Wayne Utterback writes about the WWE and sports entertainment at large for We Are Regal Radio
WWE presents its Extreme Rules Pay Per View this Sunday. Looking at the card, there are a handful of really great matchups with decent to good buildup. Let’s look at what we have scheduled this weekend.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin (No DQ match): This is the pre-show match, and I would expect Corbin to take this win and continue a path to bigger things. He’s got everything WWE wants in a guy, tall, brooding, tattooed, and easy to hate. Corbin should trounce Dolph, no doubt about it. I don’t see a lot of weapons playing into this.
Usos vs. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows (Texas Tornado match): You don’t get tornado matches often, so seeing all four guys in the ring at once with no tags means that this will be a frenzy. Gallows and Anderson have looked rather weak in recent weeks, losing easily and getting dropped repeatedly by Roman. They need this win. I hope these two teams get a real chance to tear the house down because they have all the factors in play to do so.
The New Day vs. The Vaudevillains (WWE Tag Team Title match): I’m surprised The Vaudevillains are slotted into this spot, but since Enzo got injured, I’m sure WWE felt like this is a good filler match until Enzo and Cass can slide back into the title hunt. The New Day will win this and hopefully they can move on to Enzo and Cass and let those two teams talk smack to each other.
Charlotte vs. Natalya (WWE Women’s Championship submission match): With the right amount of time, no outside intrusion, and a good stipulation, this match has all the potential to be great. Natalya being placed in this position probably means that she will lose. This feud has felt like a placeholder until Sasha Banks or Becky can step back into the title hunt. That’s not a knock on Natalya, I just don’t see her taking the title.
Kalisto vs. Rusev (United States Championship match): Kalisto is talented in the ring, but I still don’t feel he’s confident on the mic. Rusev is incredible and helped make the U.S. Title important again before losing it to Cena at Wrestlemania 31. Rusev has to win this match. He’s too good at everything he does to not be prominent on the card. Kalisto will feel better in the chase for a title, not as champion.
The Miz vs. Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn (Intercontinental Title match): These four have been attacking each other for weeks and it has made for some fun dynamics. It’s been good to see all of these men get screen time and opportunities to connect with the crowd.
Sami is picking up in popularity, Kevin Owens is just pristine in his role as an antagonist, Cesaro is just a beast and beating up three guys will only validate that, and Miz has done a great job of reasserting himself as a solid heel. Depending on what WWE wants to do with these guys, I could either see Cesaro or Miz taking the title here. Kevin is ready for main event fights and Sami, like Kalisto, will always be better in the chase of a title.
Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho (Asylum match): WWE essentially lifted TNA’s Lethal Lockdown concept and inserted it into a middling feud. Jericho does nothing for me as a wrestler anymore. He’s a great worker and he can talk, but he doesn’t seem to be fully into any of his most recent run. This feud feels anemic and all we can hope is that they beat the piss out of each other in this match.
Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles (WWE Championship Extreme Rules match): This is a match I’m excited about. These guys have been trading barbs and their buddies are helping make the situation less cut-and-dry. This match comes with some many extra elements, from weapons being legal to teammates coming out to shake up the fight.
I truly believe that AJ Styles has a chance at winning this thing. In the long run, that wouldn’t make a ton of sense, but I still believe it. More than likely, Roman will win, setting a feud against a returning John Cena or Seth Rollins.
For fans that don’t like Reigns, Styles represents a working man’s superstar, a guy who has battled his way to WWE and won’t stop until he takes the title. Say what you will about Roman, but he’s generated such a negative response that the person who knocks him off will be celebrated.
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