Repost: The SmarK Rant for THE HORROR SHOW at Extreme Rules 2020 – 07.19.20

(Unfortunately Rampage aired too late for me to review a two hour show at midnight EST because I’m old and falling asleep tonight as it is, so it’ll have to wait until tomorrow night.  But for now, here’s a repost of last year’s Extreme Rules extravaganza in preparation for Sunday’s show, which is also called Extreme Rules but only has one match with any stipulations.)

The SmarK Rant for THE HORROR SHOW at Extreme Rules 2020 – 07.19.20

Fair warning:  I didn’t start watching the show until about 2 hours into the broadcast, by which point I’d already been hit with a bunch of ominous text messages regarding the quality of what I was about to embark upon viewing.  So I’m not expecting much from this one.  In fact, it appears I have little choice but to unleash…


Yes, given the deluge of texts and e-mails I was receiving through the original airing of the show, I must now virtually punish Brother Love for whatever I’m about to endure.  So, to quote one of favorite YouTubers, THE RULES ARE SIMPLE.  For each segment, I will shove flaming hot pokers up the rectum of Bruce Prichard, as necessary based on the quality level.  The worse it is, the more pokers.  If something is a good segment, we will give him some of the industrial strength chapstick that he uses to protect his lips before kissing Vince McMahon’s ass every morning, which will help to soothe his soon-to-be painfully burned undercarriage.  If it’s really great, maybe a tube of Preparation H.

For example, the HORROR SHOW AT EXTREME RULES is a fucking stupid name for a PPV, so we kick things off with a pair of flaming hot pokers up Bruce’s keister.

On the bright side, I’m on vacation, so fuck it, I’ve got booze ready.

Live and/or taped from the Performance Center or the swamp or whatever.

Your hosts are Maggle Cole and other people.

Smackdown tag team titles, tables match:  The New Day v. Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura

This stipulation was determined by a vote of Dollar General customers, which I feel like deserves one dollar worth of hot pokers up Bruce’s ass.  Of course, since it’s from Dollar General, it probably breaks off before it gets all the way up there.  Since this match is co-sponsored by Snickers, we can probably shove one of those up there as well.  The New Day cleans house to start and Kofi dropkicks Nakamura into the railing and Cesaro into the stairs.  The heels double-team Big E on the floor to come back and work on Kofi in the ring, as they set up a table and the camera angle changes SIX TIMES while they prep the spot.  Kevin Dunn, you’re on pretty thin ice tonight too.  Kofi escapes a powerbomb off the top and kicks Cesaro to the apron, and Big E follows with a spear to the floor.  They put Cesaro on a table on the floor and Kofi tries to dive onto it, but Cesaro pops up and they stand up the table for Kofi to run into.  Are you telling me that Kofi couldn’t stop his momentum in time to prevent that?  One more hot poker for disregarding the laws of physics.  The heels suplex Big E back into the ring and Nakamura hits a sliding knee and then retrieves another table, but Kofi dives onto him while Big E comes back with a suplex on Cesaro.  The New Day sets up a table stack on the floor now, but that leads nowhere as Cesaro cuts off Big E and sets up the Giant Swing into Nakamura’s head kick.  Kofi comes back and knocks Nak off the apron, who somehow manages not to go through the table in front of him by awkwardly landing short and then knocking it over.  Kofi tries to take Cesaro off the top with a rana, but he gets powerbombed through the tables and I guess they’re the new tag team champions because you only need to put one person through the table.  Well, this was certainly a tables match.  I was mostly indifferent to the contrived series of “Oh no he’s going through the table but then something awkward happens and he doesn’t” spots that comprised the entire match.  **  Like honestly, just having a regular match would have been 10 times better and probably more entertaining.

Meanwhile, Alexa Bliss and Asuka pump up Nikki’s confidence.

