WWE has its next pay-per-view this weekend with Extreme Rules coming from St. Louis, MO. Normally Tom and Jim would try to get a podcast up for their Head 2 Head thoughts, but life is very busy this week for each of them, so instead, we present them to you in the blog format! Heading into this event, Jim has a 14-4 to 11-7 lead over Tom. This event can potentially create an insurmountable lead for Jim or see Tom creep closer back in the hunt. Let’s take a look at what each Spot Monkey thinks we’ll see on Sunday night!
The Miz vs. Cody Rhodes
JIM: This is only here to re-build The Miz now that he’s back from filming the Christmas movie he’ll be in this coming Christmas season on ABC Family. Rhodes is so mis-used it isn’t funny, but I don’t see that changing here. Miz gets the tap out win and wins his 2nd pre-show match in a row; though this time he doesn’t get a shiny gold belt for doing so.
TOM: The pre-match bout of underutilization! Sorry for the sarcasm there, but Cody Rhodes’ use just irks me to no end…and I don’t see it stopping here. The pre-show matches are all about the fans getting excited before the main PPV and Miz is a great guy to achieve that in this role. Miz wins.
Chris Jericho vs. Fandango
JIM: This screams Jericho wins to “end” their issue, but man, it would be a BIG mistake to do that already I think. Fandango has the Wrestlemania win, and then hasn’t been used as well since in my eyes as they had him walk out on a match with R-Truth (he can beat 6 time World Champion Jericho...but decides to basically quit against R-Truth? Are you kidding me?). And in the age old pattern of “whoever was standing tall on the go home show before the PPV usually loses”...that screams Jericho wins too. I really hope I’m wrong about this, but I have to go with Jericho here.
TOM: My pick is Fandango. Jericho doesn’t need the win, doesn’t need the rub, doesn’t need another feud victory. Fandango is money and WWE should be smart enough to know that. I love Jericho and wish he was around 100% of the time, but with his Fozzy gig, that just cannot happen. Say it with me: FAHN-DAHN-GO!
Extreme Rules MatchRandy Orton vs. The Big Show
JIM: This bears out of Orton sticking up for Big Show going into Wrestlemania, and then Show turning his back after the match vs. The Shield on both Orton and Sheamus. That being said, while they have built an issue here, I don’t think it’s an issue that warranted “Extreme Rules” stipulations, other than that they had to find a spot to throw an Extreme Rules Match on the card. That being said, I’m sure we’ll see plenty of plunder as they try and find a way for Orton to put the giant on his back. Randy seems to be getting the better of Show lately, so I think Show gets the win here and this feud continues for at least another month.
TOM: This feud makes more sense and is at least fresher than had they gone with ANOTHER run of a Sheamus-Big Show feud. Two vets who WWE can rely on and utilize anywhere within the promotion. I see it differently here and I will go with Randy Orton to get the win.
Mark Henry vs. Sheamus
JIM: This has built well since it began right after Wrestlemania, and the idea of dragging either of these guys around the ring to touch all four corners is something that will be a sight to behold (though Henry has proven how much he can lug around with the semi pull on Smackdown). This is a tough one for me to pick as I can come up with reasons for either of them to win. Henry is a beast and honestly should be a World Champion in the company or at least in the mix there, which it seems he is not at this point. Sheamus needs to get away from being the “aw shucks” babyface and back to being more of a bad ass, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon. As much as I think Henry should win this match, I think they give it to Sheamus when he comes up with a creative way to get the four touches needed.
TOM: A Sheamus win seemingly sets him for a future crack at Dolph Ziggler (or the man who dethrones him). A Henry win continues the “momentum” of his win over Ryback at WrestleMania. I agree with Jim that this of all of all of the matches is a true pick’em. I will either use this to close the gap with Jim in our contest or fall further back. Mark Henry gets the win.
WWE Tag Team Title Match - Tornado RulesTeam Hell No (C) vs. Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins
JIM: Gotta admit, I figured it would be Rollins and Ambrose who won the tag titles and leave Reigns as the singles guy, but it’s clear they see something in Ambrose as a singles star going forward, so Reigns and Rollins get the tag title shot instead. It is time for Team Hell No to drop the belts and The Shield are exactly the right guys to carry the straps for now, so I definitely see Rollins and Reigns walking out with the titles here. This could be a sleeper for match of the night as I expect all four guys to work hard!
