TJR: The WWE Raw Deal 09/28/20 Review

Welcome to the WWE Raw Deal review on TJRWrestling. This show follows the WWE Clash of Champions PPV on Sunday night, which I reviewed right here. There weren’t many major things that happened regarding the Raw brand at that show. I think Smackdown delivered the better matches and performances. Drew McIntyre beating Randy Orton in an Ambulance Match to retain the WWE Title was the best of the Raw matches. It’s on to Hell in a Cell now, which is four weeks away.
Going into the show, we also knew that the five Retribution members were not medically cleared to be on Raw. None of them have COVID-19, but they were in contact with somebody that did apparently, so WWE was taking a precaution by keeping them off Raw. That also meant no Raw Underground on this show.
From the WWE ThunderDome at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1427 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.

Raw began with the entrance of two-time WWE Hall of Famer and 16-time World Champion Ric Flair. The WWE ThunderDome crowd gave Flair a nice ovation or it was just fake noise. The Raw announce team of Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Samoa Joe were at ringside to call the action.
Let’s Hear from Drew McIntyre and WWE Legends
Big Show was next with no facial hair. Christian was up next. Lastly, another two-time WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels was last to join this parade of legends. All four guys made surprise cameos at Clash of Champions with Show, Christian and Michaels attacking Orton while Flair drove the ambulance with Orton in it.
Michaels welcomed us to Monday Night Raw with Shawn noting it was a long time since he had done this. Michaels introduced the man that defeated Randy Orton at Clash of Champions AND STILL your WWE Champion, Drew McIntyre. Drew joined the legends in the ring with a little Flair strut and he was in street clothes with the WWE Championship still in his hands. Drew got hugs from the four legends in the ring.
McIntyre said it was pretty cool to see them last night. McIntyre said he’s known these guys for a long time saying he grew up traveling the world with Big Show and Christian when Drew was in his 20s. McIntyre said that Christian helped him in the ring and Big Show helped him by giving him advice like a big brother. McIntyre said that Shawn looked out for him especially during his time in NXT. McIntyre said he loved Flair’s stories, he appreciated his advice and he said when he first came to America, Ric was on the active roster before somebody retired him (Shawn did). McIntyre was amazed at 22 years old when he was on the same roster as Ric Flair.
McIntyre said that what brings them together is their disdain for Randal Keith Orton. In the end, he put his ass in an ambulance and Drew still stands there as the WWE Champion. The fans cheered that.

Michaels thanked McIntyre for whipping that Randy Orton ass. Michaels said that as they were all off recovering, they got together, they got some revenge and they hope that Drew doesn’t mind about them interfering in that match. Michaels joked that it was Flair’s fault, which is funny. McIntyre said he already beat Orton on his own at SummerSlam and he didn’t mind who else beat on him.
Randy Orton was shown standing backstage doing a promo. Orton said that this is not over until he says it is over. Orton said if you think you went through “hell” with him then you have no idea what “hell” is. Guess what the next PPV is? Orton said this won’t end until he’s WWE Champion. McIntyre said Randy is going to beg for a title match and Randy said he doesn’t beg – he gets it because he’s a 13-time WWE Champion. Orton reminded them that there is a price to be paid when you cross the Legend Killer. Orton was shown taking his suitcase and walking out a door. Did he really leave? Heels lie.
McIntyre said it’s such a shame that Randy Orton has left the building. McIntyre said that since he’s in the ring with four champions, he wants to put his title on the line tonight. McIntyre said he is issuing an open challenge against anybody he has not faced for the WWE Championship and he asked who wants to step up. McIntyre told them he’ll see those guys after the show for a party. McIntyre wanted somebody to step up.
Analysis: The celebration by the babyface McIntyre with the legends was fitting since they got payback against Orton after Orton’s multiple cheap attacks against them. Orton mentioning “hell” twice suggests that he’ll keep going after McIntyre leading to the Hell in a Cell PPV in four weeks. Doing a title match later in the show is a way to keep the audience interested in what happens in hour three or so you would think.

