This year Extreme Rules differs from its predecessors in more way than one. It’s the first show to be dubbed as a “Special Event” over the term “pay-per-view”, which has been in use for 30 years in a move to fit in with the WWE Network. The show is traditionally used as a way to put an end to rivalries on the back end of WrestleMania whereas this time around the WWE has promoted a heap of fresh matches following the most watched WrestleMania in history. There is only one rematch from last month’s event in the middle of a card built around the newer faces taking on the old school players.
Daniel Bryan’s championship reign looks to have been given the CM Punk treatment on the event card. His first title defence is set to be overshadowed by the clash between Evolution and The Shield in the main event, bearing resemblance to when CM Punk rarely defended his title on the last match of the show unless it was against the likes of John Cena and The Rock. This time around the move can be justified as the six-man tag match is much anticipated and a rare opportunity for two supergroups to go at it in front of an atmospheric New Jersey faithful.
Bryan will most likely use this match as a way to solidify his new reign against a renewed masked Kane, although it’s unlikely Kane will lose cleanly after such a reform. A controversial finish is most likely to continue their rivalry into the summer before the likes of Brock Lesnar or Cesaro feast their eyes on the championship at SummerSlam.
The Shield vs Evolution – who will perish?
Evolution and The Shield are the two most impactful factions in post ‘Attitude’ era wrestling. Both stables created a bad reputation for their villainous acts and were loved to be hated by two generations of fans. Evolution were the more traditional cocky bad guys, gloating their success and riches while cowering away from confrontation. The Shield however portrayed an anti-establishment message, dressing in plain black clothing and never backed away from a fight.
The groups’ personas are polar opposites but one thing for sure is that they both never fail to steal the show and the audience are in for a treat on Sunday night. All three members of Evolution failed to win at WrestleMania while The Shield demolished their opposition. For this reason the veterans won’t allow leaving another show as losers and will prevail over the youngsters to set up the rumoured match between Triple H and Roman Reigns at SummerSlam.
Wyatt could have the world in his hands
Bray Wyatt’s haunting choir segment on Raw stirred social media into a frenzy with an abundance of posts stating how creepy Wyatt and his following were during the chorus of “He’s got the whole world in his hands”. John Cena also showed a more cryptic side when he portrayed his disappointment and confusions at the fans for not supporting him against the “Eater of the worlds.” Wyatt needs the win here to fully back his outrageous claims and for the fans to fully believe that he is the future prime antagonist in the company. A win against Cena here will cancel out his loss last month and will send Wyatt right to the top of the company.
Cesaro vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Jack Swagger is another opportunity for a rising star to continue his momentum following a strong WrestleMania. Cesaro has been right in the limelight after his Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal win and has been been given the infamous Paul Heyman as a mouthpiece, which will only help the powerhouse further his integrity. RVD is a former WWE Champion and a multi-time ECW Champion, while Jack Swagger is a former World Champion so a win here for Cesaro is a fantastic opportunity to take his positioning up a notch into the upper card heading into the summer.
There could be a title change as Wade Barrett prepares to take the Intercontinental Championship away from Big E. Barrett has really found himself again following two years in purgatory, the “Bad News” gimmick has gained popularity with not only the fans but Vince McMahon himself. The chairman has been reported to be impressed Barrett’s efforts and it looks like the Englishman will be rewarded with a turn at holding the prestigious gold following his triumph in the number one contenders tournament.
A turning point for the WWE
The five main matches of the night have all been promoted heavily through strong story-lines and journeys as compared with previous stages following WrestleMania that have been viewed as transition periods. The WWE have done a fantastic job at endorsing the newer and rising talent in the last year and this is a fantastic opportunity for the superstars to affirm their place as stronghold guardians in the company. Whether they win or lose, the new generation will shine and will put on a show that will be remembered as a significant point in the history of the WWE.