WWE Extreme Rules 2018 match card: PPV predictions, rumours, preview, date, start time, location
Everything you need to know about Sunday’s WWE pay-per-view as Roman Reigns takes on Bobby Lashley
We’re all set for WWE’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view on Sunday, which takes place at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.
Even though Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey are not on the card for the final stop before SummerSlam, there are still plenty of star names stacked up.
The July 15 show kicks off at 7pm Eastern time (7am Hong Kong time, July 16) with the kick-off show beginning an hour earlier. Here is the line-up:
Roman Reigns v Bobby Lashley
There may not be a title on the line but this one could even end up going on last.
It’s a way to keep Reigns away from Lesnar while still featuring him in a high-profile match, though Lashley could also do with a big statement win here.
Expect some Lesnar interference, setting up a triple threat at SummerSlam, meaning Lesnar won’t have to take a fall to give the title up to Reigns and look weak going into his UFC return.
You could even have Braun Strowman cash in his Money in the Bank contract to add himself to the mix and make it a four-way clash of the heavyweights.
Prediction: Roman Reigns by disqualification (Lesnar interference)
WWE Championship – AJ Styles (c) v Rusev
It’s nice of WWE to give Rusev some shine, after his recent surge in popularity thanks to the “Rusev Day” gimmick – but let’s be honest, it’s a little too late.
Rusev should have got this push five months ago when crowds couldn’t stop chanting for him, but instead WWE cooled him off and kept him heel, limiting any potential push.
On the plus side, however, it’s a fresh match-up for AJ Styles after a series of disappointing matches and confusing finishes in his feud with Shinsuke Nakamura.
Styles is also likely to go over, which I’m all for – he’s one of the best in the business, and certainly there are none better in WWE. A lengthy WWE title run is just what he deserves.
Prediction: AJ Styles retains
Raw Women’s Championship – Alexa Bliss (c) v Nia Jax, Extreme Rules match
Jax and Bliss had an entertaining feud leading up to their WrestleMania match, with Jax growing into her role as a baby face taking revenge on the bully.
She reverted right back into her previous heel role for her clash with Rousey, though, which somewhat checked her progress.
Rousey will be ringside for this one, as she sits out her 30-day storyline suspension, having gone berserk on Bliss after the champ cheated her out of the title. Rousey had looked set to defeat Jax, before Bliss interfered and cashed in her Money in the Bank contract she won earlier in the night.
Prediction: Alexa Bliss retains by disqualification (Rousey interferes)
— WWE (@WWE) July 10, 2018
Intercontinental Championship – Dolph Ziggler (c) v Seth Rollins, 30-minute Iron Man match
Not so sure about the stipulation, but Ziggler and Rollins work well together and this one could steal the show.
Ziggler seems rejuvenated by his move to Raw, and Rollins has been the best thing on that show for most of 2018.
You could make a case for Ziggler retaining, perhaps by interference from tag team partner Drew McIntyre, in order for Rollins to move up into the main event picture – especially with Universal Champion Lesnar looking like he is on the way out and heading back to UFC.
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler retains
SmackDown Women’s Championship – Carmella v Asuka
The booking for the SmackDown women’s title scene has been baffling since WrestleMania, with Asuka’s lengthy undefeated streak ended by Charlotte only for Carmella to successfully cash in her Money in the Bank contract the next night.
Carmella has since beaten Charlotte and Asuka, the latter with help from the returning James Ellsworth, so it looks like WWE are prepared to stick with her as champ.
Expect more shenanigans from Ellsworth, and an iffy finish.
Prediction: Carmella retains
United States Championship – Jeff Hardy (c) v Shinsuke Nakamura
Nakamura needs a high-profile win after losing several WWE Championship matches to AJ Styles, so expect him to become the new US Champion.
Hardy could even make a fun opponent for Styles down the line, and does not need the title, whereas Nakamura could do with a boost to keep his excellent heel run firing.
Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura wins the US title
SmackDown Tag Team Championship – Bludgeon Brothers v Team Hell No
While Daniel Bryan’s booking has been bizarre since his dramatic retirement U-turn, after years out due to concussion fears, this one should still be a lot of fun.
Fans would no doubt like to see Bryan fighting over the WWE title with Styles, but teaming with Kane in 2012 and 2013 is what took Bryan to that next level, with his personality and ability in the ring given a platform to shine.
The segments between the two were memorable, and some of the matches spectacular, so I’m all for another quick tag title reign for Team Hell No.
You could even go the other way and have Kane turn on Bryan, setting up a match at SummerSlam – allowing them to finish their WWE title feud that was cut short in 2014 by Bryan’s injuries.
Prediction: Team Hell No win the tag team titles
Raw Tag Team Championship – Deleters of Worlds v B-Team
Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel have made for an entertaining duo since being split from The Miz, who moved to SmackDown, but they’re still hard to take seriously.
With Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt also largely a comedy act, don’t expect a classic here. It’s a bit of a shame to see the tag team division reduced to comic relief when you’ve got guys like The Revival sitting on the sidelines, but hey ho.
Prediction: Deleters of Worlds retain
— WWE (@WWE) July 10, 2018
Braun Strowman v Kevin Owens, Steel Cage match
This feud has been entertaining enough, and keeps Strowman away from the main event scene with Lesnar out of the picture until SummerSlam.
Owens will be little more than fodder for Strowman here, which is a shame given his own potential as a monster heavyweight – he seems to be little more than a comedic act at the moment.
Prediction: Braun Strowman
Finn Balor v Baron Corbin
Balor could definitely do with a win after falling down the card somewhat, and get a push back towards the Intercontinental title picture.
However, WWE still appears to be fairly high on Corbin, despite pulling the plug on his previous big push, and could give him a victory to kick-start his new “Constable” gimmick.
Either way, Balor deserves better.
Prediction: Finn Balor