TJR: The WWE Raw Deal 09/21/20 Review

Welcome to the WWE Raw Deal review. It’s the last Raw before Sunday’s WWE Clash of Champions pay-per-view.
From the WWE ThunderDome at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1426 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage, insightful columns from our team along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present. Let’s roll.
There were technical difficulties during the show open to show that there were problems caused by Retribution. The show began with Retribution entering the ring. They had masks on, but now we could see their faces. There were promos from Mia Yim and Dominik Dijakovic. You can tell it was Mia because the mask was clear on the bottom of her face. The announcers didn’t mention her name. You could also tell that Mercedes Martinez was another woman in the ring. The announcers noted that they have signed contracts with WWE now. Dijakovic did a promo about how they will make us pay for our sins because they are the judge, jury and executioners.
The Hurt Business foursome of MVP, Bobby Lashley, Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander showed up for a fight. When they got into the ring, Retribution left the ring. MVP said that they have an opportunity tonight against The Hurt Business. Lashley said that they will beat them down and they will look good while doing it. There were more Retribution members that showed up around the ring and they were mostly masked people.

That led to a brawl between the Hurt Business group and Retribution, which had about 15 members or more. There was a double Chokeslam on Lashley by the two big guys Dijakovic and Dio Maddin and then the show went to break.
Analysis: That was an odd time to take a break. It’s also strange that the announcers didn’t name the Retribution wrestlers in the ring even though fans of NXT would know who they are. Come on WWE. NXT airs on the same network as Raw and we're supposed to act like fans have no idea who these wrestlers are? It's ridiculous. Anyway, at least there is some progress made in the stable as we learn more by seeing their faces. The cheesy look of the Retribution members is going to make people laugh more than be scared of them, I think.

There was a replay with the announcers noting that the five Retribution members are signed to deals by WWE. They still didn’t mention their names (we would find out some names later).
The announce team this week is Tom Phillips, who is back after two weeks, Byron Saxton and Jerry “The King” Lawler filling in for Samoa Joe, who missed last week as well. I hope this means Joe is close to wrestling again, but I don't know if that's the case.
There was a backstage interview with Rey Mysterio, plus his wife and daughter. Rey said he made his mark as a Tag Team Champion in WWE and now it will be his honor to see his son Dominik go for the tag team titles.

The Raw Tag Team Champions are the Street Profits and they made their entrance to watch the next match as part of the commentary team.
The three teams entered for the triple threat tag team match with Angel Garza and Andrade entered without Zelina Vega. Seth Rollins entered with Murphy, who looked nervous around Rollins as we got highlights of Rollins yelling at Murphy and beating him up last week. Rollins had a smirk on his face telling Murphy they had a big opportunity. The third team consisting of Humberto Carrillo and Dominik Mysterio were up last.

Dominik Mysterio and Humberto Carrillo vs. Andrade and Angel Garza vs. Seth Rollins and Murphy
The winners of this match get to challenge Street Profits for the Raw Tag Team Championships at Clash of Champions on Sunday. Three guys in the ring at once while the other three are on the apron.
Murphy worked over Carrillo with an armbar, then Carrillo sent Murphy out of the ring and Garza stomped on Carrillo. Andrade did his rope pose as he and Murphy stomped on Carrillo. There was some offense from Carrillo as he sent Andrade out of the ring and an enziguri kick on Murphy. Dominik and Carrillo each hit dives at the same time on the floor. That was pretty cool. Dominik hit a Sunset Bomb on Andrade for a two count as Garza saved his partner. Murphy whipped Garza into Dominik to knock them out of the ring. Andrade with a back elbow on Murphy, but then Murphy hit a jumping knee to the face of Andrade. Rollins was looking around the ring as Murphy got near him, but then Rollins walked off the apron and said he had more important things going on. Rollins left the match and walked to the back. Andrade with the back elbow to the face of Murphy and then Garza hit the Wing Clipper on Murphy for the pinfall win after about six minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Andrade and Angel Garza

Analysis: **1/2 It was a fine match for the time given. I figured they would get more time, but Raw has been having some matches going shorter of late. This means that Andrade and Garza are more functional as a team without Zelina Vega yelling at them. There was also the story of Rollins quitting on Murphy to end that union for now although that’s a story that changes all the time. I’m not sure where Carrillo or Dominik were for the finishing sequence (they were still selling), but they were taken out of it and that led to Garza finishing off Murphy.
The win means that Andrade and Garza will challenge the Street Profits for the Raw Tag Team Titles at Clash of Champions. I think a title change is very possible.
They showed Shane McMahon outside the Raw Underground door talking to big man Jordan. Shane said he’s going on the KO Show and told Jordan to watch the door.

