The tagline, you never saw it coming, was the sub-header for the PPV, we’ll get there, and wow, was that accurate.
Coming to us live on 8/23/20 from the Thunder dome, the virtual experience setup at the Amway Arena in Orlando, FL, we had a night filled with some great action, big surprises, and plenty to send the fans, already at home, to bed happy.
Apollo Crews retains the US title over MVP via pin fall with the Toss Powerbomb.
The pre-show presented us with the United States Title match, a rematch between the current champion, Apollo Crews, and the challenger, the defacto leader of the “Hurt Business”, MVP.
This was given a fair amount of time, but I don’t think anyone was truly surprised to see Crews retain, as he seems headed towards a clash with the “All Mighty” Bobby Lashley, the man I expect to relieve him of that title.
MVP had some good offense, but Crews wouldn’t be stopped and he hit a standing moonsault, which only secured him a two count, and then he was able to finish things off with the Toss Powerbomb.
Crews is really coming into his own as champ and the “Hurt Business” is good for business, as they are really a staple of the current Raw scene. The feud with Apollo has seen wins and losses for both, we’ll see what happens.
Bayley retains the Smackdown Women’s Title over Asuka via pin fall with an inside cradle.
I expected Asuka to come away with a title tonight, this was not the one I expected to end up in her grasp.
What can you say about these two? They brought it.
Sasha Banks was on the outside and provided ample distraction throughout the match. They hit some great moves on each other and the end came when Bayley went up top for a diving elbow and Asuka trapped her in an arm bar, one of the legendary Chris Jericho’s 1004 holds.
Sasha Banks climbed onto the apron for a distraction and Asuka wasn’t having it. She hit a hip attack and Banks took one for the team. Banks collapsed from the apron, but it was enough to allow Bayley to catch Asuka, who was positioned between the ropes after the hip attack, with a trap cradle, which was enough to secure the victory.
Immediately after the bell rang, the heels assaulted Asuka, hitting a double team powerbomb and a flurry of stomps to further weaken Asuka for her match with Banks later.
Dominik Mysterio was getting ready backstage and having a heart to heart with his father, the great Rey Mysterio, and his mother Angie. He made his father promise, that no matter what happens, to let him defend the family honor. Mysterio reluctantly agrees and they share a kiss and a hug.
The Street Profits retain the Raw Tag Team Titles over Andrade/Angel Garza via pin fall after a frog splash from Ford onto Andrade.
I actually expected a title change here, and it didn’t have much time, but these four gave it their all.
The Street Profits were able to score a measure of retribution after Zelina Vega poisoned Ford a few weeks back and after a grueling battle, Garza hit a superkick on Montez Ford, which catapulted him outside and he landed on Vega.
This was enough to allow the Profits to clear Garza from the ring and Dawkins hit the twisting splash on Andrade in the corner. Ford recovered and took to the skies for the Frog Splash and Garza was cut off at the pass by Dawkins, allowing Ford to get the three count and secure the victory.
The Profits continue their reign heading into next week’s Payback and the next challenger is anyone’s guess.
Kevin Owens was on commentary during the match, complete with a Profits tee and a red tie, and he was awesome as always. We find out that tomorrow on Raw, he’s having Aleister Black on the KO show. That’ll be good television there.
Bayley and Sasha Banks are celebrating Bayley’s victory over Asuka backstage, and there’s another teased moment of tension as Banks says that she too will beat Asuka, which Bayley concurs with after a brief pause.
Mandy Rose defeats Sonya Deville via pin fall with a running knee strike.
Look, not every match can be five stars and I’m not going to lie to you, this wasn’t that good.
Deville was obviously going to lose this as she takes time off to deal with the horrible situation involving the stalker that pursued her outside the ring and we certainly wish her the best.
This was supposed to be a No DQ match, but there weren’t many spots outside a few tossed chairs that missed and a table spot that never happened.
Rose relied heavily on knee strikes throughout the match and Deville used her ground and pound style from her MMA days. It wasn’t pretty, but they got through it.
