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411’s WWE Extreme Rules Preview

October 8, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
WWE Extreme Rules Ronda Rousey vs. Liv Morgan Image Credit: WWE

Hello 411 guys, gals, enbies, and everyone else! Welcome to 411’s WWE Extreme Rules preview! I’m Jeremy Thomas, here as ever. WWE is back with their latest PPV (no, I will not call them PLEs) and they’re going light this time around as we only have six matches thus far. I figure we’ll get at least one more following Smackdown, but as it stands we have a slimmed down card of matches with actual builds to them and a host of stipulations. After a couple off-kilter Extreme Rules PPVs the last couple years, it looks like we’re getting back to basics and I’m here for it. So without further ado, let’s jump right in!

Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook
The Brawling Brutes vs. Imperium

Image Credit: WWE

Sheamus and Gunther had one of the best WWE matches in recent memory at Clash in the Castle, one they’ll have run back on Smackdown by the time this preview is live. It’s been the highlight of a very enjoyable feud between these two factions, all of which is leading into Saturday’s Donnybrook. First off, I love this match name. It’s the goofiest stipulation match name in a while and I’m all for that kind of thing when done sparingly. With that out of the way, the match itself should also be a blast. Ridge Holland aside, we have a lot of great competitors here and an all-out, weapons-filled brawl is the kind of thing that both teams should be able to use to their advantage (while also covering for the fact that Ridge is the weak link). Honestly, this feud could go on eternally and I wouldn’t complain, but whether it’s blown off here or not you do kind of need to have Imperium pick up the win. Gunther has a ton of momentum, but as a group they’re still newer and the victory establishes them as a bigger player which will do wonders for potential feuds. Sheamus doesn’t need the win, and Butch & Holland aren’t hurt by losing to Imperium so I see this going to Gunther and his men.

WINNER: Imperium

“I Quit” Match
Edge vs. Finn Bálor

Image Credit: WWE

The Edge & Rey Mysterio vs. Judgment Day feud has had its ups and downs, but it’s been chugging along quite nicely over the last couple of months as the heel group has really found its stride. The long-term storytelling here has been a plus to Judgment Day, including their turning of Dominik Mysterio onto their side via Rhea Ripley. That said, while the bad guys (and girl) have been getting plenty of wins on Raw they have yet to get one over on Edge or Rey in the ring on PPV. That leads into this match, which sees Finn Balor and Edge do battle in an “I Quit” match. It goes without saying that we can expect great things in the ring between these two; the question is how the outside antics will play into the result. “I Quit” matches are generally designed for the babyface to win for obvious reasons, but it’s also something that WWE loves to subvert. I think that’s likely to happen here. Edge has any number of allies that the rest of Judgment Day can begin assaulting to play on his sympathies and force him to say the words for their sake. The obvious choice is Rey Mysterio, but you could also do Beth Phoenix or AJ Styles, or even someone else if they want to insert another party in this to set up for a Survivor Series match. A win over Edge, even tainted like that, will help build Balor and doesn’t do a thing to take the shine off the Rated-R Superstar. That’s where the smart money should be.

WINNER: Finn Balor

WWE Raw Women’s Championship Ladder Match
Bianca Belair vs. Bayley

Image Credit: WWE

There are only two title matches on the card as of this writing, and they’re both for the main roster brand Women’s Championships. First up, we’ve got Bianca Belair vs. Bayley in a Ladder Match for Belair’s Raw Women’s Title. Belair’s run with the title has been far more successful than her Smackdown Women’s Title reign, which infamously ended with the SummerSlam 2021 loss to Becky Lynch. She’s proven herself as a dominant champion for just over six months now, and she’s established enough in this reign that she could lose the title without it seeming to cut her legs off from under her. And of the current active roster members, Bayley certainly seems like a good choice to take the title off of her. Bayley and Damage CTRL’s run since returning at SummerSlam has been absolute fire, and the Ladder Match stipulation would allow for the title change without making Belair take a clean loss. All that said though, I don’t think WWE is quite ready to take the title off of the champion. The stipulation provides equal protection to Bayley, especially with Alexa Bliss and Asuka out there providing backup. I could absolutely be way off here, but I see them holding off on Bayley’s title win until a bigger PPV than Extreme Rules. All the chaos out there during the match should be enough to let Belair get the title from above the ring and retain, keeping this feud going for a bit (perhaps as a set-up for WarGames).

