By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live on February 10, 2020 from Ontario, California at Toyota Arena
[Hour One] The Raw opening aired… The broadcast team of Tom Phillips, Jerry Lawler, and Byron Saxton checked in and hyped the advertised matches, plus Drew McIntyre will appear on an MVP VIP Lounge segment…
Seth Rollins stood in the ring with Murphy and the AOP duo of Akam and Rezar. Rollins set up a video package that recapped last week’s elimination match. Back live, Rollins spoke of his message of unity and said they would not leave the ring until their message was heard.
Kevin Owens made his entrance and spoke from the stage. Rollins warned Owens not to get in over his head. Rollins said Samoa Joe made that mistake two weeks ago and he was taken out, and the same thing happened to Ivar last week.
Owens said he just keeps fighting and noted that he’s not alone. The Viking Raiders joined him on the stage. Rollins said Owens’ problem hasn’t been finding partners, it’s keeping them upright. Owens shoved Erik and Ivar and said, “They seem pretty solid to me and they seem as sick of you talking as I am so, gentlemen, let’s go”
Owens and The Viking Raiders went to ringside where they were brawled with Murphy and AOP. Rollins remained in the ring and was surprised by Samoa Joe, who had his hair braided and put Rollins in a Coquina Clutch. The brawling wrestlers from ringside made their way into the ring. The babyfaces cleared the ring and the heels returned to the back.
Becky Lynch made her entrance. The babyface foursome cleared out while Lynch made her way to the ring. The broadcast team hyped Lynch vs. Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship in a Royal Rumble rematch for after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: A solid opening segment. No new ground was covered. And that was fine for this week because the feud is still enjoyable, but my concern is that this will get repetitive and it feels like Rollins and Owens are running out of fresh things to say to one another. They are both good talkers, so I hope I’m wrong. And if you haven’t heard by now, Buddy Murphy lost his first name and is just Murphy now. Finally, Dot Net Co-Senior Staffer Will Pruett is in attendance at this show, so give him a follow @itswilltime for his in-person notes and/or wise ass comments.
Asuka made her entrance along with Kairi Sane coming out of the break. Asuka delivered a promo mostly in Japanese as they walked to the ring…
1. Becky Lynch vs. Asuka (w/Kairi Sane) for the Raw Women’s Championship. Ring announcer Mike Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Asuka sent Lynch to the apron. Sane climbed onto the apron and did a hilarious little taunting dance that distracted Lynch long enough for Asuka to slam her butt into Lynch and knock her to the floor. [C]
As the match continued, the broadcast team and a graphic plugged Ricochet vs. Bobby Lashley for later in the show. In the ring, Asuka caught Lynch with a knee to the head and then slammed her to the mat with a spinebuster style move that produced a two count. Lynch dumped Asuka to ringside and then dropkicked her through the ropes.
Lynch dove from the apron toward Asuka, but Sane shoved her out of the way and took the blow from Lynch. Asuka caught Lynch with a kick. Back in the ring, Lynch leapt from the middle rope into a Codebreaker from Asuka, which led to another two count. Asuka went for the “hip” attack, but Lynch avoided it and then applied her finisher over the ropes and had to release it. Lynch slammed Asuka on the apron heading into a break. [C]
Asuka avoided Lynch’s attempt at a second rope leg drop and then fought to apply her finisher, but she was unable to lock it in. They had a series of pin attempts that resulted in near falls, then Lynch performed a uranage slam and scored the clean pin…
Becky Lynch defeated Asuka in 19:00 to retain the Raw Women’s Championship.
After the match, Shayna Baszler attacked Lynch from behind. There were a lot of NXT chants. Baszler applied her Kirifuda Clutch briefly, then released the hold. Baszler removed her mouthguard and then bit the back of Lynch’s neck. Once she stopped biting Lynch, Baszler’s mouth was covered in blood.
