This Sunday, WWE presents its most hardcore and yes, extreme, pay-per-view of the year at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. After WrestleMania 29’s disappointing outcome, WWE has to really impress the fans with quality matches and more importantly, smart booking. The results of WrestleMania 29 were incredibly predictable and the only surprising outcome was another Ryback loss, which was not smart booking.
With that said I will break down each scheduled match for Extreme Rules and try my best to predict the outcomes. I hope that WWE surprises me as well as other fans in a smart and logical way.
The Miz vs. Cody Rhodes (Pre-Show)For the second pre-show in a row, WWE’s Awesome Superstar, The Miz will be in action as he faces the Master of Moustaches Cody Rhodes. Unfortunately, this match is even less meaningful than past pre-show matches.
In the recent past, the Intercontinental, United States of Divas title has been involved during the pre-show. However, this Sunday two irrelevant superstars square off. The Miz just returned after filming a movie for ABC Family, while Cody Rhodes has been jobbing to the stars.
If the Miz challenged Wade Barrett for the Intercontinental title, it would have made a lot more sense. They each have one win against one another so a tiebreaker is needed. Plus, Wade Barrett is not scheduled for a match at Extreme Rules.
Regardless, I see Miz as being just a tad more relevant than Rhodes. Look for the Miz to squeak out a win here and continue down midcard road.
Prediction: The Miz
Chris Jericho vs. Fandango As expected, the WrestleMania feud between Chris Jericho and Fandango has continued and they will meet again this Sunday at Extreme Rules. This is a match that I predicted right after WrestleMania to see again this month and the outcome should not be any different. Chris Jericho has nothing to gain by defeating Fandango. Although it is not his debut, Fandango is a project that WWE is looking to push.
I would not have been surprised to see Fandango challenging for the U.S. title after Kofi Kingston defeated Ambrose, but I will get to that later. Fandango could be an eventual midcard champion, but WWE decided to finish his feud with Jericho first.
Sheamus vs. Mark Henry (Strap Match) In another meaningless match, Sheamus and Mark Henry square off in a strap match. However, I give credit to the Celtic Warrior, World’s Strongest Man and WWE for building this feud quite well. Despite there not being a reason for it, other than they both like to fight, Sheamus and Mark Henry’s attacks on one another have been done quite well.
This match could go either way. Mark Henry can continue his dominance since returning from injury and make a good case as to why he should have been involved in the WWE title scene. If Sheamus wins, he could also make a good case for another run at the World Heavyweight title. We witnessed a number of Sheamus-Ziggler matches when Sheamus was champion, but would it be any different with Ziggler holding the title?
While many WWE fans focus on how Ryback hasn’t won a pay-per-view in months, when was the last time Sheamus did? Survivor Series in November. By disqualification.
Prediction: Mark Henry
Randy Orton vs. Big Show (Extreme Rules Match) While Sheamus and Mark Henry have been building their meaningless match well, Randy Orton and Big Show have failed in making their feud interesting. Although some blame goes to WWE for repeatedly booking Orton against Antonio Cesaro at least three times a week (or so it seems), Orton and Show are boring. Their characters are boring and they have no direction in WWE today.
Luckily for them, the extreme rules stipulation will at least add something interesting to the match. Both seasoned veterans of wrestling, Orton and Show will hopefully provide an entertaining match. Regardless, I couldn’t care less who wins.
Prediction: Randy Orton
United States Champion Kofi Kingston vs. Dean Ambrose The first of the more interesting matches of the night, Dean Ambrose will challenge Kofi Kingston for the United States Championship. The outcome is obvious here. Kofi defeated Cesaro in a shocking turn of events, but for a reason. Kofi is a transitional champion. WWE is using him to move the belt from one young up and coming heel, to another.
There is no way WWE would book this match and have Ambrose lose. Kofi is in the midcard for his life, while Ambrose is part of one of the best groups in WWE history. The outcome is also given away since Ambrose’s partners will be challenging for the WWE tag team titles. Expect Extreme Rules to belong to the Shield.
Prediction: NEW United States Champion Dean Ambrose
WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No vs. The Shield’s Reigns and Rollins (Tag Team Tornado Match) As discussed before, May 19th will belong to The Shield, as all three members should go home with a championship. While Ambrose wins the United States title, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns will defeat Team Hell No. Kane and Daniel Bryan have dominated the weak tag team division since September, but it seems as though their reign is finally coming to an end. Like with Ambrose and Kingston, there is no way WWE would have Team Hell No win. It would be considered an epic fail.
The question does remain whether Kane and Bryan will break-up or simply just lose the match. I had suggested a scenario where Bryan turns on Kane, but most people probably expect Kane to go all big red monster and attack Bryan after the match.
Regardless of who turns on who, The Shield will continue their dominance and have Rollins and Reigns capture the tag team titles.
Prediction: NEW Tag Team Champions The Shield’s Reigns and Rollins
Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar (Steel Cage Match) Although this match was considered by one we would definitely not see at Extreme Rules, here we are with yet another Triple H and Brock Lesnar match. I am probably the least interested in this feud and match, though I know I am not the only one. At the same time, it is a match that Brock Lesnar needs to win. Triple H, like Chris Jericho, doesn’t gain anything by winning. However, with Brock winning, he could move on to something more meaningful in the coming months. Lesnar could challenge John Cena in the future for the WWE title or sets his sight on the World Heavyweight title.
Like Henry and Sheamus though, Lesnar and Triple H do a quality job of building their feud, despite the lack of meaning. It bothers me the most when these two stars are involved in the ending segment on Raw. It makes the whole show much weaker. In any case, WWE would be making a huge mistake by giving Triple H another win against Lesnar.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar
Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger (‘I Quit’ Match) Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger’s match is an unfortunate situation as Dolph Ziggler was supposed to be in the match and win it. However, after suffering a concussion, WWE made the right choice and removed him to allow him to rest. Now Del Rio and Swagger will square off in a number one contender’s match.
Regardless of the outcome, I expected this to be Swagger’s last time in the World Heavyweight title scene. I figured Del Rio would finally have a one-on-one feud with the superstar who cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase. This I Quit match should still solve that issue and have Del Rio win. Ziggler and Del Rio will then square off at June’s pay-per-view, Payback.
Regardless, Ziggler will be champion for the foreseeable future.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio
WWE Champion John Cena vs. Ryback (Last Man Standing Match)The WWE title match between John Cena and Ryback is one that I believe is much more difficult to predict than people think. I wrote an entire article on Bleacher Report about why Ryback should win. I still think it makes more sense. Cena is much better at chasing the title than having the title. Plus, Cena doesn’t have many challengers that he hasn’t feuded with in the past. With Ryback as champion, there are a number of top babyfaces to challenge him. Sheamus, Randy Orton and maybe even Daniel Bryan would make for a fresh new feud.
The one aspect that makes Cena a good choice to win here, is his work outside the ring with Make-A-Wish and whether or not Ryback deserves the title. Ryback may have just been put in this situation due to the lack of other options. It’s the same reason why he challenged CM Punk at the end of 2012. With Cena injured at the time, Ryback was the only reasonable superstar to take his place. I am going to go with my original thinking here and that is to make Ryback finally win the WWE title.
Prediction: NEW WWE Champion Ryback
What do you think of my WWE Extreme Rules 2013 predictions? Do you agree or disagree? Why? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Seth M. Guttenplan is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. To read more from Seth follow him on twitter (@sethgutt) and check out guttwrenchpowerblog.com. You can also like GWP on Facebook here.