WWE Extreme Rules 2014 is coming up next week and like any other pay-per-view, to the victor go the spoils.
But in WWE, just because someone has tasted defeat doesn't necessarily mean it was all for naught.
There are four men that will likely come up short in their matches here that will still gain something out of the situation.
It is not written in stone that they won't win their matches, but John Cena and The Shield stand a chance to leave Extreme Rules on the losing end.
Why would they lose? There are two reasons.
First, WWE typically likes to balance the babyfaces and heels winning at events to keep things interesting.
Daniel Bryan and Paige are essentially locks to retain their respective championships and it is doubtful that The Usos would drop their Tag Team Championship belts if they defend them.
Also, if Cesaro has a match with Jack Swagger—which appears to be what WWE is building toward—the King of Swing will undoubtedly be booked as the babyface in that match and win.
WWE will be looking for heels that can win at Extreme Rules along with Alexander Rusev and possibly Bad News Barrett if he ends up challenging Big E for the Intercontinental Championship.
Both Cena and the members of The Shield were victorious at WrestleMania XXX in ways that illustrated their strengths.
To counteract this and keep things fresh, their opponents could stand to get the upper hand.
The second reason why they may lose is simply because they can take it, which is what brings up the focal point and discussion of this article.
In the case of The Shield, they would be losing to three of the biggest names in the company who have more than their fair share of accolades.
A loss to Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista is in no way going to harm the credibility of The Shield.
Generally speaking, just being in the same ring with them will give them a boost.
The only way there could be a downside to this match is if The Shield are embarrassed and made to look like complete jokes, which WWE is smart enough to avoid.
Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are commodities and WWE knows that, so they will be protected as much as possible.
This means Evolution can win through some kind of underhanded means.
Perhaps there is interference from the other men that have been backing up and helping The Authority as of late.
Maybe Triple H is able to bend the rules in his team's favor with a crooked referee or stipulation.
The exact method to which they cheat or manage to win is irrelevant so long as the bottom line is that The Shield puts up an equal fight.
These men have developed a reputation and character for being tough combatants that will fight with all they've got.
Even in a losing effort, The Shield's bravery will be on display.
Hanging in there with one of the biggest stables in WWE history and taking the fight to them—but being screwed out of the pinfall—will make fans salivate for more.
As The Shield seek vengeance, we'll be taken along for the ride, and when they are indeed able to get revenge, it will be that much sweeter.
With John Cena, on the other hand, the story is different.
At WrestleMania XXX, he already had his moment of overcoming his obstacle and conquering his opponent.
Extreme Rules represents an opportunity to make a positive out of a negative by humbling Cena.
For years now, Cena has been subject to criticism about his win-loss record.
It's no secret that fans are into Bray Wyatt's character and enjoying their ability to boo Cena and cheer for him at the same time—just listen to the crowd.
Cena is in a position where losing at Extreme Rules does nothing to hurt him and winning does nothing to help him—but everything to hurt Wyatt.
What will another Cena victory accomplish? It will just upset the fans and prove to them that they are right for complaining that he "always wins."
However, if Cena loses and makes Wyatt look good in the process, it may quell the rebellion temporarily.
Suddenly, there's less of a reason to hate Cena, because he did the opposite of what has been bothering everyone for quite some time.
If everyone really wants to cross their fingers, there's even some hope that losing could result in some changes made to his character.
There should be consequences to the fans voting to punish Cena on Raw by voting for him to face all three members of The Wyatt Family.
For the betterment of his character's staying power, Cena needs to take this loss and suffer.
At first, the loss seems like a downer, but in the grand scheme of things, it will allow him to grow instead of limping along with the same old schtick.
Cena never gives up and likewise, WWE never gives up trying to convince the audience that that character is what we should buy into.
But if the definition of insanity is to continue doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results, maybe it's time WWE steps out of its comfort zone and tries something different.
It could make all the difference for someone like Cena that the fans won't ease up on attacking until his Superman persona dwindles down.
Whatever the case may be for these two matches, there is a lot of potential for both sides to come out looking good and it will be interesting to see what happens come pay-per-view time.
Anthony Mango is the owner-operator of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment as well as the host of its podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!