If we’re just talking honestly amongst friends, I’m not the biggest fan of Extreme Rules as a premium live event concept. An added stipulation doesn’t necessarily mean a better match, and a healthy percentage of the time, it actively means a worse match as wrestlers struggle to do something they have less experience with. So, when Extreme Rules was first announced for October, I sorta shrugged my shoulders and felt indifferent. Other upcoming WWE premium live events Crown Jewel and Survivor Series, now in WarGames format, felt like the obvious priority, and I figured this would be a bit of a snooze.
As the card has come together, however, my excitement level has moved pretty steadily in the right direction. I’m not saying it’s WrestleMania 17, but there’s the potential for quite a few bangers on this card. Riddle vs Seth Rollins! The Brawling Brutes vs Imperium! Bayley vs Bianca Belair in the first women’s ladder match for a title! We’re also going to get some clarity from Triple H and the writers as to where a few characters might be going in the long-term. We should get a sense of who is gonna stick it out in the main event scene and who might get dropped to the mid-card. These things were a bit easier to predict under Vince McMahon, but I feel like I’m starting to get a handle on Triple H and how he views the roster.
As for predictions, I’m currently 35 and 13 on the year, but I was a disappointing 3 and 3 at Clash At The Castle. I’m looking to bounce back with authority, like Angelo Dawkins hitting the ropes when he’s about to jump out of the ring. I’ll also add a little section at the end for returns since there are rumors everywhere about the White Rabbit and more potential reveals. Let’s go!
Liv Morgan (Champion) Vs Ronda Rousey In An Extreme Rules Match For The Smackdown Women’s Championship
Is Ronda Rousey a heel or a babyface? Does she know? Does WWE know? She definitely had a heel turn at SummerSlam. I assume the plan was to push her as an indestructible force of evil, but fans were so happy about the heel turn that they started cheering her, even when she did things like attack WWE officials. So, she’s in some kind of middle ground, and I have no idea who WWE even wants fans to root for in this match anymore.
There’s a bit of that same where-are-we-going-with-this energy around Liv Morgan right now too. The fan favorite won the belt at Money In The Bank to an absolutely monster pop, but she hasn’t exactly looked like early 90s Undertaker during her time as champion. Even when she’s wrestled mid-carders like Lacey Evans, she’s gotten beat up for a good portion of the match before winning like a heroic underdog. Nothing about her reign has been dominant at all.
I don’t really know that WWE has figured out how to use Ronda Rousey yet, but I suspect we’re done with Liv Morgan as champion. Ronda is just way more believable at the top of the division, and I really can’t imagine Triple H having the former UFC Champion lose to Liv Morgan, of all people, for a third time.
Predicted Winner: Ronda Rousey
Matt Riddle Vs Seth Freakin Rollins In A Fight Pit Match
There’s a pretty clear fork in the road here. If WWE goes left and has Seth Rollins win, he’s going to continue ascending. He already has a match scheduled on Monday Night Raw this coming week for the United States Championship against Bobby Lashley, and if he beats Riddle, I think that’s going to be his new full program. He’ll move on from his work with Riddle and probably start a full program with Lashley. Maybe we’ll get a screwy finish on Monday, and the two will feud for awhile and maybe even fight for the belt at Crown Jewel in November.
If WWE goes right and Matt Riddle wins, this feud is going to continue. We’ll have to get a third match, which will likely take place at Crown Jewel, and these two will continue disrupting each other’s matches until that happens. I’ll also have to lower Seth Rollins pretty sharply on my list of WWE wrestlers most likely to beat Roman Reigns and take his titles because if you’re losing matches to Riddle, you’re not anywhere close to winning the WWE Universal Undisputed Championship.
Seth Rollins is one of the best and most important wrestlers WWE has. It’s obvious Triple H gets that, but what’s unclear is whether that importance is going to translate to getting back in the main event title picture or simply having very entertaining feuds with key guys in the upper mid-card. I hope to see him continue to ascend to the top of the division, but we’ll see.
Predicted Winner: Seth Freakin’ Rollins
Drew McIntyre Vs Karrion Kross (With Scarlett) In A Strap Match
We haven’t really gotten to see Karrion Kross fight anyone of note since his return. He’s mostly attacked people, done black and white promos and fought jobbers that make him look as strong as possible. If he were fighting anyone in the mid-card or below at Extreme Rules, I’d have to assume he was going to pick up a big win and continue looking like a monster. But Drew McIntyre isn’t exactly Madcap Moss. He lost to Roman Reigns at Clash At The Castle and making him take another L on a second consecutive premium live event would mean something.
A loss for Karrion Kross would mean something for his future too. What’s the end goal here in Triple H’s mind? During his time in NXT, many thought WWE would build Kross into a major force, but then he lost his main roster debut to Jeff Hardy and was released not that long after. Now he’s back under Triple H and immediately moved into the main event picture. A win here over Drew McIntyre would position him as a credible challenger to Roman Reigns. But is he over enough with the crowd? Is it all too fast and too soon?
