There's a Pay-Per-View this weekend?
You could have told me!
WWE's four Monday Night Raw build up shows to Extreme Rules following Wrestlemania has consisted of a Wrestlemania "afterparty" with The Rock and John Cena announcing their Wrestlemania 28 clash, an episode in London, England which absolutely sucked and a WWE Draft where the Extreme Rules PPV was simply put on the back burner.
The only attention it got this week was a few backstage promos, CM Punk speaking on the ramp and R-Truth doing the same after the opening Battle Royal. Not really selling the PPV really is it?
The problem is, if this PPV falls flat, then WWE has three weeks to recover and build up a non-themed Over the Limit PPV which they'll surely struggle to sell, unless they pull out all the stops this Sunday.
If you hadn't watched an episode of Raw or Smackdown since Wrestlemania and the current six match card (including a spoiler from Smackdown) was put in front of you, the $50 or £15 would seem good value for money.
Just take a look...
Christian vs Alberto Del Rio in a Ladder Match for the vacant World Heavyweight Championship. This match can be whatever it wants it to be, and personally I think—and logic would dictate—for Christian to win this.
If Del Rio wins it means the WH and WWE Title will be on Raw, plus why not give it to Christian? Kane got a well deserved proper reign as Heavyweight Champion last year and Christian would have fully earned his.
This Ladder Match can be potentially awesome with the possible added factor of Edge in Christian's corner, should he appear and Ricardo Rodriguez in Del Rio's corner.
Del Rio isn't harmed whatsoever if he loses this, and I expect him to be in a WWE Championship match before long anyway. This is perhaps the only match I am banking on to be a success this Sunday.
Then you look at CM Punk vs Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing Match. Whoa! Sure this feud has dragged a little but these two can still put on a clinic this Sunday.
Orton is departing to Smackdown, so victory isn't vital for him, but for Punk it is. Put aside all the rumours he may be leaving, a defeat for Punk would leave him 0-3 in this feud and leaves him and the New Nexus zero credibility.
The Nexus will definitely get involved, but in what capacity? This could easily have its flaws though. The feud has tired out a little, and if Orton—playing the babyface—becomes too slow and methodical, the crowd could fall asleep part way through this match.
I expect it to be good like their Wrestlemania clash though.
Moving on now to Rey Mysterio against Cody Rhodes in a Falls Count Anywhere Match. This feud will also end after the PPV after Mysterio was drafted to Raw, and of the two, Rhodes needs to be the one emerging victorious here.
They both have a victory a-piece, (Rhodes at Wrestlemania, Mysterio on Smackdown) and the Falls Count Anywhere stipulation suits these men quite nicely.
This would be a perfect match to open the PPV as it is likely to be fast paced and unpredictable at times. Where it could flounder though is where they take the match.
If they restrict it to a bit of battle in the crowd and ringside smashes then that'll be disappointing, however if they go backstage and out in the parking lot, then things will get interesting.
Next, the Country Whipping Match. Well, this isn't a feud you can take too seriously, but I'm sure I join many other fans when I say I can't wait to see Jim Ross beat the life out of Michael Cole!
The best this can be is entertaining, with the faces getting the victory to cap off the feud, however this could go on horribly long like Lawler/Cole's Mania match did and it could be as sloppy as a Great Khali chop.
Now that's sloppy.
Finally, the Triple Threat Steel Cage Match for the WWE Title.
Now if Morrison wins this I will be knocked sideways, and we would have yet another strange WWE booking decision. No question Morrison can hang with Miz and Cena, but the way he's been booked in this match is telling me he doesn't deserve to be holding the WWE Championship just yet.
Hot favourite here has to be Cena, as he could set up a feud with Del Rio further down the line for the title. The Miz has had a long reign with the belt and his time is probably up. I hope to see some Morrison high flying spots, The Miz trying sneaky ways to win and hopefully John Cena will pull out the stops on a PPV match yet again.
However, what could make this match suck is seeing "SuperCena" come back from the dead to win, or seeing a lack of logic to the cage match.
I'm not a fan of Steel Cage matches and being able to escape through the door, as that is such an easy way of getting out—why climb when you can crawl?
This PPV has to do well Sunday night, otherwise you can bank on low-buys for the Over the Limit PPV three weeks after. The potential is all there, this PPV could—COULD—be epic.
However, I'm not holding my breath.
So often we've seen good matches go to waste, each match (except the Cole/Swagger v Lawler/Ross match) needs good time to work with and ample time to use the stipulation to full effect. A very good, PG Extreme Rules PPV is hard to pull off, so kudos to WWE if they can do it Sunday night.
John Cena to defeat The Miz & John Morrison (to win the WWE title)
Christian to defeat Alberto Del Rio (to win the WH title)
CM Punk to defeat Randy Orton
Cody Rhodes to defeat Rey Mysterio
Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler to defeat Jack Swagger & Michael Cole