It appears that WWE recently decided to change the name of its next pay-per-view, Extreme Rules, as suggested in a recently published preview article for one of the scheduled matches at the event.
Although WWE’s preview for Asuka’s upcoming Raw Women’s Championship defense against Sasha Banks is dated June 22, it was only on Thursday evening when wrestling publications, starting with Cageside Seats, first noticed and reported on the apparent name change. It’s not clear whether WWE updated the article sometime after it was originally published, but as quoted below, it looks like Extreme Rules has indeed gotten a slight name tweak weeks before its scheduled airdate.
“Will Banks become a double champion, or will Asuka continue to reign supreme on the red brand? Find out at WWE Extreme Rules: The Horror Show, streaming Sunday, July 19, at 7 ET/4 PT on the award-winning WWE Network!”
As further noted by Cageside Seats, the same pay-per-view name was used in a separate preview article for WWE Champion Drew McIntyre’s title defense against Dolph Ziggler.
As of this writing, it still remains unclear why WWE decided to add the words “The Horror Show” to Extreme Rules. However, a separate report from WrestlingNews.co speculated that this may have something to do with another one of the title matches scheduled for the pay-per-view — Universal Champion Braun Strowman versus challenger Bray Wyatt.
— WWE (@WWE) June 23, 2020
Given Wyatt’s supernatural-themed gimmick of “The Fiend,” it’s possible that WWE could turn his match against Strowman into a cinematic-style encounter — one not unlike the Undertaker vs. AJ Styles “Boneyard Match” at WrestleMania 36 but with a horror theme consistent with Wyatt’s character. These matches, as explained by WrestlingNews.co, have become more prevalent in recent months as WWE wants to make up for the absence of live fans due to the coronavirus pandemic and give viewers at home a “hook that will make them want to tune in.”
Meanwhile, Cageside Seats was critical when it came to the use of “The Horror Show” as a tagline of sorts for this year’s Extreme Rules, referring to it as an “awkward” name and one that somehow seems “very appropriate” due to the recent reports claiming multiple WWE employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
Aside from the aforementioned matches, the card for Extreme Rules: The Horror Show also features a match between Monday Night Raw veterans Randy Orton and Big Show. With three weeks remaining before the event, it’s highly likely more matches will be set up on the episodes of Raw and Friday Night SmackDown leading up to July 19.