By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw (Episode 1,416)
Taped Saturday in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired July 13, 2020 on USA Network
[Hour One] The Raw opening aired and then the broadcast team of Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Samoa Joe hyped the previously advertised matches…
MVP stood in the ring and hosted VIP Lounge. MVP introduced Dolph Ziggler as the man who took Drew McIntyre in when he was a bum on the street. He said McIntyre is so ungrateful that he won’t even thank Ziggler.
Dolph Ziggler entered to the worst entrance theme in pro wrestling while the broadcast team played up his title match. Phillips said Ziggler has indicated that he will wait until Extreme Rules to name the stipulation of his match with McIntyre. Footage aired of last week’s angle involving McIntyre, Ziggler, and Heath Slater.
MVP praised Ziggler for not revealing the stipulation of his match with McIntyre. MVP said it’s good strategy and it’s exactly what he would have done. Ziggler said he picked McIntyre out of obscurity and brought him to Raw, then taught him everything he knows. Ziggler complained that McIntyre never gives him credit and claimed he wouldn’t be WWE Champion without him.
Ziggler said McIntyre would be an unemployed loser begging for a handout if it wasn’t for him. MVP said McIntyre wouldn’t do it, so he would, and then he thanked Ziggler for all he’s done. Ziggler said the lack of gratitude is the same reason why McIntyre will lose his title.
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre made his entrance. McIntyre said he was sorry to break up the ass kissing session. McIntyre said he’s done a lot of soul searching after last week and came to the conclusion that Ziggler uses people. He said Ziggler used him as his hired gun and muscle.
McIntyre said Ziggler is one of the most talented in-ring performers around. Ziggler interrupted him, but McIntyre told him to shut up. He said he would hurt Ziggler and make him regret the day he picked up the phone and called to get him to come to Raw. McIntyre said that whatever happens on Sunday is on Ziggler.
McIntyre said he couldn’t wait until Sunday and said he needed some action. McIntyre knocked Ziggler down with a punch, then head-faked MVP, who flinched. MVP helped Ziggler up while McIntyre departed the ring…
Powell’s POV: A good segment with MVP and Ziggler using solid heel logic while McIntyre showed good fire while making his match with Ziggler feel personal. Hey, what if the stipulation is that the loser must change his entrance music?!? With my luck, Ziggler would win the WWE Championship and they’d get rid of the solid McIntyre entrance theme instead.
Charly Caruso stood backstage and interviewed Andrade, Angel Garza, and Zelina Vega. Caruso noted the animosity between Andrade and Garza and asked how they could get on the same page before facing the Viking Raiders.
Vega took the question and said no man can measure up to her men. Garza did his usual flirting with Caruso and pulled out a rose while saying he could beat both of his opponents, then corrected himself to say “we” could beat them both. Andrade said that he would have Garza’s back if he had his, and then they would win the Raw Tag Titles.
The Viking Raiders entered the picture. Erik said the Viking Raiders have been the most dominant team on Raw for over a year. He said that because Andrade and Garza attacked the Street Profits, they would run through them. Caruso acted smitten with Ivar, who took the rose out of Garza’s hands and handed it to her. Garza looked taken aback… [C]
Powell’s POV: There was some decent mic work, but I continue to dislike the way Caruso is scripted to look so unprofessional by being smitten with the wrestlers.
1. “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar vs. Andrade and Angel Garza (w/Zelina Vega) in an elimination match. Phillips narrated highlights of last week’s six-man tag match from last week, which featured Randy Orton choking Garza after he had issues with Andrade. Andrade and Garza started the match wearing t-shirts.
Andrade was apprehensive before tagging Garza into the match. Garza tore off his pants and threw them at Ivar, who avoided them and tagged in Erik, who blasted Garza with a punch and then a knee to the head. Andrade checked in and hit double knees on Erik. Andrade followed up with a hammerlock DDT. Erik was eliminated when pinned by Andrade. [C]
Andrade shoved Ivar into the corner. Garza tagged himself in, which upset Andrade. Ivar dumped Andrade to ringside and set up for a suicide dive, but Garza hit him with a dropkick from the apron. Andrade and Garza fist bumped one another at ringside, then Ivar performed a suicide dive onto them.
Back inside the ring, Ivar put Garza down with a clothesline. Andrade made a blind tag. Ivar threw a spin kick that Garza ducked, causing Andrade to take the kick. Andrade was pinned and eliminated by Ivar.
