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HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
JULY 6, 2020
LIVE AND WITH NXT FANS FROM THE WWE PERFORMANCE CENTER IN ORLANDO, FL
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Samoa Joe, and Byron Saxton
-The show opened with the standard Raw introduction. When it finished, the announce team welcomed the audience to the program. In their intro, they hyped the Bayley vs. Asuka champion vs. champion match, a tag team match between Rey Mysterio and Aleister Black against Seth Rollins and Murphy, and a six man tag featuring Big Show, Randy Orton, and others. When the introduction finished, Drew McIntyre made his entrance.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I continue to like the beginning of Raw. The quick rundown of what to expect on the show followed by a major star hooks the audience nicely. Sure, it seems obvious, but this wasn’t always the case for the show. It lays a good foundation.
-As Drew made his entrance, the announce team hyped his match with Dolph Ziggler at Extreme Rules. From there, Drew spoke and welcomed everyone to Raw. From there, he talked about Extreme Rules and the fact that he allowed Ziggler to pick the stipulation for the match. Drew ran through all of the options of matches, but said that his fists were the only weapons he needed. Drew said regardless of the match he picks, Drew McIntyre would be the WWE Champion at the end of it. At that point, McIntyre called Ziggler out to the ring so that he could reveal to the world what his choice was. At that point, Ziggler walked out to some boos. At the top of the ramp, he spoke and said that the world came to see the stipulation that he chose. He waited and then revealed that his stipulation was a secret. Ziggler said that Drew messed up in giving him that power and that he would be a sucker to reveal things early. From there, Ziggler ran down Drew for being stupid and in response Drew yelled at him that he “was WWE Champion and to not forget it.” Ziggler talked about Drew getting fired and in response to that, Drew said he was and that he battled back to become champion. He said he hoped to inspire others to do something similar. Ziggler talked more and said that he stabbed people in the back to get to where he was. To that Drew said that he beat Brock Lesnar in five minutes and Big Show right after. Ziggler then continued on and said that he brought guests and that those guests were people that Drew screwed over to get to where he needed to go. From there, Ziggler brought out Heath Slater. Slater walked to the ring with Ziggler and then spoke to Drew. He talked about Drew coming to the States and that he was called the chosen one. Slater said that they both could agree that back then he was not the chosen one. Now though, Slater said that he was and that everyone could see it. Slater then talked about watching Drew beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania and that he cried because of it and because he loved him. Slater then asked where Drew was for him when he needed him. Slater then took his sunglasses off and told Drew straight up that he was there for him, but that Drew wasn’t there for them. Heath continued and talked about Drew promising a match to him on the Bump. Slater said that Drew needed to give him what was promised and what he deserved. The crowd clapped.
Heydorn’s Analysis: So, the audience is cheering Slater here. Not saying I blame them given the fact that he told a compelling and sympathetic story, but how does this help Drew as a babyface. Feels like the right reaction given the words spoken, but the wrong one given the fact that Drew is the babyface opposite Ziggler.
In response, Drew shook his head and acted like he didn’t want to fight him. Slater pushed him. Slater then slapped him and asked him “what about now?” Drew then stared him down and told him he had his fight as the show went to commercial break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: This was well acted by both Drew and Slater. That said, Slater came off way too likable. The sympathy oozed out of him and framed Drew as a bit of jerk for not helping his friend. Not a smart segment with Drew on the hook to face an annoying heel in Dolph Ziggler in a week.
-Out of the break, Slater stood across from Drew McIntyre in the ring. From there, the bell rang, and the match began.
(1) DREW MCINTYRE vs. HEATH SLATER
Right after the bell rang, Drew crushed Slater with the Claymore and made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: McIntyre via pinfall
-After the match, Drew walked off and Ziggler confronted and ran down Slater in the ring. Ziggler pushed Slater and Slater pushed back. From there, Ziggler attacked Slater, but Drew made the save. Drew and Ziggler then talked trash at each other before Ziggler ran up the ramp and through the curtain. Back in the ring, Drew lifted Slater to his feet and both men hugged.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Well, that’s why you don’t judge and angle fully until its over. That worked more effectively than the setup. In the end, Slater’s sympathy put the heat on Ziggler and the babyface shine on Drew. Mission accomplished, it just took too long to get there.
