Monday Night Raw – November 16, 2020

Monday Night Raw
Date: November 16, 2020
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Samoa Joe, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips

It’s a big night was we have a pair of title matches, but it is also the go home show for Survivor Series. Drew McIntyre is challenging Randy Orton for the WWE Championship while New Day defends the Tag Team Titles against the Hurt Business. Other than that, we have a chance to see Lana drive through a table nine times in a row yet still being mostly fine the next week every single time. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Drew McIntyre to open things up. After seeing a clip of his showdown with Roman Reigns from Smackdown, Drew talks about Survivor Series being a Thanksgiving tradition (ignore Vince’s voiceovers talking about it being a Thanksgiving Eve Night Tradition, only on pay per view back in the day). It’s a great holiday because you have all of the food and all of the people you care about, like all of these people here.

The Thunder Dome has brought a lot of people together so how about we see him Claymore Randy Orton and win the WWE Championship tonight? He’s also thankful for the doubters because you just keep going and, while holding up three fingers, tell them to read between the lines (V? Vader Time?). Before we get to the title match tonight though, Drew talks about going to visit Roman Reigns, who is so stuck on himself that he needs a Claymore of his own.

Cue Randy Orton on the Titantron to interrupt though because he wants to say what he is thankful for too. Orton is thankful for being a 14 time WWE Champion. but he’s also thankful that the fine he received for touching Adam Pearce didn’t hurt him. He has been fined and suspended more than any wrestler under contract. Heck he has spent more time on his couch on suspension than 80% of the roster has spent in the ring. After all that though, he’s still here and is still the greatest wrestler ever.

Orton is ready to retain tonight, with Drew cutting him off by talking about the three most dangerous letters in wrestling. They know each other so well that they are finishing each other’s sentences, but tonight there is no 16 foot high Cell for McIntyre to fall from. Hold on though as we’re still not done because Miz and John Morrison need to interrupt.

Morrison plugs Miz and Mrs. and Miz says they will be ringside for the title match tonight. McIntyre says that isn’t a good idea but Miz says the possibilities of change are endless. Miz says we might see a title change tonight and it might end up with Miz as WWE Champion. Why else would the Fiend not have shown up last week other than being scared of the Miz? Morrison says McIntyre needs to understand that change is coming and Miz says the impatience cost him the title in the first place. The threat of violence puts Miz and Morrison on the floor but Miz promises to laugh all the way to the bank tonight.

I like everyone involved in this segment but WOW this felt long. It’s the annual “HAHA I MIGHT CASH IN TONIGHT” speech that we have to hear for a few weeks (if not months) before nothing happens, followed by a lull into a false sense of security and then the cash in. It gets really, really old but it’s how WWE books the stupid thing every year because they found something interesting years ago and now that’s what we get far more often than not.

We look at Lana going through a table eight straight times.

Lana has requested a six woman tag and explains her thinking to Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax. After more bad acting and line reciting, Lana goes into her speech about how she deserves to be here and gets laughed at, with Nia saying Lana better not tag herself in.

Nia Jax/Shayna Baszler/Lana vs. Asuka/Dana Brooke/Mandy Rose

Lana tries to start so Baszler tags herself in and knees Brooke down. Brooke is thrown outside so Jax can beat her up some more. This draws Mandy Rose over, with Baszler stomping the already injured arm onto the steps as we take a break. Back with Asuka coming back in to strike away at Baszler and Rose having been taken backstage due to the arm.

Nia makes a save so Brooke jumps on her back to no avail. The Asuka Lock is broken up so Baszler gets the Kirifuda Clutch, only to have Lana tag herself in. The referee breaks up the Clutch and Baszler is annoyed, especially as Lana kicks Asuka in the head for two. Asuka hits a kick of her own and the Asuka Lock makes Lana tap at 6:59.

Rating: D+. I know WWE thinks there is going to be some big moment where Lana gets her redemption, but she keeps losing over and over again, making it really hard to care about her in the first place. I’m sure that doesn’t matter in WWE logic, but it doesn’t make for the most thrilling story. Granted the two months of putting Lana through a table hasn’t helped either. Also, that seems like a way to write Rose off and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Asuka working twice.

