By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Extreme Rules
Aired July 19, 2020 live on WWE Network and pay-per-view
Portions aired live from Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Extreme Rules Kickoff Show match result: Kevin Owens defeated Murphy in 8:55. A full report on the Kickoff Show is available in a separate post on the main page.
The main show opened with a video package that focused on the the Swamp Fight, then moved on to the other matches… Michael Cole welcomed viewers to the show while the masked spectator wrestlers cheered behind the plexiglass…
1. Big E and Kofi Kingston vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro in a tables match for the Smackdown Tag Titles. Cole and Corey Graves were on commentary for the match. All four men were legal in the ring at once. Kingston hit Cesaro with a standing double stomp during the opening minute.
Big E put Cesaro on his shoulders at ringside in front of a table. Kingston went to the ropes for a double team move, but he was cut off by Nakamura. Cesaro slipped off the back of Big E. Cesaro and Nakamura double teamed Kingston in the corner while a table was set up in the middle of the ring. Big E broke it up.
Big E speared Cesaro through the ropes and off the apron to the floor. Kingston and E worked over Cesaro and placed him on a table at the bottom of the ramp. The New Day duo returned to the ring. Kingston was launched over the top rope toward Cesaro, but Cesaro and Nakamura held up the table, causing Kingston to crash into it. The heels went for a double suplex on Kingston, which Big E prevented.
A short time later, Nakamura pulled a table out from underneath the ring and set it up at ringside. Kingston went up top and performed a trust fall dive onto Nakamura. In the ring, Big E suplexed Cesaro and then put the boots to him. New Day pulled out a table and placed it on top of the other table on the broadcast team’s side of the ring.
Big E set up Cesaro for a superplex, but Nakamura broke it up. Kingston returned to go after Nakamura, who sent Kingston over the top rope to the floor. Cesaro dumped Big E into the ring. Cesaro performed the Swing on Big E briefly, but it was stopped when Nakamura delivered a kick to E’s head. Kingston recovered and worked over Nakamura and Cesaro at ringside.
Back in the ring, Kingston placed Cesaro on the top rope near the double decker tables. Kingston went for a huracanrana, but Cesaro held on. Nakamura joined Cesaro in working over Kingston, then Cesaro powerbombed Kingston through the double decker tables for the win.
Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro defeated Big E and Kofi Kingston in a tables match in 10:25 to win the Smackdown Tag Titles.
After the match, the new champions brought their belts over to the broadcast table. Cesaro boasted that actions speak louder than words…
Powell’s POV: A good opening tables match complete with a tag title change. I like that it was a clean win for Cesaro and Nakamura rather than New Day slipping on a banana peel and stumbling through a table. This gives a boost to Cesaro and Nakamura in the moment. Only time will tell whether they will be booked strongly as tag champions or if they will fall victim to the usual insanity of having champions lose non-title matches on television on a regular basis.
After an ad, Kairi Sane, Asuka, and Alexa Bliss had Nikki Cross repeat self affirmation lines. Cross got excited. Sane said that she and Asuka would still be their friends even if she lost…
2. Bayley (w/Sasha Banks) vs. Nikki Cross (w/Alexa Bliss) for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Cole and Graves were on the call. Greg Hamilton delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Bayley mocked the clapping spectator wrestlers. Cross picked up an early near fall, then performed a couple of cross body blocks from the top rope that also led to near falls.
Cross set up for another cross body block, but Bayley rolled to ringside. Cross went to the apron and dove onto Bayley at ringside. Bayley recovered and ran Cross into the plexiglass barricade, then brought her back inside the ring and covered her for a two count. “We believe in you,” Bayley said to taunt Cross.
Bayley caught Cross in the ring apron skirting and threw several punches at her. Cross slid under the ring and emerged on the other side. Bayley ran into the ring and went for a baseball slide, but Cross caught her in the skirting and worked her over briefly. Back inside the ring, Cross mimicked one of Bayley’s old mannerisms.
