Updated WWE Extreme Rules 2021 Match Card and Predictions Ahead of Go-Home Raw
WWE's annual dedication to the extreme hits the Peacock airwaves Sunday in the form of Extreme Rules, a pay-per-view typically loaded with stipulations and gimmickry. However, as of this point, it has yet to announce a single special match type for any of the bouts on the card.
No biggie, though, as the lineup looks impressive, headlined by a Universal Championship Match that will see Roman Reigns defend his title against "The Demon" Finn Balor. Throw in two strong women's title bouts and what should be an impressive tag team clash between The Usos and The Street Profits and you have a show that will likely exceed low expectations.
Who will walk away from the event with their arms raised in victory in time for the hype for WWE's latest journey to Saudi Arabia and Crown Jewel?
Here is a preview of the September 26 extravaganza ahead of Monday's go-home episode of Raw.
- Universal Championship Match: Finn Balor vs. Roman Reigns (Prediction: Reigns)
- Raw Women's Championship Match: Alexa Bliss vs. Charlotte Flair (Prediction: Flair)
- SmackDown Women's Championship Match: Bianca Belair vs. Becky Lynch (Prediction: Lynch)
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The Street Profits vs. The Usos (Prediction: Usos)
- United States Championship Match: Damian Priest vs. Sheamus (Prediction: Priest)
- Liv Morgan vs. Carmella (Prediction: Morgan)
Drama of Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor Hampered by Crown Jewel Announcement
The Universal Championship will be on the line Sunday when Roman Reigns defends against "The Demon" Finn Balor. What might have been a dramatic championship clash between the seemingly insurmountable Head of the Table and an alter-ego that has yet to lose in a WWE ring has been undermined by the company's announcement that Reigns will battle Brock Lesnar for said title on October 21 in Saudi Arabia.
In announcing a match of that magnitude for a show that typically demands high-profile title matches, it has rendered the main event of Extreme Rules essentially meaningless. Fans already know that Reigns will somehow knock off Balor and cash his ticket to Crown Jewel a few weeks later.
Not only does the advertised main event for September 26 lose its value, but The Demon persona loses its aura.
The face-painted alter-ego has been protected by WWE over the last five years, shielded from defeat as it preserved one of the few special attractions it has left. The company, in need of star power across the board, has deemed it expendable to the extent that it has announced another title match to take place after The Demon's opportunity, essentially deeming it secondary in nature.
Any drama that the Balor vs. Reigns match may have had is gone as no amount of face paint or parlor tricks will make up for the fact that fans already know a bigger, higher-profile title defense awaits Reigns after the show.
It is a detriment to Balor, to this persona that he has helped protect for so long and the company as a whole, which simply doesn't have a ton of attractions like The Demon running around to help spark interest and bolster cards.
Alexa Bliss Reminds Fans of Her Championship Resume in Intense Clash
It is easy to forget that Alexa Bliss is a five-time women's champion who has competed for and defended her title on the grandest stages in pro wrestling, especially with all of the dark magic nonsense that has engulfed her character this last year.
WWE's fixation on mind games and dolls has completely overshadowed the fact that Bliss is wrestling at her most intense yet. She is aggressive between the ropes, something that will greatly help her Sunday when she challenges Charlotte Flair for the Raw Women's Championship.
Anyone expecting a demonstration of sports entertainment nonsense may get a little of it here or there, but Flair demands a certain level of excellence from her opponents, and Bliss will be more than up to the challenge of meeting The Queen's expectations.
Bliss will turn in her finest performance in quite some time, and the match will be infinitely better than the build to this point. WWE will find a way to shoehorn the Lily doll into the proceedings as it looks for any way to sell a couple thousand more on WWE Shop, but Bliss will perform up to the moment, and the match will be a surprisingly great one by night's end.
Hopefully, after the contest and on the strength of her performance, WWE will allow her to compete more frequently and show off that newfound aggression consistently.