Reviews

TJR: The WWE Raw Deal 08/03/20 Review

Welcome to the WWE Raw Deal review right here on TJRWrestling. The new look TJRWrestling is almost here. It should be any day now. Thanks for supporting us during this time.

From the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1419 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage, insightful columns from our team along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present. Let’s roll.

The Raw intro video aired to begin the show. This show was taped earlier on Monday along with next week’s show. That means they’re taping about six hours of content today.

They were at the WWE Performance Center with the developmental wrestlers in the crowd making some noise.

The Raw announce team of Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Samoa Joe were at ringside. While they were talking, the lights went out in the building for a moment, then they just paused and continued.

Apollo Crews entered with the US Title since he is the rightful US Champion. When Crews posed in the ring, the lights went out in the building again with Phillips saying they were having electrical problems due to a storm. That’s a cover for an angle. MVP entered along with Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin, who was the 24/7 Champion. These guys are known as The Hurt Business while MVP was wearing the new US Title as the uncrowned champion.

There was a pre-match promo from MVP talking about how Bobby Lashley took Crews out. MVP said he’ll beat Crews to send him back to catering. The real story is that Crews had Coronavirus, but he’s back now.

United States Championship: Apollo Crews vs. Montel Vontavious Porter (w/Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin)

The lights flickered a bit to start the match. MVP took down Crews with a chinlock, then Crews got back up and flipped over into a pin attempt for two. MVP with a forearm to Crews as the lights flickered again with MVP looking up wondering what was going on. Crews with a running elbow, a forearm and a suplex for two. Crews slapped on an armbar for about one minute, MVP broke free and hit a forearm to the face. Crews with punches to the back, then Lashley and Benjamin pulled MVP out of the ring. The lights were flickering again as Crews ran the ropes and hit a somersault onto the three heels on the floor. That was an impressive dive.

(Commercial)

MVP was in control with a headlock as they showed a clip of action during the break with Lashley tripping up Crews to give MVP the advantage. Crews punched his way out of that, then off the ropes and MVP with a clothesline leading to a flip bump for two. MVP teased a whip into the ropes, but then he tripped up Crews face first into the mat. MVP stretched the neck of Crews against the bottom rope. There was a suplex by MVP for a two count leading to more light flickering. MVP whipped crews into the turnbuckle, Crews avoided a running kick and hit a kick to the back of the neck. Crews jumped off the middle ropes with a cross body block followed by a corner splash and a spinebuster for two. MVP went for a German Suplex, Crews got right back up and Crews hit a Toss Powerbomb for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Apollo Crews

Analysis: **1/2 This was a solid match with MVP getting most of the offense and Crews doing a nice job with his offense in the comeback. The right man won with Crews as the guy that should be the US Champion going forward. This would be the longest match of the night. It wasn’t even that long either.

Post match, Lashley went for a Full Nelson on Crews, but Crews slipped out of it and ran away. Crews left with both versions of the US Title.

Apollo Crews was interviewed backstage by Charly Caruso. Crews talked about being in pain at home with a sore neck and how he fought his way back for his kids. Crews said that he’s going to take the old US Title and put it up at home so his kids can look at it. Crews said he’s going to keep defending the US Title that MVP paid for. Crews walked away.

Analysis: It’s the right call to get rid of the old US Title. The new US Title looks better and more prestigious, in my opinion. It’s my column, so you get my opinion. That’s how it works!

MVP grabbed the microphone and he asked the announcers about the lights going off. MVP said that these were unsafe working conditions. MVP spoke into the microphone saying that Apollo didn’t show up at Extreme Rules because Bobby left him staying at home and now Crews stole MVP’s US Title. MVP said he didn’t care about Apollo’s wife and kids – he cared about his rematch. MVP said he wanted that rematch, Benjamin spoke in his ear and MVP said he wants that rematch at SummerSlam.

They showed Bayley and Sasha Banks backstage with their four titles. They are up next.

There was some door shown backstage with big man Jordan Omogbehin standing in front of it. Phillips said they’re not sure what’s going on, but it’s the brainchild of Shane McMahon.

(Commercial)

Bayley and Sasha Banks were standing backstage with Sarah Schreiber there to interview them. Bayley and Banks did their usual annoying routine because that’s what heels do. When asked if they were going to defend their titles at SummerSlam, they didn’t answer. There was a video package about Bayley and Banks. It showed highlights of last week on Raw when Banks beat Asuka to win the Raw Women’s Title by countout. They had a voiceover guy talking about it as if it was a movie. At the end of the video, Asuka was screaming and said that revenge will be very, very sweet.

