WWE Extreme Rules Preview: 15 Questions We Have Going into the Event
First off, let me say that I was assigned this piece and I accepted it because I felt that there were a lot of interesting questions regarding Extreme Rules. I say that because I do realize that a certain feature columnist has also tackled the same topic. Well, I actually had about 99 percent of the content done for this article before the other article was published. I was just asked to hold off on publishing it.
When I saw the article on the same topic published by the other writer I was initially a bit upset, but got over it pretty quickly. I tweaked some stuff around and decided to just wait a couple days until just before the pay-per-view to publish it. We’re very different writers, so while some of the questions may be the same, the actual content in each question is very different.
Anyways, with that out of the way, here are the 15 questions I have going into the Extreme Rules.
15. Will Sin Cara Have a Match?
When Sin Cara debuted a couple of weeks ago and attacked Sheamus, many of us naturally thought that would be his first feud. A couple days later, Sin Cara also attacked Jack Swagger on SmackDown. Things suddenly became less clear. Cara then had his first official match on Raw against Primo. It started to become clear that he was feuding with no one.
Well, this past Monday, Sin Cara was drafted to SmackDown, switching places with Rey Mysterio. With only a couple days left until Extreme Rules, don’t expect Sin Cara to compete in an actual match at the event.
Perhaps the faceless wonder will single-out another wrestler, or he might come to the defense of the company’s other luchador, starting a "dashing" new feud in the process.
14. Will the I-C or U.S. Title Be Defended?
When Wade Barrett and Sheamus became Intercontinental and United States Champions, many believed it would lead to the titles being elevated. Well, it seems as if once again the titles will not be defended on PPV.
Sheamus, once believed to be set for a feud with Sin Cara, now has no clear challenger.
Since winning the I-C title, Barrett has been on a downward spiral. His team was squashed at WrestleMania and just this past Monday he was made to look like a jobber by Rey Mysterio. The former Nexus leader has kept some interaction with Kofi Kingston, so a rematch is not out of the question, but it is unlikely, especially now that Kofi has been drafted to Raw.
Now that some changes have been made with the supplemental draft, both men may have new feuds waiting in the wings, but as far as Extreme Rules goes, it seems that both men will be left off the card.
13. How Much Longer Will the Michael Cole-Jerry Lawler Feud Go on?
Most of us hoped that the Lawler-Cole match at WrestleMania would be a one-time thing. Well, most of us were wrong. I guess Vince saw something in Cole that he liked and is now trying to milk it for all it's worth.
Just when we think it can’t get any worse, Jim Ross is thrown into the feud. Not only that, but now we get Lawler, Cole and Ross all in the same match. Not even Jack Swagger can salvage this match.
If the match is short, then it won’t be that bad. Too bad we know that it will go way too long, much like the WrestleMania match between Cole and Lawler.
So once Lawler and Ross win the match, will the feud go on? It seems as if Michael Cole isn’t going anywhere and with the backing of Swagger, expect many more matches from the new voice of WWE.
12. Will Chris Jericho Make His Return?
Jericho has said for a while now that once his run on Dancing With the Stars was over, he would return to WWE. Well, this past Tuesday, Jericho was officially eliminated from the show.
Not only that, being the avid tweeter that he is, Jericho dropped several possible hints on his Twitter. Jericho mentioned that now that he was done on DWTS, he had nothing to do this Sunday and an appearance at the PPV was a possibility. He also engaged in a playful Twitter exchange with Jim Ross, where Ross pretty much invited Jericho to the PPV.
Well, it’s certainly possible that Jericho could have some sort of run-in during one of the matches this Sunday. Realistically, though? I don’t think it’ll happen just yet. I’m sure Jericho will enjoy his time off for a little while longer. One thing is certain: SmackDown could definitely use a top heel.
11. Will the Rock Make an Appearance?
To this question I would simply say, don’t hold your breath. The Rock does not and will not make surprise appearances. Nor should he make any surprise appearances. If he does appear, it would be via satellite.
WWE should milk his appearances for all their worth and advertise any appearances well in advance. WWE is doing just that as the Rock is scheduled to celebrate his birthday on this week’s Raw.
