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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
OCTOBER 26, 2020
ORLANDO, FLA. AT AMWAY CENTER (“THUNDERDOME”)
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe
-They opened with footage of Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton at Hell in a Cell the night before.
-The Raw opening theme aired. Phillips introduced the show as the camera panned the crowd.
-McIntyre’s music played and he walked out as Phillips called him the former WWE Champion. Pyro blasted and cheers were piped in. Joe wondered if Drew is a resurgent contender or a broken man. Drew said he’s been searching for words to describe how he feels about losing his title to Orton. “Truth is, I have no excuses,” he said. “Just one promise. I will be WWE Champion once again.” He said a movie line about how it’s not about how hard you hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep going. He said his career shows that when he gets knocked down, he gets up twice as strong. He said everyone is probably wondering why he’s in such a good mood, throwing out inspirational quotes. He said it’s true he got thrown of the side of the Cell and landed on the table and it hurt like hell. He said if you knew what was going on in his head, you’d be scared. He was interrupted by The Miz’s music. Drew laughed and said, “You just messed up.”
Miz came out with John Morrison, flaunting the newly won Money in the Bank contract. Miz said all good things must come to an end, be it Otis’s run as MITB holder or Drew as WWE Champion. Morrison said they’re not calling him a loser, just not a winner, “and second place is good for a lot of people.” Miz said now Drew doesn’t have to worry about facing Orton for the WWE Title anymore because he has the briefcase. He said he wants everyone to understand that it entitled him to a World Championship match anytime he wants.
Miz said hypothetically let’s say Drew won last night. He said then he’d be outnumbered by then, and he’d have cashed in his MITB contract, becoming WWE Champion. He said he’d be disappointed, frustrated, and empty-handed either way. Morrison said the bright side is there’s no target on his back anymore. “I hope it doesn’t take another 19 years for you to get another shot at that title,” Morrison said. Miz laughed and said it’s a joke. Drew headbutted him. Morrison imitated his accent and said they should be friends. Drew popped him in the face, then gave him an overhead tossed. Morrison rolled out of the ring. Miz followed him. Drew went after them. They scurried away. Drew stomped on Miz’s sunglasses. Drew said he has a great idea to run by management. “It’s going to be a bad night for Miz and Morrison,” he said. “Friggin’ idiots.”
(Keller’s Analysis: If the idea was to let Drew fans know he’s doing okay, this worked. If it was to make it seem like the WWE Title meant everything in the world to him and he feels empty without it and driven to get it back immediately, this didn’t do that. It did give Drew fans a chance to smile since he got to take some shots at Miz and Morrison, who were effectively obnoxious and thus shifted the focus to Drew getting a chance to take out some frustrations on them later.)
-The announcers hyped Survivor Series and announced qualifying matches for the Raw team – Keith Lee vs. Elias, Matt Riddle vs. Sheamus, and Jeff Hardy vs. A.J. Styles. He said earning a spot on the Raw Survivor Series team is prestigious.
-Styles began his ring entrance. [c]
-Phillips said Drew ran the idea by management for a Drew vs. Miz match, and management liked it. Joe said Drew is a little upset at Miz.
-They replayed Styles rolling up Riddle last week after Riddle was distracted by Styles’s new tall bodyguard.
-Styles said everyone on Raw missed him, and now he’s 2-0 on Raw since his return. He said everyone is right to wonder why he even has to qualify for a place on Team Raw. He said he’s proven himself in WWE and around the world. He asked if he really has to prove himself to Adam Pearce. He said not only should he be on Team Raw, he should be the captain. He said he’d lead them to the promised land. Styles said his new associate doesn’t like to be looked at or talked to. “That is a warning,” he said. He said Hardy is the biggest cheater in history. He said he used an illegal knee brace to win the Intercontinental Title from him. He said he will have to deal with his associate if he messes with him again.
(1) A.J. STYLES (w/Jordan Omogbehin) vs. JEFF HARDY – Raw Survivor Series Team Qualifier
Hardy made his ring entrance. They showed Hardy hitting Elias with Elias’s guitar last night. Seconds into the match, Styles slid out of the ring and Hardy leaped off the top rope. Styles moved and his new associate caught him. They cut to an early break. [c]
Styles was in control after the break, grounding Hardy with a chinlock. When Hardy broke free, Styles kicked him in the head, then brainbuster suplexed him for a two count. Hardy made a quick comeback and scored a two count. Styles put Hardy on his shoulders for a torture rack and then spun and released him, leading to a near fall. They countered each other’s signature moves rapid-fire. Hardy was briefly distracted by “the associate of Styles” (they’re definitely not calling him by his name, as they did last week), so Styles knocked him off the top rope. Styles blocked Hardy’s set up of a Twist of Fate on the ring apron and shoved him into the ringpost. He then hit the Phenomenal Forearm for the win.
