- WWE on ESPN Editor
The Horror Show at Extreme Rules is the WWE’s twist on a pay-per-view concept that’s been around since 2009.
Yes, there will be a tables match for the SmackDown tag team championships, and a stipulation that’s still to be announced as of show time for the WWE championship match between Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler.
But WWE is also leaning into some campy horror tropes as well. Universal champion Braun Strowman heads back to the swamp from whence he came to battle his creator of sorts, Bray Wyatt. There’s even a match in which either Seth Rollins or Rey Mysterio must pluck the other’s eye out in order to be declared the winner. How that could possibly play out in reality is anyone’s guess.
Keep an eye on the other three matches on the card, all with titles on the line. Each carries the potential of significant ramifications for August’s SummerSlam card, and the upward trajectory of Sasha Banks and Bayley reaches a crossroads. Sunday night ends with one of three outcomes — both women leave Extreme Rules conquering champions, both come up short when it matters most, or only one of them leaves with a title in hand and a target on their back.
Tim Fiorvanti and Sean Coyle are here to break down all of the action live, with Coyle rating each match on his customized scale of 0-5.
(c) – indicates defending champion
Tables match for the SmackDown tag team championships: Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura def. The New Day (c)
Full recap to come…
Kevin Owens vs. Murphy
Kevin Owens vs. Murphy kicked off the action for The Horror Show at Extreme Rules, in a clash that left open the possibility of some consequences for the Eye for an Eye match between Seth Rollins and Rey Mysterio later in the night.
Owens continued his winning ways, finishing Murphy off with a Stone Cold Stunner. He found success with the move that had earned him a victory over Rollins on Raw in recent weeks, but only after failing to land the move early on against Murphy on Sunday night.
There were, predictably, several stunning high-points throughout the match, including a vicious DDT by Owens that spiked Murphy right on the top of his head, a brainbuster that put Murphy’s raw strength on display and an effortless-looking Owens springboard moonsault. Owens ultimately used a superkick to set up the stunner and pick up the win.
What’s next: Tough to tell, really, without having seen Rollins vs. Mysterio. Murphy will likely continue to follow Rollins regardless, but Owens feels poised to shift into a higher-profile match as attention turns towards SummerSlam.
Still to come:
Wyatt Swamp Fight: Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt
WWE championship: Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler
Raw women’s championship: Asuka (c) vs. Sasha Banks
SmackDown women’s championship: Bayley (c) vs. Nikki Cross
Eye for an Eye: Rey Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins
United States championship: Apollo Crews (c) vs. MVP
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