Extreme Rules 2012: 5 Legends Who Could Make an Impact
Hardcore wrestling has a long and storied history. This is often forgotten in the youth orientated WWE.
The Extreme Rules pay-per-view is a great excuse to bring back some of these former performers for a one-off appearance. These legends could be used to further a current wrestler's career and start the slow process of re-establishing ties to wrestling history.
Here are five names that would bring a little sparkle to Extreme Rules.
The Grandfather of Hardcore is still going on the independent scene at the age of 67.
Funk's importance to the hardcore movement cannot be understated. The former NWA Heavyweight Champion had feuds with everyone from Harley Race to Rick Flair before joining Extreme Championship Wrestling in 1994.
Funk embraced the hardcore ideals of ECW and took the violence as far as anyone else in the company. However, Funk had the background of a genuine contender which legitimised the hardcore style. This was a big change from hardcore wrestling being dismissed as the style used by thugs.
Terry Funk effectively used his own credibility to drag hardcore wrestling into the mainstream. This critical role was not lost on the ECW management and they rewarded Funk with the ECW championship at the company's first PPV.
How great would it be to see Funk return to mainstream wrestling one last time. His grizzled face finally giving the Extreme Rules PPV the blessing it needs to be truly hardcore.
Brock Lesnar is returning in a hardcore environment. The one person who connects these two elements is Paul Heyman.
Heyman has stated on many occasions that he is not interested in a return to the wrestling world. The chance of a one-off appearance has not been eliminated. This would just be the perfect time for this to happen.
Heyman is the perfect excuse for innovative uses of weaponry which could ease Lesnar into his in-ring return. Having Heyman ringside also adds the opportunity to do different spots that might hide any deficiencies in Lesnar's technique.
Finally, Lesnar could F5 Heyman. This would reaffirm that this is the new Brock Lesnar who cannot be controlled and is going to do what he wants when he wants.
The ECW legend would be a great pick for a Lord Tensai squash match.
Tensai's gimmick is all about being dominant in Japan. Sabu is the homicidal, suicidal, genocidal maniac who made his name wrestling all over the world. Tensai dominating the ECW favourite, who represents international wrestling, at the WWE's hardcore event would establish Tensai's gimmick brilliantly.
Re-establishing WWE's link to Extreme Championship Wrestling's legacy would also be a good thing after the failure of the WWE:ECW.
The Singapore Cane match is one of the least used matches in WWE.
So there is a great opportunity to use the match in the Intercontinental championship clash between Cody Rhodes and Big Show. Rhodes is in desperate need for a signature move or weapon and the cane could be a perfect fit.
The match's stipulation is to be decided on the night. Who better to introduce the stipulation than the last man to be ubiquitously associated with that type of match? The Sandman would get a great pop as the notoriously wrestling savvy Chicago audience recognise who is coming to the ring.
Only a small appearance but one that would add to the overall product.
These brief appearances, similar to the one that Edge made on Raw, should be used more often by the WWW. These situations get a nice pop from the crowd, make the product unpredictable but they do not take much time away from the wrestling either.
Blue World Order
Technically, the BWO are three people but they are one legendary faction.
Steven Richards, Nova and The Blue Meanie are best known for their time in ECW and being involved in hardcore matches. Mainly, they are ideal candidates to appear and then get beaten up.
Several groups could do with a push on the main card. Abraham Washington's new recruits could use it as a display of their newly found power. Alternatively, it could be used to introduce more of the former ROH wrestlers who are emerging in the WWE.
What is important about this use of former stars is that a wrestler (or a group of wrestlers) are getting promoted without taking away from other rising talents. Something that the WWE could afford to do more often. Especially when the WWE can tie the returning guests appearances into the theme of the event.