Bayley and Banks were back talking about how that was unprofessional. Shayna Baszler showed up saying that’s enough of this garbage. Baszler said she had a problem with that because Banks snaked her way to win the Raw Women’s Championship, so Baszler punched Banks in the jaw and Banks went down. Bayley checked on her friend while Baszler left.

Analysis: They are in need of babyface women on Raw right now because heel vs. heel isn’t that interesting to the viewer at home. I doubt Baszler is going face, but she does make a good point about being tired of sitting in the back. Banks and Bayley’s promo was fine. It was their usual stuff.

Kevin Owens was shown walking backstage where there was a big tub that had some drinks. The IIconics walked up to him saying that they would be great guests on the Kevin Owens Show. Kevin said they’re great and he liked Australia, but he already had guests. Owens grabbed a water bottle and left. Kevin Owens made his entrance to host his talk show.

(Commercial)

Kevin Owens Show

Kevin Owens mentioned that tonight was the return of Shane McMahon (a rival of Owens in the past), but he didn’t want to talk about it. The microphone went out two times when he was talking about his formal rival and then the microphone worked. That could give a clue about who is the cause of the technical difficulties. Owens introduced Ruby Riott as the guest.

Ruby Riott sat in a chair in the ring with Owens, who was also seated in a leather chair. Riott spoke about beating Peyton Royce recently while noting that she had bad luck since she came back. Riott said that she hadn’t secured a singles win since February. Riott talked about how she’s dealt with women like The IIconics her entire life, but last week she finally got to shut up Peyton Royce and put an end to the iconic “bullshit” and they muted it. Riott said that what could have made that better is if Liv Morgan was there to celebrate with her. Owens brought out Morgan.

Liv Morgan made her entrance with the announcers mentioned that we haven’t seen Morgan since June. She’s one of many people on both brands that have been missing since June.

Morgan asked Riott to hear what she had to say. Owens said that he saw them when they started in WWE, the microphone went out a bit again and Owens talked about how he saw them when they came to WWE with Sarah, who has moved on to another part of her life (that’s motherhood). Owens said that he thinks they bring the best out of eachother. Owens spoke about how he speaks out of experience and said that when he did bad things, he didn’t know if it was really worth it. Owens said that they didn’t have to be friends, but it’s worth hearing Ruby out.

Ruby told Liv she thought that everything would be the same, but she was wrong and everything was different. Ruby said that Liv was thriving, coming into her own and she thought that Liv didn’t need Ruby. Ruby noted that Liv beat her twice. Ruby said that this world she came back to without being needed and without Sara, she took it out on Liv and she was wrong to do that. Ruby said that she’s got a tattoo on her leg like Liv on the back of her neck that is the Riott Squad debut date. Ruby said that she wants another chance for the Riott Squad to be stronger than it’s ever been.

That led to The IIconics duo of Peyton Royce and Billie Kay to show up in their ring gear. Owens said he had nothing to do with that. Royce said that everybody is sick of them babbling on because nobody cares and she told Liv to stay in the bathtub. Kay said they were tired over Ruby’s one win over Peyton after 400 losses. There were microphone problems for Royce as she said they dominated the tag team division and they said that they will always be better than the two of them. The IIconics laughed at them.

Liv said that Ruby and her are not the friends that the IIconics are, but they will agree that nobody starts a riot better than them. Owens said that the message is pretty clear, so maybe The IIconics can leave and they can carry on with their business. Royce said that they have nothing on The IIconics and she wanted a match right now. Owens asked if we can get technical difficulties for their microphones only, so Royce slapped Owens and Kay slapped Owens too. Morgan and Riott attacked The IIconics to lead us into the break.

Analysis: Solid promos all around. I like seeing different people getting a chance. Ruby got to speak the most and she explained herself well. Liv is reluctant to trust her, so Ruby has to prove herself. The IIconics are very good as an annoying heel team although when you see Sasha and Bayley do it on the same show it feels repetitive a bit. Owens was pretty funny here too, but I wish he had a meaningful storyline. It was fine as a way to set up the tag team match.

(Commercial)

There was another shot of the door with the big man Jordan standing by. A guy walked by with a tray of drinks, but he wasn’t let into the room. I believe that guy was Ryan Ward, who is part of WWE’s creative team. They probably used him because he’s short.

