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Daniel Bryan faces Kane at WWE Extreme Rules 2014

WWE Extreme Rules 2014 Staff Picks

Daniel Bryan faces Kane at WWE Extreme Rules 2014On Sunday, it’s the WWE Extreme Rules 2014 special event (that’s right, no more calling them pay-per-views).  Here are the predictions for each match on the show from the Between The Ropes staff including Brian Fritz, Steve Muehlhausen, Michael Wiseman and Josh Lopez.

Pre-show WeeLC match: El Torito vs. Hornswaggle
Brian:  Vince McMahon wants to make sure there is entertainment on his shows and he thinks the two little guys scrapping is funny.  Just look at the Hall of Fame ceremony from last month when out of nowhere Hornswoggle and El Torito were going at it.  Hopefully, they keep this short and don’t do any more damage to the others that could be ringside, especially Drew McIntyre who should be in a much better position.  Just because I have to take one, I’ll pick El Torito.

Steve: So, the powers to be at WWE decided instead of a tag title match involving The Usos and Rybaxel, we get this? The fact this match is happening still boggles my mind. At least, this on the pre-show. Looks we will see mini ladders, chairs, tables, etc. Hopefully this is kept short and to the point.  Winner: El Torito

Michael:  It’s like the tagline for that really crappy ‘Aliens vs. Predator’ movie that came out in 2004 – “No matter who wins, we lose.” This HAS to be one of the illest conceived ideas in WWE history – not because you have two little people wrestling on a pay-per-view, but because you’ve billed it as a complete act of comedy. Your announcers have made fun of these two for MONTHS. Why should I care? “Midget Wrestling” has a following in the United States that you could’ve built off of, but instead… we get this.

Josh:  In the 20 years of watching professional wrestling the saying “I’ve seen it all” tends to be a understatement at times. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you get a match like this. What I like about this match is the fact that not only its a unique match, but there been somewhat of a storyline brewing with these two over the last three weeks and its played out all over Raw, SmackDown and Main Event. It’s unfortunate that their respective colleagues are not in a program with each other, but nonetheless I feel this match might surprise some people and this should be a very entertaining match.  Winner: El Torito

Cesaro vs Rob Van Dam vs. Jack Swagger

Brian: Out of the three of them, Cesaro is the one who is being pushed the most with bigger and better things likely in his future.  It almost seems too obvious for him to win here but I’ll go with Cesaro regardless and then hopefully a feud with Daniel Bryan, John Cena or someone else higher on the ladder.

Steve: The feud started with Cesaro turning on Swagger at WrestleMania 30 and continued with all three being in the Intercontinental title tournament. Like how they tie in Van Dam’s association with Paul Heyman in ECW and Cesaro with Zeb Coulter. Hopefully they add a stipulation to the match. With these three talents, the match should be good. The “King of Swing” needs to continue his momentum.  Winner: Cesaro

Michael:  I’ll tell you this much – Jack Swagger will NOT be winning here. And you can expect to see Paul E Dangerously and Zeb “Evil Mustache” Coulter scuffle. Cesaro is the likely candidate to win here, simply because WWE has been investing a lot of time and effort into getting him past this “fans like him because he’s different” phase to catapult him into super-stardom. On the other hand, I think his pairing with Heyman needs to be short lived. So I’m going with R-V-D.

Josh:  Regardless of the fact that the build to this match has been all over the place, the WWE finds themselves with a match that has the makings to steal the show. After winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and spliting from the Real Americans I thought we were going to have the match with Cesaro and Swagger, but that was not the case obviously. Rob Van Dam has been thrust into this storyline because of his association with Cesaro’s new manager Paul Heyman and the fact both Swagger and Cesaro cost RVD the chance to compete for the Intercontinental Championship. I’m looking forward to see what happens with these three superstars after this PPV is over. Do we get a confrontation with Zeb Colter and Paul Heyman??  Winner: Cesaro

Divas Championship: Paige vs. Tamina Snuka

Brian:  Another no brainer here with Paige retaining her title.  Tamina is a good opponent for her but the bigger question to me is when will AJ Lee return to try and reclaim her championship.

