11/16 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW REPORT: Hazelwood’s “alt perspective” report on Orton vs. McIntyre, New Day vs. Benjamin & Cedric, Firefly Funhouse, more

By Bruce Hazelwood, PWTorch contributor


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW TV REPORT
NOVEMBER 16, 2020
ORLANDO, FLA. AT AMWAY CENTER AT “THUNDERDOME”
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
REPORT BY BRUCE LEE HAZELWOOD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton

Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton


[HOUR ONE]

-They opened with the Raw intro video

-Tom Phillips welcomes us to the “award winning” and “critically acclaimed” Thunderdome. Phillips and Byron Saxton hyped the WWE Championship and Raw Tag Team Championship matches.

-Drew McIntyre made his entrance as Phillips transitioned to a video package featuring McIntyre on last Friday’s Smackdown and his interaction with Universal Champion Roman Reigns and victory over Jey Uso.

McIntyre discussed how Survivor Series is a Thanksgiving tradition and that he “loves” the holiday. He said the “WWE Universe” has basically seen him grown up all these years, and started listing some things he’s thankful for (including the “Thunderdome”). He also said he’s thankful for the doubters and throws up three fingers and says “read between the lines.” He said he was there to remind Reigns that he should worry about him and not Randy Orton. He said Reigns has also placed himself on a pedestal and has his “head so far up his ass.” He will humble reigns, he stated.

Orton interrupts and says he’s thankful for being a 14-time WWE World Champion and that the fine he was levied for placing his hands on Adam Pearce didn’t faze him because he’s been fined and suspended more than any other wrestler ever under WWE contracts. He says he’s still here, still the best, still on top because “I am the greatest. Wrestler. Ever.”

McIntyre said Orton forgot something and mocks Orton about the “three most dangerous letters in sports entertainment.” He emphatically stated he would regain the WWE Championship, but as he turns to leave, The Miz and John Morrison make their entrance, The Miz with the Money in the Bank contract in tow.

After a plug for “Miz & Mrs.,” they discussed how the future is more interesting and that they’re the future. The Miz made a MITB pun about “cashing in favors” to sit in the front row for tonight’s match. The Miz said his hands will be the ones wrapped around the WWE Championship at the end of the night. They then say Bray Wyatt/The Fiend avoided Raw because The Miz had the briefcase. “Change is coming whether you like it or not,” said The Miz.

McIntyre said he can’t be a patient man, with The Miz responding that’s why he lost the WWE Championship in the first place. “You gave Randy Orton three title matches and who says he deserves it?” More MITB puns as the two walked up the entrance ramp with their music playing and McIntyre yelling at them.

-Phillips, Saxton, and Samoa Joe once again hyped the WWE Championship match before transitioning the “tumultuous” Raw Women’s Survivor Series team. They showed a video with all eight Samoan drops through the announce table that Nia Jax inflicted on Lana. A six-woman tag match is next pitting Shayna Baszler, Jax, and Lana vs. Asuka, Dana Brooke, and Mandy Rose.

Lana said she earned her spot, regardless of what her partners think, and unlike Orton, she will tag in. Her partners told her that’s not happening as the Women’s Tag Team Champion (Jax & Baszler) make their entrance to the latter’s music. They cut to break. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Analysis: The first part of McIntyre’s promo was a bit dull to me, but really picked up with Orton’s intensity. I know we’ve said it over and over again, but THIS Orton is on fire. The Miz and Morrison are just annoying, but play their roles extremely well. As for Lana, Jax, and Baszler, well, at least they have good chemistry on the mic together.)

-They returned with Jax’s music playing for some reason, followed by Lana’s entrance. Raw Women’s Champion Asuka entered next, followed by her partners Rose and Brooke as a tandem.

(1) NIA JAX, SHAYNA BASZLER, & LANA vs. ASUKA, MANDY ROSE, & DANA BROOKE – Six-Woman Tag Team Match

-Lana looked to start, but Baszler tagged in to start as Brooke tries to take advantage of the dissension. After throwing Brooke to the outside, Baszler feints a tag to Lana and instead tags Jax. Rose looked to help Brooke, but Jax held her arm on the steel steps as Baszler stomped on it! They cut to break as the camera lingers on Rose. [c]

Thanks for the reminders Wade. Sorry I’m already making mistakes. Here’s part II.

