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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
JULY 6, 2020
ORLANDO, FLA. AT PERFORMANCE CENTER
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe
-The Raw opening theme aired. Then Phillips introduced the show. The announcers previewed the advertised matches and segments.
-Drew McIntyre made his way to the ring and talked about Dolph Ziggler being able to pick any stipulation, including a match on a cliff overlooking a volcano with sharks with laser beams, but no matter what Dolph Ziggler picks, he will still be champion in the end. He told Ziggler to start the show with a bang and don’t leave everyone waiting on what the stip is.
Ziggler walked out onto the stage to his music. He said his decision is “no, I’m not taking my talents down to South Beach,” but rather his stip is a secret. Ziggler said Drew screwed up and gave him the option to choose, and he’d be a sucker to let him know ahead of time. He said Drew is a back-stabber and the same old person he ever was. Drew yelled he is the WWE Champion. Ziggler said from 2014 to 2017, there was a blank page. “What happened?” Ziggler said. Drew said he was fired and he embraced it and he is proud of his comeback path. He said he beat Brock Lesnar in five minutes at WrestleMania and then beat The Big Show. Ziggler said there’s a mile long list of people he stabbed in the back and forgot about on his path to the title. He said he brought someone with him that he did the same thing to. Out walked Heath Slater. He wore a “Free Agent” t-shirt. Phillips said he thought Slater was fired. Phillips said, “Heath Slater is the last person I expected to see on Raw.” (Really, Tom? How about Vladimir Putin? Or Hillary Clinton? Or Tony Khan?)
Slater entered the ring and said Drew is the Chosen One now. He said last April he was sitting with his kids at home watching him take on Lesnar, and Drew took his head off and beat him. He said it was the first time his kids saw him cry. He said he had joy in his heart. He said he loves Drew. Slater said when Drew got fired, he called him every day and he had dinner with him whenever he came to Florida. “Where were you for me?” Slater asked. He said he went on The Bump and spoke his mind. He said he isn’t talking about his 22 kids the world thinks he has, but rather his two precious daughters. He took off his sunglasses and told Drew he wasn’t there for him. He said Drew promised him on The Bump that he’d petition for a match with him, but now he’s in the unemployment line. He said saying he has kids isn’t a gimmick, it’s real. He said he is at Raw to take the opportunity to have a match with him. “I want you to give me what I deserve,” he said. “What you as a friend promised me.” Slater slapped Drew and asked if he wants a match with him. Then he slapped him again and said, “What about now?” he said. Drew told him not to push him. Drew said, “You’re on, you got your fight.” [c]
(1) HEATH SLATER vs. DREW MCINTYRE
Phillips called this “unthinkable.” (Really, Tom? Unthinkable?!?) Slater was in jeans and a black t-shirt. Ziggler distracted Drew. Slater took a cheap shot at Drew, then took off his t-shirt. Drew then caught Slater with a Claymore for the win.
WINNER: McIntyre in under 30 seconds.
-Ziggler yelled at Slater afterward and palm-faced him. Slater shoved him back. Ziggler mounted Slater and punched away at him. Drew, who had returned to the stage, ran back to the ring and made the save. Drew yelled at a retreating Ziggler he’s going to rip his head off. Ziggler said he’d see him at Extreme Rules, then left. Slater sat up, crying. Drew helped him up. They embraced. Then they did the “3MB” hand signal and raised each other’s arms mid-ring.
(Keller’s Analysis: When you have 52 weeks of TV a year to fill, a callback like this to Drew’s past for a quick angle where Ziggler can end up seeming like a jerk and Drew can get a decisive win, it’s fine. Everyone played their part well here, but I’m still wondering why Drew never called Slater when he lost his job. )
-Sarah Schreiber interviewed Bayley and Sasha Banks. They said they don’t want to talk to her when they can talk to the world directly. (They do know that the camera there is airing on USA Network just like the one aimed at the ring, right?) Sarah noticed Asuka standing behind her and asked how she plans to face both of them on her own. Asuka broke into a laugh and said, “Who says I’m alone?” She then danced off screen. [c]
-Bayley and Sasha entered the ring. Bayley said their ultimate role models have arrived. Bayley talked about facing Asuka later tonight, then “that runt Nikki Cross” at Extreme Rules. Sasha talked about her title shot against Asuka at Extreme Rules. Asuka interrupted and told Sasha she is not good at math. She told Bayley she is not ready for Asuka. Bayley said what Asuka isn’t ready for is Bayley embarrassing he at Extreme Rules. Bayley told Asuka if she has a bright idea, Sasha is ready for anything. “What do you have?” Bayley asked. Asuka called Kairi Sane to the stage. “Look who’s back!” said Saxton. Phillips wondered if we’d see Banks vs. Sane next on Raw. [c]
(2) KAIRI SANE (w/Asuka) vs. SASHA BANKS (w/Bayley)
Kairi took control early. Sasha began a comeback, but Kairi twisted her into an octopus. Banks took over with a yank of Kairi’s hair. Asuka yelled at Sasha. Bayley yelled at Asuka, “You’re partner sucks!” Asuka shoved Bayley. Kairi slidekicked both Bayley and Sasha into the ringside barricade. They cut to a break a few minutes in. [c]
They each got in big moves after the break for near falls including a flying forearm off the top rope by Kairi and a top rope Meteora by Bayley. When Kairi applied a Boston Crab variation, Bayley ran in and interfered for the DQ. Phillips said it was a great first-ever match-up cut short by Bayley.
