Posted July 13th, 2019 by 1Wrestling News Team

By Don “The Predictor” Murphy (Twitter: @DonThePredictor)

It’s a great time to be professional wrestling fan! Traditionally, the summer has been wrestling’s slow period. Now, with the emergence of new promotions, such as All Elite Wrestling and Major League Wrestling, along with mainstays such as Evolve, Impact, NXT and New Japan Pro Wrestling really enhancing their product, there’s a plethora of great wrestling out there for everyone to enjoy.

This brings us to this Sunday night, as the WWE presents its annual Extreme Rules show from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. This is another show, on paper, that has the potential to be an underrated gem by year’s end. However, given the continued scrutiny of the WWE’s creative process, along with the increased criticism of Vince McMahon’s booking decisions, it will be interesting to see if the diehard Philadelphia crowd can enjoy good wrestling for good wrestling’s sake, or if they will use the show as an opportunity to have their “voices be heard,” as is so common with today’s fan base. In either case, this should be a fun one. Let’s run down the card!

WWE Universal Championship/WWE Raw Women’s Championship Mixed Tag Team Match: Becky Lynch (WWE Raw Women’s Champion) and Seth Rollins (WWE Universal Champion) defend their titles against Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans

Topline Thoughts: I’m not as down on this match as others are. As I’ve said, I actually like Baron Corbin, as he plays the obnoxious heel role really well. And, I’m very high on Lacey’s potential. That being said, I do think both feuds have overstayed their welcome and it’s time to move on. And, this is a match where the Philly crowd may try to take over, despite Rollins’ and Lynch’s popularity. Since the stipulation is in place that Corbin and Evans won’t receive any more title shots if they lose, I’m concerned about where Evans might be placed going forward. Corbin will be fine, as he can settle back in to the mid card. But, aside from the championship feud, the women’s mid card gets very limited TV time and I think she’s better than that. As for both Lynch and Rollins, I’m not sure where they go from here. I suppose you can pair Rollins with AJ Styles, but I don’t see anyone on the women’s roster that has been built up enough to challenge Lynch – unless of course there are NXT call-ups on the horizon.

The Predictor Predicts: Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins retain their titles (No Brock Lesnar cash-in)

WWE Championship Match: Kofi Kingston defends the WWE Championship against Samoa Joe

Topline Thoughts: This is one of those matches where I feel like both wrestlers benefit from a win and are hurt from a loss. Joe has proven that he can be the dominant heel champion, but really hasn’t had that opportunity since joining the main roster. He gets put in these high profile matches, but falls short every time. The good thing is that a couple of dominant wins restore his credibility, but I just don’t if and when they’ll be ready to go all in on him. With Kofi, we’ve riding high on his underdog story since WrestleMania. Now, it’s time for some matches with top contenders where he wins decidedly. But, as I said, that will come at the expense of Joe, who’s also in need of a win. In any case, this should be fun and I’m not seeing this as a program that will continue beyond a month or so.

The Predictor Predicts: Kofi Kingston retains the WWE Championship (No Brock Lesnar cash-in)

WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Bayley defends the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship against Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross (2-on-1 handicap match)

Topline Thoughts: So, it looks like they’re setting the table for Cross to finally wake up and learn that Bliss is using her, leading to a feud between the two. That’s a good thing, as Cross has a lot to offer, and I’m glad they’re finding ways to use her. That being said, what’s next for Bayley? They could re-visit her feud with Charlotte Flair, who has been off TV for a bit. Or, if Sasha Banks is returning, they can break up the team and re-ignite that feud. Here’s the problem. Loveable, underdog Bayley is gone, so unless they’re planning on making her the heel, they’re going to have to do some work to re-establish her babyface qualities. Don’t get me wrong. The fans haven’t turned on her, but the confident Bayley we’ve seen recently gets a lukewarm reaction at best.