WINNER: Styles in 10:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: If WWE wants their fanbase to turn against all babyfaces, have them continue to be needlessly frozen by intimidation by Styles’s new tall associate. The match was fine, and what you’d expect from these two in ten minutes of TV time.)
-After the match, as Styles celebrated, Elias attacked Hardy in the ring from behind with a guitar.
-Sarah Schreiber interviewed R-Truth about retaining his 24/7 Title last night at HIAC. He said he’s going to watch his contenders battle next. Schreiber asked if that’s not a little dangerous. Truth said he lives and sleeps dangerously, and his third middle name is
-A Susan G. Komen video aired to raise awareness for breast cancer.
(2) TOZAWA & DREW GULAK vs. LUCHA HOUSE PARTY (Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik)
A minute into the match, Truth made his way to the ring. Tozawa immediately snuck up behind him and scored a near fall at ringside with a schoolboy. In the ring, Dorado and Gulak tried to pin Truth. Dorado then leaped onto Drew with a body block for a three count.
WINNERS: Lucha Hosue Party in 2:00.
-At ringside, Truth fended of more attempts to pin him and ran to the back.
-They showed the Firefly Funhouse where the pig was excitedly looking at a plate of cookies and cupcakes. [c]
-Firefly Funhouse: Bray Wyatt welcomed everyone to his Mad Tea Party. Alexa Bliss showed up with tea. She poured the rabbit a “very special tea” with strawberry, peach, sugar, and a mystery ingredient. The rabbit wanted to know. She giggled and said it’s arsenic. The rabbit threw up and died. Bray and Bliss laughed. Bray said Bliss is fitting right in. “We’re all a little mad down here,” he said. Bliss asked how he knows she’s mad. He said she wouldn’t have come there if not. He said he will protect her now, but there’s just one thing left. He placed his hand on her forehead with the “HEAL” letters. She opened her eyes and they were changed with black pupils and pink outlines. In a sinister tone, she said, “Let him in.” She then popped back to her normal self and cheerfully said the fun is just beginning because she’ll have a fun chat with Randy Orton later. The rabbit sat up and said, “I’m alright after all.” Fiend looked at the Orton scepter and slaughtered the rabbit as Bliss laughed. Bray and Bliss smiled and waved bye. [c]
-They replayed clips of the Braun Strowman vs. Keith Lee match last week with the low blows.
-Charly Caruso asked Lee backstage how he bounces back from questionable tactics used by his opponent last week. Lee said he couldn’t beat him clean, so instead of losing like a man, Braun went below the belt and took a cheap way out. He said next time he faces Braun, he’ll show him a real monster. He said tonight, though, is about destroying Elias and going on to Survivor Series. He said prepare yourself because he’s about to walk with Elias. He said it with contempt. [c]
-Backstage, Adam Pearce walked up to Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. Baszler said as Raw team captain, she compiled a list of wrestlers who should be on their team. Pearce told her she’s not Team Captain. Baszler said she is the team captain, and she gave Pearce a list. Jax noticed she wasn’t on it. Baszler said of course because she wanted the best team possible. Baszler asked when they’d find out who is on the team. Pearce said by the end of the night. Baszler asked Jax if she was on her list. “Wouldn’t you like to know,” said Jax, rolling her eyes.
-Elias sat mid-ring with his guitar. He said he’s feeling great and tasting sweet victory after last night. He said it’s time to celebrate “Universal Truth,” his new album. He said next on his list is beating Lee to earn his spot on the Raw Survivor Series team. As he began to play, Lee’s music interrupted.
(3) KEITH LEE vs. ELIAS – Raw Survivor Series Team Qualifier
After Lee got the better of Elias early, Elias rolled to the floor. Lee gave Elias a Pounce, sending him flying onto the announce desk at ringside. They cut to an early break. [c]
Elias shoved Lee into the ringpost, then leaped off the top rope with a double axe handle in the ring for a two count. A graphic in the corner of the screen advertised The Hurt Business vs. Retribution. (Of course that’s a mistake since they did that already and they otherwise hadn’t hyped it tonight, right?) Elias gave Lee a weird neckbreaker for a two count. Elias climbed to the top rope right away, but then Hardy’s music played. Lee then gave Elias a Spirit Bomb for the win.
WINNER: Lee in 9:00.
-As Lee walked up the ramp, Hardy attacked Elias from behind with a guitar.
