Extreme Rules is only three days away, and there were only five announced matches before Raw. Luckily, WWE added three more matches to the main card, upping the total to eight. Teddy Long also adjusted the world title match to adjust for Dolph Ziggler’s injury.
The matches are as follows:
Randy Orton vs. Big Show in an Extreme Rules Match
Sheamus vs. Mark Henry in a Strap Match
Chris Jericho vs. Fandango
Team Hell No vs. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns in a Tornado Tag Match for the WWE tag titles
Kofi Kingston vs. Dean Ambrose for the United States Championship
Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H in a Steel Cage Match
Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger in an I Quit Match to determine the No. 1 contender for Ziggler’s title
John Cena vs. Ryback in a Last Man Standing Match for the WWE title
Looking at the updated card, some matches have more star power than others. On the other hand, some could have a big impact on the the future of WWE.
I’ve ranked the confirmed matches based on its anticipation leading up to the event and potential impact. I did not include Cody Rhodes vs. The Miz because it's not on the main card.
This feud has been building since WrestleMania when Big Show turned on Sheamus and Randy Orton after their tag match against The Shield.
Many were expecting Orton to turn heel, but that wasn’t the case.
Since then, one man has attacked the other from behind on multiple occasions.
Both Orton and Big Show are just floundering right now and it shows. The WWE Universe still pops for Orton, but this feud hasn’t clicked with a lot of fans.
With neither man gunning for the world title, this feud could continue into Payback, giving both Superstars something to do for another month.
With the score tied at one apiece between these two, it was inevitable that we would get a third match. I was just surprised at how soon it came after their WrestleMania match.
Their first encounter was at SummerSlam, which Lesnar won. Triple H won the return match last month.
I’ve seen both matches and wasn’t blown away by either. To me, these two clash in styles. They are both brawlers, which could make for good matches, but it doesn’t here.
With Lesnar still under contract and Triple H taking more of a backstage role, this match is more predictable than John Cena vs. The Rock II.
Looking forward, I’m curious to see how long Lesnar will be away for and who he will feud with next.
Chris Jericho’s unselfishness has never shined brighter than it did at WrestleMania when he put over Fandango.
Although it wasn’t a five-star classic, Fandango was in the ring with one of the best and will be again this Sunday.
Jericho continues to work around his Fozzy schedule to make time for this feud and to put over Fandango. WWE has incorporated Fandango’s dancing gimmick into the build, but they haven’t been the best of segments. Fandango is coming off as ruthless by attacking Jericho from behind multiple times.
Jericho will carry Fandango to a great match and let the up-and-comer score another high-profile victory.
I was very much looking forward to the Triple Threat ladder match, but with Ziggler’s injury, that won’t happen.
I like the new card Jack Swagger is playing, telling Ziggler that he wouldn’t be champion without his help. It gives the two heels something to feud over.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen this match multiple times already, and it gets worse every time. The build toward their WrestleMania match was alright at best. WWE was building for the Triple Threat match, but now with Ziggler's injury, the I Quit match doesn't seem to hold a lot of interest.
These two will do the best they can to provide an exciting match, maybe even Zeb Colter and Ricardo Rodriguez get involved.
In the end, Alberto Del Rio will get another title shot as WWE will look to avoid the heel vs. heel matchup.
This match could surprise a lot of people as far as extreme goes.
After seeing those welts on Sheamus’ back, this could be a brutal match. Sheamus and Mark Henry gave us a taste of what we could see this Sunday when the two traded whips with the strap on Raw.
I’m not a fan of Sheamus’ character, considering he’s been more of a heel than Henry has during this build. Henry is a no-nonsense Superstar, and a strap match is right in his wheelhouse.
It won’t be a mat classic or a bloody mess like the other extreme matches, but that won’t stop me from expecting a hard-hitting match. A win for either Superstar could propel them back into the world title picture.
I personally think WWE turned Ryback heel too soon. They should have gone with a Mark Henry vs. John Cena match. But, what’s done is done and this is the match we have.
I’m expecting Ryback to focus on Cena’s heel so that he can’t stand while Cena overcomes all of the obstacles.
The build to this match has been alright. Ryback is trying to look like a beast, but Cena keeps cutting him down every chance he gets.
Will WWE surprise us all and put the belt on Ryback? Or will Ryback suffer yet another pay-per-view loss? This match will undoubtedly hurt Ryback more than it will help Cena.
This match will be every bit as extreme as we want it to be, which is the only reason I'll be watching this match.
This match has been building since TLC last December when The Shield, in their debut match, took on Team Hell No and Ryback.
Since then, most of The Shield’s matches were against Kane, Daniel Bryan and a various partner.
Now, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns could bring gold to The Shield.
It’s been a while since fans have seen a tornado tag match, so this is a fresh stipulation. This also plays right into Rollins and Reigns' hands as they fare well in chaotic situations.
Extreme Rules is the perfect time to give The Shield some titles and to begin the break-up of Kane and Bryan.
I think it’s safe to say we’ve been waiting for The Shield to get some gold around their waist.
This match was put together somewhat last minute. Kofi Kingston and Dean Ambrose were on opposite teams a couple of weeks ago. After the match, Ambrose was eyeing Kingston’s United States Championship.
Although the United States title doesn't mean a whole lot right now, giving it to a star like Ambrose can bring relevance back to it.
I mentioned in a previous article that Ambrose will be The Shield’s breakout singles star and this is the perfect way to do it. He captures singles gold as the other two members team together. It allows Ambrose to establish his own identity while still being a part of The Shield.
Kingston is a great athlete, and I’m expecting a very good wrestling match. There are plenty extreme matches that this one doesn't need a stipulation.
Let's just hope Ambrose doesn't begin jobbing to stars like Antonio Cesaro did when he was champion.