It is the start of the new WWE year, and with that comes the very first Pay-Per-View, or “special event” as they will be referred to from now on, WWE’s Extreme Rules! Always a fun show based on the numerous gimmick matches that take place, the card is full of change. Guys like Bad New Barrett, Daniel Bryan, Alexander Rusev, Paige and of course, The Shield in the main event. It’s a breath of fresh air to see all this new talent, and for the talent that’s been around for a while that I mentioned above, it’s good to see them being used in new ways, and being pushed to greater heights. So let’s look at Matt Bell’s, Ricky Valero’s and my predictions for Extreme Rules.
Pre-Show WeeLC Match: El Torito vs Hornswoggle
Matt B: Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm El Torito? I guess?
Ricky: Look this match is what it is. It’s going to be a comedy match between the two and I am probably more excited about this match than I am the rest of the card. I can’t wait to see this happen. Anyone know what a WeeLC match is? Haha. Going to be a classic match for sure and give me El Torito for the win.
Matt W: This match is going to be a classic. It’s going to have tiny ladders, tiny chairs, maybe a tiny table. Hornswoggle and El Torito have had one of the most entertaining feuds in WWE right now, and I expect this match to be no different. Even if they’re just messing around, these two show more intensity and emotion than most of the guys on the roster. El Torito wins, and it’s going to be gold, perfectly suited for a pre-show match.
Two-on-One Handicap Match: Alexander Rusev w/ Lana vs R-Truth and Xavier Woods
Matt B: This match is all about the building of a future superstar in Rusev. He goes over big time in this match and picks up a win over Woods and R-Truth.
Ricky: I HATE THIS MATCH. I don’t like burying two guys to put over another. Rusev wins in dominate fashion.
Matt W: Rusev has become a personal favourite, and of course I’m a big fan of Lana, and Lana’s legs. I feel bad for Xavier Woods because he’s actually talented, but R-Truth is the very bottom of the barrel for me, so I will enjoy seeing Rusev putting a double Accolade onto these two to win.
Cesaro vs Jack Swagger vs Rob Van Dam
Matt B: This is an interesting match for the PPV and probably will be one of the more entertaining matches of the night. I expect Cesaro to win this match being the Paul Heyman guy to keep building up something special for Cesaro.
Ricky: I don’t really like this match at all but don’t get me wrong it’s going to be a good one. Cesaro with Heyman has been money and I wish they would give Zeb/Heyman more time together on the mics. I really can’t see Cesaro losing this match, it wouldn’t make any sense at all for him to lose here.
Matt W: This match should be pretty good. You have two stalwarts in Cesaro and Swagger, and those two should do some fun things with a high flyer, and smaller guy in Rob Van Dam. Cesaro is going to swing everyone out of the building, and will win this match. Onto bigger and better things for the King of Swing, and the manager of the man who conquered the streak. Did you know that Paul Heyman’s client Brock Lesnar conquered the streak? I feel he should talk more about that…
Divas Championship: Paige (c) vs Tamina Snuka
Matt B: Paige will eventually defend against AJ Lee, but this isn’t AJ Lee and she wins this match.
Ricky: Paige has supplanted AJ as my favorite Diva. She really is the total package and honestly wish she would’ve had a long program with AJ because it would’ve been some good stuff. But this match is really just for Paige to get another win under the belt. Give me Paige to win this won but get beat up pretty bad throughout the match.
Matt W: I’ve been waiting for Paige for so long, and she has not disappointed since coming up. Putting on the best one-on-one Divas matches in the past few months, with such luminaries as Alicia Fox and “Old Glory Knee Dropper” Aksana. The Modified Scorpion Crosslock has been fantastic, and while the match won’t be great, Paige should come out looking pretty good.
Intercontinental Championship: Big E (c) vs Bad News Barrett
Matt B: The crowd is really into the Bad News Barrett character right now and with a victory over RVD the other night I think that sealed if for me that he finds a way to win this match. I’m afraid Big E will have some Bad News come Sunday night.
Ricky: I am a big time Big E fan and not sure where they can go with from here. He has the potential to be a big star and they have kind of dropped the ball a little as him being IC champ. Bad News Barrett gimmick is awesome, I love it, the crowd loves it and he loves it. They finally might get the ball rolling with the IC title and the guy I would have do it is Barrett. So much potential for him and I can’t wait to see what happens after he wins on Sunday.
