It’s the question on everyone’s lips: Extreme Rules is Sunday? This Sunday?
WWE Extreme Rules 2017 airs this Sunday — yes, two days from now — live on WWE Network. The show Michael Cole lovingly calls “Extreme Rules Pay-Per-View!” features a fatal five-way to decide who gets to lose to Brock Lesnar in 90 seconds at WWE Great Balls Of Fire and more, hopefully!
Here’s the complete card as we know it.
WWE Extreme Rules 2017 Card:
1. Fatal 5-Way No. 1 Contender Match: Finn Bálor vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Samoa Joe vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns
2. Intercontinental Championship Match (Title changes hands on DQ): Dean Ambrose (c) vs. The Miz
3. Raw Tag Team Championship Steel Cage Match: The Hardy Boyz (c) vs. Cesaro and Sheamus
4. Raw Women’s Championship Kendo Stick on a Pole Match: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Bayley
5. WWE Cruiserweight Championship Submission Match: Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries
6. Mixed Tag Team Match: Rich Swann and Sasha Banks vs. Noam Dar and Alicia Fox
As always, we’ve got a complete rundown of the card with our analysis and predictions for all six matches. Drop down into our comments section to let us know who you think will win, and whether or not we’re just screwing with you and there’s no way there’s a pay-per-view this Sunday.
Mixed Tag Team Match: Rich Swann and Sasha Banks vs. Noam Dar and Alicia Fox
What Should Happen: This should be happening on an episode of 205 Live, and Goldust vs. R-Truth should be happening here instead. How you gonna turn Goldust heel to great applause, stick him in a promo room for two weeks and then not have him kick Truth’s ass with weapons? So NOAM DAR can get on a pay-per-view?
What Will Happen: This entire match is happening because a few weeks ago the referee didn’t notice Alicia Fox’s shoulder was (way) up during a pinfall. So now we’ve had several weeks of Fox vs. Banks matches, Noam Dar getting involved, and Rich Swann being Sasha’s tag team partner instead of Cedric Alexander because reasons.
I don’t think there’s a person in the world who thinks the faces should lose here. Even Noam Dar’s parents hope he loses. Sasha Banks is severely slumming it in the cruiserweight division’s girlfriends division, and I hope that she can get a strong victory to get her back on track, and maybe to remind Raw that they’ve got three hours and more than two women in their Women’s Division. Also, am I the only one who thinks Sasha Banks vs. Noam Dar one-on-one would’ve been great?
Bill Hanstock – Swann and Banks will probably win here, but we ALL win if we get to see at least one Northern Lights Suplex from the BYEW-‘IHFUL ALEESEEUH FAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUGGGGGHHHHHHHGGGGZZZZZZ
Chris Trew – I’m not that excited about this match but I am excited about merging each of these two teams into one person and imagining what their intro themes would be like.
Scott Heisel – I asked my wife who should win this match. She said, “Let’s go Team Good Guys. They got the best moves, that’s why.” Good enough reason for me. Rich Bosses forever!
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Submission Match: Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries
What Should Happen: The other match in this special 205 Live Clash of Champions is for the Cruiserweight Championship, and, unless we’re absolutely insane, should be Austin Aries winning the strap from Neville. Neville took a shortcut to beat him at WrestleMania, but Aries got a rematch. So Neville took a bigger shortcut to beat him at Payback. Aries got another rematch. So now you’ve either got to have Neville take an impossibly big shortcut, retain and obliterate Aries’ legitimacy as a title contender, or you pull the trigger, have Neville get trapped in something he can’t worm his way out of, panic and lose.
What Will Happen: As much as I’d like to see Neville stay champion forever (read: until next year when they quietly retire the Cruiserweight Championship again), it’s Aries’ time. He’s put in the work, he’s wrestled all the set-up stepping stone matches, and now it’s time for them to truly bust ass and steal the show. Because, frankly, it’s not that hard of a show to steal.
Bill Hanstock – If this is the third straight championship match between these two, you’d have to think Aries finally gets the big one. But it feels like Neville is just too dominant, and there’s also that weird thing going on with Neville and TJP that I don’t care even a little bit about, but at least it’s telling a story. Neville retains. Via submission, would be my guess.
Chris Trew – The only reason Neville should lose this match is because his torso isn’t big enough to hold the Cruiserweight belt AND the Universal belt at Wrestlemania 2018.
