Tonight, Jack Swagger takes on Big E. Langston. But, way more importantly, Daniel Bryan takes on Dean Ambrose. I am beside myself with glee at match.
The show opens with Chris Jericho in the ring for another edition of The Highlight Reel. His guest tonight will be challenging John Cena for the WWE Championship in a Last Man Standing Match at Extreme Rules, and that is Ryback. Ryback comes out, and Jericho says he’s made incredible waves over the last month, starting the night after Wrestlemania. On his show, Jericho likes to rile people up, but in the case of John Cena, Jericho knows where Ryback is coming from. Ryback says he doesn’t need Jericho’s approval. Jericho knows why Ryback did what he did, as what Ryback has wanted has always been taken out of his grasp. Jericho wants to know what Ryback’s rules are. He thinks they’re pretty simple: Ryback will do whatever it takes to win and be on top, and Jericho understands that. He’s been champion six times, and to do that, he grew a chip on his shoulder, and if people weren’t with him, they were against. Ryback says don’t judge him, and he takes care of himself. Jericho isn’t judging, but the fans are. The Jerichoholics here tonight are judging Ryback. They’re booing you, Ryback, because they know the difference between beating Steve Austin and The Rock in the same night to become Undisputed Champion, and beating a one-legged John Cena in a LMS match. Maybe Ryback will get what he wants, and wants to be a cowardly champion instead of the nice guy who always finishes 2nd. Ryback could win the title at Extreme Rules, but he will lose the respect of everyone in the WWE Universe. Ryback tells Jericho he talks way too much. What makes Jericho think Ryback won’t drop him right here and now? Jericho says he’s looking into Ryback’s eyes and doesn’t think he’ll do a damn thing.
Cue Teddy Long. He says that’s not the way it’s going to go down. If these two have some business to settle, then they will do it in tonight’s main event. As soon as Long finishes talking, Ryback drops Jericho with a cheap shot and heads to the back. Considering how awesome last week’s Bryan/Ryback match was, this main event has a ton of potential.
Later tonight, Mark Henry is apparently looking to set a world record.
MATCH 1: WWE United States Champion Kofi Kingston vs. Cody Rhodes (non-title)
Kofi goes right to the waistlock, and Rhodes knocks him down. They each block a hip toss, and Kofi hits a kneelift, followed by a flipping armdrag. Never seen an armdrag like that before. Kofi hits a standard one after that, right into an armbar until Rhodes elbows out. He chokes Kofi over the middle rope, then hits a kitchen sink for 1. Standing gourdbuster connects for 2. Rhodes stomps Kofi down, then applies a modified hammerlock. Kofi escapes and hits another armdrag, followed by a pair of chops and a dropkick. He misses the jumping clothesline, but hits a sunset flip. Rhodes rolls through and goes for a kick, but Kofi ducks and rolls Rhodes up for 2. Rhodes escapes and hits a punt to the ribs for 2. Kofi gets sent to the corner, blocks a charge, then springs to the top with the cross-body. Rhodes rolls through and gets 2. He goes for a Cross Rhodes, but Kofi escapes and goes for the SOS. Rhodes escapes and ducks TIP. He goes for the Disaster Kick, but Kofi ducks and nails Rhodes with Trouble in Paradise for 3.
WINNER: Kofi Kingston. Good closing sequence in that match. My compliments to both men. Good match overall, too.
MATCH 2: Big E. Langston (w/AJ Lee and Dolph Ziggler) vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter)
I hope Ziggler’s doing alright since getting injured, and I also hope it’s nothing long-term. Amnesia, no matter the grade, is no joke. Anyway, Alberto Del Rio is on commentary for the match, and AJ looks amazing as well. Before the match starts, ADR pulls a ladder from under the ring and slides it into the ring, leaving it at that. Ziggler goes to grab it, and Swagger kicks him. Swagger and Langston tug-of-war at the ladder, and Swagger rams it into Langston’s gut off a Zeb Colter distraction.
