Extreme Rules 2020

Extreme Rules 2020
Date: July 19, 2020
Location: WWE Performance Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe, Corey Graves, Michael Cole

We have finally arrived at this one and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. The show is dubbed The Horror Show at Extreme Rules because we have reached the point where a show involving taking someone’s eye out and a Swamp Fight requires a subtitle. There are no expectations coming in so hopefully they can exceed. Let’s get to it.

Kickoff Show: Kevin Owens vs. Murphy

Owens wastes no time in going for the Stunner but Murphy shoves him off and slugs away. Another attempt is blocked again and Murphy hits a knee to the face. The right hands stagger Murphy until he grabs a quickly broken sleeper. Murphy goes up but Owens kicks him out of the air and grabs a DDT. The backsplash hits knees but Owens is fine enough to knock him into the corner. The Cannonball connects for two and Owens isn’t sure what to do.

Murphy gets in a few more shots to the face and hits the top rope Meteora for his own two. Owens can’t hit the Pop Up Powerbomb and Murphy nails a pair of knees to the face, followed by the brainbuster for two more. Murphy’s superplex attempt is thrown off and Owens hits a jumping moonsault for a rather near fall. Murphy manages to get up top again but misses the Meteora, setting up the superkick into the Stunner to give Owens the pin at 8:51.

Rating: C. This could have been on almost any Raw and that’s all this needed to be. Owens is getting a bit of a renewed push and I could certainly go for more of that. Raw can use some extra star power and someone the fans seem to care about would be a good choice. Murphy is always worth a nice performance, though I’m not sure how much that is going to mean if he keeps losing.

The opening video focuses entirely on the horror aspect, saying the show is going to be very scary and how you’ll see things you’ve never seen before. The regular matches get a focus as well. Why in the world can they not do this for a Halloween themed show?

Smackdown Tag Team Titles: New Day vs. Cesaro/Shinsuke Nakamura

New Day is defending in a tables match. There are no tags here so it’s a brawl to start with New Day getting the better of things. They head outside with Nakamura being sent into the barricade and Cesaro being sent into the steps. The first table is set up in the middle of the ring and Kofi goes up, only to need Big E. to break up a double superplex attempt.

The table is moved and Kofi slips out of a gorilla press on the apron, allowing Big E. to spear Cesaro through the ropes. Kofi is left alone so Nakamura kicks him down, leaving Big E. to get double kneed. Back in and the sliding knee knocks Big E. silly and Nakamura sets up a table on the floor. Kofi’s trust fall takes him down and it’s another table being stacked on top of the one outside.

Big E. can’t superplex Cesaro through bot of them and Kofi is knocked down on the floor. The swing sends Big E. into Nakamura’s knee to the head but it’s Kofi coming back in for the save. Nakamura gets knocked off the apron and Cesaro is sat on top, but he muscles Kofi up and powerbombs him through the tables for the titles at 10:12.

Rating: C. It’s a tables match so there is only so much that you can do with the whole thing. New Day losing is probably overdue, but at the same time, it’s not like there are a bunch of teams for them to lose to. Cesaro and Nakamura are going to be fine as a team, but I can’t imagine this being some big changing of the guard.

Alexa Bliss gives Nikki Cross and Asuka a pep talk and Cross gets WAY into it.

Smackdown Women’s Title: Bayley vs. Nikki Cross

Cross is challenging with Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks at ringside. Bayley armdrags her to start and strikes the double bicep pose while telling Cross to do it for Alexa. A big slap in the corner puts Bayley down though and Cross hits the Purge for a quick two. The high crossbody gives Cross two more and she does it again for the same. Bayley bails to the floor and gets hit with a third crossbody from the apron. Cross is a bit too happy so Bayley sends her hard into the Plexiglas.

Back in and Bayley grabs the chinlock before taking Cross outside to tie her in the ring skirt. Bayley stops to brag though, allowing Cross to slip out and crawl underneath the ring. That freaks Bayley out so much that Cross hammers her down and hits Bayley’s running elbow in the corner. The quick Bayley to Belly gets two on Cross and frustration starts mounting up in a hurry.

