Monday Night Raw – October 26, 2020

Monday Night Raw
Date: October 26, 2020
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe

We’re on the way to Survivor Series, meaning that the rosters, which have now been together for all of a week and a half, will suddenly realize how much they can’t stand the people on the other show because of all of their newfound pride. I’m not sure how WWE is going to make us believe that the shows are invading each other when they work in the same building and the people have been appearing on the other shows since the Draft anyway, but this show isn’t the most logical. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Randy Orton beating Drew McIntyre to win the Raw World Title.

Opening sequence.

Here’s McIntyre for a chat. He lost the title last night but he will be getting it back. The loss made him think of the movie Rocky, because Rocky got knocked down a lot but kept getting back up. McIntyre is going to get back up and keep going, but here are Miz and John Morrison to interrupt. McIntyre: “You just messed up.” They praise McIntyre for his title reign but say it’s really doing him a favor. Now he doesn’t have to worry about facing Randy Orton for the title, because Miz is Mr. Money in the Bank.

Miz even talks about beating Orton for the title when he first cashed in the title….right here actually. And it turns out that Orton is a guest on A Moment Of Bliss right here tonight! They hope McIntyre doesn’t take another 19 years to get the title shot but McIntyre headbutts Miz and suplexes Morrison. Miz breaks up the Future Shock though and the two of them get away, minus the briefcase. McIntyre does stomp on Morrison’s sunglasses though and says he has an idea to run by management.

We run down tonight’s three Survivor Series qualifying matches.

Survivor Series Qualifying Match: AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy

Before the match, AJ says he is 2-0 on Raw, so why is he in a qualifying match? Hasn’t he proven himself around the world? Does he have to prove himself to Adam Pearce and the rest of the jokers in the back? AJ should be the captain of Team Raw because he is the face that runs this place. He is still over Hardy using a knee brace to win a match and promises to make Jeff with he was still on the bottle.

We start fast with Jeff hammering away but stopping to dive onto Jordan, who catches him in the air and we take a break. Back with AJ hitting a brainbuster for two but the Phenomenal Forearm is broken up. The basement dropkick gives Hardy two of his own and there’s the slingshot dropkick in the corner for the same. AJ’s fireman’s carry backbreaker gives him a breather though and it’s the torture rack powerbomb for two more. Hardy fights back but has to stop to glare at Jordan, allowing AJ to catch him on top. AJ sends him into the buckle and the Phenomenal Forearm sends AJ to Survivor Series at 9;57.

Rating: C. This was more about making AJ look like a threat because of Jordan being out there with him and that’s fine. Hardy isn’t going to be hurt by a loss and AJ belongs on the team. The wrestling was completely acceptable because it was AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy but beyond that, the action wasn’t the point here.

Post match AJ and Jordan leave so here’s Elias to hit Hardy with another guitar.

R-Truth is ready for all of his challengers. He eats and sleeps dangerously so much that his name is R Franklin Dangerously Cobblepot Truth.

Susan G. Kommen video.

Lucha House Party vs. Akira Tozawa/Drew Gulak

Gulak and Dorado knock each other down to start and here’s R-Truth to walk around the ring. Tozawa rolls him up for two and everyone goes after Truth until Gulak grabs a rollup to actually win the tag match at 2:07.

Post match everyone tries to pin Truth but he runs off.

It’s time for the Firefly Fun House where everyone is having a tea party. Ramblin Rabbit doesn’t understand any Bray is upset because Hell in a Cell is awesome. Cue Alexa Bliss with some special tea for Rabbit. It has strawberry, peach, cinnamon and a secret ingredient. Why yes, it is arsenic, and Rabbit dies again.

Bray thinks they’re all mad to come here because this is a wacky place. You need to let him heal you, so Bliss goes into her trance and says let him in. Rabbit tells Honey Bunny that he’s coming home and Bray beats him senseless as Bliss laughs. Bray is looking forward to seeing Randy Orton on A Moment Of Bliss tonight. BYE! Of note: this segment included camera shots of the non-existent crowd watching the screen. They felt the need to show monitors watching monitors. Twice. Think about that for a second and try to keep your brains in your skulls.

We look back at Braun Strowman beating Keith Lee last week with a low blow.

Keith Lee says there was nothing fair about last week and promises to show Braun a real monster next week. Tonight it’s about getting on the Survivor Series team though, because that’s what’s important around here.

Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler argue over who is the team captain. HEY! DID YOU KNOW THEY ARGUE A LOT??? BECAUSE THEY ARGUE A LOT! GET IT???

Here’s Elias for a song before his match. His new album is #2 on the charts so let’s get it to #1. The playing begins but there’s something else going on.

