16th Jul2014

‘WWE Extreme Rules 2014′ Blu-ray Review

by Chris Cummings

Extreme-Rules-DVD-2014

WWE Extreme Rules 2014 see the action from the Izod Centre New Jersey, where John Cena continues his feud with the Wyatt Family taking on Bray in a steel cage match. Evolution take on the The Shield in the battle of the the old and new factions and Kane goes back behind the mask to challenge Daniel Bryan for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, plus much more.

Extreme Rules Pre-show Match – WeeLC Match – Hornswoggle vs. El Torito (a DVD/Blu-ray Extra)

What the hell is a WeeLC match, you may ask. Well, I asked the same damn thing. Is it a match in which combatants can use chairs, ladders and urine to defeat their opponents? No, it isn’t, though that sure would have been a spectacle. The WeeLC match is WWE’s way of amusing itself with puns. This is a midget TLC match in which no holds are barred. Hornswoggle was accompanied by 3MB and El Torito was accompanied by Los Matadores. There were even three midget announcers positioned at a mini-announce desk at ringside for this encounter. The WWE pulled out all the stops to mock and laugh at the wrestlers here, with all the silly jokes that belong in the 1970’s being wheeled out for someone, some where’s amusement. The match was okay, it featured some entertaining spots and Torito and Swoggle did their best to put on a fun show for the fans. The match ended when El Torito put Horny through a table for the three count. I feel, in 2014 especially, that mocking anyone based on size, colour, disability or whatever else, is a disgrace. WWE needs to play catch-up and stop with this unfunny trash.

Winner: El Torito

The show then began, and we are now officially underway for Extreme Rules 2014.

Match 1: Triple Threat Match – Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro vs. Jack Swagger

Former tag team partners, Cesaro and Swagger, as well as ECW Original, RVD, open the show here. The last RVD stint in WWE, last year, was a disappointment in my view and made me kind of against the idea of seeing Van Dam in a WWE ring again. Here, with Cesaro and Swaggs, RVD put on a good show and was the best I’ve seen him work in a long while. Cesaro stole the match with his power displays and ultra-cool combination of mat wrestling, brawling and European shoot styles. His suplexes were excellent and he brought the match together. Swagger did his part too, but was soon eliminated by RVD, turning the match into a one-on-one encounter between “The Swiss Superman” and “Mr. Monday Night”. Cesaro and RVD exchanged some great moves and holds and put on a hell of a show for the time they worked together here, with Cesaro eventually nailing RVD with “The Neutralizer” on a trash can for the three count and the win. Big things are on the horizon for the “King of Swing”.

Winner: Cesaro

Match 2: Alexander Rusev (w/Lana) vs. R Truth & Xavier Woods

Rusev has been pushed as an unstoppable machine since his debut on RAW a few weeks ago, and the push continues here at Extreme Rules in this handicap match. Rusev, a talented and agile big-man, attacks his opponent before the bell even rings here, and the assault continues throughout, with R Truth only getting minimal offence in on “The Super Athlete”. Rusev will really shock people when he gets to show just how good he is when given longer in the ring, but this push works for now and makes him look like a bad-ass. He needs to show more intensity though, I will say that. Rusev pounds his opponents before flattening Truth and making him submit to his “Accolade” clutch finisher. A squash match, but one that helps push a young heel further up the card.

Winner: Alexander Rusev

Match 3: Intercontinental Title Match – Big E (c) vs. Bad News Barrett

Barrett won a RAW contenders tournament to become the challenger to Big E’s title here. Barrett is over here, though he is a heel, and Big E is being booed a lot by the fans. Big E needs more time to grow as a character, he was pushed too soon and the fans are letting him know it. The match is decent, but I am a big Barrett fan, so it’s nice to see him getting the upper hand in matches again. I hope this isn’t yet another Barrett stop and start push and he is given the full backing this time around. After back and forth action in which each man kicks out of the other man’s signature moves, Barrett nailed Big E with the “Bullhammer” elbow for the victory, becoming the new Intercontinental Champion in the process. The fans popped for this victory, showing that they took this result as anything but bad news.

Winner: (New Champion) Bad News Barrett

Match 4 : Evolution vs. The Shield

The newly reformed Evolution, consisting of Triple H, Batista and Randy Orton, took on the babyface hounds of justice, The Shield, here. The six man matches in which The Shield faces The Wyatt Family, earlier this year, were incredible and also well received by the fans, so the question going into this match was, could this be in the same league as those matches? Well, it certainly did a commendable job of trying. While the heat wasn’t on the same page as it was in the Shield/Wyatt’s matches, this still delivered in the ring and the result was the right one. A slow building match that told a good story, this was possibly the best match of the night and the fans got more and more vocal as the match proceeded. Evolution did a good job at playing the villains while The Shield were very over with the crowd. They brawled into the bleachers, an old school thing to happen, and Seth Rollins took a crazy dive from a balcony and onto Triple H and Orton. In the ring, Batista fell victim to a Superman Punch and Spear from Roman Reigns before being pinned by Reigns. The Shield won and looked like mega-stars in the process. A top quality match that was on par, in many ways, with the amazing Shield/Wyatt encounters.

