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WWE Extreme Rules 2018 predictions

WWE returns to pay-per-view (PPV) -- if your cable provider is carrying the event, of course -- tomorrow night (Sun., July 15, 2018) live from the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with its Extreme Rules event starting at 6:00 p.m. ET with the Kickoff show leading right on into the main course at 7 p.m. ET on the WWE Network.

Set for the card: Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley in a bigger dog match, Ronda Rousey sitting front row for Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax in an Extreme Rules match for the Raw women’s championship, and much 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.

EXTREME RULES predictions

Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley

Geno Mrosko: We’re so used to the idea that Reigns wins matches like this, but this feels different, like they may actually want to push Lashley to the Brock Lesnar match he’s long been pining for. It makes sense, in a lot of ways. There are also equally as many ways it doesn’t make any sense at all. This feels like a genuinely big decision for them to make, though, when it’s examined. The question is whether or not many fans are going to bother to do that examining. I think it’s entirely possible Lashley wins here, but I can’t yet get away from the idea that they would go this far with the Reigns beating Lesnar narrative just to stop short right at the finish line. Pick: Roman Reigns

Sean Rueter: Paul Heyman is suddenly (and allegedly) working on Raw again for a reason, and that’s because his side-chick is getting ready to main event SummerSlam. Pick: Bobby Lashley

Kyle Decker: I can make an argument for Lashley winning here. He just debuted and a high profile loss this soon wouldn’t be a great start. But this is Roman we’re talking about. He’s still the most likely man to face Brock Lesnar at WWE’s next pay-per-view or whenever Brock shows up next. He’ll overcome here in what hopefully is not the main event. Pick: Roman Reigns

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: For as weirdly structured as this feud has been (three weeks of tag matches against the Revival will do that!), I find myself surprisingly drawn into it. Perhaps that’s mostly just the knowledge that this match should absolutely rule speaking, though. In any case, as far as the result goes, Roman simply hasn’t lost to opponents that aren’t Brock Lesnar on PPV for months, so... Pick: Roman Reigns

Cain A. Knight: Lashley should win this match because he is at least a fresh face on the scene. But this fight was promoted on Raw as one that will determine who is The Guy. Love it or hate it, Roman Reigns is clearly Vince McMahon’s Guy. Pick: Roman Reigns

Stunning Stella: I loved Lashley on Impact, but his time in WWE has felt stilted and awkward. Is he a good guy? Is he a bad guy? Is he just THE guy...currently being fed to Roman Reigns? I don’t know why I’m even trying to make an argument, it’s Roman. It’s always Roman. Pick: Roman Reigns

AJ Styles vs. Rusev

Geno Mrosko: The only way I could pick Rusev would be if I had some clever joke and it was the punchline. It would never be a serious pick, because he’s not a serious contender, whether I think he should be or not. Pick: AJ Styles

Sean Rueter: Still mad Shinsuke didn’t even get a Christian or Sasha Banks-esque five days with the strap. Not sure what that has to do with this match, but even I can’t figure out a way to justify picking Rusev here so it’s a random observation to give you some bang for buck. Pick: AJ Styles

Kyle Decker: As soon as that bell rings, I’m going full mark mode and rooting for the Bulgarian Brute. But the bell hasn’t yet rung and I can’t convince myself that Rusev is going to pick up a win here. We’re right before SummerSlam and the bigger WWE title match would be “AJ vs.” instead of “Rusev vs.” This will likely play into whatever they’re going to do with Rusev Day and that will be his path for now. Hopefully they come back to Rusev as a championship challenger when it feels like a bigger deal. Pick: AJ Styles

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: If Shinsuke Nakamura couldn’t dethrone AJ Styles with four months of trying and about a hundred nut shots, let’s just say I’m not optimistic about Rusev’s chances. Pick: AJ Styles

Cain A. Knight: Rusev is a one of the most obvious time-filling stopgap championship challengers on a B-PPV that I can remember. It’s unfortunate that WWE didn’t take any provocative risks with this feud and instead just booked it with standard mid-card material. As a result, mid-card placement on this PPV is exactly what this one deserves. Pick: AJ Styles

Stunning Stella: I was so excited when Rusev was named the new #1 contender, but they have done very little to earn that excitement post the announcement. Even if this is just a one off title shot (which it seems like it is) they could’ve taken some more time to promote Rusev. AJ is obviously phenomenal and an excellent champ, but Rusev belongs in the title picture too. Rusev deserved better, especially on Rusev Day. Pick: AJ Styles

Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax

Geno Mrosko: The idea of a Bliss vs. Ronda Rousey singles match at SummerSlam is hugely compelling to me, and would be an easy sell. But something tells me this will end up being about keeping Jax involved and we’re headed for a triple threat next month. Perhaps, then, Bliss retains but it’s because of Rousey’s involvement. Pick: Bliss

