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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
JUNE 8, 2020
ORLANDO, FLA. AT PERFORMANCE CENTER
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe
-After the WWE brand logo stamp, the Raw opening theme played. Then Phillips introduced the show as they showed trainees from the Performance Center standing and applauding from the designated audience level. They previewed the show, beginning with the return of The Peep Show with Edge & Christian. Saxton hyped the Decathlon. They also hyped Bobby Lashley would be MVP’s guest on The MVP Lounge.
-The announcers hyped the Asuka vs. Nia Jax match for the Raw Title at Backlash this Sunday as Asuka made her way to the ring for her scheduled match against Charlotte. Just as Charlotte was about to be introduced, Sasha Banks came out with her newly won WWE Women’s Tag Team Title belt. Bayley joined her seconds later. Asuka stood, looking shocked. Bayley and Sasha said tonight isn’t about the Raw Women’s Champion opening Raw. Bayley said in case anyone has been living under a rock, “which is probably a lot of you,” they became tag team champions last week. Asuka heard enough and started yelling at them. Bayley explained that as the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, they’re allowed to go to any brand they want. Sasha told her to back up and shut up and get out. Charlotte’s music interrupted and she walked out to the ring.
Charlotte paraded to the ring in a fancy robe and congratulated them for winning the titles and going from brand to brand. “Good luck keeping up with my stamina,” she said. She told them to take their victory lap before someone takes those titles from them. She told them to enjoy the spotlight, but make it quick because the people want to see her wrestle Asuka. She was then interrupted by The IIconics. Peyton Royce said the most anticipated match on Sunday is the Triple Threat for the Women’s Tag Team Titles. They bragged that they beat Banks & Bayley at WrestleMania last year to win the tag titles. They said, together, they’ll make Backlash “IIconic.” Asuka then ranted in Japanese at them. Charlotte said dryly, “What she said.” Bayley bragged that Charlotte failed to drive a wedge between them. Charlotte said she doesn’t need a title or two to be relevant. She said they are still going to be garbage, with or without title belts. Bayley and Sasha attacked Charlotte. The IIconics beat up Asuka. Bayley and Sasha beat up Charlotte. Asuka and Charlotte made a comeback and cleared the ring. “Chaos here on Raw!” declared Phillips.
(Keller’s Analysis: So one babyface in that whole thing in Asuka, and she was a heel recently who never officially turned. And if anyone was starting to root for Sasha because of how Bayley has been treating her, you just lose any respect you have for her because she’s standing next to Bayley cheering and bonding with her obnoxiously as if none of that happened. It’s like Mizdow went from a hot act fans couldn’t wait to beat up Miz to a push-over flake who never stood up for himself. This division is just a random mix-n-match mess. Five years ago Vince McMahon had talked internally about the Women’s Division being about personalities who don’t get along rather than having any well-defined admirable characters battling well-defined heels. It’s like they’re back to that, with Becky Lynch gone.) [c]
(1) CHARLOTTE & ASUKA vs. THE IICONICS (Billie Kaye & Peyton Royce) vs. SASHA BANKS & BAYLEY
Phillips said this tag match was made official during the break, but Charlotte would still face Asuka later on the show. Early in the match with Charlotte in control, the audience chanted for Asuka. Charlotte teased a tag to Asuka, then pulled her hand back. Saxton said nobody tells Charlotte what to do. Asuka tagged herself in shortly thereafter, slapping Charlotte on the back. [c]
They continued to play up Charlotte and Asuka not getting along. With Billie Kaye down, Charlotte told Asuka to watch and learn. She set up a moonsault off the ropes, but Asuka tagged herself in and then applied the Asukalock to get the tapout win. Saxton said Asuka just upstaged The Queen.
WINNERS: Asuka & Charlotte in 11:00.
-Charlotte attacked a celebrating Asuka after the match. She waved the Raw title belt over Asuka and said, “You still haven’t beaten me.” Saxton confirmed that fact.
