There are only two episodes of Raw remaining before the Extreme Rules pay-per-view on May 19, and the WWE knows that it must kick the buildup to this marquee event into overdrive.
The company has treated Extreme Rules as a major PPV over the last few years, and with the injury to John Cena, the damage The Shield is doing to the WWE roster and the wild World Heavyweight Championship scene, there is too much action to miss this episode.
Add in the possible appearance of Brock Lesnar and Chris Jericho, and this much potential for chaos on Monday’s episode of Raw will make even the most casual fan in the WWE Universe tune in for Monday’s show.
Where: Roanoke Civic Center, Roanoke, Va.
When: Monday, May 6, at 8 p.m. ET
Watch: USA Network
The countdown to Extreme Rules is starting to draw a serious buzz from wrestling fans, and Monday’s episode of Raw will be the catalyst to ensuring the WWE Universe is talking about the PPV around the water cooler Tuesday.
That’s where the reports that Brock Lesnar and Chris Jericho will appear on this week’s show (F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc.) could change the direction of the booking for Monday, for the go-home show or even Extreme Rules in general.
Lesnar’s manager and all-around wrestling genius Paul Heyman teased bringing the extreme to Raw Monday via Twitter:
Paul Heyman @HeymanHustle
#2EXTREME4WWE I like the adjective #EXTREME. So does my client. Hint hint for tomorrow's @WWE #RAW2013-5-6 04:03:58
While it’s abundantly clear that Lesnar will be back on TV to send a message to Triple H, watching Jericho to determine whether he will continue his feud with Fandango or move on to something else will be one of the biggest focal points of the night.
Cena’s Injury Status
After hobbling through his tag team match last week and allowing the injury to cost Team Hell No the match against The Shield by taking the loss, the questions about just how severe the injury really is and how it will impact the WWE Championship match are the talk of the WWE Universe. The hope Monday is that it’s more clear if Cena is making progress healing or if it is still something that will give him an issue at the PPV.
Question on Everyone’s Mind: Is Cena’s Injury Serious?
There is little doubt that Cena actually injured himself on the European tour, but the extent of the Achilles sprain has come under scrutiny. After working a match last Monday—although in limited action because of the tag team element—there are questions about how much is an actual injury and how much is Cena playing it up to make Ryback look like he could viably win the title at Extreme Rules.
Cena is making it feel like he is on the right track to recovery, though:
John Cena @JohnCena
Good morning @WWE @twitter @twitter_es 2 days with 0 tape and feeling GR8! @cnnbrk @thetodayshow @BravoAndy @KellyandMichael #RTimeIsNow2013-5-5 14:21:28
Hype Meter: 4 out of 5 Intriguing Main-Event Scenes
Whether the WWE Universe likes Cena or Ryback, this is the main-event match for the WWE Championship. Before Cena was injured, the belief was that Ryback would once again lose at the PPV and Super Cena would go over again.
Cena’s injury status remains a mystery, but it’s clear that the speculation about the severity of the Achilles sprain has given the public the perception that Ryback now has a chance to walk away with the strap at Extreme Rules.
WWE Rumors: Cena’s Long-Term Injury Status (Wrestling Inc.)
The Shield Sets Sights on Tag Team Gold
The talk of what The Shield would do next has been the focus of fans over the last few weeks, but the clear focus on attacking Kane and Daniel Bryan and Team Hell No’s retribution on the trio makes it clear that the WWE Tag Team Championships will eventually be on the line.
Question on Everyone’s Mind: Are the Tag Team Titles Worthy of The Shield?
There are very few times when a wrestler holding the championship is too good for that title and deserves better, but that’s how some fans feel about the tag team titles and The Shield. After running roughshod through the WWE roster and destroying a bona fide legend like The Undertaker, a run with the tag straps feels like a step down.
Hype Meter: 4 out of 5 Team Hell No vs. The Shield Matches
No matter how you feel about The Shield pursuing the tag team titles, the WWE Universe has to be drooling over the probability that we will be able to witness another chapter in this rivalry and the match it spawns at Extreme Rules. With the raw talent of Kane, Bryan and the trio of fresh faces in The Shield, this feud could easily steal the show Monday on Raw and at the PPV.
WWE News: CM Punk Taken Off Even More Shows (Wrestling Inc.)
For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics or catch the latest episode in the player below (some language NSFW).