Deville controlled the pace for most of the match and Mandy fired off the comeback, hitting her double under hook faceplant finish, but just to add insult to injury, she hit one final knee strike for the three count and the victory.
Otis would come down to the ring to celebrate with his “peach” and we saw Mandy attempt the worm. it wasn’t pretty, but they had fun. I forget that otis still has the briefcase and after the main event, it’ll probably be a while before he cashes in. More on that later.
Seth Rollins defeats Dominik Mysterio via pin fall with a Blackout Stomp.
This was fantastic. Before we get into the match itself, I took a moment before this one to realize that tonight we’d see the debut of the youngster that once found out the late great Eddie Guerrero was his “papi” in one of the best feuds in the history of the business.
Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero, along with both Angie and Vicki, gave us some of the best television and PPV in years and tonight, it comes full circle, as Rey’s son debuts against one of the top heels.
Dominik held his own in his debut match and pulled out many of his father’s signature spots including a number of 619’s and a crisp frog splash off the top in honor of “Uncle Eddie”.
Murphy was a thorn in the side of Dominik and Rey and kendo sticks were used, steel chairs, and there was a great spot where Dominik hit a side russian leg sweep off the top rope, putting he and Rollins through a table.
Rollins poured on the punishment and Mysterio would eventually find himself handcuffed after attacking Murphy, which led to Rollins taking him out of the action. Rey’s wife Angie would appear atop the ramp and the “Monday Night Messiah” had evil intentions, but Dominik fought him off.
Back in the ring, Dominik went up top for a frog splash again, but Rollins got the knees up and then taunted Rey, telling him to watch as he finished off his son.
A Blackout Stomp strikes true and Rollins gets the three count. Seth tosses the key down beside Dominik and he an Murphy take their leave. I fully expect a tag match between these four men at Payback and hopefully, the Mysterio family will get a needed win. This has made for great television. Dominik’s ring gear was sick, it looked like Rey’s old Halloween Havoc gear from many years back in WCW.
Asuka defeats Sasha Banks via submission with the Asuka Lock to win the Raw Women’s Title.
Called it, but it was executed well.
Sadly, poor Sasha’s streak of never defending a title on PPV continues and how it happened was rather curious, to say the least.
They had a fantastic match, as they always seem too, and we saw some great spots.
Sasha hit a sunset flip powerbomb on Asuka that sent the “Empress of Tomorrow” onto the arena floor and she landed hard. It looked brutal, but was well sold.
Near falls were exchanged and Banks was able to escape the Asuka Lock a number of times, and Asuka was able to escape the Banks Statement too.
We did see a truly unique move where Asuka delivered what looked to be a traditional DDT off the top rope, but there was no variation. It was clean and I hope to see that spot again down the line, that really looked good.
Asuka was trying to secure the Asuka Lock once again, but now Bayley provided the distraction. Asuka went for the hip attack as she did earlier, but Bayley didn’t take one for the team, she moved and Asuka knocked her off the apron with a hard elbow.
Banks tried to capitalize, but Asuka reversed into the submission and Banks had no choice but to tap. Asuka regains the Raw Women’s title and a dejected Banks looked to her partner and they look to the Women’s Tag Team Titles, realizing they have to defend those next week.
We’ll eventually see that feud and we’re certainly ready for it.
Drew McIntyre retains the World Title over Randy Orton via pin fall with a backslide.
This was incredible. I honestly had no idea who was going to win this, and it’s moments like that which remind you why you’re a wrestling fan.
Orton has arguably been doing the best work of his career and a title change here wouldn’t have surprised anybody.
Having said that, McIntyre, despite the pandemic and some obvious poor writing at times, has been a damn good world champion and when live crowds are able to return, hopefully he is shown that appreciation. He’s a tremendous promo, tremendous in the ring, and the right man to hold the title at this time.
