This is the first WWE offering in 2012 post WrestleMania XXVIII. This was their chance to redeem themselves. So did they? I was feeling hopeful that they would redeem themselves before viewing this latest offering. With how terrible WrestleMania XXVIII was, they needed to redeem themselves.
The WWE thought they would be clever and have a big feud and big match kick off the event. Randy Orton and Kane have been embroiled in a feud with has taken the all too overused "personal" angle by involving family or "kayfabe" family. Although this use of family wasn't well played out. Paul Bearer has been over used as "bait" when it comes to Kane. They did this when Kane was feuding with Edge. You might not have realized that if you don't pay attention to storylines. The match itself was a Falls Count Anywhere match meaning falls didn't have to take place in the ring even though it did. I'm a stickler when it comes to Falls Count Anywhere matches as I'd like to see the pin or submission happen not in the ring but somewhere in the arena. Zach Ryder attacking was oddly placed regardless of their past history. It was just ill timed. But that didn't detract from this being the third best match of the event.
Brodus Clay vs. Dolph Ziggler seemed like it wasn't even announced for the card. The match was what it was. Just something used for filler purposes. With Ziggler being as talented as he is, he shouldn't be used for filler purposes. Jack Swagger on the other hand should be. But that wasn't the case on this evening. It's unfortunate that Ziggler had to job to the likes of Clay. I just find Brodus Clay terrible and he will go nowhere. They should have left him as a heel instead of this annoying face being stuck wherever the WWE needs him. This wasn't the right place for him. Ziggler is much better than this.
Tables matches have found their place in annals of gimmick matches. Tables matches have been around for years and years, but the Dudley Boys/Team 3D were known for it. But not so much Big Show and Cody Rhodes. This is return match from WrestleMania and a Rhodes's rematch. Going into this match, I thought Big Show had this in the bag. He dominated Rhodes from the outset of the bell and returning the WWE Intercontinental Championship seemed elementary. Than the match ended abruptly. The finish was good and bad. How is that possible you ask? It was good because of how clever the Big Show was put through a table. Big Show climbs over the top rope to get in the ring. So Rhodes kicked the foot of Big Show causing him to lose balance and put one foot in the table below crushing it. It was bad because it cut the match short. More could have been done with the match, but it was what was with Cody Rhodes becoming the two time WWE Intercontinental Championship.
The infamous 18 second lose to Sheamus at WrestleMania XXVIII has been a focal point of the feud between Sheamus and Daniel Bryan. Bryan issued a great challenge for 2 out of 3 Falls match. This match type isn't used as much as it used to be. But this match didn't disappoint. Great grappling and chain wrestling early on. Sheamus showed that he is not just a brawler. Bryan has always been known for his technical ability and he showcased it through out the match. With him picking apart a part of Sheamus's body. Playing the part of a heel very well by getting himself disqualified in the first fall. But he was quick to make Sheamus pass out to the Yes Lock getting the second fall. Sheamus being the touch Irishman wouldn't go down without a fight which is something we have seen throughout his time in the WWE. He was able to pull out third fall and retain the World Heavyweight Championship. I don't get why people hate on Sheamus. He has proven to me he can wrestle not just brawl. Up to this point, this match was the best, but by the end of the night it was the second best match. Very good match!
Whose big idea was it to give jobber time on a pay-per-view and mic time on the pay-per-view? I get that it was used as filler, but they could have had a vastly better filler match. They didn't have to have two scrawny bastards lose to Ryback on pay-per-view. It served no purpose! There is nothing else to say about this shit break of a match. So moving on...
Another feud the encompasses a personal element. Chris Jericho played the heel perfectly during the feud. Some of his best work in sometime as a heel. CM Punk played his real-life wrestling adapted personality great like he always does. Jericho tried at every turn to show CM Punk as falling into the same life as his family their substance abuse problems. Sure there were points in this feud where I thought it was stupid, but overall, a great feud. Being as the event was held in Chicago, it made sense to have a them battle for the WWE Championship in a Chicago Street Fight. Great back and forth action with them just kicking each others ass. Great use of CM Punk's sister as a plant to slap Jericho. Yes there was a botch by CM Punk, but it happens. So move on. The move of the match which got the crowd going was CM Punk landing an elbow drop on Jericho while prone on the Spanish announce table. Poor Spanish announce table. Always getting crushed! Although CM Punk almost botched this. This hands down was the best match of the night with CM Punk retaining the WWE Championship!
Why do we get a Diva's Championship match as the semi-main event? For whatever reason, there was one thing I was thinking. With Beth Phoenix not being medically cleared to wrestle, they had the perfect setup to have Bella Twins face each other because of the whole "mystery" opponent. But having Layla return was a nice surprise too. Even though she won the WWE Diva's Championship this quick, at least we don't have to have one of the terrible Bella Twins hold the title.
The final match was an Extreme Rules match between the returning Brock Lesnar and John Cena. The build up was very well done. They had Brock Lesnar look so unbeatable and so tough. This is something we've never seen from Brock Lesnar before in the WWE. It was great to see him look this way. It was great to see Cena the way he was being that he was scared. Blood was shed by both men especially Cena. Lesnar was dominate throughout the whole match. What was Lesnar thinking with that leap off part of the ring steps thus crashing into Cena? That was crazy! It looked like he tweaked his knee, but just played it off which was great. Having Cena win seemed to take away from the build up Lesnar was getting during this feud. I would have liked to have seen Lesnar get the win and see how Cena would react on Raw. That will never happen. The ending bit Cena said made me wonder if he was losing his smile or just needs time off. I'm not a Cena fan by any means, but it is time for him to take time off and not just for an injury.
Even though Extreme Rules was passable, it wasn't a redemption by any means. Maybe Over the Limit will be the redemption the WWE is looking for.