Emanating live from the WWE ThunderDome inside the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida – this episode of Monday Night Raw features the culmination of the 2020 WWE Draft.
Names eligible to be drafted tonight on RAW include ‘The Viper’ Randy Orton, ‘The Queen’ Charlotte Flair and ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt as well as an additional 37 superstars from across the red and blue brands. Other matches and segments already announced for the show include:
- A Dual-Brand Battle Royal to determine the #1 contender to Asuka’s WWE RAW Women’s Championship.
- Kevin Owens vs Aleister Black in a No Disqualification match.
- Seth Rollins ‘Bids Farewell’ to Monday nights.
- Mustafa Ali speaks on his RETRIBUTION affiliation.
Randy Orton addresses McIntyre, Drew Interrupts
- Orton states that regardless of whether he is on RAW or SmackDown at Hell in a Cell he will destroy Drew McIntyre and capture a WWE World Championship for the 14th time.
- Orton is quick to point out that until last week nobody had pinned Drew McIntyre in almost a year, but he did because of ‘The three most dangerous words in sports entertainment” the RKO.
- Drew interrupts Orton, questions why when Orton had the chance last week he chose to gloat rather than finish the job. Follows up by saying that at Hell in a Cell, what he will do to Orton, is not for anyone but himself and his pleasure.
- Drew charges Orton, down beating him around ringside including a big back body drop onto the announce table before ‘The Viper’ can slither away.
Analysis: This segment started a little slow for my liking, this is my return to watching RAW following a brief hiatus and it felt like I was stepping right back into where Drew was all those months ago. With that being said, this segment very quickly picked up, in a way only Drew and Randy is capable of, as the two brawled briefly around the outside whilst Drew declared: ” I have three hours Randy, I am going to have a lot of fun”. I certainly hope they do! Hopefully following HIAC be it via Drew winning or Randy being drafted the two part ways and Drew can interact and test himself against new performers.
Stephanie McMahon Announces The First Five Draft Picks.
- ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt makes the switch to Monday Nights as the first overall pick of tonight’s show.
- Bayley and Randy Orton remain on SmackDown and RAW respectively.
- The Street Profits take the RAW Tag Team Titles to SmackDown.
- The last pick of the 1st round is ‘The Queen’ Charlotte Flair remaining on Monday nights.
Analysis: A fairly predictable first set of picks for tonight’s show, Bayley and The Street Profits on SmackDown was all but confirmed due to the confirmation of ‘The New Day’ and Asuka as part of the RAW roster on Friday night. Randy remaining on RAW indicates that the story with Drew is all but over, however, it does also increase the stakes in his WWE Championship match at HIAC because it is incredibly possible now that he could beat Drew for the title. Charlotte has been missed on Monday nights with Sasha, Bayley and Asuka working triple-duty since her departure. Whenever ‘The Queen’ is ready to return, Monday Night RAW will be ready for her with a plethora of talented performers to work with.
Kevin Owens defeats Aleister Black via Pinfall in 12:10
- Black and Owens get right into the action as ‘The Harbinger of Fury’ attacks Owens on his way to the ring.
- As Owens and Black fight around ringside Black takes early control thanks to a vicious back suplex through the announce table.
- Black hits Owens with an incredible Meteora onto two prone steel chairs. As well as a phenomenally impactful looking move, Black sold the damage of hitting it by slowing down his offence and acknowledging the impact the move had on himself.
- Black hits the turnbuckle on the outside following a missed Black Mass attempt, Owens then recovered hitting Black with a powerbomb through a table for the victory.
Analysis: The match was incredible, from the first bell both performers gave 100%. Everything Black does looks designed to hurt his opponent and Kevin Owens looks like he is the toughest man alive after kicking out of that vicious Meteora onto the chairs. An interesting note is that it seems at the moment, ‘The Fiend’ has failed to change Kevin Owens. I would happily see Owens and Black fight 100 more times, or if they decided to, work as a Tag Team.
