Remember when this was “Extreme Rules – The Horror Show”? That was a weird time in our lives, wasn’t it?
WWE Smackdown Women’s Title Match
Becky Lynch © vs Bianca Belair
This whole show is full of matches like this – stuffed full of predictability and the confusion of – in the words of Buffy & The Scooby Gang – “where do we go from here?” WWE has long established the “beaten champion gets a rematch” clause which does tend to tie them in knots. It also often means that a fallen champion is beaten twice in quick succession by the new champ – which doesn’t help in situations like we find ourselves here with Bianca; she’s not the champ, but she still really can’t be seen in a weak position if we’re trying to establish her as a top tier star.
Becky winning here is the shortest odds on the card – she’s currently tracking at a miniscule 1/14 meaning that the bookies think that it’s essentially a dead certainty. Bianca is 6/1 which I’d normally suggest would be worth a few quid (I mean, she may well win by disqualification) but the odds on a Lynch win here are *so* short, it would be the longest of long shots.
With the draft up-coming, I’m assuming that these two go their separate ways and end up on different brands – I don’t see them taking the belt of Lynch soon and a *third* loss for Belair isn’t going to help any further. With this in mind, the Lynch / Belair story ends here with The Man reigning supreme
Prediction: Becky Lynch Wins
WWE United States Title Match
Damian Priest © vs Sheamus vs Jeff Hardy
I enjoyed Sheamus’ US Title run – I’ve said before on these write ups that Sheamo has been one of the brightest (and often under-rated / under utilised) wrestlers across WWE in the last 18 months. Priest needed the US Title more than Sheamus at this point so it wasn’t a bad thing to see him lose the title last month – however, I assume this is the last (for now) of the former Mr O’Shaughnessy in the US Title picture.
Including Hardy in here does add something to the match – Priest and Sheamus should have fun throwing him about but it’s unlikely we’ll see a title change. Its another match where the champ is the heavy favourite – Priest is currently 1/5 compared to Sheamus at 9/2 and Jeff as the slight outsider at 11/2. The triple threat formula also removes the chance for an unlikely “win” by count-out or DQ.
The biggest worry after this match isn’t the champ – I think there’s plenty of things that Priest can do as Champion (and quite frankly it’s incredible that a performer like him took so long to get into the WWE system) – but it is a concern about where Hardy goes after this. Although, with a combined age of 125 – hopefully the next time there’s a triple threat on PPV for the US Title that the competitors are bit more ‘fresh’
Prediction: Damien Priest Wins
WWE Raw Women’s Title Match
Charlotte Flair © vs Alexa Bliss
Here’s the match for those looking for a bet…
The bookies have Charlotte as the heavy favourite here – not quite Becky Lynch levels – but she’s 1/4 to win here compared to 6/4 to Bliss. Now, not only do I think that Alexa’s odds are too short, I think she should be the favourite.
I get it – Charlotte has just won the title and is one of the most protected characters in WWE, so *obviously* Charlotte is going to retain the title. They’re not going to take the belt off her now? Surely. Well… yeah. They can and probably will. Why? Because Charlotte is about the title wins, not reigns.
Charlotte’s last few title reigns include – 1 day as RAW Women’s Champ. 57 Days as RAW Champ. 29 Day as RAW Champ. 43 Days as RAW Champ. Her Smackdown reigns aren’t much better – 4 days. Less than 1 Day. 12 Days. 27 Days. Her longest recent reign was a MAMMOTH 63 days as NXT Champ. This isn’t a fluke – there’s more than enough here to suggest that it’s a plan.
This Sunday will mark her 35 days as RAW Champion which is about right for Flair to drop the title – and with Alexa all over WWE programming and marketing, a title change BY SPOOKY MEANS seems an obvious call. No idea why the bookies don’t see it, but take advantage.
Prediction: Alexa Bliss Wins
WWE Universal Championship – Extreme Rules Match
Roman Reigns © vs “The Demon” Finn Balor
FUN FACT – Brock Lesnar has such a strangle hold on the WWE World / Universal Title picture that Paddy Power currently have him listed as 13/8 to win the match – AND HE’S NOT EVEN IN IT. As a further comparative point, Balor’s got longer odds at 11/2. (My assumption is that someone on the app as made a mistake, but it still makes me laugh none-the-less).
Roman (2/5 favourite to retain here) is approaching day 340 of his (no pun intended, small r) reign and I don’t see it ending here. For those who love stats – and let’s be fair, you’re reading a wrestling betting site so I assume you do – this is the second longest Universal Title reign in history; only Lesnar’s first run with the title beats it at 503 days and I fully expect that Roman will eventually beat this. For someone to beat “The Head of the Table” they really need to be the *next* face of WWE and I really don’t know who this is going to be.
Sadly, I don’t see it being Balor – at one point it could have been – but I don’t see it and I also think it’s a shame they’re using “The Demon” for a match Balor isn’t likely to be winning. WWE need someone in the same place Hangman Page is in for WWE. Adam Cole *could* have been it. Heck, Big E *could* have been it. No idea who will be. But we’re probably 200 days away from it.
Prediction: Roman Reigns Retains
Smackdown Tag Team Title Match
The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso) © vs The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)
I really like the Street Profits (there’s mainly a previously article on this site where I’ve said that a singles heel run from Montez Ford should be something pretty special) but there’s really no reason to take the belts off the Usos at this point. With them tied firmly into the Roman Reigns’ story and The Bloodline – they only should be dropping the titles to *top* contenders and right now that isn’t The Profits.
The bookies agree – Usos are solid 2/9 favourites against Ford & Dawkins who are currently 11/4. Everything here is suggesting that it’ll be a by-the-numbers Uso win.
The only crinkle here – and one which is almost making me go against the bookies – is that New Day aren’t anywhere on this card – especially strange given that one of them is WWE Champion. With Survivor Series likely to be based around Reigns vs Big E, I see a scenario here where Kingston & Woods cost the Usos the titles. It allows Survivor Series to have Kingston/Woods vs Usos which doesn’t *need* the titles and then allows The Profits a higher profile role (ideally). Everything is screaming that Usos retain, but even writing this up, I’m convincing myself it might not be as certain. And that’s a shoot, brother.
Prediction: The Usos Retain (probably)
Liv Morgan vs Carmella
Liv is a heavy, heavy favourite here – beside the Lynch match, it’s the one that the bookies are most certain about. Carmella is 4/1 whereas Morgan is a crazy 1/10. Liv has been bubbling away for the last few months gaining some strong support and improving as an in-ring performer – exactly as someone being developed for a future title run should be. And beating a former Champion like Carmella in a resounding fashion is exactly what should happen.
It all depends on what happens later in the night (and crucially, in the draft) but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Liv Morgan taking on either the Smackdown or RAW Women’s champions at Mania next year.
Also, if we do only end up with six matches on the show it’s noticeable that WWE is putting on a main PPV with 50% of the matches being women’s matches. I’m fully, FULLY expecting more to be added but it’s still a notable sign of progression for women’s wrestling in WWE.
Prediction: Liv Morgan Wins