PLUG TIME: There’s a special section on TJRWrestling where I have a listing of every WWE PPV that I have reviewed listed in order by the date it took place. As you can see there, I have reviewed a lot of WWE PPVs over the years. I plan on having them all reviewed by next year at some point. Just added on Monday: WWE Vengeance 2002. It’s a show that has an incredible main event as The Undertaker defended the WWE Title against The Rock and Kurt Angle. It really is one of the best triple threat matches I’ve ever seen. The crowd was hot for it. Keep visiting because I plan to continue to post retro PPV reviews whenever I can although obviously writing about the current shows keeps me busy too.
The Retribution five-person group stood backstage with Dijakovic talking about how Hurt Business makes money off WWE and they will be paid in retribution. It was a setup for a match later in the show.
Kevin Owens Show with Shane McMahon as the Guest
Kevin Owens was in the ring to host the KO Show with two leather chairs in the ring along with the black carpet. Owens said that last time he hosted his talk show he was attacked (by Aleister Black), but he took care of him last week. Owens introduced his guest as somebody he never thought he would give this platform to…none other than Shane McMahon.
Shane McMahon made his entrance to his “Here Comes the Money” theme song. It was nearly one year ago when Owens beat Shane in a “Loser Leaves WWE” style match on the first Smackdown on Fox episode.

Owens said he couldn’t believe Shane was on the KO Show. Owens brought up how they tried to enjoy eachother for two years, he got Shane fired and now he’s back…but that’s all water under the bridge. Owens said tonight is about what Shane does best, which is promoting because that is what the McMahon’s do. Shane plugged Raw Underground with Dabba Kato and Braun Strowman as he talked about both guys. Shane brought out Dabba Kato, who Owens knows quite well since Kato took a shot at Owens on Raw Underground a few weeks ago.
Dabba Kato made his entrance. I should point out that WWE spelling is Dabba-Kato with the dash in the name, but I’ll leave the dash out.
Owens told Shane this is why he wanted Shane on the KO Show because he knew Dabba Kato wouldn’t be far behind. Owens said that he remembers what Kato did to him two weeks ago. Owens told Kato he knows he is focused on Braun, but Owens told Kato that they are going to do this at some point. Until then, Owens gave him something to chew on with a hard slap to the face. Shane held Kato back as Owens introduced Braun Strowman.

Braun Strowman made his entrance while Dabba Kato waited for him in the ring. Shane told Strowman to calm it down and said that if they want this fight then it’s happening only on Raw Underground in the back, not out here. Shane stood between the two guys, so nothing happened. Meanwhile, Aleister Black showed up at ringside and drove KO’s groin into the ring post multiple times. Owens was down selling while Black stood tall over him.
Analysis: It was just a way to tease the Strowman/Kato fight later in the night. That was promoted heavily from last week, so it was another chance for WWE to talk about it. I liked the Owens and Shane promos where they acknowledged their past. Poor Owens getting attacked by Black continues that rivalry.
Drew McIntyre, the WWE Champion, was shown walking backstage with Charly Caruso asking him if he had concerns about competing with a fractured jaw. Drew said “yeah” and he understood Keith Lee wanting to beat him because it’s about competition. Drew said one day they will have drinks about it, but for now they are going to beat the hell out of eachother and those drinks will be on Drew when he beats his friend Keith. That match is next.
This Wednesday on NXT: Kushida vs. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Bronson Reed vs. Timothy Thatcher vs. Cameron Grimes in a Gauntlet Eliminator Match. Also, a women’s battle royal. Both matches will lead to title matches for the winners.

There was a backstage scene where Retribution members were shown beating up random WWE superstars like Titus O’Neil, Humberto Carrillo and some others.
Keith Lee vs. Drew McIntyre
This is not for McIntyre’s WWE Title. It looks like Lee has settled in on the singlet look, which is probably for the best. McIntyre had Lee in a headlock, then Lee broke free and hit a running shoulderblock that sent McIntyre over the top to the floor. They battled on the floor with hard chops by both guys and McIntyre slammed Lee onto the announce table like Randy Orton tends to do and that led to a break. The table did not break.