-Backstage Hurt Business gave a hard time to a backstage worker for using a public bathroom that they claimed was theirs. The guy ran away scared. They laughed. [c]
-An NXT Halloween Havoc ad aired. They went to the announcers at ringside. Joe said he’s excited. Phillips said for the first time in 20 years, the franchise is back. They shifted to the McIntyre-Orton HIAC match, throwing to the point where Orton was standing on the roof.
-Caruso interviewed Orton backstage. She asked if he’s concerned The Fiend will show up during “A Moment of Bliss” later. Orton said he’s not concerned at all. He said if you’re The Big Dog, The Fiend, or the former champ Drew McIntyre, there’s only one Randy Orton. He said the only ones who should be concerned are those who cross Orton.
-They went to the announcers at ringside who threw to a video package on the Hurt Business-Retribution storyline.
-The Hurt Business made their ring entrance. [c]
-Hurt Business stood mid-ring. MVP said when Retribution first arrived, everyone ran except for them. “We don’t run,” he said. Lashley said they didn’t see Retribution as a threat, but rather an opportunity. He said Hurt Business is an asset for Raw, while Retribution is a liability. MVP said they struck a deal with the higher-ups at WWE to take it to Retribution, and once they solve that problem once and for all, they’ll be looking to collect payment. Shelton said, “And we want our payment in gold.”
(4) THE HURT BUSINESS (MVP & Shelton Benjamin & Bobby Lashley & Cedric Alexander) vs. RETRIBUTION (Mustafa Ali & Slapjack & T-Bar & Mace w/Reckoning) – Elimination match
Lashley opened against T-Bar. Joe talked about Retribution feeling overlooked. A few minutes in, Ali broke up a cover on Slapjack. Reckoning stood on the ring apron and distracted MVP by scratching her skin like she had a bad rash or had bugs crawling on her. She fell into the ring and on the mat, contorting in a panic of itching. Slapjack then rolled up a distracted MVP to eliminate him. She continued to contort. [c]
Lashley speared Slapjack to pin him shortly after the break, making it three-on-three. T-Bar and Lashley brawled at ringside. They both got counted out. It was down to Shelton and Cedric vs. Mace & Ali. A minute later, Shelton finished Mace after a Pay Dirt after a blind tag in. Ali begged off when Shelton stood up and smiled at him. Shelton took it to Ali with a fallaway slam. He tagged in Cedric. Phillips said it could be just a matter of time. Cedric kicked Ali to the floor. Saxton said they’re former friends. Ali hit Cedric with a chair, so he was DQ’d. Ali fled.
WINNERS: The Hurt Business via DQ in 14:00.
-Backstage, Angel Garza approached Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke. He asked Mandy if she and Otis are still close. Mandy said Otis has had a rough 24 hours after losing his MITB briefcase and his best friend, but he’ll bounce back. She said they’re still close. Jax and Baszler walked up to them. Garza told Jax, “Hello, beautiful.” She said, “Save it, we have business.” Baszler waved him away. Jax yanked away his rose and smelled it and smiled. She then told Rose and Brooke if they end up on their team – at which point Mandy said, “You’re team?” Brooke said you mean “our team.” Brooke told them to watch their titles. Jax said she thinks they’re being punked. Baszler looked as Jax and said, “Seriously? Garza?!?” Jax smiled.
(5) DREW MCINTYRE vs. THE MIZ (w/John Morrison)
Drew went after Miz at the start aggressively. Morrison interfered, giving Miz an opening. Miz shoved Drew into the ringside steps ribs-first. He then went after Drew’s knee in the ring. Drew made a comeback, but Miz side-stepped him and threw him to the floor. Morrison went after Drew with the MITB briefcase, but Drew kicked it out of his hands and overhead tossed him at ringside. He threw the briefcase to the stage, then went after Miz. Miz rolled him up for a small package for a one count. Drew then hit the Claymore for the win. They showed Matthew McConaughey was watching on a monitor with his two sons.
WINNER: McIntyre in 4:00.
-New Day had red Solo cups and talked about Survivor Series. They said champions will take on champions. They broke the news there will be a battle of both tag champs, so they’ll be facing The Street Profits. Asuka ran up to them and excitedly said they want the smoke. Kofi announced that Asuka would face Sasha Banks. Plus, Orton will face Reigns. In walked Hurt Business. MVP announced Lashley would face Sami Zayn. He added that they have their sights set on the tag titles. New Day laughed in their faces. Asuka sang “New… Day Rocks!” with New Day.
(Keller’s Analysis: Some big news there. That might explain why Orton won at HIAC – they wanted to save Drew vs. Reigns for later on a bigger stage.) [c]
-Backstage the camera was following Drew as Kayla approached him. She asked if his win was the first step on his way to reclaiming the WWE Title. Drew said he’ll take as many steps as it takes to reclaim his championship. He said he guaranteed Orton will have “a moment” tonight, but it won’t be one of bliss.