The match came down to Ivar vs. Garza. Ivar had Garza pinned after a spin kick, but Andrade was still at ringside and put Garza’s foot on the bottom rope. Moments later, Garza caught Erik in the corner and powerbombed and pinned him to win the match…
Andrade and Angel Garza defeated The Viking Raiders in 9:25 in an elimination match.
Powell’s POV: An enjoyable and well worked elimination match. I haven’t really understood the storyline friction between Andrade and Garza at times, but I must admit that it’s made their act more entertaining in terms of wondering whether they can stay on the same page.
Backstage, Sarah Schreiber was going to interview Ruby Riott, but Peyton Royce and Billie Kay showed up and taunted Riott. Eventually, Riott threatened to punch them. Royce said their scheduled tag match would end up being a handicap match because Riott doesn’t have any friends. Bianca Belair showed up. Riott introduced Belair as the EST of WWE. Belair explained the meaning and of EST and said she would be the greatest tag partner on this night…
Powell’s POV: Belair has been rescued from WWE Main Event. Here’s hoping that Shayna Baszler won’t be far behind.
2. Bianca Belair and Ruby Riott vs. “The IIconics” Peyton Royce and Billie Kay. The IIconics’s entrance was not televised. Riott was isolated by the heels until she made a hot tag to Belair, who worked over Kay. Belair had Kay pinned, but Royce broke it up. Riott took out Royce with a kick, then Belair hit the KOD on Kay and pinned her…
Bianca Belair and Ruby Riott defeated The IIconics in 3:30.
Powell’s POV: It was nice to see Belair back on the main show. She showed her usual flashy charisma. I’m not complaining that Belair got the win by any means, but I actually expected the IIconics to beat Riott since it seems like the long term plan is still to reunite Riott and Liv Morgan for a feud with Royce and Kay. I guess I should have reconsidered my prediction once the IIconics’ entrance wasn’t televised.
Backstage, a confused R-Truth thought he’d been challenged to a match by Ric Flair. Ricochet and Cedric Alexander explained by Truth had been challenged to a match by Flair on behalf of Randy Orton. Truth bumped into Akira Tozawa and told him he needed to teach him how to become a black belt in a matter of minutes. Tozawa told him no, then rolled him up. A referee showed up and made a two count. The ninjas showed up, but Ricochet and Alexander stood by Truth, who told Tozawa to meet him in the ring… [C]
Akira Tozawa and the ninjas were in the ring. R-Truth made his entrance. Once in the ring, Truth said he came out by himself while Tozawa had three ninjas. Shayna Baszler made her entrance and entered the ring. Tozawa hid behind the ninjas. Baszler destroyed the three ninjas. “I’m out,” Tozawa declared before leaving the ring. Baszler turned and glared at R-Truth. “I’ll let myself out,” Truth told Baszler before leaving the ring and heading to the back.
Baszler said she’s been patient. She said she’s let everyone have their fun and now she’s done. She said all the weak-minded female champions have been fooling themselves that they are in control. Baszler said the Queen of Spades is back to shatter the illusion with a hard dose of reality. “And I am that reality,” Baszler said to close…
Powell’s POV: Ask and ye shall receive! I seriously had no idea that Baszler was returning tonight. WWE could build a division around Baszler and Belair, so this is definitely a good night for the Raw women’s division.
Footage aired from last week of Rey Mysterio announcing the “eye for an eye” stipulation for his match against Seth Rollins at Extreme Rules…
Backstage, Seth Rollins asked Murphy what was troubling him. Murphy asked if “eye for an eye” meant they would literally try to blind one another. Rollins said Murphy needed to understand that nothing of significance happens without sacrifice. Rollins told Murphy that Mysterio asked for this. Rollins told Murphy to focus on his match with Aleister Black, then said he had a message to deliver… [C]
[Hour Two] The WWE Battlegrounds video game trailer was shown (Undertaker is still wrestling with his hat on). The game will be released on September 18…
Seth Rollins made his entrance and delivered an in-ring promo. “An eye for an eye,” Rollins said seven times. He asked what that even means, then said he knows what it means. Rollins said he thought Mysterio was using it as a metaphor for revenge, but he’s come to understand that Mysterio meant it literally.
Rollins said he’s trying to understand how they made it to this point. “All that I’m trying to do is lead Monday Night Raw to a brighter future, and Rey Mysterio has resisted his part in the greater good every step of the way,” Rollins said. He added that the only way to win the match at Extreme Rules is to pluck the opponent’s eye from its socket.
