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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
OCTOBER 12, 2020
ORLANDO, FLA. AT AMWAY CENTER (“THUNDERDOME”)
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe
-They opened with thunder sounds and then the Raw theme began to play as they showed the Thunderdome LED boards. Phillips introduced the show, touted that Thunderdome was built just for the fans, and it was night two of the WWE Draft.
-They went to Phillips, Joe, and Saxton on camera. They showed wrestlers drafted from Smackdown to Raw: Naomi, John Morrison, Miz, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, and A.J. Styles. Phillips said there are over 30 wrestlers eligible to be drafted tonight during Raw. Phillips noted Raw gets three wrestlers for every two to Smackdown due to the difference in the length of the shows.
-Randy Orton made his ring entrance. Phillips noted he is eligible to be drafted tonight. They replayed Orton giving Drew McIntyre the RKO last week and pinning him in a tag match. They shifted to hyping their match at Hell in a Cell.
Orton said regardless of whether he gets moved to Smackdown or stays on Raw, one fact remains the same: In less than two weeks he’ll be locked in a Cell with Drew and he’ll take the WWE Title from him. He said 2020 has been many things, but most of all the year of Drew in WWE. He said he didn’t know until later that Drew hadn’t been pinned in a WWE ring for nearly a year. He said that’s a sign of things to come. He stared into the camera and addressed Drew. He said he’s going to beat him in the Cell 1-2-3 and end his legacy and take his title. He said he’ll do it with the three most dangerous letters in pro wrestling (he said “sports entertainment,” but that’s not actually a thing): R-K-O.
Drew walked out to his music, staring back at Orton. He said he didn’t expect him to walk away after the RKO last week when he was lying there prone for a kick to the skull. He said that was a mistake, because he got back up. He said when he kicked him at the Clash, it was for all the people Orton has hurt before. He said when he kicks him at HIAC, all the pain and suffering he inflicted on Orton will be for him.
Drew said he made a promise last week that every single time they’re in the same building together, he was going to kick the crap out of him. “I wouldn’t want to break a promise, now would I, Randy?” he said. He entered the ring and took it to Orton. Orton rolled to the floor. When Drew went after him, Orton jumped him. Drew, though, reversed Orton into the barricade and then the ringpost and finally the announce table. Orton rolled into the ring, then out of the ring and up the ramp as Drew smiled at him from the ring.
-The announcers hyped Kevin Owens vs. Aleister Black in a No DQ match later.
-They showed Stephanie McMahon backstage. She was handed a Draft card and she had a cartoonish interaction with a worker that made her seem like she was a light-hearted jokester down with the common people. [c]
-FIRST ROUND: Stephanie walked up to the podium. She said the first overall draft by Raw is “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. “Ohh, this is a surprise,” she said before saying it. Smackdown retained Bayley. Raw kept Orton. Smackdown drafted The Street Profits. Raw retained Charlotte.
-Raw: Fiend, Orton, Charlotte Flair.
-Smackdown: Bayley, The Street Profits.
(1) ALEISTER BLACK vs. KEVIN OWENS – No DQ match
KO took it to Black at the start. They took turns countering each other’s moves. Black took the first sustained advantage at ringside. Owens reverse-whipped Black into the ringside barricade. He hit Black with a cannonball. Phillips noted both of them were eligible to be drafted tonight. A corner graphic hyped the women’s battle royal later. Owens set up a table at ringside. Black fought back to block a powerbomb. Owens stood on the barricade. Black grabbed him and threw him onto the announce table. They cut to a break. [c]
Black was in control after the break. He dropped KO on a chair, then brought more chairs into the ring. When Black went to knee strike KO, Owens blocked it with a chair, then DDT’d Black on a chair. (That should always end a match, by the way.) Black kicked out at two. Both were slow to get up. Owens set up a superplex. Black countered and drove KO onto two chairs set up next to each other below with a meteora. KO kicked out. Black grabbed the table at ringside and slid it into the ring, then set it up. Owens reversed at ringside and avoided a Black spin wheel kick. Black kicked the ringpost instead. KO then powerbombed Black through a table in the ring for the three count.