The IIconics (Billie Kay and Peyton Royce) vs. Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan

Kay started with Riott with a takedown and Royce tagged in with a chinlock followed by a hair whip takedown. Kay tagged in for some double team kicks. Riott shoved Kay away and kicked her. Morgan tagged in against Royce with forearms and jumping head takedown. Morgan to the middle ropes followed by a missile dropkick for a two count with Kay tagging for her team. Morgan did a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Kay for the pinfall win in under two minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan

Analysis: * A short match to put over the faces. The finish felt rushed and they didn’t really set it up well at all.

Post match, the IIconics were about to attack Morgan, but then Riott saved her partner with a kick to the head. Riott and Morgan did a double STO trip on Kay to put her down. Riott and Morgan left together looking like they were on the same page again.

Analysis: The women’s division needs teams, so I’m glad to see Ruby and Liv on the same page again. They could be a babyface team that becomes the next champions.

This week on NXT: Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai and Damian Priest vs. Oney Lorcan vs. Ridge Holland. That’s not a strong lineup.

Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton go face to face up next.

(Commercial)

There was a backstage scene with Charly Caruso talking about how there was some box and there was some debris in the boxes. Charly said that superstars were saying it was no accident. MVP walked up to Charly complaining about his match earlier in the show. Charly informed MVP that Apollo accepted the US Title match for SummerSlam. MVP was happy about that. Shelton Benjamin walked up to MVP saying somebody stole his 24/7 Championship, so they left to find it.

Face to Face Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton

The WWE Champion Drew McIntyre entered the ring for a promo. They showed a clip of Randy Orton dropping Drew with an RKO last week at the end of Raw.

McIntyre talked about how Orton isn’t like an Austin or Rock, he’s the kind of man that would hit you with an RKO out of nowhere after you have a match. McIntyre said that Orton warned him and he thanked him for the lesson learned, but noted that it will never happen again. McIntyre said that Orton is motivated to take the WWE Title just as Drew is motivated to keep it. McIntyre said that at one time or another, Vince McMahon looked at both of them and said that they were the future of this industry. McIntyre said that things didn’t go quite as planned. McIntyre said that this wasn’t Randy’s plan A, plan B or plan C. Drew noted that he grew up wanting to do this, sacrificing everything and finally pulling it off. Drew said that it was handed to Randy, but he doesn’t resent him for it. McIntyre said that Orton’s early accolades were fed to him on a silver spoon because his dad is “Cowboy” Bob Orton. McIntyre said he never got to ride in a limo with Evolution, nor did he want to. McIntyre said that nobody cleaned up after him like Evolution and when he made his mistakes, he was punished and even fired for them. McIntyre said that he deserved to be fired. McIntyre spoke to so many people around there and he said that Randy should have been fired way more times than Drew was fired. That led to Orton’s entrance.

Randy Orton was joined on the Raw stage by the two-time WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair. Orton said that last week he told the world that McIntyre had his respect. Orton said now McIntyre is saying Orton didn’t want to be there and Orton talked about how he is there because he enjoys it. Orton said he enjoyed hitting RKO’s and punt-kicking heads. Orton said that he’ll take the WWE Title away from McIntyre at SummerSlam. Orton noted that McIntyre said that Orton should have been fired, Randy said he was right, Randy said he should have been fired multiple times and he said he is more valuable than Drew is. Randy said he was given those chances because is the Chosen One then…now…and forever. Orton said that McIntyre is quoting legends, but he told McIntyre to come up with one original opinion on Orton on his own.

McIntyre said if you want Drew to shoot with you, then he will. McIntyre said that he thinks Orton represents everything that is wrong with WWE. McIntyre spoke about how in the Last Ride documentary, he found Orton to be the most interesting and Randy spoke about how Undertaker pulled Orton up to his level because he cared about this industry. McIntyre asked Orton how many times he has tried to pull up anybody to his level. Orton did a “0” symbol with his hand. McIntyre mentioned names of wrestlers that Orton could elevate, but he doesn’t do it.

McIntyre spoke about how 10 years ago, Edge pulled Randy out of a hole and Drew said he remembered Randy walking past him. McIntyre said that his world was crumbling professionally and personally, his mother was sick and Randy didn’t do a damn thing to help Drew. McIntyre said that Orton didn’t do a damn thing for him because Randy is a selfish prick. McIntyre said he’s got a bunch of receipts to cash in. McIntyre said that at SummerSlam, he’s going to kick off Randy’s head and he’s sure as hell going to see it coming. Drew’s music played to end it.