Rollins said there’s never been a match sanctioned by the company that has been so barbaric. Rollins said he never meant to harm Mysterio. He said Rey presented himself at a time of need, and he did everything in his power to fulfill the prophecy for the greater good. Rollins said the fans asked him to be a leader and to lead Raw the right way and that’s what he has done.
Rollins said Extreme Rules is called The Horror Show and that’s exactly what it will be. Rollins said Mysterio has forced his hand for the last time and now he’ll be forced to tear and gouge until Mysterio is completely blind. Rollins said Mysterio will never watch his son be married or get to see his wife’s face again.
Rollins said Mysterio will never see another sunrise or sunset. “Extreme Rules will be the end of Rey Mysterio, but in many ways it will be a new beginning, a new beginning for Monday Night Raw.”
The entrance music of Kevin Owens interrupted Rollins. Owens said that when he came up with the idea of the winner of last week’s tag match getting to choose the stipulation for the Extreme Rules match, he thought Rey would choose a last man standing match or something that would keep Rollins’ friends away from ringside.
Owens said Mysterio is a nice guy and somehow Rollins got him to the point where he wants to gouge his eye out. Owens said he understands because at WrestleMania he was willing to end his own career just to shut up Rollins. Owens said that he’s good friend with a pirate named Jean Pierre LaFitte and he had something for Rollins. Owens pulled out an eye patch. Rollins called out Murphy. Aleister Black ran out and brawled with Murphy heading into a break… [C]
Powell’s POV: For younger fans, Jean Pierre LaFitte was a WWE pirate character played by Pierre Oullet, who now works as PCO in Ring of Honor.
3. Aleister Black (w/Kevin Owens) vs. Murphy (w/Seth Rollins). The match was joined in progress. Black sold a knee injury. He used his foot to set up for his finisher, but Murphy ended up wrenching the bad leg to avoid it. Murphy set up for a suplex while standing on the outside of the middle rope, but Black avoided it and hit him with a spin kick. Black made the cover, but Rollins pulled him off for the apparent DQ.
Aleister Black defeated Murphy by DQ in 5:30 of television time.
After the match, Rey and Dominick Mysterio made their entrance. [C]
4. Kevin Owens (w/Rey Mysterio, Dom Mysterio, Aleister Black) vs. Seth Rollins. Rollins begged off early in the match and asked Owens not to hurt him. Owens kicked him and continued to work him over until Rollins cut him off with a boot to the head. Black distracted Rollins, allowing Owens to go back on the offensive.
Owens dumped Rollins to ringside. The Mysterios and Black closed in, so Rollins raced back to the apron and was punched by Owens. Rollins caught Owens with a kick and sent him to ringside, but Black stood in front of Owens, who ended up working over Rollins and then rolling him back inside the ring.
Rollins rolled out and was surrounded again. Owens caught up with him and roughed him up at ringside again. Owens headbutted Rollins back inside the ring, but Rollins took his leg out and sent him to the floor. Rollins performed a suicide dive. [C]
Rollins set up for a powerbomb, but Owens backdropped him. Rollins landed on his feet, but Owens blasted him with a superkick. Rollins rebounded by driving the head of Owens into a turnbuckle, then performed a Blockbuster from the ropes for a near fall.
Owens came back with a superkick on a kneeling Rollins and then went for a Popup Powerbomb. Rollins avoided it and hit Owens with a couple of kicks before covering him for a near fall. Owens avoided the Stomp. Rollins avoided a Stunner. Rollins went up top and was cut off by Owens, who set up for a superkick.
Rollins gouged the eyes of Owens. Rollins set up for his finisher, but he had to run off Black, Dom, and then Rey. Owens recovered and performed a Stunner on Rollins and then pinned him…
Kevin Owens defeated Seth Rollins in 15:45.
After the match, Mysterio told Rollins that he crossed every line there is to cross and now it’s his turn. Mysterio said he would make a sacrifice of his own at Extreme Rules. Mysterio said Rollins was walking into the match with two eyes and would be carried out with only one…
Powell’s POV: A good match. It wasn’t as hot as the Rollins vs. Owens match at WrestleMania, which is understandable given that this was a television match and a set up match for Sunday. The eye for an eye stipulation continues to be absurd. Instead of looking forward to a hot grudge match, I’m actually dreading Rollins vs. Mysterio.
Backstage, Ric Flair said he spent 20 of his 48 years in the business with Big Show. Flair said that when he thinks about the big men he’s faced in wrestling such as Bruiser Brody, Stan Hansen, and Andre the Giant, when it comes to skill he thinks of Big Show. Flair said Show was picking a fight he couldn’t win.
