Welcome to the WWE Raw Deal review. It’s part two of the 2020 WWE Draft. Check out my Monday morning column looking at the first part of the WWE Draft from Smackdown in case you missed it.
From the WWE ThunderDome at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1429 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net 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 was a shot of WWE ThunderDome to the show with the Raw announce team of Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Samoa Joe welcoming us to the show. They introduced us to the WWE Draft continuing on Raw.
Let’s Hear from Randy Orton
Randy Orton made his entrance as we got a highlight of last week’s Raw when Orton pinned WWE Champion Drew McIntyre in a six-man tag team match. It was the first time McIntyre has been pinned in 2020.
Orton said whether he gets moved to Smackdown or stays on Raw, he’ll be locked inside Hell in a Cell with Drew McIntyre and he’ll take the WWE Title from him. Orton said that this has been the year of Drew McIntyre – you cannot dispute that. Orton said that Drew beat Brock Lesnar in the main event of WrestleMania and became one of the main faces of WWE. Orton mentioned that last week on Raw he beat Drew and noted that Drew hadn’t lost in nearly one entire year. Orton suggested that is a sign of things to come. Orton stared into the camera talking to Drew saying in less than two weeks at Hell in a Cell, he’ll beat Drew 1, 2, 3 in the middle of that cell and take the WWE Championship from him. Orton said he’ll do that by hitting him with the three most dangerous letters in sports entertainment – R…K…and here comes Drew before Randy ends it with “O” there.
Drew McIntyre walked out with the WWE Title and his new Claymore Country shirt. Drew said that Randy was the first person to pin Drew in the last year. Drew said that Orton gloated after the match instead of kicking him in the school, so Randy messed up because Drew got back up. McIntyre said that at Clash of Champions, the kick he did was for all the people that Orton attacked and at Hell in a Cell it will be Drew beating Orton for himself. Drew said he promised us that every time he was in the same building as Orton he would kick his ass.
McIntyre went down to the ring to beat on Orton with punches. So many camera cuts! Please stop. Orton with a kick to the gut, then he left the ring and Orton hit some forearms. McIntyre sent Orton into the barricade along with the ring post. McIntyre chopped Orton onto on the hood of the announce table. McIntyre with a belly to back slam onto the hood of the announce table like Orton loves to do. Orton rolled out of the ring and ran up the ramp while McIntyre stopped in the ring. Drew let Randy know that he’ll have a whole bunch of fun tonight.
Analysis: It was good as a show opening segment to continue the story between these guys. Orton bragged about beating McIntyre as a rare thing that’s a big accomplishment while McIntyre lived up to his promise of kicking Orton’s ass whenever he was near him. I think the rivalry has been really good for the last few months although Orton losing twice and still getting a third title shot is flawed booking, but that’s the usual from WWE.
The first Raw is Kevin Owens vs. Aleister Black in a No Disqualification Match. Stephanie McMahon was looking at her phone, she was handed a card and she’s ready to announce draft picks.
Stephanie McMahon was on the stage to announce some more draft picks that she will read off the cards handed to her.
WWE DRAFT - ROUND ONE
#1 Raw - “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
#2 Smackdown - Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley
#3 Raw – Randy Orton
#4 Smackdown – Raw Tag Team Champions Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins)
#5 Raw – Charlotte Flair
Analysis: There are no surprises there as Bayley, Orton and Charlotte remain where they have been. Charlotte has been off for a few months, but should be back soon. Bray Wyatt going to Raw was rumored/expected over the last week. I think a fresh start would be good for him. Street Profits moving was also expected after Smackdown since New Day was drafted to Raw as Smackdown Tag Team Champions. Plus, Ford’s wife Bianca Belair is on Smackdown now, so couples stay together.
Aleister Black was already in the ring and Kevin Owens quickly walked down to the ring.
No Disqualification Match: Kevin Owens vs. Aleister Black
They battled on the floor right away, Black sent Owens into the side of the ring and then back in the ring with Owens taking over with punches. They left the ring with Owens sending Black face first into the steel steps. Black worked over Owens with some boots to the face. Black with a hard kick to the ribs, Owens sent Black into the barricade and Owens hit a cannonball on Black against the barricade. The referee was standing in the ring without counting them out of the ring. Owens brought out a table from under the ring and he set it up on the floor. Black punched the left leg of Owens to block a Powerbomb attempt, Owens with a boot to the face, Owens went on top of the barricade and Black slammed Owens onto the announce table, which did not break.
