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   August 22, 2014



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Countdown to WWE Extreme Rules
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff




Extreme Rules, eh? Sounds good. Certainly Kane has been rebuilt into a monster, and Bray Wyatt will no doubt torture John Cena in wonderful ways. We have old guys -- Evolution against young guys -- The Shield. And a bunch of other titles on the line too. Read on for our thoughts on Sunday's pay-per-view.


Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kane - Extreme Rules match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship


MATTHEW ASHER: I'm so glad that Kane has once again found his inner demon. He may be older, but reverting back to his evil roots, this makes Kane very dangerous. Bryan will get the win, despite being beaten up for the majority of the match. The YES! Movement will continue for a little while longer.
MATTHEW BYER: While the build for this match has been interesting there is just no way I can see Kane becoming the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. However, the Big Red Machine may end up with the victory sans the title if there is a need to continue this feud until the inevitable match with either Triple H or Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. As a result I'll predict a DQ win for Kane.
NOLAN HOWELL: Probably one of the easier matches to pick on the card. There's really no analysis I can put here. Will Daniel Bryan win? Yes! Yes! Yes! Winner: Daniel Bryan
BOB KAPUR: Paging Dr. Shelby - maybe he can reconcile these two. I've liked the build-up to this one, though Kane really has no business being in the title scene anymore. Bryan gets pummelled, but retains.
CALEB SMITH: Bryan is just a month into his championship reign and he is up against his former tag team mate and therapy partner. Kane can't match Bryan's speed and in the end he will get pinned.

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


MATTHEW ASHER: Depending on how this week's Smackdown! turns out, this match could go several ways. If Dean retained the title, I sense a heel turn where Ambrose betrays the Shield to become the newest "future" part of Evolution, possibly filling the void left by Batista when Drax the Destroyer goes to promote his movie. If Dean does not successfully retain his title, I expect Evolution to put up a good effort, but the end result will have us believing in the Shield.
MATTHEW BYER: This will be the match of the night, but who will win is a bit hard to predict. It seems too early for The Shield to conquer Evolution, but with reports saying that Batista is going to take some time off - likely due to the upcoming heavy promotion for Marvel's The Guardians of the Galaxy movie - that may actually happen. Even accounting for that factor I'll go with Evolution getting an underhanded pinfall here.
NOLAN HOWELL: With Batista likely going on hiatus for movie duties here soon, The Shield should pick up the win here. The group has had more behind them than the relatively hasty re-emergence of Evolution. Winner: The Shield
BOB KAPUR: While the Shield should win cleanly, I'm expecting either they get screwed by a heel referee or else the match ends inconclusively. Though I'm intrigued about the possibility of one of the Shield members turning and joining Evolution as the representative of "the future". Could be a great fit for Ambrose.
CALEB SMITH: Evolution wins this with some shenanigans. The three members of Evolution must still be smarting from their losses at WrestleMania. This is their chance to show that experience and guile can beat the young punks any day.

John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt - Steel Cage match


MATTHEW ASHER: It's not WrestleMania, so that means Bray has a good chance at winning this rematch. With the cage, this means Eric Rowan and Luke Harper should be able to figure out a way to add themselves into the fray and give their brother and leader the win, setting up the rubber match down the road, maybe at SummerSlam.
MATTHEW BYER: Will WWE Management finally give Bray Wyatt a one-on-one win over John Cena already?!? One of the elements that adds to fan disinterest in Cena is that he never seems in true jeopardy and always eventually triumphs over any adversity. With Wyatt though for the first time in a long time Cena is in a fascinating storyline that put him in some peril and one that in order to continue to grow requires Wyatt standing in triumph at the end of this match. Doing so would give Cena's character some much needed vulnerability and help him enormously going forward. Thus, I'll go a bit against my gut instinct and hope that WWE Management does what's best for business and gives Wyatt the win.
NOLAN HOWELL: Cena will likely be paying Wyatt back for WrestleMania here. All signs point to a Wyatt victory to maintain his status. Winner: Bray Wyatt.
BOB KAPUR: That whole deal with the kids last week was simply tremendous. The only thing that could have upped the ante more is if they showed one of Cena's Make-A-Wish kids get "turned" as well. Wyatt wins, perhaps sending Cena into a spiral of despair... and a possible future heel turn?
CALEB SMITH: This is their second high profile match. The mind games by Wyatt will freak out Cena. Wyatt will get the win.

