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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
NOVEMBER 16, 2020
ORLANDO, FLA. AT AMWAY CENTER (“THUNDERDOME”)
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe
-The Raw opening theme aired. Phillips introduced the show and touted the ThunderDome. They hyped the two major title matches coming up on the show.
-Drew McIntyre made his entrance. A replay aired of the Smackdown interaction between Roman Reigns and McIntyre on Smackdown last Friday. Drew then said he’s spent about a third of his life in the United States, so he is a fan of Thanksgiving. He said he’s thankful for his fans and the ThunderDome for bringing him closer to the fans. He said he’s also thankful for the doubters who don’t believe in you and laugh at you and talk trash. He said that’s when you’ve got to believe in yourself. He held up three fingers and said that when you succeed, you can tell them to “read between the lines.”
He shifted to talking about visiting Smackdown. He said he wanted Reigns to know he shouldn’t plan to face Randy Orton at Survivor Series because he’ll be WWE Champion by then. He said he would go to Survivor Series and humble Reigns with a Claymore. He said he’d be fool to overlook Orton. Orton then interrupted him from the big screen.
Orton said he wanted to chime in about what he’s thankful for. He said he is thankful for being a 14-time WWE World Champion. He said he is also thankful that the fine WWE gave him for putting his hands on Adam Pearce last week didn’t faze him. He said he has been suspended more than any WWE wrestler ever. He said he’s been suspended, sitting at home on his couch, longer than 80 percent of the wrestlers in the back have spent in the ring. He said he’s still around, despite breaking so many rules, because he is the greatest wrestler ever. He said he will prove it again, just like he did at Hell in a Cell. He said he’ll prove it again tonight against McIntyre.
McIntyre said Orton forgot to say the three most dangerous letters in WWE are R-K-O. He said they’ve been doing this so long, they’re finishing each other’s sentences. He said tonight his foot is going to crash through Orton’s head and he will once again be WWE Champion. He looked serious and intense as he threw the mic down and left the ring.
Miz walked out with his Money in the Bank briefcase. John Morrison was with him. Miz plugged a new episode of “Miz & Mrs.” He also said nothing is stopping them from cashing in the MITB briefcase tonight. Drew asked them to imagine what he’d do to them if they mess with him tonight. Miz, unfazed, predicted he’d win. He said change is coming tonight. McIntyre agreed with him. He said Orton is a patient man, but he’s not. Miz said Drew’s impatience cost him his WWE Title. Miz faulted Drew for giving Orton three title matches. He said Drew can’t control whether he cashes in his MITB briefcase tonight. He said win or lose, he will get the last laugh tonight.
(Keller’s Analysis: This set the table well for the main event. Drew and Orton have had good chemistry in their feud, but it’s good at this point for Drew to express how long they’ve been feuding to show a self-awareness. Miz was obnoxious, and also planted the seed of that MITB “X factor” in tonight’s main event.)
-They went to the announcers on camera who touted the “WrestleMania-caliber” main event tonight. They shifted to talking about the women not getting along on Team Raw, specifically Lana and Nia Jax. They showed the table spots one after another. They hyped Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler & Lana vs. Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose & Asuka. They wondered if Lana could get along with Jax.
-Backstage Lana was stretching when in walked Jax and Baszler. Jax asked if this match really was her idea. Lana said no matter how she tries, they never take her seriously. She said she wants to prove to them she belongs. Jax asked, “What, is this a Disney movie?” Baszler told Lana that this match isn’t all about her. She said it’s about her and Jax proving they run the rest of the division. Jax told her under no circumstances should she tag into the match.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’m continuing to enjoy the Jax and Baszler interaction more than I anticipated, and it’s giving Baszler a chance to be a bully and not just a badass. Lana being so nonchalant about being crashed through a table week after week makes the table spot feel weak and pointless. Shouldn’t she be more upset and more hurt?)
