TJR: The WWE Raw Deal 09/14/20 Review

TJR: The WWE Raw Deal 09/14/20 Review

Welcome to the WWE Raw Deal review on TJRWrestling. This is going to be a condensed review where I’m not as detailed in covering the promos and the matches. I’ll still have the usual analysis and star ratings, but I’m starting this later than usual (on Tuesday morning), so this is the best way for me to get it done at a decent time. Life has been pretty hectic the last few days for me. While writing about wrestling is my main career, my other career is in sports betting and fantasy sports, so I pay close attention to the NFL games. That’s why I don’t watch Raw live during NFL season. Most weeks I’ll review Smackdown live on Fridays on TJRWrestling, but the Raw review will be a Tuesday post for the rest of the year.

From the WWE ThunderDome at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1425 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage, insightful columns from our team along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present. Let’s roll.

The announcers for this week are Michael Cole, Byron Saxton and Dolph Ziggler. It’s the second week in a row with no Tom Phillips, who may be on vacation. They didn’t clarify. They kept saying the “In Your Face” phrase for this week’s show.

Let’s Hear from Drew McIntyre

The WWE Champion Drew McIntyre entered for a promo. They showed replays of last week’s Raw when Drew knocked out Randy Orton three times with Claymore Kicks to send Orton to the local medical facility since WWE can’t say hospital.

McIntyre said that Orton broke his jaw, but he’s back and he’s lucky since it was “only” a non-displaced fracture. McIntyre told WWE Medical he won’t give up the WWE Title. McIntyre said one more strike to the jaw could break his jaw more severely. McIntyre spoke into the camera saying that since they have both taken rides in ambulances lately, they should have an Ambulance Match at Clash of Champions because the rules don’t apply to them anymore. McIntyre put up a photoshopped image of some wrestlers he knocked out with the Claymore Kick. It was similar to Randy Orton’s promo last week.

Analysis: I’m not a fan of the Ambulance Match as a gimmick match. It’s not that dramatic, but it’s a way to possibly take the WWE Title off Drew without having him get pinned. I think Orton will be the WWE Champion.

Adam Pearce, the WWE Official that gets on-screen time now, said that Randy Orton’s injury severity is unknown right now. Pearce said that Orton may not be able to face him at Clash of Champions. Pearce said that if Keith Lee beats McIntyre tonight and Randy can’t make it to Clash of Champions then Keith faces Drew at Clash of Champions.

Keith Lee walked out to the ring to shake McIntyre’s hand. They did the pull away/hold onto the shake spot and then stared at eachother.

Analysis: It was a way to add some more stakes to the McIntyre/Lee match coming up later in the show. I doubt many fans believe that Orton is going to be unable to compete at Clash of Champions, but it’s a way to build up McIntyre vs. Lee some more.

(Commercial)

The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) vs. Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura

It’s the Raw Tag Team Champions The Street Profits against the Smackdown Tag Team Champions Cesaro and Nakamura with neither set of titles on the line. Cesaro and Nakamura were in control early after a cool gutwrench suplex/knee combo. Dawkins decked Nakamura with a clothesline and slammed Ford onto Nakamura for a two count. Street Profits did a double dropkick, but then when Ford tried a dive on the floor, Cesaro and Nakamura slammed him back first onto the barricade leading to a break.

(Commercial)

Cesaro was in control of Ford for a bit, then Dawkins got the tag and was on fire with suplexes on both guys. Dawkins got a spinebuster on Nakamura, Ford tagged in and when he did his incredible Frog Splash, Nakamura got the knees up to block. Cesaro swing led to Nakamura with the knees for two with Dawkins breaking up the pin. After a Ford rollup, Cesaro hit an uppercut for two while Dawkins sent Nakamura into the steel steps. Cesaro gave Ford a suplex from the apron, Dawkins did a blind tag that Cesaro didn’t see (the referee saw it) and Dawkins hit a top rope splash on Cesaro for the pinfall win after about 10 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins)

Analysis: ***1/4 Good work here by two awesome tag teams that are lacking other teams to feud with on their respective shows. The top rope splash from Dawkins is not as impressive as when Ford does it, but it’s okay for Dawkins to win a match once in a while. Cesaro and Nakamura are always in the right spot while looking credible on offense. I wonder if this will lead to a title unification match between the two teams at Clash of Champions with WWE possibly only wanting one set of tag team titles.

