By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw (Episode 1,418)
Taped July 20, 2020 in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired July 27, 2020 on USA Network
[Hour One] The Raw opening aired and then shots of the masked spectator wrestlers were shown cheering (some wore the masks below their noses). Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Samoa Joe were on commentary and they ran through the previously advertised matches…
Randy Orton headed to the ring while a video package recapped his legend killing antics. Orton said he’s gone by many different names during his twenty years in WWE. He spoke about the factions he was involved with. Orton brought up Steve Austin and The Rock and said they can’t hold a candle to his longevity, consistency, or title reigns.
Orton said something has been missing, but he figured out what it was “this morning.” Orton said he desires to become WWE Champion again. Orton said he could compare resumes with Drew McIntyre, but it would be a short conversation. Orton recalled that McIntyre was dubbed The Chosen One a decade ago. He said McIntyre had his head shoved so far up his ass that he was fired.
Orton spoke about how McIntyre clawed his way back to WWE and earned his respect by beating Brock Lesnar in quick fashion at WrestleMania. Orton looked into the camera and told McIntyre that he has a problem. “That problem, Drew, is that you have what I want,” Orton said.
Orton declared that he wanted a WWE Championship match at SummerSlam. Orton said that when he RKO’s McIntyre and takes the title, McIntyre will never see it coming. Orton’s music played and he left the ring.
Powell’s POV: McIntyre vs. Orton is the most compelling match that WWE has to offer right now. I’m all for that match being the SummerSlam main event.
Nia Jax’s entrance music played and she crossed paths with Orton as he was heading to the back. Jax went to the ring and said she heard Orton say he woke up and wanted to be WWE Champion. She said she knows exactly how he feels because she woke up and wanted to be Raw Women’s Champion. Jax said Charlotte Flair butted in line the last time she had a title shot. Jax questioned if anyone had seen Flair since then.
Shayna Baszler’s entrance music interrupted Jax. Baszler headed to the ring and said, “Nia, nobody gives a damn what you want.” Jax blasted Baszler with a forearm that knocked her down. Jax tossed Baszler across the ring. Baszler got up and traded shots with Jax until several referees ran out to separate them heading into a break… [C]
Powell’s POV: I don’t want to see Jax in a title match at SummerSlam ahead of Baszler, but we’ll see where this goes. Overall, it was a good opening segment with a couple of big teases for SummerSlam that should serve as nice hooks for the remainder of this episode.
A Did You Know graphic touted that the Bella Twins’ YouTube page has topped three million subscribers…
Raw Tag Champions “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins were in the ring coming out of the break. They mentioned the three-way tag match that will determine their challengers at SummerSlam, then introduced the teams, closing with Andrade and Angel Garza while referring to them as “everyone’s least favorite telenovela.”
Andrade and Garza attacked the babyfaces from behind before the bell. Garza removed his tearaway pants and tossed them at the Profits, who were seated at ringside… [C]
1. “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar vs. Andrade and Angel Garza (w/Zelina Vega) vs. Ricochet and Cedric Alexander for a shot at the Raw Tag Titles at SummerSlam. The match was joined in progress and the Profits were on commentary. The Viking Raiders had offensive control heading into a break roughly five minutes into the match. [C]
Ricochet performed a standing moonsault on Garza for a two count. There was a good rapid fire high impact move exchange involving everyone. Erik drilled Andrade with a knee to the head and then set up for a dive, but Garza hit him from the apron to stop him. Ivar went up top and dove onto Alexander, Ricochet, and Erik at ringside. Garza got Alexander back inside the ring and hit his Wing Clipper finisher and scored the pin.
Andrade and Angel Garza defeated Ricochet & Cedric Alexander and The Viking Raiders in 12:05 of television time to earn a Raw Tag Title shot at SummerSlam.
The Street Profits applauded afterward and spoke about how their match for SummerSlam is now official. Andrade and Garza approached the Profits at ringside and attacked them briefly before rushing to the stage…
Nia Jax was shown talking with referee John Cone while Phillips hyped Jax vs. Baszler as coming up next… [C]
Powell’s POV: The expected winners and losers in the Triple Threat tag match. Sadly, it felt like Ricochet and Alexander were there just to take the loss since it’s not like they’ve been positioned as a team that even belonged in a No. 1 contenders match. On the bright side, the Profits vs. Andrade and Garza at SummerSlam looks fun on paper.
