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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
SEPTEMBER 7, 2020
ORLANDO, FLA. AT AMWAY CENTER (“THUNDERDOME”)
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe
-The Raw opening theme aired, and then they showed the ThunderDome set and panned the LED boards with fans on them. They went to ringside where Cole explained he was filling in for Tom Phillips this week.
-As Randy Orton made his ring entrance, Cole said he’s known Orton for twenty years, but he’s never seen him this full of piercing disdain, and he will face Orton at Clash of Champions “if he’s cleared to compete.” Orton said he told the entire world last week he would jump through whatever hoops he had to in order to what he should have qualified for automatically anyway. He said he beat Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, and Keith Lee, and now he has to face Lee again. He warned Lee that the more often they cross paths, the more likely it is he gets kicked in the head. He said he could run through all the men he’s kicked in the head, but Raw is only three hours. He addressed Drew through the camera and said he will face Drew at the Clash “if – key word – if Drew McIntyre recovers in time.” He said if someone asks why he might not make it to the Clash, it’s because he kicked him in the head and fractured his jaw. They cut to highlights of what Orton did to him two weeks ago with two attacks on his head.
Back to the ring, Orton asked what happens when the champion can’t defend his title as scheduled. He said the solution would be to hand him the WWE Title. They piped in loud boos here. Orton said he’s a patient man, but he’s not sure he wants to wait to hear. He was interrupted by a siren. An ambulance drove into the ThunderDome. Drew popped out of the driver’s door. His music played and he marched to the ring and gave Orton a Claymore Kick and then punched away at him. Drew stared down intensely at Orton as officials tended to Orton. Drew left the ring, but kept staring at Orton. Cole said, “You are look at a stubborn, resolute, dangerously proud WWE Champion.” Cole said McIntyre made his point.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good visual having Drew return in an ambulance, the same way he left. Orton was good here, very heelish in just wanting the title handed to him. Drew’s demeanor was spot on here to build up his determination to do more than just beat Orton at the Clash.)
-They went to a clip from earlier with MVP, Bobby Lashley, and Shelton Benjamin. MVP gave a janitor a hard time, accusing him of saying something about Shelton’s mama. He had just asked them, “How are you doin’, guys?” The janitor said he didn’t say that. MVP asked if he was calling him a liar. Lashley shoved him against a wall as MVP chewed him out. Shelton kneed him in the gut.
-Apollo Crews made his ring entrance. [c]
-Adam Pearce told Drew backstage he’s not even cleared to be there. Drew said Orton tried to end his career two weeks ago, and he vowed to be at the Clash, fractured jaw or not. He said it’s bad enough Retribution are causing havoc, so he can’t let him create another incident. He asked him to leave the premises. Drew told Pearce to calm down and lower his blood pressure. He said he made his point and will leave. Pearce turned to three security guys and sternly told them to do their jobs and keep order.
(1) APOLLO CREWS & CEDRIC ALEXANDER & RICOCHET vs. MVP & SHELTON BENJAMIN & BOBBY LASHLEY
Ricochet was in the ring with Crews. Cedric made his ring entrance. MVP, Shelton, and Lashley attacked him on the stage from behind. Ricochet and Crews ran out to help Cedric. As the bell rang a minute later, Crews attacked Lashley from behind. Shelton kicked Crews in the head to take control. Crews eventually landed an enzuigiri on a cocky Shelton. When he reached for a tag to Ricochet, Cedric yanked Ricochet off the ring apron and beat him up. Crews looked out to Cedric and asked what he was doing. The announcers were shocked. He gave Crews a Lumbar Check. Shelton then gave Crews his Paydirt finisher for the win. Cedric watched and smiled. Joe said that’s the best decision of his career. Byron asked if this indicates he has joined The Hurt Business. Cedric left the ring alone, but looked back at Hurt Business smiling at him. He didn’t join them in the ring, so it seems more like an audition.
WINNERS: MVP & Shelton & Lashley in 5:00.
-Cole hyped Dominik Mysterio vs. Buddy Murphy later.
-An NXT Super Tuesday ad aired for Adam Cole vs. Finn Balor for the vacant NXT Title and Mercedez Martinez vs. Rhea Ripley. [c]
(2) THE STREET PROFITS (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) vs. ANGEL GARZA & ANDRADE (w/Zelina Vega)
They replayed Retribution attacking these teams last week, with Garza abandoning Andrade and Vega in the process. Garza walked out first and posed on the stage. Andrade and Vega marched right past him. Saxton said they’ve seen cracks in the foundation between Garza and Andrade before, and it’s surfaced again. Vega yapped at Garza early. Garza dropped to the floor and talked with her. Andrade yelled at them from in the ring. Dawkins recovered and slammed Andrade, then tagged in Ford who landed his high frog splash for the three count.