Sean Rueter: Only question is if this is done in a way that sets up a Triple Threat for next month, or if Nia get shuffled out of the title picture after tonight. Pick: Alexa Bliss

Kyle Decker: This is all about Ronda and who she’s likely going to face for the title at SummerSlam. They’ve set Bliss up as the big antagonist and the one that Ronda really wants to get her hands on. It’s certainly possible that they throw Jax in at SummerSlam in Brooklyn, but I see Alexa walking out with the gold here.. Pick: Alexa Bliss

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: My screwy finish senses are tingling, folks. Yes, it’s Extreme Rules, so it’s not gonna end in a disqualification or a countout, this is true. BUT... “no contest” is always a valid conclusion to a match no matter what rules are involved, and Ronda Rousey’s gonna be parked at ringside the entire time trying to work out why her suspension works the way it does. So, at the risk of throwing this one away, I’m going for it... Pick: No contest

Cain A. Knight: This bout will probably be better than their previous PPV encounters because weapons are in play. That, and of course because Ronda Rousey is going to jump the barricade and rip some arms off. I have no idea how they will book the finish so that Ronda kicks everyone’s ass while Alexa still retains, but that’s probably where this is headed. Though it’s always possible that Kurt Angle’s incompetency will actually result in a non-finish in an Extreme Rules match. Pick: Alexa Bliss

Stunning Stella: Can there be a DQ in an Extreme Rules match? Because no one is winning this clean - especially with Ronda in the front row. Regardless, I want to see Nia destroy Alexa before Alexa retains. Like really destroy her. I need the catharsis if I’m to sit through another triple threat at SummerSlam. Pick: Alexa Bliss

Carmella vs. Asuka

Geno Mrosko: This couldn’t be any less interesting if it tried, even and perhaps especially with Ellsworth in the mix. It’s strange, really, because Asuka was built so strongly for all that time, then lost at WrestleMania, and is now in the position of being a title challenger who isn’t really worthy of it. That seems like very WWE booking, doesn’t it? Either way, here we are, and here Ellsworth is, even if in a shark cage, and we know how this story goes. Pick: Carmella

Sean Rueter: They’re gonna do the gimmick where Ellsworth slips through the bars of the cage, aren’t they? Pick: Carmella

Kyle Decker: I don’t like it, but I think Asuka takes another L here. I just have that feeling that they really want Carmella to run as the brands top heel and don’t see her dropping the belt so soon after bringing back James Ellsworth. Three straight title losses will hurt the Empress, but doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Pick: Carmella

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: Eventually the house of cards has to crumble, right? Jimmy Dream can only prolong Carmella’s reign so long, and being one space removed from the action in the shark cage means any help he can offer is likely limited to dropping a foreign object to the ring. I’m not super confident, but I’m picking anyway... Pick: Asuka

Cain A. Knight: I desperately want to see Asuka win the title here and then battle it out with either Becky or Charlotte at SummerSlam. So I’m going to be pretty frustrated when Ellsworth finds a way to help Carmella win and then the SmackDown women’s championship is defended in like a Fatal 9-way or something in Brooklyn because everyone needs to get on the card. Pick: Carmella

Stunning Stella: GIVE THE BELT TO ASUKA YOU WIENERS! Pick: Carmella

Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins

Geno Mrosko: This is going to be a lot of fun. I can create a lot of scenarios in my head that make sense regarding booking Ziggler to keep the title or Rollins to win it back and I don’t even care. That’s how good the match itself will be. Pick: Rollins

Sean Rueter: Rollins is too big for a secondary belt, at least when the primary one is finally gonna return to regular appearances again soon. The Show-Off needs the title so his ego can inflate to the point he forgets Drew helped get it for him, too. And then McIntyre can beat him up and take it. Pick: Dolph Ziggler

Kyle Decker: This is the match I’m having the most difficult time deciding. Ziggler could have a good heel run with Drew McIntyre as his heavy preventing him from losing the title until he’s tired of Dolph. However, if they’re not going to put Rollins in a Universal title feud, then may as well put the IC belt back on him. In the end, I think the title can use to put more light on the very good team of Dolph and Drew. Pick: Dolph Ziggler

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: Drew McIntyre helps Dolph build up an early lead in the falls, perhaps sacrificing one on a DQ in exchange for working Seth’s injured leg over, until the referee ejects him and Rollins fights back from the bottom to reclaim his crown one fall at a time. Pick: Seth Rollins

Cain A. Knight: While Bob and Roman are over there pretending to be the top guys on Raw, Seth Rollins will be over here once again demonstrating that he’s the best wrestler in WWE today. Pick: Seth Rollins

