Reviews

TJR: The WWE Raw Deal 08/17/20 Review

Welcome to the WWE Raw Deal review right here on TJRWrestling. It’s the last Raw before SummerSlam, which is coming up this Sunday. Keep in mind that WWE is also doing a Payback pay-per-view on Sunday, August 30, so they’ll need PPV matches for that show too.

This is also the last Raw that was taped at the WWE Performance Center, at least for the next two months. That’s because WWE is heading to Amway Center (also in Orlando) at the NBA’s Orlando Magic arena to put on Raw, Smackdown and PPV events. It should freshen things up since they are going to have virtual fans, the big screens will be there, they’re calling it the WWE Thunderdome and other enhancements. Being in a bigger venue than the WWE PC will be nice too.

From the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1411 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.

There were technical difficulties during the “Then, Now, Forever” screen to show that Retribution group had an effect on that. The Raw intro video aired.

The announce team of Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Samoa Joe welcomed us to the show. There were the developmental wrestlers in the crowd behind the plexiglass. They gave a rundown of the show.

Let’s Hear from Drew McIntyre

The WWE Champion Drew McIntyre walked out to the ring in a dress shirt and slacks along with the WWE Title in his hands. Why do I mention the clothes? It’s because I want to tell you, the reader, that he’s there to talk rather than compete in a match right now.

A video package aired about Randy Orton “punting” Ric Flair in the head even though we didn’t see it due to the power going out temporarily. That’s because Ric can’t take any bumps and it also puts over the Retribution group messing with the show. Anyway, Drew went into the ring to check on Ric and Randy left leading to a staredown to promote Drew vs. Randy for the WWE Title at SummerSlam. This video took about four minutes.

Drew said that what Randy did last week was completely unforgivable. Drew said that Randy brutalized Ric Flair, not just a legend, 16-time champion, two-time Hall of Famer, icon for generations and a 71-year-old man. Drew stared into the camera saying Randy grew up around Ric over the last twenty years, then Ric said with a tear in his eye (Royal Rumble 1992 reference), Ric poured his heart out and Randy kicked him in his skull. Drew said that at SummerSlam, Randy is facing a 6 foot 5 inch fire breathing dragon and he’s going to hurt Randy. There were technical problems during the promo that showed different graphics while Drew was speaking. Drew talked about how he was a weapon and we kept getting those graphics.

There was a shot of the production truck with Retribution members in there and they were destroying things in the production truck. One of the guys in a headset pushed a button and the show went to break.

Analysis: I liked Drew’s promo for as long as it lasted, but then it ended suddenly due the Retribution taking over. It is WWE’s way of telling us that they’re going to be a factor in the show since they were in the opening segment.

(Commercial)

The show returned with a replay of Retribution wreaking havoc in the production truck.

There was a backstage scene with Raw wrestlers talking to eachother. Drew McIntyre walked up to them. Seth Rollins showed up to say that he tried to be the leader of the Raw locker room. Ricochet and Cedric Alexander said they heard that Rey Mysterio was going to be there while Rollins didn’t think that was true. Rollins trash talked McIntyre and warned him that he’s going to lose the WWE Title at SummerSlam to Randy Orton. McIntyre stepped up to him, then he shoved Murphy and Rollins/Murphy walked away.

When the trio of MVP, Shelton Benjamin and Bobby Lashley made their entrance, the cameras weren’t filming as usual and all we got was a hard camera showing the promo in the ring.

MVP said that wherever Retribution may be, the Hurt Business (their group) is open for business. MVP said that while the rest of the WWE roster is wondering where Retribution might show up next, the Hurt Business is calling them out. MVP said that they are three tough men. MVP said in life he has learned to always follow the money. MVP wondered who benefits most from the actions of Retribution and he said that guys like Apollo Crews, Ricochet, Cedric Alexander and MVP were benefitting from this while in catering. MVP said that they already know that Retribution showed up about the same time that he faced Apollo Crews for the United States Championship. MVP complained about Crews stealing the US Title from him and here comes Crews.

