2018 WWE Extreme Rules Betting Preview, Odds, and Predictions
Here are the most valuable bets you can make for the 2018 WWE Extreme Rules Event.
- WWE Championship match: AJ Styles (-460)
- Singles match: Bobby Lashley (+120)
- Steel Cage match: Braun Strowman (-245)
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship match: Team Hell No (-105)
- Intercontinental Championship Iron Man match: Dolph Ziggler (-190)
- United States Championship match: Shinsuke Nakamura (-195)
- RAW Women’s Championship Extreme Rules match: Alexa Bliss (-300)
- SmackDown Women’s Championship match: Asuka (-150)
- RAW Tag Team Championship Match: Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt (-185)
- Singles Match: “Constable” Baron Corbin (+100)
- Table’s Match: SAnitY (no odds available)
On Sunday, July 15th, the WWE will hold their annual Extreme Rules event at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. This event begins at 6 PM ET and will broadcast live on the WWE Network. The Extreme Rules event is a pivotal show for the WWE considering the current climate of the on-air product. For starters, longtime Universal Champion Brock Lesnar’s future with the company is uncertain at best. Currently, Vince McMahon has instructed his company not to mention Lesnar’s name until they’re able to “capitalize” on Brock’s recent mainstream attention with the UFC and he’s officially booked for a match.
After the UFC 226 main event was finished, the newly crowned heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier called out Brock Lesnar who was sitting in the crowd as a guest of Dana White’s. Lesnar came inside the cage and shoved Cormier, which sparked a massive buzz over a future fight between Lesnar and Cormier. Instead of the WWE capitalizing on Lesnar’s mainstream attention and huge buzz, they just pretend like Brock doesn’t exist. My friends, this was pure stupidity and ego on McMahon’s part. If you truly want to hammer the storyline to the WWE Universe that Lesnar might not return and is holding the Universal title hostage, then you absolutely hype up the fact that Brock is going back to the UFC.
Another reason why the Extreme Rules event is a pivotal moment for the company, is the fact that their TV ratings for RAW and SmackDown are atrocious. The July 9th episode of RAW drew a 2.47 million viewers which wasn’t just their lowest ratings of the year, but it was also the lowest ratings for RAW in WWE’s illustrious history. With the WWE moving its content to new networks, a plunge in the ratings could be disastrous.
The biggest reason for the ratings drop is that WWE fans simply don’t like the feuds, the storylines, and most of the wrestlers that are getting a big push. Yes, I’m talking about Roman Reigns and others. Additionally, the tag-team division has become stale and the WWE writers seem clueless about how to create compelling storyline these days.
With that said, the WWE really needs to hit a homerun at Extreme Rules. As of now, there are 11 confirmed matches for the event. The following is a breakdown of these matches and the betting odds for each wrestler courtesy of 5Dimes.eu:
The Extreme Rules Card
Here’s a quick look at the 11 confirmed matches for Extreme Rules:
- WWE Championship match: Rusev vs AJ Styles
- Singles match: Roman Reigns vs Bobby Lashley
- Steel Cage match: Braun Strowman vs Kevin Owens
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship match: Team Hell No vs The Bludgeon Brothers
- Intercontinental Championship Iron Man match: Seth Rollins vs Dolph Ziggler
- United States Championship match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs Jeff Hardy
- RAW Women’s Championship Extreme Rules match: Nia Jax vs Alexa Bliss
- SmackDown Women’s Championship match: Asuka vs Carmella
- RAW Tag Team Championship Match: The B-Team vs Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt
- Finn Bálor vs “Constable” Baron Corbin
- The New Day vs SAnitY
The Extreme Rules Kickoff Show
The Extreme Rules event will begin at 6 PM ET with their Kickoff Show featuring pre-event analysis, recaps of each match’s feud, and the following wrestling action:
Tables Match: The New Day vs SAnity
As of this writing, there are no betting odds listed for this match. The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) will take on one of my favorite groups SAnity (Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain) in a tables match. This will certainly be an exciting bout with a lot of carnage, high spots and plenty of action.
