Monday Night Raw
Date: August 24, 2020
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe
It’s a triple threat tonight, but mainly because of WWE’s weird scheduling. Tonight is the Raw debut of the Thunderdome, the fallout show from Summerslam and the go home show for Payback. Since we have less than six days to get ready for the pay per view, expect a lot of matches to be announced in a hurry. Let’s get to it.
Here’s what’s coming on the show.
Commentary talks about Roman Reigns’ return. At Payback, it’s Reigns vs. Strowman vs. the Fiend in a No Holds Barred triple threat match for the title.
Here’s WWE Champion Drew McIntyre for a chat (including a bunch of pyro in the stands, seemingly lighting a lot of people on fire). After a long video on his successful title defense over Randy Orton last night, Drew asks for a thumbs up from all of the fans in the Thunderdome. McIntyre thinks that’s cool and says retaining the title was cool too. He knows what it’s like to have to climb up to the top of the mountain and become WWE Champion.
Orton has been one of the best for a long time now but last night, Drew was that much better. Drew remembers Orton winning a match called the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever but then Drew beat him, so what does that mean? Anyway, Drew can’t wait for his next challenger and if that’s Orton, so be it, because he’d love to take Orton to Claymore Country. Drew goes to leave but Orton jumps him from behind and they fight into the gorilla position. Orton rakes the eyes and send him into a wall, followed by the Punt. Referees and agents come in but Orton manages another Punt to leave McIntyre cold.
Post break McIntyre is being helped up but shoves everyone away, insisting that he is fine.
Video on Keith Lee.
Nia Jax doesn’t like a question about how she’s still here but it was easy to get around her suspension. All she had to do was get Pat Buck alone and….apologize of course. Get your mind out of the gutter. Shayna Baszler pops up to say it’s a matter of time before Nia gets suspended again. She makes a Haystacks Calhoun reference (Shayna: “Oh sorry. At least he was good looking.”) so Nia says Shayna looks like something out of the Addams Family. So we have a guy who passed away 31 years ago and a television series that has been off the air for about 55 years. And they wonder why they can’t get younger fans to watch.
Bayley vs. Shayna Baszler
Sasha Banks is with Bayley and here’s Nia Jax to watch, with a break coming before the bell. Shayna knocks her into the corner to start and Bayley is taken to the mat for some arm cranking. Bayley fights up and is quickly forearmed down, setting up a running knee in the corner. A triangle choke goes on so Sasha teases coming in to get Bayley out of trouble. Bayley finally sends Baszler outside and Nia jumps Baszler for the DQ at 5:31.
Rating: C-. This didn’t get to go anywhere but hey, at least we’re getting more from Nia Jax, because it has been a good while since she got to do her….whatever it is that she does. Something about being the Rock’s cousin or something I’m sure, because that’s enough of an excuse to have her come out there and do the same thing over and over and over and over.
Post match the beating is on with Banks and Bayley’s encouragement….until Baszler and Jax stop to glare at them. So there’s Payback, because we’re so lucky that way.
Kevin Owens goes to see Aleister Black before the Kevin Owens Show later. Owens opens the dressing room door and talks to Black, who doesn’t actually say anything or appear, though his hand does pull the door closed after Owens leaves.
Here’s Owens for the Kevin Owens Show and he finds the fans wonderful. He wastes no time in bringing out Aleister Black, who has a wrap around his right eye thanks to Buddy Murphy attacking him last month. Black looks at the steps but hesitates and comes in underneath the middle of the ropes instead. Owens isn’t sure what to talk about so Black says let’s just show the clip of him getting his eye taken out.
Back with Owens talking about how Seth can get under your skin….and Black starts grabbing his eye and falling to a knee. Owens wants medics out here but Black pops up with Black Mass to take him down and leave. The heel turn is a fine idea as brooding Black with the deadly finisher could go a long way.
Bayley and Banks are ready to retain Banks’ title and then deal with Jax and Baszler.
