WWE is holding it’s annual homage to hardcore wrestling on July 15. Extreme Rules will be in Pittsburgh this year and it’s back to a dual brand show. It’s the one time a year WWE decides to completely throw rules out the window! Kind of.
So far the card is looking a little light on the “extreme” but there’s still time and there are some great matches announced so it could be a great PPV! Backlash two months ago received less than stellar reviews but Money In The Bank last month was a marked improvement so hopefully, WWE continues with the up and up!
The Men’s Division is getting some interesting match-ups to look forward too. Both Tag Titles matches could be interesting with former Miztourage (now The B-Team) members actually have a shot at the Raw Tag Titles. While the SmackDown Live end of things has reunited Daniel Bryan and Kane to reform Team Hell No and challenge for the blue brand straps. We’ll also get quality match machine Seth Rollins in a 30-Minute Iron Man Match against the master of selling Dolph Ziggler. Rollins wants his Intercontinental Title back and he’ll have to go through Ziggler (and Drew McIntyre) to get it. Two high energy performers duking it out could be great.
The Women’s Division is in an interesting place right now. Alexa Bliss will be defending her title against Nia Jax after cashing in her Money in the Bank briefcase at the MITB PPV to take it from Jax. The two have a lot of bad blood but will the “suspended” Ronda Rousey also play a role in the match? She has a bone to pick with Bliss and could be a factor. Asuka will look to take the SmackDown Live title but she’ll have to go through Carmella and… James Ellsworth? Ellsworth cost Asuka the title at MITB and she is more than capable of teaching Ellsworth a lesson, but can she split her attention between him and Carmella?
The main titles are in two totally different predicaments right now. On one hand, you have AJ Styles as WWE Champion, arguably WWE’s most consistent performer defending the title at every PPV. And on the other, you have Brock Lesnar as the Universal Champion, who is literally never around. Last defending his title at the Greatest Royal Rumble in APRIL Lesnar will be absent from his third straight PPV with reports coming in that he may not even be at Summerslam, WWE’s second biggest show of the year. What small shred of dignity the Universal Title had built in its short life has been devastated by the absences of Lesnar. Luckily we have AJ Styles holding down the main event scene. And this time he’ll be facing crowd favorite Rusev! It should be a great match and a Happy Rusev Day!
WWE Extreme Rules 2018 Details
Date: Sunday, July 15, 2018
Time: 7:00 P.M. EST (4:00 P.M. PST)
TV Channel: WWE Network
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley
Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin
Braun Stroman vs. Kevin Owens in a Steel Cage Match
Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the United States Championship
The Deleter of Worlds (c) vs. The B-Team for the Raw Tag Team Titles
The Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs. Team Hell No for the SmackDown Live Tag Team Titles
Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Seth Rollins in a 30-Minute Iron Man Match for the Intercontinental Title
Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Nia Jax for the Raw Women’s Championship
Carmella (c) vs. Asuka for the SmackDown Live Women’s Championship
AJ Styles (c) vs. Rusev for the WWE Championship
Predictions & Must-See Matches
The Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs. Team Hell No
Fans were excited when Kane came out to help Daniel Bryan against the Bludgeon Brothers on SmackDown Live and were even more excited when Bryan and the Big Red Machine hugged it out like old times. The WWE Universe has been tepid on Kane the last few years. The big man is an absolute legend but has seemingly been randomly injected into matches and feuds. It seems like WWE has found a good place for him. The WWE has been booking The Budgeon Brothers as an unstoppable force but the mix of Kane’s power and Bryan’s skill could believably dethrone them.
Will WWE put the belts on Team Hell No? It’s possible, it’s two future Hall of Famers in a fan favorite team. But will WWE sacrifice the momentum of a new team for the sake of a nostalgia run? It’s the WWE so that’s very possible. Likely a hard-fought win by The Bludgeon Brothers, but don’t be surprised if you see new tag champs hugging it out by nights end.
Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Seth Rollins
This match has the potential of being the barn burner of the night. On one side Seth Rollins has been putting in some of the best work of his career the last few months. He essentially became the face of Raw’s Championship scene during his Intercontinental Championship run thanks to the continued absence of Brock Lesnar and the Universal Title.
On the other, you have Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler has been criminally underutilized as of late. He has a ton of talent and sells better than anyone in the business. It’s good to see him back in the spotlight and with a title, even if it is in service to help rebuild the profile of current partner Drew McIntyre. Rollins and Ziggler will put on an athletic tour de force if they are able to get going and thanks to the match stipulation, a 30-Minute Iron Man Match, the two will be guaranteed the time to build the match into a frenzy. Add in the looming power of Drew McIntyre on the sidelines and you have real potential. Look for a high flying, hard-fought match with Ziggler walking out STILL the Intercontinental Champion.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Rusev
It looks like WWE is finally listening to its fans! Sort of. Rusev Day has been one of the most popular gimmicks for months and WWE has seemed to have one foot in the water about committing to the Bulgarian Brute as a main eventer. This seems to be a trial run for Rusev before storylines shift after SummerSlam. It is unlikely that AJ Styles would drop the belt in a non-feud title match on the PPV before SummerSlam though it gives Rusev the ability to anchor a PPV against arguably the most talented performer in the company with less pressure. WWE has been dragging its feet to give Rusev a real chance and letting it happen at Extreme Rules feels a little like they are saying “Fine! He can have a title shot… let’s see how it goes…” But if all goes well then he may be leaned on to go into a long-term story for the title. Most likely AJ Styles will walk away with the title after Rusev gets a lot of offense in on the Phenomenal One. Let’s just hope this ends up leading to the best Rusev Day ever!