Flair said you can’t go Hollywood and do this. “Why do you think Rock hasn’t come back?” Flair asked. Flair said Show should go into the Hall of Fame healthy, but he’s facing Randy Orton, who is at the top of his game. Flair told Show to get on the plane and go back to Los Angeles.
Big Show stopped Flair from leaving and said he knows what he was trying to do. He said Flair is the master and the dirtiest player in the game. Show said Orton may be the best WWE has ever seen and he has no empathy. Big Show said Orton will face one of their mutual friends in R-Truth. Show asked if Flair is willing to sacrifice his friendships so that Orton can be the Legend Killer. Show told Flair to think about that and then walked away… [C]
The broadcast team set up a video package on Randy Orton to show how he earned The Legend Killer monicker. The video focused on Orton taking out Edge and Christian…
Randy Orton stood backstage and delivered a promo. Orton said you’re lucky if you make it out of the industry with a handful of friends that you made while you were involved. Orton said he had that handful of friends. He said he bonded with Edge, Christian, and Big Show, and he has Ric Flair.
Orton said he and Edge could have been Rated RKO, but Edge couldn’t trust that he knew what was best for him, so he sent his ass home where he belongs. Orton said Christian showed up defending his friend’s honor and he made the mistake of accepting an unsanctioned match with him.
Orton said he and Big Show have history together. He said he’s known Big Show for twenty years and said Show was one of the first people to take him under his wing. Orton said it baffles him that Show would rather avenge a couple of fractured skulls than maintain their friendship.
Orton said Flair is family. He said that’s why it would be a shame if Flair did anything to jeopardize their friendship. Orton said he respects R-Truth, who has made WWE fans laugh and smile for years.
Orton said it will be a sin that all R-Truth amounts to is another chapter in the long history of the Legend Killer. Flair showed up and shook hands with Orton, who told him he’d be right behind him. Orton stared at Flair as he walked away… [C]
Powell’s POV: A strong promo and a really nice hook in the form of the tease that Flair could be Orton’s next victim.
A graphic noted that there have been 99 WWE 24/7 Championship reigns with 36 different people, and Truth has held the title 37 times. Phillips said there will never be another like Truth, who made his full entrance for the second time in the same show…
[Hour Three] Ric Flair made his entrance and asked Truth what’s up. Flair congratulated Truth on the most illustrious career he’s seen in a long time. Flair said Truth has been rolling for two decades. Flair said Orton loves Truth just like he does. He said Orton wouldn’t punt his head off, he’d just give him an RKO. Orton made his entrance and headed to the ring with Flair…
5. WWE 24/7 Champion R-Truth vs. Randy Orton (wRic Flair) in a non-title match. The bell rang to start the match. Truth immediately said he needed a minute to talk to Flair. Truth headed toward Flair, but Orton went after him. Truth saw him coming. Truth went for a scissors kick, but Orton dodged it and hit him with an RKO before pinning him.
Randy Orton pinned R-Truth in 0:31 in a non-title match.
After the match, Flair tried to talk Orton out of going after Truth. Orton walked around Flair and then backed up for his punt kick. Flair stepped between Orton and Truth. Big Show’s entrance music played.
Orton barked at Show to stop at ringside while threatening to end Truth. Orton said he knew Show was angry. He said it hurt him to punt kick Edge and Christian more than it hurt them. Orton said he wasn’t going to punt kick Truth, the punt kick actually had Big Show’s name on it.
Orton challenged Show to finish what they started by having an unsanctioned match on next week’s Raw. “Okay,” Big Show yelled before charging the ring only to have Orton roll out the other side. Orton jawed at Show from the floor that he would kick his head off…
Powell’s POV: Is it wrong that I wanted Orton to punt kick Truth and ideally end the WWE 24/7 silliness? Anyway, I’m surprised that they are giving away Orton vs. Show on Raw rather than holding the match at Extreme Rules. Perhaps company officials are feeling some real pressure to improve their slumping ratings.
Backstage, MVP and Bobby Lashley approached Cedric Alexander and Ricochet. Alexander told MVP that he’s not interested. The babyfaces left. Sarah Schreiber showed up and asked MVP for his game plan in the match against Apollo Crews at Extreme Rules. MVP held the U.S. Title and said he would make it official on Sunday, then they would celebrate at an undisclosed location. Lashley spoke briefly about the hurt business, and MVP said business is good.