WINNER: Owens in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: It’s kind of silly that going through a table, in WWE logic, hurts more than being DDT’d onto a chair, but such is their arbitrary reality. Good battle start to finish, and KO really needed a big win, although this seems to also establish Black as an upper-mid-carder. He’s good enough to claw back in a new setting, though, with a little work and time.)
-The showed Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke chatting. Phillips said Miz TV with them as guests was up next. [c]
-Phillips noted that Stephanie was the highest ranked female CMO according to Forbes magazine.
-SECOND ROUND: Stephanie announced Raw drafted Braun Strowman. Smackdown drafted Daniel Bryan to stay on Smackdown. Raw selected Matt Riddle. Smackdown drafted Kevin Owens. Raw drafted Jeff Hardy.
-Raw: Fiend, Orton, Charlotte Flair, Braun Strowman, Matt Riddle, Jeff Hardy.
-Smackdown: Bayley, The Street Profits, Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens.
-Miz TV: Miz and John Morrison talked about Raw hitting the jackpot by drafting them to Raw. Miz said, “I guess you can call me the Face of USA.” Morrison used Seth’s “Greater Good” line. Miz told him to watch out. Morrison said Seth got drafted to Smackdown, so who cares. Miz then introduced Brooke and Rose. Mandy joined Dana in flexing a bicep on the stage as they made their way to the ring. Miz took credit for moving Mandy to Raw. Mandy said it wasn’t generous, it was petty, because he wanted to separate her from Otis. “You’re ruining people’s lives,” she said. Miz said she has a new home, new hair, new music, and a new partner, so she should thank him. She said she’d rather slap him in the face.
Miz asked Brooke if she really trusts Mandy after Mandy kicked Sonya Deville to the curb when Otis entered the picture. Brooke said there’s no jealousy between them like Sonya had for Mandy. Miz said they claim they’re going for the Women’s Tag Team Titles, but now they’re in a dual brand battle royal where the winner faces Asuka for the Women’s Title. Miz said that has to be awkward for them. Mandy said, “May the best woman win.”
Natalya’s music interrupted. Natalya walked out with Lana. Lana said she’s the winningest and savviest social media influencer out there. Lana said she has two ex-husbands and an ex-girlfriend. Natalya asked why no one wanted to interview them. Mandy said if they did less talking, maybe they could actually win a match. A brawl broke out with both teams. [c]
-Back from the break, Miz TV was still going on. Miz said he had a Plan B for the season premiere of Miz TV on Raw since his original guests got into a fight. He introduced John Morrison as his Plan B guest. Morrison said Plan B is better than Plan A. Morrison began talking about The Dirt Sheet debuting on Raw. Lars Sullivan’s music played and he walked out. Miz bailed out as Lars entered the ring. Morrison tried to blindside him, but Lars took him down and threw him hard into the corner, then clotheslined him. Phillips said he beat up Riddle, Hardy, and Miz last Friday on Smackdown. Miz stood and watched as Lars continued to beat up Morrison. Lars gave Morrison his Freak Accident one-arm slam.
-They went to the announcers at ringside who talked about the splitting of New Day because of the draft. They showed clips from Friday.
-Backstage, Adam Pearce orchestrated New Day and Street Profits backstage trading their belts. Xavier said, “That is the most logical solution.” Kofi asked, “Is it?” (Yes!) Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler interrupted. They made their case to get a title match. New Day taunted them and accepted the challenge. Montez Ford led a chant of “We Want the Smoke!”
-They showed Seth Rollins walking backstage, ready to give his farewell to Raw. [c]
-THIRD ROUND: Stephanie announced New Day will defend their tag titles against Roode & Ziggler officially tonight. She announced Raw chose Retribution, led by Mustafa Ali. Smackdown drafted Lars Sullivan. Raw drafted to keep Keith Lee. (That’s the surprise of the night, to me.) Smackdown drafted King Corbin to say on Smackdown. Finally, Raw drafted Alexa Bliss.
-Raw: Fiend, Orton, Charlotte Flair, Braun Strowman, Matt Riddle, Jeff Hardy, Retribution, Keith Lee, Alexa Bliss.
-Smackdown: Bayley, The Street Profits, Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens, Lars Sullivan, King Corbin.
