This Week In The WWE: 7/12-7/18

In a normal year, Extreme Rules would be the set-up PPV for another major show of the year, SummerSlam. But, as we know, this is no ordinary year. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of booking plans on hold since there are no crowds to entertain live and feed off of at the arenas. Plus, you have major superstars like Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns who have missed most of the virus show. Add to that the fact that Charlotte Flair is taking time off for surgery and personal time and you’ve got a watered-down summer here in the wrestling world.

Still, having said that, the Horror Show at Extreme Rules is a bit intriguing to me. The championship matches are stacked and I’m not so sure what to make of the stipulation (cinematic?) matches between Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt along with Seth Rollins vs. Rey Mysterio. Are we really going to see a match wrestled in a swamp? Are we really going to get an eye ripped out of the socket? I hope they wow me, but I’m not banking on it.

We’ll get to the predictions at the end of the column, but for now, here’s how the card looks:

The Horror Show at Extreme Rules PPV – Updated Card

  • WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler (stipulation to be announced)
  • RAW Women’s Championship Match: Asuka vs. Sasha Banks
  • Universal Championship Wyatt Swamp Match: Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley vs. Nikki Cross
  • Eye for an Eye Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins
  • United States Championship Match: Apollo Crews vs. MVP
  • Tables Match – SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The New Day vs. Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura

RAW

RESULTS

  • Tag Team Elimination Match: Angel Garza & Andrade defeated The Viking Raiders (Angel Garza last man)
  • Bianca Belair & Ruby Riott defeated The IIconics
  • Aleister Black defeated Buddy Murphy (DQ)
  • Kevin Owens defeated Seth Rollins
  • Randy Orton defeated R-Truth (24/7 Championship not on the line)
  • Bobby Lashley defeated Ricochet
  • Women’s Tag Team Title Match: Sasha Banks & Bayley defeated Asuka & Kairi Sane

What’s the stip?

Drew vs. Dolph – What will the stipulation be? I guess we’ll find out Sunday night! All we know right now is that Ziggler is teasing something that’s NEVER been done before in the WWE. Watch out McIntyre!

Good vibes:

Zelina’s Zen – Yes, at least for the past two weeks, Zelina Vega has her men, Andrade and Angel Garza on the same page and ready for a shot at the Tag Team Championship. They are far better looking strong and a force on Monday nights than the whiney boys they have been previously. Here’s hoping a feud and future gold is coming to Miss Vega and her team.

Kevin Owens – Yes, I’m a big KO Fan. Always have ever since the days of seeing him wrestling in person as Kevin Steen in Ring of Honor. A forceful Owens is a good thing for RAW and for the WWE Universe. He’s got stroke in and out of the ring!

Legend Killer vibes – OMG! Can you just feel the tension of Randy Orton one day taking out Ric Flair! It’s coming folks and it will be magical in its power! And speaking of Flair, that was an amazing conversation between the Nature Boy and The Big Show. You could feel the realness to it!

Welcome back:

Bianca Belair – It’s nice to see BB back on Monday nights. Sure, we all thought it would be Liv Morgan coming to the aid of Ruby Riott against the IIconics, but it was a nice surprise to see the EST of NXT on RAW once again.

Shayna Baszler – Damn, I so wanted Baszler to pin R-Truth for the 24/7 Championship! But, barring that, the badass is back baby! Here’s hoping they let her loose his time and try not to tame her. Let her run free and be true to her dominant self.

The best:

The main event – It just keeps getting better and better with Sasha Banks, Bayley and the Kabuki Warriors battling each week. The champs get the win heading into Extreme Rules and keep the dream alive of all the gold going around the waist of the BFF’s. Plus, on RAW Talk after the show, we get a hint that maybe Asuka will take on Kairi Sane down the road.


NXT

RESULTS

  • Damien Priest defeated Cameron Grimes
  • Indi Hartwell defeated Shotzi Blackheart
  • NXT Championship & North American Championship Match: Keith Lee defeated Dominik Dijakovic
  • Timothy Hatcher defeated Denzel Dejournette
  • NXT Women’s Championship Match: Io Shirai defeated Tegan Nox

Bask in the Glory

Lee’s 1st defense – Nothing but respect for Keith Lee in granting his very first defense of the NXT Championship & North American Championship to his friend and former rival Dominik Dijakovic. The two didn’t disappoint and continues their physical battles from a few months ago on center stage Wednesday night. Plus, it’s a nice appetizer to Lee’s upcoming feud with Karrion Kross.

Who’s next:

Kross vs. Lee – Which brings us to this – Scarlett Bourdeaux made sure Lee didn’t forget that Tick. Tock. Remembers everything including the hourglass Lee smashed before coming champion. This could be one of the biggest feuds of the year if they let it be. Let it breathe and develop NXT! First up, Kross takes on Dijakovic this Wednesday night.

