John: Welcome to the TJRWrestling WWE Extreme Rules preview featuring the Raw brand. The show takes place this Sunday, June 4 at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. You can watch it on WWE Network, of course.
I think WWE’s Raw brand has been struggling quite a bit since WrestleMania. The absence of Universal Champion Brock Lesnar doesn’t help because there’s a lack of importance on every Raw show. If the guy with the most important title isn’t there, why should the average fan care? Also, the absence of Braun Strowman hurts, but at least he’s expected back by mid-July, which is great. There’s just not enough intrigue in their storylines. They also don’t do a lot of surprises either. I’m really not that excited about this show at all, but the main event should be very good. As of this writing, there’s no Kickoff Show match announced although I’m sure there will be something added late.
Joining me for the preview are Kurt Zamora, Matthew J. Douglas and Mike Holland.
(Note: All graphics are from WWE.com. The banner up top is courtesy of our friend Melo Man.)
Sasha Banks & Rich Swann vs. Alicia Fox & Noam Dar
Kurt: The only thing about this match that I like is that Sasha has been relegated to the most meaningless storyline on the brand. Yes, even more meaningless than the Titus Brand. I’m going to predict Foxy and Dar to win only because I don’t like Sasha and it would be smart to have the team you’ve invested a lot of time into get the win.
Prediction: Alicia Fox & Noam Dar
Mike: Whenever some WWE corporate shill attempts to convince you that they’re really taking seriously that gosh-darned “revolution” in women’s wrestling, look no further than matches like this to call it bogus. The idea of subtracting an admittedly dated Divas moniker and pretending it’s a rebrand is like slapping a fresh coat of paint on an Edsel. I could pretend to be mildly interested in the romantic entanglements of Sasha Banks and Alicia Fox, but for some strange reason I’d rather focus on what they are actually doing in the ring. But that’s why creative is chock full of soap opera refugees, right? I’m half expecting a twin to be introduced from beyond the grave in this storyline.
This match exists to give the average Joe a reason to tune into 205 Live, where one can catch a glimpse of your favorite Raw castoff next week. (That also sounds terribly dated, by the by…it’s like wrestling’s version of MTV’s TRL.) My main take from this is everyone deserves better, but most especially Sasha Banks. She’s been handled brutally since being white hot not so many moons ago. I’ll take her team to get the win here so she can hopefully move on.
Winners: Sasha Banks & Rich Swann
Matthew: Absolutely nobody in this match is being used in a way that maximizes their full potential as a character within the narrative universe that is WWE Television.
Rich Swann was a placeholder for Cedric Alexander when he went down due to injury during that rivalry with Fox and Dar (because when one black guy goes down, replace him with another. They’re basically the same, right?), Sasha could be killing it as a heel presence on either brand, Alicia Fox could be a great addition to several floundering characters with potential, and Dar should be so much more than that guy that says Fox like a bad word and makes Vince giggle like a school boy.
Furthermore, the Cruiserweights have so little of my attention, it’s actually pretty remarkable. So it’s not like this match matters in the grand or minor scheme of things.
Winners: Sasha Banks and Rich Swann (Because… I dunno?)
John: This feud was just done to give Banks something to do without putting her in the Raw Women’s Title picture. The really was no need for three Banks vs. Fox singles match and this tag match feels thrown together in the last two weeks. Also, Dar and Fox have the least amount of chemistry of any on screen wrestling couple in a long time. Maybe since Rusev and Summer Rae. The faces should win with Banks getting the victory for her team.
Winners: Sasha Banks & Rich Swann
Cruiserweight Championship (Submission Match): Neville vs. Austin Aries
Kurt: I really feel bad for Aries as he gets absolutely no crowd reaction at all. One of the most talented and charismatic stars of the 205 Live crew and if you watch back his entrance from Raw this past Monday, not one person gets up from their seat or hardly give him applause.
