Monday 2 November 2020

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WWE Raw 11/2/20

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WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from November 2

Sana Ejaz Khan

    A week after Randy Orton found himself confronted by Drew McIntyre and "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt, he rolled into Monday's Raw with a target squarely on his back.

    What awaited the WWE champion as he arrived, a showdown with SmackDown Universal champion Roman Reigns at Survivor Series hanging overhead like a dark cloud?

    Who would build momentum for themselves ahead of the November 22 pay-per-view?

    Find out now with this recap of Monday's USA Network broadcast.

Match Card

1 OF 12

    Announced ahead of Monday's show:

    • Guitar on a Pole match: Jeff Hardy vs. Elias
    • Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke vs. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler
    • The New Day vs. The Hurt Business

The Target on Randy Orton's Back Gets Bigger

2 OF 12


    "The Apex Predator has become the hunted," Tom Phillips exclaimed as WWE champion Randy Orton made his way to the ring to kick off the evening's broadcast.

    Orton declared himself "the best...period" before claiming he was superior to everyone in the locker room, specifically mentioning the likes of Edge, The Undertaker and Drew McIntyre. "The reason I am in the position I am in is because I am...the best."

    "I am now, simply, a legend," he said before admitting there is an enormous bull's-eye on his back. He dared anyone to come and try to take the title from him. Rather than Roman Reigns, The Miz, Drew McIntyre or The Fiend, Alexa Bliss appeared and made her way to the ring.

    After some back-and-forth, she uttered, "He could be here," and the arena darkened. The familiar shrill sounded throughout. When the arena brightened, Bliss was gone and McIntyre delivered a big Claymore. "I dare you to give me my rematch," McIntyre said before vowing to make Orton's life a living hell.

    As McIntyre made his way to the back, The Miz and John Morrison came from out of nowhere and tried to cash in, only to have The Scottish Psychopath toss them from the ring. He claimed no one would take the gold away from Orton but him.






    This was a well-done start to the show that established the numerous threats to Orton's title reign.

    There was the hint of The Fiend, the presence of Mr. Money in the Bank and the threat of the former champion all rolled into one segment. The multiple threats heighten the significance of the title and make it look like the single most prestigious championship in the company rather than a prize that only two guys care enough to fight over.

    McIntyre cutting off Miz and Morrison also furthers a feud that began last week. It will be interesting to see if The Hollywood A-Lister and The Monday Night Delight end up potentially costing McIntyre a championship opportunity if, and when, he gets his rematch.

Guitar on a Pole Match: Jeff Hardy vs. Elias

3 OF 12

    Credit: WWE

    Jeff Hardy and Elias wrote the latest chapter in their rivalry in the night's opening contest, a Guitar on a Pole match in which the object was to retrieve the instrument and smash it over the opponent.

    Elias dominated early, pounding away at The Charismatic Enigma and showcasing renewed intensity while doing it. Hardy fought back, though, delivering a Twist of Fate and scaling the ropes.

    He attempted to grab the guitar, but Elias grabbed onto his ankle. Hardy fought him off, grabbed the guitar and cracked it over his opponent's back.

    Three seconds later, he picked up the win.



    Hardy defeated Elias






    "Hopefully, this ends it with Elias," Byron Saxton said.

    I love shoot comments that aren't meant to be shoot comments.

    This feud has been a whole lot of "meh," so it was only appropriate that this match, presumably the end of the program, would follow suit. While some might argue that Elias dominated the match and thus gets something out of beating up Hardy, he still lost like a guy who isn't at Hardy's level.

    Or The Undertaker's level. Or John Cena's. Or Roman Reigns'. He is always the heel the company gets to work with relatively high-profile opponents, but never lets actually win.

    And WWE wonders why it can't create new stars.

Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke vs. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler

4 OF 12

    Credit: WWE

    Though they will all be teammates on November 22 at Survivor Series, Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke battled Women's Tag Team champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler for the gold this week while fifth teammate Lana watched from the entrance ramp.

    Rose and Brooke dominated with two-on-one onslaughts, isolating the opposition and working her over. It worked with Jax and then with Baszler as the babyfaces kept the champions reeling.

    Baszler momentarily allowed herself to become distracted by Lana. Brooke scored a roll-up, but The Queen of Spades kicked out, sending Brooke into Lana. Baszler followed with the Kirifuda Clutch for the submission win.



    Baszler and Jax defeated Brooke and Rose






    This was a fun sprint of a match that proved what the team of Rose and Brooke can be going forward, all while paying too much attention to Lana at ringside.

    The chemistry for Team Raw at Survivor Series is all over the place, allowing WWE to tell the all-too-frequent story of wacky, mismatched partners who hate each other. Taking into consideration the fact that Baszler and Jax are a team displaying the same properties, it is proof positive of WWE's overreliance on that particular trope.

    Still, it was a fun and harmless match while it lasted, even if the segment was flawed.

R-Truth vs. Bobby Lashley

5 OF 12

    Credit: WWE

    A confused R-Truth, thinking he had signed on to face Bobby Boucher of Waterboy fame, battled The Hurt Business' United States champion Bobby Lashley in singles competition.