I’m not super confident about this match, but I just think the possible harm here to Drew McIntyre is too great for him to lose. Unless he’s planning to go away for a few months and take some well-deserved time off, I think he’s going to pick up the victory.
Predicted Winner: Drew McIntyre
Bianca Belair (Champion) Vs Bayley In A Ladder Match For The Raw Women’s Championship
I like Bayley a lot. I was really fired up to see her return at SummerSlam, and I was also happy to see Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky. Damage CTRL is a nice little stable, and I especially like Kai and Sky as tag team champions. But I don’t think Bayley has done nearly enough since her return to dethrone Bianca as women’s champion. There’s just not enough buzz around Damage CTRL. Bayley generates some heat and some angry crowd chants, but I think that’s more residual appreciation for her body of work than anything she’s specifically done over the past two months.
Let me put things another way. At some point, Becky Lynch is going to return. At some point, Charlotte Flair is going to return. At some point, Rhea Ripley is going to wrestle women in singles competition again. I’d like to hope Sasha Banks and Naomi will return at some point too. When these women do and they have their runs at the title, doesn’t it make sense for those runs to be against Bianca Belair? I could certainly buy Bayley as a more interesting champion than either Liv Morgan or Ronda Rousey, but putting her over Bianca Belair? Come’on.
I expect this to be a super entertaining match with a lot of outside interference from Damage CTRL and potentially Alexa Bliss and Asuka, but I think any result other than Bianca Belair climbing that ladder and pulling down the title would be a mistake.
Predicted Winner: Bianca Belair
Edge Vs Finn Bálor In An I Quit Match
Rumors have been swirling for a bit that Finn Bálor may be getting a big push from WWE. That tracks with some of the results we’ve seen recently. He picked up the pinfall over AJ Styles (and Rey Mysterio) in a tag match alongside Damian Priest on Monday Night Raw last week, and he’s also snagged singles victories recently over Matt Riddle and Rey Mysterio. It also feels like Judgment Day has been more prominently featured the last month in key TV spots. A victory over Edge at Extreme Rules would certainly continue that momentum and push him further up the card.
But where would that leave Edge? How many premium live events does he have left in this run? He’s reportedly planning on retiring in August of 2023. It seems unlikely he’ll make a real run at Roman Reigns in that timeframe; so, the goal will likely be to get his character into a few high leverage feuds and let him exit with a nice moment to go out on. I can’t imagine when he first launched Judgment Day he would have been happy about the trajectory that followed, especially if it includes a loss to Finn Bálor in an I Quit match, but that’s probably the best outcome right now from a storyline perspective.
Predicted Winner: Finn Bálor
The Brawling Brutes Vs Imperium In A Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook Match
Six man tags are notoriously hard to predict because there aren’t any real stakes. Sure, it’s technically better for each team if they win the match, but it’s not like Butch pinning Ludwig Kaiser is going to have a long-term effect on Gunther’s trajectory in WWE. As such, the only real goal here is to deliver an entertaining match, and I would be shocked if this wasn’t one of the best matches of the entire night.
I thought Sheamus and Gunther quite clearly had the match of the night at Clash At The Castle, and everytime these groups, in any combination, have gotten into the ring together, the fans have been really into it. Without any disqualifications, I would expect to see a lot of weapons, and at least a few extremely brutal spots. I expect the crowd to be going wild by the end.
I’m probably the least confident in this prediction versus any other match, but I’m going to say the Brawling Brutes, simply because Sheamus just lost to Gunther at Clash and I suspect he’s also going to lose to Gunther on Smackdown, meaning it would provide better balance if The Brutes took this one.
Predicted Winner: The Brawling Brutes
Bonus Return Predictions
Everyone is expecting Bray Wyatt to pay off the White Rabbit and return at Extreme Rules. I was initially skeptical, but on Smackdown, WWE directly said the tease was going to be paid off at Extreme Rules. Whether it's Bray Wyatt or someone else, however, it's unclear if that means the White Rabbit will actually get involved in a match or simply show up. My guess is it's Bray Wyatt, and he comes out at the end following the McIntyre/ Karrion Kross match.
I also think we’re going to get the return of Charlotte Flair. I think she’ll come out to confront Bianca Belair after she beats Bayley and that sets up a program the two of them will work over the next few months.
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Mack Rawden is the Editor-In-Chief of CinemaBlend. He first started working at the publication as a writer back in 2007 and has held various jobs at the site in the time since including Managing Editor, Pop Culture Editor and Staff Writer. He now splits his time between working on CinemaBlend’s user experience, helping to plan the site’s editorial direction and writing passionate articles about niche entertainment topics he’s into. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in English (go Hoosiers!) and has been interviewed and quoted in a variety of publications including Digiday. Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, a great wrestling promo and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.