Lynch sold the bite by holding the back of her neck and crying out in pain. while the referee checked on her. EMTs came out and tended to Lynch, who told them she was fine, then allowed them to treat her while telling them to take it easy. The cut to a split screen shot as Lynch was led to the back by EMTs… [C]
Powell’s POV: I really enjoyed the Lynch vs. Asuka match even though I felt a bit “meh” about it coming into the show. They are both very good wrestlers and I expected a quality match, but there was no doubt regarding the outcome. But the match was even better than I anticipated and the wrestlers really drew me in with their hard work. The bite angle felt unnecessary because Lynch vs. Baszler sells itself in a lot of ways, but it was definitely an attention grabber and we’ll see where it goes.
Mojo Rawley and Riddick Moss were in the ring coming out of the break. They cut briefly to a shot of Lynch backstage. The Street Profits made their entrance. Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins spoke about Rawley hiding behind Moss. Ford said everyone knows what Rawley is known for. “Riding Rob Gronkowski’s coattails,” Dawkins yelled. Ford said that it’s WrestleMania season and they want the smoke…
2. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins vs. Mojo Rawley and Riddick Moss. Dawkins dropkicked Rawley to start. Rawley came right back and slammed him down, then tagged in Moss, who walked into a punch from Dawkins. Dawkins hit a spinebuster and then Ford followed up with a top rope splash and got the pin.
The Street Profits beat Mojo Rawley and Riddick Moss in 0:45.
After the Street Profits left the ring, Rawley barked at Moss, who put him in an inside cradle. The referee eventually returned to the ring and counted the pin. Riddick Moss is the new WWE 24/7 Champion…
Lynch was shown outside the building refusing to get into the back of an ambulance. Instead, she threw the driver out of the driver’s seat and climbed into the ambulance, turned on the siren, and drove away…
MVP made his entrance dressed in a suit and seemed to get a flat reaction. Phillips hyped that he would be joined by Drew McIntyre after a break… [C]
Powell’s POV: Poor Rawley. It really looked like they were setting him up to be a different type of champion. But he lost the title (and quickly regained it) to R-Truth on the night Moss was introduced, he lost in a brief match to Drew McIntyre last week, and now Moss, who has yet to say a word on Raw, beat him this week. Meanwhile, Lynch stealing the ambulance felt a bit like a leftover Stone Cold angle, but I’m not complaining.
MVP stood in the ring with his VIP Lounge set and there were “MVP” chants despite the flat reaction to his introduction before the break. He said it has been a long time and he “never should have left you.” He said the VIP Lounge is still for people like him and “people who are better than you.”
Drew McIntyre was introduced as MVP’s guest. Two security guards stopped McIntyre at a velvet rope that was set up at the bottom of the ramp. They made it seem like he wasn’t on the list. McIntyre pushed the velvet ropes over and headed to the ring dressed in a leather jacket, a t-shirt, and jeans. There was a brief “Drew” chant.
MVP put over his history with McIntyre. He told McIntyre to focus on what he needs to accomplish and not listen to the naysayers. McIntyre asked the crowd if they’ve been saying things behind his back. McIntyre said he knew there’s always a catch with MVP. “I’m not saying anything, but some people are saying that with all your tools, you’re not ready to be WWE Champion just yet,” MVP said. “You and me, we’re going to change all that.”
[Hour Two] McIntyre questioned MVP using the word “we” and asked if “we” won the Royal Rumble. MVP said his in-ring days are behind him. He said McIntyre needs someone like him to guide him and handle things like interviews for him. McIntyre asked if MVP wanted to be his business partner or his advocate. McIntyre said maybe MVP could be his Paul Heyman. MVP said he would be a much better looking version of Heyman.
McIntyre said that unlike Lesnar, he doesn’t need someone thinking or talking for him, nor does he need a business partner kissing his ass. MVP said he’s never been an ass kisser, but he is an ass kicker. McIntyre started to turn away, but MVP grabbed his arm and told him not to turn his back on him. “You need me,” MVP said. McIntyre headbutted MVP. McIntyre removed his jacket and shirt, counted down, and took out MVP with a Claymore Kick that knocked MVP over one of the couches. McIntyre mocked MVP’s “ballin'” bit and then posed for the crowd and high-fived fans on his way to the back…
Powell’s POV: I never would have predicted an McIntyre and MVP segment tonight. It wasn’t bad, but it would have worked better if the MVP talkshow character was better established. I don’t know if this was a one and done, but MVP is a good talker and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of the VIP Lounge. More importantly, McIntyre continues to click as a babyface. He was hampered by not having an actual babyface turn, but he seems to be building a bit more momentum each week and is showing that likable side of his personality that made him so effective as the lead babyface in Impact Wrestling back in 2016.
