WWE Title Match

Drew McIntyre (c) vs Dolph Ziggler

Dolph Ziggler debuted in 2005. For comparison, it took the same time between then and now than it did to get from Wrestlemania ONE, the entire rise of Hulkamania, the entire run of Bret/Michaels, the rise of Austin and only two years off the rise and fall of WCW.

What I’m saying is that Dolph Ziggler has been around for quite a while. And whilst WWE established Hogan, Hart and Austin with a rotation of fresh, new nemesii at the top of the card… they’re not doing this with Drew. Or Braun. Or anyone really. And this is – without question – one of the main reasons why WWE’s cards (especially) at the top often feel so… meh.

Dolph ain’t winning here. It’s painfully obvious. And whilst there’s at least the essence of a story – the short term partnership between Ziggler & Drew – the fact is the most interesting thing of this story has been Heath Slater’s promo highlighting the fact that “our new hero” is in fact a bad friend and how they managed to squash someone who’d been legitimately fired by WWE.

For what it’s worth, it should be a solid match. Drew’s underrated in the ring and is often at his most fun when bouncing someone around – and that’s something that Dolph will undoubtedly do. It’s very much his main talent. But unfortunately, the result is obvious. Drew retains here via massive Claymore and then hopefully – immediately – sets up a fresher story.

Prediction: Drew McIntyre Wins

WWE Raw Women’s Championship

Asuka (c) vs Sasha Banks

This is one of the most interesting matches of the night for me. The bookies have Asuka down as favourite to retain (2/5 versus Banks winning at 7/4) and providing both are on their a-game then this could be a lot of fun.

Despite Asuka being the odds on favourite AND having just won the belt AND being the absolute best thing in the WWE right now…. I… I’ve just got a feeling. They’re leaning heavily into the “Two Woman Power Trip” with Banks & Bayley at the moment. Winning the RAW Women’s Title would be an obvious (an fun) addition to this. Also – despite Asuka being a deserved champion she did still get the belt handed to her and watching her chase back after it (or Bayley’s title) would be an obvious continuation of the story.

With Becky’s pregnancy, plans for the women’s titles have obviously been thrown into disarray so it’s impossible to predict what “the plan was” re. Money in the Bank or how Lynch’s epic title reign “was supposed to end”. Maybe she would have lost it here to Banks and Asuka not cashed in for a while. Who knows?

7/4 is still pretty short odds so whilst the obvious decision here is for Asuka to retain and I’m going to go the other way and predict that Banks wins. It’s gotta be worth a short bet.

Prediction: Sasha Banks Wins

WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship

Bayley (c) vs Nikki Cross

Bayley is currently 1/5 to win here – making her one of the most odds on favourites for the evening and given that the Two Woman Power Trip is making me predict a Sasha Banks upset, I’m going to double down here and say that Bayley is an absolute lock to retain. The low odds mean that there’s absolutely no point betting on it – as Cross could always win by DQ – but Bayley is leaving Extreme Rules as Bayley 2 Belts.

Bayley’s move from happy go lucky face to delusional Karen has been fascinating to watch and it feels we’re still a way from the apex of the character. Cross is an under-rated talent in the ring and I’d be surprised if she didn’t lift one of the WWE Women’s singles titles eventually – it’s just not the right time for her now.

Bayley has now held the title for 279 days and counting – all the more impressive that this was preceded by a 140 day reign meaning that (bar 4 days last October) Bayley has been Smackdown Women’s Champ since May 2019. The length of a reign is important, but so are matches & challengers for hopefully Bayley and Cross (even in defeat) can do something to add more to the importance of the four year old belt

Prediction: Bayley Wins

Wyatt Swamp Fight

Braun Strowman vs Bray Wyatt

What’s that you say? A Wyatt Family Swamp Match? During “The Horror Show”? This will be a technical masterclass. I like Bray as a character, I really do. He’s also proven to be a solid performer in the ring. But when he (or whoever is involved in the creative side) are allowed to “push the envelope” with the character it always seems to go wrong. Think Massive Mallet. Think Cockroaches in the ring. Think whatever happened with Cena. Think Orton going full Talking Heads (and Burning Down the House).