A superplex gives Bayley two more and Cross heads outside, where Bayley misses the baseball slide under the bottom rope. Back in and Cross hits a reverse DDT and a bulldog, followed by a belly to back suplex for two. Bayley misses a charge into the corner and gets caught with a Purge off the apron to the floor. Back in and Banks gets on the apron with Bliss cutting her off. The distraction is enough for Bayley to take Banks’ BOSS jewelry to knock Cross silly. The arm trap faceplant retains the title at 12:33.

Rating: C+. There were some good near falls in there, but I’m not sure how much drama there really was about Cross ending the very long title match. It would seem that we’re destined for Banks vs. Bayley, but at this point we’ve waited so long to get there that I can’t even bring myself to get interested in it anymore. The heel team works fine, but the singles title reign needs some challengers.

We go to the Firefly Fun House where Bray Wyatt is now a mad scientist. He wants to show us something scary and we almost see the karaoke contest from last week (ok that was funny). After yelling at Ramblin Rabbit for putting up the wrong tape, Bray talks about how Braun Strowman won’t be able to escape his past.

Apollo Crews vs. MVP will NOT be taking place as Crews has failed his pre-match physical due to an injury at the hands of Bobby Lashley.

We see a clip of Lashley full nelsoning Crews, which led to the injury.

Here are MVP and Lashley to brag about the whole thing. MVP says that’s what happens when you mess with Lashley and he declares himself the new champion via forfeit.

We recap Seth Rollins vs. Rey Mysterio. Rollins wanted to sacrifice Mysterio for the greater good of Raw and injured his eye with the corner of the ring steps. Mysterio was out of action so his son Dominick went after Rollins instead. When that didn’t work, Mysterio himself came back for revenge and tonight, you have to take your opponent’s eye out to win.

Rey Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins

Rollins pulls some pliers out of his jacket to show how things are going. Rey sneaks in from behind though and dropkicks Rollins in the back to start. It’s too early for a 619 so Rey headscissors him into the post instead. Rey grabs the pliers but Rollins moves away and gets a kendo stick. Another 619 attempt misses and this time the headscissors is countered into a Falcon Arrow onto the apron.

Something close to a low blow lets Rollins send him into the Plexiglas but he can’t put a kendo stick into Rey’s eye. Rollins pins him down with a chair though and gets a thumb near Rey’s eye but Rey chairs him in the ribs. Rollins pulls out a toolbox and finds a metal spike, which can’t hit the eye. Rey drop toeholds him into the corner of the announcers’ table but Rollins blocks the chair to the eye.

Back up and Rollins wedges a kendo stick in the corner but Rey blocks a whip into the end. Instead Rey is back with a seated senton and a tornado DDT sends Rollins outside. Rey’s sliding sunset bomb into the Plexiglas lets him break up a kendo stick but he can’t get the eye out (it makes you feel so stupid to type that).

There’s the 619 to put Rollins on the floor again and it’s Rey with a Stomp of his own. Rey drives the eye into the point of the steps but a low blow gets Rollins out. Rollins hits his own Stomp and says Rey did this to himself. Rollins drags him over to the steps and drives it into the corner, which apparently pops the eye out at 18:42.

Rating: B. Believe it or not, Rey Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins in a match with some time was pretty good. They could have a good match in their sleep and most of this was solid, as long as they weren’t trying to go for the eye. The ending was stupid, as expected of course, as the only thing you could see was a bit of white through Mysterio’s gloves. At worst it looked like a bit of a golf ball, which is probably a lot better than what it could have been. I know they’re having a horror themed show (because that goes with July) but can’t we just have a wrestling match?

The doctor gets Rey out and Rollins vomits. Rollins is booed out of the arena. Unless I missed something, the only thing you could see was a bit of white through Rey’s gloves. There was no big shot of the eye hanging out or anything and that’s a good thing given how stupid this could have been.

Bayley says she’s a big Rey fan but NO, he isn’t seeing double because she really does have two belts. Tonight, Sasha Banks will too.

We recap Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt. Strowman was part of the Wyatt Family but broke free. Wyatt has been haunting Strowman though so he needs to go back to where it started and beat Wyatt once and for all.

