Extreme Rules is an important bridge pay-per-view. The road to WrestleMania and the immediate aftermath are usually chaotic, and this year was no exception. Sunday's show is when things begin to normalize again around the WWE.
For superstars, that equates to a chance at a renewed push. The spots that were taken by part-time superstars during the WrestleMania build are now available for the taking. Those who pick up wins at Extreme Rules move one step closer to filling the voids.
Knowing that, let's take a closer look at three superstars who should secure much-needed victories at Extreme Rules and where it could lead them moving forward.
Orton, once a stalwart member of the main event scene, has been bouncing around feuds without a general direction in recent months. It's time for him to start getting a big push with an eye toward an eventual storyline with World Heavyweight champ Dolph Ziggler.
Facing Big Show in an Extreme Rules match is a good place to start. Big Show's stock has also faded recently, but the gimmick aspect of the encounter should make it more interesting. It will also hide the giant's in-ring deficiencies.
Ultimately, it makes more sense for Orton to get the win as the start of his first sustained push in quite some time. He's still one of the most reliable workers on the roster. A feud with Ziggler down the line is exactly what the World Heavyweight title needs to boost SmackDown.
Fandango is quickly learning what Brodus Clay found out when he debuted the Funkasaurus character. An initial surge with a new dancing gimmick enters the danger zone as soon as the fans become bored with the dancing, which doesn't take long.
The wrestler formerly known as Johnny Curtis became an astonishing success after beating Chris Jericho at WrestleMania. His intro music went viral, the fans started doing it during his matches and he started getting featured more prominently.
Now, the fan involvement is starting to fade and so is Fandango's momentum. The focus must shift toward his improving wrestling ability in the rematch with Jericho. The gimmick got him started, but progression must begin at Extreme Rules to avoid him fading out of the spotlight.
The Miz won the Intercontinental Championship on the WrestleMania pre-show. Instead of that leading to a fresh push, he lost the rematch against Wade Barrett on Raw. He then left to film a movie, Christmas Bounty, before recently returning.
The Miz @mikethemiz
Just finished my last scene of #ChristmasBounty gonna miss my Z28 and leather jacket http://t.co/gomu4371Mc2013-5-6 13:17:13
He'll face off with Cody Rhodes on the pre-show in what's actually a very important match. Both superstars are waiting for a chance to become involved in bigger storylines and the winner of Sunday's encounter takes the next step. The loser will remain in limbo.
Although The Miz may have to undergo another gimmick change––he's a much better natural heel––before returning to the main event, he's still a better candidate for a push than Rhodes. Expect him to begin his move up the card with an Extreme Rules win.