One of WWE’s most exciting pay-per-views returned on July 19 with a new twist. Extreme Rules brings out creativity in each match, and this year, The Horror Show carried the theme as several unique stipulations were set including an Eye for an Eye match and a Wyatt Swamp Fight.
Kevin Owens vs. Murphy (Pre-Show)
Owens has had his fair share of run-ins with Seth Rollins and his disciples lately. Murphy stepped up to contest Owens before the main card kicked off. Owens defeated Murphy with a stunner.
New Day (t) vs. Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura (SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura have each taken on Big E and Kofi Kingston in singles matches on SmackDown the last several weeks. The challengers pulled out tables to hint at and ultimately decide the stipulation for their championship match.
Cesaro slammed Kofi Kingston through two tables in front of the announcer’s table to claim the SmackDown tag team championships. The New Day’s eighth title run ended as the former WWE champion tried to pull Cesaro off the ring with his legs, but it did not work.
Nikki Cross vs. Bayley (t) (SmackDown Women’s Championship)
Cross won a Fatal Four-Way match to become the No. 1 contender for the SmackDown Women’s title. Bayley has been among the most dominant superstars in WWE of late, as she and best friend Sasha Banks earned the Women’s tag team championships in the last month since Backlash.
In a fast-paced match, Cross proved she could keep up with Bayley. The challenger fought the champion both inside and outside the ring and even crawled to the opposite side of the ring when Bayley tossed her between the apron and ring.
Bayley struck Cross’s midsection while wearing Banks’s “Boss” knuckle accessory when The Boss made a handoff when the referee was not looking, and Bayley drove Cross into the mat to retain her title.
MVP becomes United States champion
Former champion Apollo Crews had gained momentum after defeating Andrade to capture the United States championship but “did not pass his pre-match physical” and therefore forfeited his match.
It can be argued MVP has much more wind behind him in his group of revitalized superstars featuring Bobby Lashley, with the potential to grow.
Seth Rollins vs. Rey Mysterio (Eye for an Eye match)
The personal feud between Mysterio and Rollins worked its way to a unique stipulation. The first ever ”Eye for an Eye” match where the winner must extract their opponent’s eye took place between the Monday Night Messiah and Master of 619.
Rollins entered with a pair of pliers but was unaware Mysterio entered from the opposite side of the ring. Mysterio took advantage of this opportunity and even gave Rollins a taste of his own medicine when he curb-stomped Rollins in front of the ramp.
However, Rollins hit a low blow to Mysterio and answered with his own finisher, then pushed Mysterio into the corner of the steel ring steps much like he did on Raw that started this rivalry.
Asuka vs. Sasha Banks (Raw Women’s Championship match)
Banks looked to join Bayley as a double-champion and capture the red brand’s highest honor for a female superstar. Banks dominated the majority of the first half of the match, then Asuka began mounting a comeback but Banks was resilient in staying in the match.
Bayley attempted to provide a distraction, and Kairi Sane charged the SmackDown women’s champion but was unsuccessful in holding her back. Bayley hit an unsuspecting Asuka with a championship belt. The referee tried getting Bayley to exit the ring and Asuka went for Green Mist but Banks stepped aside, putting the referee in the direct line of fire.
Bayley removed the referee shirt from the official and put it on herself. Banks held Asuka to the mat and Bayley counted to three and yelled for the timekeeper to ring the bell. Sasha Banks joined Bayley as double champions.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Drew McIntyre (WWE championship match)
Ziggler arrived on Raw to complete the AJ Styles-to-SmackDown trade and made quick work in challenging for the company’s highest title. McIntyre granted Ziggler the ability to decide the stipulation. Ziggler allowed himself the advantage of extreme rules, no count-outs, and no disqualifications while McIntyre had to follow normal rules and could lose his belt via count-out or DQ.
McIntyre weathered chair shots, a high elbow from the top rope that put him through a table, and a shot to his throat to quickly snap to his feet and hit a Claymore to retain his championship gold.
Bray Wyatt vs. Braun Strowman
Another page in the feud between former Wyatt Family members saw a Wyatt Swamp Fight, a cinematic match in the nighttime. This was a non-title match, heightening the bitterness between the two.
Strowman arrived in a vehicle and appeared to fight someone in the dark but was knocked down by a figure wielding a weapon. That figure would be Black Sheep Strowman, a cool way to get Strowman in Wyatt’s possession.
Strowman was chained to a rocking chair in Wyatt’s building where the latter spoke to Strowman about taking over. Wyatt pulled out a large snake that bit Strowman, sending the Monster Among Men into hallucinations where Alexa Bliss was dressed as Sister Abigail.
Wyatt and Strowman fought in the water when the Universal Champion came to. Wyatt held the champion under the water but was slammed into a boat when Strowman emerged.
The match closed with The Fiend popping up from the water and demanding “let me in.”