Raw Women’s Title: Sasha Banks vs. Asuka

Asuka is defending and Bayley/Kairi Sane are the respective seconds. Banks takes her down to start but Asuka kicks away. That earns her a quick Bank Statement and Asuka is in trouble early. Banks tries to drive Asuka’s arms to the mat but misses the Meteora. A corner run wristdrag is kicked out of the air and the hip attack sends Banks outside. Banks is fine enough to hit a 619 on the apron but Asuka blocks a sunset bomb attempt. Asuka gets back to the apron for a sliding knee to the face and they head back inside.

Some running knees have Asuka in trouble and Banks bends the fingers back to make it worse. The armbar goes on and Banks hits the running knees in the corner. Banks starts talking trash and you don’t do that to Asuka, who nails the spinning backfist. A quick headscissors sends Asuka face first into the buckle but she’s right back with a Codebreaker. They go to the apron with Banks teasing a German suplex to the floor. A standing switch lets Asuka try the same thing but Banks slips out and powerbombs her into the Plexiglas.

Back in and the frog splash gives Banks two, followed by the Bank Statement in the middle of the ring. Asuka makes the rope and they head to the apron with Banks getting hit in the face. A German suplex drops Banks hard and Asuka kicks away for two more. Asuka misses a missile dropkick though and gets kneed in the face to give Banks her own near fall. Banks goes up top and has to flip out of a German superplex. The running knees to the back connect but Banks slips off the ropes and comes up favoring her knee.

They slug it out from their knees as Bayley and Sane brawl on the floor. A Bayley to Belly plants Sane and Banks trades rollups with Asuka. The Asuka Lock goes on but Bayley throws in a title for a distraction so the referee doesn’t see the tap. Asuka lets go and Banks grabs the belt but the referee says no. Instead, Asuka loads up the green mist, which hits the referee. Bayley lays out Asuka and puts the referee’s shirt on to count the pin at 19:55…..and the bell actually rings? Banks’ music plays and she and Bayley leave with all of the titles so I guess this stands for now?

Rating: B-. Another good match with another rather dumb finish, but that goes without saying these days. For reasons that I’m not clear on, WWE doesn’t like this idea of having a match without doing something dumb to set up something else later. You can have the screwy ending but it might not be the best move to do something to set up a rematch with a ridiculous setup like this. Asuka vs. Banks in a long match was good because of the talent involved, but dang man. Going back to back with endings like that isn’t the best idea.

Rey’s eye could be saved with surgery so he’s on the way to a medical facility.

We recap Dolph Ziggler vs. Drew McIntyre for the Raw World Title. They were partners a few years ago but then McIntyre turned on him. Ziggler claimed responsibility for McIntyre’s rise to the top of the company and gets to pick the stipulation tonight. We don’t know what it is yet though.

Raw World Title: Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler is challenging and it’s……Extreme Rules, for Ziggler only, and he can win the title via countout or DQ. It’s a brawl to start with McIntyre being sent outside but getting back in without much effort. Ziggler goes for the eyes and grabs a chair but McIntyre takes it away and throws it outside. McIntyre drops him onto the apron and takes it back inside where Ziggler’s offense has no effect. It’s right back to the floor with Ziggler sending him into various things and pulling out a table.

Back in and Ziggler gets caught with a helicopter bomb, only to come back with a low blow. A bunch of chairs are brought in and Ziggler unloads with some shots to the back. McIntyre’s throat is placed across the top of an open chair for another shot to his back for a close two. The champ is right back up and takes it outside with Ziggler being sent over the announcers’ table.

Ziggler slips out of a belly to belly though and hits a Fameasser off the table but McIntyre beats the count. The sleeper goes on but McIntyre grabbing the rope means nothing. McIntyre shakes him off and hits a hard clothesline for the double knockdown. Ziggler is taken back outside for a catapult into the Plexiglas and it’s a reverse Alabama Slam back inside. The Claymore is blocked with a chair to the knee though and the Zig Zag gets two.

They head outside again with Ziggler superkicking him onto the table and a huge elbow off the top of the post drives him through it. That’s only good for nine and Ziggler screams a lot. McIntyre hits a Glasgow Kiss but Ziggler is back with Fameasser into a Zig Zag. That doesn’t even get one so it’s a Rock Bottom onto the chair (nice nod to Rock’s comments about the match this week) for two on McIntyre. Ziggler tunes up the band but McIntyre nips up and hits the Claymore to retain at 15:34.

