WWE Extreme Rules 2014: Superstars Most Likely to Surprise
Although they may stand outside of the Extreme Rules 2014 spotlight, Alexander Rusev and others have a great chance to put the audience's attention in a headlock.
The focus heading into the event will be on Bray Wyatt trying to yank the darkness from inside of John Cena, The Shield taking on Evolution and Daniel Bryan's quest for revenge.
Emerging stars and an underrated talent will be looking to steal the show from those stories. Great talent meets low expectations for the Superstars on this list.
Add quality opponents to that mix, and there is reason to believe that Rusev and company will surprise fans by snatching headlines and making an impact at Extreme Rules on Sunday.
Paige is a safe bet as Extreme Rules' surprise breakout star.
WWE fans have only seen bursts of her excellence so far. She now gets an opportunity to firmly establish herself in a title bout with Tamina Snuka.
Paige's toughness, fluidity in the ring and aggression have her poised to put on a classic in her first-ever pay-per-view bout. Tamina is a great opponent for her as someone who can match the champion in terms of butt-kicking abilities.
It's a case of two warriors going head-to-head rather than the meeting of marginal athletes that fans are accustom to seeing in the Divas division.
In facing Jack Swagger, Alberto Del Rio and Randy Orton, Big E has shown flashes of greatness, but he has yet to have a career-changing match.
His explosiveness, power and high energy have pulled fans in. He now takes those weapons into battle against Bad News Barrett.
Much of the focus before this showdown for the WWE Intercontinental Championship has been on Barrett. He's been on an attention-grabbing streak as of late. That includes three straight tournament wins to earn this chance at the title.
Thanks to Barrett's hard-hitting style and experience, he has the potential to guide Big E to a standout performance.
A dramatic fight between them, complete with bruises, sweat and near-falls aplenty, will have the discussion surrounding Big E shift. It will go from being centered on the future to become more about the present.
Many fans will expect a throwaway match when Alexander Rusev takes on both R-Truth and Xavier Woods.
After all, it's not like anybody remembers Ryback running over Jay Hatton and Aaron Relic at Extreme Rules 2012. The difference is that there is more of a story here, and Rusev is a superior athlete to Ryback.
Woods and R-Truth have continually failed to topple "The Bulgarian Brute" on their own. They now team up against him, which will likely lead to Rusev suffering more punishment than he ever has in a match.
Seeing him tested, which will force him to pull out more of his arsenal, is a recipe for him to put together a standout performance.
Given a solid amount of time, he will show fans why WWE has so much confidence in his future.
The ridiculousness of his gimmick and the WeeLC match concept will have folks expecting El Torito's clash with Hornswoggle to be more comedy skit than match.
Count on El Torito's uncanny athleticism to impress now that it's getting showcased more than it ever has on a WWE stage, though. After wowing fans in Mexico, he's mostly been asked to be a punch line for WWE.
He gets his first singles match on pay-per-view, which is a climax of a surprisingly entertaining feud, complete with mini-versions of ladders, tables and chairs. This rubber match promises to pure fun.
When he's done leaping from ladders and performing acrobat moves aplenty, El Torito is going to have a wealth of praise to dig through on social media.
Roman Reigns won't be the only star that the Evolution vs. The Shield feud will elevate. Dean Ambrose is sure to thrive in the chaos that will be that six-man bout at Extreme Rules.
There is too much animosity for this to be a match where rules are followed and the referee's job is made easy. That's good news for Ambrose, the wild man of the bunch.
His frenzied energy will set him apart. Look for loose-flying fists, wild eyes and pit bull-like pouncing.
WWE has made it clear that it believes in him by having him become the longest-reigning United States champ in company history. That should mean a hearty portion of the focus will be pointed at him in this contest.