Shore's WWE Extreme Rules preview and predictions: Will the Shield disprove Evolution? Can Daniel Bryan keep from going to hell with Kane? How well will John Cena be protected from Bray Wyatt?
By Chris Shore
These picks are made with no prior knowledge of the planned finishes or consulting that one guy on Reddit who was getting everything right until WrestleMania.
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane in an Extreme Rules match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Even with a less that stellar close to the chapter on Smackdown, I have really liked what they have done with Bryan and Kane to heat this thing up. Kane needs to avoid microphones at all cost tonight. He just needs to look the part and let Bryan's natural underdog status, and anger over the threatening of his wife, do the rest. They've done enough to make me feel like this could go on last, but it doesn’t have to nor should it. Semi-main is the right spot for the title match this time.
Daniel Bryan retains the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Evolution vs. The Shield: This is the main event of the show no matter where it goes on. Even though they didn't hit a home run with the build, and I don't understand how they could have missed with these two teams, they have still done enough that the specter of how good this match could be is doing the rest of the build. The Shield have been great in these six-man matches, and there's a lot of wrestling in-ring intelligence on the other side of the ring. I have nothing but confidence that combined, these six men can put on something special. I've said a lot about the hype and the match because there is only one logical finish: The Shield have to win. The only scenarios I can come up with for how Evolution wins are weak to terrible. As they did at WrestleMania with Bryan, they need to tell the obvious story because it is the best one to tell.
The Shield wins.
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt in a cage match: My hands are getting sweaty just typing this. I felt like Bray Wyatt needed to go over at WrestleMania or he would be damaged. He has proven that I should not have doubted his mic skills. This time I really feel like he has to go over, but not for the same reason. He could lose this match and be fine tomorrow with another great promo, but this feud is a bust if he doesn't get the win here. And I think that he will, but not before it becomes perfectly clear that in a straight up fight, Cena would have won. That's the part that still makes me groan. Bray needs a clean win to establish himself as a serious contender at any level. He'll get the win, but he'll get the furthest thing from a clean one.
Bray Wyatt wins, but John Cena is well protected.
Big E vs. Bad News Barrett for the Intercontinental Championship: The "I hope you never get pushed again" match makes me sick to pick. Neither of these guys have had meaningful Intercontinental runs, and there's no reason to think either man will have one after this match. The title is so devalued, and there's no one to really work with either. I think this goes to Barrett because…well, why not?
Bad News Barrett wins the Intercontinental Championship.
Paige vs. Tamina Snuka for the WWE Divas Championship: This could be a very entertaining match. My guess is these two women have worked together in NXT even if it was never for consumptions by the audience. Paige can flat get it done in the ring, and Tamina is very athletic. That mix could lead to a women's match that catches a lot of attention.
Paige retains the WWE Divas Championship.
Cesaro vs. Jack Swagger vs. Rob Van Dam in a Triple Threat match: I cannot see a single reason why anyone other than Cesaro should win this match, so this one is easy peasy.
Alexander Rusev vs. R-Truth and Xavier Woods in a handicap match: OK, maybe this one is easier, but I do have more to say about it. Namely that I hope Truth and Woods don't get in too much offense. I realize it is a handicap match and logically the two men should be able to overpower the one most of the time. But in wrestling logic, which works under slightly different rules, Rusev should dominate both through at least 85 percent of the match. Tell them Lana:
Alexander Rusev "crushes" Truth and Woods.
El Torito vs. Hornswoggle in a WeeLC match: The sheer jackassery of this match has my attention and I hate myself for it. This literally is the wrestling version of Jackass. You hate yourself for looking, but you can't help but look and you chuckle when they do something incredibly stupid, especially if it looks like they really hurt themselves. That said, how can you not pick the midget in the bull costume? I mean, come on, HE'S IN A BULL COSTUME! GET IT!
El Torito wins.
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