To say I am more excited about Extreme Rules than I was about WrestleMania 29 might be a little far-fetched, but it does not take away my anticipation of a pay-per-view that has been hammered for rematches and could deliver a great show.
The WWE is known for its hit and misses and off-and-on-again thrills. I expect this pay-per-view to hit on all accounts regardless if there are rematches and some of the undercard is missing in St. Louis.
The fact that Cody Rhodes and The Miz are starting things off on the pre-match view on YouTube speaks volumes about how the WWE needs a real hit to start things off and just how far these two wrestlers have fallen from grace.
But I promise to be more upbeat in the next 500 words.
Extreme Rules this year is a contrast of old-school stipulations with retread matches. I love the concept of seeing gimmicks used from the past to get the message out, but I am not as crazy about seeing a Sheamus/Mark Henry match as I am seeing Miz and Rhodes.
Call me crazy, but there is more potential in the first match than possibly the last of the night (John Cena vs. Ryback).
And speaking of Cena, he has looked more bold lately, gotten his ass kicked a few times by The Shield and Ryback, hurt his Achilles and will retain the WWE title. Losing for Ryback in this case is a good thing. We all learned when we were younger about building character and learning little by little.
Here is your learning curve, Ryback. Grow to like it.
There are three matches I think will make this event solid, if not spectacular.
Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger (again). I know it was created because of Dolph Ziggler's concussion. I also commend the WWE for not pushing the issue with a head injury, but having Big E Langston in the match would have created a storyline between the big man and Ziggler I am just waiting to see.
It still may happen, but we will have to get to Atlanta by way of Denver to get to it.
The Shield taking the titles from Team Hell No. It is bound to happen, and now we can truly usher in the age of The Shield. If these three men continue to rack up titles, which I do not see them losing any time soon, then the WWE has done well in planning a storyline as solid as the "invasion" of WCW.
Look for the tag belts to be secured around the men in black Sunday night and the tag team and the "friendship" to dissolve. Kane, go find your bad self again, please. Daniel Bryan, please go kick Ziggler's ass.
Finally, I really like the idea of Triple H and Brock Lesnar in the cage for several reasons. First, this is where Triple H shines, and he is still at the top of his game for his age (43). Second, Lesnar knows his way around a cage. Third, Lesnar's MMA style is a welcomed addition to the WWE, which has gotten so stale. These two were meant to battle. One last time. Never to be replayed again.
Uh, haven't we heard that before?
There are other issues or "challenges" that will derive from this pay-per-view. Payback is coming up in Chicago in June. Does CM Punk begin vignettes about his return? Will we see Christian finally surprise us all? Does Batista show up on Monday night after the event?
Looks like Sunday and Monday could be a very busy time for the WWE.