By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw (Episode 1,413)
Taped last week in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired June 22, 2020 on USA Network
[Hour One] Raw opened with a recap of last week’s show… Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Samoa Joe were on commentary…
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre made his entrance dressed in regular clothing. Once in the ring, he welcomed viewers to the Championship Monday edition of Raw. The painful sound of Dolph Ziggler’s entrance music interrupted McIntyre.
Ziggler recalled AJ Styles being traded to Smackdown. He announced that he and Robert Roode were traded to Raw in return. Ziggler claimed Raw got the better end of the deal. Ziggler said he would have hated to see McIntyre lose the title before he arrived.
Ziggler recalled McIntyre being fired from his previous run in WWE. Ziggler said he picked up McIntyre and brought him back to Raw. He said they became a dominant tag team and now McIntyre is a dominant WWE Champion “because of me.” Ziggler said the only thing he asks in return “is what I’m owed, a WWE Title match.”
McIntyre said Ziggler has become an entitled jackass who thinks the world owes him something. McIntyre said he needs an opponent for Extreme Rules. He recalled Ziggler giving him the name Scottish Psychopath. He told Ziggler to think of what he’ll do to him and how far he’ll go to keep his title. McIntyre asked Ziggler if he still wants the match. When Ziggler confirmed, McIntyre announced their match for Extreme Rules…
Powell’s POV: So a match that would feel like a ho-hum title defense on Raw is now a pay-per-view match? Both men are talented and I’d be surprised if they don’t deliver a quality match, but it’s nearly impossible to view Ziggler as a threat to win the championship at this point.
The broadcast team delivered some hype for the Championship Monday matches…
Nia Jax made her entrance and got a chair from one of the crew members. Jax brought the chair into the ring, set it up, and then took a seat heading into the first commercial break… [C]
Jax sat on the chair and delivered a brief promo in which she complained about Charlotte Flair getting a title shot when she fought Asuka to a double count-out at Backlash and was cheated by a fast count last week.
R-Truth made his entrance and interrupted Jax. Truth wondered if Jax was the real Akira Tozawa because ninjas are masters of deception. Jax asked if he really thought she was in the mood for this. Truth asked who she really is if she’s not Tozawa.
Akira Tozawa showed up at ringside behind the broadcast team and a few ninjas popped up on the apron. Truth fled the ring and then the ninjas and Tozawa chased after him. Jax remained seated in the chair in the ring and started to say that she was not leaving.
Charlotte Flair made her entrance with a mic in hand. Flair said Jax squandered her last two title changes and dropped the ball. Jax said Flair gets what she wants because her “daddy is Ric Flair.” Charlotte said her father’s new title is “Charlotte Flair’s Dad” and he loves it.
Flair entered the ring. Jax said Flair is delusional if she thinks her father didn’t help her career. Flair boasted of some of her accomplishments while asking if her father was responsible. Jax said Flair hasn’t beaten her and she dominated her. “The one woman built to take your crown is me,” Jax said.
Flair punched Jax and they brawled until several referees pulled them apart. The spectator fans behind the plexiglass chanted “let them fight” briefly while the pull apart continued in the ring. Flair sold a left arm injury that was acknowledged by the broadcast team…
Powell’s POV: I assume we’re getting a Triple Threat with Asuka, Flair, and Jax at Extreme Rules. It will be interesting to see if the Flair injury was done to give her an our for losing to Asuka tonight or if the will just have Jax interfere.
Phillips played up Flair’s injury and spoke with Saxton and Joe about the effect that it could have during the Raw Women’s Championship match. They shifted to setting up a video package that recapped the games involving the Street Profits and Viking Raiders, and the awful cinematic from Backlash…
Backstage, Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins said they would finish the series with the Viking Raiders. Erik and Ivar showed up. Ford said the Street Profits and Viking Raiders are forever and somehow became friends despite everything they’ve gone through. Dawkins warned that it would be on once the bell rings despite their friendship. Erik warned them that there was nothing that would stop them from taking the tag titles back. After both teams walked away, Zelina Vega walked into the picture and looked like she was plotting something… [C]
Powell’s POV: I suspect that Vega showing up is a sign that her character is pushing Andrade and Angel Garza to work as a tag team, so I won’t be surprised if they get involved in the tag title match.
1. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins vs. “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar for the Raw Tag Titles. Ring announcer Mike Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Ford went for an early flip dive, but Erik caught him and tossed him at Dawkins. Cool spot. [C]
The Profits hit The Viking Experience on Erik and had him pinned, but Ivar broke it up. A cartwheel party broke out briefly. Erik ended up slamming Ford and Dawkins simultaneously. Ivar went for a splash, but he missed. A short time later, Ford performed a top rope splash on Ivar and pinned him.
The Street Profits defeated The Viking Raiders in 8:40 to retain the Raw Tag Titles.
After the match, the teams hugged. The Viking Raiders headed backstage while the Profits celebrated. Andrade and Angel Garza attacked the Profits from behind and roughed them up until the Viking Raiders returned to run them off…
Backstage, Seth Rollins stared into space while telling Austin Theory and Murphy that he had a message for Rey Mysterio. “Soon, all will be revealed,” Rollins said… [C]
Powell’s POV: We had all those skits just for a nine-minute match that was interrupted by a commercial break on Raw? It was an entertaining match while it lasted, but it’s hard not to feel underwhelmed given the long and downright painful to watch build to the match. These teams work well together and I was hoping for an actual program.
Phillips set up a recap of last week’s Seth Rollins and Dominick Mysterio angle. Phillips hyped Rey Mysterio appearing…
Rollins delivered a backstage promo. He said sometimes in life we are destined for roles beyond our choices. He said he did not choose to be the Monday Night Messiah, and Rey didn’t choose to be a sacrifice. Rollins said he accepted his role, whereas Rey has been defiant and defiance breeds suffering. Rollins said that whatever comes of Rey or his son is now on Rey. Rollins said legends may not die, “but they sure as hell can outlive their welcome”…
Phillips recapped the Jax and Flair angle…
Charlotte Flair was shown exiting the trainer’s room with tape on her shoulder. Charly Caruso approached her for a comment. Flair said no one claimed this was ballet. She said her arm would be fine when she holds up the Raw Women’s Championship.
Caruso walked around the corner where Vega was talking with Andrade and Garza. She asked about their attack on the Profits. Garza did his usual flirting with Caruso. Vega stepped in and said they were a united front. She said her clients put aside their differences and turned them into strengths…
Asuka made her entrance for the Raw Women’s Championship match… [C]
[Hour Two] A sponsored video spotlighted Asuka… Flair made her entrance…
2. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair for the Raw Women’s Championship. Rome delivered in-ring introductions. Nia Jax was shown watching the match on a backstage monitor. Asuka sent Flair to the floor and then hit her with a nice kick from the apron. Asuka followed up with a second try, but Flair swept her legs out from under her and took offensive control once they were back inside the ring. Flair sent Asuka to ringside again. [C]
Asuka applied an armbar on Flair, who reached the ropes with her feet to break the hold. Flair rallied by spearing Asuka and going for the pin, but Asuka grabbed the bottom rope to break it. Flair went for a figure four, but Asuka countered into an inside cradle for a two count. Asuka caught Flair in another armbar, but Flair powered her up and powerbombed her. Asuka immediately applied the Asuka Lock and got the submission win…
Asuka defeated Charlotte Flair in 11:50 to retain the Raw Women’s Championship.
Powell’s POV: I was legitimately surprised to see a clean finish. Flair was protected to some extent by the injury from the Jax angle, but it didn’t feel like the story of the finish.
Backstage, Caruso asked Jax if she felt that the injury she gave Flair had anything to do with her loss. Jax said it would be a real shame for someone to kick The Queen while she’s down…
The broadcast team hyped the segment with Ric Flair naming Randy Orton the greatest wrestler ever, and an update from Edge regarding his future… [C] A video package recapped the Edge and Orton match at Backlash and the Orton and Christian angle from last week…
Edge delivered a promo while seated in the corner of a ring. He took a deep breath and said, “So, here we are, Randy.” He noted that Orton won at Backlash, but he didn’t think that he lived up to his claim of being a better pro wrestler. Edge acknowledged his triceps surgery and said Orton did that.
Edge said he felt the panic when he was about to lock in his submission finisher, and then Orton “coincidentally” hit him with a low blow. Edge said he watched Raw last week and told Orton to put the “greatest wrestler ever” slogan on everything if beating him means that much in his world.
Edge said he’s disappointed that he didn’t see the low blow coming and even because he didn’t do it first. Edge said that won’t happen again. He said Orton credited him with lighting a fire in him and reminding him of who he is. Edge said the match, the injury, and not being able to pick up his daughters on Father’s Day showed him that he needed to wake up a part of himself that’s been dormant for too long.
