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HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
FEBRUARY 3, 2020
LIVE FROM SALT LAKE CITY, UT
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Jerry “The King” Lawler
-The show opened with the standard intro video. When it ended, pyro blared in the arena and the announce team welcomed the audience to the program. Phillips said that in moments the world would hear from Randy Orton before cueing up a recap video that highlighted the events of last week between himself and Edge.
Heydorn’s Analysis: An excellent highlight package that emphasized and dramatized the right part of last week’s angle. Edge looked even more sympathetic than last week and Randy Orton all the more evil. Well done.
-When the highlight package ended, the audience booed and then booed louder as Randy Orton made his entrance. Orton slowly walked onto and down the stage. As he did, the announce team updated the audience on Edge’s medical condition. They said he was still undergoing some tests and that he would have an update as early as next week. At that point, Orton continued walking to the ring slowly as the announce team debated whether or not Orton even belonged on Raw at all given what he did last week. Orton conveyed a bit of doubt and confusion as he stood on the ring apron as the audience continued to boo him. The crowd chanted “you suck” and booed even louder as Orton got into the ring. There, he went for his regular pose on the ropes, but thought about it in agony before he hit it. As the boos continued to come in. Orton stood on the second rope and stared at the crowd as they booed even more.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Some great control by Orton in that entrance. The boos reigned in on him, but he kept his performance composure and fed that reaction with his slow pace and calculated emotions. A master at work, folks.
From there, Orton grabbed a microphone. He attempted to speak, but couldn’t because of the loud boos. Finally he did get some words out and said he owed everyone an explanation. Every time Orton tried to speak the crowd booed louder and Orton became more confused. Then, Orton simply said that he couldn’t do this before putting the microphone down and leaving the ring.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Well, Randy didn’t have to do much, but fully got his point and purpose across with what he did do. Orton conveyed some doubt and concern, but in true heel fashion ran from the explanation like a coward. He cultivated and fanned the heel heat making the feud with Edge hotter and Edge as a babyface even hotter too. Simple, but very effective.
-After Orton left, the announce team broke down Orton’s words and said what they saw last week from him was the most evil and vicious attack they’ve seen. From there, the cued up a highlight video that detailed the men’s Royal Rumble match – specifically focusing on the angle between Brock Lesnar and Drew McIntyre. When the video ended, the announce team hyped future matches for tonight’s show. From there, Lana made her entrance as the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, Liv Morgan made her entrance. As soon as she got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match with Lana began.
(1) LANA vs. LIV MORGAN
Out of the gate, Morgan charged Lana and knocked her to the mat. As Liv worked to continue, Lana yelled that she had hurt her wrist and that she needed a doctor. As the referee checked on her, Liv walked over, and Lana punched her in the face to gain momentum. Eventually, Morgan took the momentum back with a quick punch and then followed that with a flatliner off of the second rope for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Morgan via pinfall
-After the match, Morgan celebrated before Ruby Riott made return. Morgan smiled as Riott walked down the ramp. The crowd chanted for Riott and Ruby was emotional as the cheers came in. The, Riott decimated Morgan in the middle of the ring with Lana looking on. Riott left Morgan lying in the middle of the ring before walking up the ramp. Then, Lana attacked Morgan in the ring and yelled at her as the audience booed loudly. Lana yelled “I’m her karma” before walking out of the ring. The show then went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Absolutley nothing to digest or discuss from a match perspective. Riott got a nice reaction for her return, but the quick turn was foreshadowed because WWE does this type of turn too often. Had the turn between Riott and Morgan had some time to breathe, the reaction and impact of the angle would have been more passionate. Silver lining? Maybe we’ll be able to see Morgan vs. Riott before we have to watch Morgan vs. Lana again.
-Out of the break, Mojo Rawley and Riddick Moss were in the ring. They yelled back and forth as the announce team showed pictures of Rawley enjoying himself at Gronk’s Super Bowl boat party. From there, the announce team cued up a highlight video that detailed Drew McIntyre’s Royal Rumble win and challenge to Brock Lesnar for WrestleMania.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Mojo Rawley is at the lowest of the low point on the card at this point. That said, if he’s supposed to be a heel, don’t show pictures of him having fun as a nice guy at a party. It’s one thing if he does it on his own (still not a good idea), but WWE as a machine doesn’t need to hype that conflicting narrative.
