WWE Extreme Rules 2020 Results: Reviewing Top Highlights and Low Points
WWE Extreme Rules 2020 received a makeover this year with a new logo and an interesting subtitle, The Horror Show.
While every event has a chance to be fantastic or terrible, the hope was that this wasn't a literal nightmare like WWE suggested!
On paper, some of the card had promise, such as the Wyatt Swamp Fight and Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler.
Now that the event has finished, how did it turn out? Was this a mostly great pay-per-view, or was there more bad that outweighed the good?
Which standout segments were the biggest pros and cons of the night?
It's time to break down and recap the full results as well as the highlights and low points of The Horror Show at Extreme Rules 2020.
Full Match Results
WWE Extreme Rules 2020 Results
- Kevin Owens defeated Murphy by pinfall.
- Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura defeated The New Day to win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship in a Tables Match.
- Bayley defeated Nikki Cross by pinfall to retain the SmackDown Women's Championship.
- MVP defeated Apollo Crews by forfeit.
- Seth Rollins defeated Rey Mysterio in an Eye for an Eye Match.
- Asuka vs. Sasha Banks for the Raw Women's Championship had a non-ending with Bayley pretending to be the referee and counting a pinfall for Banks, even though it is invalid.
- Drew McIntyre defeated Dolph Ziggler by pinfall to retain the WWE Championship.
- Bray Wyatt seemingly defeated Braun Strowman in their non-title Wyatt Swamp Fight.
Low Point: Kickoff
WWE has never given much of a reason to watch the pre-show. It's always been fairly obvious little effort is put into making it be a can't-miss portion of the program.
This is a shame, as the entire purpose is supposed to be enticing enough to lure viewers to watch the rest of the show and sign up for the WWE Network. However, when the kickoff consists of nothing but recap material and a match that would be inconsequential even on Monday Night Raw, there isn't much of a selling point.
Kevin Owens and Murphy are fantastic performers who put on a decent enough match for a random exhibition, but it wasn't anything worth getting invested in. They're two cogs in a feud that isn't focusing on them and they've had far too many interactions over the Owens vs. Seth Rollins feud dating back since November.
There could have been a multitude of other, more important matches added to this card. The Intercontinental or Raw Tag Team Championships could have been defended, or Matt Riddle vs. King Corbin would have sufficed.
Instead, this was absolute filler. If you skipped it, you didn't miss anything.
Low Point: Tables Match, Highlight: New Tag Team Champions Crowned
When done well, tables matches can be a lot of fun as they exhibit frequent moments of tension any time someone is a little too close to a table.
However, more often than not, they tend to be on the boring side. The first few minutes of the match are clearly not going to result in a finish, so it takes some time to get the ball rolling. Then, it's just a matter of waiting for the inevitable singular spot.
Unfortunately, this match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship fell more into the latter and was hindered even more by the tightly confined space in the Performance Center. This left no real room to play around with.
Instead, Cesaro, Shinsuke Nakamura and The New Day basically walked around for 10 minutes setting up tables, did one crash and called it a day. It was far from a thrilling contest, particularly for four supremely talented performers like this bunch.
But while that was a low point, it's interesting that new champions were crowned.
At the very least, this presents an opportunity for the blue brand's tag team division to play around with something new. Cesaro's been a tag team champion many times, but Nakamura has never held that gold.
Even if it's just the potential of something to come, a title change in and of itself is more interesting than anything in particular that had happened up until this point in the show.
Highlight: Bayley vs. Nikki Cross
Bayley and Nikki Cross had a solid match for the SmackDown Women's Championship. On any other show, this would have fallen short of being a highlight. But for this lackluster event, this looks so much better in retrospect by the end of the night.
Amid an event filled with terrible booking and hokey gimmicks that fell short of the hype, these two exceeded my personal expectations.
Having already seen them fight far too many times over the past year, I had no interest in watching another match between them. For the record, that opinion still stands, and I don't think this was anything amazing.
In comparison to other parts of this card, though, this was a hard-fought match with a logical ending.
Low Point: MVP Defeats Apollo Crews by Forfeit
Rather than have an actual match between MVP and Apollo Crews, it was announced that Crews had not passed his pre-match physical due to a bulging disc injury he suffered from Bobby Lashley's Full Nelson.
Therefore, by forfeit, MVP declared himself the new United States Champion, although that wasn't even made official.
Just like that, the segment was over, which was incredibly disappointing and indicative of how poorly booked this event was. It's all sizzle and no steak.
