Putting the “Big Four” WWE pay-per-view events (Wrestlemania, SummerSlam, Royal Rumble and Survivor Series) off to the side, the Extreme Rules PPV is one of my two favorite PPV events of the remaining ones throughout the year (the other being Night of Champions). The reason for this is because, at its core, I love the concept – every match on the card (or, nearly every match as is the case this year) has some sort of “extreme” stipulation to it. The PPV was created due to the success of the revived ECW One Night Only shows, because while as a brand ECW could not succeed under the vision of Vince McMahon, the concept of an ECW-style PPV once a year certainly could and has. Unfortunately, weak storylines, an injury, what I assume will be poor booking and a main event that does not interest me in the slightest bit makes this year Extreme Rules PPV extremely underwhelming going in. Of course, WWE could prove me wrong and make me remove my foot from my mouth, but I am not holding my breath. However, I will still be watching the show tonight, so without further ado, here are my predictions:
I have absolutely no interest in this match whatsoever. While I stated nearly every week between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania that I was hoping John Cena would defeat The Rock at Wrestlemania 29 and win the WWE Championship because at least Cena shows up every week whereas The Rock barely graced us with his presence while the champion and then did not show up to Raw the night after Wrestlemania to set up a main event match for Wrestlemania 30 because he was too hurt to even cut a promo, that does not mean that I am necessarily happy that Cena is once again the WWE Champion and once again being forced down our throats as the Super Cena character. On the other side of the coin, we have Ryback; say what you want about Ryback, but his character and momentum were completely derailed the first time he was in the main event of a PPV challenging for the WWE Championship (a PPV that received among the lowest buy rate of any show that year). I was never interested in him as a main event Superstar or world champion to begin with and I am even less so now after watching him falter since his debut. On top of all that, while I agree with Arda Orcal in his preview that “Ryback losing this match outright hurts his brand tremendously,” I disagree with his prediction for the ending and still think Ryback will lose. After all, it is not like it is unlike the WWE and those in charge to book a match poorly at the detriment of a Superstar involved, especially when the Superstar being derailed is up against WWE poster child John Cena, plus there is no way John Cena loses the title just six weeks after winning it after not holding it for nearly a year and that being one of the background stroylines leading up to his Wrestlemania match against The Rock.
What Should Happen: While Ryback winning the title would breath new life into the title it would not breath new life into the company or the ratings or the PPV buy rates; the interest in Ryback just is not there. Therefore, as much as it pains me to say this, John Cena should win the championship. Plus, as a Last Man Standing match, Ryback does not need to be pinned or tap out to lose the match; in fact, we have seen Cena pull shenanigans such as duct taping his opponent to the ring to win matches like this, so as much as it would be a stupid way to end the show, you could have him pull something like that and not make Ryback look weak in defeat at all. However, if/when Cena does win the match, I hope that he moves on to a new opponent and Ryback moves out of the world title picture and the main event and on to something new (preferably off my TV screen but I know that won’t happen).
What Will Happen: John Cena defeats Ryback and retains the WWE Championship.
They say that wins and losses don’t matter in professional wrestling and for the most part this is true, but there are two exceptions – a huge losing streak that is hard to miss (either as part of a storyline, I assume like with Zack Ryder now or without any obvious rhyme or reason like with Dolph Ziggler before he won the World Heavyweight Championship) or when a Superstar wrestles so infrequently that his record is easy to follow. The latter is the case with Brock Lesnar, who has only wrestled three matches since returning to the WWE a little over a year ago and is 1-2 in those contests. Before Wrestlemania I correctly predicted that while Lesnar losing and dropping his record to 1-2 would be very poor management of his character and persona I had no doubt that Triple H would refuse to lose to him on the Grandest Stage of them All. Now we get the third, and hopefully last, match between Lesnar and Triple H and this time it is in a steel cage match.