The Street Profits vs. Cesaro & Nakamura – Champions vs. Champions Match: Raw, Sept. 14, 2020

I thought Ziggler did a nice job on commentary during the match while praising Street Profits for making a nice blind tag to set up the win.

There was a brief video about six-time Women’s Champion Mickie James with some carer highlights. That’s good to see ahead of her title shot.

Angel Garza was standing backstage talking to Lana, who complained about Mickie James getting a title shot and said Natalya should get that title shot. Garza was flirting with her until Zelina Vega showed up with Andrade. Garza and Andrade argued, so Vega said she can’t do this anymore and she left. Garza and Andrade got into a brief fight, which led to a break.

Analysis: It looks like the end of the Andrade and Garza pairing. I thought they would have won the Tag Team Titles at some point, but it’s over now.

(Commercial)

There was a shot of Dominik Mysterio with father Rey, his mom and his sister talking to him about the match.

The Hurt Business foursome of Montel Vontavious Porter, Shelton Benjamin, US Champion Bobby Lashley and new member Cedric Alexander entered for a match. They have a new theme song for the group as well. MVP did a promo saying that business is booming. Alexander said people were mad at him for turning on his friends, but he said this is his job where he does what he has to do to succeed and get beat down every Monday. Alexander said then he wakes up not being able to play with his family and kids because he was too broken. Here comes Ricochet with Apollo.

Apollo Crews told Cedric that he sold them out because he’s too weak-minded and was manipulated by MVP. Apollo said they always had Cedric’s back, but Cedric said that was wrong and said he got beat up when Crews was the US Champion. Benjamin said that you don’t know them any explanation. Ricochet told Shelton nobody is talking to him. Ricochet said that they were supposed to be brothers and now they are coming for him.

Ricochet (w/Apollo Crews) vs. Cedric Alexander (Bobby Lashley, MVP and Shelton Benjamin)

Ricochet was very aggressive early with plenty of moves including a moonsault off the middle ropes onto Alexander on the floor. Erik showed up to brawl with Lashley leading to a break.

(Commercial)

Alexander was in control with a knee to the ribs and a dropkick. Ricochet with a running dropkick on Alexander. Ricochet hit an impressive superkick to the face leading to a Dragon Suplex, which is not that common in WWE and it got a two count. Ricochet went for a move off the top, Alexander moved and hit a Michinoku Driver for two. Alexander hit the Lumbar Check that looked amazing with Ricochet selling it very well for the pinfall win after about nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Cedric Alexander

Analysis: **3/4 Awesome finishing move and sell by Ricochet. That was spectacular. An entertaining match between two of the best athletes on Raw. I wish they got more time or timed it better so there was no commercial in a match under ten minutes. I liked how Alexander was as a heel. Alexander winning makes sense for him as a new heel, but guys like Ricochet and Crews have been losing a lot lately. When that happens, a wrestler is in danger of losing popularity and momentum.

The lights went out and Retribution’s logo appeared on the screen. They did a promo. The five wrestlers that appeared in the masks were Mercedes Martinez, Mia Yim, Shane Thorne, Dio Maddin and Dominik Dijakovic. There were distorted voices during the promos by Martinez and Dijakovic. They talked about how they were trained at the Performance Center and complained about the lack of opportunities. Then other people in masks showed up. When the lights went back on, the Hurt Business was looking around, but there was no sign of the Retribution wrestlers around the ring.

Analysis: It seems like we’re getting closer to the reveal of the group, but I don’t know when it will be.

There was a backstage Mickie James promo conducted by Sarah Schreiber. Mickie said she loved this business and given every ounce of her soul to this business. Mickie said what drives her is that it has been clear to her more than ever that she has what it takes to be Raw Women’s Champion. Mickie said what fuels her tonight is that it could be her very last chance to win the Raw Women’s Championship.

Asuka entered for the Raw Women’s Title match.

(Commercial)

There was a backstage scene with Adam Pearce yelling at WWE’s awful security team about how they can’t do their job. MVP walked up with The Hurt Business guys saying it’s time to upgrade security from boys to men (Hurt Business). MVP said that they don’t run. Pearce thanked them for volunteering. MVP said they’re a business, they don’t do charity work and he’ll send them the bill. The Hurt Business left.

Mickie James made her full entrance to the classic theme song at the top of hour two.

Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka vs. Mickie James

They were going at a fast pace early with James and Asuka each getting some nearfalls. Asuka with a shoulder tackle, James tripped her up and hit a neckbreaker. There was a hard knee by Asuka that definitely rocked James a bit and it got a nearfall for two. Asuka went for a hip attack, James moved, Asuka was in the ropes and James hit a spinning Mick Kick that sent Asuka out of the ring.

(Commercial)

The women exchanged strikes, James grabbed a hold of her arms and Asuka backed her into the turnbuckle. James hit her patented headscissors, then a jumping kick and Asuka hit the running hip attack. James came back with a flapjack and an Asuka like shake. James was slow to get up top, Asuka rocked her with a forearm. They exchanged strikes again, Mickie missed a spin kick and Asuka hit her with a backhand to the face. Asuka with kicks to the ribs, James told her to bring it and James slapped on a half crab submission, but Asuka fought it. Asuka rolled through with a cradle for two. James hit a Mick Kick that was just a glancing blow for a two count with Asuka getting her hand on the bottom rope. Asuka charged, flipped into an armbar, they rolled around the mat a bit and the referee called for the bell. What? It went about 12 minutes. James had this shocked look on her face like “Huh?” and the announcers wondered what was going on with Cole saying Mickie tapped out, but she did not. Ziggler and Saxton wondered what was going on. The referee Darrick Moore was pushing the button that he uses to communicate backstage. I don’t know what he was saying. James sold it like she was frustrated.

Winner by submission: Asuka

Analysis: **1/2 It was okay for the most part, but it did not go smoothly at the end. Otherwise, it would have been at the three-star level or higher. While I expected Asuka to retain the title, it should have been a better finish and obviously things happened to prevent it. Mickie got in plenty of offense and came close to winning a few times, but I wish they got to do the full match they wanted to do. Unfortunately, there was an injury situation that came into play that changed things.

Asuka vs. Mickie James – Raw Women’s Championship Match: Raw, Sept. 14, 2020

Analysis x2: What happened was Mickie took a couple of hard shots to the nose, there were some people that thought she looked a bit dazed out there and WWE made the call for the referee to end the match before it was supposed to be done. I saw some wrestlers tweeting about James maybe having a shoulder injury, but Mickie told me it was not that. She told me she was fine and it was just a precaution. From my point of view, she didn’t look out of it and could have finished the match. However, if WWE felt like there was a concern for injury, then it’s good for them to look out for their superstars like that. I help run Mickie’s website and we’ll have a story about it on MickieJames.com later on Tuesday. I hope they can use this in a storyline. I don’t know if they will, but they certainly could do it.

The announcers moved on from the finish without trying to explain it. No replays were shown.

Zelina Vega made her entrance to confront Asuka after the match. Vega said she was thinking about her future because it dawned on her that she has wasted some of the best years of her career managing two selfish ingrates. Vega complained about Asuka focusing on the superstars of yesterday instead of the best in the business today – her. Vega said she’s ready for that title. Vega slapped Asuka and then bailed.

Analysis: I like Vega as a performer, but I think she’s better as a manager than a wrestler. Vega is a good heel though, so maybe that’s why they put her in this spot as somebody for Asuka to beat. I would like to see Bianca Belair doing more, but she’s a face while Vega is a heel.

Keith Lee was interviewed by Charly Caruso in the backstage ring setup. Lee kept saying that Drew McIntyre was his friend and he won’t take advantage of an injury, but he’ll do what he has to do to win.

This Friday on Smackdown, Sasha Banks is back after Bayley attacked her two weeks earlier. Plus, Roman Reigns and Jey Uso will be there. They didn’t promote any specific match.

(Commercial)

PLUG TIME: Over the last week, I have been working very hard at setting up a page on TJRWrestling where I have a listing of every WWE PPV that I have reviewed listed in order by the date it took place. That means it starts at WrestleMania 1 in 1985 right up until present day. All of the links are on TJRWrestling, so if you want to read a review, click on the blue link you see there and it will open for you. Many of those reviews weren’t on the current version of TJRWrestling, so I had to upload them from my hard drive. It was a long process, but it’s done for the most part. I left most of the reviews untouched. For the ones that I haven’t reviewed yet, I will be posting them when I can and I have a goal to complete them all at some point in 2021. Another thing you can do is just search (on Google or wherever) “John Canton WWE SummerSlam 2003” or whatever the show name is and it should pop up easily for you especially now that it’s all on TJRWrestling. It’s definitely #NERDSHIT and I’m very proud of it because it’s convenient for me to have as a resource on the site, plus I think it’s pretty cool for you, the reader. Thanks for the support!

