HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 7/20: Alt Perspective coverage including Extreme Rules fallout, Orton vs. Big Show in an unsanctioned match, and more

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH COLUMNIST (@zheydorntorch)


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
JULY 20, 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

[HOUR ONE]

-The show opened with a recap video that detailed the eye for an eye story between Rey Mysterio and Seth Rollins that culminated last night at Extreme Rules. The recap highlighted Rey “losing” his eye and Seth’s reaction to it. When the recap ended, the standard Raw intro video aired.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Man, they continue the hard sell with this nonsense stipulation. Give it up, WWE. It didn’t work.

-When the Raw intro finished, the announce team welcomed the audience to the show. After, they hyped tonight’s major events including Big Show vs. Randy Orton. From there, Seth Rollins made his entrance with Murphy at his side as the Performance Center fans booed. As they walked down the ramp, the announce team gave a medical update on Rey. They said Rey’s optic nerve was not severed and because of that, he should be able to maintain his vision and make a full recovery. They tried hard to sell the match outcome.

Heydorn’s Analysis: The announcers really sound silly trying to sell the audience on the notion that what they saw last night wasn’t an abomination. WWE shouldn’t be this active in trying to convince fans that they saw something when they really didn’t. Just put out a better product that fans are fond of seeing and leave it at that. 

Once Seth got to the ring, he paused to soak in the boos and chants of “shame,” but then spoke. First, he said that at Extreme Rules last night, Rey Mysterio’s eye came out of its socket. He then said that he wanted to be honest. He said he understood what the eye for an eye stipulation entailed, but that what happened in his match last night would stay with him for the rest of his life. He said that the visual image of Rey holding his bloody eye in his hand will stay in his memories forever. Rollins said that picture was disgusting, barbaric, and more than he expected. He said that image made him sick to his stomach both figuratively and literally. Rollins said that he had been asked whether he regrets the match or not. Instead of answering it, he asked the fans whether or not they regret it because they made him what he is. Rollins then blamed Rey Mysterio for asking for the eye for an eye match in the first place and said that actions have consequences to them. Rollins said that what happened to Rey was unfortunate, but that we couldn’t afford to dwell in the past. Rollins said the beauty of all of this is  that Rey Mysterio is out of sight. Because of that, Seth said that Raw can now fulfill its potential and be the greater good as promised. Before he could finish, Aleister Black walked out.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Good delivery from Rollins. Like the announcers though, everyone saw what happened in the match and it just wasn’t as disgusting or barbaric as Rollins described it. They are grasping at straws. 

He told Rollins to not put blame for this situation on anyone else, but himself. He said he was out there to rectify everything and then charged to the ring. Murphy tried to stop him, but Black dismissed him quick. He then ran down to the ring to chase Rollins. Eventually, Murphy charged back and held him up. From there, Black and Murphy fought around the ringside area as Seth looked on from the ring. Black then charged back into the ring which caused Rollins to dive out of it as the show went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Good stuff from Black. He left all the plays on “dark” at the door and just seemed like a real person trying to defend a friend. Good babyface aggressiveness, too. Smart of Black in the babyface role to call Seth out on trying to skirt blame for what happened at Extreme Rules.

(1) SETH ROLLINS w/Murphy vs. ALEISTER BLACK

Out of the break, the match was underway. Both men brawled in and out of the ring until Rollins took firm control with a Sling Blade in the ring. After, he went for a pin, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Rollins stomped on Black’s arm and connected with strikes on it before trying to tie him in the ropes for future strikes. Eventually, Black battled back with kicks to Seth’s face. Rollins stopped that momentum with a suplex, but Black countered and tossed Rollins out of the ring. When Seth got back in, Black hit Seth with strikes including a knee to the face while selling his injured arm. Black tried for a moonsault, but Rollins dodged it because Murphy interfered. Instead, Black crushed Rollins with Black Mass. Before he could cover, Murphy interfered again. Black gave Black Mass to him too and the show went to commercial break. (c)