Apollo Crews showed up with the new US Title on his shoulder. Crews said it’s low for MVP to accuse him of being a part of Retribution. Crews said that MVP can’t Crews without any help just like Shelton Benjamin last week. MVP talked about how Crews’ career was hot and cold before he won the US Title. MVP said that as soon Crews loses the title, it’s back to catering for him. Crews said you are right and that’s why he fights so hard to keep the US Title. MVP said that if Crews was like him he would be smart and Crews suggested they do some business right now. Crews said if he beats Benjamin tonight then Benjamin and Lashley will be banned from ringside at SummerSlam. MVP seemed to agree with it, Crews punched Benjamin and went into the ring to start the match…after a break.

Analysis: The heel MVP accused the face Crews of being part of a group causing problems because it fit MVP’s story that Retribution’s distraction led to him losing the US Title match against Crews. It works for MVP’s character, but likely means nothing regarding the Retribution group. I did like that they had the camera issues to start just to show that things weren’t normal.

(Commercial)

It is 27 minutes into Raw and we finally get the first match.

Apollo Crews vs. Shelton Benjamin (w/Bobby Lashley and MVP)

Crews with a rollup pin sitting on Benjamin for a two count and then Benjamin came back with a clothesline. Benjamin with a hard whip into the turnbuckle leading to a two count. Crews hit a spinebuster for a two count. Benjamin countered a slam into a DDT for a two count. R-Truth went into the ring with the 24/7 Title, the ninjas and Tozawa chased after them, that caused some chaos and Crews got a jackknife pin on Benjamin for the pinfall win after about two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Apollo Crews

Analysis: * That was quick. It’s not like they were trying to have a great match here. It was just a story to give Crews the win, which means Benjamin and Lashley can’t be at ringside at SummerSlam when MVP faces Crews.

The Hurt Business trio attacked Crews, so the trio of Mustafa Ali, Ricochet and Cedric Alexander ran out to save Crews. It took all four guys to attack Lashley to get him out of the ring. Crews left with his buddies.

R-Truth went running back to ringside with the 24/7 Title, Benjamin kicked Truth in the head and pinned him to regain the 24/7 Title. At least it wasn’t a rollup.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW 24/7 Champion: Shelton Benjamin

MVP told Crews to find two partners to face his three guys in a six-man elimination tag team match. Crews agreed to the match coming up later.

The blond Demi Burnett girl of The Bachelor was backstage talking to Angel Garza, who gave her a rose. Ivar of the Viking Raiders showed up and asked her to be his +1 to Raw Underground. Demi mentioned Angel possibly poisoning Montez Ford, Angel denied it and Angel threw the turkey leg down that Ivar had. Ivar got the turkey leg back, the girl was left with both of them and the guys left to have a match.

(Commercial)

There was a plug for the WWE Thunderdome concept that begins Friday on Smackdown for a live broadcast.

Ivar (w/Erik) vs. Angel Garza (w/Andrade and Zelina Vega)

Garza with a knee to the chest and a slam headfirst into the mat. Demi Burnett was shown watching on a TV backstage and Angelo Dawkins of the Street Profits talked to her. Ivar hit an overhead suplex followed by a running shoulder tackle. Ivar hit a spinning slam followed by a running cross body block on Garza. Ivar with two running clotheslines. Garza avoided a slam, Ivar jumped up with the senton to chest and that got a two count. They battled by the turnbuckle, Garza sent him face first into the turnbuckle and Ivar hit a clothesline to knock Garza to the floor. Vega stood in front of Ivar to block a suicide dive. Ivar sent Garza into the ring apron and barricade. Garza with a kick as Ivar stepped through the ropes because Garza was distracted a bit by Andrade on the floor. Garza with a dropkick to the side of the face for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Angel Garza

Analysis: *1/4 It was another short match with Garza getting the win because of a slight distraction from Ivar. The dropkick to the head while a guy is leaning isn’t that devastating, but it’s good enough to do as a finisher with Ivar in a position like that. Garza winning makes sense since he’s in the Raw Tag Team Title match at SummerSlam.

Post match, they showed Demi on the screen with Angelo Dawkins. Demi congratulated him on the win. Dawkins vouched for Ivar and ripped on Garza for also flirting with Charly Caruso. Garza told Dawkins to mind his business. Dawkins talked about how there was some security footage about Garza, so Garza went running to the back. Samoa Joe talked to Zelina Vega about how they have security footage that shows how far people will go when they think nobody is watching. Vega and Andrade went to the back.