The match returned with Lee working over McIntyre with punches, two corner splashes and McIntyre tried to lift the big man up, but he couldn’t do it. McIntyre with a boot to the face, then he bounced off the ropes with Lee crushing him with a hard forearm to the jaw. Drew was grabbing his jaw to sell the injury while Lee was unsure about things as he looked his friend McIntyre grabbing his jaw. Lee was reluctant to follow up, so Drew countered a Spirit Bomb attempt with a headscissors and McIntyre followed up with a spinebuster for two. McIntyre was grabbing his jaw to sell the injury he had going into the match. McIntyre hit a neckbreaker for a two count. Lee countered a DDT attempt by driving McIntyre into the turnbuckle. Lee charged, McIntyre got an elbow up, McIntyre charged and Lee hit a huge spinebuster for a two count. That was impressive considering how big of a man Drew McIntyre is. Lee with strikes to the face followed by a running clothesline for a two count. Lee tried for the Spirit Bomb, McIntyre slipped out of it and McIntyre hit the Claymore Kick. That led to Randy Orton showing up from behind (out of nowhere) with a steel chair to the back of McIntyre two times for the DQ finish after 12 minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Drew McIntyre
Analysis: *** It was a pretty good match that went longer than I thought they would go before the obvious interruption. I thought Drew did an awesome job of selling the jaw injury. They worked well together with some impressive athleticism shown by both guys, who are big dudes and move around the ring easily. From my Raw preview on Monday: "My gut feeling here is that Randy Orton is going to show up to attack both guys, which leads to a DQ finish again." It’s a win for Drew since Orton attacked him first, but Orton did attack both guys as I mentioned.
Analysis x2: The non-finish booking of Keith Lee on Raw continues. Here’s a recap without including Lee’s clean win over Randy Orton at Payback on August 30. This is Raw only:
Sept 14 - No Contest vs. Drew due to Retribution
Sept 7 - DQ vs. Orton
Aug 31 - Triple threat loss when Rollins got pinned by Orton
Aug 31 - Lee over Ziggler
Aug 24 - DQ vs. Orton
This Lee match ended in a DQ (win by Drew McIntyre) when Orton attacked Drew McIntyre. It’s not good for a guy to be in so many matches without a finish, but I do understand WWE wanting to keep Lee strong. It’s just lame to see most of Lee’s matches ending the same way.

Post match, Orton jabbed the chair against the jaw of McIntyre since the story is that McIntyre had the fractured jaw. McIntyre rolled out of the ring as Orton tossed the chair to the floor. Orton hit The Punt on Lee as well. If you watch that in slow motion you can see Orton doesn’t even touch him when he does that. They showed replays and the Thunderdome crowd booing Orton for his actions. Orton had an evil grin on his face.
Analysis: A cheap heel attack from Orton that was fitting for him. I think Orton winning the WWE Title at Clash of Champions is very possible and since Keith Lee beat Orton clean at Payback, that’s a title feud they can do later in the year.