A video recapped Randy Orton attacking Edge. The broadcast team said Orton would explain his actions tonight. They also hyped Angel Garza and Zelina Vega for after the break… An ad for Smackdown focused on Roman Reigns and King Corbin, and hyped the Otis and Mandy Rose date for Friday’s Valentine’s Day edition… [C]
Phillips hyped the eight-man tag match while Rollins was shown holding court with Murphy and AOP…
Angel Garza and Zelina Vega made their entrance. Cedric Alexander was already in the ring for their scheduled match. Highlights aired of Garza taking out Rey Mysterio last week. “Ooooh, did you see that?” Garza asked. He said he’s a man’s man because no man measures up, and he’s also a lady’s man because no woman can resist him. Humberto Carrillo ran out dressed in street clothes and attacked Garza, who was pulled off his cousin by security. Once security cleared Garza, the referee called for the bell to start the match…
3. Angel Garza (w/Zelina Vega) vs. Cedric Alexander. Vega provided an early distraction that let Garza go on the offensive for a moment. Alexander came back and was cut off by Garza, who teased pulling the mats back at ringside. A short time later, Alexander leapt from the top rope and into a Garza dropkick. Garza removed his tearaway pants and hit the Wing Clipper for the win…
Angel Garza beat Cedric Alexander in 2:45.
Powell’s POV: Garza continues to shine in the ring and, more importantly, he has a ton of charisma.
The broadcast team set up a recap of the Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley segment from last week’s show. Backstage, Charly Caruso was interviewing a confident Ripley when Sarah Logan showed up. Logan asked if Ripley thinks she can just show up on Raw whenever she wants. “Who do you think you are?” Logan asked. Ripley replied, “I’m Rhea Ripley, who are you?” and then walked away… [C]
Phillips hyped Bayley vs. Carmella for the Smackdown Women’s Championship for Friday’s Smackdown television show…
Backstage, Bobby Lashley was pumping up while Lana stood by. Sarah Schreiber entered the room and brought up Lashley failing to win the four-way last week. Lana told her not to be so disrespectful. Schreiber said she just wanted to get his thoughts on his match with Ricochet. Lana said Lashley spent the entire week thinking about how Ricochet stole his rightful opportunity.
Lana said Lashley’s dream was to face Brock Lesnar at WWE Super ShowDown. Lashley cut her off and said he’s not a scrawny kid with big dreams. He said he would reintroduce Ricochet to reality and when he’s finished with him he won’t even make it to Super ShowDown…
Sarah Logan came to the ring and said that she will protect her turf. Logan called out Rhea Ripley, who made her entrance. Charlotte Flair’s music played and she followed in a dress and watched the match from the stage…
4. NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley vs. Sarah Logan in a non-title match. Ripley dominated Logan repeatedly glared at Flair, who applauded. Ripley hit her Riptide finisher and scored the clean pin…
NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley defeated Sarah Logan in 0:37 a non-title match.
Ripley got a mic and asked Flair for an answer to her WrestleMania challenge for an NXT Women’s Championship match. Ripley said Flair didn’t answer on Raw or on the NXT television show. Flair said maybe that’s just how The Queen operates.
Ripley said maybe Flair enjoys being “a royal pain in my….” Flair cut her off and asked how she knows she’ll even be NXT Women’s Champion coming out of NXT Takeover: Portland on Sunday. Flair let out a “woooo” and her music played to close the segment…
Phillips hyped Ricochet vs. Lashley as coming up next… [C]
Powell’s POV: Flair’s feels fresh again now that she has a new and strong opponent to work with. I’m enjoying the mind games that she’s playing with Ripley by making her wait by not giving her an answer.