Post match, it’s #9, despite Nia teasing that Lana is welcomed to the team now. I still can’t wait for that miraculous moment where Lana does one thing and it makes up for the last two months plus of this stuff.

In a completely unique and separate story from the women’s Survivor Series team not getting along, we recap the men’s team arguing last week and coming to blows as a result.

The men’s team is arguing again, this time over nicknames, so AJ Styles offers them matching t-shirts. Lee: “Am I supposed to wear this on my bicep?” The rest of the team leaves but Riddle comes back with a nickname for AJ’s friend. AJ: “Don’t even look at him.” Riddle seems to call the giant Armos (or something like that) and AJ asks if they have been talking. AJ: “Of course not. You don’t even speak English.” Giant: “Of course I do.” AJ: “….I have so many questions.”

Reckoning jumps Dana Brooke in the back and lays her out. Well it would be an upgrade.

It’s time for the Firefly Fun House, where Bray Wyatt talks about how annoying Miz is. He’d go so far as to say Miz isn’t that nice. Bray wants to face Miz tonight, and Miz doesn’t want to see Bray’s bad side. It’s short notice, but Bray’s friends are here to prepare him for tonight. We get a TRAINING MONTAGE of Bray getting ready, including Bray training in agility (by being blindfolded and beating up his friends), spelling (Bliss: “Your word is jacka**.” Bray: “Jacka**. M-I-Z.”), and accuracy (throwing darts at Ramblin Rabbit, even scoring a Rabbit’s Heart (instead of a bull’s eye you see)). Bray is ready.

Here’s Hurt Business for a chat before the Tag Team Title match. MVP says Sunday is about the best vs. the best and there is no one better than the Hurt Business. On Sunday, Bobby Lashley will crush Sami Zayn and after tonight, the Hurt Business is ready to go defend their newly won Tag Team Titles. Cue New Day to interrupt with Kofi saying Montel Vontavious Portier is lying a lot. The best vs. the best means that it’s going to be New Day on Sunday so Kofi calls them the Jerk Business. Xavier gets in the catchphrase and calls the Hurt Business jerks too because everyone needs to talk tonight.

Tag Team Titles: New Day vs. Hurt Business

Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander are challenging for the Hurt Business. Cedric Gator Rolls Kofi to start but Kofi is back up with a running clothesline for two. It’s off to Woods for a fist drop for two but Shelton comes in for a hard shoulder. Woods scores with a discus forearm though and hammers away in the corner until Shelton shoves him down without much effort. A spinebuster gives Shelton two and Alexander’s dropkick gets the same.

The chinlock doesn’t last long either as Woods fights away and gets the hot tag off to Kingston. A high crossbody gets two on Shelton but the Boom Drop is countered into a buckle bomb. The powerbomb/top rope clothesline combination gets two on Kofi and we take a break. We come back with King fighting out of a chinlock but getting caught on top. Shelton gets shoved off the top though and it’s the top rope DDT to put them both down again.

The hot tag brings in Woods, who missile dropkicks Alexander down for two. It’s back to Kofi for the top rope double stomp on Alexander for two more with Shelton making the save. Kofi is sent outside and Alexander’s suicide dive….I guess connects, even though it was mostly him crashing into the barricade.

Another dive doesn’t go far enough and is more Alexander flailing to smack Woods in the head. Back in and Alexander hits a fast brainbuster for two with Woods having to make a save. Kofi scores with a surprise Trouble in Paradise to Alexander, setting up the Day Break (backbreaker/top rope double stomp from Woods) to retain at 16:49.

Rating: B. I wasn’t feeling this one before the break but it picked up a lot in the end. In a way I was hoping to see the titles change hands, but at the end of the day I can understand why they went with New Day vs. the Street Profits after it has been set up for a few weeks. The Hurt Business is going to be fine with Lashley as their ace, but having them win another big match might be a good idea.

Sheamus talks to Drew McIntyre about their history together and Drew’s Scottish ancestry. He even has a present for McIntyre, in a near treasure chest. It appears to be ring gear, which Drew says he never thought he would see again. Sheamus even throws in a sword for good measure and wishes Drew luck tonight.

Retribution talks about how even a pawn can overthrow a king and they are always a step ahead of their competition. They are ready for Team Raw tonight because Team Raw is all the same: spineless cowards waiting to stab each other in the back. All Retribution has to do is stand back and let the team self destruct. Mustafa Ali hopes the so called captain is there to watch.