There was a steel chair in the ring with Black sending Owens into the chair. Black continued to work over Owens to keep him down while the announcers mentioned KO had a sore back after the bump onto the table. Black brought three more chairs in the ring. Black went for a running knee, but Owens blocked it with a chair, Owens with a chair to the back and a DDT onto the chair for two. Owens jabbed Black in the ribs with a chair. Owens sent up four chairs beside eachother as a platform of sorts, Black elbowed Owens down and Black jumped off the ropes with a double knee attack that drove Owens back first through the four chairs. Ouch. That looked rough for both guys as Owens kicked out at two. Black set up a table in the ring, Owens was on the floor and Black blocked a Stunner, but then Owens avoided a Black Mass kick as Black hit the ring post. Back in the ring, Owens with a Stunner and Owens gave Black a Powerbomb through the table for the pinfall win after about 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Kevin Owens
Analysis: ***1/2 A great match that was very physical with weapons being used throughout the match and big bumps for both guys. I always write this, but I like matches that look like a fight and that's what this was. They sold everything so well. Owens winning makes sense since it was likely the end of the feud as long as they are drafted to opposite shows. It sucks for Black because I think he needs wins since he’s now a heel character. Owens had a strong showing against The Fiend last Friday as well, so that’s two straight impressive TV matches for Owens. I hope there’s a sustained push coming for him now.
There was a shot of Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke talking backstage because they’re on Miz TV up next.
The commercial for NXT promoted Ember Moon, Dexter Lumis and Toni Storm without advertising anything specific.
WWE DRAFT - ROUND TWO
#6 Raw – Braun Strowman
#7 Smackdown – Daniel Bryan
#8 Raw – Matt Riddle
#9 Smackdown – Kevin Owens
#10 Raw – Jeff Hardy
Analysis: There are some changes with Strowman, Hardy and Riddle moving to Raw while Owens is going back to Smackdown where he’s had a lot of success. Owens can be with Sami Zayn again either as foes or rivals. Good idea to move Strowman. Fresh starts for Hardy and Riddle. Daniel Bryan has been on Smackdown for several years, so that’s nice to have him still there. Bryan has been off for a few months after his son was born. I'm hoping he'll be back soon.
Miz TV with Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke as guests
The Miz and John Morrison were in the ring hosting their talk show. After some banter, they introduced the lovely ladies Dana and Mandy as the guests. Both women were dressed in black attire that wasn’t their wrestling gear.
Miz said that he didn’t want them thanking them for this tremendous opportunity. Rose said that Miz got Mandy moved to Raw to separate her with Otis. Miz said that Mandy is happy with new music, new partner, new hair and she’s winning. Miz asked Dana if she was certain that she wants Rose to be her partner since Mandy and Sonya Deville’s friendship ended. Brooke said that she is certain that Rose is her friend and Rose said that they're good. Miz said that they wanted to be a tag team, but they are in a battle royal tonight, so that will be awkward. Mandy said as for the battle royal tonight, may the best woman win.
Natalya and Lana showed up to interrupt the talk show. Lana noted that Natalya is the winningest women’s wrestler of all time and the Best of All Time (#BOAT) while Lana is a winning social media influencer. Lana said she’s the girl with two ex-husbands and an ex-girlfriend, so if you want some tea let’s talk. Natalya said that this might be their last time on Raw. Dana suggested a TikTok dance and Mandy mocked Natalya/Lana for losing all the time. That led to a fight between the four women with Mandy getting rid of Lana and Dana decked Natalya with a clothesline. That led to a break.
Analysis: That was a bit awkward and not a great segment by any means, but they got through it. It’s an attempt to build the women’s tag team division a bit. Some of the dialogue is cheesy as usual and Lana has no credibility since she loses every match, but at least she still has confidence. I thought Mandy and Dana handled their dialogue fine while Miz tried to stir the pot as usual. I don’t think teaming with Lana is helping Natalya at all.
The Miz and John Morrison were still in the ring for more Miz TV with Miz saying it was the season premiere of Miz TV on Monday Night Raw. Miz brought out his next guest…John Morrison, who was already in the ring. Morrison said it was a pleasure to talk about the amazing things they were bringing to Raw and here’s the interruption from Lars Sullivan.
Lars Sullivan walked out in his wrestling gear with a full beard and shaved head. Miz and Morrison were still in the ring waiting for Sullivan. Miz escaped, but Morrison hit a kick to the chest and Sullivan hit a clothesline. Sullivan with a clothesline on Morrison against the turnbuckle. Miz tried to save Morrison, but Sullivan tossed Morrison across the ring. Sullivan gave Morrison the Freak Accident slam in the ring. Sullivan did some staring ahead as the hard camera focused on his yelling.