This division is just a trainwreck. I understand the greatness of Neville and what he’s done to reinvent himself, but when he’s literally the only good thing about the division, does it really matter? After this feud with Aries, there’s no challengers for him. It will either be Tozawa since he’s seemingly finished with the Kendrick feud, or a returning Cedric Alexander. Either is a fine competitor, but if the crowds aren’t getting behind Aries, I shudder to think how they’ll get behind either of those guys.
Prediction: Neville retains
Mike: The build between these two has been very good, and that has just as much to do with the gents themselves than the creative side. Neville, as I’ve seemingly said in every prediction column since his return, has been a fantastic heel. It’s a master class on how a little bit of attitude and willingness to engage in dastardly activity on the regular can pay major dividends. While the cruiser division has no shortage of capable hands, Austin Aries has really taken hold on it in a major way and absolutely delivered since stepping away from the announcer’s desk. This will be the third PPV match between the two, and WWE has handled it correctly: Heel champ wins, heel champ cheats to win the rematch, third match is now the deal breaker.
They’ve also really played up Aries’ excellently named finisher, The Last Chancery, most recently having Neville tap out to it on Raw before evening the score on 205. The addition of TJ Perkins to this feud could give either man the chance to have a ready made opponent should this be the (temporary) end of the line for their battles. I don’t see Aries dropping three straight.
Winner (and NEW Cruiserweight Champion): Austin Aries
Matthew: Oh great, more Cruiserweight stuff to not give a flying crap about. Listen, I like both these guys, and they are both doing everything in their power to make this Cruiserweight division something respectable, but to what end. They are a sideshow. The Cruiserweights are a segregated class of citizens on Raw. They have a different lighting scheme, a different ring rope colour, and they never get to interact with the real stars on Raw. Would we be surprised if they ate at different times and had special purple water fountains to drink from too?
I’d like to see this new version of Neville have a match with Seth Rollins, or Dean Ambrose, or any number of viable babyfaces on Raw. Same goes for Austin Aries (he and Joe could have a fun match for sure) but that would make those guys seem lesser than because they’d look like they were slumming it with the Cruiserweight guys. The whole division is a bit of a joke now, so it’s hard to get excited about this title match from a storytelling perspective. They just don’t get portrayed like they matter in the least.
Winner and New Cruiserweight Champion: Austin Aries (although I hope not. He deserves more than being stuck in this division with no momentum)
John: I’m going with the title change because I think if they wanted this feud to end already then Neville would have won their last match and that would have been it. Instead, this is their third match and I feel like they want to get the title on Aries. It might be time to have Neville move on from this division because he’s an excellent heel that knows how to get heat. Maybe WWE wants to get the title off him so that he can feud with others on the roster.
It should be a good match as usual, but a Submission Match isn’t good for building drama. Near submissions are not as exciting as near pinfalls especially when fans know neither guy is going to win with a submission move other than their finisher. They’ve worked together enough that it will still be an entertaining match. I just don’t think it’s going to stand out that much.
Winner and New Cruiserweight Champion: Austin Aries
Intercontinental Championship: Dean Ambrose vs. The Miz (The title can change hands on a disqualification)
Kurt: The Miz for my money is still the best promo man in WWE right now and Maryse has been the best thing to happen to him not only personally but now professionally. However, he seems…uncomfortable on Raw. He was on a real roll on Smackdown and I think should’ve been kept there especially with AJ Styles turning babyface. It may have something to do with the fact he’s feuded with Ambrose already recently and isn’t really connecting on anything new, or maybe it just shows the difference in writing between the two brands.
I also have a real problem that neither of these guys are in the match to determine the #1 contender. You’re basically relegating the IC Title as the level for the 6th or 7th best guy on the roster when really it should be #2. I understand you can’t have everyone in one match, but still. There’s more babyfaces for Miz to feud with for the title so I’d like to see him walk away with it here. Use the disqualification rule to help keep Ambrose strong.