Edge got fired up while talking about what Orton did to Christian, while he noted that he’s been best friends with him for 36 years. Edge said Christian walked with him through every trial and tribulation in his life. Edge said he was putting to bed the guy who was just happy to be back doing what he loves to do.
Edge said Orton woke up the part of him who will do whatever it takes to get what he wants and doesn’t care what he has to do to get to the top. Edge said he will embarrass and emasculate Orton and make him wish that Cowboy Bob was firing blanks the night that he was conceived. Edge said he knows Orton has voices in his head, but he will scream louder than all of them.
Edge said he will tear Orton’s life apart brick by brick. “You have no idea what you’ve done,” Edge said. “You woke up the evil. You woke up the Rated R Superstar. Get some sleep while you can, Randy”…
Randy Orton was shown standing backstage when Caruso approached him for an interview. Orton asked her if she knows what a snake does when it feels threatened. He said it’s really like any animal in that if you back it into a corner it will strike wildly and blindly. Orton said Edge and Christian came back and tried to have their comebacks at his expense, so he struck.
Orton said he would do what he has to do to defend his family and his livelihood and to survive. “It’s mother nature,” Orton said. He added that he sincerely wishes Edge and Christian full recoveries. He said they should both live happy and healthy lives as long as they do it far away from him. Orton said he had something to discuss with Ric Flair… [C]
Powell’s POV: Another gem of a promo from Edge. I’m ready for the rematch now, but unfortunately it’s going to be a long wait due to the injury.
Charlotte Flair was walking backstage with an icepack on her shoulder. She was approached for an interview and said she gave Asuka credit. She mentioned something about it being the only way and then she was attacked from behind by Nia Jax, who left her lying and then let out a woooo. A trainer checked on Flair…
R-Truth received another televised entrance for his match against Akira Tozawa, who was was already in the ring. Tozawa motioned for the ninjas to go to ringside. Just as the bell was about to ring, Bobby Lashley headed to the ring with MVP. Tozawa ducked out while Lashley beat up the ninjas at ringside. Lashley put Truth in the Full Nelson and left him lying. Tozawa emerged from underneath the ring. He smiled and then covered Truth and a referee made the three count. Tozawa defeated R-Truth became the new WWE 24/7 Champion…
Powell’s POV: Here’s hoping that Lashley destroying the ninjas means this will be the end of this embarrassing chapter of bad sports entertainment comedy.
Sarah Schreiber stood backstage in front of a trainer’s room and said she was waiting for an update on Flair. Natalya showed up and said the division needs her leadership. She said Asuka is a great champion and all, but she’s not one to give motivational speakers. Natalya said she had an important announcement to make, but now they were out of time and Schreiber would have to wait. Phillips hyped Natalya vs. Liv Morgan for after a break… [C]
3. Natalya (w/Lana) vs. Liv Morgan. Phillips said Lana and Morgan have plenty of history, but he did not elaborate. Morgan had Natalya down, but she got caught up jawing with Lana. Natalya took advantage of the distraction by tripping up Morgan and then putting her in the Sharpshooter for the win…
Natalya defeated Liv Morgan in 2:00.
Powell’s POV: The history between Morgan and Lana is their one week lesbian affair angle that went nowhere. I guess we’ll see where the Natalya and Lana pairing goes, but I get the feeling that they and Morgan are both spinning their wheels creatively.
Backstage, Big Show as approached by Caruso, who raved about his return last week and how much he’s done during his career. Show cut a corny promo and asked where you’d get this type of humor other than WWE. Show switched gears to taking issues with what happened to his friends. He worked in a plug for his Netflix show. He said once he gets angry he can do what he want when he wants and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Show said The World’s Largest Athlete was staying in the back and a heartless, angry, giant was heading to the ring…
Ric Flair made his entrance… [C] A video recapped the Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler segment from earlier in the show…
Ric Flair stood in the ring and addressed Charlotte’s injury by saying that Nia Jax will be in a lot of trouble. Flair switched gears to Randy Orton. Flair said people ask him who the greatest performer is today. Flair said everybody wants to be the best, but only one can be. Flair said it’s Orton. Flair noted that Orton punted Edge and Christian back into retirement within 24 hours.
Randy Orton made his entrance and joined Flair in the ring. Flair said he’s been dying for this moment. He called Orton the most dominant performer in WWE.