Analysis: It was similar to Smackdown with Sullivan making his return with an ass-kicking in dominant fashion. I’m not a huge fan of the monster heel characters like Sullivan, but we know Vince McMahon likes guys like that. Morrison has been booked like such a loser for months now. He's better than that.
There was a backstage scene with WWE Official Adam Pearce talking to The Street Profits and The New Day about how a simple title exchange is the best thing they can do here. That led to Street Profits handing their Raw Tag Team Titles to New Day, so New Day handed their Smackdown Tag Team Titles to Street Profits and the title swap was official. Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler went up to the two babyface teams saying they want a title shot, so New Day agreed to put the titles on the line. There was no fight as the heels left while Street Profits and New Day said “we want the smoke” together.
Analysis: That was the simple solution to the Tag Team Championship situation, so I’m glad they got it over with by doing something that fans can understand as a logical decision. They could have done something else, but this was an easy way to get it done.
Seth Rollins was shown walking backstage for a promo in the ring.
Analysis: There was only one match in the first hour. That’s not good.
Stephanie McMahon was back on the stage for more draft picks while announcing that New Day vs. Ziggler/Roode is official for Raw later in the show.
WWE DRAFT - ROUND THREE
#11 Raw – Retribution (Mustafa Ali, T-Bar, Mace, Slapjack, Reckoning)
#12 Smackdown – Lars Sullivan
#13 Raw – Keith Lee
#14 Smackdown – King Corbin
#15 Raw – Alexa Bliss
Analysis: Retribution stays on Raw as expected. Lars Sullivan is on the opposite show of Braun Strowman, which was expected because they are similar characters. Keith Lee started a feud with Strowman last week, so that can continue now. King Corbin stays where he has been. Alexa Bliss is now on the same show as Bray Wyatt as expected. Lee and Reckoning (Mia Yim) are dating, so they get to remain on the same show as well.
Let’s Hear from Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins made his entrance in his leather jacket and ring gear. Rollins said that Raw is losing a lot because he’s on Smackdown. Rollins said he’s a champion, slayed beasts, conquered monsters and a purveyor of the greater good. Rollins said most importantly they are losing the greatest leader in the history of Monday Night Raw. Rollins said he has to ask if there’s anyone who can fill the void that he is leaving behind and it saddens him to say that the answer is no. Rollins said unfortunately Rey and Dominik Mysterio have been moved to Smackdown. Rollins was interrupted by a new Raw acquisition – Jeff Hardy.
Jeff Hardy joined Rollins in the ring, so Seth told Jeff he was not a leader and told him to get the hell out of his ring. Hardy said Seth’s a Smackdown guy now while Jeff was drafted to Raw, so it is Jeff’s ring. Rollins told Hardy to focus on his match this Friday with Lars Sullivan and wished him good luck. AJ Styles joined the party as Rollins left the ring.
Styles wondered how Hardy got out to the ring and he joked that he stumbled out there. Styles told Rollins to get to stepping saying it was not Monday Night Rollins anyway. Hardy kicked Rollins and Styles to knock them down. Hardy whipped Styles into the steel steps and then Hardy jumped off Styles’ back leading to a dive onto Rollins. Hardy with a clothesline on Styles on the floor. Hardy challenged both guys to a triple threat match right now. Hardy actually said “triple threat tag team match” so he made a mistake there.
Analysis: An easy way to set up a match. Hardy and Styles were feuding on Smackdown, so now that feud carries over to Raw. Getting Rollins involved is at least something different for Seth and it gives fans a fresh matchup.
This week on Smackdown: Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman for the Universal Title. Strowman was drafted to Raw. Strowman is not going to win.
The bell rang when they returned from break.
Jeff Hardy vs. AJ Styles vs. Seth Rollins
Hardy sent Rollins over the top to the floor with a clothesline. Styles kicked the left leg of Hardy and Hardy came back with a Slingblade neckbreaker. Rollins got back into the ring as he hit a forearm on Hardy. Styles and Rollins stomped on Hardy together, then Rollins tried a rollup, Styles with a kick to the head and Styles hit a slam off the shoulder onto the knee. Styles choked Hardy throat first against the middle ropes. Styles kicked Rollins off the apron to the floor. Hardy with a back elbow, then he went to the ropes, Rollins knocked Hardy down and Rollins hit the Slingblade on Styles followed by a superkick. Rollins with a suicide dive on Hardy on the floor. Styles with strikes, Rollins with a jumping kick to the head of Styles to knock him out of the ring and Rollins hit another suicide dive on Jeff and AJ on the floor.