Steve: Paige debuted in WWE the night after Wrestlemania to defeat AJ Lee to win the championship. Lee is taking some time off and will be returning soon. Tamina won a battle royal on Main Event a few weeks back to get into this match. Don’t get why there wasn’t any buildup on last week’s Raw or Smackdown. A big test for Paige here as this is the most talented woman she has faced since Lee.  Winner: Paige to retain the Divas Championship

Michael:  Paige. It’s obvious she has superstar potential, and at such a young age, WWE has ever reason to invest time and money into making her a main-event Diva (whatever that means these days).

Josh:  Even though the random disappearance of former Divas Champion AJ Lee has put this Divas Title program in the air, I’m looking forward to seeing this match between the two second-generation Divas. Being the big fan over the years I’m really happy to see her as Divas Champion. Tamina Snuka has been in numerous one off Divas Championship matches over the years, and at this point do we really believe she will capture her first Divas Championship? This should be one of the better Divas matches in recent years of the stagnant Divas division.  Winner: Still WWE Divas Champion Paige

Intercontinental Championship : Big E vs. Bad News Barrett

Brian:  This looks like it could be a physical, smashmouth match between these two.  Just six months ago, it looked like the WWE was really behind Big E as one of the most promising newcomers in the company.  Fast forward to know and he’s been on pause with Barrett — the guy who seemed to be stuck in the abyss — is not the hot name going places.  This should be a good match with Barrett taking the gold from the champion.

Steve: “Bad News” got this match by winning a tournament to become the number one contender. The only thing I haven’t liked is the fact that after Barrett won on Raw, Big E didn’t come out and confront Barrett. Seems like WWE is giving Barrett that full fledged push and see that continuing here.  Winner: Bad News Barrett to win the Intercontinental Title

Michael:  Bad News Barrett has been on a roll in recent weeks. This new gimmick has really helped people buy into his character, and now he just needs a championship to solidify the whole ordeal. Plus, Big E has grown a bit stale in recent weeks (mostly due to a lack of TV time), so expect my favourite bare-knuckled boxer to walk away with the win.

Josh:  This is one of the matches on the main card that I’m very much looking forward to. Interesting contrast in styles between Barrett and Big E. I can admitt that I felt more than disappointed with the reign Big E has had as Intercontinental Champion because they really haven’t done much with him since winning the championship at the Raw Country show. The intrigue I’ve had in this match came from the Intercontinental Championship #1 Contenders Tournament that’s been going on Raw for the last three weeks. I’ve been a big fan of Bad News Barrett and finally he has found himself a character that works for him and people believe in it. This should be a very physical match and hope the WWE continues to add importance to the Intercontinental Championship after this PPV is over.  Winner: New Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett

Alexander Rusev vs. R-Truth and Xavier Woods

Brian:  Rusev smash!  That’s what will happen here with the Bulgarian Brute squashing both opponents in less than three minutes.  And that’s all it needs to be too as Rusev is made into a monster.

Steve: We all know the reason to see this match is for Lana, lol. Rusev is getting built up really slow here. Like the MMA style he uses in the ring to make him more legitimately tough. This will short and to the point.  Winner: Alexander Rusev

Michael:  Haven’t these three been feuding for like, a year now? Seriously. Alexander Rusev has been destroying anybody in his path, and WWE seems determined to try and do with him what never quite worked back in the Vladmir Koslov days. Rusev pins Xavier Woods for the win AND R-Truth turns his back on his NXT Rookie (plus the return of little Jimmy?).

