Following the go-home edition of SmackDown Live, we can now look at the list of WWE superstars from the blue brand who will be missing from the 2018 Extreme Rules show—at least, as far as what is currently being advertised.
There is always a chance more people are added to the mix or there is some kind of change to the card later this week or even at the last minute, but for now, this post will fill you in on the men and women who are either guaranteed to be left off the show or are at least in danger of that happening.
Some of these omissions make perfect sense and others are a bit more questionable, so let’s take a look at the list and see where these wrestlers fall as we breakdown the SmackDown Live talent missing from the pay-per-view lineup right now.
From the SmackDown Men’s Singles Division
—Aiden English: Technically, Aiden English isn’t booked for the card, but we all know he’ll be making an appearance accompanying Rusev to the ring and introducing him.
—Andrade “Cien” Almas (with Zelina Vega) / Sin Cara: Since WWE postponed this feud as long as they did, there wasn’t enough momentum to bring it onto this card instead of on SmackDown television.
—James Ellsworth: Similar to Aiden English, we can expect James Ellsworth in the corner of Carmella for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
—The Miz: Supposedly, The Miz will be at participating in the MLB All-Star Legends & Celebrity game in Washington, D.C. on July 15th. It’s not entirely impossible for him to hop on a flight and go to Pittsburgh for Extreme Rules, particularly to interfere in the Team Hell No match, but since he isn’t being advertised, we should take it at face value.
—R-Truth: For the past several months, R-Truth has been out of action dealing with injuries. He popped up once or twice for backstage segments, but that’s it.
—Randy Orton: The Apex Predator is currently sitting on the shelf with an injury that may keep him out until at least SummerSlam, if not longer.
—Samoa Joe: I’m convinced Samoa Joe will be the next opponent for AJ Styles, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he were to attack The Phenomenal One to make a statement after the WWE Championship match.
—Shelton Benjamin: The Gold Standard has been missing in action for quite a while. As he isn’t a top priority, this is likely a situation of creative having nothing for him.
—Tye Dillinger: The Perfect 10 is one of those guys that WWE only seems to use on house shows on a regular basis, but won’t appear on SmackDown itself for weeks at a time. I happen to think he’s underrated and underutilized, but I can see why, in the co-branded event structure, he’s not being given any storylines that can translate to pay-per-view matches, because there are bigger fish to fry.
From the SmackDown Women’s Division
—Becky Lynch: I’m 50/50 on thinking Lynch will be the next SmackDown women’s champion more than Asuka. She’s been getting a few steady wins to build some momentum, and I think she’ll be a presence at SummerSlam, but she’s not in the midst of a noteworthy feud right now.
—The IIconics: Since coming up to the main roster, The IIconics haven’t been on a single pay-per-view. Very interesting. Neither of them even had a spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match. Is that a bad sign for their future, or is it just a product of too many other things that are taking priority?
—Charlotte Flair: Charlotte Flair is taking time off to heal from surgery. As far as I’m aware, no official timetable has been released on her return.
—Lana: Lana could very well make an appearance on this card either in a backstage segment or ringside in support of Rusev. Other than that, she has nothing going on.
—Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville: Both members of Absolution are without a storyline at the moment. There’s no reason for them to show up here, as they have no feuds, other than possibly Becky Lynch, who isn’t doing anything as an alternative.
—Naomi: In typical fashion, winning the WrestleMania battle royal means nothing. Naomi filled a spot in the Money in the Bank and was promptly pushed aside after that. Typical.
—Nikki Bella: Outside of the Royal Rumble and Total Divas/Bellas, we haven’t seen Nikki Bella. Per normal, this should be considered a bet to continue going forward.
—Tamina Snuka: Tamina is currently still out from her injury at the beginning of this year. Since she rarely ever has much of a focal point put on her anyway, it’s best she stays out until there’s a reason to bring her back.
From the SmackDown Tag Team Division
—The Usos: Personally, I would have rather seen The Usos paired up with SAnitY, as that feud started first and it would save The New Day for later on in the year or in 2019. Instead, Jimmy and Jey are sitting this out with nothing else to do, and no room left on the card for something more random.
—The Bar: Without having anything to sink their teeth in, there’s no reason for Sheamus and Cesaro to be wrestling and banging themselves up on SmackDown every week. It’s better to keep them out of the mix until they can serve a purpose.
—The Colons: Epico has been out for so many months with his injury, and Primo had one before that, to the point where I’ve just lost track of them entirely. Frankly, I don’t think anybody misses them, and I’m surprised we haven’t heard of their release yet.
—The Good Brothers: Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were given their spontaneous mini-push last month in order to give The Bludgeon Brothers someone to meet. After that, they reverted back to the status quo of practically not existing. It makes you wonder why WWE felt the need to sign them if they clearly never had much of an intention to utilize them.
Do you think these men and women or any others not on this list should have been booked on the card in some fashion? How would you have utilized them if given the opportunity? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!