Out of the break, Black went for Black Mass, but Rollins countered it into a rollup pin. Black kicked out and went for Black Mass again, but Rollins countered with a superkick. He then hit a second one. Instead of covering, Rollins climbed to the top rope and called for Murphy. Black followed Rollins up to the top and tried to lift him off. Rollins fought him off and tried to target Black’s injured arm. He draped the arm over the top rope and then tried for a springboard clothesline. Black countered it with a kick, but Rollins countered further and hit a Stomp. Rollins then made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Rollins via pinfall

-After the match, Rollins sent Murphy back into the ring to beat on Black. They decimated Black including tossing him into the ring barrier multiple times. Rollins then continued to destroy Black’s arm. He smashed it on the ring post and then slammed it onto the mat. From there, Murphy lifted Black onto the announce table. Rollins then slammed Black’s arm into the table multiple times while he yelled “when is enough, enough.” Rollins then placed a part of the announce table on the arm and stomped it before walking off with Murphy.

Heydorn’s Analysis: A really good match and an intriguing post-match angle. Black and Rollins looked good together. You have to wonder what this loss means for Black. Since Paul Heyman’s departure, Black’s push had seemingly stalled and this confirms that sentiment if you’re rooted in the negative. The positive side of that coin for Black is that this is the beginning of a feud between him and Rollins for Summerslam. That would be a big match and a good get that renders tonight’s outcome impactful and “worth it” long term. 

-The announce team recapped the events of last night concerning MVP, Apollo Crews, and the United States Championship. After, Ron Simmons was shown talking to MVP and Bobby Lashley backstage. He told them that there was a better way to be champion before walking off. From there, R-Truth came into the shot and commented on MVP’s United States Championship belt. Truth said it looked like a nice replica and in response, MVP said that he was the real champion. From there, MVP invited Truth to come down to the ring with them. He declined and right after Shelton Benjamin nailed him with a superkick. Shelton then covered Truth to become the 24-7 Champion. He then left the shot with Lashley and MVP as the show went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: I like the idea of MVP working to accumulate lots of talent under his leadership. The 24-7 title though? It’s a comedy belt and not an entity MVP needs around his group for it to be taken as a serious threat on the Raw brand. Two totally different worlds that don’t need to merge. 

-Out of the break, MVP made his entrance with Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin. Once they got into the ring, MVP spoke and said that last night at Extreme Rules he became the new United States champion. He said he didn’t even break a sweat either. From there, he detailed what Lashley did to Crews two weeks ago that prevented him from being the fighting champion he’d be. MVP said he didn’t make excuses, but that he made history. He said his victory was a foregone conclusion. From there, MVP said that after he and Lashley beat Ricochet and Cedric Alexander, they’d go out and celebrate all of their championship gold. Ricochet and Alexander then walked out. They ripped MVP from standing behind Lashley and called him a chump. They said that they have been champions in WWE before and that they would again without him. In response, MVP called Cedric and Ricochet little kids that should be sitting in catering. He then suggested that they pick two of his guys to face. In response, Ricochet and Alexander said they did have a third partner and that that partner was Mustafa Ali. Ali then walked out and joined Alexander and Ricochet. Both teams then brawled on the outside of the ring. Ali, Ricochet, and Alexander cleared the ring as the show went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Good promo from MVP. He is doing a very good job on the mic and creating a big return moment for Apollo Crews whenever that is. Nice to see Ali again. Will be interesting to see how he is framed in this upcoming match in comparison to Ricochet and Alexander. 

-Out of the break, the bell rang, and the match began.