-Seth made his ring entrance. He said Raw is losing a lot. He said he’s the purveyor of the greater good “and most glaringly, you are losing the greatest leader in the history of Monday Night Raw.” He asked if there is anyone who could fill the void he is leaving behind. He said it saddens him to say no. He said it won’t be Dominik or Rey Mysterio because they’ve also been drafted to Smackdown. He said it’s a sad moment for everyone at home. He was interrupted by Jeff Hardy. Phillips said he’s a new leader for the Raw locker room. Saxton said he’s more than qualified to step up and lead.
Hardy entered the ring. Seth laughed at him. He said he appreciates his enthusiasm, but he’s looking for a leader. “That is most certainly not you,” he said. “So get the hell out of my ring.” Hardy said with Seth being drafted to Smackdown, it’s more his ring than Seth’s now. Seth said he should be more concerned with his match this Friday against Lars. Seth dropped the mic. Phillips called that breaking news for Hardy. As Seth began to leave, A.J. Styles walked out.
Styles told Seth to keep walking past him because it was never Monday Night Rollins. As Styles walked to the ring, Seth grabbed Styles and said no one is going to fill his shoes. Hardy dove onto them at ringside. Hardy said before Seth leaves for Smackdown, he wants to prove to him that Raw is in good hands. He challenged them to a “Triple Threat tag team match next.”
-A Smackdown commercial hyped Braun vs. Reigns for the Universal Title. [c]
(2) JEFF HARDY vs. A.J. STYLES vs. SETH ROLLINS
Lots of action for several minutes. Seth dove at Styles and Hardy at ringside through the ropes. They cut to a break. [c]
Back from the break, Hardy gave Seth a Russian leg sweep and a jackknife pin, but Styles broke it up. Styles gave Hardy an inverted DDT for a near fall. Styles set up a Styles Clash, but Seth broke it up. Seth then gave Styles a Falcon Arrow for a near fall. Seth set up a Stomp on Styles, but Hardy intercepted him with a DDT for a near fall. Saxton said he didn’t want the match to end. Phillips said it’s a PPV quality match.
Seth lifted Styles onto his shoulders. Styles slipped free and applied a Calf Crusher. Hardy landed a Swanton on Seth. Styles swatted Hardy away and made the cover for a believable near fall. A frustrated Styles sat up and set up a Styles Clash on Hardy. Hardy fought free and landed a Twist of Fate. Elias suddenly showed up and hit Hardy from behind with a guitar. Styles then covered Hardy for the three count.
WINNER: Styles in 15:00.
-Stephanie stood backstage looking at the latest draft cards. [c]
-Phillips thanked Holy Wars for the “Welcome to My Hell,” the theme song of HIAC.
-FOURTH ROUND: Stephanie stood at the podium. Raw drafted Elias. Smackdown drafted Sami Zayn to stay put. (I was holding out a little hope for a Drew-Sami feud in 2021. Oh well.) Raw drafted Lacey Evans to Raw. Smackdown drafted Cesaro and Nakamura to stay on Smackdown. Raw drafted Sheamus.
-Raw: Fiend, Orton, Charlotte Flair, Braun Strowman, Matt Riddle, Jeff Hardy, Retribution, Keith Lee, Alexa Bliss, Elias, Lacey Evans, Sheamus.
-Smackdown: Bayley, The Street Profits, Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens, Lars Sullivan, King Corbin, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro.
(3) NATALYA & LANA vs. DANA BROOKE & MANDY ROSE
Phillips noted that Natalya and Lana’s win-loss record has been lousy, but they need to prove what they mean to each other. As Mandy mouthed off to Lana, Lana slapped her. Brooke rolled up Lana for a near fall, then tagged Mandy. Mandy went aggressively after Lana. Brooke flipped off of Mandy’s shoulders and mostly overshot Lana and then got the three count.
WINNERS: Dana & Mandy in 6:00.
-After the match, Natalya told Lana this isn’t working out anymore. She said she’s done with her and left Lana crying in the ring.
(Keller’s Analysis: The most shocking moment of this show is Lana not being thrown through the announce desk by Nia Jax.)
-Backstage Hurt Business were chatting when Ricochet walked up to them. Ricochet said Apollo Crews might get drafted to Smackdown and Cedric has already joined them, so he could end up on Raw alone. He wanted one more match against them, and if he wins, it’s over and they go their separate ways. He said if they win, he’ll join the Hurt Business. Cedric said he’d love nothing better.