-When the video ended, Drew McIntyre made his way to the ring to a big reaction from the crowd. Drew posed on the ropes and got even more cheers. As he did, the audience roared in approval. After, Drew picked up a microphone and paused as the crowd chanted “Drew.” From there, he spoke and thanked the crowd for making it through a blizzard to get there. He then quickly addressed Rawley and said in three seconds he would kick his head off. Drew then spoke about Brock Lesnar. He said he was fine with Lesnar attacking him from behind because it showed him that Lesnar was apprehensive. Drew continued and said that he would kick Lesnar’s oversized head off of him at WrestleMania and finally become WWE Champion. Drew then put the microphone down and the match began.
(2) DREW MCINTYRE vs. MOJO RAWLEY
As soon as the microphone went down, the bell rang, and Drew crushed Mojo with the Claymore. He then made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: McIntyre via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: A nothing match, but a very good promo from McIntyre. He had the audience on his side throughout and clearly defined his WrestleMania mission once again. Drew was likable, but intense and authentic at the same time. That’s his sweet spot. The crowd was there for him without question. If those reactions keep coming, WWE will have something special on their hands.
-After the match, Buddy Murphy and AOP were interviewed backstage. AOP answered the first question in a different language before Murphy took over. Murphy said as far as they were concerned, they already won the match. They talked about Seth Rollins and then Rollins showed up. He told them to leave and prepare for there match. He then stuck around for the interview. Rollins said that sometimes things all line up perfectly. He said last week his WrestleMania dreams were dashed, but that this week he had redemption on his mind. Rollins said that he has beaten Brock Lesnar twice and taken his title twice. Rollins said he knows that Drew McIntyre wants to face Lesnar at WrestleMania, but that he needs to start preparing for a new opponent in him instead. Rollins then walked out of the shot.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This was a step back for Rollins. His attitude along with that laugh was an ode to his 2015 heel character and not the fresh one he had been working for the last month.
-When the interview ended, Kevin Owens made his way to the ring. Once Owens got to the ring, the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, the Viking Raiders made their entrance. Once they got to the ring, Seth’s music played in the arena. He walked to the ring with Buddy Murphy and AOP at his side. After they got into the ring, the ring announcer announced the elimination rules before the bell rang, and the match began.
(3) KEVIN OWENS & THE VIKING RAIDERS vs. BUDDY MURPHY & AOP w/Seth Rollins – Elimination Match
To start, Owens took the momentum over Buddy Murphy. Quickly, he made the tag to the Viking Raiders, they hit a double team body slam on Murphy as the show went to commercial break. (c)
When the action returned, Ivar stood toe to toe in the ring with Razar. Both men exchanged punches until Ivar connected with a big boot. After, Erick tagged into the match and kept the momentum with a knee strike. From there, Erick whipped Razar into the ropes, but Razar pounced off and connected with a clothesline to change momentum in the match. Razar it Erick with strikes and then tagged Murphy into the ring. Murphy kept the momentum even as Erick worked to make the tag. Finally, Erick countered Murphy with a knee strike and made the tag to Ivar. As he did, Murphy made the tag to Akam. Akam took over the match from there until Ivar exploded with a clothesline on Murphy who had tagged back into the match. Ivar and Erick hit a doomsday device-like double team on Murphy. They then made the cover, but only got a two count.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Some good stuff there between the Viking Raiders and AOP. They’ve got some chemistry together and the physical work popped the audience. With a little help, WWE has something here if they want to go with it.
Eventually, the action spilled to the outside of the ring. There, Ivar was thrown shoulder first into the LED board. With the attention there, Seth Rollins connected with an illegal Stomp on the outside of the ring. Rollins then rolled Erick into the ring and Murphy made the cover for the 1,2,3 pin.
Before the match could get underway again, Ivar was taken to the back because of his injury.
Ivar Eliminated because of injury.
That left Kevin Owens all alone in the ring facing off against three opponents. He looked a bit concerned, but the audience roared in anticipation as the show went to commercial break. (c)
Out of the break, Owens was in the midst of a three on one fight. Murphy and AOP held full momentum. They tagged in and out to control Owens and heap loads of offense on him. Murphy hit Owens with a running heel kick and then tagged Akam back into the match. Their trio continued to lay in strikes and offense as the audience chanted “let’s go Owens.” Owens connected with a step up enziguri in an attempt to turn the tide and connected, but was immediatley crushed back to the mat. After, Razar made a pin attempt, but only got a two count.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Owens has the crowd on his side. The three on one is building sympathy nicely and he’s taking advantage thus far.