There were replays of the Randy Orton attack in the previous segment.
Let’s Hear from Randy Orton
Orton said shame on all of you for doubting that he wouldn’t make it to Clash of Champions. Orton talked about how 20 years in WWE and he’s the one constant in that locker room. Orton said he doesn’t walk away from a world title match. Orton noted that this isn’t exactly a normal world title match as he stared at the ambulance located by the ramp.
Orton walked over to the ambulance to continue the promo as he opened up the doors. Orton said that he took a ride in this ambulance a few weeks ago after Drew McIntyre gave him three Claymores, so they put Orton in the back of that ambulance. Orton said that the sirens were blaring, he could barely see straight and what came over him is the feeling of what it feels like to be taken out by the Legend Killer. This is what Edge, Christian, Big Show, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair and Drew McIntyre felt like when he kicked them in the skull. Orton said he wasn’t smiling because he was enjoying the pain that Drew put him in, but because he remembered what he is capable of and what it takes to become WWE Champion. Orton said that this ambulance represents different things to different people like hope or healing, but for others, it represents pain, agony and even death. Orton said to him it represents his 14th World Championship. Orton said he’ll make sure that Drew takes one more ride in this ambulance and make sure that his World Title reign flatlines courtesy of the three most dangerous letters in sports entertainment – RKO. Orton slammed the ambulance doors shut to end the promo.
Analysis: A very good promo from Orton, who has done the best promo work of his career in 2020. As noted earlier, I think Orton is going to win the WWE Championship at Clash of Champions, but it’s not a lock. I’ll have more on that in the preview.
Asuka was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber, who asked if Mickie James or Zelina Vega was a bigger threat to her Raw Women’s Title. Billie Kay showed up saying that Asuka was willing to compete against anyone who asks for a title shot. Peyton Royce showed up saying she can get an opportunity. Asuka asked if Billie and Peyton are still friends with Billie saying they are still friends. Asuka said that at Clash of Champions, no one is ready for Asuka, but tonight she is ready for Peyton and Asuka left.
Zelina Vega made her entrance for a match.
Mickie James made her entrance. Prior to that, a replay was shown of the referee calling off last week’s Mickie/Asuka match too early. There were pre-match comments from Mickie saying she fought Asuka with everything, she did not give up and when it comes to that Raw Women’s Championship, she will never give up. Mickie said that Vega better be ready to back up that trash talk because tonight she will find out what it’s like to clash with a real champion.

Mickie James vs. Zelina Vega
The winner faces Asuka for the Raw Women’s Title at Clash of Champions. Vega sent James into the turnbuckle leading to a boot to the face. James sent Vega down by the hair including a spinning hair toss. James off the ropes with a running kick to the face for two. Vega countered a suplex into a rollup for two. Vega went off the ropes and slapped on a submission with her legs around the neck while pulling back on the arm. James backed into the turnbuckle to break free. Vega with a jumping kick, James blocked a kick and Vega did a slow headscissors where they messed up a pin attempt, but then James got a pin attempt for two. Vega with a head whip into the mat and Vega tied up James in the ropes. James blocked a DDT off the ropes, then a clothesline, a kick to the face and a running forearm. James with a flapjack and James said “7-time” referring to one more title win to make it seven in her WWE career. James with a seated senton off the top for a two count. Good nearfall there. James with a kick to the gut, but Vega avoided the DDT and sent James into the ropes. Vega held the arms into the Backstabber for the pinfall win after four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Zelina Vega
Analysis: *3/4 It was okay with a decent ending although it had some sloppy moments before that. Vega was off on a few spots, at least to me. I figured Vega would win after her promo last week and since James lost to Asuka last week. Vega winning clean was the right call because even though she was a heel, she needed the clean win for the sake of her credibility. I realize that the bosses like Vega as a talker and a character, but I don’t think she’s at the same level in the ring as some of the better women in WWE. I prefer Vega as a manager.

The win by Vega means she is facing Asuka for the Raw Women’s Title at Clash of Champions and it was announced that it would be on the Kickoff Show.
Analysis: I think Asuka winning that match is very likely.
There was a backstage scene with The Hurt Business guys beating up Retribution guys that had masks on. The Hurt Business foursome were all standing tall while the Retribution guys were on the ground. They were not the main Retribution guys, but rather they were the extras. MVP left with Cedric Alexander for a match while Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin stood tall.

There was a video about Bianca Belair that showed her working out at the WWE Performance Center. She was more impressive than some random guy that was there.
Analysis: That’s great that Bianca Belair is a talented athlete. I know that. She’s also underused. It doesn’t make up for the fact that the creative team has done nothing with her for five months since she joined Raw after WrestleMania. Do your job better, creative team.
There was an “Earlier Today” scene with R-Truth at the beach with “Little Jimmy” while Akira Tozawa the ninja was there with a referee trying to find him. Truth lost his 24/7 Title somewhere because of a shark, but then he went back 20 minutes later. The tide brought the 24/7 Title back to Truth while Tozawa got “devoured” by the shark.
Analysis: I like R-Truth and most of his comedy works for me, but this was bad. Really bad. How did this make the show? Brutal.
Cedric Alexander entered for a match while MVP was in a suit. MVP said that they are The Hurt Business and they are the executioners. Cedric said he learned the hard way that when you send a message to the Hurt Business, you can expect a message back ten-fold. Alexander said that he’s going to show Apollo Crews that he didn’t give a damn about him or his kids.

