After the best WrestleMania of all-time, or at least the best ending to a WrestleMania of all-time, we have an Extreme Rules pay-per-view to look forward to, or rather, to not look forward to, based on the card.
Your average Raw or Smackdown has more drama and better matches than this Extreme Rules, the first show of the Seth Rollins headliner era.
Rollins defends the WWE title against Randy Orton in a match that would be compelling enough on its own, if only you can avoid the instinct to switch the channel before you get to the main event.
There literally isn’t a single match on the undercard that you either haven’t already seen (John Cena vs. Rusev) or couldn’t see on the mid-card at a house show near you (Roman Reigns vs. Big Show).
The Dolph Ziggler-Sheamus and Dean Ambrose-Luke Harper matches would open your local house show in most towns.
It’s quite the comedown after a thrilling WrestleMania, which ended with Rollins cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase to set up a three-way match with Reigns and Brock Lesnar, then stealing the show and the title with a Curb Stomp on Reigns that gave him the 1-2-3.
Now with the Curb Stomp banned, or not banned, whatever, Rollins is set to face Orton, who actually defeated Rollins on the undercard at ‘Mania in a thriller that ended with Orton reversing an attempted Curb Stomp into one of the more athletic RKOs we’ve seen.
With the move by WWE to change Rollins’ finished, and the stipulation in the cage match set for Sunday night banning the use of the RKO for the night, it’s guaranteed that we won’t see a reprise of that closing sequence at Extreme Rules.
The move to ban the RKO for the night is just plain dumb, to put it bluntly. Fans want to see their favorites use their finishers. If you go to a Snoop Dogg concert, you expect to hear him rap “Gin and Juice,” you know? Randy Orton, he does the RKO. That’s what you want to see for your hard-earned.
Expect the RKO to still play a role, of course. Maybe the script calls for him to get DQ’d for using it on the sly and getting caught, or using it after a ref bump to get a dramatic near-fall that gives Rollins a rub for kicking out.
Either of those scenarios, we can approve. Any match call that doesn’t have the RKO, the threat of the RKO, the idea of RKO, whatever, playing a role in some way, shape or form, by definition knocks this match down at least a peg, maybe more.
Rollins will win, though with talk that WWE is going to a triple-threat main event at Payback, we can expect Reigns to play some role in the finish, so you have to wonder how that part of things will play out.
Cena will beat Rusev, yawn. And whoever wins the other matches, it doesn’t matter. None of those story arcs have any air left under them, which is good news for WWE fans.
– Preview by Chris Graham