WWE Extreme Rules 2014: Most Intriguing Storylines to Track on Road to PPV

Bryan HaasFeatured ColumnistApril 11, 2014

WWE Extreme Rules 2014: Most Intriguing Storylines to Track on Road to PPV

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    Credit: wwe.com

    Ever since WrestleMania XXX, the WWE Universe has seen the company move in several new directions.

    WWE appears to be showcasing new talent at the expense of established stars.

    It also appears to be elevating former midcard talents to incredibly prominent roles.

    Shockingly, there might even be a possible shift in the overall power balance of the company.

    But whatever the case, there are many exciting aspects to the recent goings-on in the company, many of which could play a big part in the leadup to the next pay per-view, Extreme Rules, which takes place on May 4.

Who Will Feel the Wrath of Alexander Rusev and Lana?

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    Credit: wwe.com

    The Bulgarian Brute made quite a statement on Raw, nearly dismantling a hapless Zack Ryder in quick fashion.

    Fueled by the encouragement of the devious and beautiful Lana, Rusev appears to be a physical force that will be very difficult to stop.

    With the size of a super heavyweight but the agility of a cruiserweight, Rusev possesses skills that would turn most Superstars green with envy. And keep in mind that the only way to stop his cold and calculating beatdowns seems to lay entirely in Lana’s hands.

    Her words alone are what saved Ryder (and probably countless others in the future) from suffering even more pain at the hands of Rusev and his dreaded “Accolade” finisher.

    Eventually, Rusev will move up the ranks. And if his path of destruction thus far is any indication, the entire WWE roster should start to take notice very soon, lest they be the next obstacle that “The Super Athlete” tries to run over.

What Is the Next Step for the Wyatt Family?

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    Credit: wwe.com

    While it’s true that Bray Wyatt was not able to pull off a victory over John Cena at WrestleMania, he is still a major star on the rise.

    Brutal, quick and mysterious, Wyatt has caused a major stir in recent months. Add Erick Rowan and Luke Harper, his two hulking cohorts, to the equation, and you have a trio that rivals any group in the company.

    In fact, they were able to defeat the impressive trio of Cena, Sheamus and Intercontinental champion Big E this past week on Raw and in pretty convincing fashion to boot.

    It stands to reason that Wyatt and Cena are not entirely done with their rivalry, but Big E could also be an immediate target. Big E's title would be a shiny prize and perhaps even a springboard to bigger things for Wyatt, maybe to further whatever message he is trying to send.

    There has been major buzz surrounding the Wyatts since their debut, and every passing week it seems as if they do something that leaves the WWE Universe talking about them.

    And despite the fact that Cena has seemed to have an answer for them to some degree thus far, can that trend continue against a trio that seems to change the question on a regular basis?

How Will AJ React to Losing the Divas Title?

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    Credit: wwe.com

    While the WWE Universe was certainly shocked by AJ losing the Divas Championship to the debuting Paige, no one could have been more shocked than AJ herself.

    Her cavalier attitude and complete disregard toward her younger opponent ultimately led to her undoing. We will now all get treated to watching the always exciting and perhaps slightly unstable AJ chase the title that she had held since last June.

    And Paige, for her part, is not going to be some slouch that just got a fluke victory.

    She is an accomplished in-ring technician that has been wrestling for years and comes from a family of warriors of the squared circle.

    However, it is unlikely that AJ will underestimate her opponent (or any opponent) ever again. And we have all seen how wild she can get even in the best of times. What will she be like when she is fueled by frustration and anger?

    Whatever the answer is to that question, it might not bode well for the newly crowned Brit.

The Emergence of Cesaro

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    Credit: wwe.com

    Now dubbed "The King of Swing" by new manager Paul Heyman, Cesaro will likely embark on a feud with former tag team partner Jack Swagger before moving on to greener pastures.

    And while Swagger is a technically sound competitor, he was always well behind Cesaro in terms of popularity, charisma and upside. It stands to reason that Cesaro will easily dispatch his former friend and rapidly move on to a high-profile feud, possibly with Big E or Dean Ambrose, culminating in him winning one of the midcard singles titles in the very near future.

    And with Heyman leading the way, that idea is not at all out of the question.

The WWE World Heavyweight Championship Picture

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    Credit: wwe.com

    Daniel Bryan is the new WWE World Heavyweight champion, and it seems as if the WWE Universe could not possibly be any happier about that fact.

    However, it seems like this will not be a blissful or easy reign for the champion as there is no shortage of possible opponents for him.

    At the moment, three men have stepped to the forefront. Randy Orton, Batista and Triple H are all legitimate threats to Bryan’s titles and could strike at a moment’s notice.

    And in keeping with the incredibly difficult circumstances that have come along with opposing The Authority, Bryan may soon find himself squaring off against one, two or even all three of these men at the same time. And though stacked odds have never truly derailed the leader of the Yes Movement thus far, there is always a first time for everything.

    And while it seems as if The Authority will do absolutely anything to ensure that Bryan’s reign as WWE World Heavyweight champion is brief, the group's current problems with the Shield led to “The Hounds of Justice” standing strong with the new champion at the end of Raw.

    The numbers game has always been an important part of what Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are all about.

    And if they are not able to use stacked odds in their favor, they have always relied upon other simple intimidation tactics.

    But how do they expect to gain an advantage over a united front that equals their numbers and has no fear of them?