The John Report: WWE Extreme Rules Preview

John: Welcome to the WWE Extreme Rules Preview…starring Brock Lesnar. Is that right? I’m not sure, but we’re here to preview Sunday’s WWE PPV extravaganza. There are six announced matches on the PPV portion on the show with a pre-show match also announced. I think the PPV after WrestleMania is usually pretty good. Because of the top two matches on this card, I’m more excited about it than I usually would be. Joining me for the preview are TJR’s resident Smackdown reviewer Andrew Johnson and our former Smackdown writer who is now a retro PPV reviewing kind of guy, Christian Michael. Let’s roll.

Pre-Show US Title Match: Santino vs. The Miz

Andrew: A former WWE Champion and WrestleMania main-eventer is battling for a secondary (actually it’s even less than secondary) championship against a guy whose finishing maneuver requires a green sock, on You Tube. Wow, that might be the saddest sentence I’ve read in a long time.

I thought that after Miz won Team Johnny the match at WrestleMania he would get some sort of reward for his efforts, but he’s fallen even farther off the map than he was before. At this point I’m not even sure winning the US title will help him. But, it would at least remind him of 2010 when he was the US champion, and his career prospects didn’t look so shitty. Maybe that’s what he needs. Embrace mediocrity!

Winner: The Miz

Christian: I like the idea of WWE streaming a pre-show match on Facebook and YouTube before the event. Santino is a comedy character that shouldn’t be holding a singles title. Since WWE has no idea how to book Zack Ryder they should just make them a permanent tag team. The Miz really, really needs to get his career back on track. It’s a shame to see how far he’s fallen because he worked so hard to become a good wrestler. I want Miz to win and start building back to a top guy.

Predicted Winner and NEW United States Champion – The Miz

John: There’s no build to the match and it’s on Youtube, Facebook and for free. I think it’s a good match to pop the crowd before the PPV starts because Santino’s going to get a strong reaction like he always does. The US Title has become just another piece of “gold” that doesn’t really mean a whole lot in terms of being an important title. I don’t see a title switch happening here. I’ll go with Santino retaining in some kind of comedy match with a fluke ending for the finish. I get the sense that it will be a feel good match to get the crowd excited right off the bat.

Winner: Santino

Who do you think is going to win? Vote in the poll HERE.

Intercontinental Title: Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes

Andrew: Now that we’re past the Big-Show-Feel-Good-A-Thon it’s time to get things back on track, and by that I mean Cody Rhodes with a title. Since there is no stipulation for this match yet, I’d like to propose one of my own: steel chairs wrapped with barbwire sharks. MAKE IT HAPPEN, WWE.

Winner: Cody Rhodes

Christian: I don’t want to see Cody Rhodes win this match. I want this feud to be over and Cody move onto something more important. Show should win and become a dominant Intercontinental Champion and then a young up and coming star should beat him and that would put that guy over big. We don’t know the stipulation yet and I doubt it’ll be anything too exciting. Just hope they keep this match short.

Predicted Winner and STILL Intercontinental Champion – Big Show

John: There’s two ways to go about this: 1) They can keep the IC Title on Big Show for a bit longer with the idea that Cody’s long reign as IC Champion helped him, so he’s ready to move up the ladder so to speak. 2) Since Big Show’s not really the kind of IC Champ we’re used to seeing, they could put it back on Cody so he can continue his awesome run as the IC Champ. My personal belief is that Cody’s outgrown the IC Title, so they might as well keep it on Big Show until they find somebody else for him to drop it to. Rhodes is my favorite to win the Money in the Bank match in July and win the World Title at some point in 2012. This feud will end here with another win for Big Show.

Winner: Big Show

Who do you think is going to win? Vote in the poll HERE.

Divas Title: Nikki Bella vs. Beth Phoenix

Andrew: I’m not really sure why they took it off Beth in the first place, but if the dirt-sheets are accurate, than they are planning for Kharma to return and have her own culling of the Bellas from the world of wrestling. If that’s the case, I guess I’ll stick with Bella #2 (or is she #1? I forget these things.) Winner: Nikki Bella

Christian: If this doesn’t lead to Kharma coming back then I don’t care. Take the Bella to win and then Kharma to eat her afterwards.

Predicted Winner and STILL Divas Champion- Nikki Bella

John: Nikki won on Raw because Beth hurt her ankle, at least in storyline form. That means Beth will walk into this match as the hobbled former champion. That’s almost babyface like. She’s up against a heel too. Hopefully she doesn’t get cheered because that would be a bad idea. Beth needs to stay heel. I’m with all those that think Nikki will retain here and then drop the title on Raw to the returning Kharma as we say goodbye to the Bella Twins. And no, I won’t miss them if they do end up leaving.

Winner: Nikki Bella

Who do you think is going to win? Vote in the poll HERE.

