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Please click through for the Best and Worst of WWE Extreme Rules 2014.
Worst: The weeLC Ring Announcer
Say what you will about the spectacle of WWE having little people wrestle with miniaturized furniture as an excuse for them to go LOOK AT THESE WEIRD HALF-PEOPLE over it, but the true low point of the Extreme Rules pre-show was the weeLC ring announcer.
“THE FOLLOWING IS … WEE ELL SEE SEE MAAAAATCH”
Where did they find this dude? He couldn’t even call Hornswoggle Hornswoggle, he called him “horn waddle.” It’s like he’s never spoken out-loud before. Did they build him in Frankenstein’s lab? A miniature version of Frankenstein’s lab? Does dwarfism shrink your brain? Was Hornswoggle like, “hey, I appreciate you giving me a pre-show match. By the way, my stupid cousin Jeff needs a job, he’s got a third grade education but he can stand up straight, maybe we can make him the ring announcer.”
Actually, while we’re at it …
Worst: Let’s Give A Worst To Everything About The weeLC Match That Isn’t The weeLC Match
My working theory is that weeLC was built around how stupid and worthless WWE thinks little people are, so when they were tasked to find four little NPCs for the match, they found the four most brain damaged, least ready-to-be-on-television little people in the world. It’s like they scooped them directly out of a petrie dish and dumped them at a novelty announcers table at ringside.
To add to the absurdity, you’ve got parodies of commentators who are already parodies of themselves calling a match that DESPERATELY needed somebody to play it straight. What would’ve been better, Lawler and Cole going HEH HEH I HOPE THIS MATCH IS SHORT, or a Jim Ross or Gordon Solie type treating it like an epic match without repeatedly showing their hand? Gordon Solie once explored the ring psychology of wrestling a bear. Cole can’t even let go of his attempted-jock bullshit long enough to pop for a nutshot putting Heath Slater through four tables.
Anyway, the actual mini announce team was the worst. Choice quote: “well you see El Torito’s still in there, you know why cause he’s the bigger bull ever since Michael Jordan.” Did they POISON them before the show started?
Best: The weeLC Match
The sad thing about all the griping I just griped is that the actual weeLC match was really good. The early slapstick put me off a little, particularly Hornswoggle grabbing El Torito’s tail and running around in a circle, but once I was able to detach from the shit that bothered me, I got to see two wrestlers without a lot of shots at a legit opportunity going BALLS OUT.
I like comedy in wrestling when it isn’t the same comedy wrestling always has. I give Santino grief because Santino’s act hasn’t really improved or evolved in a while, but when he shows up on Saturday Morning Slam or NXT or whatever and tries out some new shit, I generally enjoy it. WeeLC was a little concerning, sure, but I also cannot throw shade at Hornswoggle doing the Leap Of Faith elbow off the ring apron onto Torito through a tiny announce table. I can’t. Similarly, I can’t worst the aforementioned table bump nutshot or Drew McIntyre just straight-up flipping to his death onto nothing to put over the chaos. Los Matadores sacrificed THREE PEOPLE and a pile of home improvement equipment to take out Jinder Mahal. YOU COULD’VE JUST SHOVED HIM, HE WOULD’VE DIED.
But yeah, this turned out to be the best WWE pay-per-view pre-show match ever, and if you had somebody who wasn’t trying to suck their own dick on commentary it’d be truly great. I hope weeLC stays on as a match type. I want to see Brad Maddox put Cesaro and Jack Swagger up against one another in weeLC. Jack Swagger going through a table the size of his foot. It’d be like Kaiju Big Battel.
Best: The 11th Commandment Of Extreme
Enough with the bad quotes, more with the “the 11th commandment of Extreme is that Thou Shalt Not Boo Paul Heyman.” Fun fact: the 12th commandment is, “Tommy Dreamer shalt always wrestle in a t-shirt.”
My favorite thing about WWE right now is Paul Heyman’s attempt to work “my client Brock Lesnar defeated the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania” into every conversation, whether it’s situationally appropriate or not. He didn’t even pad the gap between “you guys like me because I made up extreme” and “you guys hate me because my Jimmy Johns avatar made your hearts sad,” he just double-dipped it. It’s fantastic. I hope he writes MY CLIENT BROCK LESNAR and so on at the top of his medical forms.
Best: Cesaro Not Losing This Match
This match was better than it should’ve been (and a hell of a lot better than the Cesaro/RVD match from the Intercontinental Championship No. 1 Contender Tournament), but that sorta hinged on Cesaro getting an emphatic victory. He did, so I’m gonna go ahead and give it compliments. There’s a real science to these reports, people.
Some folks online were pulling the “so maybe you’re WRONG about Rob Van Dam!!” on me, so I need to address it. Van Dam did not do anything in this match he didn’t do in 2000, and that’s my whole beef with him. He hasn’t done anything even remotely new in the ring or outside of it in 14 years. Even guys like Hogan and Flair and have tried new stuff in that time. Van Dam not dramatically f*cking up does not mean he’s stopped making me feel like I’m in waist-deep standing water. Gotta say, I did enjoy him playing around with an aluminum trashcan that wouldn’t hurt someone if you tied it to the front of a semi truck and drove into them, then hurting HIMSELF on it by total accident at the finish.