Prediction: New Intercontinental Champion, The Miz
Mike: For starters, this is an incredibly idiotic match to take place at Extreme Rules. The entire event should be embracing the idea of no disqualification. I get that Miz petitioning Kurt Angle to take away Ambrose’s “champion’s advantage” makes sense given the previous lowblow finish, but the timing is off. To be honest, so are the participants. Ambrose is game for anything, as always, and Miz has done a stellar job hamming it up for all of 2017, but this showdown feels like a ready-made TV dinner instead of something fresh and exciting. Not digging it.
Naturally, the stipulation plays majorly into the result. Given that Miz campaigned for it and will have the services of his betrothed, the ever-lovely Maryse, in his corner, you’d think that the evident result would be for him to con Ambrose into getting DQ’d and thus be handed the belt. While that plays logically, it flies in the face of standard wrestling booking where the stip exists just for the opposite to happen. Miz doesn’t really need a belt at this point, and it’s much more entertaining having him rolling out weekly to decry the unfairness of him not possessing one anyway. Crazy genius retains.
Winner (and STILL Intercontinental Champion): Dean Ambrose
Matthew: Remember when they had that Superstar Shakeup to give us fresh faces on each show so we could see new feuds and rivalries play out on our television screens? I guess that’s why I’m puzzled that these two men, both of whom moved over from Smackdown (where they had a rivalry) in the Shakeup, are still battling one another. This isn’t fresh, it isn’t all that exciting and if I’m being frank, I would have much rather preferred both guys stay on Smackdown, as their Raw runs have fallen miles short of their Smackdown Brilliance.
They have also very obviously telegraphed the finish here, between the stipulation and the fact that Elias Samson all but clearly stated he’s going to interfere to repay The Miz in his song on Raw. It just feels like the writing on this show isn’t at all sophisticated. Just paint by numbers stories and lazily constructed narratives. Both these performers could be doing so much great stuff if the writing was up to snuff.
Winner and New Intercontinental Champion: The Miz via DQ (because Elias sang to us that he was going to do it)
John: I remember when the “champion loses title by DQ” happened when Christian “beat” Randy Orton by DQ to win the World Title at Money in the Bank 2011 (great show). It was a very good match that could have used a better finish. It’s the kind of booking WWE does when they want to protect the face.
Both guys have lost momentum since going to Raw. The Miz was such a huge star on Smackdown Live right up until WrestleMania and now he’s just a generic midcard wrestler. Those promos he cut on Smackdown were amazing while often times coming off like they were real. Are Raw’s writers incapable of scripting interesting promos? It feels that way to me.
I really hope Ambrose turns heel soon. I’ve been writing that for about a year now because his gimmick is so boring at this point. I know WWE tries to get him over as “lunatic” yet he’s pretty tame and average like most of the guys on this show.
I think Miz will win with some move that would disqualify him, but the ref won’t see it and that will lead to a very cheap finish.
Winner and New Intercontinental Champion: The Miz
Raw Women’s Championship (Kendo Stick on a Pole): Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley
Kurt: I’ve said it before and I apologize for being repetitive, but coming off one of the worst segments of this century involving these two women (“This is Your Life”) and the fact this is just an awful gimmick match, I need to say it again. I really thought Bayley was impossible to screw up. I thought she’d be what Charlotte is, the unquestioned face of the division. Yet here she is, looking like she couldn’t find her confidence if it was six inches in front of her.
Alexa has gotten the upper hand so much on Bayley that it seems only right for Bayley to win the title back here and get revenge. However, Alexa is the best thing going (despite the crap she was given this past Monday to work with) and I don’t think she should lose the title. Overall though, this is just a shame it’s come to this.