They returned with Baszler looking to stomp on Brooke’s arm, but that was countered as Brooke schoolgirled Baszler into the turnbuckles. Asuka with the hot tag and a codebreaker followed by a shining wizard, the pin broken up by Jax. Asuka looked to secure the Asuka Lock, but had to kick Jax off the apron. Baszler applied the Kirifuda Clutch, but ended up in the corner and Lana tagged in. Lana pinned Asuka for a two-count, and as Jax yelled at Lana that, “You suck! Get out of there!” Asuka applied the Asuka Lock for the victory.

WINNERS: Raw Women’s Champion Asuka, Mandy Rose, and Dana Brooke in 7:00

-After the match, Jax cleared the announce table as Lana looked on with sadness on her face. Jax said she won’t put Lana through the table and, “Welcome to Team Raw.” They turned to leave only for Jax to say, “Psych!” and put Jax through the announce table for a ninth time.

(Hazelwood’s Analysis: Well, that was a throwaway match. I guess it was all just to put Lana through the announce table yet again. I’ll be glad when Survivor Series is over.)

-The announcers turned to another Team Raw dissension storyline, this time with the men’s team and the events of last Monday. We see the five members and AJ Styles’ “associate” in the back, standing shoulder-to-shoulder like we all do, right? Styles tells the team it’s been a bumpy road. He also said he’s a humble man and reiterates his assertion as team leader, which begins a chorus of anger. Styles said he knows they hate to lose, but they need a tune-up match against people that no one likes: Retribution. He tossed them Raw shirts and says to follow his lead, to which Keith Lee and Braun Strowman commented about the size of the shirts. Riddle looked to give Jordan a nickname, Styles said no, but Riddle called Jordan “Almos” or “Olmos.” Styles asked if Jordan even speaks English. “Of course I do.” “Why didn’t you ever tell me?” “You never asked.” They cut to commercial and “The Final Farewell” of The Undertaker at Survivor Series. [c]

-They returned with a frantic looking Brooke outside of the trainer’s room as Charly Caruso approaches to ask her about what happened to her partner, Rose. Suddenly, Reckoning attacked Brooke from behind.

-The “Firefly Funhouse” started with Wyatt and Alexa Bliss greeting us. Wyatt said he wants to help The Miz with “his manners” as Bliss said “Bray Wyatt vs. The Miz today.” Wyatt reminded The Miz he doesn’t want to see his bad side. Wyatt said he has all his friends to help prepare him for a match, and we cut to footage of a blindfolded Wyatt doing some 70s-style ninja training.

Next, they cut to Bliss asking Wyatt to spell “jackass” in a spelling bee scenario. Wyatt responded with, “MIZ, jackass!” Ramblin’ Rabbit is then placed on a dart board and is struck by a dart in the chest. They laughed and Wyatt said, “Bye!” as it ended.

-The Hurt Business (MVP, Bobby Lashley, Shelton Benjamin, and Cedric) made their entrance as Benjamin and Crews entered for their Raw Tag Team Championship match against The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods). They cut to break. [c]

-They played a Smackdown package on the Seth Rollins-Murphy saga (and I do mean saga) and the last hype before Sunday’s pay-per-view.

They returned with The Hurt Business waiting in the ring, all lined up facing the hard camera. MVP said he has an official announcement from the group. “Let’s make one thing painfully clear: there is no one better than The Hurt Business.” Benjamin then spoke, saying they will win the match tonight and go on to face “those clowns” Street Profits, and they know exactly how that’s going to end. MVP jumped in and said they’ll have most of the gold and be responsible for putting Smackdown out of business.

They’re interrupted as Raw Tag Team Champion The New Day enter. Woods said they need to stop using their outside voices before they decide to throw them outside. Kingston called MVP “Montel Vontavious Portier,” which made me chuckle. Kingston said they keep lying except about “The Best vs. The Best.” Then he asked if they listen to themselves speak, and that The Hurt Business sound like a bunch of jerks. “You should call yourselves The Jerk Business.” “That was your punchline? Epic fail,” replied MVP (I agree). The ended with a good old fashioned “New Day Rocks.” They cut to yet another commercial break. [c]

-They returned with the official announcement of Wyatt vs. The Miz for tonight, and once again hype the WWE Championship match for later tonight.

