Monday Night Raw
Date: August 10, 2020
Location: WWE Performance Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Samoa Joe, Byron Saxton
For the first time in a very long while, some interesting stuff actually took place last week. That would include both Raw Underground and the debut of Retribution, but the problem with any WWE story is that at some point it has to go somewhere, and that’s where they get lost. I’m not sure what to expect here and that scares me. Let’s get to it.
In Memory of Kamala.
Here’s what’s coming tonight.
We open with Samoa Joe in the ring for a contract signing. Seth Rollins comes out with Murphy, followed by Dominik, because they really do think this is what we should use to keep the fans’ interest early. Dominik comes out with a kendo stick and Rollins laughs him off for treating this like a joke. Joe doesn’t think much of Rollins treating this as a joke and asks why Rollins is acting like this. Why did he take out Rey Mysterio’s eye, have Murphy take out Aleister Black’s eye, and think about going for Joe’s eye last week?
Rollins threatens Joe and says that he himself is the only one with no choice in this whole thing. He goes into a rant about everything he has done around here with everyone not thinking anything of his efforts. All he is doing is for the greater good and when is it going to be enough? Dominik says it never will be because Rollins’ greater good is for himself. Rollins calls him ungrateful because everything Dominik is doing is because of him.
Dominik is ready to go, so Rollins says Dominik wouldn’t last ten seconds against him in a regular wrestling match. That’s why Rollins is going to do him a favor: Dominik can bring his kendo stick at Summerslam. Or any weapon he wants for that matter, so there are no excuses. Rollins and Dominik both sign, with Rollins being rather pleased.
Seth Rollins vs. Humberto Carrillo
Rollins grabs an armbar to start and sends Carrillo to the apron. Carrillo comes back in with a sunset flip and hammers away in the corner, only to get crotched on top. The belly to back superplex is broken up but Murphy’s distraction means no moonsault. Dominik kendo sticks Murphy though and Rollins gets the boots up to block the moonsault. A superkick sets up a powerbomb into the Stomp to finish Carrillo at 3:03.
Rating: D+. The match was decent enough but the lack of interest in anything they’re doing here hurts things a lot. There is only so much that can be done with such an uninteresting story and hopefully they make a change. It seems that they’re teasing Samoa Joe getting involved somehow, and that’s probably as good of a move as they can make. Dominik isn’t ready for this and that becomes ore obvious every week.
Post match Rollins and Murphy beat Dominik down, including a series of hard kendo stick shots. Rollins even takes the shirt off so the shots can hurt more. Murphy and Rollins tie him into the ropes with Rollins saying HI DAD over and over. With Dominik still helpless, Rollins has Murphy grab some more kendo sticks and now Murphy gets in his own shots. The double beating continues with Murphy saying that Dominik is a WWE Superstar now. This was a heck of a brutal beatdown with Dominik being destroyed and I do want to see him get back up and fight. Just find something else to say about him other than he’s Rey’s son.
Post break, commentary is rather serious about what we just saw.
Video on Retribution’s attacks last week.
Andrade vs. Angelo Dawkins
Before the match, Zelina insists that she had nothing to do with Montez Ford being poisoned. Why would she mess with the most important night of her team’s career? The Street Profits can have the smoke, because Angel Garza and Andrade want the Tag Team Titles. The lights go out again during Dawkins’ entrance because Retribution is around somewhere tonight. Dawkins jumps him from behind to start but Andrade gets in such a hard right hand that Dawkins loses his headband.
Back up and Dawkins hits a dropkick to send him outside, where Andrade sweeps the leg to send Dawkins face first into the apron. The chinlock doesn’t last long as Dawkins fights back with the clotheslines and the jumping spinning elbow. Andrade sends him into the corner again though and it’s the running knees for two. Back up and Andrade gets punched out of the air for no count as Vega has the referee. Cue Bianca Belair to pull Vega off the apron though and the spinebuster gives Dawkins the pin at 4:02.
