WWE Extreme Rules 2019 Preview And Predictions
Written by Brandon Lewis on July 13, 2019
Photo credit: wwe.com
It’s the one night a year WWE superstars get EXTREME!
Sunday from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the home of ECW, the superstars of RAW, Smackdown Live and 205 Live will be in action, and for the first time in a few years, the Extreme Rules Pay-Per-View(PPV) actually has multiple matches that are not just regular matches.
With that being said, just like the Stomping Grounds PPV last month, WWE is offering a two-for-one sale to get butts in seats. The WWE Universe apparently does not have high expectations for this show, and just like with Stomping Grounds, I am in the minority here when it comes to this PPV.
I feel that WWE has set up this PPV to make sense. For the most part, most of the matches on the card make sense from a storytelling standpoint, and they have set up most of these feuds to either end, or create a talking point going into the “Biggest Party of the Summer”. Predictability is not always a bad thing if the payoff is a good story, and that seems to be the case with Extreme Rules.
So, I have a challenge for those in the WWE Universe who are going to ridicule this PPV no matter what because of AEW’s Fight for the Fallen: Stop complaining and enjoy it. Depending on when you are reading this, Fight for the Fallen may have not started yet, it may be going on right now or it may have ended. Whatever the case may be, it probably was a good show, but do not compare it to WWE because they are in different periods as a company.
Now, let’s dive in to breaking down Extreme Rules 2019!
Undertaker and Roman Reigns vs Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre. No Holds Barred.
There are three candidates on this card to be the main event in my estimation: Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch defending their championships against Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans in an Extreme Rules Mixed Tag Team Match, Kofi Kingston defending the WWE Title vs Samoa Joe or this match, and I believe it will be this one with all the main event TV time this storyline has been getting as of late. At Stomping Grounds, Reigns defeated McIntyre despite McMahon constantly trying to get involved, so the next night on RAW McMahon put Reigns in a two-on-one tornado handicapped match against himself and McIntyre. McIntyre and McMahon dominated the “Big Dog” the whole match.
Reigns was defenseless as McIntyre held him down in the top left corner in the ring while McMahon was climbing the top rope, the “Best in the World” preparing to deliver a Coast To Coast to Reigns. However, just before McMahon jumped… DONG… DONG… DONG!!!
Startlingly and shocking everybody in the WWE Universe, the “Deadman” stood in the center of the ring and took out McIntyre and McMahon, leading to this match being made. The next week on RAW, Undertaker said Reigns did not ask him for help, and that he was back to take McMahon’s and McIntyre’s souls. Now, I do not think this is the main event if WWE did not have something planned up their sleeve, and to me it’s something nobody will see coming: Undertaker turning on Reigns!
Picture this: Drew McIntyre has been taken out on the outside by the Undertaker, leaving Reigns all alone in the ring with McMahon. After a Superman Punch, Reigns is poised in the corner ready to deliver the final blow to the boss with a huge Spear. As Reigns starts running towards McMahon Undertaker intercepts him and plants him on the canvas with a Chokeslam, followed by a Tombstone Piledriver, assuming this match is tornado tag because it is No Holds Barred.
Undertaker would then leave the ring to CHEERS, not boo’s as McMahon crawls to the cover and pins Reigns for the victory. This sets up Undertaker vs Reigns at Summerslam, a rematch from Wrestlemania 33.
Think about it: Even though the WWE Universe loves the person Joe, ever since he has came back from leukemia, most have still not embraced the character Reigns, and they still believe he is a tweener, and nobody boo’s the Deadman. Meanwhile, Undertaker could say this was his way back to Reigns with a promo as simple as, “Two years ago Roman, you thought you put me down for good. I have bought my time, and now I am here for revenge, and at Summerslam, you will REST… IN… PEACE!!!”
BOOM! There’s your talking point coming out of Extreme Rules, and it also helps McMahon and McIntyre move on to Kevin Owens. Will I be surprised if Reigns and Undertaker just win clean? No, but this is the way I hope WWE goes.
Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch(C’s) vs Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans for the Universal and RAW Women’s Championships. Extreme Rules Mixed Tag Team Match.
Even Lacy Evans as a referee could not help the man who claims to be Philadelphia’s favorite son capture the Universal Championship at Stomping Grounds(that whole match was booked perfectly in my opinion), but since Evans and Corbin are obsessed with causing a rift between Rollins and Lynchs’ real-life relationship by taking their championships, the couple decided to grant them one more match for Extreme Rules with both championships on the line in an Extreme Rules Mixed Tag Team Match, and if Corbin and Evans lose, they will not have a championship match again as long as Rollins and Lynch hold the straps. Now, we all know Rollins and Lynch will walk out champs, but this is the perfect example of good storytelling. While this may not be the feud the WWE Universe wants, the booking has been logical, and that’s all I care about.
