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HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
JULY 27, 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 intro video. When it ended, the announce team welcomed the audience to the show. After the welcome, they plugged major happenings on the program including Sasha Banks vs. Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship, the tag team title number one contender match, McIntyre vs. Ziggler, and more. From there, Randy Orton made his entrance as the audience booed.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Interesting. No mention of the WWE Championship being on the line in the Ziggler vs. McIntyre match. I need to check, but I thought the hook there for Ziggler was that he wanted another shot at the title?
-As Orton walked to the ring, the announce team cued up a hype video that detailed Orton’s sadistic run in which he took out Christian and the Big Show.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Great video. Framed Orton as a very big deal and told his recent story in an impactful way.
When the video ended, Orton spoke in the ring. He talked about being in the WWE for 20 years and the all the names he’s been called during that time. He talked about being the youngest world champion in history and being a part of iconic teams in WWE history. Orton then spoke about other WWE legends. He said guys like The Rock and Steve Austin and said they couldn’t hold a candle to him and his career accomplishments. He said he’s been able to do what he wants when he wanted, but that something was missing. He said he couldn’t tell what that was until this morning. He said he now knows what he desires and he said that desire is becoming WWE Champion again. Orton continued and talked about Drew McIntyre. He talked about Drew ruining his career, but then detailed Drew’s rise to the top of the company. Orton said he respected Drew McIntyre for beating Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania in quick fashion.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Fantastic. Orton’s delivery was magical and as he talked Drew up as he spoke about the match. That’s how these things are supposed to go. Well done.
Orton continued and looked into the camera. He said that Drew had a problem and that problem was that he has what Orton wants. Orton said he takes things that he wants and then told Drew he wanted a WWE Championship match at Summerslam. Orton then said that when he gives Drew the RKO and wins the title, McIntyre would never see it coming. Orton then dropped the microphone and left the ring. As he walked up the ramp, Nia Jax made her entrance and passed Randy Orton on the ramp.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Well, there it is. I don’t think this was a swerve, but it is the right move. This is the match to go to for both Drew and Orton. They need each other and if this promo is the foundation, I expect the build to be done well. As for Orton here, he was on point once again. He was smooth out there tonight and firmly confident in his approach.
-Jax made her entrance and stood in the ring as the audience booed. She picked up a microphone also and said that he heard Orton talking about wanting to be WWE Champion. She said she knows how he feels because she wants to be Raw Women’s Champion. Jax said that she was screwed out of her title match and that Charlotte interfered with her rematch. Jax continued and talked about the women’s title match later in the night. Before she could continue, Shayna Baszler walked to the ring. Once there, she spoke and addressed Jax. Baszler said that nobody cared what Nia Jax wanted. In response, Jax crushed Baszler with a stiff forearm shot to the face. From there, the brawl was on. Both women fought in the ring until they were separated by officials. The show then went to commercial break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good to seen Baszler out there acting like a bad ass. Presumably they are headed for a match now. By the end of this, we’ll see just how high or not high Vince McMahon is on Baszler.
-Out of the break, the Street Profits were shown in the ring. They said they were excited to be on the show and that the next match would determine their opponent at Summerslam.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Wait. Zero follow-up on the Baszler/Jax brawl? C’mon, WWE.
From there, they talked about ring announcing and then announced the Viking Raiders. After they did, the Viking Raiders made their entrance. They then introduced Ricochet and Cedric Alexander. After they got to the ring, they introduced Andrade and Angel Garza with Zelina Vega as well. Once all three teams were in the ring Andrade and Garza attacked their opponents before the bell. They gloated and talked back and forth with the Street Profits as the show went to break. (c)
(1) ANDRADE & ANGEL GARZA w/Zelina Vega vs. THE VIKING RAIDERS vs. RICOCHET & CEDRIC ALEXANDER – WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Number One Contender Match
Out of the break, the action was underway with the Street Profits on commentary. Andrade and Garza hid on the outside of the ring until both of their opponents left the ring to get them. Eventually, the Raiders slammed Andrade into the mats on the outside of the ring before Erick slammed Ivar on top him. Back in the ring, Alexander and Ricochet worked on Garza. Alexander connected with a snap suplex and then connected with a kick. From there, the Viking Raiders hit a springboard doomsday device. As they celebrated, Ricochet and Alexander attacked them from behind to try and gain momentum. From there, Ricochet, Erick, and Andrade all battled together in the ring. Erick was stomped in the corner by both Andrade and Ricochet. They took turns hitting offense on Erick until Ricochet went for the pin. Seeing this, Andrade pulled Ricochet off to break the hold. Then, Andrade suggested he and Ricochet keep their teamwork intact. Ricochet agreed, but Andrade crushed him with a strike from behind.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Nothing like rooting for a gullible babyface right? Ricochet needs to be better there. He just goes along with a tried and true bad guy like Andrade? In the middle of a match? Not only is it not believable, but it makes him hard to root for.
