My name is Ryan Rouse….and I am a certified G…..well no I actually like video games and watching wrestling so I suppose that’s not true. And I’m a bonafide stud…..well…..some women find me attractive I suppose? Maybe after a few drinks? Anyways, we’re here to take a look at a Pay Per View that made a lot more sense in the Attitude Era than the PG Era, Extreme Rules. First glance, it appears to be a somewhat underwhelming card. However, every belt is up for grabs which always adds some excitement. Will anything major progress story-wise? Will any other Wrestlemania match be completely negated by the results of the show? Let’s run down the card.
Extreme Rules Kickoff Show – Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler – No DQ Match
Remember back in November of 2014 when Dolph Ziggler single-handedly eliminated the Authority and everyone said it was finally time for Ziggler to shine and get his push? No? Me either. Ziggler is always put in matches like this because he is so damn good at selling (unlike certain main eventers, but we’ll get to that later) and he can put people over like no other. Baron Corbin is the new kid on the the block. Fresh out of NXT where he was the tall heel who could go to brutal lengths to achieve victory. Dolph looked very much like Meat on the Table (Hi Ryback!) for Corbin who was fresh off winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Mania in his first ever WWE Match. So everyone was pretty much stunned when Ziggler pulled off the victory at Payback. New guy paying his dues? Maybe. But if you think Corbin is dropping two in a row to the WWE’s most talented jobber, you are sadly mistaken. Corbin will likely use the Extreme Rules platform to “take out his frustrations” after the Payback loss. Look for Corbin to cement his status as the ruthless heel willing to use extreme violence to achieve victory in this one as Corbin picks up the W and moves on to a new feud.
Prediction: Baron Corbin
Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows vs. The Usos – Texas Tornado Match
Yeehaw! A tag team match with no tagging needed! In case you aren’t familiar with a Texas Tornado Match, it means that all 4 competitors are in the ring at the same time and if either partner is pinned, the match ends. Anderson and Gallows have made it very well known that they are in AJ Styles corner and always have his back. The Usos have made it very clear that they are all for their relative Roman Reigns. Therefore, each team has been the de facto bodyguards of the two main eventers leading up to Extreme Rules. And basically every Raw has ended with some variation of these teams and Styles/Reigns in some kind of 6 man tag or something else completely unoriginal. The good news is we get to see the same match we have seen on Raw for the past 3 weeks but this time at a Pay Per View! So that makes it different! No? Shut up…Vince says it’s different so it is. Don’t cross the boss! The Usos at this point are closer to a mid card tag team than contenders, especially with a very crowded tag division. A win for them doesn’t do much but slow the momentum for the new guys and the main event storyline. Expect Anderson and Gallows to pick up a clean win in this one.
Prediction: Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows
Chris Jericho vs. Dean Ambrose – Asylum Match
Wait that can’t be right. Something new and original?! Vince must have let HHH book a match on accident. But in all seriousness, this should be awesome. This is the match we deserved between Lesnar and Ambrose at Wrestlemania but didn’t get. In case you don’t know what an Asylum Match is, an asylum match is essentially a steel cage match on steroids (Vince and Roger Gooddell both just fined me for using the “S” word). Weapons of Dean Ambrose’s choosing hang from a gantry above the top of the steel cage. Climbing out of the cage does not mean you win. The only way to win is by pinfall or submission.
Now the actual way this feud started is pretty ridiculous. Dean Ambrose stole Chris Jericho’s talk show as Shane McMahon (who is somehow running things despite his loss to the Undertaker at Wrestlemania) made the Ambrose Asylum the official talk show of Monday Night Raw. Jericho got his feelings hurt so he murdered Mitchell. You might be saying, “WHOA, that took a violent turn. That’s not PG.” Don’t worry. Mitchell was a potted plant who has since been signed by TNA.