WINNER: Bianca Belair (STILL WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion)

Strap Match
Drew McIntyre vs. Karrion Kross

Image Credit: WWE

I don’t have the disdain for Karrion Kross that some people do, but I didn’t expect his return to the WWE roster to be as solid as it’s been thus far. Kross is a decent performer with a a marketable look and great presentation, something Triple H has made great use of so far. Feuding him with Drew McIntyre has been a great way to establish him as a player on Smackdown, and he’s quickly on his way to that status. That brings us to this match. Now don’t get me wrong; by no means is this going to be a match of the night candidate. Both Kross and McIntyre are enjoyable performers to watch in the ring, but Strap matches have never been my bag as they limit performers far more than they enhance the match. But it’s also one that these two can work around pretty well. McIntyre could arguably use the win here, as he’s coming off a somewhat deflating loss to Roman Reigns at Clash in the Castle, but then what do you do with him? He shouldn’t be challenging Reigns again particularly soon, and there isn’t a particularly obvious opponent further up the card for him. On the other hand, a win for Kross will solidify his position on Smackdown and put him in a place to feud with a number of other babyfaces. Expect Kross to get the win here, quite possibly via Scarlett-ference or the like.

WINNER: Karrion Kross

Fight Pit Match
Matt Riddle vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Image Credit: WWE

The Fight Pit was one of the most ambitious and successful creations in NXT, and it’s not a huge surprise to see Triple H bring it to the main roster for Extreme Rules. That’s doubly the case when you consider that was involved in one of them; it’s a stipulation that plays well into the former UFC fighter’s background. Riddle lost his first Fight Pit experience against Timothy Thatcher, but he has better odds this time around. Riddle and Rollins have been feuding for quite some time now, and while Riddle has had his moments he has yet to get a definitive victory over his hated enemy. That really needs to change to truly establish him, and I think that happens here. While a win by Rollins would potentially catapult him into Bloodline-challenging territory, he’s not going to be hurt a bit by the loss and a win would allow Riddle to end this feud at just the right time. Adding Daniel Cormier in as a guest referee makes sense in terms of the MMA overtones of the match, and he can prevent Rollins from doing any of his heel shenanigans. This has absolute match of the night potential, but in the end Riddle should come out with the victory.

WINNER: Matt Riddle

WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship Extreme Rules Match
Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey

Image Credit: WWE

While Bianca Belair’s current title run has established her as a fully credible champion, that is somewhat more debatable when it comes to Liv Morgan. I’m not criticizing her reign here; I think that it’s been generally fine, outside of the finish of her match with Ronda Rousey at SummerSlam. But she’s also only had the title for about three months and her only title defenses have been against Rouse and Baszler. Her match against Baszler at Clash of the Castle did a lot for her, but here she is back against Rousey for the title at Extreme Rules, in the PPV’s titular match stipulation.

This is honestly my least confident pick of the show. On the one hand, it seems like WWE keeps having Morgan just squeeze by Rousey, and a clean(ish) win would do amazing things for her — while a sneaky win would actually give Morgan a chance to be a heel champion, which has been semi-teased as of late. On the other hand, WWE clearly has Rousey in mind for WrestleMania and further on, and if she’s going to win the title it seems like now might be the time to do it. A loss for Morgan hardly kills her; WWE has a practice of giving talent shorter and less memorable title runs before going back to them later and letting them really shine (see previous comments about Belair). I could absolutely see either result happening here, but I am going to lean into the idea of the company wanting a big ending moment that has a major star holding a title up. In this case, that’s Rousey and I just have an suspicion that we get the title change here because of that.

WINNER: Ronda Rousey (NEW WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion)

And that’s all we have for WWE Extreme Rules! It’s a fairly short card barring any last minute additions, which hopefully means a lot of time for matches and a fast-paced, fun evening. Thanks once again for reading and remember that we will have live coverage of the show courtesy our own Steve Cook right here on 411mania.com. Now I’m going to go; I hear a rabbit is showing up, and I’m not taking any chances that he wants to ask about my human suit…

Image via Hulu

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WWE Extreme Rules, Jeremy Thomas