Prediction: Alexa Bliss retains
Mike: Please tell me this isn’t the best the red brand can manage. While the stipulation of a kendo stick on a pole certainly feels extreme (though if it was REALLY extreme it would be a Singapore cane, PC culture be damned!), it also smacks of something Vince Russo would have invented and laughed incessantly at before inserting into the middle of a piss-poor WCW 2000s era PPV. Judy Bagwell wasn’t available?
The sad part, naturally, is that both champion Bliss and challenger Bayley are caught up in this mess. I’ll say very little of Monday’s heinous “This Is Your Life” segment meant to promote Alexa as an ultra-heel and instead coming off like an insipid celebrity roast while you desperately try to replace the batteries in your remote. Clearly, this level of talent deserves better. Bayley’s main roster run has been largely unimpressive, and I place the blame squarely on WWE. They had a great thing here and they ruined it. The only way out of this death spiral is a heel turn, not that it happens here. Just food for thought.
Bliss has done an excellent promo job since coming over (with the exception of Monday’s, which Jack Kevorkian couldn’t save). She’ll likely kick things off with Banks coming out to defend her friend. Perhaps Nia factors into Bayley’s loss, setting things up on their side as well.
Winner (and STILL Women’s Champion): Alexa Bliss
Matthew: I need to vent here. Let me start with that This Is Your Life segment on Raw. Who thought that was a good idea? What about it was even remotely funny? Was there a punchline I missed? Do they not get that the reason it worked with Foley and The Rock was because a) both guys were insanely charismatic and b) because the comedy came from Foley thinking he was doing something nice for The Rock, all the while actually pissing him off (comedic irony). There was none of that on Raw this week. Alexa Bliss was trying to mock Bayley, and did so poorly, without a punchline in sight. God bless Miss Bliss for trying, but almost nobody could have made that work.
Add onto that BS segment that I hate the “On A Pole” stipulation about as much as any in wrestling. It makes no sense. If Bayley gets the Kendo Stick, it means that she can use it legally. But if Bliss were to use it afterward, would she be DQ’d? Wouldn’t that be the optimal strategy for any heel trying to weasel their way out of this barbaric match with their title still in hand? As you can tell, I’m not a fan.
Winner and New Raw Women’s Champion: Bayley (based solely on the get left laying on Raw, win at the PPV rule)
John: The story has been terrible for this feud and having a kendo stick “on a pole” is lame. I feel terrible for the performers because if they were given good material they would do well. Instead, we get whatever the hell this rivalry is. At least WWE has played up the kendo stick as a big weapon in a women’s match. We have seen guys take kendo stick shots and be fine right after, yet one kendo stick to the back leads to Bayley going to the floor to sell it as a big deal. No matter how good the performers, it’s going to be tough for them to make us forget truly how awful “This is Your Life” was on this past Monday’s Raw.
The classic “look strong on TV, lose on PPV” booking would suggest a win for Bayley here. However, WWE has gone against that predictable booking a lot in the last year, so I’m leaning towards Bliss. I should add that I thought about picking Bayley too. I just think long term the better story is Bliss feuding with Banks as the next challenger. Here’s hoping both Bliss and Bayley can have more interesting feuds with others because this one has been a mess.
Winner: Alexa Bliss
Raw Tag Team Championships (Steel Cage Match): The Hardy Boyz vs. Sheamus & Cesaro
Kurt: The only match I’m excited for on the show. I was against the heel turn of Sheamus and Cesaro at first, but this storyline has been really well done and I love the work these four have turned out. I’m glad they didn’t go the easy route with another ladder match here. I feel, despite all the nonsense coming from the Anthem camp, we are very close to seeing the Broken universe in the WWE and the way to start that ball rolling is to have Sheamus and Cesaro win here. I would allow it to get really violent, Sheamus and Cesaro are known for their physical style obviously, and then have them win after Jeff takes a nasty bump somehow. Then have the Hardys become Broken after the loss and hopefully we all get what we want and not a watered-down version of it. This should steal the show.