Analysis: They continue to do these types of mystery stories to try to keep viewers hooked and tuned into the show. The hacker storyline that was dropped earlier in the year could have come in handy here.

(Commercial)

They showed highlights of SummerSlam 1992 while highlighting the amazing main event with Davey Boy Smith beating Bret Hart to win the Intercontinental Title. It’s the only main WWE PPV in England. It was also taped a few days before it aired.

They showed images from last week’s Raw when Dominic Mysterio received 30 kendo sticks shots to the chest and back that left a lot of scars on Dominik’s body.

They showed Dawkins backstage with the phone in his hand threatening to show a video. That led to Andrade, Garza and Zelina not wanting him to show it. Charly Caruso showed up to ask what was in the video.

The video showed that Zelina Vega poisoned the red solo cup that Montez Ford drinks out of. There were shocked reactions. Charly asked if Zelina was responsible for poisoning Ford. Vega denied it, claimed that Caruso did it because she was mad about Garza talking to Demi and Dawkins got in their face. That’s when Montez Ford showed up to get into a brawl with Garza/Andrade and the heels got away.

Analysis: The mystery of the poisoned drink is solved. It adds more heat on Vega as a heel manager and makes the feud feel a bit more personal.

Mickie James and Natalya were in the ring for a match. They are definitely two of my favorites. It was disappointing to see no introduction because this is Mickie’s first match in over a year after knee surgery (her first surgery in a 20-year career). Anyway, this was set up last week.

Mickie James vs. Natalya (w/Lana)

There was a distraction from Lana, so Natalya got in a cheap shot. James hit a running Thesz Press on Natalya along with some punches. Lana was recording the match on her phone. Natalya sent James into the ropes, James came back with a shoulder tackle, Natalya avoided the DDT and they did a double clothesline spot that knocked them both down at the same time. That’s when Seth Rollins walked out to the ringside area with Murphy. Rollins asked Samoa Joe how he knew Rey Mysterio was going to be there. James hit a headscissors, neckbreaker and a kip up to show she was back in action. Rollins continued to question Joe for what he said about Mysterio. James on the top rope, Lana distraction and Natalya knocked James off the top to the floor. James got wasn’t able to get back up and lost via countout in a match that only got three minutes.

Winner by countout: Natalya

Analysis: * The work was good for the time they got, but it was too short (I feel like I’ll say that a lot this week). I didn’t like seeing the guys at ringside doing a promo while a match was going on because it takes the spotlight away from the match. The big bump to the floor by Mickie didn’t seem like it was going to end the match, but it’s okay to do a countout finish occasionally. It’s not like it’s the end of the feud. It’s only starting now. It will most likely lead to somebody helping James to deal with Lana.

Post match, Lana went over to Mickie and filmed her on her phone, so James hit her with a spin kick to the head. The ladies left at that point.

Analysis: Some post match revenge from James. It likely means a rematch is coming.

Rollins did a promo saying that if Rey and Dominik have the audacity to show up on their show, it will be the last mistake that either of them make and they won’t make it to SummerSlam.

Analysis: There were about nine minutes of wrestling in the first hour of Raw.

(Commercial)

The duo of Sasha Banks and Bayley entered for a tag team match. They had their four titles with them. They laughed about how Asuka has no chance in hell of beating both of them to win their singles titles in one night. Banks and Bayley argued about who should go against Asuka first, so Bayley said she will wrestle Asuka first at SummerSlam (for the Smackdown Women’s Title) and then Banks can easily tap her out to retain the Raw Women’s Title. Banks said that they can celebrate while nobody can stop the two of them. Bayley said that at Payback (on August 30) they will defend the Women’s Tag Team Championships. They mentioned other teams and then laughed about Kairi Sane not being there to team with Asuka anymore.

Shayna Baszler made her entrance saying no matter what happens at SummerSlam, whoever it is that has that Raw Women’s Title – she’s got next.

Asuka joined the pre-match promo party with some ranting in Japanese and told Baszler that she has to fight with her before Baszler fights against Asuka. Baszler was open to the idea since the match was already advertised.