Analysis: That was such an awesome promo from Drew talking to Randy. There were some great lines and it didn’t feel as scripted as a lot of WWE promos. It made Drew relatable as a confident WWE Champion while it put over Orton as a selfish jerk, which we already know he is as a character, but I think it made the viewer hate Randy more. That’s the goal here. Randy had some good lines in there, but Drew really stood out. This was really well done, so check it out if you missed it.

Nia Jax was shown talking to WWE Official (Producer) Pat Buck backstage because Jax is next.

(Commercial)

Kevin Owens was shown standing backstage talking to Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan. Ric Flair walked up to them while telling the women to leave in a nice way because he wanted to talk to Owens. Flair said that he likes Owens, they’ve talked a lot and he likes him a lot. Flair spoke about how Owens isn’t really looking after himself enough. Owens said he was looking out for his friends. Owens noted that in his career, he has turned on his friends and taken shortcuts, but he wants to go about things in another way. Owens said that he wanted to get to the top without doing what Randy Orton does. Flair said that Owens should mind his own business, take care of himself and maybe he’ll get a title match at SummerSlam. Owens told Flair he’ll show him what kind of fight he has because he challenged Randy Orton to a match next week. Flair asked “really?” and Owens walked away.

Analysis: It set up a big match for next week. That’s fine with me.

Nia Jax was in the ring with WWE Official (Producer) Pat Buck with Jax talking about what happened last week. They showed Jax’s fight with Shayna Baszler where Jax also knocked down Buck. Jax said that when a scrawny, underserving runt from WWE management who couldn’t cut the mustard in his own career steps to him, it’s her responsibility to step back. Jax faced Buck saying she knows he was looking for an apology. Jax challenged Buck to a match right now. Buck said that he was only in this ring because an apology was coming. Jax said he’ll get the apology after the match. Jax said this is Pat’s big opportunity and one that he would never get if it wasn’t for Jax. Nia said she’ll start real slow so his little legs can keep up. Buck was reluctant. Jax: “Are you scared, bro?” Jax wanted him to show some fire since he’s a ginger with fiery red hair. Jax told Buck to say what he had to say.

Buck said that after Jax’s unsanctioned actions against a WWE Official, she is indefinitely suspended without pay. Jax complained that he had no authority to do this. Jax pulled down his jacket sleeves and hit Buck with a headbutt. Jax kicked Buck out of the ring. Jax left in anger.

Analysis: I think it’s fair to assume that most fans aren’t going to be sad about Jax’s absence during the suspension angle. Buck was an indy wrestler that also trained wrestlers at his wrestling school and he got a Producer job in WWE a few years ago. This was fine. I thought Jax had some good lines in her promo as an egotistical heel that is easy to dislike in that role.

R-Truth showed up with the 24/7 Title in his hands. He was chased by Shelton Benjamin and Akira Tozawa among others. A triple threat match for the title is up next.

(Commercial)

24/7 Championship: Shelton Benjamin (w/MVP and Bobby Lashley) vs. R-Truth vs. Akira Tozawa (w/Random Ninja Dudes)

Benjamin with a rising knee to the face of Truth. Tozawa got a rollup on Benjamin for two. Tozawa did some comedy punches, Benjamin kicked him in the ribs and hit a big Powerbomb. Truth with a jumping kick to the face of Benjamin, but then Benjamin avoided a scissors kick and hit Paydirt on Truth. A ninja went into the ring, he was tiny, so Benjamin kicked him and threw him out of the ring. Lashley and MVP beat up two other ninjas at ringside. Tozawa took advantage of the situation with a Senton Splash off the top onto Truth to become the 24/7 Champion again. That went about three minutes.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW 24/7 Champion: Akira Tozawa

Analysis: *1/2 That was chaotic with a good finish as Tozawa capitalized for the pinfall win.

There was a shot of a room in the backstage area with Shane McMahon standing in a ring with no ropes. There were two guys grappling on a mat while others were banging the mat. Shane said he was there to do something new on Raw called Raw Underground starting at 10pm.

Analysis: There’s the new concept that was rumored. I don’t know much about it, so I’ll learn more as we go.