-The announcers threw to a video package on the Rey Mysterio-Seth Rollins situation including Aleister Black and Dominic, Rey’s son. Then the announcers said Rey Mysterio would announce an update on his medical evaluation, including whether he’d have to retire. Seth Rollins made his way out to his music. Saxton said that was unexpected. Seth was wearing a black glove on his right hand. He walked up to Saxton and asked him to sacrifice his chair for him. Saxton hesitated, but complied reluctantly. Seth sat down and said he’s been waiting all week long to interview Rey. “I wouldn’t miss this interview for the world,” he said. Rey was shown sitting on a stool on split screen and called Seth a son of a bitch. They cut to a break. [c]
-They went back to the split screen of the announcers and Seth at the desk, and Rey at another location. Rey said his doctor said he won’t make any promises, but the prognosis is promising. He said there is a high risk he could do further damage to his cornea or suffer an infection. He said he doesn’t know when he can compete again, if ever, but if he can, he will deliver a 619 to Seth that he won’t see coming. “You’ll pay for what you did to me and what you put my family through,” he said. “I’m going to kick your ass.” Seth angrily said Rey cannot keep expressing these lies. He said he had a chance to walk away gracefully and he could have walked away a hero, but he is spreading misinformation. He said he is a peaceful man and he gave him an opportunity to walk away a legend. He personally invited him and his son Dominic to come to Raw next week. He said he hopes he comes in peace so he can tell him and show him face-to-face that the sacrifice he made was for the greater good. Rey said he knows he is inviting him only because he isn’t medically cleared, but when he is cleared, Seth will find out. Seth told Rey he has the whole thing backwards. Black leaped at Seth out of nowhere. (The viewers didn’t see that coming, but there was no way Seth wouldn’t have seen Black coming at him.) They cut to a super-sudden break. [c]
(2) ALEISTER BLACK & HUMBERTO CARILLO vs. AUSTIN THEORY & MURPHY
When Black set up an early Black Mass on Murphy, Theory interfered. Black threw him out of the ring, then Carrillo dove onto him at ringside. Murphy caught Black with a kick to the head, but Black met him quickly on the top rope and kicked him in the chin for a three count.
WINNER: Black & Carrillo in 2:30.
-Rey’s music played, but Seth walked out in a Rey mask. That distracted Carrillo and Black, so Murphy and Theory attacked them. Seth entered the ring and joined in the attack. Seth yelled at Black that he warned him not to stick his nose in his business. They threw Carrillo out of the ring, then triple-teamed Black. Seth said he will make him a sacrifice. Black and Theory held him, then threw him to the mat. Seth delivered a Stomp. Seth raised the arms of Black and Theory. Phillips said this is what happens if you get in the path of Seth. Joe said this is Seth’s “greater good” on display.
-Charly Caruso interviewed Randy Orton backstage. She asked how he’s preparing for a match with such high expectations. Orton said what he’s wondering is whether Edge is going to be the only guest on “The Peep Show.” Charly said that is her understanding. Orton said, “That’s next, right? Outstanding.” Charly asked why he said that. Orton said there quite possibly could be a second guest.
-Christian’s entrance music played and he walked out. Saxton asked Phillips if he considers himself a Peep. Phillips laughed and said, “Absolutely!” [c]
-The Peep Show: Edge made his entrance. Christian said at first, he was really supportive of and excited for Edge’s return and having a big moment at WrestleMania, but he said now he thinks he’s running on fumes. The audience annoyingly chanted, “You still got it!” Christian said he doesn’t think he was capable of having the Greatest Match Ever, even in his prime. The audience booed. Christian said they’re best friends, and they have to be brutally honest with each other. He said if he thinks he can live up to the hype, he’s lying to himself and starting to buckle. He said he doesn’t think he can handle the pressure.