(2) RICOCHET, CEDRIC ALEXANDER, & MUSTAFA ALI vs. MVP, BOBBY LASHLEY, & SHELTON BENJAMIN

MVP and company took over early. Benjamin crushed Alexander with a shoulder tackle and tried to cover, but only got a two count. He then tagged MVP into the match. MVP kept momentum with knee strikes to Alexander and then covered as well, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, MVP locked in a reverse armlock and lifted Cedric to his feet. From there, he connected with a back suplex and covered, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, MVP tagged Shelton back into the match. Shelton connected with a suplex and followed that with a chop before covering for a two count. After, Benjamin tagged Lashley back into the match and cut the ring in half and on their side. Lashley connected with a delayed vertical suplex and followed that with a spear in the corner. From there, he tagged MVP in. MVP connected with a running boot to the face. After, he hit the Ballin Elbow and covered, but only got a two count. Eventually, Alexander made the tag to Mustafa Ali. After Ali entered the ring, MVP, Shelton, and Lashley rolled out as the show went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: A very strange time to cut to a commercial. Alexander took a beating and finally made the hot tag, only to not be able to do anything because of the break. A momentum killer and normally WWE is better about it and would at least hold off and wait for Ali to hit a big move before breaking. Strange. 

After commercials, the action continued, but MVP’s team regained control in the match. Benjamin hit Ricochet with a move and then grounded him to the mat with a sleeper hold. Soon after, Benjamin moved his attention to the right knee of Ricochet before tagging MVP back into the match. MVP stomped on the injured knee before forcing Ricochet’s face in front of the camera.

[HOUR TWO]

From there, Lashley tagged into the match and continued to dominate Ricochet. Finally, Ricochet shifted the tide after hitting Benjamin with a dropkick to the face. After, he made the tag to Ali and MVP crushed MVP with a flurry of moves. He hit a dropkick and followed that with chops in the corner. Ali then hit a kick and followed that with his rolling DDT before covering. As he was about to get the three count, Lashley broke it up. Lashley and Ali then battled with Lashley falling to the outside of the ring. Ricochet and Alexander tried for a suicide dive but Lashley caught them. Ali then connected and sent Lashley flying over the announce table. From there, Ali rolled back into the ring and battled with MVP. Ali hit a jumping neckbreaker and then followed with the 450 before covering for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Ali, Alexander, and Ricochet via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Good match. High energy and fast paced. Interesting to see Ali go over MVP clean the way he did given the attention MVP has gotten lately. A good sign for Ali fans and potentially a jump up the card into United States Championship picture.

-After the match, Randy Orton cut a promo backstage. He wondered about moments back in time that may have changed his life. Orton talked about being in Evolution, beating Mick Foley, and becoming the. youngest heavyweight champion ever. He said those were important moments, but not the moment that he believes changed his life. He said that the moment he was talking about was the moment he crushed Edge with a steel chair. He said that after that, he realized that all of his friendships were over with. He said that moment means sadness for others, but that it gave him satisfaction. He said he felt great to stand over Edge as he convulsed. He said he felt satisfied when he ruined Christian as well. Orton then said that tonight he would enjoy punt kicking Big Show in the head and ending his career once and for all.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Tremendous. Sets up the reason for Orton to be in this match and sets expectations for what to expect from him. All delivered in a way that was lined up perfectly with Orton’s dark persona. Great stuff. 

-Out of the break, Ron Simmons was shown talking to the Viking Raiders backstage. From there, the announce team cued up highlights of the Big Show that detailed the full scope of his career.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Fantastic video.

-When the video ended, Christian joined the announce team live from his home. Christian said that Randy Orton was one of the very best to ever wrestle. He said he knew what he was getting into the night he fought Orton, but he didn’t expect things to go down the way they did. He called Orton low and said that he would never look at Ric Flair or Randy Orton in the same way ever again. From there, Christian said that he was still healing up. He said that he doesn’t feel good, but that he’d endure it again if it guaranteed that Randy Orton got what he had coming to him. Christian said that Big Show would be ready for any traps Orton had ready and would love to see Orton knocked out cold.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Not a great in terms of being well acted or delivered, but smart in how it framed the main event tonight. 

