Despite now being the WrestleMania fallout PPV, Extreme Rules was a bit hastily thrown together. They put themselves in a tough spot by having the Draft the following night, and the volcanic ash cloud of doom didn't help either, but the card still looks pretty solid on paper. Here are my picks, let me know yours in the comments section.
By the way, the Extreme Rules poster with Sheamus might be the most frightening thing I've ever seen.
Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship
John Cena © vs. Batista
The obvious main event of the evening, a rematch from WrestleMania 26 where John Cena recaptured the WWE Title. Rumors are all over the place that Batista is going on hiatus or possibly even retiring after this match to focus on his acting career, which would make John Cena the obvious winner, if he wasn't already the obvious winner. I know they've been playing hot potato with the belt lately, but I can't see Cena losing it already. If the Batista reports are true, it'll be a bit of a bummer because he's been so awesome since turning heel. Batista leaving now will be like The Rock in 2003, just not getting enough of something that was long overdue; we've only just scratched the surface of the spotlight-hogging Animal.
Extreme Rules Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Jack Swagger © vs. Randy Orton
Jackie Swags has been a bit of a controversial figure since winning the World Title thanks to losses to The Undertaker, John Morrison and his opponent tonight, Randy Orton. If Swagger wins tonight, all that controversy will be quickly forgotten and a star will be born, but beating Orton is a tall order. Orton is on fire these days, arguably the most over person in the company aside from The Undertaker, and a very likely candidate for this year's Draft. Smackdown's light on top faces right now and Orton showing up with the World Championship would be a big boost for that brand heading into their move to Syfy this October, but does it need to be done tonight? They could build up a lot of steam by having Orton chase the title throughout the summer months into the network shift, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say Jack Swagger retains this time.
Steel Cage Match
Chris Jericho vs. Edge
Jericho won at WrestleMania and I figured this month would be when Edge got his win back and the World Heavyweight Championship, but with Swagger cashing in MITB, I think it opens this match up a bit. Jericho and Edge have attacked each other on what seems like a weekly basis since the Royal Rumble and right now there's no clearly defined favorite. My money is still on Edge, but it's a toss-up and I think it depends a lot on who wins the World Title match. If Swagger wins, Edge could feud with him, if Orton wins, Jericho could feud with him, and I wouldn't be shocked if these four guys wind up in the ring together at the Fatal Four Way PPV in June. This match is also a Match of the Night candidate, but they'll face stiff competition from CM Punk and Rey Mysterio.
Triple H vs. Sheamus
Though the loss at WrestleMania didn't hurt him, Sheamus should've won last month, but I think tonight is his night. Triple H is hurt and appears to be taking on a reduced schedule, so I'm going to say Sheamus wins tonight and gives Triple H a couple weeks off. I enjoyed their match at WrestleMania aside from the ending, and tonight should be the time to fix it.
CM Punk's hair is on the line
CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio
Wasn't this match originally supposed to be Hair vs. Rey joining the Straight-Edge Society? Seems like it's all about Punk's hair at this point, and that's why I expect Rey Mysterio to win, but the more I think about it, the less sure I am. You can't tease a head shaving and not deliver, and Punk is in desperate need of a cut and shave, but I do remember rumors of Mysterio taking time off after WrestleMania. If Rey needs more surgery on his knee, then a loss here doesn't hurt him and Punk becomes an even bigger a-hole for putting Mysterio on the shelf and robbing the fans of seeing him get his head shaved. Even with that in mind, I'm not going to let internet rumors from February influence my predictions, so I'm sticking with Rey Rey.
JTG vs. Shad Gaspard
Could go either way depending on who they're pushing, but that has to be JTG, right? As opposed as I am to Cryme Tyme splitting up, if they got to do it, my personal preference is JTG, sorry Shad Beast.
Extreme Makeover Match for the WWE Women's Championship
Michelle McCool © vs. Beth Phoenix
Anyone have any idea what the hell an Extreme Makeover Match is? My guess is it's something incredibly sexist, and judging by the makeup and ironing board being used on Smackdown, I'm sure that's what it'll be. As long as The Glamazon destroys everyone and wins the Women's Title, I'll be happy.
Again, feel free to share your predictions, and don't forget to check Kick-Out!! after the PPV for my full review of Extreme Rules!