Welcome to another edition of WWE Heat Index, wherein we discuss the interest level for the various feuds heading into the pay-per-view events. This time around, we’re focusing on Extreme Rules 2018 coming this Sunday night.
The way this works is a pretty simple three-way breakdown of Hot, Lukewarm and Cold. If you like something and you’re very interested in how WWE is setting up the program, it’s Hot (aka Good). If you’re a bit on the fence about it and see some problems, but it’s not awful, then it’s just Okay or Lukewarm. The ones that are the most problematic that you have no interest in are Cold (aka Bad).
Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section to let everyone know what your thermometer reads for each feud as I tell you what my thoughts are below!
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley = Lukewarm / Cold
I would have rather seen a Six-Pack Challenge, for sure, but I’m at least intrigued about whether or not these two will have chemistry.
I’d be much more into this if it were a true No. 1 contender’s match, and/or if one of them was definitively heel, and/or if Lashley could cut a promo, and/or if Reigns was the champion at the time, and if this had a cool gimmick attached to it, and…well, you get the idea.
Just don’t give me some kind of b.s. ending where it’s a no-contest to set up a Triple Threat against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, just to protect Lesnar by having one of these two take the pin.
WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs. Rusev = Lukewarm
Even though I have no faith Rusev will win this—and I also don’t want him to—I’m still curious how WWE is going to book him.
For whatever reason, WWE remains adamant that Rusev needs to be a heel, despite the cheers from the crowd.
Essentially, he’s the opposite of Roman Reigns. In both cases, WWE is too stubborn to turn someone and might as well run a graphic on screen when they come out that says “We want you to do the opposite of what you’re doing right now.”
Will Rusev get a normal match, where he’s booked to look okay, but ultimately comes up short, or will he be fed to the wolf?
Raw Women’s Championship Extreme Rules Match: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Nia Jax = Lukewarm / Cold
Can I just skip to the part where Ronda Rousey gets involved? That’s the only thing that will matter.
Alexa Bliss retains, Nia Jax loses in a way that doesn’t make her look too weak, Rousey does something to Bliss, and we’re off to building Bliss vs. Rousey for SummerSlam. The end.
In the meantime, it’s just going to be a lot of Jax overselling what Bliss does to try to create a scenario where she doesn’t just squash her, and I don’t know if I want to sit through 15 minutes of that for I think the fourth time now.
Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The Deleters of Worlds (c) vs. The B-Team = Cold
The B-Team’s impressions of the Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt have been fun, but they’re becoming less and less interesting to me, which is the best way I can describe The Deleters of Worlds, themselves.
I’m so over that act, and I don’t think I’m alone in saying that if they dropped the tag titles, I wouldn’t care, even though part of me would be at least a little annoyed that the Raw Tag Team Championship will have gone from The Bar to a 10-year-old, to TWO joke tag teams in a row.
I really just want The Authors of Pain to wreck everyone and start to turn this division around.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Carmella (c) vs. Asuka = Lukewarm
I keep second-guessing myself when it comes to this match.
Part of me thinks it’ll be WWE’s attempt at undoing Asuka’s recent losses by having her win the title and starting a long reign that could go into WrestleMania, possibly including a heel turn along the way.
Then again, part of me thinks Becky Lynch is the next in line, and this will be an instance where all it accomplished was stalling, having Carmella retain once again, Asuka looking bad, and me feeling like I wasted time with a repeat.
I can’t go so far as Hot, but I’m leaning more towards Lukewarm now that they’ve announced the whole thing with James Ellsworth in a shark cage, as I hate that stipulation. I even had a whole section of this a few days ago dedicated to how “at least Drew McIntyre isn’t in a shark cage or something stupid” and had to go back and edit this, because they just couldn’t resist, could they? Dumb.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs. Team Hell No = Hot
Team Hell No was super fun, so I’m going to enjoy their time together in what I’m assuming will be a short stint.
The Bludgeon Brothers could use a good team to work with to put them over and give them a solid match to showcase their skills, and I have faith Kane and Daniel Bryan will be able to do just that.
While the ending should see some disappointment with Harper and Rowan retaining, I feel like we’ll look back on this as a fun little aside that really helped make The Bludgeon Brothers seem like they’re worth paying attention to.
United States Championship Match: Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura = Hot
If both guys are up to snuff and their injuries don’t get in the way, I think this can be quite a good match.
I’m also excited to see what I feel is a guaranteed title change and the first true step in rehabilitation for Shinsuke Nakamura, who spent the past 6 months having a carrot dangled in front of him.
This could be the sleeper segment for the show and one of the more solidly entertaining parts of the whole Extreme Rules package.
Intercontinental Championship 30-Minute Iron Man Match: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Seth Rollins = Hot
While Dolph Ziggler has been crapped on for quite a while for his character having such an extreme lack of progress, you can’t deny how good he can be in the ring, and when he’s paired up with Seth Rollins, it’s a surefire bet that these two will steal the show.