Phillips hyped the news of WrestleMania coming to Los Angeles in 2021 for the first time in 15 years. A graphic showed the logo with a red carpet and the event listed as WrestleMania Hollywood… A video package recapped Ricochet winning last week’s main event to earn a shot at the WWE Championship at Super ShowDown…
Phillips hyped Bayley vs. Carmella for the Smackdown Women’s Championship for Friday’s Smackdown television show…
Bobby Lashley and Lana made their entrance. Backstage, Caruso interviewed Ricochet, who said he’s a scrawny kid just as Lashley said. He pointed at his chest and said he has something that will make him last longer than ever. Ricochet said facing Lesnar is the biggest opportunity of his career and nobody will stop him from walking, limping, or even crawling to Super ShowDown…
5. Ricochet vs. Bobby Lashley (w/Lana). Lashley knocked Ricochet down with an early clothesline in the corner. Ricochet came back with a suicide dive while Phillips told the story of Lesnar having trouble with smaller opponents. Ricochet performed a flip dive onto Lashley heading into a break. [C]
Ricochet performed a moonsault off the apron onto Lashley at ringside. Lashley bounced back and ran Ricochet face first into the ring post casing, then worked him over at ringside. Back inside the ring, Ricochet performed a springboard cross body block and a standing shoot star press for a two count. Lashley came back with a big spinebuster slam for a two count. A short time later, Ricochet hit his 630 splash and scored the pin…
Ricochet beat Bobby Lashley in 11:05.
Lawler hyped Randy Orton appearing after the break… An ad aired for the NXT Takeover: Portland event (join John Moore for live coverage right here on Sunday night)… [C]
Powell’s POV: The logic here was simple in that Ricochet defeated someone comparable in size and athletic ability to Lesnar. I just don’t think anyone is actually buying into Ricochet actually beating Lesnar at Super ShowDown. Ricochet is extremely talented in the ring, but his promo delivery is weak and his verbiage is straight out of the sappy babyface playbook. It’s a shame that WWE just can’t seem to get it right with him.
[Hour Three] Phillips hyped WWE Backstage for Tuesday with guest Charlotte Flair (there was no mention of CM Punk again)… The broadcast team recapped Shayna Baszler going vampire on Becky Lynch and the ambulance scene that followed. Phillips said Lynch left the medical facility and was on her way back to the building…
Randy Orton made his entrance. Orton got a mic and then soaked up the boos. He said he knows he still owes everyone an explanation for what he did to Edge two weeks ago. “What I did to Edge hurt me more than it hurt him,” Orton said.
Matt Hardy’s entrance music interrupted Orton. Hardy walked to the ring while a “Delete” chant broke out. “Come on, Randy, just like everybody else, I want to know why you do did it,” Hardy said. “We all want to know why you did it.” Hardy entered the ring and said he knows Orton is wondering why he gives a damn about Edge.
Hardy said everyone knows the history between him and Edge. A “Lita” chant broke out. Hardy said there was one point in time when no one hated Edge more than he did, but before then they were best friends. Hardy said he, Edge, Christian, and Jeff Hardy would all stay in the same hotel room just to save a few bucks. He said they were four passionate kids who wanted to live their dream of being WWE superstars.
Hardy said they did and they revolutionized the ladder match. A “TLC” chant broke out. Hardy said the fans know it, they invented the TLC match and it will be a staple of WWE forever. He said they all stole the show on more than one occasion. Hardy said they did it together and it means something. Hardy said that any hate or disdain that he had for Edge disappeared when he found out that Edge was forced to retire.
Hardy said they love “this” and “performing for the WWE Universe.” Hardy said he couldn’t imagine if it was all taken away from him before he was ready. Hardy said that after Edge retired and thing were cool between them, Edge asked him “what if.” Hardy said that nine years after he retired, Edge made the most miraculous return ever. “And you, you Randy, you took that away,” Hardy said. “What in the hell is wrong with you?”