WINNER: Sane via DQ in 14:00.
-After the match, Banks and Bayley attacked Asuka at ringside. Asuka held her own, then held them for Sane to strike a flying insane elbow off the top rope onto them at ringside.
(Keller’s Analysis: Cool unexpected match-up between these two. The finish wasn’t a shock given this wasn’t a match meant to settle anything.)
-They went to the announcers at ringside. They wondered how Bayley would be feeling when she has to face Asuka later. They hyped The Kevin Owens Show with Seth Rollins. A clip aired of last week’s angle with Seth and Murphy attacking Humberto Carrillo. They cut backstage to Rey Mysterio and Aleister Black who were down from an attack. Seth and Murphy stood over them and laughed, then said, “It’s a damn shame.” [c]
-Phillips said “Cannonball” debuts this Thursday on USA Network. They showed Miz on the cover of TV Guide.
-Backstage, The Viking Raiders were going to show Big Show how they defeated the Street Profits. Show said everybody knows he likes to have fun, but they have to be serious because they face Randy Orton later. The Raiders said they know what Randy is capable of and they were devastated by what he did to Edge and Christian. Erik was going to do a “five second pose.” Show slapped him. Ivar laughed. Show chopped him. Erik told Show their Viking ways might be strange to him, but when the bell rings, “the raid is on.” Show said, “Good!”
-The KO Show: Kevin Owens made his way to the ring for The KO Show. He tossed the two office chairs out of the ring and said his guest isn’t someone you’d expect him to invite onto his show. He said there’s a good reason he wants him out there. He called him a giant piece of trash. Seth came out to his music with Murphy. Seth asked how KO’s ankle is. Seth said it’s better than his ego because things haven’t been going well for Seth’s ego since WrestleMania. KO said even when he has issues with someone and they fight, they establish a bit of a bond for going to battle He presented him with a KO Mania t-shirt with his own face on the t-shirt twice. Seth said he doesn’t give a damn about him or his show. He said Rey Mysterio is now medically cleared, and he came on his show to discuss that. He formally challenged him to a match at Extreme Rules. He said they have some unfinished business, and it’s time to permanently make Rey a sacrifice for Raw.
Seth said things haven’t been going well for KO, either. In fact, he hasn’t accomplished anything. Seth said KO needs him more than Owens thinks he does. He told KO to consider he might get more out of fighting with him than against him. “Maybe you should find a purpose in your fighting, Kevin,” he said. “Maybe you should fight for the greater good.” Rey’s music interrupted. Dominic walked out with Rey wearing a t-shirt that said, “The Face.” Rey accepted Seth’s challenge at Extreme Rules and said his destiny will be in his hands. Seth asked about their scheduled tag team match tonight. He said Rey’s partner is MIA this week. He told Rey to bring his boy to the ring and he could take one of Dominic’s eyes.
KO jumped in and said he’d be happy to team with Rey tonight. He asked Rey if he’ll have him. KO said how about the winning team gets to pick the stipulation at Extreme Rules. Seth said this gets better every second and accepted a match against “one-legged Kevin and one-eyed Rey.” Murphy attacked KO from behind. Rey jumped in for the save. KO threw the KO Show sign at Seth as he retreated at ringside.