The feud came about on the July 3rd episode of SmackDown when The New Day decided to have a pancake eating contest but were attacked from behind by SAnity. So, not only did we not get a pancake eating contest winner, but The New Day suffered a savage beating. The end result was Xavier Woods being held down on a table as Eric Young came off the top rope with a flying elbow.
SmackDown GM Paige wasted no time and made this match for Extreme Rules. Unfortunately, I feel that the WWE rushed this feud. This could’ve been a slow burn feud with a much better payoff at SummerSlam than a match on the Kickoff Show of Extreme Rules. The WWE could’ve continued the feud between SAnity and The USOs for this event instead of against The New Day. Just another example of shoddy booking by the WWE, which has gotten them into a lot of trouble lately.
The only way to salvage this match is to have The New Day do the job. All it takes is for one member of the team to be put through a table for the other team to win. So, the WWE could have any number of creative spots that allow a New Day to member to go through the table and keep SAnity’s “push” going.
The Extreme Rules Main Show
As of now, only one match is expected to be on the Kickoff Show, which means the Main Card for Extreme Rules will feature the following 10 matches:
Singles Match: Finn Balor (-140) vs Baron Corbin (+100)
I for one, am getting a kick out of Baron Corbin’s “Constable” character. Not only that, but I was glad to see that he finally shaved off that balding mullet. The feud between Balor and Corbin came together during tag-team matches, but if you have followed their careers in NXT then you know that they had a solid feud against each other in the WWE’s developmental promotion.
Balor has shown a sarcastic, belittling side toward Corbin which is what led to the two being at odds. Speaking of odds, Balor is favored in this match at -140. Corbin is an even +100 for the match and I like his betting odds.
These two wrestlers have good chemistry in the ring and I believe they’re going to put on a solid match if the WWE bookers allow them enough time. It’s a tough pick as to which wrestler will win. Personally, I believe Corbin should win as his “constable” gimmick needs the victory more than Balor does. Truth is, Balor is going to be in the same position regardless if he wins or loses. If the WWE really wants to turn things around on RAW, they would have this go to the time limit and without a winner. Then move Balor on to feud with Dolph Ziggler and have Corbin meddle in other affairs.
With that said, since I have to pick here, I’m going with Baron Corbin to pull off the upset. He needs the win more and it helps to boost his stock. Look for Corbin to abuse his power and somehow “cheat” to win this match. The alternative would be having Balor win, but Corbin savagely attack him after the match to keep his “heat.”
RAW Tag-Team Title Match: The B-Team (+145) vs Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt (c) (-185)
The RAW tag-team division is a mess. The WWE has basically ignored this division except for these two tag-teams. Sure, The Revival got some main-event time with Reigns and Lashley, but it did nothing for this division. Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy have brought some intrigue to the tag-division on RAW, but there’s no real depth and no excitement for the division as a whole.
I give the WWE credit for trying to get Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas “over” with the WWE Universe following the departure of The Miz from RAW. By all accounts, the WWE has succeeded in making The B-Team a relevant tag-team with the fans. However, unless they give this duo the belts at Extreme Rules, a loss is just going to relegate them down to the level of Rhino and Heath Slater.
I’m actually surprised that the odds aren’t higher in favor of the champs. Currently, Wyatt and Hardy are only listed at -185. The B-Team is listed at +145.
The WWE needs to decide: do they go with the shock value or do they keep the belts around Wyatt and Hardy?
For now, I believe they should keep the belts on the champs. Hardy and Wyatt need to give this division some credibility before dropping the belts to a team like The Revival who can take the division to another level. Eventually, the belts need to find their way to AOP at some point this year as they could rule the tag-division on RAW for the foreseeable future.
As for this match, the best outcome is allowing The B-Team to have a strong showing with a few near-fall finishes before Wyatt hits a Sister Abigail on Axel. I would love to see some in-ring interaction between real-life brothers Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas. In a perfect world, I would love to see Bo Dallas be converted to a member of the Wyatt Family and the real-life brothers team up.