Bayley and Sasha Banks vs. Asuka and Shayna Baszler

This is not for Bayley and Sasha’s Women’s Tag Team Titles. Phillips correctly said that they were four of the best NXT Women’s Champions of all-time. That’s true.

Banks hit Asuka with a knee to the face, but the Asuka came back with a double knee to the face. Baszler was knocked off the apron where Nia Jax punched some plexiglass onto Baszler, who bumped to the ground. That led to WWE Official Pat Buck to tell Jax she was suspended and some referees were there. Baszler went after Jax and they went brawling into the crowd. Asuka was in control of the match with a running hip attack to knock Bayley and Banks off the apron.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Bayley working over Asuka, who was now alone since Baszler left with Jax. Banks and Bayley hit a double team suplex on Asuka for a two count. Banks with a double knee attack on Asuka for another two count. Bayley back in with a kick to the gut. Asuka tried to fight back, but Bayley worked over Asuka with more punches. There were more quick tags from Banks and Bayley leading to a double team slam for a two count. Bayley went up top for an elbow drop, Asuka got the feet up to block and that got a two count for Asuka. Banks tagged in, Asuka wit ha back fist on Bayley and then Banks was legal with a backstabber into a Bank Statement. Baszler broke up the submission with a kick to the back of Banks. Baszler got the tag with forearms to Banks, a step up knee and a sliding knee to the face of Banks. Baszler tried to stomp on the arm, but Banks got a rollup for two. Bayley got the tag, Baszler went for the Kirifuda Clutch, Banks hit a backstabber and Bayley hit a Bayle to Belly slam for a two count. Nice nearfall there. Baszler sent Banks out of the ring, Baszler with a gutwrench suplex on Bayley and a knee to the face. Baszler with the Kirifuda Clutch on Bayley, Banks saved Bayley and Asuka managed to get the Asuka Lock on Banks on the floor. Back in the ring, Baszler avoided a move from Bayley and Baszler got the Kirifuda Clutch submission on Bayley, who tapped out to give Baszler the win. This match went about 14 minutes.

Winners by submission: Asuka and Shayna Baszler

Analysis: *** This was pretty good with Baszler getting some momentum with a big win that she needed. Asuka continued to impress as the babyface taking a beating, but then continue to fight. Bayley and Banks worked well with some nice nearfalls in the match. It could lead to Asuka and Baszler getting the title match at Payback or maybe even Baszler turning face. My prediction for now is Bayley beats Asuka at SummerSlam, but then Asuka will likely win back the Raw Women’s Title from Banks, who isn’t even a Raw wrestler normally.

A commercial aired for NXT Takeover 30 on Saturday. I will preview and review that later in the week on TJRWrestling.

(Commercial)

There was a long video package about last week’s Raw segment where Seth Rollins (with some help from Murphy) beat up Dominik Mysterio with about 30 kendo stick shots to the back/chest. Rollins and Dominik will have a Street Fight at SummerSlam.

The foursome of Apollo Crews, Ricochet, Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexander were backstage talking about the match with the Hurt Business. Crews said he would team with Ricochet and Ali, which upset Alexander, who was selling his neck. Alexander was put in the Full Nelson (called Full Lashley) earlier, so Crews said he wanted Cedric to rest his neck. Ricochet said it’s okay because he can join next time and Cedric said okay maybe next time as they walked away.

When those four wrestlers left, Randy Orton walked into the scene, looked at them from a distance and said nothing.

Analysis: That’s a potential tease of a heel turn for Alexander there because his friends didn’t pick him to be in the upcoming tag team match. I think Cedric’s in-ring style is great for a face, but maybe a heel turn would be good for him. I don’t know if it’s a plan. Just saying it wouldn’t be a terrible idea.