Orton and he beat the hell out of one another. Orton would get a thumb in the eye at one point. He’d hit the draping DDT, a back suplex onto the announce table and all the great spots we’ve grown accustomed too from “The Viper”.
McIntyre would hit his overhead toss suplexes, the great spot where he rises up and tosses his opponent on the ropes and a beautiful Glasgow kiss that struck true.
Orton was opened up with a hard right hand, McIntyre was bleeding from the thumb to the eye and it was just good solid in-ring action.
The end would come when Orton had McIntyre down and he set him up for the RKO, but instead, he opted for the punt kick. McIntyre would escape, and try for a Claymore which missed the mark.
Orton had him dead to rights for the RKO, but literally, out of nowhere, McIntyre would counter with a backslide, for the 1-2-3. Wow.
Orton was outside the ring, grinning, and we might see these two once again at Payback, but the story tonight was a successful defense for a worthy champion. Kudos to both men for a fine title match.
Bask In His Glory! There it is folks! After passing the NXT torch to Karrion Kross, who secured the title yesterday evening, “Limitless” Keith Lee will be debuting on Raw tomorrow night!
This man is a basket full of charisma, a damn good hand in the ring and an all around fan favorite. I truly hope he is given the opportunity to shine on the red brand because he should be a main event player for years to come. Great news for fans of the Monday Night product.
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt defeats Braun Strowman via pin fall with Sister Abigail to regain the Universal Title.
I always thought Strowman won the title because of the pandemic. That is not a knock on Strowman at all, he’s done a good job and provided everyone with some great television, but I think everyone expected Wyatt tog et the belt back because of a feud that was going to happen before Wrestlemania.
Strowman had defeated Funhouse Wyatt, Buzzard Wyatt and now he had to deal with the ultimate evil.
This was a brawl. Both men beat the heck out of one another early and we saw the action spill to the outside with the Falls Count Anywhere stipulation.
Wyatt would employ a toolbox which he attack Strowman with after hitting a very impressive uranage on the big man in the ring. Strowman would counter with a fearsome spear through the barricade and he began to channel his inner demon as he continued his assault on Wyatt.
Strowman would take a box cutter from the tool box while Wyatt was down in the ring, and with evil intentions in his eyes, he took a different route. Strowman would proceed to cut the apron from the ring and then the padding, exposing the wood below.
As he tossed the box cutter aside, “The Fiend” had risen and Strowman asked why he wouldn’t die. Braun lunged forward, but Wyatt would counter and slam him on the wood with another uranage and then he’d hit not one, but two, Sister Abigail’s on the exposed wood. He made the cover and we got a three count.
Just like that, “The Fiend” is back atop the mountain.
Wyatt’s music would play and just as we prepared for the unholy celebration, Wyatt would find himself speared out of his boots.
Summerslam, you never saw it coming! Clad in an awesome new shirt, sporting one hell of a strong beard game, Roman Reigns has returned!
Reigns beats the hell out of Strowman on the outside, unloading on him with a steel chair and he then proceeds to spear Strowman stating that he’s the real monster, not him.
Roman would then lay out “The Fiend”, spearing him and proclaiming the same. Reigns would hold the title up as the show went off the air and it was absolutely fantastic.
Reigns and Wyatt was to headline ‘Mania along with Lesnar and McIntyre in the midst of the pandemic and we never had the opportunity to see it to fruition with Roman’s past health challenges.
With a controlled environment and frequent testing, I truly hope for the best. Reigns looked absolutely fantastic here, the fans shown on the virtual wall were as stunned as we were and it was a truly shocking way to end a fantastic PPV. The fed needed this. Ratings are down, the writing has been terrible on both shows more weeks then I can count, and they needed a strong showing.
They had it here. The only thing missing was “Retribution”, but that story needs to simmer before the stew is served. We need strong reveals and good feuds. We’ve got Payback next Sunday and I’m sure that won’t be anything to write home about, but as we head into the fall, we’ve got some needed players back in the fold.
Now let’s get after it.
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