-Baszler and Jax headed to the ring. [c]
(1) SHAYNA BASZLER & NIA JAX & LANA vs. MANDY ROSE & DANA BROOKE & ASUKA
Baszler teased tagging Lana’s extended arm, but then tagged in Jax instead. Jax went after Brooke at ringside. Mandy ran to help, but Jax put her arm on the stairs and Baszler stomped on Mandy’s arm. She yelled in pain and they cut to a break a minute into the match. [c]
Back from the break, Brooke tagged out to Asuka. They cut to a clip of Mandy’s arm being stomped by Baszler. Phillips said she was taken to the back. Phillips said Baszler injured one of her partners on Sunday. Asuka went to work on Baszler. Lana tagged herself in as soon as Baszler applied her Kirafuda Clutch. That forced Baszler to release the hold just as she might have been on the verge of winning. Lana entered and went for the pin, but Asuka kicked out. Jax asked if she’s serious. Asuka then kicked a distracted Lana and applied the Asuka Lock for the win.
WINNERS: Jax & Baszler & Lana in 5:00.
-Afterward, Jax began clearing the announce desk. Saxton asked if anyone cares about the health of Team Raw right now. Jax told Lana she showed a lot of courage tonight and welcomed her to Team Raw. Lana stood and smiled as Jax helped her up. Jax then said, “Psych!” She slammed Lana through the announce table the ninth week in a row. “What does this prove?” asked Saxton. Joe said Team Raw is in shambles.
-They showed a clip of last week’s match with the men on Team Raw battling, leading to Riddle pinning Sheamus after miscommunication between Sheamus and Braun Strowman.
-Backstage, Braun and Sheamus were yelling at each other. Styles yelled at them to stop yelling. He said they have great talent, and should be heavy favorites, but their egos are getting in the way. He said as a humble man, he will take his fair share of the blame. Braun didn’t like their nicknames. Keith Lee said he likes his. Styles said they each hate to lose. “We need to come together, and the best way to do that is to have a tune up match,” he said. He said they’d face Retribution later. He threw them “Raw – USA Network” red t-shirts. He said he can make them a winning team. Lee asked if he’s supposed to wear the t-shirt on his bicep. Everyone left Styles and his bodyguard, but Riddle returned and said he had an idea for a nickname for his bodyguard. Styles told him not to talk to him. Riddle called him “Almas.” Styles asked his bodyguard if he even speaks English. He said of course he does. Styles asked why he didn’t tell him that. He said because he never asked. Styles said he has so many questions for him.
(Keller’s Analysis: That last bit was actually funny. Styles saying he has so many questions for him now that he knows he speaks English cracked me up. The rest of it was par for the course for the Team Raw unlikely partner storyline.) [c]
-Backstage Charly Caruso approached Dana Brooke about Mandy’s condition. Dana said it was out of line what Baszler did. Reckoning attacked Brooke and threw her into a rolling crate. Officials came out and yelled for some help.
-Firefly Funhouse: Bray Wyatt and Alexa Bliss smiled and waved and welcomed viewers. Bray said The Miz isn’t so nice. He said the Hollywood-types are all the same – vapid and obnoxious and pompous and willing to sacrifice their own offspring to reptilian overlord. He said he wanted to offer Miz a lesson in manners. Bliss suggested Miz vs. Bray tonight. Bray told Miz to pay attention because if he has to repeat himself, he wouldn’t want to see his bad side. Images of The Fiend flashed on the screen.
Bray had his eyes covered with a headband as he did some karate type moves, then bashed the heads of Huskus and Mercy the Buzzard together. He then appeared with glasses on and Bliss said, “Your word is ‘jackass.'” Bray acted like a meek spelling bee contestant. He spelled jackass “M-I-Z.” Cheers. Ramblin’ Rabbit was on a dart board in the bullseye and asked if it was safe. Bray threw a dart and stabbed him in the heart. Bray laughed and yelled, “Bullseye!” Bliss laughed too. Bray said he’d see Miz soon and waved bye.
-Hurt Business made their way to the ring. [c]
-Hurt Business stood mid-ring. MVP said he had an official announcement. He said at Survivor Series, everyone would see the best vs. the best, and no one is better than The Hurt Business. MVP talked about Lashley beating Sami Zayn. Shelton then said he and Cedric will win the tag titles, then “take on those clowns, the Street Profits.” (He stumbled a bit saying that, but recovered nicely.) MVP said they will then control most of the gold on Monday Night Raw, at which point they’ll take credit for putting Smackdown out of business. New Day interrupted. They danced out to the ring.
