Extreme Rules (2011)
|Extreme Rules (2011)|
Promotional poster featuring John Cena
|Tagline(s)||The Night of Extreme|
|"Justice" by Rev Theory|
|Date||May 1, 2011|
|Venue||St. Pete Times Forum|
|Extreme Rules chronology|
Extreme Rules was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by WWE and presented by WowWee's Paper Jamz, which took place on May 1, 2011 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. It was the third Extreme Rules event. This was also the first WWE pay-per-view event to be held in Tampa since Survivor Series (2000).
The professional wrestling matches at Extreme Rules featured professional wrestlers performing as characters in scripted events pre-determined by the hosting promotion, WWE. Storylines between the characters were produced on WWE's weekly television shows Raw and SmackDown with the Raw and SmackDown brands—storyline divisions in which WWE assigned its employees to different programs.
Edge was originally scheduled to defend his World Heavyweight Championship against Alberto Del Rio in a ladder match. However, Edge announced that he is forced to retire on the April 11, 2011 episode of Raw due to being diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis stemming from his neck injury. Edge vacated the World Heavyweight Championship on the April 15th episode of Smackdown and the match was scrapped. It was later announced the winner of a 20-man battle royal would face Alberto in the ladder match; Edge's best friend in both the storyline and real life, Christian, won the right to face Del Rio for the title. In the interim, Del Rio was drafted to Raw in the 2011 WWE Draft.
On the April 11 episode of Raw there was a battle royal including John Cena, Randy Orton, CM Punk, R-Truth and John Morrison, which Cena won by last eliminating Randy Orton. Later that night, WWE Champion The Miz came down in the ring and John Morrison hit The Miz with a moonsault. At the WWE Draft John Cena got drafted to Smackdown, however, later that night, he got traded back to Raw and attacked The Miz. On Raw before Extreme Rules, Mr. McMahon announced that The Miz will defend his WWE Championship against Cena and John Morrison in a Steel Cage match.
An ongoing feud involves Raw commentators Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler. At WrestleMania XXVII, Lawler made Cole submit to the ankle lock, but the anonymous Raw General Manager reversed special guest referee Stone Cold Steve Austin's decision, thus making Cole the winner via disqualification. On the April 11 episode of Raw, Lawler defeated Cole's trainer, Jack Swagger, allowing him to announce that he would team up with his former broadcast partner, Jim Ross, to face Cole and Swagger at Extreme Rules. Two weeks later, the Raw General Manager declared that the teams would face each other in a Country Whipping match.
Another feud from the SmackDown brand is between Layla and Michelle McCool, formerly known together as LayCool. Dissension between the two divas started on the April 8 edition of SmackDown when McCool refused to tag Layla in a tag team match against Beth Phoenix and Kelly Kelly. Also, tension grew since they failed to get back the WWE Divas Championship several times and lost a six-person tag-team match in WrestleMania XXVII against Trish Stratus, John Morrison, and Snooki from Jersey Shore. The following two weeks, the two attended couple's therapy sessions, but the latter session ended with McCool attacking Layla, solidifying their break up. During the 2011 WWE Draft, after Layla lost her match against Eve, she attacked McCool for distracting her. On the April 29 edition of SmackDown, after fighting to a double count-out in their match, Layla and McCool agreed to have a No Count-out, No Disqualification match at Extreme Rules with the loser leaving WWE.
Another feud between Raw and SmackDown is Rey Mysterio and Cody Rhodes. At WrestleMania XXVII, Cody Rhodes defeated Rey Mysterio by using his protective face mask, followed by Cross Rhodes. On the April 22 edition of Friday Night SmackDown, Rhodes and Mysterio would have a rematch; however, Mysterio defeated Rhodes. After the match, Rhodes attacked Mysterio from behind, performed a Cross Rhodes on a concrete floor, and put a paper bag on Mysterio. It was announced that Mysterio would face Rhodes in a Falls Count Anywhere match at Extreme Rules. At the 2011 WWE Draft, Mysterio would be drafted from SmackDown to Raw.
Two matches were added to the card during the event. SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long added a bonus match between Sheamus and Kofi Kingston for the WWE United States Championship. Also a Lumberjack match featuring the WWE Tag Team Champions, Big Show and Kane against The Corre (Wade Barrett and Ezekiel Jackson) was added.