Stephanie McMahon Announces the Second Set of Five Draft Picks
— WWE (@WWE) October 13, 2020
- Braun is the first pick of the second round as he makes the switch to Monday Night RAW, following former Wyatt Family leader Bray Wyatt.
- Daniel Bryan remains on SmackDown.
- Matt Riddle makes the switch to Monday Night RAW alongside fellow Intercontinental Champion challenger Jeff Hardy.
- Kevin Owens makes the switch in the other direction, heading to Friday Nights on SmackDown.
Analysis: Wow! Lot’s of brand switches here! First of all, it appears everything I type is doomed to be immediately proven wrong. Kevin Owens has indeed been changed by ‘The Fiend’ now, moving from a RAW superstar to a SmackDown one. Matt Riddle on RAW could be major money for WWE, an incredibly talented performer who will have the likes of Aleister Black and Drew McIntyre to lock up with.
Miz TV with Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke
- Miz and Morrison kick the segment off with their usual introductory speech before Morrison implies that the reason Heavy Machinery split is due to Miz’s pull with FOX.
- Mandy Rose is the focus of the segment initially, having a strong back and forth with Miz insulting him and calling him a coward.
- Mandy and Dana say that tonight it’s every woman for themselves, but after that, they are coming for Nia and Shayna.
- Lana and Natalya interrupted, a nice line from Lana follows saying: “If you want to interview two blondes, why not interview the Winningest two blondes in WWE.
- Following a brief back and forth, the two teams brawl as we cut to an ad break.
Analysis: Firstly, I love the detail and character work of The Miz taking credit for the split of Heavy Machinery, excellent job. Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke then illustrated why they are some of the most improved performers in the WWE over the last year. Lana and Natalya are just not for me at all, I find myself zoning out when they are on screen, however, credit where it is due, Lana’s promo was solid and led to a great line from Mandy stating Lana and Natalya would win a lot more if they stopped making Tik Toks. I am still not sure Winningest is a word though, Lana.
Lars Sullivan attacks The Miz and John Morrison
- As we return from the ad break we cut to The Miz and Morrison back alone in the centre of the ring.
- As The Miz begins to interview his superior plan B [Morrison] Lars Sullivan appears, marching down to the ring.
- The Miz ducks away as Lars beat down Morrison before walking off.
Analysis: In a pleasant change to the usual RAW format the brawl before the ad break did not lead to an improvised Tag Match. The return of Lars caught everyone off guard on Friday and I hope wherever he ends up uses him differently to the usual dominant monster formula that we have seen recently.
The New Day and The Street Profits Trade Belts
The exchange is official:@TrueKofi & @AustinCreedWins are now your #WWERaw#TagTeamChampions, and The #StreetProfits@AngeloDawkins & @MontezFordWWE are your #SmackDown#TagTeamChampions! pic.twitter.com/54A2g8X3fw
— WWE (@WWE) October 13, 2020
- We cut backstage to both Tag Team Champions alongside Adam Pearce.
- He explains that a simple trade is the most sensible solution to this issue.
- Both teams agree and share a moment of bonding before Ziggler and Roode interrupt.
- Roode and Ziggler and say that they are being screwed as they pinned The Street Profits and should be in place for a title shot.
- The New Day says, if you want a match for the Tag Team Championships then you have got it.
Analysis: This felt lazy, a simple belt swap may have made the most sense but it 100% wasn’t the most interesting option. The New Day vs Ziggler and Roode does not scream must-watch action. The two teams shared some wonderful moments of charisma in the backstage segment but I feel with the talent involved more could have been done.
Stephanie McMahon Announces the Third Set of Five Draft Picks
— WWE (@WWE) October 13, 2020
- RETRIBUTION is set to remain on RAW, noticeably Ali but not Martinez appears on the team graphic.
- ‘The Freak’ Lars Sullivan has found his home and its Friday Night Smackdown.
- Keith Lee and King Corbin remain on RAW and SmackDown respectively.