(Commercial)

There was a recap of last week on Raw when Dominik Mysterio went after Seth Rollins, but Murphy was there to help Rollins. Dominik ended up attacked both guys with a kendo stick to send them to the pick.

Dominik Mysterio was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber backstage. Dominik said he knows it might be crazy to keep fighting Seth Rollins, so he’s doing what he’s doing because he literally saw his dad Rey get blinded. Dominik said if people think he’s crazy now then they’ll really think he’s crazy for challenging Rollins to a match at SummerSlam. Dominik left.

Analysis: That’s where I figured this was going to have Dominik’s first WWE match against Rollins at a major show like SummerSlam. No pressure, kid.

Shayna Baszler made her entrance. We saw the clip of Baszler punching Banks earlier in the backstage area. Sasha Banks entered as the Raw Women’s Champion with Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley and they are the Women’s Tag Team Champions as well.

Sasha Banks (w/Bayley) vs. Shayna Baszler

This is not for Sasha’s Raw Women’s Title. Baszler took down Banks with kicks to the legs to take her down and a stomp to the hand. Baszler with a double underhook slam into an armbar, but then Banks rolled over to the bottom rope to break free. Bayley with a distraction, so Banks took advantage with double knees to the arm. Banks sent Baszler shoulder first into the turnbuckle and then stretched the arm against the ropes. Banks grabbed an armbar, Baszler fought out of that and punched Banks in the ribs. Banks sent Baszler face first into the bottom rope. Banks with a cross body block off the ropes, but then Baszler caught her and hit a backbreaker. They battled over some holds with Banks able to lock in a Bank Statement submission. Banks with a headscissors, Banks with a knee to the face and Baszler with a kick to the head. Asuka ran out to the ring and she attacked Bayley on the floor. The bell rang to end the match as Asuka went into the ring and Banks left the ring. It was around five minutes.

Match Result: No Contest

Analysis: ** It was a hard hitting match for most of it and then it ended abruptly. Terrible finish here. That was a weird DQ as Asuka went after Bayley outside the ring while Asuka had a match with Shayna Baszler and they rang the bell before Asuka even touched Banks. Picky, I know, but attacking somebody on the floor is not a DQ. I don’t know what they were thinking by ringing the bell so quickly. If Asuka went after Banks then that’s fine, but not what they did here.

Asuka tried to go after Banks, who bailed to the floor, so Asuka stopped and that led to a break.

Analysis: I love WWE logic sometimes when one wrestler is so mad at another that they will attack, but if you are in the ring and they are on the floor, the attack stops. Just happened with Asuka going after Sasha Banks and then stopping.

(Commercial)

This Friday on Smackdown, after Alexa Bliss was attacked by The Fiend, what is her fate. And will The Fiend’s reign of terror continue? Find out on Smackdown.

Asuka was in the ring for an interview with Charly Caruso. They showed another replay of last week’s Raw when Asuka lost the Raw Women’s Title by countout after being distracted by Bayley attacking Kairi Sane in the backstage area. This took up a few minutes.

Asuka said that Kairi will be okay, but now is she is not there. Asuka said that Sasha and Bayley are here, so Asuka is here and Asuka wanted a rematch with Sasha Banks for the Raw Women’s Championship at SummerSlam. Shayna Baszler was in the ring with Asuka. Baszler said she wanted Asuka to win back the Raw Women’s Championship from Sasha Banks. Baszler said that she’ll be so excited to dismember Asuka and take the Raw Women’s Championship off of her.

Sasha Banks and Bayley were back. Banks said she had a message for both of them – it’s her Raw Women’s Championship. Banks said she’ll give Asuka her Raw Women’s Championship match at SummerSlam if she can beat Bayley next week. Bayley was surprised by that and Banks was excited about it.

Analysis: They did Asuka vs. Bayley fairly recently, so here we go again. At least it’s better than having Asuka beat Banks non-title to set up a title match. I think an Asuka feud with Baszler

They showed Angel Garza backstage with a woman named Demi Burnette from The Bachelor. Garza gave Demi a rose. Andrade shook Demi’s hand. Zelina Vega showed up, Garza said this is Demi, Vega said she knew who she was and Vega was not impressed. Garza told Demi he’ll find her after his match.

Analysis: I have no idea who this Demi is, but Demi Moore was pretty big in the 1990s. Garza got married a few weeks ago, by the way.

