Sunday, June 4th 2017 is the 9th annual WWE pay-per-view EXTREME RULES. A show filled with gimmick matches (though many this year are a tad lack-luster), this year’s show, on paper, seems like an interesting one to say the least. The Main Event is loaded with a lot of possibilities on what could happen, which always makes for an exciting show.
Typically, we make our predictions for every WWE pay-per-view in the format of our weekly podcast, which you can check out on Nerds of the Squared Circle in the podcast tab above. This week we are changing it up a bit. The current holder of the SWN Wrestling Prediction Championship is Snarfkris, who will be defending it on this 6 match card against myself and The Dude With The Headband. Whoever gets the most match predictions correct gets ultimate bragging rights and to hold our prestigious (plastic Target purchased) championship belt until the next contest, which at the rate WWE keeps adding PPVs will be sometime in the next week, but I digress.
All of us are pretty well invested in the WWE product. As a fan of the product for almost 20 years, you’d think I’d be better at predicting what WWE will do. I have a hard time differentiating in my head what I think WWE WILL do from what I WANT WWE to do. It can be tricky. I’m usually pretty in the wrong, but I’m going to do my best to alter that with this show. Wish me luck! (Sorry Chris and Dude, but you clearly are going to lose this time.)
Match #1: Rich Swann & Sasha Banks VS Noam Darr & Alicia Fox
Sasha and Alicia have traded wins on RAW for a few weeks, which brought much chagrin online over Sasha’s usage lately. I actually appreciate WWE attempting to utilize Alicia Fox, though apparently, that means Nia Jax has to be left of camera too. I understand Nia’s Twitter rant over Smackdown Live being able to utilize all their female talent, though at least Raw is putting them in multiple segments on RAW, even if they feel very lackluster lately. Darr the boyfriend to Alicia, I really don’t see this match mattering much either way, so its possible the Heels could win, but ultimately it would mean more (though barely) if Sasha and the under utilized Rich Swann came out on top. Don’t be shocked if this gets bumped to the pre-show, especially since I hardly consider an inter-gender tag match an “extreme” rule.
Sam Jericho: Swann & Banks
Snarfkris: Swann & Banks
Dude WTHB: Swann & Banks
Match #2: Kendo Stick On a Pole Match for the WWE RAW Women’s Championship:
Alexa Bliss (c) VS Bayley
So a few things:
Wrestling with things on poles is just beyond silly, and hard to take seriously whatsoever, which is not a sentiment you want for a championship battle.
I really don’t like how they set up the weapon gimmicks for this PPV or others like the TLC show in December. Someone just arbitrarily grabs a weapon from ringside once, then it gets made the weapon allowed in a match, never to be used or seen again afterwards. I know its wrestling, but it comes off so contrived.
I didn’t even watch the “This Is Your Life” segment from RAW, and I still feel like I’m in agonizing pain, as if from a Reaver attack on Serenity (look up Joss Whedon). If you didn’t see it, keep it that way.
All that being said, I really like both of these ladies. Alexa Bliss has really grown into someone who the company clearly wants to build around. Bayley, I still think could be the women equivalent to John Cena. I think her push was rushed and now they really need to rinse and start over. Having Bayley win here wouldn’t really help. I think a rehash of her work with the Boss from NXT really is the way to go. This is all fantasy booking of course, which usually results in people getting their hopes up then complaining about it later. I won’t do that, but it also isn’t going to sway me from thinking keeping the belt on Bliss is the right call.
Sam Jericho: Alexa Bliss
Snarfkris: Alexa Bliss
Dude WTHB: Bayley
Match #3: Submission Match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship:
Neville (c) VS Austin Aries
I really love both of these guys. Their chemistry is great and their matches have been underrated, partially due to the cruiserweight division not really seeming like cannon with the rest of the RAW roster. The relatively small number of matches on this card hopefully means more time is given to each match, this match in particular. This will be their 3rd straight match on PPV. Conventional wisdom would say it’s hard to say Austin Aries would challenge Neville three times in a row and never come out on top. That sort of this hardly ever happens. in fact, the only time i can actually think of it off the top of my head is the Batista/Triple H matches from 2005. However, because that thought keeps sticking out in my head, I’m going to go against the grain and stick with Neville. He’s just so awesome in this role. I love you, Aries, but you aren’t a match for the King of the Cruiserweights.
