It’s WWE Extreme Rules with several stipulation matches including Bayley defending the Raw Women’s Title against Bayley in a Ladder Match, Drew McIntyre faces Karrion Kross in a Strap Match, Edge takes on Finn Balor in an “I Quit” Match and more.
John: Extreme Rules takes place this Saturday, October 8th in Philadelphia. I like the lineup even though there aren’t any of the men’s titles on the line on the show. Everything has been built up pretty well with some feuds lasting a few months now while others have been pushed strongly over television in the last month. The show might be hurt a bit by the absence of the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, but it does allow for other wrestlers to be featured a bit more. I like that every match has a stipulation match and there’s a story for them. I’m not sure what the main event will be. I think it might be McIntyre-Kross, but you could make a case for Morgan-Rousey and Belair-Bayley since they are major title matches too.
This is being posted several hours before Smackdown, so we don’t know if WWE will add more matches to the show or if they just keep six matches. One thing I wanted to point out is that I think it sucks that Kevin Owens isn’t on this card. That means he has been off the last four Premium Live Events and let’s not forget he main evented WrestleMania 38 six months ago with Steve Austin. Owens has been featured a lot on TV in the “Triple H Era” of WWE shows, but I think a guy as good as him should be on this show. I think there are a bunch of other people missing too. I get that putting only six matches allows them all to get time over 3+ hours, but you can also have 7 or 8 total matches to get more wrestlers on the show. Maybe that 18-minute match on the show would be fine at 13 minutes if it allows for others to be on the card. Just saying.
I think Bray Wyatt will return at this show. I assume he’ll be in a heel role, so that means he’ll probably attack a babyface like Drew McIntyre or perhaps Edge. All of the “White Rabbit” clues seems to be leading to Bray’s return. I think Extreme Rules is a good place to do it in order to get Wyatt back on TV to set him up for a match at Crown Jewel next month.
Joining me for the preview are TJRWrestling writers Joel McIntyre, Matthew Fowler, Alex Podgorski, Kelly Dishnow, Marc Madison, Lyle Kilbane and Kristian Thompson.
Alex: There’s some interesting stuff here. With only six matches on the card, there could be some great matches here. The stories were built up pretty well, the stipulations are interesting, and some of the matchups look like they’ll be entertaining. I don’t expect much in terms of surprise debuts or swerves on this show. That said, there’s room for some creative finishes on this show and I think that’ll be seen in more than one match as we get to the previews below.
Marc: With Extreme Rules 2022 only days away and six matches on the card, it’s hard not to care about this show. However, as evident by the new regime, fewer matches on the card likely means more time allotted to those in those matches.
As Extreme Rules is a gimmick show, the key here is that we come out of each of those matches caring as much as we did going into them, regardless of the gimmick match. Donnybrook, I Quit, Ladder, Fit Pit, Strap Match, and an Extreme Rules match could be too much overkill on one show. But as with everything, we’ll see how it all pans out.
Kristian: I have enjoyed the ‘HHH era’ of WWE programming lately. It’s more wrestling-focused, with multiple matches getting lengthy ring time on each show, and they’re developing the storylines better by featuring more superstars. I’m enjoying the fact that HHH is pushing some wrestlers that have been neglected in the Vince era, as well as bringing back some stars that were let go. With that being said, my Extreme Rules enthusiasm is pretty high. Whilst there is no stand out match (or World Title match), every one of them piques my interest. I feel like Belair vs. Bayley might go on last as it is for a title, rather than Kross vs. McIntyre even though that feels like a bigger match.
In regard to Bray Wyatt, I feel that it’s an odd time to bring him back. If Reigns and friends were featured, it could’ve been a great moment for him to confront them and return as a face. However, there doesn’t seem to be a wrestler on the show that he could confront which would make sense, and this PPV doesn’t feel big enough to have him return. Maybe Karrion Kross beats McIntyre and Wyatt turns up afterwards. I’m not sure. I certainly would enjoy seeing him if that were the case, but for now I don’t see it happening.
(Note: All graphics below are from WWE.)
Six-Man Tag Team Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook Match: The Brawling Brutes (Sheamus, Butch & Ridge Holland) vs. Imperium (GUNTHER, Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci)
(Note: WWE hypes this match up this way: “Brace yourself for an absolute free-for-all brawl with numerous weapons at every turn that guarantee a display of all-out mayhem.” In other words, it’s like a No Holds Barred tag team match.)
Joel: This Sheamus and Gunther feud has been a treat. Their match at Clash of the Castle was one of my favorite matches all year. Now you had Imperium and the Brutes and they’re going to beat the crap outta each other. I’m going Imperium mainly because I see Sheamus winning the IC Title on Smackdown.
Lyle: Chaos, carnage, and chair shots are likely to reign supreme in the Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook match. The Triple H-led WWE is clearly of the belief that wrestling is a three-ring circus and for fans of WWE’s brand of hardcore wrestling, this should be a barnburner.
The highlight of Clash at the Castle in Cardiff was the sustained standing ovation for Sheamus as the fans in Wales paid stellar tribute to one of the top Irish stars of all time.
