Monday Night Raw
Date: August 17, 2020
Location: WWE Performance Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Samoa Joe, Byron Saxton
It’s the last night in the Performance Center and that means we are also less than a week away from Summerslam. This week’s show gets to deal with the big fallout from the Punt last week as Randy Orton kicked Ric Flair in the head. Since it’s a Flair story, we need the combined forces of Shawn Michaels and likely HHH down the line to tell us how great Flair is all over again. Let’s get to it.
Here’s what’s coming tonight.
Here’s Drew McIntyre for an opening chat. After a long video on what happened to Flair last week, McIntyre talks about how Flair is a 71 year old legend with a tear in his eye and Orton kicked him in the head. McIntyre is ready to do whatever he has to do at Summerslam..and the video goes nuts as Retribution has struck again. We cut to the truck where they are wrecking everything in sight and we jump to a commercial with McIntyre still talking.
Post break, the locker room wants to know what’s going on. Drew McIntyre comes in and says he doesn’t like being disrespected like this and wants them to ban together to stomp them out. Seth Rollins and Murphy come in to talk about being the Messiah, meaning that the roster already has a leader. Rollins should be getting a title shot but Ricochet brings up Rey Mysterio returning tonight. No Rollins isn’t scared and asks for a match with McIntyre instead. They have to be separated and a match seems likely.
Here’s the Hurt Business, with the cameras staying on a wide shot for a good while and the graphics taking their time to start up. Still on the wide shot, MVP rants about Retribution and calls them out. He has been following the money, which takes you to catering, where you find Apollo Crews and his merry band of pranksters. Retribution showed up around the time that MVP faced Crews for the US Title.
Cue Apollo to laugh off the allegations and accuse MVP of trying to throw out some distractions before Crews beats him at Summerslam. MVP says Crews has had more starts and stops to his career than a bad car, and it’s back to catering as soon as he loses the title. Crews says he knows that’s why MVP wanted him in the Hurt Business, so maybe they can do some business right now. He can face Shelton Benjamin right now and if he wins, Lashley and Benjamin aren’t at ringside at Summerslam. Let’s go.
Shelton Benjamin vs. Apollo Crews
Non-title. Joined in progress with Shelton stomping away and unloading on Crews in the corner. Crews gets beaten down even more and here’s R-Truth, as chased by Ninjas. The distraction lets Crews get in a rollup for the pin at 2:03. They really needed to pin Shelton for that?
Post match the Hurt Business keeps up the beating but Cedric Alexander, Ricochet and Mustafa Ali make the save. Lashley gets the Full Lashley on Cedric but the numbers game gets the better of Lashley and sends him outside. R-Truth comes running back and gets kicked in the face by Shelton, who wins the 24/7 Title. MVP says this isn’t happening so let’s do a six man elimination later. Just give the title back to Truth already.
Angel Garza hits on Demi from the Bachelor again when Ivar comes in to hit on her instead. Demi is invited to join the hunt tonight and Ivar accuses Garza of poisoning Montez Ford. That’s not true, so Ivar eats a drumstick and is ready for their match tonight.
Ivar vs. Angel Garza
Ivar’s early spinning kick to the face is cut off and Garza sends him face first into the mat by the beard. Garza TAKES OFF HIS PANTS as Angelo Dawkins is hitting on Demi in the back. Ivar hits a running crossbody to crush Garza, followed by some running clotheslines in the corner. A backsplash gives Ivar two and Garza heads outside, only to have Zelina Vega block the dive. Back in and Garza gets in a neck snap and the low dropkick finishes Ivar at 3:54.
Rating: C-. Just a match here which wasn’t all that bad but it did well enough. I’m not sure why we can’t have the #1 contenders to the Tag Team Titles in a singles match before their Summerslam title shot but I’m guessing Erik’s Raw Underground match is a little more important. Not a bad match, but they haven’t done the best job of hyping this up.
Post match Dawkins pops up and suggests they ask Charly Caruso a little more about Garza. That’s shouted down so Dawkins says he has a tape. Garza goes running off, with Vega asking Samoa Joe what is going on. Naturally Joe knows, and talks about all of the extra security around here to deal with Retribution. The tape is going to show how far someone is willing to go around here. Vega leaves and isn’t happy.
We look at what Seth Rollins and Murphy did to Dominik Mysterio last week.
Vega and company try to get the tape away from Dawkins so Charly Caruso comes up to ask what’s going on. Dawkins plays the video (which is loaded into the tape machines despite him taunting Vega and company with his phone), which shows Vega poisoning Montez Ford’s red cup. Vega says it’s doctored and accuses Charly of being behind this because Garza upgraded to Demi (Garza gives a “well yeah” look). Dawkins is ready to fight on Sunday and is holding himself back but Ford runs in for the brawl. That was a rather badly put together…well everything actually.
Natalya vs. Mickie James
Lana is here with Natalya. This is Mickie’s first match in over a year and it was hyped up on WWE’s preview, so naturally she doesn’t get an entrance. Natalya takes her into the corner so Lana can film things before Mickie fights back and grabs a headlock. Mickie goes over to shout at Lana but the MickDT is countered.
