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WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
ORLANDO, FL. AT THE THUNDERDOME IN THE AMWAY CENTER
SEPTEMBER 28, 2020
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EST
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM SPECIALIST
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe
Top Three Developments from Last Week
- Retribution cut their first in-ring promo and made their in-ring debut in the main event against The Hurt Business (Cedric Alexander, Bobby Lashley, and Shelton Benjamin). The match ended in a non-finish when more Retribution hench people got involved. Drew McIntyre and other Raw wrestlers made the “save.” We also learned the names of the male members of the stable. They are Slapjack, T-Bar, and Mace.
- Ahead of Clash of Champions, Randy Orton returned and reaffirmed he would be in the Ambulance Match for the WWE Championship against Drew McIntyre.
- Seth Rollins cast doubt over the Mysterio family as to whether Aalyah was Rey’s daughter. He cited her checking on Murphy a week earlier following a steel cage match between Seth and Dominik. Rey said to leave his daughter out of things as she’s 19 and naïve, which did not sit well with Aalyah.
Clash of Champions Results Pertinent to Raw
- Asuka defeated Zelina Vega to retain the Raw Women’s Championship.
- Bobby Lashley defeated Apollo Crews to retain the U.S. Championship.
- The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins defeated Andrade & Angel Garza to retain the Raw Tag Team Championship. The referee appeared to abruptly end the match when Angel Garza was injured.
- Bayley defeated Raw Women’s Champion Asuka to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Asuka replaced Nikki Cross who was announced as not cleared to compete before the show. Sasha Banks attacked Bayley after the match.
- Drew McIntyre defeated Randy Orton in an ambulance match to retain the WWE Championship. Big Show, Christian, and Shawn Michaels got involved paying Orton back for attacks on them in recent months.
Items Advertised by WWE for Tonight
We come off Clash of Champions and start to think about the next PPV, which will be Hell in a Cell on October 25. We found out that the 2020 Draft will take place starting on the October 9 edition of Smackdown and conclude on October 12 edition of Raw. As is typically the case following a PPV, nothing is advertised yet for tonight. With the draft coming, most might not be as invested in what they see on TV since wrestlers will be changing addresses come a week from Friday. That said, we’ll preview tonight’s show in a little different format than normal. The report will primarily feature my analysis. We’ll look at the top stories coming out of last week’s show that weren’t addressed last night as well as the major issues coming out of the Clash.
WWE Championship Picture
With Hell in a Cell around the corner, we’ll most certainly find out who Drew’s next challenger will be for the WWE Championship after he retained the title for a second time over Randy Orton. Whether that’s determined tonight or over the course of the next few weeks remains to be seen.
Two years ago, Braun Strowman cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on Universal Champion Roman Reigns and wanted a Hell in a Cell match. He wanted it to prevent the Shield from interfering as they had in previous weeks leading up to the announcement. That said, it’s conceivable that either Keith Lee or Randy Orton can be positioned into the same match with Drew McIntyre. Last night’s match between Drew and Orton had Big Show, Christian and Shawn Michaels get involved. No one has been pinned using a finisher either, thus those could be reasons WWE uses to justify putting them in a Hell in a Cell match. That would in theory prevent anyone from interfering and give Drew or Orton a chance to use their finishers to win the match.
In the last two weeks we saw Drew and Lee wrestle to DQ (or non) finishes when Retribution got involved and last week Orton. Keith could make a case that he wants a match where no one (in theory) could interfere and they could have a decisive finish. Let’s not rule out a triple threat Hell in a Cell either, which I don’t think people would want to see, but it’s something to think about.
Typically, there’s a match from Raw and one from Smackdown. I don’t see another Hell in a Cell-worthy match on Raw, but we’ll see what happens. Here’s Drew in a WWE exclusive after last night:
Raw Women’s Championship
It’s likely there will be another match between Asuka and Zelina Vega, given what happened after the match last night. Vega has primarily managed Andrade and Angel Garza but separated herself from them a few weeks ago. She defeated Mickie James last week to earn the right to face Asuka last night. Given the depth chart on Raw, it doesn’t seem likely Asuka will move on to someone else until the draft. Whether they do a rematch tonight or build up to another at Hell in a Cell remains to be seen but given the post-match angle I could see a rematch tonight. It’s hard to know when Vince McMahon makes the decision on things of this nature. Here are Asuka and Vega in separate WWE exclusives:
Women’s Tag Team Championship
Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax were to defend the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship against Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan (Riott Squad) last night. WWE announced earlier in the day that Baszler and Jax, as well as Nikki Cross, were not medically cleared to compete. It was also announced on the kickoff show.
