Hooked On Roundtable: WWE Extreme Rules 2020

Who will walk out with championship gold? And – yes – who will walk out with one good eye?

WWE Horror Show At Extreme Rules Logo

This Sunday sees WWE Network screen the unofficial premiere of the latest Saw movie as the company that absolutely abhors blood and guts presents a card including a match where a wrestler must pull their opponent’s eye out of its socket.

The big question is: whose eye will be ‘removed’? And who will emerge victorious from those other bouts that will end with something as crazy as a pinfall?

Our crack team attempt to look into the future – with both eyes intact – and pick the winners across the card.

WWE Championship match, stipulation TBA: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler

Paul Benson: Whilst I am a big admirer of McIntyre’s title reign, this is not my favourite of his ‘fighting champion’ defenses. Despite the back story, Ziggler just doesn’t do anything for me in 2020. Clearly McIntyre is winning. Who knows what the stipulation will be but it doesn’t have a bearing on the outcome.

Ash Rose: WWE have tried as hard as they can to convince us Dolph is a legitimate threat to McIntyre’s title, but I still don’t think anyone is convinced. The build has been entertaining – especially Heath Slater’s involvement – but the most intriguing aspect of the match is what stipulation Ziggler chooses. Whatever it is it won’t matter, because Drew’s keeping hold of the gold. 

Steve Cox: Should be a ding dong matchup. I am sure Dolph will bump until the cows come home but the reality is, Drew is the champion we need in the WWE right now and I’d be amazed if they take that belt off him! I expect this to have a good half hour and really show off Drew at his best. Drew with a double Claymore Kick.

James Dee: When you need a stand-in opponent to make your champion look good you call Dolph Ziggler. The man could sell ice to a polar bear. Unfortunately that means he probably loses this one though I retain a fool’s hope that one day we see him with the belt.

Wyatt Swamp Fight: Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt

Paul: A Wyatt Swamp match, eh? I wonder how that differs from a regular old swamp match? I think Wyatt wins this to give us a SummerSlam rubber match against The Fiend. I will mark out BIG TIME if we get a Skinner cameo.

Ash: Another slice of WWE’s cinematic offering here and we return to Bray’s ‘old school’ character as the Eater of Worlds. Expect something akin to the Compound Match we saw with The New Day a couple of years ago, with lots of (hopefully not too hokey) horror film-like scenes and Bray trying to spook the Universal champion. With Braun already having beaten ‘Fun House’ Bray, I think he wins this one too and it leads to Wyatt unleashing The Fiend at SummerSlam. 

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Steve: Well this should be fun.  Will we get the three faces of Bray? Will we get Black Sheep Braun? It’s a shame the other members of the Wyatt Family aren’t around or I’m sure they’d add plenty to this. In any case.  These two making a movie, it should be fantastic and I can’t wait to see what they come up with. It will be bonkers, it’ll be daft as a box of frogs and have more layers than an Eskimo in a freezer. I think Bray needs to win this one.

James: There’s been a lot of interesting stuff going on in this feud. Bray has consistently been one of my favourite performers of the past few years, however I don’t think Braun is finished with him yet. Braun takes this but expect shenanigans.

Raw Women’s Championship match: Asuka (c) vs. Sasha Banks

Paul: Cannot wait for this one. My most anticipated match on the card. I suspect Bayley decides not to help Sasha cheat to win and return the favour, thus moving their tension up a gear ahead of SummerSlam.

Ash: As part of The Golden Role Models Sasha as been killing it across all three brands and fully deserves this big title shot – which for me should main event the show. However, we all know there is a bigger story here and I expect some more seeds to be sown in the eventual breakdown with Banks and Bayley that sees Asuka pick up the win and move on to high-profile defence of her title at SummerSlam with either Kairi Sane or Shayna Baszler. 

Steve: Asuka is the best thing on Raw most weeks. As much as I like Sasha I can imagine Bayley getting involved and making sure she doesn’t win the title so she’s on the same level as her. So that’s what I’m going to go with. The Empress of Tomorrow will keep her title for her kabuki ways.

James: I love Asuka, she kicks ass and gets so much personality over whilst barely speaking English. That being said Sasha and Bayley have been two of the best things about the quarantine era and the thought of them having the tag belts and a top championship each is just too tantalising to pass up. So I’ve got Sasha by a whisker.

SmackDown Women’s Championship match: Bayley (c) vs. Nikki Cross

Paul: I suspect we see Bayley do a Ric Flair impersonation here. She will make Cross look great and give her plenty of offence before her best friend Sasha interferes to cost the valiant Cross the win she deserves.