Shane McMahon was in his Raw Underground backstage area with the mat that had no ropes. There were also women dancing on a stage back there.

(Commercial)

Raw Underground

The Raw Underground portion of the show was next with Shane McMahon in a ring with no mats. There were wrestlers surrounding the ring in a warehouse portion of the arena. Shane introduced Dabba Kato against some smaller guy. Kato was huge.

Kato worked over the smaller guy with knees to the ribs and some punches. The referee pulled Kato off because that was the end of that match.

There was another random guy in jeans and Kato hit him with a side belly to belly slam with some punches. The referee pulled him off. Shane said that Kato was the winner. Kato pulled the guy out of the ring. Shane said that Raw Underground will be back.

Analysis: This was only a few minutes with Kato dominating the smaller guys. I don’t mind it as a way to introduce newer wrestlers and make them look dominant. I don’t know if it’s going to work that well, though. It’s an experiment at this point. Kato used to be known as Babtunde in WWE although he didn’t make many appearances with that name.

The Street Profits entered as the Raw Tag Team Champions. They did a promo ripping on Angel Garza and Andrade because they defend the titles against them at SummerSlam. Dawkins acted like he wanted to hit on that Demi woman in the backstage area and Ford told him to focus. The Street Profits talked about how they are like family. The heels entered after that with the teams set to do two singles matches. When Ford took a sip from his red cup, it looked like he was confused about what he was drinking like the drink was spiked or something like that.

Angelo Dawkins (w/Montez Ford) vs. Angel Garza (w/Andrade and Zelina Vega)

Garza missed a charge, hit the turnbuckle and went to the floor. Dawkins capitalized with a running shoulder tackle to send Garza into the barricade. That led to a break quickly after the match began.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Dawkins in control with a flapjack. Dawkins sent Garza into the ropes and Dawkins hit a dropkick for a two count. They showed Demi holding a rose as she watched on a TV backstage. Great acting by her. Give her an Emmy. Anyway, Garza had the pants ripped off to show the tights and he hit a dropkick off the middle ropes. Dawkins with a punch, then a spinning corner splash and a bulldog. Ford shook the ropes and then he collapsed to the ground. Earlier when Ford was drinking from his cup, he was looking like he was sick. Dawkins looked at Ford, then Garza with a superkick and a dropkick to the face for the pinfall win. Demi was clapping about Garza’s win. The match went about five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Angel Garza

Analysis: *3/4 It was okay with Garza only getting the win because Dawkins was busy checking on Ford and Garza took advantage of the situation. When a match is that short, I would prefer if there was no commercial.

Post match, Dawkins checked on Ford on the floor and Ford is in a match up next.

(Commercial)

Montez Ford (w/Angelo Dawkins) vs. Andrade (w/Angel Garza and Zelina Vega)

The match had already started with Ford looking fine after what happened before the break. They battled over a headlock with Andrade hitting a belly to back suplex. Andrade drove Ford’s neck into the middle turnbuckle. Andrade with a kick to the chest followed by Andrade pulling Ford’s head back against the middle rope. Andrade tossed Ford out of the ring with Ford looking like he was dazed again. Andrade kicked Ford in the head, but then Ford whipped Andrade into the barricade. They went back into the ring with Ford punching Andrade and then Andrade into the ropes, so Ford backed away. Andrade with a big forearm to the head and another shot to the head. Andrade with a snap suplex for two. Ford with two clothesline, then he jumped over the back and hit a leaping clothesline. Ford charged, but Andrade kicked him in the face. Andrade sat on the top turnbuckle with Ford hitting a dropkick to knock Andrade out of the ring. Ford hit a somersault dive over the top onto Andrade. Ford shook the ropes repeatedly (something he does often) and then he collapsed in the ring as if he was knocked out. The match ended there after about six minutes.

Match Result: No Contest

Analysis: ** I’m a big fan of Ford’s offense when he’s making the comeback. He’s an exciting guy to watch. I liked how aggressive Andrade was with the head shots throughout the match because it played a role in the finish. It’s not a great match or anything, but at least the finish made sense with the story of the match.

There was a WWE doctor (or indy wrestler) that went into the ring to check on Ford. Dawkins and the referee were talking to Ford to try to wake him up, but Ford was selling like he was knocked out.

Analysis: Ford was acting weird from the drink, so the story I that he was poisoned by somebody.

