Monday Night Raw
Date: September 14, 2020
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, Dolph Ziggler
We are less than two weeks away from Clash Of Champions but more importantly this is In Your Face Raw, which is no way their big show to counter the debut of Monday Night Football. Therefore, the question here is how far do they get blown back to the Stone Age in terms of the ratings and viewership. Let’s get to it.
Dolph Ziggler is on commentary for the opening preview.
Here’s Drew McIntyre to open things up, now with the sound of a sword being pulled out of a sheath because that’s a thing WWE loves. We see a long recap of the exchange of kicks to the head over the last few years. Back in the arena, McIntyre says that Orton should be lucky that his head is still on his head. McIntyre has been told that because of his fractured jaw, he needs to take some time off. However, that means vacating the WWE Championship so that isn’t going to be happening. After everything that has been happening, Drew has an idea for Clash Of Champions: let’s make it an ambulance match.
After we see the Claymore General Hospital (caricatures of people McIntyre has kicked in the face), McIntyre explains how the Claymore was invented, which was mainly due to a lack of underpants during a running big boot in leather pants. Cue Adam Pearce to say that Randy Orton might not be able to make Clash Of Champions, so if Keith Lee beats Drew tonight, Lee gets the title shot instead. Drew, as Pearce leaves: “Who put you in charge anyway?” Cue Lee to look at the title and slowly shake hands with Drew, but he doesn’t let go so soon.
Street Profits vs. Cesaro/Shinsuke Nakamura
Non-title and Cesaro and Nakamura promise to take the smoke before the match. Cesaro uppercuts Dawkins’ head off to start and it’s Nakamura coming in with a middle rope knee to the head into Cesaro’s gutwrench suplex for an early two. Dawkins drops Nakamura with a shot to the head of his own and it’s off to Ford for a heck of a dropkick. Ford is taken outside and dropped hard onto the barricade and we take a break.
Back with Ford avoiding Cesaro’s charge into the corner and diving over to bring in Dawkins. House is cleaned but Nakamura knocks Dawkins down, only to walk into the spinebuster. Ford’s crazy frog splash hits raised knees to give Nakamura two though and it’s the Swing into a running knee to the ribs for the same. Nakamura kicks Dawkins in the head and it’s Swiss Death to Ford for another near fall. Cesaro uppercuts away in the corner and hits a superplex but Dawkins tags himself in for the Cash Out and the pin at 9:28.
Rating: C+. It was certainly energetic and that’s what it needed to be. The Profits winning makes more sense as they have been champions for a lot longer and are a much more established team, but I’m still not wild on seeing the champs lose clean like this. Then again it isn’t like the Smackdown Tag Team Titles have any kind of long term value anyway.
Video on Mickie James. That’s a good idea as a lot of newer fans might not be overly familiar with the peak of her career.
Angel Garza talks to Lana, who can’t believe that Mickie James is getting a title shot before Natalya. Garza calls her passion for justice intoxicating. Cue Andrade and Zelina Vega, with the latter getting rid of Lana and then yelling at Garza for abandoning Andrade last week. Angel is tired of being blamed for everything and says Andrade was the one who lost last week. The men argue in Spanish but Zelina tells them to callate. She can’t do this anymore and walks off as the guys get in a fight.
Here’s the Hurt Business for a chat before their match. MVP says business is booming and Shelton Benjamin has moved up from the Gold Standard to Platinum Status. Then there is Cedric Alexander, who is officially part of the team. Cedric mocks fans yelling at him for turning his back on his friends. This is his job and no one knows what it is like to come to work every week and get beaten down by three men like these people. Now that he is in the Hurt Business….he can be cut off by Ricochet and Apollo Crews.
Apollo says Cedric turned on them and sold him out but Cedric says he took the beatings for Apollo when Crews was US Champion. Shelton says Cedric doesn’t owe them an explanation but Ricochet says no one was talking to him. Cedric was supposed to be their brother but they aren’t out here to say why Cedric why. Now, they’re coming for Cedric. This was a nice back and forth segment with Cedric explaining his actions and his former friends saying what you would expect them to say.
Cedric Alexander vs. Ricochet
The rest of the Hurt Business and Apollo Crews are here too. They don’t waste time in starting with Ricochet sending him outside for a kick to the face and a moonsault. Lashley and Crews get in a fight but here’s Erik to brawl with Lashley. They fight up the ramp and we take an early break. Back with Ricochet caught in a waistlock and getting kneed in the ribs to take him right back down. Ricochet scores with a dropkick and a German suplex for two but a Shelton distraction slows Ricochet down on the way to the top. The shooting star misses and Cedric grabs the Lumbar Check for the pin at 8:45.
Rating: C-. At least Cedric didn’t lose in his first singles match as part of the team. Cedric is a good addition to the story and offers something that the team has been needing: a personal story. Lashley vs. Crews was all about the title but now they have someone who is actually angry at them for something personal. That has been missing and it could help the team go a long way.