Josh:  I’m not looking forward to this match, but I understand why they’re doing it. Yes, Rusev has the prototypical figure Vince McMahon would love to overexpose on WWE programming. Just like they did with Ryback, we’ll be seeing a lot of squash matches in the coming months.  But what does Rusev do after that? Even though he has a major eye candy manager as a distraction, the lack of charisma and overall character of Alexander Rusev is going to lead him down the same path all the other big guys went on over the years in my opinion. I feel bad for Xavier Woods and R-Truth talk about underutilized talent.   Winner: Alexander Rusev 

Evolution (Triple H, Batista and Randy Orton) vs. The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose)

Brian:  This should be a hot match and one of, if not the best, on the card.  I could see this going either way too.  Evolution could get the win here to show that the veterans still have some juice and won’t be pushed aside by the young faction.  The Shield could get a bump from beating the established guys as they get further established.  I’ll go with Evolution and the feud to continue after this show.

Steve: A lot has been brought up on if this will be the main event of the show. It has been positioned that way as it has ended most programming since Wrestlemania. The buildup to the match has been solid, but the questions is, do the fans care about Evolution? Even with that “ringing” endorsement from Ric Flair on Monday to the younger trio, no seems to care. I get why the match is happening, but it is a shame that WWE doesn’t recognize this. The match will be pretty good as it should be with these six guys in the match. Should be the best match on the show.  Winner: The Shield

Michael:  Second best build of the pay-per-view…er, “Special Event.” I think the reunion of Evolution has made Randy Orton and Dave Batista feel relevant again – something a WWE World Heavyweight Championship reign and Royal Rumble victory (respectively) failed to do. Plus, having them square off against a newly-solidified baby face Shield trio has done wonders for Rollins, Reigns, and Ambrose. I still think Evolution is likely to walk away with a win here, just to keep this feud fighting for another day. But if that happens, expect The Shield to look fantastic in defeat.

Josh:  It’s kind of funny to me that I was 10 years old when Evolution was running roughshod over the WWE, and now about to turn 20 in a few days Evolution is back in action taking on one of the best factions in WWE history in The Shield. I find it really ironic when people online wished a particular superstar or group come back. The reason I say that is because ever since Batista and Evolution has come back to the WWE its been a never ending whining fest. Say what you want, but this match should happen with the obvious history The Shield have with Triple H and Randy Orton. With Evolution back it makes for an intruging match, just because the contrast of styles in the ring with these two factions. I don’t think the stock of The Shield goes down just because they’re working with Evolution. I feel The Shield get the necessary rub in this match and adds this legendary group to the list of the other superstars, legends, and hall of famers The Shield have put on their hitlist. I can’t wait for this match.  Winner: The Shield

Cage Match: Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena

Brian:  This is one of the more unique feuds in recent years in the WWE and all of wrestling.  It didn’t make much sense to have a cage match between these two since Cena was able to thwart off interference from Erick Rowan and Luke Harper at WrestleMania 30 in his win against Wyatt.  But this is the Extreme Rules show and a cage match is extreme so I’ll take it.  I expect Harper and Rowan to get involved again and this time their interference works with Wyatt coming away with the victory.

Steve: It is amazing in how this program has stayed strong since Wrestlemania and to me at least, the build has gotten better since then. The way WWE has been going with Cena, it would make you think Cena would turn. But, this is John Cena and you have to think otherwise. A double turn would work pretty well in this situation as it would make sense. I have to stop dreaming here. The way the angle played out on Mondaywith the children’s choir got me more excited for this match then I initially was. We will see interference here as Wyatt needs the win. If the program is going to go another month, then that’s the way to go. If Wyatt wins clean, then the feud ends here and would think Bray would move on to a possible Daniel Bryan program.  Winner: Bray Wyatt

Michael:  I’ve been nothing short of impressed with the way WWE has kept heat on Bray Wyatt DESPITE the fact that he lost (cleanly) at WrestleMania. And many kudos for Bray Wyatt who has taken what could’ve been cheesy material and turned it into pure gold. My major complaint here is the way that WWE superstars all have amnesia about how effectively the cage keeps out unwarranted guests. Still, it adds an element of brutality to the whole affair, and I expect the stipulation will give Wyatt the leverage he needs to walk away victorious. Look for Cena vs. Wyatt III, and the tie-breaker, at whatever generic name WWE calls its May PPV these days.

