When it comes to the World Heavyweight Championship match at Extreme Rules, I would say that it's a foregone conclusion that Dolph Ziggler will retain the title. However, where does the feud between Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger fit into Dolph's title reign?
That's an easy question to answer. It doesn't.
The feud between Swagger and Del Rio has been primarily about Zeb Colter's propaganda as opposed to the championship itself. Sure, the people involved might have mentioned the title several times and their match at WrestleMania XXIX had the championship on the line, but it has always taken a backseat to the "We the People" angle.
Ziggler comes into play because of his Money in the Bank cash-in, leaving a standard rematch clause feud to open up between himself and Del Rio.
The only reason that Swagger is included in this match is because he has nothing better to do and WWE wanted to extend his feud with Del Rio a little while longer. Del Rio links the other two men together in this match, and without him you're left with two heels who have no storyline together. WWE tends to not book feuds like this, so the likelihood that this will happen is slim to none.
Because of this, there are only three outcomes to this match:
A) If Ziggler retains the title, he will probably move on to have a singles feud with Del Rio in typical rematch clause fashion, or quite possibly someone else entirely. Swagger would have to be shoehorned into it for another triple-threat match that will be a repeat of what we've just seen.
B) If Del Rio wins the title back, which would hurt Ziggler's credibility, it will probably also result in a singles feud between those two with Swagger not involved.
C) Swagger wins the title and goes on to continue his feud with Del Rio.
The only scenario among those that include Swagger having a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship is if he wins it at this pay-per-view. This is the last opportunity for the foreseeable future that Swagger has to be the champion, unless WWE is willing to go in an illogical route or pull some sort of twist.
Keeping Swagger in the title hunt without giving him the championship itself is repetitive and will not create a buzzing interest in the shows. We the People will end up tuning out and not looking forward to the next episode. This match makes perfect sense as a placeholder until they move on to something else, but that needs to happen before the next pay-per-view, WWE Payback.
If he doesn't win the World Heavyweight Championship in this match, there's no justifiable spot for Swagger in the main event until Ziggler drops it to someone else or another third party acts as a bridge between the two like Del Rio currently is.
In the grand scheme of things, Swagger has no chance of winning this match. But to keep things optimistic for him, the glass is only half full if he wins this one last chance at the title.
Do you think Jack Swagger should continue to have more shots at the World Heavyweight Championship even if he loses? Or are you hoping that he stays out of the title picture after Extreme Rules? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.