Even Paul Heyman’s tease this Monday on RAW about Lesnar cashing in after the match made perfect sense by basically telling us he probably won’t, but you never know, giving us a reason to tune in. Here’s to a fun match and great storytelling! It’ll be interesting to see where they take the Rollins-Lynch storyline next, and where Corbin and Evans go from here.
Kofi Kingston(C) vs Samoa Joe. WWE Championship.
The night after Stomping Grounds, Kingston beat Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in back-to-back matches, using the Wild Card Rule to his advantage. This came after a grueling Steel Cage Match with Dolph Ziggler at the event. Then, after the matches, Joe, a RAW superstar, jumps Kingston from behind and puts him to sleep in the Coquina Clutch to set up this match.
I point out the fact that Joe is a RAW superstar because it just shows that Smackdown has no legitimate heel right now to challenge Kingston, which is sad because the WWE Championship is technically Smackdown property, which is why I wrote about what I would do if I was a WWE writer. Regardless, this should be a good match. I don’t expect this feud to go into Summerslam, so I think Kingston goes over strong here.
Ever since Wrestlemania, Kingston has been out to prove that he will be one of the greatest WWE Champions of all time, so he’s been going at it alone without his fellow New Day members when he defends the title, and I expect that trend to continue as Big E and Xavier Woods will probably be too beat up from their Smackdown Tag Title match to be at ringside. While I do not like the fact that Kingston is facing a RAW superstar, Joe is the type of competitor Kingston needs to beat. The storyline coming out of this match is Kingston defended the title by himself against a person who clearly is bigger and stronger than him..
Ricochet(C) vs A.J. Styles(W/The Club). United States Championship.
Ricochet won the United States Championship from Joe to my suprise at Stomping Grounds. The next night on RAW, Styles beat Ricochet in the main event in a sub-par match in my opinion. The next week, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, Styles’ real-life good friends, challenged him to find the “old” A.J. Styles again just like Styles had done to them the last couple of months as up to this point, “The Good Brothers” had been barely used on WWE since June of 2018, reportedly because of a “contract dispute”.
Styles accepted the challenge, walking up to the champ backstage and slapping him in the face. Ricochet responded by awarding Styles a title match in the main event. Styles would quickly win the championship with a Phenomenal Forearm, but it was revealed that Ricochet’s leg was under the bottom rope, forcing a restart to the match, which Ricochet would then pin Styles with his top rope finishing maneuver; the 630.
Ricochet would celebrate the victory while Gallows and Anderson watched from the outside. When Styles woke up and rose to his feet, he acted like he was going to shake Ricochet’s hand, but he instead punched him in the face, turning heel in the process and reuniting “The Club” with his buddies. RAW ended with Styles delivering a Styles Clash to his new rival from the top rope, and him, Gallows and Anderson standing in the center of the ring, flashing the “Two Sweet” symbol, setting up this rubber match.
According to sources, new RAW Executive Director Paul Heyman is high on Ricochet, so it’ll be interesting to see if he loses the championship here as he reportedly is in line for a big push. This is one of the matches on the card that is unpredictable and could go either way. I am going to take a shot in the dark and give Styles his third U.S. Championship reign because it will give Styles more credibility as a heel to me if he can win the title in his first try with a “new” attitude, and it gives a better story to tell when Ricochet eventually wins the title.
Braun Strowman vs Bobby Lashley. Last Man Standing Match.
It’s amazing to me what has happened to Braun Strowman. At this time a year ago, Strowman won the largest Royal Rumble in history, he threw Kevin Owens off a Steel Cage, and he was about to win the Money In The Bank briefcase. Now, he’s turned into just a dumb, gentle giant. Strowman has Universal Champion written all over him, and for a while it looked like he was going to win the strap.
Maybe it’s because he forgot some of his spots in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania, but Strowman has not felt relevant now for months. Since Strowman lost to Lesnar for the Universal Championship the last time WWE appeared in Jeddah, it feels like Strowman and Lashley have been going at each other for no reason at all. I’m picking Strowman to dominate Lashley, and here’s to hoping Strowman moves on to bigger things.
Do you recognize this excerpt? This is the same paragraph I wrote in my Super Showdown article. It still applies here.
Yes, the stage explosion a few weeks ago on RAW was awesome and yes, the promo’s Bobby Lashley have had the last couple of weeks have been really solid and yes, this match will be great entertainment and should have some HOLY SH*T spots, but Strowman needs to go over huge here, so he can get back to his monster ways, something that may happen with Heyman in charge of RAW.