Orton walked toward Hardy, said his name, and went for an RKO. Hardy stuffed it and roughed up Orton for a moment, but Orton came back and put him down with an RKO. Orton rolled to ringside and grabbed a couple of chairs. Orton placed Hardy’s head on one chair, then slammed the other over his head. Orton looked down at Hardy for a moment, then rolled out of the ring. A fan held out a sign and Orton shoved it out of his hand while walking past him…
Powell’s POV: A very good angle. Hardy did a great job and his real history with Edge added to the ongoing Orton and Edge storyline feeling more real than everything else on the show. This may have been the write off for Matt Hardy, whose deal with WWE is expected to expire shortly. If so, that was a heck of a way to go out.
Phillips set up a trailer of the Sonic the Hedgehog movie…
Powell’s POV: When I cover Smackdown on Friday, at least I can tell my girlfriend with a straight face that things could be worse in that we could be seeing Sonic the Hedgehog on Valentine’s Day.
Backstage, Schreiber interviewed Ruby Riot about her attack of Liv Morgan. She said you know everything about your best friend and she knows the real Liv Morgan. She said Morgan was like a puppy dog and will always be a follower. She said she came back to put Morgan in her place…
6. Aleister Black vs. Akira Tozawa. Tozawa was in the ring already while Black’s entrance was televised. Black caught Tozawa with a knee, then used his foot to lift Tozawa’s head up before hitting him with a Black Mass kick. Black covered Tozawa and got the three count.
Aleister Black defeated Akira Tozawa in 1:30.
After the match, Black said he’s enjoyed being able to share these intimate moments with the fans. He said he is appreciative of everyone in the building. He said everyone tries to escape their given idea of paradise one way or the other. He spoke of rebelling against paradise and said he’s starting to feel like an animal inside a cage. Black sat down in the ring and the lighting changed. Black said that those who venture out there know that it is not him who is in there with him, it is them who will be strapped inside the metaphoric cage with him…
Powell’s POV: Yeah, stupid paradise. Wait, what?
Becky Lynch drove the ambulance back into the parking lot and started to walk toward the arena… [C] The WrestleMania video aired. We are 55 days away… A family who was bumped up to better seats thanks to a pizza shack was shown clapping in the front row…
Powell’s POV: That could have been you, Will Pruett. Loser.
Becky Lynch headed to the ring and grabbed a mic. Lynch, who had her neck bandaged, said they numbed her up and gave her something nice for the pain. She asked where Baszler was. She said if Baszler stuck her rat teeth into her back just to get her attention then mission accomplished. Lynch said she will break Baszler down little by little and said Baszler better find her before she finds Baszler…
Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens, and The Viking Raiders were shown walking backstage while Phillips hyped the main event as coming up next… [C]
Powell’s POV: Are they bypassing the weekly Erick Rowan pet cage segment that always seems to happen around this time or will they sneak that in before the main event?
Phillips announced the first ever Tuwaiq Trophy gauntlet match with AJ Styles, Rusev, R-Truth, Bobby Lashley, Andrade, and Erick Rowan shown in the graphic… Ring entrances for the main event took place. The crowd was flat having seen all these guys earlier in the night…
Ring entrances for the main event took place. The crowd was flat having seen all these guys earlier in the night. Once everyone was in the ring, Rollins took the mic and said he had one more thing he wanted to say. One of the babyfaces hit Rollins and the teams brawled while Phillips noted that the match was not officially underway. [C]
Powell’s POV: No Rowan, but we did get further confirmation that the Saudis love their trophies. Meanwhile, I get a kick out of how WWE officials don’t seem to think it’s important to announce the finishes to matches that end in disqualifications or no-contests, yet they are quick to let viewers know if a match hasn’t officially started.
