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Extreme Rules Prediction Machine: New Champs and a New Challenge for The Beast

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Extreme Rules: “The one night a year that WWE takes it to the extreme”. Well, at least as extreme as TV-PG can get.  If we’re honest with ourselves we know this event is a bit of a let down every year. It consistently delivers a thrilling match or two that fans remember, but more often than not the card and talent suffer from the constraints of the TV-PG format. This year boasts an impressive card that can break that pattern with solid matches and surprises Sunday night, even coming off of that abysmal ratings disaster of a go-home show this past Monday. If you missed my review on RAW and the lost art of go-home shows check it out here. Extreme Rules is going to be a tough event to predict but here goes nothing. Let’s start with a feud that flat out needs to end.

Mixed Tag Match: Noam Dar and Alicia Fox vs. Rich Swann and Sasha Banks

I expect a good little match here. Swann and Dar are very talented and can carry a couple solid minutes of action. In the end, since they gave away the finish on RAW and let Swann pin Dar that tells me the women will be closing this one out. Sasha Banks is the biggest star in the match and this program has merely been a way to keep her out of the women’s title scene for a month. One way or another Alicia Fox takes the fall, but smart money says she taps to the Boss’ Bank Statement.


Winner: Rich Swann and Sasha Banks

Intercontinental Title Match: The Miz vs. Dean Ambrose (c) Title Can Change on a DQ

On a show with cage matches and kendo sticks these two have to go out and just put on a standard wrestling match, and that they will. These two have had some good bouts against one another dating back to their SmackDown feud and no less is to be expected here. The story of this match will be the Miz pushing Ambrose to his mental limits while putting on a good wrestling effort. While I will be pulling for The Miz to win, I don’t see it happening here. If Ambrose gets DQ’d the baby-face looks stupid. If Ambrose is about to get DQ’d, stops what he’s doing and gets blindsided and then beaten he looks stupid. Ultimately in this one, Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds for the win. Should circumstances elicit an obligatory post PPV RAW rematch, look for the Miz to take the title on Monday night.

Winner: Dean Ambrose

Tag Team Title Steel Cage Match: The Hardys (c) vs. Sheamus and Cesaro

Matt and Jeff have always excelled in cage matches. The stipulation favors the “in your face” physicality that Sheamus and Cesaro are known for. While I’ve been against cage matches in the PG era for their absence of blood, this is a potential show-stealer for Extreme Rules. These four guys are going to put on an awesome display of athleticism and unorthodox cage-based offense that I can’t wait to see. In the end it comes down to that inevitable dive from the top by Jeff Hardy we can all see coming.

When it comes to diving off of a steel cage, Jeff Hardy usually misses the mark. I’m taking Sheamus and Cesaro in this one. If the Hardys are going to continue on as a tag team, and I think they will, they need to face some adversity and capable rivals. Sheamus and Cesaro need this win more. Allowing them to walk out as the new tag team champions after a grueling match keeps this feud going a little longer, and allows them find their footing as heels moving forward. I see this feud culminating at next month.

Winners: And New Champions Sheamus and Cesaro

Kendo Stick On A Pole Match for the RAW Women’s Championship: Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss (C)

The “on a pole” gimmick match is grossly outdated and no longer belongs in professional wrestling. That said I expect this one to be violent and intense once it gets going. The kendo stick needs to be introduced early on in the match to avoid the lame climbing and getting knocked off the top rope spots that plague every one of these sort of matches. Let someone get the kendo stick and let us see some violence from these two.

We’ve seen the women of WWE have their athleticism and talent put on display for quite some time now. Yet there hasn’t been that one, almost uncomfortably violent moment anywhere in either women’s division in WWE since the initial “women’s revolution” began. I’m hoping to see such brutality from Alexa Bliss in this one. Bayley is the perfect sympathetic figure for a villain as good as Bliss to mangle in front of a live audience. Its an untapped area of potential to add depth to the story-telling in the women’s division. Hopefully I’m right, but either way Alexa Bliss walks out with the title after an impressive showing by both women and after her DDT.