Retribution vs. Team Raw

AJ Styles is on commentary. Riddle takes Slapjack down to start so it’s quickly off to T-Bar, who is taken into the corner. Keith Lee gets kicked off the apron so Riddle suplexes T-Bar down into the Broton for one (AJ: “He just kicked out at one? Wow.”). The fighting begins as Sheamus breaks up Strowman’s tag attempt and the argument is on, with AJ intervening but getting shoved into the giant as we take a break.

Back with Riddle in trouble and AJ complaining about the triple teaming. Ali comes in with some shots to the face and asks if AJ is watching this. A neckbreaker gets two on Riddle and a big boot is good for the same. Shatter slips out of an ankle lock in a hurry and a kick to the head sets up the hot tag to Lee. House is cleaned, including Lee swinging Shatter into the rest of Retribution.

Lee is sent outside where Mace and T-Bar hold Lee in place for a dive from Ali. That’s good for two back inside, with Lee powering out in a big way. Strowman runs people over on the floor as Lee spinebusters Ali. Sheamus tags himself in but so does Strowman, meaning the argument is on. Strowman shoves Sheamus over the top so Riddle tags himself back in, only to have Strowman shove him down. In the melee, Ali shoves Riddle into Strowman and gets the rollup pin at 12:04. That’s two Survivor Series preview matches and two blind tags that have backfired. Come on already.

Rating: C-. Good. These morons deserve to lose after having the same argument one week after another. I’m still not sure why WWE is expecting its fans to care that OH NO RAW MIGHT NOT BE ON THE SAME PAGE FOR A ONE OFF MATCH but that’s been the case for years. They try to build this up in a similar way every year and my goodness it makes things very tiring.

Nikki Cross says that was the Fiend talking last week instead of Alexa Bliss. She’s going to save her friend.

Jeff Hardy is annoyed at a flier Elias has put up asking for information about the car running him over back in May. Hardy says his flier making skills are as good as his music.

Post break Hardy comes in to yell at Elias and even grabs his beard while shouting that he’s innocent. Hardy threatens him with something a lot worse if Elias doesn’t quit talking. Hardy: “CAN I GET AN AMEN BROTHER???”

Here are Miz and John Morrison, with the former saying that there is no reason for him to fight Bray Wyatt tonight. They have both done some bad things to each other, like when Bray sent a demonic doll to Miz’s one year old daughter and then Miz said some mean things. They shouldn’t have the match tonight because they should team up in the main event. Miz wants the title and Wyatt wants Orton so they should combine forces.

Alexa Bliss comes out to say he says no, but here’s Nikki cross to say Fiend is bad for her. Bliss says she’s right and slaps the heck out of Cross so the brawl can be on. Cue Bray Wyatt as Cross leaves and Bliss is rather happy. Maybe Bray can get the idea through Nikki’s head already.

Miz vs. Bray Wyatt

Bray offers a handshake to start, saying he will forgive Miz. The handshake doesn’t go so well and Miz hammers away, only to get run over (Bray: “OOPSIE!”). Miz hammers him onto the ropes so Morrison can get in a cheap shot, earning himself a hard stare. Bliss glares at Morrison and Bray chokes Miz down. The head to the floor with Bray sending him into the steps and shrugging off a boot to the face back inside.

A top rope ax handle into a DDT works better for Miz, though Bray is up at one anyway. The YES Kicks wake Bray up again and he runs Miz over, followed by the release Rock Bottom. Morrison offers a distraction so Bliss runs him over the barricade. Miz hits the running corner clothesline….and Bray just stares at him. Sister Abigail is good for the pin at 4:45.

Rating: D+. So that happened, as Fiend continues to be standing off to the side and sneering at McIntyre and Orton doing their thing. The Miz stuff continues to be rather annoying, which I get is kind of the point, though I never need to hear another I MIGHT CASH IN tease as long as I live. Nothing match of course, mainly because Bray doesn’t need to sweat Miz no matter what.

Post match Bliss pops up with an evil smile and stands on the barricade. Bray and Bliss go to leave….and the Fiend’s lights hit. Fiend pops up on screen and they stare up at him.