What Should Happen: Frankly, if Brock Lesnar loses, I will lose all respect that I have for Triple H and be even more convinced that he, Vince McMahon and the WWE creative team just have absolutely no idea what they are doing. If Lesnar loses, and his record drops to a paltry 1-3 (his only win being against Triple H, who then would have beaten him twice in a row) then I will have absolutely no interest in a Brock Lesnar match in the future because there is no way to believe that he could win no matter who his opponent is. Brock Lesnar vs. The Rock? Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker at Wrestlemania? Who cares? The ONLY way that I could conceivably see Lesnar losing and it not hurting him any more than having a 1-3 record already would is if he lost in some way that made him look good, such as he throws Triple H into the steel cage and the cage breaks and Triple H tumbles to the floor and then Lesnar completely destroys him in anger. But at the end of the day, what SHOULD happen is Brock Lesnar should win, either cleanly or with outside interference.
What Will Happen: I hate to say this, but given the track record that the WWE creative team and management has, I would not be surprised to see Triple H win. I just hope I’m wrong.
This match was originally supposed to be a triple threat ladder match for the World Heavyweight Championship between Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger, but when Ziggler suffered a concussion last week the WWE made the right call to pull him from the match. As always, I give credit where credit is due, and not only did WWE do the right thing but they made the best out of a bad situation by booking an I Quit match to determine the #1 contender for the world title instead.
What Should Happen: As I have no interest in Alberto Del Rio, especially not as a face, and I absolutely love Jack Swagger, both as a wrestler and character, as well as Swagger’s manager Zeb Coulter, I would love to see Swagger win this match outright and force Del Rio to quit. Swagger and Ziggler would then go on to fight for the world title (which already has a built in feud since it was Swagger who gave Ziggler his concussion), Ziggler would win, and this would free up Del Rio to get back into the title picture and for the fans to even get the triple threat ladder match that we were supposed to.
What Will Happen: Although I want to see Jack Swagger win, one of two things is going to happen tonight – either Alberto Del Rio is going to win and force Swagger to quit or there is going to be outside interference (either from Ziggler or Big E Langston) which will force the referee to end the match without a winner and thus set up the aforementioned triple threat ladder match. Since I would prefer the latter scenario to take place, that is what I am going to predict will happen.
This math and the WWE Tag Team Championship match between Kane & Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns should have been combined into one super match featuring Kane, Bryan & Kingston vs. The Shield with a “winner takes all” stipulation. Instead, you are taking a power team like The Shield and breaking them up for the night. Even if Rollins and Reigns interfere in this match and Dean Ambrose does the same for theirs, it will not have the same effect as one big super match.
What Should Happen: Dean Ambrose should win the match and the Intercontinental Championship. Frankly, Kofi Kingston never should have beaten Antonio Cesaro for the title in the first place, having not one a match in months before suddenly earning a title shot and winning that match, and the fans have no interest in Kingston which therefore devalues the championship. But if you put the title around Dean Ambrose, it gives both the title and Ambrose instant credibility. Plus, Ambrose more than deserves a title reign.
What Will Happen: Dean Ambrose win the match and is your new Intercontinental Champion.
See above for my preview.
What Should Happen: A clean sweep – After (or before) Dean Ambrose wins the United States Championship, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns win the Tag Team Championships to give The Shield both sets of titles.
What Will Happen: The Shield dominates Extreme Rules and walks away as a true super group, holding both the WWE Tag Team and United States championships.
The idea behind a Strap Match is that the two Superstars involved are tied together at the wrists by a long, thick leather strap and the only way to win is to drag your opponent around the ring and touch all four ring posts consecutively. If you touch one, two or three ring posts and your opponent puts in any kind of offense, you have to start over. What a coincidence that Mark Henry and Sheamus just so happened to start using a leather strap to attach each other, which just so happened to be lying around the ring, just a couple of weeks before Extreme Rules, huh?
What Should Happen: Mark Henry has been dominated his competition as of late and that should continue tonight as he soundly defeated Sheamus in what I expect to be a hard-fought contest between two heavyweights (or in the case of Henry, a super heavyweight).
