WWE // 2011 // 170 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // August 6th, 2011
The rules have never been this extreme!
Extremeness returns to the WWE, as wrestling's biggest stars invade Tampa, FL to compete at WWE: Extreme Rules 2011, the only pay-per-view to feature nothing but hardcore matches. Here's what's on the menu this time:
* Randy Orton vs. CM Punk in a Last Man Standing Match
The 2011 edition of this popular WWE pay-per-view kicks off with a pretty big match, as Randy Orton takes on CM Punk in the battle that ends only when one of the two athletes fails to respond to a 10-count. Orton and Punk quickly take the action outside the ring, and while the matchup slows down a bit after the first 10 minutes, the pace picks up towards the end, inspiring both wrestlers to deliver some powerful moves and use the absence of rules to offer fans a hardcore finale to a decent first match.
* Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus in a Table Match for the U.S.
I can't say it often enough: watching Kingston perform inside the ring is quite simply a blast. That said, his title match against Sheamus does not qualify as one of his best ones. Even though this is a table match (and table matches are usually fun), Kingston and Sheamus lack energy and creativity, spending most of the time trying to avoid being slammed through one of these wooden objects instead of actively use their skills to create a memorable experience. Good thing the match only lasts for nine minutes.
* Jerry Lawler & Jim Ross vs. Michael Cole & Jack Swagger in a
Tag Team Country Whipping Match
I have absolutely no clue why the WWE would want to include Michael Cole in a feud with Lawler and Ross, but someone thought it was a brilliant idea, and here we are. Truth be told, the Country Whipping Match between these guys is anything but extreme. It's actually pretty ridiculous. Clocking in at six minutes, the match fails to build up a steady pace, leaving Ross and Cole to whip around while Lawler and Swagger actually manage to pull off some decent maneuvers. Nothing else to report here though. Time to move on.
* Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes in a Falls Count Anywhere Match
Next, Rey Mysterio and Cody Rhodes compete in a Falls Count Anywhere Match, which means the battle can end anywhere. Naturally, both wrestlers quickly abandon the ring, taking the action all around the arena. While this obviously reduces the quality of wrestling and provokes mostly punches and kicks, Mysterio manages to score some sweet high-risk moves backstage. Back in the ring, Mysterio and Rhodes briefly pick up the pace to deliver a solid finish to an overall entertaining match boasting a satisfying variety of clean wrestling maneuvers.
* Michelle McCool vs. Layla in a Loser Leaves the WWE Extreme Rules
The match between Michelle McCool and Layla certainly counts among the better diva matches I've seen at PPVs. Although their battle runs for a short five minutes only, the women use their time wisely, keeping fans happy by bringing their A-game and delivering one powerful move after another. Utilizing their skills and flexibility, Layla and McCool go back and forth between clean submissions holds and strong slams and quick dives to offer a fun matchup.
* Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio in a Ladder Match for the World
This is one to remember folks. Christian and Del Rio go head-to-head in a ladder match, which means the championship belt is suspended high above the ring and the only way to win it is to climb a ladder and grab it before your opponent does. Running for 20 minutes, this is clearly one of the best pay-per-view matches of 2011 so far. Christian and Del Rio kick things into high gear right away, going back and forth between kicks, punches, slams and high-risk dives all while putting the ladders to good use. The battle never dies down, and the two athletes occasionally exchange momentums to keep fans cheering. Technically clean and energetic in terms of wrestling moves and impact, this battle is easily the best of this event so far.
* Wade Barrett & Ezekiel Jackson vs. Big Show & Kane in a
Lumberjack Match for the Tag Team Championship
For a Tag Team Championship match, this five-minute battle fails to deliver the goods. While the participating wrestlers score a few powerful, impressive moves, the matchup is simply remains too short to leave a long-lasting mark. Oh, and the lumberjacks watching the outside of the ring? They're not adding anything memorable to this thing either.
* The Miz vs. John Cena vs. John Morrison in a Steel Cage Match for the
While the main event of the 2011 edition of WWE: Extreme Rules may not reach the same level of awesomeness as the ladder match between Christian and Del Rio, this Steel Cage battle for the WWE Championship offers a solid dose of first-class wrestling nonetheless. Cena, Miz, and Morrison approach this fight with energy and attitude, assuring their performances include a variety of maneuvers and a handful of attempts to escape the cage rather than end the show via pin. While this one clearly doesn't count among the most extreme cage matches, it still boasts a few high-risk dives off the ropes that keep the entertainment at a high level throughout. Definitely a good finish.
Picture quality and sound match those of other recent WWE releases, which means they do the job. The quality of the special features isn't improving, and the only thing fans are treated with is a short interview with Christian. That's about it.
WWE: Extreme Rules 2011 qualifies as one of the better WWE pay-per-views. Not every match is worth it, but overall, the main battles of this event offer an excellent balance between brainless entertainment and technical wrestling action. If anything, I would have wanted this edition of the PPV to be even more extreme. Better luck next year.
Review content copyright © 2011 Franck Tabouring; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
Running Time: 170 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site