WWE Extreme Rules 2012: Predicting the Winners of Each Match at Next PPV
In just five days, the WWE goes extreme.
This Sunday night will be the Extreme Rules pay-per-view view, emanating from CM Punk's hometown of Chicago, Illinois.
Punk will participate in one of the headlining matches of the show, as he defends his WWE Championship against Chris Jericho in a Chicago Street Fight.
But there will also be a couple of other highly anticipated matches, such as Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan in a 2/3 Falls match for the World Heavyweight Championship and Brock Lesnar making his in-ring return in an Extreme Rules match against John Cena.
Extreme Rules (or whatever pay-per-view is after WrestleMania) has traditionally been a good show, so I wouldn't expect anything different on Sunday.
Of course, that depends on the booking and outcomes of the matches. So, just what will happen in Chicago?
Here is a match-by-match prediction for Sunday's Extreme Rules pay-per-view.
Additional Matches We Could See
Only five matches have been announced for the main card, so I think it's safe to say that we're going to see another couple of random matches at some point throughout the show.
Here are some possibilities:
Brodus Clay and Hornswoggle vs. Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger
Clay has had a bit of a feud with Vickie Guerrero's stable over the last couple of weeks, and the last two matches have ended in DQ.
Perhaps we get a rematch of this bout from Monday's Raw as the "comedy" match at Extreme Rules, and yes, I think the comedy duo goes over.
Winners: Clay and Hornwswoggle
WWE Tag Team Championship: Epico and Primo vs. Titus O'Neil and Darren Young vs. The Usos
The WWE has tried to rejuvenate the tag team division over the last couple of weeks, but Epico and Primo continue to look like jobbers.
I think that's a sign that they're going to lose the titles soon, and O'Neil/Young and the Usos are pretty much the only options to take those belts.
Winners: O'Neil and Young
Natalya vs. AJ
Playing off their angle from last week's Smackdown, maybe we'll see a rematch between two of the few Divas who can actually wrestle.
Ryback or Lord Tensai vs. Random Jobber
Both of these guys have made a habit of squashing lower-card workers, and I think that'll continue for one or both of them on Sunday.
Squash matches have suddenly found a place on PPVs (I hate it), and both Ryback and Tensai are in the midst of big pushes. Don't be surprised to see either of them compete at Extreme Rules.
Winner: Ryback or Tensai
Pre-Show Match for United States Championship: Santino Marella (c) vs. the Miz
The WWE is doing something unprecedented and airing the Extreme Rules pre-show match on YouTube.
This is definitely something unique, but it's a pretty random US Championship Match between Santino Marella and The Miz.
I thought that The Miz would be getting a huge push after WrestleMania for leading Team Johnny to the win, but he hasn't wrestled a match since the Raw after 'Mania and has been nowhere to be found on the last two episodes.
The Miz was actually relegated to competing on Superstars this week, and I'll take that as a sign that something is going on with him. And by something, I don't mean something good.
Although I think there's a chance that The Miz could win the United States title on Sunday to help restore some of the belt's credibility, Santino has been ridiculously over as champion and thus, the WWE may want to keep the title on him.
While The Miz as US Champion could make for some interesting feuds and improve the belt's credibility, I'm not so sure that this match on Sunday isn't just a way to embarrass The Miz, who may have some sort of backstage heat.
Falls Count Anywhere Match: Randy Orton vs. Kane
Why put a guy who's likely near the end of his career over one of the top baby faces in the company? Dumb idea.
Thankfully, though, Orton rebounded with a victory over Kane on the post-WrestleMania Smackdown, evening the series at 1-1.
This feud has been absolutely horrendous so far, but the Falls Count Anywhere Match between Kane and Orton should and likely will be the rubber match between these two stars.
You never know what kind of crazy booking the WWE might come up with in this situation, but at least for me, there's no other option: Orton has to win.
Kane's masked character has failed pretty miserably since he returned in December, and Orton is going to be the one who gets the bigger push going forward.
Orton should win on Sunday and use the victory to build up some momentum and start a feud after Extreme Rules that people will actually care about.