Look for “The Deleter of Worlds” to win this match and retain the titles.
30 Minute Iron Man Intercontinental Title Match: Seth Rollins (+150) vs Dolph Ziggler (c) (-190)
In terms of in-ring action, this match should steal the show. Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins are two of the best in-ring workers on RAW and in the WWE. Their RAW match on June 17th, tore the house down and created a buzz with fans and pundits. Not only did Dolph Ziggler pull off the upset and capture the IC title for the 6th time, with the help of his partner Drew McIntyre, but the duo’s in-ring action was the best that RAW has offered in quite some time. In fact, they just set the bar on what great matches should look like on WWE TV.
The following week, Rollins should’ve won the title back, but McIntyre caused a disqualification and the belt stayed around Ziggler’s waste. However, that didn’t stop Rollins from coming out and being a thorn in the side of Ziggler and McIntyre for the last few weeks.
Ultimately, it led to the WWE making an Iron Man match between these two where the goal is to pin or submit the other man as many times possible within a 30-minute time limit. In other words, this is going to be the best match on the show and I’m definitely excited for it.
As mentioned above, I really feel that Balor should be set up in a feud with Ziggler heading into SummerSlam. Rollins needs to be elevated back to the top level of RAW along the lines of Reigns, Lashley and Strowman. In fact, Rollins has surpassed all three men as the most popular star on RAW right now and is clearly the best worker on the red brand. It’s time to push Reigns aside and let Rollins ascend back to the top of the roster.
As much as I want to pick Rollins to win, I believe that the WWE is going to keep the belt on Ziggler most likely due to assistance from Drew McIntyre. I wouldn’t mind seeing a tag-team match between Ziggler and McIntyre against Rollins and a returning Dean Ambrose at SummerSlam, if the WWE decides to keep this feud going and if Ambrose is medically cleared by then.
Steel Cage Match: Braun Strowman (-245) vs Kevin Owens (+175)
Raise your hand if you think Kevin Owens has any chance of winning this steel cage match. In fact, because nobody thinks he will win, I’m surprised that bookmakers have the odds as close as they do. There’s no way Strowman is losing this match to Owens unless half of the heels come out of the locker room to help KO win. Braun is on a path to become the Universal Champion within the next 9 months. And, with Lesnar’s future uncertain, the WWE could look to get the belt on Braun even sooner. With that in mind, it reinforces the thought that Strowman will win this match.
Despite Owens getting beat up and bullied by Strowman on a weekly basis, KO still has been able to keep his relevance with the WWE Universe and that’s a testament to his overall pro wrestling talents. KO provides a unique blend of personality and in-ring talent that endears him to WWE fans in a “I want to see you get your head smashed in” kind of way.
As much as I would love to see KO pull off the upset, it’s not going to happen. Strowman has treated Owens like a rag doll for months now. In fact, he’s pretty much chewed up and spit out Owens on a weekly basis. And, I thought the WWE was an anti-bullying company? Apparently, that only counts outside of the on-air product because Strowman has bullied Owens for a long time now and he will do more of the same on Sunday.
I’m picking Strowman to win this match, but there is one cool way that the WWE could give Owens the win while keeping Braun looking like the “monster among men”. Have Owens run around and try to escape the cage every chance he gets until Strowman finally gets his “hands” on KO. Then allow Braun to beat Owens up for a few minutes before literally throwing him through the steel cage. Owens can get the win and lay unconscious amongst the steel rubble while Strowman laughs his way to the back. If only the WWE was this creative!
Extreme Rules RAW Women’s Title Match: Nia Jax (+220) vs Alexa Bliss (c) (-300)
Nia Jax is the second biggest underdog on the show behind Rusev. At +220 odds, the bookmakers aren’t giving her any chance to win. The biggest reason why is due to the rumor that Ronda Rousey will face Alexa Bliss at SummerSlam for the title and win it. But, we’re getting too far ahead.