Smackdown Women’s title:  Bayley v. Nikki Cross

They do some stuff to start and Nikki immediately hits her neckbreaker for two, chasing Bayley to the floor.  Back in, Nikki with the crossbody for two.  Another one gets two.  Bayley runs away again and Nikki hits her with a crossbody to the floor, but Bayley runs her into the plexiglass and takes over back in the ring.  Bayley with an elbow for two and she works Nikki over in the corner and goes to the chinlock.  Nikki makes the ropes, so Bayley wraps her up in the apron and beats on her with forearms, but then Nikki goes under the ring to the other side and necks Bayley.  Back in, Nikki counters the belly to belly into the Crossface, but a second belly to belly gets two.  Bayley slugs away on the mat while the camera zooms and cuts SEVEN TIMES, so I’m giving Kevin Dunn seven hot pokers up the ass.  That’ll make him shake the camera.  Nikki with a rollup for two, but Bayley sends her out and goes for a supportive hug from Sasha.  She follows with a dropkick on the apron, but Nikki sort of catches her on the post, I think, and comes back in the ring.  Nikki with dropkicks and a bulldog, and a neckbreaker gets two.  Nikki with a pair of backdrop suplexes for two.  Nikki goes up, but Bayley knocks her off with a knee for two.  Bayley charges and knocks herself out on the turnbuckles, which allows Nikki to hit her with a neckbreaker off the apron.  Back in, they trade clotheslines and Nikki gets two.  And then Sasha takes the ref while Bayley hits Nikki with the Boss Knuckles and pins her at 12:15. Good match, weak finish.  ***1/4  So we’ll give Bruce a soothing tube of chapstick to counteract the burn.

Meanwhile, Bray Wyatt is apparently a mad scientist at a haunted house.  Sure, why not.

Meanwhile, the announcers inform us that Apollo Cruz failed his physical and won’t be defending the US title tonight.  A “bulging disk” apparently.  Yeah, probably bulging with Covid-19.

MVP and Bobby Lashley join us, and MVP declares himself the new US champion by forfeit.  And that’s the segment.  The announcers assure us that Apollo is actually still the champion.  Um, many years of wrestling historical precedent would strongly disagree with that.  If you’re scheduled for a title defense and you don’t show up, the other guy is the champion.

Eye for an Eye:  Seth Rollins v. Rey Mysterio

Yes, the ONLY WAY TO WIN is to extract an eye out of the socket of your opponent.  I’m sure we’ll have to bring that up again based on however they weasel out of delivering a finish.  I’m hoping that the guys watched Deadwood and Die Hard 2 and maybe Thor Ragnarok for tips, but I doubt it.  Tom notes that it’s ironic that we’ve never had a match this violent before, but it was Seth who drove Rey to accept the match.  So…how is that ironic, exactly?  Luckily, Seth brings his own pliers, just in case.  Rey attacks from behind and they head to the floor, but Seth catches him with a sling blade in the ring.  Seth goes for the eye, but Rey takes him into the post with a headscissors and goes for the eye with the pliers.  I’m hoping there’s a Red Rider BB Gun involved at some point.  They try to use a piece of steel bar and a kendo stick, but Rey goes for the 619 and Rollins bails.  Rey tries a springboard onto Rollins, but Seth catches him with a falcon arrow on THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING.  “I’m gonna get that eye!” he sneers like a third rate villain in a Bruce Lee movie.  Well now you’ve given away your whole strategy!  They fight by the stairs and Rey blocks that, so Seth runs him into the railing and then brings a kendo stick into the ring.  That doesn’t work, so Seth sends him out of the ring.  Seth keeps going for the eye with various poking devices, but Rey takes him into the table and the ref runs over to see if Seth’s eye has been extracted from his head so he can ring the bell and end the match.  Sadly, it has not.  So we continue on and Seth ties up him up on the ropes, but Rey pulls Seth into the post and that ref again checks Seth’s face to see if his eye has been extracted from his head.  I feel like if you need to check, then it hasn’t happened.  Back in the ring, Seth beats on him with the kendo stick and then wedges it into the ringpost, setting up a deathtrap like a Batman TV show villain.  A really unimaginative one.  Rey somehow manages to escape that deadly predicament and makes the comeback with a frog splash, but Rollins counters a rana into a reverse powerbomb.  Seth misses the stomp and Rey gets a tornado DDT.  They fight to the floor again and Rey sends him into the railing, but it’s the back of the head so he’s unable to extract the eye from Seth’s head.  Next up, Rey breaks up the kendo stick and shoves a piece of bamboo in his face, but is still unable to extract the eye from his head.  619 and Rollins bails to the floor, desperately trying to keep his eyeball from dislodging from his skull, but Rey follows him out with a curbstomp on the floor.  The announcers are like “It’s a great chance for Rey Mysterio to pull the eye of his socket right here!”  So Rey tries to use the corner of the stairs and Seth kicks him in the nuts to escape.  And the announcers are like “Bro, you were trying to extract the eyeball from his skull multiple times, but THAT’S TOO FAR!”  Seth follows with a curb stomp and takes him to the stairs again, and that is apparently enough to extract the eyeball from his skull for the win at 18:07.  We see exactly nothing, by the way, with Rey just kind of covering up his face with his glove, despite the fact that he should be hemorrhaging blood and going into shock.  And then Seth pukes all over the floor, summing up the feelings of many people about this stupid match stipulation.   Once again, much like the opener, they were having what would have been a perfectly good match, but the “drama” built around “blinding each other” was so unbelievably insulting to anyone with an IQ higher than 50 because there was no way they could deliver on it.  And they didn’t.  Match was flirting with **** most of the way for the work, but the finish was stupid and there was no real drama to it.  So I’m at ***1/2 overall.  Plus 10 hot pokers up the brown eye of Brother Love (see what I did there?) for one of the dumbest and most insulting stipulations ever seen on PPV.  Like, it was literally advertised as being horrifically violent and needing to end with someone’s eye getting pulled out of the socket, and neither of those things were delivered.  Also, why did we need all the Rube Goldberg-ian schemes to take out an eye when you can just stick a thumb in there and do it that way?

