Bang For Your Buck PPV Review: Extreme Rules

A new era bringing some changes to these monthly shows of significance began Sunday with Extreme Rules, but will it change how people feel about John Cena? Probably not.

It’s the start of the Special Event era for “monthly shows of significance”, so while we’ll still be maintaining the name Bang For Your Buck PPV Review — because #branding — we’re going to be instituting some changes. Since the shows are now appearing on the WWE Network, both for significantly less than they used to and for the rest of time (or at least until your subscription runs out), while the scale will be the same, the theory behind it different.

Instead of “getting your money’s worth”, we’ll be focusing on “how much does having access to something like this make me want to renew my subscription” or, more succinctly, “how ‘special’ was this event/match, really?”. Which means that instead of just taking into account things like: major character shifts, definitive conclusions (which are different from clean finishes) and moves that don’t make their way to Raw, it’ll focus more on “how many times would I rewatch this”, “would I show this to non-fans as a reason why wrestling is worth watching” and “how different was this historically?” 

Each match is rated plus or minus on a sliding scale between 1 and -1, with matches worth multiple rewatches being +1, a match you may watch or skip 0,  and things that make me reevaluate being a fan earning up to a -1 score. The scale is arbitrary, of course, but it’s based around the idea that a match will be fundamentally watchable, repeatedly so.

For those who are still confused, check out our WrestleMania review to get a better idea of what the basic format was and will be going forward. To be clear, the difference is in the criteria, not the final result. Oh, we’ll also be including the Kickoff match. Because we can. And we’ll also be changing the graphic below sooner rather than later. 

As for the scale, it’s not particularly complicated but here are the basic levels (on a per-match basis):

Review Guide

Programming Note: Instead of using what I said during the What’s the Worst That Could Happen, we’ll be using what I said as part of Cageside Seats’ prediction pool to see how close I was to “predicting” what unfolded,  how that stacked up to my beliefs of what they were “trying” to do and whether or not I got what I wanted out of the show. This will not be what happens going forward, but sometimes troublesome routers get in the way of good interneting. Enjoy!

Kickoff Match

El Torito Hornswoggle

WeeLC

HORNSWOGGLE VS. EL TORITO

Hornswoggle will continue his run as the Big Show of mini wrestlers, which of course means that since it’s a PPV/special event, he’s going to lose.

This one was obvious, at least from a “who’s going over” perspective. But that — and the wonderfully well-used mini Tables Ladder and Chairs — were the only parts of this match which were predictable. Also, the short jokes. But even those — overwhelmingly used by the shockingly competent “little people” commentator team of Micro Cole, JB Elf and Jerry Smawler — were surprisingly fun and helped add to the overall “presentation” of the match. Which made this match, at the very least, something that didn’t make me feel embarrassed to be a wrestling fan, which was definitely in play when it was first announced. HAVING SAID THAT, it was the performance of 3MB, and to a lesser extent Los Matadores, along with the career making work from both Hornswoggle and El Torito that made this match both enjoyable and one with a surprising amount of replay value.

Match +.5