WWE Extreme Rules takes place this Sunday night, May 4, 2014 at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. WWE will put forth their first pay-per-view efforts since their big WrestleMania XXX event last month.
Going into this Sunday’s show, the focus has been primarily on three key matches — Evolution vs. The Shield, John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt in a steel cage and Daniel Bryan defending the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against masked Kane.
Despite the fact that this is Daniel Bryan’s first title defense since capturing the gold on the grandest stage of them all and finally receiving his long-awaited “moment” in the spotlight, his match feels like the third most important on the show. That’s unfortunate, and while many point to the passing of Bryan’s father as a reason why WWE was unable to capitalize on his momentum as champion as much as they would have liked, it seemed clear to me straight out of the gate that Bryan was at best going to be second-fiddle to the Evolution-Shield program. I actually wrote an editorial on that topic a few weeks ago.
Either way, it’s a decent lineup, one that has some comedy sprinkled in, some gimmick matches and a solid main event, so it should be a good show from top-to-bottom on Sunday night. Having said that, let’s take a look at my predictions for the show.
– El Torito vs. Hornswoggle
Boone’s Breakdown: You can obviously expect a step-ladder, mini-chairs and mini-tables in this one. We’ve reported that veteran midget wrestler Short Sleeve Sampson has been booked by WWE and will likely serve as the guest referee in this one. I’ve also heard that there’s a possibility that some other midgets (or little people, whatever) have been contacted and will be used in this match as well. This is what it is, which is WWE doing bad comedy, but in all actuality, the El Torito-Hornswoggle matches and segments — in my opinion — have actually been pretty entertaining. Since it doesn’t really matter who goes over in this one, unless WWE is continuing the program, you would expect that the babyface goes over.
Boone’s Prediction: El Torito
– Alexander Rusev vs. R-Truth & Xavier Woods
Boone’s Breakdown: This really should be a two-minute squash at best, however WWE actually booked Rusev to sell more than I think he should be doing at this point considering his gimmick. On the “go-home” edition of SmackDown, WWE actually had Rusev go back out and do his match over again, so that’s not a good sign. Generally when WWE loses confidence in a guy, no matter how much he has been pushed, they tend to slam on the brakes. We’ll find out Sunday, depending on how the match plays out, if that is the case with the “Bulgarian Brute.” Obviously he’s still going over, but depending on how much selling he does, how strong his win is put over, etc., we’ll see if they intend to continue on with him being an unstoppable monster.
Boone’s Prediction: Alexander Rusev
WWE Divas Championship
– Paige (c) vs. Tamina Snuka
Boone’s Breakdown: This was originally slated to be a Divas Championship rematch between Paige and AJ Lee, but after Lee requested some time off, her bodyguard Tamina Snuka was moved into the picture. It seems that WWE is booking Paige in a way where she isn’t quite on the level of the current WWE Divas, but somehow finds a way to pull out a victory regardless. Considering the fact that Tamina is the big girl of the Divas division, one would expect that Paige will be doing a lot of selling in this one, but ultimately I expect her to get her hand raised by the end of the night. There’s always the possibility that AJ Lee returns in this one, but I don’t personally see that happening.
Boone’s Prediction: Paige
– Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro vs. Jack Swagger
Boone’s Breakdown: I’m actually surprised that WWE didn’t go with a straight Cesaro vs. Swagger match here, which leads me to believe that there will be a lot of Paul Heyman and Zeb Colter involvement, leading to a Van Dam victory. This would allow Cesaro and Swagger to break off into their angle, leading up to the inevitable one-on-one showdown between the former Real American teammates. This should be a damn good match, by the way.
Boone’s Prediction: Rob Van Dam
WWE Intercontinental Championship
– Big E. (c) vs. Bad News Barrett
Boone’s Breakdown: I’ve got some bad news — for Big E. at least, which is that I think we have ourselves a new WWE Intercontinental Champion after Sunday night. Anything short of that would be kind of retarded, as Barrett has a ton of momentum right now, and a loss here wouldn’t be doing him any favors. Big E. has kind of flattened out a bit since his initial singles push. With Big E. on the decline and Barrett on the rise, I think it’s pretty obvious who’s getting the “W” in this one.
Boone’s Prediction: Bad News Barrett
Steel Cage Match
– John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
Boone’s Breakdown: When I was a kid the entire point of a steel cage match was to give the babyface a fair chance at victory without outside interference. Generally it was the culmination of a long feud where the heel would cheat his way to victory repeatedly, “but now we got that son of a bitch in a cage and it’s just me and him.” John Cena beat Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania XXX — clean. So basically, this is a pretty pointless match. I will say, however, that the build-up has been entertaining. The choir segment on RAW was cool. The childhood photos of The Wyatt Family the week prior was not. I’m assuming this is Bray’s chance to get his victory back, which makes the fact that it’s a steel cage match that much more retarded, but whatever. Hopefully they do the right thing and give Wyatt the nod, as another Cena victory really seems pointless.
Boone’s Prediction: Bray Wyatt
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
– Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kane
Boone’s Breakdown: The idea behind this one is that Kane is back to being an unstoppable, uncontrollable, unpredictable monster. Daniel Bryan is the underdog champion who has all of the odds stacked against him, much like the story behind his run leading up, and at this year’s WrestleMania. Anytime Daniel Bryan is in a match, it’s generally a good, fun in-ring performance. With an aging Kane, he’s got his work cut out for him. I expect an entertaining bout.