-Bianca Belair was interviewed backstage. Belair said that being the EST means she is the biggest, strongest, and fastest. Belair said that last week she wanted to show up and help out Riott. As she was trying to talk more, Peyton Royce confronted Belair. She said that Belair should have helped someone with a better record. Riott came into the shot to help and Royce said that she has already beaten her once. Royce named dropped Liv Morgan which angered Riott. Belair told Royce she was looking forward to seeing her get beat and then walked away with Riott as the show went to break. (c)

-Out of the break, Peyton Royce made her entrance. Once she got to the ring, Ruby Riott walked out. From there, the bell rang, and the match began.

(3) RUBY RIOTT vs. PEYTON ROYCE

Peyton Royce owned the early part of the match and dominated with her offense. Eventually, Riott countered a Royce clothesline and turned it into the Riott Kick. Riott then made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Riott via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Good to see Riott get a W. The match was what it was and not anything special. Riott seemed to have a story revolving around her losses as recent as last week. This looks to be a deviation from that story.

-After the match, Zelina Vega was shown walking backstage with Andrade and Angel Garza. Charly Caruso interviewed them and Vega took center stage. She said that they’d win their match tonight against the Street Profits and get one step closer to the tag titles. She said that the Street Profits have been MIA since her team started to exert their dominance. Andrade spoke and Garza did too. As Garza was talking, the Street Profits attacked them. The show then went to commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Curious. That was quite a heel move from the Street Profits in attacking from out of nowhere and without much reason. 

-After the break, the Street Profits made their entrance. Once they got to the ring, Garza and Andrade walked out with Zelina Vega. As they did, the announce team played clips of their match against the Viking Raiders from last week. When the clips ended, the bell rang, and the match began.

(4) THE STREET PROFITS vs. ANDRADE & ANGEL GARZA w/Zelina Vega

All four men brawled to start the match. Garza took over early on and held control as the show went to commercial break. (c)

Out of the break, Angelo Dawkins tagged Montez Ford into the match. Ford hit Andrade with a dropkick and then followed that with a front face lock. Andrade battled out with shoulder tackles and then tagged Garza into the match. Garza hit Ford with a stiff kick and followed that with another tag to Andrade. Both men tagged in and out of the match to keep Ford on their side of the ring. Eventually, Ford reversed a submission from Andrade and slammed him to the mat with a suplex. Ford tried to make the tag, but Andrade held him up. Ford then connected with an enziguri and made the tag to his partner. Dawkins entered the match and destroyed anything that moved. He hit Andrade with a bulldog and covered, but Garza broke the cover up at two. Out of the pin, Dawkins lifted Andrade in the air for a double team move with Ford. Andrade countered it and sent Dawkins out of the ring. From there, Garza tagged in and joined Ford on the top rope. Both men battled, but Ford got the upper hand and knocked Garza off. He then hit a Frog Splash and made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Street Profits via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: That Ford frog splash is a thing of beauty. Good match that highlighted the Street Profits and their act. Good for them and the tag titles to be presented in that way. Well done. 

-After the match, the announce team aired highlights of the Raw Women’s Championship match between Asuka and Sasha Banks from Extreme Rules. Phillips called the match controversial. After, the show went to commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Controversial? I could think of a couple other words for it.

-Out of the break, Angel Garza and Andrade talked backstage. Zelina Vega stormed in and called them stupid for blowing their moment. Garza and Andrade said they were on the same page. Vega told them to prove it and Andrade said they would. From there, Bayley walked out. After her, Sasha Banks made her entrance. Both women arrogantly walked to the ring and as they did, the announce team debated whether or not Banks as really champion after last night. Once they got into the ring, Bayley told the audience to show respect to the new Raw Women’s Champion in Sasha Banks. Banks then spoke. She said that a lot of people talked about her and accused her of stealing the championship. She said last night she fought for the title whereas Asuka was just handed it. Banks said that Becky Lynch handed Asuka the title and that the people were forgetting that. She said that Asuka almost blinded the referee with the green mist and that Bayley borrowed the refs shirt because someone needed to officiate the match. Bayley then chimed in and said she had to make a choice and do the right thing. Sasha said that nobody needs to get it because she is the Boss and is two belts Banks. From there, they said they owned all the gold and celebrated in the ring.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Probably the best promo they could have done to save the travesty that was last night. Banks was believable and delivered the promo in a confident way. Speaking ridiculously about Asuka getting the title is heelish in nature and worked given these circumstances. 