Schreiber spotted Drew McIntyre and ran over to interview him once the heels left. McIntyre was talking about his pay-per-view match when Dolph Ziggler attacked him. They were quickly pulled apart by referees and producers… [C]
Phillips hyped the WWE 365 documentary on Ricochet as being available on demand…
6. Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) vs. Ricochet (w/Cedric Alexander). Phillips narrated highlights of last week’s segments involving the four wrestlers. Lashley hit a Dominator slam for a near fall. Ricochet rallied and superkicked Lashley, then performed a handspring into the ropes and was put in the Full Nelson, which led to the submission conclusion.
Bobby Lashley defeated Ricochet in 3:45.
Alexander ran in to help Ricochet and was quickly destroyed by Lashley with another Full Nelson…
Powell’s POV: How about Samoa Joe as the newest member of MVP’s Hurt Business faction once he’s ready to return to the ring? Of course, I could just as easily see Joe returning as a babyface and feuding with Lashley.
Phillips hyped Drew McIntyre, Asuka, Kairi Sane, Cedric Alexander, and Ricochet for Raw Talk on WWE Network after Raw. The broadcast team ran through the Extreme Rules pay-per-view lineup…
Backstage, Caruso told Big Show that it appeared he accepted Orton’s challenge to an unsanctioned match for next week. She asked if that was the case. Show said he would clarify everything for everybody, then said yes, he accepts, and stormed away…
Powell’s POV: Apparently, that super loud “okay” that Show blurted out at ringside wasn’t convincing enough for Charly.
Sasha Banks and Bayley made their entrance heading into another break… [C] Sasha and Bayley set up the replay of their tribute video that originally aired on Smackdown… The Kabuki Warriors made their entrance.
Mike Rome tried to deliver the in-ring introductions for the title match, but the champions attacked the challengers. The Kabuki Warriors bounced back and cleared the champions to ringside. [C]
7. Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. “The Kabuki Warriors” Kairi Sane and Asuka for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles. Asuka was isolated early. Sane took a tag and worked over both opponents. Sane got a two count on Bayley. Sane sent Bayley to ringside while Asuka tagged in. Banks ran in and was also sent to the floor.
Asuka and Sane performed a double hip attack to knock the champions off the apron. Back inside the ring, Asuka threw a series of kicks at Banks and covered her for a two count. Bayley pulled Asuka off the ropes, causing her to crash into the apron. Meanwhile, Banks went to work on Sane, who had tagged back into the match. Bayley tagged in and then the champions performed a double sling shot on the floor that sent Sane into the plexiglass barricade. [C]
Asuka tagged in and hit a hip attack on Bayley, then performed a single motion move on both opponents. Asuka covered Bayley for a two count. Later, Asuka caught Banks in the Asuka Lock in the middle of the ring. Bayley entered the ring to break it up and was speared by Sane. Banks rolled to the ropes to break the hold.
Banks caught a charging Asuka with an elbow to the head. Banks and Asuka jockeyed for position. Sane made a blind tag. Asuka caught Banks with a kick to the head, then Sane performed an Insane Elbow and had the pin, but Bayley pulled Sane from the ring while Asuka awkwardly stood there counting the pin.
Sane went back up top and hit Banks with a flying forearm. Sane put Banks down with an Alabama Slam. Sane ran the ropes for a move, but Banks caught her in the Bank Statement and got the submission win.
Sasha Banks and Bayley defeated The Kabuki Warriors in 18:20 to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Titles.
The broadcast team narrated highlights from the match. Banks and Bayley celebrated at the bottom of the ramp while Asuka tended to Sane in the ring to close the show…
Powell’s POV: A well worked main event. That said, Banks and Bayley are getting the Charlotte Flair treatment in that they are completely overexposed by appearing on three nights of television most weeks. I respect their work ethic, but it’s just too much for their own good. Putting that aside, WWE failed to make the tag title main event feel important throughout the three-hour show. They are giving away a lot of title matches on television lately and they should be doing everything in their power to make those matches feel special.
Overall, this was a better than average show. They filled the time nicely and provided solid hype for most of the Raw matches heading into Extreme Rules. Thanks for watching along with me tonight. Dot Net Members will hear my same night Raw audio review shortly. Let me know what you thought of the show by assigning it a letter grade in our weekly post Raw poll, which is available on the main page.
Join us for live coverage of WWE Extreme Rules and Impact Wrestling Slammiversary this weekend. Dot Net Members will hear exclusive audio reviews of both shows.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...