By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw (Episode 1,429)
Live from Orlando, Florida at Amway Center
Aired October 12, 2020 on USA Network
[Hour One] The ThunderDome was spotlighted to start and then the broadcast team of Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Samoa Joe checked in. They touted some of the wrestlers acquired by Raw on night one of the WWE Draft, then showed a graphic of the wrestlers available on night two…
Randy Orton made his entrance and was introduced by ring announcer Mike Rome. Orton said regardless of where he ends up in the draft, he will be locked inside the Hell in a Cell structure and will take the WWE Championship from Drew McIntyre. Orton said 2020 has been McIntyre’s year and then listed some of his accomplishments.
Orton recalled beating McIntyre in last week’s six-man tag match. He said McIntyre had not lost via pinfall in nearly a year. Orton said it’s a sign of things to come. Orton looked into the camera and spoke to McIntyre while saying he would pin him again in the HIAC match and take the title from him by hitting him with an RKO.
Before Orton could spit out the final letter of his finisher, WWE Champion Drew McIntyre’s entrance music interrupted him. McIntyre walked onto the stage and said Orton was right when he said he was the first person to pin him in nearly a year. McIntyre said what he did to Orton previously was for others, but what he does to him at HIAC will be for him.
McIntyre recalled saying he would kick the crap out of Orton whenever they were in the same building. McIntyre said he didn’t want to break a promise. McIntyre entered the ring and worked over Orton, who caught him with a kick and rolled to ringside. McIntyre followed and performed a side slam onto the broadcast table. McIntyre rolled Orton back inside the ring, but Orton rolled out the other side and headed up to the stage…
The broadcast team hyped the Kevin Owens vs. Aleister Black match. Backstage, a crew member handed Stephanie McMahon a card that presumably featured the first draft picks. Phillips hyped the first round as coming up after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: I guess the producers and referees were content letting McIntyre and Orton fight all night unlike every other time a fight breaks out. Anyway, the segment was successful in putting over Orton’s pinfall win from last week while also making McIntyre look strong. The hook for the first round of the draft coming up after the commercial break was nicely done.
Stephanie McMahon was introduced and she walked out to the podium to deliver the first round picks.
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt to Raw
Bayley to Smackdown
Randy Orton to Raw
“The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins to Smackdown
Charlotte Flair to Raw
Powell’s POV: The Fiend to Raw was expected because he can remain heel and eventually feud with Drew McIntyre. I assume Alexa Bliss will be joining him on Raw. Raw Tag Champions The Street Profits moving to Smackdown was also expected once Smackdown Tag Champions Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods were drafted to Raw. Do they swap belts? Do they have a unification match? Do they both get traded back to their previous brand?
1. Kevin Owens vs. Aleister Black in a No DQ match. Owens was second to make his entrance and went right at Black to start. Owens performed an early cannonball on Black, who was seated in front of the ringside barricade. Owens set up a table on the floor and set up for a powerbomb, but Black punched Owens’ knee to break free. Owens caught Black with a kick, then climbed onto the barricade. Black grabbed Owens and tossed him onto the broadcast table. [C]
The wrestlers were back inside the ring coming out of the break. Black tried to suplex Owens onto a chair in the middle of the ring, but Owens blocked it. Owens sold back pain. Black performed a drop toe hold on Owens, who fell face first onto the table. Owens came back with a couple of chair shots and then DDT’d Black for a near fall.
Owens set up four chairs in the ring and tried to superplex Black, who knocked him off the ropes. Black leapt from the ropes and hit Owens with double knees to drive him onto the chairs, which led to a near fall. Black brought a table inside the ring.
Owens slipped to ringside. Black followed and shoved Owens into the ring post, but Owens ducked a Black Mass kick. Back inside the ring, Owens performed a Stunner and then powerbombed Black through the table before pinning him…
Kevin Owens defeated Aleister Black in 12:10 in a No DQ match.
Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke were shown talking backstage. Phillips hyped that they would be the guests on Miz TV…
Powell’s POV: The Owens vs. Black feud didn’t have strong storyline support, so I won’t complain if this is the end of the road. I thought they might be putting Black with The Fiend, but there was no hint of that during this match.
