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WWE Extreme Rules 2016 predictions: Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles, Charlotte vs. Natalya, more!

WWE returns to pay-per-view (PPV) -- if your cable provider is carrying the event, of course -- tomorrow night (Sun., May 22, 2016) live from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey with its Extreme Rules event starting at 7:00 p.m. ET with the Kickoff show leading right on into the main course at 8 p.m. ET on the WWE Network.

Set for the card: Roman Reigns defends his WWE world heavyweight championship against AJ Styles, Charlotte takes on Natalya in a Submission match for the women's championship, and more!

Luckily for you Cagesiders, our staff of learned wrestling blowhards is here to help figure out just how the event is going to play out with predictions for each match on the card.

Let's get to it.



Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles

Geno Mrosko: I can't see any scenario where Vince McMahon would make the decision to put his WWE world heavyweight championship on Styles, especially at the expense of Reigns. That said, they've told a fantastic story and we should celebrate that as opposed to worrying about how predictable this may feel. Pick: Reigns

Sean Rueter: For the first time all month, Balor watch gets interesting. Because his showing up to kickstart a feud with AJ over The Club is likely the only thing saving us from straight-up LOLROMANWINS. Don't get me wrong, this has been a well-told story that could be a game-changer for WWE and the whole industry if it proves "shades of gray" draws money. It will be fantastic match between two gifted performers with great chemistry. But if we get even one convincing nearfall on the champ, we'll be lucky. Pick: Roman Reigns

Bill Hanstock: It's going to be a hell of a war, with lots of interference and shenanigans. They'll try to top their match at Payback and they just might find a way to pull it off. We all know who's going to win, but the important part is we get a great match out of it. (And we definitely will.) Pick: Reigns

Cain A. Knight: This fight has a chance to be the WWE match of the year as long as the McMahons stay far away from it. The match should be great, but there's a very high probability that Roman Reigns is going to win. AJ's slight hesitancy to use the chair shows that he is still an honorable man at his core and that he won't be turning heel any time soon. In the not-so-distant future this will probably lead to Gallows and Anderson betraying him and revealing Balor as their true leader. Pick: Roman Reigns

Kyle Decker: Despite running as many versions of the Club vs. Family as they can, this match still has a big fight feel between two guys who absolutely despise each other. All that said, I still don't think there's any chance Styles actually leaves with the title. They'll likely use the end of this match to further Style's relationship with Gallows & Anderson. Maybe they'll accidentally cost him the match when trying to help. Maybe they'll purposely cost him the match because they tired of him refusing their help. However they get there, the Roman Empire is going to chug along. Pick: Roman Reigns


Charlotte vs. Natalya

Geno Mrosko: It's clear this is all about building up Charlotte as champion. There's nothing to indicate Natalya has any real shot at winning this match. Pick: Charlotte

Sean Rueter: Glad you enjoyed that main event moment, Natty. You're tapping and rotating back down the card. Pick: Charlotte

Bill Hanstock: Well, I mean, Natalya isn't winning. The only question is just how Charlotte is going to find a way to cheat in this submission match (that we assume won't be officiated by Lil' Naitch). Pick: Charlotte

Cain A. Knight: I am not a fan of how this feud has been taken hostage by the McMahons and might be setting up a future match between Charlotte and Stephanie. But that is a concern for the future. For now, this is a clear win for Charlotte. It would be completely shocking if Natalya walked out of Extreme Rules with the gold. Either way, Charlotte and Natalya should be able to put on a much better match than they did earlier this month at Payback. Hopefully the McMahons will stay backstage and not ruin it. Pick: Charlotte

Kyle Decker: They've done a good job of making me interested in a feud despite my confidence that I I know who's winning this. I don't think Charlotte is going to drop the belt until she starts a feud with Sasha Banks, wherever the hell she may be. With Flair banned from ringside Sunday, the story is more how Charlotte will keep the title instead of will she keep it. And in this case that works to hold my interest. Pick: Charlotte


The Miz vs. Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn

Geno Mrosko: Anyone could win, but ask yourself who belongs in a Money in the Bank match? That leads me to believe the title stays put. Pick: Miz

Sean Rueter: The extremely (get it!?!?) rare match where I'm okay with any outcome, which is good because I have absolutely no idea what they're going to do. Probably just leave things alone since all these guys will be in a Money in the Bank match together in a month anyway, so just keep them all pissed at each other. I know a guy who's good at that... Pick: Miz

