Before we start this roundtable, I’ll take this opportunity to voice my protest over the fact that once again John Morrison seems lost in the shuffle and doesn’t have a real feud or a PPV match. Same goes for The Miz (Yes, He’s still awesome), who should be defending at least one of the titles that he holds. On to the roundtable.
WWE Championship Last Man Standing Match:
John Cena (C) vs. Batista
Widro: Cena picked up the title from Batista at Mania, and with the titles changing around so often, it seems unlikely they will change it again. Plus Batista has not yet signed a contract.
Winner â€“ Cena
Steven Gepp: Iâ€™m torn. I like heel Batista, and these two bring the best out of each other. But I donâ€™t actually want to see this match up again. Oh well, I am, and I expect to be at least a little entertained and I expect it to be almost humorous with no blood. Oh well, letâ€™s look at this a different way: are they now going to crap on Ric Flair for him crapping on them? Yes! And how? By having as many of their guys as possible break that 16-title record. HHH, Cena, Batista, Orton, theyâ€™re all gonna do it. So I expect a title change.
Winner: (and new champ) Batista
Andrew Wheeler: Alright, Iâ€™m assuming that this is going to be the first match listed on the page, so allow me to just save myself the repetition and say that all of these picks here are going to be very tenuous. I doubt anyone can pick too many of these completely definitively, which is a plus, I guess. See, first off thereâ€™s the fact that we have a Draft on Monday, which means everything and anything in the WWE is up in the air. Second, there was that damn volcano that cost the WWE one week of RAW programming. Here is the first casualty of that volcano, as the last image we had was of Cena making Batista tap out in the middle of the ring. Yes, I understand that the dichotomy they were trying to go with by showing Cena beating Batista with the one move that he canâ€™t win with at the PPV, but I think that had they aired a real show this past week that it would have ended with Dave leaving John lying in the center of the ring. We didnâ€™t get that so we donâ€™t have that sense of urgency. I would almost guess that they would feel obligated to put Batista over to look strong, but thereâ€™s no reason for Cena to drop the title. I predicted a while ago that Jericho would be drafted to RAW, and if that does happen, then him entering into a program with Cena is inevitable. Batista as a heel champion leaves him with few options (namely Cena and Orton), and there arenâ€™t a lot of people on Smackdown that they could move to Monday Nights without having to lose one of those two major faces. The smartest move they could do is have Cena beat Batista here and then shuttle Dave back to Friday Nights. Yes, I have enjoyed the Batista character on RAW, but on Smackdown we could get heel Dave against face Edge, which wasnâ€™t too bad of a program the first go-around. Besides, why would they throw the belt onto Cena just to have him drop it the next month?
Winner: John Cena
Iain Burnside: This time last year, after having won a title at WrestleMania, John Cena went on to lose it in a Last Man Standing match at the next PPV. I doubt it will happen again. In fact, this may well be one of those rare times when neither of the world titles changes hands on a PPV. Of course, they did just change one of them on TV earlier this month. Anyway, time to ship Batista back to Smackdown on account of him being a whingy cunt. So you didn’t get to star in a shitty WWE movie? What, because that did so much to help Ted Dibiase’s star power? And wasn’t Rob Van Dam supposed to be the star of your last shitty movie before you signed on and shimmied your way into the headline role? Ya goofy, giant hard-on.
Winner â€“ CENA
Raffi Shamir: As much as heel Batista is cool, there is no reason for him to win the title here. I’m getting sick of rapid title changes. I hope that the upcoming draft will somehow lead to a Christian heel turn and a renewed feud between these two, because even though they feuded before Christian left for TNA, this will still be fresh. Or, an even better option would be (finally) a heel turn for Cena, because as big a Cena mark that I am (And it’s well documented), this is long overdue.
Winner: John Cena
World Heavyweight Championship Extreme Rules Match:
Jack Swagger (C) vs. Randy Orton
Widro: It’s amazing that to build to this title match, Jack Swagger jobbed to the Undertaker and then John Morrison on Raw and Smackdown this week respectively. He also lost clean to Orton to start this match, so he really needs to win here.
Winner â€“ Swagger
Steven Gepp: I think Swagger has the potential to be a good champ. But see my comments in the Cena/Batista match. And for that reason and that reason alone, I go the way I am.
Winner: (and new champ) Randy Orton
Andrew Wheeler: No match has suffered more from the volcano than this thrown-together match. Orton pinned Swangle twice, which is why heâ€™s getting the shot. Except that Orton is a RAW guy and Swangle is a RAW guy who is a Smackdown star. Edge and Jericho were taken out of the picture because the WWE wants Edge to finally pin Jericho, but they donâ€™t want Edge to be World Champion just yet. Swangle has a lot to gain by finally winning a match here, and since it is an extreme rules match, he can do it by hitting Orton with everything and the kitchen sink and still retain. My guess is that someone will interfere to cost Orton the match, setting up his next feud. Those candidates are a very short list of Cody Rhodes or Sheamus. If Sheamus loses to Hunter, heâ€™ll go after Randy. If Sheamus wins, then Cody will make his return and cost his former mentor the title. Regardless, giving Swangle such a short run would kill his momentum entirely, which the WWE canâ€™t afford to do. Swangle has shown that he can wrestle a decent match (his match with Morrison was very good, his match with Taker wasâ€¦slow) and he can cut a very good promo. He has the tools to be the future, so why not let him get a cheap pin over another established star and carry the Smackdown ball for a bit?