Apollo Crews entered with Ricochet by his side. Crews said he didn’t think he would see this side of Cedric. Crews said they don’t even care anymore why Cedric did what he did and all he cares about is punching him in the face. Crews said he’ll get back the US Title at Clash of Champions when he faces champion Bobby Lashley. That led to this match presented by Domino’s Pizza.
Cedric Alexander (w/Montel Vontavious Porter) vs. Apollo Crews (w/Ricochet)
Crews with a jumping kick to the head, then Cedric left to the floor and Crews hit a baseball slide dropkick to send Cedric into the barricade.

The match returned with Cedric in control with a running dropkick. Cedric grabbed a waistlock on the mat, Crews fought back with elbows and Cedric hit a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Cedric charged, Crews kicked him in the back of the neck and Crews hit a cross body block off the ropes. Crews with running forearms, then he sent Alexander into the ropes and a corner splash by Crews. There was a lifting Samoan Drop by Crews for a two count. Cedric avoided an attack on the floor and then Cedric hit a suicide dive that crushed Crews against the barricade. Cedric got in Ricochet’s face to tell him to back up, then back in the ring and Crews did a cradle hooking the arms for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Apollo Crews
Analysis: **3/4 It was a competitive match with Crews getting the close win rather than a decisive finish for him. Since Crews is getting the US Title match at Clash of Champions, he should get the win here. If a match goes eight minutes they should show it all instead of only five minutes of it, but that’s just how WWE books these things.
Post match, Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin showed up, so Cedric and MVP attacked Crews and Ricochet from behind. They sent Crews and Ricochet into the barricade at ringside. Lashley put the Hurt Lock full nelson on Crews since they’re wrestling at Clash of Champions.

Analysis: The Hurt Business lost the match when Cedric got pinned by Crews, but they stood tall post match with Lashley looking dominant over Crews. I would be surprised if Lashley lost the US Title at Clash of Champions on Sunday.
Raw Underground
Shane McMahon was backstage to host Raw Underground as usual. It was Arturo Ruas facing Dolph Ziggler. Ruas managed to slam Ziggler and he went for an armbar, but Ziggler fought out of it. There were a lot of people surrounding the “ring” acting all excited about the fight. Ziggler with punches, then he went for the sleeper hold and Ruas got out of that. Ruas went for a leg submission, Ziggler put his fingers in the mouth to break free and Ziggler slapped on a tight sleeper with Ruas tapping out to lose.
Analysis: This was pretty good for a Raw Underground fight. Ruas got in some offense, but Ziggler took him down multiple times with a sleeper/chokehold that looked believable.
Braun Strowman told Shane McMahon he didn’t want to talk to him and then a woman named Briana Brandy asked Braun a question. Braun said that he is sending every one of Shane’s guys home and threatened Shane as well.

Let’s Hear from Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins made his entrance with an envelope with the announcers noting that earlier in the night, Seth said he had better things to do, so we’ll find out what that is.
Rollins said that he has had the Mysterio family’s number for a long time now. Rollins said when he beat Dominik last week in a steel cage, he thought he was free of the torment that the Mysterio family has put him through. Rollins noted that posted a series of photographs of the Mysterio family this week and it was like a lightbulb went off, so the world has to know the truth. Rollins said that it’s hard for him to do it justice with just words.
Rollins called for a photograph of Rey, wife Angie, Dominik and Aalyah, which was put on the screen. Rollins said that they deserve the truth, so he had some people do some digging and he has the results of that investigation. Rollins invited the Mysterio Family to come on out there in person because they are going to want to hear this.
Rey Mysterio made his entrance with Dominik, Angie and Aalyah were with Rey. Rey said they are tired of Seth’s mind games and they intend to give him a beating just like they did to Murphy.