Bayley hit her Bayley to Belly finisher for a near fall. Bayley placed Cross on the top rope and superplexed her for another two count. Bayley barked at the referee. Cross rolled up Bayley for a two count. Bayley got up and delivered a knee to Cross’s head and then covered her for another two count. Bayley took the fight to ringside and then stopped and hugged Banks. Cross caught Bayley going for a move.
Back inside the ring, Cross knocked Bayley down a couple of times and dropkicked her. Cross bulldogged Bayley out of the corner. Cross went up top and had to leap over a charging Bayley. Cross performed a ripcord move on Bayley and covered her for another two count around 9:30.
Bayley caught Cross on the ropes and then hit her with a running knee that led to a two count. Bayley charged at Cross, who moved, causing Bayley to slam her head into the middle turnbuckle. Cross went to the floor and performed a neckbreaker from the apron to the floor. Both women returned to the ring and traded clotheslines. Cross covered Bayley for a two count, and Banks expressed concern from the floor.
Banks slipped one of her rings to Bayley. Bliss ran over and the referee got caught up with her while Bayley hit Cross in the gut with the ring. Bayley drove Cross’s head into the mat and then pinned her…
Bayley defeated Nikki Cross in 12:20 to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
Powell’s POV: A well worked match. I never bought into the idea of Cross winning the championship in this match, but it was still enjoyable. The finisher was well done in terms of Banks helping Bayley win. Jake Barnett’s prediction from Dot Net Weekly is half right thus far. He expected Sasha to help Bayley, but then predicted that Bayley would fail to help Banks or it would backfire. We’ll see if that plays out, as it certainly seems logical if they are splitting up Banks and Bayley for a SummerSlam match.
The Firefly Funhouse opening aired. Bray Wyatt was shown in black and white and was acting like a mad scientist. He spoke of something horrifying. The beginning of the karaoke contest was shown. Wyatt was shown in color and blamed Ramblin’ Rabbit. He went back into mad scientist mode and the black and white picture returned for the rest of the segment…
Tom Phillips, Samoa Joe, and Byron Saxton checked in from the broadcast table. They said the U.S. Title match would not take place. Phillips claimed that Apollo Crews was at the Performance Center earlier, but he couldn’t pass his pre-match physical due to injuries he suffered at the hands of Bobby Lashley. Phillips narrated highlights from a past Raw or Lashley putting Crews in the Full Nelson…
MVP and Bobby Lashley stood in the ring. MVP said let that be a lesson to anyone foolish enough to step foot in the ring with Lashley. MVP named himself the new U.S. Champion via forfeit and grabbed the new title belt off a podium from ringside. MVP and Lashley made their exit with the title belt around MVP’s waist…
Powell’s POV: One can only hope that Crews is okay. WWE hasn’t been forthcoming about their COVID-19 outbreak, so there’s sure to be plenty of speculation since we haven’t seen Crews since that time.
An ad for SummerSlam hyped the show for August 23… A video package focused on the Seth Rollins and Rey Mysterio feud…
3. Seth Rollins vs. Rey Mysterio in an eye for an eye match. The Raw team was on the call. Rollins entered first and brought a pliers to the ring with him. Mysterio entered from the side of the ring opposite Rollins to surprise him. Mysterio sent Rollins into the corner and grabbed the pliers, but Rollins ducked away. Mysterio pulled a toolbox out from underneath the ring and pulled out a piece of rebar.
Rollins rolled to ringside, pulled out a kendo stick, and hit Mysterio with it. Mysterio rallied and went for a 619 that Rollins avoided. Mysterio came right back and went for a huracanrana, but Rollins stuffed it and then performed a falcon arrow onto the ring apron. Phillips noted that it was the move occurred on the part of the ring where wood meets steel. Joe said it’s all steel and there’s no wood on the apron.
Rollins tried to shove the face of Mysterio into the ring steps, but Mysterio fought him off. A short time later, Rollins grabbed a chair and tried to drive the bottom of the legs into Mysterio’s eye. Mysterio fought him off and jabbed the chair into the gut of Rollins. Moments later, Rollins grabbed a pen and tried to jab Mysterio with it, but Mysterio moved.
