As I'm sure all of you are aware of by now, WWE Extreme Rules is this Sunday live on PPV.
I am here to break down every announced match (check back later if more are announced including ones from this Friday's SmackDown) and predict the outcome.
PPV Prediction Challenge:
I invite all of you to also join in on a new concept that I have developed with the editors, where you will post your predictions in the comments selection below, and I will keep a running tally all the way until WrestleMania 28 to determine the "PPV Prediction Challenge" champion.
So that I know you want to be apart of the contest, make sure you put at the beginning of your comment "PPV Prediction Challenge:" followed by your picks. Feel free to expand on them however you want, or just provide the winners.
I plan on posting a table of the results following Extreme Rules, so that everyone knows where they stand.
The more people involved in this the better, as it will increase the competitive environment of the community.
With that being said, here are my picks for Extreme Rules.
On SmackDown, it was announced that Michelle McCool will face Layla in a "Loser Leaves WWE" match.
LayCool has been at the top of the Diva's division for the better part of a year and deserves closure to their storyline.
Possible Spoiler Alert:
Rumors have circulated that McCool wants to take time off to clear up nagging injuries and spend time with her husband, the Undertaker.
Due to these rumors, I'm going with Layla.
I cannot remember a feud in recent history that has received so much attention and air time, yet I am not interested in at all, than the Michael Cole saga.
I give Cole a ton of credit for generating the amount of heat that he does because he is probably the most "over" heel in the company (along with Vicki Guerrero).
The fact of the matter though is that three of the four people in this match are announcers, which will therefore result in a very slow and possibly error-filled match.
Add in the fact that Jim Ross broke his hand punching Cole on Raw, and this match could go down in history as one of the least memorable matches in history.
I think there are two possible scenarios for this match:
A) Jack Swagger dominates the match and Michael Cole ends up being Swagger's manager, which alleviates the problem of having Cole announce with Lawler or JR.
B) Swagger turns on Cole after Cole irritates him enough in the match, and everyone joins in a public beating of Cole to everyone's delight.
Given the backlash to Cole winning at WrestleMania, I would think that Lawler and Ross would have to come out on top.
Plus, with the Miz, Alberto Del Rio, CM Punk, the emergence of R-Truth, and a number of other heels coming over in the draft, Raw is heel heavy, and this is a solid opportunity to attempt to even out the heel to face ratio.
Winner: Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross
After their great match at WrestleMania (second to only Triple H vs. Undertaker in my opinion), Rhodes and Mysterio face off in what will be the culminating match in their feud.
With Mysterio going to Raw and Rhodes remaining on SmackDown, it makes all the sense in the world to have Rhodes come out on top in this match.
By losing Del Rio, SmackDown lost its top heel and needs to work on developing another top one.
Rhodes, along with Wade Barrett, Sheamus, Ted DiBiase, and others will be fighting for that spot, but I believe it will ultimately be Rhodes that emerges as the top heel.
His promo skills have gotten significantly better and with Randy Orton coming to SmackDown as the top face, the feud already writes itself.
Cody Rhodes wins, thinks of himself as top dog, and Randy Orton debuts to try and bring his ego down a notch.
It is basically a rehashing of the whole Triple H-Randy Orton storyline from a few years ago, but now the roles will be reversed for Orton.
This could develop Rhodes into a true superstar, eventually leading to a shot at the World Heavyweight title.
Mysterio stands to gain no momentum from winning this match unless Creative decides to send him out of SmackDown a winner for his years of service.
Winner: Cody Rhodes
Another culmination to a feud that has lasted months is the Last Man Standing match between CM Punk and Randy Orton.
Punk has lost considerable momentum in my eyes in recent weeks, especially after his loss at WrestleMania and their rematch on Raw from London.
The law of reverse momentum would suggest that CM Punk wins with assistance from Nexus, but I have a differing opinion.
With Orton leaving Raw for SmackDown, you would have to think that WWE would not send their 1B face (to 1A John Cena) to their secondary show a loser.
