Well, we've suffered through two hours of WWE Monday Night Raw and we've still got a bunch of Raw Underground segments, and all the camera cuts they entail, to get through. But in the end… it will all be worth it. Raw hour three begins…
WWE Raw 8/10/2020 Report Part 3
Raw Underground gets started with Tracey Smothers in a match with Riddick Moss! Oh my god! Tracey Smothers in on Raw.. oh, sorry, it's Cal Bloom. This one spills outside the ring with no ropes and into the warehouse area. This warehouse for some reason is storing lots of large sheets of metal. I think they may be parts of the old Raw is War set. Moss wins after gouging Bloom's eyeballs. I am about to gouge out my own eyeballs to avoid the pain of all these camera cuts.
Asuka vs. Bayley
Asuka comes to the ring to face Bayley. Bayley comes out with Sasha Banks. If Asuka wins, she gets a shot at Sasha Banks for the Raw Women's Championship at SummerSlam. This is likely to be the best match of the night.
- Asuka tears into Bayley from the start.
- The lights flicker throughout the match, in case we've forgotten about Retribution.
- The match lasts through a commercial break. I think it might be the first one tonight to do so.
- Bayley works on Asuka's leg through the second half of the match.
- But you don't want to get into a submission battle with Asuka.
- Or a striking battle with Asuka.
- Basically, you don't want to fight Asuka at all.
- Asuka wins with the Asuka Lock.
Time for more Raw Underground. Shane introduces Arturo Ruas, a Brazillian guy with a big amateur wrestling background. He gets his own intro graphic. Shane doesn't even name the other guy, who gets his ass kicked in about 300 camera cuts, or 20 seconds, however, you want to measure it. No one else wants to take on Arturo so Raw goes to commercials.
After the break, it's time for Raymond "Yabba" Dabba-Kebo to beat up a jobber. He wins really quickly, maybe 50 camera cuts in.
Shayna Baszler shows up in the "ring" to stare him down and for about two seconds, I feel like something interesting might actually happen on Raw, but Dabba-Kebo leaves the ring and Shayna beats up a few women instead. Three of them at one time.
Shane asks what's gonna happen on Raw Underground next week. I'm not even sure what happened this week. I think I may have had a seizure from the cinematography though.
Retribution are beating up a car outside the Performance Center. The car is upside down and they're kicking and punching it. I'm not saying it's the absolute worst thing about this angle — I haven't decided what that is yet — but one of the worst things about it is Retribution's crappy yelling. They just shout stuff like "Yeah!" and "Woohoo!" over and over again.
Randy Orton comes out and Raw goes to commercials.
Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens
Randy Orton's entrance is so long it's still going on when Raw comes back from break. Then Kevin Owens comes out. This is the main event I guess.
- Ric Flair is at ringside. Will this be the night Orton finally turns on him and gives him the stomp?
- At one point, after Orton tosses Owens shoulder-first into the ring stairs, Ric Flair stands over Owens and talks trash to him. Owens tells him to shut up and "go home." What a babyface! Even while getting beat down, he's trying to save his opponent's manager from coronavirus.
- Tom Phillips talks about how Randy Orton can't really do with a loss right now, going into SummerSlam. Kevin Owens… well, he's not doing anything at SummerSlam, is he?
- Then again, I'm not sure Owens really needs a loss either. Maybe Retribution will come out and ruin the match?
- That would be a shame because it's a good match. You could main event a PPV with Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens.
- I can't tell if Orton is wearing black tights with really dark brown lettering saying "Orton" on the back, or whether he's wearing his tights inside-out. Either way, it's hard to stop staring at his butt.
- Orton reverses a Stunner into an RKO. In Texas, or California, or wherever the hell he lives these days, Stone Cold Steve Austin kicks in his television set.
Winner: Randy Orton
Okay, so the match was a formality. Now the question is whether Orton will punt kick Owens tonight. The answer would seem to be no because Owens has rolled out of the ring and disappeared. Instead, it's just Ric Flair celebrating in the ring with Orton. Uh oh.
Orton asks for a mic. He tells Ric not to go anywhere just yet. Randy wants a favor from Ric. He wants Ric to stay put because there's something they need to talk about, and they need to celebrate too. Raw goes to commercials. Ric is so gonna get it. And by it, I mean the punt kick, not corona. Though it's not completely outside the realm of possibility he gets both.
Orton says he has every right to be upset with Flair, but he just can't. He can't be angry at the Nature Boy. He can't find it in his heart. But this match with Kevin Owens wasn't necessary. He only got in the fight because of Ric's ego. But Orton can't be angry with him, he says again. Flair is the Nature Boy, the dirtiest player in the game. Flair has had Orton's back for twenty years and he's taught Randy everything he knows. Oh, he's so dead.
Orton brings up a story that happened years ago in Peoria where Ric Flair was the only person there to save him. Orton respected Ric after that and he loved him. But he doesn't respect or love Ric anymore. Ric is a liability to Orton and his career and everything he's trying to do. Orton looks back at all those years ago, and the reason Flair took Orton under his wing is Flair thought he could be the son Ric wishes he had.
Holy shit. Flair tears up and Orton mocks him. He says crying is all Ric's good for anymore. "Go ahead, sob like a baby," Orton says Ric isn't the Ric Flair everybody knows. The Ric Flair Orton looked up to wouldn't need a pacemaker, wouldn't have slipped into a coma, would be a junkie for the spotlight. Flair is washed up and can't do it anymore. At SummerSlam in a few weeks, Orton has the chance to win the WWE Championship for the fourteenth time, but instead of being worried about that, Flair was only worried about himself.
Flair says he's taking this very personally. He hears Orton, but the Ric Flair of 2001 isn't here anymore. Randy is right. Flair likes the spotlight. He likes to call Orton the greatest because he is. And yeah, Flair likes to be in the spotlight. Of course. He's 71 years old. Even guys like Hulk Hogan call Ric up asking what it's like to be on Raw at his age. Flair wants to be here when Orton wins his 14th, 15ty, 16th, 17th title. He wants Orton to beat his record. Not John Cena's record.
This is the best promo Ric Flair has cut in well over a decade
Flair talks about his history with Orton, his history with his dad. Flair says he can't get mad because after 31 days of being in intensive care, in a coma for twelve, he woke up and all he wanted in life was to tell the people he hadn't told that he loved them. He called everyone that mattered to him. He's not trying to take anything from Orton. He's just walking around with him having a good time. Now he's not Ric Flair anymore. He's Charlotte's Dad, and he's trying to be a part of Randy Orton's life.
Orton drops the mic and hugs Flair. Flair turns around. Orton low blows Flair, then gently cradles Flair to the ground. Nicely done. As Flair lays on the ground groaning, Orton climbs over him and appears to do his creepy whisper in the ear, but I'll bet he was saying something genuinely nice.
Orton stands up. The crowd chants "don't do it." Orton backs up into the corner for a punt kick. The lights flicker and go out several times during all of this, leading up to them going out completely right as Orton punt kicks Flair. Again, nicely done. Gotta protect Flair (except from coronavirus).
Drew McIntyre runs out and chases Orton from the ring. "Even Ric?! Even him?! You evil son of a bitch!" Officials and doctors come out to tend to Ric. The crowd chants "shame." Orton stands at the top of the stage, Drew in the ring, and they stare each other down to end the show. "Everything is coming to you, Randy. At SummerSlam, I'm gonna hurt you. I'm gonna hurt you bad, you evil son of a bitch."
Raw was a giant turd tonight for most of the first two hours, but this last hour… damn, it was good.
This post is part of a multi-part series: WWE Raw Report for August 10th, 2020.