Prediction: New Tag Team Champions, Sheamus & Cesaro
Mike: This will be the most underrated match of any on the card, given the talent level of three of the four involved and The Hardys’ propensity for death-defying feats. The prospect of a steel cage is an enticing one, and it should serve both the aerial theatrics and the bruising maneuvers well. I’m not a fan of the Hardys as champion, and not just because I refuse to do that Attitude Era throwback thing where plurals end in a “Z”. I enjoyed the ’90s, but I’d like that disturbing societal trend to join soul patches, chain wallets, and “All that and a bag of chips” in the pop culture retirement home.
As for Sheamus & Cesaro, I just can’t seem to quit them. I know I should be desperately counting down the moments until Cesaro shuffles off the coil and gets his much-deserved main event run, but it’s just never going to happen. I’m better off praying his next team is a Kings of Wrestling reunion. They’ve been way more entertaining than they’ve got any right to be, and Team Hardy has had far more intrigue with the “Broken” drama than anything else. Nothing more extreme than emails!
Winners (and NEW Tag Team Champions): Sheamus & Cesaro
Matthew: The Hardy Boyz (if we can still call the Boyz) have been booked unbelievably strong since they have returned to the WWE. It’s actually been a little refreshing to see them build up and aura by continually winning matches, including non-title ones. That’s how you make guys look strong. It’s just kind of weird that they’re doing it with these pretty old dudes in the twilight of their careers. I do love me some Matt and Jeff though, and can’t wait to see the full creativity of Matt Hardy unleashed within the WWE.
As for The Bar (what are they, a test intended to determine whether individuals are qualified to practice Law? Seriously it’s clever though, because they’re team was solidified in a bar, right… I doubt any of those writers remember or care about that)… I don’t really know what to say. What is there to really do with these guys at this point? I think the whole story of their tag team should have been stretched out longer for more dramatic effect. Their first title win, their ability to work together, their eventual heel turn, all could have been amazing with patience. As it stands, they’re just kinda things that happened.
Winners: The Hardy Boyz
John: This should be a pretty good match that the crowd will be into because the Hardys still have that special connection with the fans. The problem with this match is it’s not fresh in any aside from making it a cage match. Tag team cage matches are pretty rare mainly because it’s tougher for four guys to put together a match in there compared to a singles match. That’s why you don’t see them that often. In this case, they’re doing the tag cage because they probably want Jeff Hardy to do a cage diving spot leading into a finish.
I’m going with the Hardys because it makes a lot of sense to have them feud with The Revival for the titles next month when Dash Wilder’s jaw injury is all healed up. A Hardys vs. Revival feud would be amazing.
Winners: The Hardy Boyz
Fatal 5-Way Extreme Rules Match to Determine #1 Contender for the Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe
Kurt: This match is sure to be good and probably be chaos for much of the match. It has too much talent for it not to be that way. I can’t get excited for it though when it’s clearly just a placeholder match until Braun Strowman comes back. If anyone thinks Brock Lesnar is losing the title in his first title defense at a show named GREAT BALLS OF FIRE, you’re the fan that Vince is catering to and I’d really appreciate it if you’d just stop watching wrestling altogether. Considering this is basically a free pass match where WWE can do whatever it wants and there is no clear-cut decision, I personally would love to see Samoa Joe win here. Everyone wants to see Joe vs. Lesnar and this is the perfect opportunity to build a dream match for a month that doesn’t need any storyline attached to it. Lesnar is a special attraction so give us a special attraction match. The reality is though that WWE just released a new Demon shirt for Finn Balor when it’s been nothing but Balor Club since he returned. I think that pretty much gave away the fact that Balor is winning here and will take on Lesnar as The Demon. That’s a huge mistake in my opinion, but there will be time in July for me to explain more on that.
