WWE’s first pay-per-view since Summer festival will take place Sunday night when the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, will host Extreme Rules.
The 2021 edition of Extreme Rules exists largely as a bridge between Summer festival season and WWE’s biggest fall events. The WWE Draft, WWE’s return to Saudi Arabia and Survival series all will take place over the next two months.
October’s first game Crown jewel Saudi Arabia has already been announced, with Roman Reigns set to face Brock Lesnar. But before that happens, Reigns will defend his universal championship against “The Demon” Finn Bálor in an Extreme Rules match in Sunday’s PPV main event. The game should be excellent, but much of the intrigue revolves around whether Lesnar will appear in Extreme Rules.
Lesnar returned to WWE facing Reigns in Summer festival. Since Reigns lined up with former Lesnar defender Paul Heyman, a feud between Reigns’ heel and a Lesnar babyface has made sense. The story is easy to tell. Can Reigns trust that Heyman is really with him and will not return to Lesnar? Reigns has questioned why Heyman didn’t know Lesnar would be in Summer festival. Extreme Rules It could further fracture that relationship if Lesnar shows up despite Heyman saying he won’t be there.
Extreme Rules will also follow up on the most controversial moment of Summer festival. Following Becky Lynch’s surprise 26-second victory over Bianca Belair to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship, the two will meet in a rematch on Sunday.
Lynch vs. Belair may be the most anticipated match of the night in Extreme Rules. This is a chance for Lynch and Belair to have the kind of extended match that didn’t happen in Summer festival. Aside from that lightning-fast fight, it will be Lynch’s first televised match since announcing her pregnancy and taking time out of WWE in May 2020.
The way that Belair lost in Summer festival It was a dubious decision, but it led to her getting a lot of sympathy from the audience. If Lynch had to turn around, winning the Belair title the way he did was the only real chance it would work. Belair is already established as one of WWE’s top stars, but this feud with Lynch could take her to an even higher level. The crowd dynamics for your match will help you know if Lynch being a heel has long-term potential.
Here’s a look at the first six matches announced for Extreme Rules, along with the predictions for each match.
Fight for the universal championship: Roman Reigns vs. “The Demon” Finn Bálor (fight ‘Extreme Rules’)
Of the matches that have been announced for Extreme Rules, Reigns vs. Bálor is the only one with a tough stipulation. That stipulation, the resurgence of Bálor’s “Demon” alter ego, and the possibility of Lesnar appearing add something of interest to a match in which the outcome is not in doubt. Although WWE has said that Reigns vs. Lesnar at Crown Jewel will be a non-title fight if Reigns loses the universal championship to Bálor, there is no possibility of that actually happening.
Hopefully Bálor doesn’t get lost in the confusion after losing to Reigns. It’s understandable that Reigns vs. Lesnar is WWE’s priority, but Bálor is one of the best wrestlers in the company and should be a constant main participant. A move to Raw in the WWE draft, which begins less than a week later Extreme Rules, could help Bálor get over this loss quickly.
Prediction: Roman Reigns retains
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair
Belair has to defeat Lynch soon. If he doesn’t, Belair loses in 26 seconds in Summer festival it was undoubtedly a mistake and it will do much to damage your credibility. A loss like that only makes sense if Belair regains his victory.
But Extreme Rules it probably won’t be where it happens. It would be difficult for Lynch’s heel personality to function if he loses in his first real game. Instead, it would be best if Lynch cheated for the win. Another illegitimate loss won’t hurt Belair too much if he wins a decisive win against Lynch in their next match.
Prediction: Becky Lynch retains
Raw women’s championship match: Charlotte Flair vs. Alexa Bliss
The two games for the women’s title in Extreme Rules they are poles opposed to each other. While Lynch vs. Belair is a match that could become the main event of WrestleMania, the character of Alexa Bliss should not be in the title image. The construction of Extreme Rules has seen Bliss and her doll Lilly try to play mind games with Charlotte Flair, including Bliss giving Flair her own “Charly” doll. It’s the kind of feud that Bliss fans will like, but it turns off all viewers who aren’t interested in her character. Bliss plays the role well, but there’s no reason for the Raw women’s championship to get involved in what she’s doing.
The women’s division of SmackDown has long surpassed that of Raw. The draft will be a good opportunity to balance things out and get Flair to have more challengers to work with.
Prediction: Charlotte Flair retains
United States Championship: Damian Priest vs. Sheamus vs. Jeff Hardy
Damian Priest won the United States title by defeating Sheamus in Summer festival. This was going to be a rematch until Jeff Hardy was added to make him a triple threat. The addition of Hardy, whom Priest has already defeated during his reign of the title, seems like it may be a way to extend the past of the feud between Priest and Sheamus. Extreme Rules.
Priest’s transition from NXT to the main roster has been one of the most successful calls in recent memory. This is not the time for Priest to drop the American title. He should lose him only when WWE is ready to push him onto the world championship scene.
Prediction: Damian Priest retains
SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Usos vs. The Street Profits
The Street Profits defeated The Usos twice before Extreme Rules, but both victories came by disqualification. Hopefully this match will have a better ending.
The Usos and The Street Profits are the top two tag teams on Slap. If The Street Profits aren’t rebranding in the draft, they should be the team to take the SmackDown tag team titles from The Usos.
Prediction: The Street Profits wins
Liv Morgan vs. Carmella
A singles match featured on pay-per-view will highlight Liv Morgan as a well deserved spotlight. She is ready to step up and become a star in the women’s division. Depending on which brand he ends up drafting, Morgan would be a good challenger for Becky Lynch or Charlotte Flair.
Prediction: Liv Morgan wins
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.