(Commercial)

There was a shot of Shawn Michaels in an NXT hat along with a full beard and he went up to Drew McIntyre. Shawn told Drew that Randy is going to use that anger against him. Shawn told Drew that he will kick Randy’s head off at SummerSlam. Drew talked about how Shawn Michaels worked with him a lot in NXT and he was so grateful for him. Drew said he felt like he might let Shawn down. Shawn gave him a pep talk saying there were hills, there were mountains to climb and Drew can handle it. Shawn said that he remembers when Drew tore his bicep, then he trained so hard and watched film with Shawn to get better. Shawn said that Drew set the WWE Championship free from Brock Lesnar and he said don’t let anybody take that from him. Shawn told Drew to go to SummerSlam to show everybody who he is. Shawn said that he’s going to face Randy Orton and he told Drew to give him his space. Drew said thanks.

Analysis: That was an awesome coaching moment from Shawn to Drew. It felt like a real pep talk from one of the greatest wrestlers of all time to the current champion and it was believable. I liked it a lot with Drew showing a bit of a lack of confidence since Randy Orton has been so dominant of late, so Shawn was there to lift up his spirits.

The IIconics did some trash talking with Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan to set up a Royce vs. Riott match. When Riott and Morgan left, Billie Kay asked “who’s that?” and the camera panned over to see Shayna Baszler was shown talking to Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir. They are friends, but I guess we are supposed to think that Billie doesn’t know who contracted WWE wrestlers are.

This week on Smackdown: AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy for the Intercontinental Championship. Plus, who will feel Braun Strowman’s wrath next? Plus, that Thunderdome new look that they mentioned earlier.

(Commercial)

A video package was shown about all of the Retribution chaos that started two weeks ago. This show has had way too many video packages and recaps of things that have happened. It’s hurting the show.

The women were already in the ring for the match.

Peyton Royce (w/Billie Kay) vs. Ruby Riott (w/Liv Morgan)

Riott with a STO trip, Royce to the apron and Riott hit a running shot to the back to send Royce to the floor. Riott whipped Royce into the barricade. Royce grabbed Riott by the arm and sent her into the barricade again. Back in the ring, Royce hit a lifting knee to the side of the head for a two count. Riott with punches, then a running kick to the face and Royce was sent to the floor. Riott with a cross body block off the apron onto Royce on the floor. Kay got in Riott’s face, Morgan stepped up to Kay and Royce shoved Riott into Morgan to knock Morgan down. Back in the ring, Royce hit the suplex into a neckbreaker called the Déjà Vu for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Ruby Riott

Analysis: * This was also a short match with the heels outsmarting the faces and finding a way to win. Any time Ruby or Liv lose, people complain, but the heels need to win sometimes too. I like Peyton’s finisher. It’s just a TV angle to build Riott and Morgan as a team. They still have things to work out. I still say Ruby and Liv should be the next Tag Team Champions after they get by the IIconics in this feud.

The big man Jordan was standing outside the door, Shane McMahon showed up and it was time for Raw Underground up next.

(Commercial)

Raw Underground

Erik of the Viking Raiders was battling some unknown guy and he was working him over with knee strikes that were barely connecting, but the guy was selling it like he was knocked out. That guy was barely touched.

Shane McMahon said that Dolph Ziggler did pretty good and said it was a “4 out of 10” at best. That’s a Bret Hart reference, in case you don’t know. Erik didn’t like that and challenged Ziggler to a fight, so Dolph accepted the challenge.

Erik faced off with Ziggler on the black mats. Ziggler grabbed a leg going for a takedown. Erik with a punch, Ziggler tried a takedown, but Erik slammed him down. Erik with knees, then a punch to the face and Ziggler managed to get in a punch. Ziggler slapped on a sleeper choke, then a thumb to the eye and the referee called the fight there with Ziggler as the winner. After the fight, Ivar went onto the black canvas and shoved Ziggler with a shoulder tackle onto a pile of wrestlers in the crowd.

Analysis: It was decent. Ziggler is a former amateur wrestler, so it’s a way to put over those skills and maybe help get the audience to see Ziggler as more than what he’s been in most of his career. It was a cheap win with the eye poke leading to the sleeper submission.

Let’s Hear from Rey and Dominik Mysterio

Rey Mysterio made his entrance with son Dominik, who was holding his hand on his ribs. Dominik had a sweater on covering the scars on his body. Rey had some silver covering the right eye that was injured.