WINNER: No contest. The match never even got started. Langston gets clotheslined to the floor, and Ziggler comes in and nails Swagger before dropkicking the ladder into Swagger. He then baseball slides it into Zeb. ADR is back in, and he hits a clothesline on Ziggler before nailing him with a thrust kick. ADR then swings the ladder into Ziggler’s face before pulling it outside, where he throws it into Swagger. The ladder gets slid back into the ring by ADR, and he sets it up, grabs the World title belt, then climbs the ladder and holds it over his head.
MATCH 3: Dean Ambrose (w/Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins) vs. WWE Tag Team Co-Champion Daniel Bryan (w/Kane)
Bryan immediately nails a running knee, then stomps Ambrose down in the corner. Ambrose comes back with forearms and punches before raking Bryan’s eyes across the top rope. Bryan counters an Irish whip with a kitchen sink, then drops some elbows to the shoulder and lands some kicks to the back. Bryan hits a jumping kneedrop, then follows up with European uppercuts in the corner. Ambrose fights back and nails some shots before throwing Bryan into the opposite corner. He headbutts Bryan down, then foot chokes him on the bottom rope. Chop to the chest by Ambrose, and Bryan backflips off a corner whip attempt before hitting a running clothesline. He fires up the No! Kicks, but misses the Buzzsaw when Ambrose rolls to the floor. Bryan capitalizes with a suicde dive, and we see a stand-off between Kane and Reigns/Rollins in the aftermath. Commercials.
Back from the break, Ambrose is in control with an elbow drop, getting 2. Ambrose applies a neck vice, then turns it into a straightjacket. Bryan starts to reverse, but gets hit with a short-arm clothesline. Ambrose then hits a low clothesline for 2 before applying a double trapezius claw. Ambrose breaks it to back to the neck vice, and Bryan elbows his way out. He hits some rights before getting hit with a vicious kneelift. Ambrose hits a couple rights against the ropes, then nails a running seated dropkick for 2. Ambrose applies a sleeper, but Bryan fights out once more. Ambrose headbutts him, then nails some forearms to the face in the corner. He misses a charge, going shoulder-first into the ring post. Bryan follows up with a running corner dropkick, then nails some more No! Kicks before tying Ambrose up in the tree of woe. More kicks, and now a baseball slide to the chest for 2. Bryan hits some European uppercuts until Ambrose counters into a backslide for 2. Bryan escapes and blasts Ambrose with a running kick to the chest. Bryan goes up top, and Kane steps in to make sure Rollins and Reigns don’t interfere. Bryan hits a seated missile dropkick on Ambrose for 2. Ambrose comes back with some palm strikes, ducks a roundhouse and hits a back suplex into a facebuster for 2. Ambrose has a nice shiner on his left eye, courtesy of Bryan’s corner dropkick. Ambrose hits some knees to the face, but Bryan blocks a short-arm clothesline and counters into the No! Lock. He cinches it in as Rollins tries to interfere. Kane pulls him out, and Reigns breaks up the hold. Reigns goes after Kane, and Kane takes them both on. Ambrose applies a side headlock when Kofi Kingston runs in and attacks him.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Dean Ambrose. Kofi and the tag champs then clean house, sending The Shield back through the crowd. Well, until the DQ finish, that match was awesome.
We see footage from earlier today of Mark Henry pulling a 27-ton tractor trailer behind him. Up next, Henry will try to break a world record by pulling two of them.
We see some footage of Henry whipping Sheamus this past Monday night. For those that say wrestling is completely fake, look at pics of Sheamus’ back later that night and get back to me.