There were highlights shown of Asuka beating Zelina Vega to retain the Raw Women’s Title at Clash of Champions. After the match, Vega attacked and she gets another title shot.
Zelina Vega was standing backstage before her match. Kayla Braxton, who is usually only on Smackdown, showed up for an interview. Vega said she was just getting started, Asuka got in her face to yell at her and that match is next.
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka vs. Zelina Vega
The left arm of Asuka had a bandage on it, so Vega took down Asuka and pulled back on the right arm with Asuka turning it into a pin attempt for two. Vega kicked Asuka out of the ring, then Vega jumped off the apron and Asuka kicked her to knock her down.

The match returned with Vega kicking the left arm of Asuka along with a hard slap to the face, which led to Asuka laughing at her. Asuka with a rising knee to the face, then a running hip attack, kick to the gut and a bit of a sloppy German Suplex. Asuka hit a running kick for a two count. Vega ducked a punch from Asuka and went for a wristlock submission on the left arm and Asuka countered it into a suplex. Vega went for a pin attempt using her legs to pin, then Asuka grabbed her with a choke and Vega went to the bottom rope. Vega hit the Backstabber and Asuka got her foot on the bottom rope to break the count. Vega went up top, she went for a moonsault, Asuka got the knees up to block and Asuka slapped on the Asuka Lock for the tapout win. The match went about eight minutes.
Winner by submission: Asuka
Analysis: **1/2 It was like the Clash of Champions match in a lot of ways. I think Vega did a nice job of being aggressive in her attacks against the left arm of Asuka. The story was that Vega missed a moonsault when Asuka blocked it and Asuka tapped her out to win. Just like at Clash of Champions, I didn’t expect Asuka to lose the match at any point. Perhaps Vega will be a Women’s Champion in WWE down the road, but it’s smart to keep the title on Asuka for now.
There was a shot of Ric Flair, Big Show, Christian and Shawn Michaels playing poker in the backstage area in a room that was labeled the Legends Lounge later in the show. That meant it was pretty much a lock that they would be attacked backstage.

PLUG TIME: Please check out the 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 and there is more to come this week.
Andrade was in the ring telling Zelina Vega, who was on the ramp, that she is nothing without him. Andrade said that Vega blames him for everything, but Asuka beat her twice. Vega left to the back. Andrade said that Garza was hurt last night because he was a weak link (just like Vega) and Andrade was holding this team together. Andrade spoke in Spanish while adding that he is the greatest in WWE. Andrade wondered who wants to face him…and here’s Keith Lee.
Analysis: I think Andrade’s English speaking skills have improved enough to where WWE felt confident enough to let him do a one-minute promo like that. It's tough for a guy that speaks Spanish first, but I think he got through it fine. Good job by fiancée Charlotte Flair helping him with promos I'm sure.

Keith Lee vs. Andrade
Lee with a running shoulder tackle, then a wristlock and he sent Andrade across the ring. Lee charged and Andrade sent him into the middle turnbuckle. Lee did a leapfrog leading into a cross body block. Lee with a running corner splash and a toss across the ring. Lee with another corner splash, but Andrade came back with a dropkick to the left knee. Andrade jumped off the top, Lee caught him and Andrade chopped the back of the left knee. Andrade with a dropkick that sent Lee into the turnbuckle followed by the double knee attack against the turnbuckle. Andrade tried to lift Lee, but Lee powered Andrade up and hit the Spirit Bomb for the pinfall win after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Keith Lee
Analysis: ** It’s good to see Lee against somebody other than McIntyre or Orton and also to have a finish that ends in a pinfall for Lee. Andrade is a talented performer that works well as a heel, but I’m not sure if he’ll get a big push as a singles act in the near future. Lee winning makes sense here and I hope he gets a meaningful feud soon.
There was an Earlier Today segment with Hurt Business members Montel Vontavious Porter sitting in a room in their suits with some food on the table. Some random guy sat down with a plate of food and then Bobby Lashley made the guy leave. Lashley got the guy’s plate of food too. No Cedric Alexander here.