It’s fair to say that a cinematic Wyatt Family Swamp Match will be a complete and total clusterfuck.

It’s hard to expect really anything else.

Hopefully they can surprise us, but one thing is really telling which is the “non title element”. Obviously one shouldn’t care too much that a World title *isn’t* being defended here (it’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario) but it does somewhat foreshadow the result here. Bray will win BY BEING SPOOKY leading to an actual wrestling match (presumably) at the next show where BRAUN wins the feud. Bray is 1/3 to win here. Total nonsense occurring is 1/1000000.

Turn your brain off and try and enjoy it.

Prediction: Bray Wyatt Wins

Eye for an Eye Match

Seth Rollins vs Rey Mysterio

Oh Lordy… where oh where do we start here? WWE PRESENTS A MATCH WHERE THE LOSER HAS AN EYE REMOVED. AN EYE.

Let’s try and look at the match through rose glasses shall we? Seth and Rey are both excellent wrestlers and could, nay, should have a great match. But a catch-as-catch-can match won’t be on the menu, but rather a “Spooky Horror Show” ala. The Boneyard match.

Because there are rumours Rey hasn’t a current contract w/WWE, bet on Rey to be the one to lose an eye. “Blackbeard Seth” would be a look (and presumably Seth’s not about to have a macabre torture for Becky’s pregnancy too) but Rey’s mask can be altered so you can’t see any eyes and that’s very much what we should expect going forward… before “a recovery” or some doctory jumbo bollocks about the “ocular nerve somehow clung on to Rey-Rey’s skull”

Part of me wants a really gory (blood soaked, not Gory Guerrero) end to the match due to the “eye removal” rules, but WWE as a PG company? Don’t expect that. More of a blunt cut away (my autocorrect had some thoughts about “blunt cut away” btw)

What happens from here? Who knows. The feud has to go on surely? Late 90s Show “Oz” had a story where eye removal lead to best buds, but hard to “see” that here… lol.

Anyway Seth gets the W and the nonsense goes on. Probably shouldn’t have thought so much about this BS – the match rules don’t deserve respect – so yours truly amused myself and treated myself to a game… “eye” wanted to see how easy one can remove an “eye”…. so there have been none for the whole Seth/Rey part of this…. re-read.

Prediction: Seth Rollins Wins

WWE United States Title Match

Apollo Crews (c) vs MVP

MVP debuted in 2006 for WWE. Call me a hypocrite if you must, but it doesn’t matter the same way it does for Dolphin Ziggler – why? Because of presentation. MVP hasn’t been positioned at the top of the card. He’s not even been presented as being what he “once was”. Instead, he has an almost “New Japan Dad” presentation to him – obviously past his best but a canny operator who might be able to sneak it. He – MVP – is unquestionably one of the best people on the mic in WWE right now – and hopefully he can do what his job really is at this point, and make his opponent look better.

And I think he will. Apollo is having a bit a boost in recent months and has been tied in a story with MVP / Lashley and – if I had more faith in WWE’s long term story telling ability (spoiler, I don’t) – then I’d be interested to see where this goes. The match itself isn’t a bad idea at all – all part of the story – by Mr Porter should in NO WAY be winning. Whether he wins clean, or by botched interference, then Crews really should be retaining here before going onto face MVP’s “chosen champion” (presumably Lashley, but there’s still the potential for a curve ball to be thrown… BALLING)

FUN FACT though: MVP is the combined 5th longest reigning US Champ of all time (behind Luger, Flair, Greg Valentine and Blackjack Mulligan.. he’d need a 91 day reign to move 4th)
Crews is currently 2/5 on with the bookies so no real point on laying money there and the outside bet of MVP winning (even by DQ / Count out) is only 7/4. Keep your money away from this one and hopefully it should be a fun story in the rebuilding of the (new) US Title.

Prediction: Apollo Crews Wins

These are our WWE Extreme Rules predictions, what are yours? Feel free to leave them in the comments below!