Rewriting the Books - Extreme Rules 2013

Hoo boy, it's been a little while since I last did this, huh? I'm going to apologize in advance because I really didn't feel up to writing this thing. With no matches involving Ziggler, CM Punk, or Cesaro, I really couldn't get excited about the upcoming event.

Random crap that has happened since I wrote this for Wrestlemania:
- Dolph Ziggler became World Heavyweight Champion the night after Mania. Because why have his big moment on the biggest night of the year, right?
- 'Fandangoing' has become a thing.
- Ryback got a hundred times more interesting.
- Antonio Cesaro lost the United States Championship (boooo).
- Wade Barrett lost the Intercontinental Championship to The Miz but won it back the next night and has since done jack shit

For the record, Wrestlemania was pretty much exactly what I expected. Everything I thought would be good was good, everything I thought I wouldn't care for, I didn't care for. It was probably the second-best Wrestlemania I've seen. I have seen three.

Off the Card
With a full eight matches on the main card plus the Youtube pre-show match all lined up, it's pretty easy to see why certain storylines just aren't on the card - there's not enough room for them. Which gives me plenty of reason to complain about the matches I'm not looking forward to! So first of all, how the hell long is AJ going to be #1 contender to the Divas Championship before she actually gets a match against Kaitlyn? I swear this is the first time I've actually cared about the Divas division for the entire calendar year, and I actually want to see this match because I care about both characters and know they can competently wrestle. Why did you bother making AJ the #1 contender if she's not going to go after the title until the next pay-per-view? Also, as I touched on earlier, Wade Barrett has absolutely nothing going on, because he's a heel holding a midcard championship and he's not feuding with Miz or Kofi Kingston anymore. It's truly unfortunate how unimportant the guy is when he has the potential to be so much greater than a number of the guys ahead of him.

YouTube Pre-Show Match: Cody Rhodes vs. The Miz
Subtitle: "Here are two guys we really like but we have absolutely nothing for them right now." Miz has been away for several weeks so there was no chance to properly build a story for him. Cody has unfortunately been very quiet since Wrestlemania, but a throwaway match is better than no match. Not much else to say here, except I hope both guys get more important things to do soon.

Chris Jericho vs. Fandango
I really don't care so much about this storyline anymore. Note that this is one of two rematches from Wrestlemania on the card, and I'm not excited about either of them. Fandango is always entertaining to me when he comes out, but the approach Jericho's character has taken to him has been really strange. Jericho lost to Wrestlemania, right? So he wants revenge on him, right? So he should be provoking him into a rematch, right? But instead he provokes him into a dance contest, then acts all mad when Fandango snaps and attacks him. Dude, shouldn't you have been trying to provoke him into fighting you this whole time? Why are you mad now? Now you get a sanctioned match where you can try to kick his ass. Or did you just want the goofball antics to continue with you annoying him? Because the guy's already a weirdo and it's clear he doesn't care about you unless you outright provoke him - he just goes back to his whole narcissistic dancing deal whenever you're not in his field of vision. It's very backwards that the guy we're supposed to cheer for has been acting like a buzz-killing asshole for over a month ruining Fandango's fun, but now that his fun has been ruined, all of a sudden it's time to get serious, no more goofing around, we're gonna fight. I don't get it.

Extreme Rules Match: Big Show vs. Randy Orton

Randy Orton non-championship feuds are the least fucking interesting thing. Randy Orton is a black hole of bland and boredom. This feud has been built on nothing but one guy randomly attacking the other and for some reason I'm supposed to care even though the guy I'm supposed to want to win is a fucking robot who keeps beating all the guys I actually like and acts like it's no big deal. Do you remember why they're feuding? It's because Orton was a glory-stealing douchebag and tagged himself in in a match against The Shield when Big Show wanted in instead, and then Orton got wrecked because he's a moron and Big Show decided "Fuck that asshole I'm not gonna help him." And somehow this has escalated into a goddamn blood feud which must be settled with an assortment of foreign objects. God I hate that guy.