[Hour Three] Flair introduced Orton as the best performer in the history of WWE. Flair shook Orton’s hand and said he was honored to be there. Orton said it was nostalgic that they were in the ring and are half of Evolution. Orton said nostalgia can be confused with legacy.
Orton said it was nostalgic that Flair proved to be the dirtiest player in the game and that he punt kicked Christian. Orton spoke about the fire in his gut and said his desire to be called The Legend Killer isn’t nostalgic, it’s legacy.
Big Show’s entrance music interrupted Orton. Show headed to the ring with a mic in his hand and yelled, “Enough.” Show entered the ring and said he wasn’t going to let Flair glorify what Orton did. Show said Edge and Christian are his friends and Orton will pay for what he did to them.
Show called Orton a parasite who will feed on anyone who will take him to the next level. Show said Orton latches on to people like Edge who make him better. Show said it’s because Orton lacks the motivation to make himself better. Show said Orton doesn’t care about Edge, Christian, or their families.
Show said Orton is just like every other parasite. “Once you get what you want, you leave the host and die,” Show said. He added that Edge wouldn’t get the satisfaction of taking out Orton alone because he was going to break every bone in his body.
Orton said Show respects Flair and won’t hurt him, and Show won’t touch him because they are friends. Orton said Show is a future Hall of Famer. “Some might even say that you’re a legend,” Orton said. He said it would be a shame if Show suffered the same fate as his friends Edge and Christian.
Big Show struck a fighting pose. Orton rolled to ringside. Orton said he gave Show a chance because they came up together, but no more. Orton said Show knows what he’s capable of when he’s focussed. Orton said that what happens next is on Big Show…
Sasha Banks and Bayley were shown getting ready for their match… [C]
Powell’s POV: A good segment if you can get past Show being so furious that he delivered a long promo and then stood and listened to Orton’s rebuttal rather than taking action. Still, I like the use of Big Show in this angle, as he’s another legend for Orton to eventually put down.
4. Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. “The IIconics” Peyton Royce and Billie Kay for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles. Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Kay held up Bayley while Royce delivered an early knee to the head. [C] In the end, Banks caught Royce in the Bank Statement and got the submission win.
Sasha Banks and Bayley defeated The IIconics in 7:00 to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Titles.
After the match, Banks and Bayley delivered an in-ring promo. Banks admitted that she gets a little jealous when Bayley talks about both of her title belts. Banks told Bayley that she wants a title match. The spectator wrestlers started a brief “yes” chant. “At Extreme Rules, I am officially challenging…Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship.” Banks and Bayley laughed.
Asuka made her entrance. Asuka spoke in Japanese, then told Banks that she’s not the boss of her. Asuka accepted the challenge. Bayley attacked Asuka, then Banks joined in on the attack. Banks hit a Backstabber on Asuka and then applied the Bank Statement…
Powell’s POV: I have no clue which heel team they wanted viewers to pull for during the tag title match. The post match angle was really well done with Banks teasing that she would finally challenge Bayley. Asuka vs. Banks should be a really good match and I’m genuinely surprised that they’re not going with Asuka vs. Jax or Asuka vs. Jax vs. Charlotte at Extreme Rules.
Backstage, Schreiber interviewed Bobby Lashley and MVP. Lashley said he would be WWE Champion if it wasn’t for R-Truth, so rag-dolling him was their way of introducing the rest of the roster to their hurt business. MVP spoke about being proud of Apollo Crews until he agreed to face Shelton Benjamin again. MVP said Crews could sit under his learning tree. He said that if Crews makes the wrong decision then that’s on him… [C]
Phillips hyped Lashley, MVP, and Natalya for Raw Talk… Backstage, Ruby Riott approached a limping Liv Morgan, who told her “not tonight.” Riott tried again, but Morgan said nothing has gone her way and she doesn’t need Riott to make her feel worse than she already does…
MVP hosted the VIP Lounge in the ring with U.S. Champion Apollo Crews as his guest. MVP said he gained a lot of respect for Crews when he beat him to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match. He spoke of Crews blowing out his knee and missing the match. MVP spoke of how Crews could learn from him.
Crews cut him off and said he made it this far without MVP’s help. He said he appreciates the offer, but his answer is still no. MVP said that if he wasn’t dropping gems then Crews wouldn’t be out there listening. MVP said Crews could be U.S. Champion for a very long time, but he couldn’t do that without having him in his corner.
