Three Count is a new regular series that will see Brandon Gordon provide his biggest takeaways from major events. This edition kicks us off with The Horror Show At Extreme Rules.
The twelfth annual Extreme Rules pay-per-view took place in the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Fla. featuring seven main card matches (eight including preshow), four of them being for championships. Dubbed as “The Horror Show,” this edition of Extreme Rules had a different vibe compared to its predecessors as WWE gives the fans an “Eye for an Eye” match and the cinematic “Swamp Match.” Did the “Horror Show” live up to the hype? Here’s the inaugural edition of “The Three Count.”
1.) Lack of Authority Figures in WWE Is Hurting The Overall Continuity of The product
Being a fan of the product since the mid-90s, WWE has always had an authority figure. From Jack Tunney, to Gorilla Monsoon, to Vince McMahon, Shawn Michaels, Linda McMahon, and the various general managers over the years, there has always been a consistent presence to bring a sense of order and help with the storylines. However, looking at some of the decisions of the show (I.E. The United States Championship & the Asuka/Sasha Banks match) it really asks the question, who runs the show? How and why are these decisions being made? Where’s the order? What’s the actual point? Granted, WWE to an extent has soured authority figures due to the predominantly heel antics of the person playing the role, which is understandable. However, with NXT having William Regal as their authority figure and only bringing him on to television when necessary, it just looks like Raw and Smackdown have zero direction and zero control.
2.) Anticlimactic Endings Galore!!!
A lot of the issues stemming from “The Horror Show” has been due to the endings of matches. Note, THREE matches in a row had them. The show suffered from anticlimactic ending after anticlimactic ending after anticlimactic ending and it really made the show feel worse than it actually was. The wrestling in the show was actually pretty decent. Nikki Cross vs Bayley was a solid match that was ruined by the finish of outside interference by Sasha Banks. Rey Mysterio vs Seth Rollins was a great match with decent action but was also ruined by a gimmicky ending and a terrible match stipulation. Finally, Asuka vs. Sasha Banks, a match that was more than likely the match of the night with excellent back and forth action and Sasha selling Asuka’s offense like death. However, the match was ruined by another terrible ending as Bayley tried to interfere, Asuka accidentally hit WWE Official Eddie Orengo with the green mist, then Bayley stripping Orengo out of his referee shirt to count the pin for Sasha and stealing the Raw Women’s Championship from Asuka. For the Women’s matches, it was about protecting Cross and Asuka and that’s valid. However, in all actuality did anyone really think that Cross would leave Extreme Rules as champion? That’s a hard no, especially when storylines are leading to a Bayley/Banks battle in the first place. Cross despite her talent unfortunately is a transitional feud for the time being. Spreading the matches across the card would’ve probably made it bearable, but the endings of the aforementioned matches were a great disservice to what was actually pretty good wrestling
Kick-Out: Drew McIntyre’s Reign as WWE Champion is Really Good
McIntyre since winning the 2020 Men’s Royal Rumble has been one of the best-booked wrestlers on any WWE brand to date. Since defeating Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 36, Drew has been shown to be a solid babyface that’s not hooky. A tough guy, no-nonsense competitor who is equally good in the ring and his list of victories showed that defeating Big Show, Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, and now Dolph Ziggler in a match that was actually a good story-driven match. Ziggler stacking the odds against the champion in a Randy Orton vs. Christian, Money in the Bank-like match stipulation in which if Drew gets counted out or disqualified, Ziggler becomes WWE Champion. In addition to that, Ziggler is the only competitor eligible to use weapons in the match which gives the champion a healthy conflict. McIntyre winning the match really puts him in a strong place with WWEs current booking.
3.) The WWE Extended Universe Continues: The Swamp Match
It was a very ambitious project. Let’s be honest, this was NOT a match. It was a cutscene, like the “Firefly Fun House” match prior. This was more of a psychological way to build up “The Fiend” vs. Braun Strowman for SummerSlam and it is doing a great job. As stated earlier, this wasn’t your typical run of the mil wrestling match. It told the story of Braun and Bray’s relationship. It had a lot of the relationship aspects with clips and certain Easter eggs, the “Sister Abigail” reveal being Alexa Bliss doing a call back of the Mixed Match Challenge and the “tension” between the two. This was a mind game for Wyatt to get the upper hand for when “The Fiend” gets his shot again and it did a good job with progressing the story. Braun already faced Firefly Fun House Wyatt, the Swamp Match was the match against “The Eater of Worlds” Wyatt and now all there’s left is The Fiend. For this being a way to continuing the story, it was excellent, however, it’s not a match to really go out of your way to re-watch.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match
Strong Women’s Division Presence
WWE Championship Match
Show ended in less than three hours
Three Anticlimactic Endings in a Row
Obvious Continuity Errors with Decision Makings
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. WWE fan? You can check out an almost unlimited array of WWE content on the WWE Network including The Horror Show At Extreme Rules