-Backstage, Sasha Banks and Bayley were interviewed. Sasha was asked a question, but Bayley interrupted and asked why they should talk to her when they can go and talk to the world. They then walked away, but Asuka showed up. She said she wasn’t alone tonight and then laughed as the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, Sasha Banks and Bayley stood in the ring. Before they spoke, the announce team hyped Bayley’s championship match against Nikki Cross at Extreme Rules. After, the announce team cued up highlights of last week concerning Sasha Banks pinning Asuka last week on Raw. From there, Bayley spoke in the ring. She said Raw could officially begin because her and Sasha Banks had arrived. Banks then spoke and said that money never sleeps when you are them. She said they were changing the game due to the fact that they never sleep. Bayley continued and said when you are a once in a lifetime talent, everyone thinks its easy and attacks them. From there, Bayley talked about her match against Asuka tonight and her title match against Nikki Cross at Extreme Rules. Banks then chimed in and said that she would become two belts Banks once she beats Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship at Extreme Rules.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Man, Banks and Bayley have the annoying heel thing down don’t they? Dolph Ziggler could learn a couple things. Both women continue to be value to WWE during this time. They’ve caught enough momentum where the eventual turn will mean something for their own feud. Good stuff.
At this point, Asuka walked out. She mocked Sasha Banks and Bayley. From there, both sides talked trash, but Asuka laughed them off. Bayley then said that Sasha Banks was ready for anyone and in response, Asuka brought out Kairi Sane. Sane then walked to the ring for a match against Banks as the show went to commercial break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Sasha Banks is working on another level right now. The look she gave Bayley as Sane walked down the ramp was priceless and nuanced. They are planting seeds for something big between Sasha and Bayley and this type of detail just slowly boils everything up. Well done.
-Out of the break, Banks and Sane stood across from each other in the ring. From there, the bell rang, and the match began.
(2) SASHA BANKS vs. KAIRI SANE
Both women went back and forth to start things off. Eventually, Banks took over momentum and slammed Sane to the mat by her hair. Banks then taunted Asuka with her dance. At that point, Asuka clocked Bayley on the ringside area. After seeing that, Banks rolled out of the ring and tried to confront Asuka with Bayley. In response, Sane hit a baseball slide kick on both of them as the show went to break. (c)
Out of the break, the action continued. Banks held control with a knee on Sane’s face until Sane countered with strikes in the middle of the ring, Sane bounced off the ropes for a clothesline, but Banks caught her and countered it into a sidewalk slam. After, she covered, but Sane kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Banks lifted Sane to the corner and crushed her with a double knee slam. She then made the cover, but only got a two count. Out of that pin, Banks put Bayley in a back submission. The crowd cheered for Sane to escape and eventually, Sasha released it. She then stomped on Sane before dragging her onto the ring apron. There, she toyed with Sane before throwing her back into the ring and whipping her into the ropes. Banks then tried for the knee strike again, but Sane countered it with chops on Sasha. From there, Sane jumped off the top rope for a forearm strike, connected, and then made the cover for a two count. Out of that pin, Sane hit Banks with a series of Blockbusters. From there, she connected with a spear. That sent Banks into the corner. Seeing that, Sane his her sliding strike in the corner and covered, but only got a two count.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good match thus far. The commentary is key. They continuously are discussing how Bayley put Banks up to this without Sasha’s approval. Telling.
Out of the pin, both women exchanged holds until Banks hit a Meteora. She then covered, but got a two count. She then climbed to the top rope and tried for a second Meteora, but Sane countered it into a Boston Crab. With Banks down, Bayley ran into the ring and clocked Sane. The referee then called for the match and it ended as all four women brawled around the ring.