WINNERS: Street Profits in 2:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Ford spun Andrade around as the ref was counting, and the ref had to circle around to count to three. That was strange. Was Ford really that worried about facing the hard camera during the cover? Odd.)
-Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura walked out after the match. Cole said they’re on the wrong brand. Saxton said he’s really confused. Cole wondered if this part of the cross brand invitational deal. [c]
-Cesaro and Nakamura were in the ring with the Street Profits. Cesaro said they were surprised to hear they were the longest-running Raw Tag Team Champions in years. He said the WWE Universe would be surprised because when they think of them, they don’t think of title defenses Nakamura said they think of basketball, golf, playing with ninjas. He laughed. Cesaro said that’s why they’re there, though, to show everyone what real champions feel like. Cesaro said thanks to the “quarterly brand-to-brand invitational,” they’re challenging them to a title match next week. Nakamura said they want their belts. Dawkins said just because they’re champs over at the blue brand, they can’t call the shots here on Raw. Dawkins said Ford is family and they have a real family, unlike “The Bar 2.0.” Cesaro said he has had so many partners, he might want to get an STD test. Cesaro mock-laughed. Ford said, “It is on!” Cesaro stopped him before he could say “smoke.” Nakamura said it.
(Keller’s Analysis: Nakamura and Cesaro are a blast. This was the most engaged they’ve been in a while. They channeled Sami Zayn, it seems, with the inspired obnoxiousness.)
-Saxton plugged Kevin Owens vs. Aleister Black in Raw Underground.
-They went to a restaurant earlier today where R-Truth was showing off a picture of almost losing his 24/7 Title on the golf course once. A ninja head popped up from the middle of a rolling serving cart. Akira Tozawa entered. Truth ended up fighting them off and running off with pastries on the cart.
-Peyton Royce came out to different music. Saxton said he can’t believe the IIconics are no more. [c]
(3) PEYTON ROYCE vs. BILLIE KAYE
Cole talked about how they went to high school together and joined NXT together five years ago, and he thought their break-up would have been more emotional. Saxton noted that on Raw Underground, Royce served up Kaye to get taken out by Jessamyn Duke. Saxton said it’s odd to watch these two face other. They yapped at each other, then slapped each other. A graphic hyped Riott Squad vs. Shayna Baszler in a two-on-one match. Royce settled into a chinlock. Joe said he’s had many partners, and he’s usually betrayed them in some horrible way that worked out well for him. Royce settled into a chinlock. Kaye rolled her up. Royce landed a high roundkick and a leaping neckbreaker for the three count. Afterward, Royce picked up Kaye and hugged her. Saxton said that was good to see. “At least the friendship is still in tact,” he said. Cole called it an important win for Royce as she kicks off her singles career.
WINNER: Royce in 2:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: That might have established Royce is the “better” member of the team, but it didn’t establish she is a good wrestler. That was fast.)
-They went to the announcers on camera who threw to a video package on last week’s Raw with Seth Rollins vs. Dominik Mysterio. They hyped Dominik vs. Murphy.
-They showed the Mysterio family walking backstage. Murphy was lurking in the background. [c]
-They aired a clip of the Orton-Drew angle at the top of the show.
-Charly Caruso stood mid-ring and introduced the Mysterio family. Rey, Dominik, Rey’s wife, and Dominik’s sister entered the ring. Dom looked really ordinary in jeans and an oversized orange t-shirt. Caruso said they all look amazing. Rey said because of his triceps injury, he couldn’t get closure against Seth, and there’s no timetable, but he can’t wait to get that chance. Caruso asked Rey if he offered any advice to Dom. Rey said Dom makes him so proud, and he knows Murphy is dangerous, but he’s confident Dom knows what he needs to do to defeat Murphy. Caruso asked Dom what it means to him to defend his family’s honor. Murphy interrupted from the big screen.