Scott Heisel – I’m an Aries, Austin is also an Aries. Rams gotta stick together. (As do Weezer fans — I mean, he is the Greatest Man That Ever Lived, after all.) AA for the win.
Raw Women’s Championship Kendo Stick on a Pole Match: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Bayley
What Should Happen: The question here is, “Can Bayley get EXTREME?” Which is honestly pretty ridiculous, because we’re talking about hitting each other with one (1) kendo stick after comically retrieving it from a pole, we aren’t asking whether or not Bayley is gonna go to town on Bliss with a cheese grater and belly-to-belly her onto a bed of nails. Also, haven’t we seen Bayley win an iron man match and do reverse hurricanranas off the top rope? Why does she even feel challenged by this?
Bayley’s been one of the worst characters on Raw this year, and whether the fault lies with creative or her as a performer, I’d like to see Bliss keep the championship and Bayley go away for a while. And if she doesn’t go away, at least slink back into some character-based undercard stuff that plays to her strengths, and doesn’t ask her to be the Lisa Frank version of Roman Reigns.
What Will Happen: They’ve really been hammering the point that whoever pulls down the kendo stick first is “legally” able to use it, so I think they’re telegraphing the finish. Bliss pulls down the kendo stick and beats Bayley up, but Bayley recovers, grabs the stick and gets “extreme” in return. But since she didn’t “legally” pull down the stick herself, she gets disqualified. In an extreme rules match at Extreme Rules.
Bill Hanstock – Woof and/or good lord. Bayley needs to get shunted to the bottom of the card and hang out with those two serial killers from Sonic in backstage commercials for a while. Alexa is amazing as champ and easily the best woman on Raw, so let’s further the Nia Jax issue, or put Alexa in a feud with Sasha, or any number of other permutations that don’t involve main roster Bayley having to talk about how much she wants to be a wrestler.
Chris Trew – If Alexa Bliss loses this match I’ll wear a Bayley shirt to my kid’s prom. Which means I would have to adopt a kid and make them go to prom.
Scott Heisel – I think I’m accidentally paraphrasing (or possibly plagiarizing) one of Brandon’s recent tweets, but the hottest angle in WWE right now is Alexa Bliss vs. the script writers. They continue to saddle her with absolutely atrocious material and she somehow finds a way to make it work. I hope she rules atop the Raw women’s division for the foreseeable future, and if that means Bayley slips her way back down the card, I am A-OK with that.
Raw Tag Team Championship Steel Cage Match: The Hardy Boyz (c) vs. Cesaro and Sheamus
What Should Happen: Sheamus and Cesaro earned a shot at the Raw Tag Team Championship at Payback. Then, Jeff Hardy pinned Cesaro. Then Matt Hardy pinned Sheamus. Then the Hardy Boyz pinned Sheamus and Cesaro at Payback. Sheamus and Cesaro were sore losers, so they got another shot at the belts for Extreme Rules. Then, Jeff Hardy pinned Sheamus. Then Matt Hardy pinned Sheamus in a match to decide who got to pick the stipulation. Then the Hardy Boyz won a six-man tag involving Sheamus and Cesaro. See a pattern there? If you don’t let Sheamus and Cesaro win this, with authority, they are worthless. Even worse, they’re The Club.
What Will Happen: One of the Hardy Boyz’ favorite tropes is the cage match in which Jeff Hardy decides to be a daredevil and costs his team the match instead of simply climbing out of the cage and winning. I think that’s the call here. Matt escapes, Jeff’s about to escape but notices Sheamus passed out in the ring and decides to Swanton him from the top of the cage. He jumps, crashes and burns (hopefully into a European uppercut), and Sheamus and Cesaro climb out to become the champions. You know, without actually pinning the Hardys.
Bill Hanstock – AreTheHardysBrokenYet dot com. I hope Sheamus White Noises Matt off the top of the cage and we finally get both Broken Hardys and badass conquerer champions Sheamus and Cesaro. Anything less would be uncivilized. Or stupid. Either way.
Chris Trew – I’m making this up but isn’t it weird how Cesaro and Sheamus grew up in the same town and used to get together all the time to watch the Hardy Boyz wrestle and now they are feuding with them? So weird.
Scott Heisel – Gosh, Matt, just break already. Shesaro regains the tag straps after slamming Matt’s head in the cage door, like, seven times in a row.
Intercontinental Championship Match (Title changes hands on DQ): Dean Ambrose (c) vs. The Miz
What Should Happen: Miz has manipulated Raw’s Gentle Ben general manager into giving him a match with a crazy person in which the champion can lose his belt via disqualification. The obvious thing is, of course, that Maryse starts the match by slapping Miz in the face. Ambrose loses, Miz becomes Intercontinental Champion.