Edge got intense with Christian and asked if he ever thought what it’s like to be in his shoes. He said he hasn’t had a straight-up wrestling match without bells and whistles in nine-and-a-half years. He said the pressure is like being dropped in the middle of Mount Everest with no gear and no crew and told to just climb. He said, in the third person, “Forgive if this Edge is a little different, if this Edge has some self-doubt.” He said this isn’t the same Edge who used to give Christian a pep talk every night to give him confidence when he was so nervous before each of their tag team matches. “Pardon me if this Edge has some self-doubt,” he said. He said he’s about to face a Randy Orton who has been around the last nine-and-a-half years, firing on every cylinder. “I don’t even know how many cylinders I have left under the hood.”
Christian stood up and said, “Excuses. I’m hearing excuses.” Christian asked if he thought he could just deliver the “greatest hits” and that’d be enough. Christian got up in Edge’s face and said he used to know his mom who believed in him more than anyone. He said his mom will be sitting there for this one, too. Edge’s chin quivered and his eyed teared up. Christian called him Adam and said if the best Edge isn’t going to show up at Backlash, go home right now. Edge stared at Christian. Christian broke into a smile and said, “That’s what I was looking for. We believe in ya’. We saw something at WrestleMania.” He said Orton never saw that side of Edge before when he put Orton down in that submission. He said he has the anti-venom. “We have confidence in you,” he said. “We think you can do this. We think you can win. We think you can have the greatest wrestling match ever.”
Orton interrupted from backstage and said he’ll be sick to his stomach if he has to keep listening to them. Orton said all he hears is them talking about what they think, not what they know. He said it’s pathetic that Edge is saying he is going to “try.” He said the pressure going into this match is astronomical, so what is he going to do when he doesn’t live up to those expectations. He said he’s going to take every ounce of grit away from him and he’ll send him back home to his wife Beth and his baby girls. He mentioned them by name. He said at Backlash in the greatest wrestling match ever, the redemption of Edge is over. Edge paused. Someone in the audience said, “Nonsense.” Edge then told Orton, “No, it’s not.” He threw the mic down.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really strong delivery from Orton and Edge. Christian played his role well, too. I still don’t see what the payoff is to this hype and how they make it work. Christian said what people know to be true – that there’s no way Orton-Edge will be what the hype is framing it as. Where’s the satisfying payoff come from? Where is the heel heat if Orton “ruins” something that never had a chance to be the greatest anyway?)
-The announcers commented on Bobby Lashley attacking Drew McIntyre with a full nelson as Raw went off the air last week.
-Caruso interviewed MVP backstage. She asked for his perspective on what happened when Lashley put Drew in the full nelson. MVP said she’ll have to tune in to the MVP Lounge later to learn about the devastating effects of the full nelson and what’s in store for Drew this Sunday. Then R-Truth made noise in the background, looking inside a big storage crate. MVP asked what he was doing. Truth said if anyone asks him, he hasn’t seen him. He had his 24/7 Title belt on. Truth made his 7-11 747 joke again. MVP called him a clown. Lashley attacked Truth from behind with a full nelson.
-A video package aired on the Viking Raiders-Street Profits skits so far. Then they showed highlights of the decathlon. The Raiders brought swords and shields. The Profits chose a race and won. The Raiders chose archery and won. They did a gag where Angelo Dawkins shot a guy in his shoe with the arrow. Then the Profits challenged the Raiders to a flip cup competition and won. The Raiders got mad and smashed the table. The Raiders chose sword fighting next. Montez Ford forfeited. The Raiders asked what a forfeit is. The Profits chose hurdles. The Profits won. The Raiders celebrated like Ivar won. The Profits explained that plowing through the hurdles isn’t the goal; leaping over them without knocking them down is the goal. The Raiders chose stick fighting. Dawkins gave Ford a hard time for forfeiting the sword fight. Dawkins ended up in the inflatable kiddie pool within seconds of the stick tug-o-war. He pulled Ford in with him. The Profits issued a Dance Off. Ford and Dawkins danced. Mostly Ford. They showed three judges scoring. Ivar then said he’s got it. “Hit the music,” he said. Then they played Fandango’s music. He hit on one of the judges who smiled and danced with him. The first judge gave the Profits the win. The judge gave the Vikings the win. She said she liked Ivar, but Erik “not so much.” The third judge gave it to the Profits. They were ahead 4-3. The Raiders selected shotput. The Raiders selected turkey leg eating. Dawkins wanted sauce. The Raiders won. The Profits chose Pole Vault. Ford vaulted and then celebrated. Ivar asked them to raise the bar for him. He charged and cleared the high bar. The Profits were crestfallen. It was 5-5. They argued afterward over who was the best.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was the best one so far in the series. It felt less corny and stupid, although that’s a low bar to clear. See what I did there? If not, Beth Phoenix can explain it.) [c]
-The announcers commented on a replay of Apollo Crews pinning Hector Garza in a tag match last week.