Anyway, a supplemental Best goes to Jack Swagger for his bright red “I’ve moved on from the Real Americans” jacket. You’ll make it someday, Big Macklemore.
Best: Bo Dallas Is Giving Hope To Infertile Women By Comparing Them To Mountain Climbers
The Marty Jannetty of the Rotunda kids is on some next level shit right now, and if you haven’t seen his new ring entrance yet, go to the Best and Worst of NXT report and watch it immediately.
I really hope this is an elaborate excuse to restart the Bo Dallas/Wade Barrett feud, only now one is obsessed with bad news and the other with positive affirmation. It’d be like those angels and devils that sat on peoples’ shoulders in old cartoons and tried to talk them into making decisions.
Best: Lana Gets DAT PUTIN HEAT
If you’re going to move Alexander Rusev to Russia, you might as well go all the way with it. The highlight of the Rusev handicap match (of which there were MANY, probably) was Lana going total 1980s Cold War troll Russian with a giant picture of Vladimir Putin, talking about how he’s her idol and how she respect him “like no other.” She should go full Ninotchka from GLOW, get a big hammer and sickle tattooed on her chest and start rapping about Russian superiority.
They should into the Putin photo before every Rusev match and leave it up the entire time. Truth’s getting in offense, looks over his shoulder and there’s GIANT PUTIN, glaring on in disapproval.
Worst: Xavier Woods And The Worst Pay-Per-View Performance Ever
R-Truth wanders out with Xavier Woods at his side and he’s too mad to rap, because he LOVES THE UNITED STATES and HATES RUSSIA because I guess he is in his 40s and would think that. Anyway, Woods is there growling all GRRR RUSSIA, THIS IS JUST LIKE WHAT HAPPENED IN ROCKY 3. Woods powerslides into the ring and Rusev just kicks him in the face immediately, knocking him into Truth. Woods then gets thrown into some metal and suplexed on the outside, and he is NEVER SEEN AGAIN.
How bad do you have to be to have a 2-on-1 handicap advantage and not even make it to the match? I’ve seen Ascension opponents do better than that. This also happened on a pay-per-view where EVERYBODY was getting suplexed on the outside. El Torito jumped through a pile of tables and ladders. Kane fell through A FLAMING TABLE and was on his feet immediately. Xavier Woods falls down twice and has to practically be stretchered out. Hilarious. You are the worst, Xavier Woods.
Best: Renee Young’s Awkward Inclusion In The Evolution Fist Bump
Worst: Batista Doesn’t Know How To Do The Shield Taunt
This is why we hate you, Dave.
Best: BAHBAHBAHBAHBAHBAHBAHBAH Etc.
The good news (for people who love bad news) here is that the crowd still loves Wade Barrett, is not afraid to start BAD NEWS BAR-RETT chants or clap along with him, and that Hashtag BNB is the new Intercontinental Champion. That’s great, and could be a lot of fun. Barrett’s enthusiasm is truly infectious and his matches have been good-to-great, including this one, which mostly hinged on me wanting Big E to get elbowed in the face so hard he forgets how to count. Which … he might’ve already.
The bad news (also for people who love bad news, but won’t enjoy this specific bad news) is twofold:
1. This match is a very, very obvious example of what happens when WWE pushes you into a secondary title victory and forgets about you. Big E was The New Hotness for a while, teaming with guys like CM Punk and John Cena, getting huge victories and a swell of support from live crowds. He’s had some issues with making himself or others bleed, sure, but he’s an easy guy to get the WWE Universe (smark and otherwise) to like. Last night the crowd was 100% behind Barrett, and Big E’s only heat was in “not being the other guy.” We call this Rey Mysterio Royal Rumble Heat.
And why? Because he’s been forgotten. He’s a guy who has a meaningless prop belt and sometimes wins, but mostly loses. That’s it. Barrett’s been on TV regularly killing it in the ring and outside of it, he’s got a fun catchphrase, he’s got an entrance theme that is fun to type out phonetically, the works. That leads us directly to point 2, which is …
2. The IC title might be the last thing Barrett needs. The last time he held it was a master class in abandoning hope. He NEVER won. The only time he won was when he had to defend his title, and it didn’t make sense. 80 straight non-title losses, then a match where you think they’re gonna put him out of his misery but NOPE, he retains, then loses 80 more non-titles. What happens if the Curse Of The Wade Barrett Title Run conflicts with Bad News Barrett’s upswing of popularity and momentum? Is WWE just going to forget him again, assuming that “giving him the IC Title” is enough? Will the next six weeks be Rob Van Dam pinning him like it was nothing?
I’m happy, but cautious. I also may be secretly hoping WWE makes a belt big enough to fit around his motorized podium.