Coming off record-low Raw ratings, “The Horror Show at Extreme Rules”, as 2020’s Extreme Rules is being called, is built around two world championship matches: Drew McIntyre defending his WWE Championship against Dolph Ziggler, and Universal Champion Braun Strowman taking on former mentor Bray Wyatt in a Wyatt Swamp Fight. (That sounds lame, but so did WrestleMania’s Firefly Funhouse match, which turned out great.)
But perhaps the most exciting match is for the Raw Women’s Championship, as Asuka and Sasha Banks, arguably the two best performers on the women’s roster, contend for the gold. Most concerning is the Eye for an Eye match between Seth Rollins and Rey Mysterio, which sounds like it has the potential to be hugely cringe. ()
Check back to this page as the show goes on, as we’ll be updating with results and match analysis.
Eye for an Eye match
Seth Rollins versus Rey Mysterio. You win by removing an opponent’s eye. Ugh. Here we go.
Apollo Crews can’t compete against MVP
Apollo Crews was scheduled to defend his United States Championship against MVP but, due to an attack by Bobby Lashley on Raw, isn’t cleared to compete. So MVP claims to be the new United States Champion, raising the belt he had made and which he’s been parading around on Raw.
Bayley retains SmackDown Women’s Championship
After a lengthy match (or at least, it felt like a lengthy match), Bayley defeated Nikki Cross to retain her SmackDown Women’s Championship. Sasha Banks distracted the ref, allowing Bayley to hit Cross with brass knucks, her faceplant finisher and get the pin.
This match wasn’t super fun to watch. Nikki Cross is a popular performer, but her matches and character really need fan feedback to truly work. Bayley is at day 280 of being SmackDown Women’s Champion, and similarly that storyline needs fans in the crowd anticipating her defeat to truly work. Of course, there are NXT students in the crowd making noise, but it’s not quite the same thing.
Bayley and Nikki worked hard, and it certainly wasn’t bad. But it’s not one I’d go out of my way to watch.
Rating: 2 stars. Would have likely been much better with a crowd.
Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro win Tag Team Titles
The main show begins with a SmackDown Tag Teat Title Tables match between The New Day and Shinsuke Nakamura. It ended in spectacular fashion, with Cesaro powerbombing Kofi Kingston off the turnbuckle to the outside through two tables stacked atop each other. It was sweet.
Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura undoubtedly have the feel of two singles guys thrown together as a team because creative had nothing else for them, but they absolutely work together. Having them win the gold is a smart move: The New Day are a credible team no matter what, so the loss doesn’t hurt them, while being champions solidifies Cesaro and Nakamura as a threatening tag team.
After the match, Cesaro goes to ringside and tells Michael Cole he and Nakamura are sick of being overlooked. “Overlooked no more,” assures Michael Cole. We’ll see about that.
The match was fine, punctuated by some exhilarating spots like Big E’s terrifying spear to Cesaro through the middle ropes and a huge trust fall by Kingston. Ultimately though, despite the aforementioned awesome finish, I couldn’t help but feel like these four talented stars could have put a better match on without the tables stipulation.
Rating: 3 stars.
Kevin Owens pins Murphy with a stunner in a short match.
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