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ThunderStruck: WWE Extreme Rules 2014 Preview

I’m back for a preview column. I don’t know how often I’ll be writing, but I’m here nonetheless. Enjoy.

Extreme Rules has had some mildly weak build, but I don’t think that makes it any less likely to deliver a quality card(it certainly HAS to be better than the pay per view I watched last night, TNA Sacrifice). Let’s go through the card:

We’re rumored to have a tag title match between the Usos and Rybaxel. The Usos SHOULD retain and keep the tag team division as interesting as it’s been as of late.

There’s also a rumor that Antonio Cesaro will face Rob Van Dam and/or Jack Swagger on the show. I’m okay with either scenario. Cesaro is being pushed towards a potential Money in the Bank win in June, so I’d pick him to win almost any match he’s booked in.

R-Truth & Xavier Woods vs. Alexander Rusev (2-on-1 Handicap Match)

JT: Rusev wins. He’s another “monster” that will eventually be defeated by John Cena or whoever the top face in the company is. I don’t mind his character, nor do I mind him having a manager, but I just feel we’ve seen his type one too many times. Give the guy six minutes in the ring with one of the Uso brothers and let us see what he can really do.

Divas Champion Paige vs. Tamina Snuka

JT: Paige is talented. Tamina is talented. Female wrestlers are never given enough time to show off their talent in a match, but I’m excited to see what these two put together. Just give them 8-10 minutes so they can develop a good story, please! Anyone else like how the entire pool of divas almost completely disappears whenever we get a feud going? It’d be nice to see MORE than one women’s wrestling match(of decent length, that is) on a show and have more than one legit rivalry happening at a time. Just throwing that out there. Paige retains; it’s the only logical choice.

Intercontinental Champion Big E vs. Winner of No. 1 Contender’s Tournament(Wade Barrett/RVD)

JT: Big E has got some talent and some charisma. Wade Barrett has become relevant with the audience again. Either one of these guys holding the IC Title makes it feel pretty important, as I can see either guy being a World Champion for WWE. My opinion is to let these two give us a good showing and make it the BEGINNING of a long rivalry that enhances the value of the Intercontinental Championship. For the sake of making an official pick, I’ll take Bad News Barrett to regain the IC Belt.

Steel Cage Match: John Cena vs Bray Wyatt

JT: While their match at WrestleMania told a decent story, it was slow and built just enough momentum to have the right superhero finish. Cena conquered the powerful force of Bray Wyatt on wrestling’s grandest stage. Now, a few weeks later, we’re supposed to take Bray as a serious threat to Cena just because the fans cheer Bray on? To me, WrestleMania is meant to be the grand blow off to strong rivalries. Cena winning had a feel of finality to it, and now WWE realized their mistake and have to put over Bray Wyatt. Or do they? Clearly the right move is Bray defeating Cena, but I have this horrible gut feeling that once again, Cena will overcome the monster that is the Wyatt Family and this rivalry will continue towards Payback. Bray is a unique worker in the ring, and Cena is bland/typical in cage matches. I don’t expect this to be anything special; I think it will be slow and the psychology behind the whole situation will be hyped by the announcers during the match. I won’t be enjoying myself.

The Shield vs. Evolution

JT: Evolution is a mystery…no, it’s just pointless in this instance. Wasn’t the point of forming Evolution so that they could dominate and the young raw talent of Randy Orton could shine through so he could become a huge star? Well, they succeeded there. The reunion, however, is just silly. Batista can only claim a handful of exceptional matches in his career and now he’s back. He’s bland and the audience doesn’t care about him. His in ring work is limited, slow, AND sloppy. As for Hunter, he had an excellent match with Daniel Bryan at Mania and proved that he can still go. BUT, how often can he go at that level? That remains to be seen. As for Orton, WWE marketing/creative/whoever the hell is in charge really missed the mark for making Orton one of the greatest ever. If you had to pick just one guy who has not evolved even the slightest in the past few years outside of John Cena, it’s Randy Orton. Orton possesses an incredible amount of natural ability as a performer in the ring, but no one cares about him. As for the Shield, I could potentially see Roman Reigns going heel and joining the group at the pay per view. If Reigns joins Evolution, then Evolution wins the match. Otherwise, I’d pick the Shield to come out on top. Doing anything other than putting over the younger talent would just be someone’s idea of tooting their own horn(which has been proven to be unacceptable to the majority of wrestling fans). Should be a good match, regardless.

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan vs. Kane (Extreme Rules Match)

JT: People are pissed about the booking, but to me Kane is a good opponent for Dbry. They have a ton of history together and lots of chemistry in the ring. Why would anyone not consider Kane a worthy opponent? His age? I’m pretty sure he showed us that he can still go when he faced Daniel Bryan on Raw just before WrestleMania. I’m looking forward to this match. Obviously, Daniel Bryan retains. And to answer the question asked by a few of you, the answer is no. I don’t think Daniel Bryan will suffer the same fate as Dolph Ziggler as it relates to his title run. Ziggler was a victim of poor circumstance, but Dbry’s popularity, professionalism, and most importantly, his support from the people in charge is tenfold in comparison to what Ziggler had when he won the World Heavyweight Championship. As for Dbry’s next opponent after Kane, I expect we’ll find out after the match or more likely on Raw the following night.

Feel free to share your own predictions and feedback below. Thanks for reading!