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HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
AUGUST 10, 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 the video ended, the announce team welcomed the audience to the show while plugging major happenings on the show including Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens and Asuka vs. Bayley. They also plugged Raw Underground and revealed that it would take place at the start of the third hour.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Tons to say about the Raw Underground concept and we’ll see what they have in-store for it this week. That said, it’s smart to put their money where their mouth is and hype it up for a certain time. Time to deliver … somehow.
-When the intro ended, Samoa Joe stood in the ring for the Rollins and Dominick contract signing. Joe introduced the contract signing and then introduced Seth Rollins. Rollins walked out and as he did, the announce team said that Joe would not be able to physically get involved physically during the contract signing because he would lose his job as he was not medically cleared the wrestle. The announce team then hyped the Rollins vs. Dominick match for Summerslam. From there, Rollins got into the ring and stared Joe down. Joe then called Dominick a grown ass man and welcomed him to the ring. Dominick walked out to his own music with a kendo stick and took the Mysterio name as well.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Officially attaching the Mysterio name to Dominick is obviously a smart call. The new music fits him and gives him an arms length away from his Dad too. Also smart.
Once Dominick got into the ring, he grabbed a microphone and stared down Rollins. Rollins spoke first and called Dominick a coward for carrying a kendo stick with him. Joe took the kendo stick from Dominick and then spoke to Rollins. He ran down Rollins for not being comfortable in his own skin and getting too righteous. Joe called Rollins sad and said that he gave Dominick no choice except to face him in the wrestling ring. Rollins laughed that off and said that he gave him and his Dad a choice every step of the way. Rollins said that he has not had a choice throughout this entire thing. He said that he was the one that was forced into this situation. He said he got crapped on by everyone when he tried to be Seth Freaking Rollins. He said he had no choice to make sacrifices for the greater good. He then questioned when it would all be enough for everyone. At that point, Dominick spoke and said it would never be enough. He said that Rollins just makes excuses and that his Dad wasn’t the same. He said that Rollins uses the greater good to fight for only himself. Rollins responded and called Dominick disgraceful. He said that he was on the cusp of becoming a WWE superstar because of him and that he should thank him. Dominick spoke back and said that it was his dream, but that his new dream is to kick Seth’s ass at Summerslam. Rollins laughed off that threat and told Dominick that he wouldn’t last ten seconds in a standard wrestling match with him. Rollins said he called himself the best of his generation and that that there wasn’t a question about it. Rollins then told Dominick that he could use anything he wanted to fight him so that he would have no excuse when he ends his career before it ever begins. From there, both men signed the contract as the audience clapped. After, Rollins arrogantly told Dominick to leave his ring and to watch him beat Humberto Carrillo. At that point, Carrillo walked out and made his entrance. The show then went to commercial break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: That worked. It wasn’t a money promo or anything, but there is still time. Rollins was good at defining himself as heads and above Dominick and Dominick played the gritty underdog just fine. We need to see a fired up Dominick next – a Dominick that clearly and passionately talks about what beating Rollins would mean to him and his family.
(1) SETH ROLLINS w/ Murphy vs. HUMBERTO CARRILLO w/Dominick Mysterio
Out of the break, the bell rang, and the match began. Carrillo took over early and got the PC crowd on his side. He connected with a flurry of punches in the corner and then tried for a top rope move. Rollins countered and pummeled him with strikes of his own. Rollins then tried for a suplex off of the top rope, but Carrillo countered an knocked him off. Carrillo tried to hit a moonsault, but Murphy distracted him. Dominick crushed Murphy with the kendo stick. At that point, Carrillo went for the move, but Rollins countered. Rollins then hit the Stomp and made the cover for the 1,2,3 win as he stared down Dominick on the outside of the ring.
WINNER: Rollins via pinfall
-After the match, Murphy and Rollins attacked Dominick and Carrillo. Dominick tried to fight back, but he was overwhelmed. From there, Rollins nailed Dominick with a series of kendo stick shots as Murphy looked on. Rollins then removed Dominick’s shirt and continued to crush Dominick with the shots. Rollins then tied Dominick up in the ropes and hit more shots as he taunted Rey Mysterio in the camera. He told Rey to beg for mercy for his son before calling him a coward and connecting with more shots. Murphy then grabbed additional kendo sticks. Rollins then told Murphy to hit Dominick in the back. They both then took turns crushing Dominick with kendo stick shots. Rollins and Murphy then celebrated and gloated as Dominick laid helpless in the ring. The show then went to commercial break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Great stuff. Brutal, but very effective. Not only did this help frame Seth’s out of touch and dangerous heel persona, but Dominick cultivated loads of sympathy because of it. I imagined an arena full of people booing Rollins mercilessly and due to his actual actions in the ring instead of silly eyeball booking. This was a heel being a heel and the table is set for Dominick to overcome. Well done across the board.