Rollins was in control of Hardy with stomps to the back while keeping Styles on the floor with a kick. Rollins sent Hardy into the turnbuckle, Styles with a back elbow, Hardy punched Styles down and Hardy hit a Whisper in the Wind twisting dive onto both opponents. Hardy with a double leg drop and a low dropkick on Styles. Hardy with an atomic drop on Rollins, then a snapmare and Hardy with a front suplex on Styles for two. Hardy with a side Russian legsweep on Rollins for two with Styles breaking up that pin with a shot to Hardy’s face. Styles hit a reverse DDT on Hardy for two. Styles set up Hardy for a move, but Rollins hit a knee off the top. Rollins knocked Hardy down and Rollins hit a Falcon Arrow slam on Styles for a two count. Rollins charged with The Stomp attempt on Styles, but Hardy intercepted that and hit a jumping DDT on Rollins for two. Hardy went up top, Styles stopped him there going for a suplex, Rollins picked up Styles, then Styles took down Rollins with a Calf Crusher attempt and Hardy jumped off the top on Rollins with a Swanton Bomb. Styles shoved Hardy away and covered for two as Rollins kicked out. Hardy blocked a Styles Clash attempt and hit a Twist of Fate on Styles. Elias went into the ring with a guitar shot to Hardy’s back and Styles pinned Hardy for the pinfall win after 14 minutes. Styles slowly made the cover while staring at Elias.
Winner by pinfall: AJ Styles
Analysis: ***1/2 This was a lot of fun even with a cheap finish. I would have gone nearly four stars with a better ending. There's no DQ in a triple threat, so that's why Styles was able to pin Hardy after the Elias attack. They did a lot of big moves, got some believable nearfalls and it really could have gone to either man. Hardy losing in cheap fashion might hurt him a bit, but I don’t think it will do too much damage since it was a cheap ending. Styles can brag about the pin while Rollins moves to Smackdown without getting beat on his way out of Raw. It was an exciting triple threat match for most of it.
Post match, Hardy stared at Elias walking way with the guitar. Elias showed off the broken guitar to the camera.
Analysis: The story was that Elias was hurt in the car crash angle on Smackdown in late May when Sheamus framed Jeff Hardy for drunk driving. The angle went away while Elias missed several months with a legit torn pectoral injury and now Elias looks like he is back in action.
Stephanie McMahon was backstage looking at the WWE Draft cards with more announcements up next.
Stephanie McMahon was back on the stage to read more draft picks.
WWE DRAFT - ROUND FOUR
#16 Raw – Elias
#17 Smackdown – Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn
#18 Raw – Lacey Evans
#19 Smackdown – Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura
#20 Raw – Sheamus
Analysis: The trio of Zayn, Cesaro and Nakamura remain where they are. It took Smackdown this long to keep their Intercontinental Title on the show. Zayn is also on the same show with Kevin Owens again, which always seems to lead to a rivalry or a partnership. Elias, Lacey Evans and Sheamus all switched shows. Evans has been on both shows, done the heel/face thing and I think she’s better off as a heel. Elias just attacked Jeff Hardy to start that feud, so that was an obvious choice. Sheamus is a close friend with Drew McIntyre, which makes me think they might feud at some point.
Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke vs. Lana and Natalya
The four women were already in the ring to start this match. Brooke with a headscissors takeover on Natalya where Natalya does most of the work. Rose with an arm dragon Natalya, Brooke back in and double team kick by the faces got a two count. Lana distracted Brooke, Natalya slammed Brooke and Lana hit a sliding forearm for two. Lana with a suplex on Brooke. Natalya stomped away on Brooke, then Lana back in and she hit a double knee attack for two. Lana stomped on Brooke’s ribs and grabbed a chinlock. Brooke tried punches, so Lana slammed her down back first. Lana slapped Rose, Brooke got a rollup and Rose tagged in. Rose with a clothesline on Lana, then a knee to the ribs and a suplex. Rose with a roll through into a clothesline on Lana by the ropes. Rose with a running knee on Lana. Brooke tagged in and went up onto the turnbuckle. Brooke went on Mandy's shoulders, jumped off with a senton bomb and onto Lana for the pinfall win after four minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke
Analysis: * Below average match with too much Lana in the ring. It was another loss for Lana in a tag team match as Brooke and Rose worked well together as a team. There were a few double team moves from Brooke and Rose that showed that they have been working on some things to be more of a team. I think they could be future champions as a babyface team.
Post match, Natalya talked to Lana saying this is not working out and she’s done. Natalya was frustrated. Natalya left, so Lana was alone in the ring. Lana was sad about it. I don’t know if Lana was supposed to cry and she couldn’t, or she was just there to make sad faces.
Analysis: Another Lana angle has failed. It happens a lot for her.
