Skip to main content

Do You Wanna See Something Cool: Predicting Extreme Rules 2017


Extreme Rules 2017 is coming up on Monday and is actually going to be live at the same time as Game 2 of Warriors/Cavs III. If you're a WWE and NBA fan with that dilemma, the obvious answer is to watch Game 2 live and Extreme Rules later, especially if you have the WWE Network anyway. Just lay off social media for the rest of the midday and you'll be fine. The beauty of on-demand streaming services, right?

There's a part of me that was pretty sad as I wrote that first statement because it's clear that I'm not as invested in RAW as I'd like to be, and anybody who's followed RAW over the last year knows exactly why. The Red Brand has done a poor job of maintaining interest by churning out mediocre storylines and haphazard booking. It doesn't help that RAW drew the short end of the stick by getting this gimmicky pay-per-view out of all the gimmicky PPVs. I kind of want to feel sorry for the Creative team, except I realize that ginusto nila 'to. So, meh.

That said, we're getting an Extreme Rules PPV, which isn't really so extreme when you think about it. Outside of the Fatal 5-Way main event, the other matches don't even come close to the "extreme" label that WWE is trying so hard to beat over our heads. I don't get how a Women's kendo stick on a pole match should be more vicious than the Hell In A Cell match that Charlotte and Sasha Banks had last year. The disqualification stipulation in the Ambroze/Miz Intercontinental Championship Match is the opposite of extreme, while a submission match isn't really delving into "overboard" territory. Hell, there aren't enough submission matches in wrestling these days, full stop.

The worst part about all of this is when wrestling is such an integral part of your system and routine, you can't just let Monday pass without catching Extreme Rules, or at least parts of it. After all, it does feature the main event that's set to "change the course of the New Era," whatever that means. With that, here are my predictions for this Monday's PPV.

Rich Swann and Sasha Banks vs. Noam Dar and Alicia Fox in a mixed tag team match


As a Sasha fan, I am so sad that she's been relegated to lending credibility to the Cruiserweight division through her 205 Live appearance and her insertion into this feud. 


I get that Sasha needs to be kept away from the title picture while Bayley and Alexa Bliss are stretching out their own storyline. But this seems like an unnecessary twist in Sasha's overall arc. She deserves way better than this shit. Actually, all four of these Superstars deserve better than this shitty feud. Can we all just move on please?

Prediction: Rich Swann and Sasha Banks win

Submission Match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Austin Aries vs. Neville (c) 



We've said this time and time again on the SGP Podcast: Neville finally finishing off Austin Aries doesn't do the Cruiserweight title and division any favors. If the King of the Cruiserweights dispatches A-Double, then he'll have stomped over all of the babyfaces, so there will literally be no point for him to continue reigning unless a new challenger emerges. But until the ghosts of Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado's respective credibility can be brought back to life, the best play here is to give Aries the championship win—even just a quick run will do—so that you can reshuffle the deck and have heel challengers contending for the title. Imagine a triple threat feud between Aries, Neville, and TJP, for example. I'd dab for that.

Prediction: Austin Aries wins the Cruiserweight Championship

Steel Cage Match for the RAW Tag Team Championships: Sheamus & Cesaro vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy) (c)



It's been two months since the Hardy Boyz returned to WWE and I'm already tired of them. It was clear from the get-go that the nostalgia rub was going to burn out sooner or later. The only way the Hardyz will be interesting again in 2017 is if the #BROKEN gimmick actually makes it to WWE. Until then, we're stuck with reliving the Hardy Boyz' glorious past as Jeff sticks to coming in for the hot tag and making the comeback, exposing how much his body has fallen off over the years.


Sheamus & Cesaro are going to win the titles on Monday, and I want to see them do more with the titles than they got to the first time around. It should be fun watching an extra smug and cocky Sheasaro asserting their ascendancy over the tag division as "the bar" everyone else should measure up to. I wouldn't even mind if they parlayed their tag success into individual pursuits while remaining the tag team champions, but that won't happen in today's stick-to-your-division booking schemes.

Prediction: Sheamus & Cesaro win the RAW Tag Team Championships

Kendo Stick-on-a-Pole Match for the RAW Women's Championship: Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss (c)



Here's what's unclear about this match: is the use of the kendo stick exclusive to the Superstar who obtains it from the pole? This rule is heavily implied by the commentators during the buildup we've seen on RAW. But in previous weapon-on-a-pole matches over the years, the use of the weapon isn't necessarily exclusive to whomever retrieves it from said pole.

Having said that, Bayley has looked like such a chump in this story against Alexa Bliss. We've already written about how RAW has watered the Hugger's character down so much to the point of fans like us actually disliking her now. That remains the case for me because I'm no longer invested in the Bayley character. Her rise to the title was inorganic, which has taken away from what has made her such a lovable underdog in NXT. The point of her character was that she wasn't supposed to even be there, but she kept defying the odds. The way she's been written into RAW and her championship victory felt so rushed that it undid any good will Bayley built as a character.