Imperium on the other hand are led by their emboldened and re-capitalised leader GUNTHER. The team has come together since being rejoined by Giovanni Vinci and as fans, we can’t help but salivate at the prospect of Imperium one day staring down The Bloodline on the blue brand.
This match should be fun to warm the crowd up for the night’s events and in that case, there should be a feel-good factor about the winners – it won’t hurt Imperium one bit.
Winners – The Brawling Brutes
Matthew: I don’t care if it is a Donnybrook, Bungee, Kennel from Hell or Viagra on a Poll Match, if Sheamus and Gunther are facing each other in it I am excited. All six of these guys should beat the hell out of each other, in a match that could honestly be match of the night if given enough time. This is also one of the harder matches to predict, as I don’t think either of these teams should be losing. Since I have to pick one, I will go with Imperium getting the win to continue their dominance.
Alex: I can see this match going 15-20 minutes and mixing between being inside the ring, outside the ring, and into the backstage area. To live up to the stipulation, it wouldn’t surprise me if WWE has some weird stage or special ‘area’ built backstage that’ll be filled with strange objects and various weapons. And while I get the impression that they’re trying to follow-up on that amazing GUNTHER/Sheamus match from CATC, I think this’ll be a bit less serious and feature a bit more slapstick. As for who wins, I’m going with Imperium. HHH is in charge now and he seems to take wrestling more seriously than his predecessor. And which of HHH’s guys takes wrestling more seriously than the man whose catchphrase is “the mat is sacred”?
Winners: Imperium (GUNTHER, Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci)
Kelly: This is going to be a straight up fight, which is perfect for this feud. It’ll likely be the opener, too. I don’t think that this will be their final encounter, but it is likely going to be their most physical. The true definition of hard hitting. This match could easily go either way. Imperium is 1-0 in six-man tag action, so I’m going to go with The Brawling Brutes to even the score and give us a reason for a rubber match at either Crown Jewel or Survivor Series.
Winners:The Brawling Brutes
Marc: It’s a fight. This match is an all-out fight, no matter what you want to call it or what term you want to use. And it’s great that these are the six that get to beat the hell out of each other because they’ve been teasing this for a while. I don’t think since The Wyatt Family and The Shield has a six-man tag match has been so anticipated.
We have seen one-offs between them, but we hadn’t seen all six men battle one another. While no title is on the line, pride appears to be, so it would be tremendous if the Brawling Brutes win; we see them earn title matches either tag or in singles. Fans will be treated to a fight for sure, but there will be some solid grappling taking place here, too, and regardless of who wins, we all win. But a win for Imperium may be just what tilts things in this faction’s corner, even if it’s temporarily.
Kristian: This has been a really fun feud that I’m glad is continuing, especially between Sheamus and GUNTHER. I am writing this before I watch SmackDown, so I feel the IC Title match might influence who wins here. I think it might be Sheamus’ time to dethrone GUNTHER, and then the heel trio get the win back at the PPV and GUNTHER moves on to a new singles feud with a different high-profile superstar.
John: This should be a wild, chaotic and fun brawling featuring six guys that work together really well. We are posting this before the GUNTHER-Sheamus match for the Intercontinental Title on Smackdown, but I’m looking forward to that match as much as anything on this show, if not more. It’s hard not to be excited about a GUNTHER match because the guy is so talented and has put on so many incredible matches while Sheamus is right to say he puts on “banger after banger after banger” (a banger is another way of saying a great match).
I don’t think the result matters that much because both groups are strong now. Imperium won the last time they had a six-man tag on Smackdown, so I’m leaning towards going with The Brawling Brutes just to give them some momentum after Imperium cost them the NXT Tag Team Titles this past Tuesday on NXT. They might consider pushing Butch as a singles guy a bit, so I think he’ll get the win over Kaiser.
Winners: The Brawling Brutes
“I Quit” Match: Edge vs. Finn Balor
Joel: It seems as if this feud is finally coming to an end. Its had its ups and downs but its been good for the most part. I know Triple H is going to push Finn Balor but I cant see him making Edge quit here. I gotta go with Edge to finish off this feud.
Lyle: The betting odds for this match made it interesting reading through the week with Finn Balor’s status as the underdog slowly shifting as time went on.
The I Quit element in these matches always makes for an interesting dynamic as for so long it was played up as the most humiliating way to defeat an opponent. With no disqualification rules at play then expect The Judgment Day to be at their interfering best with Rey Mysterio and possibly even AJ Styles appearing to even the odds or perhaps not.
If left to their own devices Finn Balor and Edge could pull of the match of the night and possibly one of the bouts of the year if given time. The nature of the match itself might not lend itself to that but it’s sure to be one that has people tuning into Raw on Monday to find out where things go from here.
The Judgment Day need a win but if Edge says I Quit then expect to be along the lines of when Jey Uso uttered those words to Roman Reigns back in October 2020 inside Hell In A Cell.
Winner – Finn Balor
Matthew: If The Donnybrook Match does not steal the show, this one may. Edge and Balor are two of my favorite guys ever, and I am excited to see them compete in there first one on one singles match. Honestly the “I Quit” stipulation feels unnecessary in this match, and was just added so every match on the show can have a stipulation. Nevertheless however, this match will be incredible, and I see Edge getting the win and his revenge on The Judgment Day.