The Hurt Business foursome of MVP, US Champion Bobby Lashley, Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander were in suits standing around backstage. Ricochet suggested a deal to end this rivalry now, so he wanted to have a match. Ricochet said if their guy wins then Ricochet will join the Hurt Business. MVP and the group agreed to the deal. Cedric Alexander stepped up to volunteer himself and was confident about it.
Angel Garza entered for a match. He was drafted to Raw in the first part of the draft on Smackdown last Friday. That means he remains on Raw.
Zelina Vega was at ringside watching the next match as Andrade made his entrance to face his former tag team partner.
Angel Garza vs. Andrade
Garza tossed off the pants to reveal the trunks right away, Andrade with chops and a belly to back suplex. Andrade kicked Garza in the back. When talking about the battle royal, Vega trashed Alexa Bliss. Garza had some tape on his left leg after an injury scare. Vega said that they were two of the best in the world and said that after this match, her managerial role for them is over. Garza got some offense going with a superkick for two. Vega wanted to be a Women’s Champion on Raw or Smackdown. Garza charged right into Andrade hitting a hiptoss into the turnbuckle. Andrade hit a back elbow to the head to knock Garza out of the ring. Andrade went for the DDT on the floor, but Garza countered with a slam into the side of the ring. Garza hit the Wing Clipper on Andrade for the pinfall after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Angel Garza
Analysis: *1/2 It was okay for a short match. I liked the counter on the floor with Garza sending Andrade into the apron to weaken him. They’re both good workers, but their alliance didn’t really help Garza or Andrade. I really think WWE has dropped the ball with Andrade in terms of how he is booked. Garza has more personality than Andrade, but I think Andrade is better in the ring when given a chance. Anyway, it was a clean win for Garza, which is what it should be. Andrade has been booked terribly over the last few months.
After the match, Vega went into the ring to check on Andrade. The lights went out in the arena and that meant “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt was there. The red lights were in the arena and Alexa Bliss was there doing an upside pose like The Fiend. When Andrade and Vega tried to walk away, The Fiend was there. Bliss and The Fiend each hit the Sister Abigail neckbreaker on Vega and Andrade to put them both down. That ended it.
Analysis: The creepy Fiend/Bliss alliance continues. It was pretty cool to see Bliss doing the Fiend pose which led to the double Sister Abigail attack. I liked how that looked.
It was back to Stephanie McMahon on the stage for more draft picks.
WWE DRAFT - ROUND FIVE
#21 Raw – Nikki Cross
#22 Smackdown – Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
#23 Raw – 24/7 Champion R-Truth
#24 Smackdown – Apollo Crews
#25 Raw – Dabba Kato
Analysis: It’s a change for Nikki Cross going to Raw. Ziggler and Roode seem to be part of the tag team division again with Smackdown needing teams, so that makes sense. R-Truth remains on Raw as the 24/7 Champion, which isn’t a surprise at all. Apollo Crews finally gets to be on the show that the Hurt Business isn’t on, so he can wrestle somebody else. Dabba Kato on the show with Raw Underground makes sense.
The New Day entered for their match as the Raw Tag Team Champions. They are nine-time Tag Team Champions. Bobby Roode made his glorious entrance followed by tag team partner Dolph Ziggler. The team of Roode and Ziggler were drafted to Smackdown right before this match.
Raw Tag Team Championships: The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
Woods and Ziggler did some amateur wrestling takedowns a bit because both guys were amateur wrestlers earlier in their lives. Kingston got the tag with a double axehandle on Ziggler and then Roode tagged in. Roode with a shoulder tackle, then ran the ropes, Kingston with leapfrogs and a back elbow for a two count. Roode punched Woods off the apron, Kingston with a rollup for two and Roode hit a Full Nelson Slam for two. Roode launched Ziggler into the air for a leaping Fameasser for a two count. That was a cool spot.
