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 2019 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!
Winners Take All Mixed Tag Team Extreme Rules Match for the Universal and Raw Women’s Championships: Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch (c) vs. Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans = Lukewarm
This is a mouthful of a description for this match, isn’t it?
Am I sick of seeing the same matches over and over again? Of course. Is slapping “extreme rules” onto this a lame method of making it a hardcore style match? Sure. But hey, it’s still a “weird stipulation” and I have to give them credit for doing something different that doesn’t happen all that often, as well as something that makes quite a bit of sense…minus the fact that Evans clearly lost to Lynch twice with no wiggle room to say she is owed a rematch.
So I’m splitting the difference. This isn’t a Hot, but it isn’t a Cold. It’s in the middle range, where I’m willing to give WWE the benefit of the doubt that this might be interesting.
Prediction: Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch win.
WWE Championship Match: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Samoa Joe = Hot
I used to be more nervous that Kingston would drop the title here to Brock Lesnar, who would cash in his Money in the Bank contract after a grueling hardcore match of sorts, in order to set up an appearance at SummerSlam.
Instead, now that it’s Samoa Joe who will face Kingston, I don’t think that will happen. I imagine Lesnar will show up at SummerSlam to win the title, instead, and this match will be able to just be what it can be without factoring in that cash-in.
And that’s great! I’m a big fan of both Joe and Kofi, and I’m excited to see what they can do together. This is a fresh match with two guys who normally aren’t given this sort of spotlight and are still not boring to me, so I’m 100% down.
Prediction: Kofi Kingston wins.
No Holds Barred Match: Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre = Lukewarm / Cold
I’ve been sick of this Shane McMahon storyline for months now, I haven’t wanted to see McIntyre and Reigns do anything together at WrestleMania or past that point (as I feel they’re wasting what could have been a solid program for the Universal Championship down the line and this isn’t doing anything for me) and as much as Taker is my #2 favorite of all time, he isn’t the same guy he used to be.
On paper, and from the bubble perspective of “how WWE views everything right now”, this match is supposed to be monumental, but I just can’t bring myself to really care as much as they want me to.
Side note: It’s funny how WWE thinks having Extreme Rules and No Holds Barred and Triple Threat and all should be different style matches, as if we’re fooled by that phrasing into thinking it’s anything but all No Disqualification. Whatever. At least that stipulation will help this match with its flexibility.
Prediction: Roman Reigns and The Undertaker win.
SmackDown Women’s Championship 2-on-1 Handicap Match: Bayley (c) vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross = Cold
I’m less interested in the match and more interested in where they go afterward, which means I just want to hit the fast-forward button.
There are only three possible places this goes.
1) Bliss wins the title and continues to have Cross at her side and they drag out the inevitable split.
2) Bliss wins the title and drops Cross, and we have either Cross/Bliss or Cross/Bliss/Bayley at SummerSlam.
3) Bayley retains the title and the plan is to have Sasha Banks return and do something.
I really hope we don’t just see Bliss lose, only for Cross to try to win her back again and repeat exactly what happened at Stomping Grounds. That will just show that WWE keeps stalling and doesn’t have a plan of what to do next.
In any scenario, I’m just not feeling it. That’s a shame, as this story was one of the better ones for Stomping Grounds. I get that the purpose of the feud is that we should be asking why Bliss gets the title shot, but that shouldn’t translate to “and I don’t really want to see a repeat of what we saw before, so can we just skip this and get to the next part of the story instead of dragging it out?” WWE wants me to be angry at Bliss for taking the title shot, and I’m just unenthusiastic toward WWE for having written this onto the card, instead.
Prediction: Bayley retains the title.
United States Championship Match: Ricochet (c) vs. AJ Styles = Hot
These two are great athletes. There’s no reason to think they’ll have anything but a great match.
Do they give the title to Styles and go with the heat, despite how Ricochet could use a stronger title reign to make sure people know he’s someone to get invested in? Or do they go with Ricochet coming out on top to prove himself, despite how that makes it harder to continue this feud going forward?
Curious. But I’ll be checking out the match along the way, that’s for sure, and hoping they don’t cop out with a disqualification to stall things like they’ve done a lot over the past few years in these sorts of scenarios.
Prediction: Ricochet wins.
Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The Revival (c) vs. The Usos = Hot / Lukewarm
I know these two teams are insanely talented and will put on a great show, if given the time and flexibility to work with. There’s no doubt in my mind about their performance levels.