Kofi said almost everything they said was a lie, although they were right that Sunday will feature the best vs. the best, but that includes New Day, not Hurt Business, facing the Street Profits. Kofi said week after week, they sound like a bunch of jerks. Kofi said they call themselves the Hurt Business, but they should call themselves the Jerk Business. MVP called that an epic fail of a punchline. New Day sang “New… Day Rocks!” [c]
-Phillips announced Bray vs. Miz was officially a match. Saxton hyped Orton vs. McIntyre later.
(2) THE NEW DAY (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN & CEDRIC (w/MVP, Bobby Lashley) – Raw Tag Team Title match
Saxton said both Mandy and Dana were injured and wouldn’t be able to compete at Survivor Series. New Day got in the offense first, then Hurt Business beat up Xavier for a while. Kofi got a hot-tag and went on a flurry against Shelton. Shelton caught Kofi mid-air going for a Boom Drop. Cedric then leaped off the top rope and clotheslined Kofi off of Shelton’s shoulders for a two count. [c]
A few minutes later, Xavier and Cedric hot-tagged in. Chaos broke out. Xavier dove through the ropes onto Cedric. He landed a missile dropkick off the top rope back in the ring for a near fall. Two minutes later Cedric dove three time at Kofi through the ropes to the floor and each time took the worst of it, slamming hard into the barricade two of those times. Shelton then hit Kofi with a clothesline at ringside. Shelton dragged Kofi back into the ring and gave him an Angle Slam mid-ring for a believable near fall. A minute later Cedric gave Kofi a brainbuster suplex for a near fall, broken up by Xavier. More chaos. Xavier tagged in and he leaped off the top rope with a leaping double stomp Day Break on Cedric for the three count. Phillips exclaimed, “That is what Monday Night Raw is all about!”
WINNERS: New Day in 16:00 to retain the Raw Tag Team Titles.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good tag match, as you’d expect from these four. A little surprising that Hurt Business didn’t win, since that would have set up a heel vs. face match-up at Survivor Series, but Street Profits vs. New Day feels more novel so I’m glad it’s happening.)
-Backstage, Sheamus called McIntyre over to him. He talked about knowing him and his family for years. He revealed a treasure chest. McIntyre opened it and inside were some family artifacts from his family. Sheamus presented him with a sword. McIntyre was emotionally moved by the gesture. He held the sword.
-Styles made his way to the ring to his music with his bodyguard. [c]
-A soundbite aired with Retribution. Mustafa Ali said Styles and his men feel they are just pawns. He said even one right move can lead to a pawn taking out a king. He called them spineless cowards looking for an opening to stab each other in the back. He said all they have to do is stand back and watch them self-destruct.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’m not so sure about a heel faction admitting they’re just pawns taking on kings.)
(3) TEAM RAW (Sheamus & Braun Strowman & Keith Lee & Riddle) vs. RETRIBUTION (Mustafa Ali & Slapjack & T-Barr & Mace)
Styles joined the announcers on commentary. Strowman, Lee, Riddle, and Sheamus each made separate ring entrances. A couple minutes in, Braun knocked Sheamus off the ring apron and reached for a tag. They shoved each other and argued at ringside. Styles tried to play peacemaker. Braun and Sheamus shoved him into his bodyguard. With tensions high, they cut to a break. [c]
Back from the break, Retribution was working over Riddle. Eventually Lee got the hot-tag, and he went to work on Mace and T-Barr. Lee lifted Slapjack by his legs and swung him into T-Barr and Mace. T-Barr and Mace dragged Lee to the floor. Ali then dove through the ropes and knocked Lee into the announce table. Sheamus landed some running boots at ringside as Styles cheered them on. Sheamus tagged himself in by slapping Lee. Braun then tagged himself in by slapping Sheamus. That led to another Sheamus-Braun argument. Braun shoved Sheamus over the top rope. Riddle tagged in. Braun shoved him down. Ali knocked Riddle into Braun and then rolled him up for a three count. Styles entered the ring and chewed out his team members.
