The Horror Show at Extreme Rules was a professional wrestling pay-per-view and WWE Network event produced by WWE for their Raw and SmackDown brand divisions. It was broadcast on July 19, 2020.
That was mostly meant to spotlight the main event, a Wyatt Swamp Fight, but it, unfortunately, encapsulated much of the show. Despite a strong WWE Championship match, this was a very weak pay-per-view.
The main event saw Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman’s faceoff in a nonsensical short film at the Wyatt Swamp. Wyatt won, I think, but it was too confusing and boring to really matter. (And it wasn’t for Strowman’s Universal Championship). The Eye for an Eye match between Rey Mysterio and Seth Rollins had fantastic action, but it was let down by its dumb stipulation. Asuka versus Sasha Banks was excellent — right up until the finish, which was lackluster in several ways.
The Fiend wins Wyatt Swamp Fight
Like WrestleMania’s Boneyard and Firefly Funhouse bouts, this Swamp Fight was a short film that pitted Bray Wyatt, as Bray Wyatt and not The Fiend, against Braun Strowman. Strowman’s Universal Championship was not on the line. Unlike the Boneyard and Firefly Funhouse, this was not fun at all.
Remember Bray Wyatt’s promos? How they sounded kind of cool sometimes, but mostly were just empty dribble that didn’t need to be paid attention to? That was the Wyatt Swamp Fight.
It began with Strowman confronting Wyatt by the entrance to the Wyatt Swamp. Bray is on his rocking chair but laughs and disappears. Then Strowman runs to find him, beating up miscellaneous swamp dudes as he tried to find Bray. He’s then hit in the back with a shovel, and then we see he’s been attacked by a clone of himself. Clone Strowman hits him in the head with the shovel.
Real Strowman wakes up, chained to a rocking chair. Wyatt walks in and says… stuff. “To be the monster you were I need to destroy the monster you’ve become,” lines like that but a way too much of them. Bray brings out a lady with a snake. The snake bites Strowman.
Strowman wakes up by a fire, and then beats up more swamp dudes. He sees visions of who I think is Sister Abegail, but in any case is the lady with the snake. I stopped paying attention because it didn’t make any sense and was actively painful to watch, and when I snapped back to it, Bray and Strowman were fighting.
Strowman chokeslams Bray onto a boat. The boat animates itself and rides into the lake, but then rides itself back. Bray and Strowman fight some more. Strowman throws Bray into the swamp. He looks relieved. Bray jumps out of the swamp and pulls in Strowman. The show ends with The Fiend laughing into the camera.
The Boneyard match was fun. Firefly Funhouse was fun. Money in the Bank was fun. Every short film thing they’ve done since hasn’t really worked. This didn’t just not work, it was bad. Really bad.
Drew McIntyre retains WWE Championship
If Asuka versus Sasha Banks was let down due to its finish, Drew McIntyre versus Dolph Ziggler ended up being the night’s overachiever. Drew McIntyre ended up pinning Ziggler following a Claymore Kick to end a very strong bout.
It opened with Ziggler revealing a surprise stipulation for the match: It’s extreme rules, but for Ziggler only. If McIntyre uses a weapon, gets counted out or disqualified, Ziggler is the new champ. The stipulation kind of screams “McIntyre will win this match,” but it ended up being fun.
But really, this match’s biggest strength is that it wasn’t inhibited by an obstructive stipulation or a silly finish. Ziggler’s character has been weakened by regular losses, but Ziggler the performer was on top of his game tonight, and did an admirable job at coming off as a threat to McIntyre. That said, even after Ziggler hit a Famouser, Zig Zag and then a Urange onto a chair, it was hard to believe McIntyre was losing the match.
Lots of cool spots throughout, including when McIntyre called for the Claymore but ended up getting slammed with a chair to the leg by Ziggler. At the end of the match, Ziggler called for a Superkick but got countered with a Claymore for the pin. Life is all about circularity, y’all.
Asuka vs. Sasha Banks
Fantastic match with a dumb finish. After Asuka accidentally sprayed the referee with green mist, Bayley hit Asuka in the back with one of the Tag Title belts and then — and this is where it gets too silly — puts a referee shirt on herself and counts the pin. She demands the timekeeper ring the bell, and Bayley and Banks walk out with all the gold.
So we don’t know if Sasha Banks is the champion or not (the announcers all disagreed about this afterward), making this effectively a non finish. And a bad non finish at that.
The match itself was fantastic, with crisp and fluid action. Lots of back and forth, including an excellent series of counters towards the end which ended with Banks tapping out in the Asuka Lock while the ref was distracted by Bayley.
Seth Rollins ‘takes out’ Rey Mysterio’s eye
Rey Mysterio and Seth Rollins are both outstanding wrestlers. Their Eye for an Eye match had fantastic action. But it was hamstrung by the stipulation, which was literally that to win the match you had to take out your opponent’s eye. Since we know that wasn’t going to happen, the match lacked the structure and tension it should have had. It ended with Seth Rollins cramming Rey Mysterio’s face into the corner of the ring steps, like he did on Raw to begin this storyline. He then barfed afterwards.
Kevin Owens pins Murphy with a stunner in a short match.
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