Alex: I’m predicting a bit of a creative finish here. Just like with The Rock and Mankind at Royal Rumble 1999 or that one match between John Cena and the Miz, I think that some sort of chicanery will be used here. Someone will play a pre-recorded line of one of them saying “I Quit”, or maybe one of Balor’s allies will threaten the referee if he doesn’t call the match despite Edge not saying those same words. Something unique will happen here because both wrestlers involved really aren’t in a position to say ‘I Quit’. Those words are embarrassing and should be saved for when a feud it at its most tense and there’s actually something to lose for one of them. Edge returned recently so him quitting so soon doesn’t make sense. And Balor is still being booked strongly as Judgment Day’s leader. The stipulation would do a lot of damage to both of them so some sort of creative ‘out’ needs to take place here.
Winner: No official winner due to shenanigans
Kelly: The booking of this match is the most intriguing. You’d think that Balor would have the advantage here, given the sheer numbers of the Judgement Day and their likely interference. Edge would probably only have Rey Mysterio in his corner. Maybe AJ Styles and Beth Phoenix lend a hand but I’m not sure. The only equal force that could face off with Judgement Day would be Legado del Fantasma, but they are likely Smackdown bound. It’s about time the numbers get equaled out. As for this match, Edge is likely on his retirement tour and should be doing the honors unless we can get a four-on-four force lined up for Survivor Series.
Marc: A first-time-ever match is always great to see. When it involves two men as talented as these two, it’s even better. Edge has been part of several first-time-ever battles either years ago or now since he’s returned. With his return, however, fans are also going to be treated to a battle of leader versus former leader as Judgment Day’s Finn Balor faces former leader Edge.
Is it about Judgment Day trying to dismantle everything Edge tried to build or about Edge trying to dismantle everything he created? Regardless of how we script it, something has to give. Time and time again, Edge has tried to come back after being beaten down. So how does this narrative play out?
Does Judgment Day indeed come to an end after growing as a faction? Does Edge accept defeat and move on to another feud? A win here for Balor is genuinely telling of where things are headed here for all involved.
Winner: Finn Balor
Kristian: This feud has been a little bit all over the place, even though it’s been enjoyable. The injury angles and continual chopping and changing of the Judgement Day’s opponents has interrupted the consistency a little bit. The Judgement Day continue to dominate the beat-downs and tag matches on weekly TV, yet haven’t really won an important singles match and even lost the tag match at Clash which facilitated the Dom Mysterio heel turn (which has been terrific). You rarely see a heel win an I Quit match, but I think there will be a spot where all the Judgement Day are threatening to break Edge’s neck or something similar, and he is forced to quit. It wouldn’t really fit Edge’s character, but I think Balor really needs the win.
Winner: Finn Balor
John: I think Edge’s comeback over the last two-plus years has been fun. He turns 49 years old this month. I think next year might be the end for him, so between now and then he should probably lose matches to put over the talent that is going to keep wrestling. This is first-time ever match with Balor thriving as a heel in The Judgment Day that has been booked strongly on Raw during the last few months of Triple H running the show. While I get why Edge keeps getting attacked leading to comebacks to keep the feud going, I think Balor should win here. Thanks to the numbers game advantage with The Judgment Day group, Balor is probably going to get a cheap win. Maybe Rey Mysterio is involved to try to help Edge, then they can do a spot where Rey refuses to hit Dominik Mysterio, which leads to Balor doing some big move to Edge (thanks to the presence of Damian Priest & Rhea Ripley as well) and eventually Edge will lose.
It wouldn’t surprise me if they did a finish where Edge passes out in a submission hold instead of saying “I Quit” just to put him over as a tough guy. Balor should win this match if WWE really wants to keep pushing him as a top heel on Raw.
Winner: Finn Balor
Extreme Rules Match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship: Liv Morgan (c) vs. Ronda Rousey
Joel: I really want Liv to retain. Unfortunately, I don’t think they would do this match again if that was the plan. I feel like Ronda wins this and we might see a return of Charlotte. Oh boy.
Winner and New Smackdown Women’s Champion: Ronda Rousey
Lyle: A slightly bizarre feud should come to an end in one of only two title matches on a blissful six-match card. The more this feud has gone on the more fan support has seemed to build behind Rousey who is now at her best as the full of herself villain while it has dwindled for the plucky underdog Liv Morgan.
The finish to the women’s match at SummerSlam didn’t help with Rousey clearly beating the champion but being screwed over by a poor call from the referee.
Liv Morgan has grown into her role and with many heroes it is more often about the chase than the destination. Her chase should begin again on Friday night with The Baddest Woman On The Planet sitting atop the SmackDown women’s division once again.
Winner and New Smackdown Women’s Champion – Ronda Rousey
Matthew: I like Liv Morgan, I really do, but it is time for this experiment as Smackdown Women’s Champion to end. Morgan defeating Rousey yet again here would be completely unbelievable, even for the world of professional wrestling. I predict Rousey to get the win here and the title in dominant fashion.
