Gleed’s WWE Extreme Rules Preview And Predictions: Rating the buildup and the interest level that WWE has created in the matches advertised for the May extravaganza
By Haydn Gleed
I will be providing my rankings on the build-up as well as my interest for the actual matches on a 1-10 scale. I have no idea who's going to win the matches, these thoughts are based solely on my opinion.
Pre-Show Match: El Torito Versus Hornswoggle in a WeeLC match
El Torito is a nice little fella who thinks he's a bull, Hornswoggle has been a naughty little fella recently hanging around with the bad rock band men. That is your buildup. I've given the buildup a score of 2, only because it's been sort of interesting seeing Hornswoggle in a different light than what we are used to.
As for the interest in the match, I'm actually really interested in how it goes. It could be a disaster or it could be an amazing spectacle, I really believe that. El Torito is a hell of a lucha libre wrestler in his previous incarnations, go and look him up on YouTube. Hornswoggle is a competent wrestler, so honestly, I think this will be a nice wrestling match.
The wildcard is, what exactly is a WeeLC match. I might have missed exactly what it is, but I'm guessing it's some form of mini-ladders and possibly mini-tables and I'm guessing the winner of the match is the one to pick up some 'humorous' object hanging 7 foot above the ring.
I don't have a real feel, or really care if I'm honest, who's going to win. I'm guessing El Torito simply because it's the pre-show and the babyface wins more often than not. I'm just really looking forward to seeing a different kind of wrestling.
Prediction: El Torito
Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter) v Rob Van Dam v Cesaro (w/Paul Heyman) in a triple threat match
This match feels somewhat shoe horned onto the card. The Real Americans never had that one big breakup moment. There were several teases and disagreements between the pair, but not one defining moment where they went their separate ways. One day Cesaro was a Colter guy, the next day he was a Heyman guy.
Rob Van Dam feels that he's only in this match as they had to fit him onto the card because, well he's Rob Van Dam and the word extreme is in the title of the show.
So you don't really have a heated feud to get your teeth into this match, coupled with the fact that we know Swagger is heel, RVD is a face but what is Cesaro? So there's no massive connection with this viewer.
I did have a crazy theory that Heyman would screw Cesaro and align with RVD in a double turn of some kind, which is why we had this shade of grey Cesaro character since Wrestlemania, but based on what we got to setup this match on the go home show it wouldn't be logical or really make sense. I'm just reaching to make sense of the characters direction.
Cesaro is the man on the up in this match, so I can't see past him.
R-Truth & Xavier Woods vs. Alexander Rusev in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
The type of match that the word meh was invented for. I like Rusev, for me he's a throwback to the old school wrestling philosophy. I also like the fact they showed that he is somewhat vulnerable in this match based on the final Raw before this show, but we all know if Rusev doesn't win then WWE have lost their mind.
We will tell how much WWE is behind the Rusev character by how quickly he disposes of R-Truth & Woods.
Prediction: Alexander Rusev
Paige vs. Tamina Snuka For The Divas Championship
It hasn't taken long for Paige's reign to start feeling like every other Diva champions reign in terms of no feuds just this month's challenger.
Saying that, Paige is a fantastic worker and Snuka isn't the worst Diva on the roster, so this should be a good match. I just hope that either after the match or Monday night on Raw, they start building a feud for next months PPV that's not just challenger of the month type material.
Paige to win after a better than expected Diva's match.
Prediction: Paige to retain the Diva's championship
Big E vs. Bad News Barrett for the Intercontinental Championship
I do love a good tournament, and the IC tourney, although not spectacular has been fun to watch, and given a purpose to Raw matches that during the 3 hour era have been part of the dragging problem.
Barrett has been booked strongly through the tournament, and although his victory in the final against Van Dam was slightly tainted by the distraction, it was still his finisher that put Rob away.
The Big E character has lost so much steam due to the secondary title holder curse that is talked about. It's a shame as he has the look, he has decent promo skills but he's just been booked to look like another lame duck Intercontinental champion. I really worry about the character as the flavour of the month seems to have gone from management on Big E, but he's not dead in the water. Yet.
I think there will be a change here. I can already see the promo Wade Barrett on Monday saying, "I have bad news for you, I am the IC champion", and I think it's the right move. I want to be optimistic that this time the IC title will mean a lot more if Barrett holds it, but time will tell on that one.
Prediction: Wade Barrett wins to capture the Intercontinental Championship
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt in a steel cage match
I love Bray Wyatt, I really do. His mannerism's, his gimmick, the way he wrestlers, everything is 100% committed to the character. My only complaint about Wyatt is we have seen him for 8 months now? He talks about Sister Abigail, and his message, but what exactly is the message. Has it been established if Sister Abigail is real or in his own head? What is his motivation? I know these questions added intrigue to the character at the start of his run, but we still don't know more about him, his cult and the reason his followers follow him. By now I thought we would have got that.
