The Piledriver Report 5.02.14: An Extreme Preview
Posted by Ronny Sarnecky on 05.02.2014
With the WWE’s second “pay per view” airing this Sunday, Ronny Sarnecky takes a look at the 2014 Extreme Rules telecast in this issue of “The Piledriver Report.”
On May 4th, the WWE presents their latest pay per view "Extreme Rules" from the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, NJ. There are eight matches on the card thus far, which is headlined by Daniel Bryan defending the WWE title against Kane. Here are my predictions.
In the pre-game show, the WWE is presenting a "WEE-L-C" match between El Torito and newly turned heel Hornswoggle. I have never been a fan of Hornswoggle, which makes sense because I'm not a 6 yrs old child. However, I'm actually looking forward to this match. Whether the two minis work a serious wrestling match or a 1970s comedy midget match is yet to be seen. Even though the old school midget matches were entertaining, and provided comic relief, I'm hoping to see a regular match. I'm not expecting a five star classic, but I really want to see what they can do in the ring against each other. When it comes to picking a winner in this, I'm going to go with the face in the match. Why? It's the pre-show match, and I just can't see a heel mini getting the win.
WINNER: El Torito
Out of the three wrestlers in this match, I can't help but see two stars and one after thought. I like the way the WWE has built up this match. There's the original Paul Heyman guy, the new Paul Heyman guy, and the person who was left for Paul Heyman. Rob Van Dam is a star. He's main evented pay per views, and held the WWE World title. RVD is probably the biggest name in the match, so I don't see him doing the job. Cesaro is quickly becoming a main event player. That leaves Jack Swagger on the outside looking in. The question is who will score the pin on Swagger. I could easily see Rob Van Dam getting the victory. However, I am going to go with Cesaro. I think he has a ton of momentum on his side right now. With Paul Heyman as his manager, Cesaro is making a quick move into the main event scene. Would I be surprised if RVD won instead? No, I wouldn't. Rob Van Dam just returned to the WWE, and the fans love him. That being said, I'm going to stick with the "King of Swing."
WWE newcomer and former NXT developmental wrestler Alexander Rusev takes on the tag team of R-Truth and Xavier Woods in a handicapped match. Since debuting, Rusev hasn't done much yet. The WWE has brought him along slowly. Besides an appearance in this year's Royal Rumble, Aleander Rusev's most high profile action has been destroying Xavier Woods and R-Truth. This Sunday should be no different. The WWE seems to have plans for Rusev. I can't say the same for Woods and Truth. For the second match in a row, I'm going to go with the wrestler that has the greater upside potential.
Winner: Alexander Rusev
Less than a month ago, NXT Divas champion Paige became a dual champion by defeating the WWE Divas champion AJ Lee. AJ Lee set a record for longest title by a WWE Diva recently. Paige just won the title after that historic reign. Combine her shocking title win, the fact that she was the first dual champion in the company's history, as well as winning the title in her first WWE match, and I can't see Paige being a transitional champion. I especially don't see her losing to Jimmy Snuka's baby girl. After all, Tamina has been mostly working as AJ Lee's muscle, instead of building up a resume that shows she is worthy of competing for the title. I think Paige will win her first WWE pay per view match by successfully defending her title.
If you are a fan of Big E, I have some bad news for you. Big E has held the Intercontinental championship for a few months. His title reign has been pretty ho-hum. For someone holding the WWE's number two championship, you would think the Big E would be a bigger star. While I type this, I can't even recall a major feud that Big E has participate in as champion. With the WWE and World Heavyweight championship titles merging together, there should be greater emphasis placed on the Intercontinental title. Will it ever get back to the prestigious days of when the likes of Tito Santana, Greg Valentine, Randy Savage, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, or The Rock held the belt? That remains to be seen. However, if the first four months post World Heavyweight title are any indication, the glory days of the IC title are long gone. Can there be a resurgence? Sure, but I don't think Big E is the man to lead the new era of Intercontinental champions. Right now, Wade Barrett seems to be in the middle of his own resurgence. The "Bad News" gimmick has gotten over pretty well. Combine his renewed push with his size and work rate that the WWE likes, and you can see them giving him the opportunity to lead the Intercontinental title into this new generation. For that reason, I will predict a new champion.
