• Jayden Becker

WWE Extreme Rules 2020 Review


Extreme Rules 2020 is dubbed as a Horror Show, meant to bring out the scary side of wrestling. Braun Strowman takes on Bray Wyatt in a Swamp Fight. Also, Rey Mysterio and Seth Rollins take Eye for an Eye literally by competing in a match that ends with their opponent's eye being gouged out. Smackdown Tag Team Champions, The New Day, take on Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura in a tables match.


Both Women’s titles are on the line as Asuka defends her Raw Women’s Championship against Sasha Banks. Bayley will defend her Smackdown Women’s Championship facing off with Nikki Cross. WWE Champion Drew McIntyre defends his title against Dolph Ziggler in the stipulation chosen by the challenger.


Let’s get into the Horror Show.


The New Day (c) vs. Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura - Tables Match for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship


After the build of Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura believing they need to be more respected. Multiple altercations between the New Day and Cesaro & Nakamura ended with a person going through a table. After Big-E lost his match against Cesaro, the challengers got to pick the stipulation for their match. The stipulation was concluded as a Tables Match and it opens the show at Extreme Rules.


The action is back and forth early on as the two teams try to plant their opponents through tables set up around the ring. Multiple attempts fail for both sides as suplex’s and powerbombs are countered. Kof Kingston is notably more talkative during this match as he takes the lead directing Big-E through the match.


Kofi Kingston tries to hurricanrana Nakamura through a set of stacked tables on the outside. Kingston is caught however and power bombed off the top rope through the tables on the outside.


Cesaro and Nakamura are the new Smackdown Tag Team Champions.


Takeaways:


A great match and an even better way to start the show. Surprisingly, Cesaro and Nakamura take the titles here but I think we are finding out that it might be better to have heel champions when there are no fans than there is to have a heel champion. A heel champion works both ways. Meaning if you like them then you enjoy what you’re watching. If you don’t like them… good, you aren’t supposed to. Although I don’t know many people who don’t like The New Day, this works as a way to get a big pop when fans return.

Bayley (c) vs. Nikki Cross - Smackdown Women’s Championship


Bayley currently sits at the top of the Women’s Division with both Charlotte and Becky Lynch both on the shelf. With no one left to defend the title against, newcomer Nikki Cross entered the fray by attacking Bayley backstage and causing Bayley to lose matches week in and week out on both Smackdown and Raw. Confidence has been an issue for Nikki Cross however as she doesn’t get opportunities like these very often and doesn’t want to blow her chance at Extreme Rules.


The match is off to a quick start as Nikki Cross connects with a tornado DDT early almost securing her the victory a few seconds into the match. Bayley regains her bearings as she brutalizes Cross. A few unique spots take place throughout this match including Cross getting stuck in the ring skirt and crawling to the other side of the ring to escape.


As Bayley finds herself in a hole as the match comes closer to its end. Sasha Banks on the outside hands Bayley one of her four-fingered rings as the official is distracted. Bayley strikes Cross in the ribs allowing Bayley to hit the finish for the victory.


Bayley retains the Smackdown Women’s Championship with help from Sasha Banks.


Takeaways:


This was as expected. Bayley wins here with heel tactics allowing her to stay champion without completely burying Nikki Cross. I’d be surprised if the WWE has plans with Nikki Cross and the title but I do think Bliss and Cross will have another shot at the Tag Team Titles.


This match helps legitimize Nikki Cross and hopefully will get her out of the shadow of Bliss. This might have to come with a big victory somewhere outside of the title picture, possibly against Bliss herself if Bliss turns back into a heel.

MVP Declares himself United States Champion


Current United States Champion Apollo Crews is out with a kayfabe bulging disk injury that doesn’t allow him to compete against MVP at Extreme Rules. MVP declares this match a forfeit and claims the United States Championship as his own.


Takeaways:


Well… that’s not very nice. I mean talk about false advertisement. Although MVP isn’t officially the champion in the eyes of the WWE, in the eyes of the fans I think MVP holds that regard. It’s not fair for use to have Apollo Crews be off TV this long if it’s not because of an extenuating circumstance. More information would tell a fuller story.


Bobby Lashley is also falling back into darkness and needs the spotlight back on him.

Seth Rollins vs. Rey Mysterio - Eye for an Eye Match


One of the most heated rivalries in the WWE at the moment comes to a head at Extreme Rules as Rey Mysterio and Seth Rollins take an eye for an eye literally as the match stipulation calls for the victor to gouge their opponents eye out. This is sure to be a horror show indeed. This dates back to the Raw after Rollins lost to Drew McIntyre at Money in the Bank. A sacrifice was made by Rollins gouging Mysterio’s eye on the steel steps.


This match turns ugly early as both opponents try to attack their opponent's eyes with tools found under the ring. Pliers and screwdrivers are all fair game as Rollins rakes at the eyes of Mysterio. Mysterio does some damage of his own by driving Rollins into the corner of the announce table.


As the match comes to a close, Mysterio tries to do what Rollins did to him by driving his eye into the steel steps. This backfires as Rollins hits Mysterio below the belt incapacitating him. Rollins drives Mysterio's already injured eye into the steel step causing it to partially fall out the socket.