- Finally, Alexa Bliss makes her way to Monday Nights following both Braun and ‘The Fiend’ to RAW.
Analysis: The two main takeaways for me in this set of draft picks is first, that the rumours of Martinez leaving RETRIBUTION and heading back to NXT appear to be true and secondly that I am glad to have finally gotten a draft pick [Alexa Bliss] correct. RETRIBUTION seems set to be a prominent feature on RAW and thus a switch to SmackDown would not have made much sense, the loss of Martinez is not too damning, especially given the addition of Ali last week and Martinez can do so much more as a serious contender on the Black-and-Gold brand. Alexa Following ‘The Fiend’ makes perfect sense, it is without a doubt one of the most interesting stories in the WWE right now alongside the Roman and Jey Uso feud and therefore splitting them up would have made no sense at all.
Seth Rollins bids Monday Night Raw Farewell
- Rollins comes out as the Monday Night Messiah one last time to say good riddance to the fans and locker room whilst warning SmackDown that change is coming.
- Rollins expresses anger that The Mysterio’s have followed him to Friday Nights but assures everyone he will deal with them in time.
- After questioning who will be Monday Night Raw’s new locker room leader, Jeff Hardy interrupts.
- Hardy tells Rollins to get out of his ring, following a brief back and forth Rollins announces that on SmackDown Jeff Hardy will take on ‘The Freak’ Lars Sullivan.
- As Rollins walks up the ramp, AJ Styles music hits. They share a moment of respect, however, it is short-lived as Styles tells Rollins not to worry because this was never Monday Night Rollins in the first place.
- Rollins and Styles begin to brawl as Hardy involves himself and we cut to an ad break.
Analysis: First of all Lars Sullivan versus Jeff Hardy on SmackDown in an immediate breaking of the brand split does not make any sense to me. With the likes of Braun versus Roman, there is a story to be finished, but with Jeff and Lars, it just appears lazy and showing a disregard for the split that this show is focused around. However, on a much more positive note, if you give me any combination of Hardy, Rollins and Styles competing and I will put down whatever I am doing and give it all my attention. Three key pioneers in the light heavyweight/daredevil style that has defined professional wrestling for the last decade, this match should be magic.
AJ Styles defeats Jeff Hardy and Seth Rollins via Pinfall in 14:33
- The match starts with Hardy taking early control through his high octane offence. However, the two heels quickly team up to ground the Charismatic Enigma and remove the threat of his top rope offence.
- Following a period of Styles and Rollins teaming up, Hardy hits a big Whisper in the Wind and looks to tweak his knee on the landing. It appears to be nothing as the match continues but looked scary at the time.
- Following a finisher trade-off Hardy looks set to be picking up the win when, from off-screen, Elias nails Hardy across the neck with the guitar allowing AJ Styles to pick up the win 14 minutes.
Analysis: It’s great to see Elias back following several months away from WWE programming, his character work and natural charisma are unrivalled in the WWE at current. The swerve of his return and attack of Hardy was a clever way to give RAW’s new Superstar AJ Styles a win without harming either Hardy or Rollins. Fingers crossed WWE take Elias seriously now and we see a well throughout and the interesting feud between Hardy and Elias. Before Elias’ involvement, this match was solid enough, given the talent involved it was slightly lacklustre however it was structured to hold back and leave the WWE audience wanting more. Hopefully, these three can meet on PPV sometime soon!
Stephanie McMahon Announces the Fourth Set of Five Draft Picks
Round 4️⃣ complete.
— WWE (@WWE) October 13, 2020
- Following his return, Elias follows Jeff Hardy to RAW.
- Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn remains on SmackDown.
- Lacey Evans makes the jump to WWE RAW.
- Nakamura and Cesaro remain on SmackDown.
- Drew McIntyre gets his wish as lifelong friend Sheamus makes his way to RAW.
