The official preview for tonight’s show is short and sweet. Dominik Mysterio takes on Murphy. Keith Lee and Randy Orton have a Payback rematch. And Kevin Owens faces Aleister Black on RAW Underground. Everything else is a mystery.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review.
The Hurt Business def. Apollo Crews, Ricochet, & Cedric Alexander
Street Profits def. Andrade & Angel Garza
Peyton Royce def. Billie Kay
Asuka & Mickie James def. Natalya & Lana
The Hurt Business def. The Viking Raiders, Apollo Crews, & Ricochet
Randy Orton def. Keith Lee (DQ)
The Riott Squad def. Shayna Baszler
Nia Jax vs The Riott Squad – No Contest
Dominik Mysterio def. Murphy
Michael Cole joined Byron Saxton and Samoa Joe on commentary as Tom Phillips is off this week.
♦ Randy Orton opened the show again. He wasn’t there for his match, that’s later, he was just there for a chat. Last week, he said he would jump through whatever hoops he had to jump through to get the rematch he feels entitled to. He beat everyone, but now he’s back and having to face Keith Lee again, which he says is bad for Lee because the more often they cross paths, the more likely it is Lee will get kicked in the head.
On the subject of Drew McIntyre, he said there was doubt over whether McIntyre would make it to Clash of Champions and showed the footage of the kicks that broke McIntyre’s jaw. He said he had a solution for if McIntyre is unable to defend the title at the one PPV where all titles must be defended… give it to him. He’s a patient man but he doesn’t know if he can wait that long.
An ambulance siren interrupted him at that point. Drew McIntyre emerged from it, strode down to the ring, Claymored Orton and pounded on him a bit before officials showed up.
Backstage, a little later, McIntyre was told off by Adam Pearce for being there when not medically cleared. He said Randy Orton tried to end his career and he needed him to know he’d be at Clash of Champions. And as he’d done that, he’d leave.
♦ The Hurt Business intimidated and beat up a janitor after MVP claimed he said something about Shelton Benjamin’s mother. They were on their way to the ring for The Hurt Business vs Apollo Crews, Ricochet, & Cedric Alexander. MVP, Lashley, and Benjamin attacked Alexander during his entrance. After the match got underway, Cedric Alexander dragged Ricochet off the apron and flung him into the barricades, then got into the ring and gave Crews a Lumbar Check. Apollo Crews was easily finished by Shelton Benjamin. Alexander left on his own, but it was all nods and smiles between him and The Hurt Business.
♦ The Street Profits vs Andrade & Angel Garza happened to make up for their match last week being interrupted by RETRIBUTION. Street Profits have red solo cup confetti instead of pyro. Andrade and Zelina Vega don’t appear to be talking to Garza after he abandoned them, then abandoned Demi Burnett as well. Garza made his entrance alone and they walked straight past him on theirs. Vega made Garza start things off. Garza’s tag on Andrade bordered on a chop. After Zelina Vega yelled at him, Garza left, but he hadn’t even made it halfway up the ramp before Andrade was pinned. Weird pin as well, somehow Andrade and Montez Ford moved around mid-pin and the ref had to switch positions between two and three so he could see if Andrade’s shoulders were still down.
Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura, the SmackDown Tag Team Champions turned up after the match. They said some stuff about Street Profits being the longest reigning RAW Tag Team Champs in years, because they don’t defend their titles. I’m not sure how it’s supposed to help but, thanks to the Brand-to-Brand Invitational, they’re challenging them to a Champions versus Champions match next week. Ford and Dawkins had some insults of their own to dish out but they accepted.
♦ R-Truth was in a restaurant talking to ‘Little Jimmy’, but there was a ninja in the dessert trolley. Tozawa arrived with a ninja ref and another ninja arrived on the other side. Truth used dessert trolley ninja to take out Tozawa and ninja ref, then ran off with him with everyone else in hot pursuit.
♦ Peyton Royce vs Billie Kay was too soon. It all felt a bit… developmental. The entrances need work, the music is very generic, and the match had no soul because it made no sense. It was short too, and considering all the talk is of big plans for Peyton Royce it’s no surprise she won. She helped Billie Kay up and hugged her after the match.
♦ Seth Rollins isn’t at RAW tonight, but he sent a tweet message to Murphy saying ‘Penance isn’t paid by polishing rust on a sinking ship. Dig deeper, my disciple’.
♦ The entire Mysterio family, including Rey’s wife Angie and daughter Aalyah, joined Charly Caruso for an in-ring interview. Rey doesn’t have a return date for his triceps injury. He’s very proud of his son, but Dominik knows exactly what he needs to do and he’s confident he can do it.
Murphy interrupted Dominik’s question by appearing on the big screen. He thinks it’s Dominik’s fault Rollins has turned his back on him. Rey said it wasn’t there fault Murphy pledged his loyalty to an evil, selfish, sonofabitch like Seth Rollins. You reap what you sow. Murphy said the ultimate sacrifice will be to end Dominik’s bright future before it begins, and challenged him to a street fight. Dominik accepted, Rey wasn’t happy, especially when Murphy suggested he bring his family to ringside because it’s the last match they’ll ever see him in. Dominik said if he lays a hand on his family, it will be the last breath he ever takes.
♦ Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax were arguing with Adam Pearce about why they have handicap matches against The Riott Squad. Apparently, it’s because Jax said Baszler can take them both. Pearce broke away to speak to Drew McIntyre, who still hadn’t left the building. He assured him again that he was going.
