Extreme Rules has always been a PPV for some of the most entertaining wrestling. With far more gimmick matches than most PPVs, the potential for something really memorable to happen is high. This year, a great deal of shuffling occurred to make for the loss of Braun Strowman, which is likely the reason why there are only 6 announced matches. While extra matches could be added on the day of the event (i.e. Goldust v. R-Truth), the smaller card could result in some of the most exciting matches this year. Here are my predictions for Extreme Rules:
(Reminder: Predictions on championship matches are based on who walks out with the belt rather than the technical winner.)
Rich Swann & Sasha Banks v. Noam Dar & Alicia Fox
Mixed Tag Team Match
While I do enjoy the interaction between the different divisions, the story behind this match has dragged on for a bit too long now. When the Cruiserweights debuted, Cedric Alexander was paired with Alicia Fox as his girlfriend. This led to a feud with Noam Dar, who eventually won over Ms. Fox. Rich Swann decided to further mess with Noam Dar for what he did to Alexander. Months later, this feud is still sputtering along but adding Sasha Banks to the mix, since she has had her own issues with Alicia Fox as well.
Prediction: Rich Swann & Sasha Banks
This matchup should be fun, with Swann playing on his fun-loving, high flying antics and Sasha Banks lighting up the crowd with her offense. With a solid babyface win, Banks and Swann can then go their separate ways and focus on bigger fish to fry. For Swann, it is working his way back to the Cruiserweight title he held a few months back. For Banks, it is re-establishing herself as the top woman on Raw.
Neville (c) v. Austin Aries
Cruiserweight Championship Submission Match
Neville and Aries have been carrying the Cruiserweight division for months, and have been doing a great job of it. Neville continues to impress with his heel persona, and Aries further proves why he is an absolute star. Now, after two great outings at WrestleMania and Payback, the two stars look to have one more battle in a submission only match. Aries has tapped out the King of the Cruiserweights in the last month, but Neville has done everything he can to keep his advantage over Aries, including using the help of TJP.
Prediction: Austin Aries
After all the battling these two have done, now seems like the right time to pull the trigger on the title change. Aries has continued to grow in the eyes of the WWE Universe and looks primed to rule the division. Giving him a chance to battle top heels like TJP, Brian Kendrick, and Drew Gulak would do wonders to keep the division growing. Even a heel turn for the Greatest Man That Ever Lived would allow for tons of fresh feuds. Despite the issues that the division has, there are tons of fresh ideas that have yet to be explored.