Sunday, 26 April 2015

WWE Extreme Rules 2015 Preview & Predictions

The first WWE "PPV" after WrestleMania is Extreme Rules, apparently the "one night of the year when WWE goes Extreme". Previous events have yielded matches like Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena, Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus, Two Out of Three Falls and Jeff Hardy vs. Edge in Ladder Match, but could 2015 offer up anything to add to that list? And who will be walking out of the Allstate Arena standing tall? Let's have a look.



Steel Cage Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Seth Rollins (C) vs. Randy Orton







Extreme Rules record - Rollins 2 wins, Orton 3 wins.


Given a lot of TV time across the last four weeks, it's almost certain this one will be the main event of the show. Rollins and Orton have had a lengthy feud stretching back to their time together on the Authority and even further back to the Shield vs. Evolution feud last year, it's difficult to see how WWE are going to bring the feud to a satisfying conclusion here. Whilst I have no doubt that Rollins and Orton will string together a fluid steel cage, with some innovative offense from both, it's clear that Rollins will be walking out with his title, whilst Orton failing to win leaves the storyline without Orton gaining the revenge he needs to move on. Perhaps Kane could offer a way to keep things looking good for both parties as the "guardian of gate" (A horrendous name, by the way), but I'm not holding out much hope on that one. I'm expecting a strong match in terms of action, but with a disappointing finish and perhaps a little over booking. 


Prediction - Rollins retains

Chicago Street Fight
Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper 





Extreme Rules Record -  Ambrose 2 wins, Harper 0 wins



It's the battle of the guys who wear vests and jeans. The storyline between the two is a fairly flimsy construction, based around Harper powerbombing Ambrose through stuff, because...erm...because he can. However, this has the potential to be a real show stealer if Ambrose and Harper are given enough freedom and allowed to work at their creative best. Ambrose desperately needs to win on PPV, and his star has fallen significantly since his feuds with Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt, so I'd hope that picks up the win here and starts to build some momentum.


Prediction - Dean Ambrose



Kiss Me Arse Match
Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus







Extreme Rules Record - Ziggler 0 wins, Sheamus 3 wins.



Jaysus. Kiss Me Arse match? State of your stipulations, mate! Seriously, I like the new direction Sheamus has taken recently, it suits his in-ring style much better than his Irish John Cena gimmick, but this stipulation doesn't suit him, nor Ziggler. It seems completely designed to degrade Ziggler. The two are capable of putting on a good match, as their bout on Main Event in January 2013 stands testament to, but the stipulation has the chance to shit all over it (possibly literally!) Sheamus will pick up the W, and continue his crusade against the vanilla midgets of WWE.

Prediction - Sheamus

Last Man Standing Match
Roman Reigns vs. Big Show




Extreme Rules Record - Reigns 2 wins, Show 1 win.



What a time to be alive, eh? Seriously, I've mentioned before that I'm a fan of Roman Reigns, but I have little to no time for him facing Big Show here. They've been feuding for longer than anyone cares to remember and no one has gained anything at all. Best case scenario here is Reigns battering Show and winning as quickly as possible as anything longer could become a boring slugfest, with some metal items thrown around for the banter. It's time for Show to move on, because he's taking up space for someone that the fans could actually give a shit about. 


Prediction - Reigns win. 


Russian Chain Match for the United States Championship.
John Cena vs. Rusev





Extreme Rules Record - Cena 4 wins, Rusev 0 wins.


John Cena has been on a roll as of late, putting on decent to very good matches on Raw and Smackdown with his Open Challenges proving to be a popular concept amongst the fans, allowing Cena to share the spotlight with a number of wrestlers who wouldn't have been afforded the opportunity had Cena still been working main event level match. The feud with Rusev was put on the back burner, with everything that could possibly have been said already been said, but there was enough going on to keep the feud ticking over for this closing match. I'd have prefered to have this one finish with pin or submission, as the touching the turnbuckle stip usually leads to a cop out of a finish, where this rivalry deserve a decisive one, but the chain should allow for some creative spots and a bit of brutality. This is the match I'm most struggling to call, as either man could end up walking out with the belt and the other wouldn't really end up being hurt, but I'm going to go with Cena, because John Cena.

Prediction - John Cena retains.  


Tag Team Match for the Tag Team Championships
Cesaro & Tyson Kidd vs. Big E & Kofi Kingston






Extreme Rules Record - Cesaro & Kidd: First Match. Big E & Kingston: First Match

Promoted from the Pre-Show due to Daniel Bryan's injury, it's the tag title match. Seemingly heel vs. heel, it's very likely that we'll see Cesaro & Kidd work a lot closer to a babyface role than we've seen from either of them in past, they'll almost certainly get a favourable reaction from the Chicago crowd. This could possibly be decent tag team outing, and we've seen that these two teams can string together a good series of moves, the switch in roles could be just what was needed to produce something memorable, especially if Chicago get behind the match.

Prediction - Cesaro & Kidd Retain



Singles Match for the Diva's Championship
Nikki Bella (C) vs. Naomi 







Head to Head Record - Nikki 0 wins, Naomi 0 wins


Really want to care about this, but WWE turning the Bella Twins babyface with no real rhyme or reason to it means that I literally couldn't care any less. Some moves will happen and they'll be some other things that will go on. The winner will be champion and the loser will not. 

Prediction - Gary Barlow does a run in and steals the Diva's title.


Finally...


There's a few interesting looking match ups on the card, that if given enough freedom could turn into very good match. However, the booking leading into the show leads me to thinking we're going to see a number of shitty little finishes and that will ultimately be the downfall of Extreme Rules.

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