DON “THE PREDICTOR” MURPHY — EXTREME RULES 2018

Posted July 14th, 2018 by Bill Apter

“THE PREDICTOR” PREDICTS: WWE EXTREME RULES 2018

By Don “The Predictor” Murphy

The Predictor is on the road this week, so you’re going to get the “rapid fire” version of my predictions for this Sunday night’s Extreme Rules show, emanating from the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Let’s run down the card!

WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles defends the WWE Championship against Rusev

Topline Thoughts: This match should feel bigger, as Rusev is easily one of the most popular performers in the company.  But, the buildup hasn’t really help establish him as a major threat to the title.  If anything, this could be part of a storyline that eventually causes the split between him and Aiden English and the beginning of a Rusev babyface run.

“The Predictor” Predicts: AJ Styles retains the WWE Championship

WWE United States Championship Match: Jeff Hardy defends the WWE United States Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura

Topline Thoughts: This should be a fine match, as evidenced by their first encounter a few weeks back.  Hardy is banged up, so I see him dropping the title here.  Holding the United States Championship keeps Nakamura relevant after his program with AJ Styles.

“The Predictor” Predicts: Shinsuke Nakamura wins the WWE United States Championship

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match (30-Minute Iron Man Match): Dolph Ziggler defends the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Seth Rollins

Topline Thoughts: This will be the match of the night and I am happy that Ziggler is finally getting some kind of push, even though they still have a very long way to go.  Drew McIntyre has been a good add-on but would be much better off on his own. Rollins will eventually get the title back, but I think we still have some more to see from this program.

“The Predictor” Predicts: Dolph Ziggler retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match: Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy defend the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship against Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas

Topline Thoughts: I really like the “B-Team’s” work, and if I didn’t know any better, I’d have thought they were the babyfaces headed into this match.  Hardy and Wyatt aren’t doing it for me, but I don’t see anyone in the tag team division that would be logical opponents for Axel and Dallas as Champions.  The belts will eventually go to the Authors of Pain, and it would make sense for that to happen at the expense of Hardy and Wyatt.

“The Predictor” Predicts: Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship

WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: The Bludgeon Brothers defend the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship against Kane and Daniel Bryan

Topline Thoughts: The “Team Hell No” reunion has been a popular event in the eyes of the fans, and it gives the Bludgeon Brothers a solid team to feud with.  This should be an entertaining match, though I see the program as just getting started.

“The Predictor” Predicts: The Bludgeon Brothers retain the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship

WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Carmella defends the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship against Asuka

*James Ellsworth will be suspended in a cage above the ring

Topline Thoughts: What Carmella lacks in the ring, she makes up for in her ability as a heel.  She’s someone you legitimately want to see lose, though she finds a way to win every time.  The Ellsworth stipulation makes sense, but I feel like Asuka’s aura has diminished since joining the main roster.

“The Predictor” Predicts: Carmella retains the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship

WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match (Extreme Rules Match): Alexa Bliss defends the WWE Raw Women’s Championship against Nia Jax

*Rhonda Rousey will be in the front row

Topline Thoughts: They managed to pick up some more steam with this feud, which is a good thing.  They are a bit disjointed with Nia Jax, as her heel-babyface dynamic changes from week-to-week.  I see Rousey accidentally costing Jax the match, setting up a triple-threat between the three at SummerSlam.

“The Predictor” Predicts: Alexa Bliss retains the WWE Raw Women’s Championship

Steel Cage Match: Braun Strowman meets Kevin Owens

Topline Thoughts: Normally, the cage is used when the babyface hasn’t been able to get his hands on the heel.  In this case, Strowman has gotten to Owens weekly and is really the antagonist here.  You almost feel bad for Owens, which is not what you want if Owens is playing the heel.  This will be fun, but a predictable win for Strowman.

“The Predictor” Predicts: Braun Strowman defeats Kevin Owens

Singles Match: Bobby Lashley meets Roman Reigns

Topline Thoughts: The pull-apart brawl last Monday was a nice touch, but this match doesn’t do much for me.  I’m sure it will be well done…I’m just not sure what direction they’re going in here, as of yet.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a non-finish here.

“The Predictor” Predicts: Match goes to a no-contest or double disqualification

Singles Match: Baron Corbin meets Finn Balor

Topline Thoughts: The “Constable” gimmick has kept Corbin relevant, so it’s nice to see him having some kind of program here.  It’s not the most compelling story in the world, but Balor should be able to make this a slightly above average match.

“The Predictor” Predicts: Finn Balor defeats Baron Corbin

Pre-Show/Singles Match: Andrade “Cien” Almas meets Sin Cara

Topline Thoughts: It looks like they’re finally ready to proceed in building Almas on the main roster, which I am looking forward to.  This will be a showcase match for him – no more, no less.

“The Predictor” Predicts: Andrade “Cien” Almas defeats Sin Cara

Pre-Show/Six Man Tag Team Match (Tables Match): The New Day meets Sanity

Topline Thoughts: I was surprised when Sanity lost within two weeks of debuting on the main roster.  The New Day will likely win here to even out the babyface-heel win ratio on the pre-show, but losing a gimmick match, rather than straight-up, preserves Sanity a bit, which is a good thing.

“The Predictor” Predicts: The New Day defeats Sanity

Follow me on Twitter: @DonThePredictor

Category: Wrestling.

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