This left Andrade and Erick in the ring. Both men went toe to toe until Andrade got the upper hand due to Garza helping. From there, Garza and Andrade took over and crushed Erick with a move in the corner as the show went to commercial break. (c)
Out of the brea, Garza and Andrade maintained control in the match. Andrade crushed Erick with his running knee attack in the corner. Eventually, Ricochet and Alexander took over with some quick offense including a standing shooting star press. Ricochet tried to cover, but Garza broke it up. From there, Garza went toe to toe with Erick until the action spilled out of the ring. As all the men brawled out there, Ivar jumped off of the top rope and landed on all of them. In the end, Garza was able to get Alexander back in the ring for the Wing Clipper. He hit the move and then made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Garza and Andrade via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Fun little match and the right way to book the division for Summerslam. We’ve seen Viking Raiders vs. Profits and Ricochet/Alexander haven’t been framed as a viable team. Not only are Andrade and Garza heels that match up with the Street Profits well, they’ve been on the up and up and have Vega as a strong promo voice. This works nicely.
-After the match, Andrade and Garza got some cheap shots in on the Street Profits. They then ran away. From there, Nia Jax was shown talking to a referee backstage. The announcers said she would wrestle Shayna Baszler after what happened in the opening segment. The show then went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Well, it took a while, but at least they got there in terms of referencing the brawl between Baszler and Jax from earlier in the night. If the announcers aren’t going to sell the angle and if they angle isn’t referenced, why even do it? This is not a good response, but a bare minimum one.
-Out of the break, Nia Jax made her entrance. Shayna Baszler followed. Once she got into the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.
(2) NIA JAX vs. SHAYNA BASZLER
Both women brawled to immediately start the match. WWE officials quickly got involved as the match devolved into a no contest.
WINNER: No contest
-After the match, both women continued to brawl and beat up WWE officials. Finally, the officials got the brawl under control and the brawl ended.
Heydorn’s Analysis: The brawl was fine, but this entire angle between Baszler and Jax seems forced to me. Like both women are following steps out there instead of reacting like characters in a story. This isn’t the end, but it feels too formulaic to be enjoyable.
-The announce team aired a recap video that detailed the eye for an eye feud between Rey Mysterio and Seth Rollins. After the video, Seth Rollins was shown backstage. He smirked and then looked down to address Murphy who was looking a little upset. Rollins asked Murphy if he was ok and in response, Murphy asked Rollins if Dominick was really going to show up. Rollins said he would because people like him always do. Seth told Murphy not to worry because the greater good always prevails. Rollins said tonight would be different and then told Murphy to trust him before walking off as the show went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, Ruby Riott and Bianca Belair were shown talking to Mark Henry backstage. From there, Seth Rollins made his entrance with Buddy Murphy at his side. As he walked down the ramp, the announce team talked about his match with Rey Mysterio at Extreme Rules. Once he got to the ring, Rollins spoke and said he had been on a roll with wins over Rey Mysterio and Aleister Black. He said he should be in a great mood, but wasn’t due to the fact that Dominick was in attendance to confront him. Rollins said that every time the greater good takes a step forward, it takes two steps back and that everyone gets hurt when they stand in his way. Rollins referenced Kevin Owens, Rey Mysterio, and Aleister Black. Rollins said he didn’t want to be the person that hurts people because that is not who the Monday Night Messiah is. Rollins said he didn’t want Dominick to hide in the shadows like last time. He then called Dominick down to the ring to face him like a man. Soon after, Dominick appeared on the ramp.