24/7 Title: R-Truth vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Cedric Alexander vs. Shelton Benjamin
Shelton is defending and Truth is the only one to get an entrance. Everyone goes for rollups to start until Alexander unloads on Benjamin. The anklescissors sends Benjamin into the corner but Alexander’s springboard is broken up with a knee to the face. Truth’s ax kick misses Shelton but he has to powerbomb Tozawa onto the Ninjas. Tozawa throws Truth outside as well though and rolls Truth up for the pin and the title at 1:37.
Post match Benjamin beats up the Ninjas while Tozawa runs away.
Randy Orton cares about what McIntyre said about him.
We look back at Orton attacking McIntyre.
Here’s Orton for a chat. Orton talks about doing whatever he wants to whomever he wants but that wasn’t the case last night. He promised everyone that he was going to RKO McIntyre and then kick him in the skull to take the title…but he didn’t. Orton is a lot of things and he has proven that he will always be the Legend Killer. He has killed a lot of legends recently and that’s what he was doing earlier when he kicked McIntyre twice in a row. Earlier tonight, Drew came out here and offered him a rematch out of pity. Does McIntyre know who he is?
He is Randy Orton….and here’s Keith Lee. Orton isn’t sure what to think of this so Lee says Orton looks perplexed. Lee: “Greetings and salutations Mr. Orton.” Lee thought Orton might want to take this chance to bask in his glory. Orton has been called a lot of things over the years, as has Lee, but the only thing that is true is that Lee is limitless. The challenge is issued for right now and Orton says….maybe later. I can go for more of Lee and I’ll take this over squashing some jobber.
Charly Caruso talks about what we just saw and Drew McIntyre but overhears Zelina Vega, Angel Garza and Demi (Did WWE ever bother to say why she’s here every week? I get that she’s part of the story now but why was she even here in the first place?). Charly asks if Vega is ready to admit that she poisoned Montez Ford but Vega yells about how the footage proves nothing. She leaves and Angel invites Demi to the ring with her for his match. Charly is invited too but seems disgusted.
Montez Ford vs. Angel Garza
Andrade, Demi and Dawkins are all here. Before the match, the Street Profits say they want the smoke. Dawkins tries to take his pants off ala Garza but Ford puts a stop to that. Red cups drop from the ceiling during the Profits’ entrance for a nice touch. Ford takes him into the corner to start and does the Ultimate Warrior rope shake.
Something off the top is dropkicked out of the air and Angel TAKES OFF HIS PANTS. Ford can’t hit a neckbreaker or an enziguri but here’s Ivar to offer Demi….a turkey leg. They leave together and Angel is so furious that Ford kicks him in the head. Angel catches him on top but gets knocked down, setting up the twisting frog splash for the pin at 4:09.
Rating: D+. This was more about Ivar, a woman from the Bachelor and a turkey leg, because that’s what the Tag Team Titles are now about. We’ve seen the same stuff for weeks now, but at the same time, I’m not sure what else they can actually do with the titles at the moment. Are there even four teams on the show?
It’s time for Nia Jax segment 3 as she comes up to Shayna and says they can win the Women’s Tag Team Titles. Shayna says if she helps with that, Nia gets off her back. Nia says Shayna can follow her lead and gives her a mock punch to the jaw. Shayna slaps her and walks away.
As they leave, Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan come in with Bianca Belair come in to mock the IIconics.
Bianca Belair/Riott Squad vs. IIconics/Zelina Vega
Kay sends Liv into the corner to start but Liv escapes for the tag off to Ruby. Peyton grabs a waistlock on Ruby and feeds her into Shades of Kay for two. Vega comes in for a kick to the head in the corner and a dragon sleeper (with the behind her back grip ala Aleister Black) goes on. That’s released so Vega can laugh at Belair, allowing Riott to get over for the tag to Belair. That means the beatdown is on in a hurry with Belair hitting a release Glam Slam to Vega with the IIconics making the save. The Squad takes care of the IIconics and the KOD finishes Vega at 3:27.
Rating: D+. Just a quick six man here as we continue to wait on Belair to destroy Vega (again). In theory the feud should be over but a rematch for the Tag Team Titles at Payback wouldn’t surprise me. I do like the Riott Squad winning again, but it would be nice if these people had something to go after instead of being stuck in the second tier of the division.