-Crews stood mid-ring and said he is so so so so excited to defend his U.S. Title at Backlash against the winner of the Triple Threat match between Angel Garza, Andrade, and Kevin Owens. Andrade and Garza made their ring entrance with Zelina Vega. Phillips said Andrade and Garza might be coming to the ring together, but it’s every man for himself. KO attacked both of them from behind before they got to the ring. KO threw them around ringside for a minute. Zelina looked fearful, cowering as she watched. KO got in the ring all fired up as they cut to a break. [c]
(3) ANDRADE (w/Zelina Vega) vs. HECTOR GARZA vs. KEVIN OWENS – Winner Gets a U.S. Title shot at Backlash
Garza and Andrade attacked KO as soon as the bell rang. Garza yanked off his pants as KO rolled up Andrade for a near fall. They showed Crews watching the match on a monitor backstage. As Garza and Andrade beat up Owens mid-ring, Joe called it the most violent pilates session he’s ever seen. (I wonder what the second-most-dangerous was.) It was only a matter of time, as Garza got mad at Andrade for covering KO for a pin after they double-suplexed him. Andrade slapped Garza. Garza shoved Andrade. Andrade threw Garza out of the ring and threw him into the plexiglass. Zelina tried to separate them, but Garza inadvertently shoved her down. They both bent over to check on her. [c]
Garza went for a superplex after the break. KO broke free and landed a senton on Garza for a near fall, broken up by Andrade. They showed a clip of Vega being helped to the back by a trainer and two referees. More shoving ensued between Garza and Andrade. Saxton wondered how they’d fare without Zelina who is the glue between them. KO landed a cannonball in each corner against each foe. He went for a second against Andrade, but Andrade moved. Andrade then hit double-knees in the corner of each opponent. Garza got up and superkicked Andrade. KO then superkicked them and landed a top rope splash on Andrade for a near fall. They showed Crews again watching backstage, rubbing the title belt. Garza escaped a Pop-Up Powerbomb and hit a back elbow for a near fall. Joe wondered if Crews wants to face any of these three men. Andrade set up a DDT, but Garza struck with a dropkick on KO instead. Andrade and Garza shoved each other and then exchanged strikes mid-ring. They tumbled over the top rope to the floor thanks to a running Andrade clothesline. KO then flip-dove onto them on the floor. KO threw Garza into the ring and set up a Stunner, but Garza pushed off, then dropkicked KO’s ankle. He then applied an anklelock. KO crawled to the bottom rope to force a break. Garza set up a Wing Clipper, but KO escaped and hit a Stunner. Andrade dropkicked KO and made the cover on Garza instead to win.
WINNER: Andrade in 14:00 to earn a U.S. Title match at Backlash.
-Phillips threw to a clip of what happened with Asuka and Charlotte at the start of the show.
-In a backstage interview, Charlotte said she didn’t lose her NXT Title last night at NXT Takeover. She said she didn’t get pinned or submit. She said she was raised to respect the rule. She said to be the woman, you have to beat the woman. She said she accomplished her goal of elevating the NXT Women’s Division. She said Asuka tried to steal her moment. Asuka danced into the screen and sang while holding up her Raw Title. Charlotte asked if she ever takes anything seriously. Asuka got serious and said, “Yes, I do.” Then she slapped Charlotte, who dropped to her knee and laughed. [c]
-Garza and Andrade were arguing backstage. Zelina walked in, holding her neck, looking peeved. She pointed at them to just leave. They hung their heads and left.