Rollins told him to walk to the ring and said he promised he wouldn’t hurt him. In response, Dominick walked down and got into the ring as Murphy raised the ropes for him to enter the ring. Dominick walked up the stairs and then faced off with Rollins in the middle of the ring with a microphone in his hands. Rollins continued to address him and said he understood why Dominick was upset. He said he wanted to give Dominick a chance to speak and told him that if it was hard for him to speak on what happened with his Dad he could come to him for guidance and help. Rollins then tried to give Dominick a hug. Instead, Dominick attacked and drove Rollins to the mat. He got a few shots in before Murphy pulled him off. From there, Rollins and Murphy beat on Dominick as the audience booed. Rollins yelled “what is wrong with you” as the beating continued and as he slammed Dominick into the announce desk. Eventually, Aleister Black ran out to make the save. He got some strikes in, but Rollins and Murphy controlled and beat him down too once they targeted his arm. Rollins gave Black a Stomp on the outside of the ring as officials pleaded with him not to. From there, Rollins told Murphy that he “knows what he has to do.” He asked Murphy if he was in it for real before slapping him and asking him to use the stairs on Black. Murphy looked a bit torn, but then did Seth’s bidding and smashed Black’s eye into the steps. Black writhed in pain as Rollins and Murphy turned their attention to Dominick. They searched for him, but Dominick attacked them both with a kendo stick. He fought them off until both Murphy and Rollins ran up the ramp.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Well done. When Rollins can parlay his promo speak into actions that are dangerous, his entire act clicks more effectively. This was that. Rollins looked the part and by forcing Murphy to do something that he didn’t want to, his act as a maniacal leader gained credibility. Black sold the angle well and Dominick did his part too in firing up at the right time. A tag team match between these four guys is in our future.
-Mustafa Ali was shown warming up backstage. R-Truth then jumped into the shot and asked Ali about being in the VIP Lounge later in the night. Truth asked if he was going for the 24-7 Championship. Ali said he wasn’t and that he was focused on his match with Bobby Lashley. Truth said “ok” but that he had his eyes on him before walking out of the shot as the show went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, MVP stood in the ring with Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin. From there, MVP introduced the VIP Lounge and talked about last week. He talked about becoming the real United States Champion, but then said that the night didn’t go as it was supposed to. He continued and said he met a man last week that he had never met before. He said he wanted to help that man and then welcomed Mustafa Ali to the ring. From there, Ali made his way to the ring. Once he got there, MVP spoke to him and welcomed him to the VIP Lounge. MVP talked about losing last week and then Ali spoke. Ali said he was happy he was back and on Raw. He said he was happy that he had the opportunity to become a real champion, unlike MVP. In response, MVP said that Ali was talented and that he could be a champion if he makes the right choices. From there, Ali said he knew where MVP was going and that he wasn’t buying it. He said he has always thought for himself and that he always would. In response to that, MVP said that Apollo Crews thought like Ali did and that Crews is sitting on the couch at home. MVP continued and said that Ali could join him there or become food for the sharks. Ali paused and then told MVP “no.” As he tried to continue, R-Truth speared Shelton Benjamin out of the ring and covered him for a 24-7 Championship win. Shelton kicked out at two and right after he did, Truth ran up the ramp as the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: It was good to hear from Ali here and was smart to frame him as a babyface that immediately saw right through MVP’s pitch. Ali is a perfect babyface and a feud with MVP will continue to frame him in a good light. Time will tell where he’ll end up, but this is promising.
-Out of the break, the bell rang, and Lashley vs. Ali began.
(3) MUSTAFA ALI vs. BOBBY LASHLEY w/MVP and Shelton Benjamin
Ali got some quick offense in to start the match. Soon after, Lashley took control and slowed the pace of the match. Lashley dominated and beat on Ali in the ring and out of the ring. Finally, Ali connected with a flying suicide dive that drove Lashley into the glass barrier. As Lashley writhed in pain, the show went to break. (c)
Out of the break, Ali tried for a springboard move, but Lashley countered and smashed him into the ring apron. Lashley then tossed Ali on the outside mat before slamming him into the stairs. As Ali laid in pain, MVP talked trash. Lashley then rolled Ali back into the ring. From there, Lashley pounded on Ali’s shoulders and before putting him in a shoulder submission. Finally, Ali broke the hold and tried for offense, but Lashley countered it into a Flatliner. From there, Lashley covered, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Lashley gloated and Ali struck with a tornado DDT. Ali then climbed to the top rope and tried for a 450 Splash. Lashley moved out of the way and as Ali went for another move, he countered it into the Full Nelson. From there, Ali tapped out to give Lashley the victory.
WINNER: Lashley via submission
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good match, but Ali loses any momentum he had taking the loss so cleanly.