The first televised match of the night saw CM Punk taking on Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing Match. While Punk made his way to the ring with the members of The New Nexus, the Anonymous Raw General Manager declared that the members of The New Nexus were banned from ringside. After a back and forth match for quite some time, Punk brought in kendo sticks and the two proceeded to beat one another with them. After both men abandoned the use of the kendo sticks, Punk threw Orton into the exposed metal turnbuckle. The match then spilled to the matted area around the ring where Orton delivered a PowerSlam. At approximately ten minutes into the match, Punk executed a GTS on Orton who barely managed to answer the referee's count. The match was moved back into the ring where Punk delivered a slam to Orton on top of a chair hoping to knock the man out and win the match to no such luck. Randy retaliated by hitting Punk with the RKO, but Punk managed to answer the ref's call. After going outside of the ring again, Punk put a chair around Orton's neck and drove him into the ring post. Orton then nailed Punk with an RKO on the announce table, with Punk again managing to get to his feet before the count of ten. Punk then hit Orton with a variation of the GTS on the steel steps. Back in the ring, Punk ascended to the top rope only to be caught by Orton, who repeatedly hit him with a kendo stick. After abandoning the kendo stick, Orton managed to hit Punk with a third and final RKO from the top rope. Punk could not answer the count following the blow, and the referee declared Orton the winner.
Before the second match, in a backstage segment, the general manager of SmackDown Theodore Long informed Sheamus that he would be defending the WWE United States Championship against Kofi Kingston in a tables match. In the match, both Superstars managed to avoid hitting the tables for quite some time. Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick and Kingston nailed the Trouble in Paradise (both moves being signature moves of each wrestler), but they both managed to not go through the tables. Kingston was finally successful in winning the United States Championship after putting Sheamus through a table with a Boom Drop off the top rope, winning his second United States Championship and returning the title back to Raw.
The following match was a tag team Country Whipping match featuring Michael Cole and Jack Swagger against WWE Hall of Famers, Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross. Swagger and Cole dominated the match early on until Lawler made the hot tag to Ross. After taking Cole down, Ross locked in the AnCole lock in an attempt to make Cole tap out. However, Swagger entered the ring and pulled Ross off of Cole. Ross answered with a low blow on Swagger, but was then rolled up by Cole for the win.
The next match pitted Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio against one another in a Falls Count Anywhere match. The first big spot of this match was Mysterio running off the entrance ramp and executing a seated senton on Rhodes. The brawl then headed into the arena's concourse where Mysterio tackled Rhodes into a stand. After getting back inside the arena, Rhodes hip tossed Mysterio over a barricade onto the padded floor outside the ring. The finish came when Mysterio spit mist into Rhodes' face, followed by the 619 and a Springboard splash for the pin.
Main event matches
The following match was a no disqualification, no countout, Loser Leaves WWE match featuring Layla and Michelle McCool. The match started with McCool attacking Layla during her entrance routine. McCool was then able to hit the Faithbreaker, but her pin was reversed by Layla into a crucifix for the win. After the match, the debuting Kharma attacked McCool, hitting her with an Implant Buster.
The next match was for the vacant World Heayweight Championship featuring Christian and Alberto Del Rio in a ladder match. The first big spot of the match came when Christian backdropped Del Rio onto a ladder. After a back and forth match, Del Rio was able to hit an enzuigiri on Christian, knocking him off the top rope. Del Rio then attempted to free the championship, but was unsuccessful. About sixteen minutes into the match, Christian used a spear on Del Rio as a tribute to his fellow wrestler and long time friend Edge who was recently forced to retire due to a spinal injury. After Christian was about to unhook the championship, Brodus Clay ran down to ringside, preventing Christian from winning the match. Clay was busted open after taking a shot from a ladder and then thrown to the outside by Christian. After this, Del Rio applied the cross armbreaker on Christian and began scaling the ladder. However, Del Rio was distracted by a car horn coming from the retired Edge who was in a jeep. Christian took advantage of this and knocked Del Rio off the ladder onto Brodus Clay and Ricardo Rodriguez at ringside. Christian went on to unhook the World Heavyweight Championship and become the eleventh Grand Slam Champion in WWE history. Edge then celebrated in the ring with Christian to congratulate him.