Falls Count Anywhere: Randy Orton vs. Kane

Andrew: This feud has gone from “You made me feel feelings, so I hate you” to “Watch me beat up your dad”. Neither of these plots are terribly interesting, but they are a fantastic example of how stupid pro-wrestling is capable of being. In fact, why stop with living relatives? Can’t Kane find the grave of Bob Orton Sr. and desecrate it with his zingers? (“Hey Bob Sr., no reason to be so stiff” “Hey Randy, guess who’s coming to dinner!” “Hey Randy, grandpa’s got worms” other equally stupid lines). Orton himself could go after the remains of Katie Vick, and after hours of searching he can conclude that all that remains of her body is currently resting on the shaft of Triple H’s penis.

Winner: Randy Orton

Christian: Kane and Randy Orton have good brawls but they have terrible wrestling matches. This should be better than their match at WrestleMania. I honestly don’t care about this feud. Orton had such an awesome 2011, please put him in there with someone that can help him recapture that in 2012. DOLPH ZIGGLER!!!! Oh wait, Vince thinks it’s a good idea for him to lose to a leprechaun-osaur. Orton wins in what could be a fun match.

Predicted Winner- Randy Orton

John: Kane won at WrestleMania. Orton got his win back in a long match on Smackdown. This is the third match in their series that few people wanted. The fact that Monday’s angle involved the Paul Bearer angle that saw Orton put him in a freezer only for Kane to save him and then put him back in the freezer does not make me want to see another match between them. Kane just turned 45. Orton is 32 and just this past week celebrated 10 years in WWE. He’s still a huge part of WWE’s future. They need to give him wins to build him up for a potential summer showdown with Brock Lesnar, as rumored. I’d expect a decisive Orton win here. It will likely end up with the pinfall happening outside the ring too. Your guess is as good as mine for where in the building that may be. The freezer? Ohhhhhh yesssssss. (Oh no!)

Winner: Randy Orton

Who do you think is going to win? Vote in the poll HERE.

World Title 2/3 Falls: Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan

Andrew: Being one of those people that are still bitter over the whole WrestleMania fiasco, I’m actually looking forward to this match. The realistic fan in me sees Sheamus as a guy that was just doing his job at WrestleMania. He didn’t make the decision to end the match after an 18 second middle finger to the audience. He was just doing what he was told. But, the mark in me wants him to break his ankle the next time he goes for a Brogue Kick and then fall into the sarlacc pit. I guess this is how John Cena haters feel.

I anticipate the first fall to be almost exactly like the WrestleMania match, because it’s so f**king obvious that it will be. I also fully expect Sheamus to win this thing 2 falls to 1. But, if there were any justice in this world, as soon as the bell rings Daniel Bryan would push a button on the ring post, direct Sheamus’ eye line down to see that he’s been standing on a giant target since he Irished his way into the ring and an anvil would fall on his ginger head, leading to two rapid fire three counts and a bunch of YES’s coming from my living room couch.

Winner: Sheamus

Christian: I can’t honestly think of anything that Sheamus has done since winning the Championship. Has anyone that’s ever won a World Title at WrestleMania made less of an impact in the month following? The fans seem to resent him for beating Bryan in 18 seconds. The 2/3 Falls stipulation is right up Bryan’s alley, but is it up Sheamus’? These two can have a good match and they should have one here. You know Chicago is going to be pro-Bryan so that will make this match very interesting. It seems that Bryan’s rematch has gotten in the way of the Sheamus/Del Rio feud they want to do.

Predicted Winner and STILL World Heavyweight Champion- Sheamus

John: Will this match go longer than 18 seconds? Yes. Will they potentially have a great match? Yes. Will Daniel Bryan regain the World Title? No. The “yes” streak ends there. There isn’t anything “extreme” about a 2/3 falls match, but I guess Extreme Rules also means “matches with stipulation” so that’s why we’re getting that stip here. Don’t be shocked if Sheamus wins one of the falls in 18 seconds just to tease the WrestleMania finish. Of course this time if that happens it’s not the end of the match. Hopefully they get 15 minutes or more to really show us how good they can be, especially Bryan. As much as I enjoy the work of DBry, he’s yet to have that breakthrough match in WWE that really gets people talking. Part of it is the booking. Part of it is the opponents he’s had. Perhaps Sheamus is the right opponent. I’d expect Sheamus to win this two falls to one. Also don’t be surprised if Bryan’s scorned ex-girlfriend AJ costs him the final fall. It would be the right fit for the story. Sheamus will move on to a feud with Alberto Del Rio, who was officially moved to Smackdown for it. Bryan will hopefully move on to feud with Orton, which could lead to some incredible matches if they pull the trigger on it.

Winner: Sheamus

Who do you think is going to win? Vote in the poll HERE.

