The Horror Show at Extreme Rules was one of the most surreal events in WWE history, with two stipulation matches that tested the boundary of good taste, but it also set in motion events that could (and should) shape the company for the remainder 2020.
From Drew McIntyre’s successful title defense setting up his latest and greatest challenge to date to The Fiend’s re-emergence setting up Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman for one last showdown, the event’s outcomes and storyline development gave way to a few matches the company must book before the end of the year.
These are just a few.
WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton
Drew McIntyre’s successful defense of the WWE Championship at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules set him on a collision course with the one heel still left to conquer on Monday nights: Randy Orton.
As monumental a year as The Scottish Psychopath is having, the argument could be made that Orton is having an even better 2020.
Rediscovering his sinister side and delivering some of his best work, both on the mic and between the ropes, he is enjoying something of a career renaissance some 18 years after exploding on to the scene.
The lack of star power at the top of Raw makes Orton vs. McIntyre a no-brainer at SummerSlam, especially as The Viper prepares to vanquish Big Show on Raw on Monday night.
The mental chess, as well as the savagery of Orton, makes The Viper the right choice to help elevate McIntyre’s title reign at a time when it desperately needs it.
Above all else, Orton’s credibility will help strengthen Drew’s title reign and firmly entrench him atop the Raw brand.
Universal Championship Match: Braun Strowman vs. The Fiend
The re-emergence of The Fiend during the Wyatt Swamp Fight at Extreme Rules laid the table for one last showdown between him and Braun Strowman, presumably with the Universal Championship at stake.
The feud demands it.
Strowman withstood every variation of Wyatt, overcame every mind game the former champion threw at him. From the Black Sheep to Alexa Bliss as Sister Abigail, Strowman proved stronger than his creator could imagine.
That is until The Fiend emerged from the murky waters of the Wyatt Swamp on Sunday night, ready to wreak havoc and make Strowman’s life a living hell.
Two days earlier on SmackDown, we heard the despair and fright in The Monster Among Men’s voice as he discussed the potential for The Fiend’s return and what that would mean to him. The masked enigma was at the very end of his personal journey to hell at Extreme Rules, and he will be waiting for Strowman at SummerSlam, ready to relieve him of the burden of being universal champion.
It is a match WWE has no other choice but to book.
Trish Stratus and Lita vs. Bayley and Sasha Banks
As Sasha Banks and Bayley celebrated their high jinks, a controversial screwjob that saw them abscond with the Raw Women’s Championship on Sunday, it became clear that there is one match fans must see out of The Golden Role Models before their inevitable split: a showdown with two other renowned besties, Trish Stratus and Lita.
Yes, Stratus has stated before that her contest with Charlotte Flair at SummerSlam a year ago was her retirement match. Still, if there were ever one match that has to appeal to her, it is the opportunity to team with her best friend and greatest rival to battle Bayley and Banks in a dream tag team match that could easily headline any show on which it appears.
Banks and Bayley are as hot an act as WWE has at this point and, arguably, even better than they were at the height of the Four Horsewomen. Such a match would not only captivate audiences but serve as that last little push the SmackDown competitors need to cement themselves as two of the best to lace a pair of boots.
Then there is the legitimacy that comes with such a victory.
Again, Stratus is likely enjoying her post-wrestling life without feeling the itch to get back in the ring and take bumps, but the idea of a showdown with The Boss and The Role Model feels like one last bucket list item for both her and Lita to cross off their Hall of Fame resumes.
Dominik vs. Seth Rollins
After Seth Rollins’ sickening display at Extreme Rules, where he won the An Eye for an Eye Match by extracting one of Rey Mysterio’s eyeballs, there is only one option left for The Monday Night Messiah here in 2020: a showdown with Mysterio’s son, Dominik.
The youngster has been all over WWE television recently and even vowed revenge on Rollins for his previous offenses against his father, so the likelihood that he will be hellbent on kicking ass is even higher after Sunday’s events.
And rightfully so.
The match makes sense from a storyline perspective, and there are few better options for Dominik’s first match.
Rollins is a pro, a veteran of the WWE style and a credible main event star. He has the background to help make Dominik’s first professional match a rousing success and, more importantly, a big deal. He can safely bring along the young performer and ensure that he hits all of his marks.
Of everyone on the Raw brand, it is difficult to imagine a more suitable opponent strictly from an in-ring work perspective, let alone a storyline one.
While there is no rush to make the match for SummerSlam in August, Dominik vs. Rollins is a contest that absolutely must happen before the year is over.