You know that old expressions about inmates and asylums? Looks like life is about to imitate adages at Extreme Rules, because noted maniac Dean Ambrose has not only plumbed the depths of his mind to concoct the first-ever Asylum Match, he's also convinced Chris Jericho to be his opponent in it.
Granted, he didn't exactly explain what the match was when he challenged The Ayatollah of Rock ’n’ Rolla. All that was clear was that their rivalry had gotten so heated that “The Best in the World at What He Does” would have gladly accepted any kind of contest The Lunatic Fringe placed before him. Still, even by the standards of the extreme, this Asylum Match is a nightmare: The bout is, in essence, a Steel Cage Match, but with various weapons suspended above the structure that encases the dueling Superstars. The “escape the cage” stipulation is also off the table; the only way to win the Asylum Match is to pin opponent or make him submit.
The accommodations sound right up Ambrose's alley, if not quite his opponent's. Jericho has been more concerned with preserving “The Gift of Jericho” by batting away perceived social media slights than reinforcing his reputation in the ring (his last contest was actually his loss to Ambrose at WWE Payback), but the inflation of his ego has made him a riper target than usual for Ambrose's insanity. And even though Ambrose's insults have varied toward the petty — shredding Jericho's jacket was hardly a career-ender — the former Intercontinental Champion has shown he can be very creative when provoked, and Jericho likely coaxed the true madness out of Ambrose when he trapped Dean in a straitjacket on SmackDown.
Now, with the blessing of Shane McMahon, Jericho may well have to pay for it. The Lunatic Fringe has free reign to do whatever he wants to Jericho and, thus far, seems to have chosen his strategy wisely by first targeting his pride. Jericho can and will be provoked to new planes of cruelty by a few well-placed insults, but pain is what takes Ambrose to the next level. Perhaps the most chilling aspect of this Asylum Match is that The Lunatic Fringe is free to receive and give punishment in turn, and he's more than happy to do both. When it comes to sadistic, unrelenting brutality, it's entirely possible that history will look back on this match and say that Ambrose may as well have invented it.
|Extreme Rules 2016 previews|
The New Day v The Vaudevillains • Charlotte v Natalya • Roman Reigns v AJ Styles • Dolph Ziggler v Baron Corbin • Dean Ambrose v Chris Jericho • Kalisto v Rusev • Fatal 4-Way match • The Usos v Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows