Quick Takes on Doomed Seth Rollins vs. Rey Mysterio Match, WWE SummerSlam, More
With The Horror Show at Extreme Rules right around the corner and the card nearly complete, there should be more excitement among fans than there is. Unfortunately, WWE's recent match announcements have tempered expectations for the event, specifically the Eye for an Eye encounter between Rey Mysterio and Seth Rollins.
A storyline that started out with such promise has been reduced to ridiculousness. WWE has revealed that the only way for Rollins and Mysterio to win their upcoming outing is for one of them to gouge the other's eye out—a silly stipulation, to be sure.
One good thing to come out of Monday's Raw was the unveiling of the new United States Championship belt, courtesy of one MVP. Whether the updated look of the star-spangled prize will lead to it meaning more remains to be seen, but it is a refreshing change of pace, if nothing else.
In regards to the status of SummerSlam, Twitter account WrestleVotes—which has broken some WWE news in the past—hinted at the Performance Center hosting the pay-per-view despite there being hope internally that the company would be able to perform in front of fans by mid-August.
However, that doesn't mean they can't make the show special in a different way, similar to April's two-night WrestleMania 36 extravaganza.
How WWE can go about doing that will be discussed in this week's edition of Quick Takes along with early speculation for who could be Nyla Rose's new manager in All Elite Wrestling, Mercedes Martinez's dominant NXT return and more.
Eye for an Eye... Why?
The rivalry between Rey Mysterio and Seth Rollins has jumped the shark with their Eye for an Eye match now official for The Horror Show at Extreme Rules.
All things considered, their feud has been fun to follow and seemed to leading to a tag team match pitting Mysterio and his son, Dominik, against Rollins and one of his minions. That could still be the endgame, but it certainly sounds like this Eye for an Eye affair will be the feud's blow-off.
It's obviously WWE's latest attempt to add an attraction to one of its B-level pay-per-views and stir interest among fans (a la Edge vs. Randy Orton in The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever at Backlash). Although it's gotten fans talking, the stipulation isn't one to be taken seriously.
Per Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE is expected to go "all out" with its cinematic matches at Extreme Rules, including Mysterio vs. Rollins. Why there's even a need for more than one on the card is questionable, not to mention how the two of them are perfectly capable of having an exciting, straightforward wrestling matchup without all the bells and whistles attached.
Perhaps WWE has something up its sleeve fans won't see until Extreme Rules that it will make the match worthwhile. But on paper, it screams sports-entertainment silliness. Unless officials can figure out a way to make it work—which will be easier said than done—then it is doomed to fail.
Booking Mercedes Martinez as NXT's Next Monster Heel
After a lengthy layoff, Mercedez Martinez has returned to NXT and appears to be much more of a threat than she was the last time the WWE Universe saw her.
Martinez debuted on NXT TV days removed from putting pen to paper with the promotion and made an immediate impact. However, she was fairly directionless before disappearing from programming all together for a number of months.
In her return to the black-and-gold brand Wednesday night, she wasted no time in establishing herself as a force to be reckoned with by annihilating opponent Santana Garrett in a matter of minutes. She barely acknowledged Robert Stone while walking past him backstage later in the evening, which should hopefully end any speculation that she'll be his newest client.
If she is indeed flying solo, then she should be booked as the most dominant heel in NXT's women's division. She can fill the void Shayna Baszler left behind when she was called up to the main roster at the onset of 2020 and eventually be positioned as a credible challenger to NXT women's champion Io Shirai.
Those familiar with her work on the independent scene and watched her thrive in both of the Mae Young Classic tournaments will know that she has the tools necessary to be a top player in NXT, even at 39. She's off to a strong start and has a great run ahead of her if she can stay healthy.
WWE Nails New United States Championship Design
Once the Intercontinental Championship received its first redesign in many years last November, it was inevitable the United States Championship would experience the same treatment. Sure enough, WWE finally introduced the long-rumored new title belt Monday night to largely positive reviews from fans online.
There is something to be said for the company "fixing" something that wasn't broken, in that there was nothing wrong with the previous title design. However, it had been around since 2003, and WWE may have felt it was necessary to give it a remodeling.
All in all, it's a sleek-looking title and not nearly as atrocious as other designs that have designed in recent months, most notably those for the tag titles and the Universal Championship. The updated appearance of the star-spangled prize, on the other hand, is unique and is a suitable replacement for what came before it.
Now the key is elevating the title's importance to match the makeover.
To his credit, Apollo Crews has done his best in the role of United States champion and is slowly bringing back honor and prestige to the title by winning more often than not. The fact that he's been consistently featured on TV has also helped, but the new look for the belt will be rendered irrelevant if he fails in his quest to cement its status as a coveted championship again.
Does Nyla Rose Really Need a Manager?
Despite losing the AEW Women's World Championship to Hikaru Shida at Double or Nothing in May, Nyla Rose hasn't lost the least bit of momentum, having gone undefeated since. That includes a decisive victory over Kenzie Paige and KiLynn King in a two-on-one Handicap match on Night 2 of Fyter Fest.
Afterward, she announced that she will soon be introducing the world to her new manager, though she never gave a reveal date.
The commentators were quick to speculate that it could be Jake "The Snake" Roberts because of how well she would mesh with Lance Archer. Taz is also a possibility, as The Human Suplex Machine has already pledged his allegiance to Brian Cage.
More likely, it will be someone who AEW viewers haven't seen yet—at least not in an official capacity.
Leading the list of rumored candidates is Vickie Guerrero, who has plenty of managerial experience from her time in WWE and brought several stars to prominence. That said, her shtick got old years ago and would be an odd fit alongside Rose.
Madusa, aka WWE's Alundra Blayze, has been speculated as well. Assuming she's no longer under contract to WWE, she would be a much more intriguing choice.
The bottom line is that while a manager could add to her act, she has proved that she doesn't need one. She has been successful by herself over the past year and can cut promos perfectly fine as it is, so whoever the mystery manager must be a big enough star to justify becoming her mouthpiece.
How SummerSlam Can Still Feel Like the Biggest Party of the Summer
SummerSlam has traditionally been viewed as WWE's second-biggest pay-per-view behind WrestleMania, but under the current circumstances, fans fear that may not be the case this year.
Not every installment of SummerSlam in the past decade has been a home run, but having a hot crowd in attendance always amplifies the enjoyment level. It doesn't help that there aren't many marquee matches slated to take place at the event outside of Braun Strowman vs. The Fiend and possibly Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship.
WWE has made the most of the environment at the Performance Center in recent months, but it isn't a venue befitting SummerSlam. While holding the show in front of fans seems to be out of the question, the company can still attempt to get creative and hold it either outside or on some sort of a beach if at all possible.
Relegating B-level pay-per-views such as Extreme Rules and Backlash to the PC is one thing, but SummerSlam shouldn't come across like just another event. Stacking the card and going outside of the confines of the same old setting would go a long way in giving it a special sort of feel in order to live up to the usual SummerSlam hype.
If WrestleMania 36 could exceed expectations, there's no reason SummerSlam can't have similar success. With the right pieces in place, this year's installment may well provide fans with the perfect distraction from everything going on in the world.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.