It was about halfway through the show with MVP taking over for Ziggler on commentary with MVP saying he was like the spokesman of the Hurt Business instead of the leader.

Erik entered for the match, they mentioned Ivar injured his cervical and then MVP cut off Cole before talking about the injury more. It’s a major neck injury for Ivar, who may miss a year of action after surgery. Maybe guys should cut back on doing suicide dives. Just saying.

Bobby Lashley vs. Erik

This is not for Lashley’s US Title. Erik hit a running double knee attack on Lashley along with a rising knee for two. Erik ran off the ropes and Lashley dropped him with a spinebuster along with a slam off the shoulders for two. Lashley slapped on the Hurt Lock (Full Nelson), took Erik to the ground with a body scissors and Erik tapped out.

Winner by pinfall: Bobby Lashley

Analysis: *1/2 An easy win for Lashley as the dominant US Champion while Erik is not a pushed singles wrestler, so the outcome was never in doubt.

Kevin Owens was interviewed backstage by Sarah Schreiber. Owens said maybe he said something that set off Aleister Black. Owens said that maybe Black was frustrated because he wanted to pick a fight and barely anybody would challenge him to do it. Owens wondered how he would remind Black what it feels like when you pick a fight with Kevin Owens. When Owens was done, Black showed up with the bandage covering his eye.

Analysis: A very good promo from Kevin Owens as usual. He is probably my favorite talker on Raw.

The steel cage was being set up because that match was next.

(Commercial)

Shane McMahon was talking to the big man Jordan that’s security for Raw Underground. Braun Strowman showed up and Jordan is so tall that he’s about six or more inches taller than Braun. Strowman told Shane to get out of his way and Braun went in there for a fight.

Analysis: Strowman is a Smackdown guy, but they may have moved him to Raw. Maybe it’s just a case of WWE trying something different with Strowman. It’s not like the brand extension is strict.

A video aired about Dominik Mysterio beating Murphy in a match that led to Dominik’s family joining him in attacking Murphy, which is what I have for the banner this week.

Seth Rollins was in the locker room talking to his disciple Murphy saying it was a perfect opportunity to teach the young man and the world a lesson. Rollins slapped Murphy and aggressively told him to stay in the back so Seth doesn’t have to deal with his stupid mistakes. Murphy agreed to it because he had no choice.

Analysis: Great work by Rollins. One of my favorite heels in WWE and if the goal is to turn Murphy into a face, it might work.

This week on Wednesday NXT: Finn Balor’s reign as NXT Champion begins and Damian Priest defends the North American Title against Timothy Thatcher. I’ll have a review on TJRWrestling on Thursday.

(Commercial)

There was a video with R-Truth talking to some Kit-Kat chocolates and Liv Morgan broke them apart. Then Liv left with some Kit-Kat. Truth kept on talking to chocolate. Yes, that really happened.

A video aired about Mandy Rose being traded to Raw in a “blockbuster trade.” They did not attempt to say who or what she was traded for, but the deal was that The Miz called in a favor as a way to piss off Mandy’s “boyfriend” Otis. That’s why she was moved. Mandy is one of my favorite women in WWE, so I hope it works out well for her.

Dominik Mysterio was interviewed in the Gorilla Position backstage with father Rey Mysterio, mother Angie and sister Aalyah standing by him. Rey wondered if Seth should be concerned about Dominik.

Steel Cage Match: Seth Rollins vs. Dominik Mysterio (w/Rey Mysterio, Angie and Aalyah)