Meanwhile, Bayley is pretty shaken up over what happened to Rey Mysterio, but she still manages to pull it together and introduce Sasha.

Meanwhile, Braun Strowman takes us back to the swamp and reminisces about meeting Bray Wyatt there.

RAW Women’s title:  Asuka v. Sasha Banks

Apparently the hand-waved reasoning behind Sasha challenging for the RAW title here is that Bayley and Sasha are the tag champions, so they can go to whatever brand they want.  Which I guess then includes challenging for singles titles as well?  Sasha quickly tries for the Bank Statement and hits the double knees for two, but Asuka takes her down with an armbar attempt and Sasha makes the ropes.  Sasha tries for a springboard wristlock takedown, but Asuka knees her in the head and sends her to the floor.  Asuka sends her into the apron, but they head back in and Banks comes back with double knees in the corner for two.  Sasha with some SMALL JOINT MANIPULATION and she works the arm with a reverse stump puller.  Asuka escapes that, so Sasha slugs away in the corner and a pair of double knees for two.  Sasha with another hold, but Asuka kicks out of that and puts her down with the backfist.  Asuka charges and gets sent into the turnbuckles and both of them are down.  Asuka fires up again, but misses a hip attack and they fight to the apron.  Sasha powerbombs her into the plexiglass from there and then comes back in with a frog splash for two.  Bank Statement follows, but Asuka makes the ropes.  They fight on the apron again and Asuka suplexes her in for two.  Another german suplex and Asuka makes the comeback with kicks for two.  Banks tries her own kicks, but Asuka suplexes her again and hits the hip attack for two.  She goes up with a missile dropkick, but that misses and Sasha gets a knee for two and they’re both out.  This one is feeling like they’re going too long.  They fight to the top and Sasha elbows her down, but Asuka suplexes her down and Sasha lands on her knees to escape.  And then Sasha collapses in the corner while grabbing her knee, and they slug it out until Asuka goes for the Asuka-Lock.  Bayley takes the ref and they do some sloppy reversals in the ring until Asuka gets the hold sunk in.  And then Bayley comes in and tries to interfere, but Asuka hits her with a kick.  Sasha grabs one of the many belts at ringside, but the ref stops her, and Asuka blows green mist, which hits the ref by mistake.  Maybe Seth or Rey should have tried that?  And then Bayley hits Asuka with the belt and steals the ref’s shirt, counting the pin herself for Sasha at 20:15.  Bayley and Sasha take the title belt with them, but no announcement of the actual winner is made.  The match was going pretty good, but then just kept going too long and completely fell apart, particularly the finish, with a series of stuff that made no sense and led nowhere, like the Sasha knee injury spot.  ***1/2  So for those keeping track, that makes two “title changes” on the same show where the heel literally just took the belt without winning a match.  I give Reo Rodgers 5 hot pokers up the ass for doing such a stupid non-finish in a title match, but the match was decent leading up to it, so Asuka can blow some cooling green menthol mist on his injuries afterwards.  Never let it be said I’m without mercy!

Meanwhile, one of the interview-bots lets us know that Rey has a complex medical condition called “Popeye Syndrome” but he might still recover his vision, depending on a vote from people who buy Snickers bars at Dollar General.

