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411’s WWE The Horror Show at Extreme Rules 2020 Preview

July 19, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
WWE Extreme Rules

Hello wrestling and, possibly, Hostel fans! Welcome to 411’s The Horror Show at Extreme Rules preview. I’m Jeremy, and tonight we’re going to take a look at WWE’s PPV/torture porn that airs tonight on WWE Network. WWE has decided to take the whole idea of a cinematic match and expand into new venues, to say the least. Tonight in addition to a WWE Championship Match with an unknown stipulation, a Tables Match for the Smackdown Tag Titles and a bunch of other boring old non-stipulation matches, we’ll have a Wyatt Street Fight and a match were someone is LITERALLY going to win by going full Beatrice Kiddo on their personal Elle Driver by ripping their eye out. So that should be fun…right? Anyway, feel free to chime in with your picks in the comment section. No matter what happens, I think we can all at least agree that this PPV probably won’t be (or at least shouldn’t be) boring. Either way, let’s get to it.

Smackdown Tag Team Championship Table Match
The New Day vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro

This was the last match (as of this writing) to be added to the card, being booked on this week’s Smackdown. I don’t think it’s a wide stretch to say that Nakamura and Cesaro are guys that WWE haven’t traditionally used at their maximum effectiveness. I’m happy to see them on the card here, and while a tables match is not the most exciting stipulation it also isn’t the most intrusive, thus allowing for these guys to cut loose as they are wont to do when given the opportunity. WWE has had a sort of clockwork tendency to book the New Day as the standbys of the tag team division; the last few tag title reigns have been Big E. and Kofi reigning for two to four months, alternating those with whoever beats them for about 50 days. They’re 91 days into their current reign, so it seems like a decent time to make the switch unless they want to hold off until SummerSlam. Nakamura and Cesaro have been doing solid work as a team, and even if this is a thrown-together match on the card I think a title switch makes sense.

WINNER: Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro (New Smackdown Tag Team Champions)

WWE United States Championship Match
Apollo Crews vs. MVP

In any other year, MVP’s return to WWE in the capacity that he has come back would have been one of the more unexpected developments in the company. Of course, this is 2020 so the bar of “unexpected developments” is sky high. Regardless, I think that he’s been mostly successful in his return and has done Bobby Lashley a lot of good as a manager. I’m a bit less excited about this match though. I enjoy MVP, but does anyone really want to see him go over Apollo Crews at this point? They’re obviously building toward Crews vs. Lashley, and MVP should take the loss here so as to add some spice to that eventual match. It should be an enjoyable little encounter and I’m looking forward to seeing what they have in store, both in the match and going forward.

WINNER: Apollo Crews (Still WWE United States Champion)

Smackdown Women’s Championship Match
Bayley vs. Nikki Cross

I for one am ecstatic to see Nikki Cross get a women’s championship match on a PPV. It’s a shot that has been a long time coming for Cross, who has been regularly entertaining in her role on Smackdown with Alexa Bliss. And as much as I can say that I’m happy to see her here, I’m also completely fine with the fact that she has roughly 0% chance of winning the title here. Bayley’s roll with the Smackdown Women’s Championship has been great and they’re obviously still moving to the eventual Sasha Banks vs. Bayley match at some point, perhaps still as soon as Summerslam. That should be for Bayley’s title so she has to retain here. This should be a fun match and it’s nice to see Cross get the spotlight; hopefully she gets another shot in the not too terribly distant future.

WINNER: Bayley (Still Smackdown Women’s Champion)

Raw Women’s Championship Match
Asuka vs. Sasha Banks

Much like the Smackdown Women’s Championship match, this is pretty much a foregone conclusion. There’s no real chance that WWE does another Women’s Champion vs. Women’s Champion match at SummerSlam, and while a brief run with Bayley and Sasha as the Two-Woman Power Trip would be fun, I think the more likely story is that Bayley somehow costs Banks her match here to set up the Summerslam match. Asuka’s title reign has been all right, and has picked up in particular the last month or so, but a win here would do wonders for it. Both of these women cam obviously go and we haven’t seen them go one-on-one beyond one time back in January of 2018. Given some time, I have a lot of hype for this match and I expect Asuka to come out with her title reign intact.

