Welcome to the Opening Bell, where we round up what’s been announced for WWE (Raw and SmackDown) and AEW (Dynamite and Rampage) programming for the week we’ve just begun.
WWE Raw preview – Monday, Oct. 3, Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN
With Extreme Rules beckoning at the end of the week, WWE is pulling out all the stops to drum up that final interest. To wit, there’s a ton advertised for Monday’s Raw in Minnesota — more than usual, for sure.
It’s almost a requirement to have a contract signing for the last Raw before a premium live event, and Bianca Belair and Bayley will have theirs in St. Paul. The champ has been doing a good job of preventing Bayley from living in her head, but will have to stay strong this week ahead of their Ladder Match.
Matt Riddle and Seth Rollins have a feud that’s even more “on sight” than Belair and Bayley, but they’ll also have their face-to-face confrontation on Raw. Because they can’t keep from throwing down when they’re together, WWE says if either man makes contact with each other on Raw, they’re out of their Extreme Rules Fight Pit match. So it’ll be words, not fists, supposedly. And how will the news that UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier is refereeing that match get worked into the mix?
Also on tap for Raw this week:
- Rey Mysterio and AJ Styles team to take on The Judgment Day
- Braun Strowman will face a reluctant Chad Gable
- Johnny Gargano has a match scheduled against the other half of Alpha Academy, Otis
- Candice LeRae will tangle with one half of the women’s tag team champions, Damage CTRL’s Dakota Kai
AEW Dynamite preview – Wednesday, Oct. 5, Entertainment & Sports Arena, Washington D.C.
Perhaps the most exciting thing that’s been revealed about this week’s Dynamite is that it will go an extra 15 minutes. That implies something big, or at the very least a pretty stacked show.
We already know one of the matches will see MJF take on Wheeler Yuta. These two have been going at it since MJF’s return, and though hardly anyone can hang with the self-professed Devil on the mic, Yuta can certainly give him a full night’s work in the ring. Alas, one gets the feeling that The Firm will bail MJF out if he runs into too much trouble.
Another big bout will see Daniel Garcia tag with his idol, Bryan Danielson, to face Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara. Garcia has been wavering for a while on his Jericho Appreciation Society membership, and after the American Dragon invited him to jump to the Blackpool Combat Club, this could be the chance for him to make a clean break. But you know “The Ocho” will have something to say about that before it’s all said and done in this battle of teams featuring two ROH champions.
Here’s what else has already been promoted for Dynamite:
- Darby Allin takes on Jay Lethal, who’s promised to leave his entourage behind this time around
- Luchasaurus will be in action
- The Acclaimed will get everyone to help celebrate National Scissoring Day, because everybody loves The Acclaimed
WWE SmackDown preview – Friday, Oct. 7, DCU Center, Worcester, Mass.
‘Twas the night before Extreme Rules, and it also happens to be the episode that WWE is promoting as the season premiere of SmackDown. So it’s being headlined by a very big match indeed: the rematch between champion Gunther and challenger Sheamus for the Intercontinental Championship. These two tore the house down the first time around, so fans are pumped for round two.
Solo Sikoa will be in action on Friday as well, taking on Ricochet. Sikoa’s friendship with Sami Zayn has been one of the most pleasant surprises on recent WWE programming, so you can bet Sami will likely be on hand to support Solo for this one.
And because it’s never too early to start promoting the next big premium live event (and because the Tribal Chief isn’t working Extreme Rules), Roman Reigns and Logan Paul will go face to face. Crown Jewel is only a few weeks away, after all.
AEW Rampage preview – Friday, Oct. 7, Entertainment & Sports Arena, Washington D.C.
It’s two shows in three nights for AEW this week in the nation’s capital, with both of them live. Rampage has a special bonus feature this week too: Battle of the Belts IV will take place live immediately after it at 11:00 p.m. ET. That special is expected to have multiple title matches, with the one announced featuring Pac defending his All-Atlantic Championship against Trent Beretta.
As for Rampage proper, we know the Dark Order’s 10 will face off against Andrade El Idolo with some surprisingly big stakes. If 10 loses, he forfeits his mask, but if he wins, Andrade has to leave AEW. Expect Dynamite to add some more spice to this card as well.