Murphy said Seth berated him in the ring last week because of Dominik. He said Seth wants nothing to do with him now. Rey told him it’s not their fault he pledged his loyalty to an evil, selfish son of a bitch like Seth. “You reap what you sew!” he said. Murphy said he’s right, but he sees clearly now. He said Dominik has a bright future in WWE, except the ultimate sacrifice would be to end it tonight. He challenged Dominik to a street fight. Dom looked at Rey, then told Murphy he’s more than willing to embarrass him again in front of his messiah, so he accepts. Murphy said well done, but be sure to bring his family to ringside because it’ll be their last chance to see him wrestle. Dominik warned him if he touches his family, it’ll be the last breath he takes.
-Cole hyped Riott Squad vs. Shayna and Riott Squad vs. Nia Jax would both happen tonight.
-Pearce explained his logic of giving them both a match against Riott Squad. Jax hadn’t heard that she was scheduled to wrestle yet, based on her reaction. Drew walked by them, looking at his phone. Pearce asked him why he hadn’t left. Drew said he was on his way out, so relax.
-Asuka made her ring entrance. Cole saidthat next week Asuka will defend against Mickie James, but this week she teams with her against Natalya & Lana. [c]
(4) ASUKA & MICKIE JAMES vs. NATALYA & LANA
Lana and Natalya made their entrance to Natalya’s music after the break. Joe said Natalya and Lana are aiming to make each other better. They noted #WWERaw was the no. 1 trend on Twitter. Mickie and Asuka argued over who would start. Natalya battled James first. Cole called Mickie a trailblazer. Saxton said he’s trying to wrap his head around Natalya going through what seems like a “mid-career crisis.” Joe said she feels she doesn’t get enough credit for being the winning-est woman wrestler in WWE. Lana tagged in against Asuka a minute in. A graphic hyped an MVP Lounge later with Cedric as their guest.
Lana face-planted James for a near fall, with Asuka breaking up the cover. Natalya threw Asuka out of the ring. James threw Natalya out of the ring. James gave Lana a neckbreaker. She reached to tag Asuka, but Asuka was out on the floor. She decided to climb to the top rope. Asuka then tagged herself in and put Lana out with the Asuka lock. Mickie prevented Natalya from interfering. Mickie confronted Asuka afterward over tagging herself in like that and stealing her glory.
WINNERS: Asuka & James in 5:00.
-The announcers commented on a replay of Cedric turning on his friends earlier. Joe said, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”
-Backstage MVP asked Cedric if he’s ready to make things official in the MVP Lounge. Shelton told Cedric it’s great to see he came to his senses. He expressed skepticism that he was being sincere and warned him he’d pay for it if this is some sort of game. He said he will find out either way. [c]
-MVP Lounge: Hurt Business, four-strong, walked to the ring together. MVP told Cedric his life changes from this day forward. He introduced him officially as the latest member of the Hurt Business. Lashley presented him with a Hurt Business t-shirt. MVP said it took him a real long time to come to his senses, so what made him change. Shelton said he really wants to know. Cedric said he would rather learn and earn then be on the receiving end of a weekly beatdown. He said he was going broke hanging with Ricochet and Apollo. He took a dig at “The One and Only” moniker for Crews. He said he didn’t want to sacrifice himself for their opportunities. The Viking Raiders interrupted and marched to the ring. They were joined by Ricochet & Crews. They charged to the ring and cleared it of everyone.
(Keller’s Analysis: I like resetting Crews & Ricochet as a team and then creating a new team with Shelton & Cedric. I’m eager to see Cedric show a new side of himself as a heel.) [c]
(5) VIKING RAIDERS & APOLLO CREWS & RICOCHET vs. THE HURT BUSINESS
So, just asking… what would the Viking Raiders have done this week and what match would be taking place if Cedric hadn’t joined Hurt Business mid-show? Five minutes in, Ricochet got a hot-tag and he went to work on MVP with barrage of offense including two springboard moonsaults. Cedric broke up the cover. Ricochet had some words for Cedric. MVP hit him from behind and scored a two count. Cedric officially tagged in. The boos rang out in the ThunderDome. He scored a near fall after a handspring roundkick. Ricochet blocked a Lumbar Check, then connected with a superkick and a full nelson suplex. MVP broke up the cover. Chaos broke out with everyone. Crews showed light on a roundkick to Shelton. Lashley gave Crews a gut-wrench slam. Ivar threw Lashley shoulder-first into the ringpost, then dove through the ropes and tackled all four Hurt Business members into the barricade. The ThunderDome cheered. Ricochet went for a 630, but Cedric moved and landed a Michinoku driver for a three count. Cole said, “He kicked out!” but the ref counted it as a three count. It was a kickout. Ricochet clearly kicked out and lifted his shoulder before three. That was strange.