(Keller’s Analysis: There’s some stakes there, but it’s a bit of mess. If Hurt Business wants Ricochet to join them, why would Cedric be encouraged to try hard to win? And why should anyone cheer Ricochet if he’s willing to associate with Hurt Business?)
-Andrade made his ring entrance. [c]
(4) ANRADE vs. ANGEL GARZA
Zelina Vega joined the announcers on commentary. Phillips said Andrade is still in the draft pool, while Garza is headed to Smackdown. Vega talked about Alexa Bliss having a bit of an identity crisis. She said she’s a joke to her. She said she is done with both Andrade and Garza. Saxton asked what her future is as a competitor. She said her eyes are on one of the two women’s titles. They fought to ringside where Garza took control. He then gave Andrade his Wing Clipper for the clean win, which he dedicated to Vega. Vega said, “I can’t stand him.”
WINNER: Garza in 4:00.
-After the match, Fiend’s music played and the lights went red. She appeared in the corner of the ring, upside down like Bray Wyatt. The Fiend then showed up. They gave stereo Sister Abigails to Andrade and Vega.
-FIFTH ROUND: Stephanie announced that Nikki Cross was drafted to Raw. Smackdown drafted Ziggler & Roode to Smackdown. (That seems to take away much doubt about their tag title match later.) Raw retained R-Truth. Smackdown drafted Apollo Crews. Raw drafted Dabba-Kato from Raw Underground.
(Keller’s Analysis: If you’re trying to build up Dabba-Kato, being drafted after R-Truth isn’t a good start.)
-Raw: Fiend, Orton, Charlotte Flair, Braun Strowman, Matt Riddle, Jeff Hardy, Retribution, Keith Lee, Alexa Bliss, Elias, Lacey Evans, Sheamus, Nikki Cross, R-Truth, Dabba-Kato.
-Smackdown: Bayley, The Street Profits, Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens, Lars Sullivan, King Corbin, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro, Ziggler & Roode, Dabba-Kato.
-New Day made their ring entrance. The announcers noted Pearce would have a real headache dealing with the Raw Tag Team Titles if Roode & Ziggler win them before going to Smackdown.
(Keller’s Analysis: I want to know if New Day will call this as a new title reign to add to their total reigns, or if it’s a continuation of their Smackdown Tag Title run.)
(5) NEW DAY (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. ROBERT ROODE & DOLPH ZIGGLER – Raw Tag Team Title match
Roode & Ziggler made their full ring entrance. Then formal ring introductions took place. The announcers talked about how odd it is not to see Big E at ringside for them. Saxton said New Day were inseparable for years. Ziggler hit Kofi with a Fameasser for a near fall. Then they cut to a break at 2:00. [c]
Kofi hot-tagged in Xavier after the break and he rallied against Ziggler. Roode entered. Xavier gave him the Honor Role headstand clothesline. Xavier gave Ziggler a DDT for a near fall. Xavier pressed Ziggler above his head. Ziggler slipped free and DDT’d him. Kofi moved Xavier out of the path of a diving Ziggler. Xavier rolled up Roode for a quick two count. Roode came back with a quick spinebuster as a counter to an Honor Roll. Kofi delivered a Midnight Hour to Roode a minute later for the win.
WINNERS: New Day in 12:00 to retain the Raw Tag Team Titles.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good 12 minutes of action, minus the commercial break. A good win for New Day on their Raw “debut.” Roode & Ziggler head to Smackdown as losers.)
-Charly Caruso welcomed Elias back. She asked him about smashing Hardy with the guitar. Elias said his new single off the album “Payback” is “Heading Jeff Hardy’s Way.” He said he isn’t forgiving Hardy for hitting him with a car and knocking him out of action for months. Charly said it wasn’t necessarily him. Elias said a car can’t stop him. He said being the great musician he is, on Oct. 26, his new album “Universal Proof” will be available to the world. He said next week they’ll celebrate his return to Raw. He said in these times, people are dying for a concert. “It’ll be unforgettable,” he said. “Especially for Jeff Hardy.”