-After the match, Dolph Ziggler was interviewed. He said he didn’t know and didn’t care, but that he was going to be going to Summerslam to face Drew McIntyre and not Randy Orton. The show then went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, the announce team cued up a highlight video that detailed the Asuka vs. Sasha Banks championship match from Extreme Rules. When the video ended, Bayley made her entrance and was followed by Sasha Banks. Both women talked to the ring and Sasha Banks held the Raw Women’s Championship over her head. Once they got into the ring, Banks spoke and said that there wasn’t a bigger bully than Stephanie McMahon.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Hey, she might not be wrong.
Banks said that Stephanie was jealous of her and Bayley because they run the company with all the gold. Bayley then spoke and said that her and Banks are the show no matter what brand they are on. Bayley called themselves role models and they fight to do what needs to be done. From there, Asuka made her entrance and once she got to the ring yelled trash and got into it with Banks and Bayley. Bayley got tossed from ringside as the show went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, official introductions were made and the match began.
(4) SASHA BANKS vs. ASUKA – Raw Women’s Championship
Both women tied up to start the match. Eventually, Asuka took over the momentum until Banks caught her kick and twisted it around the ring rope. From there, Banks got the momentum. She hit Asuka with a backstabber off of the second rope and then covered, but only got a two count. Out of pin, Banks locked in a single leg crab submission. Asuka wiggled free, but Banks kept the attack going. She stomped on Asuka’s hurt leg and then put it in another submission. This time, Asuka countered it and kicked her out of the ring. Banks was upset by this and said she wouldn’t be disrespected. From there, she tried to leave, but the referee started to count her out. Instead, Banks tossed both of her belts in the ring. The referee grabbed one to remove it. Banks picked up the other and faked an attack from Asuka before tossing her the belt. The referee saw this and called Banks on her shenanigans. After Banks pleaded her case, she turned back to Asuka, but received a swift kick to the face. The show then went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: A crisp match thus far, but that little spot was a bit silly. I get what they were going for given the stipulations in the match, but it was overly cute and forced in where it didn’t need to be. Having that stipulation as an overarching element looming is more effective than calling it out like they did. Unnecessary.
Out of the break, the action continued with Banks in control of the match. She choked Asuka in the corner before tying her injured leg up in the ropes again. Asuka screamed in pain, but Banks kept pouring on the offense. Eventually, Asuka slapped Banks in the throat before connecting with her lifting knee strike. Sasha rolled to the apron after the move and Asuka tried for the running hip attack. Banks dodged the move and slammed Asuka to the mat. Again, Banks took over momentum and kept her attention on Asuka’s injured leg. From there, Banks made the cover on Asuka, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Banks crushed Asuka with a kick and followed that with a meteora. Banks then covered, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Banks locked in another single leg crab submission. Asuka broke the hold, but Banks followed up and smashed it into the ring post. Soon after, Asuka was able to put Banks in a short-lived ankle submission. Banks broke it by tossing Asuka into the ring post again. She then followed that with a running knee strike. From there, Banks climbed to the top rope and jumped off for a move, Asuka countered it with a knee strike in mid-air which left both women down on the mat. Both Banks and Asuka got to their feet at the same time and exchanged strikes in the ring. Asuka crushed Banks with a kick to the leg that dropped her in the ring. From there, Asuka took over and nailed Banks with a German suplex that she followed with a running hip attack. After, Asuka made the cover, but only got a two count Out of the pin, Asuka lifted Banks to the top rope for a move and followed her up. Banks pushed her off and hit her with a frog splash. She then put Asuka into the Banks Statement. Eventually, Asuka countered the move and tried to put Banks into the Asuka Lock, but couldn’t get it firmly in place as Banks kicked her out of the ring. From there, Banks and Asuka battled on the outside until Banks slammed Asuka’s injured leg into the announce desk. Banks then rolled back into the ring as the referee counted on Asuka. Asuka made the count at nine. Banks then grabbed Asuka and said that she was the Raw Women’s Champion. Asuka rolled her up for a pin, but only got a two count as Banks countered it into the Banks Statement again. Asuka writhed in pain, but Banks kept changing the position of the hold to give her leverage. Asuka eventually countered the hold into an ankle lock. Banks countered that, but Asuka countered the counter with a dropkick. As she did, Bayley was shown on the big screen destroying Kairi Sane. Asuka was distracted by this, but still hit Banks with a second German suplex. The attack kept up which eventually led to Asuka leaving the ring to tend to her friend. Because of that, she was counted out and Sasha Banks was awarded the win.
