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WWE Extreme Rules 2011 Card Shaping Up

The early WWE Extreme Rules 2011 card is not that excitingBy the end of this week three Extreme Rules main-event matches will be official. Two title matches and a tag team match will headline this year’s event. Unfortunately an early at the WWE Extreme Rules 2011 lineup shows nothing extreme or extremely interesting about this year’s pay per view.

The RAW brand will be headlined by John Cena vs. R-Truth vs. The Miz for the WWE championship. The match comes as a result of a five man gauntlet match on RAW to determine the new number one contender (amazing how Cena is always a “new” contender isn’t it?) Cena and Truth were the final two of the gauntlet match which ended when Alex Riley interfered. The match ended with no winner. The RAW Mystery GM then declared that both men would compete against The Miz for the title in a Triple Threat Match at Extreme Rules. Now that’s extreme!

The co-headliner from the RAW brand will feature an interesting tag team match. Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross vs. Michael Cole and Jack Swagger was a match that Lawler picked after winning a match on RAW. Lawler pinned Swagger on Monday and won the right to make the next match between him and Cole at Extreme Rules. Lawler opted for the tag team match. Since there is no other stipulation presently for the match, I guess the idea here is that a tag team match is “extreme.”

SMACKDOWN SPOILER! If you don’t want to know what happens this week on Friday Night SmackDown stop reading now. Okay, you have been warned.

The original SmackDown main-event featured Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio in a Ladder Match. However, due to Edge’s sudden retirement the WrestleMania 27 rematch is off. Teddy Long declared that the winner of a Battle Royal would wrestle Alberto Del Rio for the vacated WWE world heavyweight title at Extreme Rules. The match came down to former ECW rivals Jack Swagger and Christian. Christian eliminated Swagger winning the match. Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio for the vacated title is now official.

If the WWE was looking to rebound from a disappointing WrestleMania 27, well this isn’t going to do it. He may have his fans but it is clear that the majority of the wrestling audience have rejected The Miz as championship material. Seeing Cena vs. Miz again appeals to nobody yet here we are. Throwing R-Truth into the match does nothing in my eyes. R-Truth is not the “hot new star” the company needs to be elevating right now.

Lawler vs. Cole again? I was a big fan of the feud but they blew it at WrestleMania. Their match was terrible and the idea that they would do it again is just pure insanity. I love Jim Ross more than anyone but I could do without seeing J.R. in the ring wrestling. There was potential here to give this feud more legs but after the snoozer they produced at WrestleMania, it really is time to pull the plug on this one.

Now for the SmackDown side, I love Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio in the main-event. It is fresh to pay per view and has a great storyline going into it. This will be the first time I can recall Christian in a singles WWE world title match (not ECW) on a pay per view. It really is his time to shine and he isn’t going to get many better right now than Del Rio to help deliver a show stealer. The match will remain a Ladder Match which at this point, is the only “extreme” match on the show.

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I would suspect CM Punk vs. Randy Orton in a Submissions or I-Quit Match, Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus (maybe a 20 minute Iron Man?), Rey vs. Cody Rhodes, and the debut of Awesome Kong are all likely to wind up on the card.

I guess the biggest disappointment here overall is the complete lack of attention to the detail of the theme. There is nothing extreme whatsoever about this show. Is there anything extreme about a Triple Threat or an announcer/pro wrestler tag team match? I can’t think of anything easier to book than a show full of wrestling stipulations, yet the WWE doesn’t appear to be in the “extreme” mindset at the moment.

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Two title matches and a tag team match will headline this year’s WWE Extreme Rules show. Unfortunately an early at the WWE Extreme Rules 2011 lineup shows nothing extreme or extremely interesting about this year’s pay per view.
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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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