WINNER: No contest.
-After the match, the brawl kept up. Asuka fought off both Bayley and Banks. From there, Kairi Sane hit her Insane Elbow onto Banks and Bayley who were on the outside of the ring. Asuka and Sane then walked up the ramp as Banks and Bayley laid outside of the ring.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good match. Raw needs to be careful with the shenanigan finishes with every big match they roll out there. There are diminishing returns there with a key one being angering your key fan base that has stuck with the product during these tumultuous times. If you book the match, book it, and accept the consequences of a true finish.
-The announce team played clips of last week’s tag team match between Aleister Black and Humberto Carrillo against Seth Rollins and Murphy. When the clips finished, Aleister Black was shown writhing in pain backstage with the Rey Mysterio mask on him. Seth Rollins walked up and said that was a damn shame before walking out of the shot as the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, the Viking Raiders were shown admiring a bowling ball backstage. Big Show then walked in and stopped them. Show looked upset and said that he likes to have fun, but that tonight was different. They talked about Randy Orton and what he did to Edge and Christian. They then tried to do their own five second pose, but Show slapped both of them. Erick then told Show that he might not get their ways, but that when they get in the ring, the raid would be on.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Well, at least Show wasn’t joking around. The Viking Raiders have lost a ton of credibility throughout the last couple months and while Big Show doesn’t help fully due to the credibility he’s lost over the years, this was about as good as they could do given those unfortunate circumstances.
-Kevin Owens made his way out to the ring for the Kevin Owens show. Once he got inside the ring, he welcomed everyone to the show. He then took apart his own set due to who his guest was going to be. Owens then told the audience to welcome “a pretty giant piece of trash,” and brought out Seth Rollins. Rollins walked out with Murphy at his side. As he did, the announce team talked about Seth’s battle with Owens at WrestleMania. Once Rollins got into the ring, he grabbed a microphone and spoke. He asked Owens why he destroyed his own set. Rollins then thanked Owens for having him as a guest and asked him how his ankle was. Owens said it was fine and better than Seth’s ego was. He said ever since WrestleMania, Seth hasn’t been the same. Owens continued and said that whenever you face someone at WrestleMania, there is a bond there. Kevin said because of that, he wanted to give Seth something to commemorate the moment they had at WrestleMania. From there, Owens handed Seth a KO Mania shirt and it was the one that he wore when he beat Rollins. Rollins told Owens he could see what he was trying to do and that he didn’t care about him, his shirt, or his show.
Rollins said the only reason he was out there was to address the now medically cleared Rey Mysterio. Rollins then formally challenged Rey to match at Extreme Rules.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I like that match a lot. Last week, I was concerned that they’d milk this too long without a match and clearly they aren’t. Smart to go to this now without knowing what the future of the shows will look like.
Rollins continued and turned his attention to Owens. He said that Owens needs him more than he thinks just like Raw needs him. Rollins kept going and said that Owens might get more out of fighting with him than against him. Rollins talked about fighting and said that Owens should have a larger purpose for his fighting. From there, Rey Mysterio walked out with Dominick. He accepted Seth’s challenge right away and said that his destiny would be in his hands. Rollins appeared happy about that and said that that was great. He said that they had a tag match and that his partner was MIA. Rollins ran through some options for Rey and suggested that Dominick join him. At that point, Kevin Owens jumped in and said he would be his partner. He then suggested that the winner in their tag team match would get to pick the stipulation for their match at Extreme Rules. As he said that, Murphy attacked Owens from behind. Rey ran in to make the save and helped clear the ring as the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: That worked. When Seth Rollins spews more than just random religious phrases and ties his schtick into current angles in a specific and detailed way, it defines his attack in a fashion that is authentic. There is some heat and danger within his words in that environment and it makes his segments pop bigger.
-Out of the break, the match was underway.