7. Seth Rollins, Murphy, Akam, and Rezar vs. Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens, Erick, and Ivar in an eight-man tag match. Phillips noted that the match started during the commercial break. Joe received a nice ovation when he tagged in. Phillips reminded viewers that Joe was from nearby Los Angeles. Ivar turnedMurphy inside out with a clothesline and then they cut to a split screen break. [C]
Owens performed a fallaway slam at ringside that sent Murphy into the barricade. Owens ended up being isolated by the heels. Joe took a hot tag and set up or a suicide dive on Rollins, but AOP blocked his path. The Viking Raiders knocked AOP to the floor, then Joe and the Raiders performed stereo suicide dives onto the heel trio.
A short time later, there was a series of rapid fire big moves that left Rollins and Joe in the ring while everyone else was down. Owens returned to the apron, went up top, and performed a swanton dive onto the group at ringside. In the ring, Joe avoided a Stomp from Rollins, who tagged in Murphy.
Joe caught Murphy leaping from the top rope and applied the Coquina Clutch. Murphy tapped out, but the referee was tied up with AOP and missed it. Rollins hit Joe with a Stomp, then Murphy pinned Joe to win the match. The heels celebrated to close the show…
Seth Rollins, Murphy, Akam, and Rezar beat Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens, Erick, and Ivar in 14:35.
Powell’s POV: This feud is officially feels repetitive to this viewer. I like the wrestlers involved and I wasn’t even feeling that way earlier in the night, but once the bell rang I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d seen variations of this before and the outcome of the match felt trivial. I did like the finish and I still think they can get more out of some of these wrestlers feuding with one another, but we need a break from the six and eight-man tag matches, though I wouldn’t be surprised if we get one more with the babyfaces going over in a revenge match next week.
Dot Net Members will hear more of my thoughts on this episode in my audio review coming up later tonight. Let me know what you thought of the show by giving it a letter grade in our post show poll. Thanks for watching along with me. Join us for live coverage of AEW and NXT on Wednesday night.
What are your thoughts on the XFL ratings?
Solid, but let’s not forget that the first XFL game delivered 14 million viewers for NBC and then the massive came. I don’t expect a total collapse or anything. The first AAF games did around 2.9 million if memory serves and things dwindled. Vince has more money invested so its a more stable league. Week one brings in the curiosity viewers. The trick is retaining those viewers as the season goes on. I’m not a fan of minor league sports so it didn’t do anything for me, but they did a good job of focusing on the actual game that I saw and didn’t turn it into a WWE circus like they did the first time around. The play was better and it seemed like a much more organized product than the original, so that’s encouraging.
I hope they make it, but like you said it’s a long road.
I don’t know how it is going to turn out this time around and I only watched a portion of one of the games this weekend.
That being stated the rules and pace of play provides a contrast from the NFL, the announcers are not Jim Ross (Great for wrestling) and Jesse Ventura, there are no gimmicky nicknames, and a lot of the players are at least still recognizable. If expansion were to happen and Minnesota were to obtain a team my interest may be heightened.
The players being “minor league” doesn’t bother me; it is the quality of the overall product that counts and the passion that is a part of the contest. I’d much rather watch college basketball than the unwatchable pro version for example due to the flow of the game, but that is just my perspective.
Watching Sonic the Hedgehog would be an upgrade over Smackdown.
I wonder if Fox has buyer’s remorse yet. This isn’t exactly what they thought they were buying. They expected cutting edge, in your face, smash mouth professional wrestling programming that pushed the envelope and what they ended up with was an extended version of Sunday Night Heat toward the end of its run. This is Saturday afternoon/Sunday morning quality professional wrestling being aired on a Friday Night. I have been a wrestling fan since 87 and find sitting through recent episodes of SmackDown feels like a chore.
Sorry, WWE…but I see what you’re doing with Becky Lynch. Having her come out when the crowd is still hot from the opening segment…shoot her from different camera angles so the at-home audience doesn’t see the flat response she gets from the live crowd…and then have Baszler pull a completely unnecessary, and off-putting move to force her as the heel. The ambulance bit was a total Stone Cold rip-off, and everybody sees it. Your “face of the company”…isn’t the face anymore.
Oh, and Drew McIntyre needs to do something of substance…SOON. Wrestlemania is still a long ways away…knocking out jobbers and pointing to the sign for the next 7 weeks is gonna crush his face turn.