Re: Best WWE PPV in 2012 so far?
Extreme Rules. No contest in my mind.
One of my typical criticisms of the post Mania PPV is that it usually just winds up being Wrestlemania Part 2, which essentially just a bunch of rematches with gimmicks without a whole lot of thought put into it beyond just having rematches.
That was certainly the case this year, however, the rematches were far better versions of the Wrestlemania bouts. Daniel Bryan & Sheamus actually had, you know, a match this time around and it was good. Cody Rhodes Vs. Big Show for the IC Title had the ending they should have had at Wrestlemania. Kane Vs. Orton was a far more exciting outing than their dull Mania encounter, and Punk Vs. Jerioho made up for what I felt was a disappointing outing at Wrestlemania and delivered one of the more exciting matches of the year in their epic Street Fight.
So all of that is real good, but what sets this Extreme Rules part from the Wrestlemania Part 2 formula was its main event: Brock Lesnar Vs. John Cena. Now this was anything but unoriginal. The PPV return of Brock Lesnar as he takes on the biggest name in the company? That is a huge PPV attraction right there and I was excited for it. And to be honest, it was one of my favorite matches of the year. Yes Cena won, which I wouldn't have booked, but the match itself was brilliantly worked. Lesnar came across as a total monster as he used his MMA skills and sheer power to utterly brutalize Cena. It was probably the worst beating I have ever seen Cena take without using an abundance of weapons. It was just Lesnar's animal like ferocity and unique style on display in grand fashion and it worked beautifully. It was also nice to see Cena work a match that wasn't just his typical formula of "Get Beat Up + Five Moves of Doom + Kick out of Finishers Trade Off + Insert Finish Here" type of deal. They did a great job of making it look like Cena was entirely out of his element and he had to do something massive to beat Lesnar. There was a little bit of the Superman there and I like I said, I would have preferred it if Lesnar won, but still, it was exciting to watch, and very well executed.
To be honest, I can't think of a WWE PPV I have seen this year that was as complete as Extreme Rules was.
Royal Rumble = Didn't care for it. Rumble match was lackluster especially with Sheamus winning and NOTHING coming out of Jericho's "This is the End of the World" proclamation, Punk Vs. Ziggler was ruined by overbooking, and honest to God, I can't remember anything else that happened besides Ryder getting his ass kicked for the 18th time.
Elimination Chamber = I liked one chamber match, the 2nd half of the other, and that was about it. I was just happy that awful Cena Vs. Kane angle was finally over rather than actually getting invested in the match.
Wrestlemania = One very strong match in Taker Vs. HHH and a pretty good main event in Rock Vs. Cena. Everything else was sadly "take it or leave it" type of affair, including Punk Vs. Jericho, which was disappointingly average.
Over the Limit = Might be the worst of the year. It really did feel like they just made this up as they went with the show starting in progress with the Battle Royal and then airing the opening PPV videos 10 minutes in, and then a handful of other undvertised matches. Cena Vs. Laurinitas in the main event was insulting and Show's turn was easy to spot a mile away. A heavily underhyped but well worked Punk Vs. DB title match was the saving grace.
No Way Out = So we turn Show heel and make him a "monster" just so Cena can beat him his first PPV match after the turn. Yeah, fuck that shit. The match was bad too. We also got a terribly unfunny tuxedo match between Santino & Ricardo, and an alarmingly huge number of unadvertised filler matches. Solid outings included a 3 Way for the WWE Title & Christian Vs. Cody for the IC Title.
Money in the Bank = Set up for one of Cena's most obvious victories. I did like the World Title MITB mainly due to Ziggler & Cody bumping around and DB & Punk had a great match for the WWE Title, one of the best of the year that thankfully had the build behind it this time around. Still, it felt incomplete.
Summerslam = Was disappointed in it. I thought Lesnar Vs. HHH was going to be a match that would rival Cena Vs. Lesnar in intensity. Sadly, it was ordinary and unremarkable to me. The show started off good with Jericho Vs. Ziggler, Miz Vs. Rey, & DB Vs. Kane, but the second half petered off for me with yet another terribly boring Sheamus Vs. Del Rio match (I think this was the one with the sloppy finish too), & a 3 Way for the WWE Title that tried to push Big Show as a monster though he had lost practically every single match leading up to this show. Honestly, the biggest highlight I carried from this PPV was Fred Durst flipping off the camera.
Night of Champions = Didn't see it.
Hell in a Cell = Thumbs in the middle type of show. Ryback Vs. Punk was about as good as it could possibly be, though I wasn't impressed with how they handled the finish. Sheamus & Show had a good enough match. Everything else was just OK. Nothing bad (except for the Divas) but nothing remarkable.