbuckle. Lesnar finally picked up Charles Robinson with one arm and threw him back in the ring. Lesnar hit an F5 that knocked down the referee. Cena kicked out of another referee’s count. Lesnar then brought the steel steps into the ring. Lesnar locked in a Kimura one more time as he laid back on the steps.
Cena wound up missing a leg drop off the top rope. Lesnar wound up leaping off the steps onto Cena. Lesnar’s momentum took him over the top rope and he held his knee. Lesnar got up laughing in a real cool spot as if the injury was a joke. Lesnar charged Cena again off the steps but Cena punched Lesnar with the chain. The crowd really got into Cena’s comeback here. Lesnar was cut with the chain. Cena gave Lesnar an Attitude Adjustment on the steps and pinned him for the 1-2-3 in easily the best match of the night.
There will be a lot of people that question the finish here. I don’t think there was anything wrong with it. It was exactly as I predicted it would go down in my blogs. The finish here was telegraphed weeks ago because there was no way Cena was losing to Rock, letting Lesnar get the best of him for three weeks, losing to Lord Tensai, and then losing again to Lesnar. The story of the match was Brock kicking Cena’s butt for 20 minutes and Cena needing a chain to beat Lesnar. Lesnar did a fantastic job of wrestling like a UFC fighter wrestling a WWE match. The match was longer and better than I expected but the finish is what people will be talking about for weeks. Cena talked after the match about going away for awhile. Not sure what that was about but it appears the man is taking a much needed vacation. Rumor has it that Cena may be starring in the next installment of The Marine.
I don’t think it was as devastating for Brock Lesnar as most bloggers and pundits would lead you to believe. Theoretically a guy that hasn’t wrestled a WWE match in 8 years shouldn’t be able to walk in and beat the top dog of the WWE. The psychology here makes perfect sense of Lesnar dominating Cena for 20 minutes but slipping up due to ring rust. Additionally, Cena needed to wrap a chain around his wrist to beat Lesnar.
I think it opens up a perfect opportunity for Lesnar to have to work his way back up. As I pointed out numerous times, Lesnar lost his first UFC fight (ironically in the same manner of dominating the fight and making one bad mistake). By the time he retired Lesnar was the biggest draw in UFC history. The MMA fans loved the story of Brock being so obsessed by his first loss to Frank Mir that he wouldn’t stop until he avenged the mistake. Brock even cut a memorable promo on the UFC Countdown special which showed him watching the first Mir fight and then punching a door. Do not be surprised to see that same promo repeat itself when it is time for a Cena rematch.
For the record, the UFC did its biggest buyrate in company history with the Brock vs. Mir rematch. Do not fool yourself into thinking that the WWE didn’t take that into consideration when booking the finish here. The Cena vs. Lesnar rematch could be huge if they recreate the Brock-Mir rematch with Brock-Cena at SummerSlam or even WrestleMania.
CM Punk defeated Chris Jericho to retain the WWE championship in a lengthy Street Fight. Punk won the match after reversing Jericho’s GTS attempt, slingshotting Jericho into an exposed turnbuckle, and then dropping him with a GTS of his own. The spot of the match was Punk dropping a flying elbow from the top to Jericho on the table. This one was more like an Extreme Rules match than a Street Fight to me. Another highlight of the match was Jericho getting in Punk’s family’s face and getting slapped by Punk’s sister. So what was the point of Jericho coming back to lose twice in a row to Punk? I liked Bryan vs. Sheamus better. This one seemed a little too much “everything but the kitchen sink” for my tastes.
Sheamus retained the WWE world heavyweight title beating Daniel Bryan two falls to one. Sheamus won the first fall by disqualification when Daniel Bryan refused to break the referee’s five count as Bryan was stomping Sheamus’ shoulder. I read a lot of people complaining about this finish on Twitter but I liked it. You never see anyone who loses when he or she refuses to break so it was different. It also worked with the story as Bryan immediately went to work on Sheamus’s arm, which Sheamus sold for the rest of the bout. Bryan won the second fall with the Yes Lock when Sheamus passed out ala Steve Austin in the Sharpshooter at WrestleMania 13 (ironically in Chicago). Sheamus recovered and won the final fall with a big Brogue kick. This was probably as good as you’ll ever see Sheamus. The match lived up to expectations in my opinion.
Layla El returned and defeated Nikki Bella to win the WWE Divas championship. This was a nice swerve as most expected Kharma to return tonight and win the championship. Prior to the match Eve even told Nikki Bella that her opponent wasn’t Kharma as a chance to defuse a disappointed crowd. Beth Phoenix was not medically cleared to wrestle after injuring her ankle on RAW this past Monday. According to numerous reports the Bella Twins are finished with the WWE either after tonight or in a few weeks. Unfortunately for Layla most fans expected Kharma and didn’t react well to the match at all.
The Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes wound up as a Tables Match thanks to an unlucky spin of the wheel. I loved the story here of the improbability of Cody putting Show through a table (although the announcers mentioned it enough that I figured out quickly he was winning). Cody wound up regaining the WWE intercontinental championship in a fun, but short match. Cody dropkicked Show off the apron and Show wound up stepping onto a table for the finish. It should be noted the fans loved Cody here and reacted similar to the way Christian won the WWE world heavyweight title last year at Money in the Bank. They had a real dangerous spot here after the match where Show dumped Cody over the top rope through a table. It looked brutal.
[adinserter block=”2″]Randy Orton defeated Kane in an abnormally long match. It went about 25 minutes and saw the WWE superstars brawl all over the arena. At one point they brawled in the locker room and Zack Ryder got involved. Orton wound up pinning Kane after reversing a Tombstone attempt on a chair. It was better than I expected and longer than I ever would have imagined going in.
Full WWE Extreme Rules 2012 results & winners…
John Cena defeated Brock Lesnar in an Extreme Rules Match
Layla El defeated Nikkie Bella to win the WWE Divas championship
CM Punk defeated Chris Jericho to retain the WWE championship in a Street Fight Match
Ryback defeated Aaron Relig & Jay Hatton in a Handicapped Match
Sheamus defeated Daniel Bryan to retain the WWE world heavyweight title 2 falls to 1 in a 2 of 3 Falls Match
Cody Rhodes defeated The Big Show in a Tables Match for the WWE I-C title
Brodus Clay defeated Dolph Ziggler
Randy Orton defeated Kane in a Falls Count Anywhere Match
Santino Marella defeated The Miz to retain the U.S. championship