2. Nia Jax vs. Shayna Baszler. Jaz quickly dumped Baszler over the top rope to ringside. Jax followed to ringside where she slammed the head of Baszler into the plexiglass. The referee counted out both women as they continued to brawl.
Nia Jax fought Shayna Baszler to a double count-out in 0:45.
Security tried to intervene, but they were shoved aside while the brawl continued. Baszler put her finisher on one security member. A guy dressed in a white shirt tried to tell them enough, but Jax pulled his shirt over his head and dumped him to ringside. Baszler climbed from the floor to the apron. As two referees tried to hold Baszler back, Jax knocked Baszler off the apron…
Powell’s POV: It looks like they setting up a Triple Threat for the Raw Women’s Championship at SummerSlam. While this was positioned as a big brawl, Jax came away looking superior.
The broadcast team set up a video package that recapped Seth Rollins beating Rey Mysterio in the eye for an eye match…
Seth Rollins was shown smiling backstage while Murphy stood next to him looking distraught. Rollins asked Murphy if he was with him. Murphy asked Rollins if he thought Dominick Mysterio was really going to show up. Rollins said he did because he can’t seem to get out of his own way. Rollins said the greater good would move forward and “tonight will be different.” Rollins told Murphy to trust him… [C]
Mark Henry was shown talking with a smiling Ruby Riott and a smiling Bianca Belair backstage…
Seth Rollins and Murphy made their entrance. Rollins delivered an in-ring promo in which he boasted that he beat Mysterio at Extreme Rules and Aleister Black on last week’s Raw. He said he should be in a good mood, but he’s not because Dominick Mysterio was in the building and planning to confront him.
Rollins said that whenever the greater good takes two steps forward, someone stands in his way they are forced to take a step backwards. Rollins said the ugliness in all of it is that someone seems to get hurt every step of the way. Rollins said Kevin Owens stood in his way and broke his ankle. Rollins also pointed to Mysterio’s eye, and said Black continues to be a thorn in his side and now he’s injured his arm.
Rollins said he doesn’t want to be the person who hurts people. A spectator wrestler yelled that Rollins is crazy. Rollins said the last time Dom showed up and attacked him it led to someone getting hurt. Rollins said he didn’t want that to happen this time because he has a soft spot in his heart for the Mysterio family. Rollins invited Dom to confront him face to face so that they could talk things out.
Dominick Mysterio walked onto the stage with a mic in his hand. Rollins assured Dom that he wouldn’t hurt him and invited him to join him inside the ring. Rollins had Murphy hold the ropes open for Dom.
[Hour Two] Dom entered the ring apprehensively. Rollins told Dom that if he couldn’t articulate the way he feels, he was there for him. “And if you need any help at all,” Rollins said before holding his arms open for an embrace. Dom attacked Rollins. Murphy quickly got involved. Dom got the better of Murphy briefly, but Rollins hit Dom from behind.
Rollins and Murphy took Dom to ringside and ran him into the plexiglass barrier and put the boots to him. They picked him up and ran him into the barricade again. Rollins asked Dom what was wrong with him, then he and Murphy ran Dom into the side of the broadcast table while the spectator wrestlers booed. Joe stated on commentary that Rollins had made his point and taken his pound of flesh.
Rollins said he didn’t want it to come to violence. Aleister Black ran out and leapt at Rollins, but Murphy quickly attacked Black. The heels targeted the wrapped arm of Black and ran him into the barricade a couple times. Murphy smiled at the spectator wrestlers, then picked up Black and hit him with a knee to the head.
Rollins gave Black a Stomp at ringside. “You know what you have to do, Murphy,” Rollins said while looking at the ring steps. “Me?” Murphy asked. Rollins asked Murphy if he was in this for real and then slapped him while saying he knows what he has to do. Murphy grabbed Black and shoved his eye into the edge of the ring steps. Trainers checked on Black.