Rollins said that he has truly grown to respect the Mysterio family and what they stand for. Rollins noted that he was inspired by them, they stand together, cheer eachother on and overcome adversity together. Rollins said that is why they deserve the truth. Rollins said that he had the results of a DNA test. Rollins said he knows this has been done before and he wondered if Rey Mysterio was Dominik’s father. The Rey Mysterio/Eddie Guerrero storyline in 2005 was all about this. Rey said that he didn’t want to hear this BS. Rollins said that they deserve the truth.
Rollins opened up the envelope, took out a piece of paper and said: “The results of the DNA test are conclusive – Rey Mysterio is NOT the father.” Rollins laughed. I'm sure Maury Povich loved it too.
Rey said that Seth really brought them out for that. Rey said it didn’t work back then and it’s not going to work now. Rey told Seth to stop running his family’s name through the mud. Rollins said that maybe he made a mistake, but maybe it’s not Dominik who isn’t Rey’s son, maybe it is Aalyah who is not Rey’s daughter. Rollins said if this paternity test isn’t enough, he’s got concrete evidence to back it up.
There was a clip from last week’s Steel Cage Match on Raw when Aalyah put her hand on Murphy while he was on the floor and before she joined her family in the ring. Rollins said that wasn’t something a Mysterio would do because she was consoling his disciple Murphy. Rollins wondered what was going on there. Rey said that you don’t talk to Aalyah. Rey said that he already spoke to his daughter about that, but he raised his daughter to be caring and compassionate, which Seth knows nothing about it and told Seth to keep Rey’s daughter’s name out of his mouth. Rey said that she is just 19 years old, she’s naïve and knows nothing about their world. Aalyah looked at Rey as if she was not happy about what he said, so she walked to the back alone and Angie went with her. Rey and Dominik left as well.

Rollins said he just came out there to inform, not drive a wedge in the Mysterio family and it was not his intention at all. Rollins said even a family as strong as the Mysterio family, it can happen to them too. Seth said he’s sure it has happened to some of our families and he said he is sorry.  When Rollins was walking up the ramp, he had an evil smirk on his face as if to show that he was proud of what he did.
Analysis: This dragged on too long. I certainly didn’t expect a paternity angle in 2020. In case you’re wondering about the 2005 angle, they said that Dominik was Eddie’s son. Dominik is obviously Rey’s real son, but that’s what the angle was. Hopefully that’s the end of this paternity angle story in the present day, but it was a follow up to what happened after the cage match last week. It is more mind games from Rollins to mess with the Mysterio family that now involves Aalyah more in the story. Good promo work from Seth and Rey as usual, but it was too much talking.

The Riott Squad duo of Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan were on commentary for this match since they challenge Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler for the Women’s Tag Team Titles at Clash of Champions.
Natalya and Lana vs. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler
Jax was sent into the corner as Natalya and Lana tried to attack, but Jax bounced back quickly with a headbutt on Lana. Baszler knocked Natalya off the apron and Baszler hit a spinning slam on Lana leading to the Kirifuda Clutch for the submission win after one minute.
Winners by submission: Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler
Analysis: 1/4* A quick match to put over the champions while Lana lost as usual. At least these champions don’t lose non-title like some other champions in WWE.
Post match, Jax and Baszler left the ring to go after Riott and Morgan. Jax lifted up Morgan, Riott punched Jax and the Riott Squad broke free. Jax got a hold of Lana and gave her a Samoan Drop through the announce table just like she did last week. The champs stood tall while the Riott Squad backed up.
Analysis: I’ve seen complaints about how Lana has gone through a table two weeks in a row as if it is punishment for her husband Miro working for AEW now. Maybe it is, but I don’t think it’s a big deal. Lana is enhancement talent in WWE when she’s in a match and a manager when she’s not in a match. She loses nearly every match she is in because she's a heel that is overconfident. When WWE pushed her heavily in the Lashley storyline, people hated it, rejected it and it didn’t help Miro/Rusev at all. It’s just a way to put over Jax as a dominant wrestler. Lana signed a huge five-year extension late last year so that she can lose short matches. If you check out her Instagram, she lives in a huge house in LA. She’ll be fine. It’s not like everybody can get a push.

