SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
ORLANDO, FL. AT THE THUNDERDOME IN THE AMWAY CENTER
OCTOBER 12, 2020
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe
Top Three Developments from Last Week
- Drew McIntyre accepted Randy Orton’s challenge to a Hell in a Cell match at the so-named PPV for the WWE Championship. Later in the evening Orton, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode defeated Drew and the Raw Tag Team Champions the Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins).
- Seth Rollins demanded an apology from Murphy. He attacked Seth, despite indicating to Aalyah Mysterio that he’d apologize. During the attack Seth apologized to Murphy to try and get him to stop, but then attacked him instead. Aalyah came out asking him to stop.
- Mustafa Ali was revealed as the leader of Retribution.
Draft Results and Items Advertised by WWE for Tonight
Tonight’s edition of Raw will feature the conclusion of the on-air draft, which continued on Talking Smack after Smackdown on Friday night. In Friday’s Smackdown primer, you’ll find the list of who’s eligible to be drafted tonight. Here’s who’s on their way out of Raw and here’s who’s coming so far:
Drafted to Smackdown:
- Seth Rollins
- Bianca Belair
- Dominik & Rey Mysterio
Drafted to Raw:
- The Miz & John Morrison
- Smackdown Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods
- Drew Gulak
Besides the continuation of the draft, here’s what’s advertised for tonight. Their official preview is not posted as of this writing, but they have four items advertised officially:
- KO to face Black in No Disqualification Match
- Seth Rollins bids farewell to Raw
- Battle Royal to decide Asuka’s next challenger
- Mustafa Ali to speak about his Retribution reveal
No-DQ Match: Kevin Owens vs. Aleister Black
The ongoing feud between Kevin Owens and Aleister Black added another chapter last week. Kevin had “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt on the KO Show, but Bray appeared on the big screen via the Firefly Funhouse. In advance of their match on Smackdown, Bray warned that Kevin had no idea what he was getting himself into, but he would find out. Kevin, not wanting to wait, decided to pursue Bray. As he was making his way up the ramp, Aleister attacked him with his signature Black Mass.
Tonight, these two go at it in a no-DQ match. They are also eligible to be drafted, as is Bray and his newest follower Alexa Bliss, so it’ll be interesting to see if any of these parties change address. Here’s Aleister issuing the challenge to Kevin which led to this match:
Frank’s Analysis: I don’t have a real strong feeling on how this will play out. I’m more curious where everyone ends up after the draft. I could see a little alliance with Aleister, Bray, and Alexa. With the Hurt Business drafted to Raw and assuming Retribution stays put, I could see Aleister going to Smackdown. You don’t want three heel stables on the same show, that is if you consider the Hurt Business heel the way they’ve been framed against Retribution. In the end, they could go either way with everyone. I don’t think there’s great consequence to what they do here.
Seth Rollins Bid Farewell to Raw
As I mentioned, Seth Rollins was taken in the first round and drafted to Smackdown. He now joins the show on which his former Shield teammate Roman Reigns is the Universal Champion but is now aligned with Paul Heyman. Joining Seth though are all constituents with whom he’s been involved for the last several months in his disciple Murphy as well as Dominik & Rey Mysterio. I talked about what happened with Seth, Murphy, and Aalyah Mysterio (Rey’s daughter and Dominik’s sister) last week. Prior to that segment, Seth & Murphy defeated Humberto Carrillo & Dominik.
Tonight Seth, who has been known as the Monday Night Messiah for most of this year, bids farewell to Raw. He has been on the show since the roster split returned in 2016, where he was the #1 overall pick. He was #1 overall in last year’s draft as well, when he was taken by Raw on night two, the night he was eligible. In 2017 and 2018 there were no drafts but rather “Superstar Shakeups” where random wrestlers just moved to their new shows. Here’s Seth after Friday night where he vows to potentially be the “Smackdown Savior”:
Frank’s Analysis: I’m glad Seth is moving after over three years on the same show. It’ll be interesting to see him share an address with newly turned heel Roman Reigns, and more interesting to see if a conflict between them brews in the near future. I’m not looking forward to more between him and the Mysterios, but I’d imagine that story will come to an end soon and everyone will move on to other things.