(3) KEVIN OWENS & REY MYSTERIO vs. SETH ROLLINS & MURPHY – Winner chooses the stipulation for Mysterio vs. Rollins at Extreme Rules
The match was even until Kevin Owens made a tag to Rey. Mysterio took over at that point and kicked Murphy out of the ring. With him out there, Rollins distracted him which allowed Murphy to get the upper hand. From there, Rollins punched Owens which left both him and Rey down. At that point, Rollins and Murphy rolled out of the ring and taunted Dominick. They gouged his eyes and right after they did, Rey ran at them. Rollins and Murphy scurried away into the ring and gloated as the show went to break. (c)
Out of the break, the action continued. Rollins put Owens in a knee submission until Owens broke the hold by reaching the ropes. Eventually, he caused a break by reaching the ropes. Owens punched Murphy off of the apron, but Rollins held momentum with strikes in the corner. Seth then charged Owens and connected with a splash in the corner. Finally, Owens halted Seth’s momentum with a superkick. After, he made the tag to Rey and Rollins made it to Murphy. Rey hit the ring and took Murphy down with a hurricanrana. After, he smashed Murphy in the corner and then connected with a second hurricanrana into the corner. At that point, Rey went for the 619, but Rollins took Dominick as a hostage. As Rollins backed up the ramp, Aleister Black walked out. With that as a distraction, Dominick gouged Murphy’s eyes. Because of that Rey was able to hit the 619 and his top rope splash before making the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Mysterio and Owens via pinfall
-After the match, Rey Mysterio spoke and told Rollins that he had a perfect stipulation. He called for an eye for an eye match and that he wanted to pull Seth’s eye out with his bare hands. Rollins looked on concerned as the broadcast floated back to the announce team.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I liked the match quite a bit. Good action and Rey Mysterio continues to shine. What’s with the stipulation though? They are going to pull someone’s eye out of its socket on the WWE Network? C’mon. Sure, this is “extreme,” but it isn’t believable whatsoever.
-MVP and Bobby Lashley were interviewed backstage after clips of the happenings between the and Apollo Crews from last week. Before their question could be asked, Lashley chimed in and said he locked in the Full Nelson on Crews and choked the life and spirit out of him. He said it would be a matter of time before he would be a future United States Championship. MVP then spoke that he had a new vision for the United States title and that it would reveal itself later. They then walked out of the shot as the show went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, MVP and Bobby Lashley made their entrance. Once they got to the ring, they spoke. MVP was first and he talked about Apollo Crews coming to Raw for the first time. He said he was bright when he first was there, but burned out because of crossing paths with him and Lashley. MVP said that Crews felt invincible, but that nobody was invincible except for Bobby Lashley. He talked about Crews turning him down to manage him and called that disrespectful. From there, he continued and said that when you disrespect him you disrespect Lashley too and that that was not a smart career move. MVP then revealed the new US Title belt. Lashley then officially crowned MVP the real champion and placed the new belt around his waist. At that point, Ricochet and Cedric Alexander walked out. They said that you needed to earn championships in the WWE and that Apollo Crews would be back soon enough to make good on what they did to him. They said that Crews was their friend though and that they wanted to defend his honor. Ricochet called them the hurt business and said he and Alexander would make them file for chapter 11. From there, they rushed the ring and cleared it as the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: I like what WWE has done with Lashley and MVP. The booking of this appears to be backwards though. If MVP is managing Lashley, shouldn’t he be advocating for Lashley to get the US Title match? Why is Lashley happy with MVP taking that spot? The storytelling doesn’t lineup even though the performance was well done.
-Out of the break, the Ricochet/Cedric vs. MVP/Lashley match began.