Out of the pin, AOP and Murphy maintained control of the match. Eventually, Owens battled back and knocked AOP off of the apron. From there, he hit a rolling air attack on AOP and then hit Murphy with a forearm. Owens then went for a Swanton off of the top rope, but Murphy got his knees up to counter. With Owens down, Murphy tried for a top rope move, but Owens rolled out of the way and countered. He then hit Murphy with the pop up powerbomb for the pin.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Great spot for the finish there. They built to it well and it enhanced Owens as the hard-nosed babyface. Well done.
After the elimination, Owens stood toe to toe with Akam. Quickly, Owens hit the Stunner and made the cover for the elimination.
After that elimination, Rollins pumped up Razar on the outside of the ring. As soon as he got into the ring, Razar charged Owens, but Owens dodged it. Instead, Owens hit him with a superkick and then followed that with the Swanton. After, he made the cover, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Razar planted Owens with two straight spinebuster slams before making the cover and securing the 1,2,3 for the win.
WINNER: AOP and Murphy via pinfall eliminations
-After the match, AOP and Murphy celebrated on the ramp with Seth Rollins. After they walked backstage, Kevin Owens was cheered loudly
-Ricochet was interviewed backstage. He said that a chance to compete for the WWE title was the dream. He said that since he was 14 he wanted to prove he was the best. He said that he knows that someone like him doesn’t always win, but that he would use something more valuable than strength or size to win. He said that he’d utilize determination and that tonight’s match meant everything to him.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I don’t like Ricochet as the undersized underdog. He brings insane athleticism and physical prowess to his matches. The character should be rooted in that and not on being small with a big heart. We’ve seen those characters and those stories. Ricochet as an in-ring talent is unique. Tell that story instead.
-When the interview ended, Aleister Black made his entrance. As he did, the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, Eric Young stood in the ring opposite Black. From there, the bell rang, and the match began.
(4) ALEISTER BLACK vs. ERIC YOUNG
Young got a few shots in, but Black took over soon enough. A little over a minute in, Black crushed Young with Black Mass for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Black via pinfall
-After the match, Black spoke again. Black said that people should be whoever they choose to be because that drives relentless competition. Black then sat down and said that when he takes on Raw challengers, he’ll remove the light and that those that fall were beaten down by someone who was told they could be whoever they wanted to be. Black then left the ring as his music played.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Say what now? Discombobulated to say the least and that is probably too much of a compliment. Black needs something of substance. It’s time.
-The announce team played highlights that detailed the events of last week between Humberto Carrillo and Andrade. When the highlights ended, Carrillo made his way down to the ring. As he flipped into the ring and posed, the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, Angel Garza made his entrance with Zelina Vega. Vega spoke on the ramp and asked Humberto if he was surprised. She laughed and then explained that nobody smart plays fair. He said that vulnerability was a liability and that she found his. She said that when anyone messes with her business, they pay. From there, she introduced Garza and called him a champion in NXT, the hottest latino prospect, and Carrillo’s cousin. They then got into the ring. At that point, Garza spoke in Spanish to Carrillo. He said that he knows Carrillo is in shock, but that there was a reason for his appearance. He called himself the leader of his family and said that Humberto must answer to him. The audience booed loudly. As Garza continued to speak, Carrillo grabbed the microphone out of his hands as the crowd cheered. He spoke in Spanish as well before Vega slapped him in the face. Right after, Garza attacked Carrillo as the crowd booed. Eventually, Garza hit Carrillo with the Wing Clipper before tossing him out of the ring.
Heydorn’s Analysis: That’s some nice promo work from Vega. Her cadence and promo introduced Garza in a big way and forced the perception that he was a big deal. I like Humberto snatching the microphone away as well. He needs an edge, but more importantly, standing there being verbally abused isn’t an authentic way to act in that situation. Carrillo came off as real here. Success.
On the outside, Garza beat up Carrillo around the ring. As he did, Vega removed the pad on the ground to reveal concrete. Vega than instructed Garza to “do it.” As he was about to hit Carrillo with a move on the exposed ground, Rey Mysterio ran out to make the save. Garza and Vega ran away and into the ring as Rey checked on Carrillo. The show then went to break. (c)
-Out of the commercial break, Mysterio stood in the ring across from Garza. From there, the bell rang, and their match began.