Mysterio performed a drop toe hold that drove Rollins face first into the broadcast table. Rollins covered his eye. Mysterio grabbed a chair and tried to jab it into the eye of Rollins, who blocked it. Mysterio went to the toolbox, but Rollins hit him from behind with a chair. Rollins grabbed some rope and tried to tie Mysterio to the bottom rope, but Mysterio used his legs to pull Rollins into the ring post.
Back inside the ring, Rollins took control by using the rebar and a kendo stick. Rollins wedged the kendo stick into the corner and tried to run Mysterio into it, but Mysterio blocked it. Mysterio performed a series of moves on Rollins and then went up top and frogsplashed him. Mysterio jabbed his thumb in the eye of Rollins, who pushed him away. Mysterio went for a move, but Rollins pushed him over his head and dropped him onto the mat.
Mysterio avoided a Stomp, then performed a tornado DDT. Mysterio grabbed the kendo stick, but Rollins hit him from behind. Rollins had Mysterio on his shoulders when Mysterio hit him with the kendo stick and then spun around him and performed a powerbomb style move that drove Rollins into the barricade. Mysterio followed up with a sliding sunset driver from the ring that sent Rollins crashing into the barricade.
Mysterio broke a kendo stick over his knee and kept a piece of it. Mysterio knelt onto Rollins and then jabbed the stick near the eye of Rollins, who covered his face. Mysterio hit Rollins with a 619. The wrestlers went to ringside and fought near the ring steps again. Mysterio hit Rollins with his own Stomp finisher. Mysterio pulled the eye cover off his mask and then jabbed the eye of Rollins into the edge of the ring steps. Rollins used his leg to low blow Mysterio.
Rollins delivered a Stomp to the head of Mysterio at ringside. Rollins brought Mysterio over to the ring steps and shoved his face toward the edge. Mysterio covered his eye. Rollins backed off and then moved toward Mysterio only to back off again. Rollins acted sick. “It’s out,” Samoa Joe said on commentary.
Seth Rollins beat Rey Mysterio 18:05 in an eye for an eye match.
Rollins threw up at ringside. Dominick Mysterio ran out along with trainers and helped usher Rey to the back. Rollins remained at ringside and was booed and taunted by the spectator wrestlers. Rollins acted bothered by the taunts, then limped up the ramp and headed to the back…
Powell’s POV: As absurd as the stipulation and finish were, the wrestlers did their best to make that nonsense work. They deserve credit, but that’s where it ends. This was a ridiculous match with a payoff that the company knew it couldn’t deliver. I assume the end result is that Mysterio simply puts his mask patch on again. This match should make every WWE fan want to wear a mask in public so that we can get things back to normal as soon as possible and never have to suffer through this type of stunt booking bullshit again.
Bayley was shown looking dejected backstage when Kayla Braxton approached her for comment. Bayley acted disappointed about what happened to Mysterio, then said he wasn’t seeing double, she’s still a double champion. Banks showed up. Bayley continued to gloat…
A video package spotlighted the Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt feud…
4. Asuka (w/Kairi Sane) vs. Sasha Banks (w/Bayley) for the Raw Women’s Championship. The Raw team was on the call. Mike Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. There was a cool spot around 4:00 when Banks ran up the ropes and leapt off into a knee to the head from Asuka.
Banks came back and wrenched the arm of Asuka back and held it there while pulling her fingers. Banks continued the unique attack on Asuka’s fingers off another hold. Asuka eventually rallied with a series of kick and a spinning back fist. Banks caught Asuka charging at her in the corner and used her legs to drive Asuka’s face into the turnbuckle. Asuka came right back by pulling Banks from the ropes and into a Codebreaker.
Banks avoided a hip attack and then threw a kick to the back of Asuka. Banks attempted to suplex Asuka from the apron to the floor, but Asuka held onto the ropes. Banks blocked Asuka from suplexing her, then slipped underneath her and performed a powerbomb into the plexiglass. Banks rolled Asuka back inside the ring, went up top, and frogsplashed her for a near fall. Banks applied her Bank Statement finishing hold. Asuka powered her way to the ropes to break the hold.
