On the heels of a one week build up of the Payback PPV, Monday Night Raw from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida opens up with Randy Orton cutting a great promo about being the legend killer and how he laid up Drew McIntyre. Wait a minute; this is the follow up to Summerslam not Payback. Out comes Keith Lee to set the record straight, that Orton is very good but he failed to mention that he lost the night before to him; clean in the ring the victim of a Spirit Bomb might I add. Out of nowhere Dolph Ziggler attacks Lee from behind which leads into their qualifying match for the #1 contender at Clash of Champions for the WWE Championship. Both sides were delivering great back and forth offense but Lee’s power and strength proved to be too much for Ziggler and he beats him with a Spirit Bomb. How great has this debut been for Lee? He wins clean and goes toe to toe promo wise with the best in the business and then just had a great a match against one of the best workers in the business, plus he’s in the main event match for a shot at being #1 contender for the WWE Championship!
In the ring, we see Charly Caruso waiting for Asuka to join her for an interview about who will face her at Clash of Champions for the Raw Women’s Championship. Asuka laughs and says that she has beaten everyone already. Boom! Oh Mickie you’re so fine music hits and Mickie informs Asuka that she has not beat her yet. Natalya and Lana saying that they deserve a shot because they are more relevant and Mickie is too old. Why are all the women promo battles about being too old, irrelevant or mean girls. We don’t act that way; in fact most women get out of that stage in junior high but whatever I guess, I should be happy that Mickie is in a segment longer than 5 minutes. Asuka breaks up the cattiness and a melee breaks out in the ring.
This sets up a match between Mickie and Lana that we do not see from the beginning since some back stage segment with the bachelor girl takes precedence! This bachelor girls needs to exit my wrestling viewing screen soon because she should not be getting more time than the women’s talent in the ring. Asuka is on commentary but her mic is turned off when they try to talk to her (Retribution or production issue who knows really?). I love that Lana is back in the ring, her feud with Naomi a couple years was so good and then I felt that they put her on the back burner and just left her there to flounder. Mickie pulls out the win off of a Mick Kick and then does not take her eyes off of Asuka. Mickie against Asuka would be a phenomenal match and they better pull the trigger on this at Clash of Champions.
The next qualifying match for later in the night is Kevin Owens against Orton. Backstage Charly is attempting to get a word with Aleister Black but Orton walks out of his dressing room. This is quite peculiar until you see Owens walk out and get beat down by Black. Black lays waste to Owens with a Black Mass. Owens is to proud of a man to back down from his chance at the WWE Championship so he convinces the referee to let the match continue. What a terrible mistake, Owens couldn’t even stand and was finished in a matter of seconds after a RKO. Orton’s plan worked, he didn’t have to do much work and he moves onto to the main event later in the night. Poor Owens, I hope they have something good for him soon because he is way too talented to be sitting on the shelf.
The VIP Lounge sees MVP and Shelton Benjamin talking up to each other and bragging about Bobby Lashley winning the US Championship off of Apollo Crews at Payback. This leads into a 6 man tag match against the Viking Raiders and Cedric Alexander. Before the match, MVP tries to recruit Alexander again to no avail. The match itself was alright. Alexander pulls out a surprise victory over MVP. The rest of Hurt Business try to gang up on Alexander but MVP stops them and they leave the ring clapping for him. I’m so confused and over Hurt Business. I know they are heels and WWE doesn’t like to promote them as winners but don’t give them a name like Hurt Business and make them SAWFT! Oh wait, I guess backstage the Hurt Business takes care of the beat down on Alexander and Viking Raiders are not there to help him even though they just tagged against each other and his buddies Crews and Ricochet show up after the beat down is completed. I don’t think the backstage area is that vast that they couldn’t have been there sooner to help him out.
Here comes the head scratching match of the night, Women’s Tag Team Championship #1 contender match where the winner gets a chance against Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler (who are still playing the we don’t agree nonsense) at Clash of Champions and the losers have to break up. The teams in this match are The IIconics and The Riott Squad. Considering that there are so few natural women’s tag teams this seems like a ridiculous stipulation. The match ends on a goofy let’s pin each other a hundred times until someone gets the 3 count and Ruby Riot pulls out the victory over Billie Kay. This means that the most over women’s tag team is breaking up! I honestly have no words for how upset I am about this. I can only quote Kay in this, ‘You have got to be joking me!’ There done and I’m moving on.
At Payback, Murphy accidentally kicked Seth Rollins in the head which lead to them losing to the Mysterio’s. Rollins is very upset with Murphy in the ring and kicks him out to go think about what he did. Is this a crack to break these 2 up? I hope not because this Rollins character is fabulous and the fact that he has lackey’s to do his dirty work makes it 10x better. Dominik Mysterio ends up getting a shot in this match over his father due to an injury. As Murphy is heading to the back, Dominik flies out to clothesline him on the ramp and then runs quickly into the ring to beat on Rollins. Dominik puts up a good fight but Rollins gets the win to advance to the main event.
Raw Underground this week was quite interesting. We start off seeing Titus O’Neil looking phenomenal taking out his first opponent and then giving Riddick Moss a run for his money. O’Neil ends up getting dropped though with a single punch. We also got a debuting Jessamyn Duke who takes on Avery Taylor. She takes her out easily and then someone decides to get in her face. Marina Shafir isn’t having it and triangle locks her so fast. Might I add she took that woman out while wearing a skirt, straight up badass! Peyton Royce must have been really upset after their match because she throws Billie Kay into the ring against Duke and Shafir. That’s not how best friends act; poor Kay was laid out with one punch.
The Underground ends with Crews taking on Bobby Lashley. Crews is flanked by Ricochet and Alexander; the match just turns into the Hurt Business laying out all 3. I guess, Hurt Business can win in the Underground but now on the main stage.
The Street Profits and Angel Garza and Andrade go head to head in a tornado tag team match that means that no tags are required and all 4 men can be in the ring at the same time. Garza walks out with the bachelor girl and she is right into the match. When Montez Ford starts to warrior up on the ropes, the lights start to flicker. We all know what that means, Retribution! Garza quickly leaves the ringside with bachelor girl so his tag team partner, Zelina Vega and Street Profits are left to deal with Retribution. All 4 get beat down and nobody comes out to help as usual. If we are so concerned about this rogue group of people you would think that the locker room would band together to help out but nope Retribution beats them down and then runs straight into the locker room. How does this make sense? The locker room is where all the security is and the rest of the wrestlers are that could grab you or take you out but sure why not run that way. They already run ruckshaw there with no interruptions so might as well be in plain sight. Garza and bachelor girl are backstage, Garza states that he couldn’t live with himself if something happened to her. Best part of the whole angle is Retribution busts through an exit beating on security and Garza is gone leaving bachelor girl behind. I could not stop laughing!
That was the last we saw of Retribution tonight, they really did nothing and are losing steam.
The main event is to announce the #1 contender at Clash of Champions. We have Lee against Rollins and Orton. How great is Lee’s debut. He has now gone against all 3 top men in WWE in a week! They are strapping the rocket to him quick! Orton decides that he isn’t going to do much work in this match and rolls out to let Rollins and Lee battle. Rollins rolls out saying that that wasn’t the plan they discussed, really Rollins you trust Orton to keep a promise? Lee is tired of the shenanigans and pulls Rollins back into the ring by his hair. The ending sequence of the match was great with Lee giving Rollins the Spirit Bomb and Orton rolling back into the ring to deliver the RKO to Lee. Orton gets the win over Rollins to be #1 contender. For more wrestling takes please follow @ms_wiper.