Now that we’ve gotten past Stomping Grounds, it’s time to return to a familiar PPV concept.
July 14 marks the date where the Superstars of Raw and SmackDown Live will turn things up a notch. New and ongoing feuds will erupt on this evening within WWE’s wildest stipulation matches. And all of these special rules encounters will fall under the Extreme Rules umbrella. This year’s installment is particularly exciting since The Undertaker will be on hand to compete in a tag team match with Roman Reigns. With his legendary presence alongside the rest of the WWE roster, Extreme Rules 2019 looks to be one of the most intense entries in recent memory.
Before we lay eyes on the destruction of Extreme Rules 2019, let’s take a look at all the announced matchups and pick the big winners.
Aleister Black vs. Cesaro
Predictions & Winner: Since joining the Blue Brand, Aleister Black has mainly been featured onscreen sending out verbal threats. For weeks now, he’s opted to verbally strike fear into the rest of the roster instead of competing in the ring. This sudden change of pace for the man who regularly competed alongside Ricochet is actually pretty cool and gives everyone a deeper look into Black’s psyche. Mere days before Extreme Rules, Black got an answer to his open challenge. And the challenger happens to be Raw superstar, Cesaro.
Cesaro’s been having a solid run on the Red Brand thus far. His matches against Ricochet and Cedric Alexander have been fun, plus he’s known for regularly popping the crowd with his incredible athleticism. He can always be counted on to deliver a good to great match against anyone and everyone. I’m fully prepared to witness Black and Cesaro bring the house down with a quality matchup that (hopefully) gets some decent time. Since Black is the latest main roster guy getting a huge push, he’s obviously walking away with the win here.
The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) (c) vs. The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship)
Predictions & Winners: We’re getting another Revival/Usos matchup? And this time it’s for the Raw tag team titles? COUNT ME IN! While their last bout at Super Showdown paled in comparison to the matches that came before it, it was still a decent watch. Both teams are incapable of stinking out the joint, so I know they’re going to be on their A-game during this title match. Honestly, the hotly contested matches between The Revival and The Usos have been one of the few reasons to check out Raw these days.
Jey and Jimmy Uso have gotten a few wins over Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder as of late. And of course, those wins have been put in place to make it seem as if The Usos are on the cusp of another title reign. But we’ve all been down this road before – the familiar babyfaces get a few wins under their belt before their next big title opportunity, only to fail in their attempt due to dastardly heel tactics by the champions. I see that exact scenario playing itself out right here with a Revival victory.
Drew Gulak (c) vs. Tony Nese (WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Imagine my surprise when Drew Gulak managed to win the Cruiserweight title at Stomping Grounds. Tony Nese may not have been setting the world on fire with his championship reign, but I figured he’d enjoy a lengthy run until SummerSlam at least. But 205 Live’s technical wrestling wizard finally won the brand’s top prize but did it by pinning Akira Tozawa instead of the champion himself. Now that Nese has overcome Tozawa once more, he’d be granted a one-on-one bout with the new champ.
Gulak and Nese have been day one guys for the purple and orange brand. It was cool witnessing Nese win the title at WrestleMania 35, plus its also been an unexpected pleasure to see Gulak finally claim that same prize. Gulak’s first title defense should (and most certainly will) result in him retaining his newly won title. So he’s obviously the easy pick here – Gulak is going to hold onto the Cruiserweight Championship since it wouldn’t make much sense for him to lose it mere weeks after winning it.
Daniel Bryan and Rowan (c) vs. The New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods) vs. Heavy Machinery (Otis and Tucker) (Triple Threat Tag Team Match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
Predictions & Winners: You gotta feel a little bad for Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. They got the win over The New Day at Stomping Grounds, which should have propelled them to earn a SmackDown Tag Team Championship at this show. But fate simply wasn’t on their side. Instead of getting the title shot they deserve, Owens was forced to tag with Dolph Ziggler and try to get past Heavy Machinery in order to enter the match that was originally between Daniel Bryan and Rowan and The New Day. Sadly, they were unable to beat the masters of steaks and weights. While I’m disappointed to see Owens and Zayn not being a part of this match, I’m happy to see Heavy Machinery get another shot at tag team gold (well, blue and silver actually).
So here we are – a triple threat match will decide the holders of the Blue Brand’s tag team prize. And considering the duos put into the spotlight here, I’m expecting a classic to unfold once the opening bell rings. The New Day is simply allergic to bad matches, Bryan and Rowan have been putting on quality bouts themselves while holding the titles, and Heavy Machinery showed just how good they are during their title shot at Stomping Grounds. I think this match will be the moment where Otis and Tucker finally get their hands on the tag team titles they’ve fought so hard to claim. I’m predicting an outcome here where one of Heavy Machinery’s members pins a member of The New Day to win, which will lead to the continued issues between the new champs and the former ones.
Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley (Last Man Standing Match)
Predictions & Winner: I may be in the minority here when I say this, but I’ve actually enjoyed Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley’s war thus far. I certainly didn’t care for their whole arm-wrestling debacle, but their big hoss clashes have been fun to watch. I especially liked their matchup at Super Showdown 2019 and got a kick out of seeing them tear through the Raw LED wall during their latest encounter. Now that both men have healed at an alarming rate, they’re looking to settle the score in a Last Man Standing match.
This brawl should kick all of the asses. With free reign to do anything and everything they can to hurt each other, Strowman and Lashley will pull out all the stops during this feud ender. Strowman has gotten the better of Lashley on multiple occasions, which leads me to believe that Lashley will be the one to come out on top here. It makes a whole lot of sense for the winner of this match to go on and face the current Universal Champion at SummerSlam. I’m going with Lashley for the win here to set up that marquee SummerSlam title bout and because he’s more than overdue for a major win over his massive foe.