(2) THE NEW DAY (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. THE HURT BUSINESS (Shelton Benjamin & Cedric w/MVP, Bobby Lashley) – Raw Tag Team Championship Match

The New Days’ music was still playing as the bell rung. They started with Kingston and Alexander going hold-for-hold in some good mat wrestling action. MVP yelled, “Gator roll! Gator roll!” as Alexander utilized one on Kingston. Kingston regained control, Woods tagged, and they hit some combo offense. Alexander tagged out, but Woods maintained control as he punctuated some offense with a dropkick on Benjamin. Benjamin took over with some power offense, including a wicked lariat and big spinebuster. Alexander tagged back in and they cutoff the ring with some tried-and-true heel tag tactics. Alexander worked over the midsection and back of Woods, Woods fights back, but Alexander hit a huge dropkick. Benjamin tagged back in trying to keep Woods in their corner. Woods countered with an enziguri and made the tag to Kingston, who entered with high energy.

Benjamin tried to slow Kingston. Kingston went for the boom drop, but Benjamin catches him into a buckle bomb. They hit a double team powerbomb/clothesline combo for a two-count on Kingston as they cut to break. [c]

-They returned by first hyping Wednesday’s NXT. Benjamin controlled Kingston with a body lock and sleeper, but Kingston responded with a jawbreaker. Benjamin drove Kingston into a neutral corner, and placed him on the top turnbuckle. Kingston fought off Benjamin, then hit a tornado DDT off of the second rope. Tags made to both corners and Woods struck Alexander with a leg lariat. Benjamin interfered, but to no avail. Woods hit a missile dropkick off the top on Alexander for a two-count. After a few reversals, Kingston blind-tagged and also hit a missile dropkick. Benjamin broke up the count, then hit a running knee on Woods, who was on the apron. Alexander hit three topes, the first two with Alexander hitting Kingston and the barricade hard, the last one hitting Woods. Benjamin made a tag on the last tope, and worked over Kingston on the outside. Benjamin hit an Angle Slam for a two-count! Samoa Joe said, “MVP cannot believe it!”

Alexander tagged in and they hit combo then a brainbuster by Alexander, pin broke up by Woods. Kingston countered the Lumbar Check, hit Trouble in Paradise on Benjamin, tagged in Woods, and hit Day Break (backbreaker/double stomp combo) for the victory as they retained their titles.

WINNER: The New Day in 17:00 to retain the Raw Tag Team Titles.

(Hazelwood’s Analysis: That was a great match, and there were a lot of believable near-falls. It was too soon to take the titles of The New Day, and if The Hurt Business try to “fulfill the prophecy” on Raw, I’m here for all of it. As for McIntyre and Sheamus, it was great to see some callbacks to their past and McIntyre’s heritage. I guess this makes Sheamus a babyface now?)

-They showed replays, really highlighting how close The Hurt Business came. The New Day celebrates as their vanquished foes look on from the ramp.

-They cut to the back as Sheamus called over McIntyre. Sheamus talked about their younger days and how Sheamus has something that belongs to McIntyre. He reveals a chest. “Is this what I think it is?” asked McIntyre. He opened it to reveal what appears to be some traditional Scottish garb. He reminisced and turned around to Sheamus presenting him a sword, the sword of McIntyre’s family. McIntyre looked genuinely touched. Saxton said Sheamus gave McIntyre even more motivation for tonight. A.J. Styles and Jordan make their entrance as they cut to break. [c]

-The returned with Mustafa Ali and Retribution in the back. Ali said Team Raw thinks Retribution are pawns. Reckoning chimed in about Team Raw not being able to watch their own backs. Ali says Team Raw will shutdown themselves, and asked if their “so-called captain” is ready to go down with the ship.

Styles is on commentary and said Ali doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The members of Team Raw make their entrance first, followed by Retribution. Styles is now referring to Jordan as “Olmos.”