Dom recovered and hit Black with a kendo stick, then hit Rollins with it several times while the production team did the jerky camera thing and cut back and forth to multiple camera shots. Black and Murphy quickly fled to the stage…
Powell’s POV: F— WWE if this leads to another eye for an eye match. Anyway, the actual angle was pretty good aside from the stupid eye bit. It looked really sappy this time because there was nothing stopping Black from using his hand to cover the edge of the ring steps, yet he did nothing to shield himself from the edge.
R-Truth approached Mustafa Ali backstage and asked if he is going after the WWE 24/7 Championship. Ali said no and added that he had a match with Bobby Lashley. “I’ve got my eyes on you, Mufasa,” Truth said before walking away. Ali asked if he just called him Mufasa…
A video recapped Mustafa Ali, Cedric Alexander, and Ricochet beating MVP, Bobby Lashley, and Shelton Benjamin in a six-man tag on last week’s show…
MVP hosted the VIP Lounge and was flanked by Lashley and Benjamin. MVP noted that Ali was gone for seven months or so. MVP said he wanted to help Ali, then introduced him as his guest. Ali headed to the ring. MVP recalled the result of last weeks’ match. Ali said he and his friends put the Hurt Business out of business.
Ali said he’s just happy to be back on Raw with a chance to become “a real champion.” MVP said all of the things that Ali wants can happen, but it comes down to who you are with. Ali said he knew what MVP was trying to do. He said that just because MVP was able to brainwash “these two meatheads” didn’t mean it would work on him.
MVP said Ali wasn’t thinking very clearly and noted that he was scheduled for a match with Lashley. MVP said he wanted to help Ali. He said Ali could be a champion or chum in the water for predators. Ali said no, then provided a distraction by acting like he was considering it.
R-Truth entered the ring and tackled Benjamin so they both fell through the ropes. Truth covered Benjamin and a referee made a two count. The heels surrounded Truth, who escaped through the ring before running to the stage… [C]
3. Bobby Lashley (w/MVP, Shelton Benjamin) vs. Mustafa Ali. Lashley shoved Ali to the mat during the opening minute. Ali got up and threw punches, but Lashley knocked him down again, then clotheslined Ali once he got back to his feet. Lashley continued to dominate the match.
Meanwhile, Akira Tozawa emerged from under the ring and rolled up Benjamin, who kicked out. Benjamin and Lashley beat up Tozawa’s stupid ninjas. Lashley picked up one of the ninjas and was hit from behind by a suicide dive from Ali. [C]
Lashley was back in offensive control coming out of the break. Ali showed signs of life, but Lashley knocked him to the floor when he was setting up for a springboard move. Lashley ran Ali into the ring post, and Ali took the bump like a champ. Lashley could have taken a count-out win, but he went to ringside and tossed Ali back inside the ring.
Lashley covered Ali for a two count. Lashley actually applied a trapezius hold. Lashley followed up with a Flatliner for a two count. Ali pulled himself to his feet. Lashley went for a press slam, but Ali slipped out. Lashley went for a Dominator, but Ali landed on his feet. Ali performed a tornado DDT.
Ali held his ribs as he climbed to the top rope. Ali went for a 450 splash. Lashley avoided the move, but Ali rolled through. Ali went for another move, but Lashley caught him and put him in the Full Nelson and got the submission win…
Bobby Lashley defeated Mustafa Ali in 12:30.
Powell’s POV: Ali made Lashley’s offense look great. I was actually hoping that MVP would get involved to give Ali an out for losing after he showed so much heart, but the expected finish occurred.
Charly Caruso interviewed Dolph Ziggler next to another ring in the PC. Caruso asked him about the potential stipulation. Ziggler said he wasn’t aware of the stipulation, but he said Randy Orton can wait a few more weeks because he would beat McIntyre and earn the SummerSlam title shot… [C]
The broadcast team touted that they were at the Performance Center, then set up a video package that recapped the Asuka vs. Sasha Banks match at Extreme Rules, which was followed by Stephanie McMahon booking the rematch for this episode…
Sasha Banks and Bayley made their entrance. Banks came out with the Raw Women’s Championship belt. Banks said nobody likes a bully and there’s no bigger bully than Stephanie McMahon. Banks said Stephanie is jealous of her because she and Bayley hold all the gold and run the division.
