The Start of The Road to Summerslam

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Tonight, we see the first PPV after Wrestlemania, and Extreme Rules threatens to be an early candidate for PPV of the year. And after tonight, we will have a much better idea on what direction WWE are heading in, with only three months until Summerslam.

We will see the first singles PPV outing for a member of The Shield, with Dean Ambrose challenging Kofi Kingston for the United States Championship, in a match where, if given enough time, could be match of the night. Ambrose’s Shield colleagues, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, have their own opportunity at seizing gold, as they take on Team Hell No, in a Tornado Tag match which is expected to climax with new champions crowned.

On the under-card, we will see two matches, that although not exciting, may have connotations for the rest of the summer. Randy Orton will take on The Big Show in an Extreme Rules match, which I expect to end with an RKO on whatever piece of weaponry is produced throughout the match. We shall also see a Strap match between Mark Henry and Sheamus. Expect to see the winners of these two matches, and probably the losers, in the World Title picture heading into the third of the big PPV’s of the year.

From men who have been at the top of the card for years, a man potentially at the beginning of his , and Fandango will face Chris Jericho in a Wrestlemania re-match. The man formerly known as Johnny Curtis needs to build up a reputation as a solid, consistent worker, and there is no better opponent than the legendary Y2J. I can only see a Fandango win, although anything is to be expected knowing WWE creative. However, they cannot simply rely on the fact that he has a catchy entrance theme.

The big matches of the night all have major stipulations, that are not seen on WWE programming too often.

After giving World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler a severe concussion, Jack Swagger will now face Alberto Del Rio in an I Quit match, with the winner facing Ziggler for the title at a later opportunity. For me, Del Rio will win with some sort of modified Cross-Arm-Breaker.

And Ryback has the opportunity to prove a lot of doubters wrong, and win his first PPV match in almost a year. He will take on John Cena in a Last Man Standing match, with the WWE Championship on the line. I cannot see Ryback breaking his losing streak however, although the Last Man Standing stipulation means that he may not come out of the match looking weak.

In my opinion, the final match of the evening will be the Steel Cage match, and the final match of the Lesnar-Hunter trilogy. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this match until the fantastic show ending promo this past Monday night on Raw.

There are people who complain that part time talent are always at the forefront of WWE’s recent programming. However, after watching Brock, Hunter and Paul Heyman on Monday night, and after the horrible segment involving Teddy Long, Big E Langston and Jack Swagger, why settle for mediocrity? But there should be an element of training where people can get better on the microphone, and up to the level of people who have been there and done it for the past decade.

In regards to the match, Lesnar has to win. As Richard has stated on WrestlingNewsWorld time and time again, what is the point of having a monster in the form of Brock, if he is only going to win one out of four matches?

So how will this affect the Summerslam lineup? Well, expect something to happen tonight in terms of outside interference or a major return. As fans, we need a shake-up in the monopoly that is the top of the card. And somebody needs to step up to the plate to carry WWE after HHH and Brock leave the ship to go back to their respective projects.

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