We’re back outside the arena where Henry is prepping. Matt Striker interviews him beforehand. Henry says there has been a lot of strong men who have pulled trucks, boats, trolleys and buses. There’s no one on Earth that has pulled two tractor trailers. Tonight, this is a demonstration of how he’s going to pull Sheamus like a ragdoll. At Extreme Rules, all four corners are going to be touched. Now get out of his way while he makes history. Henry has to pull these twenty feet to break the record. Henry pulls a couple of times and doesn’t make any headway. He takes a breath for a minute, and Striker asks him if he’s struggling. Henry says no one thinks he can do it. That don’t matter. Get out of his way! Henry begins pulling, and the trucks do indeed move, and Henry eventually does it before collapsing on the ground. I’m not sure if the Guinness people were actually here or not, but if they were, it does appear Henry has broken a record. For whatever reason, The Prime-Time Players were acting as his cheerleaders during this segment. Regardless of what you think of Henry, what he did was pretty damn impressive.
Renee Young is standing by with Randy Orton. She reminds him of what happened on RAW when The Big Show nailed Orton with a KO Punch. She asks him what his message to Show is. Orton is not the most trusting type, but he trusted Show at ‘Mania, and it got him knocked out twice. You mess with “The Viper”, you’re going to get bit. At Extreme Rules, there will be no antidote for what he does to The Big Show.
MATCH 4: The Big Show vs. Sweet T (w/Brodus Clay and The Funkadactyls)
Show starts with some body blows. T fights back with rights to the face, then shoulders Show in the corner. Headbutts by T, and now more rights in the corner. He hits an avalanche, then goes for the Derailer. Show knocks his arms away and hits the KO Punch for the 3.
WINNER: The Big Show. After the match, Clay gets in the ring to check on T, and Show goes after him. Clay fights back until Show spears him. He calls for the KO Punch once more, but Randy Orton comes in out of nowhere and hits an RKO on Show.
We see Kaitlyn texting someone when AJ Lee approaches her, asking who the secret admirer. Kaitlyn says maybe it’s Dolph, as maybe Dolph is ready for a real woman. AJ makes fun of the fact that Kaitlyn is muscular, and Kaitlyn calls her a 10 year-old boy. Natalya interrupts, and AJ calls them, “gentlemen”. Nattie asks if she has figured out who it is yet, then says The Great Khali hasn’t found anything out yet. Khali approaches them wearing a Rey Mysterio mask, singing his entrance theme before walking off. Not sure what the point of that was. Kaitlyn tells Nattie he doesn’t have to wear a costume while working undercover before leaving. Nattie tells Khali doesn’t have to go undercover, or dress like Cody Rhodes. The camera pans up to show Khali wearing a mustache.
MATCH 5: Chris Jericho vs. Ryback
Lock-up, and Ryback throws Jericho back. They do this again, and Ryback then shoves Jericho. Jericho slaps him and hits a dropkick off the ropes. Jericho gets backdropped to the outside off a charge, but lands on the apron. Ryback nails him with a forearm, knocking him to the floor. Outside, Ryback continues the attack with rights to the head before rolling Jericho back in. Jericho cuts him off with a kick, then hits a chop in the corner. Jericho hits some kicks to the gut until Ryback shoves him down and continues the assault with stomps before foot-choking Jericho near the ropes. Ryback throws Jericho to the corner and hits a knife-edge before clubbing Jericho down and applying a rear chinlock. Jericho fights out, but gets hit with a knee. Jericho comes back with a kick, escapes a slam and hits a flying forearm, sending Ryback to the ropes. Jericho nails an inside-out dropkick, sending Ryback to the floor. Ryback immediately jumps back up on the apron, then jumps right back down. Commercials.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Chris Jericho. Ryback begins heading to the back as Jericho is helped up by referee Scott Armstrong. Ryback comes back after a minute and Meat Hooks Jericho over the announce table.
End of show.
Much like Bryan/Ambrose, the DQ finish to the main event sucked. However, the match was still good. That’s three good matches this week. I call it a win.
Dustin Nichols is a freelance writer, and you can keep track of all of his work on his Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/DustinNicholsWriter. Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out his mom’s official site by clicking the banner below:
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