Post match Retribution pops up on screen to say they are seeing with eyes wide open. The people who sell their souls to a corrupt machine, you become garbage yourselves. One of the men (pretty clearly Dominick Dijakovic) talks about how they were all in the Performance Center being lied to and now they are the reality. They are Retribution. The Hurt Business waits on anyone to show up in the ring and no one ever arrives.
Mickie James talks about how how she has been around for a long time and with experience comes clarity. She knows this might be her last chance to win the Raw Women’s Title.
Adam Pearce yells at security for failing to stop Retribution but here’s the Hurt Business to say they’ll take over security. Just not for free.
Raw Women’s Title: Mickie James vs. Asuka
James is challenging and we get the Big Match Intros. They fight over a lockup to an early standoff before Mickie gets a few rollups for two each. Asuka shoulders her down but Mickie is back with a neckbreaker for two. A knee to the face gives Asuka two more and they’re both down for a bit. Asuka misses the running hip attack into the ropes and Mickie blasts her with a kick to the face as we take a break.
Back with the two of them fighting their way to their feet until Asuka charges into some shots in the corner. A hurricanrana out of the corner sends Asuka down but she’s right back with the hip attack. Mickie plants her again though and nips up into a little dance. Asuka catches Mickie on top but gets shoved down, setting up the top rope Thesz press for two. Mickie’s spinning kick to the face misses and Asuka hits some YES Kicks, somehow not breaking Mickie’s legs as she keeps falling backwards.
Mickie is back and grabs a half crab before hitting the kick to the face for two more. Asuka pulls her into the cross armbreaker until Mickie stacks her up for two. They trade rollups for two each but Asuka reverses into the Asuka Lock. Mickie flips around and lands on Asuka in what should be a cover but the referee stops it at 11:59, saying Mickie cannot continue, even though she is completely conscious.
Rating: B-. This was a nice hard hitting match but the ending was pretty confusing and seems to suggest some kind of actual injury. Either that or some kind of angle that isn’t getting off to a good start. Either way, Mickie can still go and gave Asuka a fight but didn’t have enough to take the title.
Post match here’s Zelina Vega to say Asuka has defended against everyone from yesterday but has forgotten about one of the best in the business today. Vega says she is ready for the title so Asuka yells at her, only to be slapped in the face. Asuka scares her off and I think we have the next title match.
Keith Lee is ready to go after the WWE Championship and he’ll do what he must, including taking advantage of McIntyre’s injured jaw.
Erik vs. Bobby Lashley
Non-title and MVP is on commentary. Erik knees him down to start but Lashley grabs a spinebuster. Lashley is back up with the spinning Dominator for two and then the Hurt Lock (full nelson and better than the Full Lashley) makes Erik tap at 2:08.
Kevin Owens is asked about Aleister Black, who might be mad because Hot Topic wouldn’t honor his coupon. Maybe he was mad that no one cared about him sitting in a dark room for months. Owens wants to hurt Black and inflict as much pain on him as possible. Owens walks away and Black pops up to glare at him.
The steel cage is being built. I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen one actually assembled on TV.
Braun Strowman shows up for Raw Underground and threatens to use Shane McMahon to open the door.
MVP seems to have replaced Ziggler on commentary for the rest of the show.
We recap the end of last week’s Raw where the Mysterios gang attacked Murphy.
Murphy tries to explain last week to Rollins but Seth gets it. He has forgiven Murphy and has a favor to ask of him: stay in the back so he can’t screw anything up. Rollins throws in some hard slaps to the face to prove his point.
R-Truth cuts a promo on a Kit Kat but Liv Morgan comes up and attacks it from behind.
Mandy Rose’s trade to Raw is announced.
The Mysterio Family is ready for Dominik to face Rollins in a cage. Rey thinks Dominik will show what he can do once the cage shuts.
Seth Rollins vs. Dominik Mysterio
In a cage. Rollins strikes away to start and for the first time, I can’t fathom how many camera cuts are made. They were changing in time with Rollins’ shots to the back. Dominik grabs a tornado DDT and goes for the escape but here’s Murphy to slide in a kendo stick. Rollins sends him into the cage and we take a break with Cole in mid-sentence. Back with Rollins raking Dominik’s face across the cage but Dominik reverses into a ram of his own.
There’s a headscissors to send Rollins into the cage and now Rey hands Dominik a stick of his own. Some rams into the cage set up a sitout spinebuster for two on Rollins. The go up top and both crotch themselves on the rope, with MVP giving Dominik credit for shaking the ropes and being crafty. Dominik goes for the door but Murphy jumps Rey and beats him onto the barricade.
Murphy climbs up to cut off Dominik but gets knocked down, giving us what sounded like a sound effect on the crash landing. Dominik hits a frog splash for two so he goes up again, only to get superplexed down into the Falcon Arrow to give Rollins two. Rollins hits the Stomp but stops to glare at the Mysterios instead of covering. That means a second Stomp to finish Dominik at 11:59.