Bayley(C) vs Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross. Smackdown Women’s Championship. Two-On-One Handicapped Match.
At Stomping Grounds, Nikki Cross cost her “bestie” Alexa Bliss the opportunity to win the blue brand’s Women’s Championship, so for the last few weeks on RAW and Smackdown, Cross has had a new attitude, obsessed with trying to get Bliss the title. This past Monday on RAW with Bliss out due to an illness, Cross beat Bayley in a Beat The Clock Challenge, earning the opportunity to pick the stipulation for Bliss and Bayley’s match. Cross picked a two-on-one handicapped match before receiving a Bayley-To-Belly from the champion.
There’s a lot of ways WWE can go here, including Cross pinning Bayley, winning the championship and keeping the strap for herself, but since Cross and Bliss are RAW superstars, I do not see them winning at all. The way I see this match going down is Bliss barely gets into the match because she’s not feeling well. Cross will dominant Bayley for most of the match until Bayley lands a Bayley-To-Belly out of nowhere, pinning cross and retaining her championship.
After the match, Bliss will slap Cross and walk out of the ring, leading to Cross the next night on RAW realizing that Bliss was playing her the whole time, turning face fully and setting up a Summerslam match between the two.
As for Bayley? There’s a report out there that Sasha Banks could be returning soon. Banks walked out of WWE at Wrestlemania 35 after being upset that her and Bayley were not given a longer reign as the first-ever WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. I do not think Banks returns to help Bayley at Extreme Rules, but I expect her to show up on the post Extreme Rules version of Smackdown as a heel, challenging Bayley for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at Summerslam.
Daniel Bryan and Rowan(C) vs Heavy Machinery vs Big E and Xavier Woods. Smackdown Tag Team Championships. Triple Threat Match.
The Smackdown tag team division seems to be down to three teams, and all three of those teams will be competing for the championship at Extreme Rules. The New Day’s Big E and Woods pinned Bryan and Rowan in an eight man tag match on RAW the night after Extreme Rules to earn a title opportunity. After losing to Bryan and Rowan in a good match at Stomping Grounds, Heavy Machinery earned another opportunity by defeating Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler in the main event of Smackdown two weeks ago.
All three of these teams can have a good match with anybody, so this should kick off the show in my opinion because it will be fun, fast and furious action. I do expect Bryan and Rowan to retain the championships because the New Day is too busy with Kingston, and Heavy Machinery just isn’t ready for a tag team title run yet.
The Revival(C) vs The Usos. RAW Tag Team Championships.
Just like Strowman and Lashley, the Revival and Usos have been going at it for months, and it’s done nothing for nobody. These two teams have shown the ability to have a good match, so I do expect a decent contest. I am picking the Usos to win the straps, hoping that they can bring the RAW tag team division relevant again as the Revival have not defended the championships since winning them for the second time this May.
Aleister Black vs Cesaro.
Ever since WWE sent Black to Smackdown Live in the Superstar Shakeup, breaking up his tag team with Ricochet, Black has not wrestled. He has sat in a black room in the back, cutting a promo begging somebody to knock on his door and fight him. After six to eight weeks of Black asking for a fight, it was revealed on Smackdown Tuesday that RAW’s Cesaro has knocked on Black’s door.
Cesaro is a veteran and a good worker who has done pretty much nothing since heading over to the red brand in April, breaking up his tag team “The Bar” with Sheamus, so I understand why WWE would choose Cesaro to face Black, but I would rather his opponent be a Smackdown superstar. This is another Wild Card Rule match that drives me crazy, but just like every other match on this card, this should be a decent contest. I expect Black to walk away victorious as WWE tries to rebuild him up as a star as this is essentially a re-debut for Black, a former NXT Champion.
Drew Gulak(C) vs Tony Nese. Cruiserweight Championship.
As I mentioned in my Stomping Grounds preview, I am not a huge fan of 205 Live or having a cruiserweight division in wrestling. With that being said, the purple brand produced possibly the match of the night at Stomping Grounds when Gulak won the championship from Nese in a triple threat match that also included Akira Tozawa, and that match was on the Kickoff Show. This match has not been announced as the kickoff match yet, but I expect it to be, considering the fact that the main card already consists of nine matches without this match. Im picking Gulak to retain the title in a match that will get the Philly crowd ready for a fun night of EXTREME matches.
Brandon Lewis is the Web Director for Black Squirrel Radio. Follow him on Twitter @brandonlewis_7. Email him at [email protected]