As with every WWE pay-per-view, careers can be made and others can end. John Cena may be leaving Extreme Rules with the WWE Championship, but he isn't exactly walking out with his hand held high.
Alberto Del Rio is the new No. 1 contender to Dolph Ziggler's World Heavyweight Championship, but he doesn't have the title back around his waist just yet. Randy Orton and Sheamus conquered giants, but will this translate to getting back on top of the WWE roster?
In the midst of all the highs and lows that each competitor experienced, if you boil it down, Extreme Rules 2013 turns out to be the story of one entity above all else: The Shield.
There were two matches on the card that involved Shield members. The first featured Dean Ambrose facing off against Kofi Kingston with the United States Championship on the line.
The match essentially existed just to award the title to Dean Ambrose, as there wasn't much of a build to it to begin with. Kingston's edge in terms of experience did not tilt the odds in his favor.
To give even more credibility to Ambrose, he was alone and there was no screwjob to be seen. When all was said and done, the championship found a new home in a clean victory for Ambrose.
That would not be the last time we would see this happen tonight, however. Later on in the evening, the remaining two members of The Shield, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, would take on the team of Daniel Bryan and Kane for their WWE Tag Team Championship.
Team Hell No had gone through every tag team on the roster and successfully defended their titles when they were on the line. Still, they were heading in with a record that favored The Shield, as they have yet to defeat The Hounds of Justice.
As has happened before, Team Hell No found themselves on the losing end of a match, but this time with a much worse result as Reigns and Rollins were crowned the new Tag Team Champions. Once again, this was a clean victory to further drive home the validity.
In the grand scheme of things, simply winning a championship doesn't automatically mean that someone highlighted a pay-per-view. More often than not, the match of the night is not the main event for the WWE Championship or the match that necessarily had the most stipulations to it.
In fact, winning a championship can often leave a sour taste for the audience. However, Extreme Rules does not seem to be one of those cases.
Despite many of us fully expecting all of the members of The Shield to come out of their respective matches with the gold, the talk surrounding this is abundantly positive. Few people from what I have seen are spouting out the usual "I told you so" disappointment.
Instead, they are looking forward to the future with high hopes. "Can Dean Ambrose bring prestige back to the United States Championship?" "Does this mean that the tag team division will get a boost?"
There is less attention being given to the random spots in some of the gimmick matches as opposed to the generic singles match and the relatively tame and normal tag team match that The Shield participated in.
In a pay-per-view where there were two controversial finishes that have outcomes that directly influence both of the most important championships in WWE, The Shield is standing strong as a talking point.
John Cena and Ryback fought to a draw. Triple H lost the steel cage match and Brock Lesnar only won after Paul Heyman's interference. The Miz won a pointless match on the Pre-Show. Sheamus and Randy Orton survived giants but walked away with essentially nothing in the process.
However, The Shield managed in one fell swoop to completely disrupt two of the championships in WWE.
When you take in an overall perspective of Extreme Rules 2013, The Shield stands out on top of all the other competitors. They all won their matches with no outside help, they were the only title changes on the card, and their matches didn't disappoint, either.
Do you think someone else was the true anchor point to the pay-per-view? Who do you think had the worst night on the card?
Tell us your opinions in the comments below.
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