The Hardy Boyz (C) vs. Sheamus and Cesaro – RAW Tag Team Championship (Tag Team Steel Cage Match)
The team of Sheamus and Cesaro finally completed the heel turn that was anticipated from them for some time now against the Hardy Boyz, who robbed Sheamus and Cesaro of their chance at the RAW Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania, and they then proceeded to defeat Sheamus and Cesaro in a rematch. Now, I haven’t been tuning to RAW as often as I would like to as of recently, but from every confrontation that I have seen from those two teams, it appears as though that the Hardy Boyz have been the ones to get the edge, whether it is in brawl segments, tag team matches or even in singles competition. So one may very well say that The Hardy Boyz are due for a loss to Sheamus and Cesaro tonight.
However, if they WERE to win the titles back, who would be next in line to take off of them? Enzo and Cass maybe breaking up as there’s a possibility of Big Cass being revealed as Enzo Amore’s attacker in recent weeks, Heath Slater and Rhyno haven’t been featured nearly enough to be considered serious contenders afterward, and the Golden Truth just broke up. At the end of the day, it appears that there are more possibilities with the Hardy Boyz winning than there would be with Cesaro and Sheamus winning. BUT, something is telling me Sheamus and Cesaro achieve redemption. Can’t shake the feeling.
Winners: Sheamus and Cesaro
Alexa Bliss (C) vs. Bayley – RAW Women’s Championship (Kendo Stick on a Pole Match)
Alexa Bliss’ victory over Bayley after Payback came as a shock to many, but so far, she’s held the fort for the RAW Women’s Championship rather well in Charlotte’s absence. What Bliss doesn’t have in ring prowess that Charlotte brought to RAW, she makes up for in her segments and heel psychology (if we forego that god-awful “This is Your Life” segment). I can’t see Bayley winning the title back as of now, but perhaps at a future date.
To be honest, it’s really not a concern to me who wins or not, because my line of thinking is that Sasha Banks is going to get back into the Women’s Championship picture by the summer, and I think it will only be a matter of time before Bayley wins the title back so she can feud with Sasha, because believe it or not, the feud is coming. However, I say Alexa holds on to the title a little longer for now.
Winner: Alexa Bliss
Neville (C) vs. Austin Aries – Cruiserweight Championship (Submission Match)
This is probably the toughest match to predict on the card. One week before Extreme Rules, Austin Aries made Neville tap out in a tag team match, and then Neville made Austin tap out in a segment on 205 Live, so the winner is all up in the air. Nevile has been the Cruiserweight Champion since the Royal Rumble, and he has done a magnificent job of carrying the entire division on his back since then. He’s had great matches with Austin, and I’m thinking that if they get the time on this show, they can potentially steal the show, as they have shown tremendous chemistry with each other.
Every part of me wants to say that Austin will finally come away with the victory because Neville has gotten the better of Austin much more often than Aries has of Neville. Maybe Austin wins and then feuds with TJP afterward, but I’m banking on Neville holding on to it for a little longer.
Dean Ambrose (C) vs. The Miz w/Maryse – Intercontinental Championship (Dean Ambrose loses the title on a DQ)
The Miz finds himself in a familiar position, fighting for the Intercontinental Championship aiming to make it his 7th reign as champion (all of them coming since 2012). I wanted The Miz to stay on Smackdown LIVE, but as The Miz has proven he can do throughout his career, he can make lemonade out of lemons more than anyone else. Dean Ambrose has really been in flux since he won the Intercontinental Championship from the Miz early in January of this year, and really hasn’t found a solid niche as of yet, as he has bounced around in every area of the card throughout his career. Despite that, he finds himself facing a familiar foe with a stipulation that doesn’t grant him the champion’s advantage of retaining on a DQ (ironic because we are on a show called Extreme Rules).
The Miz is probably going to win here, just because there’s nowhere else that Dean can go, and if I had to venture where Dean would move on from here, I’d think that Elias Sampson can potentially play a role here. Perhaps he intentionally attacks The Miz, and they win that way. So I’ll go with The Miz winning his seventh IC title here through cheap wins and both men move their separate ways.
Winner: The Miz
Sasha Banks and Rich Swann vs. Alicia Fox and Naom Darr
I don’t really care for this feud, and I don’t really care for either one of these four at the moment, as this just seems to be a placeholder spot. I’d say Swann and Banks wins, just to give the faces a victory, but yeah, not much else to say here.
Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns – Extreme Rules Fatal Five Way Match
This match is a culmination of bad blood between each of these five men, who have been the stalwarts of Monday Night RAW since WrestleMania. Seth Rollins has been embroiled in a feud with Samoa Joe, the man who took him out in February and put his WrestleMania status in major jeopardy. Finn Balor returned from injury on the RAW after WrestleMania and has been on a journey to reclaim the Universal Championship that he never lost. Samoa Joe has become an enforcer on RAW, defeating and injuring anyone who comes in his way. He has also defeated the other four people in this match at some point. Bray Wyatt, a new face on Monday Night RAW, made a request to Kurt Angle on his first night to allow him to do what he pleases, and it appears he is on a quest to obtain the Universal Championship after a short-lived WWE Title reign. And finally, the big dog, Roman Reigns, coming off the biggest win of his career, a defeat of the Undertaker at WrestleMania, is not on to bigger pursuits, and that’s facing the Universal Champion Brock Lesnar.
To find out who will win this match, I would want to take who has the least momentum, because that’s how I do things. Roman Reigns has picked up singles victories over Seth Rollins and Finn Balor in the last couple of weeks. Samoa Joe has pinned Balor and knocked Seth out cold (and it’s surprising because according to betting odds, he is the favorite). With the winner facing Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship, I’d have to eliminate the obvious, being Roman Reigns, seeing as how the plan seems to be him against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania next year. So, he’s out. I don’t think Bray Wyatt is at the level where he will face Lesnar in a serious feud as of yet, so I’d hold off on him. Then, there’s the perceived betting favorite, Samoa Joe. Samoa Joe has rally only served as the muscle for Triple H as of yet and I don’t think he’s grown enough independently on the main roster to challenge Lesnar for the title now. So that leaves only two men, Seth Rollins and Finn Balor.
Seth Rollins has more than a case for the Universal Championship and can have his shot against Brock Lesnar, but seeing as how Finn never really did lose the Universal Championship, and considering the other possibilities, for me, it only makes sense that the Demon King wins to make for an interesting showdown.
Winner: Finn Balor
So, who’re your picks for tonight? Let me know, and tune into my post-PPV review as always. Thanks!