Crews asked if MVP was going to be in Shelton Benjamin’s corner or send Lashley out to get him or if he would come after him. Crews said he’s been dealing with people like MVP for his entire life. MVP said Crews has been champion for a few weeks, whereas he was champion for 343 days. MVP said he’s tried to do it the nice way twice, but there won’t be a third time. MVP said the title would come home where it belongs. Crews backed MVP into a corner of the ring.
Shelton Benjamin made his entrance. Crews pulled away from MVP. Once Benjamin was in the ring, MVP asked if he could have a moment to speak with Crews. Benjamin attacked Crews from behind and ran him into the ring post. MVP told Crews to never put himself in a two-on-one situation because it leaves his blindside vulnerable. MVP said that gem was free, the next one would cost him… [C]
Powell’s POV: A couple of good segments. The backstage bit with Riott trying to talk with Morgan was interesting, as it didn’t seem like she was there to heel on her. Meanwhile, MVP was really good in his continued attempt to manipulate Apollo Crews into joining him.
5. U.S. Champion Apollo Crews vs. Shelton Benjamin in a non-title match. The match was joined in progress. Crews went for a standing moonsault, but Benjamin caught him in an armbar on the way down. Crews escaped the hold. Crews clotheslined Benjamin and both men tumbled to ringside. Benjamin dove at Crews, who moved, and then Benjamin slammed into the ring post. Back inside the ring, Crews caught Benjamin with a leaping kick and then hit him with his sit-out powerbomb finisher for the win.
Apollo Crews defeated Shelton Benjamin in a non-title match in 2:10 of television time.
Afterward, MVP was shown applauding Crews from the stage. Crews went to ringside and backed up the ramp. MVP tried to join him and raise his hand, but Crews pulled away. Bobby Lashley came out and put Crews in the Full Nelson. Lashley released the hold and then Crews fell onto the ramp. MVP draped the U.S. Title over Crews…
Powell’s POV: I’m really starting to enjoy the MVP and Crews storyline. With Dolph Ziggler getting the WWE Title shot at Extreme Rules and now this angle, it appears Lashley is already out of the WWE Title mix in favor of feuding with Crews over the U.S. Title.
Rey Mysterio was shown backstage. Dominick Mysterio approached him and asked if he was sure about this. Mysterio told his son to trust him. Rey said it was time to show Seth Rollins how the Mysterio family rolls… [C]
Highlights aired of Dominick Mysterio’s segment on last week’s Raw…
Rey Mysterio addressed his son in the ring. He said he was proud of him for avoiding a three-on-one situation last week, but he was also really worried because he put himself at risk. Rey said Dom knows that he is pissed over Seth Rollins attempting to blind him.
Rey said Dom is bigger than him, but he’s still his old man and no matter how big or strong he gets, he will still be his child. Rey said he needed to get revenge against Rollins, but he needed to do it himself. Dom took the mic and said he wasn’t going anywhere. Dom said this is what a family looks like and this family wants a fight.
Seth Rollins made his entrance. Rollins questioned whether he should go to the ring and slaughter a father in front of his son or make Rey watch while he sacrifices his son. Rollins said both men were in the same place at the same time and two eyes are better than one.
Rollins slowly walked to the ramp (but not Trump slow) and then knelt down once he reached the bottom. Austin Theory and Murphy walked out and stood behind Rollins. Aleister Black and Humberto Carrillo snuck out behind the heels and attacked Theory and Murphy and brought them into the ring. The babyfaces made quick work of the minions and Carrillo performed a flip dive onto them at ringside.
Rollins begged off at ringside while the babyfaces surrounded him. Mysterio hit him with a 619 from the ring. The Mysterios grabbed Rollins and brought him over to the ring steps and set up to gouge his eye just as Rollins did to Rey, but Theory and Murphy saved him. Theory and Murphy held Rey while Rollins tried to jab the eye of Dom into the edge of the steps, but the heels let the Mysterios go and ran to the top of the ramp when Black and Carrillo showed up with chairs…
Powell’s POV: My apologies for running a couple minutes behind, but Impact Wrestling released a press release to announce that they have terminated the contracts of Joey Ryan and Dave Crist, and suspended Michael Elgin in response to #speakingout allegations (see the main page for more details).
The final angle was a good one with some back and forth moments. Rollins was outnumbered this week, so it will be interesting to see if he has another recruit to even the sides. Overall, a good edition of Raw with a few title matches and some interesting storyline developments. I will have more to say about the show in my weekly audio review for Dot Net Members and in Tuesday’s Raw Hit List. Let me know what you thought of the show by assigning it a letter grade in our post show poll available on the main page.