WINNER: Retribution in 6:00.
-Sarah Schreiber asked Nikki Cross why she was still looking for Alexa Bliss, since Bliss choose The Fiend over her last week. Nikki said that wasn’t the actual Alexa talking, and she will not stop until she gets the real Bliss back. She said Fiend has hypnotized her or something. Schreiber saw Jeff Hardy and asked why he looked distressed. He held a flyer that showed the crash incident with a “Information Wanted” message and a phone number. He said it’s clearly the work of Elias. He said his Photoshop skills are about as good as his music. He said if he finds him, he’ll give him the big break he was looking for. [c]
-Hardy found Elias in the locker room playing his guitar. He angrily told him he wasn’t the perpetrator of the hit and run. Elias said he was just looking for justice to be served, and he wants to help authorities find the guilty party. Elias stood up and got in Hardy’s face and said he is the only one who knows what happened that night “because you did it.” Hardy shoved Elias into the lockers and said if he accuses him of something he didn’t do, he’ll be guilty of doing more to him than hitting him with a car.
-Phillips hyped Undertaker’s “Final Farewell” on Sunday’s Survivor Series. They showed Jeff Hardy dressed up as Undertaker.
-The Miz and Morrison came out. Miz talked about how he hasn’t been seeing eye to eye with Bray. He said months ago Fiend sent a demonic doll to his home to torment his one year old daughter, and earlier he said some negative things about Bray. He said both were out of line, one more than another, but it’s all water under the bridge. Miz said there’s no good reason to have this match tonight. He said he had a peaceful solution. He said this is a perfect opportunity for both of them to work together and make their dreams come true. “Whadya say, pal?” he asked.
Bliss’s augmented entrance theme played and she walked out. Bliss giggled and said, “He says… no!” She smiled, giggled, and waved. Nikki walked out and told Bliss that Fiend is bad for her and she needs to leave. Nikki said she’s her best friend and she has to listen to her. Bliss said, “You’re right.” She then punched Nikki and attacked her. Pat Buck and Adam Pearce came out and separated them. Fiend’s music played and he came out. He skipped arm-in-arm with Bliss to the ring. [c]
(4) THE MIZ (w/John Morrison) vs. THE FIEND (w/Alexa Bliss)
Bray offered a handshake at the start. He said he’d forgive him. Miz didn’t trust him and kicked his hand. He went on the initial offense. He gave him clubbing forearms as he was draped over the middle rope. Morrison took a cheap shot at Bray. Bliss surprised Morrison, who leaped backwards. Bray then went on offense against Miz, who bailed out to the floor.
Bray threw Miz into the ringside steps. Then he blew Bliss a kiss. Miz surprised Bray with a kick, but Bray no-sold it. Miz snapped Bray’s neck over the top rope, then hit a double axe handle off the top rope followed by a DDT for a mere one count. Bray came back and did a neck snap on Miz, then leaned backwards from the corner. Morrison interfered. Bray shot him a sinister look. Morrison looked scared. Bliss dove off the ringside steps and they tumbled over the ringside barricade. Miz then went after Bray, who was distracted by Bliss perhaps being hurt. He came back quickly with a Sister Abigail for the win. Bliss popped up from behind the barricade smiling. She then did a balance beam walk on the ringside barricade to celebrate Bray’s win and show off. As Bray and Bliss headed back to the stage, The Fiend music played and he appeared briefly. Bray and Bliss seemed spooked.
WINNER: Bray Wyatt in 5:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Bray and Bliss are a lot of fun interacting with each other.)
-They showed a video with images of Drew and Orton going back to when they were rookies, and showing various key moments in their careers. [c]
-Phillips congratulated Stephanie McMahon for being named by Ad Week as a powerful woman in sports.
-They showed a clip of Mandy’s injury and Dana’s injury.
-Charly Caruso interviewed Pearce. He confirmed that Rose and Brooke cannot compete at Survivor Series. He said he has to replace them. He chose Peyton Royce and Lacey Evans. Then Charly turned to interview Asuka about facing Sasha Banks at Survivor Series. She said she was very excited.
