John Cena delivers an Attitude Adjustment to Brock Lesnar.
Quick match with United States Champion Santino Marella successfully retaining his United States Championship against The Miz. The promo from Miz before the match was well done, but the bout was too quick to mean anything. As I've said before, Marella doesn't need the strap, while a former WWE Champion getting pinned by a comedy figure doesn't do anything for Miz whatsoever.
Great Falls Count Anywhere Match between Randy Orton and Kane that was, much like their WrestleMania encounter, better than originally expected. The crowd died down a bit when they went backstage, but Orton and Kane had suspenseful back-and-forth action throughout that kept the Chicago crowd alive. Orton going over was predictable, so that wasn't a major miss. Cool finish with the RKO onto the chair as well.
Fun match between Brodus Clay and Dolph Ziggler that worked as a nice buffer. Initially, Ziggler got cheered while Clay got booed (thanks to his association with Hornswoggle), so this didn't seem to serve much purpose. However, the crowd warmed up to Clay while hitting his signature spots and Ziggler sold like a beast as usual. Good win for Clay, but Ziggler needs to regain credibility quickly.
Good booking in the Intercontinental Championship Tables match between Big Show and Cody Rhodes. The action was fine for what it was worth, but Rhodes winning the belt in the fashion he did was a smart way to protect Show and give Rhodes back the title. Although the crowd booed the World's Largest Athlete for attacking Rhodes following the bout, he won them over with those two impressive spots through to table. Nicely done.
Excellent two-out-of-three counts falls match between World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and Daniel Bryan. After building up Bryan as a threat over the threat the last few weeks, he came off as an aggressive monster in this match. He was able to dominate throughout, while Sheamus was able to look resilient and pull out the victory. We've been waiting for a bout between these two for a long time, and it certainly delivered.
CM Punk plants a flying elbow to Chris Jericho.
Typical squash match with Ryback dominating two local athletes. Ryback has tremendous potential, but booking him against lesser guys won't help him get over any more. The "Goldberg" chants didn't help matters, but I was still glad to see Ryback make it on the show.
Solid match with WWE Champion CM Punk defeating Chris Jericho in a Street Fight to retain his title. They kicked up with the basics at the beginning, but really got the crowd ignited towards the middle to end when they started making good use of the environment around them. CM Punk's little sister at ringside played her role well, but it was odd not to see Punk's father there given the fact he's been the focus of the entire angle. Nonetheless, this match was very entertaining with the right result of Punk retaining. Sure, Jericho hasn't meant anything since he returned to WWE, but Punk is the future of the company and created a memorable moment by celebrating his victory in his hometown.
Throwaway match between Layla and Nikki Bella that saw Layla capture the Divas Championship. Since it was announced earlier on in the evening that Beth Phoenix would need to be replaced due to her "injury", all signs pointed to Kharma returning, exacting her revenge, and sending the Bellas off. However, they went with Layla instead, which turned out to a disappointment for those in attendance. I love Layla and all, but this was bad timing.
Strong Extreme Rules match between John Cena and Brock Lesnar. From start to finish, Lesnar looked like an absolute monster who could not be stopped. Having Cena bleed in the first two minutes of the match really enhanced the bout quite a bit, as did the numerous weapons used additionally. Obviously, it would have made much more sense for Lesnar to go over in his first match back, but putting Cena was their plan apparently. Regardless of the finish, this was an awesome encounter that will not be forgotten anytime soon. As for Cena's promo after the match, it felt like it came out of nowhere, but it was a nice hook to close the show.
Overall, a very enjoyable show that had excellent action throughout the night and some satisfying results. Most of the bouts lived up to their "extreme" stipulation and made this show feel meaningful. The last-minute additions to the card weren't all that meaningful, but they were passable buffers that did no harm. Much like last year's event, this pay-per-view exceeded my expectations and resulted in a success.
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