Ash: Possibly the most predictable match on the card so far, because there’s no way Bayley’s dropping that strap to anyone but Sasha Banks. That maybe a bit harsh on Nikki Cross who quite possibly is deserving of a top title run given how big of a star she’s become on the blue brand, but hopefully her time will come again soon. 

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Steve: You’d probably expect this to go Bayley’s way. Sasha will be there supporting her friend and I expect Alexa to back up Nikki. The wee crazy one is an amazing wrestler, and what I’m hoping for is that Sasha and Alexa will be getting involved and distracting the Emo Queen to the point that Nikki does the most devastating move in wrestling history (the surprise roll up) and gets a shock win.

James: See previous answer but replace Asuka with Nikki and Sasha with Bayley. Nikki’s great but my desire for a Two-Woman Powertrip is eternal. Probably shouldn’t take that out of context though…

Eye for an Eye match: Seth Rollins vs. Rey Mysterio

Paul: A cracking feud with maybe my favourite current villain in WWE. But an eye for an eye? Whatever! I’ve heard the rumours about CGI eyes (CG-eyes?) but my prediction is Dominic has to spare his father’s eye by agreeing to join Rollins’ flock.

Ash: A what? Yep, they are going there. You can bank this as your meme-worthy match of the night as WWE go full on ‘horror show’ with this bout. It’s hard to predict given we have no idea how this is going to look or play out, but Seth probably needs the win more here even though Rey’s already had one expensive trip to the opticians under his belt. Have a punt too on Dominic becoming Rollin’s latest disciple… 

Steve: It’s daft. It’s a daft stipulation, I hate it, I don’t want it. I expect a really bad B-movie with Rey getting an eye torn out and he goes to wearing his white contacts in one eye until everyone forgets it and moves on to something else. Yeah. I have nothing invested in this story even though I like both guys! They are better than this.

James: Eye fail to see how this match can possibly end without something stupid happening. Does Rey get the retribution he deserves? Does a one-eyed Rollins make sense at all? If there’s any foresight in the company. Rey will be eyeless at the end of the night, head for ret-eye-rment and Dominic will look to SummerSlam for retribution. However I’ve had my eye on Dom for a heel turn for a while so maybe that happens? Honestly eye have no clue here. But eye’ve got Rollins winning by an eyelash. Eye pun.

United States Championship: Apollo Crews (c) vs. MVP

Paul: Crews wins. This is a crutch to build their story further. If they actually get to have something of a match, I suspect it will be a good one as the energetic young babyface faces the wily older veteran.

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Ash: Who would have thought one of Raw’s MVP’s of 2020 would actually be MVP? Credit where it’s due, he’s taken the ball and ran with it since returning to the company in January and is now doing wonders for Bobby Lashley too. His job here should be to put over Apollo further and it makes sense to keep the belt on Crews and continue the feud through Lashley. 

Steve: I think this is going to be far better than the WWE are expecting it to be, two really great performers with charisma and talent and they are going to go to war over this belt.  I’ve liked Apollo as champion and the story of MVP having the new belt to reveal and claiming it before he’s won it is totally ‘old school’ brilliant.  This may be the best wrestling match on the card if they are given any kind of time.  And I’m going to pick MVP to win the title shocking the world and continuing the feud.

James: Apollo just seems to be hitting his stride and a few good wins will cement that. On the other hand, do you have MVP reveal a new belt and not put the belt on him? On the third hand, is MVP even relevant enough as a wrestler to justify putting the strap on him? Probably not. I think Crews keeps this despite Lashley shenanigans.

SmackDown Tag Team Championship Tables Match: The New Day (c) vs. Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura

Paul: We’ve seen this coming for a few weeks and it has been built quite well. I expect it to be the best match on the card quite comfortably. These four just know how to put on superb tag team matches. I expect Cesaro & Ol’ Nakkers to win this match and the titles. Sometimes it just feels the right time for a title change and this is one of those times.

James: New Day are great and they can always entertain with or without the belts. So I’m going for Swing of Strong Style in this match. Then when Zayn comes back he can bring unify his IC title with the interim one and we have a lovely heel stable resplendent with gold. Have I made it too obvious I like heel stables with lots of championships? Seriously, The Four Horsemen, Evolution, The Shield, Undisputed Era, all amazing. Anyway Cesaro/Nakmura for the win in probably the best actual match of the night

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