WWE: The Horror Show at Extreme Rules Predictions Roundtable

WWE, Drew McIntyre (Photo by Marc Pfitzenreuter/Getty Images)
WWE, Drew McIntyre (Photo by Marc Pfitzenreuter/Getty Images) /
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There are three “cinematic” matches set for The Horror Show at Extreme Rules: Swamp Match, Bar Fight, and Eye-for-an-Eye Match. Which one are you most looking forward to and why, and what are your thoughts on WWE’s use of cinematic matches overall?

Mark Justice: “Eye” am looking forward to the Eye-for-an-Eye match between Rey Mysterio and Seth Rollins due to its unprecedented nature and biblical connotations. While Bray Wyatt and Jeff Hardy need victories in their respective cinematic matches, Mysterio can’t lose because he would lose both eyes and thereby be blinded (unless that’s the way he wants to retire).

Overall, with the WrestleMania 36 Boneyard Match and the Money in the Bank Ladder Match standing out, WWE’s use of cinematic matches have been consistently adequate. Since there are no legitimate fans, this is the perfect time to do these types of matches, but the WWE should not overdo it. The fact that there are three cinematic matches on the Extreme Rules card shows why overexposure is a vice in this company. Good things should come to those who wait. These matches should be saved for special events or distributed more evenly so that the fans can appreciate the suspenseful aspects of WWE’s booking.

Amit Shukla: WWE has implemented “cinematic” matches as part of its approach to appeal to the casual fans, and it has worked wonders for them. WrestleMania served as the pedestal for these matches to take center stage and they haven’t looked back since. The Eye-for-an-Eye match has my attention because of the stipulation, and I will be interested to see how they pull this one off.

Will they excel at it or  oversell and under deliver as they have done in the past few matches? WWE has seen a decline in ratings, and that is a sign that unless they do something appealling, the fans will not be involved in their product.

Philip Lindsey: I’m looking forward to the Swamp Match the most. I haven’t been that thrilled with Braun Strowman’s reign as Universal Champion so far, but I know Bray Wyatt is going to bring some creativity to this match. For my money, The Firefly Funhouse Match is still the best WWE cinematic match and if this is nearly as good as that I think we’re in for a treat. The cinematic matches have been hit or miss but they work best when they lean into the absurdity of the storyline or match stipulation. The ones that I enjoyed the least took themselves too seriously.

Chris Jeter: I guess the Eye for an Eye Match gets my vote for most interesting cinematic match, if only to see how WWE pulls this off. The Braun Strowman/Bray Wyatt Swamp Match could end up being the best of the bunch, but we more or less know what we’re gonna get from these two, and WWE should be ashamed of themselves for putting a man struggling with alcohol dependency in a “Bar Fight.”

As for cinematic matches in general, I find them to be a refreshing change of pace from the Performance Center matches (though the addition of “fans” has helped those matches), even if their resurgence on WWE television puts Vince McMahon’s hypocrisy on full display (remember how he apparently “didn’t get” The Ultimate Deletion?).