A commercial aired for WWE NXT Takeover 31 this Sunday, October 4. We’ll have a preview up this weekend on TJRWrestling and I’ll have a review up late Sunday night.
A recap aired of last week’s 24/7 Championship comedy bit when a shark “ate” Akira Tozawa as R-Truth left with his title.
R-Truth was shown playing chess with invisible Little Jimmy saying he felt like a winner and maybe he should challenge Drew McIntyre. A ninja showed up to hand Truth a letter in Japanese, but there was English too. Tozawa wrote a letter to Truth about making his mentor Kung Funaki (yes Funaki!) proud and then Truth was given Tozawa’s “black belt” so Truth wondered why Tozawa had to get devoured. Anyway, Tozawa showed up behind Truth with the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! pin to win the 24/7 Title again.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW 24/7 Champion: Akira Tozawa
The ninja hit Tozawa with a briefcase and covered Tozawa to win the 24/7 Title. The ninja was revealed to be Drew Gulak, who is on Smackdown, but it’s not like that matters.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW 24/7 Champion: Drew Gulak
Gulak said that is why he is always prepared. Truth got the briefcase and he hit Gulak in the head with it, so Truth covered Gulak to win the title.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW 24/7 Champion: R-Truth
Analysis: These segments are really bad on a regular basis. How are they approved? I get wanting to do comedy, but it’s not even funny. I chuckle a bit at some of R-Truth’s dialogue because he’s funny, but these 24/7 Title segments are awful for the most part.
A recap of some Mysterio family drama was shown.
Murphy was shown sitting on an equipment case looking at his cell phone. Seth Rollins showed up to hug his disciple Murphy while noting it’s a huge night with the Mysterio Family talking to Jerry Lawler. Rollins told Murphy to put on a suit that Rollins got him because Murphy was dressed in his ring gear. Rollins told Murphy to go on and then Rollins realized Murphy left his phone on the case, so Rollins looked at Murphy’s phone and put it in his jacket. In other words, Seth fooled dumbass Murphy so that Seth could look at his phone.

There was a commercial for the WWE Draft beginning Friday, October 9th on Smackdown and Monday, October 11th on Raw. The format hasn’t been announced. We don't know if it's a full restart or only a "draft lottery" where some people move while the majority of the roster stays where they are. It's not like WWE is known for providing details.
King’s Court with the Mysterio Family
Jerry “The King” Lawler was in the ring to host this talk show segment. Lawler introduced the Mysterio Family leading to Rey Mysterio leading his family out there with wife Angie, son Dominik and daughter Aalyah. Angie and Aalyah sat down on the couch in the ring while Rey and Dominik stood behind them.
Rey said that they all know Seth has been running his mouth trying to upset his family. Rey said that it’s obvious Dominik and Aalyah are his kids, Rey is their father and his kids have been his whole life since the day they were born. Rey said that Rollins has fabricating lies. Dominik said that the next time he sees Seth Rollins, he’ll put an end to this.
Lawler said that Seth may be lying because we didn’t see any documentation last week, but we did see Aalyah getting upset by Rey’s words. Lawler asked Aalyah how she is feeling. Aalyah said that at the end of the day, she’s 19 years old and she noted that Murphy sat beside her, she didn’t go talking to him and she doesn’t know what to think. Aalyah said that whoever hangs around Seth needs to re-evaluate their life’s choices
Rollins interrupted on the video screen. Rollins said what he had to tell them was important because it’s the truth. Rollins said that one of you isn’t being 100% honest with your family. Rollins said that Aalyah might not be telling the truth with regard to how she feels about Murphy. A screenshot was shown of Instagram direct messages. Murphy wrote Aalyah saying he wanted to apologize again, she said “thank you” and she was doing fine. Murphy let her know that if she wants to talk about it, he was here. She said she might take him up on that offer and wished him Happy Birthday because it was dated on September 26, which is when Murphy turned 32.
Rollins said that it seems like she is friendlier than she was leading on. Rollins said that the truth hurts, but he promises them it’s for the greater good. Rey was upset with his daughter and Aalyah said that Murphy is not like Seth. Aalyah walked to the back before her family, so Rey and his wife went after her. The camera was on Rollins backstage with Murphy getting mad at him for grabbing his phone. Rollins said that Murphy did this to himself. Murphy put his hands on Rollins, but then Dominik showed up to attack Murphy with repeated punches. WWE officials like Pat Buck, Jamie Noble and referees showed up to break up the fight.
Analysis: The drama continues as the 19-year-old Aalyah continues to have feelings by 32-year-old Murphy. I know she’s legal age, but that’s a bit questionable. I have family members that are that age and I don't think anybody in my family would love it if they dated a 32-year-old. Anyway, this is the story that never ends apparently because it just keeps going with Aalyah becoming a regular part of Raw. I think all of the characters are doing the best they can with the material. I didn’t mind the story in the last few months, but it just feels like it is dragging now. I guess it’s probably going to lead to something where Aalyah chooses to be with Murphy against Rey and Dominik’s wishes, so she might cost her father and brother a big match. I’m not sure if the audience is interested in it.