As they did, Asuka walked out with Kairi Sane.

[HOUR THREE]

She yelled and said that the Raw Women’s Championship was hers. Banks then told Asuka to come and get it. She tried, but as she did, Stephanie McMahon appeared on the big screen. She called the Asuka/Banks match last night a Horror Show, but that neither woman won the match. She said that next week there would be a match to determine the winner and that Banks could lose the match if Bayley gets involved. After Stephanie, Asuka and Sane stormed the ring again as the show went to commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: The Stephanie appearance was a surprise, but a needed one to get them fully out of the issue that was created last night. This works and I’m hopeful WWE frames this as very big throughout the week. This was a mess created for no reason given the booking last night and while this booking doesn’t absolve yesterday, it gets them to the best place possible.

-Out of the break, the bell rang, and Bayley vs. Kairi Sane began.

(5) BAYLEY w/Sasha Banks vs. KAIRI SANE w/Asuka

Bayley held control early in the match. She connected with a body slam and made the cover, but Sane kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Bayley locked in a headlock. Sane broke out of the hold and then connected with a running cross body. She tried for a second, but Bayley countered and floored Sane with punches before covering for a two count. Eventually, Sane took momentum back with an elbow drop from the top rope. The move sent Bayley out of the ring and she stayed there as the show went to commercial break. (c)

Out of the break, the action continued. Sane and Bayley battled. As they did, Shayna Baszler was interviewed backstage. She talked about having a vested interest in the match and said she has beaten the best, but didn’t even have a match. She said she was interested in the winner like a shark is interested in prey. She then walked away. Back in the ring, Kairi Sane hit her sliding elbow. After, she climbed to the top rope for her Insane Elbow, but Bayley climbed up and slammed her right arm on the ropes to halt momentum. From there, Bayley put Sane in an arm submission and lifted her in the air to increase the pain. Sane broke free due to a well placed elbow. After, she hit Bayley with a double stomp and covered, but only got a two count. In the end, Sane connected with the Insane Elbow, but couldn’t cover right away due to her injured elbow. Eventually, she got there, but only got a two count because Bayley put her foot on the ropes to break the pin. Out of the pin, Bayley hit Sane with a knee and followed that with her own top rope elbow before covering for a two count. Out of the pin, Bayley went for the Bayley to Belly. Sane countered into a pin for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Sane via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Really good match and a surprising outcome given the rumors that Sane would be leaving the company. Something to watch for sure, but if Sane is leaving, WWE is going to miss her. She regularly has passable matches in the empty arena environment and is valuable because she can work with anyone. 

-After the match, Drew McIntyre was interviewed backstage. He said he felt rough after his match last night, but that he was still WWE Champion. He said he was headed down to the ring to discuss the future of Drew McIntyre. The show then went to break. (c)

