With Extreme Rules coming to us tonight and several championships on the line, we’re taking a look at what you can expect from each contest. Some of RealSport’s own writers have contributed their predictions for each match, so who are the favorites in Pittsburgh tonight?
Kickoff Match: Andrade “Cien” Almas vs Sin Cara
Added at the last minute, we’ll get to see Andrade “Cien” Almas take on Sin Cara once again. While Almas got a convincing victory over Sin Cara on SmackDown Live, WWE’s tendency to repeat themselves is giving it to us once more. There isn’t even a stipulation added. While it should be a decent contest, and it’s another chance for Almas to show off his skills on a main roster stage, it feels completely unnecessary.
Predictions: Due to the match being added so close to the event, predictions had already been made and are unavailable for this contest.
Favorite (0-0): N/A
Kickoff Tables Match: The New Day vs SAnitY
It’s a shame this match got pushed to the Kickoff Show, because a Tables Match between these two trios is exactly the kind of chaos Extreme Rules is all about. SAnitY has wreaked havoc since arriving on SmackDown Live, and left The New Day in their wake along the way. The former champions will be looking for vengeance, and SAnitY will surely find the chaos they’re always seeking.
Predictions: SAnitY (Patches, Josh, Andrew, Jonathon, Jonathan, Toby, Binnzy, Craig, Ahmad, Braydon)
Favorite (10-0): SAnitY
Finn Balor vs “Constable” Baron Corbin
The reasoning behind this contest is flimsy, at best. Corbin and Balor have had issues in recent weeks, and a few tag matches and confrontations have sparked this. It should be a decent match, but feels out of place on a pay-per-view. This match belongs on Monday Night Raw.
Predictions: Finn Balor (Josh, Andrew, Jonathon, Toby, Craig, Braydon), “Constable” Baron Corbin (Patches, Jonathan, Binnzy, Ahmad)
Favorite (6-4): Finn Balor
Raw Tag Team Championship Match: “Woken” Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt (c) vs The B-Team
Normally it’s Wyatt and Hardy playing mind games with their opponents. As of late, The B-Team has been parodying the eccentric champions and looking to get under their skin. It’s an interesting tactic, and so far their winning ways have continued. Axel and Dallas may just end up infuriating an already dangerous duo, but some of us are still holding out hope that The B-Team’s cinderella story will continue.
Predictions: “Woken” Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt (Josh, Andrew, Jonathon, Jonathan, Toby, Ahmad, Braydon), The B-Team (Patches, Binnzy, Craig)
Favorites (7-3): “Woken” Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt
United States Championship Match: Jeff Hardy (c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura
After being relatively absent for several weeks, Jeff Hardy reappeared on SmackDown Live and made it clear that he has unfinished business with Shinsuke Nakamura. Now that Shinsuke has moved on from his failed pursuit of the WWE Championship, his eyes are on the US Title. Jeff has reportedly been dealing with a nagging back injury, so a title change looks likely here.
Predictions: Shinsuke Nakamura (Patches, Josh, Andrew, Jonathon, Jonathan, Toby, Binnzy, Craig, Braydon), Jeff Hardy (Ahmad)
Favorite (9-1): Shinsuke Nakamura
Steel Cage Match: Braun Strowman vs Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens keeps trying to be friends with Braun Strowman in hopes that he won’t be attacked, and it’s done him no good at all. Strowman has made Kevin’s life a living hell in recent weeks, including flipping over his rental car and sending him careening off the stage while inside a porta potty. Now Owens has to contend with Mr. Monster in the Bank inside a steel cage. While an escape by Owens is a slim possibility, the most likely outcome is him being mauled by Strowman.
Predictions: Braun Strowman (Patches, Josh, Andrew, Jonathon, Toby, Craig, Ahmad, Braydon), Kevin Owens (Jonathan, Binnzy)
Favorite (8-2): Braun Strowman
Raw Women’s Championship Extreme Rules Match: Alexa Bliss (c) vs Nia Jax
After her stunning cash-in at Money in the Bank, Alexa Bliss feels right at home as Raw Women’s Champion once again. Tonight we’ll get a WrestleMania rematch with a hardcore twist, and we can only hope it’ll be better than Alexa’s last showing at Extreme Rules. Don’t forget about Ronda Rousey’s presence at ringside, as interference or a post-match attack are all but guaranteed.