Bayley boasted that they are the show no matter which night of the week it is. Bayley justified taking over for the referee at Extreme Rules by blaming Asuka for spraying mist in his eyes. Bayley said it was time for Banks to end the charade by tapping out Asuka, who then made her entrance with Kairi Sane. Once in the ring, Sane whispered to Asuka, then chased Bayley to the back… [C]
4. Asuka vs. Sasha Banks for the Raw Women’s Championship. Per the stipulation, the title could change hands via pinfall, submission, disqualification, or count-out. Ring announcer Mike Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. One of the spectator wrestlers was shown lowering her mask to yell something early in the match (sigh).
Banks caught Asuka on the ropes and hit her with a Backstabber, which led to a two count. Banks tried to get Asuka disqualified by throwing a belt at her and then acting like she’d been hit with it, but the referee told her that he saw everything. Banks pleaded with the referee not to disqualify her, then Asuka blasted her with a kick. [C]
[Hour Three] Banks went on the offensive and applied a single leg crab and then bit the hand of Asuka. Banks targeted Asuka’s left knee by pounding on it in the corner. Banks ran the ropes, but Asuka greeted her with an elbow to the head. Asuka took Banks down and applied a kneebar, then switched to an ankle lock. Banks ended up flinging Asuka into the corner to break the hold.
Banks leapt from the middle rope into a Codebreaker by Asuka. A short time later, Asuka drilled Banks with a hip attack and picked up a two count. Asuka placed Banks on the top rope. Banks knocked Asuka from the ropes with a headbutt, then performed a frogsplash for a near fall.
A short time later, Banks carried Asuka to the broadcast table and dropped her bad knee onto it. Banks returned to the ring. Asuka struggled and barely beat the referee’s count to avoid being counted out. Banks bickered with the referee for a moment.
Banks got in Asuka’s face and said she is the Raw Women’s Champion. Asuka put Banks in a pinning situation and got a two count, but Banks immediately applied the Bank Statement. Asuka rolled Banks over while applying an ankle lock. Banks got to her feet and rolled out of it, but Asuka went straight to the ropes and performed a missile dropkick.
On the big screen, Bayley was shown working over Sane in the backstage area. Asuka kicked Banks and then suplexed her while the Bayley attack continued. Asuka started paying more attention to the big screen when she could have applied her finisher. Saxton said Asuka had to choose between her championship and her best friend. Asuka limped to the back while Banks was face down in the ring. The referee counted out Asuka.
Sasha Banks defeated Asuka via count-out in 19:30 to win the Raw Women’s Championship (per the match stipulations).
Asuka showed up backstage and chased Bayley away. Bayley headed to the ring to celebrate with Banks while Phillips noted that both women were double champions… [C]
Powell’s POV: I’m genuinely surprised by that finish, as the stipulation seemed like it would finally lead to the Banks and Bayley split. No complaints. I like being surprised if there’s good logic behind it and it’s not just a surprise for the sake of a surprise. The match was very entertaining and the finish was clever in that they moved the title without being Asuka, who looked like a good person by choosing to save her friend.
Phillips narrated highlights of the finish of the Asuka vs. Banks match…
Caruso stood outside the trainer’s door and said she was waiting for an update on Sane. Banks and Bayley showed up and had an over the top celebration. Once they left, a despondent Asuka walked out of the trainer’s room. Asuke yelled in Japanese a lot…
Phillips set up a video package on the late Regis Philbin…
5. Murphy vs. Humberto Carrillo. Carrillo performed an early suicide dive that drove Murphy into the plexiglass barricade. Carrillo rolled Murphy back inside the ring and went to the ropes, but Murphy cut him off and shoved him off the ropes to ringside. Carrillo came back with a nice superkick. Joe said Carrillo wasn’t trying to beat Murphy, he was trying to beat him up.
Carrillo drilled Murphy with a couple of nice kicks. Carrillo followed up with a missile dropkick and covered Murphy for a two count. The fight spilled onto the apron. Carrillo hoisted Murphy onto his back, but Murphy slipped away and back into the ring. Carrillo elbowed Murphy and then went for a top rope move, but Murphy hit him with a knee on the way down and followed up with Murphy’s Law for the win…
Murphy defeated Humberto Carrillo in 6:45.
