Monkeys Fighting Robots

On this edition of Mixed Tag Mayhem, TV Editor Tom Chang and Social Media Editor Kimberly Cooke preview WWE Extreme Rules 2018, Ronda Rousey’s induction to the UFC Hall of Fame and Brock Lesnar’s UFC future.

The first bout, a rematch from WrestleMania, Tom and Kim both agreed at this instance Alexa Bliss will retain her title against Nia Jax. Otherwise, there would have been no point in Bliss winning the Money in the Bank just to trade titles despite her WrestleMania loss. We both agreed Mickie James has been booked as useless despite her legacy with the company.

The second bout also had a consensus with AJ Styles retaining in his match with Rusev for the WWE Championship. Given how Styles’ feud with Shinsuke Nakamura, there’s no reason for him to drop the belt suddenly with Rusev suddenly put into the title match.

The third match between Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt versus the B-Team of Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel was less predicted to be less decisive. Kim predicted the hot B-Team to become the new WWE Raw Tag Team Champions. Tom thought it could go either way, but Hardy and Wyatt needs the belts less.

In Carmella v Asuka II, a rematch of their Money in the Bank bout, Tom and Kim agreed Carmella will retain the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship. Carmella’s co-conspirator in James Ellsworth, despite being a punching bag to Asuka, won’t be a factor as he’ll be suspended above the ring in a cage. If Asuka didn’t win at WrestleMania at the pinnacle of the streak, then there’s no reason to randomly give her the belt right now.

The Bludgeon Brothers versus Team Hell No for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship might go either way as cases for Harper and Rowan to retain and for the reunited Kane and Daniel Bryan to win, respectively. A loss by either team won’t hurt either’s credibility. Team Hell No is a sentimental favorite.
What Tom and Kim call the match of the night, Dolph Ziggler defends his WWE Intercontinental Championship against former champion, Seth Rollins in a 30-minute Iron Man match. Both agreed, they’re at their peak with the company and should be headliners for some time.

What could be the bathroom break/audience draining moment of the pay per view with Roman Reigns taking on Bobby Lashley to contend for Brock Lesnar’s Universal Title was also too close to call, but Tom predicts a no-decision and possible triple threat match with Lesnar for Summerslam.

When it came to the Jeff Hardy versus Shinsuke Nakamura match for the WWE US Championship, Kim sees Nakamura going on top while Tom sees Hardy retaining given how Nakamura has been booked lately. Tom hopes the match doesn’t end with a low blow finish especially given their contrasting high flying/high impact move sets.

Tom and Kim agreed Finn Bálor versus Baron Corbin could go either way, but could lead to something bigger in a future PPV. Tom leaned more to Bálor.
As of the recording, the last two matches with Braun Strowman and Kevin Owens in a Steel Cage match and the New Day vs. Sanity were missed.

Kim said Braun is unstoppable and KO can be a coward. He’s due to sling some payback Braun’s way, but he’s like a little kid who spits on someone then runs behind his protector so he doesn’t get beaten up. Tom agrees and thinks it will likely go similarly previous Braun victories, but KO is quite the opportunist and try everything to slow him down while using the cage to give chase.

Kim says the New Day and Sanity are a yin and yang pairing of teams. Most of Sanity are bigger dudes, so she hopes that the power and speed of Kofi and Woods will play to New Day’s favor, making them come out on top. Tom goes with Sanity in an upset, despite New Day’s experience.
The two UFC crossover stars in Ronda Rousey and Brock Lesnar were covered with Rousey’s induction to the UFC Hall of Fame. Kim thought the timing and induction was appropriate especially after what Rousey did for women in MMA. Tom disagreed since UFC operates more as a legitimate sport than the pre-planned professional wrestling of WWE. Rousey never admitted on camera that the last UFC match she participated would be her final and she would be open to coming back. Tom argued those in other halls are long retired and require an inactive period to be eligible. Even an entertainment-based one like the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame required a substantial amount of time from the musician/band’s first album before being inducted. Tom doesn’t argue the legitimacy, because Rousey is worthy, but the timing is questionable because she’s currently relevant may be the only factor to bring her in this soon.

Tom and Kim closed the show talking about the Hardy Boyz video and the additional footage provided by the Anthem-owned TNA/Impact Wrestling. As the closest competition to WWE, the gesture was shocking for the time, but could mark a better opening of relations with other companies as WWE has used content provided by promotions in Japan and Ring of Honor to promote their current stars. Former Impact talents like Bobby Roode, AJ Styles, Sting, Bobby Lashely, Eric Young, Samoa Joe all played a major part of the promotion’s history. Assembling talent documentaries would provide a more definitive coverage than just their time at WWE. The possibility became far much more a reality with former TNA owner Dixie Carter speaking on behalf of WWE Hall of Famer and current Raw GM Kurt Angle and his final run as a full time wrestler in a WWE documentary. Also Jeff Jarrett’s induction to the WWE HoF also shows the consistency of letting bygones be bygones when he started TNA to be the major wrestling alternative following WWE’s purchase of WCW in 2001.

While Sting had significant history with WCW, his time in Impact marks the last final major length of his wrestling journey despite his last few bouts in WWE. Much of Lashley’s career also took place in Impact after his first stint with WWE before returning to the company just recently.

Who do you think comes out on top for Extreme Rules? What next WWE documentary would you like to see utilizing Impact footage?

Sci-fi and technology geek since the NES days, Tom loves everything from the cult classics, the contemporary hits to the beast with two backs that is Disney and Marvel. His life's mission is to be the ultimate nerd savant sitting on the iron throne as CEO of Skynet while masquerading as a vigilante at night wearing hockey pads.