After last year’s awesome WWE Extreme Rules pay-per-view there are high expectations for this Sunday’s edition. Topping last year’s event will be tough with CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler out of action, but the inclusion of the Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar match helps add star power. I don’t want to over-sell the event, but there will surely be some great action on Sunday night.
Here is a preview for all of the matches on the card, plus my prediction for each.
There was no buildup for this match, so there is really nothing to preview.
Prediction: The Miz defeats Cody Rhodes
Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger: “I Quit” match for No. 1 Contendership to the World Heavyweight Championship
This match was supposed to include Dolph Ziggler and be a ladder match for the title until Swagger kicked Ziggler in the head on last week’s SmackDown leading to a concussion for Ziggler. Swagger will surely be in the doghouse now after injuring one of the promotions biggest stars. Pair that with his arrest leading up to WrestleMania 29 and he’s not exactly doing well for himself of late.
Del Rio and Swagger had plenty of history from the build up to their match at WrestleMania 29, so Ziggler’s absence will not hurt them too much. It’s just unfortunate that they must bring back a feud that should have been concluded last month.
Del Rio is the favorite in this match for several reasons, or more accurately, there are several reasons Swagger won’t win. Swagger has had too many issues that render him unreliable, which include his arrest and injuring Ziggler.
The other issue is that his gimmick perfectly matches up with Del Rio’s but not Ziggler’s. The “Real American” gimmick with Zeb Colter is great heel material to insult Del Rio, but not Ziggler. The only basis for a feud between Swagger and Ziggler is their past as partners, and that is not strong enough to carry Friday nights.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio defeats Jack Swagger
Chris Jericho vs. Fandango
In a feud filled with mispronunciations and dance-offs, Chris Jericho has done all he can to help Fandango get over. That includes losing to him at WrestleMania 29 and letting Fandango look dominant on Monday. Things look to be taking a more serious turn after Fandango’s assault of Jericho on Raw, which will help set up a far more serious in-ring feud.
While Jericho has been helping younger talent get over for the past year it feels like he will get a win on Sunday. This could allow Fandango to move on to another feud or set up a third and final match for the two at next month’s Payback pay-per-view.
Prediction: Chris Jericho defeats Fandango
Randy Orton vs. Big Show: Extreme Rules Match
This match features more carryover from WrestleMania 29, as Big Show knocked out both Orton and Sheamus following their tag-team match against The Shield. There has been some build for this match but it is not one of the main bouts being focused on. It is good to see non-title feuds taking place, but this one lacks intrigue.
The winner and loser of this match will not be impacted much either way when it comes to prestige on the roster because both are capable of being in a title feud at any point in time. In this case, I’ll go with the face.
Prediction: Randy Orton defeats Big Show
Sheamus vs. Mark Henry: Strap Match
Backstage attacks led to strength contests between these two men. Mark Henry seemingly picked out Sheamus as a random target, but it’s a good pairing. Both men pride themselves on their strength and toughness and that will be on display during the grueling “strap” match.
The stipulation was announced after Mark Henry attacked Sheamus with a belt. The match type does not involve a belt, but rather both men are tied together with a strap and one must touch each turnbuckle in succession to win. The obvious question is how will Sheamus drag Henry around the ring? Henry’s weight should be the difference in this match.
Prediction: Mark Henry defeats Sheamus
Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Dean Ambrose: United States Championship match
Kingston has only been the champ for about a month but his reign may be in jeopardy against Ambrose. This match is much bigger than just the two men involved and has to do with The Shield as a whole.
The Shield has been around since Survivor Series and it’s time for them to get into the title picture. Dean Ambrose is the perfect member to go solo. Unfortunately for Kofi, he will lose this match in order to give The Shield a title, and he will return to dwell in the mid-card.
Prediction: Dean Ambrose defeats Kofi Kingston
Team Hell No (c) vs. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins: Tornado Tag Team match for the Tag Team Championship
The Shield will have every member holding a title belt following this match. Ambrose will capture the United States Title and the other two members will capture belts in this match.
The stipulation allows both members of each team to be in the ring at the same time. This goes right along with the gang-like strategy employed by The Shield. They will capture the titles and allow Kane and Daniel Bryan to return to singles action. Maybe I’m wrong, but Team Hell No has had a good run that will be remembered even if they lose on Sunday.
Prediction: Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins defeat Team Hell No
Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H: Steel Cage Match
The third match between these two takes place following Triple H’s win at WrestleMania 29 and Lesnar’s win last August at SummerSlam. The build has been centered around one person calling out the other one at a time, which usually means Triple H is doing the talking. The two finally met in the ring on Monday when they brawled inside a steel cage before Triple H overpowered the retreating Lesnar.
Based on Triple H’s history it would appear that he should win this match. However, I feel that Lesnar needs a big win and Triple H realizes that. Being in a leadership position in WWE, Triple H will give Lesnar that win and potentially take a break from the ring for a significant amount of time. Lesnar is going to be around for some time, so he needs a legitimate win to lead into the summer.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar defeats Triple H
John Cena vs. Ryback: Last Man Standing match for the WWE Championship
Is there any way John Cena loses this match? The answer is a simple “no.” This is similar to the first main card match in this preview, since there are more reasons Ryback will not win as opposed to why Cena will win.
Ryback is far too raw on the mic to carry the belt unless he was given a Paul Heyman or Zeb Colter to help him. There should be some type of twist in this match, which could involve The Shield, but that is simply speculation.
John Cena will win even if there is some type of twist in the feud. While he will win the storyline between these two will continue on into the summer, at least until CM Punk returns.
Prediction: John Cena defeats Ryback