Former UFC Champion Brock Lesnar, left, and 13-time world champion Triple H, right, will headline at WWE Extreme Rules Sunday, May 19, 2013. (Photo : Wikimedia Commons)
More than a month after WrestleMania 29 rocked MetLife Stadium on April 7, WWE's next major Pay Per View, Extreme Rules, gets ready to roll on Sunday with a card stacked with huge matches.
The card hailing from the Scottrade center in St, Louis, Mo., on Sunday, May 19, will feature several big-time grudge matches. Brock Lesnar and Triple H will complete a trilogy of matches that started last year and culminates in a bone-rattling steel cage match. After being betrayed by his friend Rybac the Raw after WrestleMania, WWE champion John Cena defends his gold against the powerhouse Ryback in a Last Man Standing match.
Also Sheamus and Mark Henry renew their rivalry with a brutal strap match, while Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger compete in an "I Quit" match to determine who will be the No.1 contender for Dolph Ziggler's World Heavyweight Championship. "The Viper" Randy Orton takes on the giant Big Show in a no holds barred Extreme Rules match. All three members of the Shield will also be in action for championship gold as Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns take on WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No, while the unstable Dean Ambrose battles Kofi Kingston for the United States Championship. And Chris Jericho tangos (not literally, this time) against his new rival Fandango one-on-one.
Latinos Post Breaks down the match card and predictions for this Sunday:
Match Card and Predicitons
Last Man Standing Match, WWE Championship: John Cena vs. Ryback
After winning the WWE Championship from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson at WrestleMania 29, John Cena, bad leg and all, will be defending the title against the monstrous Ryback in a brutal Last Man Standing Match. While Cena has beaten a list of formidable foes in this match through the years, including Umaga and Batista, he has also lost in that same match to Edge and Alberto Del Rio. Still, despite his injury, it's not likely that Cena will drop the title to Ryback so soon after winning it. Look for Cena to show his trademark "grind it out" style and gut out a victory.
Winner: John Cena
Steel Cage: Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H
The rubber match of this heated year-long rivalry culminates at Extreme Rules. Last year, on the "Raw" episode after Extreme Rules 2012, Lesnar started this rivalry by breaking Triple H's arm after the COO informed him that the WWE would not be honoring the contract demands he blackmailed out of former Raw GM John Laurinaitis. Since then, Lesnar won an entertaining match at SummerSlam 2012 where he broke Triple H's arm again, only for Triple H to come back at WrestleMania and grind out a win in a brutal No Holds Barred match. The rubber match comes down to a brutal steel cage match. Lesnar has been a big draw since his return, but he's lost two of his last three matches since coming back. It would hardly be beneficial for the company to have Lesnar drop two matches in a row to one opponent, especially a part-time attraction, although a highly decorated one, like Triple H. And if The Rock is truly up for a WrestleMania 30 match with Lesnar, that's all the more reason to expect Lesnar to come out on top this Sunday.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
"I Quit Match", World Title Number One Contender: Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger
Del Rio and Swagger will renew their rivalry from WrestleMania in a grueling "I Quit" match, where the only way to win is to force your opponent to say "I Quit." Del Rio and Swagger are both great grapplers and submission specialists, Del Rio sporting the deadly Cross Armbreaker while Swagger has his ankle-snapping "Patriot Act." Del Rio won the match-up at WrestleMania, but given Swagger's role in concussing World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler, now on the shelf thanks to Swagger, it could potentially launch Swagger, a former world champion himself into the No.1 contender's role.
Winner: Jack Swagger
Strap Match: Sheamus vs. Mark Henry
In what is becoming a rivalry with some rich backstory, Sheamus and Henry renew their war with a strap match Sunday, where the only way to win is to drag your opponent, tied to a strap on the other side, to all four corners of the ring. The advantage in strength favors the World's Strongest Man, but Sheamus has been capable of some feats of amazing strength himself. A win would put Sheamus back on the map after what have been, frankly, a few disappointing months since he dropped the world title to Big Show at Hell in a Cell. Yet a win would re-establish the momentum Henry lost in December 2011 after he lost the world title--also to Big Show--at TLC 2011, the PPV where Daniel Bryan cashed in moments later to win the world championship. Sheamus is a big enough star, however, where he might be able to sustain a loss and rebound with a strong stretch in midyear if the company wants to put him back on top; for Henry, however, this could be a must-win.
Winner: Mark Henry
Tornado Tag Match, WWE Tag Team Titles; Team Hell No, Daniel Bryan and Kane vs. The Shield (Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns)
Bryan and Kane have been doing great work as a tag team over the last few months, becoming one of the most entertaining tag teams since the Rock & Sock Connection with their backstage segments. However, the Shield is on the roll and on the rise, and it's hard not to see Rollins and the powerful Reigns not walk out of St. Louis with the tag team titles.
Winner: The Shield
United States Championship: Kofi Kingston vs. Dean Ambrose
Kingston has been solid on the midcard scene for years and should give a great match with Ambrose, a hot young prospect on the rise in WWE. Given the Shield's momentum, however, and the enormous potential in Ambrose, winning the U.S. title could be the launching pad for what could be an amazing year for the enigmatic Ambrose.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
Extreme Rules Match: Randy Orton vs. Big Show
Although it's a bit bizarre that the match with the marquee name for the PPV is not the main event, Orton and Big Show look poised to compete in a competitive duel in what is basically a street fight, where all weapons and holds are legal. Big Show and Orton have never had the opportunity to engage in a one-on-one rivalry since Orton debuted in WWE in 2002. Roughly 10 years and nine world championships later for the wily and fast Orton, he will test his mettle against the 7-foot, 500-pound Big Show. While Orton could use a win here to get some momentum back, possibly for a world title shot, Big Show has been doing some great heel work and has some wind at his back after turning on Sheamus and Orton during their tag team match at WrestleMania, the cause for this match. And while Orton has one of the deadliest finishers in the game with the lethal RKO, the Big Show's skull-caving "WMD" knockout punch could mean the difference.
Winner: Big Show
Chris Jericho vs. Fandango
Fandango, who beat Jericho at WrestleMania in a surprisingly good match, has become a sensation in the last month, becoming a star after the post-WrestleMania crowd. However, he'll have a tough time of it against Jericho, one of the all-time greats, as they look to be possibly be a show stealer for this event. But considering that Jericho is now all about pushing the young talents, it's not hard to visualize Jericho dropping another one. By now, Jericho's reputation is untouchable, and the future Hall of Famer could easily withstand another loss if to put over Fandango, who could be in for a breakout year.
Preshow: The Miz vs. Cody Rhodes
Fresh off coming back from a film project, Miz could be in for another run at the Intercontinental Championship against the man who took it from him last month, Wade Barrett. But to do that, he'll have to get a win against Rhodes, a former IC champion himself. Rhodes' singles career has largely gone to the wayside after teaming with Damian Sandow, and a win could jump start the once-red hot Rhodes again. But considering that Miz is looking to cement himself as one of the new top babyfaces in WWE, it's hard not to see the former WWE champion Miz pick up the win this Sunday.
Winner: The Miz
Extreme Rules will air at 8 p.m. EST, Sunday, May 19, 2013 on PPV.