Ricochet (c) vs. AJ Styles (WWE United States Championship)
Predictions & Winner: THE PHENOMENAL ONE HAS RETURNED TO THE DARK SIDE! After weeks of pep talks with his fellow “Good Brothers,” AJ Styles finally got back into the three-man stable fold with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. AJ’s friendly rivalry with United States Champion Ricochet took a mean left turn once the score between them reached a tie. AJ’s post-match beatdown of Ricochet during their second meeting led to AJ reverting back to his heelish ways. I’ve always enjoyed AJ with a harder edge and a penchant for dropping more disrespectful lines during his promo’s. An angry AJ versus a Ricochet with a lot to prove sounds like an amazing prospect.
This match should easily fulfill the high expectations placed upon it. Both men have provided us with two solid bouts thus far and I think the third time’s the charm. Even though Ricochet claimed the US Championship at the last PPV, I’m still sensing a title change here. A newly turned AJ with backup will find a way to screw Ricochet and cost him the title he just won. AJ’s desperation and harder edge will be Ricochet’s undoing on this evening. My predicted finish won’t lead to the end of this feud, however – it’ll continue in some capacity with six-man tag matches and a huge title rematch at SummerSlam.
Bayley (c) vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross (2-on-1 Handicap Match for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Thank the heavens that we don’t have to sit through another sleep-inducing Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss singles match. This time, the infinitely more interesting Nikki Cross has become a part of the situation and gotten herself involved in the title rematch’s proceedings. Bayley’s been having some solid bouts with Nikki these past few weeks, so her being added to this match to make it a Handicap affair sounds pretty interesting.
After experiencing a main roster high at this year’s Money in the Bank, I don’t see Bayley dropping her title to anyone anytime soon. I totally get it – Bliss is considered quite highly by WWE and they’re always keen to put her in the top spot on either brand. But I think WWE’s currently in the midst of repairing a broken Bayley and solidifying her even more on the Blue Brand. I’m predicting a Bayley win here that results in Alexa finally snapping on Nikki. I can already envision Bayley pinning Nikki, which will lead to Alexa taking out her frustrations on her once the bout concludes. This will lead into a new feud that sees Nikki go full babyface and battle against her former “best friend.”
Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs. Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon (No Holds Barred Match)
Predictions & Winners: After stinking up the joint at Super Showdown with Goldberg, it looks as if the “Deadman” wants to redeem himself. And he’s wasting no time in making sure he accomplishes that lofty goal. Just one month after WWE’s latest excursion to Saudi Arabia, The Undertaker popped up out of nowhere to assist Roman Reigns in his war against Shane McMahon and his cronies. One of Shane O’Mac’s most trustworthy allies happens to be Drew McIntyre, who just took a major loss to Reigns at Stomping Grounds. But this war must continue since Shane’s a major part of WWE’s current storylines, for some odd reason.
You all know how this one’s going to go, guys – with such a major return for one of WWE’s most noteworthy legends, there’s no way he’s taking any sort of loss here. The fact that The Undertaker is teaming with one of WWE’s top stars makes the end result of this one too easy to call. Drew and Shane will get definitely their licks in, no doubt. But don’t count on them getting the win here. ‘Taker and Reigns will be the ones posing in the dark together with their hands raised when this is all over.
Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Samoa Joe (WWE Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Poor Joe. The man never really got the chance to solidify his US Championship reign on two previous occasions. His first reign ended due to a screwy ref job finish. Then his second run with the belt got cut extremely short by an up and coming Ricochet. It seems like every time Samoa Joe starts to rev up, he gets his legs cut out from underneath him. While he’s still a force to be reckoned with (and one of the best promos in the company), Joe feels like a jobber to the stars at times. WWE’s non-sensical “Wildcard” rule that throws the Brand Split’s battle lines out of the window has led to this WWE Championship match. Joe (a Raw Superstar) will be taking on Kofi Kingston (a SmackDown Live Superstar) for the Blue Brand’s WWE Championship.
Confounding Brand Split rules aside, this matchup will be a good one. Joe’s always primed to deliver a hard-hitting bout against anyone and everyone. And Kofi’s spirited run as WWE Champion has resulted in him performing at a high level against numerous challengers. To say that this match will be one of the PPV’s best is a safe bet. WWE’s clearly in for the long haul when Kofi’s WWE Championship reign comes to mind. I say all that to say this – Joe will present Kofi with his biggest challenge to date, but Kofi will ultimately come out on top and remain SD Live’s top title holder.
Seth Rollins (WWE Universal Champion) and Becky Lynch (WWE Raw Women’s Champion) vs. Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans (Last Chance Winner Takes All Mixed Tag Team Extreme Rules Match for the WWE Universal Championship and the WWE Raw Women’s Championship)
Predictions & Winners: Here’s another case of “why is this feud still going on?” You’d think WWE would give the current Universal and Raw Women’s Champions new challengers to contend with. They handily defeated Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans, respectively. So it would have made a lot of sense for both Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch to engage with an entirely new challenger. Rollins taking on a returning Bray Wyatt and Becky going head to head with a returning Sasha Banks sound like interesting setups, right? Sadly, WWE chose to drive two feuds into the ground even further by mashing them together.
While Lacey’s matches with Becky have been pretty good, Rollins’ continued encounters with Corbin have been the cure for insomnia. But with the other three moving parts of this match on hand, they’ll hopefully give this bout a little bit of life and prevent Corbin from putting the crowd to sleep. The stakes are definitely high here – both titles are on the line and if the challengers lose, they won’t be able to challenge either Rollins or Becky ever again while they remain champion. I think (and hope) this will be the last time we see this combination for a good while once this wraps up. Rollins and Becky will handily defeat Corbin and Evans and move onto something more meaningful at this year’s SummerSlam.