Natalya and Lana entered for tag team action in pink and black attire.
This week on Smackdown, what will Roman Reigns do next as Universal Champion? Sasha Banks was back at Clash of Champions to attack Bayley, so tune in to find out what’s next. Smackdown has been consistently better than Raw of late.
It was announced that Dominik Mysterio will face Murphy.
Natalya and Lana were in the ring for a pre-match promo. Natalya said they’ll stand out there all night until Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler are stripped of the Women’s Tag Team Titles. Even though they lose every match, Natalya claimed they should be the champions. Lana bragged about how they were celebrities, influencers and have millions of social media followers. Lana said that they want the titles right now.
Adam Pearce, who gets a graphic saying WWE Official, because he’s a guy that WWE uses to announce management decisions on Raw and Smackdown. Pearce said he can’t just strip the champions of the titles. Pearce said he can give them a match against two new members of the Raw women’s division.
It’s Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke. The blonde duo walked down to the ring looking good and showing a lot of confidence.
Analysis: This company is all over the place with roster moves. They moved Mandy to Raw a few weeks back in a trade where they didn’t announce anybody going to Smackdown yet. Meanwhile, they have the WWE draft in less than two weeks that means roster changes are happening, so why is Brooke already moving to Raw? It’s just bizarre and lazy creative work by WWE. I realize things are changing constantly due to COVID-19 issues on the roster, but some organization would be nice. As performers, I really like Mandy and I think Dana is underutilized, plus they’re both gorgeous women, so I’m not going to complain about seeing either of them.

Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke vs. Natalya and Lana
Natalya took down Brooke with a side headlock. Brooke with a kick to the ribs, then a handspring back elbow and Rose tagged in with a suplex. Brooke back in with a boot to the face. Lana got the tag and pulled down Brooke by the hair followed by a kick to the face for two. Lana grabbed Brooke in a headlock, then Rose was shown reaching for the tag and I just want to say the director and camera person bringing us that shot are the stars of the night unofficially. Lana got in a cheap shot of Rose that drew the official over there and then Brooke got in a kick on Lana. Rose knocked down Lana with clotheslines along with a forearm to Natalya. Rose hooked Lana with an overhead suplex that Lana nearly took right on her head. Ouch. That could have been bad, but I think Lana landed safely and it got a two count for Rose as Natalya was a bit slow to break it up. Brooke took out Natalya with a clothesline. Rose hit the pump knee on Lana for the pinfall win after about three minutes. That could have been sold better.
Winners by pinfall: Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke

Analysis: * This was okay as a short match to put over the new babyface team of Mandy and Dana. There was that nearly scary bump for Lana, but I think she was fine. I like the team of Mandy and Dana because WWE needs more teams in the women’s division. Lana is a natural heel while Natalya is consistently good, but their team loses nearly every match (with Lana taking the pin), so they need to pick up wins at some point to be more credible as a duo.
Rose and Brooke celebrated with some flexing since they are two women in great shape.
There was a highlight shown of Aleister Black attacking Kevin Owens last week by driving KO’s groin into the ring post three times in a row.
Aleister Black did a promo saying that Owens claimed to be a good man that won’t let bad things happen. Black said that Owens has a knack for betraying people. Black said that family represents cruelty because his father was a cruel man. Black wondered if Owens has talked to his son about betrayal. Murphy took off the bandage on his head saying he will not forget all of the things that Owens has done.

Kevin Owens made his entrance for this grudge match.
This Wednesday on NXT is Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae vs. Damian Priest and Io Shirai. Plus, NXT Champion Finn Balor meets Kyle O’Reilly face to face in a segment hosted by Shawn Michaels. Check out my review on TJRWrestling on Thursday morning.
It was back to the Legends Room with Ric Flair, Big Show, Shawn Michaels and Christian playing poker. Flair was winning everything. Shawn wondered what was going on tonight and Show said it’s an open challenge while noting he wasn’t retired like the others, so maybe he can do the challenge. The Street Profits showed up with red solo cups for everybody.
Aleister Black entered to new theme music and he walked to the ring with a purpose.

