Extreme Rules 2012
Extreme Rules took place on April 29th, 2012 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. It was the site of Brock Lesnar’s first match in the WWE since WrestleMania XX in 2004. That’s eight years out of the business. Let’s take our time, though. We’ll get there.
The show kicked off with Randy Orton versus Kane in a Falls Count Anywhere Match. This was badass. Kane and Orton took the fight all over the arena, adding physicality at every turn. They even went back to the area where the WWE staff gets to sit and watch the event.
YOU’RE BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL!!
I love it, but I’m a fan of both men. Have been for a long time. Orton got the win, after taking the match back to the ring and pinning Kane right in the middle of it. From there, we went to Dolph Ziggler and Brodus Clay. This is isn’t badass Brodus Clay from his later days in NXT. No, this is the Funkasaurus. In other words, you can fast forward through this match.
Don’t fast forward too far, though. Press play when it comes to Big Show and Cody Rhodes. I loved this match, and I especially loved the finish. They were in a Tables Match. I know what you’re thinking, “How in the hell is Cody supposed to put Big Show through a table?”
Find out for yourself.
After Show and Cody, it came time for one of the top three matches of the night: Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship in a 2 out of 3 Falls match. This was the perfect way to wash away the taste of that insulting, 18-second match these two put on at WrestleMania 28. Why? Well, these two kicked the hell out of each other, that’s why.
Michael Cole calls it a war on commentary. I don’t like to give Michael Cole any credit, but that was pretty damn apropos. This one lasted a grueling 22 minutes, proving that D-Bry and the Celtic Warrior were robbed of their moment at the Twenty-Eighth Showcase of the Immortals.
With that tremendous match finished, it was time for Ryback to take the stage and squash two dudes who never had a chance. One dude looks like he weighs a hundred pounds. The other one is covered in lame ass tattoos. They cut a terrible promo and then Ryback comes out and murders them in less than 2 minutes. That’s that whole match in a nutshell.
Moving on…CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho for the WWE Championship. Punk won, and the match was awesome. Watch it. That’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the fact that on the same show, Daniel Bryan was going for the World Heavyweight Championship, while CM Punk was holding the WWE Championship.
That’s incredibly awesome.
That leaves us with only two matches remaining on the card. First, there was Leila vs. Nikki Bella. This didn’t last long, and Leila ended up walking away with Nikki’s WWE Diva’s Championship.
Then, there was the Main Event: Brock Lesnar vs John Cena. This one was a masterpiece.
QUICK SIDE NOTE: How awesome is that featured image?
Back on topic: the in-ring psychology involved was top notch. Somehow, they pulled off a David vs. Goliath story, where the massive John Cena is David. That’s how big and scary Brock Lesnar is. He makes John Cena, now a 15-time world Champion, into the heavy underdog of any match they wrestle.
John Cena won here, sure, but after a late rally and a chain shot. Plus, he couldn’t lose two in a row, both to part-timers. He had to come out on top, but he didn’t do it at the expense of Brock. Both Lesnar and Cena left Extreme Rules 2012 looking as strong as ever.
It perfectly set the stage for John Cena’s crushing defeat at SummerSlam 2014, at the hands of The Beast Incarnate.