Seth Rollins beats Rey Mysterio in the eye for an eye match. After the match, Rollins throws up at the sight of what he has done.


Takeaways:


Rey Mysterio has fallen off a roof and has his eye gouged out twice in only a few months. In both of these instances, Mysterio has returned relatively fast. It has now been rumored that Mysterio is leaving the WWE now that his contract is up. I question this however given the effort to get his son involved.


Either way, this match was both great and stomach-turning because of the visuals. I would’ve liked a more cinematic take on this match but I’m also okay with it being done live.

Asuka (c) vs. Sasha Banks - Raw Women’s Championship


With Sasha Banks now ready to once again get back into the title picture, Banks goes after the Raw Women’s Champion Asuka instead of her home brand Smackdown title because of her relationship with Bayley. The two have faced off against each other multiple times throughout this build through many tag team matchups.


Asuka and Banks put on a great match with multiple spots with near falls and submission attempts that put both Asuka and Banks at their breaking point. The match starts to break down towards the end with Banks attempting to attack Asuka with the title. Asuka does some dirty tactic of her own by inadvertently spraying the official with green mist. This blinds the official allowing Bayley to take the shirt of the officials back and count the pinfall.


The bell rings as Bayley demands it, leaving everyone in confusion. Sasha Banks walks away with the Raw Women’s belt.


Takeaways:


This has been chalked up with a no-decision although Banks physically holds the belt. I’m disappointed that a great match had to end this way. It would be okay if this was the only time something like this happened in the show but many matches on this card left the community confused asking too many questions to justify.


As it still stands Asuka is the Raw Women’s Champion. This makes two superstars holding belts illegitimately on the same show.

Drew McIntyre (c) vs Dolph Ziggler - WWE Championship Match, Extreme Rules only for Ziggler


With Ziggler making his return to the red brand after the trade that sent AJ Styles to Smackdown, The Showoff was placed directly into the title picture as Drew McIntyre and Ziggler have history to settle. Ziggler feels as if he was respected by McIntyre given that Ziggler was the one that brought him back to Monday Night Raw. The confrontation turned personal as Ziggler brought back McIntyre’s old friend, Heath Slater. McIntyre confidently allows Ziggler to pick the stipulation for Extreme Rules.


Before the match, Ziggler announces that the stipulation is an Extreme Rules match… only for Dolph Ziggler. This means that McIntyre has to compete as if he is in a normal match while Ziggler can do whatever he wants.


As the match starts, Ziggler goes directly for a weapon under the ring. McIntyre tries his best to keep up early on but it brutalizes with steel chair shots across the back. A Claymore from McIntyre is even reversed by a chair shot to the leg leaving him immobile. A table set up on the outside of the ring finds McIntyre driven through it from a top rope elbow drop from Ziggler.


As the match comes to a close, McIntyre is hit with everything in Ziggler's arsenal. As Ziggler goes for a superkick, McIntyre kicks up and lands a claymore kick.


McIntyre retains the WWE Championship against the odds.


Takeaways:


McIntyre looks stronger than ever here. Ziggler doesn't look strong at all. I mean, he couldn't have had the odds stacked in his favor and still lost. The goal of this match was to make McIntyre strong so I guess a gold sticker for that. I also enjoyed the small spots where McIntyre almost got himself disqualified.


I wonder where Ziggler will go from here. Possibly the tag team picture when Robert Roode returns.

Bray Wyatt vs Braun Strowman - Swamp Fight


After losing to Braun Strowman at Money in the Bank, the two resurface their feud as Wyatt returns to his former cult-leader gimmick. Strowman doesn’t take lightly to this as he fears that if he doesn’t destroy Bray Wyatt now, he will turn into the fiend.


The match plays a lot like the Firefly Fun House match at Wrestlemania. The cinematic aspect of the match brings us through seemingly the past and teleports us through time and space as Strowman is attacked by his former self in the swamp. Strowman now chained up is confronted by Bray Wyatt. Wyatt now looking to show Strowman the light once again, has a snake bite him for good measure.


Hallucinations, setting people on fire and magic boats all make their way into and through this match. As it comes to a close, Strowman drowns Bray Wyatt. As he looks to make sure he’s dead, the fiend returns and drags Strowman down.


Takeaways:


This match is a lot to take in and probably not suited for a PG audience. A lot of people also thought that this was a title match… it wasn’t. The encounter was paced well with a lot to dive into. I highly recommended giving this match a second or third viewing. To the detriment of this match, I do think you should view it a few times to get a full grasp of it.

Wrap-Up


The word of the day is confusion. Many matches ending inconclusively for a pay-per-view with little to no explanation why. I would be okay with this for a Raw or Smackdown, but not a Pay-Per-View.


Pros:

  • The New Day (c) vs. Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura - Tables Match for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship

  • Bayley (c) vs. Nikki Cross - Smackdown Women’s Championship

  • Seth Rollins vs. Rey Mysterio - Eye for an Eye Match

  • Drew McIntyre (c) vs Dolph Ziggler - WWE Championship Match, Extreme Rules only for Ziggler

  • Bray Wyatt vs Braun Strowman - Swamp Fight

Cons:

  • MVP Declares himself United States Champion

  • Asuka (c) vs. Sasha Banks - Raw Women’s Championship

Final Grade: C-

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