WWE presents Extreme Rules, Sunday, April 29, 2012, from Chicago, Il. although at first glace you may think this is Wrestlemania 28 and 1/2. Four of the five advertised matches are direct rematches from Wrestlemania. You could probably recycle the posters, just add a "B" in front of Rock. It is assumed there will be some unannounced matches, some Divas action for bathroom breaks, and perhaps a Funkasaurus sighting, but for all intents and purposes we've seen this all before. Even taking into consideration that they have only had three weeks to prepare for this PPV, I find this unacceptable. I personally would have liked to see the time between Wrestlemania and Extreme Rules to be used for building and developing new feuds, rather than beating the feuds from yesterday into a bloody, unrecognizable pulp.
But I digress. Let us do what wrestling geeks do best. Make horrible predictions. Lets start at the top...
Santino Marella (c) vs. The Miz (United States Championship Match) - A pre-show YouTube match? Really?... Really!... Really. The Miz headlined Wrestlemania almost exactly a year ago. Now he is on YouTube doing pre-shows and WWE Superstars matches. I have one question, who's wife did he screw? Honestly, the drop off is cataclysmic. I enjoy The Miz. I enjoyed his reign as champion. It sickens me that they push untalented meat popsicles like The Great Khali, but they bury talent like The Miz.
What I hope is that The Miz picks up the win here. Maybe give the United States Title some legitimacy again. Get him back on the map. I mean shit, he did win the match for Team Johnny at Wrestlemania did he not. I'd imagine John Laurinaitis would want to pay him back with gold. Right??? But what I hope and what I expect are usually polar opposites. I expect Santino to retain in comical Cobra fashion, getting the crowd hot and setting the mood for the night.
All evidence points to a Kharma return. Smart buisness sense would see Kharma win the title from anyone other than Phoenix. Beth Phoenix vs. Kharma is probably the only quality feud the Diva's division, as currently constituted, could have and I have no doubt they will save that match up for Wrestlemania 29 or another of the Big 4. The Bellas have yet to renew their contracts and would be perfect to put over Kharma before their departure. I expect Nikki to retain in a quick match due to the "injury", which would prevent Beth from looking too weak. Rumors say Kharma may be appearing on RAW the night after or sometime that week, but I'm expecting a surprise appearance at Extreme Rules.
Kane vs Randy Orton (Fall Count Anywhere) - I have no vested interest in this match. This feud is a shell of what it could have been. I don't blame Kane or Orton, I blame creative. Here is the long and short of this feud: Kane wins at Wrestlemania, Kane attacks Orton's dad, Orton attacks Kane's Dad, they fight at Extreme Rules.
Orton will win this match. Two reasons: to even the score from Wrestlemania, because he will be feuding with Lesner during the summer and can't afford to look weak entering that program. Put the house on it. Seeing as it's a Falls Count Anywhere Match, expect a big spot somewhere, possibly Orton RKO-ing Kane off the stage ramp or something goofy.
Big Show (c) vs. Cody Rhodes (Intercontinental Title Match) - The sky is the limit for Cody Rhodes. And it is this almost limitless potential that makes this match so difficult for me to call. Do you have him go over Big Show, reclaim the Intercontinental Title, and solidify the mid-card? Or do you have him lose to Show, leave the Intercontinental picture and insert himself into the World Heavyweight Championship scenario? I think in order to accomplish the latter, Rhodes would have to lose and then enter a non-title feud before making the jump to WHC contender. Problem is the main-event talent, particularly the only two faces, on Smackdown are already occupied. Sheamus, Bryan, and Del Rio are all involved with the WHC, and Orton is set to feud with Lesner leading to Summerslam.
I'm convinced Big Show won on the first so they could give him his Wrestlemania moment and he could become a Grand Slam champion. He is already over and doesn't need the title to remain relevant. I expect Cody Rhodes to win at Extreme Rules. He is more needed in the mid-card right now, and a win over an established veteran like Show will only be beneficial for him and his future.
Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan (2 out of 3 Falls Match) - This match has shenanigans written all over it. After months of powerhousing through Smackdown and RAW, they finally gave him the title at Mania after an 18 second match with Daniel Bryan. And somehow, some way, after being squashed in one of the main events of Wrestlemania 28, Daniel Bryan is the one who is more popular then ever. I love Daniel Bryan. He's such a smarmy, conceited, arrogant bastard, that you just want to reach through the TV and punch him in the mouth. And that is Bryan doing his job perfectly.
I have a feeling, call it a hunch, that this match will not be completed. Sheamus will have one fall, Bryan will have one fall, and something will abruptly end the match. This will be that gimmick ending that there is always one of. And it will involve Alberto Del Rio. Expect the Del Rio, Bryan, Sheamus angle to continue until they have a Triple Threat Title Match at SummerSlam. Also expect the Sheamus can't strike a referee stipulation to take a part in this match, possibly due to Del Rio or Bryan.
CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho (WWE Title & Chicago Street Fight Match) - This match reminds me of the Attitude Era. The build up to this match has been so much better then that of the match at Wrestlemania. Both of these guys can go, there is no doubt about that. There is a reason they both have claim to be "Best in the World". I honestly think there is more interest in this match then there is in the Lesner/Cena match, and as well there should be. It's a WWE Title match. I expect some kind of big spot, not one of those Senton from the set rigging spots, but one of those getting hit by a car kind of spots. One of those spot where you actually say "Ouch!" as you watch it happen. And I expect it to happen to Punk.
Chris Jericho is going to tour with Fozzy after SummerSlam as they are releasing a new album. It would boggle my mind if they brought in Chris Jericho to continually job to Punk then leave again. And let's be honest. The hometown guy almost ALWAYS gets screwed. Punk won last year in Chicago. It wont happen again. Punk is at his best when he is chasing. He'll chase Jericho right to SummerSlam after losing the title on Sunday.
John Cena vs Brock Lesner (Extreme Rules Match) - Anyone notice there are three names for the same match (Falls Count Anywhere, Street Fight, Extreme Rules). Kind of lame. Anyway, here we are the main event. Honest opinion. John Cena gets his ass whooped. For the 'E to do what they want to do with Lesner, they NEED Cena to get his ass whooped. Catapult Lesner into this unstoppable force that will tear through all the WWE has to offer.
I hope that the WWE goes along the route of the uncontrollable unleashed monster. I would love to see the story play out where Laurinaitis has released this beast to further his own evil and nefarious schemes, only to find out even he can't control it and it threatens to destroy everyone including Laurinaitis himself. Cena will lose at Extreme Rules. He will lose convincingly, and it will bring out another side of Cena. Cena the Defeated? Cena the Underdog? I expect some kind of Rocky III style story, with Cena, soft from being on the top for so long, is brought down to the real world and works his way back to the top to fight that which destroyed him in the first place.
At least that's what I would do...
Agree? Disagree? Want to leave your two cents? Please leave a comment/critique/anything. Your feedback is always welcome and will help me make this blog better for all the Talbotoholic's out there.
Domo Arigato, Mr. Talboto.