Welcome back to The Diagnosis. This week I’ll be taking a look at the fallout from this past Sunday’s Extreme Rules PPV. This won’t be a review of the show but a look forward for the Superstars involved in matches at the PPV. I’ll go down the card until we reach the main event. Sound good? Let’s get started.
Chris Jericho defeated Fandango in a standard one-on-one match. Jericho got his win back from WrestleMania, which I think a lot of people expected. The trouble with predicting Jericho’s future is I don’t know what his schedule is going forward. I’d expect one more match with Fandango at Payback then I’m not sure what else. I’d love to see him feud with Dean Ambrose over the United States Championship. That would be a lot of fun and that’s what Jericho does now. He works with and helps get over the younger talent.
From what happened on RAW and based on the SmackDown spoilers it would seem as if he’s going to be feuding with Wade Barrett over the Intercontinental Championship. I don’t know if they’ll skip the rubber match with Jericho or incorporate Y2J into it. If they go ahead with the feud with Barrett I could see Fandango turning babyface. The fans seem to like him despite WWE’s best efforts and Summer Rae is freakin’ hot! That alone makes him a fan favorite because when Fandango wrestles we know it is Summer Time!
Next on the card, Dean Ambrose beat Kofi Kingston for the United States Championship. I think even Stevie Wonder saw that coming. I said in the PPV preview that this show told you who WWE was highest on in The Shield, it is Ambrose. He got the singles title match while the others were in a tag team match. Ambrose is a unique guy based on his facial expressions and verbal skills. This is only the tip of the iceberg for him. I predicted he’d be a World Champion by the end of 2013. I think it’s still a possibility.
Kofi is what Kofi is. He’s a midcard babyface that’ll stick around a secondary title. To expect anything more of him would be a pointless expectation.
Sheamus beat Mark Henry in a Strap Match. I was surprised by the outcome. I thought Henry was going to win since he’s been unstoppable upon his return. I thought maybe he would be Cena’s next contender after Ryback. He could still be but that would make the loss even more head scratching.
Sheamus has just kind of been there since The Big Show defeated him for the World Heavyweight Championship at Hell in a Cell. The fans like him but I like him more as a bully heel. I think that suits his wrestling style better. Plus, if you ever noticed he’s kind of a jerk.
Alberto Del Rio beat Jack Swagger in an I Quit Match. I really hope this is the last time I have to see these two wrestle. Their matches on free TV have been far superior then their matches on PPV. This feud just hasn’t clicked. Of course, this match came about after Dolph Ziggler suffered a concussion and couldn’t defend his World Heavyweight Championship. Alberto Del Rio is obviously going to be facing Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship in the future. I think they’ll save the match for Payback just to play it safe with Ziggler. I don’t think Del Rio will win the title back so it will be interesting to see where he winds up after that. He wouldn’t be the worst guy they could have Curtis Axel work with. If they want Axel to get over and be taken seriously he’ll need more than Paul Heyman and a feud where he’s defeats a former World Champion would be good for him.
As for Jack Swagger, he’s done. He’s going to go back to what he was doing before Elimination Chamber, losing and losing all the time. The fans just didn’t care for his new gimmick and that arrest for marijuana possession didn’t help him either. They’re going to have to repackage him again. He needs a face turn. He needs to get rid of Zeb Colter and be a real American. A new Kurt Angle with a touch of Hulk Hogan. I think that would be much better for him than screaming “We the people” all the time. A face turn is looked at as a character reset and he needs one. It would get the fans looking at him in a different light and we know how thin WWE is on the babyface side. If that doesn’t happen, he’ll just be the heel that loses to the bigger name babyfaces each week.
Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins took the Tag Team Championships from Team Hell No in a Tornado Match. I think the easy part here is talking about The Shield. They’ll be the Tag Champs for the foreseeable future kicking the crap out of whatever ham and eggers stuck in front of them. This can almost be seen as a demotion for them. I know it’s not but think about it. They went from having matches with Kane, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Randy Orton, John Cena and The Big Show to facing The Usos. It doesn’t add up. That’s why I wish WWE’s Tag Team Division was stronger. If this was 2001 facing teams like the Dudleys, Hardys and Edge & Christian wouldn’t been seen as a demotion.