Dual-Brand Women’s Battle Royal for Raw Women’s Championship Match
There will be a dual-branded battle royal to determine Asuka’s next challenger for the Raw Women’s Championship. The same was done a few months ago to determine a challenger for Bayley and the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Ironically, that was won by Asuka, who got a match against Bayley at SummerSlam but came up short. She did defeat Sasha Banks on that night to regain the Raw Women’s Championship.
WWE does not list all the participants, but I’d imagine it’s all hands-on deck. As I indicated earlier Bianca Belair is headed to Smackdown and Naomi is headed to Raw. Asuka, Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Mandy Rose, and Dana Brooke are staying put on Raw. Sasha Banks remains on Smackdown. We’ll find out where all the other women are headed tonight. See my Smackdown primer on Friday for a link to the list of who’s eligible to be drafted tonight.
Frank’s Analysis: There’s a lot of chatter about Bayley, who’s currently the Smackdown Women’s Champion, being drafted to Raw. I wouldn’t be surprised if she wins this and challenges Asuka. This would all be interesting given she’s facing Sasha Banks for the Smackdown title inside Hell in a Cell at the upcoming appropriately named PPV. As far as the battle royal tonight, it’s a bit of a cheap way to determine a challenger, but they just want to get everyone on the show with the draft taking place. I don’t mind it occasionally, but they already did it in August so it would have been nice to do something else.
Mustafa Ali Talks Retribution
As I indicated earlier in the top three developments, Mustafa Ali revealed himself as the leader of Retribution last week. This after MVP made another effort to recruit him to the Hurt Business as well as Ricochet and Apollo Crews. U.S. Champion Bobby Lashley & Shelton Benjamin of the Hurt Business defeated Ricochet & Crews prior with Ali in their corner prior to the reveal, which happened after Ali fought MVP to a no-contest. Retribution got involved in the match and eventually Ali said “get them” referring to the Hurt Business.
Tonight, Mustafa will speak about the reveal. It’s ironic that he returned to Raw in late July. He won his first match back, which was a six-man tag, but lost the following week. Following that, Retribution started showing up. Ali went quiet for a while, so it’s likely they will sell that it was his idea all along as Byron Saxton did last week. He’s left cryptic tweets since Monday night. There are several, so I would include every single one of them. One interestingly “welcomes” Kofi Kingston, who was drafted to Raw:
Hello, Kofi. https://t.co/Kzeid4JCuH
— Mustafa Ali / Adeel Alam (@AliWWE) October 10, 2020
They asked “Why?”
— Mustafa Ali / Adeel Alam (@AliWWE) October 7, 2020
— Mustafa Ali / Adeel Alam (@AliWWE) October 6, 2020
Frank’s Analysis: I recommended Ali go heel a while ago and might have even said so on the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post Show, where I was the cohost the night he returned. I’m not sure this is going to work, given how badly received Retribution has been since they’ve been on TV. Ali has been so defined down during his time on the main roster, so I don’t know how he helps the group. Do we even want to help them? This is a group with dumb names and costumes that look like they’d be on villains from a bad B-movie.
Other Match Results and Stories from Last Week
- Raw Women’s Champion Asuka and Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke defeated Zelina Vega & Natalya & Lana. Women’s Tag Team Champion Nia Jax gave Lana another Samoan Drop through a table.
- Smackdown’s Braun Strowman approached WWE official Adam Pearce looking for a match. Since he wasn’t a Raw wrestler, he offered an “exhibition” match. Later, Keith Lee requested to be Braun’s opponent. They fought to a double count-out.
- Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler defeated the Riott Squad (Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan) to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship. Here’s Liv in a WWE exclusive:
It’s always fun around the draft to see where everyone goes and what potential feuds will develop. Some things are silly like Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods winning the Smackdown Tag Team Championship and immediately being drafted to Raw. I wonder if there’ll be a match with them and the Raw champs the Street Profits to merge the titles, or the Profits get shifted to Smackdown. If it’s the latter, what does that mean for the titles? Are Kofi & Woods re-christened as the Raw champs and the Profits rechristened as the Smackdown champs? This is what I don’t like about “show specific” champions. If it leads to one set of tag champions, which is all you need, then I’m all for it. I wonder if they look to merge the women’s titles too, which I’d be for as well. Don’t look at your phones tonight because I’m sure the show will come at us like a firehose with all the happenings.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome! Thank you for reading.