Randy Orton Interrupted WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, Shawn Michaels, Big Show, Christian and Ric Flair
It would have been nice for all the legends to return at Clash of Champions, cost Orton the win and havethat be it, but WWE loves to milk things for everything they're worth. I was really hoping for the Orton vs. McIntyre rivalry to be over after Clash of Champions, but his threat to McIntyre here means it'll unfortunately continue. It makes sense to culminate inside Hell in a Cell, but Orton losing at three consecutive pay-per-views should put him in the back of the line.
Raw Women's Champion Asuka def. Zelina Vega
I realize Vega attacked Asuka after losing to her at Clash of Champions, but I don't think anyone was clamoring for a rematch. That said, this was better than their original encounter and Vega was more impressive this time around. With Asuka tapping out Vega again, this has to be it for her in the Raw Women's Championship picture. Bianca Belair leads my list of women I'd like to see challenge Asuka next.
Keith Lee def. Andrade
When the show came back from commercial break, Andrade was shown in the ring telling Vega she was nothing without him. So, it seems like their split is official, and I maintain that both are going to be worse off from it. Andrade called himself the best in WWE before being beaten by Lee in a good albeit brief match. I'm all for Lee picking up wins (and not losing by disqualification every week), but wouldn't he want to get his revenge on Orton after he punted him in the head last week?
Seth Rollins Interrupted the Mysterio Family on King's Court
Man, this storyline needs to die a death and fast. We can only hope that Rey Mysterio and Rollins end up on opposite brands in the upcoming Draft so we can put an end to this trash once and for all. I understand what they're going for with Aaliyah Mysterio and Murphy, but I can't say I'm invested. Other people might think differently, but none of this done anything for me. Murphy and Aaliyah in a romantic relationship? I'll pass.
Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke def. Lana and Natalya
Rose and Brooke are the newest addition to the women's tag team scene. While it's nice to have some new blood in the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship picture (which could desperately use it), this didn't make any sense to me whatsoever. Rose had major momentum coming off her win over Sonya Deville at SummerSlam, so putting her right back in a tag team seems like a strange move. Worse yet, Brooke was apparently "traded" to Raw without any explanation whatsoever, not to mention that the Draft is less than two weeks way. The match served its purpose in establishing them as a tandem, but WWE continues to ruin their own Brand Split with nonsensical moves like what we saw here.
Kevin Owens def. Aleister Black by Disqualification
This feud has been decent so far, but I feel like neither guy is benefiting. They're just being plagued by bad booking. For example, this match was going well, but before they could reach that next gear, Black accidentally hit the referee and was subsequently disqualified. How many times have we seen that same spot and the wrestler is never disqualified? That was lame. Black was laid out with a Stunner by Owens afterward anyway, so he may as well gotten pinned again. As for Black's new entrance theme, it actually sounds pretty cool, but I'm going to miss his original music, which helped him stand out in the first place.
24/7 Champion R-Truth def. Drew Gulak and Akira Tozawa in a Triple Threat Match
Please, please tell me why this match was necessary. Gulak, Tozawa and Truth already "fought" each other backstage for the 24/7 Championship at Clash of Champions and earlier in this show. That stuff was stupid enough, but having the title defended in a standard Triple Threat screamed filler. In short, this was a waste of time and further proved my point that the title should be done away with.
Murphy def. Dominik Mysterio
Between losing to Rollins three times and now Murphy, Dominik is basically a loser at this point. I mean, how is anyone supposed to take him seriously, especially after his own younger sister embarrassed him with a slap afterward? I know this was all about furthering the story with Murphy, Dominik and Aaliyah, but as previously mentioned, I'm not invested in that angle whatsoever and thus the match was pointless to me. Dominik has been very impressive in the ring, but there's going to come a time where he'll need additional seasoning and I don't think he'll get the development he needs on Raw. Dragging out his program with Rollins and Murphy hasn't helped, either.
Mustafa Ali, Apollo Crews and Ricochet def. The Hurt Business (United States Champion Bobby Lashley, MVP and Shelton Benjamin)
Much like at Clash of Champions, I assume Cedric Alexander was kept off the show for COVID-related reasons and will hopefully be back soon. In other news, yes, Ali is still employed. He's just been on Main Event for the past two months. He's been teasing a heel turn there, so I was slightly disappointed we didn't get that here. Instead, he pinned MVP, and while I should be happy about that, he pinned MVP upon his return to Raw a few months ago and went on to lose to Lashley the next week before disappearing from Raw all together. My guess is he'll be built up to lose to Lashley again, this time for the United States Championship, at Hell in a Cell. As a match, this was fun, even though the RETRIBUTION tease in the middle was stupid.
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre def. Robert Roode
As soon as you saw Dolph Ziggler backstage with Adam Pearce earlier in the evening telling him he had someone in mind for the open challenge, you had to know it was going to be the returning Roode, especially since it was rumored a week or so ago that he was on his way back to WWE after being in quarantine for six months. He looks terrific and I was happy with how he took McIntyre to the limit here. It was actually on par with their NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III main event from three years ago, that's how strong this was. McIntyre winning was never in doubt, but at least they tried to make you think Roode had a chance with Ziggler interfering on a few occasions. McIntyre being in the ring allowed Orton to sneak back into the building and attack the legends backstage (with the lights off, of course). In other words, expect Orton vs. McIntyre to be made official for Hell in a Cell as early as next week.
Last week's Raw was arguably the worst show all year and therefore it was almost impossible for this episode to be any worse. It was an obvious improvement but far from must-see. You probably noticed that RETRIBUTION was nowhere to be seen and that Raw Underground wasn't featured on the show. That's reportedly because RETRIBUTION members were around those who tested positive for COVID in NXT, so they were kept off as a precaution. A lot of the extras in Raw Underground are from NXT and the Performance Center as well, so that's likely why that wasn't shown, either. The show was better off without that stuff anyway, but there was very little that I liked and for a three-hour show, that's abysmal.