Rey Mysterio spoke about how there’s been a lot of pain since Extreme Rules due to what happened to his eye and what happened to his son Dominik. Rey talked about how seeing his son getting beat up by Rollins and Murphy led to a rage he had never felt before. Rey said that he needed to be there and take that beating himself so he didn’t have to see Dominik take that beating. Rey said he may not be fully recovered from the eye injury and he may never fully recover, but there’s no doctor on this Earth that will stop him from protecting his son.

Rey called out Seth and spoke into the camera. Rey said that you won’t repeat what Seth did to Dominik because at SummerSlam, Rey will be in his son’s corner to watch Dominik kick Seth’s ass in a Street Fight.

Dominik said he appreciates that, but he knew what he was in for when he signed a contract to become a WWE Superstar. Dominik said he knows what he has to do to defend their family and he will be ready. Rey hugged him.

Rey told Dominik he was proud of him, he admires his fight, he admires his determination and his will to defend the family name. Rey said if Rollins goes near them then they won’t make it to SummerSlam.

Seth Rollins was on the camera backstage with Murphy by his side. Rollins said now Rey has put himself in harm’s way for himself because it’s always been about Rey. Seth called Rey selfish and wondered what kind of father he was. Seth said that Rey could have prevented this from the get go because everybody has a role to play in the greater good. Seth told Rey it could have been prevented if he accepted his role. Seth said that Rey still hasn’t learned and the real tragedy is that the Mysterio name/legacy that will be the ultimate sacrifice to the greater good.

Rey said that Rollins is the Monday Night Messiah, a man with such big words. Rey wanted Rollins to come down to the ring to try to back them up. Rollins laughed while saying that Rey has one eye while Dominik can barely stand up. Rollins told them they asked for this while telling them not to move an inch.

Rollins and Murphy made their entrance while the two Mysterios were in the ring. When Rollins and Murphy got into the ring, Rey and Dominik backed away. Rollins ripped on them for leaving. Dominik managed to get two kendo sticks while Rollins and Murphy looked at Rey. Dominik beat on both heels with the kendo sticks. Rey got a kendo stick as well as they isolated Rollins in the ring. There were hard kendo stick shots to Seth’s support body by Rey and Dominik. Rollins was tied against the ropes, Murphy back in and Seth got away. Murphy got away in another part of the building. Rey and Dominik stood tall in the ring.

Analysis: This was pretty good with the Mysterios getting some payback on Rollins and Murphy although Seth got away before it got really bad. Rey’s promo was great. I thought Dominik selling the attack from last week the way he did by grabbing his body was the right way to sell it. This match between Seth and Dominik has had one of the best builds of any match at SummerSlam this year or most PPVs this year. I think Seth will win, but I’m mostly interested in how it’s booked as well as how well Dominik does in his first WWE match. I’m excited for Dominik to be in there with a great worker like Rollins. I think they’ll do pretty well.

Cedric Alexander was sitting on a box backstage with MVP there to talk trash to him. Alexander said MVP was there to stir the pot. MVP said that maybe Apollo is concerned about Cedric’s health, but maybe Apollo thinks Alexander is a weak link. MVP told Cedric it might be hard to be tag team partners with Ricochet, who calls himself the “One and Only.” MVP said his offer to Cedric still stands. Cedric threw his water down.

This week on NXT: They were teasing confrontations with Keith Lee and Karrion Kross, plus Adam Cole deals with Pat McAfee and two matches leading to the North American Title match at Takeover 30 on Saturday.

(Commercial)

This week on Raw Talk, the guests were Natalya with Lana and the Street Profits.

Raw Underground

Arturo Ruas vs. Riddick Moss. They both won matches last week. Moss with a takedown and punches. Ruas with a kick to the head. Moss worked over Arturo with punches and then Arturo with a scoop with punches. Arturo with a choke hold, Moss broke it with a back drop to the mat and they battled over knee bar attempts and then they rolled out to the floor. Arturo punched a guy on the floor, so did Moss and Shane separated. Shane, who is 50 years old, said that was “sick.” Sure it was.

Analysis: It was fine. Ruas is a legit fighter while Moss has an impressive look, so booking it to go even is a nice call. It’s not like the storylines matter that much in this situation.