(5) ANGEL GARZA w/Zelina Vega vs. REY MYSTERIO
The match started hot with both men exchanging offense in the ring. Soon after, Garza took hold and held control until the action spilled to the outside of the ring. There, Garza slammed Rey into the guardrail and then stood over him and gloated as the show went to commercial break again. (c)
Out of the break, Garza maintained control and kept it until he attempted a springboard moonsault and missed. Rey took over from there and hit a flurry of offense including kicks and strikes. He then attempted a pin, but Garza kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Rey attempted a springboard Senton and connected. He worked to follow that with a kick, but Garza countered. Instead, Garza went for the Wing Clipper, but Rey countered it into a Canadian Destroyer. Rey went for the 619 after it, but Vega pulled Garza out of the way to avoid the move. Instead, Rey connected with a dive through the ropes. With Garza down, Vega taunted him and distracted him until Garza connected with a superkick. From there, Garza dragged Rey to the concrete and hit him with the hammerlock DDT. As soon as that happened, the referee called for the bell.
WINNER: No contest
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good match and Garza held his own in there with Rey. He’s got a confidence about him that will help him connect with audiences. That said, it’s Vega’s show, and she was tremendous in establishing Garza throughout the match.
-After the match, the announce team hyped Charlotte’s upcoming WrestleMania match announcement as the show went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, Charlotte made her entrance to a nice reaction from the crowd. Once she got into the ring, she posed and then pointed to the WrestleMania sign. From there, she grabbed a microphone and addressed the crowd. She said that everyone wants to know who she will choose to face at WrestleMania. She quickly outlined her options before saying that she has held the Raw and SmackDown’s women’s championship multiple times and beaten both Bayley and Becky Lynch. The audience chanted “Rhea.” In response, Charlotte said that she had love for NXT and that NXT loves the queen. She said that she has won all the gold, but wanted more.
Heydorn’s Analysis: There is the mic work that we’ve come to expect from Charlotte. It had direction and and a focus that we haven’t seen in ages. Good stuff.
As she continued, Rhea Ripley hit the ring to a big reaction from the crowd. Ripley smirked as she stared at Charlotte in the ring. She then spoke as the audience chanted “NXT.” Rhea said that Charlotte did win the women’s Royal Rumble and that she can challenge for any title that she wants. From there, she said that Charlotte has beaten them all, but she hasn’t beaten her. The crowd cheered. Rhea continued and said that she has beaten Charlotte and the audience cheered more. She then said that if Charlotte is to challenge for any title at WrestleMania, she should pick hers. Rhea then held up her belt as the audience chanted “yes.”
Heydorn’s Analysis: Ripley looked to be on par with Charlotte. That alone is a plus. Her promo didn’t have a ton to it, but she delivered it with a confident tone and with a star-like swagger. She looks the part and didn’t seem out of place on this stage.
In response, Charlotte walked up the belt that Rhea held and smiled at before leaving the ring as the audience booed. Then, Charlotte’s music played as she walked up the ramp. When she got to the top, Charlotte did her woo and walked backstage as Ripley stood in the ring and held her belt.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Well, the decision continues. Charlotte was dismissive of Ripley in the end, but not in a way that diminishes Rhea.
-Bobby Lashley was interviewed backstage. He said he wasn’t distracted by Lana and that he will win his match to get the WWE Championship opportunity that he deserves. Lashley then said would beat Brock Lesnar at Super Showdown and then beat Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania to stay WWE Champion.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I just can’t take Bobby Lashley seriously as a top contender after the last two months he’s had running around with Lana and Rusev. He’s got a credibility issue and its severe at at this point.
-After the interview, Asuka made her way to the ring with Kairi Sane at her side. As she did, the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, Natalya made her entrance. Once she got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.
(6) NATALYA vs. ASUKA w/Kairi Sane
Asuka owned the early part of the match until Natalya countered with strikes that sent Asuka falling to the outside of the ring. There, Kairi Sane checked on her as Nattie was held back in the ring. The show then went to break. (c)
Out of the break, Asuka was back n control of the match. She slammed Nattie to the mat and then connected with a series of kicks before slamming her face first into the canvas. As she went for more offense, Nattie rolled her up, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Asuka immediatley went on offense again and put Nattie in a stretch submission. Asuka broke the hold on her own and then hit Nattie with a shining wizard before making a cover. Nattie kicked out at two and after, Asuka worked another submission hold. Finally, Nattie hit Asuka with a suplex to break the hold. From there, Nattie connected with a discus clothesline before locking in the Sharpshooter. Eventually, Asuka got to the ropes which forced a break. She fell out of the ring and Nattie followed her to throw her back in. As Nattie climbed in, she was distracted by Sane at ringside. Because of the distraction, Asuka was able to lock in the Asuka lock for the victory.
