WWE Extreme Rules 2015 Preview/Predictions
Usually, “Extreme Rules” does a good job of following the fallout from WrestleMania, sometimes even allowing feuds to surpass their Mania greatness.
Have we had that this year? Sort of yes, but mostly no.
Some things have come about since Mania that have been on a roll – from the return of a newly revamped badass heel in Sheamus to the stare-in-awe-and-drop-your-jaw aerial tactics of Neville, while others have stood the same, like the lackluster Roman Reigns-Big Show feud. We’ll get into just why that feud is the worst thing for the Mania main eventer in a little bit.
In the meantime, we’ll also dive into the card as it is and give some “educated” predictions on how things should play out.
– Pre-Show –
– Tag Team Championships – Tyson Kidd/Cesaro (Champions) vs. The New Day – Big E, Kofi Kingston, or Xavier Woods: The big story of the Tag Team division since the injury to Jey Uso that has kept the team from competing has been the emergence of The New Day as heels. Sure – there’s not been a definitive moment where you can look and say, “Okay, that was the moment that they are now bad guys,” but all the signs are there. The company practically encourages fans to chant “New… Day-Sucks!” as does the team themselves. Big E and Xavier Woods deserve a lot of credit of carrying the promos, making it sound like they are providing the only positivity fans get to experience in their lives. That, plus it’s sort of awesome to think that Kofi Kingston has finally began to work as a heel. The Lucha Dragons have done an impressive job since their debut, bringing some new life to the division and providing the aerial spark that went emptied by there being no Usos, but it’s not their time for Championship gold yet on the main roster. That would be too soon. It’s the perfect time for The New Day to get their chance, as it’s expected Kidd/Cesaro will work as faces in the heel-happy Chicago setting though a face turn in general was rumored for the Champs. Getting the gold would give the new heels some necessary heat and we can see Kidd/Cesaro chase back for their belts, keeping us entertained until The Usos come back. Call it bold but we’re gonna go with The New Day winning by dirty tactics to become new Champions.
Prediction: The New Day
– Chicago Street Fight – Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper: We know this is going to be a good match already, but it would’ve been nice if WWE officials didn’t solely rely upon that assumption and given us… you know… an actual backstory to things. They’ve loosely made reference to the two Powerbombs – one at Mania through a ladder and the other on Smackdown through the announce table – as a reason for Ambrose going after Harper, but we don’t even know that for sure. A promo would have gone a long way here. This feels a lot like the feud between Ambrose and Bray Wyatt that was hurt by the lack of actual storyline, despite culminating in a pretty good ambulance match on the first Raw of the year. As far as who could use the win here since both guys can afford a loss, we’d hope Harper would get the nod. He’s beginning to break out on his own as a big threat, even getting time on the mic, albeit not long. Getting a notable win over Ambrose would do wonders for him, though we fear that since the only remnants of a backstory remain those two Powerbombs, that likely sets up Ambrose to put that rough past behind him and get the win.
Prediction: Dean Ambrose
– Kiss Me Arse Match – Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus: Looking past the ridiculous idea that this stipulation can last in the PG era by putting a lame Irish accent on it, this has potential to be a show-stealer, mainly because this is in itself a regular match. The stipulation won’t cloud the match and we’ll get to truly enjoy things. Sheamus has done a monster job since coming back as a heel and he’s got a clear purpose: destroy the underdogs. Simple goes a long way and Sheamus has done that in spades. This “repackaging” was needed for him in the worst way and it’s actually paid off since you know you’ll be entertained once he appears on screen. Ziggler fits the “underdog” category perfectly and should help to deliver a fantastic match. Sheamus has been on fire lately and if he takes out Ziggler, this just makes him all the more credible, meaning we’ll give this one to him, giving him bragging rights of beating Ziggler and making him kiss his arse. Sounds about right, huh?
– Last Man Standing Match – Roman Reigns vs. The Big Show: Before the spotlight was ripped away from him by Seth Rollins, Reigns was making the most of his time in the Mania main event against Brock Lesnar, almost running the thought through fans’ heads that he could become the new Champion. Fans wouldn’t have accepted it obviously, but they nearly bought in to it. Reigns had all kinds of momentum after Mania and WWE somehow squandered it, saddling him to a feud nobody really wants to see against Show. Sure, the giant has done decent promo work making his mission to eliminate Reigns all but uncertain, but it’s just boring. Who the hell cares? You can dent all the cars in the world, it still won’t make fans give a damn. We’re not sure how long Show will stick around in WWE but if he wants to put Reigns over in one of his feuds on the way out, then it’s kind of cool and understandable. The thing is – that’s probably not the case. Reigns will likely go over anyway. He’s had too much “done” to him in the form of the two Taxi Cab Chokeslams and they’ve set him up to get revenge in a match that will be sure to bore all to death.