Rating: B-. I very rarely notice this kind of thing but the camera cuts here were completely insane and some of the most annoying things I can remember seeing in years. It was every few other second and it became the thing I kept focusing on rather than the match itself. As for the match, it was more of the same as Dominik looked good but came up short in a match where he shouldn’t have won. It was good enough, but I don’t need to see any combination of the Mysterios and Rollins/Murphy for a long time.
Post match Murphy seems to humble himself before Rollins, who sends him into the cage anyway. Rollins asks how it feels and says Murphy sucks. With Rey in the ring, Rollins tells Rey’s wife that he hopes the daughter turns out better. Rey’s daughter Aaliyah checks on Murphy for a bit before getting inside to check on Dominik as well, as Dominik is holding his shoulder.
We go to Raw Underground where Dolph Ziggler elbows someone out. Riddick Moss gets up to face Ziggler next and he blocks Ziggler’s takedown attempts. That’s fine with Dolph as he tries a choke but gets elbowed in the face. Braun Strowman comes in and beats up both of them.
Drew McIntyre talks about how Keith Lee could have kicked out of the RKO last week and if Orton had hit him with one at Summerslam, he might not be champion today. Cue Keith lee to say he thought they were friends. Lee thinks Drew is saying Orton would have beaten him but the only match he didn’t interfere in is the one time Lee beat Orton. Maybe Drew thinks Lee can beat him and take the title. Lee slaps him on the shoulder so McIntyre slaps him in the face as the fight is on. Lee whips him into the anvil case but referees break it up.
Titus O’Neil heads into Raw Underground.
Braun Strowman is still destroying people, including a second try from Riddick Moss. Titus double legs Strowman and hammers away but Strowman chokes him out.
Aleister Black vs. Kevin Owens
Black jumps him from behind before the bell. We’re joined in progress after a break with Black beating him down and grabbing a half crab. Owens kicks him away though and drops him over the top for a crash onto the apron. Back in and Owens pokes him in the eye but Black grabs a kneebar. Black holds on for four before breaking but Owens is back up with the superkick. The lights go wacky and Owens uses the distraction to hit the Stunner for the pin at 4:35.
Rating: C. The match wasn’t something that had the chance to go very far and I’m glad that Retribution didn’t actually show up in the ending. That being said, it is another example of Retribution not actually doing anything, which is one of the worst things that has been working against them so far. Also, Black shouldn’t be losing this soon into his heel run but at least it wasn’t clean.
Owens and McIntyre are still fighting until Adam Pearce comes up to say break it up or no match.
Riott Squad vs. Lana/Natalya
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler are on commentary. Lana and Liv start things off with Lana getting a quick rollup for two but it’s quick off to Riott. A Codebreaker from Liv into the Riott Kick finishes Lana at 1:13.
Post match Shayna and Nia beat up Lana and Natalya, including a Samoan drop to put Lana through the announcers’ table.
Back at Raw Underground, Moss tries his luck with Strowman one more time and Strowman can’t believe it. Strowman beats up Moss and Ziggler at the same time but Dabba Kato gets up for the real showdown. Shane McMahon cuts them off and says next week.
Keith Lee vs. Drew McIntyre
Non-title. Lee hammers away to start and gets in a shot to the bad jaw, setting up a charge over the top. Back from a break with McIntyre slugging away so Lee goes right back to the chops. The top rope chop gets two and McIntyre drops him with a clothesline. A suplex doesn’t work for McIntyre so Lee runs him over with a crossbody for two of his own. Lee puts him on top for the superplex back down and a delayed two. The Claymore and Spirit Bomb are both blocked so it’s stereo crossbodies for a double knockdown. They pull themselves up…and here’s Retribution for the no contest at we’ll say 9:45.
Rating: C+. They went with the two big men hitting each other really hard formula here and it worked well. Lee still doesn’t lose for a good detail, but you can also tell that he has lost a lot of sizzle in the last few weeks. Maybe helping to deal with Retribution can be a nice boost though, which he somehow already needs. Also, well done on not having Orton interfere here, which felt like the obvious ending.
Post match the beatdown stays on but here’s the Hurt Business to take off the jackets and go for the fight as well. McIntyre and Lee get up to hit the big stereo flip dives onto everyone to end the show, as somehow no one was unmasked in that whole thing.
Overall Rating: C+. The wild camera cuts during the Mysterio vs. Rollins match aside, there wasn’t much to complain about here. They focused on several stories and nothing was overly bad all night long. Retribution actually did something a little more important, though having them laid out to end the show doesn’t help them very much. This was a far easier watch than usual for the show and maybe they are starting to figure things out again. Emphasis on maybe.
Street Profits b. Cesaro/Shinsuke Nakamura – Cash Out to Cesaro
Cedric Alexander b. Ricochet – Lumbar Check
Asuka b. Mickie James via referee stoppage
Bobby Lashley b. Erik – Hurt Lock
Seth Rollins b. Dominik Mysterio – Stomp
Kevin Owens b. Aleister Black – Stunner
Riott Squad b. Lana/Natalya – Riott Kick to Lana
Keith Lee vs. Drew McIntyre went to a no contest when Retribution interfered
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