Winner and New Smackdown Women’s Champion: Ronda Rousey
Alex: This ought to be interesting. Morgan now has the most even playing field possible as she goes into the match with a furious Rousey. She’ll make the most out of the stipulation and will absolutely pummel Rousey with weapons shots. I think she’ll use that avenue to weaken Rousey as much as possible, as quickly as possible.
I see this match being booked as a sort of “one move and she’s f**ked” situation for Morgan. Rousey’s a better athlete, has more combat sports experience, and is going into this match mad as hell. All she has to do is get Morgan in one hold and Morgan’s done. Morgan knows this so she’ll be careful here. It’ll be a very careful game of Morgan getting shots in wherever she can to weaken Rousey slowly. She’ll eventually succeed, but I don’t think this’ll be a “great match” by any means. Then again, Morgan shouldn’t be going into this match looking to “have a good match”; she should be going into this match looking to survive. She will, but only if she’s careful and treats Rousey as the dangerous fighter that she is.
Winner and STILL SmackDown Women’s Champion: Liv Morgan
Kelly: WWE has done their best lately to try to break Morgan out of the cute girl next door mold to get an extreme fighting edge to make it look like she’s got a chance here. I’m not totally dismissing Rousey here, but if she really has not interest in being champion and wants to put Morgan over like she did at Money in the Bank, then this is the stipulation to do it. If they want to give Morgan an out for losing, this is the match stipulation to do it. The poorly timed match finish at SummerSlam hurt Morgan and I think this is a little bit of damage control on Creative’s part. I think they want to go with Morgan long term and Rousey can be the special attraction until her money match with Becky Lynch at WrestleMania. I think this will be the cement for making Morgan a star.
Marc: With an Extreme Rules Match slated for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, the best-case scenario is to ensure that Rousey loses and does not look bad in the process. For the current champion to use every weapon she can get her hand on to get the better of Rousey, does even the playing field.
The strategy of losing via submission goes out the window in a match like this. In the case of Rousey, her hands are weapons, but if her hands are smashed with chairs, kendo sticks, or anything of the like, then she has her physical advantage taken away from her. They’ve managed to have Morgan hold onto the title this long, and if she loses for the same reason that Rousey loses, she also doesn’t lose. But is it time for Smackdown to have a physically dominant women’s champion? Not yet, at least.
Winner AND STILL Smackdown Women’s Champion: Liv Morgan
Kristian: I feel that this match has been given the least build or they have spent too much time focusing on Rousey vs authority figures, and not pushing Morgan as a believable champion. I think this has hurt her much-deserved first title reign and takes away from thinking that Morgan could defeat Rousey clean. I’m not sure how they’ll book the end to this one. We know WWE looks to book Rousey in a John Cena-esque manner, so it might even be time to shake things up and turn Morgan heel and have someone interfere on her behalf which leads to her winning. I’d prefer Morgan to remain champion as I don’t think we have seen all that she can do as the main player in SmackDown’s women’s division.
Winner AND STILL SmackDown Women’s Champion: Liv Morgan
John: The “Extreme Rules Match” stipulation is another way of saying it’s like a Street Fight or No Holds Barred Match with a different name. Normally in a WWE Street Fight the finish has to be in the ring, so it might be that way in this match. The story has been about Morgan constantly trying to prove how tough she is since she put Lacey Evans through a table, she has gotten into a brawl with Rousey and Liv has fared well. Rousey seems dismissive of Morgan, who she calls “Hooters Barbie” so they could be teasing the story that Rousey is overconfident and she loses because of that.
I’ve been torn on my prediction here. On the one hand, I thought Charlotte Flair would make her return and cost Rousey the match since Rousey beat Flair for the title back in May. However, I think it’s possible they put Charlotte on Raw whenever she comes back. I’m also thinking about the future and how WWE might want to do Rousey vs. Becky Lynch at WrestleMania next year due to all that history, so they are probably going to get the title back on Rousey at some point. I think this might be where they do it. Rousey was always pushed hard when Vince McMahon was booking, but I think she’ll be pushed and featured even more in this Triple H booking era of WWE.
Winner AND NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion: Ronda Rousey
Fight Pit Match: Matt Riddle vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins
(Note: UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier is the referee)
Joel: The Cormier inclusion is a nice touch to one of my favorite feuds of the year. Everything Seth touches turns to gold recently and this is no different. I think he wins here to give him momentum going into his United States Title match on Raw.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Lyle: A Clash at the Castle rematch with a twist as Rollins and Riddle face off in the Fight Pit with UFC legend Daniel Cormier acting as special referee.
The feud continues to get ever more personal between Seth Rollins and Matt Riddle with family matters being brought up time and again between the two men. Ordinarily this might be the right time to call time on this feud as well with a blow off Fight Pit match but with WWE’s next premium live event taking place in Saudi Arabia, they might be tempted to ring one more match out of this for that crowd.
I expect Daniel Cormier to act as a ‘straight down the middle’ referee but if Rollins doesn’t like his calls in the match then perhaps a face-off could give the merest hint of a WrestleMania match that will have dollar signs flickering in Triple H’s eyes.