The heels were in control with Ziggler hitting a splash on Kingston and legal man Roode hit a neckbreaker for two. Roode with a suplex on Kingston and then an elbow drop off the middle rope for two. Kingston hit a double foot stomp to the chest on Roode leading to Woods and Ziggler getting the tags. Woods was on fire with a headscissors, kick to the gut and Woods with a boot on Roode followed by the Honor Roll clothesline. Woods with a jumping attack on Roode while hitting a dropkick on Ziggler on the floor. Woods with a DDT off the ropes on Ziggler for two. Woods went for a slam into the knees, but Ziggler blocked it and Ziggler hit a jumping DDT for two. Roode tagged in, Kingston saved Woods, Roode knocked Kingston off the apron, Woods with a boot to the face and Woods jumped righto a spinebuster from Roode for two. Woods back up with an enziguri kick to the head. Kingston took out Ziggler on the floor when Ziggler tried to attack him first. Kingston with a tag, boot to Roode’s face, Woods held Roode over the knee and Kingston jumped off the top with a double foot stomp to the chest into a backbreaker called the Midnight Hour (that’s what Phillips called it even though they have used that name for another move in the past) and that was enough to get the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods)
Analysis: ***1/4 A pretty good tag team match from four veterans that know the WWE formula well with the build to the hot tag and an exciting finish soon after that. It was obvious that the champs would retain since they were staying on Raw. Ziggler and Roode are fine in their role as midcard heels while New Day are consistently great as a team. I like the double team finish by Woods and Kingston with Kofi hitting the double foot stomp while Woods held Roode for the backbreaker. That's one of the better tag team finishers in WWE right now.
Elias was walking backstage with a broken guitar as Charly Caruso walked up to him for an interview. Elias said that everyone has forgiven Jeff Hardy, but not him because Jeff took him out with a car and took Elias out of action for months. Caruso said that Jeff was not responsible and the suspect was yet to be identified. Elias said yeah there’s some guy with red hair, but he added that a car can’t stop him. Elias said that being the great musician that he is, he wrote a new album called “Universal Truth” on October 26. Elias said we’ll celebrate his return to Raw with a concert and it’ll be unforgettable especially for Jeff Hardy.
Analysis: Elias mentioned the car accident angle, so at least they acknowledged it. Hardy was framed by Sheamus or somebody else although it's not like WWE followed up on the story that well. I can confirm I won't be getting the album, but good luck to Elias.
Cedric Alexander entered for his match with his Hurt Business buddies. I like the theme song.
A video package aired showing Mustafa Ali’s heel turn when he was revealed as the leader of the Retribution group.
Analysis: Earlier on Monday, WWE promoted Ali talking on Raw to explain his actions. He was even on the main banner for this review until we changed it because Ali and Retribution weren’t even on Raw! This angle was talked about a lot last week and they didn’t even feature them this week? Be better, creative team.
Ricochet was up next for this singles match.
Cedric Alexander (w/MVP, Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin) vs. Ricochet
Alexander took control early with a waist lock takedown and a dropkick. Alexander with a snap suplex. Ricochet ran the ropes with Alexander running into him to knock him down with a clothesline and that got a two count. MVP instructed Alexander to slap, so Alexander did a hard open hand slap to Ricochet. There was an inside cradle by Ricochet for two. Ricochet with a snap German Suplex for a two count. Ricochet went up top, he jumped off, Alexander moved, Ricochet landed on his feet and hit two leaping kicks including an enziguri kick and Alexander hit a Michinoku Driver for two. On the kickout, Alexander landed on the referee Eddie Orengo, who was down selling that, so MVP threw a chair into the ring. Ricochet grabbed the chair while the referee was down. Ricochet looked at the referee getting back up, he hit the mat with the chair to make a noise and then collapsed to the mat. It was done by Ricochet to make it seem like Alexander hit him! The referee Orengo looked at Alexander with the chair, Ricochet was down grabbing his head and the referee called for the bell. Ricochet left the ring to avoid the attack and he was announced as the winner after five minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Ricochet
Analysis: ** It’s the Eddie Guerrero tribute finish! That was funny to see. Eddie’s birthday was a few days ago, so I like that Cedric got the win by doing the “fake attack” spot to win a match. They could have booked Ricochet in a stronger way by picking up the win by pinfall and that would have been better, but I don’t mind the Eddie Guerrero ending. It made me laugh, so it worked.
The win by Ricochet means that Hurt Business must stop attacking and targeting him or something like that. The replay of Ricochet’s fall to the mat was funny. The Hurt Business guys were angry in the ring.
The main event was a dual-brand women’s battle royal.
There was a plug for Raw Talk on WWE Network with AJ Styles, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and women’s battle royal winner on the show. More draft picks on that show. I’ve got that info on the bottom of the post.
There were replays of last week on Raw when Braun Strowman and Keith Lee had a countout finish for a match. The action continued after the match as they brawled around the arena with an ending as they went through a table off the stage. They are both on Raw now.
Next week on the Season Premiere of Raw: Keith Lee vs. Braun Strowman.
Analysis: Why is it a Season Premiere when you produce a new show every week? I don’t know. It’s what WWE does every year. It’s a TV thing that they are doing on Smackdown this Friday too. I would expect them to announce some other big matches too.
Stephanie McMahon, who was looking pretty, pretty good (Happy 20 year anniversary to one of my favorite shows ever - Curb Your Enthusiasm) all night long, announced some more picks.
