WWE Extreme Rules 2014: Feuds Guaranteed to Disappoint Fans
Now that WrestleMania has ended, WWE will likely throw all of the hype coming out of the event into new storylines for their upcoming Extreme Rules pay-per-view.
Already confirmed for the evening is a highly anticipated encounter which will see the resident savior of the company, John Cena, engaging in a one-on-one battle with Bray Wyatt inside of a steel cage.
In addition, Big E will put his Intercontinental title on the line against the winner of an eight-man tournament.
Both of these matches have the potential to be very interesting. But in the weeks leading up to the event, a great deal of hype needs to be built for them to deliver on expectations.
And it is very likely that they will do just that. However, there are other storylines that could climax that night with less satisfying results.
Paige vs. Tamina Snuka
Since winning the Divas title from AJ, Paige has had no real direction in terms of a future feud.
Sure, she faced Alicia Fox on Raw, but that never had the makings of a real feud. But as the WWE Universe learned on Main Event, where Tamina outlasted many other Divas, she is the new No. 1 contender for the Divas titles and is setting her sights squarely on the new and vulnerable champion.
However, the creative direction in which the company is moving Paige at the moment is somewhat puzzling.
In NXT, she was a dominant and fearless competitor, never backing down from a challenge. Now, in the two weeks that she has appeared on Raw, she has appeared hesitant and scared, with her respective opponents controlling a vast majority of the action only to have Paige pull out a victory in the last few seconds of the match.
It was understandable when she upset a shocked AJ, who had proven herself to be a shrewd and successful champion. However, when she faced a less skilled Alicia Fox, she was physically manhandled for most of the match before taking control for a very short time at the end of the bout, finally securing a submission victory.
And if we are going by the track record thus far, it seems to be pointing to a feud that is completely dominated by Tamina. She would control all of the action while still allowing Paige to pick up consistent victories, most upsets, by winning with roll-ups or submission holds that come out of nowhere.
And that is not satisfying for anyone.
Especially if the division is to be taken seriously.
Anything Involving Cesaro
While there seems to be no clear-cut opponent in Cesaro’s way at the moment, it stands to reason that anyone who gets in his way will be easily mowed down.
As the newest “Paul Heyman guy,” the Swiss Superstar is in position to be one of the next big things in WWE. And with the best mouthpiece in the business in Heyman, Cesaro can allow his wrestling skills to do the talking for him.
However, the pairing could prove to be so lethal that everyone will know what will happen when the King of Swing steps foot into the ring.
Part of the appeal of professional wrestling is that anything can happen.
But just like everyone knows that John Cena will always eventually prevail in any feud, so too could Cesaro do just the same.
It seems that by having him win the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, the company has big things in store for him. Add Heyman and a precious spot in the tournament to crown a new No. 1 Contender for the Intercontinental title, and we could easily be seeing Cesaro with that belt around his waist in the very near future.
An interesting possibility, but far too predictable.
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
Not to bash the current World Champion or another man who is former World Champion, but we have all seen this feud before many times.
Bryan and Kane, whether as a team or as foes, have a very rich history.
As former WWE Tag Team Champions, Team Hell No will go down in history as one of the most eclectic and successful teams in recent memory. But again, as interesting as the appeal of a Bryan/Kane showdown is, we have seen it many, many times.
It doesn’t matter whether Kane wears a mask. It does not change the fact that he is nearly 47 years old and nowhere near the prime of his career any longer.
To his credit, he still functions at a much higher level than many other competitors half his age, but the simple fact remains that he is no longer the Superstar that he once was, nor that he can compete with the ball of energy that Bryan is on a nightly basis.
This feud will basically serve as a way of stalling the inevitable “Bryan vs. some or all of the members of Evolution” storyline that will likely begin after the aging trio disposes of the Shield.
And to have this high-profile feud essentially be a gigantic waste of time is not fair to the WWE Universe or the competitors themselves.
Evolution vs. The Shield
Well, it seems as if Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista have reformed Evolution.
And it also seems as if they have set their sights squarely on The Shield.
And frankly, if this were between the years of 2003 and 2005, this would be an unbelievably compelling storyline.
But in 2014, does the company really expect the WWE Universe to believe that these three former World Champions have any legitimate shot at destroying three of the most impressive young Superstars in the company?
Sure, every member of Evolution used to be an incredibly impressive specimen in the ring.
Triple H is still very much capable of putting together a fantastic match every now and then. But in his onscreen role as COO of the company, maybe he should not be placing himself in a physical role of authority, making himself the center of attention when others are far more deserving.
And while Batista was never really a gifted ring technician, he was always able to look intimidating and throw in a couple of power moves per match to make his top-level status look justified. But now, at the age of 45 and not having entered a wrestling ring in years, he looks very rusty and nowhere near worthy of his current role.
And finally, Randy Orton is perhaps in the prime of his career. But at the moment he is playing second or maybe even third fiddle to his stablemates, something that won’t do him any favors once this storyline comes to an end.
For their part, The Shield are one of the most impressive trios to ever set foot in a wrestling ring. Every member of the group is polished, cocky and hungry, something that does not bode well for anyone who gets in their path.
If the company is smart, they will have The Shield quickly dispatch Evolution and then move them along to a feud that showcases their skills in much better ways. But in typical WWE fashion, we will probably see the veteran group easily defeat the upstarts, highlighting one of the biggest issues in the company.
And that problem is that any momentum that young Superstars can gain within a given storyline is almost always invalidated by allowing a part-time or more established veteran to get over.
And unfortunately for The Shield, if that formula works for The Rock and Brock Lesnar, it will likely work for Evolution as well.