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WWE Extreme Rules 2022 preview: Bray Wyatt’s return is finally here

WWE Extreme Rules 2022 takes place tonight (Sat., Oct. 8) from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It begins at 7:00 pm ET with the Kickoff show leading right on into the main course at 8:00 pm ET on Peacock in the U.S., WWE Network everywhere else, or your local cable pay-per-view provider.

Bray Wyatt’s WWE return is finally here

Bray Wyatt was fired by Vince McMahon in July 2021. He’s one of the top stars in pro wrestling, so fans naturally began to wonder if their favorite promotion would sign Wyatt to a contract.

Wyatt was supposed to be the hottest free agent in wrestling, but he never surfaced anywhere. If a company like AEW had interest in meeting his high asking price, they certainly would have brought him in by now. Right? Perhaps Wyatt had other projects going on, or maybe he wanted an extended break from the business and wasn’t interested in returning so quickly.

No matter the reason, Wyatt was still a free agent nearly one year later in July 2022. But then Vince McMahon resigned from WWE in disgrace, and Triple H started bringing back recently released wrestlers like Karrion Kross, Dakota Kai, Dexter Lumis, and Braun Strowman. Could the door be open for Bray Wyatt to return under WWE’s new regime?

The anticipation for Wyatt’s return really picked up less than one month ago, when WWE began playing Jefferson Airplane’s iconic “White Rabbit” at live events. The White Rabbit teases hit television shortly thereafter and had Bray Wyatt’s fingerprints all over them. The most recent White Rabbit clues on last night’s SmackDown all but admitted that Wyatt is behind the gimmick and will return to WWE tonight at Extreme Rules.

In some ways, Wyatt’s return to WWE through this viral campaign is similar to the way CM Punk returned to pro wrestling one year ago. It was the worst kept secret in wrestling, but fans were still glued to their seats waiting for the big reveal. There can be a huge difference between being 99% and 100% certain about something. Just like with Punk one year ago, we’re 99% certain that all of these White Rabbit clues mean Bray Wyatt is returning to pro wrestling tonight. But until we see him on screen, that small bit of doubt still leaves us losing our minds when the moment finally happens.

After all of this hype, WWE simply has to deliver Bray Wyatt tonight at Extreme Rules. It doesn’t even really matter which wrestler he attacks, if any, or what new gimmick is attached to him. Fans are ready to let him in, and it’s up to WWE to make it happen.

The rest of the card

These six matches are currently advertised for Extreme Rules:

Bianca Belair (c) vs. Bayley in a Ladder match for the Raw women’s championship

Bayley struggled to deal with Bianca Belair whenever they faced off in 2021, but the equation has completely changed now that Dakota Kai and IYO SKY (the current WWE women’s tag team champions) are by Bayley’s side.

Thanks to Damage CTRL, Belair suffered her first pin fall loss in over a year at last month’s Clash at the Castle. After pinning Belair’s shoulders to the mat in that tag team match, Bayley now gets Bianca in a ladder match for the title at Extreme Rules. WWE is billing it as the first ever one-on-one women’s ladder match on the main roster.

Damage CTRL recently dished out a severe beating on Belair’s allies, Asuka and Alexa Bliss. The story here is that Belair is walking into this match at a 3-on-1 disadvantage, because Kai and SKY are freely allowed to interfere in such a match.

Could this be the night when Naomi and Sasha Banks finally return to WWE and neutralize the current women’s tag team champions, setting up a big match for War Games next month? That’s one plausible scenario here, though WWE is more likely to save their return for a night that doesn’t overlap with Wyatt’s return.

Liv Morgan (c) vs. Ronda Rousey in an Extreme Rules match for the SmackDown women’s championship

Liv Morgan has already defeated Ronda Rousey twice, yet it still feels like she doesn’t have a prayer tonight unless someone (like Charlotte Flair or Shayna Baszler) interferes on her behalf.