Bill Hanstock: This is probably the most difficult match on the card to predict. Ultimately, I think the finish of the match will be all about Zayn getting screwed out of what looks to be a sure pinfall. Either Owens will steal the pin from Zayn, or he will start beating on Zayn so Miz or Cesaro can get the pin. I think the latter is more likely, since Money in the Bank is next month. Cesaro wins his first Intercontinental Championship. Pick: Cesaro

Cain A. Knight: I think the only poor outcome here is Miz retaining the gold, but that also strikes me as the most likely outcome. Owens has been winning too many matches this week, and that's usually a sign of coming up short at the PPV. Cesaro is a guy who I think WWE is going to forget about pretty quickly and he could be struggling to get on PPV pre-shows in the near future. Zayn is the wild card here, in that I don't really have a sense of how WWE is going to book him going forward. But I do know that they like Miz and Maryse, so that feels like the safest pick of the bunch. Pick: The Miz

Kyle Decker: This type of match is a perfect way to keep the title on Miz a bit longer before he has to drop it. It's a match where he can capitalize on other people's work to hold onto the gold a bit longer. If he wins, he can continue to get heat on a couple different fronts. He can get heat by just being the bastard his character is alongside his obnoxious wife. And he can get heat with those fans who feel of the four men in the match, the Miz is the least deserving of the title. He'll drop the title soon, but I think more likely in a one on one match. And until then we get to watch him be a complete douche as champion, which I find very enjoyable. Pick: The Miz


The New Day vs. The Vaudevillains

Geno Mrosko: I could see the thinking that New Day is over with or without the titles and The Vaudevillains are an act that would likely benefit from winning the championship, even if it's short lived. Pick: Vaudevillains

Sean Rueter: I'm actually a fan of English and Gotch, and I think they've done well with the opportunity they got over the past six weeks or so. Still don't know if they'll survive on the main roster, and definitely don't think they win here. Pick: The New Day

Bill Hanstock: I think it's time for the Vaudevillains to shock the world and take the titles. The New Day can chase, the Vaudevillains can prove their worth and we can get more weeks of interactions between these two teams of cartoon characters. Pick: The Vaudevillains

Cain A. Knight: This one is almost certainly going to be a victory for New Day. WWE has been amassing a collection of lower card tag teams all over the roster, and the Vaudevillains are going to quickly find themselves demoted into that pile of fodder once Extreme Rules is finished. I'll probably be repeating this prediction next month, only with the Shining Stars in place of the Vaudevillains. Pick: New Day

Kyle Decker: New Day is to the point that they would be as popular without the titles. But while I enjoy the Villains, I don't they are at the point where they should win the titles. My guess is that New Day is going to win and post match the Villains go for the post match attack. Then, to a huge pop in New Jersey, Cass and a returning Enzo (if the rumors are true) come back to further a their feud with the Villains. I bet New Day is going to start gearing up for a more serious feud, perhaps a date with Anderson & Gallows is in their future. Pick: New Day


Kalisto vs. Rusev

Geno Mrosko: They just can't seem to figure out how to get Kalisto to that next level. Perhaps they give up once again here. Pick: Rusev

Sean Rueter: Read somewhere this week that there's never been an instance where all the titles were on the line in a single PPV and all the champs retained. For a combination of reasons, Kalisto's reign has never taken flight, and I've got the titles staying put in the other four, so... Pick: Rusev

Bill Hanstock: I think there's a very, very good chance that Kalisto could retain and lose the subsequent match against Rusev. That being said, I think Rusev will, indeed, crush. Pick: Rusev

Cain A. Knight: After a long time out of the spotlight, Rusev is suddenly on the brink of being a badass monster heel who must be taken seriously as an imposing force against any challenger. And WWE can certainly use effective heels like that in the upper card. I really do like Kalisto and think this can be a great match if it is given proper time, but establishing Rusev as a dominant force should be a top priority. Considering his assault on Kalisto this past week as well as Kalisto's loss to Del Rio, I'm expecting a variant of the 50/50 booking that often plagues WWE's decisions. Pick: Kalisto