All of this came to a head on Raw this past week as Ambrose challenged Jericho to the first ever Asylum Match. I actually think this has the potential to be the match of the night with Ambrose being an Attitude Era throwback and Jericho actually having gone through the Attitude Era. But before I go any further, how many of you actually googled to see if Mitchell was actually signed by TNA? Don’t lie. And even if you used Bing instead of Google, it still counts. Anyways, we talked about the legendary jobbing skills of Dolph Ziggler on the current roster, but the only one who puts over more people is Chris Jericho. Hell, he lost to FAN…….DAN…….GO at Wrestlemania 29! You forgot about that didn’t you? We all wish we could. Ambrose is possibly the biggest face in the company at the moment and in a match he created, with his kind of rules, there is no way I see him dropping this match. The one thing I hope is that the WWE gives them a little freedom to get violent in this one instead of giving us another pillow fight like Ambrose and Lesnar gave at Mania.
Prediction: Dean Ambrose
Intercontinental Title Match: The Miz (Champ) vs. Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn – Fatal 4-Way Match
This is awesome!!! (clap, clap, clap clap clap) should be ringing out frequently during this match. All four of these guys are phenomenal entertainers. Yes, even the Miz you haters. Show some respect! He is an A-List Celebrity with a super hot wife. Ok, sorry, JBL just possessed my soul for a moment there. But this really may end up being the match of the night. After Zack Ryder got his amazing Wrestlemania moment and took home the IC Belt in a really awesome ladder match on WWE’s biggest stage, Vince rectified his mistake by making him lose the belt to the Miz right in front of Ryder’s family the following night on Raw. It’s literally like Vince is getting back at the fans for hating his chosen star, Roman Reigns, by repeatedly making fan favorites lose in humiliating fashion.
Now let me get back on track. Miz took the belt and immediately took his talents to South Beach and found new dance partners to challenge him for his title. Cesaro earned his shot at Payback and had the victory except for the fact that Zayn and Owens distracted the official allowing Miz to steal the win. This set up the Fatal 4-Way and honestly, any of these four guys could walk out of Extreme Rules with the title. However, WWE seems like it may finally be listening to the fans and realizing that this guy Cesaro is GOLD in the ring. He has the new James Bond style entrance which is surprisingly not that corny and kind of cool. He has been fantastic in the ring since coming back from injury. On top of that, Zayn and Owens don’t need the belt for that feud to be interesting. They are going to keep brawling all the way up to Summerslam and it is going to be glorious. The Miz could steal it one more time, but I think it’s time for the Swiss Superman to take home the title as he pins Miz and becomes the IC Champ. The one thing that is concerning is that because it is a Fatal 4-Way, anyone can be pinned. So while I am picking Cesaro, I wouldn’t be surprised if Miz takes advantage of the Zayn/Owens carnage and pins one of them to retain.
Prediction: Cesaro (New Champ)
Tag Team Title Match: The New Day (Champs) vs. The Vaudevillains
This spot likely would have gone to Enzo and Cass if not for the concussion Enzo suffered at Payback. However readers…..DON’T YOU DARE BE SOUR!!! CLAP……FOR YOUR WORLD FAMOUS TAG TEAM CHAMPS AND FEEEEELLLL……THE POWER!!!!
The Vaudevilliains have grown on me. I never really got their gimmick in NXT and thought it wouldn’t work at the next level. It’s kind of a throwback to the early 90’s WWE where you had IRS and Dr. Isaac Yankem. They come out to a black and white screen, have awesome old-school mustaches and wear tights that are straight out of Vaudeville (Now their tag team name makes sense!). But, they are pretty funny and have good mic skills and in-ring ability. However, it is not their time yet. The New Day is a force of nature. They took one of the worst gimmicks in WWE history (modern era because of the aforementioned early 90’s) and turned themselves into quite possibly the faces of the company. Watching them each week has become one of so few highlights on Monday Night Raw. To have them lose the belts now, just doesn’t make sense. Expect them to hold on until at least Summerslam and maybe into Survivor Series. Because…….NEW…DAY ROCKS!!
Prediction: The New Day retains
U.S. Title Match: Kalisto (Champ) vs. Rusev
All of that work that John Cena did to make this belt relevant again has all been washed away by the garbage given to us on a monthly basis by Kalisto and whatever other mid-carder they decide to throw up against him. Remember when Cena was taking on Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Neville and putting on Match of the Year candidates every week on Raw? Remember when the US Title was featured in the main event of Summerslam against Seth Rollins last year? No one does. Because Cena got hurt and the belt and booking for it went to hell. So to all of you who boo Cena and complain that he always wins, first you’re wrong and second you all deserve this match. Kalisto and Rusev…..who cares who wins? Kalisto already took down Ryback who could literally eat Kalisto and still be hungry afterwards. Made no sense then and this will be a bad forgettable match as well. Rusev needs a push to become the Bulgarian Brute again and maybe a victory by him will set up a Cena return and another USA vs. Russia, Rocky 4 style confrontation to Make the US Title Great Again. At least I hope that is where this goes. Because as of now, the US Title matches are bathroom break matches.