WINNER: Asuka (Still Raw Women’s Champion)

Eye For an Eye Match
Seth Rollins vs. Rey Mysterio

Okay, here we go, folks. This is the wackiest of the wacky so far. When WWE started doing cinematic matches, it got off to a good start. The Boneyard Match was great, the Firefly Fun House match was bizarre but fun. The Climb the Corporate Ladder Money in the Bank match had some really fun moments in it. Unfortunately, the more WWE relies on these kinds of matches the more diminishing the returns. That brings us to this match, which feels like something Bruce Prichard came up with in a fever dream after binging New French Extremity films at the end of a month-long “I’m in charge of Raw now!’ bender. The Rollins vs. Mysterio feud has been better than I expected it to be; Rey and Dominick have been holding their end up well and Rollins has grown into his role as the Monday Night Messiah incredibly well. And listen, I’m not going to pull a Cornette here and say “This isn’t wrestling.” That said, WWE talks all the time about how they get viewers invested in their storylines, but a stipulation like this makes it hard to take seriously. This isn’t the FireFly Fun House; neither Rey nor Rollins have supernatural powers. So adding this kind of Mandy-level violence to the match doesn’t play to me. No doubt, Rey and Seth are going to give it their all, though the idea of trying to brutally extract an eye doesn’t exactly play into Mysterio’s style. I have hopes that it will enjoyable, but that’s dependent on the stipulation and trying to remove an eye sounds like a set-up for the start-and-stop style that makes Last Man Standing matches a chore to watch. Anyway, if Seth loses here I’ll be shocked; it’s not out of the realm of possibility, but it does seem like a way to write Rey off of TV for now since he’s not currently under contract.

WINNER: Seth Rollins

Wyatt Swamp Fight
Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt

Now here’s a stipulation that is much more suited to its competitiors. Don’t get me wrong; I’m sure this will have a fair amount of wackiness to it. But Wyatt and Strowman are two guys with characters that can play around wacky a lot better than Rollins and Mysterio, for obvious reasons. And what’s more, this is an example of a cinematic match that will actually enhance the match, not hamstring it. The feud between Wyatt and Strowman hasn’t been setting the world on fire, but it’s been alright and has given both men something to do for the time being. With Strowman’s Universal Championship not on the line and Wyatt having the homefield advantage, there’s no reason not to have him pick up the win. That can lead to Strowman facing the Fiend in the match that closes out the feud, probably at SummerSlam. The editing of this match should work to its benefit, making for something that will probably have some odd moments in it but should be solidly entertaining.

WINNER: Bray Wyatt

WWE Championship Match
Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler

This match is set to have a stipulation that won’t be revealed by Ziggler until the last minute, which is intended to give him the edge he needs to even the playing field against McIntyre. I know a lot of people are ot huge fans of Ziggler being in this spot but I’ve always been a fan of his and I appreciate them bringing him in for the filler opponent for McIntyre here. It’s a match that plays off their history and that helps it feel a bit less thrown together, at least in terms of the story. Ziggler and McIntyre have always worked well with and against each other, and Dolph can bump his ass off to put Drew over strong. And that’s of course what’s going to happen here; there’s no way Ziggler is the guy to beat Drew. Even as foregone of a conclusion as this is, I’m looking forward to the match which I think can deliver on a level that a lot of lesser-card PPV title matches don’t tend to.

WINNER: Drew McIntyre (Still WWE Champion)

And that’s all we have for The Horror Show at Extreme Rules! Look, it’s a goofy PPV title — somehow they took “Extreme Rules: The Horror Show” and managed to double down on how dumb it could sound. But despite some of the sillier aspects of this show, I think it has the potential to deliver. We have some good matches here on paper and as long as the stipulations don’t get in people’s way too much, it should be a thoroughly-watchable show. Then again, it could also end up being a Horror Show for all the wrong reasons, but I’m going to stay optimistic for now.

Thanks once again for reading, and remember that we will have live coverage of The Horror Show at Extreme Rules right here on 411mania.com. Time for me to go before I lose an eye…

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Extreme Rules, Jeremy Thomas