(3) BRAUN STROWMAN & KEITH LEE & SHEAMUS & RIDDLE vs. RETRIBUTION (Mustafa Ali & T-Bar & Slapjack & Mace w/Reckoning) – Eight-Man Tag Team Match

Surprise, surprise, they teased dissension for Team Raw before the bell rung. Riddle and Slapjack began much like the previous match with some mat wrestling. Seeing Slapjack in the knockoff Jason mask is still weird, by the way. Riddle hit a few gutwrench suplexes, which caused Slapjack to tag in T-Bar. After taking some offense, T-Bar created some distance and kicked Lee off the apron only for Riddle to regain control. As Riddle looked to tag Sheamus, Strowman threw Sheamus off the apron, who responded by pulling Strowman off the apron as well. Styles went over “as the captain,” but Strowman pushed him away into Olmo- I mean Jordan as they cut to break. [c]

They returned with a promo video for the WWE programming available on Peacock. Riddle being controlled, then is hit with double boots from T-Bar and Mace and a running cannonball from Slapjack, pin broke up by Sheamus. Ali entered, asked Styles if he’s watching, and hit a neckbreaker for a two-count on Riddle. Ali said he’s showing Team Raw what a real team looks like. Ali emphatically tagged in T-Bar, who just mushed Riddle in the corner. Very deliberate pace from Retribution. Mace tagged in as Riddle tired to fight back only for another double boot. Slapjack tagged back in, countered an ankle lock and Bro to Sleep, then hit a knee. Riddle somehow countered with a fisherman’s suplex.

Ali tagged in as Riddle tagged Lee. Lee shoulder blocked three members, hit a few corner avalanches, then a pounce on Slapjack. He lifted Slapjack for the Spirit Bomb only to use his opponent to hit T-Bar and Mace. They dragged Lee to the outside, allowing Ali to hit a tope that forced Lee into the announce table head first. Stroman and Sheamus cleared the outside and Sheamus tagged in after Lee hit a huge spinebuster, followed by Strowman doing the same. As Strowman went for the powerslam, Sheamus pulled off Ali. Strowman shoved Sheamus outside as Riddle made the tag. More dissension resulted in Ali shoving Riddle into Strowman and rolling him up for the victory.

WINNER: Retribution in 12:00.

-They cut to Nikki Cross in the back. She asked a random person and Sarah Schreiber if they’ve seen Bliss. Schreiber asked why Cross is still pursuing Bliss when Bliss made her choice clear last week. Cross said she has to bring back Bliss no matter what. Schreiber saw Jeff Hardy angrily tearing off some fliers asking for information on that terrible drunk driving angle involving Sheamus from earlier this year. Hardy basically said he’s going to find Elias.

(Hazelwood’s Analysis: How are we supposed to take Retribution seriously when their victories tend to be rollups and distraction finishes rather than emphatic wins? Also, these dissension storylines for Survivor Series are so tired. Can we just go back to heel teams vs. face teams rather than brand vs. brand? Cross continues to impress, but I’m not sure I can say the same for Hardy. I also just don’t want to return to that awful angle from earlier this year.)

-They returned to Elias strumming the guitar in the locker room, angrily confronted by Hardy asking about the fliers. Elias said he’s just seeking justice. Hardy replied, “How many times have I told you I didn’t hit you with that car.” Elias said it was Hardy, and Hardy angrily shoved Elias into the corner, grabbed his beard, and said if Elias continues to accuse Hardy of things he didn’t do, Hardy’s going to guilty of a lot worse.

(Hazelwood’s Analysis: Okay, I like the fire Hardy exhibited there, though I’m not sure implying you’ll commit a violent felony is the right tactic to take for the face in this feud. Then again, righteous anger?)

-The Miz entered, accompanied by Morrison, for the former’s match against Wyatt. The Miz grabbed a mic and said he knows he and Wyatt haven’t seen “eye-to-eye” lately. He then said let’s think of everything as under the bridge. Morrison quipped in with a comment on water, confusing The Miz. The Miz said there’s no reason for this match to happen and that they should work together to make their dreams come true (well, The Miz’s dream).

Bliss entered with a mic in hand, and she said Wyat said “no.” Cross suddenly appeared, but Bliss goes into a trance-like state as Cross said Bliss needs to return. Bliss said, “Oh my God, Nikki, you’re right,” before she slapped her and the two brawled on the entrance ramp. Adam Pearce lifted Bliss an carried her away. As soon as Wyatt’s music hit, Bliss regained control and cheered for Wyatt, who glared daggers at cross. The make their way to ring arm-in-arm.

(4) THE MIZ (w/John Morrison vs. BRAY WYATT (w/Alexa Bliss)

-They returned with Wyatt’s music still going as the bell rung. Wyatt started by extending his hand and saying he would forgive The Miz, but The Miz kicked the hand away. After some gloating by Wyatt, The Miz gained control. Morrison struck Wyatt as the referee was distracted, which infuriated Wyatt. Morrison became spooked when Bliss jumped on the apron next to him. Wyatt channeled that anger, taking over the match by driving The Miz into the steel steps at ringside. He blew kisses to Bliss as he entered the ring.

