2018 WWE Extreme Rules predictions, match card, start time, location, matches, PPV preview
Everything you need to know ahead of WWE Extreme Rules on Sunday evening
Though it is certainly not be one of WWE's major pay-per-view events, Extreme Rules remains an event that fans look forward to each year for its mix of stipulation matches and the fact that it is the final big-time show before SummerSlam in August.
With the event going down live on Sunday night in Pittsburgh, there will be plenty of pressure from the raucous crowd to put on a big show that sends the fans home happy.
Extreme Rules will begin at 7 p.m. ET with the show expected to last anywhere from 3.5-4 hours not counting the kickoff show, which starts one hour prior to the main card at 6 p.m. CBS Sports will be with you the entire way on Sunday with live results, highlights and analysis.
For now, let's take a look at how our experts believe Extreme Rules will play out. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast -- In This Corner with Brian Campbell -- where we go in depth on everything you need to know in WWE each week.
2018 WWE Extreme Rules predictions
Andrade "Cien" Almas vs. Sin Cara -- Kickoff Show
Adam Silverstein: This match was added to the card late, so I'm the only one making a prediction here. Simply put, it would be silly for Sin Cara to go over Almas, who is still new to the roster and clearly has unlimited potential in terms of the title picture on SmackDown. This should be a nice win in an exciting match given a nice placement. Pick: Andrarde "Cien" Almas wins
New Day vs. SAnitY (Tables Match) -- Kickoff Show
Adam Silverstein, Brian Campbell, Jack Jorgensen: Considering SAnitY has already lost on SmackDown despite debuting this past month, one has to believe WWE will be smart enough to put the new group over in its first PPV match. New Day can easily sustain the loss as they are not presently in the tag team title picture, and the tables match stipulation gives the faces an easy out. Let's hope the finish involves Killian Dane and something similar to the carnage we saw at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans. Pick: SAnitY wins
Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin
BC: Despite the absurdity of his title and the fact that he shaved his head and now wrestles in slacks and a vest, Corbin has been surprisingly freshened up by his new "constable" gimmick. Unfortunately, it appears WWE might be poised to use this match as an opportunity to further get him over while shamelessly burying Balor even further in the process. Balor just can't seem to get a fair booking shake in his extended comeback from the shoulder injury that cost him the inaugural universal championship two years ago. Pick: Baron Corbin wins
AS, JJ: Could WWE put Corbin over here? Absolutely. But at some point, they are going to need to stop burying Balor. Fun fact: Balor has never lost a singles match on a PPV since being called up to the main roster, and he's never won a multi-man match in any incarnation. It is mind-boggling that he has not been pushed since his return from injury, but I have to believe they are smart enough not to bury him here. Pick: Finn Balor wins
Raw Tag Team Championship: Deleters of Worlds (c) vs. The B-Team
BC: The storyline of lovable losers Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel breaking free from The Miz and embarking on an unbeaten journey as a tag team has been nothing short of a home run. It has been so good, in fact -- bringing flashbacks to a similar journey made by Heath Slater and Rhyno on SmackDown two years ago -- that it's not out of the question to see the B-Team actually win the titles on Sunday. Whether they do or not, the important detail is what happens next. Should Dallas and Axel eventually join powers with Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy (uniting the real-life Rotunda brothers on screen for the first time), business could be picking up in a hurry. Pick: B-Team wins the titles
JJ, AS: The B-Team have been somewhat entertaining foils for the tag team champs, but they're ultimately not the right choice to dethrone the eccentric duo of Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt. There are two heel teams on Raw waiting in the wings in the form of Revival, who have finally been featured pretty prominently as of late, and Authors of Pain, who are much better choices to eventually sit atop the tag team division on Monday nights. Pick: Deleters of Worlds retain the titles
SmackDown Tag Team Championship: Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs. Team Hell No
JJ, BC, AS: It was nice to see Kane return to reform Team Hell No with Bryan to create some amazing television on Tuesdays in recent weeks, but he does have political obligations to attend to outside of the ring, so slapping a championship on him in any form doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Look for Miz here to interfere, setting up the feud with Bryan for SummerSlam that everyone has been salivating over. Pick: Bludgeon Brothers win
United States Championship: Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
AS, BC, JJ: Hardy's limp has been noticeable on his ring entrances, which leads me to believe he's hobbled for one reason or another and likely needs either rest or surgery. But even if he was in perfect health, Nakamura is coming off a string of title match losses to Styles, and while they did not diminish his new heel character, it's tough to truly believe in someone as a bad-ass when they cannot win a big match. Nakamura is due for a main-roster title, and there's no harm in giving him the U.S. strap while Styles runs the main event at this time. His character has been rejuvenated, and it's time to give him the accompanying push. Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura wins the title
Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens (Steel Cage Match)
JJ, BC: Historically, Money in the Bank winners have not fared all that well in singles matches, but Strowman is one of the exceptions to that. If they do have plans to have the monster cash that briefcase in successfully, he won't be on the losing end anytime soon. Plus, a loss here in this feud won't hurt Owens at all because we know that he can talk his way out of anything. Pick: Braun Strowman wins
AS: Now that he holds the Money in the Bank briefcase, one would think that WWE has no choice but to continue propping up Strowman at every turn. After all, this guy never loses singles matches unless it's to a single F5 from Brock Lesnar. The steel cage stipulation is perfect here -- and one I predicted the first day they began feuding on Raw -- because rather than just keep Owens inside the ring, it also gives him an out, a way of defeating Strowman without the behemoth taking a pinfall or submission. Owens has been a featured player but is almost forgotten about right now; this would serve him well. Pick: Kevin Owens wins
SmackDown Women's Championship: Carmella (c) vs. Asuka with James Ellsworth in a shark cage
BC, AS, JJ: For as much as I've campaigned to see Ellsworth return by Carmella's side during his absence, it's clear he returned at the wrong time. Yes, some of his comedic work opposite Asuka has been fine but overall, Carmella has evolved to such a strong heel that she doesn't need him. With that said, it's time for SmackDown to start giving Asuka the wins she badly deserves, especially after ending her long unbeaten streak at WrestleMania. Pick: Asuka wins the title
Raw Women's Championship: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Nia Jax
JJ, BC, AS: The decision to keep the championship on Bliss here is a no-brainer, given her recent history with the woman who will be sitting at ringside, Ronda Rousey. The easy path here is to have Rousey interfere to cause the disqualification win for Bliss, possibly setting up a triple threat at SummerSlam that also involves Jax, who will still have a slight claim to a title shot. Pick: Alexa Bliss retains the title
Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley
BC, AS: While this feud has been far from awful -- certainly an improvement on Lashley's recent debacle opposite Sami Zayn -- it has also lacked the foundation of believable spite between performers. From a storyline standpoint, fans just haven't been given enough viable reason to believe Reigns and Lashley would be angry enough at each other to fight through groups of wrestlers holding them back in order to attack each other like they did on Raw. Yes, Lashley's character is turning a brighter corner but for as juicy as the steak might look, this feud is lacking some serious flavor in what should be a match to determine Brock Lesnar's next opponent. Pick: Roman Reigns wins
JJ: I understand that this is a way-outside-the-box pick here, but Lashley needs this win more than Reigns does after his return was vastly soured by the awful booking of the Sami Zayn feud. While for whatever reason people see this as a de-facto No. 1 contender match for Brock Lesnar's universal title, that's not what this match is, officially. You can give Lashley the big win here in a hard-fought match to boost his status, "The Big Dog" will still be fine, and you can begin your booking for the universal title match for SummerSlam from there. Pick: Bobby Lashley wins
Intercontinental Championship: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Seth Rollins (30-Minute Iron Man Match)
AS, BC, JJ: All fans want bigger and better things for Rollins -- namely a return to the universal title picture -- but it's worth wondering what exactly WWE has in store for him and the team of Ziggler & Drew McIntyre. Rollins could take the title back here and resume his tremendous run with one of the company's most prestigious straps; after all, Ziggler's month-long hold on the championship has already achieved its goal of rebuilding his character. On the other hand, Ziggler triumphing and retaining the title (McIntyre will be ringside, after all) allows the heel duo to stay on top and take on the next comer with McIntyre in the Diesel role to Ziggler's Shawn Michaels. Everyone knows a split is coming one day with this duo, but let's hope it's following an IC run for Ziggler and a tag team title run for them. In the meantime, Rollins can step into something new after doing a fantastic job with the championship. Pick: Dolph Ziggler retains the title
WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Rusev
BC, AS, JJ: With Styles being the WWE 2K19 cover boy and likely destined for big plans entering SummerSlam next month, it's unlikely we see a title change here. If that's the case, let's at least recognize the organic run Rusev has made from underused midcarder to someone so over on their own doing that WWE creative was forced to seemingly work him into their plans. Sadly, however, unless WWE plans to use Rusev as a transitional champion for someone else (Daniel Bryan, anyone?), it's likely this is the mountain top moment for the Bulgarian Brute on the main event level. Let's enjoy it while it lasts. Pick: AJ Styles retains the title
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