Rating: C-. I was surprised by Dawkins winning here but it’s not like Andrade has been anything but a tag guy in recent months. The poisoning thing is interesting, but I’m hoping that they don’t go with some outsider and just have Vega be the person behind it. Go with what makes sense instead of the surprise in this one.
Bianca Belair vs. Zelina Vega
Joined in progress with Vega being driven into the corner and then muscled over with a snap suplex. Vega pulls her into a triangle choke but Belair powers out and hammers away in the corner. A poke to the eye gets Vega out of trouble again and she hits Belair in the face for a bonus. There are the running knees in the corner for two but Belair has had enough of Vega and tries the KOD.
That earns her some elbows to the face though and Vega headscissors her throat first into the middle rope. A crossbody is countered into a gorilla press drop though and Belair is annoyed again. Belair unloads on her with forearms to the back and throws Vega down with ease. Vega avoids a charge into the post and pounds away, only to get powerbombed out of the corner. The KOD is enough to finish Vega at 6:13.
Rating: D+. This was a scrappy one as Belair was pounding away on Vega as much as she could but Vega wasn’t quite enough of a threat to her. There is only so much that you can do here and Belair was only in limited danger. Again: go with what makes sense instead of something screwy and it’s that much better.
Post match Belair says she and Ford like to keep their careers separate, but Belair had to do something to stand up for her husband. Dawkins says Ford isn’t missing Summerslam and they’re bringing the ruckus and the red cups.
Here is the Hurt Business for the VIP Lounge. MVP says this is a more serious episode and talks about being the man who told you so. Last week, you had weird things going on with the lights going out in his match. He is a seasoned professional and a world class athlete but he can’t win titles in unsafe working conditions.
Cue Apollo Crews, to say MVP is always complaining and making excuses. MVP says Crews was the one who missed Extreme Rules because he had a bad neck. Crews says that he can make bad decisions because he’s a bad man. At Summerslam, the only lights that are going out are MVP’s. Crews charges the ring and throws the couch to the floor to clear the ring.
Apollo Crews vs. Shelton Benjamin
Non-title and joined in progress with Shelton driving him into the corner, only to have Crews flip forward and hit the dropkick. Benjamin throws Crews outside though and gets in a knee to the ribs as the referee keeps a close eye on the MVP and Lashley. Back in and we hit the chinlock until Crews fights up and hits a crossbody. Crews drives him into the corner for the shoulders to the ribs and the Stinger Splash for a bonus. The Toss Powerbomb doesn’t work so Crews settles for a powerslam into the standing moonsault. Crews gets back up but Lashley offers a distraction, allowing Shelton to grab a rollup for the pin at 5:11.
Rating: C-. The athleticism was good, which shouldn’t be a surprise given who was in there, but it doesn’t quite make for a great match. This still seems to be building towards Crews vs. Lashley, though I’m not sure when we are actually getting there. Shelton not losing for a change is nice, though I’m still not thrilled with a champion losing again.
Post match Lashley goes after Crews with the full nelson but MVP calls him off because that would take him out of the title match again. Crews gets in a quick shot and runs off.
We go outside where Retribution throws a cinder block through a window with the WWE logo.
Mickie James is back and says she has gold on her mind. Lana and Natalya, in matching outfits, come in to say Mickie can’t be the face of the division without a Tik Tok. Natalya says she has won more than anyone else and that makes her the best of all time. Natalya and Lana: “HASHTAG BOAT!” Mickie says Natalya should know better and tells Lana that boats sink. Mickie leaves and the two of them call her rude. The new outfit didn’t help Natalya’s charisma.
Video on Raw Underground.
Ivar is flirting with a blonde when Erik, Ricochet and Cedric Alexander come up. The blonde says not to yell at Ivar because he’s cute. Not so much with Erik. How many times can they do that same joke? Ricochet and Cedric crack up.