Drew McIntyre was shown in the trainer’s room with an ice pack on his jaw. Drew said he was feeling good, he’ll defend the WWE Title at Clash of Champions and beat the piss out of Orton. McIntyre said as for tonight, he’s going to pick a fight and he left.
There was a backstage scene with The Mysterio Family with Aalyah telling Rey that she can speak for herself. Aalyah said that she was there to support Dominik, now Rey is hurt, Dominik has gotten hurt (not really an injury) and they don’t know what Seth will do to her or mom. Aalyah fired back with Rey’s words that she is a naïve 19-year-old girl and she left. Rey wanted to follow her, but Angie held him back.
Raw Underground
It was time for Riddick Moss against Erik of the Viking Raiders. Erik had a waistlock early on, but then Moss got a lifting takedown. Erik took down Moss with a side takeover. They exchanged worked punches, then Erik hit a forearm strike and then a German Suplex. Moss got back up with a right hand punch to the face, then some more punches and he won.
Analysis: That was fine. The fights have been better this week in terms of the presentation. I don’t like all of the camera cuts that are annoying, but I have gotten used to it.
Dabba Kato was asked what they can expect in the main event. Kato said that talk is cheap and you will feel what Dabba Kato is all about.
Asuka, the Raw Women’s Champion, entered for a non-title match.

There was another reminder that Mandy Rose is coming to Raw after being traded from Smackdown. Tom Phillips said that there was a “huge trade” even though it’s been two weeks with no details provided.
Peyton Royce (w/Billie Kay) vs. Asuka
Billie Kay is supporting Royce even though their team ended and Royce threw her into the Raw Underground “ring” a few weeks ago. Asuka was on fire with a knee, a hip attack, a German Suplex and a knee to the face. Royce blocked a kick, Asuka got a rollup for two, then Royce got Asuka on her back and hit a slam for a two count. Royce countered an Asuka Lock into a pin attempt for two and then Royce hit a spin kick to the head for two. Royce was on the top rope, Asuka grabbed her and went for the Asuka Lock, but then Zelina Vega showed up to attack Asuka for the DQ finish after two minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Asuka

Analysis: 1/2* It was decent for the time given, but it’s another short match on this show with a lame finish.
Post match, Zelina Vega worked over Asuka with some weak looking punches. They looked bad. Asuka yelled at her saying “this is mine” and slapped Asuka in the face. At least the slap looked good. Asuka kicked Vega in the ribs, Asuka went for a spinning back first and Vega bailed to the floor. Vega said that title is hers.
Analysis: It was a way to get some heat on Vega in this storyline. I have little to no interest in it.
Murphy walked up to Aalyah, who was sitting on some equipment case and she had tears on her face. Murphy said this whole Seth thing has gotten way out of hand. Murphy said if he has done anything to hurt her, he just wants to say he’s sorry. Murphy while Aalyah said nothing.
Analysis: If there is a romance storyline brewing here, then soon to be 32-year-old Murphy (his birthday is September 26) would be linked with a 19-year-old Aalyah. Yes, she is legal age, but that is still weird to me.

The guests on Raw Talk on WWE Network this week are Apollo Crews, Street Profits and Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan.
Raw Underground: Strowman vs. Dabba-Kato
Braun Strowman and Dabba Kato faced off on the Raw Underground set. They exchanged punches, Kato did some punches to the ribs and they locked up on the mat. Strowman went for a choke, but Kato was able to roll out of it and they briefly left the ring. Kato threw some random guy at Strowman, who threw the guy back. They went back in the ring with Strowman connecting with a left hand jab to the jaw and a big right hand punch followed by punches on the mat. Strowman was the winner.
Winner: Braun Strowman
Analysis: It was quick and an impressive win for Strowman, who continues to look dominant every time he’s in the Raw Underground ring. Dabba Kato didn’t get much offense there. This was all about making Strowman look strong.

The announcers ran down some of the WWE Clash of Champions lineup. I have the full card at the bottom of this post and we’ll have a preview up on TJRWrestling on Saturday morning.
The lights went out in the building as Retribution logos appeared on the screens. The three male wrestlers entered for a six man tag team match. It’s T-Bar (Dijakovic), Mace (Dio Maddin) and Slapjack (Shane Thorne in a mask). The announcers made no reference to their actual names in the past.
Analysis: I think those names are terrible, for the record.
The Hurt Business trio of Bobby Lashley, Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander entered for a match with MVP in a suit, so Cedric was wrestling twice.