The card is always subject to change and there are considerable issues right now with the pandemic getting in the way of recording things in an easier fashion, but WWE handled this completely the wrong way.
Knowing this would be the case, WWE should have had someone like Ricochet, Cedric Alexander or practically anyone else on the Raw roster—or even a surprise return like Mustafa Ali—show up to challenge MVP.
At least then, a match of some sort would have taken place. Without that, this is a bait and switch with fans who were interested in watching this match being given nothing in return.
A backup replacement is better than nothing, and since this was recorded in advance, there's even less of an excuse. If WWE didn't think Crews could perform, a change should have been made prior to the show.
It's even worse that this was left ambiguous. It's as if WWE's plan was to spend several weeks telling fans to tune in to this event just to tell them to tune in to Raw again to find out more information.
There was nothing of value in this segment. It didn't even up the ante on MVP's character work, as this was the same bravado of declaring himself the champion we've seen for weeks.
Low Point: Eye for an Eye Match
It was clear from the start there was no way in hell WWE would be able to successfully follow through with the stipulation that Rey Mysterio or Seth Rollins would actually pluck the other's eyeball out of its socket.
Of course, WWE made it a point to build that up as much as possible in the hopes to hype this as a truly horrific thing we would witness.
In typical fashion, it was even worse than expected. All that happened was an even tamer version of Rollins pushing Mysterio's eye into the corner of the steel steps than we've already seen!
There wasn't a single shot that fully showed anything at all close to an eye popped out. It was so hidden that you missed it unless you paused your video at the right moment. Even then, it looked beyond fake and there wasn't even as much fake blood as they had used before!
This was the absolute lamest way possible to end what was a terribly-booked feud. For weeks, all WWE felt like doing was have Rollins, Murphy and Austin Theory in brawls and tag team matches against Mysterio, Aleister Black, Humberto Carrillo and Kevin Owens.
Patience is a virtue, but this is ridiculous. Fans shouldn't have to sit through such low-effort creative for a month or so only for the end result to be something as bad as this.
There are no excuses. If there's no way to pull off an Eye for an Eye Match in a sufficient way, it should never have been the stipulation to begin with.
Low Point: Asuka vs. Sasha Banks
This event kept getting worse as time went on, almost as if WWE as trying to outdo each bad decision with an even worse segment to follow.
After Asuka and Sasha Banks had a perfectly good match for the Raw Women's Championship, this all spiraled downward into baffling stupidity with its finish.
Asuka spraying mist in the referee's eyes was fine and could have led to a new referee coming out or some shenanigans where The Boss would leave with the title. Instead, Bayley threw on the referee's shirt, counted a pin, got them to ring the bell and they left.
The commentary team was adamantly refusing that this counts. Obviously, it shouldn't. There are no grounds for this to be a true ending.
So why was it the end of the segment? Why didn't a new referee step in and rule that a non-finish?
How did WWE think booking a forfeit, followed by the terrible eye stuff, followed by another invalid ending make sense?!
Highlight: Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler
How did WWE book such nonsense and then do the most logical thing in the world for Drew McIntyre against Dolph Ziggler?
Whenever a heel has the ability to name a stipulation, there's never any rationality behind them not stacking the odds in their favor. Ziggler's idea of making this an Extreme Rules match that only applies to him was fantastic.
With McIntyre unable to be counted out or disqualified without losing the title, he had no champion's advantage and all the elements against him. That put him in an underdog position without having to look weak.
Overcoming those odds after wrestling a rock solid match with The Showoff was the best way to put McIntyre over.
Highlight: Wyatt Swamp Fight
The rule of thumb with WWE's cinematic matches are that they can only be enjoyed if you suspend your disbelief, refuse to criticize it as if it's a legitimate television show or film, and judge it based on the criteria of a regular professional wrestling vignette.
With that in mind, the Wyatt Swamp Fight was fantastic.
It had an absurd snake bite that teleported Braun Strowman back to a campfire where someone ran around engulfed in flames. There was a hallucination clone of The Monster Among Men that attacked the universal champion with a shovel.
Particularly interesting was Alexa Bliss as a ghostly manifestation of Sister Abigail. This drew back to The Goddess and Strowman teaming up for Mixed Match Challenge and implied there were legitimate feelings from Strowman the whole time—a storyline that was never fully developed.
Naturally, it ended with an ambiguous "the monster is still kicking" finish, like many horror films do, as The Fiend was the last thing rising from the swamp.
It was absolutely off-the-wall, which was what it promised to be. As long as you're okay with that sort of silly stuff, this was a highlight.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.