?? Match for the Intercontinental Championship: The Big Show (c) vs. Cody Rhodes
We won't find out until Sunday what the stipulation for the Intercontinental Championship match will be, but given Cody Rhodes' love of running away from Big Show, I'd personally make it a Steel Cage match that prevents Rhodes from going anywhere.
Since No Way Out is coming up soon and will have a steel cage theme, however, the WWE might go a different route.
Either way, though, I don't think it makes that much of a difference because Big Show has dominated this feud lately and will continue to do so.
Rhodes had a lengthy run as Intercontinental Champion, but putting the belt back on him would simply prevent him from rising up the card, which isn't a smart idea.
Meanwhile, Big Show brings some credibility to the title (not saying that Rhodes didn't), and as long as he holds onto it, he will stay away from the World title scene, which is a plus for me.
At least in my view, Big Show belongs in the mid-card scene while Rhodes deserves to be catapulted into the main event/World title picture.
The only way for that to happen is for Big Show to win at Extreme Rules, and thankfully, I think it will.
Winner: Big Show
2/3 Falls Match for World Heavyweight Championship: Sheamus (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
This match is the WWE's chance of making up for that lightning quick, 18-second bout at WrestleMania 28.
Since there aren't a ton of matches on the Extreme Rules card, I think we could see Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan in a 2/3 Falls match get 20-plus minutes and steal the show.
Bryan is undoubtedly the hotter character of the two, but Sheamus is pretty over in his own right and just won the World Heavyweight Championship less than four weeks ago.
As tempting as it may be to put the belt back on Bryan, I don't think that's going to happen.
Given Bryan's relationship with ex-girlfriend AJ, I would think that she'll play a huge part in the outcome of the match.
Ultimately, I see the match being tied at 1-1, AJ coming down to the ring in an attempt to help Bryan beat Sheamus, but AJ somehow winding up costing Bryan the match instead.
This sets up a pretty good post-PPV story between AJ and Bryan, and it also keeps the belt on Sheamus, which I assume is the plan.
Chicago Street Fight for the WWE Championship: CM Punk (c) vs. Chris Jericho
The feud between CM Punk and Chris Jericho was great in the final weeks leading up to WrestleMania, but I feel like it's lost a lot of steam over the past couple of weeks.
It's just been a bit too ridiculous for me, but I guess it doesn't really matter because the Chicago crowd is going to be incredibly hot for Punk in his hometown on Sunday anyway.
As we've seen in the past, this is going to be one of those "If Punk loses, we riot" matches, which may tempt the WWE to have Jericho win to get him some mega-heat.
But I don't think Jericho is going to be sticking around the WWE much longer, so I don't see any real benefit in putting the WWE Championship on him.
The main purpose of this feud has been and should continue to be Jericho putting Punk over because Punk is now one of the faces of the company while Jericho may be bolting within the next few months.
I think that this match will top their WrestleMania match (which was very good, but still a bit of a letdown), but like at Money in the Bank in 2011, Punk deserves to walk out as WWE Champion.
Although this match is perhaps the biggest toss-up on the card for me, I see Punk overcoming Jericho in a fantastic Street Fight that will be one of the best matches of the year.
Extreme Rules Match: Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena
The feud between Brock Lesnar and John Cena has been incredibly intriguing so far, with Lesnar basically owning Cena over the last few weeks.
Lesnar has planted Cena with two F5s, bloodied his lips and put some fear in Cena's eyes, while Cena has done a great job of showing that he doubts his own ability to beat Lesnar.
The story going on right now is that Cena is in a bit of a slump after losing to The Rock at WrestleMania 28 and that, since his head isn't in the right place, he won't be able to beat Lesnar at Extreme Rules.
There's no doubt that this Extreme Rules match will be a full-on brawl between the two, but given the booking of the feud so far, one would think that the WWE is simply setting up for a "Super Cena" comeback with Cena beating Lesnar on Sunday.
I don't see it that way, though.
You don't bring back Lesnar and have him lose his first match. That will simply put a damper on the rest of his WWE run.
You bring back Lesnar, have him kick Cena's ass (and beat him) at Extreme Rules and have all of this play into Cena's current slump storyline.
Well, that's how I'd book it. The WWE may not feel the same way, but I sure hope they do.