I’ll go with play by play for this match. Dominik with a side Russian legsweep, then he tried a climb, Rollins grabbed him and Dominik hit a spinning DDT. Murphy showed up at ringside, then he slid a kendo stick into the ring and Rollins beat on Dominik with a kendo stick. Rollins whipped Dominik into the steel.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Rollins hitting a running splash on Dominik against the cage. Dominik managed to whip Rollins into the steel cage. When Dominik tried to climb, he did a headscissors that sent Rollins into the cage. Dominik was handed a kendo stick by Rey, so Dominik beat on Rollins with about eight kendo stick shots to the back. Dominik whipped Rollins into the steel cage three times followed by a sitout spinebuster for a two count. Dominik’s family was cheering him on at ringside. Rollins did a catapult into the cage, Dominik was on the top, he was trying to climb the cage and Rollins met him there. Rollins kicked Dominik to trip up Dominik on the top rope, so then Rollins landed on the top rope as well. Both guys collapsed into the ring. Dominik tried to crawl out the door, but then Murphy attacked Rey by sending him into the barricade and whipped the door, but then Rollins was there, so Murphy hit Rollins with the door! Dominik climbed up the cage, Murphy stopped him, then Dominik went back into the ring and hit a Frog Splash off the top on Rollins for two. Dominik went climbing out of the cage again, Rollins went up, Dominik kicked him down and Rollins went back up. Rollins hit a superplex off the top rope with Dominik off the cage and then Rollins hit a Falcon Arrow for a two count. After Rollins taunted Rey at ringside, Dominik got a rollup nearfall for two and then Rollins hit The Stomp. Rollins went off the ropes and hit The Stomp on Dominik again for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Seth Rollins

 Analysis: ***1/2 It was another very good match between Seth and Dominik as the 23-year-old Dominik continues to impress. While I can see some people frustrated that Dominik lost to Rollins again, I understand the decision to have Rollins win again. At some point, Dominik is going to beat Seth, but it doesn’t feel like the right time yet. I liked the kendo stick usage because it has played a big part in the story of this rivalry. Murphy’s role was key as well because early on he helped Rollins, but later he attacked Rollins accidentally and nearly cost him the win. That superplex into a Falcon Arrow spot was tremendous. Incredible performance by Rollins as usual while Dominik continues to show he is a talented rookie that continues to get better week after week. With that said, if WWE went away from this rivalry for a bit then it wouldn’t be a bad thing for both guys.

Dominik Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins – Steel Cage Match: Raw, Sept. 14, 2020

Rollins left with the kendo stick while looking at Rey and his family, but then Rollins locked his eyes on Murphy, who was holding the door. Rollins whipped Murphy into the barricade and the steel cage while telling him to do what Seth tells him to do. Rollins slammed the door on Murphy’s head. Seth said: “How’s it feel? It sucks. I know because you did it to me.” Seth left the ring, tells Angie she did a “hell of a job” with Dominik and said he hopes that their daughter turns out better. That led to Angie and Aalyah going into the ring, but then Aalyah put her hand on Murphy as if she was checking on him. The Mysterio family checked on Dominik in the ring.

Analysis: Rollins continues to be an awesome heel with the little things like that after the match. The other thing from here is Aalyah checking on Murphy as a tease of something happening between them in the future. Aalyah is 19 years old in case you’re wondering. I have no idea if she wants to wrestle, but it’s certainly in the family genes if she wants to give it a try.

Raw Underground

Shane McMahon was back there hosting Raw Underground as usual. Dolph Ziggler was working on some unknown guy in the ring and Dolph knocked him out with repeated elbows to the head.

Riddick Moss stepped up to face Ziggler. Ziggler rocked him with an uppercut, but then Moss took him down with a move like a spinebuster. Moss with an elbow and then Braun Strowman showed up. Strowman shoved Ziggler out of the ring. Strowman gave Moss a Chokeslam. Strowman picked up Ziggler with a spinning slam.

Analysis: Strowman looked impressive. That’s the goal here.

(Commercial)

Drew McIntyre was in the backstage ring being interviewed by Charly Caruso. Drew mentioned last week he only showed up after Randy Orton hit Keith Lee with an RKO. Lee showed up saying that they’re supposed to be friends while Lee believes that Drew thought that Randy was going to win. Lee thinks that Drew is concerned that he will beat Drew tonight and at Clash of Champions. McIntyre said he’s not afraid of anybody while Lee thought he should be afraid. When Lee was about to put his hand on his shoulder, McIntyre shoved the hand away and then punched him in the jaw. That led to a brawl in the backstage area with Drew sending Keith into a ring post and then Keith sent him into an equipment box. Officials showed up to break it up.

Analysis: It was an effective way to make a face vs. face match more interesting later in the show.

Raw Underground

Titus O’Neil was shown outside the door with Jordan letting him in.