That’s because Liv’s first win over Ronda was a fluky Money in the Bank cash-in when Rousey was physically wiped out, and the second win involved a bad referee call. Ronda actually forced Liv to tap out at SummerSlam and should be the champion right now, but the referee blew the call.

Liv knows that she still has to prove she can hang with Ronda, so the champ specifically requested that this be turned into an Extreme Rules match.

It sounds like Liv has a death wish in Philadelphia, but she’ll try her damnedest to become the first person to defeat Ronda Rousey three times.

Matt Riddle vs. Seth Rollins in a Fight Pit

The personal attacks between Matt Riddle and Seth Rollins have escalated to the point where these guys break out into a wild brawl any time they see each other, no matter the location. That’s why WWE is bringing in UFC legend Daniel Cormier to be the special guest referee for this Fight Pit match. The only way to win is by submission or knockout.

The Fight Pit gimmick is right in Riddle’s wheelhouse, but The Visionary always has a plan. Will Cormier truly be an impartial referee given he has rooted for Rollins to win in the past?

It’s worth noting that Rollins will challenge Bob Lashley for the United States championship on next week’s Raw, so even if he loses in the Fight Pit, Seth can quickly rebound with a title win.

Edge vs. Finn Balor in an “I Quit” match

Edge is still trying to destroy his own creation, but it’s a lot harder now that Dominik Mysterio has joined The Judgment Day.

Balor, Dominik, Damian Priest, and Rhea Ripley tried to cripple Edge a few weeks ago on Raw. But he’s back now and vows there is no amount of physical pain that can make him say the words “I Quit.” Perhaps this means The Judgment Day will target Edge’s loved ones to force him to say those terrible words.

AJ Styles might be the wild card in this war. He has a standing invitation to join Balor’s group even though they’ve kicked his ass lately. There’s a lot of bad blood between Styles and Edge going back closer to WrestleMania this year when Edge lost his damn mind and created The Judgment Day in the first place. If Styles is mulling over which side to join in this battle, there isn’t much incentive to helping Edge.

Drew McIntyre vs. Karrion Kross in a Strap match

This is Karrion’s first major match since he returned to WWE in August; up to this point he’s only faced off with low-carder Drew Gulak.

Kross and Scarlett have relentlessly targeted Drew upon their return. McIntyre has grown tired of Karrion’s hit-and-run attacks, but there will be no escape tonight when they are attached to each other via a strap.

Kross and McIntyre have come to blows several times in the lead-up to this bout, but no matter who starts the violence, Kross seems to come out of it standing tall. Scarlett was even willing to use a fireball to ensure Drew’s demise.

Kross can’t really afford to lose his first significant WWE match in over a year, but Drew can’t just sit around and get his ass kicked by Kross every time they meet. It will be interesting to see how (or if) WWE tries to protect both wrestlers when booking the finish.

Brawling Brutes vs. Imperium in a Good Old-Fashioned Donnybrook

GUNTHER and Imperium have managed to get the better of the Brawling Brutes (Sheamus, Ridge Holland, Butch) in the most crucial moments. The big blow came last night on SmackDown when GUNTHER used Sheamus’ own shillelagh to cheat and retain the Intercontinental championship.

The Good Old-Fashioned Donnybrook gimmick isn’t all that different from a Street Fight with an emphasis on weapons. It’s the Brutes’ specialty match, and I’d say it’s about time they get one over on the heels.


Unlike last year, every single match at Extreme Rules 2022 is running with a gimmick of some sort. WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns isn’t booked for the event, but this card doesn’t even need him. The only match on the show that isn’t a safe bet to deliver quality action is Morgan vs. Rousey, but the chaos that comes with their Extreme Rules gimmick can easily make up for that.

As Sheamus might say, every other match on this card looks like banger after banger after banger after banger after banger. It should be a damn good show from an in-ring perspective, especially because a compact lineup of six matches means each one should receive enough time to shine. With the expected return of Bray Wyatt, and perhaps a couple other surprises thrown in the mix, Extreme Rules 2022 has the potential to be one of WWE’s best cards of the year.

What will you be looking for at Extreme Rules?

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