An ad for NXT focused on Ember Moon, Dexter Lumis, and Toni Storm without announcing any matches…
Powell’s POV: Oddly, NXT has yet to announce any matches for Wednesday’s show.
Phillips touted Stephanie McMahon being labeled the most influential CMO by Forbes…
Stephanie announced the next round of draft picks…
Braun Strowman to Raw
Daniel Bryan to Smackdown
Matt Riddle to Raw
Kevin Owens to Smackdown
Jeff Hardy to Raw
Powell’s POV: Strowman had essentially moved to Raw in recent weeks, so that’s not a surprise. Bryan remaining on Smackdown makes sense because he should be an eventual challenger to Roman Reigns. Riddle and Hardy moving to Raw feels somewhat newsworthy, and Owens needs a fresh start after feeling like the odd man out on Raw since WrestleMania.
The Miz and John Morrison hosted Miz TV in the ring. Miz boasted that he is the face of USA Network. Miz introduced Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke as his guests. Phillips reminded viewers that Miz helped influence the trade that sent Rose to Raw because he was trying to get to Otis.
Miz said Rose should be thanking her for the incredible opportunity. She said that what he did was petty. Miz asked Brooke if she was sure she wanted to team with Rose given the split between Rose and her best friend Sonya Deville. He also noted that they would both be in the battle royal where there could be only one winner. “May the best woman win,” Rose told Brooke.
Natalya and Lana made their entrance. Natalya said she and Lana are also in the battle royal, but no one wanted to interview them. Rose told Lana if she spent less time on Tik Tok and more time training in the ring then she might be able to win a match. Natalya hit Rose and then a brawl broke out. Rose and Brooke cleared Natalya and Lana to ringside… [C]
The Miz and Morrison were still in the ring after the break. Miz hyped season two of his reality show, then introduced Morrison is his Plan B guest. Morrison said it was an honor to join Miz to talk about all the things they plan to bring to Raw. Morrison spoke about bringing The Dirt Sheet to Raw and then they were interrupted by entrance music.
Lars Sullivan made his entrance. Sullivan entered the ring and went after Miz, who fled to ringside. Sullivan beat up Morrison in the ring. Miz tried to pull Morrison to ringside, but he backed off when Sullivan spotted him. Sullivan went back to destroying Morrison while Miz sold the attack from ringside. The broadcast team wondered which brand would draft Sullivan…
Powells POV: I think they are trying to establish Sullivan as a monster who will beat up anyone, but it is a little strange to have him destroy a heel in Morrison in his first Raw appearance in ages.
The broadcast team recapped Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods beating Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro to win the Smackdown Tag Titles only to be drafted to Raw, while Big E was drafted to Smackdown…
Backstage, Adam Pearce informed The Street Profits and the New Day duo that they could swap title belts. The teams obliged. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode showed up and grumbled about not getting a shot at the Street Profits. Kingston and Woods stepped up and offered them a shot…
Powell’s POV: WWE needs to ditch brand specific titles. We have WWE and WWE Universal singles men’s champions, so why not do the same for the tag team and women’s titles? If nothing else, the belt swap seems to cement the idea of New Day truly being split up with Big E alone on Smackdown.
Seth Rollins was shown walking backstage while Saxton wondered what his farewell message would be to Raw viewers… [C]
Stephanie McMahon stood on the stage and announced Kingston and Woods vs. Roode and Ziggler for the Raw Tag Titles would take place during the show.
[Hour Two] Stephanie McMahon announced the next round of picks.
Retribution to Raw
Lars Sullivan to Smackdown
Keith Lee to Raw
King Corbin to Smackdown
Alexa Bliss to Raw
Powell’s POV: It’s still hilarious that we’re supposed to believe that WWE signed a group that wants to end the company, and now Raw has drafted the same group of rebels. I am a little surprised that Lee and Sullivan weren’t drafted sooner. Could someone draft the awful King gimmick away from Corbin?
