Just a random note before I begin. Many of you won’t care, and that’s fine, but does the match card graphic for Extreme Rules bother anyone? They’ve used the same for the past three years and it just looks so messed up. Yes, I have no life. On with the preview.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin – No Disqualification Match
This will be the second consecutive pre-show match between these two, and it’s not like any of these two participants are doing anything that anyone cares about right now. I don’t know whether or not I should be concerned that a No DQ match on a PPV called Extreme Rules gets bumped to the pre-show, but that can’t be a good sign for Corbin. I’ve been on the record saying that I was high on him because of his look, but the more I watch him, the more I’m starting to see why people aren’t investing in him. He’s pretty raw on the microphone and doesn’t talk or act like the badass that he looks like, his move set needs to be diversified a bit, and to top it off, he has a balding spot. Now, the winner of this match won’t matter because it won’t result in anything major for the future for either men, much less Ziggler, but because Ziggler got the first match on PPV between these two at the Payback pre-show, I believe Corbin settles the score here. He did pick up a pinfall victory over Ziggler a couple of weeks ago, so perhaps WWE gives Ziggler the win again. But I don’t think it’s wise to have Corbin lose two straight to Ziggler after winning the Battle Royal at WrestleMania. Of course, WWE may not be doing anything with that victory anyway, so it may not matter.
Winner: Baron Corbin
The Miz (C) w/Maryse vs. Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn – Intercontinental Championship
I’d be hard pressed to find a time I have been as excited about the Intercontinental Title picture than I am now. The Miz has done a masterful job as champion to my great surprise, because he’s been sort of stale for a couple of years, but brining back his real life Maryse has added a great dynamic to his character, making him all the more irritable. He’s also had some great matches over the past couple of weeks and he looks very revitalized in a way, even though this is his fifth time winning the title. This match has the potential to steal the show, because both Miz/Cesaro and Zayn/Owens had great performances at Payback, and putting them all in this one match with their separate agendas actually make the title mean something and we may see them just lay it all out there. If we are talking about how will end up retaining, I’m going with The Miz once again. While he has stood tall, he has also taken two pinfalls to Sami Zayn. Kevin Owens is out, because him winning the IC Title at this point will just set him back further. Cesaro hasn’t exactly looked primed for a run with the belt, though he’d be the choice to win if Miz doesn’t retain. Zayn has beaten the champ in singles and tag matches, so I’d assume the third time won’t be the charm for him. I’m expecting a great match here with The Miz retaining with some shenanigans involved, but I would not be surprised if Cesaro gets the victory.
Winner: The Miz
Chris Jericho vs. Dean Ambrose – Asylum Match
These two have had beefs over unwatered plants, jackets and talk shows. So, naturally an Asylum match is what it must culminate in. Because it’s the only logical thing to do. I do have to say though, this may be the first time that Dean has finally lived up to the Lunatic Fringe moniker. The way he sounded on the mic standing underneath what looked like a torture chamber made him look unhinged. The booking has been real 50/50 here, and in addition, unless I missed something, they didn’t explain how this match works. Ambrose said that there will be no escape in this match and there was a unique set of weapons present, so I can only assume the match can be won by pinfall. Or perhaps this is a steel cage match on steroids. Whatever the case, it will be interesting to see how this match works out. For the past two years at Extreme Rules, there have been two stinkers for me, both cage matches. Rollins/Orton last year and Cena/Wyatt the year before sucked to me, and I’m afraid that this match will fall into that category. Who will win this match? I’m going with Y2J. I just don’t see him dropping two straight to Dean on PPV. Now for those of who may say that the 46 year old doesn’t need the victory and Dean can’t lose a match that he came up with, I’d say you are right. However, I certainly didn’t expect Jericho to go over Styles in his WrestleMania debut, like the great deal of us, and that loss clearly didn’t matter because he became the number 1 contender for the WWE Title the next night. Ambrose may not have the same luck, but I don’t think the loss hurts him big. Technically, Ambrose should win, and he may very well do so, but I think Jericho evens the score. Many of you may disagree, and you have a legit gripe, but I think we’ll see an upset.
Winner: Chris Jericho
Kalisto (C) vs. Rusev – United States Championship
This will be Kalisto’s first title defense on the main card barring a last minute change, and sadly, that’s the biggest accomplishment that Kalisto has achieved since winning the belt thus far. He had three straigh title defenses on the pre-show and has seen inconsistent TV time. Now, this is a spoiler, but WWE seems to be playing up a spine injury that Kalisto suffered which forced him to miss Smackdown, which is WWE probably selling Rusev’s assault on Kalisto on RAW. This has all the makings of a “little man defies the odds and goes over Goliath” type thing, and I’m sure that’s what we will see this Sunday. It’s a shame, because it doesn’t appear that many care about Kalisto as champ, and WWE hasn’t exactly given us a reason why. Sure, he’s small, looks like Rey Mysterio and wrestles a fast pace, but that’s not something we haven’t seen. The way the United States title is booked as opposed to the Intercontinental Title just exploits a huge imbalance. I don’t want to say to retire the US belt. I’d rather them just book the people better and give people a reason to care, but I don’t think Kalisto is going to be the one. Nonetheless, expect the little guy to defy the odds with everything stacked against him.
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