WWE title:  Drew McIntyre v. Dolph Ziggler

Oh, also this is an unknown stipulation match, to be announced by Dolph before the match starts.  So Dolph makes it EXTREME RULES, with none of the rules applying to himself and only applying to his opponent.  So basically he’s Donald Trump.  So Dolph can do whatever he wants and if Drew is counted out or DQ’d, he loses the title.  And yet even with the deck ridiculously stacked in his favor, Dolph still has zero chance of winning.  They fight to the floor and Drew runs him into the post, which should be an immediate DQ right there but we’re already ignoring the rules I guess.  Back in the ring, Drew gets an overhead suplex and sets up the kick, but Dolph bails to escape.  Dolph gets a chair, but Drew takes it away and gets rid of it and they fight to the floor.  Drew chops him out there and they head back in, where Drew clotheslines him to the floor again.  Dolph runs him into the post and finds a table, but Drew threatens to suplex him through it before thinking better of it.  So what about every other main event match where guys go through announce tables with no DQ?  If there was any kind of consistency about this stuff, there might be some drama here, but there’s not.  Back in the ring, Dolph kicks him in the bagpipes and beats him down with a chair, which gets two.  They head to the floor and Drew suplexes him onto the announce table, which is apparently is also not a DQ.  So would the table have to break in order to be a disqualification?  Attempted table breaking doesn’t count?  They fight on the announce table, but Dolph gets the fameasser off the table and Drew has to beat the count at 8.  Back in, Drew goes up and misses a forearm, allowing Dolph to get the sleeper, which Tom claims “has helped Dolph win plenty of matches throughout his career.”  Name one.  Drew comes back with a clothesline out of the corner and sets up the Claymore, but Dolph counters with the Zig Zag for two.  To the floor again and Dolph puts him through the table out there with a diving elbow.  And Drew beats the count at 9.  Back in, Drew fights back with a headbutt, but Dolph gets another fameasser and Zig Zag, and follows with a Rock Bottom on the chair for two.  And then Drew hits the Claymore to counter the superkick and gets the pin to retain at 15:52.  There was literally no point in the entire match where I believed for a second that Dolph had a chance to win, so this wasn’t a particularly effective challenge on his part.  Again, another one where if they just had a normal match instead of screwing around with stupid stipulations, it would have been way better.  ***

SWAMP FIGHT:  Braun Strowman v. Bray Wyatt

This is a non-title swamp fight, I should point out.  And yes, of course it’s CINEMATIC WRESTLING.  My favorite.  Because now every WWE PPV has to have one.  So we pick things up with Braun driving up in his pickup and Bray hanging out on a rocking chair like it’s 2013, but then the lights go out and he mysteriously disappears.  “Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here” declares a sign.  Probably taken from the door of the writer’s room.  Anyway, Braun is tormented by images of birds and we cut to Bray cheering him on from the Funhouse, which allows Bray to lay him out with a shovel from behind.  But no, it’s actually himself, as he has an Empire Strikes Back moment like Luke Skywalker in the swamps of Dagoba. And then, as you’d expect, he wakes up chained to a chair in Bray’s cabin.  Bray clarifies that he’s unable to be hurt because he’s already dead.  And then he does the Agent Smith speech from the Matrix about humans being an infection.  Nothing like a guy giving a speech to another guy tied up in a chair for your main event!  And then after about 5 minutes of Bray giving a speech, some guy brings in a snake, before we cut to the outdoors and Braun beats up some guy in a ninja suit and throws him into the fire.  And then evil witch Alexa Bliss tries to tempt him because reasons, but you guessed it, it’s actually Bray Wyatt again.  So Braun chokeslams him into a dilapidated boat and sends him into the swamp.  But then the boat comes back and he’s GONE.  Braun is mystified by this.  Really?  Being attacked by a clone of himself didn’t bother him but Bray escaping from a slow-moving boat in a swamp makes him freak out?  Anyway, Bray attacks like a horror movie villain and tries to drown Braun, but that fails, and now Braun is tripping balls like the water is from Duff Gardens or something.  So Bray tries to murder him with an axe handle or whatever and can’t get the job done, as it is now Braun’s turn to pop up like a monster and kick Bray into the water.  And now FOR SURE he’s gotta be dead this time, right?  Well, apparently so, because that’s the end of the show.  BUT WAIT!  Bray emerges again like a mid-credits Marvel movie stinger and pulls Braun into the water and YES WE’RE STILL FUCKING GOING WITH THIS SHIT.  Anyway, now the Fiend emerges from the water, and I guess he wins and Braun is drowned in the swamp and died at 18:30?  Guess they’ll need a rubber match now.  Assuming Braun survived.  Either way, NOW the show is over, and that’s the important thing.  I’ll be conservative and go with FUCKING NINE THOUSAND HOT POKERS for everyone involved in this stupid fucking shit, to be delivered individually.  Not even in one bundle.  I want long-term suffering.   I know the swamp water might cause an infection, but I’m willing to take that chance.

Man, fuck this show.  I don’t even care about the rest, that main event earns it a THUMBS DOWN and it can fuck right off.