Matt W: BAD NOOZ! This man is on fire, not only with the crowd, but in matches as well, and the best thing you can do with a guy who looks amazing in physical, beat ‘em up matches, is put him with another big physical dude. Big E is that dude. I love Big E, but I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news, Mr. Barrett is winning the Intercontinental Championship and continuing his role.
Steel Cage Match: John Cena vs Bray Wyatt
Matt B: Wyatt vs Cena I can not wait to see this match. These are two of the best in WWE and I’m not sure how the match will go. I want to see Wyatt win, but I won’t be surprised if Cena wins the match.
Ricky: This match should be fantastic. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see a Full on Cena heel turn but we know that won’t happen. I love Bray Wyatt and feel he really needs to win this match. They should continue this feud heading to Summerslam and the only way to do that is if Wyatt beats Cena. Cena doesn’t need this match, Wyatt does.
Matt W: I got my hopes back up for this feud when Bray Wyatt had that amazing opening segment on RAW. But then Cena came back an hour or two later, completely unaffected, and joking again. Sigh, even though Bray Wyatt is going to win this match, it just feels like this could’ve been so much more.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Extreme Rules Match: Daniel Bryan (c) vs Kane
Matt B: THERE IS NO WAY KANE WINS THIS MATCH!!! Daniel Bryan wins!
Ricky: This match should be fun and filled with a lot of drama. I fully expect some guys to come out and “try” to cost Bryan the title. But at the end of the day we all know that Bryan is going to walk out champion.
Matt W: The build has been great for this feud, not so much because of what Bryan and Kane have done, and they’ve been great, but it’s because of the new Vincent Kennedy McMahon, his daughter Stephanie! The last time we had such an interesting, asshole-ish boss character in WWE, was back when Vinny Mac was in his hey-day. D-Bry wins this match, but not without some interfering from Steph on behalf of Kane.
The Shield vs Evolution
Matt B: Bautista is leaving the company for a while after this match and this fact alone suggests to me that the Shield wins this match.
Ricky: It’s been a really long time since I was looking forward to a match. This match should be fun and just all the way around awesome!!! Orton (while annoying) is really good in the ring, the same can be said for HHH and Batista brings his own big guy element to the matchup as well. Of course you have the Shield. Each guy brings his own unique thing to the table. This match is going to be hard hitting, high flying at times and just a knockdown drag out fight. I am really looking forward to seeing how the match turns out. I am 50/50 on who I think will win this match but give me Evolution but some screwy finish.
Matt W: I’m so excited for this match, it’s insane. The Shield has been absolute gold for a year and a half now, and now they get a main event feud with the re-created Evolution. That’s how much faith they have in these guys. The match should be great, it should be intense, with spears and superman punches flying like wild. With Batista taking time off soon, I expect The Shield to win, and for this magical feud to pick back up in the summer.
Burning Question: Who is the next man up in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship picture? Assuming that Daniel Bryan comes out of this intact, who’s the next man he’ll face at Payback?
Matt B: I think Daniel Bryan should feud with John Cena I’d really like to see them just let Cena become a bad guy and make it in some sort of way where the Bella twins become separated in support of their man.
Ricky: That’s a really tough question on who is the next man up and I think it really depends on who wins that Evolution match as well. I really think they are just going to throw together a couple of matches for Bryan between now and the build for SummerSlam which may be him and Batista. So honestly right now I am not sure who the next guy will be up, but consider my interest peaked for sure.
Matt W: I feel similarly to Ricky, in that they’re going to be putting individual people against Daniel Bryan, in a continuation of the Authority storyline. I expect perhaps Orton and Triple H in a triple threat at Payback, but by the time SummerSlam rolls around, I’m thinking, maybe CM Punk, and we can continue their awesome 2012 feud in the main event.
So there are our predictions for the upcoming Extreme Rules PPV. Make sure to check out Ricky and myself’s inaugural The Wrestling Script podcast episode right here, and tune in Sunday morning at 12ET to watch our Extreme Rules preview.