Winner: Alexa Bliss

Submission Match for the Cruiserweight Title: Austin Aries vs. Neville (C)

Aries and Neville will deliver the best pure one on one bout at Extreme Rules. A methodical and engaging technical wrestling match here between the masters of the Last Chancery and the Rings of Saturn submission holds is sure to wow Baltimore Sunday night.  This may be the final chapter in a feud that has elevated both men and the prestige of the Cruiserweight title in spite of the rest of the division’s chronic mishandling. Though some of my excitement dimmed watching Neville tap out to Aries on RAW my expectations for this one remain high. The conclusion will see Neville tapping out to Aries, only for the referee to be out of position from a knock down or interference by TJP. Aries will release Last Chancery giving the King of the Cruiserweights his moment to strike and secure victory forcing Aries to submit in the Rings of Saturn and retain the title. With Cedric Alexander’s return from injury, Akira Tozawa’s momentum building and a healthy Rich Swann hanging around the division it makes more sense for Neville to retain and continue to elevate the other cruiserweight standouts.

Winner: Neville

Extreme Rules Fatal 5 Way Match: Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe

Palpable match of the year potential in this one. The spectre of Universal Champion Brock Lesnar looms large with the winner of this one heading to next month’s PPV to challenge The Beast. Anything can happen when you take four of the best in WWE, plus Roman Reigns, throw them together and make weapons legal. Almost impossible to call this one but I’ll logically map out who will be facing the Beast.

WWE has to rebuild Brock Lesnar as the monstrous killing machine he is coming off his feud with Goldberg. That means whoever wins this match is losing to Brock next month at the hilariously titled Great Balls of Fire event. So the question is, who benefits most from headlining a show with Brock albeit in a losing effort?

You can cross Finn Balor’s name off of that list. While it is PPV and we no doubt see his trademark Demon entrance, it makes zero sense to me for Balor to win this match only to lose to Brock in a short turnaround. Balor vs. Lesnar will happen and it will be a marquee, big money feud for the RAW brand, just not yet. For the time being the next step in building Finn Balor is a feud with Bray Wyatt. At Extreme Rules Balor will no doubt impress but he will not walk out the victor nor will he be the man who takes the fall.

Bray Wyatt won’t be facing Lesnar just yet either. He’s been in a state of flux since finally capturing the WWE title and is in a rebuilding stage of his own. Losing to Randy Orton and the House of Horrors match have stalled his momentum and a pending loss at the hands of Lesnar hurts Bray more than it helps. Look for Bray to begin in earnest what could be a very cool feud with Finn Balor after coming up short in this one.

While Roman Reigns’ inadequacies will be masked by the other competitors and the rules of this match, he isn’t walking out with the win here. Reigns vs. Lesnar 2 won’t happen until SummerSlam at the earliest. While I disagreed with the decision to have him defeat Balor and Rollins on RAW over the last few weeks, what those victories say to me now is that Roman is the guy who takes the loss in this match. He’ll have those wins to fall back on and keep him relevant going forward. I expect a crazy finish and an appearance by Braun Strowman to cost Reigns the match isn’t beyond the realm of possibility.

We’re down to Samoa Joe and Seth Rollins. While Rollins has been on a roll as of late losing to Brock does nothing for either of them. We’ve seen Rollins vs. Lesnar before. Brock beating a guy he’s faced and dominated previously doesn’t do much to help rebuild Lesnar in the minds of fans who suffered through those matches with Goldberg.

Samoa Joe is the guy who should walk out of Extreme Rules with the win. This is a match that could make Samoa Joe in WWE. He’s gotten the rub from being affiliated with Triple H. He’s laid waste to Seth Rollins on countless occasions and has a win over Roman Reigns under his belt. His triple threat win on RAW has gotten the ball rolling and on Sunday night Joe will secure the first PPV win of his WWE career and go on to challenge for the Universal Title.