This match came about partly due to their longstanding feud and partly due to the championship rematch that Jax was owed. Bliss came out at the Money in the Bank Network event and blindsided both Rousey and Jax with here newly won MITB briefcase. As she threw Rousey out of the ring, Bliss was able to capitalize on an injured Nia Jax by cashing in her MITB contract and winning the title.
The next night on RAW, Rousey was furious with Bliss and brutally attacked her. This resulted in Rousey being suspended from RAW for 30 days. This also opened the door for Jax to get her rematch at Extreme Rules.
With an Extreme Rules stipulation for this RAW Women’s title match, you can expect a lot of weapons and outside interference to play a big part in the outcome. This is the only way that Bliss can keep the title and look strong enough to face Rousey at SummerSlam. “Little Miss Bliss” is going to leave Extreme Rules with the title. Could we see Rousey show up at Extreme Rules and interfere in this title match? There is a small chance that the WWE is looking to have a triple threat match at SummerSlam between Rousey, Jax and Bliss.
United States Title Match: Shinsuke Nakamura (-195) vs Jeff Hardy (c) (+155)
This is the sleeper match of the night. Not many pundits or fans are talking about this match and that’s largely due to WWE’s terrible booking of Nakamura by having him lose 100 matches in a row to AJ Styles. Ok, it wasn’t 100, but it was enough to make people not care anymore about Shinsuke and his awesome entrance song.
This bout is a rematch of sorts. Over a month ago, Nakamura and Hardy squared off inside the ring to an entertaining contest. In fact, it led me to write about, in my MITB betting preview, how a feud between these two would be great for Nakamura as the WWE completely dropped the ball on his feud with Styles.
A few weeks ago, Hardy challenged Nakamura to a rematch, but Shinsuke claimed to be medically unable to wrestle. That postponed their rematch until Extreme Rules.
Nakamura is a big favorite in this US title match at -195 and I believe he should defeat the underdog champion Jeff Hardy (+155). It’s time for the WWE to admit their mistake and rebuild Nakamura’s in-ring credibility. Plus, I think it could be hilarious having Nakamura cutting heel promos on the US title belt or even trying to rename it. Also, Hardy doesn’t need to be a champ to get “over” with the crowd. He’s forever “over” with the WWE Universe.
One way they could end this match is having Hardy go for a Swanton off the top rope, but landing on Nakamura’s knees. Then Shinsuke gets up, takes Hardy’s head off with a running knee to face, and wins the belt.
SmackDown Women’s Title Match: Asuka (-150) vs Carmella (c) (+110)
Just like with Nakamura, the WWE has dropped the ball with Asuka. Ever since her surprising loss to Charlotte at WM 34, Asuka’s luster and in-ring bravado have worn off. Then you throw her into a feud with Carmella, and she doesn’t win their MITB match, which leaves the WWE Universe feeling even more deflated over Asuka. The best thing to come out of the Carmella-Asuka feud has been the return of James Ellsworth, who will be suspended above the ring in a shark’s cage so that he can’t interfere in the match.
Although “The Empress of Tomorrow” is the favorite at -150, it’s hard to have any betting confidence in her as the WWE has made us pay in the past over betting on her to win. If the WWE wants to really turn things around on SmackDown, then they should put the belt on Asuka and have her rematch Charlotte Flair at SummerSlam. If they decide to keep the belt on Carmella then what’s the point of caring about anything Asuka does from this point further? After two years of dominating the WWE, Asuka’s undefeated streak will have been for nothing. On a side note, Asuka needs to be a heel, not a babyface.
At -150, I think the risk of betting on Asuka is worth it. I’m going to take her in this bout, but if she loses again then the WWE writers should all be fired and bookmakers should never put odds on her match again.
SmackDown Tag-Team Title Match: Team Hell No (-105) vs The Bludgeon Brothers (c) (-135)
On the June 26th episode of SmackDown, The Bludgeon Brothers were attempting to end Daniel Bryan’s career. Out of nowhere, Kane returned to the ring and fought off the SmackDown tag-team champs. What came next was an emotional reunion with Daniel Bryan as they hugged it out at the end of SmackDown. Almost immediately, SmackDown GM Paige came out and gave Team Hell No a title shot against the Bludgeon Brothers at Extreme Rules.