[HOUR THREE]

The Miz hits a boot, but Wyatt smiles. A double axe handle from The Miz sent Wyatt to his knees, followed by a DDT and a kickout at one. The Miz began his It Kicks, with at least 10 kicks to Wyatt’s chest. Wyatt countered into a Sister Abigail attempt, countered by The Miz, but Wyatt regained control, punctuated by a vicious uranage. He snapped The Miz’s neck and went to the corner for his Sister Abigail setup. Morrison grabbed Wyatt’s ankle, only for Bliss to jump off the steel steps and take out Morrison, both of them going over the barricade. The Miz hit his corner clothesline only for Wyatt to hit Sister Abigail for the victory.

WINNER: Bray Wyatt in 5:00.

-After the match, Bliss walked along the barricade and the two then walked up the ramp. The Fiend’s music sounded, the two stopped, the screen went black. Phillips transitioned to an extended video package on the WWE Championship match, the rivalry between Orton and McIntyre, and each wrestler’s respective journeys. They cut to break after. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Analysis: Another match that maybe didn’t need to take place. The saga of the MITB contract this year is a curious one as neither holders of the contract have been booked as legitimate or credible threats, further reiterated with The Miz taking the loss here. Wyatt as the burgundy sweater wearing kids show host works so well in the “Firefly Fun House,” but not in the ring. They’ve made it difficult on themselves because The Fiend should only be a special occasion appearance. The video package for the WWE Championship match, on the other hand, was excellent as always. WWE always excels in this department.)

-They returned highlighting an award for Stephanie McMahon. They then showed the attacks and injuries on Rose and Brooke, who are both now out of Survivor Series. Caruso asked Pearce what the breaking news is, and Pearce says he has to replace both women with Lacey Evans and Petyon Royce. Caruso then turned to Asuka about her match against Sasha Banks. Asuka replied (with extreme energy) in Japanese before saying she’s very excited because, “Nobody is ready for Asuka!”

(Hazelwood’s Analysis: So Raw’s women’s team is definitely losing on Sunday, right?)

-The announcers then ran through the Survivor Series lineup, which, if you didn’t know, is this Sunday on the “award winning” WWE Network. Phillips said, “It’s the one night of the year where Raw and Smackdown go head-to-head.” Is it really, thought?

-Caruso approached Orton in the back, and Orton politely cut her off. He said he has a lot going on and he can’t use any distractions. They cut to break. [c]

-They returned with a promo for Raw Talk with Sheamus, Asuka, and The New Day.

-They cut to Angel Garza in the back talking about beautiful roses with thorns, and how he thinks about how all the women in the world are the roses and he’s the thorn that protects women. He said he’s willing to inflict pain to protect “your” beauty.

-Next, they show Jax, who asked why Baszler stomped on Rose’s arm so hard, to which Baszler replied about Jax’s propensity to put Lana through the announce table. Evans and Royce entered, Evans saying she hoped they didn’t think of sidelining them. Jax said, “We weren’t even thinking about you.” Jax said this is the worst idea since Quibi.

(Hazelwood’s Analysis: While exhibiting a bit of benevolent sexism, it also fits Garza’s character to think he’s protecting women. That one line from Jax was the best mic work she’s ever done. Quibi sucked, so a shot at them is always great.)

-McIntyre’s music played for a good minute before he entered with the garb and sword from earlier in the night. He placed the sword into the ramp blade-first. They cut to break as McIntyre waits in the ring. [c]

Here is the final part. Thank you again for the opportunity Wade. Please give me all the feedback you feel is necessary. I will continue to study the Style Guide so that errors are minimized. Also, I always wondered, but doing live reports is a special kind of endeavor! It’s fun, but feels hectic, too!

-They returned with McIntyre’s music still playing as he waited in the ring for Orton. They showed Mark Henry as one of the fans in the ThunderDome. The WWE Champion made his entrance, slowly but surely as he paced to the ring, eyes locked onto Mcintyre except for a brief moment when he looked at the title on his shoulder. Mike Rome gave formal introductions.