A double clothesline gives is a double knockdown and here are Rollins and Murphy to yell at Joe. Rollins wants to know why Joe thinks Mysterio is going to be here as Mickie snaps off a hurricanrana out of the corner. A neckbreaker puts Natalya down again but Natalya knocks her off the top. The camera mainly stays on the argument as Mickie is counted out at 3:13.
Rating: D. This had me thinking of the opening scene to Guardians of the Galaxy 2 where the focus is on Groot while the battle is going on in the back. Picture that, but not entertaining or funny in any way. That being said, there is something funny about Natalya and Lana literally being downgraded to background noise during something else.
Post match Rollins threatens Joe and says he’ll take care of the Mysterios.
Sasha Banks/Bayley vs. Asuka/Shayna Baszler
Non-title. Before the match, Sasha and Bayley friendly bicker about who faces Asuka first at Summerslam. Either way, they’ll laugh all the way to Payback and their Tag Team Title defense. Cue Shayna to say she has the next shot at the Raw Women’s Title but here’s Asuka to say they have to fight together before Shayna can fight her. Asuka and Shayna charge the ring to start things off and it’s a Codebreaker to put Sasha down.
As Asuka goes after Sasha, it’s Nia Jax knocking the Plexiglas down to take Shayna out. Pat Buck and some referees come out to take care of her but Shayna starts the brawl into the stands. Asuka hits the hip attack on Sasha and we take a break. Back with Bayley working on Asuka’s back and handing it off to Sasha for two off the Meteora. Bayley comes back in to clothesline Asuka down for two more but the big elbow hits raised boots. Asuka fights back but gets caught in the Bank Statement.
Cue Shayna for the save and Asuka brings her in off the hot tag. Shayna’s stomp to the arm is countered with a rollup for two but Bayley has to break up the Kirifuda Clutch. Banks has to save Bayley from the same and the Bayley to Belly gets two more. Asuka pulls Banks to the floor for the Asuka Lock and Baszler Clutches Bayley for the tap (two in two weeks for Bayley) at 11:58.
Rating: C-. Let’s see: champ loses via tap out for the second week in a row, they set up the Payback Tag Team Title match, Nia is back (making me sigh heavily), Shayna now looks like she should be challenging Bayley on the other show and Asuka only looks like a threat to one champion. Did I miss anything here or did they pack in another five stories into one match while I turned my head for a second? And can we get a match without some kind of shenanigans?
Video on Dominik being attacked last week.
Apollo Crews and company are ready and walk off. Randy Orton comes in and seems to be pondering things.
Shawn Michaels comes up to see Drew McIntyre and they talk about all of the bad things Randy Orton has done. Shawn talks about how Drew drove five hours to watch film with him every day while he was healing up and knows he can deal with Orton. As for tonight though, Shawn needs to handle Orton so give him his space.
The IIconics and the Riott Squad argue about who is winning their singles matches tonight. The camera pans over to show Shayna Baszler talking to Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke in their Raw debuts.
Long video on Retribution.
Ruby Riott vs. Peyton Royce
They fight to the floor early on before Peyton blocks an O’Connor Roll back inside. A knee to the head gets two on Riott but she fights back with a running elbow in the corner. Peyton is sent outside for an apron crossbody but Billie Kay and Liv Morgan get in an argument. That lets Peyton shove them into each other and throw Ruby back in for the Deja Vu and the pin at 2:54. This was nothing.
Shane McMahon is ready for Raw Underground.
We join Raw Underground in progress with Erik mauling an unknown. Dolph Ziggler gives it a 4/10 so Erik calls him out for a fight. Ziggler gets on the stage and we have our first name vs. name match. Ziggler goes for a leg but Erik blasts him in the face with a left hand. A suplex drops Ziggler again but he keeps a grip on Erik. They trade hard shots with Erik getting the better of it and picking him up by the leg. Ziggler grabs a sleeper though and adds a thumb to the eye as Erik is out. After the bell, Ivar knocks Ziggler onto a bunch of people.
Here are the Mysterios with Rey talking about how hard this has been on the two of them. It was torture seeing Dominik beaten down last week but no doctor is keeping him away from Summerslam. Rey is going to be in Dominik’s corner at Summerslam, but Dominik says he knew what he was getting into. Rollins and Murphy pop up on screen and promise to destroy both Mysterios at Summerslam. The Mysterio name will be destroyed, so Rey says get out here. Cue the two of them and the Mysterios bail…and come back in with kendo sticks to clean house.
MVP sits down next to Cedric Alexander and asks why he isn’t in the six man tonight. He brings up Cedric being caught in the full nelson (because he’s already forgotten that he named it the Full Lashley an hour and a half ago) and offers Cedric a spot on the team again. MVP leaves and Cedric is frustrated.
Back on Raw Underground, Riddick Moss and Arturo Ruas beat the heck out of each other and fall off the stage. They fight with security and the match is deemed a draw.