Furthermore, what is Punk going to do after this on Raw? He seems like a man with no path, as you would have to expect Cena to feud with Del Rio, Morrison to feud with R-Truth, and a newcomer to feud with the Miz (unless they tried a heel vs. heel match with Punk vs. Miz, which would be great on the mic, but I don't think will happen).
This is why I see a scenario where Mason Ryan and the other members of Nexus turn on Punk and cost him the match.
That way, Orton comes out as a strong face, and Punk now has a feud to carry him for the next few months until the title picture opens back up.
Either way, I don't see a scenario where Orton doesn't come out on top.
Winner: Randy Orton
This has obviously been a whirlwind month for SmackDown's Heavyweight title picture with the retirement of Edge and now the drafting of Alberto Del Rio to Raw.
I'll keep this short because I think it is blatantly obvious under current conditions.
As I wrote earlier this week in my reaction to the draft, it would make absolutely no sense for Alberto Del Rio to win this match, and you can write it in stone that Christian will finally win the title.
My reason is two-fold.
First, WWE can capitalize immensely on the nostalgia towards Edge by Christian winning the title.
It would be a feel good story for someone that has worked extremely hard to move up in WWE, only to not get a shot at the top because Vince McMahon doesn't believe he can be a top champion.
Second, and probably the more telling of the two, is that of the five competitors in the heavyweight title matches, Christian is the only one that will be on SmackDown following Extreme Rules.
There is no way that WWE will put themselves in a position again like they had in 2005 when both titles were on Raw temporarily.
SmackDown already is viewed as the "B" show by most, and having Del Rio take the title to Raw would degrade it even further.
The only way that I see Del Rio winning is if the Miz jumps ship to SmackDown with the WWE title, which would not make sense if the Miz truly is the future.
Winner and New World Heavyweight Champion: Christian
This is the most unpredictable match on the card in my opinion.
While I had strong feelings about who could win the other four matches, I believe that this one is truly a toss-up.
There are several viable scenarios that I could see playing out in this match:
1. John Cena wins starting a feud with Alberto Del Rio, who claims he got screwed out the championship by Edge's retirement (which is actually factually correct if you believe what most insiders say).
This feud could culminate at SummerSlam, and provides a match that most people would want to see with two of the biggest names in the company.
Furthermore, it could be the out needed to reinsert the Rock into feuding with Cena. If the Rock does not appear on WWE TV after this week's Raw for several months, you would have to think he would reappear at SummerSlam in Los Angeles.
He could cost Cena the title, thus freeing Del Rio from the feud with Cena, so that he could focus on other feuds.
2. As John Morrison is about to climb over the cage, R-Truth interferes and stops him from winning the title, allowing either Cena or Miz to win, and furthering the feud between the two.
3. The Miz wins and takes the title to SmackDown because he feels disrespected at the lack of attention he perceives that he is getting (as he said in his promo on Raw).
4. Morrison has a ridiculous spot where he runs up the cage parkour style and escapes as Cena or Miz is about to win, resulting in the IWC exploding at the fact that the Golden Boys (Morrison and Christian) won both titles.
5. Del Rio interferes to cost Cena the title, resulting in a Cena - Del Rio feud and a Miz - Morrison feud.
Realistically, John Cena does not need the title at all. He is established enough that he could practically go the rest of his career without another title reign and it wouldn't hurt him one bit.
Miz and Morrison would benefit so much more by holding the title. It adds legitimacy to the Miz or would help show that Morrison is more than just a "spot monkey."
As much as I don't want to do it, I think Cena will win.
Cena will win because they owe it ultimately to Alberto Del Rio. With his rise as the top heel on SmackDown to his transition to Monday nights, you would think that if "his destiny" is to be fulfilled, he would defeat John Cena to win the WWE title down the line.
Having Del Rio go over Cena would ultimately set up the feud I spoke of above, and would solidify Del Rio as the top heel going forward.
Winner and New WWE Champion: John Cena
Check back throughout the weekend as matches will most certainly have to be added since only five have been announced.
Nonetheless, this has turned into a pretty good card that initially seemed like it would be one of the worst of all time.
Again, comment below on your predictions if you are interested in being apart of the PPV Prediction Challenge and make sure to put that at the beginning of your comment so I can keep track.