SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)…
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
ORLANDO, FL. AT THE PERFORMANCE CENTER
AUGUST 3, 2020
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe
Top 10 Moments from Last Week’s Show:
Overview and Items Advertised by WWE
We continue the path to SummerSlam with tonight’s edition of Raw. Last week, two championship matches were determined and as we move along, we can expect more. In addition to those matches being announced, the Raw Women’s Championship went into the hands of Sasha Banks as she defeated Asuka via count out. I’ll talk more about that later. Here’s what’s advertised thus far:
Apollo Crews returns to defend U.S. Championship against MVP
How will Drew McIntyre respond to Randy Orton’s attack?
Will Asuka be out for retribution on Sasha Banks and Bayley?
U.S. Championship: Apollo Crews (champ) vs. MVP
It’s been quite the wild ride for the U.S. Championship. Several weeks ago, MVP introduced the newly designed title belt, and declared himself champion at Extreme Rules: The Horror Show where he was supposed to challenge current champion Apollo Crews. We were told Apollo was unable to compete, because of an attack by MVP’s Hurt Business client Bobby Lashley. This happened following MVP defeating Apollo in a non-title match on June 29. We have not seen Apollo since that night.
Last week, Mustafa Ali was a guest of MVP in the MVP Lounge. He offered his services, citing that he did the same for Apollo and since he rejected him, look where he is now (home). Ali rejected MVP as well, and then lost a one-on-one to Lashley. Tonight, Apollo returns to defend the U.S. Championship against former champion MVP.
Frank’s Analysis: Anybody else think this whole situation has been weird with MVP introducing a new belt? It would be WWE to tell us that belt is fake, and MVP made it up just so he could call himself champion. As far as the title match itself, I don’t have a strong feeling one way or another. I could see MVP winning the title, just as much as I can see Apollo retain. If wins, I could see him going into a program with Ali, seeing as they’ve planted a seed for that feud. Lashley is involved too, and what happens with him will be interesting to watch.
Drew McIntyre Response to Randy Orton
Last week, Randy Orton opened the show as advertised and told us what was next for him. He said that something was missing, which was the WWE Championship. He challenged Drew McIntyre to a WWE Championship match, as was expected, at SummerSlam.
Drew responded later in show and accepted Randy’s challenge, and reminded the audience that he kicked Brock Lesnar’s ass in five minutes at WrestleMania. He then took on Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match, in which Drew was able to pick the stipulation. He chose Extreme Rules, and defeated Dolph as he did at Extreme Rules: The Horror Show. As he was celebrating his victory, Randy delivered an RKO and told him he never saw it coming. The show ended with him holding the WWE Championship belt over his head.
There’s no question Drew will have a response for his SummerSlam opponent, and we can expect Randy to have plenty to say as he did during his feud with Edge throughout the year. As I mentioned in last week’s primer, Randy Orton has a frequent history defending or challenging for a world title at SummerSlam. Here it is:
2004 – defeated Chris Benoit for the World Heavyweight Championship
2007 – unsuccessfully challenged John Cena for the WWE Championship
2009 – retained the WWE Championship over John Cena (when didn’t he face Cena in the late 2000s)
2010 – defeated WWE Champion Sheamus by DQ, therefore not winning the title
2011 – defeated Christian to win the World Heavyweight Championship
2013 – cashed in Money in the Bank contract on Daniel Bryan to win the WWE Championship
2019 – worked to a double countout with WWE Champion Kofi Kingston
Frank’s Analysis: I’m looking forward to this program. It’s been built in a very old-school type of way. They’ve given Drew a solid string of wins (even if one of them was against Dolph Ziggler) and built up Randy in a big way especially as of late. The WWE Championship has not main evented a PPV since Drew won at WrestleMania. I suspect it will at SummerSlam, but it’s hard to say now not knowing what else will be on the card. Either way, I expect this match to have a big build given the promo work by both men throughout the year.