Josh:  Part 2 of WWE’s most unique feud since Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho in late 2008 comes to a head this Sunday at the Izod Center. I feel WWE has been hitting the ball out the ball park with this feud between John Cena and Bray Wyatt. The always whining wrestling fanbase will assume that Bray Wyatt will get buried in this match. I don’t see it that way if Bray Wyatt loses this match does it mean his pushed or run here in 2014 means nothing? If you’re the heel, does it really matter how many times you beat your babyface opponent? This has been a tremendous story and I don’t understand why everybody needs to second guess themselves with every single word, movement, or action that happens in a regular WWE storyline. Whether Bray Wyatt wins or loses I think this will be good match possibly better than there WrestleMania match. I don’t think the WWE stock goes down the next day if John Cena loses either, so in the end of the day I say let the story play out and then form your opinions and hopefully this match comes out awesome and we can get the third and final chapter of this great feud.  Winner: Bray Wyatt

WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Daniel Bryan vs Kane

Brian:  When it started to come together that Kane would be the first person to challenge Daniel Bryan for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, it seemed very flat.  We’ve seen this before and it really didn’t follow up on WrestleMania with Triple H seeming like the most obvious opponent for the new champion.  That was not the direction they chose though.  Luckily, WWE has made the most of it by making Kane look like a monster again, destroying Bryan several weeks ago and then going after his wife this past week on Raw no matter how hokey it came off.  I expect a good match between them to close out the show with Bryan keeping his championship and then moving on to another opponent.

Steve: What WWE has done in two weeks with this program has been pretty amazing. Bryan missed the week after Wrestlemania due to his honeymoon, hence the shorter amount of time. The only snag in this program, has been that Bryan appeared on Raw on Monday, after getting tombstone piledrivered three times and taken out on a stretcher. I like the inclusion of Brie Bella and Stephanie McMahon to give it a little more intrigue. These matches between the two have been average at best in the past. With the “Extreme Rules match” stipulation, it should be better. This should be the main event of the show and likely the only match between the two and Bryan can move on here.  Winner: Daniel Bryan to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Michael:  Are you convinced yet? This has been a great transitional feud for Daniel Bryan coming off the multi-month affair with Triple H. Additionally, Kane has returned to monster-mode (which means I have to shelve all the “Suit & Tie & Katie Vick” jokes I had lined up for the next few weeks). I’m 95 percent positive Bryan retains his belt. These two should have an entertaining brawl, and I expect some controversy to the finish.

Josh:  The battle of Team Hell No comes to a head for the richest prize in sports entertainment this Sunday. The champion Daniel Bryan has had the deck stacked against him before, but not as personal and physical as the one he has against the Big Red Machine Kane. You can relay back to 1996 when Shawn Michaels fought Diesel after Shawn Michaels boyhood came true at WrestleManina 12. I think Kane is one of the most underappreciated stars in the history of professional wrestling unlike other veteran stars Kane has been able to evolve his character over the years and yet at the same time putting on good performances in the ring for a man his size. I don’t know anybody who has had the greatest and yet at the same time hardest month in their life as Daniel Bryan has, but the drive of Daniel Bryan will help him reign over the Director of Operations. This match once again will surprise a lot of people and with the added stipulation of the Extreme Rules will help this match out tremendously and probably should be the match of the night.  Winner: Still WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan

Who do you think will win at Extreme Rules?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below or on our social media on Twitter and Facebook.

About Brian Fritz

Brian Fritz
Brian is the owner and editor-in-chief of Between The Ropes. He has also covered wrestling and MMA for The Orlando Sentinel and AOL Fanhouse and currently is a contributor for Sporting News. You can email Brian at btrfritz@gmail.com.

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