-The announcers reacted to that scene, then hyped “what many are calling the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever.” Kurt Angle commented on it. He said like Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels, he knows a thing or two about competing in a great wrestling match. He said chemistry is one of the most important, but sometimes all you have to do is step into the ring with someone, “and just like that, you’re both on the same page. You bring out the best in each other.” He said Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat had it; so did Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. He said he had it with Brock Lesnar. He said Edge has it with Orton. He said he’s glad he’s not Edge or Orton right now. He said he thinks they’re under a lot of pressure. He said he’s faced both of them, and he thinks they can rise to the occasion. He said he thinks Edge is going to win, but it wasn’t an easy choice. He said he can’t bet against a fellow Hall of Famer. “It’s true, it’s damn true,” he said.
-They went backstage to the Viking Raiders who asked Drew if he has finally decided to join the Viking Raiders. Drew smiled patronizingly and said he’s considering it. Drew talked about Ivar being a ladies man, but Erik “not so much.” Drew said he’s having a get-together after the show tonight, and he has some turkey legs for them. Drew said he’s Celtic, they’re Vikings, and they can have some fun. Drew asked them to stick around for the VIP Lounge because you never know what can happen on Raw. [c]
-Phillips said “WWE Backstage” would feature Crews, Truth, and Edge tomorrow night. Then they hyped the Charlotte vs. Asuka main event.
-MVP Lounge: MVP stood mid-ring as his music faded. As MVP lauded Lashley before introducing him, Drew’s music interrupted. Drew came out, all smiles. MVP looked upset. Drew said after the last few weeks, he was concerned he and MVP weren’t friends anymore, but after that introduction, he sees how he still feels about him. As MVP tried to explain he wasn’t talking about him, Drew said he forgot to mention he is the WWE Champion, “not to nitpick.” MVP said they are not friends anymore. He asked him why he was there. Drew said he couldn’t help but notice that Lana and Lashley were having a disagreement backstage. MVP said he wasn’t talking about him and his Claymore, he was talking about Lashley and his full nelson which he’ll use to take his WWE Title from him at Backlash. Drew said MVP has taken so many Claymores recently, he gets why he’s hiding behind Lashley. MVP said he doesn’t hide behind anyone, he’s just managing Lashley. Drew said he doesn’t understand their relationship. “Are you his Yoda?” He asked if he’s going to teach him about the zero world titles he’s won. Drew said he gets a countdown before kicking him in the face. He said he can take it like a man, or run away and he’ll chase him down and give it to him anyway. Lashley showed up just before Drew counted down to “1.” Drew told Lashley he can get the WWE Title from him only by prying it from his cold dead hands. MVP made a move toward Drew, but Drew headbutted him. The Raiders came out. Then the Profits came out. They all stood at ringside. Joe said they have all the ingredients for the type of party they like on Raw. Phillips plugged the scheduled tag match up next. [c]
(4) THE VIKING RAIDERS (w/The Street Profits, Drew McIntyre) vs. MVP & BOBBY LASHLEY
They showed Lana watching on a monitor in the back. They cutaway to Drew sitting at ringside observing too. After some back and forth action, MVP tagged in Lashley. Ivar then cartwheeled to avoid a Lashley charge, then gave him a big boot to knock him to the floor. Lashley yanked Ivar to the floor and threw him against the announce desk. The Profits stood up and yelled at Lashley and MVP. Ivar then dove through the ropes and tackled MVP and Lashley. They cut to a break. [c]
Ivar had Lashley on the mat with an armbar after the break. Caruso approached Lana and asked if she resents Lashley asking her to stay backstage. She said of course and called MVP a leech. She said she is excited that Lashley is about to “make us champion.” She said she is learning that she hasn’t been focusing enough on herself and her career, so she’s going to make 2020 “the year of Lana.” Phillips said the way 2020 is going, 2020 can have her. Lashley powerslammed Ivar for a near fall in the ring. Eric and MVP battled a few minutes later. Lashley broke it up. Ivar threw Lashley to the floor. Lashley speared Ivar on the floor seconds later, then he stared down Drew as he re-entered the ring. Erik shoved MVP, so Lashley was able to blind-tag him. Erik kneed MVP and bent over to trash-talked him. Lashley came in and finished him with a full nelson for the win.
