Extreme Rules is annually one of the WWE’s best PPVs. It’s the one night a year where wrestling fans can harken back to the good old days of ECW and the Attitude Era’s hardcore division. And this year’s event is shaping up to be quite possibly something special.
But it’s not the headliners that fans should be excited about. This year’s card is featuring some prominent newcomers that will most likely steal the show.
I’d like to preface this by saying that if Dolph Ziggler were not concussed, his ladder match against Jack Swagger and Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship would definitely be this year’s main attraction. But alas, Ziggler has not been cleared to wrestle and will miss the PPV, leaving us with a consolation ‘I Quit’ match between Del Rio and Swagger stemming from a stale storyline that has already ran its course.
Now I’m not saying that these two can’t put on a great show. It just won’t be everything that wrestling fans were hoping for. It’s sort of like watching The Dark Knight Rises and thinking about how much better it would be if Heath Ledger were still alive.
Speaking of The Joker, let’s move on to the match featuring the WWE’s version of Batman’s worst enemy.
The Shield’s leader, Dean Ambrose, is certainly an eccentric character to say the least. Fans should be ready to see him finally get a push towards some championship gold against the uber athletic Kofi Kingston.
And although it does not feature any sort of special stipulation, it should still set up to be a very high-paced and competitive singles match. It also should end with Ambrose’s arm being raised in victory finally brining some legitimacy to the United States Title. Sorry, Kofi.
Ambrose’s counterparts in The Shield are also looking to become champions as Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns will be facing Team Hell No for the Tag Team Titles in a tag team tornado match. The Shield’s carnivorous style in tag team competition is always entertaining to watch, and I expect to see some very innovative things from these two. I also expect to see Roman Reigns hit his patented spear out of nowhere thus solidifying The Shield as today’s powerhouse stable in the WWE. And for fans of The Shield, it’s been a long time coming.
Fandango could not be anything further from The Shield, but his now infamous angle has been drawing an incredible amount of heat from the WWE Universe. A WrestleMania rematch against Chris Jericho should prove to be a solid singles match and further help fans gain a better understanding of Fandango’s in-ring abilities.
Also, there could be worse things than watching an athletic high-flyer wrestle a technical legend and veteran in Chris Jericho. Add an outlandish dancing storyline and a chance to see Summer Rae at ringside and I’d say this match should certainly be one of the highlights of the night.
As for the rest of the PPV, it almost feels as though the stipulations set had to be added simply because the matches would be boring without them.
The main event for the WWE Championship between John Cena and Ryback could prove to be a solid match if one of two things happens. The Shield either needs to interfere on Ryback’s behalf, thus creating a super stable headed by Paul Heyman, or CM Punk needs to return in some sort of fashion, no matter what that may be. Perhaps there could possibly be a mix of the two? I’m just a dreamer.
My feeling, though, is that since Cena won the championship at WrestleMania only a month ago, there is no way he will be losing on Sunday. Therefore we are stuck with a main event that would feature about eight moves respectively if it was not for the Last Man Standing stipulation. This is the sort of predictability that drives fans crazy when it comes to Cena. But the kids love him, so he must be doing something right. Right?
Moving on to what might be the most pointless in rematch in a while, Triple H and Brock Lesnar will be squaring off in a steel cage match. I appreciate the effort and I wouldn’t even say that I haven’t been enjoying the back and forth between these two over the past few weeks. I even thought that Brock ripping apart Triple H’s office at WWE Headquarters was pretty bad ass. I just don’t understand how a steel cage match could possibly be better than a no holds barred match. It just feels like they should have done this one in reverse order, especially since this is Extreme Rules.
That leaves us with two more matches.
The match between Sheamus and Mark Henry has the possibility of being good if both guys absolutely annihilate each other with leather straps. But in this PG era of the WWE, I’ll hold my breath on that one.
And Randy Orton will square off against the Big Show in an Extreme Rules match. Thankfully the Extreme Rules stipulation was put in place. I mean I appreciate the Big Show and all, but when was the last time you were dying to see a match he was featured in? Take your time. I’ll give you a few minutes to ponder that one.
Surprisingly it’s the matches at Extreme Rules that will not necessarily be extreme in any way that fans should order the PPV for. In my opinion it’s due to the fact that these are new characters whose shtick hasn’t gone cold yet. And these newcomers also have an abundance of in-ring talent that makes for the complete package.
So expect all of the promotion for Extreme Rules to be for the big guys, but just remember that the little guys just might be what will end up driving the show on Sunday night.