WWE Champion John Cena takes control of Seth Rollins.
Harmless Triple Threat match to kick off the show with Ricardo Rodriguez defeating Zeb Colter and Big E Langston. It was silly at times and stupendously stupid as well, but it was a logical way of establishing the stipulation for the World Heavyweight Championship match at Extreme Rules. I hoped it would be made a Ladder match, so I'm glad that was the stipulation they ultimately went with. Although I was fine with this bout, I question the move to have it open the broadcast, as it was somewhat strange and not announced ahead of time.
Classy segment featuring WWE Champion John Cena and the kids from the Make-A-Wish foundation. Regardless of whether you love or despise Cena, you have to admire and respect just how dedicated he is to the organization. It was a memorable moment in the lives of those young children and definitely a feel-good moment for those watching at home. Furthermore, I'm glad WWE played it straight and didn't have Ryback or anyone interfere merely because they wanted to keep it kayfabe.
Great match between Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes. These two have awesome chemistry with one another and were given quite a bit of time to shine in the squared circle. The final few moments were well done and the ending sequence with Orton reversing the Beautiful Disaster kick into an RKO made for a cool finish. It's a shame that Rhodes doesn't mean much anymore, as this would have been a marquee match at one point in time. His loss to The Viper was set in stone from the start, but he surely looked strong in defeat.
Mediocre match between Brie Bella and Naomi. The bout lasted a mere minute before ending with the tiresome Twin Magic act, which caused for the decision to be reversed moments later. Naomi is an impressive competitor, but she wasn't given enough time to truly showcase her athletic abilities. This bout didn't serve much of a purpose outside of plugging the new Divas reality show debuting on the E! network this upcoming summer.
Standard promo from The Shield discussing their path of destruction since their debut late last year. It was a nice momentum booster, but it wasn't anything we haven't heard before. 3MB interrupting was an unpleasant surprise, as I have no desire whatsoever to see them turn face to feud with the faction. We've been seeing Team Hell No fend off The Shield for weeks now, but it was still an effective way of setting up the inevitable WWE Tag Team Championship match at Extreme Rules.
Fun match between World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler and United States Champion Kofi Kingston. Their matches are always very well wrestled, but the match itself has grown so stale that everything else rendered irrelevant. The action was entertaining down the stretch, but the Champion vs. Championship stipulation lost its luster long ago. Kingston is only two weeks into his U.S. title reign and he's already been relegated back to enhancement talent status, which shouldn't come as much of surprise to anyone.
By Carson Koschik
Being a part of the IWC, it's only natural to criticize everything a wrestling company does. Whether it's pushing an old timer into the World Championship scene (*cough* TNA *cough*), jobbing their midcard champions every week (*cough* WWE *cough*), or making the most non-sensical World Championship matches possible (*cough* ROH *cough*), us "smart mark" fans enjoy to tear apart the people that produce our favorite thing to shreds. Well, I thought that I would start to highlight the best part of wrestling: the wrestling. Each week I will give you my top ten matches of the week from WWE, TNA, and ROH. Hopefully I can introduce you to new companies, new characters, and new shows.
#10. Kaitlyn (c) vs. AJ - Divas Championship (WWE NXT - 04/25/13)
On NXT wednesday, WWE held a miniature Clash of Champions, where we saw a multitude of titles defended. We kicked off the show with the scarcely seen Divas Champion defending her big butterfly belt against AJ. Seeing as this was pre-taped weeks in advance, I wouldn't worry about this being AJ's title match from winning the Battle Royale on Raw. Even though it's kind of sucky to see a match that should have been at WrestleMania opening NXT, it was still one hell of a match. People like to crap on the Divas Division for not having a lot of talent, but I personally think that they have more talent than TNA's Knockout Division. It's just that WWE has no idea how to use them. During the match, we got to see AJ pull out a few moves we haven't seen in a while, such as a bridging Fujiwara Armbar and a Shining Wizard. Kaitlyn would ultimately retain her championship after a spear, but AJ looked extremely strong and proved why she is one of the best female wrestlers out there. Now WWE just needs to let their Divas have great matches on Raw and Smackdown, instead of regulating them to NXT.
Jack Swagger lays a brutal beating on Alberto Del Rio.
Great No Disqualification match between Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger. As proven last week, these two worked wonderfully together and kept the action exciting throughout. They made great use of the extreme stipulation and utilized the environment surrounding them. After losing to Del Rio twice before, it was nice to see Swagger score the victory here, especially in clean fashion. I would have liked to see World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler make an appearance at some point on this show, but I understand they the focus was solely kept on the feud between Del Rio and Swagger.
Fine match between Aksana and Layla. Aside from Layla getting the hometown reaction she deserves, this bout didn't serve much of a purpose. Layla is a much better in-ring worker than Aksana, so she was at least able to carry her to an exceptional contest. Although I don't see this win propelling Layla back into the Divas Championship picture, I'm glad WWE took the time to host a Divas match on the show that featured put Layla in action in her home country of England.
Brief match between Fandango and Justin Gabriel. As expected, Fandango was crazily over with the live crowd, which is a good sign for him. Whether it continues going forward remains to be seen, but he can definitely produce quality matches. We didn't see much of his athletic abilities in this brief bout, but it was a victory that helped further his recent momentum. I was surprised that his post-match promo was as short as it was, but it was still better than nothing.
Strong match between Sheamus and Big Show. These two always work well together, and this contest was no exception. Their offense was incredibly intense and hard-hitting, which kept thing interesting throughout the bout. Mark Henry costing Sheamus the victory was logical, while having Show pin Sheamus to pick up the victory was a nice touch. I hope this leads to Show, Henry, Sheamus and Orton all feuding with one another come Extreme Rules instead of the respective singles matches.
By CJ Blaze
This week’s episode kicked off with a pre-taped promo from Dusty Rhodes talking about NXT and tonight’s theme: “Clash of Champions”!
-Antonio Cesaro came out and cut a promo
United States Title Match: Cesaro (c) vs. Adrian Neville
This was an outstanding match! This should’ve been the main event. The crowd was certainly into it, and the performers did great. Neville showed off his high-flying style, and Cesaro used his technical skills to retain his United States Championship. (As mentioned on a ticker at the bottom of the screen during the show, this match was taped several weeks ago when Cesaro was still the champion.)
Winner: and still the U.S. Champion, Antonio Cesaro- by pinfall
Diva’s Championship: Kaitlyn (c) vs. AJ Lee
This match was actually kind of disappointing to me, to be honest. The flow seemed inconsistent. They each had moments where something didn’t connect like it was supposed to. But, it was interesting to see AJ use some of Ziggler’s moves.
Winner: and still the Diva’s Champion, Kaitlyn- by pinfall
By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Good opening segment featuring AJ Styles, James Storm, Bad Influence and Aces and Eights. Everyone played their roles well, and Styles continues to be an intriguing act. This was a smart way to further Storm's feud with Styles without giving too much away. Bad Influence teasing a Fortune reunion is extremely exciting, as it's always possible they could indeed rival Aces and Eights. The run-in from Aces and Eights at the end was logical, but it didn't seem all that necessary.
Fine match with Taryn Terrell defeating Tara. It was given more time than one time would expect and told a story while it lasted. Terrell is still green in the ring, but a solid worker such as Tara can bring her to a good match. Terrell sold well for Tara's offense, which made her eventual victory feel like a bigger deal. I'm not sure if they are continuing Terrell's feud with Gail Kim, as Kim was surpisingly absent from this show.
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