WWE DRAFT - ROUND SIX
#26 Raw – Titus O’Neil
#27 Smackdown – Carmella
#28 Raw – Peyton Royce
#29 Smackdown – Aleister Black
#30 Raw – Akira Tozawa
Analysis: Titus is almost never on the show, yet he got picked before others that should have a bright future. His last singles match in a Raw ring was in April although he has been in Raw Underground fights recently. Great guy that represents WWE so well in the community, but it’s strange that he would be picked. Carmella got video packages hyping up her return to Smackdown, so she remains on Smackdown where she’s been since the brand split started in 2016. Plus, her boyfriend Corey Graves is on commentary Smackdown. Peyton Royce has a lot of potential as a singles wrestler, so she could get a solid push on Raw soon. Aleister Black gets a fresh start on the show with Kevin Owens, who he just faced earlier on Raw. I assume Black’s wife Zelina Vega will end up on Smackdown with him (after the show we found out that she is on Smackdown too). Akira Tozawa is mostly just a joke now doing the ninja gimmick. A serious push would be nice to see, but I have my doubts about that.
Asuka, the Raw Women’s Champion, made her entrance to join commentary for the next match. It was announced by ring announcer Mike Rome that the winner of the dual-brand Battle Royal will earn a Raw Women’s Championship opportunity.
The entrances took place for the women’s battle royal with Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler up first.
There was a plug for the Season Premiere of Smackdown on Friday with a Kickoff Show on Fox at 7:30pmET for 30 minutes before Smackdown. Some of the new Smackdown talent will debut, plus Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman for the Universal Title. Braun won’t win. Also, The New Day are in a six-man tag for the “final” time for now.
A graphic was shown of Raw draft picks for next week’s Season Premiere of Raw as well.
The women’s battle royal was about to begin with Nia Jax doing a pre-match promo saying that either she or Shayna Baszler was going to win. Jax suggested that to save pin, she told them to jump over the top so Jax doesn’t have to throw them over herself.
Women’s Battle Royal (Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott, Nikki Cross, Tamina, Billie Kay, Lana, Bianca Belair, Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Natalya, Lacey Evans, Dana Brooke, Mandy Rose and Peyton Royce)
There were 14 women in this match. It looked like most of the Raw and Smackdown women were in the ring. No Mickie James, the free agent, due to a recent broken nose although she should be back soon. No Charlotte Flair back yet. Sasha Banks was not in it since she’s challenging Bayley for the Smackdown Women’s Title. Naomi wasn’t in the match even though she was drafted to Raw. No Alexa Bliss or Zelina Vega, who was attacked by Bliss earlier.
The women attacked Jax and Baszler to start and then they went into the corners to clear the middle of the ring. Jax faced off with forearm ally Tamina and gave a double headbutt to Lana. Jax easily tossed Tamina out. Kay tried to eliminate Jax, who put Kay on the apron and then Jax with a headbutt knocked Kay out. Baszler sent Brooke and Rose to the apron, so Jax ran over to knock them both down to eliminate Brooke and Rose. Everybody left in the match, including Baszler, eliminated Jax. That led to Jax looking angry about it and staring at Baszler. Jax cleared off the announce table, she saw Lana on the floor and Jax gave Lana a Samoan Drop through the announce table for the fourth time! It’s comical at this point.
There was a shot of Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton getting into a brawl in the backstage area. They were fighting by a garage door with Orton working him over with punches to the chest as the show went to break.
There were seven women left in the ring with Lana also in the match since she wasn’t eliminated. Cross tried a DDT on Evans, who put Cross on the apron and Evans decked her with Woman’s Right punch to eliminate Cross. There were replays shown of action during the break with Natalya eliminating Peyton Royce. Bianca Belair slammed Morgan onto Riott. Belair lifted up Baszler and dumped her over the top to the floor. Natalya set up Belair on the top rope, Riott lifted up Morgan and Morgan kicked Belair to the floor to eliminate her.
The final four were Evans, Natalya, Riott and Morgan although Lana was still in the match even though she was out on the floor. Evans sent Riott to the apron, Natalya sent Morgan to the apron and then Natalya ran over to Riott to knock her out while Evans knocked Morgan out to eliminate her. It’s Natalya and Evans facing off in the ring. Evans sent Natalya into the top turnbuckle two times. Evans with a knee to the ribs and Natalya followed up with some hard strikes. Asuka was backstage watching on a TV instead of staying at ringside. Natalya set up Evans on the apron, Evans pulled Natalya to the apron and Natalya shoved Evans into the ring post. Evans with a kick, Natalya held onto the middle rope and Natalya sent Evans into the ring post to knock her down. Natalya was still on the apron thinking she was the winner when Lana showed up, kicked Natalya in the back and eliminated her. The announcers forgot about Lana, who won the match after about 12 minutes.