The next match was for the WWE Tag Team Championship which featured Wade Barrett and Ezekiel Jackson against Kane and Big Show in a lumberjack match. The finish came after Barrett tagged himself in once Jackson had Show down. After this, Barrett was caught by Big Show and then hit with a chokeslam for the win.
The last match of the night was a steel cage triple threat match for the WWE Championship featuring John Cena, John Morrison and The Miz. The match started with Morrison and Cena teaming up against The Miz. Cena nailed a diving bulldog on the Miz from the top rope, while Morrison tried to escape the cage, only to be stopped by Cena. As Morrison made another attempt to escape, The Miz stopped him. Cena hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle on Morrison, but The Miz nailed John Cena with the Skull Crushing Finale. The Miz tried to climb the cage but was, again, teamed up on by Morrison and Cena as they hit The Miz with a double suplex from the top of the cage. Morrison then tried a variation of the flying chuck using the cage wall instead of the ropes, aiming for Cena, but hit The Miz instead. Morrison hit a huge standing moonsault side slam on Cena, but after that was powerbombed into the steel cage wall by The Miz. Cena then applied the STF on The Miz as he tried exiting the ring by the door, but Morrison climbed the cage and shut the door, which nailed The Miz on the head. Cena then pushed Morrison who landed on the door on his groin. Back in the ring, The Miz hit a Swift DDT on Cena, and hit a running boot as well. As Morrison tried to escape the cage, both Cena and The Miz tried to stop him, but Morrison hit the Starship Pain from the top of the cage. Later in the match, Morrison was about to escape the cage to win the WWE Championship, when R-Truth came to ringside and took Morrison out with a running knee. He then took Morrison back into the ring and began repeatedly hitting him, finally ending the assault with the What's Up. Truth went on to deliver a Truth Axe on Cena before symbolically climbing over the cage. The match ended as Cena delivered a massive Attitude Adjustment on The Miz from the top rope for the pinfall victory, winning him his eighth WWE Championship (tying the record for most WWE Title wins with Triple H) and tenth world championship overall.
Extreme Rules 2011 received extremely positive reviews. In his review for The Sun, Rob McNichol reported that the event was "a stunning return to form by WWE." CM Punk and Randy Orton's opening Last Man Standing Match was deemed a very strong opening bout. The Country Whipping match was described as "unsatisfying and slow" whilst Rey Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes was hailed as "a high quality wrestling match". Kharma's debut was heralded as a special moment sorely lacking from recent WWE PPVs. The Smackdown main event Ladder Match between Alberto Del Rio and Christian for the vacant World Heavyweight Championship was given praise, "The crowd's genuine elation and the celebration with his [Edge] former partner and best friend made it a very special moment. Both where great and Christian's title win was something that should have happened along time ago". John Morrison's performance was praised as "stunning". "The high-risk moves and Starship Pain of the top of the cage proves why Morrison is a future star in WWE." The Sun gave praise in some matches calling them outstanding and "Extreme", McNichol said that the event lived up to its name, the Last Man Standing match was rated 9 out of 10, the World Championship Ladder match a 9.5 out of 10 and the WWE Championship Steel Cage was rated 9 out of 10, and rated the show 9.5 out of 10 overall.
Following the conclusion of Extreme Rules, news was breaking worldwide that Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. troops. WWE Champion John Cena addressed the live audience at the event with a speech about the events and American pride. Cena's announcement was replayed the next evening on WWE Raw in Miami, where Lilian Garcia performed the national anthem in the beginning of the show. Dwayne Johnson also addressed the issue prior to his birthday celebration and led the crowd in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
After losing to Layla, Michelle McCool was attacked by Kharma in her physical WWE debut, culminating the series of vignettes preceding her arrival. From that point on, Kharma would attack Divas on both the Raw and Smackdown brands with Layla fleeing.
The night after Extreme Rules, Cena defended the WWE Championship against The Miz in a singles match after being restarted due to the referee noticing interference from Alex Riley.
- Lumberjacks included Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, Evan Bourne, Johnny Curtis, Trent Barreta, Tyler Reks, Santino Marella, Jacob Novak, Primo, Yoshi Tatsu, Vladimir Kozlov, David Hart Smith, Byron Saxton, Conor O'Brian, Darren Young, Lucky Cannon and Titus O'Neil.
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