Don't get me wrong, it's only a small complaint, but to push the character over the top, for me personally I want to know more about him, why we should fear him. To me, if they established that he's batshit crazy, but he can still wrestle as well as anyone and can control people, that to me is scary stuff, but we need to know the how or at least the why. In this feud in particular, I know he wants to unleash the monster inside John Cena, but why? Has that been established? He wants show Cena's a fraud, why?
John Cena is John Cena. During this feud they have been trying to add layers to his character, which has been fun to see something different to the normal happy go lucky Cena. I think I understand what they were trying to do on Monday but it didn't work. Usually, no matter how shaken Cena is, he's able to shake it off and play it cool, but what happened on Monday shocked him to his core. When he brushed off the interview, it was so unCena like that it was shocking in it's own way, and that where they should have left it. But they felt the need to let Cena fans know he is shaken but he's ok when he cut the donkey promo. Wrong move as far as this viewers concerned.
If you only read the first couple of paragraphs, you would think I'm really down on this match, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I have really really enjoyed the buildup, much more than their WrestleMania match, but I just wish they would make that extra little bit of effort to establish Bray's motivation and I would have no complaints.
Bray Wyatt has to win here, and I hope it's clean. It won't happen, but I don't want any run in's from the Wyatt's, no pulling out a lantern and knocking Cena with it, or anything stupid like that. Cena gets beaten by the better man on the night. That would elevate Wyatt, and make Cena more interesting. Will they do it? No, but I still reckon Bray will come victorious.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane in an Extreme Rules Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
So, in 2004 after Chris Benoit finished his feud with Triple H after he won the Championship was against Kane. Lets hope that's where the Championship reign comparisons end.
Daniel Bryan is by far the most popular WWE star in a very long time. We all know that, I'm not making some grand statement by saying that, but this as his first feud after winning the Championship doesn't make me confident that management have changed their mind that his popularity is a flash in the pan.
I'm hoping, and I know it's somewhat of a reach, that because management realised he would be missing one show after WrestleMania they realised they couldn't build anyone up quick or well enough to feud for the title to headline, so selected Kane as always as the go to guy to keep things ticking along until Daniel is fully focused on the job.
The buildup has been surprisingly better than I would have guessed if you told me this was his first defence after WrestleMania. It has been logical, it has built up to a nice peak at the right time. I have heard the quibbling about how lame the campy horror stuff has been from Kane, but having gone through Kane's initial run, I just tend to not over think it and just take it for what it is.
Bryan needs to come out for this match with passion for a fight, not to wrestle, as the man he is facing has been trying to hurt his wife. Bryan has to show some fire, which is what got him over in the first place, so I think the crowd will be hot for this. I do honestly think he will get a good match out of Kane, who doesn't really have many big matches left.
I can't see any reason why Bryan loses here, but it's the way he wins is just as important as winning.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
The Shield vs. Evolution
The buildup for this match has been clunky. We have had two main scenario's play out that on paper seem like the perfect way to get to where they want to go, but it hasn't played out like that.
First you had the 349 wrestlers against The Shield. In theory, having the heel team hide behind their friends or other wrestlers as they don't' want to face their opponents makes sense. It builds up anticipation for the moment when they do have to fight, that's fine. But to have so many men coming up against The Shield, just made half the roster look weak in comparison to Evolution and was somewhat of overkill.
You also have Ric Flair. 10 years ago, if you had said that Flair would come out and endorse another team over Evolution, you would have thought it was be a big deal, however he is a broken down version of who he once was and it detracts from everything else. On one hand it's out of WWE's control as what has happened to Flair in his private life obviously is not their fault, but on the other hand it's been quite clear the man has issues. In regards to this feud, did he really need to come out and do anything? Yes there was questions of where he was being an original member of Evolution, but all you had to do was get Batista to say, "Man I wish I could join Ric in his retirement, he's loving life" or something like that.
I haven't heard many people make predictions on this match, but the ones I have all say The Shield should win. I disagree. I think Evolution win here simply because they need it more. Next month, you will probably need a new opponent to go after Daniel Bryan's championship. With Stephanie still part of his angle, you would think he's not done with the authority yet. Besides, who's really got credibility at the moment on the heel side of the roster that could face Bryan apart from members of the authority?
So that being said, Batista, Randy Orton & Triple H all lost at WrestleMania. If they lost here, they would need to do a hell of a job to build them back up to Championship level. So that's why I think Evolution will win here, probably through some kind of screwy finish.
I do think there will be a new member of Evolution added this Sunday, not sure I think it's a good idea, but I think that's how we will get to the finish. If this happens, I can see the main event of the next PPV could be the now four members of Evolution against The Shield and Bryan.
Agree/disagree? Members can hit me up on the forum, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I've become obsessed with Twitter recently, so you can look me up there @haydngleed
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