Braun Strowman was standing tall in the ring beating up some unknown guy. Riddick Moss went after Strowman, but Braun kicked him down. Titus O’Neil took down Strowman with a double leg takedown, but Strowman overpowered him and punched Titus repeatedly to knock him out.

Analysis: This is a good environment for Strowman. It was made for a guy like him.

Kevin Owens entered for his match, but Aleister Black attacked from behind and the match is after a break.

(Commercial)

Kevin Owens vs. Aleister Black

Black was wrestling without a bandage on his head. Owens was in control with a senton splash. Black went after KO’s leg and worked on it with elbows. Owens sent Black over the top to the edge of the apron. Owens was favoring his leg, so Black kicked him in the left leg. Black kept on attacking the left leg by slapping off a kneebar submission with Owens screaming in pain until he got his hand on the bottom rope to force a break. The referee made Black back away, so Owens hit a superkick. Owens collapsed again. Black was ready to finish him off, the lights went out briefly, Black was distracted by that and Owens hit a Stunner on Black for the pinfall win after five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Kevin Owens

Analysis: **1/4 It was okay with Owens selling the knee, but they opted for the cheap finish where Black was affected by the lights going out and Owens capitalized with a Stunner for the winner. It’s the kind of ending you book when you don’t want to hurt Black losing because of the lights flickering. They’ll probably have more matches.

Drew McIntyre was backstage putting on wrist tape when Keith Lee showed up to attack him. Adam Pearce showed up to break it up saying that they had to stop this or Keith won’t get his match. The guys went their separate ways.

(Commercial)

The Women’s Tag Team Champions Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax were on commentary for this match. Riott Squad will challenge them for the Women’s Tag Team Titles at Clash of Champions on September 27. Riott Squad earned the title shot by beating The IIconics a few weeks earlier.

Riott Squad (Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan) vs. Natalya and Lana

The heel team of Natalya and Lana worked over Liv a bit with Lana hitting a spin kick. Morgan punched Natalya off the apron. Morgan sent Lana into the ropes, Riott tagged in and they hit a double team move with Morgan hitting knees to the face and Riott did the Riott Kick for the pinfall win in a match that went barely over one minute.

Winners by pinfall: Riott Squad (Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan)

Analysis: 1/4* The Riott Squad has been booked well with wins on a consistent basis while Lana takes another loss. It was a rushed match.

Post match, Jax and Baszler went into the ring while Riott Squad left. Baszler sent Natalya into the ring post to take her out. Jax cleared off the announce table. Baszler sent Lana out of the ring and Jax gave Lana a Samoan Drop through the announce table.

Analysis: I saw some complaints that Lana was put through the table because her husband Miro signed with AEW and trashed WWE a bit in his promo. I don’t know about that. Miro was released by WWE when he turned down an extension. People leave wrestling companies all the time.  Lana has lost nearly all of her matches in WWE, so it’s just a way to make the champions look strong. Fans that want to read into things can do that, but I think it’s consistent with how WWE books Lana as a weaker wrestler. This was about putting over Jax as a dominant force, which is also typical of how WWE books her.

(Commercial)

This week on Raw Talk the guests were Zelina Vega, Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax and Aleister Black. Vega and Black are married, but it’s not like WWE mentions that.

Raw Underground

Strowman was shown beating up another guy with repeated punches. Riddick Moss stepped up to face Strowman, but Strowman decked him with a hard punch. Dolph Ziggler went into the ring as Moss and Ziggler tried to double team Strowman, but Strowman slammed Ziggler down and punched Moss. Strowman hit his Powerslam finisher on Ziggler.

When Strowman turned around, the big man Dabba Kato went face to face with Strowman. That’s when Shane showed up to say they’re not doing it now. They’ll do it next week.

Analysis: A nice teaser for next week. I like how it was set up.

Dabba-Kato confronts Braun Strowman in Raw Underground: Raw, Sept. 14, 2020

The WWE Champion Drew McIntyre made his entrance for the main event and he was looking intense. Keith Lee entered as the opponent with another change for his ring gear. Instead of a tight tanktop, Lee is now wrestling in a singlet. It looks fine to me and works better than the tank top did.

Drew McIntyre vs. Keith Lee

This is not for Drew’s WWE Title. Lee got a boot up with McIntyre selling it like it rocked him due to the jaw injury. Lee hit a shoulder tackle to knock Drew out of the ring.

