WWE Extreme Rules is just a day away and it comes to us live from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The WWE has booked a total of 10 matches for the main card at Extreme Rules, and they just added another kickoff match, so that means the entire event will feature 12 contests. It looks like we’re in for another long night folks. The New Day versus Sanity was already booked as one of the kickoff matches, and the WWE recently added Sin Cara and Andrade “Cien” Almas to the preshow.
Just like the last two months of bookings on Raw and SmackDown, the WWE seems to be phoning this one in. It seems fans agree with that statement because the pay-per-view isn’t sold out like it usually would be by now. That’s not to say that there aren’t some good matches, but only three out of the 12 can be described as “extreme.” The WWE should really think about ditching this pay-per-view altogether if they’re not going to have a card filled with contests that throws the rule book out for the night. Nonetheless, there are some exciting bouts we can look forward to, but this event is really about booking toward SummerSlam.
Sin Cara vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas
These two squared off for the first time on SmackDown and stole the show. On Tuesday, Almas pinned Sin Cara clean. Booking logic would say that if they were going to have rematch, Sin Cara should pick up the victory, but given the way they have hyped Almas coming to the SmackDown roster, he will likely beat Sin Cara again. Zelina Vega will likely help Andrade cheat to secure the victory.
The New Day vs. Sanity
The two teams will face off in a tables match. After they beat Demolition’s record and then quickly dropped the titles, the WWE has made it clear that The New day is their comedy spot, pancakes and all. Sanity is new to the main roster, and if they are going to be booked strong, then they need to win in convincing fashion on Sunday, so expect The New Day to meet some tables at Extreme Rules.
Finn Balor vs. “Constable” Baron Corbin
Ever since Balor was injured during the contest where he became the first-ever universal champion, it seems the WWE has viewed him as small and fragile. Every Monday, the company reminds us how small Balor is by literally telling us so, and he was even part of the jobbers who broke up the pull-apart between Lashley and Reigns. So, if the company is going to push him at all, they need to do so ASAP while he is still over with the fans. Look for Balor to pull off the victory on Sunday, and the two will likely have a rematch the following night on Raw.
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Dolph Ziggler defends his title against Seth Rollins in a 30-minute iron man match. The WWE is really trying to build their mid-card titles back up, so having Ziggler drop it after just winning it doesn’t make sense. Expect Drew McIntyre to interfere and for Dolph to retain.
WWE United States Championship
Shinsuke Nakamura challenges Jeff Hardy for the championship. This contest was supposed to take place on SmackDown a couple of weeks ago but Nakamura got bit by a police dog and was injured. He’s now back in action, so we can finally see that contest on Sunday. Shinsuke needs a push after losing numerous title contests to AJ Styles, and the belt on Hardy does nothing for Jeff or for the championship. Look for a new U.S. champion to be crowned at Extreme Rules.
Raw Tag Team Championship
WWE Raw tag team champions The Deleters of Worlds defend their titles against The B-Team. Given the fact that both Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel have defeated Matt Hardy in their respective contests, it would be shocking if Bray Wyatt and Hardy lost the championships at Extreme Rules. The WWE loves to switch up their booking these days, but it’s a safe bet to assume that the champions will retain. Plus, it looks like The Revival is starting to make an impact again, and they need a solid face team to feud with if they’re going to chase the titles.
SmackDown Women’s Championship
Carmella defends her title against Asuka. After pinning her, embarrassing her, and beating her up, Carmella has come out on top over Asuka throughout the last month. “The Empress of Tomorrow” needs a win, and she is a much better worker. Look for the title to change hands at Extreme Rules. And what’s the “extreme” stipulation for this feud? James Ellsworth will be suspended above the cage in a shark tank. Yup, that’s it.
Raw Women’s Championship
Alexa Bliss puts her title on the line against Nia Jax in an extreme rules match. Don’t let the name of the contest fool you, an extreme rules match is not one where they strictly enforce the rules but one where all the rules are thrown out the window. Ronda Rousey will be at ringside, and it’s safe to assume that she will become involved at some point. With Mickie James likely being in the corner of Bliss, this allows for a multitude of shenanigans between the four.
The next pay-per-view after Sunday is WWE’s second biggest event of the year, SummerSlam. If they’re booking toward SummerSlam, then keeping the title on the champion makes sense, so Bliss will likely retain. Expect Bliss, Rousey, and Jax to be in a triple threat match at SummerSlam, and being the only heel in the match, Alexa coming in as the champion only makes sense.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship
Team Hell No challenges The Bludgeon Brothers for the titles. The Miz will be playing in the 2018 MLB All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game this Sunday, which takes place in Washington, D.C. That city isn’t far away from Pittsburgh, and it’s feasible that he could easily make it to the WWE event in time to disrupt this match. Expect The Miz to interfere costing his rival, Daniel Bryan, the championship opportunity. This helps build the pair for a match at SummerSlam. Plus, Kane, otherwise known as Glenn Jacobs, has an upcoming mayoral race to contend with.
Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens
These two will face off in a steel cage match. Go figure, a steel cage match finally being booked at Extreme Rules. “The Monster in the Bank” is one of the most over wrestlers in the company. He will likely cash-in his briefcase, or announce the cash-in beforehand, at SummerSlam against Brock Lesnar. A loss here would only slow down the steam that the WWE has given him. Kevin Owens certainly needs a victory soon, as he hasn’t done much of anything since WrestleMania, but that victory is not likely to happen on Sunday.
Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley
Otherwise known as a bathroom and food break for many WWE fans. No one seems to care about these two squaring off, and it’s likely they’ll have the worst match of the night; Lashley needs to be carried in every singles bout he’s in, which is why the WWE stuck him in a bunch of tag team matches when he initially returned. Roman Reigns is a decent worker, but not good enough to make this match look good. These two will likely battle to a no contest, and unfortunately, that leaves them in a program together for the following weeks to come.
As a former professional wrestler and a lifelong fan, I am really looking forward to this match, as are much of the WWE universe. Both wrestlers are excellent in-ring workers, and their varying styles compliment each other’s well. If you’re looking to become a professional wrestler one day, or if you are already one, pay attention to this contest as the two should tell a great in-ring story.
It’s nice to see Rusev finally getting the push he deserves, but he doesn’t need a victory on Sunday to stay over with the fans. As nice as it would be for “Rusev Day” to happen at Extreme Rules, for no other reason that it would be an awesome surprise, AJ Styles will likely retain. Samoa Joe has also been left off the card on Sunday, so if he were to surprisingly pop up and attack Styles during or after his match, this would setup a nice program for the two at SummerSlam.
Extreme Rules airs Sunday at 6 p.m. EST on pay-per-view and the WWE Network.