WINNER: Banks via count-out
Heydorn’s Analysis: That was just a helluva match, but with a finish that will be hotly debated. In WWE’s narrative, that championship opportunity should be a coveted one. To that end, it was tough seeing Asuka leave that opportunity on the table. At the same time, Asuka is a babyface. With that mind, her character is one that wouldn’t leave a friend being attacked like that. This finish balanced those two problems successfully. Asuka gave the attack enough time and sold her indecision enough to give credence to the opportunity that was on the table. She didn’t ignore Sane either and therefore was a good friend and babyface. Now, it’s all in the follow-up. Asuka needs to be livid after this and demand another opportunity at the title with a special stipulation that avoids any messy interruptions.
-After the match, Banks and Bayley celebrated in the ring as the show went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, the announce team played clips of the Banks vs. Asuka match. When the clips finished, Charly Caruso was working backstage to get an update on Kairi Sane. As she did, Banks and Bayley gloated and were obnoxious. From there, Asuka walked out of the trainer room and yelled in Japanese. From there, the announce team cued up a tribute to Regis Philbin. When the tribute finished, Murphy made his entrance to the ring. After, Humberto Carrillo walked out and their match began.
(5) MURPHY vs. HUMBERTO CARRILLO
Carrillo took over early with a flurry of quick and fast-paced offense. Eventually, Murphy pushed Carrillo off of the top rope during a springboard attempt and grounded him from there. Murphy connected with a series of kicks and then tried for a high impact move in the corner. Carrillo countered that with a kick to the face. From there, both men exchanged strikes in the middle of the ring. Carrillo got the upper hand with a spinning heel kick. He tried to follow that with running attack in the corner, but Murphy countered. Carrillo then climbed to the top rope and nailed Murphy with a missile dropkick. Carrillo then made the cover, but only got a two count. In the end, Murphy countered Carrillo with Murphy’s Law and made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Murphy via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good to see Murphy get a win. As a Rollins follower, it’s important to show him getting stronger due to Seth’s influence. It gets him over stronger and gives Seth’s words and actions as a leader some strong context.
-After the match, the announce team aired a recap video that detailed the Dolph Ziggler vs. Drew McIntyre match from Extreme Rules. From there, Drew McIntyre was shown talking to Mark Henry backstage as the show went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, Drew McIntyre made his entrance to the ring. Once he got there, he spoke on the microphone. Right away, he addressed the comments of Randy Orton from the beginning of the show. In response, Drew accepted Randy’s challenge for a title match at Summerslam.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This needs to be the main event. McIntyre needs that exposure and experience as champion.
Drew continued and said that he wouldn’t compare their careers. He said that Orton was clicking on all cylinders and that he was the biggest threat to his title. From there, he addressed the fans and said he figured people considered him the underdog. He then told Orton to think that as well. He said he wanted him to see him as the underdog because he destroyed Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania when Lesnar thought he was an underdog too. Drew said that unlike the RKO, Orton would see the Claymore coming. Drew then started to address Dolph Ziggler and the stipulation for tonight’s match. Before he could, Dolph Ziggler made his entrance. He told Drew to hurry it up with his announcement and Drew did. Drew announced that like at Extreme Rules, Ziggler would get to hit him with chairs and anything else he could find. He said the difference was that he’d be able to do that too. Drew then punched Ziggler in the face and the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Drew did a nice job addressing Randy Orton. He kept Orton over as a suitable opponent, but talked about their differences. Noting that the Claymore would be seen and felt was a nice touch too. Well done.
-Out of the break, the bell rang, and the match began.
(6) DREW MCINTYRE vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER – Extreme Rules Match
Both men started out battling with anything they could find. The offense was mixed until Drew got the upper hand with some well-timed chair shots. Drew then tossed multiple chairs into the ring while proclaiming that “it’s a party.” Ziggler took momentum back, but that was short lived as Drew crushed him with a kendo stick. Drew tried for another shot, but Ziggler countered. From there, Ziggler tried for a flying move on Drew from the ring apron, but Drew caught him and ran him straight through the ring barricade. With both men down, the show went to break. (c)
Out of the break, the action continued. Both men battled with multiple top rope counters. In the end, Drew McIntyre hit the Claymore on Ziggler that sent him flying through a table. From there, Drew made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: McIntyre via pinfall
-After the match, Randy Orton hit Drew with an RKO as he celebrated in the ring. Orton then stood over Drew with the WWE Championship in hand as the show faded to black.
Heydorn’s Analysis: A good, action packed match. Drew looked strong and that was the goal. No surprise in the angle at the end. McIntyre vs. Orton is on and that is one of the biggest matches WWE can go with right now.