-Saxton plugged the Final Farewell for Undertaker this Sunday. They hyped the rest of the advertised matches.
-Caruso approached Orton backstage. She asked about his confidence level. Orton said he has a lot of distractions with Miz, Fiend, and McIntyre. “Trust me when I say you don’t want to be on that list of distractions,” he warned her. [c]
-Phillips hyped that Sheamus, Asuka, and New Day would be on Raw Talk on WWE Network.
-Angel Garza said as a kid, there would always be roses growing in his garden. He said they were beautiful, but they had sharp, painful thorns to protect them. He said he is a thorn protecting beautiful women. He asked every woman to consider whether their man can protect them. He offered them a rose.
-Jax asked Baszler to back off a little. Baszler said Jax put Lana through a table nine times. Jax said they could have used Mandy and Dana. Baszler said they don’t actually need anyone else. Royce and Lacey approached and offered to talk strategy. Jax said they’re busy, so Lacey and Royce left. She turned and left.
-Drew made his ring entrance with a kilt and sword in hand. Phillips said this is a main event worthy of WrestleMania. He said this is one of the biggest nights in Drew’s career. [c]
(5) RANDY ORTON vs. DREW MCINTYRE – WWE Title match
Orton made his ring entrance after the break. They pointed out Mark Henry was on a monitor in the crowd of monitors. After formal ring introductions, they locked up 34 minutes into the third hour. When Orton stomped on Drew, Phillips called it a Garvin Stomp. Joe said Orton would call it the Orton Stomp. (Points to Phillips for knowing it was once known as the Garvin Stomp. I wonder if Vince McMahon prompted Joe to make his comment.) After an early flurry, Orton rolled to the floor, grabbed his belt, and began to leave. Drew chased him down and hit him from behind. Drew threw Orton into the ring. “You belong to me,” Drew said. Drew went for a Claymore, but Orton ducked and tried to flee the scene again. Pearce stepped out onto the stage and said he wouldn’t let the match end this way. He said the match will continue, and there will be no countouts or DQs, and that is official. The announcers praised the decision. Phillips said the stakes have been raised. [c]
Back in the ring, Orton and Drew were exchanging blows. Orton grabbed a chair and used it to down Drew. Orton got in sustained offense against Drew for several minutes. He scored a two count, then threw Drew to the floor. Drew made a comeback and chopped Orton’s chest. Orton thumbed Drew in the eye. Drew came back and dropped Orton onto the announce desk. Orton exclaimed, “God dammit!” Drew went for a Claymore, but Orton moved. Drew crashed onto and over the announce desk. They cut to a break, but stayed with the action on split-screen. [c]
Back from the break, Orton had Drew in his obligatory mid-match chinlock. Drew powered Orton over with a toss and then a neckbreaker followed by his signature kip up. “Oh yes, I can boogie, let’s go!” he said. Drew waited for Orton to stand then went for a Future Shock DDT. Orton blocked it. Drew climbed to the top rope, but Orton knocked him off balance and superplexed him to the mat. He crawled over and scored a two count. A “This is awesome!” chant was piped in. Drew hit a Future Shock DDT for a very close near fall. Drew snapped Orton over the top rope, then knocked him of the ring apron through a table set up below. Drew threw Orton back into the ring as Phillips said the table Orton set up himself backfired. Drew scored a two count. Orton caught a charging Drew with a powerslam.
Back at ringside, Orton DDT’d Drew off the announce desk to the mat. Orton gave Drew a draping DDT back in the ring, then pounded the mat to signify the RKO. Drew blocked it and hit the Claymore for the 1-2-3. Drew smiled as he carried his title to the back.
WINNER: McIntyre in 25:00 to capture the WWE Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: There wasn’t a lot new for them to do, but they put on a highly entertaining, dramatic match. They are going through with Drew vs. Reigns after all at Survivor Series, which is a bit of a surprise. No Miz, no Fiend, no Sheamus, just a straight up finish here. I doubt Drew vs. Reigns ends clean, though.)