Analysis: A lot of wrestlers have been getting new music of late because WWE ended their agreement with the group CFO$ that created a lot of the songs in the last decade. By ending that agreement and having new songs, they don’t have to pay those guys anymore. Black’s song was good, but I understand WWE’s decision too.
Kevin Owens vs. Aleister Black
Owen attacked with a running kick that led to the fight going to the floor and Owens attacked with punches. Back in the ring, Black with a knee to the ribs along with some stomps. Black with a running corner splash. Black with a hard kick to the chest, then Owens came back with punches and a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Owens worked over Black with a hard chop, but then Black came back with shots to the ribs. Owens with a running back elbow to the face. Black drove his knee against KO’s face against the ropes. Owens got a rollup for two. Black with a kick to the chest, then Owens with a clothesline and a whip into the ropes led to another clothesline from Owens. KO with a senton splash along with a German Suplex that sent Black out of the ring to the floor. Owens with a senton splash off the apron onto Black on the floor. That was good.

Owens was in control with a DDT. Black took control by kicking at the ankle of Owens and then a hard kick to the chest. Black with a running kick to the chest leading into a chinlock. When Owens got back up, Black hit him with a right legged roundhouse kick to the back of the head. Black charged, Owens avoided it and hit a superkick for two. Owens did a slow climb up the ropes, Black punched him and set up for a superplex, but Owens decked him with a hard palm strike to the face. Owens went for a Senton Bomb off the top, but Owens got the knees up to block. Black with the pump knee to the face for a two count three times in a row. It can win a match for Mandy Rose, but not Black. There were repeated punches by Black on Owens against the ropes. Black got in the face of referee Drake Wuertz, then went back to working over Owens and as Black was throwing forearms, he accidentally elbowed the referee in the ribs. The referee called for the bell after about 13 minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Kevin Owens
Analysis: ***1/4 A good match with a lot of intensity shown by both guys. Unfortunately, there was a bad finish, which happens far too often on Raw where they book DQ’s way too many times. The reason why they do that is because they are hesitant for one wrestler to do the job to hurt them, but I think it pisses off the fans when you book DQ’s as often as WWE does. Each guy has several regular moves to lead to nearfalls, but they were not able to end the match. This settled nothing between Black and Owens, who will likely continue their rivalry leading to some sort of stipulation match soon.
Post match, Black complained about it saying it was accidental as the referee told ring announcer Mike Rome that Kevin Owens is the winner because Aleister Black struck him. The referee’s name was not said by the announcers. Owens went up to Black and dropped him with the Stunner, so Black was down to end it.

Analysis: This feud must continue. I have liked their matches together, but I’m not that confident in the booking considering some of the finishes they have been booking of late.
The Hurt Business were shown walking backstage. Mustafa Ali was walking out of their locker room while The Hurt Business were not in it. THB yelled at Ali, then Apollo Crews and Ricochet saved their buddy Ali. This set up a tag team match for later.

24/7 Championship: R-Truth vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Drew Gulak
The announcers didn’t attempt to explain why Smackdown’s Gulak is on this show because it’s WWE. They don’t explain things. Gulak and Tozawa attacked the 41-time 24/7 Champion R-Truth with punches and kicks. There was a hard whip that sent Truth into the turnbuckle. Gulak and Tozawa argued about things as Truth came back with a double clothesline. There was a double suplex by Gulak and Tozawa on Truth. Tozawa was sent out of the ring, Gulak went for the Gulock submission on Truth and Tozawa jumped off the top with a senton splash on Gulak. Truth hit a sitout front suplex on Tozawa and Truth hit the Attitude Adjustment (made famous by his “childhood hero” John Cena) on Gulak on top of Tozawa and Truth pinned Gulak to win.
Winner by pinfall: R-Truth
Analysis: *1/2 I am fine with them doing actual matches for this comedy title. It’s better than the backstage skits that they do. With that said, this title may be the worst in WWE history, so I really don’t care about the results. Nice comeback to win by Truth at least with the AA for the win.