TOM: I agree with Jim, I did not see Rollins and Reigns as the duo here, but the more I think about it, the more I like it! I love Team Hell No and while disappointed to see their reign end, they have done about all that could be done. Rollins and Reigns win the titles in a wild bout!
United States Title MatchKofi Kingston (C) vs. Dean Ambrose
JIM: As I mentioned before, they clearly see something in Ambrose, and they should, the guy is money. In some ways, it seems too soon to get the title off of Kingston as he won it less than a month ago, but I would hate to see them have Ambrose beat cleanly either. They easily could go with Ambrose winning here and putting titles on all three members of The Shield, and I could definitely see it happening, but my guess is that Kingston almost has Ambrose beaten when the other two members of The Shield come in for the DQ win for Kingston.
TOM: I was rather surprised when Kofi took the title off Antonio Cesaro. That surprise will be lessened here as I do anticipate that Dean Ambrose wins the title off of him here to strengthen the image and aura of The Shield. Ambrose wins his first singles title.
World Heavyweight Title #1 Contender I Quit MatchAlberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger
JIM: This is obviously a change in the match due to the concussion suffered by Dolph Ziggler, canceling the triple threat ladder match that was to take place here. I Quit rules work well for these two guys as both have great submission finishers, and both are portrayed as being tough as nails, so they should beat the hell out of each other as they try to get to the finish. Swagger against Ziggler doesn’t do alot for me, with two heels against each other, so, I think Del Rio gets the win here.
TOM: I was REALLY looking forward to the Triple Threat Match with a Ladder…I could just envision Ziggler like a pinball bouncing around the ring, but health is the priority and because I want to see Ziggler go and go for years, I am glad that they have changed the match. So, it comes down (seemingly) to the Armbar vs. Anklelock here and I must agree with Jim that Del Rio vs. Ziggler makes more sense than a heel-heel match-up. Del Rio gets the win.
Steel Cage MatchTriple H vs. Brock Lesnar
JIM: Triple H got the win at Wrestlemania which I figured was the end of it. Brock is 1-2 in his return to WWE with a win over HHH at Summerslam and the loss to HHH at Mania as well as losing to Cena last year at Extreme Rules. To me, it makes the most sense for Lesnar to go over here, as I think there is a better shot he’s working again this year than HHH. Granted, maybe they have Lesnar win here and HHH wins yet another rematch down the road, but I would put Lesnar over here and then let him move on to whatever is next for him.
TOM: Lesnar must get the win here. It made sense for Triple H to win at WrestleMania because there is still more mileage on his odometer and it was not his time to retire…yet. I’m not really sure where Lesnar goes or what is planned next for him, but for that to be taken seriously by the fans then a loss here won’t do anything but undercut that. Steel Cage Matches have lost their luster in my eyes with WWE, but hopefully these two can carry this strong. Lesnar is my pick.
WWE Title Last Man Standing MatchJohn Cena (C) vs. Ryback
JIM: This is another one I can go back and forth on. Cena is so overexposed and boring as champion. Ryback on the other hand definitely seems to be on the rise and has done a nice job with his recent heel turn. Honestly, he should be a heel, it works far better for his gimmick. Yet, it’s never wise to bet against Cena, as Superman always seems to come out on top (heck, he took out all three members of The Shield on Monday night...granted, two by DQ, but still). I pray they do the right thing here and put the title on Ryback. He deserves a shot with it, and the money is always in the babyface chasing the heel, so, if we must continue to have Cena in the top of the card mix...then I hope it’s chasing, not holding the title. Ryback wins the title in my hopes and dreams, and maybe that will come true Sunday night!
TOM: Will WWE pull the trigger on Ryback? Sure, it has been stated and will continue to be that, Cena does not need the WWE Title, the World Title or the Fruity Pebbles Cereal Box Championship! On the other hand, I think we are not in an era anymore of heel champions being the position to be chased and draw money when babyface challengers are coming for them and to “rescue” the title. Maybe I am wrong, I just think that cycle is no longer current in the WWE landscape. That attitude gives credence to picking Cena to retain. The next WWE PPV in June is “Payback” and how fitting would it be to have the dastardly champion Ryback looking to prevent Cena from getting his payback in a re-match? Really both scenarios make sense in my mind and don’t forget, Money in the Bank is not too far off in July and the briefcase winner for the WWE Title might have more of an impact if he can cash in and win over the reigning and defending Cena. I am going to pick Cena to retain, but I am the least confident in this pick over any other on the card.
There you have - some good difference in picks between Tom and Jim. Come back next week, either here or via the Podcast to get our thoughts via REACT.