The most anticipated non-WrestleMania WWE match in years will take place this Sunday. Extreme Rules 2012 will feature a handful of gimmick matches to determine titles and settle feuds, yet it is the main-event that has the wrestling world buzzing.
Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena in an Extreme Rules match
Brock Lesnar will wrestle his first pro wrestling match in a WWE ring in eight years at Extreme Rules 2012. The former WWE world heavyweight champion has been slightly busy the last few years playing preseason NFL football and beating up former MMA champions in the UFC. During this time, John Cena has become “the man” in the WWE and the face of pro wrestling for this generation of young World Wrestling Entertainment fans.
The booking of John Cena over the last few weeks has been bizarre to say the least. Cena lost to The Rock at WrestleMania 28 clean, got beat up several times by Lesnar, and to add insult to injury, lost to Lord Tensai on RAW. Putting Cena in this kind of a match with that kind of momentum has a lot of people scratching their heads.
The Lesnar vs. Cena match is an odd one as well. I certainly wouldn’t have put John Cena at the top of the list of matches I’d like to see Lesnar wrestle when he returns to the WWE. Their styles just seem a bit off to me. Now that said, the Extreme Rules gimmick will give them some lattitude to fill in those gaps with gimmicks and brawling. Yet the idea of a rusty Lesnar and a limited Cena putting on a match that lives up to the hype seems a bit far fetched to me.
I expect a lot of brawling in this match. I would be shocked if they didn’t go around the building. I look for a match where Lesnar mostly dominates Cena in a slow, methodical thriller. I would expect Cena to get a comeback or two using some kind of gimmick and maybe even give Lesnar the A.A. through a table. It will be interesting to see how they pull off the legitimate UFC fighter against the WWE cartoon wrestler as anything competitive.
I wrote a lengthy blog earlier in the week about why Cena needs to go over. I’ll stick by that result. I think Lesnar mostly dominates the match but winds up succombing to a roll-up or cradle. In UFC terms, think back to the first Lesnar vs. Frank Mir fight. I think Cena wins but gets beaten up badly by Brock following the match. The last thing people will remember here is an angry Lesnar laying out Cena, so the loss really means nothing to Brock’s future if it is done right. A Lesnar loss any other way would be a shocker. It also wouldn’t surprise me to see John Laurinaitis involved in screwing Lesnar in the finish.
Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk for the WWE championship in a Chicago Street Fight
I am not a big Punk fan but I am really enjoying this storyline. I think Chris Jericho in particular has really hit his stride here post-WrestleMania. We all know the story and this is a direct rematch from WrestleMania 28. Punk defeated Jericho in their previous bout in Miami.
Obviously I’d expect a brawl all over the arena. I don’t necessarily think this match will be nearly as long as most are hoping or expecting it will be. I don’t think this kind of a match lends itself to length. What it does do however is create a generally fast-paced match with a lot of action and high drama.
As much as I love a good Street Fight match I don’t know if these are the two guys I’d book for one. Neither is known for their brawling and both are at their best in lengthy, pure matches as opposed to the gimmicks. Regardless, I think the fans in Chicago will absolutely love seeing their hometown hero nail Jericho with chairs or use tables on Sunday night.
Jericho is leaving the WWE shortly so the vibe most get is that he will lose on Sunday night. I disagree. I think he goes over. For one, Vince McMahon loves to beat a guy in his hometown. Two, Punk got the better of Jericho at WrestleMania and the final angle leading up to the match. Three, there is still life in this program with Jericho as champion while a Punk win ends it on Sunday. I look for Y2J to win the title and leave Chicago as one hated man.
Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE world heavyweight championship in a 2 out of 3 Falls Match
Well the bad news was that you only got 18 seconds of Daniel Bryan on WrestleMania but the good news is that you get at least two matches out of him this Sunday night. I love the idea of bringing these guys back from 18 seconds to quite possibly the longest match of the night. I also expect Bryan to be super over in Chicago which could prove for some awkward moments for the top SmackDown babyface.
I think they play off of the WrestleMania finish and Bryan loses the first fall in less than a minute. I don’t agree with it, but I just have that kind of a feeling about this match. I think Bryan ties up the match with a fall of his own only to be beaten by Sheamus in the end. On paper this one looks like a real show stealer. I just hope that the WWE gives the people what they want and that is a whole lot of “Yes” in Chi-town.
Randy Orton vs. Kane in a Falls Count Anywhere Match
I am just glad that they aren’t risking Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing or Tables Match. It amazes me that they continually put one of the most injury-plagued wrestlers into such dangerous situations. So it is nice to see them playing it safe with this kind of a match.
I’ll keep it short as I hope they do on Sunday night. I think Orton gets his win back after losing to Kane at WrestleMania. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Cowboy Bob Orton somehow involved in the finish of the match. I look for Orton to win with something dazzling like an RKO through a table or something on the floor. As long as they don’t get cute here with the booking, this has the potential to be a really fun match.
Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena in a Extreme Rules match
Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan in a 2-out-of-3 falls match for the World heavyweight championship
CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho in a Chicago Street Fight for the WWE championship
Randy Orton vs. Kane in a Falls Count Anywhere match
The Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes for the WWE Intercontinental championship
Santino Marella vs. The Miz for the United States championship
Nikki Bella vs. Beth Phoenix for the WWE Divas championship