What Will Happen: As the face in this contest, and with heels dominating most of the rest of the PPV in my predictions, it is more likely that Sheamus will win. However, Henry will look strong in defeat and continue to wage war on the WWE roster and induct Superstars left and right into his Hall of Pain.
You can’t have an Extreme Rules PPV without an Extreme Rules match, now can you? Basically, this match is no different than a Hardcore Match or a No Holds Barred match or any other match that allows either Superstar to do whatever they want to the other but the pin or submission still has to happen in the middle of the ring.
What Should Happen: While fans have been clamoring for Randy Orton to turn heel since Wrestlemania (which would have been the perfect time and still could have led to this match) don’t expect it to happen tonight with Big Show as a clear heel moving forward. After all, what is the point in Orton turning heel on Big Show when the fans already dislike Big Show? As for the outcome, the only way I would want to see Orton win is if it actually meant something, like a return to the main event and the world title picture (as a heel, he would be a great next opponent for John Cena). However, if Orton is going to continue to languish in no-man’s land between the main event and the mid-card and be entered into feuds and storylines with random opponents, I would rather see Big Show win.
What Will Happen: As the face, Randy Orton will win the match, however as “The Viper,” it will take something major (a “holy s**t” moment, if you will) to defeat Big Show.
Say what you want about Fandango, but I love him. When his videos started airing prior to his debut, I was the first one to bash the idea and announce that his stay on the main roster would last less time than the videos hyping his debut ran. However, since he made his debut, kicked off his character and added Summer Rae as his dancer, not to mention the fact that “Fandangoing” has swept the nation, count me as one of his biggest fans. As for Chris Jericho, he is doing exactly what a part-time veteran should do – put over the up-and-coming Superstars of the future.
What Should Happen: Fandango needs to win the war but not this battle. Having already defeated Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania, the first Superstar in WWE history to debut at Wrestlemania and win, Jericho needs to get his revenge with a victory tonight. However, the two will face off again, either on Raw or at the next PPV, and Fandango will not only win but defeat Jericho so badly that he has his excuse to leave the roster for his next break.
What Will Happen: See above.
I don’t know who I feel worse for – The Miz, who just finished filming what looks to be a terrible Christmas TV movie for ABC Family and then comes back only to find himself on an Internet match before the actual PPV, or Cody Rhodes, who is one of the best performers in the WWE today but has never been allowed to break through the proverbial glass ceiling and is also now relegated to the Internet pre-show. As a third option, you could also feel bad for Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett, who doesn’t have a match at all.
What Should Happen: I hate to say this, but does anyone really care? If a WWE Superstar wins a match on an Internet show that no one watches, does it register among the fans at all? If Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow are going to be allowed to form a permanent tag team and challenge for the titles, I want The Miz to win. If Rhodes and Sandow are going to just partner up sporatically, then don’t partner them up at all and allow both men to move on to singles careers and the titles they deserve. Either way this match should involve interference from Wade Barrett with the winner (or loser or both) moving on to challenge Barrett for the Intercontinental Championship.
What Will Happen: The Miz just finished filming a movie and Barrett made a comment during Raw (on the WWE app during a match, so no one probably saw it) about how he was the won who took out Miz and forced him to take the time off needed to film said movie. Take all that into consideration and The Miz mostly likely wins his match tonight.
On a side note, whatever happened to the Divas Championship? AJ Lee won a battle royal about a month ago to earn a title shot but there has been no mention of it since and, instead of being allowed to defend her title, Kaitlyn is now in a storyline where she has a secret admirer. I am mildly interested to see who the secret admirer is eventually revealed to be but given the WWE’s track record on storylines like this I am not holding my breath. After all, they revealed Hornswoggle to be Vince McMahon’s illegitimate son and Hornswoggle to the the anonymous Raw General Manager so…. hey, wait a minute. If Hornswoggle is revealed to be Kaitlyn’s secret admirer, I am never watching Raw again. As for the Divas Championship match, I hope it doesn’t take place tonight because there are already eight matches schedule for the main card, which means a Divas match would be given no real time, and a title match of any kind deserves to be announced in advance and not thrown together at the last minute to fill time.