Randy Orton talked about how much he wanted to destroy Drew McIntyre to start the show, and was interrupted by Keith Lee.
Lee said Orton is fixated on the destruction and damage he’s done to forget about Lee winning their match at Payback. He said that beating a legend killer should perhaps make him be the contender facing the WWE champion without having to go through the hoops, like how Orton himself feels. Ziggler blindsided Lee to lead into their match. I’m highlighting all three matches separately below for specific reaction.
For the main event, we had Orton, Lee, and Rollins. Orton did his usual slide out of the ring and Lee grabbed Seth by the hair and brought him into the ring. Lee hit a frickin’ incredible crossbody to both men. Orton suplexed Lee into the announce table again.
The finish was fast paced and awesome. Lee POUNCED Orton on the outside and Seth tried a suicide dive but Lee caught him. Seth got back in the ring and the Spirit Bomb was done and Seth sold it like death! Orton snuck in and did the RKO and took advantage of the Spirit Bomb and pinned Seth to win.
It was a great finish and was the right one, too. Orton flipped over Lee to pin Seth because he knew that the RKO may not have done the job and I love that. Orton was the right call to win this and they protected Lee.
Orton has been killing it, and I think he’s winning the title at Clash of Champions.
Inconsistency is key
There are a few inconsistencies I need to point out.
I have mentioned in the past, that RETRIBUTION has yet to reveal their motivations for simply existing, which is still the case. The main inconsistency with them, is that they have picked and chosen at complete random where to show up. They started by throwing molotovs and flipping a car and smashing a window with two cinderblocks. One week they terrorized SmackDown. One week they took over the production truck. One week they flickered the lights and never showed. One week they attacked the Mysterios.
They missed SummerSlam and they missed Payback. On this show with huge stakes in the main event, they interrupted the tornado tag with Street Profits and Garza and Andrade. I was enjoying that, and the lights flickered as Montez was shaking the ropes and it was a fun visual. So - what do they want? Why are they there? Just to cause chaos and be troublemakers? That isn’t getting me excited.
The SmackDown locker room have waged war with RETRIBUTION. They surrounded the ring when they were a threat, they went to find RETRIBUTION in the back and fought them in catering, they brawled together on the first ThunderDome. SmackDown takes care of each other, even if they are opposing alignments.
The Raw locker room couldn’t care less. Whoever is in the ring when they attack do their best to fight back. Not one person in the locker room cares to help. On Raw tonight they were backstage and Garza hit the bricks and left that lady from the Bachelor there. Instead of the locker room banding together to find them and fight back, the main event went on as normal and people visited Raw Underground. RETRIBUTION is there! No one wants to one up them. Why?
This is so ridiculously inconsistent, specifically for Raw, and it’s hurting the show for me.
Seth Rollins def. Dominik Mysterio - Rollins started shouting at Murphy for costing them the match at Payback. He told Murphy to get out of the ring and he’ll defeat Dominik on his own. Murphy walked up the ramp and turned around, and Dom clotheslined him from behind! Dom charged down to the ring and we had some good fast paced action to start.
Dom used some armdrags and Seth slid out of the ring. Dom hit Seth with a nice senton as well. Dom fought out of a bodyscissors and Rollins went for a powerbomb and hit a Frankensteiner. Dom went for a frogsplash, and Seth moved away and hit the Blackout for the win. I enjoyed this match for the simple reason that it was uninterrupted and kept me hooked. Dom is doing pretty damn well for a newbie.
Keith Lee def. Dolph Ziggler - Ziggler is a perfect person to sell Lee’s power. The AIR Ziggler got when Lee pounced him! I don’t know if I liked that Ziggler got more offense than Orton did last night, especially since it was to solidify Lee as a big deal. 9-10 minutes and a ton of offense for Ziggler? Me no likey. Great sell of the Spirit Bomb, though.