Seth Rollins has dominated the feud but given Riddle’s UFC history, he’s in more familiar territory and could avenge his Clash at the Castle defeat.
Winner – Matt Riddle
Matthew: This match has been built extremely well, making me even more excited to see this match. The Fight Pit Stipulation obviously should favor Riddle, who has competed in this type of match before. Rollins is also at the place of his career where he can lose a match like this, and it does not hurt him. Therefore, I will predict Riddle getting the win here, in the hopes of further making him a main event star.
Winner: Matt Riddle
Alex: At last, we’re going to get to see a different side of Riddle. I haven’t been the biggest fan of his character for a long time; the weirdness WWE have saddled him with has made him into more of a joke character to me. So hopefully he’ll counterbalance that with some brutal violence and “realism” in this match.
Riddle will be in his element here but Rollins won’t be outdone too easily. I can see him fighting longer than anyone expects, causing the match to go at least fifteen minutes. And yet, the possibility of a clean finish was thrown out the window once a special referee was announced. With Cormier refereeing this, I can see Rollins attacking him or something like that to cause a screwy finish. WWE is still obsessed with using outside stars as much as possible and they’ll try and milk Cormier as much as they can. As such, I can see Rollins getting increasingly frustrated with Riddle as the match goes on and then getting in Cormier’s face for “being on Riddle’s side”. That’ll cause Cormier to knock Rollins out and lead to yet another feud to get even more out of the MMA legend.
Winner due to referee knocking one of the competitors out: Matt Riddle
Kelly: I always enjoyed the Fight Pit Matches in NXT. It was a really unique match stipulation. I believe the overall purpose for this match is to make a star out of Riddle. You can’t get anyone any better than Rollins to make a new star. The special guest referee is a good choice as well. Cormier adds some legitimacy to the Fight Pit. It’s going to be hard hitting and no mercy will be shown. Rollins will make Riddle look like a legit main event star after this.
Marc: If there has been a rivalry that has risen in intensity, it’s been this one. When we add to it the inclusion of UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier, this feud has included someone who knows what it takes to fight very well. Ever since Rollins became personal with Riddle about his now ex-wife and children, the stakes between them appeared to rise.
For Riddle, he returns to the Fight Pit once again to put forth just how much of an animal he can be within the structure. While it’s a match that has typically taken place in NXT, it now appears at Extreme Rules. The structure isn’t made to allow its opponents to escape but to end in the pit. Rollins is committed to showing just how ruthless he can be. This match will hopefully lend itself to that opportunity. But after weeks of losing to Rollins, this should be Riddle’s arrival and Rollin’s downfall.
Winner: Matt Riddle
Kristian: What a terrific rivalry this has been. I have enjoyed the personal feel that has been brought to the feud in the last few weeks. Riddle really feels like a main-event level player and Rollins continues to shine as the best heel on Raw. It’s not surprising that Riddle has improved so much on the mic by working with Rollins. Rollins got a long-awaited PPV win at Clash, so I’m feeling a Riddle return win here. The match type suits his style better. I think we get a blow-off possibly at Survivor Series and usually I would predict Hell in a Cell, but Rollins has already done that with Cody Rhodes so they might not want to go back there just yet.
Winner: Matt Riddle
John: Some WWE fans might be unaware of what the Fight Pit Match since they don’t watch NXT regularly. That’s fine. There’s a lot of wrestling going on every week, so they can’t watch everything. I’m here to tell you that when WWE did this match in the past in NXT, the matches always delivered. I think Riddle and Rollins are two of the best performers in WWE right now after feuding for several months, so they’re going to put on an outstanding match. Rollins has had such an incredible 2022 after the Cody feud and this feud covering the last few months.
The addition of Daniel Cormier is interesting. Cormier revealed that Rollins was the person that asked him to the referee of this match, so that’s pretty cool. It wouldn’t shock me if maybe there’s a bit of an angle between Cormier-Rollins to tease a future match since Cormier is a legit WWE fan that can talk. Cormier is in his early 40s, so even though he’s retired from UFC, he can probably work some matches in WWE if he wants to.
I think Riddle wins this match to put an end to the feud for now since he’s the former UFC fighter, so it should be Riddle’s “gimmick” match so to speak. This Monday on Raw, Rollins gets a US Title shot against Bobby Lashley and I think Rollins is going to find a way to win that.
Winner: Matt Riddle
Ladder Match for the Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Bayley
Joel: Bianca has been on fire all year. She’s only lost once but that was to Bayley. I think Bayley wins here because they’re going to want the visual of all 3 members of Damage CTRL with titles. I hope I’m wrong because I enjoy Bianca as Raw Women’s Champion.
Winner and New Raw Women’s Champion: Bayley
Lyle: The first singles women’s ladder match in WWE history sees Bayley challenge Bianca Belair for her Raw Women’s Championship.
Bayley has had her eyes on the gold since returning to WWE screens at SummerSlam with her Damage CTRL partners IYO SKY and Dakota Kai.
The Role Model is undefeated on TV since her return and her team’s big win over Belair, Asuka, and Alexa Bliss at Clash at the Castle – with Bayley pinning Belair – set this match up beautifully – if a little predictably.