Kyle Decker: It's time for the return of dominant Rusev alongside Lana and, if his absolutely brutal attack on Kalisto Monday was any indication, it's going to rock. Kalisto could have been a great US champion but he never got to chance. Unfortunately for the guy, it's time to move on. While I hate the idea of Rusev winning just to be the guy Cena beats for the title, that's certainly a possibility. If it's not, even better. Pick: Rusev


Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho

Geno Mrosko: Where do you go after an Asylum Match? This should be a blow off and that should mean Ambrose emerges victorious. Pick: Ambrose

Sean Rueter: The laws of 50/50 booking and "if you get a character-specific stip, you lose" both apply. Vengeance for Mitch will have to wait for another day. Pick: Chris Jericho

Bill Hanstock: This prediction all comes down to whether we think WWE is going to stretch this feud out for one more PPV cycle. It certainly FEELS like an Asylum match is the perfect place to finish up, but you can never tell these days. As with everything else in this feud, the only prediction that matters is Ambrose hitting Jericho in the dick with a cactus. Pick: Ambrose

Cain A. Knight: I feel that Jericho and Ambrose have both performed extremely well considering the really dumb story they've been given to work with. Heel Jericho continues to touch me in all the right places, while Ambrose is the most sensible guy for the debut of this asylum gimmick. Ambrose should get the win here. The problem is that a victory probably won't do much to elevate him back up the card because goofy storylines like this make it impossible to take him seriously as a main player. With that logic in mind, maybe Jericho's chances of winning are greater than I currently anticipate. Pick: Dean Ambrose

Kyle Decker: I'm going with Jericho here for a couple reasons. For one, I don't remember any feud in WWE recent history where someone has won two matches in a row and then the guys go their own way.. This is more likely to be a typical two out of three deal. Also, now that the Asylum match can be considered "Dean's match" of course he's going to lose it. People always lose their signature match more than they win it. Pick: Chris Jericho


The Usos vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows

Geno Mrosko: I'm guessing the idea will be that they can get something out of The Club going forward while also creating some doubt in the main event later by having Anderson and Gallows dispose of Reigns' family. Pick: The Club

Sean Rueter: While I'm not gonna wring my hands and curse the McMahons for not booking Gallows & Anderson like beasts out of the gate, a win here would make me feel a lot better that they weren't hired just because Superman-punching League of Nations wasn't doing anything for Romey's cause. Pick: The Club

Bill Hanstock: The story of this match will likely be both teams trying to make sure the other can't interfere in the main event, so they'll both be looking to hurt each other rather than win. That being said, I can't imagine the Club will win their first PPV match. Pick: The Club

Cain A. Knight: This match should be really fun but the fact that we've seen it so many times does take a little bit away from it. I was surprised to see the Usos win on Raw last week, but that's before I knew there was going to be a rematch at Extreme Rules. With that result in mind, Gallows and Anderson are the heavy favorites here. They might also take the Usos out of the picture when it comes to their availability for interference in the main event match. Pick: Gallows and Anderson

Kyle Decker: Usos won the last one so Anderson/Gallows will win this one. 50/50! Pick: Anderson & Gallows


Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin

Geno Mrosko: They don't seem to care about either of these two, but you would think they care the most about the guy they haven't seen get close to the top and fall back every time. Pick: Corbin

Sean Rueter: Surely they wouldn't have Corbin lose back-to-back PPV matches coming out of winning at Mania, right? Of course they would, but I still don't think that happens here, where they can use the stip to protect the Show-Off. Pick: Corbin

Bill Hanstock: The No DQ stipulation seems like the perfect place for this feud to come to an end. It also seems like it could be a bit of a cop-out, as Ziggler winning the match and the feud by hitting Corbin with a bunch of plunder that would never normally be legal could be a way for Baron to lose while saving face. I don't think that will happen, however, as there is no downside to Ziggler losing, while the same can't be said for THE LONEWORLF. Pick: Corbin

Cain A. Knight: There's no need for this match on yet another PPV pre-show, but I guess that's what happens when WWE doesn't have a plan for either of these performers. I don't think it really matters who wins, but on the surface Corbin appears to be the more logical choice. Pick: Baron Corbin

Kyle Decker: The first pre-show without Ryback in awhile. Pour one out for the Pre-Show Stopper. Pick: Baron Corbin


That's what we think is going down, Cagesiders. How about you?

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