To counteract the rundown of the superstars missing from the Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live rosters for Extreme Rules 2018, let’s talk about the lucky few who will be booked to not only perform, but likely steal the show in some fashion.
This could be in a scripted or non-kayfabe sense when factoring in everything from pure wins and losses to how much emphasis someone is given, to their momentum carrying over after the event, match performance quality and pretty much everything that could get people to talk about these particular men and women more than anybody else.
When looking at the card currently scheduled for the pay-per-view, this is my shortlist for the superstars who will stand out at Extreme Rules 2018.
Roman Reigns / Bobby Lashley
When it comes to who WWE would probably want to come out looking like the most important, you have to assume it’s either Roman Reigns or Bobby Lashley.
This is probably going to be the main event, which already puts it high on the likelihood that WWE will make it a top priority. There’s also implications for SummerSlam and Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship to factor in.
Based off what happened, with only Lashley and Reigns being booked for the supposed “multi-man match”, and then being in this position, it makes you wonder if the whole point of that match was going to be just to highlight only these two, and WWE opted to just get rid of everyone else in advance.
If that’s the case, then we could see a no-contest type finish with both men looking strong.
Until Shinsuke Nakamura picked up this feud with Jeff Hardy, I was sure Andrade “Cien” Almas would be the next United States champion.
Instead, he beat up Sin Cara and didn’t do a single thing with that until this very week, whether because WWE has nothing in mind for him other than that and doesn’t know how to utilize him past that point, so they’re stalling, or because of some other reason we’re not privy to.
After all that Nakamura’s failed to accomplish this year post-Royal Rumble, I’m thinking he needs the US title, and he’ll be taking over that spot that Almas would have been in.
If you win a title, you’ve made an impact on the card, that’s for sure.
Look at what I just said, and apply the same thing to Asuka, to a certain extent.
Following her loss at WrestleMania, she’s lost two more times, and while it hasn’t completely killed her character, it’s certainly done nothing but hurt her credibility and her value.
To offset this, winning the SmackDown Women’s Championship from Carmella is the best way to get her back on track.
I don’t think this is a guarantee, as I do feel there’s a chance Becky Lynch wins the title from Carmella instead, in order to set up a match against Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series, but I do think Asuka vs. Rousey makes a lot of sense, too.
Plus, I happen to think Asuka is going to turn heel sometime this year, and if she’s a heel champion, it gives her a much better package than what she has going on right now.
Team Hell No
While they’ll fail to capture the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, there’s no way Daniel Bryan and Kane leave this event without being two of the more talked about performers.
Hell, they’re the two on the poster, and they’re fighting for the B-show’s tag titles!
I expect The Miz to make a run-in—even though he has the baseball game ahead of time—to cost them the win and allow The Bludgeon Brothers to retain, but people will be talking about Daniel Bryan and Kane more than they will Harper and Rowan.
Plus, I’m expecting a backstage segment with Dr. Shelby, where Team Hell no will even overtake Sasha Banks and Bayley.
Shared Glory: Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler
If you’re looking for two people go out there and steal the show on pure in-ring ability, this is the match you’re going to have to keep your eyes peeled for.
I’m trying not to get myself too hyped for it and build my expectations to a level that can’t be reached, but I do have high hopes that it will deliver and be the best segment of the evening as far as a performance goes.
I expect Dolph Ziggler to retain the title, but not look like the true better of the two, as I think Drew McIntyre will cause some sort of interference that makes all the difference, meaning both Ziggler and Seth Rollins will leave this match looking like gold.
- Ronda Rousey will be the most featured person in the Raw Women’s Championship match other than Alexa Bliss herself, or perhaps even still above her.
- Braun Strowman will be one of the more entertaining people in the night in his steel cage match against Kevin Owens
- I’m so hesitant to put The B-Team down here as potential winners of the Raw Tag Team Championship, as I think we have two other titles changing hands, but I do think it’s a possibility. If Asuka and/or Nakamura don’t win, Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas definitely could.
Those are my picks, but who do you think will end up being the primary focal points? Drop your predictions in the comments below!