WWE will be bringing out their next PPV with a unique tagline, as The Horror Show at Extreme Rules is scheduled to take place this weekend from the Performance Center.
This will be the fourth PPV in the Pandemic Era, after WrestleMania 36, Money in the Bank and Backlash. WWE has managed to keep up the quality of the PPVs despite the current situation, and the invention of ‘cinematic encounters’ has given a completely new direction to the rivalries.
Cinematic Matches were made for a PPV such as Extreme Rules, which is known for its over-the-top gimmick matches. It will be the first time in WWE that we get to see a Swamp Fight, an Eye for an Eye Match, and Dolph Ziggler has promised a never-seen-before stipulation for his WWE Championship Match.
We run down the WWE Extreme Rules 2020 match card so far, and give our thoughts and predictions for the PPV.
Tables Match for SmackDown Tag Team Championships | The New Day(c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro
Nakamura and Cesaro got a shot at the champs after WWE had to remove The Forgotten Sons from their programming. Cesaro and Nakamura have been much more intense in this rivalry, especially the Swiss Superman, who has looked like million bucks during the past few weeks.
Without their leader Sami Zayn, the duo was expected to fade into irrelevancy but some solid booking has led to their revival and should end up claiming the belts. The New Day do not need the titles at this point, and it will be interesting to see a new team at the helm of the division.
Prediction: Cesaro and Nakamura capture the titles.
United States Championship Match | Apollo Crews(c) vs MVP
MVP has been the MVP of Monday Night RAW ever since he made his return a few months ago, and the former United States Champion is looking to add to his previous US title reigns. Crews has found a new leash of life on the main roster since WrestleMania, and WWE has done a great job with him so far. MVP’s efforts to expand his Hurt Business by tempting the likes of Crews, Ricochet, Cedric Alexander, etc., has been fantastic storytelling, and his partnership with Lashley has paid dividends so far.
The brand new title design will be on the line on Sunday, and despite MVP’s spectacular work in recent times, Crews deserves to pick up the victory in this matchup. Expect Cedric Alexander and Ricochet to get involved in some fashion, with a possible heel turn for Alexander.
Prediction: Apollo Crews retains.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match | Bayley(c) vs Nikki Cross
Bayley has run through the entire SmackDown Women’s Division in the past year, and WWE is heading back to one of her earlier feuds by giving an opportunity to the crazy Cross. This feud has been overshadowed by Bayley’s work in NXT and RAW and hasn’t managed to set the wrestling world on fire.
WWE is still holding off on Banks vs Bayley, and with SummerSlam coming up soon, this might be the stage for the inevitable breakup of the Role Models.
Prediction: Bayley retains.
Raw Women’s Championship Match | Asuka(c) vs Sasha Banks
The other half of the tag team champions will take on Asuka in a mouth-watering encounter, with Banks looking to become a ‘dos champ’ like her partner Bayley. Banks has been on fire in the last few months, delivering tremendous encounters each week. Her match against Io Shirai in the main-event of Great American Bash proved her mettle in the ring.
Banks and Bayley have proven that they deserve to be right up there with Becky Lynch when it comes to being the stars of the Women’s Division. Asuka has been booked strong in her title run so far, and with reports of Vince liking her making their way to the dirtsheets, it is unlikely to see the Empress drop the title anytime soon.
Prediction: Asuka retains.
Bar Fight | Jeff Hardy vs Sheamus
This feud has for some reason eclipsed Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt’s feud as the main-event story on SmackDown, and the two former World Champions have given solid performances in the past few weeks. Hardy’s real-life alcohol troubles have become the backbone of this storyline, which hasn’t gone down well with some of the fans.
However, Hardy will continue to face his worst fears, as Miz announced a Bar Fight between the two stars, which is bound to be a true ‘horror show’ for the younger Hardy brother.
WWE’s 50-50 booking demands a victory for Hardy in this match so that the scores go 2-1 in Hardy’s favor.
Prediction: Jeff Hardy wins.
Eye for an Eye Match | Seth Rollins vs Rey Mysterio
WWE’s official preview for this match states that one must ‘extract’ their opponent’s eye to win the match, which perfectly fits the narrative of the Horror Show. There is no clue as to how WWE plans to go through with this match, with a possible CGI effect coming into the picture.
Mysterio is eyeing (no pun intended) for revenge, while the Messiah aims to continue his mission of bringing peace to Monday nights. There are rumors of Mysterio’s son turning on him, but nothing can be said for sure.
With Mysterio working without a contract in WWE, this could very well be his last match in the company. WWE could use the ‘extracted’ eye story to write the Lucha star off the television.
Prediction: Seth Rollins extracts Mysterio’s eye.
Swamp Fight | Braun Strowman vs Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt will roll back the clock to bring back his famous Cult Leader gimmick in this matchup. Wyatt and Strowman’s long history has been the main source of inspiration behind this rivalry, and the duo will battle it out in a cinematic matchup without the Universal Title being involved.
The feud has fallen flat, with other stories getting more screentime on Friday nights, and hence there isn’t much excitement for this battle of two former Wyatt Family members.
As the title is not involved, Wyatt could pick up a victory, leading to the Fiend returning at Summerslam for the title.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt wins.
Stipulation-TBA | WWE Championship Match | Drew McIntyre(c) vs Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler has promised a never-seen-before stipulation for his yearly summertime WWE Championship feud. Ziggler continues to be ‘good’ but never ‘great’, as he doesn’t even seem a credible challenger for McIntyre, who has so-far had a brilliant run with the title.
McIntyre’s run has seen him confront his past on multiple occasions, and his former tag-team partner will be next in line. McIntyre’s history with Andrade in NXT, Lashley in TNA, and now Ziggler have been the core of his title rivalries, which has been sublime writing on WWE creative’s part.
Although McIntyre has been a fantastic champion, a five-minute segment with Heath Slater made more headlines than his feud with Dolph Ziggler. This is all one needs to know before the match between the two stars.
Prediction: Drew McIntyre retains, duh.