Analysis: A few interesting picks here, firstly although Sami Zayn was a dead set to remain on SmackDown given the US Championship had already been drafted to RAW. We do now know that he will be joined on SmackDown by livelong rival Kevin Owens, the two could feud a million times and it would still be golden. Sheamus making the switch to RAW is interesting, injecting Shemus into the McIntyre and Orton feud could add a new dynamic to feud and would set up nicely for a feud between McIntyre and his lifelong friend down the line.
Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke defeat Lana and Natalya via Pinfall in 3:40
- Very short match with not much of consequence inside the ring.
- Some very visible miscommunication between both teams that made the match slightly clunky.
- Brooke picks up the pin with the top rope senton.
- Natalya tells Lana after the match that they are done, and she does not want to team anymore
Analysis: Remember when I said it was nice that the segment earlier did not lead to a surprise tag match… turns out it did. This match was not great at all, Rose was miles ahead of everyone in the ring but that was not enough to save this segment. Lana and Natalya’s splitting is best for everyone involved I feel as the team was not progressing as planned and was at risk of go home heat.
Ricochet Challenges The Hurt Business to One Last Match
— WWE (@WWE) October 13, 2020
- Ricochet approaches The Hurt Business backstage, asks for one more match to end this all.
- Explains Apollo could go to SmackDown and Cedric has made his choice, so he wants to do it one more time before moving on.
- Ricochet confirms that if he should lose to The Hurt Business tonight, then he will join them.
- Cedric Alexander volunteers to represent The Hurt Business later that night.
Analysis: Outside of interference from Mustafa Ali, this match could be the match of the night, and Ricochet should 100% lose. He has been struggling to break out throughout this year and a heel turn and alignment with The Hurt Business could do him wonders!
Angel Garza defeats Andrade via Pinfall in 2:30, The Fiend and Alexa Bliss make themselves seen
- Angel Garza defeats Andrade via Wing Clippers following a quick back and forth fight.
- Zelina Vega is on commentary throughout the match however her focus is on insulting Alexa Bliss and warning everyone that Zelina is here for the Women’s Championship.
- As Zelina consoles her former client Andrade, the lights fade to red and Alexa Bliss appears in the ring alongside ‘The Fiend’.
- Bliss and The Fiend hit Vega and Andrade with stereo Sister Abigails as we cut to an ad break.
Analysis: Andrade losing in 2:30, in a match not focused around him pretty much sums up his 2020. The former NXT Champion has all the tools to be a major star on RAW and it just hasn’t happened yet. However, hopefully, due to the implications of the post-match angle, maybe change is coming. Bliss and Fiend attacking Zelina and Andrade was excellent, Alexa hits an incredible Sister Abigail and ‘The Fiend’ looked complete with a psychotic femme fatale by his side. I was not big on The Fiend before today but now I’m all in, this is possibly one of the most fascinating character arcs WWE has seen in a long time and I am excited to see where not only ‘The Fiend’ and Alexa Bliss go from here but also Andrade and Zelina, given the consequences of a Fiend attack.
Stephanie McMahon Announces the Fifth Set of Five Draft Picks
— WWE (@WWE) October 13, 2020
- Nikki Cross follows her possessed BFF Alexa Bliss to Monday Night RAW.
- Roode and Ziggler are headed to Friday Night Smackdown.
- 24/7 Champion R-Truth is now a RAW Superstar.
- Ricochet’s premonition was correct as Apollo Crews is headed to SmackDown.
- Dabbo-Kato of RAW Underground remains on RAW
Analysis: Some interesting and shocking picks and one very obvious one. Bobby Roode and Ziggler heading to SmackDown intensify the stakes of their RAW Tag Team Title match later in the show because should they pull off the victory, SmackDown will be home to all the Tag Team gold. This could be a very clever and fun way to unify the Tag Team Titles, or could just lead to The New Day winning and Roode and Ziggler leave as losers. Dabbo-Kato staying on the brand with RAW Underground is the least surprising pick in the entire WWE Draft. Apollo Crews heading to SmackDown is very exciting, seeing him compete for the Intercontinental Championship in a division featuring the likes of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn is exactly what he needs to take his game to the next level.
