April 20, 2015
By Renny D
This Sunday marks the 7th anniversary of the first WWE Extreme Rules pay-per-view. Extreme Rules debuted in 2009 in New Orleans. The WWE then and now is a completely different product.
The term “Extreme Rules” would make one think that the show is all about blood and guts; a no holds barred wrestling show. The show itself features matches like a Russian Chain Match and Last Man Standing match. I will admit that the Russian Chain Match is going to be awesome or at least it could be awesome. However the WWE has ventured away from extreme and has distanced itself from it as far as it possibly can.
The WWE is so far removed from extreme that today it decided to ban Seth Rollin’s finisher, the curb stomp. Why? Per Justin LaBar it is because of the increasing transparency into the world of head injuries. The curb stomp, much like Randy Orton’s punt, both put the superstars at risk of a serious head injury. So this Sunday at Extreme Rules we will not be seeing either, nor the RKO.
That begs a big question, what move is actually safe in wrestling? The answer: NONE. Being in the ring for 11 years I know a thing or two about moves, both giving and receiving. I suffered one concussion, which I know of, in my career and it wasn’t fun. However, I wouldn’t ask the move that caused the concussion to be banned. The move: a kick in the face. Should we ban kicks? No.
Here’s the thing, the curb stomp is a move that you take the pressure on the back of your neck. Not once will you see Seth step on a guys head. The control is with the wrestler on bottom to take the bump. Seth just jumps up, uses gravity to control the foot to the back and then the wrestler on the receiving end dictates their own bump. Apparently WWE doesn’t trust their own wrestlers to dictate their own bumps anymore.
Listen, I hate the extreme wrestling matches. CZW death matches I think serve zero purpose in pro wrestling. However, certain “extreme” moves and some color once in awhile doesn’t hurt. Look at Lesnar, when he gets busted open people find him even more of a bad ass. Why? Because he is.
The biggest thing about the banning of this move that pisses me off is there are other moves a whole lot worse that are allowed. Here’s the one move that can lead to concussions more often than not: taking a bump off the turnbuckle. You have your opponent up for a superplex. You crawl up. You brawl. He/she pushes you off. You take your back bump. Your head snaps back and hits the mat. BOOM. Concussion. C’mon WWE. This is a physical sport with entertainment. If you are truly an entertainment company even movies, which are faker than pro wrestling, allow certain things to happen that your company will not…and I am talking PG movies!
Why have a PPV entitled “Extreme Rules” if you are the furthest thing from it? Why? On Sunday when I am in attendance live you are depriving the Chicago crowd of good wrestling by banning certain moves and taking away the creative freedom of the superstar who broke into this business for their love of PRO WRESTLING. It shouldn’t be entitled, “Extreme Rules,” it should be entitled, “Our Rules.”
The one thing that will go above and beyond this will be seeing Undertaker hit the tombstone pile driver at WrestleMania 32. I suppose it’s safer for a 55+ wrestler to do a move that can paralyze someone if gone wrong than someone who does crossfit 5x a week and doesn’t even dictate the bump. WWE, put your hands back in your pockets and let these guys work. For the love of Edward Norton Jr…let them work!