    It was a short-lived match.

    While the commentary team put over Lashley's Survivor Series match against Intercontinental champion Sami Zayn, The All Mighty trapped Truth in the Hurt Lock and forced a submission for the win.

    After the match, Drew Gulak attempted to win the 24/7 Championship from Truth, only to find himself trapped in the same submission hold. Lashley released Gulak...right onto Truth. Three seconds later, Gulak scored the win and the title.



    Lashley defeated Truth; Gulak defeated Truth to win the 24/7 Championship






    The intention was to put Lashley over as an unstoppable badass, and in that regard, this worked.

    That it also served to write the latest chapter in the seemingly never-ending rivalry between Truth and Gulak only helped to enhance the overall quality of the segment.

    With that said, WWE really needs to break up the monotony of the 24/7 Championship because what once felt like the one truly creative element on Monday nights has become an also-ran segment full of repetition and only occasionally funny comedy.

Team Raw in Disarray

6 OF 12

    Credit: WWE

    AJ Styles and his towering bodyguard hit the ring for the next segment of the night, and The Phenomenal One did not waste time establishing himself as the captain of Team Raw for the Survivor Series pay-per-view. He introduced Sheamus and Keith Lee and quickly attempted to keep the peace between the big men.

    Back-and-forth bickering gave way to an appearance by Braun Strowman.

    "The only thing this team needs is these hands," he said. Lee reminded his recent rival that they all had to qualify for the match, to which The Monster Among Men scoffed and claimed he should be the team captain.

    Adam Pearce appeared and said Strowman needs a qualifying match but he can't find an appropriate opponent. Eventually, Styles pitched Lee vs. Sheamus vs. Strowman, which Pearce agreed to.






    Why would Styles, as the self-proclaimed leader of the Raw team, want to see two partners and a prospective third beat the hell out of each other in a Triple Threat match?

    Why would Sheamus and Lee, already on Team Raw, not eagerly accept a former Universal champion to the team?

    How perfect is Styles in the pot-stirring role?

    This may not have worked quite as well as WWE hoped, thanks to the logic gaps, but it was still an entertaining (if not convoluted) way to get to what should be a fantastic hoss fight.

Keith Lee vs. Braun Strowman vs. Sheamus

7 OF 12

    Credit: WWE

    Back from the commercial break, the battle between the three Raw heavyweights was underway, with Lee delivering a big plancha over the top rope that grounded both Sheamus and Strowman. The Limitless One momentarily worked with Sheamus to obliterate Strowman with the ring steps before they focused their attention on each other.

    Heading into another timeout, Strowman recovered and plowed through his opponents, crashing into a guardrail.

    Back from the break, Sheamus worked a submission on Lee while Styles, on commentary, implored them not to injure each other. Lee fought his way back into the match but quickly found himself bowled over by Strowman.

    In a jaw-dropping display, Strowman and Lee brought Sheamus down with a superplex, Tower of Doom spot.

    The Celtic Warrior recovered and blasted Lee with a Brogue Kick. Strowman caught Sheamus in the powerslam and put him away to earn his way onto the team.



    Strowman defeated Sheamus and Lee






    Taking into consideration how entertaining this big-man battle was, this still made little sense, something Styles pointed out on commentary more than one time.

    They had to beat the hell out of each other to get Strowman on the team, making it even more difficult for them all to get along come November 22.

    That's right, two teams on Raw, two instances of partners who do not get along.

    Can WWE even book a team that actually likes each other at this point?

'The Firefly Fun House'

8 OF 12

    Credit: WWE

    After Drew McIntyre accepted the challenge for a Handicap match against The Miz and John Morrison, Bray Wyatt and Alexa Bliss returned with the latest edition of "The Firefly Fun House."

    Wyatt admitted Orton was a very bad man in the past. He started to say he built a new world with the ashes from the fire that burned down the Wyatt Family compound. "Unfortunately, it can't be that simple. He never forgets," Wyatt admitted.

    With the assistance of Wyatt, Bliss showed off her newest "trick," which included blood oozing from her mouth (or a demon tongue?) and the host of the "Fun House" uttering "oh s--t" to close things out.






    The Wyatt/Bliss/Fiend stuff is still the most intriguing in WWE, at least this side of Roman Reigns and The Usos. Perhaps because it is so wholly different than anything else on the show, definitely because of Wyatt's devotion to the persona.

    It is clear that Orton is up next on Wyatt's revenge tour, and the weekly descent of Bliss into this otherworldly monster is a hell of a hook.

    Whether The Fiend manifests himself before the night's end is the question now.

Lana vs. Nia Jax

9 OF 12

    Credit: WWE

    In a match made earlier in the show, Nia Jax battled Lana, vowing to put an end to The Ravishing Russian's career.

    Jax disrespected, talked trash and attempted to humiliate Lana as she utterly dominated her. She bowled her over, tossed her around the ring and picked her up at the count of two, clearly toying with her outmatched opponent.

    Jax ultimately put Lana down with a Samoan Drop for the win.

    After the match, Jax had Baszler retrieve her opponent. From there, she sent Lana into the guardrail and drove her through the announce table for the seventh week.