Analysis: ** It’s the lucky finish with Lana picking up the win without doing anything. That’s not the kind of finish you can book often in a match like this, but once in a while it’s okay. They did something similar at Money in the Bank this year when Otis won the contract even though he didn’t even climb the ladder and the contract fell in his hands. It’s also a nice way to give Lana a bit of a reward after getting put through the table four times in the last month by Nia Jax. I thought most of the action was good with Natalya and Evans having a nice battle on the apron for the finishing sequence. Bianca Belair’s elimination of Shayna Baszler was impressive while the group teaming up to get rid of Jax was clever. Lana winning might upset some fans, but if you feel bad for her for being put through the table repeatedly then they just booked a finish to show that it’s going to be okay for her.
The win means that Lana faces Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship next week on Raw. Asuka was shocked about it as she watched on the TV backstage.
The fight between McIntyre and Orton spilled out to ringside with punches and chops around the ring. Orton sent McIntyre ribs first into the barricade. The fight was broken up by referees and officials like Adam Pearce, Jamie Noble, D-Von Dudley and Pat Buck. The wrestlers were separated in the aisle momentarily as they did a staredown and that was the end of the Raw.
Analysis: It was only about two minutes of brawling to show that they hate eachother. That’s a fine way to end it because it’s better than ending with Lana as the main event winner. It tells the viewer that McIntyre and Orton don’t like eachother, so that’s why they fought all around the building.
More draft picks were announced on Raw Talk on WWE Network.
WWE DRAFT - ROUND SEVEN
#31 Raw - Lana
#32 Smackdown - Natalya
#33 Raw - Riddick Moss
#34 Smackdown - Riott Squad (Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan)
#35 Raw - Arturo Ruas
Analysis: Lana is just enhancement talent despite her win on Raw. Moss and Ruas are there for Raw Underground, but haven’t done much other than that. Natalya going to Smackdown is a change for her. She has had success on Smackdown in the past and I think it’s the better of the two shows, so I’m excited for her. Riott Squad duo are talented as a team or in singles. Maybe they will break out on SD.
There were also four free agent moves after Raw.
Raw signs Erik of the Viking Raiders
Smackdown signs Tamina
Smackdown signs Billie Kay
Smackdown signs Zelina Vega
Two people are unsigned: Mickie James and Andrade. It would make sense for Andrade to stay on Raw with fiancee Charlotte Flair since couples stay together. It was noted by PWInsider that Andrade and Mickie are both expected to be on Raw.
Analysis: Erik stays where he is to keep fighting on Raw Underground although he had a recent arm surgery, so he’ll miss some time. Erik’s tag team partner Ivar might miss one year of action after neck surgery. The signings of Tamina, Billie Kay and Zelina Vega were done to bolster the women’s division on Smackdown. Vega joins husband Aleister Black on that show.
Three Stars of the Show
- AJ Styles
- Seth Rollins/Jeff Hardy
- Kevin Owens/Aleister Black
7 out of 10
Last week: 6
2020 Average: 6.26
This show was better than most of the recent episodes of Raw thanks to some better matches and some newsworthy things involving the WWE Draft. I think they dropped the ball a bit by not featuring Mustafa Ali and Retribution after advertising them because fans wanted to hear from Ali. I can understand plans changing during the day because we read about it all the time, but you would think a segment that was a big deal last week would be a priority this week. You can’t find time in a three-hour show? That’s weak.
The best matches were the triple threat with AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy and Seth Rollins with Elias making his return from injury for the finish. Those three guys put on an exciting match. I liked the Kevin Owens vs. Aleister Black as a No DQ Match that feels like a feud ender, but they are both on Smackdown moving forward so it could continue. The New Day’s tag team title win over Roode/Ziggler was good too. Ricochet and Cedric Alexander had a short match, but I did laugh at the Eddie Guerrero style finish. I don’t think the main event women’s battle royal was very interesting although the surprising win by Lana at least gets people talking a bit.
The Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton feud was just basic brawling kind of things to keep the story going. There’s nothing else official for Hell in a Cell on the Raw side, so that's something that has to be worked on next week.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Hell in a Cell on Sunday, October 25. Here’s what we know so far.
WWE Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton
WWE Universal Championship “I Quit” Hell in a Cell Match: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Jey Uso
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Sasha Banks
Everybody in those matches are on the same brand going forward, so no issues or confusion there.
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