It’s time for WWE Extreme Rules. I think you have to stress that last syllable or it doesn’t sound right. Extreeeeeeme! Like it’s still the 1990s and Dan Cortese could show up at any moment.
Since the hobbling of WWE by their insistence on the TV-PG rating, there hasn’t been a lot of extremity at Extreme Rules. You won’t see any cage matches. There probably won’t be any blood. But, both Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans are in the main event, and that’s extreme…ly bad.
Winners Take All mixed tag Extreme Rules match for WWE Universal and RAW Womens Championships: Seth Rollins (c) and Becky Lynch (c) vs. Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans – That’s a mouthful of words, isn’t it? The tension of this match is centered on Seth and Becky’s real-life relationship spilling into the ring. Their championship love affair is threatened by the business partnership between Corbin and Evans. It’s difficult to decide who is worse between Corbin and Evans oh wait no it isn’t. Evans is horrible. More than once, Lynch has had to tell her to get into position for a move. She has no ring awareness. Her gimmick is laughably bad. It’s like seeing someone get promoted at work because they’re blowing the district manager in the stockroom. Does this matter? Nah. Seth and Becky are going to carry this match on their shoulders until the very end. I’m counting on something horrible to happen, probably Brock Lesnar, and the good guys will lose their titles. Maybe Seth and Becky will start fighting on-screen. Meanwhile, Corbin and Evans will flaunt their titles for a few weeks because heel champions are the best, even when they are awful. Corbin and Evans win the match. Lesnar cashes in his Money in the Bank briefcase. WWE hates us all, but we’ll keep watching because we are all stuck in this abusive relationship with the company. I’m just going to start telling people I’m wearing my Matt Hardy shirt because I walked into the door again.
WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Samoa Joe – Samoa Joe’s character is built on threatening people. He’s like Michael Keaton in Pacific Heights. If he could break into Kofi’s house and take out the kitchen floor, he would. Kingston is part of The New Day, one of the most popular factions of probably ever. His resilience and creativity in matches is unmatched. He’s not as big as Joe, but that should’t matter. If Kofi can roll that big boy up into a small package, he will retain the title. After all, we can’t have heel champs across the board.
The Undertaker and Roman Reigns vs. Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre – Let’s break this down. The Undertaker, who should have retired years ago, is teaming up with Roman Reigns, who defeated Taker in one of the worst matches ever to take place at a PPV. They’re going up against Shane McMahon, a performer with less gas than a junked car in the desert, and Drew McIntyre who is, honestly, pretty great. Taker does his white eyes thing, Reigns goes OOOWAAAAH, they win the match. Hopefully, this will end the storyline of Shane calling himself the Best in the World while hiding behind other wrestlers who do his dirty work. I would have been happy with a straight match between Reigns and McIntyre, but what do I know? I’m not the Best in the World.
Last Man Standing: Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley – How much damage will these two guys do? Good question. Putting Strowman and Lashley in a Last Man Standing match, surrounded by a destroyable environment, could be a lot of fun to watch. I’m going with Strowman to win because Lashley has all the charisma of an empty water bottle. Look for lots of barricade shots and the inevitable destruction of the Spanish Announce Table in this match.
SmackDown Live Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross – I’ve been touting the greatness of Nikki Cross for years now, so of course, I want that wild woman to win. The problem is, she’s going against the righteously aggressive Bayley while teaming with the nefarious Alexa Bliss. It’s a win-win situation for Cross. If Bayley wins, Cross can continue to hate her for being Alexa’s enemy. If Cross wins, she will share that title with Alexa, who will double-cross Cross. That’s fun to say. Either way, if she ends up feuding with Bayley or Alexa, Nikki is going to come out of this looking like a star. Cross does all the hard work, Alexa pins Bayley, then refuses to hold up her end of that co-champion deal. She’s a terrible friend after all!
SmackDown Live Tag Team Championship triple threat: Daniel Bryan and Rowan (c) vs. The New Day vs. Heavy Machinery – I love this match on paper. Five huge guys and Daniel Bryan, who looks ever so tiny in comparison. Heavy Machinery has been a comedy act for the most part, but fans are starting to get behind the team’s style and chemistry. It’s not their time yet, though. We need to see more besides Otis doing the Caterpillar and Tucky talking about steaks and weights. Bryan is a skeevy little wrestler, technically better than anyone else in the ring. Look for Bryan and Rowan to retain after Xavier Woods gets rag-dolled for about seven minutes.
United States Championship match: Ricochet (c) vs. AJ Styles – Heel Styles is back! He’s put together a WWE iteration of The [Redacted] Club with Gallows and Anderson. He’s going up against Ricochet, an amazing performer the crowd loves. He’s not the best on the mic, but he can work and do all that flippy shit Jim Cornette hates. I’m calling for a title retention by Ricochet, but he’ll get the hell beat out of him by the Not The Bullet Club after the match. Maybe Finn Balor will come out and Too Sweet everyone. Nah. We couldn’t be that lucky.
Aleister Black vs. Cesaro – I’m calling it right now; this will be the match of the night. Black and Cesaro are two of the best wrestlers on the roster. They’re equally matched. They are both resilient, creative, and have devastating finishing moves. This might be the closest thing we get to a pure wrestling match on this card, and I cannot wait. Take the reins off and let these men go. In the end, I think the Black Mass will catch Cesaro off guard and Black will pick up the important win.
RAW Tag Team Championship: The Revival (c) vs. The Usos – I don’t understand the appeal of The Revival. I can’t even tell them apart. Well, I can’t tell the Usos apart either, but they’re identical twins, so there. The Revival’s whole gimmick is that they’re good wrestlers. Alrighty, then. The Usos, however, have the whole entertainment part of “sports entertainment” down. They can talk, they can work, and they’re always great to watch. Remember the match at Fastlane where The Usos and The New Day started doing each other’s moves? That was so good. I couldn’t find a clip of it, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. The Usos will win this match because they should always win everything.
Cruiserweight Championship: Drew Gulak (c) vs. Tony Nese – Again, I implore you. Stop sleeping on the cruiserweight division. Those performers are out to win your heart. I’m sure this match will be on the kickoff show, but it’s going to kick ass. Nese is stronger than Gulak, and he really wants that title. But Gulak is a hellion on the mat. If he can get Nese to submit, he’ll hold on to the championship. It’s going to be a hot twelve minutes, but I’m betting on Gulak to keep his chokehold on the title.
WWE Extreme Rules takes place July 14 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The kickoff show starts at 6 PM EST. The main card begins at 7 PM EST.