No Disqualification Match: Dolph Ziggler vs Baron Corbin
Say what you will about Corbin, but he has actually grown on me a bit during this feud with Ziggler. I am still not 100% sure he can wrestle (and I doubt I will have an answer to that after this match), but he has proven to be something WWE has been lacking for a long time- a legitimate heel. The crowd hates him. At the end of the day, as long as Corbin elicit boos instead of just deafening silence he is doing his job.
Having Corbin and Ziggler feud might be the best use of the both of them at this point. Corbin is too new to the main roster to be inserted into any title picture and Ziggler just needs to be on TV at this point. Once Ziggler is off TV that will pretty much be the death knell for his career, unfortunately.
Who wins: Baron Corbin
Why: WWE has moved into the 50/50 booking age. Ziggler won the last PPV match between the two of them so even money says Corbin will win this one. Since it’s no DQ, Corbin can assert his naturally aggressive nature and Ziggler can make the claim that Corbin can’t beat him on the big stage without the help of steel chairs and other “toys”. Barron wins after hitting the End of Days on a table or chair… or both?
United States Title Match: Kalisto (c) vs Rusev/Lana
Kalisto’s reign as U.S. champion has been pretty uneventful. He had a feud with Ryback that was primarily featured on Smackdown that ended with Kalisto defeating “The Big Guy” over and over again. Given Kalisto’s size compared to Ryback, it is amazing that he has been able to pull off several consecutive victories, but the fact that it was Ryback he defeated taints any rub he may get from coming out on top. The crowd didn’t buy into Ryback as a monster heel so it all fell a bit flat. WWE is attempting to make Kalisto the next Rey Mysterio. The problem is Kalisto is and never will be Rey Mysterio. Let Kalisto focus on being the first Kalisto.
Rusev has been floundering a bit since dropping the U.S. title well over a year ago. Rusev fits the monster heel moniker in ways that Ryback could only dream of. Rusev has a presence about him that screams, “this guy will eat my children if I get on his bad side”. He is the perfect foil for the ‘ultimate underdog’ Kalisto.
Who Wins: Rusev
Why: When Rusev went on his original dominate run I said they were building him up just so he could lose to John Cena. That’s exactly what ended up happening. That said, *in Wade Barrett’s Voice * I’ve got some bad news for you! That’s exactly what is happening all over again. Rusev will win the U.S. title and immediately get thrust into a feud with the returning John Cena… and by feuding, I mean losing the U.S. title to John Cena. Rusev wins via the Accolade.
Women’s Title Match: Charlotte (c) vs Natalya
The fact that Natalya is in this position in 2016 is awesome. It is obvious that they are using her as a placeholder to get Charlotte to SummerSlam for her impending match with Sasha Banks, but that doesn’t change the fact that they finally seem to trust Natalya enough to carry the main women’s division program People forget that Natalya is a former Divas champion because she has been essentially an afterthought for a very long time. Based on Natalya’s commitment to the company and superb in-ring work, no one deserves this opportunity more than her.
Why: As fun as it would be to see Natalya with the Women’s title I would be shocked if they pull the trigger and put the belt on her at this point. Charlotte is the face of the division and will be such until SummerSlam. Look for Natalya to pass out from the pain while in a submission hold.
Tag Team Title Match: The New Day (c) vs The Vaudevillains
There seems to be some speculation that The Vaudevillains are only in this position because Enzo Amore was injured during the tag team number one contender’s tournament. Having Enzo and Big Cass face The New Day at this point would make little to no sense. The Vaudevillains were always going to win this tournament. The New Day need heel tag teams to work with. That is the primary reason The Vaudevillains were promoted to the main roster to begin with. All that said…
Winners: The Vaudevillains
Why: The New Day are suffering from a severe case of overexposure at this point. The best way to freshen them up would be to take the tag belts off of them and have them chase the belts for a bit. New Day has transcended the tag belts at this point. The Vaudevillains need the rub of being champs to help get them over as legitimate heels. Beating the extremely over New Day would be the first step in establishing that. Look for the Vaudevillains to get the win by cheating. Belt shot followed by a pull of the tights should do it.
Tornado Tag Match: The Club vs The Usos
This match was just added to the card and is meant to further the AJ Styles vs Roman Reigns match later in the night. The Club has essentially been fighting the Usos since making their debut. At this point, it’s a bit stale, but hopefully, these two teams can put together an interesting match. There isn’t much more to this angle so let’s just get to the prediction.
Winners: The Club
Why: The Club has to win a match at some point, right? Just as an aside, if WWE’s goal is to build up Anderson and Gallows as being legit badasses they have dropped the ball in ways that I can’t even describe. Just let them win a match for once! That’s a start. The Club wins via the boot of doom on Jey.
Asylum Match: Dean Ambrose vs Chris Jericho
It’s hard not to love both Jericho and Ambrose but this angle has been built in the silliest of ways. Remember when Jericho spilled a cup of coffee on Kane and it lead to months of gimmick matches? Yeah, this isn’t much better. Ambrose was given Jericho’s talk show spot, which infuriated Jericho. That’s essentially how we got to this Lethal Lockdown… err Asylum match. Who knows where this is going to lead, or what the point of any of this is. Let’s just cross our fingers and pray for an entertaining match.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
Why: Ambrose needs to string together a few high profile victories. He has ended up losing in most every feud he has been in. If anyone is going to put him over it will be Jericho. Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds on a trash can lid for the win.
Fatal Four Way Intercontinental Title Match: The Miz (c)/Maryse vs Kevin Owens vs Cesaro vs Sami Zayn
This is probably the most well-built angle on the card. All four superstars involved have legitimate issues with each other. One could argue that the Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens angle doesn’t need the Intercontinental title. I disagree with that sentiment. The average fan may not be aware of the long history between Zayn and Owens. Furthermore, if you aren’t a fan of NXT you would be even more in the dark as to why they hate each other. Owens is obsessed with the IC title. Having Zayn cost him the belt over and over again adds to why Owens is so invested in destroying Zayn. Having the commentary team talk about the history is one thing. It’s another to have a tangible reason for their hatred.
Why: Cesaro is due for a big win. Though I do not agree with the notion that the Zayn/Owens angle doesn’t need the IC title, it will most be one of the driving forces behind neither of them winning the belt. Miz doesn’t need the IC title at this point. Adding Maryse to his act gave his gimmick the shot in the arm it needed. Owens and Zayn will take each other out while Cesaro beats Miz with the Gotch Neutralizer.
Extreme Rules WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Roman Reigns (c) AJ Styles
This match has no business being an Extreme Rules match. A match with a stipulation like this should be reserved for feuds that have serious heat behind them. Styles won the right to fight for the world title. Try as they might there isn’t any real animosity between Reigns and Styles. Well unless you count Reigns calling Styles a liar-liar pants on fire. The last time these two matched up they had a phenomenal match (pun intended). The problem is with this match not having any rules this match could go one of two ways: It could be an instant classic and top their first match in ways we couldn’t imagine, or it could be a total cluster because everyone, their mother, and the kitchen sink will be involved.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Why: If Reigns is still the heir apparent to the king of all babyface John Cena there is no way they take the title off of him this fast. Look for Styles to end up getting speared after Anderson and Gallows turn on him. It may seem obvious and trite, but since when has that ever stop them?