(4) RICOCHET & CEDRIC ALEXANDER vs. MVP & BOBBY LASHLEY
Lashley took over early in the match and held momentum over Ricochet. Both Lashley and MVP tagged in and out of the match well as a team and cornered Ricochet. Eventually, Ricochet hit a spinning back kick and made the tag to Alexander. Alexander hit the ring with fire and connected with a series of moves including a tornado DDT on MVP. In the end, Lashley made a blind tag into the match and crushed a running Alexander with a spear. He then made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: MVP and Lashley via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Lots of good action in that match as Ricochet and Alexander are perfect to fly around and bump for both MVP and Lashley. This build is confusing though. The announcers and MVP talk up Lashley as the monster, yet, MVP is getting the title shot against Crews. That needs to be explained, or at least accounted for as the build continues. Why would that be the case?
-After the match, Zelina Vega forced Angel Garza and Andrade to talk. Andrade said he didn’t want to talk and walked off. Before he could though, Ric Flair walked into the shot. He said that they better get it together because Randy Orton would be waiting for them. Orton then walked into the shot and said he respected both of them because they were third generation stars. He said if they got in his way though, he would introduce them both to the Legend Killer. From there, he fist bumped both of them and walked away with Flair as the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Great work from Orton, but this severely neutralized Zelina Vega. How can she be framed as an all powerful manager when she can’t get her one team on the same page, but Orton can. Orton is the focus here without question and rightfully so, but this could have been presented in a way that protected Vega more. Maybe she was the one to bring Orton in for the pep talk? Something.
-Out of the break, the Kabuki Warriors were interviewed backstage. They challenged Sasha Banks and Bayley to a tag team championship match next week on Raw.
-The Big Show made his entrance and was followed by the Viking Raiders. After, Angel Garza, Andrade, and Randy Orton made their entrance. Once they got to the ring, the bell rang, and their match began.
(5) RANDY ORTON, ANDRADE, & ANGEL GARZA w/Zelina Vega vs. THE VIKING RAIDERS & BIG SHOW
Show took over on Garza to start the match. He crushed him with chops to the chest and then tagged Ivar in. Ivar continued momentum with pummeling strikes and then tagged Big Show back into the match.
Show continued his dominance and nailed Garza with more chops. Ivar then tagged back in. Finally, Garza countered a vertical suplex and tagged Andrade into the match. Andrade tried to build his own momentum, but Ivar smacked him in the chest and tagged Big Show in again. Together, their team hit body slams on top of Garza. From there, Garza and Andrade crossed paths in the ring. They argued and at that point, Orton screamed at Garza and pulled him out of the ring. He then tossed him hard against the plexi-glass boards by the neck and threatened him. Before he tossed him back into the ring, the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Well, more great stuff from Orton. Incredible delivery and star level dominance. It comes at a price though which is the complete emasculation of Angel Garza. Again, Orton is the focus to be sure, but there are ways to get this same drama accomplished without pulling the rug out of a key young act.
Out of the break, Orton’s team had the match fully under their control. They cut the ring in half and dominated Erick with stomps and kicks. Andrade tagged in and connected with a vertical suplex and followed that with a cover, but only got a two count. From there, Garza tagged in and and chopped Erick as both Orton and Show trash talked across the ring. Garza connected with two knee strikes and then crushed Erick with another chop before tagging Andrade back into the match. Andrade locked in a sleeper hold through the ropes and then hit chops of his own. In the end, Orton crawled out of the ring once Big Show got in. Show dominated, but Orton made a quick tag secretly after Garza and Andrade countered the Viking Experience. He then hit the RKO and made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Orton, Andrade, and Garza via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: This was fine, but it needed more to build a larger issue between Orton and Show provided they still will be facing each other at Extreme Rules. That element simply wasn’t there.
-After the match, The IIconics were shown talking backstage. They made fun of Ruby Riott and talked trash as Riott walked up behind them. She called them dumbasses and said she was focused on Kay tonight. She said it wouldn’t be IIconic, but tragic. They then walked off and as the camera followed, it caught MVP and Cedric Alexander talking. MVP asked Alexander why someone with his skill set was content being Ricochet’s sidekick. Alexander didn’t answer and said he knew what MVP was trying to do. MVP acknowledged that, but then said he’d be in catering for his entire career if he didn’t think about what he was saying. MVP then walked off with his title as Alexander looked to the ground. The show then went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Great stuff. MVP making these type of advances on potential talent is smart to build his character and give his group credibility. MVP sold this well and Alexander did too. Well done on all accounts and will be an intriguing story to follow each week.