Murphy was shown backstage watching highlights of when he drove Aleister Black’s eye into the ring steps. Seth Rollins told Murphy he was proud of him and Murphy should be proud of himself. Rollins said that the past is the past, so they must focus on the future. Murphy asked Seth about Dominik’s challenge at SummerSlam. Murphy claimed that Dominik hasn’t stepped in a ring and he isn’t a WWE superstar while saying it was ridiculous. Rollins said nothing and walked away.

(Commercial)

This week on Raw Talk on WWE Network the three guests are Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and Dolph Ziggler. I still don’t know why Smackdown has yet to get a talk show like that. It’s so easy to do it.

Raw Underground

Shane McMahon was back in the Raw Underground with some dancers getting into an argument. Erik of the Viking Raiders was on the mat facing some unnamed opponent. Erik beat him up easily with some of his slams and a running knee to the face. The referee checked on the guy that Erik knocked out.

Analysis: A dominant showing for Erik. He is good in that kind of setting since his strikes look so believable.

The announcers talked about it with Samoa Joe saying this was a format that he loved. The announcers said there will be another fight tonight.

A replay was shown of Montez Ford collapsing during his match.

Charly Caruso was shown outside the Doctor/Trainer room with Angel Garza going up to flirt with her. Garza gave Caruso a rose with Vega and Andrade showing up for an interview. Vega sarcastically said that they cared about Montez Ford. Vega said she wondered what this meant for SummerSlam. Angelo Dawkins said that the doctor said that Ford may have been poisoned before the match. Bianca Belair, who is Ford’s wife, walked out of the ring and wanted to know who did it. Vega said she would never do something like that. Belair shoved Vega and the guys broke up the women.

Analysis: There’s the poisoned thing that I mentioned earlier. It’s a mystery for now.

The announcers talked about how it was a strange night at Raw.

There was some security camera footage from earlier in the night. There were some people in masks and hoodies that threw some objects at a power generator and then they were on fire. The hooded people ran away. That was strange.

(Commercial)

The Hurt Business trio of MVP, Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin were shown standing walking backstage with Charly Caruso showing up for an interview. When Charly mentioned their losses on the show, MVP complained about all of the things happening on the show. MVP said that it was sabotage. Charly said she didn’t mention sabotage and then MVP got an idea that they were going to check out Raw Underground.

Next week on Raw: Asuka vs. Bayley and Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton.

A video package aired recapping the storyline between Seth Rollins and Rey Mysterio over the past few months. Rollins won the Eye for an Eye Match when he jammed Rey’s eye into the steel steps and Mysterio covered it, but the idea was that the eye came out briefly with Rollins puking at ringside.

Analysis: This video went about five minutes, which was longer than some matches on this show.

They also recapped the segment with Seth Rollins and Dominik last week.

Let’s Hear from Seth Rollins

Seth Rollins walked out in a suit with his buddy Murphy (see what I did there?) by his side.

Rollins said that before he addressed Dominik, he had some housekeeping to do. Rollins asked Tom Phillips if he considered himself a professional and an unbiased journalist. Rollins left the ring asking if Tom takes pride in his job and his body of work. Rollins asked Phillips what he was doing when Rey Mysterio’s stupid kid was assaulting him with a kendo stick. Rollins said that Tom was cheering him on and inciting his rage. Rollins told Phillips that his voice matters because he’s the voice of Monday Night Raw, so he’s part of the greater good whether he likes it or not. Rollins told Phillips that what he says is important. Rollins wanted Tom to call it down the middle, not to skew things or slant things. Rollins told Tom if he shows bias then he’s doing a poor job and he would become a liability. Rollins said that he thinks the time has come to find a new voice of Monday Night Raw. Rollins told Murphy to take Phillips, so Joe stood up and said that won’t happen. Joe told Rollins and Murphy to walk in the ring to finish their business. Joe threatened Rollins that he would kick their ass. Joe told Rollins that he was laughing harder than anybody out there. Rollins told Joe that he did not want to do this. Joe said: “No Seth, I do.” Joe took off his headset and the crowd in the WWE PC got excited. Rollins told Joe that if he gets in the ring then it is not Seth’s responsibility. That led to a commercial.

Analysis: That was set up well and then they went to commercial at the right time because the viewer will want to see what happens next. Yes, it might piss people off because WWE went to commercial there, but sometimes they have to do that to keep people tuned in. Joe was terrific here and I miss seeing him wrestle.