Samoa Joe vs. Brock Lesnar is something we’ve never seen before. This match up is mutually beneficial, even if a Lesnar victory is a forgone conclusion. Joe gets to headline a PPV with the biggest star in the company and fight for the Universal title. That’s a great spot to be in having only debuted on RAW a few months ago.This isn’t completely dissimilar from the way  AJ Styles’ was booked last year when he faced Roman Reigns.  For Brock, he runs up against a legit believable bad ass in Samoa Joe and notches an impressive win against a large opponent with a capable strong style skill set. Its a big money match that can really launch Joe and Lesnar into whatever their match-ups at SummerSlam turn out to be. I’m calling Joe beats Reigns in the Fatal 5-Way.

Winner: Samoa Joe

 

 

 

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Jun 4, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    While I like the King Neville character, Austin Aries deserves to win the title. If he doesn’t he should be put on to Raw or Smack Down.

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Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week #2)

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Break It Down

While it’s still early on in 2021, the wrestling world has set a high standard for in-ring quality so far from last week and all of the shows continued in that mindset here. The shows were all varied and while not everything worked for each show, there were a lot of positives to takeaway.

A week that featured huge title matches, fantastic promos, and even some fireballs being thrown in for good measure has been enough to keep everyone entertained. But, which show was the strongest of the bunch? Let’s Break It Down and find out!


6. WWE Raw

Randy Orton

Photo Credit YouTube.com/WWE

WWE Raw has been a struggle as of late, and sadly this show didn’t change that run of form for the red brand. It was clear the show had been hurt by COVID-19, with a lot of people missing and a lot pulling double duty on the night, so credit does deserve to be given for that. On that note, praise is deserved for Drew McIntyre too, for making his appearances via video, despite having a positive COVID test.

Sheamus and Keith Lee had a fun match as partners and as opponents on this show, but outside of that this show lacked a lot. Charlotte Flair facing Lacey Evans was nothing special, and using Ric frequently right now isn’t helping her character while having Riddle be beaten so easily feels like a mistake, even if it helps Bobby Lashley overall.

The whole show was built around Triple H returning for a one-off match with Randy Orton, which was all set up nicely. It was never going to be a full match, but it would’ve been nice to have given this a little longer. Obviously, the big talking point was the Alexa Bliss fire, some people loved it, others hated it. I personally, quite enjoy a little magic and ridiculousness when it’s done well, and this story is working so far, with this being a nice finish to the show.

5. WWE SmackDown

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/WWE

WWE SmackDown kickstarted 2021 with a bang last week, but sadly this episode was a slight drop in quality. It was still a good show though, with lots of positives to take, especially in terms of the in-ring product, with Daniel Bryan and Cesaro have a particularly great match on this show.

The work with Billie Kay was a lot of fun, with her ‘punk’ vibes being fantastic comedy, while the storyline with King Corbin and the Mysterio family continues to be put together well. Jey Uso had a really good match with Shinsuke Nakamura too, who appears to be gaining a big push as a babyface, which is great to see.

However, there were elements that didn’t work, with Bayley’s new talk show and segment being a little awkward, while all of the build with Roman Reigns and Adam Pearce was a little dragged out and too repetitive from last week.

4. WWE NXT UK

WWE NXT UK was another really fun show this week, with the brand continuing to put together some great work lately. Seeing the debut of Sha Samuels was great, as he is a real talent in the ring and on the microphone, and he had a nice hard-hitting encounter with Joe Coffey to kick off the show.

Jinny and Kay Lee Ray had a really nice promo segment to build to their title match, and it certainly built interest in their upcoming title match. Plus, Sam Gradwell and Tyler Bate had a really enjoyable match together, with WWE clearly looking to build Bate back up.

However, this show was really all about the main event. WALTER defending his NXT UK Championship didn’t disappoint. He and A-Kid had tremendous chemistry with this being a very hard-hitting encounter that didn’t let up from start to finish, with WALTER retaining, but A-Kid looking just as good in defeat.

3. IMPACT Wrestling

Photo: Impact/Twitter

It was a big week for IMPACT Wrestling with the Hard To Kill event taking place this weekend. While that PPV was a lot of fun, our focus is on the weekly edition of IMPACT, which on the whole was also a great show, building to the PPV in a really nice manner.

