What can be said about WWE Monday Night Raw tonight? A lot. And not all of it good. But it's certainly been interesting. The Raw report concludes now…
WWE Raw Report for September 21st, 2020 Part 4
Riott Squad gets on commentary for a squash match between WWE Raw Women's Tag Team Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler against Lana and Natalya.
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs. Lana and Natalya
- It's a squash Baszler taps out Lana with the Kirafuda Clutch.
Jax and Baszler get in Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan's face after the match. They get a little rough, but Morgan and Riott end up smiling. Jax gives Lana a Samoan Drop on the announce table, ending the table's long-running undefeated streak.
We see a replay of Randy Orton's attack on Drew McIntyre from earlier tonight. Then Charly Caruso talks to Drew backstage. He's holding a bag of ice to his face. He's not doing good. But at Clash of Champions, he's gonna beat the piss out of Randy Orton. As for tonight, he's gonna go pick a fight, going to Raw Underground then? Raw takes a commercial break.
Rey Mysterio argues with his daughter Aalyah backstage. She says you don't have to defend her anymore, Dad. She came here for one reason only: to support Dominik. She can't believe Rey thinks she's just a naive 19-year-old girl. She storms off.
Riddick Moss fights Erik of the Viking Raiders. It's a striking battle for the most part. The punches are loose. The camera cuts are many. Erik gets knocked out by Moss, who rips his wife beater off in victory celebration. Briana Brandy starts to ask Dabba-Kato about his match with Braun Strowman tonight, but Dabba-Kato growls. Shane McMahon takes over the interview. Dabba-Kato says: "Talk's cheap. Tonight, you'll see, but he will feel what Dabba-Kato is all about. Get out of my face."
Asuka comes to the ring. Then commercials. Then a graphics segment about Mandy Rose coming to Raw. Peyton Royce is in the ring. Billie Kay is at ringside. So, uh.. why did they break up the Iiconics again?
Asuka vs. Peyton Royce
- So was the point of breaking up the Iiconics just so they could turn Billie into a manager and give Peyton a new theme song?
- This is a good match. The best one tonight so far, and probably the best one we're gonna get tonight.
- Zelina Vega ruins it by interrupting to attack Asuka.
Zelina talks some trash, but Asuka fights back, and Zelina flees. I gotta give it to Zelina Vega, she's working her ass off here to seem credible. WWE's booking up until last week says otherwise, but that's not her fault, of course.
Murphy approaches Aalyah Mysterio backstage. He came to apologize. The whole Seth thing got way out of hand, and if he did anything to hurt her, he wants to say he's sorry. He leaves. Note that WWE made a huge effort earlier to establish the fact that Aalyah is nineteen-years-old, which they are doing so you know she is of legal age when she begins a relationship with the thirty-one-year-old Murphy. Watch and see.
Dabba-Kato and Braun Strowman fight. They trade some MMA punches and then the classic MMA move collar and elbow tie-up. They wrestle on the ground a bit. Strowman tries to choke out Dabba-Kato, but they spill to the outside. They throw a bystander at each other, then get back in the ring. Strowman hits a big punch on Dabba-Kato, knocking him down, and then mounts and punches him until the ref stops it. That was actually a good Raw Underground match.
Commentary shills for Clash of Champions on Sunday. Retribution's entrance happens, and it's god damn hilarious because now that they've entered the exact same way as they did at the beginning of the show, I realize this is now their official entrance, like in a WWE video game. They come out through the crowd very quickly, with no music, but their logo plastered all over the Thunderdome. Their logo is the word Retribution in the style of a spraypaint stencil, because what else are Antifa-inspired hoodie-wearing anarchists in Bane masks going to use as a logo. They even shout the same way while entering each time. It's so bad. But so bad it's good? Remains to be seen. Hurt Business starts to make their entrance. Raw goes to commercials.
Hurt Business vs. Retribution
- It's Retribution's first match since signing contracts with WWE, which is, of course, the ultimate goal of any anarchist group hellbent on the destruction of WWE and all of its sheeple wrestlers who they hate.
- Dio Madden is named "Mace," we learn. Dijakovic is now "Tebar" or maybe "T-Bar." Holy crap, commentary is really going to refuse to acknowledge these are all wrestlers we were watching on NXT television in some cases weeks ago? Or that in the case of Dio Madden, he wasn't doing god damn commentary with The King earlier this year? Also, those names are terrible.
- Tom Phillips says Retribution's contract specifies they can do anything to anyone at any time. What?
- "Look at the power of Mace and T-Bar!" -Tom Phillips
- My mind can't even really process what's going on in this match because I can't stop being distracted by the ridiculousness of Retribution.
- The third man, as-yet-unidentified, is… holy shit, his name is Slapjack.
- Okay, I just can't.
- Secret footage of the Retribution tryouts:
- Lashley has Slapjack in a Full Nelson when the Retribution lackeys invade, and the match ends in disqualification.
Lackeys swarm the ring and beat down Hurt Business, but Drew McIntyre's music plays, and he runs out with a bunch of the Raw roster to make the save. But Randy Orton comes out of nowhere and hits an RKO on Orton. He stands over McIntyre in the ring as the brawl takes place outside the ring, and Raw goes off the air.
The official Retribution name spellings:
— WWE (@WWE) September 22, 2020
You know, a lot of things clicked for me on Raw tonight. Yes, Retribution is stupid, but they're getting to the point where they're so stupid it becomes enjoyable. Not for the reason WWE wants, but it's rare in the past decade for a wrestling fan to truly enjoy a WWE product in the way it's intended. Hurt Business is awesome, and I'm sorry they got dragged into this and hope it doesn't kill their momentum. Commentary was less obnoxious than usual, which I'll credit to The King. Lawley is a pro, and he's been doing this for so long I think he gets a little bit of leeway to act like a human being. I mean, he was doing commentary *with Vince* back in the day; he doesn't need Vince yelling every line in his earpiece. The pace of the show was very good. Yeah, it means short matches, but honestly, I think for a show like Raw, that's actually better. The matches rarely are of any consequence, so why waste twenty minutes on them when three to five will do?
I was bored with the Rey Mysterio/Seth Rollins feud but introducing both a paternity test drama, and at the same time, a forbidden romance drama has perked me right back up. Raw Underground was actually kind of entertaining tonight. I know it's cliche to say, "they're blowing it with Keith Lee" but they're kind of blowing it with Keith Lee, though the Orton vs. McIntyre ambulance match has the potential to be good. I like Zelina Vega, but they really just sprung her into the number one contender spot out of nowhere with no buildup when most people only knew her as a manager. So a lot of weirdness, and the show is getting a negative reception on Twitter, but at least I wasn't falling asleep.
Overall, a polarizing Raw is better than a boring Raw, so I'll take it. See you back here tomorrow if you want me to tell you what happens on Impact Wrestling.
This post is part of a multi-part series: WWE Monday Night Raw Report for September 21st, 2020.