Post match, Truth ran to the back with the 24/7 Title.
Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke were interviewed backstage by Charly Caruso. Mandy said that she’s had some ups and downs lately, but Dana has always been there with her, so she had no doubts in making her Raw debut alongside Dana. Brooke said that Mandy is an inspiration that has been knocked down, but she fights back. Mandy said they know Ruby and Liv are the next challengers for the Women’s Tag Team Titles, but they will be coming for those titles.
Analysis: Mandy saying this is her “Raw debut” is silly considering she was on Raw for years before she was on Smackdown. That’s just how WWE is where they think fans forget things.
Dominik Mysterio was shown walking towards the ring because his match is next.

It was near the top of hour three as Murphy entered first followed by Dominik Mysterio.
Dominik Mysterio vs. Murphy
Dominik aggressively attacked Murphy with punches and then Murphy came back with punches of his own. Dominik sent Murphy to the floor, then Murphy pulled him out of the ring and Dominik sent Murphy into the barricade two times. Back in the ring, Dominik charged, Murphy to the floor again and Dominik sent Murphy into the announce table. Murphy tossed Dominik over the announce table into the barricade. The referee was counting, Murphy left to reset the count and Murphy brought Dominik back to the apron. Dominik tripped up Murphy on the apron leading to them going back in the ring. Dominik with a cross body block off the top for a two count. Dominik with a hard right forearm to the jaw. Dominik bounced off the ropes with Murphy hitting a jumping knee to the face. Dominik with a jawbreaker, Murphy with a spin kick to the gut and a stomp to the foot. Dominik got on the shoulders of Murphy and hit a spinning DDT. Dominik stomped on Murphy repeatedly, then they left the ring and Dominik sent Murphy into the apron/barricade repeatedly. Dominik spotted a kendo stick under the ring and he was on the ring steps, but Aalyah showed up to tell Dominik to put it down. Dominik told his sister to get out of there. Murphy snuck up behind Dominik and did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! with the tights to win the match after about eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Murphy
Analysis: **1/4 This was okay. It was going pretty good until WWE opted for the worst finish in wrestling with the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! finding a way to strike again. Dominik and Murphy worked hard, but it’s tough to overcome the booking.
Post match, Dominik hit Murphy with the kendo stick a few times and then Aalyah told Dominik to stop. Murphy went to the back. She told Murphy he is not like Seth. Dominik yelled at his sister saying that he was doing this for their family to protect their legacy. Dominik said that dad was right, she is naïve and Aalyah slapped Dominik in the face. She left.

Analysis: This will likely turn into Aalyah believing her family didn’t have any faith in her, but Murphy does, so she’ll go to Murphy instead of her family. The Mysterio kids are not great actors although I like Dominik in the ring. I think the family drama thing is going to turn off fans more than make them want to watch the show. I don’t know what the ratings will say or if it matters. I just think it feels a bit silly. This company has over 200 wrestlers, many of whom are doing nothing, yet 19-year-old Aalyah gets way more screen time than many of them.
The Hurt Business were shown walking backstage for a match. MVP threw a water bottle at a janitor and told him to clean it up. That would be foreshadowing for later.
Dolph Ziggler was shown backstage talking to Adam Pearce. Ziggler said he’s got the perfect guy, Pearce said Ziggler has already faced Drew McIntyre for the WWE Title and Ziggler said it’s not him. Ziggler said he’s got the perfect guy, so they went to talk about it.
The Hurt Business trio of US Champion Bobby Lashley, Shelton Benjamin and Montel Vontavious Porter entered for a tag team match. There was no explanation given for why Cedric Alexander was absent. MVP had a message for Apollo Crews for saying he kept making the same dumb mistakes over and over. MVP said that Cedric was sent to Hurt Business boot camp to not make mistakes like losing to Crews last week. MVP said that Crews said he would regain the US Championship, but that didn’t happen. Benjamin and Lashley said “you got dropped” to Crews’ for repeated losses with Lashley saying that Crews was going to get dropped again tonight.