We look at the beating of Dominik again.
Cedric Alexander/Ricochet/Viking Raiders vs. Akira Tozawa/Ninjas
Ricochet kicks a Ninja in the face to start and it’s a middle rope double stomp to the back into a Downward Spiral. Another Ninja gets kneed in the face and it’s off to Ivar for the knee to the ribs. Another one to the face rocks the Ninja but the third Ninja, who seems to be R-Truth in disguise, won’t get in. Tozawa yells at him and the other Ninja gets the Viking Experience for the pin at 1:10.
Post match it’s Truth and he rolls Tozawa up for the pin and the title.
Drew McIntyre promises to beat Randy Orton at Summerslam and make it clear that Evolution has passed him by. If Kevin Owens beats Orton tonight, he and Drew will be having a long talk.
Liv Morgan vs. Peyton Royce
Before the match, the IIconics accuse the Riott Squad of wanting to stab each other in the back. Morgan takes Peyton down to start and hammers away before they head outside. The brawl continues for a bit until Morgan sends it back inside for two off a rollup. Peyton gets kicked into the corner but Riott deals with an interfering Royce. That’s enough for Royce to get in a cheap shot and finish Morgan with the Deju Vu at 2:06.
Post match the Squad doesn’t see eye to eye again.
We recap Sasha Banks vs. Shayna Baszler with Bayley and Asuka causing the no contest.
Shane McMahon is ready for Raw Underground.
It’s time for Raw Underground, with Cal Bloom vs. Riddick Moss. They fight in the ring and then brawl to the floor, with Moss sending him into a bunch of poles. Back inside and Moss slugs away again, eventually dropping Bloom with a shot to the head for the win. Good for them if this is a way to boost someone like that. The dancing girls are notably absent this week.
Asuka vs. Bayley
Non-title, Sasha Banks is with Bayley, and if Asuka wins, she gets the Raw Women’s Title shot against Banks at Summerslam. Asuka starts fast and hits the hip attack in the corner. Bayley catches her on top though and a sliding elbow gets two. Back up and a lot of shouting lets Asuka get two off a backslide, followed by a kick to the face. The lights flicker some more and it’s Asuka up first with a running shoulder into a release German suplex.
The hip attack gets two on Bayley and she gets tied up in the corner for a running stomp. That’s enough to send Bayley outside and we take a break, coming back to Bayley getting stomped down again. Bayley pulls her down into a kneebar of all things though and kicks away at the leg for a bonus. The referee gets distracted by yelling at Bayley, allowing Banks to ram the leg into the apron to give Bayley two. Asuka is right back up to pull her into a grounded Octopus and then a cross armbreaker.
Bayley stacks her up for two and then pulls Asuka into an Indian Deathlock of all things. Banks goes to taunt Asuka with the title, causing Asuka to reverse into a kneebar. That’s reversed as well and Asuka hits a running knee attack for two more. Asuka puts her on top but Bayley knocks her down, setting up the top rope elbow for another near fall. A sunset bomb sends Asuka into the corner but Bayley stops to mock Kairi Sane, only to get pulled into the Asuka Lock for the tap and the title shot at 15:05.
Rating: B. There is something interesting about Asuka being Bayley’s Kryptonite as Bayley has never beaten her in a singles match. What we got here was another good, hard hitting, back and forth match with two women beating the heck out of each other. I’m not sure how surprising the result was, but they had a good time getting there.
Back at Raw Underground, Arturo Ruas destroys an unknown.
Post break, Dabba-Kato destroys another unnamed victim, with a testicular claw included. Post match, Shayna Baszler gets up to get in the massive Kato’s….well chest actually but Shane breaks it up. Shayna goes to the ground and starts beating up a woman but a blonde makes the save. Shayna beats her up too, then does it again to a second blonde, who did show some submission skills. All three of them go after Shayna at once but she beats them all down with throws and strikes. The first blonde gets Kirifuda Clutched to give Shayna the win.