Seth Rollins made his entrance and delivered an in-ring promo. Rollins called it the end of an era while nothing that it was his last time appearing as a member of the Raw roster. Rollins said the Raw viewers were losing a champion and a man who has conquered monsters.
Rollins said most glaringly the viewers are losing the greatest leader in Raw history. He wondered who could step up on Raw and fill his shoes. He said it won’t be Rey Mysterio or Dominik Mysterio because they have also been drafted to Smackdown. Rollins was interrupted.
Jeff Hardy made his entrance. Rollins said he was trying to find a leader and that’s definitely not Hardy. Rollins told Hardy to get the hell out of his ring. Hardy said Rollins was drafted to Smackdown while he was drafted to Raw, so in a way it’s his ring now.
Rollins told Hardy that he should be focused on his match against Lars Sullivan that will take place on Smackdown. Rollins told Hardy good luck and said he would need it, then put the mic down and headed toward the ramp.
AJ Styles made his entrance. It looked like Styles and Rollins were going to be friendly, but Styles told him to keep stepping because it was never Monday Night Rollins. Rollins confronted Styles at ringside. Hardy kicked them both through the ropes, then ran Styles into the ring steps. Hardy leapt off the back of Styles and hit Poetry in Motion on Rollins. Hardy went to the apron and dove onto Styles.
Back inside the ring, Hardy took the mic and told Rollins that he was going to prove to him that Raw was in good hands. Hardy called for a Triple Threat match… An ad for the “season premiere” of Smackdown hyped Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman for the WWE Universal Championship… [C]
2. Seth Rollins vs. Jeff Hardy vs. AJ Styles in a Triple Threat. Phillips hyped it as a “first-time ever on Raw” match. Rollins and Styles worked together to put the boots to Hardy, but their alliance didn’t last long. With Hardy and Styles to ringside, Rollins performed a suicide dive onto them. [C]
Hardy performed a Whisper in the Wind on both opponents. Hardy landed awkwardly and winced, but he popped up and worked over both opponents. Later, Rollins hit a falcon arrow on Styles for a near fall. All three men were down or a moment. Rollins got up and set up for a Stomp on Styles, but Hardy jumped off the back of Styles and DDT’d Rollins.
Hardy went to the top rope and was cut off by Styles. Rollins snuck in, but Styles put him in a Calf Crusher. Hardy performed a Swanton onto Rollins. Styles, who had rolled out of the way, shoved Hardy aside and tried to steal the pin, but Rollins kicked out. Styles went for a Styles Clash, but Hardy escaped and dropped him with a Twist of Fate. Elias entered the ring and smashed a guitar over the back of Hardy. Styles stole the pin while Elias watched…
AJ Styles defeated Jeff Hardy and Seth Rollins in roughly 14:00 in a Triple Threat.
Stephanie was shown looking at her draft card while acting like she was surprised by some of the moves… [C]
Powell’s POV: Elias is back and he’s a heel again. I guess this means he will be drafted to Raw to feud with Hardy.
Stephanie McMahon stood on the stage and announced the next round of picks…
Elias to Raw
Sami Zayn to Smackdown
Lacey Evans to Raw
Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura to Smackdown
Sheamus to Raw
Powell’s POV: The Intercontinental Champion waits until round four. Sheamus is an interesting pick. As I noted on Friday, he is friends with Drew McIntyre and I could definitely see the two of them working together at some point.
3. Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke vs. Natalya and Lana. The entrances were not televised. In the end, Brooke stood on the shoulders of Rose and performed a senton on Lana that led to the three count.
Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke beat Natalya and Lana in 3:40.
After the match, Lana cried. Natalya told her that it wasn’t working out. “I’m done,” Natalya said…
Powell’s POV: Congratulations to Lana for not being put through a table. Rose and Brooke are not showing nearly the same chemistry that Rose and Sonya Deville had as a team. I assume that Natalya and Lana splitting means that one of them is changing brands.
