The John Report: WWE Extreme Rules '09 Preview

Welcome to my preview for the 2009 WWE Extreme Rules pay per view event. The show is full of Judgment Day rematches, which means it’ll probably be better than JDay was because they’ve added stipulations to it that will probably benefit the quality of the matches. Since I already feel like I’ve previewed this show a month ago, I figured I would do something special by inviting an old friend to help me for this one time only (unless it catches on, I guess). His name is Sean aka Drqshadow and he used to be my PPV writing partner ten years ago. We did previews of every PPV from 1999 until about 2004 or so. We did WCW and ECW previews while also doing WWF ones. You name it, we did it. We even had a cool banner with Steve Blackman of the “great” tag team of Head Cheese in it.

Man, that’s such a classic. Sadly, though, Drq hasn’t watched any WWE for the past three years even though he still casually follows it by reading results, the odd newsbit or by chatting with me about things. These days he’s busy killing time by playing games like Rock Band or trying to beat me in UFC by submission because he knows he can’t mess with my standup game. With that in mind, I’ll post his comments to give you the perspective of somebody that’s not watching and then give you my picks, which are obviously from somebody that is watching. Simple enough, right? Let’s get to it.

Samoan Strap Match: CM Punk vs. Umaga

John: CM Punk vs. Umaga in a Samoan Strap match. Umaga cuts promos now while speaking perfect English.

Drqshadow: Hahaha. They should have given him a British accent. Do they really have such an abundance of straps in Samoa to differentiate their product from the straps produced by the rest of the world? I guess that gives Umaga something of a homefield advantage here, but I read somewhere that he won their last match so my choice is Punk.

John: Umaga did win the last PPV match, but Punk beat him on Smackdown this week for some reason. I guess to show that he can beat him. I was surprised Punk lost to him last month, so I’m going to assume they’re going to end the feud with Punk winning here because it just makes more sense on a show that needs more babyfaces getting pushed than it does heel. It should be a convincing win with Punk touching all four corners while being strapped to a much bigger win. That’s why I don’t mind the stip very much.
Winner: CM Punk

Hogpen Match: Vickie Guerrero vs. Santina Marella

Drqshadow: I think the loser of this match should be publicly adopted by the Godwinns. I’ll take Santina via an acrobatic display of bravery and southern-style justice. Maybe he’ll land a corkscrew shooting star press from the lid of the slop bucket.

John: The guy dressed liked a woman is going to beat the overweight woman that snorts like a pig only after being called one. The unintelligent wrestling fans will think this is hilariously great. Me? I feel stupider for having spent even two minutes on it.
Winner: Santina

United States Title: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. MVP vs. William Regal vs. Matt Hardy

Drqshadow: It would’ve been a better gimmick if they had a
fatal four way gimmick with five participants. I’m amazed Regal is still going, he must be pushing
50 now. Then again, it’s wrestling, so I really shouldn’t be surprised. If MVP is still wearing the full body suit, he’s my choice. Otherwise, I’ll take the other Hardy.

John: I guess he’s going with MVP although I don’t think he was aware that Kingston beat him on Raw on Monday for the belt. I’m fully aware of it obviously and I loved that match. I would have preferred a singles rematch here, but I guess this is okay. Of course I’m wondering what’s extreme about a four way match because that’s not really a stipulation, is it? Not a big deal, really. I’m just happy that they remembered to actually put the US title on PPV. I think Kingston will retain his newly won title while MVP moves up the card because Raw needs babyface wrestlers and he’s the best candidate for a sustained push up the ladder.
Winner: Kofi Kingston

ECW Championship Hardcore Rules: Christian (c) vs. Jack Swagger vs. Tommy Dreamer

Drqshadow: Tommy Dreamer should go back to that great gimmick where he ate all sorts of inedible things. Clearly that worked for him if he’s fighting for the title this weekend. I don’t know who Jack Swagger is, but I’m sure Vince is anxious to embarrass Christian for daring to leave him a few years ago, so he’s my pick. Christian will be pinned by both men numerous times during the match.

John: The PPV is called Extreme Rules, this is the Extreme Championship Wrestling title and the match is being fought under Hardcore Rules according to Think about that for a moment. Not too long because it might hurt your brain. If Dreamer loses, his contract is up and that’s the end of his career. Of course it’s pro wrestling where careers never seem to end. Anyway, I think Christian retaining the title is the smart thing to do although I’m not sure where that would leave Swagger going forward unless they did that feud again. I do think this is the end of Dreamer, though, so I’ll go with Captain Charisma to retain.
Winner: Christian

Intercontinental Championship No Holds Barred: Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Chris Jericho

Drqshadow: I remember when these guys were lighting it up in WCW ages and ages ago. Now they’re both bloated and much slower, which is kind of sad. If they were to bust out that classic hurricanrana-into-liontamer spot in this match, I might just start watching again. But they won’t, so I won’t. Mysterio to retain.