Retribution has turned over someone’s car and beat on it a little bit more.
Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens
Ric Flair is here with Orton. Owens gets headlocked to start but they fight outside in a hurry. Orton pokes him in the eye, only to be sent face first into the announcers’ table. Back in and Owens stomps away before shouting a WOO at Flair. The Stunner doesn’t work so Owens goes with the superkick instead, setting up the Cannonball. Owens seems to bang up his shoulder on the landing, even as Orton bails to the floor. That’s fine with Owens, as he hits another Cannonball against the barricade and we take a break.
Back with Owens hammering away some more and throwing in a strut (with another WOO). Orton gets knocked outside but sends Owens’ bad arm into the steps and then the barricade. Back in and Orton rakes the boot over Owens’ face and drops a knee. The chinlock, with a rake to the eye, goes on but Owens is back up in a hurry. Owens hits a clothesline into the backsplash but Orton knocks him down again and puts him on top. Orton gets knocked off the top and the Swanton connects for two. The Stunner is blocked though and it’s the RKO to finish Owens at 13:16.
Rating: B-. That’s the kind of win that can give Orton a nice boost. Owens is a former World Champion so a win over him means something, while losing to Orton is hardly a major defeat. It helps that it was a pretty good match too, with Owens getting in quite a bit of offense.
Post match Flair poses with Orton, who wants a microphone. Orton asks Flair to hang on a second and we take a break. Back with Orton saying he loves Flair after all these years, but he shouldn’t have been in this match with Owens. Of course he cares about Flair, but they will not be together any longer. Flair is a liability to him these days and that can no longer be the case. About eighteen years ago, Flair bailed Orton out of trouble in Peoria, Illinois and Orton thinks that he did it because he wanted Orton to be the son that he never had.
Flair starts crying and Orton talks down to him over having a pacemaker and going into a coma last week. Is this the best that Flair can be? Flair says that he’s not the same man he was before but there are some things that Orton wants to hear. Of course Flair wants to be in the spotlight. He’s 71 years old and he’s on Raw. Flair wants to be there with Orton when he wins his 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th World Title. He doesn’t want to see Orton beat John Cena’s record, because it’s his record.
Orton knows what it’s like to be where Flair was because Orton’s dad did it for years. Flair knows Orton is the greatest of all time and as soon as he got out of intensive care for 31 days and out of a coma for 12 of them, all he wanted to do was tell the people he cared about that he loved them. All he is now is Charlotte’s dad so he wants to have a good time with Orton.
They hug, but Orton hits him low and leaves Flair laying. Orton looks down at him, goes to the corner, waits for the lights to flicker, and then hits the Punt (with the lights off so we don’t see the contact in a clever way around it) to end Flair. Orton whispers something to Flair and here’s Drew McIntyre to chase Orton off, shouting “EVEN HIM???” Medics and Adam Pearce come out to tend to Flair.
Overall Rating: B-. Maybe it’s because things were such a mess last week, but this was WAY better than what they have been doing in recent weeks. Above all else, it felt like they have a series of targets in mind and focused on every single one of them in a row. The show wasn’t all over the place for a change and you can see what they are going for. The closing segment was quite good and the show worked as a whole. There was nothing outstanding and the wrestling wasn’t the best, but there was a focus here and that has been sorely missing from the show over the last few….well probably years. Good stuff.
Seth Rollins b. Humberto Carrillo – Stomp
Angelo Dawkins b. Andrade – Spinebuster
Bianca Belair b. Zelina Vega – KOD
Shelton Benjamin b. Apollo Crews – Rollup
Cedric Alexander/Ricochet/Viking Raiders b. Akira Tozawa/Ninjas – Viking Experience to Ninja
Asuka b. Bayley – Asuka Lock
Randy Orton b. Kevin Owens – RKO
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