(Keller’s Analysis: For those who were hoping Raw would regularly feature both Miz and Elias, your dreams have come true.)
-Hurt Business made their ring entrance. Lashley was sporting white pants and a white jacket. [c]
(6) CEDRIC ALEXANDER vs. RICOCHET
Great back and forth athleticism. Phillips talked about Ricochet’s “deceptive power.” Has he looked at his muscles? MVP tried to slide a chair to Cedric, but Ricochet grabbed it first. Lashley, Shelton, and MVP stood on the ring apron. When the ref turned to them, Ricochet threw Cedric the chair and then collapsed, as if he had been hit. The ref then DQ’d Cedric. Saxton said Ricochet outsmarted Cedric.
WINNER: Ricochet via DQ in 5:00. [c]
-Raw Talk will feature A.J. Styles and The New Day, plus the women’s battle royal. They’ll also announce more draft picks on Raw Talk.
-They went the announcers who reviewed the Keith Lee-Braun Strowman match on Raw last week. They announced Lee vs. Braun next week on Raw.
-SIXTH ROUND: Stephanie announced Titus O’Neal would remain on Raw. Saxton called it a blessing for Raw. Smackdown drafted Carmella to stay. (I’m surprised. I thought she’d end up feuding with Asuka on Raw.) Raw drafted Peyton Royce. Smackdown drafted Aleister Black to move there. Raw drafted Akira Tozawa to stay on Raw. Phillips said that’s bad news for R-Truth.
-Raw: Fiend, Orton, Charlotte Flair, Braun Strowman, Matt Riddle, Jeff Hardy, Retribution, Keith Lee, Alexa Bliss, Elias, Lacey Evans, Sheamus, Nikki Cross, R-Truth, Dabba-Kato, Titus, Peyton Royce, Akira Tozawa.
-Smackdown: Bayley, The Street Profits, Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens, Lars Sullivan, King Corbin, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro, Ziggler & Roode, Dabba-Kato, Carmella, Aleister Black.
-Asuka made her ring entrance to watch the Women’s Battle Royal main event.
-Nia Jax came out first. Then Shayna Baszler. [c]
(7) WOMEN’S BATTLE ROYAL
Nia said before the bell that it’s obviously either Shayna “more likely” Jax will win, so they should just all throw themselves over the top rope to save themselves a beating. The bell rang and no one took her up on the offer. Instead, they all attacked Jax. Jax shoved them off. Tamina and Jax squared off. Jax tossed Tamina over the top rope. Billie Kaye tried to dump Jax, but she couldn’t even lift her leg. Jax eliminated her.
Jax knocked Brooke and Rose off the ring apron, saving Baszler. The rest of the remaining women attacked Jax again. Baszler then dumped Jax over the top. Baszler talked to Jax who then threw a fit, tearing apart the announce desk in frustration. Lana went after Jax, who then gave her a Samaon Drop through the table.
They cut backstage to Drew and Orton who were brawling. Orton raked Drew’s eyes, then pounded his chest as they cut to a break. [c]
Back to the ring, it was down to Lacey, Nikki, Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott, Belair, and Baszler. Lacey eliminated Nikki. Baszler put Riott in a Kirafuda Clutch. They showed that during the break, Peyton Royce was eliminated by Natalya. Belair eliminated Baszler. Natalya attacked Belair from behind. Riott Squad eliminated Belair. It came down to Natalya, Lacey, Liv Morgan, and Ruby. Lacey and Natalya eliminated Riott and Morgan at the same time on opposite sides of the ring. Natalya and Lacey then faced off. They showed Asuka watching the match on a monitor backstage. They battled onto the ring apron. Natalya shoved Lacey into the ringpost and Lacey almost fell. Lacey kicked Natalya next, and Natalya hung from the middle rope. She pulled herself up. Lacey tried to head scissors Natalya to the floor, but Natalya swung Lacey into the ringpost. Lacey fell to the floor to be eliminated. As Natalya was about to celebrate, Lana snuck back into the ring and eliminated her.
WINNER: Lana in 12:00 to earn a title match against Asuka next week.
-Drew and Orton brawled back to the ring. A bunch of referees and officials ran out to pry them apart. Drew yelled, “See you next Monday!” as Orton was pulled to the back