Now if you’re attending this PPV or ordering it with the sole intention of possibly seeing an appearance from the Great One, I’d have to advise you against it as I can almost guarantee that he will not be there. The only place you will be able to watch the Rock this weekend is in your local theater.
10. Will the Miz's 5-Month Reign Come to an End?
The Miz won the title the night after the Survivor Series and he has had one of the longest reigns in recent memory. While he’s only had a couple of good defenses, it’s obvious by his huge WrestleMania win that WWE believes in the guy. So then, would WWE really have their new golden boy lose his title and end his impressive run in a multi-man match immediately after the huge win at Mania?
Stranger things have happened, so it’s definitely a possibility. For such situations I look to two heels who recently had successful WWE title defenses at WrestleMania.
At WrestleMania 2000, Triple H won the Fatal Four-Way match to successfully defend the WWE Title. The very next month at Backlash, Triple H dropped the strap to the man he last pinned at Mania: the Rock.
At WrestleMania 24, Randy Orton successfully defended the WWE title, defeating Triple H and John Cena in a Triple Threat match. The very next month at Backlash, Orton dropped the title to one of the men he defeated: Triple H.
Sensing a pattern? If the pattern does continue, well then expect Cena to win the WWE Title this Sunday and end Miz’s 5-month reign.
9. Would Losing in the Divas Match Really Be Considered Punishment?
So the stipulation for the Michelle McCool-Layla match is no disqualification and no count-outs. Added to that, the loser will be forced to leave SmackDown.
So let me get this straight: The loser of this match gets a one-way ticket to Raw? How would that be considered a bad thing?
Well, this stipulation has me believing that Layla will come out victorious and Michelle McCool will be "banished" to the WWE’s flagship show.
Another question that I have regarding Lay-Cool is whether or not Layla can stay stay afloat without Michelle. Michelle McCool was in a great position before Lay-Cool was formed and I’m positive she’ll be fine after they split as well.
Layla? Well when it comes to Layla, I’m not so sure. Before the formation of Lay-Cool, Layla drifted in obscurity. During the partnership with McCool, Layla brought her game to a new level. So now that the two are done, another question has been formed: Can Layla stay relevant on her own?
**Apparently WWE changed their minds at the last minute and this match is now a 'Loser Leaves WWE match' so disregard the stuff about the loser going to Raw**
8. Will R-Truth Cost John Morrison the WWE Title?
So what to do with R-Truth? It’s clear now that Truth is feuding with John Morrison, but does Truth wait and see if Morrison wins the title or does he cost him the title.
This past Monday, I thought it was a possibility that the triple threat would become a fatal-four way. Well, it’s a moot point since it didn’t happen. Truth seems to be hitting his stride with the heel turn and his new-found attitude, so I don’t see him being left off this Sunday’s card altogether.
If Truth does not get involved in the cage match, then he might just come out and speak some truth in a promo.
Right now I have to say I’m leaning towards Truth getting involved in the WWE Title match. Perhaps Morrison is climbing the cage, ready to win the match and suddenly Truth appears, costing Morrison the WWE title. It makes sense and it’d be the ultimate payback.
7. Will CM Punk Finally Get the Big Win Against Randy Orton?
So Randy Orton is off to SmackDown and suddenly this Last Man Standing match becomes the blow-off match in the Orton-Punk feud. When the feud started back at the Royal Rumble, it had so much potential.
Looking back now, I believe that it’s been disappointingly one-sided. Cena’s superman act has seemingly rubbed off on Orton. Orton dismantled and shelved Punk’s entire posse singlehandedly.
While Punk has gotten the upper hand on several occasions, the big win eludes him. It’s obvious that Orton, much like Cena, will not be hurt by a loss and, well, Punk desperately needs the win.
I just don’t see it happening. And if somehow Orton does lose, it will most likely take Punk’s entire new Nexus to put the apex predator down.
6. Can Cody Rhodes Get Back-to-Back PPV Wins Against Rey Mysterio?
Cody Rhodes has been unable to keep up the momentum he gained from his big WrestleMania win (so far). With Mysterio being drafted over to Raw, this will be the big blow-off to their feud. The question is: Who will walk away from this feud the winner?
Now, as I think back to Mysterio’s previous feud with Alberto Del Rio, I remember that Rey had no problems putting the (barely) younger talent over. Del Rio won the feud and is now cemented in the main event scene.
