It’s time to go EXTREME, but I don’t think anyone has told WWE about that part. This is Extreme Rules, and of the six (yes only six) matches announced so far, a grand total of one has anything beyond a standard match structure (at this point, triple threats are a way of life and hardly extreme, or even out of the ordinary. I’m sure a few more matches will be added, but it would be nice to have some stipulations added, just to spice things up a bit. Let’s get to it.
Carmella vs. Liv Morgan
We’ll get the least important one out of the way first. This is a feud that started when Carmella did her best Mandy Rose in NXT impression and suffered a face injury during a match with Morgan. That set a feud between Morgan and Carmella/Zelina Vega, the latter of whom defeated Morgan this week on Smackdown. Do you have any idea how far you’ve fallen when you’re losing to Vega?
How it got started:I’ll go with Morgan here, if nothing else because I can’t fathom Carmella winning a pay per view match these days. I know fans, myself included, want to see Morgan break through to the next level but at this point, it doesn’t seem likely. Outside of a surprise Queen of the Ring win, what does Morgan have to look forward to? She isn’t breaking into the main event and is toiling with Carmella and Vega. She’ll win here, moving her absolutely anywhere but up the ladder.
Smackdown Tag Team Titles: Usos(c) vs. Street Profits
Does anyone else think WWE has kind of forgotten this match is happening? The Profits have been dealing with Roman Reigns more than the Usos and the Alpha Academy was already staring the champs down this week on SmackDown. With Montez Ford wrestling a singles match against Reigns this week and Angelo Dawkins not even on the show, would a split between the team in the upcoming Draft surprise you?
It worked once:Since there is no reason to have the Usos drop the titles, I’ll take them to retain here and possibly move on to an unlikely feud with the Alpha Academy. The Bloodline doesn’t need to be losing anything for a long time and that includes the Usos, so let them keep the titles here in a good match. I’m not sure what is next for the Profits, but would winning the titles again mean that much for them anyway?
Raw Women’s Title: Charlotte(c) vs. Alexa Bliss
This is where the show is falling apart as the Raw women’s division is among the worst things in wrestling in a very long time. It is clear that the people running it have a very different vision than what has been going on in the last few years and that is getting near impossible to watch. Charlotte is champion again (because of course she is) and Bliss has an evil doll (because of course she does). That doesn’t leave many options.
This has been a unique one:In something I’m not at all sure of, I’ll take Bliss to win the title. I know it sounds insane, but there is something to remember about Charlotte: she loses a lot. Yeah she is a million time champion, but that means she has lost almost as many times. Bliss has been the focus of the division for a long time now and giving her the title is what makes sense, as painful as it is going to be.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Becky Lynch(c) vs. Bianca Belair
Now we get to the good women’s match, as this is at least an interesting story. Lynch came back at Summerslam and beat Belair in less than thirty seconds, leaving Belair to….do everything she usually does and give excuses for her loss. That hasn’t been the best look for Belair, but she is now established as a name in the division and a proper match between the two will work well.
Why should she be scared:That being said, I can’t imagine that Belair gets the title back here, so we’ll say Lynch retains. She might not win the match, but she retains. They’re in a bit of a spot here, as you don’t want Lynch losing so soon but the feud is more or less wrapped up as soon as Belair gets a pin. These two could go on for a bit though and that’s what they should be doing, with Lynch retaining here.
US Title: Damian Priest(c) vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus
Hardy was added to this match on Monday by pinning Sheamus, and that’s a good thing in this case. Above all else, it gives us a fresh match after Priest has already defeated Sheamus. I wasn’t wild on seeing those two fight again so mixing it up a bit is one of the best things that they could do. Throw in the fact that Hardy is someone you could see winning almost any title and this should work out.
Three for one:Priest retains here, as he certainly should do. There is no reason to have him drop the title so soon and pinning either former World Champion is a good move. Sheamus flat out is not getting the title back here, leaving Hardy as the only other option. While Hardy is someone who could win a title, it would not make a lot of sense to have him do it here. Priest retains, as he should.
Universal Title: Roman Reigns(c) vs. Finn Balor
This has a double twist with Balor as the Demon and an actual stipulation, as this will be held under Extreme Rules. It’s nice of them to actually remember that, as it really felt like they were going to go through a show built around a style of match without anything involving that style of match. I know it doesn’t seem likely, but would you put anything by WWE at this point?
You have made him mad:Of course Reigns keeps the title here, as this feud has felt even more tacked on than the Usos vs. the Profits. WWE is already hyping up Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar for Crown Jewel and there is nothing to suggest that Balor has a chance here. Reigns is going to hold that title for a very long time to come and this is going to be the next successful title defense over a former World Champion as the Demon is next on the list.
I remember a few years ago when (I believe) Hell in the Cell had almost no matches announced until the weekend of the show. It’s the same feeling here, as WWE is having a show built around violence but one of the six matches has any sort of stipulation. If we’re to the point where a triple threat match counts as extreme, WWE is in deeper trouble than I thought. Odds are some more stipulations are added either Saturday or Sunday, but if they really can’t figure it out until that late, why are we having this show in the first place?
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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