Lets Fantasy Book: WWE Extreme Rules
(EDITORS NOTE: This edition was composed prior to the events of May 21st regarding Cody Rhodes and his WWE status)
I'll be blunt: happenings in the WWE haven't been exactly great as of late. Black Friday has dealt us quite a blow for our long term planning in the form of the exit of one Damian Sandow and the actions of Adam Rose and Ryback have caused several headaches in recent booking meetings.
Normally, WWE Extreme Rules is a chance for us to let our hair down a bit and get a little crazy in our booking directions. However, this year, we're faced with a dark cloud of uncertainty in the locker room and backstage. The message is clear... Things really are changing in the WWE. Not always for the better.
Before we begin WWE Payback lets recap our previous show, Payback. In addition, lets see what direction, if any, Creative has taken with our programs as well as a brief recap of our current Champions.
As a friendly reminder: Unless otherwise noted, feuds are assumed to be progressed during the previous week's WWE Raw and Smackdown.
If you haven't been following our year long fantasy booking series, you can catch up with our previous events: The Royal Rumble, Fastlane Part 1, Fastlane Part 2, Wrestlemania 32, Wrestlemania Fallout.
Sin Cara has turned full on heel, proving to be a thorn in the side of his former partner, Kalisto. After causing Rey Mysterio Junior JR a shot at the Intercontinental Championship during an edition of Smackdown, Kalisto has had enough. Unable to bring Sin Cara back to the light, Kalisto has no choice but to face him one on one.
Kane and Ryback had entered into a feud, one that was actually picking up decent numbers on television. However, thanks to Ryback and his colossal big mouth, we won't be seeing much of him any time soon. Looks like “The Big Guy” lives up to his self bestowed moniker of “Dumb Mother Fucker”.
Stardust continues to defend the United States title with impressive showings on television. He is doing so in clean fashion. However, a Number One Contender's Match tonight may give him cause for concern.
Baron Corbin and The Miz continue their feud, with Miz running circles around Baron in terms of Mic skills. Corbin continues to antagonize Miz by interfering in his matches. Miz wants to welcome Baron to the WWE by making sure he can't get away and reintroducing us to an old friend.
The Dudley Boys and the New Day are engaged in a high profile feud for the tag belts. Fans continue to gravitate towards the New Day and their antics on the mic.
AJ Styles's stop gap to bridge for Adam Rose to begin his ascension towards the IC strap obviously isn't going to happen now. That being said, AJ Styles has been struggling to make his mark in WWE. Perhaps tonight is the night that can happen.
Cesaro and Sami Zayn have moved on from each other, setting their sights on a much bigger prize.
The Horsewomen-1 have taken a brief break from each other, namely to give Sasha and Charlotte a much needed break. However, with the injury of Emma, our plans for the title have changed slightly.
The Dudley Boys are the WWE Tag Team Champions
Stardust is the WWE United States Champion
Chris Jericho is the WWE Intercontinental Champion
Becky Lynch is the WWE Women's Champion
Bray Wyatt is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion
Despite us using the “fantasy” title, for the purposes of this year long project, there are rules we must follow. We cannot outright hire people or call up talent from NXT, “just because.” If something happens, “In real life,” this must affect our booking.
This is a recap of ongoing real life events that will affect our booking decisions.
John Cena has announced that he will return at the end of May
King Barrett has been released
Damian Sandow has been released
Daniel Bryan has retired
Brie Bella has retired
Nikki Bella has suffered a career threatening neck injury
Seth Rollins remains injured
Paige has returned from injury
Randy Orton remains injured
Cesaro has returned from an injury
Neville is injured
Luke Harper is injured
Bray Wyatt is injured
Adam Rose has been suspended indefinitely, This has huge implications for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Enzo Amore is injured
Emma is injured
Ryback has likely been suspended
Konnor has been suspended
Mark Henry is injured
Sami Zayn has debuted on the main roster
The Vaudvillians have debuted on the main roster
Enzo and Cass have debuted on the main roster
Apollo Crews has debuted on the main roster
Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson have debuted on the main roster
The Miz vs Baron Corbin in a Indian Strap Match
Made famous by the late Chief Wahoo McDaniel, the strap match is a devastating and high impact contest, tailor made for ending feuds and keeping both competitors strong. A variation on this match was seen recently by way of the Russian Chain Match, although in that contest the chain appeared to be 20 feet in length. In this particular contest, the strap measures in at just over eight feet.
