Best Stipulations for Every Announced Match at WWE Extreme Rules 2018
The Extreme Rules pay-per-view was originally launched in 2009 when WWE was trying to revive the ECW brand under its own umbrella, and it has remained a yearly staple despite ECW being dead and buried.
The whole point of this PPV is to give most or all of the matches special stipulations, even if they aren't always as extreme as the show's title suggests.
This year's event already has eight matches booked with the possibility of more being added in the final week before the show. Here is a quick rundown of the card as it stands, according to WWE.com:
- Bobby Lashley vs. Roman Reigns
- Jeff Hardy vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (U.S. Championship)
- Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax (Extreme Rules, Raw Women's Championship)
- Carmella vs. Asuka (SmackDown Women's Championship)
- The Deleters of Worlds vs. The B-Team (Raw Tag Team Championships)
- The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Team Hell No (SmackDown Tag Team Championships)
- Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins (Ironman, Intercontinental Championship)
- AJ Styles vs. Rusev (WWE Championship)
As of this writing, only two bouts have special stipulations, but you can be sure WWE will change that in the coming week.
This article will look at each match and pick the best match-type for the Superstars involved.
Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax (Extreme Rules)
Bliss and Jax will be going to battle in an Extreme Rules match for the Raw women's title, and while the stipulation is perfect, WWE went about booking it the wrong way.
WWE had Jax come out during one of Bliss' promos and announce the kind of match they would be having as if it plays to her strengths when the exact opposite should have happened.
Instead of having Jax, the bigger and stronger of the two, act like she had the advantage, Bliss should have been the one to pick the stipulation as a way of evening the playing field.
Despite being the clear villain in this scenario, The Goddess is the obvious underdog. The Extreme Rules stipulation would even the odds by allowing her to use anything she wants as a weapon.
Not only would it have made more sense this way, but it would have potentially gotten Jax some babyface sympathy instead of the confused reaction the WWE Universe has had to her character since seemingly turning heel during her feud with Ronda Rousey only to go right back to playing the victim against Bliss.
Carmella vs. Asuka (James Ellsworth in a Cage)
Carmella has used James Ellsworth to advance her career on two occasions. The first was at last year's Money in the Bank pay-per-view, but more recently, Ellsworth returned to help her cash in her contract and win the SmackDown women's title.
The Chinless Wonder has been a thorn in the side of every rival Carmella has had, but Asuka may be too much for him to handle.
He has been banned from ringside and still managed to cause havoc, so the best way to neutralize Ellsworth is to stick him in a cage and hang it above the ring.
This stipulation has made a comeback in recent years with WWE employing it on a few occasions in both NXT and on the main roster. The company even released a toy ring with the hanging cage so fans could recreate this bout on their own.
Putting Ellsworth in a cage would allow Asuka to have a fair shot at winning the title and give Carmella an opportunity to prove herself against someone who is considered to be a superior wrestler by most of the WWE Universe.
Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley (Falls Count Anywhere)
The upcoming match between Lashley and Reigns will give us a good idea of who is going to be the next person to challenge Brock Lensar for the Universal Championship, so it needs something extra.
WWE just used the Last Man Standing rule when Styles faced Nakamura at Money in the Bank, so that one is off the table.
Falls Count Anywhere is the next best option because it would let the two powerhouses go all around the arena and use various parts of the set and backstage equipment as weapons.
This kind of match also lets the wrestlers get closer to the crowd, which creates a more enjoyable experience for everyone in attendance.
Jeff Hardy vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (Ladder Match)
When it comes to ladder matches, nobody has more highlight-reel moments than Jeff Hardy. He and Matt helped take the concept to the next level, but Jeff has been in more than his brother throughout the years.
The WWE Universe will always want to see Jeff climb up a ladder and jump off on to his opponent, so WWE may as well give us what we want at a PPV designed for dangerous stipulations.
Nakamura is arguably the more dangerous of the two competitors in a normal match, so evening the playing field with Jeff's favorite weapon would make the outcome less predictable.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins (Ironman)
When it comes to Ziggler and Rollins, WWE got the stipulation completely right on the first try.
Both of these Superstars are known for their endurance, creativity and technical ability, so giving them 30 minutes is guaranteed to make for some great action.
Ironman matches don't happen too often in WWE, so it's nice to see the stipulation brought out from time to time for a worthy pair of rivals.
Frankly, this kind of showdown should be for a more important title on a bigger stage, but we will take what we can get.
The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Team Hell No (Hardcore)
The Bludgeon Brothers and Team Hell No are going to make for an interesting contest at Extreme Rules, but they need the kind of match that plays to their strengths.
Kane, Harper and Rowan are all powerhouses, but Bryan is more of a technician and semi-high-flyer. They have to be able to utilize all four competitors' abilities, and a Hardcore match is the best way to do it.
This would allow them to forget about tags, disqualifications and countouts so they can focus on finding creative ways to use the environment around them.
This feud feels temporary due to Kane's ongoing Mayoral campaign in Tennessee, so this is the best way to get the most out of a single match if that is all WWE has planned.
Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt vs. B-Team (Boiler Room Brawl)
WWE has used the Boiler Room Brawl stipulation exactly four times, and all of those matches included Mankind. It's time to bring it back for a new generation.
The last one took place in 1999 and ended up being watered down due to the Christmas-themed episode on which it took place.
Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy are just weird enough to make this kind of gimmick match feel natural due to the kind of characters they play.
Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel have been impersonating them a lot lately and having Hardy and Wyatt attempt to teach them a lesson in the darkest contest they can think of would add a little something extra to this feud.
Aj Styles vs. Rusev
The WWE Championship match will likely be the main event for the evening, so it needs a stipulation to make it stand out from the rest of the card.
Styles and Rusev are both gifted performers who can make any situation work to their advantage. Considering both men have finishers they can use to make their opponent tap out, a submission match seems like the best choice.
The Accolade vs. The Calf Crusher would be an easy story for them to tell, especially since they have already teased Rusev making Styles tap out on Tuesday's SmackDown when he put the champ in the hold following his match with Aiden English.
This might seem like the most benign stipulation to use for a main event, but with two wrestlers like Rusev and Styles, they can end up stealing the show.
Which stipulation do you think would work best for each match?