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What's up wrestling fans? I'm here with an in depth look at this Sunday night's WWE "Extreme Rules" PPV, an event whose origins are rooted in the name "ECW One Night Stand," and have since become a tri-branded, extreme rules only PPV. Well, sort of. Before we take a look at the matches themselves and I offer my predictions for the event, I want to take a second to talk about the PPV's name.
This PPV has changed names a few times in its history, beginning with the "One Night Stand" name which applied to the PPV when it was solely an ECW show that boasted appearances from former talent who wrestled under the Paul Heyman controlled entity years ago. A few months ago the PPV officially changed its name to "Extreme Rules," most likely since the PG rating would not allow a name that's synonymous with a single night of sex. The problem, as I see it, with the new name, is that not all of the matches are contested under "Extreme Rules," so the name of the PPV doesn't really apply to the entire card. One could argue that extreme rules simply means any rule that is more extreme than a singles match, but because there is a match type in WWE that is called extreme rules, the title is a bit misleading. I just think WWE could have come up with something a little more appropriate here. That aside, let's take a look at this year's card.
CM Punk vs Umaga in a Samoan Strap Match: I'm not sure what the difference is between a regular strap and one that comes from Samoa, so I'm not sure if this match favors Umaga or not. Either way, I am looking forward to this bout because both guys have worked well together on PPV in the past. I think Punk needs to go over here because he is on a rise that might take over that of Jeff Hardy should Hardy decide to leave the company sometime this summer. Couple that with the fact that Umaga has a win over Punk on PPV already, and it seems pretty clear to me that unless this feud is scheduled to continue, Punk should pick up the win here and go on to focus more on his Money in the Bank briefcase, possibly defending it against challengers which would add depth to his matches from a story line perspective. Prediction: CM Punk
Kofi Kingston(c) vs MVP vs Matt Hardy vs William Regal in a Fatal Four Way Match for the US Title: I think it's not only obvious who will go over here, but it's also obvious who should go over here. Kofi Kingston just came off a huge title win this past Monday night on Raw, and it would bury him pretty quickly is he lost it during his first title defense just 6 days later. Prior to winning the title, Kofi was in a stagnant position on Raw mainly due to the fact the he really had no position on the show. He was out there wrestling, but was moving sideways instead of north. Holding the US Title will put Kofi in a more stable place on Raw, and should make for some very exciting title defenses on TV and hopefully PPV. Prediction: Kofi Kingston
Chris Jericho vs Rey Mysterio(c) for The Intercontinental Championship: This match could go either way for me, but if I had to choose I'd say that I think Rey should retain the title as he seems to belong in the upper mid-card level of Smackdown and other talents could benefit from the rub he would give them during title matches. Chris Jericho belongs in the main event title picture, and WWE should capitalize on the momentum that he has going for him after his draft over to Friday nights. Having said all this, however, I don't think this is the direction WWE will travel in. Rey already picked up a clean win over Jericho at "Judgment Day," so I think WWE will attempt to "redeem" Jericho by having him go over at "Extreme Rules." I think this would be a mistake, however, as Jericho needs to be wrestling for the World Heavyweight Title, and if not that, then in higher profile matches with top talent like Jeff Hardy or The Undertaker. Prediction: Chris Jericho