-Out of the break, the announce team recapped the events between Rollins and Dominick ahead of the break. From there, the announce team talked about the chaos Retribution caused throughout last week. They then cued up video clips of those strange happenings that the group presumably involved in.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Ok, the recap of the angle on Friday was infinitely more impactful than the actual angle itself.
-After the Retribution video, Andrade made his entrance with Zelina Vega and Angel Garza. As they did, the announce team played highlights of Montez Ford collapsing in the ring last week. Those clips included Bianca Belair confronting Vega about Ford being poisoned. When the video ended, Zelina Vega took the microphone and said she didn’t have anything to do with Ford being poisoned. She said she would be a bad manager if she did that and ruined the title opportunity for her clients. Vega then spoke to Belair and told her to get her man in line. She then said that the Street Profits could have the smoke because they wanted the tag titles. She said that they would earn the tag titles at Summerslam. From there, Angelo Dawkins made his entrance. The lights flickered during it. The show then went to commercial break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: That isn’t a totally unbelievable explanation by Vega. There is enough reality there to truly wonder whether or not it was her and that seemed to be what they were going for. A little mystery there. Intriguing.
-Out of the break, the bell rang, and Dawkins vs. Andrade began.
(2) ANGELO DAWKINS vs. ANDRADE w/Zelina Vega and Angel Garza
The match started with a quick pace that led to Dawkins connecting with a dropkick that sent Andrade out of the ring. From there, Andrade taunted Dawkins and eventually got him to go near the ropes. Andrade capitalized and took momentum with kicks. With Dawkins down, Andrade locked in a side headlock and held it until Dawkins got back up to his feet. Dawkins elbowed his way out and then traded punches with Andrade in the middle of the ring. Dawkins got the upper hand with his strikes and downed Andrade with a jumping elbow strike. After, he connected with a suplex and followed that with splash in the corner. Andrade countered and then pummeled Dawkins with elbows in the corner. From there, Andrade connected with his running double knee strike and then covered, but only got a two count. In the end, Zelina Vega worked to distract Dawkins. Bianca Belair walked out and stopped that interference. This allowed Dawkins to hit the Cash Out and make the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Dawkins via pinfall
-After the match, Belair and Vega exchanged trash talk as the show went to commercial break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: A good little TV match. It did the job of presenting Dawkins in a meaningful way ahead of Summerslam while laying a foundation for Vega and Belair. Simple stuff, but it worked.
-Out of the break, Vega vs. Belair was already underway.
(3) BIANCA BELAIR w/Angelo Dawkins vs. ZELINA VEGA w/Andrade and Angel Garza
Belair kept momentum early and used her power to ground Vega. Belair connected with a slam into the canvas and then taunted Vega to get up.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Belair is showing some tremendous fire and intensity. Smart of her not to buy Vega’s explanation even if it has some merit. Shows a babyface with a clear and confident head on her shoulders that is tired of being messed with. Not a pushover. Well done.
From there, Belair crushed Vega with a series of strikes in the corner. She kept that momentum until Vega took over after a poke to the eye. Vega connected with a tornado DDT and tried to cover, but only got a two count. From there, Vega kept momentum until she went for a cross body off of the top rope. Instead of connecting on it, Belair caught her and hit her with a press slam. Belair tried to cover, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Belair pummeled Vega and tossed her around the ring after Vega tried to mess with her hair. Belair attempted a shoulder tackle in the corner, but Vega countered. The counter caused Belair to smash into the ring post. Vega looked to capitalize, but Belair countered with a power bomb. After, Belair hit the KOD and covered for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Belair via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: A really nice showcase match for Belair. She exudes so much charisma and is going to be a staple of Raw women’s division.
-After the match, Belair was interviewed.
Belair said that she didn’t believe Zelina Vega. She said that if she had to she would beat her up again because she was the EST of the WWE. Dawkins then spoke and said that Montez Ford would be back in time for Summerslam.
-The announce team played a recap video that detailed last week’s events between Apollo Crews and MVP. When the video ended, the announce team hyped a special VIP Lounge as the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, the Hurt Business stood in the ring. They were introduced and MVP spoke. He said that tonight would be a different episode of the VIP Lounge because he wasn’t in a celebratory mood. He said he would rather pop ligaments and tendons instead of bottles. From there, MVP continued and said that there was a conspiracy going on. He blamed the strange happenings from last week on why he lost his championship match against Apollo Crews. MVP said the lights beat him and not Crews. This prompted Apollo Crews to make his entrance. Crews said that MVP was making excuses. In response, MVP talked about Crews making excuses for not being at Extreme Rules. Crews said he wasn’t hurting anymore and that he was happy to be walking around with MVP’s title belt. MVP spoke again and said that he tried to help Crews, but that he was a bad decision maker. Crews said that he was allowed to make bad decisions because he was a bad man. Crews said he didn’t care about either of MVP’s guys but only about MVP himself. Crews said that the only lights going out at Summerslam would be MVP’s. At that point, Lashley and Benjamin tried to jump Crews. Instead, Crews rolled into the ring and got some shots in on MVP before MVP rolled out of the ring. Crews then destroyed some of the VIP Lounge set as the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Crews had some nice lines here and there, but needs help with the delivery. Instead of emphasizing parts of what he is saying, the way he talks causes the words to bleed together without important emphasis. MVP was good here. While the Hurt Business was starting it appeared as if MVP would stand behind the talent. Based on how he was presented tonight, Lashley and Benjamin appear to be his heaters. An interesting turn of events.
-Out of the break, Apollo Crews started his match against Shelton Benjamin.
(4) APOLLO CREWS vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN w/MVP and Bobby Lashley
Crews held momentum for most of the match and connected with his usual moves including his standing moonsault. From there, he was about to win the match, but a distraction caused Benjamin to get the roll-up and the win.
WINNER: Benjamin via pinfall
-After the match, Bobby Lashley tried to put his Full Nelson on Crews. MVP stopped him and said he needed him healthy so he could beat him at Summerslam. MVP then tried to hit Crews with his own cheap shot, but Crews countered and connected with an enziguri. Lashley tried to chase him, but Crews rolled out of the ring and ran.
Heydorn’s Analysis: A to B stuff. Effective though in hyping what amounts to a low card feud. To that end, it worked.
-The announce team broke news and said that a cinderblock was thrown through a window at the PC. They then showed a camera shot of that happening as a group of people dressed in black yelled. The show then went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: A major problem with the Retribution angle so far is that nobody dressed up in the black looks or sounds menacing in the slightest. They sound like little kids trying to takeover a classroom or something. Maybe this isn’t the actual group, but these videos hurt the group’s allure because of how off the presentation is with the actual product we’ve been getting.
-Out of the break, Mickie James was interviewed backstage. James said she was excited to be back and that she had gold on her mind. As she spoke, Lana and Nattie interrupted her. They asked her how she would lead the women’s locker room if she didn’t have a Tik Tok. Nattie talked about being a best, but then James jumped in. She ridiculed Nattie and then walked off as Nattie and Lana called her rude.
-The announce team recapped last week’s Raw Underground via a highlight package. When the video ended, Ivar was talking up his basketball skills backstage. Erick approached him and said they needed to get ready for their match. The woman Ivar was speaking to called him cute, but said that Erick wasn’t. Ivar then smiled as the show went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, Ricochet and Cedric Alexander finished their entrance with Akira Tozawa and his ninjas in the ring. From there, the Viking Raiders made their entrance and the match began.
(5) AKIRA TOZAWA & THE NINJAS vs. THE VIKING RAIDERS, RICOCHET, & CEDRIC ALEXANDER
The Raiders and team Ricochet and Alexander took over early. After a minute, the Viking Raiders hit the Viking Experience and made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Viking Raiders, Ricochet, and Alexander via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Alright, that’s enough of the ninjas. Period.
-After the match, Drew McIntyre was interviewed backstage. He talked about his comments last week toward Randy Orton and said he stood by them. From there, Drew addressed Randy holding onto the torch in WWE. He said he would kick Orton in the head and take the torch from him. Drew was then asked about Kevin Owens. He said that if Owens beats Orton tonight, he and him would have a chat about the future of Monday Night Raw. From there, the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Another good promo from Drew. Fun to watch someone really feel his character and own his role on the show. Orton vs. McIntyre feels like a big Summerslam main event.