(Keller’s Analysis: Everything here worked well to set up the tag match. It was good to see the KO-Seth match from WrestleMania revisited.) [c]
(3) SETH ROLLINS & MURPHY vs. REY MYSTERIO & KEVIN OWENS
The match was joined in progress after the break. After KO got the better of Seth for a while, Rey tagged in against Murphy and almost landed a quick 619. Seth distracted Rey briefly, giving Murphy a chance to recover and take over with a kick to the head. Seth got in Dominic’s face at ringside. He raked his eyes. Rey ran to the floor to check on Dominic as Seth and Murphy leaped into the ring. They cut to a break. [c]
Dominic was rubbing his eyes at ringside. Seth was working KO’s leg in the ring. KO caught Seth with a surprise superkick. KO planted on his bad ankle and went down, clutching his leg in pain. He crawled over and hot-tagged in Rey. Murphy also tagged in. Rey set up a 619. Seth ran in. Rey set him up. Seth rolled to the floor and grabbed Dominic from behind. He threatened to finish him. Aleister Black then walked out. Seth let go of Dominic and kneeled in front of Black. Dominic then raked Murphy’s eyes. The announcers said the referee didn’t see that. Rey hit a 619 and then a frog splash for the 1-2-3.
WINNERS: Rey & KO.
-Rey revealed his special stip is an Eye for an Eye match. He said he wants to pull Seth’s eye out of his socket.
-They went to the announcers on camera. Joe solemnly said if that’s what Rey aims to do, it could indeed be a horror show. They shifted to a recap of MVP beating Apollo Crews last week.
-Charly Caruso interviewed MVP and Lashley backstage. Lashley said he beat Apollo Crews physically, mentally, and spiritually. MVP interrupted Lashley as he brought up the future of the U.S. Title and said the future of the U.S. Title should be done in style. [c]
-As MVP and Lashley walked to the ring, Phillips announced that at Extreme Rules, MVP will challenge Crews for the U.S. Title. In the ring, MVP said Crews was shining bright when he first arrived in WWE, but he burned out as fast as a super nova. He said it was disrespectful of Crews to turn down his offer to mentor him, which is why he doesn’t feel guilty about what Lashley did to him. He said he helped Lashley become Lashley again, and Crews saw that, but he still turned him down. He said when you disrespect MVP, you also disrespect Lashley. Lashley shot MVP a look that suggested he wasn’t thrilled with MVP taking as much credit as he did for his recent success. MVP said since he beat Crews last week, “technically that makes me the next United States Champion.” He said his third run will be as successful as his first two. He unveiled a new U.S. Title belt after a drum roll. It looks nice. Lashley smiled. He asked MVP where his head is at because it’s official when he says it’s official. Lashley then declared MVP the new U.S. Champion. He gave MVP the belt. Phillips called out the audacity of the move. Ricochet and Cedric Alexander walked out. Cedric said he’s confused because to become a champion, you have to win a title match. Ricochet said Apollo is going to be back real soon, and when he’s back, he’ll make sure whatever MVP is doing now will come to an end. Ricochet said he and “Ceddy” are there to make sure their business goes chapter 11. They charged into the ring and attacked Lashley and MVP. They double-dropkicked Lashley to clear the ring. [c]
(4) CEDRIC ALEXANDER & RICOCHET vs. BOBBY LASHLEY & MVP
The match was joined in progress after the break. MVP was still in his suit. Back and forth match. Near the end, Cedric rallied with a DDT on MVP for a near fall. MVP caught him charging at him with an elbow minutes later. Lashley kneed Cedric off the ring apron seconds later. MVP knocked Ricochet off the ring apron on the other side of the ring. Lashley then speared Cedric mid-ring for the win.
WINNERS: Lashley & MVP in 7:00.
-After the match, Lashley put Cedric in his full nelson. Ricochet dropkicked him to break it up quickly.
(Keller’s Analysis: Was there any doubt Ricochet and Cedric were brought back to do the job? Cedric’s bump from Lashley’s spear was great.)
-They went back to the announcers who hyped the six-man tag main event. They narrated last week’s dispute between Angel Garza and Andrade with Big Show getting involved.
-Backstage Zelina Vega tried to get Garza and Andrade to work things out. It wasn’t productive. Ric Flair walked up to them and said they were great last week. He said tonight it’s a must-do mission or else they’ll have to answer to Randy Orton. Orton walked in and acquainted himself with Andrade and Garza. He said they all share in common being third-generation wrestlers, so he respects them a little. He threatened that if they screw up, he won’t hesitate to introduce them to the Legend Killer. [c]
-Phillips plugged Titus O’Neil and Ruby Riott on the Raw Talk post-show.
-Charly interviewed The Kabuki Warriors who were dancing and celebrating. Asuka talked in Japanese. Kairi joined in. They were very enthusiastic. Asuka then said they are challenging Sasha & Bayley to a WWE Tag Team Title match “next month.” Kairi played her flute and Asuka danced off the interview set as Charly smiled.