There was a COVID-19 outbreak at the WWE Performance Center and there are multiple reports that show all three women were in contact with someone who had the virus, and thus had to quarantine. If this is true, and I say if only because I don’t want to speculate, then it makes sense Jax and Baszler were not available to defend the titles last night. Last week they defeated Natalya & Lana in a non-title match. Jax then gave Lana a Samoan Drop through the announce table. If the resolve is the match doesn’t take place for a few weeks or even as far as Hell in a Cell, the quarantine scenario lines up. In any event, we’ll find out tonight.
Apparently Jax was none too please with how the announcement was handled. She also insinuated that Baszler was expecting (a baby) in a separate tweet, but Baszler responded saying she was expecting to be heartbroken by the Vikings. Torch editor Wade Keller as well as Jason Powell and Jake Barnett from prowrestling.net know the feeling. I know the same feeling girlfriend, but with the Giants although they have sucked for years now. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, tweets:
I’m expecting……to die from a broken heart caused by the @Vikings
— Shayna Baszler (@QoSBaszler) September 27, 2020
I was hoping to avoid this, but I suppose as the Raw primer author I must talk about Retribution. I talked about what happened last week in the top three developments. Most noteworthy is that Tom Philips framed their signing to WWE as given them the right to do whatever they wanted to whomever they wanted any time. He doubled down on that throughout the show, and if memory serves Byron Saxton and Jerry “The King” Lawler backed him up. It was obvious that Mia Yim was the first person speaking in the show opening, and she said “to WWE management, you think your company is safe because you gave us contracts? Think again.” She then said her brothers and sisters are done being stepped on so they can get some imaginary brass bring. Another “unnamed man” who was Dominic Dijakovic and later revealed to be “T-Bar” ran off a bunch of mumbo jumbo about hellholes, infestations, whores, etc. They went on the attack throughout the night, later going after Titus O’Neil and others.
T-Bar has been the most vocal on Twitter. Their mission is to destroy the WWE. Don’t the shareholders have something to say about this? If I were on the board, I wouldn’t want to give these people contracts. I’m not going to include every tweet, but here are a few “highlights” (if you consider anything this group does as a highlight):
Yes WWE is paying us to destroy their company, because we were successfully destroying it regardless. They think if we are under contract then they can contain/manage our chaos. But they will be unsuccessful. Stop overthinking literally everything. #RETRIBUTION
— T-BAR (@TBARRetribution) September 26, 2020
We are initiated, aren't we MAC̼Ḙ? Members of the #͙̓MAC̼ḘM̬O̙̖̳͌ͥ͋B!
— T-BAR (@TBARRetribution) September 25, 2020
Especially these two. There’s a new T-BAR in town and no room for confusion. pic.twitter.com/wJ6OkQ9XjO
— T-BAR (@TBARRetribution) September 25, 2020
It’s interesting to see the group engage with people on social media. It may be by design, given how badly the angle has been received. Does WWE want them to own it, and have fans embrace it in a weird twisted way with the engagement? Who knows, but it’s like nothing I’ve even seen in “invasion stories.” We’ll see. As far as the involvement with the Hurt Business, I see that continuing since they don’t have another group with which to feud. They could move on to something with Kevin Owens, unless he’s not done with Aleister Black. Last week Black attacked Owens after he had Dabbo-Kato and Braun Strowman on the Kevin Owens Show ahead of their Raw Underground match which was won by Braun.
Let’s be honest, Retribution is a hideous angle on many levels. My guess is it runs its course and they bring the wrestlers back and make NO mention of their involvement in the group. We’ll find out what’s next tonight.
Other Stories Not Addressed Last Night
- A video was run on Bianca Belair outlifting someone at the gym.
- Apollo Crews defeated Cedric Alexander.
- Dolph Ziggler defeated Arturo Ruas in Raw Underground.
- The referee stopped a Raw Underground match between Riddick Moss and Erik of the Viking Raiders when Moss gave Erik a right roundhouse.
- Raw Women’s Champion Asuka defeated Peyton Royce in a non-title match.
I don’t want Retribution to bring the show down, but it’s hard to not let the stench of the angle ruin my enjoyment of everything else. I am looking forward to seeing what’s next for everything I mentioned in the report, including Drew McIntyre. Perhaps the draft will move things in a better direction across the board, and thus we have to be patient.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome! Thank you for reading.