Stunning Stella: Seth Rollins wins, confirming that Dolph is trash. Drew then turns on Dolph because of said revelation. Drew then focuses his mighty Scottish energy toward Seth igniting a feud worthy of the main event. Honestly, who even cares about the Universal Title. The IC belt has been the top belt for some time now. Pick: Seth Rollins

Jeff Hardy vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Geno Mrosko: They aren’t going to just keep beating Nakamura in title matches, are they? No, certainly not. Pick: Jeff Hardy

Sean Rueter: All signs point to J.N. Hardy needing some time off to heal up and return as his beloved alternative gimmick (Itchweeed, natch). But I’ll believe WWE is gonna give Nak a belt when I see them finally give him one. And not a moment sooner. Pick: Jeff Hardy

Kyle Decker: Coming off a WWE title feud where Nakamura couldn’t win the WWE title in four tries, he really needs a win here. Yes another title loss would really hurt. Hardy has been making his run worth while by picking up SmackDown open challenge wins so a loss here won’t take away from him. Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: I’m into the weird synthesis of the Charismatic Enigma and Brother Nero that Jeff’s putting together, and I think it’s time to take it to the next level. In order to do that, he’s gonna need to lose the title here and call on a powerful spirit long laid dormant... WILLOW! (Or maybe not, but I think we see a title change here, is the point.) Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura

Cain A. Knight: Shinsuke Nakamura failed to win the WWE Championship on 6 different PPVs over the last 12 months. So I think he pretty much has to win this one as a consolation prize. Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura

Stunning Stella: IF SHINKSUKE DOESN’T WIN I AM STARTING A ONE WOMAN RIOT IN MY LIVING ROOM. Ugh did the Royal Rumble mean NOTHING? Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura

The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Team Hell No

Geno Mrosko: YES! YES! YES! Pick: Team Hell No

Sean Rueter: Not because I think DB and Kane will be together for much longer, but I think they remember what happened the last time they didn’t let Pittsburgh chant “YES!” when they wanted to. Also, they can drop it to back to the Bludgies or do the job for SAnitY and better use the reunion to help make a new act after getting the belts here. Pick: Team Hell No

Kyle Decker: The Hell No reunion has been very fun, but it’s not meant to be a long term thing. Bryan will jump back into singles after this. (And hopefully not as a part of a feud with Kane.) Plus, Kane doesn’t want to have to carry the silver straps (both because he’s the tag team champions) to a mayoral debate to give his challenger more ammunition. Pick: Bludgeon Brothers

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: I like the Bludgeon Brothers, going all the way back to when they were the tag team arm of the Wyatt Family, but it’d be time to admit that this isn’t really working and move on to another of SmackDown’s absurd cornucopia of excellent tag teams even if they weren’t headed up against one of the more shockingly great tag teams of the last decade or so. They’ve got diagrams, for the love of Pete! Pick: Team Hell No

Cain A. Knight: Kane is at his best in this awkward comedy role, and I think Bryan and Kane should win the tag titles just so we can at least get one more brief run out of the “I’m the tag team champions!” bit. Miz and The Bar can always screw them out of the titles on an episode of SmackDown in August via garbage truck homicide on Kane. Meanwhile, the Bludgeons are completely irrelevant here. They could be replaced by Stan Stansky and Rutherford PS Hayes and it wouldn’t even matter. The worst possible outcome is Kane turning heel and then going 1-on-1 with Bryan at SummerSlam. Please don’t do that, WWE, it’s going to be terrible. Pick: Team Hell No

Stunning Stella: Sorry Bludgeon Brothers - I know that I can’t take no more. It ain’t no lie. I want to see you out that door . Baby bye bye bye. Pick: Team Hell No

The Deleters of Worlds vs. The B-Team

Geno Mrosko: I can imagine a world where Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas are Raw tag team champions, and you know what? The sun shines pretty damn bright in that world. Pick: The B-Team

Sean Rueter: Not sure what “B” stands for, but it ain’t Raw Tag Team Champions. Pick: Deleters of Worlds

Kyle Decker: Screw it, let’s go with the upset here. B Team are popular. The Deleters of Worlds have lost some steam. And with a weak title scene, a change here stretches this feud longer to buy more time before they have to actually build up another team. Pick: B Team

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: I’m a well-established Curtis Axel apologist going back to the days when Sensational Sean was recapping Superstars and I was just some dork in the comments pitching the idea of Axel toying with his dad’s legacy by calling himself Mr. Ruthless, and the B-Team are very fun, but their feel-good story ends with them going the distance, not winning. Not that the Deleters of Worlds are that much more exciting, but as the saying goes, stick with the horse you’re already riding until it’s time for the Authors of Pain to send it to the glue factory. Pick: Deleters of Worlds