WINNER: Asuka via submission
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good match. A match without context, but good nonetheless.
-After the match, Asuka picked up a microphone and yelled words in Japanese. She then spoke in English and called out Becky Lynch. She said she wanted a rematch for the Raw Women’s Championship. This prompted Becky Lynch to hit the ring to a big pop. Lynch wore sunglasses and then got into the ring and faced off with Asuka. There, she spoke as the audience chanted and said that after ducking her for a year, she was surprised that Asuka wanted to face her again. She said that beating Asuka once gave her super powers and that she wants to drink out of that fountain gain. Lynch than spoke about the other side of the coin and questioned why she would put her belt on the line so close to WrestleMania. She answered her own question and said that the only thing better than beating Asuka once would be beating her twice. As she said this, Sane tried to attack Becky from behind, but Becky thwarted it and tossed her out of the ring. Lynch then flexed at Asuka and said “see, superpowers. I have eyes in the back of my head” before dropping the microphone and walking out of the shot.
Heydorn’s Analysis: That worked. Becky looked every bit the star that she is and defined why she wanted the rematch again instead of just being saddled with it. I like the sunglasses. More sunglasses.
-Seth Rollins was shown walking backstage as the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, Seth Rollins made his entrance. Once he got into the ring, he debuted a new pose, and then asked for a microphone. Rollins then addressed the crowd and said that good things come to those who are on the right side of history. He then asked the audience to give a round of applause to AOP and Murphy for their win. He thanked the audience and then said it was his time. He said it was him time to once again dethrone Brock Lesnar. The audience cheered. In response to the cheers, he said that last year he got a different response from the audience.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Ehh, I don’t know Seth. You got some cheers there as well. Lesnar is too much of an over heel for another heel to talk about beating him that way. It breeds babyface responses which run counter to Seth at this point.
He continued talked about beating Brock Lesnar and winning the title only to have the fans turn on him. Rollins said that he didn’t hate the audience for it and that he wanted to thank them. He said that because of the fans, he is the man he is. He then said he would dethrone Lesnar again and it wouldn’t be for him or the fans, but for the greater good. Rollins said that Drew McIntyre wouldn’t be going to WrestleMania to face Brock, but to face him instead. At that point, Ricochet made his entrance.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Rollins got to where he needed to go, but the early part of the promo was muddy.
Once Ricochet got into the ring, Bobby Lashley made his entrance. As he did, the show went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, the bell rang, and the match began.
(7) RICOCHET vs. SETH ROLLINS vs. BOBBY LASHLEY – WWE Championship Number One Contender Match
Lashley took control of the match early and crushed Rollins with a spear before tossing him out of the ring. He tried to do the same to Ricochet, but Ricochet countered it with a dropkick. He then followed that with over the top rope corkscrew dives on both Lashley and Rollins. From there, Ricochet rolled Rollins into the ring. He climbed to the top rope for a follow-up move, but Murphy and AOP ran out and interfered. They pushed Ricochet off of the top rope and then turned their attention to Lashley. As they beat down Seth’s opponents, Kevin Owens hit the ring to a big pop to help. As he beat down Buddy Murphy, the Viking Raiders appeared to help even the odds even further. Owens and the Raiders used steel chairs on AOP and Murphy before the brawl moved into and through the audience. As it did, the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Predictable, but setup earlier in the night so it made sense. Good stuff.
Out of the break the action continued with Lashley owning the momentum. He connected with shoulder tackles to both men in the corner before Ricochet dropped him with a springboard clothesline. After, Ricochet kept control and kicked Rollins in the face before hitting him with a springboard clothesline. From there, he hit a standing shooting star press and covered, but Lashley broke it up. Out of the pin, Lashley attempted to lift Ricochet over his head, but Ricochet countered. Eventually, Lashley connected with Spinebusters on both Rollins and Ricochet. He covered Rollins, but only got a two count. In the end, Ricochet connected with his 630 on Lashley for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Ricochet via pinfall
-After the match, Brock Lesnar ran out of the back and crushed Ricochet with an F5. After, he stood with the belt in the ring as the audience booed and the show faded to black.