WINNERS: Hurt Business in 11:00.
-After the match, as Hurt Business celebrated, the medics were tending to Ivar on the floor. He was flexing his right arm and his left arm was laid out flat. He seemed to hurt his wrist as he banged on it after impact on the dive.
-Caruso approached Drew and asked if she heard him correctly earlier saying to Pearce that he was leaving. Drew said he grabbed his wrong phone, so he returned to look for it. He said it does pain him to disappoint Pearce, but he can’t seem to find the exit around here. [c]
-A Conor’s Cure video aired.
-They replayed Aleister Black attacking Kevin Owens last week.
-KO walked up to the door to Raw Underground. Shane McMahon told KO they’ve had trouble in the past, but he considered it water under the bridge. KO said he wished he could say it’s good to see him tonight, but he’s still a jackass. Shane opened the door for him and wished him luck. Shane told the tall bouncer KO didn’t mean it.
-They went to the announcers on camera who talked about the different battlefield for those two coming up.
-Orton made his ring entrance as they aired a replay of Orton’s promo from earlier.
(6) RANDY ORTON vs. KEITH LEE
The end of Lee’s ring entrance aired. A minute into the match, when Orton went for an RKO, Lee just held his ground and didn’t go down. Cole said he’s never seen that with Orton. Lee shoved Orton into the ropes and then elbowed him in the chin. Orton rolled to ringside. Lee rolled to ringside as Orton stumbled around ringside. Lee charged at him, but Orton moved and Lee crashed into the barricade. Lee was slow to get up. Orton returned to the ring, still grabbing at his jaw. When Lee rolled back into the ring, Orton stomped on Lee and settled into his Obligatory Mid-Match Chinlock. (They’ve done a better job encouraging fans on the LED screens to clap on cue when they go to a wideshot of the ring, so the visual matches the pipped in clapping.) Lee fought out of it and set up a powerbomb on Orton. Orton slipped free and hit an RKO. Drew entered and gave Orton a Claymore Kick. The ref called for the bell. Drew leaned down and told Orton he’s going to be seeing him in his nightmares and called him a son of a bitch. Cole called Drew “resilient, persistent, and tenacious.”
WINNER: No contest in 7:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Once again, when it appeared Orton might have Lee down after an RKO, Drew attacked.)
-Pearce confronted Drew on the stage and said he’s putting himself at risk. Drew raised his hands and backed away. Cole said Pearce is saying that because Drew isn’t cleared to compete. Three referees checked on Orton in the ring, who was selling a jaw injury.
-They cut to Raw Underground where Aleister Black was beating up some guy and being declared by Shane the winner. Shane said they’re still waiting for KO. Didn’t KO enter the door ten minutes ago? KO arrived and tackled Black. They rolled to the floor where KO rammed Black into the ringside barricade and then backdropped him. They cut to a break with both men down. Shane said they’d be back with more of Raw Underground. [c]
-Backstage Pearce approached Orton and apologized. Orton asked why he couldn’t do his job and keep Frew out of the building. Pearce said he walked Drew out of the building himself. Orton said his word means nothing anymore to him. He stormed off.
(Keller’s Analysis: So they advertised Aleister vs. KO, gave us 20 seconds, and now are going back to the ring without following up on them after they tumbled to the floor before the break? That’s dumb.)
(7) SHAYNA BASZLER (w/Nia Jax) vs. RIOTT SQUAD (Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan)
Baszler made her ring entrance. Jax meandered to the ring after her. Then Riott Squad made their entrance. Riott tagged in Liv, so Shayna punched her before she entered the ring. Riott hugged Baszler’s leg. Morgan kicked Baszler. Baszler quickly came back and slammed Riott on her face in the ring. Jax said she’s seen better from her. Baszler yapped back at Jax. Baszler lifted Morgan, but Morgan slipped free and rolled up Baszler for the three count. Cole said Baszler was distracted by Jax mouthing off to her. Jax snickered and said she didn’t do anything.
WINNER: Riott Squad in 3:00. [c]
-Cole plugged that KO, Lee, and Mickie would be on Raw Talk tonight.
-Back to Raw Underground, Black and KO were fighting in the ring again. KO raked at Black’s face and mounted him. Black applied an armbar. Owens yanked Black off the edge of the ring and swung him into a wall. Shane tried to regain control and they cut back to the main ring in ThunderDome.