The Hurt Business members stood backstage and spoke about Retribution. Ricochet approached the group. MVP asked if he was a glutton for punishment. Ricochet said he might be, so he was asking for one last match. MVP asked if he was retiring. Ricochet said he was retiring Hurt Business. He said that Apollo Crews could be drafted to Smackdown and then he’d be left alone. Ricochet said that he would face any Hurt Business member and if he wins then their beef is done, but if he loses the match then he would join the faction. Cedric Alexander stepped up in Ricochet’s face…
Angel Garza made his entrance. Phillips said Garza would face Andrade while Zelina Vega would be on commentary… [C]
4. Andrade vs. Angel Garza. Andrade’s entrance was televised. Garza had his left thigh wrapped after suffering an injury during his last Raw appearance. Andrade targeted the bad leg. Vega said she was finished with both men after calling this match. Both men ended up at ringside where Garza avoided Andrade’s finisher and slammed him into the edge of the ring. Back inside the ring, Garza looked down at Vega, then hit his Wing Clipper finisher and scored the clean pin.
Angel Garza pinned Andrade in 2:30.
Garza left the ring. Vega entered the ring and checked on Andrade. The Fiend’s entrance lighting left Vega looking concerned. When the lights turned on, Alexa Bliss was doing a Bray Wyatt pose in the corner. The Fiend was also in the ring. Fiend and Bliss hit stereo Sister Abigails on Andrade and Vega… [C]
Powell’s POV: I was surprised to see a clean finish. My guess is that Andrade is being drafted to Smackdown since he not only lost the match, but he also took a random attack from The Fiend that he is unlikely to avenge as a fellow heel.
A graphic touted WWE topping 50,000,000,000 YouTube views…
Stephanie McMahon stood on the stage and delivered the next round of draft picks…
Nikki Cross to Raw
Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode to Smackdown
R-Truth to Raw
Apollo Crews to Smackdown
Dabba-Kato to Raw
Powell’s POV: Is there a reason they didn’t wait until after the tag title match to announce Ziggler and Roode moving to Smackdown? Probably not. Cross to Raw makes sense given her involvement in the Alexa Bliss storyline.
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods made their entrance.
[Hour Three] Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler made their entrance (this is the last time I have to hear Ziggler’s wretched entrance theme on a Monday until Vince McMahon gets impatient and ignores the brand split rules)…
5. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods vs. Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler for the Raw Tag Titles. Mike Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Ziggler hit an early Fameasser on Kingston for a near fall. [C]
The heels isolated Kingston until he performed a lousy version of a stomp to the chest of Roode. Woods took the hot tag and worked over both heels with a nice offensive flurry that was capped off by a DDT for a near fall on Ziggler.
A short time later, Ziggler hit a DDT of his own for a near fall on Woods. Roode tagged in and performed a spinebuster on Woods for a two count. Woods caught Roode with a leaping kick to the head and wanted to make a tag to Kingston, who was pulled from the apron by Ziggler. Kingston took out Ziggler and tagged himself into the match. Kingston caught Roode with a kick, then teamed up with Woods for the Midnight Hour and pinned Roode…
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods defeated Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler in 12:05 to retain the Raw Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: An entertaining match despite a clunky moment or two. Woods had a nice outing.
Elias was approached by Charly Caruso backstage. Elias was still carrying the broken guitar. He said everyone has forgiven Jeff Hardy, but he won’t forgive him for hitting him with a car and taking him out of action for months. Caruso said the mystery person was never identified. Elias announced that his new album Universal Truth will be available on October 26. Elias said he would hold an unforgettable concert for his official return next week…
The Hurt Business made their entrance… [C]
Powell’s POV: I was really hoping that we’d see a new Elias following the layoff. It’s time for something fresh, but it doesn’t look like that will be happening.
A video package recapped Mustafa Ali being revealed as the Retribution leader…
6. Ricochet vs. Cedric Alexander (w/MVP, Bobby Lashley, Shelton Benjamin). The broadcast team noted that Ricochet must join Hurt Business if he lost the match. Alexander performed a Michinoku Driver. When Ricochet kicked out, Alexander bumped the referee. MVP slid a chair into the ring that Ricochet intercepted. Ricochet slammed the mat with the chair, then handed it to Alexander. Ricochet acted injured and the referee disqualified Alexander…
Ricochet beat Cedric Alexander by DQ in 5:00.