Meh:

Timothy Thatcher – I like the gimmick, but just not sure anyone knows where it’s going. It needs a direction and a foe to focus on.

50/50:

Io vs. Tegan – Don’t get me wrong, Shirai vs. Nox was pretty good. Maybe it’s the lack of crowd or emotion. Maybe it’s coming after Lee’s title defense. But it just lacked a certain something watching it live. It just didn’t feel as big as it should’ve been. Let’s see how Dakota Kai plays into the picture now with her attack on Shirai to end the show.

I’m a fan:

Fantastic Fantasma – I am an unabashed fan of Santos Escobar, Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde. These three could dominate and would love to see a lucha libre spectacular with Andrade & Angel Garza someday. I need them to take the next step and really own the heel mentality to take out Drake Maverick, Breezango and the entire Cruiserweight division. They need to channel their inner Horsemen mentality for it. I think they have it in them!

Missing:

Come back Ciampa – How can creative not have anything for Tommaso Ciampa? The guy is gold and there should be room for him at any time in NXT. The fact that he’s not around makes the show that much less of a show to watch.


SMACKDOWN

RESULTS

  • Cesaro defeated Big E – Cesaro picks the stipulation for the Tag Team Title Match at Extreme Rules
  • Women’s Tag Team Championship Non-Title Match: Sasha Banks & Bayley defeated Asuka & Nikki Cross
  • Universal Championship Non-Title Match: Braun Strowman defeated John Morrison
  • Lacey Evans defeated Naomi
  • Intercontinental Championship Match: AJ Styles defeated Matt Riddle to retain title

Money:

The ladies – It’s like printing money each and every show. Sasha Banks, Bayley, Asuka and whomever you want to put in the ring with them. Highlight material each and every time. Having Nikki Cross get pinned again by Bayley, leaving Nikki to doubt herself could lead to an unhinging Sunday night for Miss Cross.

Misplaced:

Styles vs. Riddle – Granted, the IC Title Match, mostly dominated by Matt Riddle, was a very good one and I wouldn’t mind seeing them go at it again for the tiebreaker, the match itself was a bit misplaced. As the main event on the go-home show to Sunday night’s PPV, it had nothing, zero, nada to do with the making me want to see Extreme Rules. The number one thing the go-home show has to get done is to make me want to watch the PPV in two days. Sure, with King Corbin attacking Riddle after the match, it furthers that feud and the match may give us another Styles vs. Riddle battle down the road, nothing in the final 30 minutes of SmackDown gave me a reason to watch Sunday night. And that, my friends is an EPIC failure. Win the battle, but lose the war with that booking my friends. Maybe they’ll add a match before the PPV but that’s neither here nor there as it’s a missed opportunity on broadcast TV to hype the night.

Saw it coming a mile away

Tables Match – The obligatory tables match at Extreme Rules honors this year go to The New Day and Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura. It was a foregone conclusion.

I like it:

The open to the show – Instead of a 10-minute in-ring promo that we normally get each week, we got a pre-produced preview to the night’s events with all of the superstars chiming in. A nice touch, with some groovy backbeat tunes and a solid way to start the night. Brings a sporty feel to it too. Hope they keep using it every once in a while.

Filling time:

Braun vs. Morrison – Did it make you want to watch the Swamp Match any more this Sunday? And for that, it failed to deliver. Predictable match and outcome.  At least Bray Wyatt’s pre-produced promo from the Swamp had some meat to it.


Parting shots:

Predictions for the Horror Show at Extreme Rules

  • WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre defeats Dolph ZIggler to retain title
  • Swamp Match: Universal Champion Bray Wyatt defeats Bray Wyatt to retain title
  • RAW Women’s Championship Match: Sasha Banks defeats Asuka to win the title
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Bayley defeats Nikki Cross to retain title
  • Tables Match: SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day defeat Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura to retain title
  • United States Championship Match: Apollo Crews defeats MVP
  • Eye for an Eye Match: Seth Rollins defeats Rey Mysterio

Upcoming this week:

RAW:
Unsanctioned Match: Randy Orton vs. The Big Show

NXT:
Karrion Kross vs. Dominik Dijakovic
Dexter Lumis vs. Killian Dain

SMACKDOWN:
Bar Fight: Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus


Thanks for letting us share our thoughts! Shoot me an email at jcrowe567@gmail.com. We’d love to hear your comments and suggestions! You can also check out my blog, The Crowe’s Nest as we delve into more pro wrestling, sports entertainment and the World of Sports. My apologies ahead of time – I AM a Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins fan! If you’re not down with that, I’ve got TWO WORDS for you… NEW ENGLAND