Cain A. Knight: B-Team’s backstage parodies have been entertaining, but the corresponding Matt Hardy singles matches on Raw have not inspired much confidence. Maybe Bray Wyatt can save this one, and the Deleters will then go on to lose their titles to either the Revival or Authors of Pain in the very first pre-show match on a 7+ hour long SummerSlam card. Pick: Deleters of Worlds

Stunning Stella: I’m happy that The B-Team has been given screen time lately. They have been very entertaining and it has been fun to watch the all knowing Matt Hardy inexplicably lose to the losers. But none of that really matters because The Revival are definitely going to mess this match up. The Deleters of Worlds retain due to interference by The Revival and The B-Team fade into the background ala The Fashion Police. Pick: The Deleters of Worlds

Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens

Geno Mrosko: Strowman is the one guy whose booking was never going to be affected by his holding the Money in the Bank briefcase and the contract within it. That said, they gotta give Owens something, right? I’ll dissent. Pick: Kevin Owens

Sean Rueter: BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Oh, this is a real question you’re asking? You really need a prediction? Pick: Braun Strowman

Kyle Decker: Sorry, Kevin. But this isn’t a match that you win. At least you won’t be covered in feces afterwards. Actually, I can’t guarantee that. Pick: Braun Strowman

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: Am I allowed to pick “Kevin Owens face turn” as a result here? Judges? ...darn. Pick: Braun Strowman

Cain A. Knight: WWE has completely wasted Owens since WrestleMania, with constant beatings and losses at the hands of the annoyingly invincible Braun Strowman. It’s probably fitting that Vince McMahon topped it all off with embarrassing toilet humor that reaffirms all the worst stereotypes about pro wrestling as a form of entertainment. There is no reason to think Owens will even be competitive with Strowman here, so it’s hard to look forward to this one. The babyface/heel alignments also make no sense, because WWE is asking me to root for the bully. What a stupid show. Pick: Braun Strowman

Stunning Stella: How dare WWE and the real monster, Kurt Angle, treat Kevin Owens like this! What has he ever done to deserve being throw off ladders, pushed over in port-a-potties and stuck in a cage? Braun may win, but Kevin will get his revenge! You hear that Kurt? REVENGE. Pick: Braun Strowman

Finn Balor vs. Constable Corbin

Geno Mrosko: Babyface beats authority figure. Pick: Finn Balor

Sean Rueter: 99.9999999% sure this match happens again on Monday night. Pick: Constable Corbin

Kyle Decker: This feels like the kind of match that Finn Balor loses, to the dismay of many. Pick: Baron Corbin

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: Just ask Low-Ki how it goes for you when you wrestle Finn Balor wearing a suit. He’ll be lucky if he’s still constable afterwards! Pick: Finn Balor

Cain A. Knight: Corbin is much more interesting as the Constable than the Lone Wolf, but the talking segments between him and Balor haven’t really been stimulating. Hopefully the match will make all those segments worth it. It feels like Balor is desperate for a win right now, so this is a good time for him to go over. Pick: Finn Balor

Stunning Stella: I literally don’t care. Pick: Baron Corbin because I like his vest.

The New Day vs. SAnitY

Geno Mrosko: Babyfaces go over on the Kickoff show. Pick: The New Day

Sean Rueter: Obviously, they’ll want to use the uber-popular, loss-proof act to build up the recently promoted one. Obvious’ got nothing to do with it, though. Pick: The New Day

Kyle Decker: This is going to be one of those kickoff matches that could upstage some of the main card. Two fun trios flying around trying to put the other through tables. Plus, that eventual Big E/Killian Dain showdown. Yeah, this’ll be good. SAnitY needs an establishing win and picking up one over a very decorated trio is a good start. Pick: SAnitY

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: SAnitY’s MO is all about causing chaos and not so much about winning, but I feel like it’s their turn for the coin to come up heads. Also I just really like Eric Young going back to the days of his awkward tag team / relationship with Orlando Jordan in TNA, so with the mark hat firmly placed on my head... Pick: SAnitY

Cain A. Knight: I usually don’t pay much attention to pre-show matches, but this one looks like it could be a lot of fun. Pancakes, tables, chaos, Big E rubbing himself...this one has pretty much everything I need in a pro wrestling match. Pick: New Day

Stunning Stella: Match of the night right here. Pancakes? Check. Tables? Check. A Big E / Killian Dane epic face off? Check. A match like this is just what SAnitY needs to establish themselves to the WWE universe outside of NXT. A win over New Day would be huge for them and New Day can take the loss. Pick: SAnitY

That’s how we see the card playing out.

How about you?

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