Strap Match: Mark Henry vs. Sheamus
There's a lot of good and a lot of bad regarding the build to this match. Pretty much all of the bad is the fact that Sheamus is supposed to be the good guy when he's an annoying little shit who keeps ruining all of the awesome stuff that Henry does. The fact that Sheamus kept pushing and pushing and pushing Mark until he just lost it, grabbed some dude's belt and beat the ever-loving shit out of Sheamus with it in order to set up the match condition was pretty great though. Things escalated in a fairly logical and straightforward matter, and were it not for the fact that Sheamus's character continues to be absolutely infantile, this would've been absolutely great. Unfortunately unless Mark's going to get pushed to bigger and better things soon, I think he's going to lose.

United States Championship Match: Dean Ambrose vs. Kofi Kingston (c)
Um. Has there been any build to this match? I don't think there has...I mean I know Kofi was in a three-on-three match against The Shield recently, but that's about all I can think of. The Shield has been so focused on so many other guys in recent weeks that this match really comes out of nowhere. Still, Ambrose needs something to do in order to continue to establish him as the singles guy in The Shield, and you have to start somewhere.

Tag Team Championship Match: Team Hell No (c) vs. The Shield
I've been waiting four months for Daniel Bryan and Kane to lose their championships so that their team will break up, and now I fear the time has passed. Honestly they should've dropped the titles before or at Wrestlemania - possibly to the same group. That seemed to be the direction they were going - tension built at the Royal Rumble, it continued at Elimination Chamber, but then Wrestlemania rolls around and they're on the same page and get a fairly easy victory. And then they stand strong and united together against The Shield. On the bright side, Team Hell No and The Shield have been common foes since the latter showed up way back in November, so it's not like there's an absence of history between them. I think it's more important that Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns win this match than it is for Ambrose to win his. If they lose as a team again so quickly after Cena beat them all by himself, then their momentum will be ruined as so many villains before them.

World Heavyweight Championship #1 Contenders Match: Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger
So this was supposed to be a triple threat ladder match for the championship, but then Dolph Ziggler got concussed. Whoops. I can't imagine Del Rio losing this match, although I guess it's possible that some interference by Ziggler's crew might cause a draw. Now that I think about it, there's not much to be said about this match that couldn't have been said about the match at Wrestlemania. The problem is that this is a match in which the loser must specifically give up - and we've already seen Swagger tap out to Del Rio, at Wrestlemania. So...yeah. Sort of seems like a foregone conclusion.

Steel Cage Match: Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H
I have never watched wrestling at a time when Triple H wrestled regularly. From watching him for the past year, however, I have concluded that I would have despised him. The guy is just as terrible as every other major face - perhaps worse - at playing a good guy. He beats up and humiliates Paul Heyman at the drop of a hat, and never appears vulnerable, or frightened, or intimidated, or anything that Brock Lesnar is supposed to make others appear to be. There is no reason that I should watch this match and want Triple H to beat Brock Lesnar, unless I just really, really hated Brock Lesnar. Triple H decisively beat Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania. He got 'redemption' for the time Brock Lesnar beat him and 'broke his arm'. Since then, he has spat on everything that is supposed to make Brock Lesnar a draw as a villain - he has called him worthless, spineless, and a bitch. Brock Lesnar has retaliated by not being able to physically get the better of Triple H since then. Even with Heyman at his side, Brock Lesnar has looked helpless and lost. I don't see any reason why he needs to get the shit beaten out of him again. Instead I want him to break Triple H's arm again so he'll stop bragging for a while.

Last Man Standing WWE Championship Match: John Cena (c) vs. Ryback
See, this is how you do it. John Cena might also be a terrible heroic character, but at the least he has appeared vulnerable during the feud with Ryback, who is suddenly intelligent, crafty, and logical, proving that being evil makes you smarter. There was logic behind Ryback's heel turn and targeting Cena, and there has been logic behind each of his actions since completing the turn. He knows how Cena will act because the guy's predictable, so he takes advantage of that to plan sneak attacks. He knows Cena's foot is hurt, so he further aggravates the injury and, when given the chance to choose a match stipulation, chooses one that will put Cena at a greater disadvantage because of the injury. As a face, Ryback was a simple, unstoppable wave of destruction that lacked direction and simply sought greater competition. Now he has focus, and that makes him seem more dangerous. Frustrating as it is that Cena the character has dismissed Ryback's reasons as "whining", Ryback's gotten to shut him up and beat him up. It's nigh impossible to make Cena look like he's in danger of losing these days, but this time it's happened. I don't think Ryback will win, but I can buy that the possibility at least exists.