We get a video on Orton vs. McIntyre, focusing on the road that both took to get here, including clips from their early careers. McIntyre has taken a hard road to get here while Orton has been willing to do whatever he needed to get to the top. We see Orton winning the title and after the beginning and middle, everything ends tonight.

We look at Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose being taken out earlier.

Adam Pearce announces that Brooke and Rose are out of Survivor Series (which commentary told us earlier). Their replacements are Lacey Evans and Peyton Royce, which is quite the upgrade….I think.

Asuka rants about no one being ready for her.

Survivor Series rundown. Tom says this is the one night of the year where Raw goes head to head. On the same show where we recapped Raw’s Drew McIntyre beating Smackdown’s Jey Uso.

Angel Garza talks about how the women of the world are the roses in the garden. He sees himself as the thorn protecting their beauty and will protect his special rose.

Nia Jax isn’t sure why Shayna Baszler stomped on Mandy Rose’s arm so hard. Baszler points out that Nia put Lana through a table four nine weeks before saying they’re the only ones who matter. Lacey Evans and Peyton Royce come in and say they should talk strategy but get glared away. Nia: “This is the worst idea since Quibi.” To be fair it had been a full thirty minutes since the team bickered.

Raw World Title: Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton

McIntyre is challenging and comes to the ring in a kilt with a big sword. They lock up to start and McIntyre wastes no time in hitting the Glasgow Kiss. A spinebuster puts Orton on the floor and he tries to leave, only to get caught in a hurry. Back in and the Claymore misses so Orton bails to the floor again. Orton picks up the title and goes to leave….but here’s Adam Pearce to say the match will continue with no countouts or disqualifications.

We come back with Orton hitting the backbreaker and rolling to the floor to grab a chair. Said chair is driven into McIntyre’s recently healed jaw and Orton takes him outside for a step shot to the head. After the stomp in the ring, Orton heads outside again and drops McIntyre onto the announcers’ table a few times without breaking it (McIntyre is no Lana).

McIntyre fights back and drops Orton onto the announcers’ table twice in a row and the thing still won’t break (McIntyre is also no Nia Jax). The Claymore misses and McIntyre slides onto the announcers’ table as we take another break. Back again with a table having been set up at ringside and McIntyre fighting out of a chinlock. The belly to belly overhead sets up the nipup but Orton catches McIntyre on top.

Orton gets two off the superplex but McIntyre gets the same off a backslide. There’s the Future Shock for two more and Orton is sent to the apron, with a right hand putting him through the table. That gets two back inside but the Claymore is countered into a powerslam. They head outside with Orton hitting the hanging DDT off of the announcers’ table. Back in and another hanging DDT drops McIntyre….who is right back up with the Claymore for the pin and the title at 23:49.

Rating: B. They got me on that ending as I would not have bet on the title change going down. It’s nice to see something like that happen for a surprise though and above all else, they give the fans a much more interesting Survivor Series main event. Orton winning the title again for such a short reign does feel like padding his stats, but at least we are back where we should be, and with quite the surprise. The match was good as you would have expected too, which is always a nice bonus.

McIntyre celebrates and tells Roman Reigns to make a seat at the table for him to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. I don’t remember the last time I saw a show as back and forth as this one. The wrestling was pretty good with the two title matches delivering, but e pluribus gads it was rough watching everything else. Survivor Series has been my favorite pay per view for a long time now and they have managed to make me dread the build most years because of stuff like this. So much of this show was spent bickering and arguing about how much the teams dislike each other and that’s not a good way to make a show seem important. It’s going to come and go and we’ll forget it, which isn’t a good sign.

Other than that though, I liked certain parts of the show (Money in the Bank stuff aside). I want to know where the Fiend stuff is going and the title change at the end was a great surprise. In other words, when they did stuff that doesn’t feel like the same storylines they wrote years ago being rehashed, it’s a much better show. Survivor Series needs to come to an end already, but at least the title change was nice.

Results

Asuka/Mandy Rose/Dana Brooke b. Lana/Nia Jax/Shayna Baszler – Asuka Lock to Lana

New Day b. Hurt Business – Day Break to Alexander

Retribution b. Team Raw – Rollup to Riddle

Bray Wyatt b. The Miz – Sister Abigail

Drew McIntyre b. Randy Orton – Claymore

 

 

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