Prediction: Rusev (New Champ)
Women’s Title Match: Charlotte (Champ) vs. Natalya – Submission Match
These two put on a good show at Payback and Natty, the matriarch of the women’s division, has been surprisingly good during this feud with the young and athletic Charlotte Flair. The daughter of Ric Flair has embraced her heel role and with daddy at her side, has lived long and prospered as the champion. However, her gravy train may be running out as the big stipulation for this match is that Ric Flair is completely banned from ringside and if he comes down to the ring at anytime in the match, Charlotte will forfeit the women’s title.
The one thing many have been critical about with Charlotte’s run is that she seems to have trouble winning on her own. Kind of what people complained about with Seth Rollins in his early days as WWE champion. Interference is always needed to keep the belt. Now, when you are a great heel, that makes sense and that is typical. But every now and then, the fans want to see you win one clean to remember that you are still dominant even without help from others. Rollins established that by taking down Sting last year. The interesting thing to see will be where WWE goes with this. Is this where Charlotte has her Seth Rollins over Sting moment and proves that she can make it on her own and she is to be feared? Or is this going to result in Ric helping via technicality by appearing on the Titan Tron to distract Natty instead of coming to ringside? Or will this be Natty’s moment in the sun, where she finally gets to hold the women’s title and Charlotte regroups and comes back on her own for the title in the future? Either way, this will be a great match and I expect it to be the match before Reigns and Styles. Though, this will likely be a much better match than the main event because the two competitors can both wrestle and are entertaining. In the end, I think this is where Charlotte proves her dominance as the woman to beat in WWE, eventually leading to a Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks match at Summerslam.
Prediction: Charlotte retains
WWE World Heavyweight Championship match: Roman Reigns (Champ) vs. AJ Styles – Extreme Rules
Let me get this out of the way right now. I despise Roman Reigns. My buddies call me Ryan Reigns (oh because both of our initials are RR and I hate him). Look, I never claimed to hang out with the most creative people. The reasons I dislike him, I could fit into a whole new article and it would probably be longer than this one. So I will spare you the details for now of why I dislike him so much (if you’ve been paying attention, you can probably guess). Here is the TL:DR version: No charisma or mic skills, can’t sell a move, only a few real moves of note, forced down our throats, no evolution of character and Vince’s middle finger to the fans by continuing to push him. Not to mention WWE censoring programming so the boos when he is on screen aren’t so deafening.
Ok, now that we have that out of the way, I am still a little intrigued by this match. I keep thinking today might be the day where Finn Balor and the Bullet Club show up. Anderson and Gallows have made it so obvious that they are in Styles’ corner and he has done his best to distance himself from them. It seems logical that they are going to turn on AJ and screw him at some point. Maybe even Sunday night. Look, I WANT so badly for AJ Styles to be champion and save us from the abomination that is Roman Reigns. But it’s not going to happen. The question is, how is it not going to happen. If the WWE gives us the Balor and Bullet Club betrayal, I will be happy even if Reigns walks out as champion. However, if we get the standard oh here come Anderson and Gallows and BAH GAWD it’s THE USOS TO SAVE THE DAY!!! And it turns into another Raw main event of a 6-Man Tag, I am going to be pissed. One way or another, at the end of the night, The Shield…..I mean…..Roman Reigns’ music will hit as he will raise up his Superman Punch fist with his body armor on as champion once more. Just hoping to see something new.
Prediction: Roman Reigns retains
2 Balls, 1 Strike Staff Picks
|Usos||Gallows Anderson||Gallows Anderson||Gallows Anderson|
|New Day||New Day||New Day||New Day|
|AJ Styles||AJ Styles||Roman Reigns||Romain Reigns|