-Out of the break, Ruby Riott made her entrance. Liv Morgan followed. From there, the IIconics walked out and mocked them both. They said their futures were iconic and then charged into the ring.
(6) LIV MORGAN w/Ruby Riott vs. PEYTON ROYCE w/Billie Kay
Morgan got some quick punches in early, but Royce turned the tide. She nailed Morgan with a series of punches and tried for a clothesline, but Morgan countered into a pin. She only got a two count and out of the pin, Morgan clocked Royce with a punch. From there, Morgan countered a Royce splash, but was then distracted by Kay. The referee thought it was Riott that got involved. Morgan did too. The mixup allowed Royce to hit Morgan with the Deja Vu and covered for the 1,2,3 win.
Heydorn’s Analysis: What can you say? It was a match and it all just feels directionless at this point.
-After the match, Morgan and Riott argued a bit and the announcers said it would take a while for them to fully get on the same page again.
-The announce team cued up video highlights that detailed the events of last week between Asuka and Sasha Banks. When the video ended, Shane McMahon was shown walking into Raw Underground as the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, Riddick Moss won his Raw Underground fight. Shane McMahon proclaimed “what’s next” as the show moved back to real Raw.
Heydorn’s Analysis: So. Many. Camera. Cuts. I’m in a full wait and see mode in terms of judging this concept. The camera cuts though? Those have to go. Interesting to note that there was some mask wearing this week and the dancing women appear to have been removed too. Smart call.
-Asuka made her entrance. Once she got to the ring, Sasha Banks and Bayley made their entrance. As they did, the announce team plugged Summerslam. Once they got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.
(7) BAYLEY w/Sasha Banks vs. ASUKA – If Asuka wins she gets a title shot against Sasha Banks at Summerslam
Bayley took over early and grounded Asuka with a headlock.
Bayley held momentum until Asuka battled out with a kick to the face after a pin counter. From there, Asuka took over and connected with a release German suplex that she followed with a running attack in the corner. After, Asuka made the cover, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Asuka tried for another running attack in the corner, but Bayley caught her and suplexed her into the turnbuckle. From there, Asuka hit another move and tried for a pin, but Bayley kicked out. From there, the show went to commercial break. (c)
Out of the break, Bayley put Asuka in a leg submission, but Asuka reached the ropes to force a break. From there, Bayley kept up the attack and continued her focus on Asuka’s injured leg.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Great selling from Asuka. Making the match so far.
Bayley kept up her attack and distracted the referee. Because of the distraction, Sasha Banks slammed Asuka’s knee into the mat. From there, Bayley kept momentum until Asuka countered her offense into a two count pin. Out of the pin, Asuka put Bayley in a modified Octopus submission. Bayley was able to escape, but Asuka switched right into an armbar. Bayley was able to counter that hold into an Indian Death lock. Eventually, Asuka countered that into her own submission. Bayley worked to break it and almost did, but Asuka dropped her with a slam and then covered for a two count. Out of the pin, Asuka connected with her double knee strike and covered again. Again, Bayley kicked out at two. Out of that pin, Asuka hit Bayley with a series of strikes that included a spinning back elbow. Eventually, Bayley countered and was able to hit her top rope elbow drop. She hit the move and covered, but only got a two count. In the end, Bayley had momentum and mocked Kairi Sane’s finishing move. As she went for it, Asuka countered it into the Asuka Lock and Bayley tapped out.
WINNER: Asuka via submission
-After the match, Asuka celebrated as Sasha Banks posed in the ring with her title belt.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good match with the right finish. It was a long road, but we’re now finally at the big match between Sasha and Asuka. This is the one that needs the clean ending.
-Shane McMahon welcomed everyone back to Raw Underground. He hyped a 14 time wrestling champion and the fight started. In just a few minutes, he won the fight and the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, Dabbo-Kato stood in the Raw Underground ring. Shane said what he did last week was impressive. From there, Kato destroyed another opponent. From there, Shayna Baszler got in Kato’s face. McMahon told Kato to back down and tried to see if anyone would face Baszler. Three different women tried to fight Shayna, but Baszler destroyed each of them. Then, all three of those women attacked at the same time and Baszler still dismantled them.
