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Saturday, October 24, 2020

WWE Raw results, recap, grades: WWE championship match set, three Money in the Bank qualifiers

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As WWE continues to build toward Money in the Bank on May 10, three more men qualified for the pay-per-view’s eponymous ladder match. In addition to setting up competitors for the ladder match, a WWE championship match was made official as Drew McIntyre continued his run as a truly dominant force since becoming champion.

McIntyre opened the show by laying out a challenge to Seth Rollins for a match at Money in the Bank. The challenge came one week after Rollins’ brutal attack on McIntyre, hitting two stomps to end last week’s edition of Raw. Later in the show, Rollins officially accepted the match, setting up a big showdown for the WWE title at the pay-per-view, one many may have expected to be held until SummerSlam. McIntyre would close out the show by manhandling not only opponent Angel Garza, but also his backup of Austin Theory and Andrade.

Aleister Black, Apollo Crews and Rey Mysterio all picked up wins in Money in the Bank qualifying matches. They join Daniel Bryan as the four official competitors in the match, with two still to be determined on the SmackDown side.

Let’s take a look at everything that went down on this week’s episode of Raw.

WWE Raw results, grades

McIntyre opened the show with an in-ring interview. McIntyre addressed Rollins’ attack to end last week’s Raw, where Rollins hit McIntyre with a pair of stomps. McIntyre said he had to think about whether or not Rollins was worthy of a title shot, but rather than make him jump through hoops to get a title shot, he would rather continue to prove his status as a true champion. McIntyre threw down a challenge for Rollins to challenge him at Money in the Bank in three weeks. McIntyre was then interrupted by Angel Garza, Austin Theory and Zelina Vega. Vega accused McIntyre of being too focused on Money in the Bank and looking past his match with Garza. Andrade then blindsided McIntyre only to eat a Claymore Kick. Theory and Garza refused to run in to provide assistance, allowing McIntyre to hit another Claymore to end the segment. McIntyre continues doing well in his role, even if WWE is seemingly too focused on falling into the rut of making every top babyface a “cool guy” regardless of their strengths. Grade: B

Aleister Black def. Austin Theory via pinfall to qualify for Money in the Bank after a Black Mass, qualifying for the Money in the Bank ladder match. During the match, Zelina Vega began yelling at Black for interrupting Theory’s attempts to have a good match and told Black to “play fair,” at which point Theory blindsided Black to take the advantage. Black took the attack to Theory’s arm on his comeback, taking out the young prospect’s power. Theory failed to hit the ATL multiple times through the match before finally getting blasted with Black Mass for the finish to a solid match that was shorter than some recent Black outings. After the match, Black promised to turn Money in the Bank into his five opponents’ “own personal hell.” Grade: B-

Shayna Baszler def. Indi Hartwell via stoppage after stomping on her arm. Before the match, Baszler said she didn’t take things too far when she stomped on Sarah Logan’s arm last week in their Money in the Bank qualifier. Baszler tried to stomp on Hartwell’s arm the same way moments into the match, but Hartwell avoided the move. That only served to anger Baszler and she executed the move moments later to win by stoppage for the second consecutive week. Baszler left the ring after the match to grab a ladder. After a continued attack on Hartwell, she placed the NXT talent’s arm in the ladder and kicked it closed before walking off. The vicious streak of Baszler being on full display in recent weeks has done wonders for her character on the “main roster.” Grade: B+

Ricochet & Cedric Alexander def. Shane Thorne & Brendon Vink via pinfall after Alexander hit the Lumbar Check on Thorne. After losing to The Viking Raiders last week, Ricochet and Alexander were put in with NXT roster members Vink and Thorne, who have served as enhancement talent during the recent events in the Performance Center. Ricochet’s Recoil set up Alexander to hit the Lumbar Check for the win to get back on track. Grade: C+

Kairi Sane and Asuka were interviewed backstage. Asuka said Sane was ready for a rematch with Nia Jax after losing to her last week.

Bobby Lashley and Lana were shown in the Performance Center gym, where Lashley said he would be showing how to flip a tractor tire. Lashley was sporting an obviously forced smile while interacting with Lana after recent weeks of tension between the two.