(Commercial)

The show returned with Joe still out of the ring while Rollins and Murphy had steel chairs. Dominik went into the ring with a kendo stick for an attack on Rollins and Murphy. Dominik cleared the ring of both heels. Dominik hit a 619 kick on Rollins the way Dominik’s father Rey did many times in his career. Dominik hit a dive off the top with a cross body block on Rollins and Murphy. The fans were going crazy for this.

Rollins and Murphy were on the stage. Rollins said that he accepted Dominik’s challenge for a match at SummerSlam.

Analysis: There was a long build to this with the setup of a match with Dominik finally having a match with Rollins. Dominik has been training to wrestle for a few years and has looked pretty good in these segments with Rollins, but I like how they are going to treat this like Dominik is just a rookie kid that has never wrestled before.

The announcers were at ringside with Joe saying that Dominick was on a mission to wreck Seth Rollins and he’s looking for a Messiah at SummerSlam. Phillips and Joe touched knuckles.

Raw Underground

Shane McMahon was back with a microphone. Dolph Ziggler was on the mat with some other wrestler with Ziggler working him over with punches. Ziggler slapped on a tight chokehold and the other wrestler tapped out.

The Hurt Business trio of Bobby Lashley, MVP and Shelton Benjamin showed up in their suits. MVP said that on behalf of the CEO of the Hurt Business Bobby Lashley, they are now controlling Raw Underground. MVP said that they came to fight and asked who wants to step up to face Lashley.

A guy charged at Lashley and Bobby hit a gutwrench suplex followed by a punch to the head to knock the guy out.

MVP went into the ring, there was some short guy and MVP took him down with a trip. MVP worked the guy over with forearms. Lashley tossed the guy out of the ring.

Shelton Benjamin was up next and he took down Dio Maddin, who was a former announcer on Raw. Benjamin hit him with repeated knees to the ribs to knock him out of the ring. That led to Lashley, Benjamin and MVP leaving the ring and they beat up some other guys who were standing around the ring. The women that were in the room all left. Shane told them they can hang out as long as they like.

There were replays shown of Lashley, MVP and Benjamin doing their attacks. Shane thanked them for showing up, said they are welcome any time and left. MVP said that they are the Hurt Business and business is booming. That was the end of Raw.

Analysis: This was just okay to me. I like the Hurt Business trio as a group because I think MVP’s personality helps Lashley and Benjamin, but this didn’t feel like a big deal. It felt like a mid-show angle rather than something that was supposed to be this fresh new idea that would help Raw’s sagging viewership numbers.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Drew McIntyre
  2. Randy Orton
  3. MVP, Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin

 

The Scoreboard

5 out of 10

Last week: 7

2020 Average: 6.41

 

Final Thoughts

This felt like a Raw that was all over the place with the random technical problems in the first hour (part of the show), Montez Ford getting poisoned in the third hour, the Raw Underground segments that just felt so out of place and a lot of short matches. Some of the video packages were so long that they were longer than the matches. It was good in the first hour, but then it kind of faded after that. I did like the Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton promo segment a lot because of what Drew said. I also liked Seth Rollins’ promo work while Dominik Mysterio continues to impress. Even the Ruby and Liv story was well done. None of the matches really stood out with Apollo Crews beating MVP as the only match that was around ten minutes while everything else was kept short. The Hurt Business trio of MVP, Lashley and Benjamin were all over the show. The “new faction” hype wasn’t much. There was too much talking and too many backstage segments for my liking.

I’m not really for or against the Raw Underground (hosted by Shane McMahon) concept at this point. It’s fine that it was kept short when it aired on three separate occasions in the third hour. I certainly expect there to be more, but it’s not like this was something that unique or exciting. I don’t know what the long term vision is for it. When you have no fans in attendance, it’s worth a shot to try something different. I don’t mind the attempt. I just don’t think this is going to excite the average WWE fan.

I think Smackdown is better than Raw right now, but Raw’s WWE Title picture is a lot better than Smackdown’s Universal Title storyline.

The next WWE pay-per-view is SummerSlam on August 23. Here’s what we know so far:

WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton

Raw Tag Team Championships: Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) (c) vs. Andrade and Angel Garza

Seth Rollins vs. Dominik Mysterio

United States Championship: Apollo Crews (c) vs. Montel Vontavious Porter

You can contact me using any of the methods below. Be safe and smart out there.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook