Sunday night's "House of Horrors" match between Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton took what was shaping up to be a decent Payback show and flushed it right down the toilet. It's not hyperbole to say the "match" killed the rest of the show and set new standards for stupidity in a sport that regularly insults the audience's intelligence.
Back story: At WrestleMania 33, Randy Orton won the WWE World title from Bray Wyatt, in a match where Bray "played mind games" by having bugs and worms projected onto the ring to distract Orton. It didn't work; Orton won the title anyway in a terrible match.
Bray was then drafted to "Raw" in the "Superstar Shake-Up" (which didn't really shake up much) and, for reasons never adequately explained, the two men were signed to a non-title rematch for Payback in a "House of Horrors" match, even though Orton is a "SmackDown" wrestler.
The rules/setup for the match were never explained until the show, when it was revealed the two would start in a house somewhere in California and then somehow finish the match in the ring. What we got was a pre-taped segment shot like a Z-grade horror movie, like a "Saw" sequel that never made it past initial rehearsals.
Wyatt and Orton had a "fight" in a house that was apparently haunted and decorated with assorted effigies and dolls hanging from the ceiling. The fight consisted mostly of Wyatt appearing out of nowhere after scary jump cuts, getting a few shots in, and then disappearing again while Orton wandered around the house, looking like he was wondering where his career went wrong.
Finally, in the exciting climax of this battle, Orton tried to hit Wyatt in the head with a frying pan in the kitchen, but Wyatt hit him with a low blow and then dropped a fridge on him. I'm not making this up.
— WWE (@WWE) May 1, 2017
Oh, and then Wyatt exited the house and magically turned the lights red to symbolize . . . something. I don't know, I just work here.
But, no, this wasn't over yet. Back to the ring, after Bray took a limo to the arena (so we know the haunted house was at least within driving distance of the arena). Now Orton had the magical ability to appear out of nowhere. Sadly for him, so did the Bollywood Boys and Jinder Mahal, who attacked Orton and allowed Bray to win with his finisher after one of the worst matches in WWE history.
This wasn't just a bad match; it also managed to chill a very hot crowd for a good chunk of the remainder of the show and turned what might have been a decent thumbs-up effort into a complete thumbs-down.
On the bright side, if you watch wrestling to be amused by the stupidity of it all, this was a hilarious match, albeit for all the wrong reasons.
But don't worry, I'm sure Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton will save the show at Backlash in three weeks.