Monday Night Raw finally got to experience the Thunderdome last night with the blow off show from Summerslam and the go home show for Payback on Sunday. The show opened with Drew McIntyre coming out to address the WWE Universe after his win last night to Randy Orton. McIntyre loves the Thunderdome with some fan interactions that I am sure is a great feeling for them since most of the business is predicated on fan interaction. McIntyre gives Orton another chance at his WWE Championship at Payback. Heading up the ramp, Orton attacks him from behind, this spills over into the back area where Orton delivers not 1 but 2 punt kicks to McIntyre’s head. A couple segments later Orton heads out to the ring to a crowd of boo’s! He explains his punt kick saying that McIntyre deserved for giving him a pity rematch. A debuting Keith Lee interrupts Orton! Oh shoot this is not a drill; Lee is stepping up to one of the tops in the business for his debut! I am all in for this. Lee was phenomenal in the ring; he looked amazing and stood toe to toe with Orton without a hint of jitters. He challenges Orton to a match to avenge his friend, McIntyre. Orton, a little intimated, states maybe later and rolls out of the ring. Later on in the night was Orton against Lee. In the first couple minutes of the match Orton looked thrown off by Lee. Orton was trying to set up for the RKO but McIntyre came out to beat down on Orton. The commentators did a great job stating that McIntyre shouldn’t be out there right and saying that he must have super strength. Lee’s first match on Monday Night Raw ended in a disqualification but he looked like an absolute stud in that ring. He has star power and will be sky rocketed to the moon real soon. Backstage after the Lee/Orton match, McIntyre is talking with Charlie Caruso and again gets jumped from behind by Orton who then quickly gives him a third punt kick of the night for good measure. The officials quickly jump in and get Orton out of there. Charlie is standing in front of the trainer’s room providing the viewers with an update that McIntyre maybe suffering a skull fracture and is being further evaluated. Near the end of the show, Charlie informs the audience that McIntyre is being transported to a local medical facility for further testing and observation. She sees Lee right behind and speaks to him again. Lee states he should have told McIntyre to stay out of his match and now wants vengeance for his friend. What does this mean for their match at Payback? Will McIntyre drink the same superman juice that HBK drank and come back ready to go on Sunday? Will Lee be taking McIntyre’s place? I’m all in for McIntyre against Orton again, I just don’t think that McIntyre will be retaining on Sunday now with the 3 strikes from Orton tonight. Lee received the highest praise in my opinion for a debuting star on Monday Night Raw. He was given ample time to speak, stood toe to toe with Orton (best in the business) and is intertwined in a big storyline that has legs!
We see Nia Jax backstage fresh off her suspension being all sorts of sassy to Charlie. She informed Charlie that she was allowed back on Monday Night Raw because she apologized to the official that she struck. Shayna Baszler steps in and they start talking trash to each other. Baszler has a match next against Bayley. Bayley and Sasha Banks, the Golden Role Models, head out to the ring first. Banks looks very upset that she does have the Raw Women’s Championship, I might add a tad bit of jealousy in her eyes. After Baszler enters, Jax decides that she is going to creep at the top of the ramp to watch the match. We all know that this is going to lead to a disqualification but the match gets some time to show off Bayley and Baszler. Banks is at ringside caressing and loving the Smackdown Women’s Championship a little too much. As I stated above the match ends in a disqualification when Jax grabs Baszler outside the ring. These 2 ladies come to blows, Banks and Bayley take this as an opportunity to head out, laughing the whole time. Backstage later in the night, Jax and Baszler reach a truce where they will team up to take the Tag Team Championship from Bayley and Banks. Baszler says that she agrees to the terms as long as Jax backs off of her after. Jax is indifferent to that statement so Baszler slaps her in the face for good measure. This sets up the Tag Team Championship picture at Payback; it will be Banks and Bayley against Jax and Baszler. I’m meh on this pairing because again it’s just a thrown together pairing who were just not getting along earlier in the show but now they are going to work together. Please! There are lots of natural tag teams between Monday Night Raw, Smackdown and NXT they don’t need to throw 2 ladies together to create a one off feud. The Golden Role Models are not done for the night though because Banks gets her rematch against Asuka in a Lumberjack match. The lumberjacks are said to be there to stop Bayley from interfering in the match but no one actually stops Bayley from doing anything and no one roughs up Banks whenever she rolled out so the match itself was pointless with that stipulation. The only thing that I took from it was that Bayley is terrified of Baszler and rightfully so. During the match, Bayley again tries to help Banks but it goes awry. Bayley grabs a chair to give Banks but Baszler does finally step up to stop Bayley. This distraction causes Banks the match and Asuka is still Raw Women’s Champion.
