The August 21, 2020 SmackDown was the first show with the ThunderDome.
On that show, by the end of the first hour, I was already done with it.
The screens and the directing of fans on them has never been my cup of tea. Well, I wasn’t a fan of the screens being used for fans. They certainly were able to do some different things with the screens and the platforms that could have never been done without them.
Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns utilized them for their match. As did Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton. But my favorite moment with the ThunderDome was actually just a few weeks ago, when Bayley’s face appeared in every screen laughing at Bianca Belair. Aside from that, the fire presentation for the Orton vs. Fiend Firefly Fun House Inferno match.
I have been recapping WWE since the night after WrestleMania 36, and have only had the pleasure of two shows with crowds.
All of that ends this Friday.
ThunderDome is dead. Let’s do everything in our power to make sure it never has to re-debut with a new gimmick.
Let’s get to the hits and misses of this show. For a full rundown of Raw, check out the live blog by Claire Elizabeth!
No more mister nice guy
I could sort of see where this was going before Bobby Lashley came out to the ring.
The ladies and MVP were there hyping him up, and he was super concentrated, almost like he was trying to drown them all out.
Xavier Woods had a really cool leaping jump off of Lashley’s back but man did Lashley make him pay for it with a military press to the outside. Back inside, Lashley was in a cross face and lifted Woods right out of it. He then speared Woods and went for the Hurt Lock, but Woods reversed into a schoolboy to win!
This was a surprise I did not see coming, since it’s 6 days from Money in the Bank but I keep forgetting they don’t really care about that. (They being Vince McMahon. That being smart booking outside of Roman Reigns.)
Later, New Day were being interviewed and were told that Lashley was back to be on the VIP Lounge later. Kofi Kingston again made reference to Lashley being distracted.
And then it happened.
Lashley returned looking a bit disheveled and you could see that MVP knew something was up. Lashley told the ladies to leave and then said that Kofi was right. He’s been distracted and it’s time for the bullshit to stop.
He then destroyed the VIP Lounge, grabbed the mic again and said that he would destroy Kofi and his career.
Excellent closing segment. Bobby didn’t break away from MVP like I predicted last week, but he did one better. He made sure to put an end to the distractions and have MVP sort of take a Paul Heyman role to his Brock Lesnar.
Wonder if that’s a bit or foreshadowing?
Where’s Alexa Bliss?
Before this match, DouDrop was invited to Alexa Bliss’ playground, but Eva Marieeeeeeee joined her.
Bliss wasn’t happy with her there and tried to get DouDrop to answer her question and Marie wasn’t having it.
So the Eva-Lution decided to come out during the fatal four way. I liked DouDrop being nice with her, but that was short lived because Bliss screamed at Marie and DouDrop threw her over the barricade.
And then she just... disappeared. Never even came back for the match.
Asuka had fire with Naomi and Nikki ASH. Naomi’s double pin attempt on them.
But Nikki was able to get the victory here, and I like that for her. Getting this character over with some wins is certainly helpful, no?
Unrelated to Raw, I absolutely detest what people on social media did to Naomi that forced her off of Twitter. Don’t be an asshole to people. It’s a simple thing, really.
I don’t know what the reasoning was for Alexa’s disappearing act, but if she reappears on Sunday, my bet is that she’s winning the Money in the Bank briefcase. (And I think Lilly is going to be in that briefcase.)
Ricochet defeated John Morrison
Drip Drip and Miz squirted the splash-holes Riddle and Ricochet before the match. Morrison did a wicked neckbreaker to Ricochet on the apron and went for a quick cover. Morrison tried to use Miz’s wheelchair to pin Ricochet and it didn’t work. Ricochet had a really nice German suplex. They spilled to the LED boards and Ricochet slammed him into them. (You won’t be missed, screens!) Top of the barricade 450 from Ricochet too. Sheesh. And Ricochet is F***ING INSANE doing a shooting star press on the ring post to the floor. They ended up in Gorilla and back onto the stage. Miz honestly is really funny trash talking from the wheelchair. RICOCHET RODE DOWN THE WHEELCHAIR BEHIND MIZ HAHAHAHA. Riddle helped Ricochet by flipping the wheelchair to its back and I lost it. Ricochet splashed Morrison through the ladder set up between the ring and table to win. Shit. This was incredible.
Rhea Ripley defeated Natalya
Natalya put a heck of an effort in, but what I really cared about more was the killer beatdown after the match by Charlotte Flair. Flair was in high heels and ran into that ring and locked Ripley in the figure eight while hanging off the ring. Ripley bit the bottom rope to I guess get some of that pain focused elsewhere. That was a badass quick beatdown. I’m ready for this hopefully feud ending match on Sunday.
Sheamus defeated Humberto Carrillo
Sheamus attacked Carrillo before the match after agreeing to be on the same page with Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville. He then had a stare down with Damian Priest! (Hey remember that guy who tagged with BAD BUNNY?) Carrillo limped out and into the ring aaaaaaaaaand it’s gone. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that Sheamus was winning here. Sheamus went back for seconds and Priest made the save.
Ivar defeated AJ Styles / Omos defeated Erik
Styles was going to apologize but took the heel route. He also did the classic underestimate your opponent and forgot how agile and powerful Ivar is. Styles attempted a sunset flip powerbomb and Ivar fought out of a chinlock. Ivar hit the Banzai drop to win.
Omos knocked Erik off his feet early, and then Omos got cocky. He went for a bear hug and Erik elbowed his way out. He got some momentum for a moment and then Omos ran over him. Crazy powerbomb put Erik away. I expected Omos to win here.
Jinder Mahal won’t be rollin’ anymore
Because Drew McIntyre broke some of the accessories on his custom motorcycle. Oh well.
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?