WWE’s latest pay-per-view event fails to whet the appetite as the last major event before 2018’s SummerSlam in Brooklyn.
Team Hell No will strive for tag team glory for the first time in over five years and Bulgarian Brute Rusev also has his first chance at securing the WWE Championship against AJ Styles.
Here is a short rundown of the card and what you can expect to see tonight in Pittsburgh.
Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas will make his main roster PPV debut against Sin Cara, who he has been performing with on house shows since moving to Smackdown Live. As the newer member of the roster, expect Almas to have a good match and get the win – before moving onto bigger and better things.
Also on the pre-show, fellow NXT call-ups SAnitY come up against The New Day in a match that could easily feature on the main card. With all three members of both stables competing, this could be a wild match with a few big spots in a limited amount of time. Similar to before, Eric Young’s group including Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe should come out on top of the ‘Tables Match’ as the newer and fresher team.
Both Raw and Smackdown have rematches for their women’s championships. Alexa Bliss goes against WrestleMania opponent Nia Jax with Ronda Rousey poised at ringside in this ‘Extreme Rules Match’. This could easily go to a non-finish and will most likely set up Rousey against Bliss at SummerSlam next month.
Carmella and Asuka have their rematch after James Ellsworth’s appearance ruined Money in the Bank’s title match. This time around, Ellsworth will be suspended high above the ring in a shark cage, limiting the amount of interference he can cause. Asuka has been poorly booked since her loss to Charlotte Flair at ‘Mania and a win here could see her regain some momentum.
Elsewhere on the Smackdown side, Team Hell No try and capture gold for the first time in five years as they face The Bludgeon Brothers. Whether Kane is sticking around for a while is unknown, but keeping Bryan in the tag division for too long seems like a foolish idea. Expect Harper and Rowan to deal substantial damage to Bryan before seeing off Kane for the win.
On the Raw tag team scene, stars are aligning for a certain team to win the belts at SummerSlam. Before that, however, Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt have to defend the championships against Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. Admittedly, The B Team’s rise to the top has been fairly funny but they do not seem a legitimate threat to The Deleters of Worlds. Hardy and Wyatt should retain comfortably before going on to face Rezar and Akam of the Authors of Pain next month.
There are three singles matches, including one inside a Steel Cage, on this card with no title on the line.
Braun Strowman will try and destroy Kevin Owens more than he has recently on Raw inside the cage, but look out for Owens getting a sneaky win by flying through the cage onto the floor. Roman Reigns takes on Bobby Lashley in a match which many are seeing as a number one contenders match for the Universal Championship. Finally, Finn Balor takes on Constable Baron Corbin in a match that could easily have been made way for Sasha Banks and Bayley.
The last three matches on the card could all steal the show in their own way.
Dolph Ziggler defends his Intercontinental Championship in a 30-minute Iron Man match against Seth Rollins. Undoubtedly, The Kingslayer has been the Performer of the Year so far and he could put on another great showing against Ziggler, who is always great inside the ropes.
In a different and presumably slower style of match, Jeff Hardy will face Shinsuke Nakamura for the United States Championship. It is public knowledge that Hardy has been competing for weeks with a trapped nerve and with Nakamura only recently recovering from a dog attack, this one is anybodies guess.
Although it may not close the show, AJ Styles will fight Rusev for the WWE Championship in a match which will completely divide the crowd. Despite being a heel, Rusev has won over the crowd with his ‘Rusev Day’ gimmick whereas Styles has been a brilliant champion on Smackdown since winning the belt from Jinder Mahal in November.