WWE Champion Drew McIntyre Attacked Randy Orton
Why wouldn't the show have started off with daft picks like on Friday's SmackDown? Orton's mic work has been excellent on the whole this year, but to be perfectly honest, I didn't come into this show waiting with bated breath to see what he had to say. Don't get me wrong, the segment was solid and the brawl he had with McIntyre was good, but I'm just ready for the rivalry to be over.
Kevin Owens def. Aleister Black in a No Disqualification Match
It's a shame that this feud hasn't gotten the storyline support it deserved. Black has yet to fully flesh out his heel character and he never truly explained why he went after Owens initially two months ago. On the bright side, this was easily the best bout in their short series of matches. They made excellent use of the stipulation and Owens specifically took some wild bumps. It was certainly competitive before Black ate the loss. I don't think this rivalry should continue on SmackDown now that they're both there. In fact, I'm slightly worried about Black considering he was drafted so low, meaning the company apparently doesn't view him as a priority.
Natalya and Lana Interrupted Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke on Miz TV; Lars Sullivan Attacked John Morrison
I sincerely hope Miz and Morrison can turn their fortunes around now that they're on Raw. As much as I've enjoyed their reunion in 2020, they've been booked so badly since April that I would've preferred they ended on different shows in the Draft, but that didn't happen. If they're going to stick together, then they have be presented as a true threat in that tag team division on Raw. Unfortunately for them, their run on Raw didn't get off to the strongest start as their stuff with the women was whatever and then Morrison was promptly attacked by Sullivan. Having Sullivan go after Morrison was a strange choice considering both men are supposed to be heels.
AJ Styles def. Jeff Hardy and Seth Rollins in a Triple Threat Match
This would have been considered a dream match three or four years ago because of how much Rollins has been compared to Hardy throughout his career, and then throwing Styles in there never hurts. It wasn't a five-star classic by any means, but it still ended up being quite great and I'm glad they were given as much time as they were. Rollins has been a big part of Raw since 2016 (and really since his main roster debut in 2012), so it was cool that he got a proper sendoff from the flagship show. However, Styles needed the victory and Hardy was protected in defeat with the returning Elias attacking him before the finish. I totally forgot about the hit-and-run that Elias was involved in earlier this year that Hardy was blamed for in storyline. Was that really never resolved? Elias is a much better fit on Raw in my opinion and this a logical first feud back for him.
Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke def. Lana and Natalya
While Rose and Brooke have gelled well as a team thus far, I'm still not a fan of them coming together in the tag team division. Brooke will benefit from it because she's been a non-factor on her own for years now, but Rose had real momentum coming off her win over Sonya Deville at SummerSlam two months ago, so this feels like a definite demotion for her. Natalya and Lana were unbearable as a team to me, so you won't get any complaints out of me regarding them going their separate ways.
Angel Garza def. Andrade
Garza was injured at Clash of Champions two weeks back and is already back in action, so that's impressive. This was a fun little match but way too short. It feels like WWE did it just to solidify their split and quickly move on from it. WWE clearly sees bigger things in Garza than they do in Andrade, and while Garza has a bright future, I don't want Andrade to fall by the wayside. Splitting him from Zelina Vega, as I've said before, would be an incredibly dumb decision.
Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) def. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
It was determined earlier in the evening that New Day and The Street Profits would simply swap their tag titles, making New Day the new Raw Tag Team Champions and Street Profits the new SmackDown Tag Team Champions. In that same segment, Ziggler and Roode boasted about beating Street Profits in last week's main event, so New Day granted them a shot at the straps. There was no way Ziggler and Roode were winning anyway, but drafting them to SmackDown before this bout even happened made it that much more obvious. On the bright side, it was a very well-wrestled match and a fine farewell for Ziggler and Roode from the red brand.
Ricochet def. Cedric Alexander by Disqualification
The stipulation was that if Ricochet won, his issues with The Hurt Business would be over, but if Alexander won, he'd have to join the group. That made me infinitely more interested in this than I would have been otherwise, even though I knew these two would work well together. Sure enough, it was an entertaining affair for what it was with the classic Eddie Guerrero finish. I appreciated it as a nod to Eddie, but I still find it dumb because viewers have been conditioned to think that the referees can't call anything if they didn't see it firsthand. Other than that, this accomplished what it needed to. Now the question is if Ricochet will be able to bounce back from all the bad booking he's endured this past year.
Lana Won a Raw Women's Championship No. 1 Contender's Dual-Branded Battle Royal; McIntyre and Orton Continued to Brawl
Why bother having a Draft if women from both brands were going to have the opportunity to potentially compete for the Raw Women's Championship? That lacked logic. This was a fairly ho-hum Battle Royal. There was nothing special about it whatsoever and I question why it was put on last. Is it because Lana's win was an easy backdrop for the continuation of the Orton and McIntyre brawl (which was ridiculous)? Speaking of Lana, how anyone could possibly care about her facing Asuka next week for the Raw Women's Championship after all the losing she's done lately is beyond me.
The show seemed to fall apart at the end with the Battle Royal and the pointless brawl between Orton and McIntyre, but all in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this edition of Raw. Additionally, and I may be in the minority on this one, but I was largely satisfied with the results of the Draft. Most people ended up where they should have and the layout was an improvement over last year, despite there being obvious issues like with how Raw drafted RETRIBUTION (a group that has been wreaking havoc for months now) so highly. Speaking of whom, where the hell was that Mustafa Ali promo that was advertised for the show? Yikes. Again, though, this was a thumbs-up effort on the whole, especially by recent Raw standards. Much like with Night 1 of the 2020 WWE Draft, I'll have a separate post up soon on the site with my in-depth analysis of Night 2 and who went where, including those who were drafted afterward on Raw Talk.