Cedric Alexander beats Ricochet at arm wrestling with Mark Henry (here to officiate another arm wrestling contest) coming in to offer a shot at the winner. That’s not going to happen so Henry has the table moved to the ring. MVP comes in and asks why Cedric is wasting his time with someone like Ricochet. Cedric doesn’t seem impressed but MVP says he’s off to deal with some US Title work for the Hurt Business. He’ll see Cedric later.
Here’s Mark Henry to say we’re coming up on Payback, where these two will be facing off for the US Title. This brings out Bobby Lashley (on his own) and Apollo Crews for some arm wrestling. Lashley wants to get this over with so he can beat Apollo up tonight and then do it again on Sunday for the US Title. Crews doesn’t think so and is ready to go. Lashley takes his time starting…and loses in a very quick match as Crews steps on his foot. Post match Crews loads up the Toss Powerbomb but settles for a pump kick to put Lashley on the floor. The rest of the Hurt Business comes out so Crews dives on them and runs away.
We look at Seth Rollins beating Dominik Mysterio last night and still trying for the big emotional moment.
The Mysterios are ready for their tag match tonight and Rey is proud of Dominik no matter what. Dominik says his family gives him the strength, and Rey is looking forward to Rollins having his own family to see what he has done to them. Rey keeps talking about how proud he is to share the ring with his son and they’re ready for Rollins. If they’re going this way, they’re doing a great job of setting up a possible Dominik heel turn.
Here are Natalya and Liv Morgan to induct a special woman into the Hall of Fame. Natalya knows she is going to get her own induction one day because she is the hashtag boat tonight tonight they are here to honor Mickie James. We get a video package on James, as made by Natalya, showing…..nothing because she has no career highlights. Cue Mickie to shove Natalya down and kick Lana in the head.
Lashley, with the Hurt Business, wants to fight in Raw Underground tonight so Shane McMahon tells him to come right on in.
Off to Raw Underground where Lashley chokes someone out and throws him off the platform. Dolph Ziggler gets up to try his hand with Lashley and takes him down but Lashley kicks him in the back. Ziggler manages a kick to the head and the sleeper, with Lashley not being able to roll out. He can however flip Ziggler over and Pounce him off the stage and into a post. MVP and Shelton Benjamin throw in another nameless guy who is knocked out with a single kick to the arm.
Two things. First of all, they’ve done a good job of keeping these things quick. They aren’t taking five to ten minutes straight every week and that has helped a lot. I know they’re not for everyone, but they’re in and out in a hurry, which is the best move. Second: did the Hurt Business drive over to the Performance Center or has the whole thing moved to the Amway Center and just happens to look completely identical when there isn’t much of a set?
Randy Orton vs. Keith Lee
Lee shoves him away to start and gets in a leapfrog, followed by a big shove out to the floor. Back in and Orton’s right hand is caught, allowing Lee to hit a standing overhead belly to belly. Orton bails to the floor again and this time Lee follows for a…failed posting attempt as Orton sends him shoulder first in instead. Orton stomps away back inside and covers, with Lee firing him off with the kickout.
The chinlock into a sleeper goes on but Lee drives him into the corner for the quick break. Lee hits the running corner splash and a crossbody takes Orton down again. Orton gets knocked outside again but Lee throws him back inside this time, only to get kicked in the face to set up the hanging DDT. Orton loads up the RKO but here’s McIntyre for the DQ at 4:47.
Rating: C. I’m not sure on this one as Lee got in a good about of impressive stuff and wasn’t beaten when McIntyre interfered, but the match ended with Lee down and Orton loading up his finisher. Lee didn’t need to pin Orton here, but it could have had a little better ending. Like Orton walking out for a countout or something, as the McIntyre match is all but already set.
We look at the Fiend winning the Universal Title and Roman Reigns returning.
Drew McIntyre is mad at Randy Orton and promises vengeance. Cue Orton to jump him from behind and hit a THIRD Punt.
Post break, Drew might have a skull fracture. Just wrap a bandage around his head and he’ll be fine.