Six-Man Elimination Tag Team Match: Apollo Crews, Mustafa Ali and Ricochet vs. MVP, Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin

Ali took down Benjamin with an arm drag and Ricochet hit an enziguri kick to the head. Bobby Lashley got the tag, ran over Ali with a shoulder tackled and knocked down the two other guys on the apron. Lashley hit a Dominator Slam on Ali to eliminate him in about one minute.

Mustafa Ali eliminated

Ricochet was in the ring next and Lashley hit a huge spinebuster on Ricochet. Benjamin went in the ring to hit Paydirt on Ricochet and pin him quickly.

Ricochet eliminated

Crews sent Benjamin into the turnbuckle and hit a Toss Powerbomb on Benjamin to pin him quickly.

Shelton Benjamin eliminated

Cedric Alexander showed up, did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Benjamin and won the 24/7 Title.

Winner AND NEW 24/7 Champion: Cedric Alexander

Analysis: That title is a joke already. It doesn’t need to be said every week.

(Commercial)

I came back and missed about one minute. MVP was working over Crews for a bit. MVP went for a running kick on Crews against the turnbuckle, Crews moved and then Crews hit a Toss Powerbomb on MVP for the pinfall to eliminate MVP.

MVP eliminated

Lashley was aggressive on Crews, but Crews came back with a clothesline, kicks and a standing moonsault. Lashley went for the Full Lashley (Full Nelson), but Crews fought out of it and Lashley hit a running Spear for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Apollo Crews eliminated

Winner: Bobby Lashley

Analysis: *3/4 They did five eliminations in ten minutes. That’s pretty quick. Lashley looks dominant in matches like this, yet he’s not even in a match at SummerSlam.

The announcers did a rundown of the SummerSlam lineup for this Sunday at the Amway Center in Orlando. Here’s the lineup that is also at the bottom of this post.

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

Universal Championship: Braun Strowman (c) vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt

Raw Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Asuka

Street Fight: Seth Rollins vs. Dominik Mysterio

Hair vs. Hair Match: Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Asuka

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

United States Championship: Apollo Crews (c) vs. Montel Vontavious Porter (Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin are banned from ringside)

Analysis: I think the card is pretty good, unlike this episode of Raw.

There was a backstage scene with Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir talking to Shane McMahon about Raw Underground, which is up next.

(Commercial)

24/7 Championship: Cedric Alexander vs. Akira Tozawa

There were some ninjas at ringside with Tozawa, Alexander knocked a ninja off he apron and Tozawa hit a spinning kick to the head. Alexander jumped off the ropes with a neutralizer kick and a Lumbar Check for the pinfall win after one minute.

Winner by pinfall: Cedric Alexander

When Alexander celebrated the win, Shelton Benjamin showed up again and hit Paydirt to win back the 24/7 Championship.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW 24/7 Champion: Shelton Benjamin

Analysis: Poor Alexander lost the meaningless title. I guess that might make him sad and then give him a reason to turn heel, but I don’t know if that’s the plan.

Raw Underground

Marina Shafir was in the ring with a woman and did a takedown by the arm. Shafir kicked her in the back. Shafir slapped on a Triangle Choke like submission and got the submission win.

When Shafir was celebrating, Nia Jax attacked her from behind. Jax kicked Jessamyn Duke as well. Shayna Baszler went into the ring to fight Jax, but Jax left, kicked Baszler and got out of there. That’s it for Raw Underground this week.

Analysis: It furthered the Jax vs. Baszler story, but it didn’t do much more than that.

(Commercial)

There’s a “SummerSlam’s Hottest Moments” special on Fox on Saturday at 4pm or check local listings.

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

Ford was angry after being poisoned recently, so he was on fire with a dropkick that sent Andrade out of the ring. Ford with a somersault dive over the top on Andrade on the floor. Andrade with a hard chop and then a superplex off the top for two. Ford avoided an attack, then a clothesline and a standing moonsault for a two count. Andrade with boots to chest, Ford came back with a hurricanrana and Ford was on the apron. Vega on the apron, Bianca Belair showed up and Vega jumped onto Belair, who slammed Vega on the floor. Andrade was distracted by that so Ford did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Andrade for the pinfall win after about three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Montez Ford

Analysis: * It was the last match of the show and fitting that it was very short like most of the matches. The finish was lame, but it gives Ford some revenge for being poisoned. These teams meet at SummerSlam this Sunday and I think Garza/Andrade might leave with the titles.

