In the first part of our WWE Raw report, Retribution has one match, but they lose twice. Plus: AJ Styles has a new bodyguard. Welcome to Bleeding Cool's WWE Raw Report. We watch Raw… for three goddamn hours… so you don't have to. You're welcome!
WWE Raw Report for October 19th, 2020 Part 1
Last week, the WWE Draft forever altered the landscape of Raw and Smackdown… or so the commentary team keeps telling us. Raw starts with what may be a new theme song? Not sure if this is permanent or just for the season premiere, but it looks like WWE may have finally dropped the late 90s nu-metal in favor of early-2000s rap. Well, progress is progress.
Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Samoa Joe will be assaulting our eardrums with inane banter and corporate catchphrases, as usual, this week. They run through the card for tonight. Randy Orton speaks. Keith Lee faces Braun Strowman. Plus: people were drafted. Look, what do you want them to plan this shit out in advance?
The sound of screeching sound effects brings relief to my ears as Alexa Bliss is in the ring to introduce The Fiend, interrupting commentary's prattling. The Fiend makes his entrance as it sounds like 20,000 fans are screaming inside the Thunderdome thanks to WWE's sweetened crowd noise. Eventually, he makes his way to the ring, where he and Alexa hold hands.
Then Retribution's music (yes, they have music now) plays, and their logo adorns the Thunderdome. Slapjack, Reckoning, Mace, and T-Bar are there, as is their leader, Mustafa Ali. They surround the ring and then climb in. The Fiend and Alexa stand motionless. Retribution circles them. Ali raises his hand, and the lights go out. When they come back on, The Fiend and Alexa are gone. Then Hurt Business's music plays, and they come out to the entrance ramp. Then they charge the ring, and a brawl breaks out. Retribution is easily ejected from the ring and eat a dive over the top rope from Cedric Alexander as Raw goes to a commercial break. Whatever credibility Retribution had left goes down the toilet. Great start to Raw!
We see a promo video for Matt Riddle, and then it's back to what is apparently an eight-man tag team match.
Retribution vs. Hurt Business
- Bobby Lashley kicks T-Bar's ass as you can almost visibly see this once-threatening stable deflate before your eyes.
- Slapjack doesn't fare much better against Lashley or even Cedric Alexander. I'm gonna say this, and I'm not joking: the first move Cedric hits on Slapjack… is a flapjack.
- Cedric really has his way with Slapjack. This is really sad. Once Mustafa Ali joined the group, Retribution became about as effective as Apollo Crews and friends against Hurt Business.
- Finally, Retribution is able to interfere, and Mustafa Ali takes control of the match over Cedric Alexander.
- The Fiend appears on the Titantron, and his audio cue plays, which is a good opportunity for Raw to take a mid-match commercial break.
- After the break, there's no sign of The Fiend, and Mace is fighting Shelton Benjamin in the ring. Shelton Benjamin is winning, by the way.
- Lashley tags in and beats up everyone in Retribution single-handedly. Mustafa Ali barely breaks up a pin on T-Bar in time, then begs off from Lashley.
- T-Bar tries to attack Lashley, but Lashley gets the Hurt lock on him, and T-Bar taps out. Pathetic.
The lights go out and then back on (in red), and The Fiend is there. The Fiend now beats up everyone in Retribution. Mustafa Ali runs away, and Fiend gives a Sister Abigail to T-Bar. Holy shit! What did these guys do to deserve that burial? Fiend stares down Hurt Business afterward, and Raw takes another commercial break. This was absolute garbage and a waste of all our time over the past few months with this Retribution nonsense only to kill any specialness they had on a random Monday Night.
Tom Phillips promotes Keith Lee vs. Braun Strowman later tonight, and then AJ Styles comes out. Byron Saxton: "I am still in shock that we just saw The Fiend single-handedly wipe out Retribution." Styles has the Raw Underground bouncer, Jordan Omogbehen, as his new bodyguard. Will we get an explanation of what happened to Raw Underground? Probably not. But at least commentary acknowledge they've seen this guy before.
AJ says he has to give credit where it's due to the powers that be on Monday Night Raw for drafting AJ Styles. Styles' head comes up to about the middle of Omogbehen's chest. Styles talks some trash about Jeff Hardy and Seth Rollins. He says this isn't about Hardy or Rollins. And it's not about Matt Riddle, who Styles will beat tonight. It's all about him and a new era for Raw. Gotta disagree, AJ. It's about the guy who's the size of one and a half of you standing behind you, which is all anyone is interested in at this particular moment.
Matt Riddle comes out to the ring. The ref rings the bell, and AJ's bodyguard won't leave. The ref tells AJ to get him out of the ring. AJ tells the Ref he should do it. The ref says he leaves, or AJ is disqualified. He starts to count, but Jordan grabs his hand. The ref now begs him to leave the ring. He agrees.
Will you agree to click through to part two of this Raw report? Well, you're gonna have to if you want to find out what happens next.