WWE Extreme Rules 2014: Stars Under the Most Pressure at PPV
Extreme Rules provides a rare opportunity for the WWE's midcard talent to make a mark on the company after a difficult few months.
With the plethora of part-time guys now taking a back seat again following WrestleMania XXX, the opportunity is there for plenty of men—and women—to impress at the first pay-per-view following the biggest of the year.
However, with that spotlight comes plenty of pressure. If an opportunity presents itself to you in this day and age, it simply has to be taken with both hands. If they fail to do so, the stars in question could well find themselves slipping back down the card.
Which stars are under the most pressure to succeed at Extreme Rules? Let's take a look.
He has burst onto the scene in some style, but Alexander Rusev faces his first test of character at Extreme Rules 2014.
The Bulgarian brute has been simply superb since arriving on Raw, and has dismantled many opponents in relatively easy fashion.
At Extreme Rules, he is scheduled to compete in a handicap match against R-Truth and Xavier Woods. Whilst that should still be a comfortable victory for Rusev, he has to do it in a similar fashion to his other squash victories.
A win of that nature on pay-per-view would put him in the frame for a serious push up the card heading out of Extreme Rules—and you fancy him to get the job done in ruthless fashion.
The Irishman is having a dismal time at the moment in the WWE—at least in comparison with his success early on in his career.
It is unclear whether he will even be on the card at Extreme Rules. Hopefully there will be a match of some sort to keep him going.
If he does wrestle on the pay-per-view, it is vitally important that he puts on a strong showing. A good performance here could be the pathway to some future success with the company.
Perhaps a heel turn would be the best way of utilizing Sheamus in the future. However, for now, he is very much a babyface, and is in drastic need of some creative direction to help salvage his status as a credible contender with the WWE.
Bad News Barrett
It has been far from bad news for the Englishman over the last few weeks, with Bad News Barrett recording a number of victories to put him in the frame for an Intercontinental Championship shot.
If he does get the opportunity to face Big E at Extreme Rules, you get the feeling Barrett almost has to win to keep his future bright with the WWE.
Several months of absence from the ring have left him out of the picture when it comes to championship matches—could this latest push pay off?
You get the feeling that Barrett could still be a mover and shaker at the top end of the card in the WWE. It seems peculiar he never got a serious shot at a major belt given his standing with the company over the last few years.
An Intercontinental Championship victory could be the start of something special for Bad News Barrett.
Whether he takes time off in the near future or not, Batista is in dire need of a strong showing on pay-per-view.
Although he played a decent enough role in the main event at WrestleMania XXX, you still get the feeling that Batista is yet to show us what he can do during his latest run with the company.
A six-man tag match as part of Evolution could be just what he needs to thrive, but it is imperative that he puts in a strong performance.
With the match likely to be the main event of the evening, Batista's ability inside the ring needs to desperately come to the fore here.
If he impresses, perhaps the fans might buy into him just that little bit more moving forward.
Of all the guys in the WWE at the moment, it is fair to say nobody is under as much pressure to deliver as Cesaro.
Thanks to some interference from his former tag buddy, Jack Swagger, he's out of the running for the Intercontinental Championship.
That means a match between the two looks likely for Extreme Rules—and Cesaro simply has to win.
With his push gathering momentum, not least thanks to the recruitment of Paul Heyman as his manager, he cannot afford to fall flat at Extreme Rules. Cesaro must beat Swagger—and he must do it convicningly.
Who knows what the future could hold for Cesaro if he advances past Swagger and goes on to bigger and better things? He could be a world champion in the making.
His path to success will begin in earnest at Extreme Rules.