Ads for Smackdown and Hell in a Cell aired… [C]
Powell’s POV: So Ricochet gets to move on from working with the Hurt Business. I know it’s been done before, but I’m just not a fan of referees calling what they didn’t see where there are so many other times we are told as viewers that the referees can only call what they see.
Phillips hyped Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, AJ Styles, and the winner of the women’s battle royal for Raw Talk. He said there would be additional draft picks announced on Raw Talk (because three hours just isn’t enough)…
Highlights aired of last week’s Braun Strowman and Keith Lee match and brawl. Phillips announced Strowman vs. Lee in “a sanctioned WWE match” for next week’s “season premiere” of Raw…
Stephanie McMahon announced the final picks of the night while standing on the stage…
Titus O’Neil to Raw
Carmella to Smackdown
Peyton Royce to Raw
Aleister Black to Smackdown
Akira Tozawa to Raw
Powell’s POV: Aleister Black was drafted after occasional wrestler Titus O’Neil, and one pick ahead of the guy who clowns around with insulting ninjas. Sad. By the way, with the main event starting, I guess we won’t be hearing from Mustafa Ali tonight despite that being advertised.
Asuka made her entrance to join the broadcast team. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler made their entrance for the battle royal… [C]
The broadcast team hyped the season premiere of Smackdown and touted a 30-minute kickoff show on Fox. They also hyped the Raw season premiere and said the winner of the battle royal would challenge Asuka next week…
7. Dual Brand Battle Royal for a shot at the Raw Women’s Championship. The entrants included Jax, Baszler, Billie Kay, Mandy Rose, Natala, Lana, Dana Brooke, Nikki Cross, Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott, Bianca Belair, Peyton Royce, Lacey Evans, The entrants were in the ring coming out of the break.
Jax had the mic and said the battle royal would be won by Shayna or more likely her. She suggested the other entrants just eliminate themselves. The other entrants attacked Jax, who ended up eliminating Tamina and Kay. Jax also eliminated Rose and Brooke to help Baszler.
The entrants all ganged up on Jax again. Baszler helped them eliminate Jax, who tore the broadcast table apart. Jax put Lana through the broadcast table again. Cameras cut backstage where Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton were brawling. Orton was getting the better of it. [C]
There were elimination during the break. Belair rolled through Baszler’s finisher, then hoisted her up and eliminated her. The Riott Squad duo eliminated Belair. The final four (barring something hiding at ringside) were Evans, Natalya, Morgan, and Riott.
Evans and Natalya eliminated Morgan and Riott simultaneously to get to the final two. Asuka was shown watching the match on a backstage monitor. Evans and Natalya fought on the apron and did some near elimination spots. Natalya swung Lacey into the ring post and she fell to the floor. Lana returned and eliminated Natalya to win the match.
Lana won the dual brand battle royal in 11:25 to earn a Raw Women’s Championship next week.
Asuka was shown looking shocked backstage. The McIntyre and Orton brawl made its way to ringside. Producers and referees ran out and separated them while Saxton said he has to see their Hell in a Cell match because there’s no telling what they would do to one another.
Powell’s POV: I didn’t think Lana had been eliminated, but I wasn’t sure. I guess this is her reward for being put through a table four times since her husband said on AEW Dynamite that Vince McMahon could kiss his ass. But do they really think Lana challenging for the Raw Women’s Championship is a hook for next week? The McIntyre and Orton brawl was solid and I like the way Saxton worked in the plug for their HIAC match.
Overall, the WWE Draft felt uneventful. They mostly shook up the mid-card. Vince McMahon has to stop going with brand to brand invitationals and wildcard rules and any other slogan he has used when he hits the panic button and drops the brand split rules whenever the ratings go south. He needs to be patient for a full year and maybe then it will feel important when some of the wrestlers change brands and fresh matches are created.
Let me know what you thought of the show by assigning it a letter grade in our post show poll available via the main page. I will be back with my same night audio review for Dot Net Members once the final draft picks are made on Raw Talk.