WWE Title Chicago Street Fight: CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho

Andrew: A lot of people claim that Chicago is the best place to have a PPV, because the fans are passionate, energetic, and smart. Two out of three of these things are true. The last isn’t, because they think the reason the Cubs are terrible has nothing to do with high errors and a terrible farm club, but is the fault of some f**king goat curse, which is the dumbest and most pathetic thing I’ve ever heard. And this is coming from a Pirates fan.

Anyway, dumb curse theories aside, Chicago is a great crowd for WWE to perform in front of, and they go absolutely banana for CM Punk no matter what he’s doing, so the energy for this match is going to probably be off the charts. I really don’t know what the differences between a Street Fight and an Extreme Rules Match are, but I’m willing to bet neither of these matches will end in or near a fountain in Grant Park.

Winner: CM Punk

Christian: With these two you’d expect an awesome build to a rematch, but I haven’t liked it at all. Jericho is the jerk heel, but do people really relate to Punk? It’s hard because most people do drink or smoke. I like Punk as a babyface but his Straight Edge lifestyle works so much better as a heel. See his feud with Jeff Hardy in 2009. I think they’ll have a better match than their WrestleMania match, which won’t be an easy feat but with the Street Fight Stipulation and Punk in his hometown these two should tear the house down.

Predicted Winner and STILL WWE Champion- CM Punk

John: This is likely going to be the match of the night in terms of quality, which it wasn’t at WrestleMania due to the Undertaker/Triple H match. Now the spotlight is on them and the pressure is there to deliver that potential five star match if they are given the opportunity in terms of time and booking. The “street fight” stipulation allows them to bring more physicality to the match in addition to their excellent technical prowess, so it will be interesting to see what they can deliver. The Chicago crowd will be VERY loud for this match. While it may not be as raucous as it was for the epic Money in the Bank 2011 PPV, it could be an environment close to that. They love their local hero CM Punk as they should. He deserves all the adulation he receives and I’ve been impressed with his tile reign for the most part.

I think we can expect a 15-20 minute match or perhaps even longer than that. If blood was allowed in WWE then Jericho would be busted open at some point, but they can tell that physical story in other ways. The finish? Punk smashes a bottle of liquor on Jericho’s head as retribution for all of the cheap attacks Jericho did against Punk in the last few weeks. Following the bottle smash, Punk will give him the GTS to wrap this feud up although if Jericho were to win and it were to lead to more matches then I wouldn’t have a problem with that. I’ve been clamoring for a series of matches between these two. The more the merrier. My gut feeling is the end of the feud is here.

Winner: CM Punk

Who do you think is going to win? Vote in the poll HERE.

Extreme Rules Match: Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena

Andrew: There are so many things I don’t like about this match. So many in fact, that I think I need to list them in a numerical order. *WARNING* If you don’t want to read a bunch of fan-boy nitpicking bullshit, than I suggest you skip the next couple of paragraphs.

1) I think I’m the only person in the WWE Universe (yuck, I suddenly feel so dirty) who wasn’t excited to see Brock Lesnar return, because unlike the majority of wrestling fans, I never really cared much for him to begin with. Don’t get me wrong, I see his value. He’s a fantastic talent and he’s one of the best heels in the business because he is a real life dick head. He’s good for business, and Vince would be stupid to turn him away.

But, he should never ever ever be cheered. Ever. Over the past year Cena talked about how The Rock abandoned the WWE and is only back for his ego and money, and while that’s true to an extent it’s still highly embellished. The Rock really didn’t need to come back as much as people said he did. For the most part he came back because he wanted to. Brock, on the other hand, is 100% here for the money, because he has nowhere else to go. If the combination of his diverticulitis, getting his bell cracked by Shane Carwin (he did, watch the fight again, he was done after the first shot and got lucky that Carwin winded himself and couldn’t defend an arm bar) and the Mexican rage of Cain Velasquez’s fists didn’t force him out of MMA, he’d probably still be doing that and getting praised more than he actually deserves in the UFC instead of the WWE.

When Brock made his return to thunderous applause I was nothing short of f**king shocked. I’m not saying it’s not a good thing that he’s here because in the long run it is, but the fact that the audience reaction didn’t go from “Yaaay” to “Hold on, isn’t that the asshole that bailed on us for the goddamn Vikings?” to “Booo, you dickhead, BOOOO” when he lifted Cena on his shoulders was baffling to me. And on Sunday, he’s going to get cheered because he’s opposite John Cena, the one guy that does his best to try and be a role model and everyone hates his guts for it. How does this make sense?

In short, Brock Lesnar doesn’t give a shit about you or the WWE, but Chicago is going to cheer him anyway because people like assholes and they still think booing John Cena for being John Cena is f**king cool.