John: I’ve got no problem with the No Holds Barred stip, but I’d love to know what makes it different than the Hardcore Rules match you see above? It seems like the exact same to me. Not that I’m complaining about a Jericho/Mysterio match. Like Drq pointed out, they had classic matches over a decade ago and while both have some extra weight on them these days they’re both excellent professional wrestlers that know how to have great matches. If they get 20 minutes they have match of the night potential and one of the better matches of the year too. I think Jericho will get the win, then they’ll rematch at Summerslam (not sure about The Bash) when Mysterio will put up his mask and get the belt back to end the feud because they’d be stupid to take Rey’s mask off.
Winner: Chris Jericho

Submission Match: John Cena vs. Big Show

Drqshadow: Ohhh, I hope we get a few more 500lb floatovers. Has the Big Show ever beaten Cena in a singles match? Cena will submit him with the kind of small joint manipulation that’s outlawed in UFC. They should have him submit to fish hooking.

John: Cena’s got to lose at some point, right? I think this will be it. I think Show winning convincingly is the right finish although Cena is so protected by the bookers that it’s hard to ever pick against him. I did so last month and I’m doing it here too. And I’m probably wrong again. By the way, the shorter this match is the better for everybody.
Winner: Big Show

WWE Championship Steel Cage Match: Randy Orton (c) vs. Batista

Drqshadow: Orton is the champ again? I’ll go with him to retain, because Batista still isn’t the kind of guy you want to build your company around. Is he still regularly tearing muscles off the bone on his way to the ring?

John: How many PPV title matches has Batista had in the last three years? It seems like he gets four or five per year and he’s hurt for the other half of the year. I like the guy generally and think he’s improved a lot over the last five years, but it feels like I’ve been here before. I’m also not crazy about a cage match by a company that doesn’t allow its wrestlers to cut themselves to tell a story in the ring. It’s not going to be violent or hate filled. It’s going to be tame, which is not what a steel cage match should be. I’m also worried about Batista tearing a muscle while trying to climb the thing. That won’t be pretty. The match should be okay, but these two just don’t have the chemistry to really create an epic match for some reason. If this match goes on last then I’d expect to see HHH save Batista from a post match beatdown, which will then lead to Batista turning heel probably by Summerslam in August. I feel pretty safe in picking Orton for the win, though.
Winner: Randy Orton

World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match: Edge (c) vs. Jeff Hardy

Drqshadow: Oh, they’re still doing the two champions thing. That lasted way longer than I ever could have imagined. Isn’t Hardy leaving to go get high and drive cars into things in a few weeks? Common sense says Edge, but WWElogic (TM) says they’ll pull a swerve and put the belt on Hardy to prove how cool and mysterious they are. I’ll say Edge.

John: There’s very little doubt in my mind that this will be a great match. They’re both good workers, they’ve both been in a lot of great ladder matches and they were largely great because of them. I don’t know if it will top Jericho/Michaels from No Mercy ’08 as the best World (or WWE) Championship match, but it certainly has the potential to be close. It’s tough to pick a Hardy match considering that there are all these rumors about whether he’s going to re-sign with WWE or not. I wonder if maybe he’s already signed and WWE is just instigating these rumors themselves to make people think one way or the other. While I’d prefer Edge to retain the belt for a glorious run that he so richly deserves, I think that WWE loves the title changes and they’ll put the belt back on Hardy because he most likely has re-signed or they know he will if they put the belt on him. If Edge retains, I think it would be a perfect time to have CM Punk come out and cash the briefcase in to win the belt after a grueling title match like this. There are tons of possibilities surrounding what should be a match of the year contending match. That’s a good thing. I’m going Hardy on a whim more than anything. No matter what happens I doubt I’ll be unhappy just as long as both of these nutcases (I mean that with all sincerity) end this match in good health.
Winner: Jeff Hardy

I think in terms of in ring action this is going to be one of the better PPVs of the year because of the Hardy/Edge and Jericho/Mysterio matches. Both of them are going to hit the four star range as long as they’re given time and who knows how much better they get once they hit the 15-20 minute mark. I think Batista/Orton should be okay wrestling wise while the 3 way and 4 way matches should be fine too. Everything else is a question mark to me. You give me three or four good to great matches and it’s generally a successful PPV. I think that’s what Extreme Rules will be, but I don’t know if they’ve done enough to entice people to buy the show with their hard earned dollars. Time will tell on that one.

Enjoy the show, people.

Smell ya later,
John C. –
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