Well, the next week on SmackDown, the duo would reignite their combustible partnership by strolling down memory lane, which all started back in late 2012. The duo first feuded with each other before being teamed up together and forming one of the most entertaining storylines in 2012 and 2013. They became tag champs and held the belts for 245 days before losing to The Shield at the 2013 edition of Extreme Rules.
After their title loss, things began to crumble between the two superstars and it inevitably led to a very nasty feud. At the 2014 Extreme Rules PPV, Bryan defeated Kane for the WWE Championship. This led to the infamous attack by Kane on RAW where he hit Bryan with multiple Tombstone pile drivers on the steel steps. It was how WWE wrote Daniel Bryan off TV due to his real-life neck injury that eventually led to his retirement from the WWE as an in-ring competitor.
5 years after their tag-title loss at the 2013 Extreme Rules, Team Hell No has a chance to regain the titles and restore some life and energy to the SmackDown roster and the tag-team division. 4 years after Bryan defeated Kane for the WWE title at Extreme Rules, the duo has a chance to once again become the main event players in the WWE.
Make no mistake about it, this Team Hell No reunion won’t last long. With the uncertainty over Bryan’s future with the WWE, due to his contract expiring, the WWE is rumored to have The Miz and Daniel Bryan fight at SummerSlam in case Bryan doesn’t re-sign with the company. There’s also a rumor that The Miz could interfere in the tag-title match at Extreme Rules to set up the SummerSlam match with Bryan.
In all honesty, the Bludgeon Brothers are irrelevant in this match. It all comes down to how the WWE wants to move forward with Team Hell No. Personally, rushing The Miz vs Daniel Bryan for SummerSlam and not WM 35 is a mistake. I’m not worried about Bryan’s contract as I believe the two will work out the contractual sticking points. Daniel Bryan didn’t come back from retirement just to walk away from the profession he loves.
The WWE needs Team Hell No to really add star power to SmackDown and rejuvenate the show. Other than a big money feud with The Miz, Daniel Bryan and Kane can serve no better purpose right now than to elevate the SmackDown roster.
I’m going with the upset, according to the betting odds, and taking Team Hell No as the WWE really needs its top stars leading the charge as the company tries to rebound from poor ratings and terrible storylines since WM 34.
Singles Match: Roman Reigns (-160) vs Bobby Lashley (+120)
If Bobby Lashley had any kind of charisma, he would be the world champ. Lashley has a physique like no other and he has the wrestling background that screams credibility. Additionally, Bobby went 15-2 in his MMA career. A dream matchup against Brock Lesnar would be the perfect scenario to take the belt off of Brock at SummerSlam. Unfortunately, nobody even knows if Lesnar will be on the summer’s biggest WWE event.
This match is a #1 contender’s match for the WWE Universal title and we all know that the entire WWE Universe is rooting for Lashley. Sorry Roman, but it’s time for you to move out of the way so that someone who can beat Brock Lesnar, can go out there and actually beat Brock Lesnar. Yes, I’m paraphrasing what Lashley said in his promo with Reigns last month on RAW.
Reigns has already had multiple title shots this year against Lesnar and has come up short in all of them. Additionally, the crowd was overwhelmingly in favor of Lesnar as they’re tired of Reigns being force-fed down their throats. You can bet that the crowd in Pittsburgh will definitely be pro-Lashley.
If the WWE ever wants Lashley to get over as a main event star then it has to be at Extreme Rules. They have to book Lashley to beat Roman Reigns and become the top contender. If they don’t then the WWE is just burying Lashley again, which was a huge reason why he left the company a decade ago.
Reigns can survive a loss to Lashley and still be relevant because the WWE has made him their golden boy. But, look what the feud did for Strowman when Reigns helped to get him over. Now, imagine how he could do the same thing with Lashley.