Heydorn’s Analysis: You have to wonder what the endgame is with this. Kato has been a focus, sure. Are any of the main roster talents more over now because they were on Raw Underground? No. Not yet anyway. As I said, I’m in wait and see mode. Unless this exists to get over a new star, it just exists. In that scenario, when the novelty runs out, nothing is left.
-The Retribution group was shown outside of the PC. They had just flipped over a car and then ran away. From there, Randy Orton made his entrance as the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, Kevin Owens made his entrance. As soon as he got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.
(8) KEVIN OWENS vs. RANDY ORTON w/Ric Flair
Owens and Orton tied up to start the match. Right away, Orton secured a headlock and then nailed Owens with a shoulder tackle. Owens returned the favor which caused Orton to roll out of the ring. From there, Owens tried to pull Orton back in, but Randy punched him. At that point, the brawl was on around the ringside area. The offense went back and forth until Owens slammed Orton on the announce desk before rolling him back into the ring. From there, Owens stomped on Orton and mocked Flair’s “woo.” Owens kept momentum and tried for a stunner, but Orton countered into an RKO. Owens countered that and instead, hit Orton with two cannonball smashes. The show then went to break. (c)
Out of the break, the action continued with Owens still firmly in control. He crushed Orton with chops which again caused the action to spill to the outside of the ring. There, Owens taunted Ric Flair which allowed Orton to throw Owens into the steel steps. He then smashed Owens into the glass on the ring barrier. It was all Orton from there.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This match has had a tremendously fast pace to this point. Both guys are bringing it thus far.
Orton continued to work on the injured shoulder of Owens. This included many moves and more strikes into things around the ring. Finally, Owens overcame and countered Orton with a push off of the top rope. With Orton laying on the mat, Owens hit his Swanton and covered for a two count. Out of the pin, Owens tried for the Stunner, but Orton countered it into the RKO for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Orton via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: The pace here was wild. This went as it should have gone. Owens got some offense in, but Orton took over and dominated. He’s the focus and looked strong ahead of his big Summerslam match. Well done. Really good commentary around Orton as well. They talked about Orton being on another level and that the championship was at risk for Drew McIntyre. This frames everything correctly. Good stuff.
-After the match, Orton stood in the ring with Flair. Orton then grabbed a microphone and told Flair that they needed to discuss something and celebrate. The show then went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, Orton addressed Flair and said that he had every right to be upset with Ric Flair. He said he couldn’t though because he was Ric Flair. Orton said the only reason he fought Owens was because Flair’s ego got him involved. Orton then talked about Flair being an influence on him throughout the last 20 years. Orton then told a road story and said that he loved Ric Flair. Orton then said that he doesn’t love or respect Flair anymore because he was a liability to him and his career. Orton said Flair tried to use Orton as the son he wished he had. Orton mocked Flair almost crying and told him to cry him a river like a little baby. Orton called Flair a whore for the spotlight and told him that he was washed up. From there, Orton talked about winning the WWE Championship at Summerslam. He said that was the only thing Flair should have been concerned with and instead he was only worried about himself. Flair then spoke and said he was taking all of Orton’s words personally. Flair said that the old Flair was gone and that Orton was right about that. Flair said he liked the spotlight and he liked to call Orton the greatest. He said he wanted to be next to Orton when he wins the championship and breaks his record of the most world titles ever. From there, Flair talked about his history with Orton and said that he loved being around Orton. Flair said after getting out of his coma he only cared about talking to the people he loved. From there, Orton walked up to Flair and tossed the microphone out of the ring. Orton then hugged Flair and the audience cheered. As Flair turned his back, Orton hit him with a low blow. Orton then comforted Flair as he writhed in pain. From there, Orton backed up and looked to cue up the punt as the lights flickered. Orton then hit the punt right as the lights went out. When they flickered back on, Flair was down. Orton comforted him once again. From there, Drew McIntyre ran out and Orton scurried away. Drew called Orton evil and then checked on Flair as the doctors ran out to help. Drew then told Orton that he deserved everything that was coming to him at Summerslam as the show faded to black.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Wow. Tremendous promo work from both Flair and Orton. Riveting stuff that piles more heat on Orton. I liked the intensity that was created by the announcers not talking during the aftermath and the only audio being Drew talking to Orton. It was a promo that wasn’t a promo. Good stuff and well done all around.