Raw Women’s Title: Asuka vs. Sasha Banks
Asuka is defending in a lumberjack match. Banks is sent outside in a hurry and a hip attack knocks her off the apron again. Baszler stares Bayley down for daring to help Banks up and we take a break. Back with Banks kicking Asuka down but getting reversed into the ankle lock. Asuka is kicked out to the floor though and Banks dives at her, only to hit the Riott Squad by mistake.
That lets Asuka get up and hit a sliding shot off the apron to take Banks down again. Asuka goes after Bayley, who throws lumberjacks at her to avoid a bad case of death. Banks gets in a cheap shot from behind and nails the frog splash for two back inside. Bayley tries to throw in a chair but Baszler makes the save, leaving Banks to get Asuka Locked for the tap at 7:41.
Rating: C+. There was too much going on here and it was a far cry from what they did last night. The bigger problem though is having the same people face each other so often. They have a lot of talented people in the division but it is rare to see someone new getting into the title picture. Banks, Bayley and Asuka (and Becky Lynch and Charlotte) have been the divisions for a long time now and they need to do something different. Look around the ring and pick someone. Who isn’t Nia Jax.
McIntyre is taken away in the ambulance and Keith Lee pops up. While he would like to tell Drew to stay out of his match, he knows that McIntyre is tough enough to be fine. Lee can’t say the same thing about Randy Orton.
Back to Raw Underground where Lashley beats up Cedric Alexander. Has he just been destroying people for the last half hour or so? Kind of a cool thought actually. Ivar jumps Lashley, drawing in the rest of the Hurt Business and Erik for the big brawl. The Viking Raiders are destroyed and that seemed to be a regular match. Shane McMahon says we’ll see you next week.
Also for Payback: Keith Lee vs. Randy Orton.
Rey Mysterio/Dominik Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins/Buddy Murphy
The Mysterios jump them on the floor before the bell and the fight is on in a hurry. Dominik and Murphy start things off with Dominik dropkicking him to the floor and knocking Rollins into the announcers’ table. A backdrop puts Murphy on the floor again and Rey hits a….something that the camera misses to send Rollins into the barricade. Rollins is left alone in the ring and it’s a dropkick into a failed 619 attempt from Rey. Dominik dives onto both of them and we take a break.
Back with Rollins mocking Rey for not being able to make the tag but Rey scores with the sitout bulldog. Murphy cuts off the tag to Dominik but Rey scores with an enziguri, allowing the hot tag. A springboard crossbody gets two on Murphy and Dominik sends him into the corner. The tornado DDT gives Dominik two but he has to slip out of the buckle bomb. Rey comes in off the hot tag and it’s a double 619 to Murphy. Dominik goes up….and it’s Retribution to destroy the Mysterios for the DQ at 10:00.
Rating: C. While I didn’t need to see any combination of these four again, above all else they kept it WAY shorter than last night and that’s a big improvement. Dominik has the skills to hang in there in short bursts but there is only so much that you can do in a match that goes on that long. Retribution showing up suggests that things may be finally moving on, but dang it took some time to get us here.
Post match the beatdown is on with Rollins and Murphy watching from the stage as Retribution (six of them this time) leave the Mysterios laying to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. I liked this one more than I expected to as they weren’t wasting time (mostly) this week. They were zipping through the show and set up as much of Payback as they could in one night. Lee vs. Orton is interesting, but I’m not sure I like the potential result. The match was set up well though and hopefully it works in execution. What mattered here was Payback though and they got things ready fast, as they should have.
Shayna Baszler b. Bayley via DQ when Nia Jax interfered
Akira Tozawa b. Shelton Benjamin, R-Truth and Cedric Alexander – Rollup to R-Truth
Montez Ford b. Angel Garza – Frog splash
Bianca Belair/Riott Squad b. Zelina Vega/IIconics – KOD to Vega
Randy Orton b. Keith Lee via DQ when Drew McIntyre interfered
Asuka b. Sasha Banks – Asuka Lock
Rey Mysterio/Dominik Mysterio b. Seth Rollins/Buddy Murphy via DQ when Retribution interfered
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