(Commercial)

The big men exchanged strikes with Lee hitting Drew with a hard punch to the jaw again. McIntyre with a leaping clothesline along with a kip up to show he was doing fine. Lee charged right into a spinebuster by McIntyre for a two count. Lee with a double chop that rocked the champion along with a running clothesline for two. When McIntyre went up top, Lee rocked him again by hitting him in the jaw. Lee hit a superplex off the middle rope that knocked down both guys in the middle of the ring and Lee got a two count. Both guys were down selling a bit, then Drew went for a Claymore Kick, Lee avoided it and they ran the ropes with a double cross body block. Both guys were down, which is when Retribution showed up.

Match Result: No Contest

Analysis: **3/4 That was a predictable finish that I mentioned in my preview of the show because I didn’t expect McIntyre or Lee to get pinned here. It feels like WWE loves to book Lee in those kinds of finishes because most of his matches have had DQs or No Contest endings. It shows that WWE doesn’t want him to do the job, which is fine, but it gets repetitive after a while. I enjoyed the match while it was going on, especially the superplex spot being treated as a big deal. I look forward to seeing a rematch down the road.

There were about 15 Retribution members (I didn’t count) in masks as they attacked McIntyre and Lee. The commentary went silent at that point while the camera cuts were going crazy, which is really annoying. Anyway, the Retribution members outnumbered Lee and McIntyre, so they beat up the two big men rather easily. There were no wrestling moves. It was just punches and kicks. Holy shit, all of the camera cuts are so annoying!

The Hurt Business foursome of MVP, Lashley, Benjamin and Alexander walked out in suits to confront the Retribution guys. That led to a brawl around the ringside area. There were still a lot of Retribution guys there that outnumbered the four Hurt Business guys, but it was mostly an even fight. That led to a spot where McIntyre and Lee ran the ropes leading to double somersault dives over the top onto everybody on the floor. The Retribution and Hurt Business guys all bumped to the floor.

Analysis: Good ending (aside from too many camera cuts) because it was finally a way to put a stop to the Retribution group. The Hurt Business guys are heels, yet they were the only ones on Raw that cared enough to try to fight Retribution because we assume they got paid to do it based on the backstage segment earlier in the show. I liked the spot by McIntyre and Lee to finish it. I think it would have been helped if there was commentary, but when Retribution shows up, commentary goes away, so there’s no reaction to the big spots. Anyway, seeing two guys the size of McIntyre and Lee doing spots like that is pretty cool.

RETRIBUTION crash Drew McIntyre vs. Keith Lee: Raw, Sept. 14, 2020

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Seth Rollins
  2. Drew McIntyre
  3. Dominik Mysterio/Keith Lee

 

The Scoreboard

6.5 out of 10

Last week: 6.25

2020 Average: 6.34

 

Final Thoughts

It was a show with some big matches where some of them lived up to the hype while others failed to do so. The best match was definitely the Seth Rollins match with Dominik Mysterio in the Steel Cage. Rollins was awesome as the cocky heel while Dominik continues to put on good matches on a consistent basis. Plus, we got the tease of Dominik’s sister possibly being interested in Murphy. I would have liked to see a better match from Asuka/Mickie, but it was stopped due to concern about Mickie looking dazed a bit. She’s fine although during the match she was rocked a bit and it’s better to be safe than sorry. I really liked the opening tag match with Street Profits and Cesaro/Nakamura and we’ll probably see it again soon.

I liked most of the Raw Underground segments for a change because it was great in terms of putting over Braun Strowman in a big way. Plus, it set up a big showdown next week with Strowman facing Dabba Kato. That should be interesting to see how it is booked.

The Retribution group played a bigger role in the show with another promo and then an appearance in the main event between McIntyre and Lee. The Hurt Business is a heel group that looked like faces for stepping up to Retribution, but then the faces McIntyre and Lee got the spotlight by hitting dives to take out Retribution at the end of the show.

There was some decent storyline progression during the show. Raw in just an average wrestling show most weeks and that’s what this was.

The next WWE pay-per-view is Clash of Champions: Gold Rush on Sunday, September 27 with every championship on Raw/Smackdown on the line. Here’s what we know so far:

Ambulance Match for the WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton

Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Jey Uso

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Nikki Cross

Women’s Tag Team Championships: Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax (c) vs. Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan

You can contact me using any of the methods below. Go Los Angeles Rams and Toronto Blue Jays. Be safe and smart out there.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @johnreport

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