Winner: Bad News Barrett
Bray Wyatt is a tough character for me. I love his promos and psychology. I think that outside of the ring, the Bray Wyatt character is awesome. I think from a character development standpoint, Bray Wyatt could be this generation's version of the Undertaker. However, the only reason I am not fully behind him yet is because I am not sold on his in ring work. Don't get me wrong, he has participated in some unbelievable matches against the likes of The Shield, John Cena, and Daniel Bryan. With that in mind, I would like to see him go into the ring against weaker workers than The Shield, John Cena, and Daniel Bryan. I want to see if Bray Wyatt can carry a match against lesser competition. If I see that he can, then I will be completely on the Wyatt bandwagon. As far as John Cena, what can you say about him that hasn't been said. I've got something. For the first time in a long time, it feels like Cena has been pushed down a couple of rungs on the WWE hierarchy. You can argue that at WrestleMania XXX, the three main matches were Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan, Bryan vs. Batista vs. Randy Orton, and the Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar as the top matches, with John Cena vs. Bray coming in fourth on the marquee. Since WrestleMania XXX, Daniel Bryan has been pushed as the top babyface thus far. This is surprising, because even when CM Punk had his lengthy title reign, John Cena was always given equal and many times greater billing then the champ. Since John Cena seems to be slightly lower on the card, I figured that a WrestleMania loss to Bray Wyatt would have done wonders for Wyatt's young career. Instead, John Cena got the victory. For the second month in a row, I feel the same way. Unfortunately, I think we will see the same results.
Winner: John Cena
Ever since the WWE put the trio of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns together, the fans have been treated to some of the best wrestling action in the industry. Whether it was in six man action with the Wyatts or some combination that featured the likes of Daniel Bryan and John Cena, each contest was a near match of the night on every show. Over the course of the last few months, rumors ran rampant of a Shield breakup. Instead, the entire group turned face. Their first major program on the face side is against WWE main eventers Batista, Randy Orton, and Triple H. It's an Evolution reunion against the future of the business. The WWE has protected The Shield during their run in the company. That booking allowed them to shoot up the ranks, and quickly become major players. Since they recently turned face, the safe bet would be that The Shield wins the match. However, I'm going to go against the grain and predict that Evolution wins. After Ric Flair appeared on RAW, I found myself questioning why he was even there. His appearance felt very minor. This leads me to think that bigger things are coming, aka Flair interfering on Evolution's behalf to cost The Shield the match. However, if this match goes on last, I think The Shield wins. Even though I am kind of hedging my bets, I'll stick with my gut feeling.
Over the years, the May pay per view would feature a plethora of WrestleMania rematches. If the WWE title changed hands at WrestleMania, it was pretty much guaranteed that there would be a WWE championship rematch at the pay per view. This year, you could have had Daniel Bryan face Randy Orton, Batista, or both at Extreme Rules. Instead, we get Daniel Bryan vs. Kane. I like this as Bryan's first pay per view match following his WrestleMania title victory. I think the days of Kane as the WWE champion are long gone. This is a nice program to give Bryan a few wins under his belt as his starts his first true championship run with the title. While I don't like the Corporate Kane gimmick, I have liked the build-up to this match. That's pretty amazing when you think about it, because the WWE really only had two segments to devout to the match since Bryan won the belt. I think last week's beat down did a lot to make people forget about Glen Jacobs Corporate Kane character, and remind them that Kane is a monster. This week's angle, showed that Bryan had some fight in him despite the beast Kane. So far, this is NOT a Rey Mysterio title reign. With that being said, I see the reign continuing.