-Out of the break, Ric Flair and Orton were shown talking backstage. Flair was congratulating Orton on the win until Truth ran into him. Truth thought Flair was Tozawa, but then Tozawa ran up from behind him, but stopped when he saw Orton. Orton told him Truth ran a different direction before the show went back into the ring. There, Ruby Riott made her entrance and was followed by both IIconics. From there, the bell rang, and the match began.
(6) RUBY RIOTT vs. BILLIE KAY
Riott got some quick offense in at the beginning and toward the end. Because of Peyton Royce’s involvement, Riott was distracted. That allowed Kay to hit her finish and make the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Kay via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Another loss for Riott, but that seems to be the story here. A nothing match in almost every way outside of the winner.
-Sasha Banks and Bayley were interviewed backstage. Bayley spoke and said that Asuka would be lucky if she doesn’t slap her into last week. Banks then spoke and said that the Kabuki Warriors would never be tag team champions again. She said that if they needed to accept Asuka’s challenge to do that, they would. She then took the challenge, but Bayley looked concerned. Banks quickly made her case and Bayley quickly was convinced. She then called herself the best champion in WWE before telling Charly Caruso to move along. The show then went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: More seeds. Well done.
-Out of the break, Nikki Cross appeared for commentary with the announce team. From there, Bayley made her entrance with Sasha Banks. As they walked down, they interacted and talked trash with Cross. At that point, the announce team talked about their upcoming match at Extreme Rules. Once they got into the ring, Asuka made her entrance with Kairi Sane.
(7) ASUKA w/Kairi Sane vs. BAYLEY w/Sasha Banks
Asuka took over early and controlled the match. She knocked Bayley out of the ring. While Bayley was out there, she pushed Nikki Cross in the face. Cross charged at Bayley, but was stopped by security. She was then escorted away. As that happened, Asuka nailed Bayley with a flying knee strike that dropped her as the show went to break. (c)
Out of the break, Bayley took over with offense and momentum. She hit a series of suplexes and submissions on Asuka with pinfall attempts in between, but only got a two count. Eventually, Asuka countered that offense in the ring and took momentum back. It was halted though once the action spilled to the outside of the ring. There, Banks got involved, but was countered by Kairi Sane. From there, Bayley crushed Asuka into the ring post and then rolled out of the ring to comment about it with the announce team. As she sat there and did that, the show went to commercial break. (c)
Out of the break, Bayley mounted Asuka and decked her with a series of punches. Asuka countered that momentum with a spinning back fist that crushed Bayley and caused her to roll out of the ring.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Yikes. That was a stiff shot from Asuka that looked to have really rocked Bayley.
Asuka rolled out too in order to capitalize, but Bayley shoved her into the guardrail. From there, both women brawled into the ring and Asuka connected with a flying dropkick off of the top rope. In the end, the action spilled back outside where Bayley hit Asuka with a knee strike into the glass. Bayley gloated and punched Kairi Sane. Sane tried to get into the ring which allowed Banks to come in and hit Asuka with a strike to the face. Bayley then went for the cover, but only got a two count. In the end, Nikki Cross reappeared in the crowd and distracted Bayley. Because of this, Asuka was able to lock in the Asuka Lock. Banks tried to get involved to break the hold, but Kairi Sane speared her instead. Asuka then rolled Bayley up for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Asuka via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Glad to see a match like that get the time it needed to tell a good story. This did that and the result was a very good main event. Asuka really is clicking right now. Banks and Bayley continue to be good heel foils for the babyfaces. Cross getting involved was a little cheesy, but her personality gets it over better than it should.
-After the match, Asuka stood tall in the ring as the show faded to black.