So will Mysterio do the same thing for Cody Rhodes? Win or lose, I wonder where the former dashing one goes from here. Will he keep the mask on and retain the dark gimmick or will he revert back to his dashing ways? We won’t have to wait too much longer to find out.
5. Will Edge Get Involved in the World Title Match?
Physically, we know that Edge will not risk further injury. Edge will not take any bumps whatsoever, that much is certain. If Edge does get involved in the Ladder match, I could see him cause some kind of distraction to help his best buddy win.
I cannot really see Edge pushing the ladder over and knocking Del Rio off of it since it would pretty much be a heel move (then again, Edge has always walked that fine line).
There would also be no benefit in Edge costing Christian the title since the Rated R Superstar is done as an in-ring competitor. If Brodus Clay is involved, even though the split between Del Rio and Clay was implied on Raw, I do not see Edge cancelling out Del Rio’s monster lackey.
I do not expect Edge to get involved in the match, but if Christian does win the World Title, then I can easily see Edge come down, congratulate and celebrate with his life-long best friend.
4. Will Randy Orton Punt CM Punk out of WWE?
Reports have surfaced that Punk’s contract is coming to its end and he may not have an intention to re-sign with the company.
Well, I do not know if the reports are true or not, but if they are then the outcome of the Last Man Standing match suddenly becomes very obvious. I would expect the same treatment for Punk that Batista received on his last days. Sure, he’ll be featured in top matches, but it’ll mostly be to put the other talent over. Well, no big difference for Punk since he’s been doing that for the longest time anyways.
Since Raw now has three top heels, as well as the freshly acquired Swagger and McIntyre, I think Punk leaving is a very distinct possibility. If the match ends with an Orton punt to Punk’s head, well then Orton might very well have answered our question.
3. Will Alberto Del Rio Bring the World Title over to Raw?
So what happens if Del Rio actually wins the Ladder match and brings the World Title over to Raw? How long would SmackDown be left without a champion?
It’s a very intriguing concept and not too far out there. While most believe there is no chance Christian does not win, WWE still has way more invested in Alberto Del Rio.
Even though it has never lasted too long, two world champions on Raw has happened before and there is a very good chance that it can happen again. But would they really have both world champions on the same show as heels? That’s not as likely to happen.
Would Morrison or Cena win the WWE Title and then jump brands? Would the Miz find someway to go to SmackDown and take the title with him? How about a World Title Unification match?
There are many possibilities if Del Rio does win the World Title. The question is: will it happen?
2. Will John Morrison Break Through the Glass Ceiling?
So many people believe Morrison is still in the dog house. Huh? Well, if being in the WWE Title match at a PPV is considered a punishment, I think many more Superstars stuck in a rut will go out of their way to get punished.
Now, many more people believe that Morrison will finally break through and win the WWE Title. The opportunity is there and the gimmick match was made for WWE’s Spider-Man. Certainly the man’s time is now right?
I just don’t see it happening yet. There are too many things going against the man. Namely, the recent feud with R-Truth. I still believe Truth will find a way to intervene in the match and find a way to cost Morrison the title.
So if Miz retains (like I expect him to), does he continue to feud with Cena or Morrison? I believe Cena, since Morrison will most likely be busy with Truth. I believe it’ll be a slow build for Morrison, and hopefully he’ll be WWE Champion by summer’s end.
1. Will Christian Finally Win the Big One?
Christian will never have a better opportunity to be a World Champion in WWE than this Sunday at Extreme Rules. Most of the IWC have also already given him the title and declared him the winner.
Well, they forgot one little detail: Alberto Del Rio. The man WWE has heavily invested in. Many people just will not believe that Del Rio will bring the title over to Raw and in the process leave SmackDown without a champion.
While it is a reasonable argument, I don’t believe it’s that simple. Especially not for the company that loves to swerve its fans on a consistent basis.
As far as Christian goes, the same excuses have been used by the IWC for a while: Vince just doesn’t view Christian as champion material; Vince will never forgive Christian for going to TNA; and so on. So then, IWC, why is it any different now? I for one have never believed in any of those excuses.
I will say this though: for Christian, it’s now or never. If he doesn’t win the World Title this Sunday, he most likely never will.