Survivor Series Qualifying Match: Elias vs. Keith Lee

Lee runs him over to start and hits a running crossbody to put Elias on the floor. A Pounce sends Elias over the announcers’ table and we take a break. Back with Elias fighting out of an armbar and knocking Lee down. An elbow drop gets two but Lee is right back with a powerslam. Lee hammers away in the corner but Elias faceplants him down for two. Cue Jeff Hardy’s music for a distraction though and Lee is back with the Spirit Bomb for the pin at 9:58.

Rating: D+. Lee is now to the point where he needs interference to beat ELIAS in about ten minutes. Remember like two months ago when he was the unstoppable monster of NXT? Yeah forget all that, because now he is just another person in the overflowing midcard on Raw. It’s incredibly frustrating and really not that surprising, which is a lot of the problems in WWE in one situation.

Post match, Hardy breaks a guitar over Elias’ back.

The Hurt Business yells at someone for daring to go near their bathroom.

We recap Orton winning the title last night.

Orton doesn’t care who is coming for the title because there is only one Randy Orton and that means the same thing for everyone.

Long video on the Hurt Business vs. Retribution. I really wouldn’t advise reminding us of that.

Retribution vs. Hurt Business

Elimination rules. Before the match, MVP talks about how the Hurt Business has been taking the fight to Retribution as part of a deal with Raw. Once they are dispatched, it will be time to collect payment, and the Hurt Business wants to be paid in gold. Lashley and T-Bar get things going and they fight over the lockup to start. They slug away (sweet goodness with the camera cuts) until Lashley powers him down with a Downward Spiral. It’s off to MVP to hammer away as well but T-Bar gets in a shot to the ribs, allowing the tag to Mace.

The pounding continues and Slapjack hits a dropkick to the back of the head for two. MVP is back with a running boot in the corner and an exploder gets two. Cue Reckoning on the apron to…scratch herself a lot and shout GET OFF ME, suggesting that there are bugs all over her (or she’s a fan of Billy Kidman’s time in the Flock). The distraction lets Slapjack roll MVP up for the pin, but she keeps writhing around and freaking out as we take a break.

Back with Lashley waistlocking Slapjack as we see Reckoning admitting the whole thing was faked during the break, earning herself an elimination. The spear gets rid of Slapjack without much effort so it’s T-Bar in to beat on Lashley. They fight to the floor and that’s a double countout to get us down to Alexander/Benjamin vs. Mace/Ali. Alexander goes after Mace in a hurry but gets knocked into the corner.

Mace pounds away in the corner and hits a running splash but Alexander knocks Ali off the apron. A boot to the face staggers Mace and it’s the Neuralizer into Paydirt to finish Mace and get it down to 2-1. Cedric starts pounding on Ali, who manages a running kick to knock Benjamin off the apron. A big backdrop puts Ali down though and Alexander kicks him to the floor. That’s fine with Ali, who hits Alexander with the chair for the DQ at 13:49.

Rating: D+. This is the kind of ending that would usually be fine for a team like Retribution, but given that they have lost every match they have had so far, including some via clean submission, this is another nail in their already hole filled coffin. At least they didn’t save this for Survivor Series, because it would have been the biggest waste of time since Four Doinks. Nothing match, but the death of Retribution continues to be more sad than anything else.

Post match the Hurt Business chases Ali off.

Angel Garza hits on Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke and Nia Jax, who gets rid of them. With Garza gone, Jax/Baszler and Mandy/Dana argue over who the captains should be. Oh and watch the titles. Shayna can’t believe Nia seems interested in Garza. Jax: “Why not?” Are we really going to have to sit through this “I’M THE CAPTAIN” stuff for the next month again?

The Miz vs. Drew McIntyre

John Morrison is here with Miz and his distraction lets Miz go after the knee. That goes badly for Miz as McIntyre knocks him to the floor for the chop, only to get sent ribs first into the steps. Back in and Morrison’s cheap shot actually works, allowing Miz to hammer away. McIntyre doesn’t seem to mind and nips back up, only to have the Future Shock broken up. Morrison’s briefcase shot misses and Drew sends the briefcase flying. Back in and the Claymore finishes Miz at 4:13.

Rating: D+. Just a quick match here to show that McIntyre is still around. The match was a glorified handicap match anyway so McIntyre gets to look extra good in a short outing. It isn’t like Miz losing is going to hurt him whatsoever and the briefcase will keep him relevant for a long time to come.