A short time later, Asuka went for a missile dropkick that Banks avoided. Banks followed up with a knee strike for a near fall. Asuka ended up catching Banks on the top rope and performed a German suplex, but Banks landed on her knees. Banks went to the ropes moments later and fell awkwardly when she tried to leap. Banks held her knee, then barked at the referee and went back to the match.
Asuka ended up catching Banks in the Asuka Lock. The referee was distracted. Bayley ran in with one of the title belts. The ref turned and watched Asuka blast Bayley with a kick to the head and just let the match continue while Bayley rolled to ringside. Asuka tried to spray mist at Banks, who moved, causing the referee to take the mist to the face.
Bayley ran in and hit Asuka with a title belt. Bayley ripped the shirt off the referee and put it on herself. Bayley made the three count on behalf of Banks. Bayley went to ringside and grabbed the Raw Women’s Championship and presented it to Banks. The broadcast team questioned what was happening. Saxton said they couldn’t be serious. Bayley and Banks headed to the back with all the title belts…
Sasha Banks may have beaten Asuka in 20:00 to perhaps win the Raw Women’s Championship.
Powell’s POV: Congratulations to WWE. They actually found a way to top the eye for an eye match for the worst finish of the night. This can’t actually be a title change, can it?
After some advertising, the Raw broadcast team spoke about the previous match. Saxton said he doesn’t view Banks as the champion because Bayley is not an actual referee…
Backstage, Chary Caruso said Mysterio was on his way to the hospital. She spoke about Mysterio’s eye suffering some condition. The broadcast team took whatever she said as a potential positive…
A video package set up the WWE Championship match…
The Horror show that is Dolph Ziggler’s entrance music played, then Drew McIntyre made his entrance. Mike Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Ziggler took the mic and said McIntyre made a big mistake when he allowed him to pick the stipulation. Ziggler announced that the match would be fought under Extreme Rules for him only. Ziggler added that if McIntyre was disqualified or counted out then he’d lose champion…
5. Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler in a one-way Extreme Rules match for the WWE Championship. Phillips spoke about the match featuring different rules or both men. McIntyre jumped out to a fast start and set up for his finisher, but Ziggler rolled to ringside. McIntyre went on to avoid using a chair and then he resisted the urge to suplex Ziggler through a table at ringside.
McIntyre picked up a near fall. He told Ziggler that he could do this all night. McIntyre picked up Ziggler and called him pathetic. Ziggler responded with a low blow. Ziggler worked over McIntyre with a chair in the ring. McIntyre used another chair that was sitting upright to pull himself up, then took two more chair shots from Ziggler, who covered him for a two count.
McIntyre ended up at ringside. Ziggler leapt off the apron and was caught by McIntyre, who suplexed him onto the broadcast table. McIntyre rolled back inside the ring to break up the referee’s count. McIntyre cleared the broadcast table, then set up for a move off the table, but Ziggler broke it up and performed a Fameasser off the desk and onto the floor. McIntyre scrambled to beat the referee’s count.
Ziggler ran McIntyre through the ropes and into the ring post twice. McIntyre came back with a big clothesline. Both men ended up at ringside where McIntyre catapulted Ziggler into the plexiglass barricade. Back in the ring, McIntyre went for his finisher, but Ziggler hit him with a chair and a Zigzag for a near fall.
Ziggler superkicked McIntyre onto a table at ringside. Ziggler wet up top and dropped an elbow that put McIntyre through the table. McIntyre returned to the ring to beat the referee’s count. Ziggler screamed out of frustration. McIntyre delivered a Glasgow Kiss headbutt. Ziggler avoided a Future Shock DDT. Ziggler performed a Fameasser, a Zigzag, and a uranage onto a chair and covered McIntyre for a near fall.
“Why won’t you die?” Ziggler yelled. Ziggler picked up a chair and tossed it into the plexiglass, then he cleared two additional chairs from the ring. Ziggler tuned up the band. McIntyre kipped up and blasted Ziggler with a Claymore Kick before Ziggler could superkick him. McIntyre covered and pinned Ziggler…
Drew McIntyre defeated Dolph Ziggler in 15:25 to retain the WWE Championship.
