WWE Extreme Rules is this Sunday in Pittsburgh, of all the horrible places for it to be.
The card is immensely stacked, with 11 matches already schedule. Of the surplus of showdowns, seven of them are for titles. With the belts on the line that many times, you have to expect one or two titles will shift hands.
Will A.J. Styles be able to hold onto his WWE Championship against Rusev? How will United States Champion Jeff Hardy fair against Shinsuke Nakamura. Surely Alexa Bliss, the Raw Women’s Champion, is at a disadvantage in an extreme rules match against Nia Jax.
Ironically, only one match on the card is a genuine extreme rules match, though there are a few others with hardcore stipulations.
Here's a look at this Sunday’s card with my picks for each match.
Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin
This could very well be a preshow match. It’s a feud centered around size… cool.
Prediction: Balor can’t afford to lose.
Tables match: The New Day vs. Sanity
There’s a good chance this could land on the preshow as well. Sanity has been nothing but destructive since their call-up, however one could argue they haven’t brought as much chaos as fans hoped. New Day is the perfect fodder for them.
Prediction: Sanity has to come away with the win.
Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley
These two have been in an ego-fueled feud for the past several weeks. It finally boiled over Monday in a pull-apart brawl that involved the whole locker room. Despite these two alpha males trying to prove who the bigger dog is, there are some Universal Championship ramifications lingering in the background. Perhaps one will gain the favor of Brock Lesnar and he will deem them worthy of a title shot at SummerSlam in August.
Prediction: Lashley quiets the Big Dog.
Steel cage match: Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens
Strowman has been harrassing Owens for weeks and it’s been pretty funny. But now, Kurt Angle is locking the two inside a steel cage.
Prediction: I expect Owens to reach his breaking point, snap on Strowman and win this match.
Intercontinental Championship 30-minute Iron Man match: Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler (c)
Ziggler has been showing he still has it ever since winning the title from Rollins. Both are in positions where they will try to on-up each other. An Iron Man match is the perfect situation for that. I will gladly take 30 minutes of these two performing. Drew McIntyre will also not be barred from ringside so I’m excited to see what kind of factor he will be.
Prediction: Ziggler retains.
Raw Tag Team Championship match: The B-Team vs. Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt (c)
The B-Team has been on a roll since breaking away from The Miz. Will their winning streak earn them the tag team titles?
Prediction: The B-Team wins, and we see cracks in the Hardy/Wyatt partnership.
Raw Women’s Championship extreme rules match: Nia Jax vs. Alexa Bliss (c)
Jax and Bliss have a natural chemistry together, partly because of their real-life relation and because they contrast so drastically. I am excited to see how this match plays out with their differing styles and roles.
Prediction: Somehow, someway Bliss retains.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship match: Team Hell No vs. The Bludgeon Brothers
Without reading too much into it, this match could very well be an indicator on Bryan’s contract situation. The nostalgia act is back and it’s been fun. I’m intrigued to see how The Miz potentially factors into this match.
Prediction: regardless how it happens, the Bludgeons retain after something goes wrong for Bryan, whether it’s Kane or Miz costing Team Hell No the titles.
SmackDown Women’s Championship match: Asuka vs. Carmella (c)
James Ellsworth will be inside a shark cage for this, which will be hilarious. I expect him to somehow interfere in the match from up there.
Prediction: Because of the Chinless One, Carmella retains.
United States Championship match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jeff Hardy (c)
Nakamura has landed on his feet since ending a feud with Styles. Hardy is showing signs of breaking on screen, but perhaps his actual body breaking that could cost him in the long run. He’s been rumored to have some back issues.
Prediction: Nakamura wins his first main roster championship and Hardy takes some more time off unfortunately.
WWE Championship match: Rusev vs. A.J. Styles (c)
It’s kind of interesting that on a PPV branded for extreme rules, the main match is just a singles match. That aside, it’s nice to see Rusev finally get a shot at the title. He’s deserving of a push, and this is exactly what he’s getting win or lose. Remember the rumors Vince McMahon hated that “Rusev Day” got over on its own? Nah.
Prediction: Rusev winning would be a heck of a way to end the show, but I feel like Styles retains here.
Weekly power rankings
A kayfabe look at the top 10 on each main show in WWE.
Monday Night Raw (July 9)
- Brock Lesnar (1)
- Braun Strowman (2)
- Roman Reigns (3)
- Bobby Lashley (4)
- Dolph Ziggler (5)
- Seth Rollins (6)
- Alexa Bliss (7)
- Finn Balor (9)
- Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt (10)
- The B-Team (UR)
Out: Elias (8)
SmackDown Live (July 10)
- A.J. Styles (1)
- Rusev (2)
- Jeff Hardy (3)
- Bludgeon Brothers (4)
- Shinsuke Nakamura (10)
- The Miz (5)
- Daniel Bryan (6)
- Sanity (UR)
- Samoa Joe (7)
- Carmella (8)
Out: Big E (9)
On the bubble: Kane, Asuka, Andrade Almas.
NXT (July 11)
- Aleister Black (1)
- Tommaso Ciampa (2)
- Undisputed Era (3)
- Johnny Gargano (5)
- Adam Cole (4)
- Ricochet (6)
- Pete Dunne (7)
- Shayna Baszler (8)
- Lars Sullivan (9)
- Velveteen Dream (10)
On the bubble: Candice LeRae.