Nia Jax def. Kairi Sane via pinfall after a Samoan Drop. For the second week in a row, Sane couldn’t handle Jax, though she did manage to do some damage to Jax’s knee in the match. Jax was eventually able to overcome the efforts of Sane — with Asuka excitedly cheering on Sane backstage — by hitting the Samoan Drop for the victory, having seemingly abandoning the cradle DDT finish she used in her first match back. Jax remains a bit of a liability in the ring, seemingly coming close to injuring Sane during the match, an issue that has plagued her in the past. But running this same match for two straight weeks for no reason didn’t help the in-ring issues either. Grade: C-

Rollins, speaking from home, responded to McIntyre’s Money in the Bank challenge, calling McIntyre a brave man. Rollins said he’s one of the few men who understand what it is to be in McIntyre’s place, as a champion who defeated Brock Lesnar to win the belt at WrestleMania. Rollins said he accepts the challenge, not out of respect or disdain, but out of necessity and duty. “Right now, more than ever, the WWE Universe needs a leader,” Rollins said. “As much as you and I have in common, the similarities stop there. I am a proven leader and you’re not.” This was a solid promo from Rollins, providing extra motivation and texture to the match — which is a situation that has largely ignored that Rollins is coming off a loss to Kevin Owens at WrestleMania. Grade: B

A video of the Viking Raiders driving in a car and eating turkey legs was shown.

Apollo Crews def. MVP via pinfall to qualify for Money in the Bank after a sit-down powerbomb. Before the match, MVP cut a promo where he forgot Crews’ name while praising him, leading Crews to cut off the promo. MVP talked trash at Crews through the match, coming close to hitting The Playmaker, before Crews reversed the move into a spinebuster. A flurry of offense from Crews would follow before MVP countered a frog splash and hit The Playmaker for a nearfall. Crews fired back and hit a sit-out powerbomb for the win. Grade: C+

Ruby Riott was interviewed backstage. Riott said she had to have shoulder surgery after carrying Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan on her back. “She’s still suffering the delusion she’s all grown up, that she’s independent,” Riott said of Morgan. “But I’m going to show her just how lonely and small and weak she is without me.”

Liv Morgan def. Ruby Riott via pinfall after a springboard Flatliner. The former Riott Squad teammates tangled in a solid, if short, match that Morgan was able to win after using the second rope to spring backward into a Flatliner for the win. With Sarah Logan recently released and this match operating as an unannounced throwaway in the middle of Raw, it seems whatever the larger plans were for the Riott Squad split are done and gone at this point. Grade: B-

Rey Mysterio def. Murphy via pinfall to qualify for Money in the Bank after a 619 and frog splash to advance to the ladder match. Murphy focused a large amount of offense on the dislocated finger of Mysterio, adding an extra bit of nastiness to what was an excellent bit of TV wrestling. Both men brought their best, hitting high-impact moves and convincingly building to near falls through the match. Mysterio hit a destroyer, then his finishing combination for the victory, punching his ticket to the Money in the Bank. Grade: A-

Charlotte Flair def. Kayden Carter via submission with the Figure-Eight. NXT talent Carter was in action against the brand’s champion. Carter showed some good fire, hitting a crucifix bomb and locking Flair in a submission she could only break by whipping the upstart into the ropes. Flair turned things around quickly enough, locking in a Figure-Eight to force the submission. Grade: C+

Bobby Lashley flipped a monster truck tire after flipping a tractor tire earlier in the night. Lashley pointed to the act as proof that the locker room needs to fear him.

Andrade def. Akira Tozawa via pinfall after a hanging hammerlock DDT. Andrade was out after taking a pair of Claymore Kicks from Drew McIntyre to open the show. Tozawa put up a good fight, hitting some of his high-speed offense to take the match over for the middle stretch, but eventually fell victim to Andrade’s hanging hammerlock DDT for the finish, giving Vega’s boys their first win for the night. Grade: B

Bianca Belair def. Santana Garrett via pinfall after the K.O.D. The Street Profits were out to introduce Belair and remained on commentary through the match. Belair played with her food in an elaborate squash that allowed her to show off her strength, speed and general athleticism. After playing with her food, Belair hit the K.O.D. for the win. Grade: B-

Drew McIntyre def. Angel Garza via pinfall with a Claymore Kick. Andrade, Austin Theory and Zelena Vega were all out at ringside for Garza as he took on McIntyre in the main event. McIntyre brutalized Garza’s chest with chops before Andrade attempted to interfere with no success. Theory also took a shot from McIntyre after attempting to interfere, but that allowed Garza an opening to begin ramming McIntyre into the ringposts multiple times. After a brief flurry from Garza, McIntyre took things back over before he hit a huge dive over the top rope to the outside on Garza, Theory and Andrade. McIntyre tossed Andrade over the guardrail, hit Theory with a Claymore Kick and tossed Garza back in the ring, finishing him off moments later with another Claymore. After the match, McIntyre hit Garza with yet another Claymore and hit one more on Theory for good measure, ending the show on the entrance ramp in Andrade’s trademark “Tranquilo” pose. McIntyre has been dialed in as an unstoppable force in the ring in recent weeks and there’s a clear feeling that he would be getting massive reactions from live crowds were it not for the current pandemic. Grade: B+

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