On the last Monday Night RAW before Extreme Rules, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins got a taste of what he wouldn’t experience at the pay-per-view.
With Randy Orton’s signature RKO banned in the Steel Cage Match for the World Title, the Viper dished out as many RKOs as he could on Monday, ultimately hitting a big one on Rollins to close the show.
But doing that at Extreme Rules would cost him the match. Will Rollins have the last laugh on Sunday?
Meanwhile, Kane was assigned the “Guardian of the Gate” – in charge of opening and closing the steel cage door – in Rollins’ World Title defense. Will he turn out to be the difference maker?
WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Steel Cage Match
Seth Rollins (champion) vs Randy Orton
Joe: It’s hard to seriously pull for an Orton victory here, one month into the Rollins Era. Despite the drabness of their deflated feud, there’s no doubt their match will be good. And there’s no doubt people will be pulling for Rollins to lose, but it just isn’t going down like that.
It’s funny, because this should be a hot series – but conclusions being foregone and the WWE not doing enough to feed the fire again is hurting it. Life goes on. You’ll see an RKO, but you won’t see a Curb Stomp. But life goes on.
Nissi: It is too early to have Seth Rollins lose the WWE World Heavyweight Title. His reign is just getting started, and WWE likely wants to keep his momentum going up rather than crown the fully-established Randy Orton once more.
With Kane holding the role of “Guardian of the Gate” and with plenty of heat between the champion and The Authority’s muscle, the expectation is that the match would end with some sort of interference or Orton losing the bout because of using the RKO.
For the rest of the card, Joe and Nissi sorted the matches into 3 categories, depending on how they saw the build-up to each match and how they expect each would be: The Good, The Bad, and The Extreme!
Joe: First of all, the tag title match. Like I’ve been saying in my columns for the past few weeks, the New Day turning heel is money, and I’m glad a lot of smarks are coming around to that. The New Day turning heel and K-Swiss turning face by association feels like things falling into their proper place.
The Divas title match between Nikki Bella and Naomi barely makes it on here, but mostly for what will come out of it. I’ll be keeping an eye on that.
Nissi: First, Dean Ambrose would get a win. He has been unable to get a win as a singles star on a pay-per-view card. “The Lunatic Fringe” may not be as high on the WWE totem pole as Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, but he is certainly above Luke Harper.
Second, the famously vocal Chicago crowd’s treatment of The New Day will be the highlight of the match against Tyson Kidd and Cesaro.
Joe: The Intercontinental Championship match, only for Daniel Bryan’s status. We don’t even know if it’s still happening. That, and the “Kiss Me Arse” match, of course. Need I say more?
Nissi: The “Kiss Me Arse” match is of bad taste. At Survivor Series 2014, Dolph Ziggler was one of the top faces in the company. A few months later, there is a legitimate chance that he will be forced to kiss Sheamus’ butt live on the WWE Network.
WWE has built up Sheamus as a destroyer since he returned from injury. Expect this to be just one of Sheamus’ many conquests. He is heading for world title contention by steamrolling one underdog/babyface at a time.
Joe: Pretty much all the matches with actual “extreme” stipulations. Not trying to answer terribly, but think about it: all these matches have a chance of guys getting busted the hard way. I expect a street fight in Chicago to be more brutal than in anywhere else (except maybe New York).
I expect Roman Reigns and the Big Show to whack each other in order to legitimize their match. I expect Rusev and Cena to stiff each other in the Russian Chain match, just so Rusev looks good in losing, but I still would really like a Rusev win
Nissi: Even if the “Extreme Rules” pay-per-view could have not fully lived up to its true nature this year, I believe that it is up to the Chicago Street Fight between Dean Ambrose and Luke Harper, and the Russian Chain Match between John Cena and Rusev to provide the kind of savagery that the PPV is famous for.
So, who will win?
- Pre-show – WWE Tag Team Championship: Joe and Nissi pick Tyson Kidd and Cesaro to retain vs New Day
- Intercontinental Championship: Joe picks Bad News Barrett to regain the title (if the match actually happens); Nissi picks Daniel Bryan to retain
- United States Championship – Russian Chain Match: Joe picks John Cena to retain; Nissi picks Rusev to regain the title
- Divas Championship: Joe picks Nikki Bella to retain; Nissi picks Naomi to win the title
- Last Man Standing Match: Joe and Nissi pick Roman Reigns to win vs The Big Show
- “Kiss Me Arse” Match: Joe and Nissi pick Sheamus to win vs Dolph Ziggler
- Chicago Street Fight Match: Joe and Nissi pick Dean Ambrose to win vs Luke Harper
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship main event: Joe and Nissi pick Seth Rollins to retain vs Randy Orton
Meanwhile, here’s how Rappler’s resident wrestling writers fared in the WrestleMania 31 predictions last month: Joe got 4 out of 9 picks correctly, while both Nissi and fellow writer Michael Bueza got 3 predictions right. – Rappler.com
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