WWE Extreme Rules 2017 Matches: Predicting Results That Will Anger Fans
WWE's Extreme Rules event is coming up on Sunday. It's Monday Night Raw's answer to Backlash, the SmackDown Live event that saw Jinder Mahal become the new WWE champion.
It won't be easy to top that moment in terms of surprise and shock value, so the Raw roster has some work to do.
But that may not be a problem, as the red brand's top stars are booked for Extreme Rules. Four of the six matches on the card are championship bouts. Only the Universal title will not be represented, but the main event to determine the No. 1 contender includes four former world champions.
The six-match format will surely provide more time for those former champs to tell a story in the ring, which is a good thing.
But while the main event may be the match of the night, the Cruiserweight Championship contest may steal the show. Of course the same can be said of the Raw Tag Team Championship match. There's more than one opportunity for WWE to give fans something to remember, and that's the most important part.
However, that does not mean everyone will come away happy from Extreme Rules.
It's not just about whether or not the babyfaces win; it's more about what fans deem should and should not happen. The booking decisions WWE makes will not only determine the immediate future of the Raw brand, but they will also determine how fans feel about the brand itself.
The competition between Raw and SmackDown Live is very real, and many fans believe the Tuesday night program has the edge. If Raw is to get ahead and become a more entertaining brand, then Extreme Rules must deliver.
Whether or not it will remains to be seen.
TJP Costs Austin Aries the Win over Neville
Neville and Austin Aries have been at war for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship since WrestleMania 33. The 205 Live stars have more bad blood between them than perhaps any other rivalry in WWE, and many fans have enjoyed the storyline thus far.
But though fans have been into this one, the addition of TJ Perkins has not been a welcome one.
TJP's transition from babyface to heel has been confusing to say the least. The former cruiserweight champion was once featured as the hot young star of the division, but he seemed to burn out rather quickly.
The crowd began to turn on him, so WWE made the change. But Perkins' subsequent alliance with Neville has not been a logical one. Neville is trying to protect his title, which is the only reason why he's aligned with TJP.
The only one who doesn't see that is TJP himself.
So while Perkins may or may not have a future with Neville, he shouldn't have an impact in this match. If Aries and Neville are tearing the house down only to be interrupted with outside interference from Perkins, then fans will surely not be happy.
If WWE's intent is to get Perkins over as a heel, then every step will be taken to make it happen. But if WWE wants to get the Cruiserweight Championship match over at Extreme Rules, then Perkins should be left out of it.
The Hardy Boyz Lose the Raw Tag Team Championships
Cesaro and Sheamus were over as a tag team. It was a moment that some believed would not happen, because of the hatred that's constantly leveled at The Celtic Warrior. But Sheamus became popular in spite of himself, and his partnership with Cesaro brought both men a new lease on life in the company.
But when The Hardy Boyz returned, they needed a heel tag team to feud with. So instead of continuing as faces, Cesaro and Sheamus made the turn.
Though they indeed had an immediate impact on The Hardyz, the time may not be right for Cesaro and Sheamus to regain the Raw Tag Team Championships. Matt and Jeff are incredibly over, and they continue to pop the crowd every time they're on TV.
While it may be cool to cheer the heels over the faces in many instances, that likely won't be the case in this match.
Fans don't want to see Matt and Jeff lose now. The Hardy Boyz have brought stability to the titles and have gotten them over more than any other duo on the Raw brand. To lose them now would be the wrong move.
Considering the match is inside a steel cage, it's all the more reason to keep the titles right where they are.
Gimmick matches give The Hardy Boyz an edge over their competition, because most of the time those matches are perfect environments for them. That's especially true of Tables, Ladders & Chairs matches, as they're one of the teams that first perfected the concept.
But if WWE decides to put over Sheamus and Cesaro at Extreme Rules, then fans will likely not be pleased. Matt and Jeff are still two of the most popular Superstars in the company, and that still means something to the WWE faithful.
Sasha Banks Takes the Pin in the Mixed Tag Team Match
Sasha Banks was on top of the world when she was feuding with Charlotte in WWE.
The Boss traded the Raw Women's Championship back and forth in a rivalry that saw both Superstars attain great heights. Their story will never be forgotten and will likely be told for years to come. But since that rivalry ended, Banks has been nowhere near the top.
Now she's in a mixed tag match at Extreme Rules alongside talents she's had very limited contact with.
Rich Swann is a fun-loving entertainer who just wants to make people smile. Noam Dar is a cocky egotist who believes he's a real ladies' man. Both men are solid in the ring, and both men have a lot to offer 205 Live.
But Banks has no reason to be involved in this match, other than her recent heat with Alicia Fox. Now that she's in it, fans are bracing for what comes next.
Could Sasha lose this match for her team? Though she had a great main event run and naturally has to step back in order to step up again, is she really meant for this spot at Extreme Rules? Is WWE willing to perhaps tarnish her reputation by allowing her to drop the pin in a throwaway match?
Some fans began to tire of Sasha vs. Charlotte. But those same fans could now be wondering why Banks has dropped the way she has.
As long as she gets the win on Sunday, then Banks should be OK. But if she doesn't, then fans will surely show their disapproval.
Roman Reigns Wins the Fatal 5-Way
The Universal champion is finally on his way back.
Brock Lesnar will face the man who wins Extreme Rules' Fatal 5-Way main event match. Four of the five have already been to the top before as champion, though Finn Balor only held the Universal title less than 24 hours.
Bray Wyatt was the WWE champion before losing to Randy Orton at WrestleMania 33, and Seth Rollins became the man after aligning with Triple H in 2014. Samoa Joe is the only man in the match who has yet to win championship gold in WWE, and many fans are surely hoping he will win at Extreme Rules.
But then there's Roman Reigns.
Reigns' controversial status as WWE's top guy and his immense hatred from fans have become the stuff of legend. Simply put, Reigns tends to win a lot of big-money matches on big-money stages. He also happens to be despised for it.
While many fans are picking Balor to win on Sunday, there is a strong possibility that Reigns will get the victory. If that is indeed the case, then the WWE faithful's opinion on Reigns will once again be validated; it's all about him, and no one else matters.
Fans know that eventually Reigns and Lesnar will meet again. But that meeting should happen at WrestleMania 34, not in 2017. Reigns is the top guy, and he will beat Lesnar in the end. But to see him get there right now may be too much for fans to bear.
Reigns does indeed win quite a bit. But he shouldn't win at Extreme Rules.
Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Bleacher Report. His podcast, Tom Clark's Main Event, is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Android, Windows Phone and online at boinkstudios.com