Last night was the “go home” edition of Raw leading up to Extreme Rules. While the show itself could be considered one of the more forgettable Raw episodes it did create more interest in the PPV, which it was sorely lacking. To make matters worse, we’ve come to learn that due to suffering a concussion which lead to retrograde amnesia, World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler will not be able to compete and defend his title in the purposed ladder match, which was considered one of the more interesting matches on the card. So without Dolph’s involvement how would the match, and more so the card, be affected?
Here is a preview for Sunday’s Extreme Rules Pay Per View. Find out what I think will be the big matches, who will win, and what will be the aftermath following the show.
Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Dean Ambrose for the United States Championship
This match was just made public last night during the broadcast of Monday Night Raw. Obviously this is one match that definitely creates a buzz for the PPV. Dean Ambrose is what most consider to be a break out star in a stable made up of potential stars in the future. He has been focused on a lot more in the recent weeks, having stellar singles matches against Kane and Daniel Bryan. Not to mention the amazing job he and his Shield cohorts have been doing since they debuted on the main roster. Kofi is still considered a fresh champion, only having the belt for 35 days coming into today. Logically, it wouldn’t make sense to remove the belt from the waist of Kofi so quickly because it would make him look weak, like he never deserved the title in the first place. However in this new age of WWE where titles and title reigns mean absolutely nothing, all signs would point to Kofi being defeated and subsequently losing his United States Championship. Even though I follow the old school logic of titles and title reigns being important I cannot deny that I’m 80% positive Dean will be victorious. Great, another start and stop push for Kofi.
Chris Jericho vs. Fandango
A feud that has somewhat gone under the radar since it’s origins leading up to Wrestlemania, Jericho and Fandango have done an excellent job of building up their matches using classic heel versus face tactics. While last night’s dance off did absolutely nothing to advance the feud, it didn’t hinder it either. I’ve said it plenty of times, Jericho’s ring work since returning at the Royal Rumble has been nothing short of excellent. What’s also great about Jericho is his ability to help young talent look legitimate in the eyes of WWE fans. He did this by seemingly always being in control of every aspect of their Wrestlemania buildup, even going as far as to instruct Fandango during their in ring segments. Not to mention he did take the loss to Fandango at Wrestlemania, Fandango’s very first televised match! I think things will be different at Extreme Rules with Jericho getting the victory over Fandango. Not only is it a more predictable way of WWE’s style of booking, but it’s also a nod to Jericho for his selfless stellar body of recent work.
Sheamus vs. Mark Henry in a Strap Match
It’s been quite sometime since we’ve seen a good ‘ol fashion strap match in the WWE. While there’s no denying seeing two giant men beat the hell out of each other with leather belts sounds like a good time, it’s no secret that the whole program has gone stale. These two along with Randy Orton and Big Show have been intertwined since March so seeing them go at it again after countless Raw matches, Smackdown matches, and tag team matches we’re starting to head into overkill here. The whole truck pulling thing even though it was cool to watch and totally relevant to their match on the PPV, did nothing to advance their storyline. Neither did their segment on Raw. My pick is Mark Henry to win the match but admittedly there’s no logic behind the choice, I just want this feud to be over and done with.
Randy Orton vs. Big Show in an Extreme Rules Match
As I stated with the last match, seeing these two go at it again has run it’s course. An Extreme Rules match is just a fancy way of calling it a no DQ, a no holds barred, anything goes type of match. The only logical thing I see happening is Orton loses the match and from then on becomes frustrated with playing the good guy role and thus returns to his calculated and ruthless ways getting the heel turn he so desperately has been wanting…and needing to be honest.
Team Hell No (c) vs. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns of The Shield for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Here’s the next swerve that came from last night’s Raw however looking back, we all kind of saw it coming we just didn’t know how it would work. It being, how do you put gold on The Shield and still make them equal? Many speculated that WWE would follow the Freebird rules which were that any two members of the faction could defend the tag titles during a match. (i.e. The Spirit Squad’s tag title run) However WWE took a different route and Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns will be taking on Kane and Daniel Bryan for the tag titles. This in no way makes The Shield look weak should all three men win their matches. Come to think of it you logically can’t have one portion win gold and the other not unless it leads to a bigger angle. It should be worth noting that Kane and Bryan have done an outstanding job as a team and as champions. This pairing was probably looked as something that was going to be short lived but it ended up being a driving force in a depleted tag team division and elevating it into somewhat of a main event status. I can honestly say this is the match I’m looking forward to the most not only for The Shield but for Team Hell No as well. I also think the outcome of the Ambrose/Kingston match will be a factor in the outcome of this one.
Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar in a Steel Cage Match
In what many hope to be the final chapter in the Triple H and Brock Lesnar feud, these two will duke it out in a steel cage. Even though I’m still a Triple H fan and somewhat still a Lesnar fan I agree that much like the Sheamus/Orton/Big Show/Henry program, enough is enough. These two have been at each other’s throats since Summerslam and thankfully WWE has built up this match to seemingly being the rubber match between the two. Leading up to this match (and for the entire program it seems) WWE has been uber careful on how they use the two men mainly due to Brock Lesnar’s limited WWE schedule. In my eyes it serves well because every time these two are in the same building we get a fight. Admittedly I saw no point in the office invasion before it happened but angle aside it was a cool segment. I don’t see Triple H letting Lesnar go over on him and sure that could be based on Triple H’s ego but then again it probably doesn’t (and shouldn’t) matter to Lesnar as he still gets paid big bucks from WWE and he’s booked limited till after Wrestlemania XXX regardless.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger in an I Quit Match (winner is #1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship)
In what could be the biggest letdown of the night (to no fault of anyone) Alberto Del Rio will be taking on Jack Swagger in an I Quit match and the winner will be guaranteed a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship currently being held by Dolph Ziggler. Originally as we all know this match was supposed to be a triple threat ladder match, something many fans were actually looking forward to. However during a segment on this past Friday’s Smackdown Ziggler suffered a concussion and began suffering symptoms of retrograde amnesia. Kudos to WWE and Dolph for doing the right thing and protecting Dolph’s health and safety which is way more important than a match. That said, WWE is left to scramble for something to fill the void and this is what they came up with. No criticism from me that’s for sure, tough circumstances. However, I do hope that this is the last of ADR/Swagger for a good length of time. Much like everything else (I’m starting to sound like a parrot) this feud is running stale. I will say that an I Quit match between two men who use submission finishers makes it somewhat interesting. I see an ADR victory as WWE is adamant on getting Del Rio over as a face and their isn’t much you can do with a closet racist/conservative going up against a cocky full of himself champion. (Relax, I know it’s an angle!)
John Cena (c) vs. Ryback in a Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship
And so that leaves us here, and you can’t really have a PPV without the WWE Champion can you?! (Hi Dwayne) WWE avoided another scramble to fill a hole when WWE champion John Cena injured his achilles tendon during a WWE live event. Ever the champion Cena refused to take time off to heal and continued the build up to his match against Ryback. Good job by WWE for mapping this “heel turn” by Ryback out by explaining Ryback was just simply frustrated being in the shadows of someone he considered a friend but someone who didn’t have his back during his own quest for the WWE title. However, giving Ryback a live mic brought the beginning of what could be a solid angle to a screeching hault. The guy is having a real hard time generating heat with the WWE fans with his words rather than the typical heel move. Everything else is pretty solid. Booking him in matches with Kane and Daniel Bryan, two over as hell faces, was a good idea and having him do the little run ins attacking Cena or leaving him to the vultures known as The Shield is a pretty smart way to make the transition from face to heel a little easier for him. Just don’t give him a mic. Please. For the love of God. No. It is his lack of bad guy charisma that leads me to believe he just isn’t ready to be champion yet. He needs to do something more henious, vile, and down right mean before A) I can take him serious as a heel and B) I can take him serious as a champion. It does however logically leave room for advancement in the feud. I mean c’mon, if we’re following WWE’s creative way of doing things this surely isn’t the last time we’ll see these two go at it. I see John Cena retaining his title at Extreme Rules.
That’s just my take on things but here at TWC, I care more about what you guys think so what are your predictions for the Extreme Rules PPV? What will be the match of the night? What will be the aftermath of the PPV? Leave your comments below, on the Facebook post, on send a tweet on Twitter.
written by Erik Vasquez of The Wrestling Chronicle
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