I guess the 24/7 Championship is now getting time for actual matches on Monday Night Raw. Tonight is a fatal 4 way between the champion, Shelton Benjamin, Cedric Alexander, Akira Tozawa and R-Truth. The ninjas at ringside hold back Benjamin so that Tozawa can pin Truth to win the 24/7 Championship. Intertwined in this was Alexander who we see backstage later in the night practicing arm wrestling with Ricochet. Mark Henry steps in and says that he needs to remove the apparatus. Then MVP shows up again to recruit Alexander to The Hurt Business. MVP openly disses Ricochet to his face; Alexander is still not interested in what MVP is throwing down. This little slow burn of Alexander joining The Hurt Business is intriguing because I don’t know what will be the final straw but I know that I won’t see it coming when it does happen. In the ring, we see Mark Henry talking up and putting over Apollo Crews before he comes out for his arm wrestling match against Bobby Lashley. Crews gets the better of Lashley in a matter of seconds and that is all she wrote on that segment. Later on in the night, The Hurt Business want into the Underground; Lashley is taking out all opponents and even wrestles against Ziggler. The last opponent we see against Lashley is Alexander that leads into a melee with the Viking Raiders and Benjamin jumping in. The Underground was quite underwhelming this week compared to that last couple weeks although The Hurt Business did come back to claim their place there as the top dogs. I really wanted to see a continuation of Marina Shafir, Jessamyn Duke and Shayna Baszler running wild down there but I guess there is always next week.
Backstage we see Zelina Vega, Angel Garza and the woman from The Bachelor talking to Charlie. Zelina still states that the video doesn’t prove she did anything to Montez Ford’s drink and that she has a match later and doesn’t need this. She leaves; Garza tries to play up being the ladies man and invites both The Bachelor girl and Charlie to join him at the ring. Charlie is getting very salty with Garza lately. Garza walks out to the ring with Andrade and The Bachelor girl carrying a rose. The contest is against Ford. Here comes a distraction from Ivar carrying a turkey leg, he strolls right up to The Bachelor girl offers the turkey leg and she leaves with him. Garza is losing his mind the whole time in the ring. If he was that concerned why didn’t he go out and fight for her? Clearly, The Bachelor woman isn’t too special. Ford gets the win though. This Bachelor girl needed to exit my screen weeks ago. I’m about to figure out how to show up on Monday Night Raw to drop kick her so we can end this. She has no purpose and does nothing to help any story. Later in the night, we have a 6-woman tag match between Zelina with The IIconics and Bianca with The Riott Squad. The match itself didn’t too much except that Belair got to pin Zelina.
Lots of backstage segment tonights; the Mysterio’s are saying how proud they were of Dominik for his first match last night at Summerslam against Rollins. The main event of the evening sees Rey and Dominik Mysterio against the Monday Night Messiah, Seth Rollins, and Murphy. The match was really good until the lights started flickering and then Retribution showed up. They surround Dominik in the middle of the ring, Rey rolls into the ring to try and save him but to no avail. Retribution beat down on the Mysterio’s while Rollins and Murphy watch from the ramp laughing. Retribution stands tall on the apron to end Monday Night Raw. Why didn’t Retribution go after Rollins and Murphy? Why are they only targeting certain talent? Can we please get a reveal of someone? At this point, there is nothing that Retribution can do to surprise me, I’m checked out.
Couple other things to note from the show, Aleister Black came on the KO Show and gave Kevin Owens the Black Mass after watching the footage of Murphy attacking his eye. Natalya and Lana (looking fabulous) were in the ring to celebrate Mickie James in mocking fashion, James came out and gave Lana the Mick Kick. For more wrestling takes please follow me @ms_wiper and for a little more indepth talk and interviews please follow @puttinguover.