(5) THE BIG SHOW & THE VIKING RAIDERS vs. RANDY ORTON & ANGEL GARZA & ANDRADE (w/Zelina Vega)
When Garza and Andrade argued at 3:00, Orton angrily called them out to ringside for a conference. Orton shoved Garza hard into the plexiglass. Orton grabbed by him the throat and said he has a special place in his heart because of his family history, but he will put his ass in the dirt if he doesn’t straighten up. [c]
Garza rallied against Erik and yanked off his own pants. He and Andrade double-teamed Erik. Saxton said Orton has succeeded at getting them on the same page. Show tagged in and got control on Garza. Garza went for a sleeper, but Show threw him down and tagged in Ivar. Garza also tagged in. The Raiders double-teamed Garza. Orton entered and gave Erik a sudden RKO for the win. Show stared down the heel trio as they celebrated.
WINNER: Orton & Garza & Andrade in 14:00.
-The IIconics gossiped together about Ruby Riott. They said her life is a mess and she has no friends, and tonight she has no chance. They laughed together. Ruby walked up to them and said she never had a problem with them before, but now the sound of their voices makes her neck twitch. Peyton Royce said that’s a little dramatic. She said her focus is on them now and that’s very bad for them. She said tonight won’t be IIconic, it’ll be tragic. The camera panned over and MVP was making a pitch to Cedric. He said he had some questions for him. He said it takes a lot of heart to stand up for Lashley. He said he’s always been impressed by him. He asked why someone with his skillset is content being Ricochet’s sidekick. Cedric said he’s just trying to divide and conquer. MVP said if they’re equal partners, why does Ricochet have a new 365 documentary on WWE Network and he doesn’t. He told him if he’s content watching from the sidelines as a sidekick, so be it, but he’ll be watching other people be success the rest of his career. [c]
-A commercial aired for the New Day vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro match on Smackdown for the tag titles.
-Flair excitedly talked to Orton about their win. R-Truth then bumped into them from behind. Orton and Flair were upset. Truth looked at Flair and said he cleans up nice for the dirtiest player in the game. He then conjectured that Flair is Tozawa in disguise. Tozawa and the Ninjas showed up. Orton directed them away from Truth. Saxton wondered why Orton helped Truth.
(6) RUBY RIOTT vs. BILLIE KAYE (w/Peyton Royce)
When Riott climbed to the top rope, Royce jumped onto the ring apron. Riott swung at her. Royce leaped to the floor. Royce then finished Riott with a shot to the throat, a boot to the jaw, and a sitout powerbomb type move for the win.
WINNER: Kaye in 3:00.
-Caruso interviewed Bayley and Sasha about the tag title challenge by Asuka if she wins tonight. Bayley said she has no chance, and said she’ll slap her green facepaint back to last Monday. Sasha said the Kabuki Warriors need to accept they’ll never be tag champs again, and so they accept their challenge. Bayley wasn’t happy. Sasha said there is no team that can touch them, and people need to respect that. Bayley agreed she was right. She said she’ll beat Asuka to show the sheep who the best champion in WWE is. [c]
(7) BAYLEY (w/Sasha Banks) vs. ASUKA (w/Kairi Sane)
Nikki Cross was at ringside. She promised security she’d be nice and good. Sasha walked up to Nikki and threw her sunglasses at her. Joe held Nikki back. Nikki yelled she is trying to be good, so how dare her. Phillips asked Nikki about her title match at Extreme Rules. Nikki lost her composure and cheered excitedly when Asuka’s music played. Nikki danced as Asuka and Kairi made their way to the ring. The bell rang 35 minutes into the hour. Bayley rolled out of the ring after an armbar attempt early. Bayley knocked the headset off of Nikki’s head. Nikki leaped at Bayley after pausing to think about the ramifications. Security quickly got between them. She tried to crawl under them, but then was carried away by one of the security guys. Sasha gloated. Asuka gave Bayley a knee to the chin as she leaped at her. [c]
Asuka was in control after the break. Bayley took over with a leg sweep. A couple minutes later, Bayley threw Asuka to the floor. Sasha and Bayley yelled at Kairi for coming to Asuka’s aid. Asuka kicked a distracted Bayley and threw her back into the ring. Asuka scored a near fall. Bayley threw Asuka to the floor and threw her onto the announce desk. Bayley lounged in Nikki’s former chair. Sasha gloated alongside her as they cut to a break. [c]
Asuka rallied late including a back elbow that the announcers sold as devastating. Bayley yanked on Asuka’s leg on the ring apron Asuka came right back with a kick and then climbed to the top rope. Asuka landed a top rope dropkick for a near fall. Nikki banged on the plexiglass to distracted Sasha and Bayley. That led to a bunch of chaos at the end with all four. Asuka applied an Asuka lock. Bayley tried to make the save, but Kairi tackled her. Asuka then rolled up Bayley for the win.
WINNER: Asuka in 24:00.