The New Day defeat Roode and Ziggler via Pinfall in 12:05
- Roode and Ziggler isolate Xavier early on, grinding down the Up Up Down Down host in an attempt to capture Tag Team gold.
- Xavier shows no signs of ring rust hitting several hard-hitting high-risk moves to help regain control.
- Kofi and Xavier showed excellent in-ring chemistry whilst commentary put over how unusual it was to see ‘The New Day’ without Big E beside them.
- Following a failed spinebuster attempt from Roode, Xavier and Kofi hit the midnight hour to retain the Tag Team Titles.
- The RAW Tag Team Titles remain on RAW.
Analysis: This match was solid enough and technically it was fine, but it lacked something special to take above anything other than a TV title match. Xavier looks great in-ring and Kofi as always looked fantastic, however, I am still not keen on the pairing of Roode and Ziggler, character-wise the two competitors match, however, their in-ring style is a little too similar that it harms the quality of the in-ring product. Announcing Roode and Ziggler as drafted to SmackDown immediately before this match was genius as it opened the door to so many possibilities that I was willing to believe, including Roode and Ziggler taking the titles to SmackDown and unifying them with The SmackDown Tag Titles. It is a shame that none of these options occurred but credit to WWE for planting the thoughts in my mind in the first place.
Ricochet defeats Cedric Alexander via Disqualification in 5:19
Viva La Raza ❤️
— WWE on BT Sport (@btsportwwe) October 13, 2020
- Cedric and Ricochet start with some very fluid and high paced offence, including a beautiful Michinoku driver.
- The referee is knocked down during the fight at which point MVP of ‘The Hurt Business’ throws a chair into the ring for Alexander to use.
- In homage to the late, great Eddie Guerrero, Ricochet grabs the chair, hits it off the canvas before tossing it over to Cedric and feigning injury.
- The referee awakes to see Ricochet lying down and Cedric Alexander holding the chair. As a result, he awards Ricochet the DQ victory.
Analysis: I was looking forward to this match, two incredibly athletic and innovative performers who are capable of magic when given time. Add into this the possibility of Ricochet joining ‘The Hurt Business’ and the chance of a RETRIBUTION appearance I was very excited. So on paper, I should be disappointed that the match ended this way in five minutes, but, I am a sucker for Eddie Guerrero and with Friday being the legends 53rd birthday I thought this was a lovely sign of respect. There is time to do this match again and this didn’t harm anyone.
Stephanie McMahon Announces the Final Set of Five Draft Picks
6️⃣ rounds done.
— WWE (@WWE) October 13, 2020
- Titus O’Neil remains on RAW.
- Carmella remains on SmackDown.
- Peyton Royce also remains on Monday Nights.
- Aleister Black follows Kevin Owens over to SmackDown Live.
- Finally, Akira Tozawa remains on RAW.
Analysis: Not much of note from the last set of draft picks, Black following Owens is exciting and is possibly the final piece in what looks to be an incredible SmackDown mid-card. Carmella remaining Ms SmackDown is fun and keeps a balanced division, other than that, however, quite a weak last set of draft picks for tonight.
Lana is crowned #1 contender to Asuka’s WWE RAW Women’s Championship in 11:25
— WWE (@WWE) October 13, 2020
- Nia Jax dominates early eliminating several competitors including former tag team partner Tamina.
- Shayna eliminates Nia Jax from behind, sending her tag partner on a rampage that culminates with Nia putting Lana through the announce table once again.
- Asuka is on commentary for the show and she excitedly states that she wants to challenge everyone, but specifically her muscle friend Mandy Rose.
- Bianca Bel Air eliminates Shayna Baszler with the KOD.
- During the match, we cut backstage to Drew McIntyre beating down Randy Orton.
- Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott eliminate Bianca Bel Air via Assisted Bulldog.
- Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott, Natalya and Lacey Evans are the final four.
- Natalya and Evans simultaneously eliminate Morgan and Riott to become the final two competitors.