Powell’s POV: The stipulation that the Ziggler character selected was solid, but there isn’t a stipulation that exists that would have made me view Ziggler was a threat to take the title. This was a well worked match by both men. It’s just a shame that Ziggler has been run into the ground for so many years that he’s no longer a credible challenger for a world championship.
Another ad aired for SummerSlam taking place on Sunday, August 23…
Michael Cole and Corey Graves sat at their broadcast table and set up the main event Swamp Fight…
6. WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt in a non-title Swamp Fight. Wyatt was shown seated in a rocking chair while Strowman arrived in a truck. Strowman exited the truck, approached Wyatt, and said, “I’m home.” The (outdoor?) lights went out and Wyatt disappeared. Wyatt could be heard laughing. Strowman threw a chair at a sign. Strowman started searching for Wyatt and then various shots of animals flashed on the screen.
Two hooded figures attacked Strowman. They cut to Wyatt on the Firefly Funhouse set doing a cheerleader bit. Strowman fought off the henchmen and called out for Wyatt. Strowman was hit from behind with an object. When he looked up, he saw himself wearing the black sheep mask. Strowman acted terrified, then sheep mask Strowman was shown swinging the weapon down onto regular Strowman and the screen went black.
In the next scene, Strowman was chained up in a shed or a cabin. Wyatt’s old entrance theme played as he was shown walking in his old gear holding a lantern. Wyatt approached the chain Strowman and told him that he’s not his enemy. Wyatt said Strowman is like him. Strowman said he’s not. Wyatt said Strowman is special. He said that together they could be like gods. He said “they” would bow to them, governments would fall, and they would rule.
Strowman said that he’d never go back to doing Wyatt’s bidding no matter what he did to him. Wyatt looked into the camera and asked if you want to see something really scary. A person entered the room with a giant snake, which apparently bit Strowman. After a feel snake images appeared, they cut back to the previous scene where Strowman beat up the henchmen. One of them was unmasked. Strowman hit the man with a weapon and the man rolled near a fire pit and caught on fire. Strowman laughed as the man ran away.
A woman wearing a veil stood on a dock and called to Strowman while saying he had to do this. The woman removed the veil and it was Alexa Bliss. Images were shown of the two of them together from past WWE shows. Bliss called for Braun to follow her home. Suddenly, Wyatt grabbed Strowman by the face. Strowman chokeslammed Wyatt onto a boat, which then departed and returned, only Wyatt was not inside the boat.
Wyatt hit Strowman from behind with an oar. Wyatt held Strowman underwater. Wyatt disappeared and then Strowman emerged from the water and got back onto the deck. Wyatt showed up standing over him. Wyatt beat Strowman with a weapon and then let out a primal scream. “Look what you made me do,” Wyatt said. “I didn’t want this.”
Strowman stood up. Wyatt laughed. Wyatt tried to hit Strowman with the weapon, but Strowman kicked Wyatt, who fell through the railing of the deck. Strowman searched for Wyatt and then declared that it was over. The Extreme Rules graphic appeared on the bottom of the screen. Suddenly, Wyatt reached up and applied the Mandible Claw and pulled Strowman into the water with him. The water was still for a moment, then it started bubbling in red. The Fiend emerged and his laugh track played. “Let me in,” The Fiend said to close the show…
The Fiend may have beaten Braun Strowman in a non-title Swamp Fight.
Powell’s POV: More Bray Wyatt hocus pocus in cinematic form. This just wasn’t for me. As expected, The Fiend showed up and now we’ll get Strowman vs. The Fiend in some fashion at SummerSlam. The best thing I can say about this show is that it’s over. There were some decent matches that were completely overshadowed by creative madness. Let me know what you thought of Extreme Rules by casting votes for the letter grade and the best match via the main page. Jake Barnett and I will be back later tonight with our audio review for Dot Net Members.
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