Asuka Response to Bayley and Sasha Banks
Last week, Sasha Banks defeated Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship via countout. It happened when a video of Bayley attacking Asuka’s friend Kairi Sane appeared on the Titantron (or whatever it’s called in the PC). Asuka appeared conflicted but eventually fled to help Kairi. Because of Stephanie McMahon’s ruling a week prior where the title could change hands via DQ or countout, this enabled Sasha to win the title. She began her record fifth reign, winning the title for the first time since 2017 and winning it for the fourth time on an episode of Raw. Her other victory for the title came at SummerSlam 2017.
That said, Asuka was distraught leaving the trainer’s room as they were tending to Kairi, who is now finished with WWE because of her contract expiring. She departs having won the Mae Young Classic in 2017, the NXT Women’s Championship, and the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship with Asuka as the Kabuki Warriors. Ironically, they lost those title recently to Bayley and Sasha Banks. Here’s the clip from WWE where she bids farewell:
#ThankYouKairi. @KairiSaneWWE bids an emotional farewell to the WWE Universe as @WWEAsuka, @ShinsukeN and @TozawaAkira wish their friend well on her next voyage… ⛵️⚓️ pic.twitter.com/cFjGxsMfCd
— WWE (@WWE) July 29, 2020
Here’s Bayley and Sasha Banks celebrating Sasha’s victory. They finally have “all the gold” as Bayley is still Smackdown Women’s Championship and they still hold the tag team titles:
We’ll find out how Asuka will respond to last week’s happenings. Let’s bear in mind that while Sasha is a five-time champion, she has never successfully retained the championship. She has lost it in her first defense every time, losing it back to whom she defeated (Charlotte Flair and Alexa Bliss twice each). We’ll find out if she changes her fortunes this time around.
Frank’s Analysis: That ending was total garbage last week. It makes Stephanie look bad for putting the stipulation in and the WWE production team look bad for playing that video during the match. It got me to a point where I questioned whether I care about the Raw women’s title. That said, I’m curious if the fact that Sasha has never successfully retained the title plays into the story, and in what direction they go for SummerSlam. I don’t think the story is over between Asuka and Sasha, so I would suspect a match is on tap for them, but I don’t know what’s on tap for Bayley. She doesn’t “have” to defend the Smackdown title, and they don’t “have” to defend the tag titles, but you’d expect one of them to be on the line. Who’s Bayley’s challenger from Smackdown? What tag team would be positioned?
Nia Jax Fined: What’s Next for Nia and Shayna Baszler
Nia Jax was fined for her actions last week, where she gave a Samoan Drop to a WWE official following a double countout match with Shayna Baszler. Earlier in the evening, Nia came out and like Randy Orton, said she wanted to be champion as well. Nia last held the title in 2018 when she defeated Alexa Bliss at WrestleMania for the Raw Women’s Championship. She lost it back to Alexa when she cashed in Money in the Bank during her title defense against Ronda Rousey. That said, Shayna came out and said nobody cared about what she had to say. The two brawled which led to the match in which they fought to a double countout.
I suspect they will mention the fine, and likely have a match if not tonight, then at SummerSlam.
Frank’s Analysis: This match is still weird to me considering they’re both heels, but I’m interested if they’re going the way of Shayna being a babyface. She’ll be favored against the usually hated Nia, who recently deleted her Twitter account. I suspect my sleep will be simply fine tonight.
Other Match Results & Notable Segments from Last Week
Andrade & Angel Garza defeated the Viking Raiders and Ricochet & Cedric Alexander in a triple threat match to earn a Raw Tag Team Championship match against the Street Profits at SummerSlam. Here’s Andrade & Angel in a WWE exclusive and on Raw talk:
Dominick Mysterio confronted Seth Rollins, which led to Murphy shoving Aleister Black’s eye into the ring steps and Dominick hitting Rollins with a kendo stick.
Murphy defeated Humberto Carrillo.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome! Thank you for reading.
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