-Out of the break, Drew McIntyre made his way to the ring. Once he got there, the announce team cued up highlight of his Extreme Rules title match against Dolph Ziggler. After, Drew spoke and said that he needed to hand it to Dolph. He said his stipulation was brilliant and swayed the match in Ziggler’s favor. He said Dolph did all he could within those stipulations and that he almost had him. Drew said that almost doing things was the story of Dolph’s entire career though. Drew then spoke about Summerslam. He said that he wanted a worthy opponent for that show. From there, Dolph Ziggler walked out. Ziggler walked down to the ramp and said that at Extreme Rules he saw something in Drew that he’d never seen. Ziggler said he saw fear and as he kept talking, Drew interrupted him and asked why he was out there. Ziggler said he saw fear and that he was close to winning the belt. Drew told Dolph that the answer to his challenge was no because he beat him with his own stipulation less than 24 hours ago. Ziggler kept pushing, but Drew stopped him and said he was embarrassing himself. Drew said he would save him from the embarrassment and leave. As he did, Ziggler tried to grab him, but Drew dropped him with a headbutt. Drew left, but Ziggler kept goading him. He said that Drew could have whatever he wanted, but that he just needed the match at anytime. Drew said that he accepted the match because he would be able to pick the stipulation. Drew said that he would tell Ziggler the stipulation only before the bell rings. He then left as Ziggler looked on in the ring.

Heydorn’s Analysis: They didn’t clarify, but let’s hope this isn’t the Summerslam match. Where this match happens is key to analyzing the success of the angle. If this is a TV main event in a couple weeks, it worked. A Summerslam title match? A tragic miss. 

-Big Show cut a promo backstage. He said in a few minutes he would face Randy Orton and called Orton the most dangerous man in the WWE. Show said that Orton had a great year so far and then detailed the damage he did to Edge and Christian. He said that Orton is lashing out at anyone who is trying to help him. He said that Orton has sadistically taken out everyone on Orton’s list of old friends. He said he knows that he may be next and understands where his health was at. Show said that he hoped legend killer Orton would never show up again. He said Orton’s voices were screaming at him to have no compassion or sympathy. Show said he was reminded of a time long ago where he and Randy would ride to towns together. He said they bonded a lot during that time by talking about the complexities of the way they were presented in the wrestling business. Show said he had to ask himself a hard question which was “is this the end for the Big Show.” He said maybe it was, but that he’d do anything and everything to make sure Randy Orton doesn’t write the end of his story. The show then went to commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Like Orton’s earlier in the night, this worked well to frame the main event as a big deal. Show acted it well and delivered it in an authentic way. A star being a star. Well done across the board in terms of hyping the match. 

-Out of the break, Big Show made his entrance. Once he got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.

(6) BIG SHOW vs. RANDY ORTON – Unsanctioned Match

Show took over early with a flurry of offense. He kept momentum for the most part until Orton chipped away with small shots of offense. Show then connected with a running spear before pulling a table into the ring. From there, Angel Garza and Andrade ran out and attacked Show from behind. They slammed him into the ring post and steel steps before Orton tried for a punt. As he did, the Viking Raiders ran out and made the save. They brawled with Garza and Andrade as the show went to commercial break. (c)

Out of the break, the action continued. Show was back in control and crushed Orton with a shoulder tackle. Show went for a second one, but Orton hit him with a dropkick that grounded Show on the mat. From there, Orton went for the punt, but Show countered it into a choke slam. After, Orton went for the cover, but only got a two count. In the end, Orton dodged an elbow drop through a table that sent Show through the table instead. With show down, Orton hit the RKO and covered, but Show kicked out. Out of the pin, Orton grabbed a steel chair and crushed Big Show with it multiple times. From there, Orton hit Show with a DDT off of the third rope and then hit a second RKO. Orton then made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Orton via pinfall

-After the match, Orton punted Show in the head and yelled “I told you.” He then posed as the show faded to black.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Another strong win for Orton. Great work by Show to put him over. Orton needs Drew McIntyre now. He’s been built up almost perfectly since January and its time to pay that off with a big time feud with a rising champion.


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 7/13: Alt Perspective coverage including final Extreme Rules hype, Orton vs. R-Truth, Owens vs. Rollins, women’s tag team championship match, and more

1 Comment on HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 7/20: Alt Perspective coverage including Extreme Rules fallout, Orton vs. Big Show in an unsanctioned match, and more

  1. “WINNER: Sane via pinfall Heydorn’s Analysis: Really good match and a surprising outcome”
    Not surprising as the Champ always looses in non title matches now. Totally predictable every time.

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