Believe me, Lashley isn’t going to get over on his own. He needs someone like Reigns to make the fans really care about him. Then if he defeats Lesnar, Lashley will be a certified superstar. If Reigns wins this match, then Lashley might as well prepare for another feud with Sami Zayn or No Way Jose.
I’m picking the upset here. The WWE desperately needs new stars at the top of their RAW roster and they need someone other than Reigns to fight Lesnar. And, I’m picking Lashley because I’m tired of seeing Reigns in the main event. “The Big Dog” needs a big vacation from RAW’s spotlight.
WWE Championship Match: Rusev (+320) vs AJ Styles (c) (-460)
After his hard work, and an organic love from the WWE Universe, Rusev has been rewarded with a WWE title shot. Unfortunately, he’s the biggest underdog of the night and there’s no way that the WWE will take the belt off of Styles before SummerSlam. Sorry to all of you who celebrate “Rusev Day,” but AJ Styles is going to retain the belt for at least one more Network Event.
Rusev earned this title shot by surviving a gauntlet match on Smackdown last month. He looked strong in the MITB ladder match as well. It appears that the WWE is finally allowing Rusev to inch his way up the proverbial ladder. Sadly, Rusev’s slow ascension will end at Extreme Rules, but not before AJ makes The “Bulgarian Brute” look like a million bucks.
I expect Rusev to come out of this match looking strong and continuing his push. Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess. However, it’s going to be fun watching how Rusev continues to get the massive support from the WWE Universe.
The rumor is that AJ Styles will feud with Samoa Joe at SummerSlam. For longtime fans of these two, this match will steal that show. AJ and Samoa Joe have a long history of feuding against each other and they could punctuate that rivalry with an outstanding SummerSlam match an elevate the blue brand to new heights.
As for this world title match, I expect AJ to put over Rusev throughout the match and make him look like the brute that he is. Styles will get his shots in, but take a beating for a good part of the title match before hitting a phenomenal forearm to seal his victory.
The Best Extreme Rules Betting Value
For the most part, these odds are in line with what’s expected to happen. There are a few small surprises like Braun Strowman not being a bigger favorite over Kevin Owens. However, the one match that I feel offers the best betting value is the SmackDown tag-title match. I really like the -105 betting odds for Team Hell No. Although there’s a strong rumor of The Miz interfering and costing Team Hell No the tag titles, I still believe that the WWE needs to do what’s best for business right now and that’s having the reunited Kane and Daniel Bryan win the belts.
You can take the value bets from above and make some money at the following legit sports betting sites.
Potential Extreme Rules Betting Upsets
The following matches are the only upsets that I see on the card unless the WWE decides to keep championship belts on Carmella and Jeff Hardy:
Team Hell No (-105):
I’ve laid out my argument for this match in multiple sections, but I feel the WWE is too desperate for improved ratings and fan support to not put the belts on Team Hell No.
Baron Corbin (+100):
It would be easy to pick Finn Balor in this matchup, but I’m going with Corbin to “abuse his power of authority” and find a way to win by hook or crook.
Bobby Lashley (+120):
This pick is more along the lines of hope than belief. But, the WWE really needs someone other than Reigns to fight Lesnar. A matchup between Lashley and Lesnar could also capture mainstream attention due to their wrestling and MMA backgrounds. Other than Strowman, Lashley is the only one who fans believe can beat Brock.
2018 Extreme Rules Final Thoughts
As mentioned, this Network Event could be a pivotal moment in the WWE this year. With terrible ratings and boring storylines, the company is in desperate need for some success coming out of Extreme Rules. To accomplish that, they need to take a step away from tired acts like Roman Reigns and Carmella. They need to go into a new direction with wrestlers like Bobby Lashley, Asuka and SAnity.
If the WWE comes out of Extreme Rules with the same status quo, they’re going to continue to see all-time lows in ratings, which is bad news for a company moving their programming to a new TV network. Also, it will eventually lower live attendance numbers and thwart new or renewed WWE Network subscriptions.
Let’s all hope that the WWE gets it right this Sunday and we see a new direction with both RAW and SmackDown.