But I think once you’ve done that, the smart move is to have said Gentle Ben show up and be like, “that’s not how it works, restart the match, Maryse you’re ejected.” Then the match actually gets some heat, our expectations have been cleverly addressed and moved beyond, and there’s a sense of urgency.
What Will Happen: Dean Ambrose wins clean? That seems like the most underwhelming result. As much as I can’t stand Ambrose as champion, it’s not like The Miz needs a title to do the one thing they want The Miz to do, and there’s no real difference in being a 6-time secondary champion and a 7-timer.
Bill Hanstock – God, we’ve SEEN this already. If Miz was actually smart, he’d have Maryse slap him right after the bell rings, but I think they’re going to have a full match for no real reason. The most likely scenario is for Elias Samson to run in and attack Miz, giving him the title, and setting up a feud between Samson and Ambrose, allowing champion Miz (the best Miz) to move on to literally ANYTHING else.
Chris Trew – If you’re not fantasy booking The Miz winning this match and then Honky Tank Man’ing his way to all of the intercontinental title belt records then not only are we not friends, but I’m gonna sue you for emotional damages.
Scott Heisel – Last year, the Miz’s fifth Intercontinental Championship reign coincided with the Cleveland Monsters winning the Calder Cup, Stipe Miocic winning the UFC Heavyweight Championship and most importantly, the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the NBA Championship. In fact, the only Cleveland professional sports team that didn’t win a championship last year was the Indians, and who was the IC champ during that time? Dolph Ziggler — clearly the lesser of WWE’s Clevelanders. (And no, the Browns are not a professional sports team.) Now here we are one year later, and the Miz can once again usher in another championship summer for Cleveland by getting Jeans Ambrose to disqualify himself (which, let’s face it, shouldn’t be that hard.). Let’s do this, Mike. Your post-match Romanburger is on me.
Fatal 5-Way No. 1 Contender Match: Finn Bálor vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Samoa Joe vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns
What Should Happen: Part of me really wants Bray Wyatt to win this match, then go on to face Brock Lesnar. And during the match, Wyatt makes the ring look like bugs and Brock just FREAKS THE HELL OUT, runs to the back like the scared tentacle in Maniac Mansion and forfeits the Universal Championship. All the other parts of me want Bray Wyatt to miss a flight and be replaced by anybody else in this match.
Most good-hearted people when given the option would say they want Finn or Joe to win, right? Those are the two fresh Brock Lesnar matches with the chance to actually elevate someone. I say give it to Finn, just for the novelty of Brock Lesnar vs. painted-up Prince Devitt happening on a WWE pay-per-view.
What Will Happen: There’s no way Brock Lesnar is losing the Universal Championship until SummerSlam. In fact, we’re already seeing Internet rumors about WWE wanting Lesnar to face Braun Strowman at that show. So there’s a great chance the Great Balls of Fire title defense is just to refresh Brock in our minds and set up Brock/Braun. How do you connect those two? With Roman Reigns. Sorry, everyone.
Bill Hanstock – They never tell you this in orgy school, but most five-ways end up being fatal. This one can really go any possible way, but as much as I want to see Joe vs. Lesnar, I don’t think a heel will be winning this match. Bálor and Rollins are the two guys with the most legitimate claims to a title shot (and Bálor should just be given one anyway; let’s stop being ridiculous here), and I think Bálor is going to take it. Mostly, I just want Brandon’s fantasy booking of the formation of the Bálor Club with Paul Heyman as their mouthpiece, but I’ll take a Finn win for now.
Chris Trew – I don’t even know if this is an elimination match but regardless of whether it is or not, Bray Wyatt gets eliminated first. Then Finn Balor goes on to win because he’s not only a funny dreadlock wig guy, we all know he’s a Paul Heyman guy deep down and we gotta get this storyline on the move.
Scott Heisel – My wife also picked this one. She said, “Finn Bálor, because I love him.” I agree, on both accounts.
That’s it for our Extreme Rules predictions. We’re changing the face of the New Era®, folks!
Like we said, make sure to drop down into our comments section to let us know what you think’s happening on the show, and click those social share buttons so we can get some good conversation going. Be here on Sunday for Extreme Rules, Monday for the Best and Worst of Extreme Rules column, and Monday night for the fallout on Raw.