Prediction: Roman Reigns
– WWE Divas Championship – Nikki Bella (Champion) vs. Naomi: Since the departure of AJ Lee and the injury angle that took out Paige, the Bella Twins – the top heels, have suddenly been slightly repositioned as faces, coinciding with a heel turn by Naomi, who surely needed it. The problem with her though is that though the attitude changed, the finisher and the “Funk Is On A Roll” music has not. That is not good. It’s way too soon to give Naomi the belt, but at the same time, she needs to turn in a convincing performance. Her work is sort of cut out for her. We’ll give this moment to the Bellas to make everyone happy. Or get them back to their seats for the next match. Call us when Charlotte debuts.
Prediction: Nikki Bella
– United States Championship – Russian Chain Match – Rusev (Champion) vs. John Cena: This match happening has been both a good and bad thing. It’s good in the sense that Cena has actually made the United States Championship a highlight of Raw with his open challenge – having consistently great matches with the likes of Stardust, Bad News Barrett, Kane and others, but bad in the sense that since the match was announced, it took the unpredictability factor out of the matches. We can’t invest in them like we should because we knew this Extreme Rules match was happening and the broadcast team never played up the possibility of a new Champion at any time. However, the feud itself has been solid. They’ve toned down the “Russia vs. America” aspect a bit, but not too much and making the chain the focus. The stipulation itself gives Rusev an edge (and reason to walk around with a badass chain), though the four corners thing is a bit tacky. That’s not to say these two won’t deliver like they usually do. That said – Cena will likely go over and that’s fine with us either way.
Prediction: John Cena
– Depending On Daniel Bryan’s Health – Intercontinental Championship – Daniel Bryan (Champion) vs. Bad News Barrett: This match has been strongly underplayed since announcing that it may or may not happen depending on the IC Champion’s health. The injury bug has bitten Bryan again and it always seems to come once he finally gets to hold some gold. He may need to reinvent his in-ring style as his dangerous way of working is doing more damage than good and WWE needs Bryan badly. He is still one of the more over acts in the company, but injuries are a part of life and there’s not much that can be done sometimes. If the match does happen, it should be a good one, surely. WWE is in a tricky position here because it’s like do they give the Belt back to Barrett – the guy who couldn’t hold on to it or win while Champion or let the injured guy keep it? It’s unfortunate, but Barrett may need to get the Belt back in this instance. It’s obvious that WWE gave Bryan the IC Title to bring some prestige back to it, but if all he’s doing while Champion is keeping it warm for someone else, what’s the point? Getting the belt off Bryan also lets him focus on recovering to full health. He may need that more than gold at this point of his career.
Prediction: Bad News Barrett
– WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Steel Cage Match With The RKO Banned And Kane as Gatekeeper- Seth Rollins (Champion) vs. Randy Orton: WWE has done right by Rollins this year, now having him on top of the world as its Champion. He has played the cocky heel to a tee and letting the success get to his ego, getting him into trouble with even his most trusted allies. It’s been played up perfectly in terms of the emergence of Kane and the tease of him going back to his old ways. Orton has also been booked really good in this feud, delivering RKOs to whomever he pleases and getting the mental advantage over Rollins and The Authority. This would be a bit more unpredictable had Rollins not just won the belt. This is set up as a feud for Rollins to overcome, as more likely than not, Kane will tease a face turn just to help Rollins in the end, giving him another win with someone else’s help, putting Orton in the past and looking to the next challenger. Orton can’t even use the RKO, so that’s another out for Orton to lose. We believe the long-term plan is to keep Rollins as a strong Champion until SummerSlam when Brock Lesnar comes back for his rematch. That’s going to sell like crazy, bank on it. This feud is a necessary spoke on that wheel in that case. That’s why we see Rollins as the winner here.
Prediction: Seth Rollins
Posted on April 25, 2015, in WWE and tagged Bad News Barrett, Big E, Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, John Cena, Kofi Kingston, Luke Harper, Naomi, Nikki Bella, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Rusev, Seth Rollins, Sheamus, The Big Show, The New Day, Tyson Kidd, Xavier Woods. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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