Predictions: Alexa Bliss (Patches, Josh, Andrew, Jonathon, Jonathan, Toby, Binnzy, Craig, Ahmad, Braydon)
Favorite (10-0): Alexa Bliss
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Carmella (c) vs Asuka (with James Ellsworth suspended above the ring in a Shark Cage)
Carmella escaped Money in the Bank with her championship, but she did so with the help of a returning James Ellsworth. Asuka is looking for revenge, but she’s also looking to capture a title she should’ve won a long time ago. Ellsworth will be suspended above the ring in a Shark Cage, but that doesn’t guarantee he won’t interfere. Watch what Ellsworth is wearing, as he could be hiding a weapon to drop from the cage at an opportune moment. Despite how deserving Asuka is, Carmella’s still likely to escape as champion once again.
Predictions: Carmella (Josh, Andrew, Jonathon, Toby, Binnzy, Craig, Ahmad, Braydon), Asuka (Patches, Jonathan)
Favorite (8-2): Carmella
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs Team Hell No
On the list of things no one saw coming, you’ll find the return of Kane and reunion of Team Hell No. After a few weeks of issues with The Bludgeon Brothers, Bryan’s former tag team partner Kane came to his rescue. They’re already back to their bickering ways, but that dynamic led them to gold in the past. Considering Kane’s continuing real-life run for Mayor of Knox County, Tennessee, it’s unclear how long he’ll be back, but the love for Team Hell No is real enough to make them the favorites going up against the behemoths known as The Bludgeon Brothers.
Predictions: Team Hell No (Patches, Josh, Andrew, Jonathan, Toby, Binnzy, Craig), The Bludgeon Brothers (Jonathon, Ahmad, Braydon)
Favorites (7-3): Team Hell No
Roman Reigns vs Bobby Lashley
WWE is trying really hard to make this match mean more than it actually does. In reality, the easiest way to make this match matter would be to strip Brock Lesnar of the Universal Championship, give it to Roman (who won it at Greatest Royal Rumble), and make this a title match. But I digress. These two powerhouses are often underestimated when it comes to in-ring skill, so this could be a sneakily good match, but a lack of real consequences severely cripples any potential excitement.
Predictions: Roman Reigns (Patches, Andrew, Jonathan, Toby, Binnzy, Craig, Ahmad, Braydon), Bobby Lashley (Josh, Jonathon)
Favorite (8-2): Roman Reigns
Intercontinental Championship 30-Minute Iron Man Match: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs Seth Rollins
Dolph Ziggler shocked the world when he answered an open challenge and took the Intercontinental Championship away from Seth Rollins. Now the rematch is set, and it’ll be a 30-Minute Iron Man Match. There’s no denying the in-ring acumen of both competitors. Ziggler and Rollins are top tier, and this is set to be an instant classic. Keep an eye out for potential involvement by Drew McIntyre, who will certainly be at ringside as Ziggler’s insurance policy.
Predictions: Dolph Ziggler (Patches, Andrew, Jonathon, Jonathan, Toby, Binnzy, Craig, Ahmad, Braydon), Seth Rollins (Josh)
Favorite (9-1): Dolph Ziggler
WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs Rusev
With the saga between Styles and Nakamura officially closed for the time being, the champion has to focus on a new challenger. Finally, after months of the fans chanting Rusev Day, the support has finally convinced WWE to give Rusev his first ever shot at the WWE Championship. Aiden English should be at ringside to provide moral and vocal support for The Bulgarian Brute. While the match deserves to close the show, it’s unlikely that WWE would make it the main event. AJ is the clear favorite, but considering the swerve last year when Jinder Mahal left Backlash as WWE Champion, nothing is ever truly certain in WWE.
Predictions: AJ Styles (Patches, Josh, Andrew, Jonathon, Jonathan, Toby, Ahmad, Braydon), Rusev (Binnzy, Craig)
Favorite (8-2): AJ Styles
What are your predictions for Extreme Rules? Let us know in the comments below!
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