2) If 2012 has taught us anything at all, it’s that the WWE championship hierarchy has shifted dramatically. The Tag Team titles are more than worthless, the Divas belt only matters if you have ovaries or are Harvey Wippleman, Eric Young, or Andy Kaufman, the US title is now the European title but on a different continent, the IC title is a bib for The Big Show, the World Heavyweight title is now what the IC title used to be, the WWE title is what the World title used to be, and the real WWE Championship is being John Cena.

In case this isn’t hitting home, here they are from least to most:

Tag Team Championship

US Championship

Divas Championship

Intercontinental Championship

World Heavyweight Championship

WWE Championship

John Cena

Apparently the most coveted title in the WWE at this time is beating John Cena in the main-event of a PPV, and is apparently the one thing people who haven’t wrestled in 8 years all aspire to do. Next thing you know Steve Austin is going to be in the ring with CM Punk talking about how he wants to have “one more match” against his dream opponent, and it will end with Austin asking Punk if he knows John Cena’s phone number.

3) This match has only been booked for a month and I’m sicker of it than I was after a year of Rock/Cena, because it’s basically the same thing only with more violence. How many biggest matches of your career are you going to have this year John? Just because Edge came down and bullied you into thinking something is important, that doesn’t mean it is. He’s just some overrated asshole with a messed up spine and a dumb hair-cut, drop his ass.

Look, I get why this match is happening, and I understand that it’s a good idea and will make them tons of money. I also know that a lot of people are excited for this match and can’t wait to see it happen. I’m just saying that I don’t want it to happen.

Winner: Brock Lesnar (only because I think the name “Monday Night Raw Starring Brock Lesnar” would be funny.)

Christian: I’ve liked everything Lesnar has done since his return except for the contract signing on RAW last week. That was borderline awful. It’s hard to see Cena losing two straight PPV matches but he has to. You can’t have Lesnar lose here or he loses all his momentum as this ass kicking beast they are portraying him as. This is an interesting crossroad for the Cena character. Cena could start doubting himself. He could even slowly begin to blame the fans for not supporting him. Anyway, you slice it the Cena character is in for a major change. It’s about time too. He and Vince have to realize that they need to give the people something different with him. He’s been the same guy for the past seven years. This isn’t the 80’s. Hulk Hogan never had the kind of weekly exposure Cena has and people still started to get tired of his act after WrestleMania VIII. It’s time for a change and Brock Lesnar beating the snot out of him will be the catalyst for it.

Predicted Winner- Brock Lesnar

John: I think the biggest question going into this match is this: Are they going to play that Lesnar video package one more time? Okay that’s a joke, but they played it twice on Raw this past week after originally playing it the week before. The real biggest question going into this match is what’s the finish going to be? I think we can pencil in the Lesnar. Perhaps we can write it in pen because it feels like a sure thing…or at least as much of a sure thing as there is in WWE. It’s an interesting decision because Cena’s coming off a loss against The Rock at WrestleMania, he lost to Lord Tensai on Raw a couple of weeks ago and if he loses to Lesnar he would have three major losses in the month of April. Is that a way to create sympathy for the Cena character, which is something that they’ve been trying to do since the start of the year with that “Embrace The Hate” feud he had with Kane? It might work. Cena trying to cope with losses could lead to fans feeling sorry for him.

The crowd will be a big story here too. I’d expect Lesnar to get a lot of fan support even though he’s been booked as a heel that has come out and said that he had no interest in being liked by the fans. He doesn’t care about what the fans think about him. I think most fans, like myself, are just glad that he’s back in WWE, so they’re going to cheer at the sight of him.

The “Extreme Rules” stipulation isn’t much different than the Street Fight or Falls Count Anywhere, which basically allows for weapons to be used in all cases and for brawling outside the ring. I’d expect all the finishes to be creative as well, which is another way of saying they’ll all be different. For this one, I think the finish will see Lesnar hit a F5, Cena to kick out of it and Lesnar to be shocked by it, so he hits him with another one or two F5’s before finally beating Cena. In other words, Lesnar goes over, but Cena puts up a hell of a fight before eventually losing the match. I wouldn’t be shocked if we get a rematch at the Over the Limit PPV as well. This is likely the early stages of this feud rather than the end.

Winner: Brock Lesnar

Who do you think is going to win? Vote in the poll HERE.

Final Thoughts

Christian: They could have The Great Khali and Mark Henry wrestle in a two hours iron man match and I’d still order this PPV for Lesnar’s return. It should be a very good show carried by the three big matches. I’m very interested to see Brock’s first match in about eight years. It should be a quality show all around. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Christian_973 I’ll be on there tweeting throughout the PPV.

John: I’m looking forward to this event. I’ll be recapping it live on on Sunday night starting at 8pmET.

Follow all of us on Twitter at the following places.

Andrew – @TheAEJohnson

Christian – @Christian_973

John – @johnreport

If you want to send an email, send it to me at and I’ll make sure the other guys see it too.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy Extreme Rules.

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