Again, I’d expect WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions SKY and Kai to be involved in this match as they attempt to dominate Raw with all the gold in Damage CTRL. Perhaps Belair’s recent allies will come to her rescue in that sense – or perhaps one of them will guarantee Bayley the win.
Winner and New Raw Women’s Champion – Bayley
Matthew: Unbelievably this is the first one-on-one women’s ladder match in WWE history, and WWE could not have picked two better women to compete in the match. Both Bayley and Belair have been killing it lately, with this match having the potential to end the show. As for who wins, with War Games being next month I believe they will want to make Damage CTRL look strong. Therefore, I will go with Bayley winning the title here, with Bianca and friends then getting their revenge at War Games next month.
Winner And New Raw Women’s Champion: Bayley
Alex: Whether this goes down as a memorable match or not depends on how these two women build their match. If they build it as a ladder-centric spot-fest with wrestling mixed into it, then it’ll be forgettable. Even with its “first time ever” status, there have been so many ‘wild’ ladder matches in the past ten years alone that would likely eclipse this one if they go down that road. However, if these two women go down the Shawn/Razor route and make it a wrestling match that just so happens to include ladders, then that’s a different story. I know many fans love ladders and the high-spots that go with them. But there comes a point when seeing the same spots in ladder matches becomes boring, repetitive, and trope-inducing. Going in a more ‘classical’ direction would be a refreshing change of pace. If these two women do that, then they could end up having the match of the night.
As for a winner, it’s pretty clear. Belair is still being booked as a dominant champion and while Bayley’s something of a bigger star, she has spent over a year on the shelf. Logically speaking, she shouldn’t be expected to be in the same condition as Belair. And even with the ladder leveling the playing field, so to speak, Belair’s too strong and dominant to fall victim to Bayley’s tricks.
At least as long as the match stays one-on-one and Bayley doesn’t get any backup.
Winner and STILL RAW Women’s Champion: Bianca Belair
Kelly: Before Bayley got injured, that match was likely going to be the blow off to their feud. Not that the cards have been shuffled I don’t think this will be the blow off match. Its positioning on the card could offer some insight into the winner. If it is the main event, it would likely indicate that Belair will win. If it is not the main event, it could go either way. Long term, Belair would benefit from the win to launch her towards the only Horsewoman she hasn’t beaten yet, Charlotte Flair.
A Bayley win would give Damage CTRL all of the titles, but we already have a faction holding all of the titles hostage on Smackdown. I’m going with Bayley getting close to grabbing the title before all of the face women come down and wipe out Damage CTRL to allow Belair to win. It would also be a nice way to set up a Survivor Series showdown and cycling out Asuka and Alexa Bliss to other things.
Marc: Much a first-ever match taking place between two talents earlier in the show, this time around, we have two talents having a first-ever singles ladder match. Every dance works well when your dance partner is there to make the dance look smooth. And there couldn’t be two smoother women on the roster than these two.
A match of this nature is needed between Belair and Bayley because it needs something to make their feud seem unique and make fans care more. With criticism about Damage CTRL being, there really isn’t much chemistry. Is the key here to ensure that Bayley is the won to make it work with a win? These two have faced each other in the past, and their rivalry during the pandemic showed how good they could be against one another. The problem now is it doesn’t feel the same way. I can’t put my finger on why that is. After being out of action as long as she was, it may be time to put her in the role of champion. But the question is, Bayley over enough at this time as a heel than she was before her injury? I don’t think so, but others probably feel differently.
Winner AND NEW Raw Women’s Champion: Bayley
Kristian: This feud has been beneficial for six women, whilst keeping Belair interesting at the top of the division. It’s been great to see Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai back on the main roster, as well as Bayley back from injury. Asuka has something to do and the awful creepy gimmick of Alexa Bliss has come to an end as she has developed into a more serious face character that supports her teammates. The Damage CTRL group has been booked strong, getting the win in the 6-woman tag match at Clash and I think they ride the momentum here and Bayley becomes Raw Women’s Champion and has a long reign until at least Wrestlemania. She’s such a great asset on the mic and always solid in the ring. Belair continues to be excellent, but I feel the time is now for Bayley. It would be a cool moment to end the show with her at the top of the ladder, holding the title aloft.
Winner and NEW Raw Women’s Champion: Bayley
John: I’m happy for Belair and Bayley making history by having the first singles women’s Ladder Match in WWE history. They are two of the best women in the company right now, so they are good choices. They have used logical booking to build the match with Bayley pinning Belair during the six-woman tag team match at the Clash at the Castle event. Since then, Bayley has picked up other wins to keep the momentum going while Belair comes in as a strong champion who hasn’t lost a singles match by being pinned in a very long time. Some of the segments they have had on TV have been just decent rather than great because I think the story was already in place, so it was just filling time.