    Jax defeated Lana






    Oh, look, the table spot. For the seventh week in a row.

    Funny how it loses its novelty after Week 5.

    The spot notwithstanding, this was the squash everyone knew it would be, without any rhyme or reason for actually existing.

    After Jax and Baszler retained earlier in the night, did this segment really have to be on WWE TV? Couldn't Jax have just put Lana through the table in a spot people stopped caring about a few weeks back?

    Everything about this felt unnecessary and only existed to keep the table spot alive.

    Most likely as Vince McMahon spit out his coffee laughing like a sixth-grader.

The New Day vs. The Hurt Business

10 OF 12

    Credit: WWE

    MVP hosted "The MVP Lounge," where both he and Shelton Benjamin expressed their desire for the Raw Tag Team champions, to the extent that The Hurt Business said it wanted them in repayment for ridding the company of its Retribution problem.

    This brought out The New Day, who ran down its list of accomplishments, including Kofi Kingston's WWE Championship reign. Kingston and MVP traded barbs ahead of a showdown between the titleholders and the team of Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander.

    Kingston and Xavier Woods frustrated Alexander early before Benjamin entered on behalf of his team. A big boot from the former Intercontinental and United States champion Benjamin allowed the heels to take control.

    Kingston tagged Woods, who exploded into the match and took the fight to Alexander and Benjamin. That is until he was sent off the top rope and to the floor. From there, the heels isolated Woods, cutting him off from Kingston and working him over in their corner.

    The heels dominated the action throughout the break, but Woods delivered a big enzuigiri kick that allowed him to create separation and make the tag. Kingston exploded into the match, mocked MVP's "BALLIN'!" and delivered the Boom Drop to Alexander.

    Late, as the action broke down, Benjamin missed a blind tag to Woods, who delivered a big DDT for a near-fall. Ironically enough, it was another blind tag, this one missed by Woods, that allowed Benjamin to deliver Paydirt and Alexander to follow with the Neuralyzer for the win.



    Benjamin and Alexander defeated Woods and Kingston






    It may be New Day vs. Street Profits at Survivor Series, but Hurt Business announced its impending championship hunt by way of its victory in this one.

    And rightfully so.

    With a decided lack of established teams elsewhere on the roster, it is no surprise that Raw would turn to The Hurt Business to provide a challenge to New Day. That the faction has been one of the few consistent bright spots of the brand for the last five months only adds credibility to its expanded role.

    This was a fun sprint of a match, giving fans a taste of things to come.

Ricochet vs. Tucker

11 OF 12

    Credit: WWE

    Ricochet battled Tucker in a match, as described by the commentary team, set up by a backstage confrontation earlier in the day as a result of the latter's treatment of Otis.

    The seemingly random match ended abruptly with a Recoil by Ricochet for the win.

    After the match, Mustafa Ali orchestrated an attack by Retribution that ended with the heel faction standing tall ahead of the break.



    Ricochet defeated Tucker






    There are far worse options than a feud between Ricochet and Ali, but with every passing week, it feels like Retribution is more and more shoved down the card. It is a shell of the industry-changing faction some expected out of the team when it arrived.

    Now, it is a firmly established midcard act feuding with a Ricochet who has not won a meaningful singles match in months.

    As for Tucker, he is very clearly dead in the water. In his first match to determine if he is headed for big things as a result of his heel turn at Hell in a Cell, he lost in seconds. Not exactly a ringing endorsement from creative.

Drew McIntyre vs. Miz and John Morrison

12 OF 12


    Earlier in the night, Drew McIntyre prevented The Miz from cashing in Money in the Bank and winning the WWE Championship. In the night's main event, he battled The Hollywood A-Lister and John Morrison in a Two-on-One Handicap match.

    McIntyre controlled early, chopping Miz's chest into raw hamburger. He dominated heading into the commercial break.

    Back from the timeout, Morrison and Miz sent McIntyre into the guardrail and worked over The Scottish Psychopath. Looking to keep him grounded, they worked a mat-based offensive. Morrison took the fight onto the top rope, where McIntyre delivered a massive release German from the top rope.

    Miz tagged in but immediately felt the wrath of his opponent. McIntyre survived everything thrown at him, including a Skull-Crushing Finale in the closing moments.

    McIntyre delivered the Future Shock DDT and set up Miz for the Claymore. Morrison pulled his partner to the sanctuary of the floor, to which the former WWE champion responded with a plancha over the top rope.

    Back inside, McIntyre delivered the Claymore for the win.

    After the match, Orton came from out of nowhere to deliver a big RKO and then stood tall until Bray Wyatt's haunting laugh filled the arena.



    McIntyre defeated Miz and Morrison






    No matter the odds, it never felt like McIntyre was losing this one.

    Even with the odds in their favor, Miz and Morrison don't have enough credibility to believably beat someone as dominant and destructive is McIntyre.

    What worked was the closing encounter between Orton and McIntyre, followed by Wyatt's laughter. It continued to put over the threats to Orton's title while ending the show on somewhat of a cliffhanger.

    That is the type of booking a much-maligned show needs to keep fans invested

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