Although there's still some time until 2013 Extreme Rules, it's not too early to predict the event will fail to match last year's tremendous pay-per-view.
Some may simply discount this as just another writer being overly negative. Maybe that's the case.
But look at last year's card.
You had a good Falls Count Anywhere match between Randy Orton and Kane. After that was a 2-out-of-3 Falls match between Sheamus and Daniel Bryan that was even better. The Chicago Street Fight between CM Punk and Chris Jericho was disappointing, but it still managed to be an OK match. The main event was the Extreme Rules match between John Cena and Brock Lesnar, which managed to deliver in every facet.
The only match confirmed at this point for 2013 Extreme Rules is the Triple Threat match between Alberto Del Rio, Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship.
As much promise as the Swagger/Zeb Colter partnership showed a month or so ago, there's no getting around the fact that the fans don't care, nor do they see Swagger as a legitimate threat. He's not going to be a main-event player, so there's no need for the company to continue treating him as such.
Of course, in WWE's infinite wisdom, he beat Ziggler in a non-title match on this week's Raw. It was the absolute worst way Ziggler could be booked after winning the title, considering he needs all the wins he can get to have the fans believe him as a credible champion.
Nobody will look forward to this one. It could be a good match, but the crowd will likely fail to get behind any of the wrestlers.
But it gets worse, much, much worse.
It seems Triple H and Brock Lesnar are bound to have a rematch. As if the first two matches weren't bad enough, fans are getting a third. Their 2012 SummerSlam match was so-so, and their WrestleMania XXIX match was arguably even worse.
There's nothing else really left between these two considering Triple H got his revenge on Lesnar earlier in the month. What is there to be gained from having these guys in another match?
The other big match that looks a certainty is a WWE Title match between Ryback and John Cena. If handled correctly, this could be a very compelling storyline and subsequent match. It could be something similar to Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior, or more recently, John Cena and Batista. You've got two guys who are—or at least were—monster faces battling for the title.
Instead, WWE has turned Ryback heel and made him pretty much like all of the other 459 monster heels Cena has beaten to retain the title during his various championship reigns.
WrestleMania was a bit lackluster, and the trend is continuing with Extreme Rules. It's a marked decline from where the company was last year. Having The Rock come in is great when he's on the show. It's clear that has been a success in the short term.
The problem is in the long term. WWE needs to make sure the product is good enough so the fans want to stick around.
So far, there's nothing in Extreme Rules that would make you think this is going to be a can't-miss event.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!