-Adam Pearce and Pat Buck stood mid-ring together. Pearce said it’s time to meet the five women who will represent Raw. Out first came Jax and Baszler. Next out came Mandy and Dana. Jax told Pearce to slow down and let her declare the final teammate since she’s team captain. Baszler took exception. Pearce clarified that there will be a four-way match to decide the final member of the team.
(6) LANA vs. PEYTON ROYCE vs. NIKKI CROSS vs. LACEY EVANS – Fatal Four-way to determine final member of Team Raw
They cut to a break seconds into the match. [c]
Phillips congratulated Elias for his album reaching no. 1 on the soundtrack charts on Apple Music. Late in the match, there was a stack suplex with Royce taking Lacey and Nikki down out of the corner. Lana yanked Royce out of the ring, then scored the pin on Nikki.
WINNER: Lana in 8:00.
-Jax acted happy, but then gave Lana a Samoan Drop through the table.
-Caruso asked Orton backstage if he still planned to show up on the Funhouse. He said yes. She said it sounded like a threat that The Fiend is showing up. He said he’s not scared of The Fiend. Orton said he has no problem introducing The Fiend to the RKO.
(Keller’s Analysis: Is WWE tipping their hand who they want to fans to side with between Orton and Fiend?)
-Matt Riddle made his ring entrance. [c]
-They announced Sheamus, Elias, Rose, and Brooke would be on Raw Talk.
-Ali stood with Retribution backstage. He said they are not failing and they are not a team, they are a mission. He said they win when others suffer. “We will win because we decide when you will get shut down,” he said.
(Keller’s Analysis: Given how ineffective they’ve been, it’s just a waste of TV time at this point having Ali speak and give what amounts to empty platitudes and empty threats.)
(7) SHEAMUS vs. MATT RIDDLE – Raw Survivor Series Team Qualifier
Riddle went for a triangle, but Sheamus leveraged him down for a one count, forcing Riddle to break. Sheamus lifted and slammed Riddle down hard, then went for a keylock. Sheamus charged Riddle, but Riddle ducked and backdropped him to the floor. Then he gave him a PK to the chest off the ring apron followed by a corkscrew dive off the ring apron. They cut to a break at 3:00. [c]
Sheamus was in control after the break. He scored a two count after a backbreaker. Riddle came back with a series of kicks followed by a Bro-ton for a near fall. They battled back and forth and exchanged near falls. Phillips said these two will feel this battle for weeks. Riddle countered an Irish Curse and applied a sleeper. Sheamus shoved Riddle into the corner turnbuckle to break free. He went for a Brogue Kick. Riddle ducked and then German suplexed Sheamus into a bridge for a near fall. Riddle lifted Sheamus, but Sheamus slipped free when Riddle’s back gave out; he landed a Brogue kick right afterward for the three count.
WINNER: Sheamus in 10:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was a heavy-hitting entertaining battle.)
-They showed Orton backstage. Saxton said it’s a can’t miss edition of A Moment of Bliss up next. [c]
-A Moment of Bliss: Bliss stood mid-ring in her pony tails and welcomed everyone to “a very special Moment of Bliss.” She introduced Orton as the new 14-time World Champion. Saxton said Orton says he’s not concerned, but he should be. Orton entered and stared at Bliss who smiled and stared at him. Orton stood on the second rope and held up his newly won title. Bliss told Orton it’s okay to sit. He said he’d rather stand.
She asked if he was surprised he won last night. Orton said he’s won many titles before, and he’s not surprised. He asked if she has a surprise for him. She said no, she just wanted the new champ to be on her show, especially after he and Drew burned the house down. Orton asked where The Fiend is. “I know that he’s close, so I’m going to ask you one time and one time only,” he said. Bliss giggled. Drew then came out and charged into the ring to fight Orton.
As they exchanged punches, Bliss continued to laugh. Drew stomped away at Orton in the corner as Bliss sat in the corner and pointed and laughed. The lights began to go out and The Fiend special effects kicked in. He showed up on the stage behind Orton, who had retreated to the ramp. Orton sensed Fiend was behind him. Drew stood on the ring apron and hopped down. Orton charged back at Drew and began to fight him. The announcers said Orton had to choose between those two. They brawled at ringside where Drew threw Orton into the ringside steps. Then he slammed his head on the announce desk. Phillips said Drew is obsessed with getting his title back. Orton came back and slammed Drew onto the desk. He mounted Drew and boos rang into the ThunderDome as the show ended.