The rules of a strap match are quite simple. The first person to drag their opponent to all four corners within a set amount of time and touch a button is a winner. Strap matches are perfect for this purpose as they allow each person a chance to display a high level of violence while still remain strong as no one in the match has to “eat” a pinfall or tap out.
While I'd love to tell The Miz to go out there and beat Baron to within an inch of his life and send him back, hat in hand to NXT, I must realize that Baron does have value to the roster. While the ceiling certainly is lowered for this individual, we may as well ride this slight wave as long as we can, gauging his push by the reaction after he takes home the victory.
Winner: Baron Corbin
Sin Cara VS Kalisto in a 2 our of 3 Falls Match
Picture it: The sounds of a haunted, small town carnival ride. The grinding gears and rusty machinery clanks and struggles as the rattle of chains and the grinding of an axe against concrete fills the arena. His music starts, similar to the Shadow Temple Theme in Ocarina of Time. Ambient and simplistic, but when combined with the right surroundings you are left with a very intense and emotional entrance.
This is the new Sin Cara, a much more dark and calculated version of Sting. Think Red Hood, or a really pissed off Batman. As we build up the character of Sin Cara, we must pay special attention to just that, his character. We build Sin Cara as mysterious. Sin Cara is unpredictable. Sin Cara is deadly.
Unprepared for this new direction Sin Cara has taken, Kalisto will fall to Sin Cara as he completely dominates him in the ring. Taking the set 2-0, Sin Cara will do very visible damage to Kalisto in the ring. So much so, Kalisto will require medical attention to be removed from the ring. Its a work, but a very convincing one.
Winner: Sin Cara 2-0
The Dudley Boys vs The New Day in a Tables Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Being a “B” show in the mid part of the year, we have somewhat of an obligation to continue our feuds in a somewhat neutral manor. There are big plans for New Day going forward, but Extreme Rules's number one priority isn't always telling a story. Fans love the New Day, and fans love Table Matches. Peanut Butter? Meet Jelly.
Winner and Still Tag Team Champions: The Dudley Boys
Chris Jericho takes the ring
Originally, Adam Rose was to begin a long term feud with Jericho on this night, culminating with him taking the belt at Money in the Bank. Obviously, that isn't going to be taking place, leaving Jericho without a partner. Jericho doesn't take too much pleasure in that fact.
Jericho is the best in the world at what he does and he wants you to know it. The other amazing thing Jericho does is get heat. Entering the ring, he informs the crowd that his match with Rose has been canceled, but he would have “beaten him anyway”. This of course is a catalyst for him to make some very crass and tasteless remarks about the Rose situation and a chance to take a cheap shot at Damien Sandow, all in the name of riling up the crowd.
Obviously, the crowd is quite pissed at this point and wants nothing more than to see Jericho fail and do so in a big way. While I'd love for Luke Harper to be the savior in this moment, with the absence of Rose, I feel that giving Goldust one last big run is the right decision here. Jericho has given prestige back to the belt and handing it off to someone, who in turn is going to give a big rub to a younger star is a safe way to go.
Goldust enters the ring in classic Goldie gear, cutting a very risque and sex laden promo on Jericho. He challenges the now ten time Intercontinental Champion to a match, to which Jericho declines. As Jericho tries to leave, Shane McMahon enters to sign the match, staring right then and there. Goldust rushes the ring and Jericho quickly exits after the bell in an attempt to get himself counted out.
In return, Stephanie McMahon announces the stipulation of a Lumberjack Match and it's game on for Goldust. In a back and forth contest that clocks in at around twenty minutes, Goldust will once again taste victory as he clinches victory by way of a Curtain Call.