(5) RANDY ORTON (c) vs. DREW MCINTYRE – WWE Championship Match

-The two locked up. McIntyre with early control as he landed the Glasgow Kiss headbutt early. He hit another one, then hit a spinebuster for a two-count. Orton rolled to the outside of the ring to regroup. He grabbed the title (and his mouth) as he looked to exit using the “Champion’s advantage” that Phillips reminded us about. McIntyre followed, rolled Orton back in, looked for a Claymore kick. Orton ducked under and rolled back outside, once again grabbing the title. McIntyre stuck in the ring, favoring his back. Pearce entered and made the match no countout and no DQ; the match can only end with an official victor. They cut to break. [c]

-They returned with the two trading punches in the ring. Phillips remined the viewers of the rule changes implemented by Pearce prior to the break. Orton took control, grabbed a chair, and struck McIntyre in the abdomen and back. He sat down next to a prone McIntyre, taunting him before he struck McIntyre again and followed by shoving the chair into McIntyre’s jaw. He struck McIntyre across the back with the chair again for a three-set of two-counts. On the outside, Orton utilized his belly-to-back suplex on the barricade, then grabbed the steel steps. He struck McIntyre in the face, who fell in a heap. The rules weren’t changed to a falls count anywhere, so Orton slowly rolled McIntyre into the ring. Orton then performed his patented stomps all over the body (Michael Cole would have said, “Vintage Orton”), then tossed McIntyre outside.

McIntyre with a few punches, but is struck with a finger to the eye. Orton with another belly-to-back suplex, though this time he performed it on the announce table (that announce table took quite a beating tonight). Orton mounted McIntyre on the table and punched him in the face several times. Another belly-to-back suplex on the announce table. Orton tried for a third, McIntyre countered. A bit of “turnabout is fair play” as McIntyre hit Orton with two belly-to-back suplexes on the table, the second drawing an audible, “God damnit!” from Phillips. Another Claymore missed as Orton moved, causing McIntyre to land on the announce table. They cut to the only picture-in-picture break of the show.

Orton used some time to recover, then grabbed a table from under the ring. McIntyre tried getting to his feet, but he fell over. The come back from picture-in-picture (two commercials) with Orton having setup the table. They head back to the ring. Orton locked in the all too familiar rear chinlock in the ring. McIntyre punctuated some offense with an overhead belly-to-belly, followed by another. McIntyre hit a leaping neckbreaker, then kipped up with enthusiasm. McIntyre tried for the Future Shock DDT, countered. Some more counters led to McIntyre heading to the top, only to be intercepted by Orton. Orton climbed to the second rope for a superplex; effective, but not a top-rope superplex. The superplex scored a two-count.

McIntyre performed a backslide for a two-count, then immediately hit the Future Shock for another two-count. The camera zoomed in on McIntyre’s shocked face. Orton placed on the apron, then succumbed to McIntyre and crashed through the previously setup table. McIntyre retrieved Orton, rolled him into the ring, but only scored a two count. McIntyre looked for a Claymore for a third time, and this time Orton countered into a snap powerslam. Orton setup McIntyre on the announce table and hit his draping DDT to the floor. Orton back in the ring, and he hit another draping DDT as he intercepted McIntyre once again as the latter tried to enter the ring.

Orton looked for an RKO, countered into a Claymore, 1-2-3 new WWE Champion!

WINNER: Drew McIntyre in 24:00 to become the new WWE Champion.

-After the match, McIntyre stood tall in the ring, arms raised with the WWE Championship in his hands for his second reign. The show ended with McIntyre walking up the ramp and hyping Survivor Series, thanking the fans.

(Hazelwood’s Analysis: It was a perfectly serviceable match. It wasn’t on the level of Orton’s recent PPV matches, but it worked for TV. I liked the story of Orton countering the Claymore until he couldn’t no more, that time being the only time he didn’t have time to prepare a counter. I’m also glad the rule changes didn’t play as much of a factor into the match as they could have. I’d much rather see McIntyre vs. Reigns even knowing it probably won’t be a clean finish. Still, a title change to send the fans home happy is always a good way to end the show.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: As bad as Raw has been the past few months, tonight’s show wasn’t that bad. Yes, there were some throwaway matches, but the two championship matches really held the show together. I’m glad Jax and Baszler had developed a good chemistry and the continued development of this Bliss character as well. I’ll just be glad once Survivor Series is done so we can get back to some semblance of at least decent storytelling.

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