When WWE's next pay-per-view, Extreme Rules, occurs on May 19, the main event could be John Cena, Ryback and Mark Henry in a Triple Threat match. But having these three men in one ring will result in a weak main event.
Individually, Cena taking on either man would be an awesome clash, but with all three men in the ring, the bout becomes a watered-down, slow encounter. It becomes less about who can beat Cena and more about who is going to cause the other to lose to the WWE champion.
Triple Threat matches are nothing new for this event. In 2011, Cena defeated both The Miz and John Morrison, albeit with a steel cage and career-threatening twist thrown in for good measure. In 2009, it was Tommy Dreamer, Christian and Jack Swagger for the ECW championship. Not to mention there was a Fatal 4-Way match for the United States title, also in 2009.
All of these matches excelled because the participants worked well together and kept the pace of the bout alive. With that many people in the ring, the action has to be quick and constant. It's easy for one guy to fall outside and stay there for a bit, thus rendering the bout a two-on-two affair.
The problem with a Cena-Ryback-Henry match is the Ryback-Henry part.
Those two men are monster wrestlers who are very good at being larger than life. Ryback is a throwback to the WWE of the '80s, where overly muscled wrestlers thrived. Back then they relied on their appearance and a handful of power moves to balance out a lack of personality and talent. The Ultimate Warrior is a great example of looks winning out over talent.
Henry is the WWE's standard monster heel. He thrives on hurting people and doing what he wants to do. His persona comes from a long line of monster heels, from Stan Hansen and Abdullah the Butcher to King Kong Bundy and Vader. He's good at hurting people.
When Ryback and Henry began to feud before WrestleMania 29, the idea of the two of them in the ring together was intriguing. They were equal in strength and intensity. Which one of them would be the first to break?
Then they got into the ring at MetLife Stadium, and the match was a letdown. The pace was slow and did nothing to engage the crowd. Henry spent more time holding Ryback in different bear hugs then he did actually hitting him.
There wasn't even any urgency for Henry to get the pin after he caused Ryback to collapse under his weight while attempting the Shell Shocked.
This is the problem with all three men fighting for the title at Extreme Rules. While Cena is equally musclebound like Ryback, he's quick. But Cena can only keep the bout going so fast for so long. At some point, Henry and Ryback will be left in the ring.
Even if there is a twist—such as a cage or tables, ladders and chairs—nothing can get these guys to move faster. And because they'll be the strongest men in the ring, the match will come down to which one of these guys will cost the other the match.
The bout will become more about Cena surviving as champion in the ring with two titans of power moves as opposed to him destroying one of them. Individually, either man facing Cena would result in the champion fighting through power move after power move to overcome his challenger.
But put them both in the ring with the Cenation leader and the champion becomes an afterthought, his victory just a waiting game. The WWE championship should be defended at Extreme Rules by men in a match that will push them to their limit physically.
Anything else is a weak main event.
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