Powell’s POV: A good match. It’s too bad that Murphy is in a henchman role and Carrillo has been defined down. I really hope there’s a real plan in place to elevate Murphy coming out of his run with Rollins because the guy always delivers in the ring.
A video package recapped the Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler match at Extreme Rules and last week’s segment that set up this week’s rematch…
Drew McIntyre and Mark Henry were shown chatting backstage while Philips hyped that McIntyre vs. Ziggler was next and would be sponsored by a pizza shack… [C]
Phillips announced Nia Jax, Shelton Benjamin, Andrade, Angel Garza, and Zelina Vega for Raw Talk on WWE Network…
Drew McIntyre made his entrance for the main event. McIntyre took the mic and said it was official, he would defend the WWE Championship against Randy Orton at SummerSlam. McIntyre said he wouldn’t try to claim that he’s won as many titles as Orton. He said Orton is on fire and is the biggest threat to his championship.
McIntyre said he knows that everyone thinks he’s the underdog. He said that he hopes that Orton is thinking the same thing. “Please, underestimate Drew McIntyre because that’s what Brock Lesnar did and I kicked his ass in five minutes at WrestleMania,” McIntyre said. He recalled Orton saying he wouldn’t see the RKO coming. McIntyre assured Orton that he would see the Claymore Kick coming.
McIntyre said he had a stipulation for Ziggler, whose awful entrance music interrupted him. Ziggler headed to the ring and asked to know what the stipulation was. McIntyre said it would be the same as last time and listed all the things that Ziggler could do to him, then added that this time he can too. McIntyre knocked Ziggler down with a slap. [C]
6. WWE Champion Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler in a non-title Extreme Rules match. Ziggler ran McIntyre into the ring post during the opening minute. McIntyre came right back with an elbow to the head and then ran Ziggler into the post. McIntyre hoisted up Ziggler and tossed him into the plexiglass, which broke.
McIntyre grabbed a kendo stick and performed a side Russian leg sweep that drove Ziggler into the barricade. McIntyre hit him with the kendo stick, then ran him into the post again. McIntyre tossed Ziggler back inside the ring, then tossed several chairs into the ring along with him. “Now it’s a party,” McIntyre said. He pulled a table out from underneath the ring and slid it inside the ring.
Ziggler reached for one of the chairs, but McIntyre stepped on his hand. McIntyre slammed a chair over the back of Ziggler. McIntyre wound up to do it again, but Ziggler hit him with a low blow. Ziggler went on the offensive and used the kendo stick similar to the way that McIntyre used it on him. McIntyre caught Ziggler leaping off the apron and then drove him through the timekeeper’s barricade. [C]
Back in the ring, McIntyre performed a pair of overhead belly to belly suplexes. McIntyre went to the ropes and performed a clothesline. McIntyre kipped up and smiled, then went for a DDT, but Ziggler kicked his knee and then dropped him with a Fameasser.
Ziggler went to the top rope and was cut off by McIntyre, who chopped him twice. McIntyre stood on the second rope and punched Ziggler a couple times, then superplexed him. McIntyre went for his finisher, but Ziggler beat him to the punch with a Zigzag for a near fall. Ziggler grabbed one of the chairs, but McIntyre hit him with a Claymore Kick that drove him through a table that was set up in the corner. McIntyre covered Ziggler and got the three count.
Drew McIntyre defeated Dolph Ziggler in 14:25 in a non-title Extreme Rules match.
Afterward, McIntyre stood tall with his title belt when Randy Orton hit him with an RKO out of nowhere. Orton laid out the title belt in front of him and looked down at it. Orton held the belt up while standing over Orton to close the show…
Powell’s POV: A well worked match, but it was the same story as last time in that I never bought into any of Ziggler’s near falls. In this case, the non-title match wasn’t even enough to make me think that Ziggler had a chance to win without outside interference. The post match attack was pretty basic with the RKO that you had to know was coming. Overall, though, this was a good episode of Raw with some quality in-ring work and some newsworthy SummerSlam developments.
I will have more to say about this episode in my weekly same night audio review coming up shortly for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by assigning it a letter grade via our post Raw poll available via the main page. Join us for live coverage of NXT and AEW Dynamite every Wednesday night, and my live review of WWE Smackdown on Friday nights.
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...