So, once again, my schedule of WWE pay-per-views is all ass-backwards and I completely forgot about Extreme Rules. Ironically, though, the WWE seem a bit confused about Extreme Rules this time around as, for a while, they slapped a subtitle, “The Horror Show”, onto the event and then random switched this to The Horror Show at Extreme Rules, which is a bit of a mouthful to say the least. I also find it a bit odd that they gave the “Horror Show” tag line to this event as only one match is really living up to that tag line and it feels like it’d be ore fitting for an October, Halloween-themed show but hey, what do I know?
After believing themselves to be exempt from following social distancing rules, the WWE were basically obligated (if not forced) to introduce a mask rule for the few members of their audience after a few confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported…yet the wrestlers can still clamber all over each other in the ring. Honestly, the build to this event has been lacklustre; some odd booking decisions have appeared in recent weeks; MVP somehow overtook his client, Bobby Lashley, as the top contender for Apollo Crews’ newly-deigned United States Championship, Rey Mysterio and Jeff Hardy are still feuding with Seth Rollins and Sheamus, respectively, and Dolph Ziggler, of all people, randomly became the number one contender for the WWE Championship! What is this? 2010!?
I’m not entirely sure how this happened; instead of continuing his feud with Drew McIntyre after his loss at Backlash, Lashley randomly started targeting newly-crowned United States Champion Apollo Crews. Then, somehow, Lashley’s manager MVP overtook him in the “rankings” and is randomly challenging for the title. It’s a bit confusing to me as I thought this was going to be Lashley’s consolation prize for not capturing Raw’s main belt but apparently not. As much as I’m digging Apollo’s recent push, I wouldn’t be surprised if the WWE don’t just randomly throw the belt onto MVP so he can run his mouth about it and be an annoying prick; maybe that will be the seed for a Lashley face turn but either way I think we’ll be seeing an obnoxious heel United States champion heading into SummerSlam.
My prediction: MVP by pin fall, new champion crowned.
The WWE is really surprising me with the slow burn storytelling they’re using for the inevitable clash between Sasha Banks and Bayley; the two have had a bit of tension over the last few weeks and months, mainly based around Bayley undermining or talking for Sasha, but they seem to be on the same page as they’re the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions and, rather than challenging her friend, Sasha chose to take on Asuka for the Red Brand’s Women’s title.
I think, to facilitate this story further, we’ll see Sasha capture the belt here and actually hold on to it for longer then twenty-four hours. Now that Charlotte Flair is (thankfully) out of the picture for some time, there are a lot of opportunities for other women in the WWE and it means they can actually put some effort into the unavoidable showdown between Sasha and Bayley. I think we’ll see Sasha win the belt and the duo’s tensions only increase from there, possibly (hopefully) leading to a winner-take-all-scenario if we ever get around to SummerSlam.
My prediction: Sasha Banks by pin fall, new champion crowned.
As I mentioned before, Charlotte’s absence has opened the door for other women to shine for a change and nothing exemplifies that more than Nikki Cross getting a title shot at a pay-per-view for a change. I honestly feel like Nikki is criminally underused in the WWE; in the absence of Paige as the “Anti-Diva”, Nikki could really shine as this cute, mental opposite to what the majority of the women’s division is like (Ruby Riott could also do this but she’s too busy losing and losing and losing some more). Unfortunately, I don’t see Nikki winning here; clearly, this is a stop-gap in the larger story between Sasha and Bayley so I think we’ll probably see Nikki lose through some shenanigans on Bayley’s part.
My prediction: Bayley by pin fall, championship retained.
So, it seemed for a while there like we were done with this feud; Seth Rollins injured Rey Mysterio’s eye,
Eddie Guerrero’s Rey’s son, Dominick, popped up now and then to threaten revenge and get beaten up, and then things died down with Seth butted heads with Kevin Owens and Aleister Black. Now, Rey and Dom are back and hungry to make Seth pay for his actions.
Honestly, I’m a little annoyed as I was hoping for a six-man tag team match and feud between Rey, Aleister, and Owens against Rollins and his disciples and I don’t really see how the WWE can deliver on the marketing for this match. Similar to the first blood match between Kane and Stone Cold Steve Austin back in the day, I don’t see how a competitor is really going to lose an eye. Instead, I think we’ll see Rey come out on top (probably by pinning Seth) and then injury his eye and Rollins will be forced to run around with an eye patch on for several weeks or feigning blindness in that classic, tasteless way the WWE likes to do. At the same time, though, it feels like the WWE might throw a surprise twist into the mix and have Dominick turn heel and join Seth’s menagerie.
My prediction: Rey Mysterio by…removing Seth’s eye, I guess?
I was so happy when Bobby Lashley finally got that main event push he’s been needing since he returned to the WWE; obviously I never thought he’d actually beat Drew McIntyre but at last he was getting a chance to hang in the main event and be involved in the title picture.
However, rather than continue this for another month, the WWE randomly demoted Lashley down to the United States Championship (and then had his manager and mouthpiece, MVP, somehow usurp him as a title contender) and tossed Dolph Ziggler out there as Drew’s next challenger. Look, I get it, these two have some history but…it’s 2020, for God’s sake! It was fun seeing Heath Slater show back up to confront McIntyre but Ziggler’s time as a seriously main event contender has long since passed; toss him into a fatal-four-way or an Elimination Chamber, sure; have him fight Drew on an episode of Raw, definitely, but to actually give him a title shot at a pay-per-view, even a B-one like The Horror Show at Extreme Rules, over Lashley is mind-boggling to me. Obviously, he’s not going to win and is just there to bounce around the ring for Drew but, come on, surely Drew deserves better than this?
My prediction: Drew McIntyre by pin fall, championship retained.
As expected, Bray Wyatt did indeed return to oppose Braun Strowman but not as the Fiend; instead, he’s seemingly reverted back to his Swamp Father persona, though I’m sure this is simply part of his gimmick of switching between his past personalities on a whim (although it would be cool to see all three faces of Wyatt regularly show up on television).
Strowman’s run with the title has been pretty disappointing, to be honest; he’s rarely ever on SmackDown and, when he is, he’s not really doing much and is generally played as a goof. As a result, I feel like we’ll see him lose this match, which is sure to be another of those crazy cinematic-style matches the WWE likes to do these days. However, it doesn’t seem like they’re even fighting over the Universal Championship so I don’t expect to see Strowman lose the belt; instead, I think the match will end in an ambiguous fashion and Wyatt will spend a few weeks parading around with the belt and talking nonsense (but not actually be the champion) until Strowman returns to finally face off with the Fiend at SummerSlam.
My prediction: Bray Wyatt by no contest, championship retained.
How excited are you for The Horror Show at Extreme Rules? Which match are you looking forward to the most or the least? What sort of shocks and surprises do you think will happen at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules, if any? Do you agree that The Horror Show at Extreme Rules is a stupidly long and massively inappropriate name for a pay-per-view? Share your thoughts in the comments and pop back tomorrow for my rundown of the results.