New Day, dressed as the Street Profits (with Kofi getting a little groggy from the red solo cup), are ready for Survivor Series where it’s champions vs. champions. That means the Street Profits vs. the New Day, Asuka (who comes in) vs. Sasha Banks, Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns and, with the Hurt Business coming in, Bobby Lashley vs. Sami Zayn. MVP says they have their eyes on the Tag Team Titles too but Asuka starts the New Day Rocks dance to get rid of the Hurt Business.

Adam Pearce and Pat Buck are here to introduce the Raw women’s Survivor Series team: Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke and….hang on as Nia wants to announce the fifth member because she’s the captain. Not so fast because Shayna thinks she’s the captain, but Pearce makes a four way to crown the fifth member.

Lana vs. Lacey Evans vs. Peyton Royce vs. Nikki Cross

It’s a brawl to start with Royce diving onto Cross and Evans as we take a break thirty seconds in. Back with Royce running Cross over for two but Cross is back up to dive onto Lana. Cross’ high crossbody gets two on Royce as we hear about Elias’ album reaching #1 on Apple Music. Lana comes back in (tripping over the ropes a bit on the way) and is promptly hit with the Woman’s Right to give Evans two. Lacey’s superplex attempt on Cross is broken up and Cross knocks Peyton down as well. The Tower of Doom works well enough though…and Lana steals the pin at 8:05.

Rating: D. And there it is, despite very little drama in the whole thing. Who else was going to win here? Lana is the spunky underdog of the team and in a normal promotion, she would make a big impact at Survivor Series. In other words, odds are she is eliminated in two minutes after Nia crushes her through a table again.

Post match Nia hugs Lana before driving her through the announcers’ table for the sixth time.

Randy Orton isn’t worried about the Fiend and Alexa Bliss coming after him on A Moment Of Bliss. If Fiend wants to get involved, Orton can introduce him to the RKO.

Mustafa Ali says Retribution isn’t a failure because they will win when everyone else suffers. Yeah no one believes you.

Survivor Series Qualifying Match: Sheamus vs. Matt Riddle

Riddle goes for the legs to start so Sheamus bails out to the floor. Back in and Sheamus grabs a headlock to take him to the mat but Riddle muscles him up into a gutwrench suplex. Sheamus hits the Irish Curse, only to have Riddle knock him outside for the flipping dive as we take a break. Back with Riddle winning a strike off and kicking Sheamus in the head. The Broton gets two but Sheamus is back up with a knee to the face for the same.

Sheamus goes up but Riddle catches him with a top rope exploder superplex. Riddle goes up this time but the Floating Bro hits knees. Another Irish Curse is countered into a rear naked choke, which is broken up as well. The Brogue Kick misses and Riddle grabs a bridging German suplex for two more. Riddle’s back gives out on the Bro Derek attempt though and Sheamus Brogue Kicks him for the pin at 12:48.

Rating: B-. I’ve been a Sheamus fan for a long time now but SHEAMUS??? Pinning Matt Riddle completely clean in a match with some stakes? This was a brutal and hard hitting match but they have these options and they picked Sheamus? For the life of me I don’t get this company at times and it can get rather head scratch inducing trying to make it work.

It’s time for A Moment Of Bliss with Randy Orton as the special guest. Orton isn’t interested in sitting so Bliss asks him if he was surprised about his win last night. Of course not, so Bliss asks about Orton and McIntyre burning the house down. Orton knows what that means and asks about the Fiend, but here’s McIntyre instead. The fight is on with a laughing Bliss sitting on the top rope.

The Claymore is loaded up but we’ve got the Fiend. Well at least the Fiend’s entrance, which Orton uses to escape. Orton knows what’s behind him though….and is actually smart enough to walk forward and fight with McIntyre instead of turning to face the Fiend. McIntyre is dropped onto the announcers’ table and Orton pounds away to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. Above all else, this show was miles better than last week and that’s what I needed out of it. There was a point to this and while I don’t get a lot of the booking choices, they did some things that made sense and advanced us towards Survivor Series. I still wouldn’t call it good as there were some bad matches, but you can see where they’re going for the pay per view. Just tighten some things up and get rid of some stupid ideas and we’ll be in for a pretty good show. This wasn’t great, but it was an upgrade and that’s what they were badly needing.

Results

AJ Styles b. Jeff Hardy – Phenomenal Forearm

Drew Gulak/Akira Tozawa b. Lucha House Party – Rollup to Dorado

Keith Lee b. Elias – Spirit Bomb

Hurt Business b. Retribution via DQ when Mustafa Ali used a chair

Drew McIntyre b. The Miz – Claymore

Lana b. Lacey Evans, Nikki Cross and Peyton Royce – Tower of Doom to Cross

Sheamus b. Matt Riddle – Brogue Kick

 

 

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