- Natalya eliminates Lacey Evans however, Lana was not ever eliminated and she sneaks up behind her former partner eliminating her to win the battle royal.
- Lana is the number one contender to Asuka’s WWE RAW Women’s Championship.
Analysis: There were some nice moments and touches to this match, Nia staring down her former teammate in Tamina Snuka and eliminating her, only to receive the same treatment from her current partner Shayna Baszler was some nice short storytelling. Bianca eliminating Shayna is a big push for the now EST of SmackDown and being eliminated by the Riott Squad doesn’t harm that at all. Asuka on commentary was a delight and her leaving ringside to watch the match on the TV backstage after the desk was destroyed by Nia Jax is a lovely touch of character work. But… then we get to the outcome, Lana winning the battle royal (admittedly through cowering strategy and luck) and earning a shot at Asuka. This is not good at all, many other options make more sense in literally every regard, from consideration of in-ring quality to storytelling or even to draw value. I’ve tried to justify this decision in my head for a while now and I still have yet to come to any conclusion. Lana and Natalya split one hour before this match as well so there was no time for the split and character change to marinate and gain value. Undisputedly, a bad decision that will taint what was otherwise a fun main event with lots of positive moments and delicate touches of storytelling.
Randy Orton and Drew McIntyre send the show home brawling
— WWE (@WWE) October 13, 2020
- In a rather poetic moment of circularity the segment that opened Monday Night Raw, closed Monday Night Raw.
- Immediately following Lana’s celebration Drew and Randy burst in through the side brawling around the arena.
- The attack was initiated and dominated by Drew who was looking to teach Orton a lesson, that as long as they are together McIntyre is going to make Orton pay.
- Commentary put over how these two men need the Hell In A Cell structure to contain them and bring this battle to an end once and for all.
Analysis: These two got the show off to a red hot opening and they sent the show home the same way, the animosity between Orton and McIntyre is incredible and the circular nature of RAW tonight made their story feel the most important. I am all ready to see these two global stars brutalise one another inside the HIAC and I am in the best way not concerned by who wins. As both men are at the top of their games and could leading to compelling matches and stories regardless!
Overall, I thought RAW was a pretty average show, there were several baffling decisions including:
- The unexplained cancellation of the much anticipated Mustafa Ali/Retribution segment.
- Taking up a large majority of the shows story arc with building Lana as a sympathetic face, immediately after a taking up two earlier segments using Lana and Natalya to build Mandy and Dana up as sympathetic faces.
- Rushing Black and Owens as well as The New Day versus Roode and Ziggler to make room for way too many backstage segments.
However, there were some incredibly enjoyable high points:
- Ricochet channelling his inner Latino Heat to see off The Hurt Business, which took an otherwise forgettable segment and gave it significance and separated it from anything else on WWE programming this week.
- The small micro storytelling moments within the main event that rewarded fans who have been watching for a while, this includes moments such as the Tamina and Nia stare down, Bianca avenging her NXT losses to Shayna Baszler, The Riott Squad continuing to improve and grow as a unit. These moments in the battle royal were incredibly enjoyable even if the finish is questionable.
- The opening and closing segments of RAW featuring Drew and Randy were excellent and justified the Hell in a Cell stipulation perfectly. I am now very much looking forward to seeing these two destroy each other within the steel structure.
- Kevin Owens vs Aleister Black although rushed featured some incredible wrestling and memorable moments including the brutal Meteora, the excellently executed Black Mass to the turnbuckle and finally the vicious powerbomb that gave Owens the victory in the match.
This is not the end of the WWE Draft – several draft picks are set to occur live on WWE Raw’s Post Show programming RAW Talk. Furthermore, several inter-brand matches are set to occur this Friday on SmackDown Live, including WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns taking on Braun Strowman and ‘The Freak’ Lars Sullivan taking on Jeff Hardy. Keep an eye out for the live results article for it, and all WWE TV & pay-per-views, right here at Inside The Ropes.