That's why Alexa Bliss should just take this and move on to the next challenger she'll be bullying—hopefully, Sasha Banks. Then again, everybody has seemingly forgotten about Nia Jax. I wonder when the latter will get her shot at the title.

Prediction: Alexa Bliss retains the RAW Women's Championship

WWE Intercontinental Championship: The Miz (w/ Maryse) vs. Dean Ambrose (c) (If Ambrose is disqualified, he will lose the title.)



The only way for this stipulation to really pay off is for WWE to book this the way they did with Christian's World Heavyweight Championship match against Randy Orton at Money in the Bank 2011. Miz and Maryse will spend the whole match pissing Ambrose off to tempt him into getting disqualified. And in the heat of the moment—hopefully at the match's highest point—Ambrose finally snaps and gets himself disqualified, allowing Miz to weasel away with the Intercontinental Championship.

It's simple, it's proven, and it should work on Monday. This is actually the easiest match to predict, and yet, I can't wait to see it actually play out.

Prediction: The Miz wins the Intercontinental Championship

Fatal 5-Way Extreme Rules Match to determine the #1 Contender to the WWE Universal Championship: Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Bálor vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe vs. Seth Rollins



Consider this the WWE's equivalent to this year's Conference Semifinals in the NBA. These five guys are no different than the teams who were killing themselves for the right to be destroyed by the Golden State Warriors and/or the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Conference Finals. That doesn't mean the match can't be fun. I personally enjoyed the fact that Boston/Washington went seven games and got pretty testy for my Celtics. But the reality is that whoever wins this match isn't actually going to beat Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at Great Balls of (Fucking) Fire. Plus, with the ongoing rumor that Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar are being kept away from one another until their inevitable WrestleMania clash next year, then we might as well pencil the Samoan named Joe out of this prediction.

Bray Wyatt and Samoa Joe could both look like fun challengers for the Beast Incarnate, except they're both heel, and it's unlikely that WWE will be willing to book Brock Lesnar like a dominant babyface monster again. While it is still possible to write Lesnar as an absolutely destructive force of nature that straddles the heel/face alignment dichotomy whichever way he wants, it's a problem WWE can do without, especially since they're already dealing with the Roman Reigns reactions. All of this just means to say that Bray and Joe aren't going to win simply because they're heels.

That leaves us with Seth Rollins and Finn Bálor. As much as I'd love to see Rollins vs. Lesnar again—remember that we never got the full Rollins/Lesnar match experience at Battleground 2015 thanks to the Undertaker—WWE dropped the ball on Rollins as a babyface from the moment he returned from injury at this time last year. Rollins isn't going to challenge Lesnar for the title just yet, and if RAW plays their cards right, they could use this time to actually pull the trigger on a Shield reunion storyline with all three guys seemingly playing from the bottom right now.

That means Finn Bálor will be the likeliest to emerge as the #1 Contender, and why shouldn't he? Finn was the Universal Champion who never lost the title, after all. Plus, that Paul Heyman segment that Bálor did several weeks ago was just the right kind of tease to see just how they'd interact in a feud over the championship. I wouldn't mind seeing Finn bring out the Demon in an attempt to slay the Beast. The only problem with this is that when Lesnar inevitably takes Finn out, then it destroys both Finn's heat and the Demon character in the process. THIS IS WHY BROCK LESNAR AS UNIVERSAL CHAMPION IS A BAD LONG-TERM MOVE.

Prediction: Finn Bálor wins to become the #1 Contender to the Universal Championship.

*****

There really is no reason to buy into the hype of Extreme Rules' main event "changing the course of the New Era." But don't let that talk you out of catching Extreme Rules on Monday. It's not exactly a PPV that you can afford to miss because I'm sure there will be a couple of matches and moments that will be worth talking about through the week. It's just not something I'd want to choose over Game 2 of Warriors/Cavs III. This is why I pay for my WWE Network subscription, after all.

Photos from WWE

*****

Stan Sy (@_StanSyis the Editor at Large of Smark Henry, and is also an events host, a freelance writer, and one of the hosts of the Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast and The Wrestling Gods on FOX. He enjoys watching WWE, NXT, Lucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. He dresses up in fancy suits from time to time to book matches as PWR's General Manager.

Comments

Trending This Week

[FULL RESULTS] PWR #UnFathersDay 2017

[WATCH] 13 Things We Learned From PWR's #UnFathersDay Show

Bastusan Na: Miguel Rosales To Face Former PHX Champion At Renaissance 2017

John Sebastian: The Resurrection of a God

Conflicts of Interest: #TeamJacket vs. The Network