Sam Jericho: Neville
Snarfkris: Austin Aries
Dude WTHB: Austin Aries
Match #4: WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
(If Dean Ambrose gets disqualified, Miz becomes Intercontinental Champion)
Dean Ambrose (c) VS The Miz
I really love(d) Dean Ambrose; his work in the shield convinced me he’d be the break out star of the group. However, Dean Ambrose as “champion” has never been thrilling. He’s been U.S. Champion and WWE Champion in addition to being IC Champ, but none of his reigns have ever been very “thrilling”. He’s far better suited in the chase. The Miz, however, really shined last year as Intercontinental Champion, and I really still don’t understand why they took if off him last January, other than so he’d be free for his mix tag match against John Cena and Nikki Bella at Wrestlemania. I think this is where they go back to what was working before. Sorry Dino.
Sam Jericho: The Miz
Snarfkris: The Miz
Dude WTHB: The Miz
Match #5: CAGE MATCH for the WWE RAW Tag Team Championship”
The Hardy Boyz (c) VS Sheamus + Cesaro
I really have enjoyed this rivalry. They Hardyz have been undefeated since their surprise return at Wrestlemania. They’ve been phenomenal. While Matt and Jeff are associated with Ladders maybe more exclusively that anything else, they actually are also classic cage match participants as well. I’d say they are involved with more great classic WWE Cage matches than most. Will one of them go flying off the top? Probably. However, a team that I think is a hidden gem in WWE despite being right out front is Sheamus and Cesaro. It’s a shame that great chant for them on the RAW after Wrestlemania 33 didn’t get traction, because they really deserve it. I never expected the Hardyz to hold the belts for too long. Hopefully this gets to be the barn-burner it can be if all four guys get to let loose.
Sam Jericho: Sheamus + Cesaro (Duh dah-duh duh-dah)
Dude WTHB: Hardyz
Match #6: Seth Rollins VS Samoa Joe VS Finn Balor VS Bray Wyatt VS Roman Reigns
In a lot of ways, this is a one match show, but it’s a pretty damn big match. I really do love star-studded multi-man matches with something big on the line, in this case the right to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship at the next RAW pay-per-view. Everyone involved could easily win. None of these guys are strangers to one another, which will lead to hopefully a nonstop pace until the end. If the rumors that Braun Strohman will be back sooner than later and face Lesnar at Summerslam, it probably will be for the Universal title, though not necessarily. That would mean whoever wins this won’t really stand a chance and will be involved in a one and done scenario with the Beast. Based on that, I think it’s possible any of these guys could fill the spot. Roman is possible to lead to more Braun involvement, but if they want to do Roman vs Brock at ‘Mania 34, they probably will save it. Bray Wyatt I think might be interesting since it would fit the scenario and it would probably be a shock, though not what I’d call a swerve. Sorry Joe, but not you, though I think it would be awesome. I really don’t know what they’re doing with Joe; he seems aimless, despite being in this matchup. Realistically, I think the favorites are between Finn Balor and Seth Rollins. Both Snarfkris and The Dude With The Headband picked the Irishman. Though I think Finn can keep building momentum, and having him lose to Brock right before he fights Braun is not how I’d use Mr. Balor (but that’s me). Seth has (or should) momentum from beating Triple H at Wrestlemania. I think that victory has been wasted, with him seeing directionless at the moment like his current “rival” Samoa Joe. I think Seth VS Brock, unbelievably two years after their forgettable class in the summer of 2015 (the match barely started before Undertaker interfered, causing a No Contest) would be interesting. I wouldn’t be as excited about it as other possibilities, but I think that’s where they are gonna do. I really shouldn’t be expecting WWE to take the most exciting route anyway, even if that’s a depressing admittance in more ways than I’d care to admit.
Sam Jericho: Seth Rollins
Snarfkris: Finn Balor
Dude WTHB: Finn Balor
I think it’s going to be a good show. The talent on RAW really is great; I just hope they give us something to sink our teeth into. Unfortunately, I really don’t think that’s going to happen on this show, even if WWE does have something big and interesting up their sleeve. Great Balls Of Fire is a more likely scenario (and typical time of year) that WWE chooses to do the turn in story direction. I think the in-ring work will be great. People will enjoy it. People will complain. I really just would like to get more than one pick right, but I’m not crossing my fingers.