The Predictor Predicts: Bayley retains the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship

WWE United States Championship Match: Ricochet defends the WWE United States Championship against AJ Styles

Topline Thoughts: Similar to the Kingston-Joe match, I feel like both guys need a win here. Ricochet had been floundering in the mid-card, prior to winning the title, and when he won, it was presented as a big deal. I suppose a loss would put him into chase mode, keeping him relevant, but I’m concerned about what happens beyond that. I also would like to see someone hold the US title for a longer period of time. With AJ, the heel turn was needed and it’s nice that they’re trying to re-build Gallows and Anderson. However, to really it a top heel group, it would be ideal for AJ to have the title, while the babyfaces chase him and Gallows and Anderson serve as protection. Needless to say, this might be the match of the night and I’m calling for the title change.

The Predictor Predicts: AJ Styles wins the WWE United States Championship

WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match: Daniel Bryan and Rowan defend the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship against The New Day (Xavier Woods/Big E) and Heavy Machinery (Otis/Tucker)

Topline Thoughts: I really like this match. The tag team roster needs depth, but Daniel Bryan is just so entertaining, that I don’t mind seeing the New Day get another shot. Plus, keep an eye of Heavy Machinery. Yes, it’s a comedy act now, but I find it to be very entertaining and I don’t think there are plans to bury them down the card, even with a loss. This will be fun and could be the sleeper of the night.

The Predictor Predicts: Daniel Bryan and Rowan retain the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The Revival (Dawson/Wilder) defend the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship against The Usos (Jimmy/Jey)

Topline Thoughts: I have a feeling this match might get moved to the pre-show, which is a shame. We’ve said this since the Revival moved to the main roster that they’re extremely under-utilized in a non-existent tag team division. This will be a fine match and I’m fairly certain that the Revival will retain, but to what end game? They either get pushed down to the bottom of the card or consistently lose non-title matches, making the titles meaningless. I’m an optimist, and if they can bring Gallows and Anderson back to relevance, I still have hope for the Revival.

The Predictor Predicts: The Revival retains the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship

WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Drew Gulak defends the WWE Cruiserweight Championship against Tony Nese

Topline Thoughts: Putting the title on Drew was the right move, as he’s done a great job re-inventing himself over the past year. I also have to hand it to Nese, for working to make himself relevant after being a glorified jobber for so long. This will be a good match to close the book on the Nese/Gulak program. From there, I’m hoping they can still find something decent for Nese out of the title picture. For Gulak, there are several babyface challengers they could slot in to serve as good opponents.

The Predictor Predicts: Drew Gulak retains the WWE Cruiserweight Championship

No Holds Barred Tag Team Match: Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon meet Roman Reigns and the Undertaker

Topline Thoughts: When in doubt, book the Undertaker. I’m wondering if the WWE feared that the Philly crowd would turn on Reigns and the Undertaker can serve as a buffer. The funny thing is, the crowd doesn’t cheer loudly and they don’t boo loudly. I think we’ve reached numb acceptance. This will likely be a throwback to an old school ECW-like brawl and don’t be surprised to see Kevin Owens show up to continue building his story with Shane McMahon. And, with the rumors of Taker vs. McIntyre at SummerSlam, don’t be surprised to see something that sets that up.

The Predictor Predicts: Roman Reigns and the Undertaker defeat Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon

Last Man Standing Match: Braun Strowman meets Bobby Lashley

Topline Thoughts: I loved the angle that set this up; however, having Lashley show up this past week without so much as a scratch took me out of the moment, especially since he was the one that took the spear. Strowman has been pushed so down in relevance that this will likely be a dominant win to keep him somewhat in the mix. For Lashley, he continues to flounder without any real direction.

The Predictor Predicts: Bran Strowman defeats Bobby Lashley

Singles Match: Aleister Black meets Cesaro

Topline Thoughts: There was a nice build for this match, leading to anticipation around who Black’s opponent would be. I just wish it wasn’t Cesaro. Over the past couple of weeks, it looked like they were finally going to do something with him, but with this match, I’m hoping he’s not presented as an afterthought. I know they want to make Black look strong, but making Cesaro look like a jobber isn’t the best course of action either. Too much talent to be left on the table.

The Predictor Predicts: Aleister Black defeats Cesaro

Category: Wrestling.

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