Belair is my pick to win even though I think Bayley has a pretty good chance of winning to give her a title to go along with her Damage CTRL allies Dakota Kai & IYO SKY, who are the Women’s Tag Team Champions right now. Perhaps Bayley is the one that beats Belair at some point before the end of this year or early next year, but I don’t think it should happen yet. While I expect Kai & SKY to get involved, there have been so many distraction finishes on Raw lately that I think babyfaces have to find ways to overcome it. I think Belair will do just that. Look for Belair to do some cool moves off the ladder as well while Bayley will be creative with how she attacks Belair with the ladder. They’ll probably go about 15 minutes and have a very competitive match.
Winner: Bianca Belair
Strap Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Karrion Kross (w/Scarlett)
Joel: This has been a pretty good feud for the most part. I’ve enjoyed the booking of Kross since his return and it’s pretty much washed away the taste of his run on the main roster last year. I can’t see them giving Drew two PPV losses in a row. The Strap match element kinda protects whoever loses so I’m going with Drew here.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Lyle: With only two title matches on the show and both of them for women’s championships, fans might have a quizzical look on their face if this Strap Match does main event the show. But many believe it’s likely to be the headliner all thanks to one man not even advertised to be there – Bray Wyatt.
Wyatt’s WWE return now looks to be a case of when and not if with the consensus being that the former Eater of Worlds is likely to make Extreme Rules his domain one way or another with Kross and/or McIntyre looking like his most likely targets to end the night.
The feud between Drew McIntyre and Karrion Kross has been fairly paint by numbers by WWE standards and the match might have had added significance if McIntyre had been able to defeat Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship at Clash at the Castle.
That result in Cardiff means the Scottish Warrior could really do with a win here and with what might be to come for McIntyre it might be his last chance at a big victory for a while. Karrion Kross on the other hand has had a little over a minute of televised action since returning to the company and will hope to make his first statement win on the main roster at long last.
Winner – Karrion Kross
Matthew: Wow what a difference a year makes. Just last year Karrion Kross was released by WWE, after being saddled with an awful gimmick on the main roster. Now Kross is a main event attraction, who could be a believable opponent for Roman Reigns in the future. As for McIntyre, he should have probably defeated Reigns in Europe, but it wasn’t meant to be. As for who wins, I am going to go with Kross winning with the help of a certain white rabbit. I predict Bray Wyatt making his return here and forming a new faction with Kross, Scarlett and potentially Alexa Bliss and Braun Strowman to end the show.
Winner: Killian Kross
Alex: While I don’t expect blood in this match, I do expect it to be violent. Kross has spent weeks targeting Drew and then escaping before Drew could get his hands on him. now Kross won’t be able to escape so he’ll have his chance to show what he can do here. As a result, this match will make or break Kross. He won’t be able to escape, stall, or recover safely. He’ll be tied to his opponent and will have to fight up close and personal a lot. This will be his big test; he’ll have to show the world what he can do as a wrestler. I don’t think he’ll win; Drew just came off a devastating loss at CATC and ‘needs his win back’. But I still think that Kross needs to go to whatever lengths possible to at least come close to winning. So expect to see Kross on offense a lot early on and very little rest-time in this match. It’ll be up close and intense since neither wrestler has any means of escape or separation.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Kelly: Adding the Strap Match stipulation to this feud was an interesting idea. We’ve seen how strap matches have gone in the past and this will be no exception. It’s also a hard one to pick a winner. Both really could use the win here. McIntyre needs a good win after that tough loss to Roman at Clash at the Castle. This is Kross’s first feud/major match back and he shouldn’t lose if you want to build him up as a monster. The build has been a little underwhelming. With no DQs in this kind of match, there will likely be some screwy finish to protect both guys.
Marc: Since his return to the WWE this past August, the match between these two was bound to happen. Here is that match. With Scarlett adding other underhanded methods to help Kross get the better of McIntyre, it’s essential that Kross looks strong coming out of this match. Truth be told, both should look strong in this match, and the booking of McIntyre losing because of outside interference doesn’t weaken him.
It would be interesting to see if Scarlett could be an alluring seductress that almost blinds McIntyre so he can’t lose focus on Kross. But that could hurt Kross as his entire aesthetic is that he has his own dark quality about him as well. As Adam Cole once said, Kross will be more than just an excellent presentation when he’s in and out of the ring. Let’s hope so.
Winner: Karrion Kross
Kristian: I have not been too enthralled by this feud so far. I like both guys but a strap match feels underwhelming, especially in the first match in a possible series of matches. I know it’s Extreme Rules, but a regular match with a controversial win for Kross would’ve been the way to book this one. Kross can be limited in a regular match however, so that’s why they’ve possibly gone this route. It will be a hard-hitting fight and Kross should get the win to build him up on his return to the main roster. It might be two losses in PPVs in a row for McIntyre, which would feel odd. Perhaps they use this to re-introduce Bray Wyatt and face Kross, but that doesn’t feel that big.
Winner: Karrion Kross
John: It’s the first major match for Kross since he returned a few months ago, so I think he should absolutely win the match. While I’m going to predict a Kross win, it sucks for Drew losing at two PLE events in a row. Obviously, Drew is pushed strongly and he’s going to remain “over” with the crowd, but there’s a lack of interesting male faces in WWE right now. I’m interested to see how they book the match.
