In a new feature I hope to be able to continue here at Entertainment Escape, I will review the pay-per-view that I recently predicted. Last Sunday, WWE presented Extreme Rules, and my picks were as follows: The Miz, Fandango, Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, Mark Henry, Alberto Del Rio, John Cena, and Triple H. I missed 3 of these flat out (Fandango, Mark Henry, and Brock Lesnar) and 4 if you wish to include the fact that Cena and Ryback’s Last Man Standing match went to a “No Contest”.
As I watched the show, everyone involved in each of these situations put on a fantastic performance and I can’t disagree with any of the calls. Chris Jericho lost at Wrestlemania and I thought he would lose again to give this new face some very solid credibility, but as it happens, the match between the rookie and the veteran at Extreme Rules appears to be the conclusion of their feud…at least for now. While I have yet to watch Friday Night Smackdown, I can say it seems Fandango has turned his focus toward Wade Barrett and the Intercontinental Championship. As a fan of both Fandango and The Miz (a guy who is currently due his rematch for losing the strap to Barrett the night after Wrestlemania), it should be interesting to see if we get a Triple Threat match for the championship at WWE Payback on June 16th.
In the strap match, I thought Mark Henry deserved that win more than Sheamus on paper merely because as the bad guy in the feud Mark Henry looked to be one of the strongest bad guys in WWE today. As the match played out, I couldn’t disagree with Sheamus winning the match. They told a great story in a match style that I love, and to have Mark Henry walk out a la CM Punk in the post-show left a lot to the imagination. I hope we can see Mark Henry again soon but he isn’t getting any younger and he has been in WWE for somewhere around 20 years, so if he walks away and stays out of the spotlight, I will always feel honored for getting the chance to see the World’s Strongest Man in my lifetime and I would love to share his matches with my children as I tell them, “That’s what he did.”
That steel cage match was amazing, and I never thought we’d see a camouflaged sledgehammer. For that matter, I never thought I’d see Triple H lose so decisively to Brock Lesnar in this contest either. Raw provided some insight into where all of this (and more) could be going and the Triple H concussion angle looks like it could go very deep both personally and professionally into the psyche of The Cerebral Assassin. If this turns out to be The Game’s “swan song”, it surely will be well-played and I can only hope we will be left asking for an encore.
Speaking of Monday Night Raw, I was blown away by the fact that while I was looking for a little recognition to befall upon a forgotten favorite of mine, I ended up predicting Paul Heyman’s “3rd Client”. Curtis Axel (formerly known as Michael McGillicutty) is getting a well-deserved push toward the top and no one can argue that fact when his debut match on Raw came in the main event against Triple H, the very man Heyman’s “1st Client” Brock Lesnar practically destroyed just one night prior. It was the pride of The Game that proved to lead to his descent as he denied any medical warnings to not step into the ring against The Gamechanger (a moniker Axel applied to himself on Twitter this week). I’m a huge fan of Curtis Axel. He has finally been able to get back to his “perfect” roots and even pay homage to his grandfather in the process. Something similar happen to a man we all know today as Dwayne “The Rock Johnson when he used the name of Rocky Maivia- a nod to both his father Rocky Johnson and his grandfather “High Chief” Peter Maivia- to make his way into WWE and from there molded into The Rock to become one of the most recognizable names and faces in professional wrestling. I think having pulled a name out of thin air only to have it be the actual person who is now aligned with one of the greatest managers in the history of the business. I will be on the lookout for the first Curtis Axel T Shirt. I can’t wait to see what Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman’s next moves will be as his career progresses into the next layer of the atmosphere known as the WWE.
Awesome name (that pays tribute to his lineage)- Check
First match against profile name- Check
Managed by Hall of Fame caliber manager (much like his father)- Check
Mass collection of WWE’s top prizes- Only time will tell, but it looks pretty good so far
On a night where John Cena never appeared on camera, the world met Curtis Axel…Is this a simple coincidence or a sign that we are witnessing the rise of the next “golden boy” in WWE. Call me “extreme”, but I’d put money down on the latter.