Winner and new Intercontinental Champion: Goldust
Naomi vs Becky Lynch in a Cage Match
I wish to continue giving the women a chance to prove themselves in matches that typical only men would perform in. However, defending the belt in this manor too often doesn't give it the prestige it deserves. For one more month we need to enjoy the hard hitting violence of women's gimmick matches as we likely won't see it again until Wrestlemania.
Winner and still WWE Women's Champion: Becky Lynch
Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn in a Last Man Standing Match
These guys hate each other and produce good work. What's more to say about this match? Quite simply, Owens and Zayn have the kind of chemistry together that allows their matches to book themselves. More importantly this gives us time to sit on AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose while we calculate a trajectory for them going forward. Kevin Owens will take the victory after sending Sami through a mass of tables, chairs and trash cans.
Winner: Kevin Owens
10 Man Iron Man, Falls Count Anywhere Match to Determine Number One Contender to the WWE United States Championship
Whew. That's a mouthful. This is going to be a fun watch to watch and I expect people to get very involved in the outcome. The rules are simple, in 15 minutes, the match can spill anywhere and as long as there is a referee, (There's five involved in the match) you can score a pinfall or submission. It's a gimmick match for sure, but it's going to be an incredible amount of fun to be involved in. Fifteen minutes, ten combatants. If it seems like there's a lot of pinfalls, remember: With ten people in a free for all, the piss gets beaten out of you mighty quick.
- Titus O'Neil
- Zach Rider
- Tyler Breeze
- Alberto Del Rio
- Dolph Ziggler
- Darren Young
- Big Cass
- 3:12: Kane pins Tyler Breeze in the center of the Ring
- 4:03: Cesaro Pins Darren Young on the announce table
- 4:19: Dolph Ziggler pins Cesaro in front of the announce table
- 4:54: Tyler Breeze pins Kane on the entrance ramp
- 5:10 R*Truth pins Titus O'Neil in the control room
- 7:11: Alberto Del Rio submits Tyler Breeze in the audience
- 7:30 Cesaro submits R*Truth in the restroom. A referee doesn't follow them inside however a camera does. The Ref counts the pin via the Titantron
- 8:54: Big Cass pins Tyler Breeze in the parking lot.
- 9:09 Zach Rider Pins Big Cass in the parking lot.
- 9:55 R*Truth pins Zach Rider in the parking lot. He eventually finds himself locked in the trunk of a car.
- 11:05: Cesaro submits Dolph Ziggler in the ring area.
- 14:24: Alberto Del Rio pins Kane on the entrance ramp.
- 14:35 Titus O'Neil pins Tyler Breeze through the announce table.
- 14:38: Alberto Del Rio pins Tyler Breeze on the announce table.
- 14:56 Alberto Pins Darren Young in the center of the ring.
- 14:59 Cesaro submits Darren Young in the center of the ring.
Winners and Number One Contenders to the WWE United States Championship: Cesaro (4) and Alberto Del Rio (4)
Roman Reigns vs Rusev in a Winner Take All Extreme Rules Match
Roman Reigns is the “Big Dog” or “The Guy” or whatever he wants to call himself. I have one more thing to add to that list: “Dickhead,” Reigns' attitude as of late is pure heel gold. Whether he wants to admit it or not, he's not a babyface. Hell, he's not even a 'tweener. He's an asshole, dickhead heel just like Jericho or Kevin Owens.
This is booking gold honestly. A chance to give Rusev a pseudo babyface run as he gets the chance to prove his superiority over the encroaching reach of the American imperialists. Rusev needs the victory here to reinstate himself in the main event picture.
That's not to say that I'm not completely soured on Reigns as a main event player in the future. He does have some value to bring to the roster and does test well with women and children. However, unlike the John Cena, his time isn't now.
Winner and still Number One Contender to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Rusev
Post match, the lights go dark an soft, sinister laughter fills the arena. The laughter stops and a blinding spotlight shines on Rusev as he stands confused in the center of the ring. A second light appears and shines on a still woozy Roman Reigns as he writhes in pain on the canvas.
“The most powerful weapon, is a soul on fire.”
The light over reigns fades as the light over Rusev slowly morphs to red.
“Your soul... is mine.”
The lights go dark as brightness returns to the arena. On the entrance ramp sits a smoking lantern. An omen to things to come.