Hard to believe it’s been so long since we saw a WWE PPV, but here we are with May’s Extreme Rules right around the corner. The card has yet to be fully revealed, but I think it’s safe to say there’s no question as to where certain storylines are headed. Let’s take a gander at the matches already announced, as well as those expected to be announced by next week:
Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship: John Cena vs Ryback
I haven’t been particularly fond of the build, primarily because Creative has gone the lazy route of turning Ryback into “Whiny Heel Batista 2.0” just to go up against Cena. What happened to the exciting dynamic of putting two faces up against one another? If the intent is to make Ryback the next main eventer, wouldn’t it be prudent to keep him face against Cena to see just what kind of reaction he’d get from the crowd? You know, sort of like a measuring stick to figure out how much of the audience cheers for Ryback legitimately versus how much of the fanbase would cheer simply because he’s up against Cena. As it stands, Cena is one injury away from winding up on the shelf; who’d replace him? Surely not Orton or Sheamus.
Expectations: I expect Ryback’s bizarre momentum of losing the big one to continue simply because he’s always in the right place at the wrong time regarding his push. Cena spent over a year “struggling” to become WWE Champion again; I don’t see him losing it so soon.
Triple Threat Ladder Match for the World Heavyweight Championship:
Dolph Ziggler vs Alberto del Rio vs Jack Swagger
Is it just me, or has Ziggler looked like a total chump ever since getting involved in this angle? We’ve had a decent series of one-on-ones since the feud began (particularly from Ziggler and del Rio) and the concept of a ladder match doesn’t exactly favor any one man, so the intrigue is definitely there.
Expectations: I most assuredly expect to see shenanigans involving the collective entourage surrounding the ring. I’m gonna go ahead and call this the bout of the night, since ladder matches rarely disappoint when it comes to excitement. Ziggler will more than likely steal a victory from del Rio, forcing them into a one-on-one confrontation.
UPDATE!!!!!! This bit of news could put a damper on things.
Steel Cage Match: Triple H vs Brock Lesnar
The cage match concept is a call-back to the old school era wherein a blood feud would end inside the unforgiving steel. Unfortunately, no one gives a shit about this match because nobody wants to see a third go-round with Triple H and Lesnar. Heyman’s “Beast Incarnate” is being wasted in this pointless angle. Instead of helping the younger guys get off the ground, Lesnar is facing a nearly-retired wrestler who does not need the spotlight anymore.
Expectations: Probably the only match where blood-letting will be intentional. Lesnar needs to win this and move on to more worthy opposition.
Sheamus vs Mark Henry
This match should have taken place at the height of Mark Henry’s title run but instead we had Big Show linger around the title scene. On the plus side, Daniel Bryan became World Heavyweight Champion out of the deal, so there’s that. Both Sheamus and Henry’s stocks are not what they once were a year ago; which, honestly, isn’t saying much.
Expectations: I suspect we’ll see a stipulation of some sort added, as Sheamus was literally whipped by Henry last Monday night and, for the last two weeks, they’ve both been involved in tests of strength. Perhaps a Texas Bullrope match? In any case I don’t see the crowd taking too kindly to this one.
Big Show vs Randy Orton
Another one of those “We need to fill up the card and these guys have nothing to do” matches. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.
Expectations: Where’s that Orton heel turn?
WWE Tag Team Championship: Team Hell No vs The Shield
The only other match on the card worth looking forward to. Daniel Bryan + The Shield = awesomeness. Let’s get the belts off of the stale champions and put them on the unstoppable newcomers, Freebirds-style.
Expectations: Reasonably high, honestly. There’s no excuse for this to be a bad match at all. New Tag Team Champions, baby!
Fandango vs Chris Jericho
As much as I love Jericho, this feud hasn’t done a damn thing for me. Fandango’s music is more over than HE is.
Expectations: This match has potential, if Y2J can do his damnedest to make a star out of Johnny Curtis. This could be surprise of the night.
Fatal Four Way for the Divas’ Championship: Kaitlyn vs AJ Lee vs the Bella Twins
Yes, I realize that AJ is technically the number one contender, but with the Bellas as the focus of the new reality show on E! and the manner in which they abandoned AJ on Monday night, I can see a Fatal Four Way brewing by the time we get to the PPV.
Expectations: Four minutes, tops. With the addition of the Bellas, Kaitlyn might eke out a victory. As much as I love Kaitlyn(‘s bewbs), I’d like to see AJ win.
Eight matches on a minor PPV might be pushing it, so I expect either Fandango/Jericho or the Diva match to be dropped entirely or relegated to some sort of pre-show. What do you think of the card’s potential? Let me know in the comments below.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Tags: aj lee, alberto del rio, big show, Brock Lesnar, chris jericho, Dolph Ziggler, extreme rules, Fandango, Fatal Four Way, jack swagger, john cena, Kaitlyn, ladder match, Mark Henry, Mike Gojira, randy orton, ryback, sheamus, Steel Cage Match, Team Hell No, The Bella Twins, The Shield, triple h, World Heavyweight Championship, WWE, wwe championship, WWE Divas Championship, WWE Tag Team Championship