Winner: The Worldâ€™s Greatest Opportunistic Showstopping Weasel Kurt Swangle
Iain Burnside: Sweet mother of Christ, do you realise that this could very easily have been Randy Orton vs Drew McIntyre had WWE not decided to throw in some zany unpredictability to the WM results? Holy crap on a bicycle, now there’s a match that would have involved a whole lot of slow walking. Count yourselves lucky. It should be remembered that this title match was set up through a seldom-seen moment of logic. Orton held two victories over the champion, hence he got a title shot. Now the Undertaker and John Morrison both have victories over the champion but neither of them are on this show. Go figure. There is so much more upside to a Swagger win here that it almost certainly will not happen. But we can hope. Swagger can then go on and win a match on the Draft show and get a Smackdown pick, which can of course turn out to be Orton. Continue. By the way, can we stop calling it a Draft? That term implies somebody is actually choosing individuals to draft. This is a Lottery. The people who are picked are entirely at the mercy of WWE’s mysterious computertron. Also, why would any heels ever try to win matches on that show? There’s no good reason for them to want extra competition.
Winner â€“ SWAGGER
Raffi Shamir: Swagger is the latest member in a club that includes the likes of Chris Jericho, CM Punk, Rey Mysterio and other WWE superstars â€“ people who won the World Championship for the first time and were immediately treated like crap or people who are not worthy to be a champion. They all managed to rebound from that treatment and I hope it will not hamper Swagger for long either. I hate it when a champion starts to job as soon as he wins the title and as much as I liked his match woth Undertaker last week, it shouldn’t have taken place at all because it was obvious that Swagger would not win so as strong as he looked during the match, it was all for nothing. And I’m a huge John Morrison fan, but he shouldn’t hold any victories on Champ Swagger at this point. Orton does not need the title or the victory here, soâ€¦
Winner: Jack Swagger
Steel Cage Match:
Edge vs. Chris Jericho
Widro: Edge’s face turn has been tepid at best. With Jericho losing to Heath Slater on NXT, he needs a big win. Either way this should probably be one of the best matches on the show
Winner â€“ Jericho
Steven Gepp: Letâ€™s see how Jericho can carry Edge this time. This has sort of come out of the blue, hasnâ€™t it? I mean, why a cage match? Has the rivalry really seemed that intense? Oh well. This has Jericho in it with Edge; it canâ€™t be a bad match, can it?
Andrew Wheeler: Edge is winning. There is no debate here. They took this away from the title picture so that Edge could get his revenge without winning the gold because they probably have a plan for that in the future. Edge has yet to beat Chris Jericho with the Spear since this feud started, and to have Edge be embarrassed during his injury, return and get beat at Wrestlemania and then get beat again would kill any momentum he may have (though he doesnâ€™t have much based on crowd reaction). Edge can win the feud and Jericho can go to RAW and the world can keep spinning.
Iain Burnside: Canadian Cage Clash. Oooh.
Winner â€“ EDGE
Raffi Shamir: If I were Scott Keith, I’d probably dub this match CANDIAN VIOLENCE!!! But I’m not, so I won’t. This feud has not gained the steam that it should have and it doesn’t even come close to Jericho’s feuds with HBK or Mysterio. I think it’s time to pull the plug, give Edge the win here and separate these two for now, until the writers figure out a better plan.
Triple H vs. Sheamus
Widro: Sheamus has done a great job with his push in 2010, and this feud could be a momentum killer if HHH continues to pin him. Sheamus gets the win
Winner â€“ Sheamus
Steven Gepp: And, so sue me, I like Sheamus. I think he has potential. And if internet rumours are right, heâ€™s pals with HHH and so HHH wonâ€™t let him look bad. But will he go all the way to help his mate?
Winner: Sheamus (Yes, he will)
Andrew Wheeler: Aye, tis a crezy much-up heer tween Chiple Ache und Sheamus. See, Sheamus be havinâ€™ all da modivashun ta defeet Da Gayme, but aye tink Hunterâ€™s gunnna use dis mach ta begin his summah vayvayshun. See, Chiple Acheâ€™s got a wee one on da way, so he don wanna be on da road when he cun be hoam wit his brushin bride Stepaaknee. So Chiple Ache gets his time uff and Sheamus gets a win ovah a majah stah. Iz a ween-ween sicha-a-shun.
Iain Burnside: Chris Jericho got pinned cleanly by Heath Slater, for fuck’s sake.
