News Predicting the match order at Extreme Rules

Discussion in 'Wrestling News Feed' started by Wrestling News, Jul 14, 2018.

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    It’s one thing to predict the winners and losers at Extreme Rules 2018, but how about taking a guess at the match order on that card?

    WWE has announced 10 different matches for the main card of Extreme Rules 2018, excluding the Kickoff match featuring New Day and SaniTY.

    Here is my subjective view of how important each of these 10 segments rank on the Extreme Rules card, ordered from most important to least important.

    1. Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley
    2. Team Hell No vs. Bludgeon Brothers
    3. Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins
    4. AJ Styles vs. Rusev
    5. Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax
    6. Carmella vs. Asuka
    7. Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens
    8. Jeff Hardy vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
    9. Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin
    10. Deleters of Worlds vs. B-Team

    It is important to come up with a list like this to get an idea of which matches are going to be placed in the key spots on the card or take up the most time, and which matches might end up in the cool-down spots or be given the least amount of time.

    It’s tempting to drop the WWE Championship match beneath both Women’s Championship matches, because Asuka’s story has been placed in better time slots on SmackDown than the WWE Championship, while the Raw match has the Ronda Rousey factor. However, I think Styles and Rusev will get more time than the women’s matches, so I’m keeping the WWE Championship match on top.

    Main event

    This is at least the third straight WWE pay-per-view (PPV) without a clear main event match. Four matches all have a reasonable chance to close out this event.

    Reigns versus Lashley was given significant promotion this week as the main event match for Extreme Rules. The main problem holding it back is that there is no stipulation and nothing on the line.

    Rollins and Ziggler are having an Iron Man match for the Intercontinental Championship. It’s going to be 30 minutes long and Rollins certainly has the popularity of a main event star right now. The main counterpoint is that the Intercontinental Championship rarely ever main events WWE PPVs.

    Team Hell No is back together, which is a pretty big deal, and Bryan is certainly a big enough star to headline the event.

    And I always state that the WWE Championship match can never be ruled out for the main event spot, but perhaps I need to reconsider that assumption since that title has never actually main evented a dual-brand PPV.

    Opening match

    The opening match of the night is usually one of the mid-level attractions with good work rate that doesn’t require a dedicated video package ahead of time to hype it up.

    I’ve mulled this over and have concluded that Extreme Rules 2018 is the most difficult PPV I have ever tried to predict the match order for. Besides not feeling super confident in the main event match, I can’t even narrow down the opening match to fewer than 5 possibilities. I feel about as lost as Kurt Angle looks when he’s trying to use an iPhone.

    Corbin’s match and the Raw tag title match aren’t important enough for the opening spot, and I can’t really see the WWE Championship, Roman Reigns, or Ronda Rousey getting placed this early on the card. That leaves Rollins, Carmella, Strowman, Nakamura, or Hell No for consideration as the opening match of the night.

    Miz and Ambrose opened last year’s card with a 20-minute IC Title match, so I don’t think it’s crazy to say Rollins and Dolph might kick off the night with a 30-minute IC Title match.

    Then there is Daniel Bryan, who is so popular by himself that one of his matches with Big Cass actually opened a PPV.

    Nakamura versus Hardy seems like a potentially ideal PPV opener. No video package is needed for this one, and it’s a championship match with good work rate. My hesitancy is that I only have it ranked as the 8th most important match of the night, so perhaps WWE will choose something a little higher on the list.

    The spectacle of Ellsworth in a shark cage is decent material for the opening match, but this match seems like it will probably receive one of those dedicated video packages.

    The build to Strowman versus Owens has been so bizarre that I just have no clue where to place it.

    It’s hard to narrow it down, so I’m just going to throw my hands in the air and instead work from the end of the card and move towards the beginning.

    That gives me the following card:

    Segment 1: ?????
    Segment 2:
    Segment 3:
    Segment 4:
    Segment 5:
    Segment 6:
    Segment 7:
    Segment 8:
    Segment 9:
    Segment 10: Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley

    Working Backwards

    I think the WWE Championship match and Ronda Rousey will both be placed towards the end of the night. Considering that Styles versus Rusev doesn’t have much heat to it, I don’t think a cool-down match is needed towards the very end of the night. I’ll slot in Ronda after the WWE Championship match since she is the biggest star in the company. It seems reasonable to just the end the night with these two matches and the main event.

    That gives me the following card:

    Segment 1: ?????
    Segment 2:
    Segment 3:
    Segment 4:
    Segment 5:
    Segment 6:
    Segment 7:
    Segment 8: AJ Styles vs. Rusev
    Segment 9: Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax
    Segment 10: Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley

    Rollins or Hell No

    I think it makes sense to put something important in Segment 6 and then throw in a cool-down match in Segment 7 before getting to the three big matches at the very end of the night. That means either Rollins or Hell No will go in Segment 6. As far as the cool-down match goes, I don’t think WWE should place two tag matches back-to-back. That means Hell No would be followed by Corbin’s match, while Rollins would be followed by Wyatt’s match.

    Ultimately I think WWE will opt to keep Rollins as far away from Reigns as they can, so that means Hell No gets Segment 6 and Corbin gets Segment 7.

    That gives me the following card:

    Segment 1: ?????
    Segment 2:
    Segment 3:
    Segment 4:
    Segment 5:
    Segment 6: Team Hell No vs. Bludgeon Brothers
    Segment 7: Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin
    Segment 8: AJ Styles vs. Rusev
    Segment 9: Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax
    Segment 10: Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley

    Just about everything else

    There are only four SmackDown matches on this card so I don’t think any of them need to placed in consecutive segments. Therefore I need a Raw match in Segment 5. I don’t think I need to place Rollins so closely to Hell No, so I’ll stick Strowman in Segment 5.

    I’m going to put Rollins and Wyatt in consecutive segments, and if I want to make sure my two remaining SmackDown matches don’t run back-to-back, then Rollins must go in Segment 2 while Wyatt goes in Segment 3.

    That gives me the following card:

    Segment 1: ?????
    Segment 2: Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins
    Segment 3: Deleters of Worlds vs. B-Team
    Segment 4:
    Segment 5: Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens
    Segment 6: Team Hell No vs. Bludgeon Brothers
    Segment 7: Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin
    Segment 8: AJ Styles vs. Rusev
    Segment 9: Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax
    Segment 10: Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley

    Getting back to the opening match

    The last thing I need to do is decide on Shinsuke or Carmella for the opening match. Considering there is a steel cage involved in Strowman’s match in Segment 5, I am not going to put the shark cage right next to it in Segment 4. That means Carmella and Asuka will open the show.

    Finalized card

    So here is my final prediction for the match order at Extreme Rules, along with guesses on the bell-to-bell match times.

    Segment 1: Carmella vs. Asuka (11 minutes)
    Segment 2: Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins (30)
    Segment 3: Deleters of Worlds vs. B-Team (7)
    Segment 4: Jeff Hardy vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (12)
    Segment 5: Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens (10)
    Segment 6: Team Hell No vs. Bludgeon Brothers (15)
    Segment 7: Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin (9)
    Segment 8: AJ Styles vs. Rusev (16)
    Segment 9: Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax (11)
    Segment 10: Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley (17)

    10 matches means this card should easily reach 4 hours in length. A total match time in the 125 to 140 minute range seems plausible, and these times add up to 138 minutes.

    That’s my prediction for the match order at Extreme Rules. What’s yours?

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