The Hurt Business (Bobby Lashley, MVP and Shelton Benjamin) vs. Apollo Crews, Ricochet and Mustafa Ali
The faces attacked as soon as the bell began, but MVP sent Ali into the steel steps, Lashley sent Crews into the barricade and Benjamin was working over Ricochet on the floor. The arena went all black with Retribution logos around the ring, but there was no sign of them.
They said that the match officially started during the break rather than what happened before the break. The heels were in control, Crews hit a German Suplex on Lashley and Crews hit a cross body block off the middle ropes onto a standing MVP. Ricochet got the tag against Benjamin with a springboard cross body block and a moonsault off the middle ropes. Ricochet with a standing Shooting Star Press on Benjamin for two. Ricochet went for an attack off the middle ropes, Benjamin moved and then hit a knee to the face. MVP and Benjamin with a double team slam to send Ricochet into the mat. Ricochet avoided the Playmaker from MVP and hit a spin kick to the chest. Ali got the tag with a running dropkick on MVP. A knee to the ribs by MVP, Ali sent MVP into the turnbuckle and hit a leaping neckbreaker for two as Lashley broke up the pin. Crews with a moonsault on Lashley on the floor as Benjamin decked Crews with a clothesline and Ricochet hit a dive onto Benjamin on the floor. That left Ali and MVP in the ring with each guy getting a two count. Ali hit a satellite DDT that didn’t great, but MVP sold it anyway. Ali went up top and hit the 450 Splash on MVP for the pinfall win after seven minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Apollo Crews, Ricochet and Mustafa Ali
Analysis: **3/4 It was fine as a six-man tag team match and I’m glad that Ali was in the match as well as the guy that won the match. Ali needs to be featured more. MVP has been willing to put over the younger guys in tags or singles, so I’m not surprised by the result. That felt like a meaningful win for Ali since The Hurt Business guys have won so many matches, so Ali finding a way to win was the right way to end this match. The last time Ali won a tag match, he lost the next week and was gone for a few months while wrestling on Main Event. I hope Ali gets more of a sustained push this time.

The Legends Lounge room was shown again with Flair getting a Royal Flush in poker and he won all the chips, so Flair did a strut.
There was a video of Bianca Belair at a track against four random people. They had a race with Belair beating them easily. There was another race where Belair gave two of them a head start and Belair still beat them. Belair raised one in a race where she was doing hurdles and she beat him in a regular race.
Analysis: Bianca is a great athlete. We know that. She has been on Raw for nearly six months and creative has had nothing for her in terms of storylines aside from when she beat Zelina Vega a few times.
This week on Raw Talk the guests were Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke, Murphy and Mustafa Ali. The hosts are Charly Caruso and R-Truth. It's on WWE Network if you want to check it out.
A video package aired about the Retribution group that was not on this week’s show.
At least T-Bar (Dominik Dijakovic) has been fun to follow on Twitter of late. Some of the others have been good too. He tweeted that Retribution is everywhere even though they weren’t on Raw.

Drew McIntyre made his entrance for his WWE Championship defense against a mystery opponent.
Drew McIntyre was waiting for his opponent. Dolph Ziggler’s music hit and Drew mentioned it was supposed to be somebody who didn’t have a previous title shot against Drew. That led to Bobby Roode’s “GLORIOUS” return with his former Tag Team Championship partner Dolph Ziggler supporting him. Roode got his full entrance, which is good because it’s one of the better entrances in WWE.
Analysis: Roode has been away from WWE TV since March. I don’t think there was an injury. Roode lives near Toronto and traveling into the US has been banned for us Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, I know other wrestlers living in Canada that work for other wrestling companies (like AEW and Impact) have been going to the US for the shows. If you work in the US, you can get into the US if you’re a wrestler, so I think it’s just a case of WWE waiting until the right time to bring Roode back. Now is the right time apparently. McIntyre won the NXT Title from Roode a few years ago, so there is some history here.
WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre vs. Robert Roode (w/Dolph Ziggler)
Roode kicked the left leg of McIntyre and drove McIntyre against the turnbuckle. Roode did a back rake along with some more kicks to the legs. McIntyre worked over Roode with punches along with a kick to the ribs. The back of McIntyre had some welts and cuts from the Ambulance Match on Sunday. Roode left the ring, so McIntyre gave him a reverse Alabama Slam into the ring apron.