WINNERS: Lashley & MVP at 15:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good action. I am surprised MVP didn’t lose the fall, but they’re wise to be careful not to portray him as the designated jobber.)
-After the match, Ivar attacked MVP. Lashley then put Ivar in his full nelson. The Profits ran in and pry him off. Drew then gave Lashley the Claymore to break up the full nelson. Lashley bailed out and retreated up the ramp as Drew stood tall in the ring.
(Keller’s Analysis: Drew was good once again in this role, start to finish, from the MVP Lounge to the intense trash-talking of Lashley after this match. He’s really primed to be hugely over with crowds when they return, I think.) [c]
-An NXT commercial hyped Io Shirai and Karrion Kross this Wednesday.
-The announcers hyped the Backlash line-up.
(5) ASUKA vs. CHARLOTTE FLAIR
Bayley and Sasha came out just as the match began. They joined the announcers on commentary. Charlotte threw Asuka into the announce desk. Everyone at the desk stood and cleared the scene. [c]
Bayley and Sasha continued to brag themselves up as they made snarky comments about the action in the ring. Charlotte scored a near fall, but stared at Bayley and Sasha during her half-hearted cover. Saxton asked if they were out there because they wanted to take Charlotte off her game. “Main event, two nights in a row!” Charlotte bragged as she swaggered in the ring as Asuka recovered at ringside. Charlotte slidekicked Asuka, then went after Asuka at ringside, but not before bragging at the camera first. Asuka began to fight back with a barrage of kicks. Asuka yelled and climbed to the top rope. Charlotte knocked her off the top rope with a big boot. The IIconics then attacked Sasha and Bayley from behind, coming from behind the plexiglass. Phillips called it a preemptive strike. They dropped Bayley on the announce desk and threw Sasha into the barricade. [c]
Back from the break, Charlotte chopped away at Asuka, knocking her to the mat. Phillips said Sasha & Bayley and the IIconics were banned from ringside by the official, so it came down to Asuka vs. Charlotte as the focus. Asuka caught Charlotte with an armbar. Charlotte fought out of it and then grounded Asuka for several minutes. Asuka made a comeback with a hip attack, knocking Charlotte to ringside. Charlotte shoved Asuka back-first into the ring apron. Asuka surprised Charlotte with a running knee to her face off the ring apron. The ref was counting. Asuka set up a suplex on the ring apron. The ref stopped his count at seven for some reason. Charlotte blocked the suplex and hit a big boot. They replayed the slo-mo impact on Asuka’s face. Joe said, “Those are the kind of boots that come with dental appointments.” Charlotte leaped off the barricade with a moonsault press. She then threw Asuka back into the ring. The paid audience chanted, “This is awesome!” Charlotte bashed Asuka’s leg against the ringpost twice. Asuka pulled Charlotte into the ringpost to stop a third attempt. Charlotte caught Asuka with a big boot back in the ring for a near fall. Charlotte went for a figure-four, but Asuka blocked it. Charlotte went for a spear, but Asuka caught her with a knee to the jaw. Charlotte countered an Asuka lock into a bridge for a two count. Asuka reversed out and applied an octopus. Charlotte rolled out and then landed a spear for a two count. Nia Jax ran out. Asuka attacked her on the ring apron and gave her a hip attack. Charlotte then caught Asuka with a big boot for the 1-2-3. Saxton said it’s a shame Jax’s involvement led to the finish. Phillips said there will be an asterisk next to Charlotte’s win.
WINNER: Charlotte in 27:00.
-Jax landed a legdrop on Asuka after the match as Charlotte stood and watched. Phillips gave a final plug for the Backlash match between Jax and Asuka.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good match between these two. Made sense to have Jax come out at some point to build up Backlash.)