♦ Asuka & Mickie James vs Natalya & Lana was one of those matches where WWE make future opponents team up. Asuka and James have a title match next week. Lana nearly got a lucky pin on Mickie James, but Asuka made the save. Asuka also tagged herself in and submitted Lana with an Asuka Lock. Mickie James stopped Natalya breaking it up, but she was clearly not happy.
♦ Before the VIP Lounge, Shelton Benjamin threatened Cedric Alexander that he would find out of Alexander hadn’t really come to his senses about joining them. On the VIP Lounge, Alexander explained he was fed up of being on the wrong end of a beatdown every week, he’d rather learn and earn. He was teaming with someone who calls themselves the ‘One and Only’ and breaking his body for Apollo Crews’ championship opportunities and there was nothing for him.
The Viking Raiders arrived then, with Ricochet and Crews and the brawl cleared The Hurt Business from the ring.
The Hurt Business vs The Viking Raiders, Ricochet, & Apollo Crews started after a break. Brutal match with bodies everywhere. Cedric Alexander got the pin on Ricochet with a Michinoku Driver, but Ricochet clearly kicked out at two. Ivar was injured on his suicide dive and was seen on camera throwing the X to indicate an injury. Medics were shown tending to him after the match.
♦ Drew McIntyre was still in the building an hour and forty-five minutes into the show. He promised Charly Caruso he was trying to leave though.
♦ Keith Lee vs Randy Orton was good, but I’d like at least a few months before seeing it again. Lee resisted an RKO through sheer strength, but nearly got counted out after Orton ducked the Pounce and Lee crashed into the barricades. Orton nearly put Keith Lee to sleep, he certainly had the hold on for long enough, but Lee resisted. Lee avoided a second RKO. Orton kicked out of a Big Bang Catastrophe. Randy Orton’s third attempts at an RKO was successful, but Drew McIntyre appeared and delivered a Claymore before Orton could finish it. McIntyre leaned down and told Orton he wanted him to start seeing him in his nightmares, then got told off by Adam Pearce on his way out.
Randy Orton yelled at Pearce backstage. While Pearce reassured him, he’d escorted McIntyre off the premises.
♦ Aleister Black vs Kevin Owens on RAW Underground was short and violent on the first visit. They ended up off the platform, with Owens slamming Black’s back into the edge of it then tossing him over his head.
The second visit was just as violent. Black came close to submitting Owens, but Owens flung him into a wall, then they started fighting the crowd.
On the third and final visit (post-RETRIBUTION), they crashed into Dabba-Kato on the outside and he took offence and planted the pair of them into the platform.
♦ Shayna Baszler vs The Riott Squad was the first of two handicap matches. Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott had to tag in and out, but Baszler was out there alone. Nia Jax was watching from ringside, waiting to go next. Baszler spent most of the match arguing with Jax, which is what she was doing when Morgan rolled her up and pinned her.
Nia Jax vs The Riott Squad was interrupted by RETRIBUTION just as Morgan was about to pin Jax. The lights flickered, the Thunderdome went off and was replaced by the RETRIBUTION logo (they have a logo now), then they made their first statements:
The ThunderDome is only a façade. Behind this mountain of screens is the same foundation. The same WWE as before The same behemoth who discarded and disowned us, leaving us to survive in an unfair world where the powerful continue to grow while we are left to feed on nothing but the scraps of contempt. But contempt is a powerful motivator. We are driven to destroy, to lay waste to every superstar and every fan. Blinded. You cannot see what you do not have, so the locusts of contempt will feed upon all of you. The darkness of RETRIBUTION will seep into the pores of every superstar and all of your so-called universe. We are RETRIBUTION.
♦ Randy Orton was holding his jaw and hobbling along with his suitcase when he was approached by Charly Caruso. Drew McIntyre attacked him before she even got a full question out. McIntyre appeared to be trying to break Orton’s jaw with his bare hands but settled for Claymoring him again. Randy Orton left the arena in an ambulance.
♦ Rey Mysterio told Sarah Schreiber that the Mysterio family would be in Dominik’s corner and would not be scared away by Murphy. And if he tried anything they know how to handle themselves.
When the Mysterio family came to the ring for Dominik Mysterio vs Murphy, Dominik, Rey, and Aalyah had kendo sticks. Murphy tried to finish it immediately with a knee to the face. It didn’t work but it gave him an early advantage. After he threw Dominik over the announce desk, Murphy looked to be going towards the family, but Dominik was up too fast for that. Going into the final break of the show, Dominik landed a crossbody on Murphy from the first bank of screens.
Towards the end of a surprisingly good street fight (Dominik seriously shouldn’t be this good yet), Murphy got Dominik trapped in the ropes. Rey stole his kendo stick so Murphy went looking for another one from under the opposite side of the ring. Angie and Aalyah Mysterio freed him and he shot across under the bottom rope and sunset flip powerbombed Murphy through a table leant up against the announce desk. Murphy kicked out of the pin off the frogsplash, so Rey and Dominik trapped Murphy in the ropes and had the whole family join in with the kendo stick strikes. Murphy quit. Dominik Mysterio won.
After the result, Murphy got out of the ropes but not the ring, and all four Mysterios treated him like a piñata until the show went off air.
Next week, we’ve got a tag team Champions vs Champions match, and a RAW Women’s Championship match to look forward to. And there should be more progress on the RETRIBUTION storyline as well. In less good news, WWE confirmed that Ivar was taken to hospital after his match as he suffered a cervical (neck) injury.