Extreme Rules may have only been two days ago, but we're already less than four weeks away from Payback on June 1—so who will be able to maintain their forward motion at the next WWE pay-per-view?
One man who seems unlikely to slow down any time soon is Rusev, having followed up his dominating win over R-Truth and Xavier Woods at Extreme Rules with a similarly capable disposal of Kofi Kingston last night on Raw.
Whilst his squash matches have brought back bad memories of some of Ryback's long stretch of similar bouts in 2012, there's a lot of potential in Rusev. Highlighting his relationship with Vladimir Putin via his Russian valet Lana is certainly reminiscent of something you'd see on a wrestling show from 30 years ago, but it has the potential to be very entertaining if it's done well.
Similarly set for a good outing at Payback is new WWE Intercontinental champion Bad News Barrett. Having really gained the fans' support over the last few weeks, you'd hope that Barrett gets a good feud to sink his teeth into and take advantage of the fact that he's on a hot streak.
His rematch with Big E having come and gone on Raw, Barrett looks set for a fresh challenge at Payback—and it wouldn't be too surprising if that came in the form of the new United States champion, Sheamus.
Ever since the world titles were unified last December, speculation of the secondary belts also being unified has run rampant, particularly following an article on WWE.com that seemed to tease just that. Sheamus and Barrett facing off would certainly give this matchup everything it needs to live up to a unification match, although perhaps Payback is too soon given that both men have only just won the titles.
The Shield was perhaps the biggest winner at Extreme Rules, vanquishing Evolution in a wild brawl and looking like the future of WWE whilst doing so. With last night only stoking the fires of The Shield's issues with The Authority, it will certainly be interesting to see what the immediate future holds for the Hounds of Justice.
Regardless, with its new-found attitude proving to be a hit with the WWE Universe, The Shield looks set to return to winning ways after a brief blip when Dean Ambrose lost his title last night. Having another match against Evolution at Payback seems unlikely, but that begs the following question: Who can prove to be a threat to The Shield at this point? Whoever it ends up being, believe that The Shield will probably be standing tall come June 1.
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