Winners: The Shield

Match 5: Steel Cage Match – Bray Wyatt (w/Rowan & Harper) vs. John Cena

John Cena defeated Wyatt at WrestleMania 30, a result that many have said was the wrong one and a harmful one to the career of Bray Wyatt. Cena didn’t need to win then, but he did, so surely he would do the right thing and put over Wyatt here, in a cage, at Extreme Rules. Well, let me tell you the result now before I talk about the match. Cena did lose, but Wyatt looked like anything but a winner as he walked out of the cage at the end of this match. Selfish Cena struck again. WWE and Cena did everything possible, on the way to Wyatt’s victory, to paint Wyatt as someone who couldn’t win without massive amounts of interference from his “family”. Cena almost won the match on dozens of occasions only to be cut off by either Eric Rowan or Luke Harper. This was not good booking and it made Wyatt look weak in the process. Cena could have lost here in a way that made Bray look strong and it wouldn’t have harmed Cena’s image. He didn’t though, instead he made his opponent, a talented young worker who needed a solid win, look like a guy who scraped through and pulled out a win by cheating his ass off for half an hour. I am happy that Bray Wyatt won here, don’t get me wrong, but the way in which the match was designed was ridiculous and over-protective to Cena. I hope Wyatt moves on to another opponent now, because this feud with Cena hasn’t elevated him like it should have, and if it continues I am concerned it will hinder him even further. The match was passable, but the design of it soured me throughout and made me wish it would end. Shame.

Winner: Bray Wyatt

Match 6: Divas Championship Match – Paige (c) vs. Tamina Snuka

Paige, the Norwich native who made a name for herself as a top female worker during her time in NXT, won the Divas title the night after WrestleMania 30, and tonight was her first PPV defence of the title, against Tamina. The match was fair, with the two women hitting some nice offence as well as a couple of cool brawling spots outside the ring. It was fairly short though and the fans didn’t really seem into it. I think WWE need to allow Paige, and other divas, to show more personality and explore their characters on television. It will help the fans connect with them like they did back in the days of Lita and Trish. Paige used her excellent submission finisher to win the match and retain her title.

Winner: (Still Champion) Paige

Match 7: WWE World Title Match – Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kane

The former “Team Hell-No” team-mates go head to head here, in an “anything goes” match for the WWE World Title. The fans popped loud for Bryan, the champion, as he made his way to the ring. The Yes Movement is alive and well. The match here exceeded my expectations and the fans seemed to love it too. Bryan and Kane wrestled inside the ring, around it, backstage and everywhere else during this match. It reminded me of the “no DQ” matches we were used to seeing during The Attitude Era. Bryan even drove Kane to the ring, from the backstage area, on a forklift truck before diving off the truck and nailing Kane with a diving head-butt. A very cool moment that will undoubtedly be replayed many times. This entertaining stunt filled brawl ended when Kane got knocked though a flaming table by Bryan before being hit with the big knee to the face for the three. Bryan successfully defended his WWE World Title on his first PPV defence since winning it at Mania. The show ended with Kane and Bryan staring at one another, teasing that this feud may not be over.

Winner: (Still Champion) Daniel Bryan

A fine show, Extreme Rules was a lot of fun to watch. The outcome of all of the matches was hopeful, with the young bucks of WWE picking up victories throughout the evening. The Cena/Wyatt match was terribly booked though, and I hope this is the end of that feud. The best matches of the evening were the Evolution/Shield scrap and the main event stunt brawl between Kane and Bryan. I was also very pleased to see Barrett win the I-C Championship. A very entertaining evening of wrestling, this did plenty for fans to be happy about and a couple of things to make some fans, myself included, pull their hair out.

The DVD Extras (also included on Blu-ray) on this release feature: The Shield Discuss Their Match with Renee Young; Extreme Rules FallOut: Daniel Bryan Post-Match Press Conference; Extreme Rules FallOut: Bray Wyatt Post-Match Press Conference. Whilst the Blu-Ray exclusives on this release include: Daniel Bryan Thanks the WWE Universe (Monday Night Raw – 7 April 2014); Hulk Hogan Presents Cesaro with the Andre the Giant Memorial Trophy (Monday Night Raw – 7 April 2014); WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H (Monday Night Raw – 7 April 2014); Handicap Match: The Shield vs. Alberto Del Rio, Jack Swagger, Alexander Rusev, Fandango, 3MB, Ryback, Curtis Axel, Titus O’Neil & Bad News Barrett (Monday Night Raw – 14 April 2014); Triple H Announces the Reformation of Evolution (SmackDown – 18 April 2014); Kane Eviscerates Daniel Bryan (Monday Night Raw – 21 April 2014); Bray Wyatt’s Choir Serenades John Cena (Monday Night Raw – 28 April 2014); and John Cena Reacts to Bray Wyatt’s Message (Monday Night Raw – 28 April 2014)

WWE Extreme Rules 2014 is released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 21st courtesy of FremantleMedia.

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