Shawn Michaels was shown walking backstage and getting some hugs from Titus O’Neil, Humberto Carrillo and R-Truth on his way to the ring. That Michaels/Orton main event segment is the main event.

(Commercial)

There was another commercial for the WWE Thunderdome experience debuting on Smackdown on Friday.

Let’s Hear from Shawn Michaels

Shawn Michaels made his entrance wearing a jacket, jeans and a NXT hat in the building where he regularly works as a Performance Center coach. Michaels called up a video showing Ric Flair telling Randy Orton that he loved him while adding that he wanted to be part of Randy Orton’s life.

Shawn said that last week, Ric reminded us of the worst 31 days of his life when he was on his deathbed and wanted to tell people that mean most to him just how much that he loved. Shawn said that Ric more than anybody loved performing in the ring for the WWE Universe. Shawn said that if not for Ric Flair there would be no Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Batista, Edge, Christian, Big Show and Drew McIntyre. Shawn said that Randy Orton is also on that list, but unlike them they don’t have the same gratitude and appreciation that Flair does. Michaels said that Orton feels like he deserves things. Michaels said that at SummerSlam, he doesn’t know if Orton is going to eat his justice at the end of Sweet Chin Music or a Claymore Kick, but he assures Orton that he will see it coming.

Shawn’s music hit as he went to leave the ring, but then Orton showed up from behind and hit an RKO on Michaels. Orton bounced off the ropes and connected with The Punt on Shawn’s head. That led to Drew McIntyre running to the ring to check on Michaels as Orton left the ring to get away. McIntyre told Shawn to speak to him, but Shawn was dazed.

Orton went into the ring after McIntyre, but McIntyre sent him out of the ring with a clothesline. McIntyre sent Orton into the plexiglass around the ring and over the announce table into the barricade. McIntyre went back into the ring to check on Shawn, who was still looking dazed. Orton went back in the ring, McIntyre turned around and Orton hit Drew with an RKO. Phillips said that McIntyre “never saw it coming” but I’m pretty sure the fans watching saw it coming. Orton left the ring standing tall while McIntyre stared from the ring. That was the end of Raw.

Analysis: It was another predictable Randy Orton segment as we have seen for the last few months. Shawn’s promo was very good, he said the right things that a babyface legend should say and then he got dropped with the RKO as well as The Punt as you would expect as a regular WWE viewer. Drew looked like he had the upper hand, but there was Randy with an RKO for him too.

I am leaning towards picking Drew McIntyre to retain the WWE Title at SummerSlam, but it could definitely go to Randy Orton too. I’m interested to see how they book it. I’ll have an official prediction in our preview on TJRWrestling on Saturday.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Rey Mysterio
  2. Asuka/Shayna Baszler
  3. Shawn Michaels

 

The Scoreboard

4.5 out of 10

Last week: 6.75

2020 Average: 6.35

 

Final Thoughts

This was a boring and uneventful show full of short matches, too many long video packages and just not a lot of interesting action. They cut way back on ring entrances too, yet the matches were still short. Some of the matches that I wanted to go longer didn’t get a chance to go more than three minutes when they went to the finish. There were some poor finishes too. I think the promos from the legends like Rey Mysterio and Shawn Michaels were good, but I also wish some of the younger talent got to speak more as well as more meaningful matches.

As for the Retribution angle, they were part of the opening segment and that was it. I thought they would be around more, yet they barely made an impact on this show. I think the angle is losing a lot of steam.

The matches at SummerSlam are fine to me and they interest me enough, but this Raw just wasn’t very good. I think if I was watching on DVR without writing about it I would have hit fast forward through most of the show.

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

Universal Championship: Braun Strowman (c) vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt

Raw Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Asuka

Street Fight: Seth Rollins vs. Dominik Mysterio

Hair vs. Hair Match: Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Asuka

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

United States Championship: Apollo Crews (c) vs. Montel Vontavious Porter (Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin are banned from ringside)

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

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