By Jason Powell
Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles in an Extreme Rules match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: If Styles is going to get a title run during his current feud with Reigns, the rules of this match would seem to suggest that this would be the time to do it. However, the timing of the match so early in Roman’s reign as champion made it feel very unlikely. The rules of the match leave the door open for plenty of outside interference from Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Unfortunately, the interest level in what the duo will do has decreased significantly since Payback. Still, I believe this match can be a lot of fun because anything goes. Anderson and Gallows can interfere. The Usos can interfere. Hell, anyone can interfere. So while this may not be a pure wrestling classic, the potential is there for a nice mix of good wrestling and drama.
Prediction: Roman Reigns retains the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Charlotte vs. Natalya in a submission match for the WWE Women’s Title: The deck is stacked against Charlotte, but they didn’t tell any type of story that would lead the audience to believe that this is the night for Natalya. They seemed to be foreshadowing when the increasingly arrogant women’s champion cut off her own father on Monday’s Raw. My assumption is that she retains the title without his help and that it becomes bad news for the Nature Boy. It’s possible that WWE is writing out Flair. It’s also possible that he will make him somewhat sympathetic by having Charlotte act even ruder to her famous father. One way or another, I don’t see the need for a title change.
Prediction: Charlotte retains the WWE Women’s Championship.
The Miz vs. Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn in a four-way for the Intercontinental Title: This match received the best storyline build. I was lukewarm on the idea of a four-way when the build started, yet now I want to see this match more than anything else on the show. They have done a tremendous job of building up issues between all four men. It’s possible that the four-way scenario was designed to transfer the belt from one heel to another, meaning Owens comes away with the title. Ultimately, I’m sticking with the current champion.
Prediction: The Miz retains the Intercontinental Title.
New Day vs. The Vaudevillains for the WWE Tag Team Championship: I wish I cared about this match more than I do. I have enjoyed the Vaudevillains act more than I thought I would since they were called up to the main roster. It may take a run with the WWE Tag Titles to make WWE fans take them seriously, just as it seemed to take a run with the NXT Tag Titles to make the NXT fans do the same. Seeing is believing. I still don’t get the feeling that there’s a real creative direction in mind for New Day. It seems like the company is more focussed on their skits than building traditional feuds. The Vaudevillains kept attacking them, yet New Day just kept following up with smiles and skits. It’s impossible for opponents to get major heat when the babyfaces don’t seem to be bothered by their antics.
Prediction: The New Day retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Kalisto vs. Rusev for the U.S. Title: We have a champion who lost yet another match to Alberto Del Rio, and a challenger who was beaten by Sin Cara. Seriously, who the hell loses to Sin Cara? The new U.S. Champion, that’s who.
Prediction: Rusev wins the U.S. Title.
Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho in an Asylum Match: The Clockwork Orange House of Lethal Lockdown Fun match fits nicely with the Extreme Rules theme. This feels like it could be a blowoff match, but I’m not so sure simply because this is the second match of their feud, and Jericho has been known to have some lengthy programs over the years. Nothing jumps out as far as future feuds for either man. If the feud is going to continue, then would would think that Jericho would find a way to win this match. Ultimately, this is Ambrose’s match and I’ll go with him.
Prediction: Dean Ambrose wins.
The Usos vs. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows in a tornado match: The late addition to the Extreme Rules lineup gives you all the fun of the big Raw brawls between The Bloodline and The Club yet without the top two players. Okay, that sounds like a negative, but this could actually be a lot of fun. Anderson and Gallows desperately need a win and I believe they get it.
Prediction Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows win.
Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler in a No DQ match: It was a mistake to have Ziggler lose to Corbin on last month’s Kickoff Show. In a perfect world, Corbin would already have moved on. Instead, we get one more match and what I assume will be a decisive win for Corbin.
Prediction: Baron Corbin wins.
Powell’s Bold Predictions for WWE Extreme Rules
-No one cares about what Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon will do at Extreme Rules, yet they will be all over the show.
-Baron Corbin would be a pretty cool fit in The Club. I could see him being positioned as the muscle of the group even if that means occasionally serving as the setup man for whomever the leader is. Long term, imagine a Four Horsemen-like scenario with a sniveling leader such as Seth Rollins becoming paranoid about Corbin, turning the group against him, and setting up Corbin for a strong babyface run.
-Stardust will be revealed as the leader of The Club. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson will start dressing like Stardust, and Gallows will forever be known as Festdust (assist to Will Pruett on the goal).
-Rikishi will show up and be superkicked by The Usos because that’s what the Young Bucks would do.
-Once Extreme Rules goes off the air, all of the wrestlers will walk onto the stage to sing happy birthday to Wade Keller, who will be in the building. Okay, that’s not happening, so I’ll handle it by saying happy birthday, Wade. My gift to you will be appearing on Tuesday’s PWTorch Livecast at noon CT. You’re welcome!