News Predicting the match order at Extreme Rules

Wrestling News

The People's Champion
Legend
17,299
1,117
1,318
75,474.65

It’s one thing to predict the winners and losers at Extreme Rules 2019, but how about taking a guess at the match order on that card?

WWE has announced 10 different segments for this event. 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. Lynch & Rollins vs. Evans & Corbin
  2. Undertaker & Reigns vs. McMahon & McIntyre
  3. Ricochet vs. AJ Styles
  4. Kofi Kingston vs. Samoa Joe
  5. Bayley vs. Bliss & Cross
  6. Bryan & Rowan vs. New Day vs. Heavy Machinery
  7. Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley
  8. Cesaro vs. Aleister Black
  9. The Revival vs. The Usos
  10. Drew Gulak vs. Tony Nese

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.

The top two tag matches are clearly the most important matches on this card. Undertaker’s match has more star power while Corbin’s match has all the championship stakes. I’m giving a slight edge to Corbin due to the potential for Brock Lesnar’s involvement.

I’m slotting Ricochet and Styles ahead of the WWE Championship match because the Styles heel turn angle felt like a huge deal, and also because Kofi Kingston is apparently dealing with a bad back. With that latter point in mind, I expect Styles and Ricochet to be given more time on the card.

Sorry, cruiserweights

It looks like there will be no other matches added to the card, which means at least one of these 10 fights will end up on the pre-show. I’m expecting a repeat of Stomping Grounds, where WWE throws the cruiserweights onto the pre-show without much advance notice.

That means for the remainder of this exercise I will consider the main card of Extreme Rules to consist of nine segments, and Gulak’s match will be ignored.

Main event

This comes down to either Undertaker or Corbin, and I’ve been going back and forth on this one all week.

On the one hand, Undertaker and Roman Reigns are arguably bigger stars than anybody in Corbin’s match. We just saw a terrible main event at Stomping Grounds between Rollins and Corbin that was refereed by Evans and saw interference from Lynch. I’m thinking Vince McMahon probably summoned Undertaker for Extreme Rules because Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans are completely miscast as main event stars and something different was needed to headline Extreme Rules.

On the other hand, there really aren’t any stakes in Undertaker’s match. Corbin’s match has two championships on the line as well as a potential Money in the Bank cash-in looming. If Brock Lesnar is going to show up and take Seth’s title, it will probably close out the show.

I don’t think Brock Lesnar is showing up at Extreme Rules, so I’m giving the main event spot to the Undertaker.

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.

The three best candidates for the opening match are Bryan, Strowman, or Cesaro.

I think it makes sense to open a card dubbed Extreme Rules with something extreme, so I’m choosing the Last Man Standing match between Strowman and Lashley. These two guys just opened Raw a couple weeks ago with a memorable scene of destruction and explosions, and I think WWE should do that again at Extreme Rules. It doesn’t have to go very long, it just needs a spectacular finishing sequence.

That gives me the following card:

Segment 1: Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley
Segment 2:
Segment 3:
Segment 4:
Segment 5:
Segment 6:
Segment 7:
Segment 8:
Segment 9: Undertaker & Reigns vs. McMahon & McIntyre

Segments 2 and 3

One of the least important matches of the night usually ends up in Segment 2. In this case that would mean the Usos or Cesaro. Considering the backlog of tag matches later in the card, I think it’s best to get one out of the way here, so I’m going with the Usos in Segment 2.

It’s tempting to go with one of the bigger matches in Segment 3, but none of them feel quite right to me yet. Therefore I’m going to put Black and Cesaro in Segment 3, and will likely stack the back of the card with all of the most important matches. I think WWE should be careful to avoid burying Black’s match in the second half of the card and accidentally turning it into a cool-down match.

That gives me the following card:

Segment 1: Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley
Segment 2: The Revival vs. The Usos
Segment 3: Cesaro vs. Aleister Black
Segment 4:
Segment 5:
Segment 6:
Segment 7:
Segment 8:
Segment 9: Undertaker & Reigns vs. McMahon & McIntyre

Everything else

None of the five remaining matches are cool-down matches, so I’m just going to stack this thing in order of importance the rest of the way.

Bayley and Bryan seem like the most appropriate choices for Segments 4 and 5. I’m not sure that the order really matters, so I’ll get back to that later.

With Undertaker’s match already chosen as the main event, I’m going to throw Corbin’s match in Segment 8. I don’t really see the upside of putting Kingston or Ricochet’s championship matches in between those two tag bouts.

That leaves Segments 6 and 7 for Kingston and Ricochet. I did rank Ricochet’s match as the more important one, but I think WWE has to try to stick to kayfabe and present the WWE Championship as the bigger deal, which means Ricochet gets Segment 6 and Kingston gets Segment 7.

The only thing left to do is decide the order between Bryan and Bayley in Segments 4 and 5. With Ricochet versus Styles now in Segment 6, I think Bayley should go right before it in Segment 5. The pacing of her handicap match will probably be quite different from what we get in Segment 6.

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: Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley (13 minutes)
Segment 2: The Revival vs. The Usos (10)
Segment 3: Cesaro vs. Aleister Black (9)
Segment 4: Bryan & Rowan vs. New Day vs. Heavy Machinery (13)
Segment 5: Bayley vs. Bliss & Cross (10)
Segment 6: Ricochet vs. AJ Styles (20)
Segment 7: Kofi Kingston vs. Samoa Joe (14)
Segment 8: Lynch & Rollins vs. Evans & Corbin (19)
Segment 9: Undertaker & Reigns vs. McMahon & McIntyre (18)

These times add up to 126 minutes, which means the main card of Extreme Rules will probably run between 3.5 to 4 hours.

That’s my prediction for the match order at Extreme Rules 2019. What’s yours?

Continue reading...
 

Log in

or Log in using