Winner â€“ SHEAMUS
Raffi Shamir: I hate feuds where only the established main eventers get victories over the young up and coming guys. Even if that guy happens to be Sheamus. Triple H has to lay down here, and since it’s a street fight, will probably agree to.
If Punk loses, his head gets shaved:
Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk
Widro: This has been my favorite WWE storyline so far this year, and the match should be strong, especially if its given more time than their match at Wrestlemania. Punk lost at Wrestlemania, and this PPV seems low buzz to go through with the head shaving. Still seems like they are going to go through with it, plus Rey and Cena both winning will offset my other heel choices.
Winner â€“ Rey
Steven Gepp: The stip makes me wary of the result here. I think the mask needs to be on the line as well before the hair goes, so letâ€™s go that way.
Andrew Wheeler: See, back when this was a hair versus mask match, it was a slam dunk. Now? Not so much. Punk getting his head shaved would kill his momentum as the evil Jesus, but on the other hand, he already cut part of it which means heâ€™s gonna lose. Punk jobbed rather quickly at Wrestlemania, so it would make sense that he gets his heat back here. Alternatively, the WWE could further the Punk/Luke hostility and have Luke accidentally cost CM the contest. While I am almost completely sure that Rey is going to win, I just have a hunch that it seems too good to be true.
Winner: CM Punk
Iain Burnside: My bet is that Punk winds up on Raw, in essence swapping places with Sheamus. In that case he should lose here but then have the Society beat the shit out of Mysterio. Punk refuses to get his head shaved and then Hunter makes the save. They can continue the feud on Raw and build a hair vs hair match between the two of them, which would hopefully give them more time to do something with the head-shaving gimmick on behalf of the Society. It would also leave people far more determined to see Punk get his comeuppance. Sheamus can then turn up on Smackdown and injure Mysterio, letting Rey go off and get his latest collection of knee surgeries before coming back to get his revenge. On the other hand, Parity Booking trumps all, so…
Winner â€“ PUNK
Raffi Shamir: First, I’ll take this opportunity to send a shout-out to my buddy Oron who’s going to be there for Extreme Rules and promised to bring me back a SES t-shirt. Now that I got this out of the way, Punk has to win here. The head shaving should only come when the SES is ready to break apart, and there’s a long way to go before that point. Regardless of where Punk ends up after the draft, he needs to win here, and I certainly hope that the feud will continue to a rubber match.
Winner: CM Punk
WWE Women’s championship Extreme Makeover Match:
Michelle McCool vs. Beth Phoenix
Widro: Beth’s face turn has been a slow burn, and hasn’t peaked quite as well as it could have, but it has been decent.
Winner â€“ McCool
Steven Gepp: Please, please, please let Awesome Kong come out, decimate McCool and give Phoenix some-one to, I donâ€™t know, wrestle. Instead we get Piggie James, now Bethâ€™s a man. Who is writing the womenâ€™s crap on WWE? Is Russo moonlighting? Crapcrapcrap.
Winner: Oh, hell, letâ€™s say Phoenix just because
Andrew Wheeler: Well, I figured that Beth was going to get screwed out of the match because of Vickie, but since Mickie is gone now, they have one face and a bunch of heels, so it seems logical that Phoenix squashes Michelle quickly. Thatâ€™s a shame because I think this feud could have had legs.
Winner: Beth Phoenix
Iain Burnside: They got rid of Mickie so they might as well put the strap on the babyface and feed her some heel challengers. Anybody care?
Winner â€“ BETH
Raffi Shamir: I hate the WWE knockoff version of The Beautiful People. I love Beth Phoenix.
Winner: Beth Phoenix
JTG vs. Shad Gaspard
Widro: Can you believe this match is on PPV? Shad has been destroying JTG on Smackdown every week, so you might think JTG would get a win here. However, I think they are pushing Shad as a single more than JTG so he will get the win here and move into the IC title scene.
Winner â€“ Shad
Steven Gepp: Is it just me or do both of these guys leave others bored witless? Look, I didnâ€™t care when they were a team, I donâ€™t care now that theyâ€™re breaking up, and I wonâ€™t care whoever wins.
Winner: Shad Gaspard
Andrew Wheeler: No, you read that right, this is really happening on a PPV. Well, Shad is the guy they have the faith in to be a big monster heel and JTG is a quick guy that can replace Shelton or Yang as a competent jobber, so you do the math. Either way theyâ€™ll move one guy off of Smackdown.
Iain Burnside: We can only hope that Bill Watts is not too aroused by the idea of a match involving two black men and a whip. No doubt one of these guys winds up on Raw. JTG has the talent and would have been such a better fit for the MVP gimmick. Shad is big and likes Conan the Barbarian movies. Go figure.
Winner â€“ SHAD
Raffi Shamir: Could I care less about this feud? Not really. Do I want to see it continue? Not really.
And now that you know our picks, come back to Pulse Wrestling on Sunday night for the full, live coverage of WWE Extreme Rules.