The opening women’s match got plenty of time and they didn’t disappoint, while the tag team match featuring Manik and Suicide was also a fast-paced and frantic bout. The storyline development between Eric Young’s group and Rhino and his men wasn’t really needed, with the match itself being incredibly average.

Moose’s squash victory was also dragged on a little too long, and he would’ve benefited from being a little quicker. However, the main event between Karl Anderson and Rich Swann was solid, and the post-match brawl built up the six-man tag team match for Hard To Kill perfectly, which is what was needed.

2. WWE NXT

Photo: WWE/Twitter

Yet again the black and gold brand was very enjoyable this week. The show featured a lot of brilliant in-ring work, with a large focus being placed on tag team wrestling, with the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic beginning, which brought plenty of fun bouts.

Grizzled Young Veterans showcased just how good they are, although, booking Ever-Rise as a babyface team here was odd, while MSK’s debut was very fun to see, with the former IMPACT stars seriously impressing. Candice LeRae and Shotzi Blackheart had a good bout as well, while Xia Li’s character development continues to be done brilliantly.

Johnny Gargano’s match with Dexter Lumis was the only real disappointment of the show, as this didn’t quite connect. However, the work with Pete Dunne throughout the show was excellent, building him and his group up as a real threat, with Dunne facing Finn Balor being something that everyone should be excited for.

1. AEW Dynamite

 

AEW Dynamite was incredibly exciting this week, with a lot of really good matches taking place. The show benefited from not having and big multi-man matches, with everything being crisp and to the point. PAC and Eddie Kingston had an excellent opening match which set the pace for the entire show, with this story being a lot of fun.

This show also saw the best piece of booking that Miro has had since he joined AEW. He was dominant and physical, and hopefully, this is how he’s used moving forwards. The Matt Hardy and Private Party backstage segment will likely be overlooked by most, but it was really good storytelling here as well.

Kenny Omega choosing The Good Brothers over the ‘Bucks is a nice twist, and FTR also had a fantastic tag team bout with Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt. The Waiting Room segment was fun and really shows Britt Baker at her best, meanwhile, Tay Conti and Serena Deeb had a fantastic match. The main event also delivered, like everything on this brilliant show, but the only nitpick I had was Sting’s appearance. Doing the same thing with him every week is already feeling stale, he is someone who should be used less frequently to make him feel more special, in my opinion.

Sixth place= 1 point
Fifth place= 2 points
Fourth place= 3 points
Third place= 4 points
Second place=5 points
First place= 6 points

2020 results (each week, the points tally will be added up below):

WWE Raw- 2
IMPACT Wrestling- 6
WWE NXT- 10
AEW Dynamite- 10
WWE NXT UK- 6
WWE SmackDown- 8

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We Ranked: 5 Ways WWE Should Utilize The Legends On WWE Raw

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Tonight is WWE Raw Legends Night, and plenty of familiar faces will be coming back to the company, but how should WWE use them? It’s going to be a blockbuster episode of WWE Raw to kickstart 2021 in style, and there will be a real element of nostalgia about the show, with a lot of legends being confirmed for the event.

While not every legend is going to have a significant role to play on the show, some of the talents are going to have a very big part to play in things. WWE has heavily pushed the legends aspect of the show, so there’s no doubt going to be some involvement. But what are the best, and most logical ways the talents could be used?


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Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week #52)

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Break It Down

Well, here we are week #52, the final weeks worth of wrestling for 2020 (even if one show was technically 2021), and what a year it has been. When I started this feature series at this time last year, I certainly wasn’t expecting shows with no fans and the difficulties that the world has faced, but one thing that is worth mentioning is how hard everyone in the industry has worked.

But it’s time for the final Break It Down of 2020, taking a look at how each show wrapped up their year, and which show was actually the best of the bunch with all things considered. So strap in, and remember… 2020 is done!


4. WWE Raw

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/WWE

The show kickstarted in a great way this week with Sheamus and Keith Lee having a really fun one on one match as the Limitless One became the number one contender. The promos worked well for both men in the build-up and that led to a physical encounter that established both wrestlers.

