Only a few days separate WWE from what might be one of the year's most memorable events for fans.
The 2020 edition of Extreme Rules is a wild card in the same way WrestleMania 36 and other events have been this year. It's hard to tell when WWE will pull a major swerve and especially hard to tell which matches—especially the pre-taped cinematic ones—will offer something fans won't forget.
As always, the full card for Sunday remains an unknown and things can change at the last moment. But for now, fans have a handful of high-profile title matches and at least one cinematic match to count on as WWE continues the slow march to SummerSlam on August 23.
Match Card and Predictions
- Apollo Crews vs. MVP (WWE United States Championship match)
- Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus (Bar Fight match)
- Rey Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins (Eye for an Eye match)
- Bayley vs. Nikki Cross (SmackDown Women's Championship match)
- Asuka vs. Sasha Banks (Raw Women's Championship match)
- Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler (WWE Championship match)
- Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt (Wyatt Swamp Fight, non-title match)
Asuka vs. Sasha Banks (Raw Women's Championship match)
The knee-jerk reaction might be to think Sasha Banks, one of the hottest things going in WWE right now, is destined to win some individual gold to go alongside the tag team belts she holds with Bayley.
But that might be pulling the proverbial trigger too soon in WWE land.
Banks is all over the place as the top female star in the company right now in the wake of Becky Lynch's absence. She might just be the outright best Superstar given her promo and in-ring work.
Not that any of that is a surprise—but it is a surprise to see WWE lean into it so hard, letting the tag belts be an excuse to get her on all three weekly programs.
Written another way, The Legit Boss doesn't really need another title to keep her momentum. And stripping a title off Asuka right now, again damaging her, wouldn't make a ton of sense. WWE seemingly can't afford to lose one of its top titleholders right now before the second-biggest event of the year.
Fun as it might be to see Banks get a win and have it potentially mess with her friendship with Bayley, she will remain red hot regardless and a title doesn't need to change hands to have the friendship splintering potentially be a part of SummerSlam.
Prediction: Asuka wins
Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler (WWE Championship match)
It isn't hard to see what WWE is doing here.
The company needs a carryover feud and one that makes a champion look like a million bucks while keeping the title scene in a holding pattern.
That's when WWE dials up Dolph Ziggler.
The Showoff is still one of the best sellers in the company and a guy who can make anyone look great. It's always predictable when he shows up in big programs, but it's always entertaining, too.
And it sure doesn't hurt that WWE has smartly leaned into history to make this work instead of just randomly throwing something together. Drew McIntyre has spent the months since his big 'Mania moment and coronation as the promotion's top guy righting the wrongs of his past.
His former friendship with Ziggler is next on the list and perfectly timed as a holdover feud before he gets involved with somebody bigger for SummerSlam. There will undoubtedly be flirtations of an upset here, of course, but the Scot is moving on to much bigger things as top champ in August.
Prediction: McIntyre wins
Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt (Wyatt Swamp Fight, non-title match)
By comparison, Braun Strowman's universal title run hasn't been nearly as interesting as McIntyre's so far.
Which isn't to say The Monster Among Men was dealt a great hand, unexpectedly getting the title shot at WrestleMania against Goldberg. WWE needed to give the belt to someone in a pinch and it says quite a lot they picked Strowman.
He's certainly made a much better run of it in recent months thanks to his long-awaited feud with Bray Wyatt. Their history doesn't need a lengthy explanation, though that history and the buildup here makes it clear this feud is still only just getting started.
Translation: Strowman is going to win. But he's probably going to emerge from it changed in dramatic fashion.
WWE has billed this one as a "Wyatt Swamp Fight," meaning it's a cinematic match where everyone can get really creative in how things unfold. Fans are bound to see implementation of The Fiend in the happenings, which will only make things more interesting long after Sunday's pay-per-view.
In some fashion, Strowman will keep the title as he heads for SummerSlam, but the layers on this feud are only beginning to unfold into something special that can help headline the massive upcoming event.
Prediction: Strowman wins