Gotta be honest, I didn’t like how much offense Ziggler got and it took me out of this a bit. Ziggler just lost in less than 2 minutes to Lashley on Underground 2 weeks ago! Lee got Orton in 5 minutes last night and Orton put him over huge… just for this? Less 10 minute fighting from underneath Lee matches, please.
Randy Orton def. Kevin Owens - Before the match, Orton came out of Aleister Black’s locker room. Out came Orton for the match, and then KO. KO got down to the ring and guess who? Aleister attacked him and gave him a Black Mass. KO being a good babyface, told the ref to ring the bell anyway. RKO and a quick win for Orton.
I get why this was done, but I was looking forward to this match so I’m sad. There’s been no explanation for Aleister’s turn, and now he’s just helping Orton because… Owens was facing him? Maybe I’ll feel better after the explanation, but this should have been better booked than it was.
Asuka is ready for anyone / Mickie James def. Lana - Asuka came out and said she’s beaten great women, and listed them all. She said she’s ready for anyone. And out came Mickie James. Mickie said Asuka is one of the best women, but she’s coming after the title. Then Lana and Natalya interrupted and said she hasn’t changed since 1998 and she doesn’t deserve to be at the front of the line (and I agree!). Lana and Natalya attacked Asuka and Mickie and they turned it around on them and sent the TikTokers out of the ring.
So how did they fix Mickie having no wins since returning? Quick match with Lana which thankfully, she won. Okay, I agreed with Lana when she said Mickie didn’t deserve to be in front of the line, not about her look. Mickie has only one win right now, and it’s against Lana. That qualifies for a Raw women’s title match these days? Sheesh.
Cedric Alexander and Viking Raiders def. The Hurt Business - I have to be honest - I don’t care about any of this. I’ve about had it with the Cedric/MVP thing. Either join with them, Cedric, or stop trying to make him join, MVP. This has been dragging on for a while. There have been multiple matches as singles, tag teams, and multi-men. Enough. They’ll sneak attack and applaud Cedric winning on the same show now. Come on. Makes me feel like WWE doesn’t even know what they want to do here.
Riott Squad def. IIconics - Before the match, Billie and Peyton talked about how much they’ve sacrificed throughout their friendship to be women’s tag champions. Ruby brought a lot of urgency to this and it was a fun sprint, with stakes! One of these teams had to spilt after losing, and the winning team got a tag title match.
Like I said, this was quick but fun! Ruby got some body blows in and Liv hit a spinning X-factor and pinned Billie. It’s a bit odd that commentary was making it seem like Billie and Peyton can’t be friends anymore if they aren’t tagging together. I don’t see what the need for this special stip was for. We don’t need split tag teams right now, especially on the women’s side.
R-Truth is 24/7 champion again - Akira Tozawa rolled up in a van with ninjas, and the security said he wasn’t on a list to get in the building. Tozawa took the list and there was no one on it. The security jacket came off to reveal a referee shirt and R-Truth pinned Tozawa. This was a fun segment and Truth is now a 39 time 24/7 champion. My goodness.
Raw Underground - Titus O’Neil showed some Ruthless Aggression to start Underground. Until Riddick Moss got in. They had a decent back and forth, going to the outside, but Riddick won the bout. Jessamyn Duke put someone away quick, as did Marina Shafir. For some reason, IIconics were in Underground pouting, and then Peyton threw Billie into the ring and Duke knocked her out.
Benjamin and Crews had a match here, too. They fell to the outside and Hurt Business and Ricochet and Alexander brawled. All of the Hurt Business wiped them out.
I wasn’t feeling much of this show. WWE can do a stellar pay-per-view and then a lackluster show to follow it up really well. The inconsistencies and repetitiveness of Raw have been hurting the show. This show felt longer than Payback last night. And I believe it was, by 20 minutes, but it shouldn’t feel that way. The main event brought me back a bit, though. I’m kind of happy to see a draft coming soon because I’d like to see some serious changes on this brand.