AJ Styles and Elias had a match that certainly was better than expectations, but there was also a large chunk of the show that was incredibly forgettable. The work with the women’s division continues to leave a lot to be desired, and overall, the show lacked a lot of energy.

The work with The Miz and the Money in the Bank was an odd one, having him lose to Gran Metalik and then regain the briefcase in the same night. The briefcase has been handled so poorly that it’s no surprise fans are losing interest. The show ended with a cliffhanger with nobody knowing what Randy Orton actually did. For some people, that’s something that people loved, but for others, it was a frustrating finish.

3. WWE SmackDown

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While this was technically in 2021, it makes this article as it was in the final week of the year. However, because it was technically 2021, WWE did push the New Year vibe, which provided a fun energy to the show, and throughout the night it was a very entertaining evening.

Seeing Sonya Deville return was excellent, as she will add a lot of quality to the women’s division on the blue brand which has proven to be entertaining as of late. Big E’s first match as champion was entertaining, with Corbin being a smart person to put him up against, while Daniel Bryan and Otis proved to be a fun team together on the night.

The main event was the shows strong point though, with Kevin Owens and Jey Uso having a great match together that was full of fire as KO continues to be one of the most exciting stars in WWE at the moment, with him being launched off the ThunderDome set being a great moment to end the night.

2. WWE NXT

The black and gold brand ended the year in a really strong manner with a great show that built towards New Years Evil really well. Every segment and match felt important and like it was necessary in order to build up certain matches for the upcoming show.

The End Of Year Awards throughout the night was fun and well put together, with nice segments following each one. This was particularly strong when Finn Balor and Kyle O’Reilly had a confrontation, with their promo segment being very well done.

In the ring, Grizzled Young Vets and Breezango had a good solid tag team bout, and it was also good to see Bronson Reed back in a competitive manner. However, the match of the night was between Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne, who had an incredibly hard-hitting battle that really showcased the best of both men.

1. AEW Dynamite

Brodie Jr. TNT Championship

There was absolutely no doubt about what show was taking the top prize this week to end 2020, and that was AEW Dynamite. While this was ultimately a very sad show, it was also a beautiful one that was put together with heart, compassion, and love from everyone within the company, and Tony Khan deserves massive credit for putting this together.

Normal storylines were thrown out of the window for one week with a tribute show to Brodie Lee, following his unfortunate death, and it was done perfectly. From having Erick Redbeard pop up to the way -1 was treated throughout the night, this show was incredible.

It was arguably the best AEW Dynamite of the entire year. The in-ring quality was superb throughout the entire show, with the touching messages being done incredibly well as the entire show just ticked the boxes that the entire wrestling world needed at this point.

Fourth place=1 point
Third place=2 points
Second place=3 points
First place=4 points

2020 results (each week, the points tally will be added up below):

WWE Raw- 108
WWE NXT- 158
AEW Dynamite- 146
WWE SmackDown- 112

So there we have it, my ultimate ranking of the three shows with WWE NXT just edging it over the course of the year, and for my personal taste, I think that’s accurate. The two Wednesday night shows have absolutely been head and shoulders above the two main WWE events, with great consistency and quality within those two events.

WWE Raw started the year quite well but has really suffered for quality towards the end of 2020, while WWE SmackDown has pretty much done the opposite.

But, that’s 2020. A year that most people would likely want to forget, and now here’s to 2021, one which we all hope will be more positive and while we are still a while away from a world of full arenas and sold-out stadiums, there is a hope that it will happen at some point this year.

For 2021, the Break It Down article will be making its return, and I look forward to seeing how the shows work in quality throughout the year. But for 2021, the article will be having a slight tweak, and that’s because I will be adding two more shows to the ranking.

As well as the four that have been used this year, I will also be bringing in WWE NXT UK, and IMPACT Wrestling. These are two shows that people have asked to be included throughout the year (IMPACT especially), and you ask, I will deliver. So, who will take the top spot at this point next year? Join me next week as once again, I Break It Down.

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