Prediction: Finn Balor
Mike: The card tilts unfairly toward the main event at ER, and why not? The five hottest full-time guys on the roster are all featured in one big-ass, supersized match, with the winner promised a shot at Brock Lesnar and his Universal Title, which has joined the Yeti (not the Dungeon of Doom version, though that would also qualify) and Elvis Presley as widely rumored and rarely seen. The unfortunate injury to Braun Strowman essentially caused WWE to tear up the scripts and start again, and that means dumping everything available into the stewpot and stirring vigorously. And he’s not done with you!
You don’t have to be a brilliant prognosticator to see that WWE is setting up very heavily to make you think Roman Reigns is winning here, but clearly the long game payoff is him in a WrestleMania main event. That’s why you can completely forget about him winning this match. Of the four men remaining, “Architect” Seth Rollins would seem to be the next best choice: he’s got history with Lesnar, he’s got the solid backstory of overcoming the odds to vanquish Triple H, and he’s solid on the microphone. Unfortunately for Seth, his feud with Samoa Joe needs to continue. Since both of those guys are in this match, they essentially cancel each other out. Better things to come for both, but for now their showdown rolls on.
That leaves two names available in Finn Balor and Bray Wyatt. Of the two, Wyatt would be the most out of left field and therefore my choice. I’m salivating over the idea of Wyatt doing his particular brand of crazy while spider walking into Suplex City. Bray got an extremely poor hand dealt with both the execution of his matches against Randy Orton and the roster switch. How do you take a tremendous heel who just won the big belt and silently kill his mojo by dumping him onto Mondays? Criminal. He’s far better suited for a match with the dominating Beast Lesnar.
That said, it’s the WWE. Balor’s first run with the Universal Title didn’t last very long due to injury, so he’s never had the opportunity to tell that story. The seeds were sown the minute Paul Heyman mentioned Balor specifically on Raw as an opponent Lesnar would like, and that wasn’t done just to give the Demon a rub. Unfortunately for Finn fans, this is your Great Expectations moment as it’s both the best and worst of times. Finn wins just to get fed to Lesnar as an appetizer.
Winner: Finn Balor
Matthew: This will probably be the best match, but it’s a little hard to predict the winner. Any of these men, aside from Bray and Roman, would be cool to see in the ring with Brock Lesnar at Great Balls Of Fire. I’d be most intrigued by Balor/Lesnar, followed by Rollins/ Lesnar, and finally Joe/Brock. All three are intriguing pairings and could deliver the goods.
With that said, I can see Joe and Seth continuing their feud into Great Balls Of Fire, so that kind of eliminates them from the equation. Finn Balor and Bray Wyatt also seem primed to have a program where Bray loses yet again, so that might keep them out of the mix for a title match at Great Balls Of Fire. That only leaves Roman… but if he’s supposed to beat Brock at Wrestlemania for the title, it feels wasteful to have him battle Brock at Great Balls Of Fire nearly a year before a showdown at the grandest stage of them all. That said, they blew The Shield Triple Threat at Battleground, so it is possible.
Winner(s) and Number One Contenders via double Pins: Finn Balor and Bray Wyatt (because Brock has always been pretty great in Triple Threats. It allows for guys to have a match with more than suplexes involved)
John: I think any of the four guys in the match not named Roman Reigns have a good chance of winning. Since WWE obviously wants to save Reigns vs. Lesnar for a bigger show next year called WrestleMania (you may have heard of it), it’s time for somebody else to go over. My pick has been Finn Balor since the match has been announced, so I guess I’ll stick with him although I honestly have no idea.
Another question regarding this match: Does the winner have any chance of beating Lesnar for the Universal Championship at the next PPV, Great Balls of Fire on July 9? Nope. That’s why it doesn’t really matter who it is because that person is going to put over the champ. Lesnar will move on to face Braun Strowman at SummerSlam and everything that happened here will be forgotten.
Samoa Joe is an intriguing choice because it would really elevate him to win one of his first PPV matches on the main roster and to do so in five-way match with some of Raw’s biggest stars. It would give him a lot of credibility if he were to move on to the Lesnar match.