The interesting thing is what is going to happen to Team Hell No. Based on what I saw on RAW it would seem as if Daniel Bryan is going to turn heel. I hope that is not the case. He would work so much better as the underdog, fighting babyface. I could see Kane snapping on Bryan after he gets pinned again in their title rematch with Rollins and Reigns. That could be Bryan’s first feud as a babyface and then he can begin to climb the ladder and be an eventual contender for Dolph Ziggler. How awesome would that be? As for Kane, heel or babyface I think his role will be working with and helping to establish the younger guys. Kane is a reliable veteran and that’s what guys in their 40s should be doing.
Randy Orton pinned The Big Show in an Extreme Rules Match. Orton got his revenge on Big Show, so what is next for The Viper? I said in the preview that if he won that means they were going to push him as a challenger for Ziggler. We got teased with one PPV match between the two at Night of Champions but I’d love to see a PPV series between the two going at least Money in the Bank and SummerSlam. The rumor I read this week is that Sheamus vs. Orton is going to be one of the feature matches at SummerSlam. That would mean one is turning and as I said earlier I hope it’s Sheamus. Orton has never been a good wrestler as a heel but he can put on some classics as a babyface.
I think The Big Show is going to be in Kane’s category where he is the reliable veteran working with the younger guys. He was an important role in the company going forward because of his size and resume any young guy that beats him gets an instant boost.
The Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship between John Cena and Ryback ended in a draw. I know a lot of people that were annoyed at the non-finish in this match. It didn’t bother me. WWE has done draw finishes in Last Man Standing Matches before. They did it in 2004 at the Royal Rumble in a match between Shawn Michaels and Triple H and then again on RAW in 2009 when Randy Orton faced Triple H. The alternative was John Cena running through Ryback. I like the finish they went with better. At some point Ryback can’t keep losing PPV matches. It was announced on RAW that these two will face again in an Ambulance Match at Payback. I hate that stipulation but it should be better that a regular wrestling match with these two. I can’t see Cena losing the title at Payback. This is what WWE does, they make you think Cena is beatable only to win and look like the conquering hero which causes the fans to not give a crap. If/when Cena retains he’s really out of fresh opponents. What top name guy hasn’t he feuded with? What midcard heel is ready to step up and face Cena? I’d love to say Antonio Cesaro but he’s been booked so poorly I doubt he’ll be getting a PPV title match in July.
As for Ryback, it looks like WWE will stick with the heel turn but who is he going to face? Orton and Sheamus would be likely guys but it seems as if they’ll be tied up with each other. Ryback was better as a babyface. I think there was more potential for him there but Cena is the golden boy and Cena needed a new monster to beat so hence the turn.
In the Main Event, Brock Lesnar defeated Triple H in a Steel Cage Match. With the win, Lesnar won the feud, which he should have. He needed Heyman and a sledgehammer to do it but you knew Hunter was going to go out looking strong. On RAW, Paul Heyman said that Lesnar met all of his contractual obligations to WWE which means we won’t be seeing him for a while. I fully expect him to be on the SummerSlam card but against whom? I don’t know. If he only has three matches a year one of them will end of being The Rock at WrestleMania if The Great One is healthy and wants to do it. I think we’ll see a match with CM Punk but I think that’ll probably happen at next year’s Extreme Rules. I don’t think WWE should or will turn Punk upon his return. So who does that leave? I’d have it be Daniel Bryan. I think their styles would mesh perfectly together and the match would tell the story of David vs. Goliath. It sells itself. A win over Lesnar would do wonders for Bryan and make him a great challenger for Ziggler in the fall. You have to be smart about how you use Lesnar. When he loses to guys like Cena and Triple H it means nothing. These guys are multiple time World Champions and future Hall of Famers. Lesnar should be beating these guys this way when it comes time for him to put someone like Bryan over, it really means something.
Let’s move onto Triple H. He had his first match on RAW in three years this week when he faced Curtis Axel. The match abruptly ended when Hunter had trouble standing in what is rumored to be effects of a concussion from the match with Lesnar. Triple H doesn’t actually have a concussion, it’s the story they’re going with. I read that this is going to be the big story dominating WWE in the coming months with a thousand and one McMahons coming to TV to try and convince Hunter he can’t go anymore. I wouldn’t be surprised if he winds up with a brief title run because what else would the payoff be? I don’t mind Triple H and I like him wrestling once or twice a year at the big events but at this point in his career he doesn’t need to be the focal point of the main story in WWE especially at a time when they are struggling so hard to get new talent over. They’ve seemingly botched everyone they have tried to build expect The Shield.
That’s it from me. What do you guys think? Do you think I’m on the ball or do you think there’s something else in these Superstars’ future? Let me know in the comments below.
(That’s what she said.)
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