Rating: B. The stipulation made perfect sense here and that’s what let them have a good match. There was a grand total of zero drama of a title change but you can still have a nice match even under those circumstances. It doesn’t make up for the really dull build, but after the two previous matches, I can absolutely go for a good match with a clean ending.

Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt

Non-title and in the swamp, with Bray sitting in the rocking chair as Braun arrives. Braun says he’s home and Bray laughs before disappearing. The rocking chair is thrown at an Abandon All Hope sign and Bray laughs again. Some masked goons appear and we cut to the Fun House with Mad Scientist Bray cheering for Braun. Someone pops up to hit Braun in the back with a shovel and it’s…..Braun in the sheep mask. Braun wakes up chained to a chair and Bray’s old music starts playing. He comes up with the lantern and walks up to Braun, welcoming him home.

Braun says he hates Bray for everything he made him do but Bray says he’s already dead. Bray is proud of what Braun has done but his success is temporary. What happens when Braun’s fifteen minutes are up? Braun can’t see where he belongs and he can’t understand that Bray isn’t his enemy. Together they could be like gods and the people would bow to them. Braun still says no but Bray talks about how good it feels to have his wings back. To make Braun the monster he needs to be, he has to destroy the monster Braun has become.

Bray asks if Braun wants to see something really scary. Cue a masked woman holding a snake, which bites Braun. Bray tells Braun to come home and we see shots of the old Wyatt Family. We cut to Braun next to a campfire, where he beats up more goons. One of them takes a shovel to the face and falls into the fire, sending him running off while in flames. A woman’s voice says Braun doesn’t need to do this and it’s….Alexa Bliss? She knows he’s always wanted them to be together and they can be together forever, just like he’s always wanted.

Bray pops up and goes for the eyes again but Braun throws him into a bat. Braun starts to leave but another, empty boat appears. He walks over to it but Bray pops up and hits him with a shovel before trying to drown Braun in the water. Braun comes out of the water and lays on the dock but Bray appears to swing the shovel at him again. Bray unloads with the handle of the shovel, saying look what Braun made him do.

Braun stands up behind him and kicks Bray through a wooden barricade and into the water. He says it’s over and the copyright notice comes up, but Bray pops up with the Mandible Claw and pulls him into the water. Bray tries to get out but falls back into the water. Everything turns red and the Fiend comes out to end the show. I’m not sure when the match began or ended but we’ll say it was about 18:30.

Rating: N/A. It wasn’t a match is any sense of the word so no rating. What we got instead was another cinematic angle which sets up the third part of the trilogy that I’m thinking only WWE is begging to see. This was about what was expected as Strowman vs. Fiend has been the endgame since the beginning. The cinematic stuff is done well, but it doesn’t help the fact that this isn’t an interesting feud, mainly because Strowman isn’t an interesting character. It’s one of the weaker one of these things, but if you liked the previous ones, you’ll probably like this too. Oh and look for Matt Hardy to complain about the water of reincarnation.

Overall Rating: C+. This show was running with an anchor all night long and it was getting obvious time after time. They were having good matches but it kept having to go to something else to take the focus off of the positives. Be it the eye stuff, the wacky interference or another cinematic ending, there was a good show in here being dragged down by all of the extra bells and whistles that WWE loves to tack on.

I get why they felt they needed something extra on this show, but dang it would be nice if they put in the effort to make the show work without all of that stuff. Not bad overall, but it needed someone to look at what they had on paper and say “no, try again.” The horror theme wasn’t exactly needed, that maybe it can show them that an EXTREME RULES pay per view isn’t the best idea if they need a gimmick to sell the gimmick show.

Results

Cesaro/Shinsuke Nakamura b. New Day – Powerbomb through tables

Bayley b. Nikki Cross – Arm trap faceplant

MVP b. Apollo Crews by forfeit

Seth Rollins b. Rey Mysterio – Rollins took out Mysterio’s eye

Sasha Banks b. Asuka – Pin after interference from Bayley

Drew McIntyre b. Dolph Ziggler – Claymore

Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt went to a no contest

Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and pick up the paperback edition of KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews (also available as an e-book) from Amazon. Check out the information here:

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