I’d be fine with a Rollins or Wyatt win. I can see both of them (along with the other three) as future PPV opponents of Lesnar as well. I just think there are better choices.
The reason I’m going with Balor is due to the story about him being the first Universal Champion that never got a rematch because he was hurt. It would be a great comeback story to have him win this match, earn a title shot and possibly win the title…until coming up short. Fans would admire him more if he were to win this match and have a classic match with Lesnar.
I’m looking forward to the match because it should be great. They will get a lot of time and should have some big spots featuring broken tables to pop the crowd as well.
Winner: Finn Balor
Match I’m Looking Forward To The Most
Kurt: The Tag Title Steel Cage Match.
Mike: How can it be anything other than the main event? The extreme stipulation means it will feature plenty of memorable moments.
Matthew: Can I say none? This PPV isn’t very intriguing, much like the show on a week to week basis recently. I guess I’ll go with the Fatal 5-Way.
John: The 5-Way Extreme Rules match should be outstanding, so I’m going with that.
Match I Care About The Least
Kurt: Sasha/Swann vs. Fox/Dar.
Mike: Banks/Swann vs. Fox/Dar. It’s wrestling, not Love Connection. Pass.
Matthew: Cruiserweight Mixed Tag obviously.
John: The mixed tag is my pick, but Women’s Title match has such a bad story that I don’t care about it either.
Kurt: Fatal Five Way. Too many top stars for it not to be.
Mike: Once again I’m going with the 5-way dance. Lots of story to tell here, and plenty of guys who can take time doing it.
Matthew: Fatal 5-Way.
John: I think the Fatal 5-Way could go 30 minutes or more. It’s going at least 20 minutes. That’s my pick.
Kurt: With only six matches announced, there shouldn’t be any “short” matches but I’ll say Sasha/Swann vs. Fox/Dar again.
Mike: Bliss/Bayley would be a decent guess because of the stipulation, but I assume they’ll have a decent amount of mat time and teasing the object. The mixed opener is the answer here.
Matthew: Miz/Ambrose (wouldn’t make sense to wait too long for the telegraphed DQ title change… although making sense doesn’t quite matter to them does it).
John: Probably the mixed tag match.
Excitement Level on a Scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high)
Kurt: Somewhere between 3-4. Without the tag title match, it’d be a 1 or 2.
Mike: Welcome to the world of WWE Network, where you’ll get one a half must see matches out of your average card. Neville/Aries and the tag match, plus a bloated main event, bring my potential elation to a solid 7.
Matthew: A solid 3. I’ll probably be watching the NBA Finals game instead to be honest.
John: About a 5 out of 10. I’m intrigued by the quality of the match of the main event, but the winner doesn’t really matter that much. I also don’t expect any major surprises, which hurts the show.
Mike: This is NOT extreme, for the record. I get that titles of events mean as much as titles themselves in the WWE at this point, but as the resident Philadelphian I felt it needed to be said. I do think the Raw brand did the best they could with scrambling due to the Strowman injury. Main event has a ton of buzz and no clear obvious winner, which is great. Monday nights still have a ways to go (amazingly) with finding ways to tell effective stories while not boring your face off over three full hours. Let’s hope Sunday resets some things to make it a more entertaining ride.
John: It’s an average lineup that probably won’t get people talking as much as a Jinder Mahal WWE Title win. That was a shocking ending to a show. I don’t think the Raw brand knows how to do anything like that anymore. It’s why Raw is so stale and boring right now.
I won’t have a live review of Extreme Rules on Sunday night during the show due to game two of the NBA Finals, but if you check out TJRWrestling.net on early Monday morning it should be up.
Kurt – @KTankTMB
Mike – @DharmanRockwell
Matthew – @MJDP_GSE
John – @johnreport
If you want to send an email, send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org as well. Thanks for reading.