PLE PRIMER – WWE EXTREME RULES 2022: Preview and predictions for Rollins vs. Riddle, Belair vs. Bayley, more

BY JAVIER MACHADO, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

WWE Extreme Rules breaks company record
PHOTO CREDIT: WWE

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

WWE Extreme Rules 2022 will take place in the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (extreme rules in Philly… hmm) on October 8, 2022. Unlike last year’s event that only had one example of extreme rules, this show lives up to its moniker since every match will have a stipulation which are all (mostly) earned. Along the buildup to Extreme Rules, the WWE has been running a viral campaign that points at Bray Wyatt’s likely return, likely at Extreme Rules.

Drew McIntyre vs. Karrion Kross – Strap Match

Story in a nutshell: Upon returning to the WWE, Karrion Kross made his presence felt by continually targeting Drew McIntyre and now McIntyre wants to put a stop to it.

In August, Karrion Kross returned to the WWE and together with his wife Scarlett, began a series of hit and run attacks targeting Drew McIntyre. His reasoning was fairly vague, accusing McIntyre of being a failed “Chosen One” (in this context, managements pick to be the next big thing) and that he wanted to set the timeline right. Less cryptically, Kross also said that in his pursuit of the championship he’d have to inevitably deal with McIntyre. Tired of being laid out, McIntyre was granted a strap match so that Kross couldn’t run away. Granted, main reason Kross was able to get away with the “run” part of “hit and run” was that McIntyre was left unconscious.

Prediction and analysis: If this remains a straight one-on-one feud between these two, it makes more sense for the relative newcomer Kross to win since he hasn’t had any big matches. I do think that Karrion Kross is acting as an emissary for a returning Bray Wyatt. I think Drew wins, the lights go out, Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit plays, and when the light come back on Drew is strapped to the Fiend. The lights go out again and, if this is indeed the last match, the show ends. Otherwise, Kross is your winner.

Matt Riddle vs. Seth Rollins – Fight Pit Match (Special Referee: Daniel Cormier)

Story in a nutshell:

They fight,

They bite,

They bite and fight and bite,

Bite, bite, bite,

Fight, fight, fight,

The Seth Rollins and Riddle Show!

It’s a feud that’s gone on forever now with Seth Rollins winning his latest encounter with Matt Riddle. Riddle, wanting on more shot at Rollins, interfered in Rollins’s US Championship match against Bobby Lashley costing Rollins the match. A furious Rollins accepted another match against Riddle in a match of Riddle’s choosing. Riddle chose his nXt signature match, the Fight Pit (essentially apes an MMA cage). UFC Hall of Famer, Daniel Cormier announced that he would be the guest referee for the match.

Prediction and analysis: Since it seems like Riddle is being built up as a big star for the WWE, I thought there was no way that he’d lose not only back-to-back matches, but also in his own match. But then they booked Bobby Lashley vs. Seth Rollins for a US Championship match for the following Raw and while a wounded and counted out Seth could rebound by beating Lashley, a strong Seth would be better for the season premier. But when Cormier was added as the guest referee, things made more sense. Cormier turns on Riddle, costing him the match, and Riddle and Cormier face off at Crown Jewel.

Bianca Belair (c) vs. Bayley – WWE Raw Women’s Championship Ladder Match

Story in a nutshell: Bayley pinned Bianca Belair during a trio’s tag team match giving her team the win and earning herself a shot at the WWE Raw Women’s Championship.

Bayley returned with Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky in tow at SummerSlam. Bayley confronted Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch after Bianca successfully defended the WWE Raw Women’s Championship from Becky. The following night, Bayley, Sky, and Kai, together known as Damage CTRL, took out Becky. Alexa Bliss and Asuka teamed with Belair to even the odds. The teams met at Clash at the Castle where Belair suffered her first pinfall is a long time at the hands of Bayley. Bayley leveraged this fact to get a ladder match for the championship.

Prediction and analysis: Damage CTRL, being a more cohesive unit, helps Bayley win the title. Bianca is better on the chase than as the actual champions. I think Bliss will go AWOL before or during the match due to some Wyatt related issue.

Liv Morgan (c) vs. Ronda Rousey, WWE Smackdown Women’s Extreme Rules Championship Match

Story in a nutshell: After losing to current WWE Smackdown’s Women’s Champion Liv Morgan twice via controversy, Ronda Rousey won a fatal five-way elimination match to get another shot at the title.

Liv Morgan successfully cashed in her Money in the Bank contract on the then champion Ronda Rousey at Money in the Bank after and injured Ronda successfully retained the WWE Women’s Championship against Natalya. Understanding the nature of the Money in the Bank contract, Ronda was reluctantly okay with Liv Morgan’s actions, and Ronda was sure she’d win it back at the rematch. At SummerSlam, Liv tapped out to Rousey’s armbar, but the referee missed the tap as the referee counted Ronda’s shoulders down. Ronda went into a rage, and repeatedly attacked WWE officials resulting in her getting fined and suspended. On her return she won a fatal five-way elimination match for the right to challenge for the championship. Liv, presumably knowing she can’t defeat Ronda in a fair match, demanded the match to be held under Extreme Rules were anything goes.

Prediction and analysis: Liv Morgan has been acting less than honorable (if you have a sense of ethics that is). She took advantage of a wounded opponent at Money in the Bank. Took advantage of an officiating mistake at SummerSlam and decided that she needed weapons to beat Ronda at Extreme Rules. She’s the heel here, right? If Liv is to remain champion, she needs to turn heel, otherwise she’s just treading water. Meanwhile, I’m hoping for a Shayna Baszler’s involvement, either to help Ronda leading to the two facing Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai eventually, or to cost Ronda setting up a feud between the Ronda and Baszler.

Edge vs. Finn Balor – “I Quit” Match

Story in a nutshell: Edge continues to try to dismantle the faction he created while Finn Balor and the rest of the Judgment Day try to end Edge’s career.

Edge formed the faction Judgment Day but was kicked out after Finn Balor joined the group. Edge was viciously attacked, taking him out of action. This cycle repeated, drew in the Mysterios, caused Dominick Mysterio to turn on his father Rey, and pulled AJ Styles into the mix. After returning from the latest brutal attack, Edge challenged Balor to an “I quit” match.

Prediction and analysis: Considering that Edge on the go-home promo said, “no amount of physical pain will cause me to quit”, it will be psychological damage that will do the deed. Either Dominick and Rhea Ripley pay Edge’s family a visit, or maybe AJ Styles goes after Rey since Balor has been making overtures to get AJ to join.

Sheamus & Ridge Holland & Butch vs. Gunther & Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci – Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook Match

Story in a nutshell: These two teams like to fight.

Sheamus got a shot at Gunther’s WWE Intercontinental Championship title at Clash at the Castle, and they had a hard-hitting match-of-the-year contender. So, yeah… let’s keep doing it. Sheamus got another shot on the go-home show but lost thanks to Ludwig Kaiser introducing a shillelagh into the match to help Gunther win. Now Ridge Holland, Butch, and Sheamus seek revenge on Gunther, Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci.

Prediction and analysis: I think you can give Sheamus and his team a feel-good win.


CATCH-UP: 9/20 WWE MAIN EVENT TV REPORT: Benjamin & Ali vs. Alpha Academy, Brooke vs. Tamina, more

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