Whispers flitter as WWE Extreme Rules 2014 nears.
The biggest backstage buzz surrounding the upcoming pay-per-view event includes an exit that will affect The Shield vs. Evolution feud and a non-WWE wrestler being brought in. The WWE Network will stream all the title bouts, grudge matches and showcases of emerging stars.
It all begins at 8 p.m. ET. The pre-show, which features the rubber match between El Torito and Hornswoggle, kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET.
East Rutherford, New Jersey, hosts WWE's first major event after a thrilling WrestleMania 30. The night promises to be heavy on short jokes, especially with the reported addition of a man who once held the Chaotic Wrestling Midget Championship.
WWE is giving the first-ever WeeLC match plenty of love.
First, the company featured a contract signing on Friday's SmackDown, and now word is that an additional little person will be a part of the event. The self-proclaimed "toughest midget wrestler to enter the ring," Short Sleeve Sampson, is scheduled to appear at Extreme Rules, per Augusta Free Press.
As to what his role will be, PWInsider, via Wrestle Zone, reports that Sampson "will likely be the special guest referee for the 'WeeLC' match."
Don't count on Ric Flair being another special guest. Although "The Nature Boy" got involved in his old group's feud with The Shield, word is that Evolution will remain a trio.
PWInsider, via Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc, reports "there's been some speculation about Ric Flair appearing" at Extreme Rules, but "he's not scheduled" for the event.
If WWE were to bring him in, Flair would be an intriguing addition to this storyline, especially because he endorsed The Shield on Monday's Raw.
Batista, of course, will definitely be at the Izod Center. The fact that Extreme Rules may be one of his final appearances will affect how long Evolution stays together and how their six-man bout against The Shield plays out.
Mike Johnson of PWInsider writes the following:
As of this writing, those are his final scheduled appearances for some time with WWE as he will be doing marketing and promotion for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.
This news means The Shield's feud with Evolution won't be a long one, and we'll get to the Triple H vs. Roman Reigns singles rivalry a lot quicker.
It also points to The Shield winning at Extreme Rules. If there is only one clash in this story against Randy Orton, Triple H and Batista, the chances of "The Hounds of Justice" getting the victory Sunday shoot way up.
This is a chance to elevate all the members of The Shield. Expect WWE to take advantage of that, pushing Reigns as a marquee star and showcasing Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins as well.
Winning doesn't mean nearly as much for the established vets of Evolution.
Sheamus is now headed to Extreme Rules as well. His fans won't be happy where "The Celtic Warrior" is going to end up on the card, though.
As announced on WWE.com, Sheamus will join Josh Mathews, Booker T and Alex Riley as a member of the pre-show panel.
WWE Network Info
For fans in the United States, the WWE Network was already the best option for watching Extreme Rules. Then both DirecTV and Dish Network decided to not carry the event, per F4WOnline.com.
After signing up for the WWE Network, one can stream Extreme Rules on Roku, Apple TV, PlayStation Network or on a computer or tablet via WWE.com. In addition, it is now available on Xbox One, per WWE.com.
Check out WWE.com's "how to watch" section for an extensive list of devices compatible with the WWE Network.
The 24/7 streaming service will run you $9.99, with a six-month commitment. The subscription fee not only covers Extreme Rules and all of WWE's pay-per-view events, but fans can also watch weekly episodes of Main Event and NXT, original shows like Legends House and explore an expansive library of past WWE events.
Besides, the WWE Network is the only way to watch the first-ever WeeLC match.
Hornswoggle and El Torito will leap from mini-ladders and crash through mini-tables. Normally, WWE would broadcast the pre-show match on YouTube, WWE.com and several other places, but it's WWE Network or bust this time around.