(8) NIA JAX (w/Shayna Baszler) vs. RIOTT SQUAD (Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan)
Baszler gave Jax some running commentary. Jax settled into a cobra clutch on Riott. Riott broke free with a jawbreaker, but Jax checked her to the mat. Baszler distracted Jax with some comments. Jax set up a Samoan Drop. Morgan tagged in. Riott Squad kicked her. Morgan kneed Jax in the face. The lights flickered and the LED screens went out, and then the arena went dark.
WINNER: No contest in 3:00.
-Retribution took over the LED screens with their logo. Then we heard from Retribution members who spoke about how the powerful continued to grow while they feed on the scraps of contempt. Another member said contempt is a motivator and they will feed on all of them. “The darkness of Retribution will seep into the pores of every Superstar in their so-called Universe.”
(Keller’s Analysis: Good to see they adhere to WWE Speak properly.) [c]
-Backstage they went to the announcers on camera who reacted to Retribution’s mission statement. Joe said it’s good to hear from them finally.
-Backstage Dominik’s family gave him a pep talk. Sarah Schreiber asked if they are concerned about the Street Fight stipulation or Murphy’s cryptic comments. Rey said they aren’t intimidated and they know how to handle themselves.
-Back to Raw Underground, KO and Black were still going at it. Owens double-stomped Black’s chest. Shane yelled, “I love it!” Then a headbutt took Black down again. Black fired back with a high roundkick to KO’s head. They fought to the floor briefly, then Dabba-Kato interfered by grabbing KO’s legs and slamming him. He then gave a high one-armed slam to Black. As Dabba-Kato stood over them, Shane said “this has been great” and said they’d be back next week.
(Keller’s Analysis: The idea of going to the match and breaking away three times solves the issue of how every fight so far in Raw Underground has been so short, and this is just the start of the KO-Black feud. It’s awkward, but I get why it’s considered a feasible presentation considering the limitations of the format. It seems Dabba-Kato might ultimately be one of the key stars to emerge from the Raw Underground format.)
-Caruso interviewed Orton, who was clutching his jaw and leaving with his bags. Drew attacked him again. He shoved him by his jaw and asked him how it feels. He threw him into the ring. Drew kneeled and waited for Orton to sit up. Drew then delivered yet another Claymore Kick – the third of the night. The ThunderDome cheered. [c]
-They showed Orton being taken away in ambulance.
(9) DOMINIK MYSTERIO (w/Rey, Angie, Aalyah Mysteiro) vs. MURPHY – Street Fight
Murphy came out second and attacked Dominik right away. Rey stood by with a kendo stick and watched. Murphy threw Dominik into the announce table. Dominik fired back with a flying clothesline and then he threw Murphy over the announce table. Saxton complimented the moxie of Dominik. Cole said Dominik is gritty and digs down deep just like his dad. Dominik leaped off of the LED board area onto Murphy below. They cut to a break. [c]
Murphy attacked Dominik on the ramp, charging at him and throwing him hard onto the ramp. Dominik went down hard and didn’t get up. Murphy lifted him and took some more shots at him. Rey and family stood by and watched. When Murphy brought Dominik near the steps for another eye gouge, Dominik fought back. Murphy dropped Dominik over the barricade to the LED board area. Rey stood by with his kendo stick. Cole said Murphy is trying to get back into the good graces of Seth. Murphy threw Dominik into the ring. Dominik rolled to the other side of the ring and to the floor. Murphy pursued with a chair and jabbed and bashed him with it. Back in the ring Murphy applied an abdominal stretch. Dominik fought free and armdragged Murphy over the top rope to the floor.
Dominik avoided a charging Murphy and then went for a tornado DDT. Murphy blocked it and threw Dominik shoulder-first into the ringpost. Murphy tied Dominik into the ropes. When Murphy charged with a kendo stick, Murphy broke free and kicked him. Rey then took the kendo stick from Murphy. Dominik sunset bombed Murphy through a table at ringside. Dominik then climbed to the top rope and hit a frog splash mid-ring for a convincing near fall. Dominik tied Murphy in the ropes. Dominik began whacking him with a kendo stick. Rey looked into the camera and said he hoped Seth was watching from home closely. “Payback is a bitch!” he said. Rey took shots at Murphy’s back with a stick as Dominik hit him from the front. Aalyah and Angie entered with kendo sticks and took turns hitting Murphy. Murphy verbally quit.
WINNER Dominik in 11:00.
-Afterward, the Mysterio family surrounded Murphy and attacked him with kendo stick shots as he cowered and covered up as the show ended