Kross wasn’t really known for having the best matches during the best matches, but he’s certainly passable against the right opponent. Drew always has good matches, so they should do fine. I just think Strap Matches sometimes are tough to get into other than when the guys are smacking their opponent with a strap to the back. Is this where Bray Wyatt returns to cost Drew to put Bray against a face? That might be what they are going for. Anyway, I’ll go with Kross getting the win that might be cheap to protect Drew yet again just at the WWE Clash show last month. It would be a surprise if Kross loses his first PLE match this year because I think WWE is going to want to use him as a main event-level guy, so he needs this win.
Winner: Karrion Kross
The Match I’m Looking Forward To The Most
Joel: Imperium vs. Brawling Brutes.
Lyle: Finn Balor vs. Edge – I Quit.
Matthew: The Donnybrook Match.
Alex: Imperium vs. Brawling Brutes or Rollins vs. Riddle.
Kelly: Matt Riddle vs. Seth Rollins.
Marc: Matt Riddle vs. Seth Rollins in the Fight Pit. The growing animosity among these two has set up Riddle to be the one to ultimately go over in this feud.
Kristian: Edge vs. Balor because I am intrigued by how they will do the finish.
John: Matt Riddle vs. Seth Rollins. It’s a tough call because I love The Donnybrook Match too.
The Match I Care About The Least
Joel: Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey.
Lyle: Bianca Belair vs. Bayley – Ladder Match.
Matthew: Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey.
Alex: Drew McIntyre vs. Karrion Kross.
Kelly: It’s a solid card, so it’s hard to say.
Marc: Morgan/Rousey. It doesn’t feel like there is enough chemistry between them to believe one is more convincing than the other.
Kristian: Probably Morgan vs. Rousey but I still think it will be very good. I just think they’ve built Rousey up more than Morgan.
John: Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey. The build has been fine. I just think it’s less interesting than the other matches.
Joel: Matt Riddle vs. Seth Rollins.
Lyle: Drew McIntyre vs. Karrion Kross – Strap Match.
Matthew: Edge vs. Finn Balor.
Alex: Belair vs. Bayley (20 minutes minimum).
Kelly: Drew McIntyre vs. Karrion Kross.
Marc: Matt Riddle vs. Seth Rollins.
Kristian: Edge vs. Finn Balor.
John: Edge vs. Finn Balor over 20 minutes.
Joel: Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey.
Lyle: Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey – Extreme Rules.
Matthew: Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey.
Alex: Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey. (10 minutes max)
Kelly: Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey.
Marc: Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey.
Kristian: Imperium vs. The Brawling Brutes.
John: Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey around 12 minutes.
Excitement Level on a Scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high)
Joel: 9. This maybe one of the best non-big 4 PLEs in years and that’s no exaggeration. Plus, with the impending return of Bray Wyatt, this show looks to be awesome on paper. I know the talents will deliver, but I haven’t looked forward to an Extreme Rules show this much in ages. The fact that it actually HAS sensible stipulation matches actually helps. It’s not hard.
Lyle: 6 – This show doesn’t necessarily have the attention-grabbing attraction match but it should be a decent night of thrills and spills as WWE goes extreme. The return – or lack thereof – of Bray Wyatt is likely to be the major talking point when all is said and done.
Matthew: 7. There are multiple matches on this show that should be good and possibly even great. The only reason I don’t rate it higher is the lack of any of The Bloodline on the show. Nevertheless this should be fun, and with only six matches (take note Tony Khan) easy to watch.
Alex: 6.5 – There’s definitely the potential for some good-to-great matches here, especially since all of them are given time. Each match will be unique so we don’t have to worry too much about repetition or blandness. I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised, especially since WWE’s last big PPVs put on a genuine MOTYC. Will that happen again here? Be sure to check out John’s real-time review on Saturday to find out.
Kelly: I’m giving this a 9. We actually have an Extreme Rules event with a card full of “extreme” matches. The card looks really solid and I’m invested in several of the matches.
Marc: 8 – I’m very excited for the most part. Not necessarily a fan of every match being a gimmick match but it’s the theme of the show, so I ultimately get it and why its done.
Kristian: 7.5 – I think it will be a really entertaining show that gives every match on the card a decent amount of ring time. With only 6 matches on a 3 hour (ish) show, we should expect some high-quality wrestling. I am interested to see if Bray Wyatt appears and in what capacity. It will also be intriguing to see which match headlines the card. I feel like Bayley vs Bel Air is the right choice, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they go with Kross vs McIntyre. My interest in the show would be higher if the main championship was being defended, but I am still looking forward to every match on the show.
John: 7.75 – I think the match quality will be great with several matches that I will probably rate at around four stars (out of five) with the potential for some of them to be higher than that. With that said, there’s a lot of talent missing and some of the most important titles are nowhere to be seen, so that hurts it a bit. In terms of build, they have done a nice job in making people care about the matches. I think there’s some unpredictability on the show too. If Bray Wyatt shows up like I think then that will create a lot of positive buzz too. The lineup isn’t as strong as Clash at the Castle obviously and it will feel lesser than Crown Jewel & Survivor Series next month, but I still believe Extreme Rules will be a very good show.
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