The Hurt Business (Bobby Lashley, Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander) w/MVP vs. Retribution (T-Bar, Mace and Slapjack)
Lashley hit Slapjack with a German Suplex across the ring. Lashley worked over Mace with punches, then Lashley missed and Mace hit a shoulder tackle. When T-Bar tagged in wearing his Bane-like mask, Phillips had to say “look at the size of this one” as if he had never seen Dijakovic before. T-Bar with elbows to the head of Lashley, then Lashley did a leapfrog and hit a clothesline. T-Bar with knees to the ribs of Alexander along with a forearm to the back. Slapjack tagged in with Lawler laughing at the name because it’s so silly. T-Bar tossed Cedric as Phillips continued to talk about this superstar as if he’s never seen Dijakovic before. Alexander hit a neutralizer kick on T-Bar. Benjamin tagged in with knees, but T-Bar came back with punches, Benjamin with a knee, Mace took a swing and T-Bar hit a boot to the face of Benjamin. Mace tagged in with a double team suplex by Mace and T-Bar. Mace worked over Benjamin with punches and kicks. Benjamin with a back body drop on Slapjack, Lashley tagged in and hit a lifting flapjack on Slapjack. Lashley sent Slapjack into the turnbuckle followed by a huge spinebuster. Lashley slapped on the Hurt Lock on Slapjack, but T-Bar punched Lashley and that led to a DQ. Really? That’s it? I know a guy that's not in the match can’t touch a legal wrestler in the match, but it happens often and rarely leads to a DQ that quickly. That’s it after six minutes.
Winners by disqualification: The Hurt Business (Bobby Lashley, Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander)

Analysis: * A boring match with a DQ finish, which only makes me groan. A lot of the offense from Retribution was basic stuff like punches and kicks, so it’s not like it was interesting to watch them in the ring. The finish was poor. I would have had Retribution hit Hurt Business with a weapon or something else to necessitate an immediate DQ like that.
The Retribution group had more members in masks enter the ring and they got into a brawl with The Hurt Business. The camera cuts were annoying. Drew McIntyre’s music hit as the WWE Champion ran out to the ring with members of the Raw roster that finally care enough to do something about Retribution. The Raw roster was able to clear the ring and McIntyre tossed some masked guy out of the ring. Randy Orton showed up and gave McIntyre an RKO with Drew selling the jaw injury. Orton stood tall in the ring while the other wrestlers fought on the floor. Orton’s music played to end the show with Randy standing over Drew to end the show.
Analysis: It was smart to end the show on McIntyre/Orton since it has been a good feud unlike the Retribution storyline.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Drew McIntyre
  2. Randy Orton
  3. Keith Lee

The Scoreboard
4 out of 10
Last week: 6.5
2020 Average: 6.26

Final Thoughts
I thought it was a poor show with too much of the Retribution group that has silly names. This group is going to fail miserably if this is the best that WWE’s creative team can do. They had weeks to think of how to present Retribution in their first match and this was the best they could come up with? Weak. Their first match against The Hurt Business did not feel like a big deal no matter what the announcers said. I think it was a weak main event. Retribution is a major flop so far. I try to be optimistic about things, but this is not going well.
I liked the McIntyre/Orton stuff to build to their match, so it wasn’t all bad. In terms of in-ring action, Raw hasn’t been delivering as much as they should considering it’s a three-hour show that should have time to have better matches. Some terrible match finishes on the show with DQs or lame endings killing the effort put forth by the talent. The Raw Underground segments were better this week. Perhaps it was the best week for Raw Underground fights with the Braun Strowman/Dabba Kato delivering as a bigger fight that felt more important even though Kato looked like a loser that barely rocked Strowman.
There were way too many backstage segments and skits. I assume there is some directive that they need more of those shorter segments with less wrestling on the show, but it just makes the show feel unorganized. Raw feels like a mess these days aside from a few people performing well. I just think the creative team’s not doing very well.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Clash of Champions: Gold Rush on Sunday, September 27 with every championship on Raw/Smackdown on the line. Here’s what we know so far:

WWE Championship Ambulance Match: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton
Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Jey Uso
Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Sami Zayn (c?) vs. AJ Styles
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Nikki Cross
Smackdown Tag Team Championships: Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro (c) vs. Lucha House Party (Kalisto, Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik)
United States Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Apollo Crews
Women’s Tag Team Championships: Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax (c) vs. Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan
Raw Tag Team Championships: Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) (c) vs. Andrade and Angel Garza
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs. Zelina Vega (Kickoff Show)

You can contact me using any of the methods below. Go Los Angeles Rams and Toronto Blue Jays. Be safe and smart out there.
Thanks for reading.
John Canton
Twitter: @johnreport
Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook