The 2011 edition of WWE Extreme Rules takes place this Sunday and on paper, it is definitely an interesting lineup. As with annual Extreme Rules tradition, every match on the show has some kind of stipulation to it. An old school pro wrestling Steel Cage Match headlines Sunday’s big event.
The one thing I will say about Extreme Rules WWE pay-per-views is that they are generally pretty good. It is hard to go wrong when you have a show full of gimmicked matches, although not every Extreme Rules has been a home run. On paper, the WWE Extreme Rules event has a lot of potential with Last Man Standing and Falls Count Anywhere matches on the docket.
John Cena vs. John Morrison vs. The Miz in a Triple Threat Steel Cage Match for the WWE championship – This is certainly an odd main-event on paper when you see a WWE star getting a championship opportunity who hasn’t won many matches lately. John Morrison is a late addition to the match after beating R-Truth on RAW and winning his spot. On the other hand what would a WWE pay per view be without John Cena in the main-event?
I tend to think that there is a ton of pressure on The Miz for that awful WrestleMania 27 main-event. He is at a point now where he really should be over as WWE champion yet the fans continue not to buy it. He hasn’t wrestled much on RAW since WrestleMania thanks to an injury suffered in the match, yet the inactivity couldn’t have come at a wrong time for the champion.
I think Cena is the safe and easy pick in this one. The Miz has pinned him twice, most recently on the RAW WWE 2011 Draft broadcast the week before Extreme Rules. The general rule of booking is that the guy doing the job goes over the week before on television. I also think that R-Truth does the old cage to the head spot on John Morrison or at least somehow costs him a chance to win the match. John Cena wins the WWE championship and will face a very angry crowd at The Rock’s RAW birthday bash the next night.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian in a Ladder Match for the WWE world heavyweight championship – It is always a refreshing to see a brand new WWE main-event on pay-per-view. Del Rio vs. Christian is exactly what you want when you get these new matches. Throwing a ladder into the mix just adds icing on the cake with this one.
The good news is that Christian has a reputation as something of a daredevil in ladder matches thanks to his history in TLC. The bad news is that Christian has a reputation as something of a daredevil in ladder matches thanks to his history in TLC. I say bad news because they are pushing his rep hard which means he will probably be forced into doing some crazy spot in the match. Watching his best friend’s career end early thanks to some of those spots probably isn’t getting Christian too excited about this.
On paper this is really Alberto Del Rio’s match to win. He had a great match at WrestleMania, he’s put Christian over several times, and continues to get over as the top heel on SmackDown. The only problem here is that he is now a RAW wrestler. I can’t see both titles going to RAW, although it has happened in the past. Even still, I am going with Del Rio possibly splitting time between both brands and taking the title in this one.
CM Punk vs. Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing Match – If there is one thing that you can bank on at Extreme Rules, it is that Last Man Standing Matches are generally pretty damned good. Randy Orton especially seems to thrive in these. Some of the best matches in Orton’s career are Last Man Standing Matches and Punk is the perfect opponent here to pull off a show stealer.
I know there are a lot of people into this feud but I think the booking has been pretty lousy. Randy Orton has gone over on Punk in every match. I can’t see there being a lot of desire to see the babyface get revenge in this one when he has gotten revenge every time the two have wrestled. My gut tells me that this feud has been rushed with Orton going to SmackDown, yet that still doesn’t change anything.
I wouldn’t expect anything too crazy here from either guy. The WWE is counting on both of them to deliver big things in 2011 and aren’t too interested in putting either one in a dangerous position. I’d expect something methodical yet intense as opposed to tables and chairs. I can’t imagine Orton going into SmackDown as the brand’s signature star with a loss, yet it really is his responsibility to put Punk over on the way out. I think Punk does actually come out of this with a win with someone interfering and setting up Orton’s next feud on SmackDown.
Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes in a Falls Count Anywhere Match – On paper this match is almost guaranteed to be a show stealer. Like Last Man Standing Matches, Falls Count Anywhere Matches are generally pretty exciting. The guys will brawl all over the building and should have an action-packed match. The ball is definitely in their court to knock it out of the park.
I really liked the match that these two had at WrestleMania. I expect them to follow up with another great one. Generally the Falls Count Anywhere bouts are used to make up for the weakness of a feud in the ring so in a way these two guys are arguably handicapped by the stipulation. I would have expected something like a 2 Out of 3 Falls, Iron Man, or Gauntlet Match for these two, but nonetheless it is a Falls Count Anywhere Match.
With Del Rio leaving, Cody could be positioned for the top heel spot and a feud with Randy Orton which makes a ton of sense given their history. As a matter of a fact with the weak lineup of heels on SmackDown, I can’t imagine them not giving Rhodes a shot. Taking all of this into consideration I think Cody Rhodes pulls out the win and sends Rey Mysterio to RAW as a loser. Well, one can hope anyway right?
Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross vs. Michael Cole and Jack Swagger in a Country Whipping Match – For those of you who missed the episodes of UWF Wrestling or World Class Wrestling that introduced the Country Whipping Match you probably aren’t too familiar with the concept. The idea here is to give everyone a leather strap and let them go at it. It really is as simple as that.
For about three weeks this whole match was sold on the idea of finally seeing Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler get their hands on Michael Cole. Guess what? They did on RAW this past Monday with Lawler whipping Cole and Ross giving him a fat lip. Which leads me to ask the question as to what in the world is the point of this match now that Lawler and Ross got their revenge?
Let’s just hope that the match lasts a quarter of the time that Lawler and Cole’s WrestleMania 27 match droned on. I really don’t think it matters a whole heck of a lot who wins or who loses in this one but hey, I am doing a preview right? So let’s go with the King and J.R. and hope that we never see another Michael Cole match ever again in the WWE.
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