Paige (c) vs. Tamina Snuka - WWE Divas Championship


MATTHEW ASHER: Probably the toughest of all the matches on this card to predict. We have Paige, who wasn't even on the main roster a month ago against the bodyguard of the former Divas Champion. I'm a fan of Paige, but she hasn't been made to seem unstoppable yet. She's been able to hold onto her title each time even though she's usually on the receiving end of the beat-down until the end. I somehow see Tamina pulling off the win, setting up a face turn either for her or AJ. Regardless of who undergoes the change, I see the two former friends battling for the Divas title soon.
MATTHEW BYER: A lot of who wins this match is based on how much time AJ Lee is planning to take off. If Lee is coming back soon Paige will likely be the winner over Snuka because the rematch between AJ Lee and Paige is where the money is. I'll go with Paige for the win by submission.
NOLAN HOWELL: This seems relatively simple. Paige just got the belt and she seems to be well-received. Unless they are going with Snuka vs. AJ soon, result seems clear. Winner: Paige
BOB KAPUR: Wow, a Divas match on PPV that's not designed to cross-promote Total Divas by forcing a Bella onto our TV screen? Somebody's going to get fired for this, no doubt. Paige retains.
CALEB SMITH: Alright, I don't care that much about this match but, I pick Snuka to win the title because her dad was a good wrestler. Bruddha.
SLAM! Readers: Paige (c) - 57%; Tamina Snuka - 43%

Big E (c) vs. Bad News Barrett - WWE Intercontinental Championship


MATTHEW ASHER: While originally not a fan of the repackaged #BNB when he first debuted, the character has grown on me lately. He's had some good matches during the IC tournament and I think he will carry the momentum he's built up to start making the IC title important once again. Big E has done a good job as the champ, but I've got some bad news for him and his fans: a new IC champ will be crowned that night.
MATTHEW BYER: I have some bad news for Big E. Barrett is going to be the new Intercontinental Champion. However, before that happens we should get to see a pretty hard hitting bout with Barrett eventually coming out on top.
NOLAN HOWELL: This match should favor the man with momentum. That would be Bad News Barrett. Big E has had a fine run and it's time to hand it off to the hotter commodity. Winner: Bad News Barrett.
BOB KAPUR: Barrett has been on a roll lately, while Big E hasn't been the same since he lost his last name. Barrett wins, and Big E goes back to NXT for some repackaging.
CALEB SMITH: Bad news for Barrett as Big E will take this one. Barrett and Big E are big guys with powerhouse repertoires but the former U.S. power lifting champ is just too strong for Barrett.
SLAM! Readers: Big E - 23%; Bad News Barrett - 77%

Alexander Rusev vs. Xavier Woods and R-Truth - 2-on-1 Handicap match


MATTHEW ASHER: I think at this point Lana would be able to beat both Woods and Truth. Quite frankly, I'd prefer to see her in the business suit slap on a double Accolade to both opponents for the win. Alas, that will not happen, but the Super Athlete will prevail in this one without breaking much of a sweat.
MATTHEW BYER: This should be just a complete squash match as Rusev completely decimates R-Truth and Woods.
NOLAN HOWELL: Rusev crush. Winner: Alexander Rusev
BOB KAPUR: Zangief... I mean Rusev wins.
CALEB SMITH: Ted Arcidi, I mean Rusev wins in a fast one. Sorry R-Truth, keep helping the little Jimmy's of the world.

Jack Swagger vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro


MATTHEW ASHER: This one should be a no-brainier. Cesaro is on quite a hot streak.as of now. RVD doesn't need the win and Swagger has been playing second (or third) fiddle in the Real Americans for a while now. the King of Swing should come out with an impressive victory.
MATTHEW BYER: This seems simply like something for Cesaro to do until he moves on to challenge for the Intercontinental title. I suspect that may not happen for a while so I'll take a wild guess and say Rob Van Dam manages to get the win in order to prolong this feud.
NOLAN HOWELL: The central focus here will be between Swagger and Cesaro, which leads me to believe RVD can sneak a win. However, I'll go with the more obvious choice. Winner: Cesaro
BOB KAPUR: This storyline is too confusing for my tastes. RVD will hit the 5-Star Frog Splash on Swagger, but Cesaro will steal the pin.
CALEB SMITH: Swagger needs this to stay relevant. A loss will not hurt Van Dam's stellar career. Swagger catches Van Dam off the top rope and uses a power maneuver to put the former extreme competitor away.

El Torito vs. Hornswoggle - WeeLC match


MATTHEW ASHER: I'm a little confused about what constitutes a WeeLC match. Is the ladder going to be a tiny one? Do you win via climbing the ladder to retrieve something or is it simply that Talbes, Ladders and Chairs (oh my!) are fair game in the match? No reason why, but I think Hornswaggle is going to get that rarefied duke for 3MB. Who knows? Maybe they'll rename themselves 3.5MB if 'Swaggle can get the win against El Torito.
MATTHEW BYER: Each have gotten wins over the other in recent weeks so neither has any real momentum going in. That sort of situation usually favors the heel so I'll pick Hornswoggle with the tadpole splash for the duke.
NOLAN HOWELL: Really don't know which direction this will go. This is silly. I'll go with the good guy. Winner: El Torito
BOB KAPUR: This should be a short match.
CALEB SMITH: Hornswoggle is the competitor with the most WWE experience, but what do we know of El Torito's wrestling pedigree? We have seen both men mix it up with the big boys. I believe El Torito will take the match based on conditioning. Have you seen the extra weight Hornswoggle is carrying around? I thought this was a body industry?

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