McIntyre and Roode were battling on the turnbuckle with Roode sending the champion down onto the turnbuckle. McIntyre popped back up and hit the suplex across the ring. That’s a spot that McIntyre has done in the past to show off his power. Ziggler pulled Roode out of the ring to give his buddy a break. McIntyre slammed Ziggler in the ring and then Roode took advantage with a chop block to the left leg. Roode rammed Drew’s left leg into the ring post repeatedly. McIntyre kicked Roode to the floor, he went after McIntyre there and Roode kicked the leg again. Roode slammed the left knee of McIntyre onto the top of the announce table. Back in the ring, Roode went up top and hit a clothesline for two. Roode slapped on the Figure Four Leglock submission on McIntyre, who managed to get out of it. McIntyre was doing the comeback with the headbutt, a belly to belly overhead suplex and another of those suplexes. McIntyre kipped up, but then he favored both of his legs that were hurting. Roode managed to hit a spinebuster for two. McIntyre went for a DDT, but Roode countered into a pin attempt for two. McIntyre hit the Future Shock DDT for a two count. Ziggler on the apron, McIntyre charged and kicked Ziggler off the apron. Roode capitalized on that with a kick to the gut and the Glorious DDT got a two count. Roode was shocked that wasn’t enough to win. Great nearfall right there. Roode went for the DDT again, McIntyre got out of that, he ran the ropes and McIntyre hit the Claymore Kick for the pinfall win at around 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre
Analysis: ***1/2 A very good technical wrestling match between two veterans that know eachother well based on their past. I liked how Roode picked on the legs of McIntyre to try to weaken the big man and it led to a lot of believable nearfalls. I like how Ziggler was involved enough to make it a bit tougher on McIntyre. McIntyre’s comeback was great as usual because his offense looks awesome no matter the opponent. The key thing for McIntyre that he has improved a lot this year is his selling that makes his comebacks all the more impressive when he looks like he has nothing left and always comes back to show he can get the job done. McIntyre winning was the obvious result here because it’s not like he was going to drop the WWE Title to Roode.

There were a few minutes left in the show so there was a shot of a janitor with a mask on. Why would the camera be on a janitor? No reason was given, but this man grabbed a chair and entered the Legends Lounge. The janitor took off the hood and mask to reveal it was actually Randy Orton, who put on some goggles. Orton went into the room where a camera was already in there. Orton turned the lights out, then there was some banging with the chair and Joe pointed out that Orton was wearing night-vision goggles. There was a lot of loud noises banging as if a chair was hitting objects for about 20 seconds while the lights were out. That led to the lights coming back on with Big Show, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels and Christian all selling on the floor.
Orton left the room with the janitor’s outfit and the hood on. There were officials that ran into the room as Orton walked away pushing the cart. I guess the officials don’t watch what is actually on the show. Anyway, that was the end of Raw.
Analysis: A cheap attack by the top heel Orton, who managed to outsmart a lot of dumb people. The reason they did the spot with the night-vision goggles is because WWE doesn’t want Flair to take any bumps at his age and health issues while Christian likely is unable to take any bumps either due to his concussion history. That’s why they turned the lights off to give the audience the idea that Orton attacked them with the chair. Cheesy? Yeah a bit, but that was the only way they can do it in that instance. This should lead to McIntyre vs. Orton 3 at Hell in a Cell and maybe my Orton prediction will be right in that match.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Drew McIntyre
  2. Robert Roode
  3. Kevin Owens/Aleister Black

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

Final Thoughts
It was just an average episode of Raw that was at least better than last week’s poor effort. There was enough good in-ring action thanks to McIntyre-Roode (welcome back Robert) in the main event and I liked Owens vs. Black before the bad finish. I wish some of the finishes were better, but that’s WWE booking of late. I think there was too much of the Mysterio Family drama stuff, but obviously, WWE is interested in featuring the Mysterio family a lot. Most of the other matches on the show were just average. Randy Orton has lost twice to Drew McIntyre in WWE Title matches, but based on this show it’s obvious they’re going to have a third WWE Title match at Hell in a Cell next month also.
The Retribution group was absent and there was no Raw Underground in the third hour either. That’s because of COVID-19 health-related issues although it doesn’t mean they are all positive cases. A report on Monday said that the Retribution group all tested negative. It’s just a precautionary thing. I can’t say I missed either of them that much, but it did give Raw a bit of a different feel this week.
If you missed this Raw, you really didn’t miss that much. Just the normal stuff from Raw. It’s not a hot period for the brand. I hope the Draft changes things for the better in a few weeks.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Hell in a Cell on October 25. There’s nothing official yet, but I think it’s fair to assume McIntyre vs. Orton in a Hell in a Cell match is very likely.

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Thanks for reading.
John Canton
Twitter: @johnreport
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