SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE HORROR SHOW AT EXTREME RULES PPV PRIMER
JULY 18, 2020
AIRS ON WWE NETWORK & PPV
Originally scheduled to be held at the SAP Center in San Jose, California but, due to the ongoing pandemic, The Horror Show at Extreme Rules is now taking place at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. With a cinematic swamp fight in the offering and promises of a wrestler losing an eye, this show may very well live up to the addition of “horror show” to the title, one way or the other.
Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler – WWE Championship match with mystery stipulations
Story in a nutshell: A ghost from Drew McIntyre’s past comes back to haunt him as Dolph Ziggler comes after his championship.
Way back in the day, when Drew McIntyre was called up from NXT, he was paired with Dolph Ziggler. Now Ziggler is taking credit from bringing McIntyre back from “obscurity” and demanding that Drew owes him a title shot. Drew, confident that he would defeat Ziggler handily, let Ziggler choose the stipulation for the match. A Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre reunion later, and Zigggler is still withholding his choice until the match time.
Prediction: Ziggler will change the stipulations throughout the match as Drew keeps getting the better of him. It won’t help. Drew hurts, maims, tortures, eviscerates, and all the other stuff he likes to claim he wants to do.
Asuka vs. Sasha Banks – WWE Raw Women’s Championship match
Story in a nutshell: Sasha Banks wants championship gold so she and her best friend can rule the at the top of WWE, and her target is Asuka.
After successfully defending the tag team belts against The IIconics, Sasha claimed to be jealous that Bayley held two championships and wanted to be women’s champion implying she wanted Bayley’s belt. Instead she swerved to challenging Asuka for her championship. Asuka agreed and with that we were off to the races.
Prediction: Having both Bayley and Sasha hold all the gold would make them delightfully insufferable. Also, having Sasha with the gold, and Bayley without would make for really compelling tv, and this would be what I would prefer to see. However, with Shayna Baszler reappearing on Raw, and with Kairi Sane possibly on her way out, I think a Baszler/Asuka feud is in the making. Asuka retains.
Bayley vs. Nikki Cross – WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship match
Story in a nutshell: After winning a fatal four-way match to become the number one contender, Nikki Cross seeks to dethrone champion Bayley.
June 26, 2020, Nikki Cross defeated Alexa Bliss, Dana Brooke, and Lacey Evans to become the number one contender for Bayley’s title. What followed was several weeks of Bliss, Cross, Banks, and Bayley (and Asuka) mixing it up in various permutations, with Bayley getting the last laugh by pinning Cross by using the ropes in a tag match.
Prediction: I’m letting the Law of WWE booking handle this one. Rule #3 the last one to look strong in the go-home show loses. Cross wins and Banks and Sasha leave the Horror Show defeated. This can lead to friction between them leading them to lose the tag belts thanks to miscommunication then on to a triple threat where Bayley wins back the belt but screws over Banks in the process.
Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt – Wyatt Swamp Fight
Story in a nutshell: The long running history between Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman continues to be explored as Strowman now faces the Eater of Worlds, the man who recruited him into the Wyatt family and made him the Monster Among Men
After the Firefly Funhouse incarnation of Bray Wyatt was defeated at Money in the Bank, Bray summoned the Eater of Worlds cult leader persona to burrow his way into Strowman’s psyche. A ploy that has apparently worked as Strowman is resigned to face Wyatt in the swamp that was the birthplace of the Monster Among Men. With Wyatt pressing his psychological advantage, Strowman has become more and more unhinged as the weeks go by.
Prediction: I’d love to see Braun fall to Wyatt and become his monster puppet unleashed on the roster. Build Braun into a real monster again before he shakes off Wyatt’s control. I don’t think that’s happening with Summerslam right around the corner. Strowman survives and overcomes his past, only to come face to face with his future, The Fiend.
Rey Mysterio vs. Seth Rollin – Eye for an Eye match
Story in a nutshell: After losing his mind and eviscerating Rey Mysterio’s eye, Seth Rollin’s must contend with a vengeful Mysterio who chose the stipulation for this match.
Enucleation. That is the term for the removal of an eyeball. This is the stipulation Rey Mysterio chose after Seth Rollins “sacrificed” Mysterio by trying to eviscerate his eye. Evisceration is the term for removing the inner contents of the eye leaving the outer covering (the sclera). The fact I had to learn the difference between evisceration and enucleation of an eye is all you really need to know to grasp the direction of this storyline. However, for the sake of completion, after Rollin’s attack on Mysterio, Dominick, Rey’s son, attempted to extract revenge on Rollins bringing him into the orbit of this story, along with Aleister Black, Humberto Carrillo, and Murphy.
Prediction: I have got to believe that whoever gets his eye removed courtesy of CGI will be gone for a while. Rey not being under contract make me think he is the most likely victim, unless Dominick is the one to take out his own eye as a sacrifice either to save his father, or to join Seth. In the end, Seth wins.
The New Day vs. Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura – WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship tables match
Story in a nutshell: After getting beat like a drum over and over again in nontitle situations by Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura, can Big E and Kofi Kingston win when it counts, with their titles are on the line?
The WWE formula:
Step 1: Choose a challenger to face the champion at random (darts and a peg board work well for this)
Step2: Have the challenger force a non-title match that they win. Optional: Have the challengers use a foreign object or break a rule in the match. (You may repeat this step)
Step 3: Book the title match. If a foreign object was used or a rule is broken, the action is now legal for the match.
Prediction: New Day wins. It’s perfunctory at this point.
Apollo Crews vs. MVP – WWE United States Championship match
Story in a nutshell: After trying and failing to recruit Apollo Crews several times, MVP showed Apollo why he should have joined Bobby Lashley and him by attacking Apollo and coming after his title.
When MVP, tried recruiting Apollo Crews and was turned down, he felt disrespected and swore that without him as his manager, Crews wouldn’t be champion for long. To prove his point, MVP set Bobby Lashley on Crews, taking Crews out for the time being. MVP introduced a new US Championship belt and Bobby Lashley crowned him the “true champion”. Crew’s friends, Ricochet and Cedrick Alexander, tried to stand up for their friend but were dispatched. MVP did make moves on Cedrick that, while rebuffed, still opens a door for something to happen.
Prediction: Crews retains with and eye towards having him feud with Lashley next. However, I can’t discount a Cedrick Alexander heel turn costing Cruise the match. Still Crews coming out on top is the safer bet.