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I was going to write about NXT’s decline and the dearth of WWE releases that have happened this past week, but there’s a PPV to pick, and that takes precedence.  So I’ll put those ideas on the back burner for now (don’t worry, I’ll get around to them next week).  With that being said, here are picks for Extreme Rules.

Leather Strap Match – Shad Gaspard vs. JTG

Ah, the tag team break-up match.  This will be the final nail in the coffin for the former duo known as Cryme Tyme.  I liked these two together, but as is the custom, Creative split them up and likely only one will end up with any semblance of singles success.  Shad has new ring gear, new music, and a new personality (well, sort of).  He’s got a kind of pimp vibe going on, and I actually like it.  Not a lot, but seeing a personality in someone who essentially had no time to build one thanks to the bungling idiots behind the curtain is always nice.  JTG’s only change is his hairstyle.  He’s still coming down to the ring in the same attire and the same music.  If he wants any chance of succeeding in WWE as a singles competitor, he’s going to need a gimmick change really soon.  I think JTG has a lot of potential.  He’s a lot more talented in the ring than he’s allowed to show, I’m sure.  If WWE gives him some mic time, maybe we’ll see if he’s got the whole package.  Shad is another big guy who Vince is going to push, as per normal.  It just remains to be seen if JTG can dig himself out of this hole that Creative has put him in already.  I’d like to see JTG succeed in the long-term, but in the short-term, it’s going to be all about Shad.  Shad Gaspard wins this blow-off, and will quite possibly head to Raw during the draft next week.

Women’s Championship “Extreme Makeover” Match – Michelle McCool (c) vs. Beth Phoenix

First of all, what in the blue hell is an Extreme Makeover match?  Nothing has been explained.  The only inkling I’m getting was the whole lipstick thing McCool did on Smackdown, which was degrading enough.  If this was a simple Extreme Rules match, I’d be happy.  I don’t remember the last time WWE women were involved in a hardcore-type setting.  I’d much prefer to see that than whatever the hell this is likely going to end up being.  Anyway, as per every Michelle McCool match, this will be a 3-on-1 handicap match and McCool will win because she’s dating The Undertaker and she has Vickie Guerrero on her side.  Simple as that.  While I really would love to see Beth absolutely crush Michelle, there is no chance of that happening, especially now that Mickie James is gone from WWE (it had to be said).  Michelle McCool retains the title.

Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk – If Punk loses, he has to shave his head

What, no stipulation if Rey loses?  That’s a rather one-sided affair, is it not?  And when there’s a one-sided match like this, it’s always the guy in peril who ends up winning.  I can’t remember the last time a one-sided stipulation match went the way of the guy who isn’t affected by the stip.  Anyway, this has been a decent feud, but I’m betting that Punk is heading to Raw in the draft, so this may very well be the blow-off to this feud.  Either way, Punk won’t be shaving his head.  Seeing as how this is also basically a 3-on-1 handicap match, Rey won’t be able to fend off Luke Gallows and Serena for the whole match.  This should be a hotly contested match and a hell of a lot of fun.  But in the end, CM Punk wins and keeps his coat of fur for a while longer.

Street Fight – HHH vs. Sheamus

This is apparently the “reverse the Wrestlemania decision” PPV.  HHH won at Wrestlemania, and because I doubt this feud is over (unless Sheamus gets traded to Smackdown, which I highly doubt is going to happen seeing as how Vince has a hard-on for pasty Irish-born men), the porcelain Irishman is going to get the dupe on Sunday.  I wish Jim Ross would announce this match, just to hear him call it “bowling shoe ugly,” since that’s what it’s going to be.  Sheamus is still green as the hills of Ireland, and it shows.  Still, I’m hoping that these two just beat the shit out of each other for a good 10 minutes or so.  Though, with HHH’s neck issue, he probably won’t be taking too many bumps.  He’ll probably control the majority of the match, then Sheamus will pull a lead pipe out of his ass and knock out The Game.  Sheamus wins and continues this feud until the next big PPV.

Steel Cage Match – Edge vs. Chris Jericho

I take issue with this match.  Not the match itself, but how it came into being.  Jericho never got his rightful rematch against Swagger for the World Heavyweight Championship, nor did Edge get HIS rematch against Jericho.  Yes, they got the Triple Threat match a couple of weeks ago, but that shouldn’t count as both men’s rematch.  And now with a Raw guy challenging Swagger for the title, it feels like both Jericho and Edge were passed over for seemingly no reason.  In fact, it feels more like Edge’s entire return has been for naught.  He came back at the Royal Rumble, won it, challenged Jericho at Wrestlemania, LOST (which I still feel was a mistake), and now is stuck with Jericho again inside a cage.  Yes, these two are going to work a hell of a match, and yes, it will be entertaining, but it just feels like they’re both getting screwed simply so WWE can get some younger talent into the spotlight.  Okay, diatribe over.  This will likely be the best match of the night, and since Jericho won at Wrestlemania, I’ll say Edge wins.

World Heavyweight Championship Extreme Rules Match – Jack Swagger (c) vs. Randy Orton

Why does this have to be advertised as an Extreme Rules match?  That’s the name of the damn show!  Whatever.  Now, for another quick diatribe: so, is Swagger officially a part of Smackdown now?  He stated on Smackdown something to the effect of, “After the draft on Monday, I’ll officially be the World Heavyweight Champion on Smackdown.”  Unless I mistook his statements, it sounds like he’s still a part of Raw.  Which doesn’t make any sense since they already advertised his “last match on Raw” was against Orton a couple of weeks ago.  And if Orton wins, and doesn’t get drafted to Smackdown, is he going to head there anyway?  Or is he going to stay on Raw and have two championships on Monday night?  It boggles the mind.  I do wish that things were more clear-cut than they are right now.  Anyway, unless I’m completely wrong, it looks like the next challenger for the World Title is John Morrison, seeing as how he beat Swagger this past Friday night and all.  So that kind of puts a damper on him being drafted to Raw, unless Creative is going to continue with this cross-brand title match idea.  While I still think it’s too soon for Swagger (really, any time is too soon for him), I highly doubt that he’s going to lose this soon.  Jack Swagger retains the World Heavyweight Championship.  Now THAT is a sentence I never thought I would be saying.

WWE Championship Last Man Standing Match – John Cena (c) vs. Batista

Let me ask you one question: has John Cena ever lost a Last Man Standing match, or any match that tests one’s endurance and resistance to pain?  I can’t think of any time that’s happened.  Batista is on his way out (thank GOD), and putting the WWE Title on him how would just make Cena look like a weak champion.  Course, the last time Cena was a strong champion was 2007, during his yearlong title reign (which, I attest, is the best WWE or World Title run since I started watching WWE programming again back in 2006).  So, this one is an easy pick.  John Cena retains the WWE Championship.  Man, I didn’t pick any title changes.  Then again, there are only three titles on the line.

Which brings up this point: where is ShowMiz on this card?  I would think that Vince would want to give The Miz as much TV time as possible.  He’s basically the second-most prominent face in the company (behind Cena).  And let’s not argue that point right now.  Anyway, unless there’s a special bonus match added at the last minute, there may be some disappointed fans.  Wait, Miz doesn’t have fans…

Okay, that’s all the time I’ve got for now.  Check back in in a couple of days for Extreme Rules results, and next week, get ready for some NXT bashing and WWE Spring Cleaning writing.  So, until then, stay awesome everyone!

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