Hurt Business vs. Ricochet/Apollo Crews/Mustafa Ali
Elimination rules. Ricochet kicks Benjamin down for two to start but it’s off to Lashley, who runs over the legal Ali. The spinning Dominator gets rid of Ali at 1:35 and it’s 3-2. A big spinebuster plants Ricochet and Paydirt gets rid of him at 2:15, leaving Crews all alone. Crews comes in and hits the Toss Powerbomb to get rid of Shelton at 2:55 to even things up a bit. Cue Cedric Alexander to roll Shelton up for the pin and the 24/7 Title as we take a break.
Back with MVP stomping away in the corner and throwing Crews outside. MVP misses a charge in the corner though and Crews hits the Toss Powerbomb to finish him off at 9:29. Lashley comes straight in to knee Crews down but Crews hits some kicks to the head. The standing moonsault gets two but Lashley spears him down for the pin at 10:50.
Rating: C-. I’m still not sure why it isn’t Crews vs. Lashley for the title at Summerslam but maybe that’s what we have for Payback. There isn’t much shame in having Crews lose a glorified gauntlet match and this goes a long way to give MVP a chance on Sunday. Not a good match or anything, but it did its job well enough.
24/7 Title: Akira Tozawa vs. Cedric Alexander
Cedric is defending and knocks Tozawa to the floor early on, sending him crashing into the Ninjas. Tozawa comes back in with a spinning kick to the head but has to bail out of the top rope backsplash. The Neuralizer into the Lumbar Check retains the title at 1:22.
Shelton Benjamin runs in with Paydirt to win the title back.
Back at Raw Underground, Marina Shafir destroys a woman for the win. Nia Jax runs in and takes out Shafir and Duke. Shayna pops up for the fight and Jax bails. ENOUGH WITH NIA JAX ALREADY!!!!
Montez Ford vs. Andrade
Ford starts fast and sends Andrade outside for the big flip dive. Back in and Ford gets crotched on top, allowing Andrade to hit a superplex for two. We hit the chinlock for a bit until Ford fights back and hits a standing moonsault for his own near fall. Andrade goes up and gets hurricanranaed right back down. Zelina Vega offers a distraction so Andrade can break up the frog splash. Vega dives at an invading Bianca Belair but gets slammed down, allowing Ford to grab a rollup for the pin at 3:08.
Rating: D+. Another match that was energetic while it lasted, though I’m a bit surprised that they had Ford get back in the ring before Summerslam. They did an angle with him getting poisoned and he’s just back two weeks later? I guess it wasn’t all that important, but it would have been nice to see them hold out until the pay per view to add a little something to the match.
Here’s Shawn Michaels to show us what happened to Ric Flair again. Shawn talks about how the 31 days Flair spent on his death bed were some of the hardest days of all of our lives (uh….). Without Flair, there would be no Shawn, HHH, Edge, Christian, Big Show or Drew McIntyre (UH…….). Randy Orton is on that list as well and then he had the nerve to take out Flair last week. Shawn doesn’t know how it is going to happen but it is going to happen at Summerslam. Maybe it’s from Sweet Chin Music or the Claymore, but someone is going to give Randy what he deserves. Whatever it is, Orton is going to see it coming.
Shawn goes to leave and there’s the RKO into the Punt. McIntyre runs in to run Orton off and a referee comes out to check on Shawn. Orton comes back and McIntyre beats the heck out of him, including throwing him over the announcers’ table. McIntyre checks on Shawn but Orton comes back in again for the RKO as Shawn can’t get up to end the show. This was as expected, including the over the top praise of Ric Flair, because Shawn and HHH still haven’t officially opened their eternal shrine to him.
Overall Rating: D+. There’s quite a bit to unpack here. First of all, you can’t really say the show was boring, because it didn’t stop moving all night long. Now that being said, there were a lot of highlight packages (often different versions of the same one) and a lot of them made you feel like they were just filling in time. There wasn’t much on here that you needed to see and last week’s show felt a lot more like the go home show for Summerslam. It also doesn’t help that Thunderdome is coming and that means this show was little more than a placeholder.
What we got here wasn’t exactly great though, as there was a lot of stuff that got multiple segments despite not really warranting them. That’s the kind of thing that can get annoying in a hurry as you would like to see them space this stuff out a bit more so they don’t run through all of the creative so fast. But that might mean having a plan for more than a week at a time and Vince doesn’t seem to like that these…well years really. Not the worst show, but it doesn’t matter with the next few shows coming. Oh and get rid of Nia Jax. Have badgers bury her in the desert or something. It would be more useful.
Apollo Crews b. Shelton Benjamin – Rollup
Angel Garza b. Ivar – Low dropkick
Natalya b. Mickie James via countout
Asuka/Shayna Baszler b. Sasha Banks/Bayley – Kirifuda Clutch to Bayley
Peyton Royce b. Ruby Riott – Deja Vu
Hurt Business b. Mustafa Ali/Apollo Crews/Ricochet – Spear to Crews
Cedric Alexander b. Akira Tozawa – Lumbar Check
Montez Ford b. Andrade – Rollup
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