WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights for July 13
The final WWE Raw before The Horror Show at Extreme Rules had promised us a "Night of Grudges," with familiar foes doing battle as they jockeyed for position ahead of Sunday's pay-per-view extravaganza.
Champions would clash, top tag team contenders would be determined and a high-profile WrestleMania 36 rematch would occur as the brand not only sought to build momentum for its latest WWE Network offering but also looked to turn around its alarming decline in ratings.
Would it succeed, who would emerge from the night's biggest matches with their arms raised in victory and what would those outcomes mean for the most extreme event of the year?
Find out now with this recap of the July 13 USA Network broadcast.
Previously announced for the night's show were the following:
- Raw Women's champion Asuka and Kairi Sane vs. Women's Tag Team champions Sasha Banks and Bayley
- Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins
- R-Truth vs. Randy Orton
- The Viking Raiders vs. Angel Garza and Andrade
Of note was the Truth-Orton match, as there was seemingly no prior beef between the two, at least not enough to warrant inclusion as a "grudge" match. It would likely serve as the latest chapter in Orton's ongoing rivalry with Big Show and an excuse to really hammer home the point that you should hate The Viper.
If it went on as scheduled and was not another instance of bait-and-switch, Owens vs. Rollins had the potential to be a damn good match ahead of The Monday Night Messiah's showdown with Rey Mysterio on Sunday night.
'The VIP Lounge' with Dolph Ziggler
Ahead of his own United States Championship match opportunity against Apollo Crews, MVP introduced Dolph Ziggler to "The VIP Lounge" just six days before The Showoff's WWE Championship match against Drew McIntyre.
Commentator Tom Phillips revealed that Ziggler will wait until Sunday to reveal what the stipulation of the match will be.
Ziggler again took credit for McIntyre's success and claimed The Scottish Psychopath would never have achieved what he has without him plucking Drew from obscurity and bringing him back to WWE.
McIntyre interrupted and claimed Ziggler uses people, that they were never friends and that Sunday he will torture his No. 1 contender. He blasted The Showoff with the Glasgow Kiss before making his exit.
In trying to keep Ziggler and McIntyre from fighting before Extreme Rules, WWE Creative has failed to advance their storyline beyond the premise the heel presented on his first night back with the brand. Ziggler is still taking credit for McIntyre's success, the champ is still brushing it off and fans still have no reason to invest one way or another.
It is unfortunate, too, because Ziggler and McIntyre have a very real opportunity to steal Sunday's pay-per-view. They are talented enough to have a damn good wrestling match, but rather than having excitement and anticipation on their side, they limp into the PPV with little more than apathy accompanying them.
It is an indictment of a creative team that has devoted more time to setting up a match with a computer-generated eyeball than paying attention to its champion and a rivalry that could serve both him and his challenger.
Tag Team Elimination Match: The Viking Raiders vs. Andrade and Angel Garza
Andrade and Angel Garza continued their quest toward the Raw Tag Team Championships this week, battling former No. 1 contenders The Viking Raiders in a Tag Team Elimination match.
The heels took the early advantage, pinning Erik and eliminating him, thus leaving Ivar to fight for himself.
Twice in the minutes that followed, Andrade saved Garza from punishment, only to be eliminated.
With the action down to Garza and Ivar, it appeared as though the bearded wonder would earn the win, but a brief moment of interference from El Idolo kept Garza in the fight. The former cruiserweight champion caught Ivar in a senton attempt, drove him to the mat and scored the win for his team.
Andrade and Garza defeated The Viking Raiders
You can argue the merits of an elimination match determining which team is the best and most prepared to challenge for the Raw Tag Team Championships, but the strength of this was the storytelling.
On more than one occasion, Andrade was devoted to the idea of teaming with Garza to win the tag titles, even when his partner may not have shared his enthusiasm. So much so that Garza's win can be completely attributed to El Idolo saving him from defeat (again) in the closing minutes of the match.
There are clear tension and ego at play here, and it will be interesting to see if the heels can coexist long enough to defeat The Street Profits and win gold Sunday at Extreme Rules.
Ruby Riott and Bianca Belair vs. The IIconics
The IIconics' Billie Kay and Peyton Royce were absolutely certain that Ruby Riott had no friends and thus would not be able to find herself a tag team partner. She responded by introducing them to Bianca Belair. The two teams met Monday night.
Kay and Royce isolated Riott, working her over until a hot tag to Belair sparked the babyface comeback.
Riott wiped out Royce, and Belair dodged the Shades of Kay finisher before flattening her opponent with the Kiss of Death for the win.
Riott and Belair defeated The IIconics
This was a little too much of a sprint for the match to really be better than average, but it was nice to see Riott pick up her first win on Raw in over a year.
It was also a welcome return for Belair, who is the most athletically gifted and charismatic young star in the women's division. She has every tool necessary to be the face of the division for years to come, but that can only happen with more television exposure.
She looked mostly crisp and brought an energy to the match it may not have had otherwise.
What is of interest now is Liv Morgan's role in all of this. After she was attacked last week, the question is who is responsible.
Knowing WWE, there will be some convoluted reason that it was Belair to really drive a wedge between her and Riott. Here's hoping that's not the case because there is a more interesting story yet to be told between Riott and Morgan.
The Queen of Spades Is Back
Ahead of his scheduled match with Randy Orton, R-Truth agreed to defend his 24/7 Championship against Akira Tozawa, who was accompanied by three of his ninjas.
Before anything could happen, Shayna Baszler made her first Raw appearance since the beginning of May and obliterated Tozawa's backup. From there, she stared down Truth, who voluntarily let himself out.
The Queen of Spades then issued a warning to the women's division, promising a reality check. "And I am that reality," she said.
Hey all, did you know Shayna Baszler is a badass?
WWE Creative finally remembered and booked her to throw a couple of fools around the ring before cutting the tonally perfect promo. It worked, and if she is allowed to do that more consistently without getting caught up in food fights inside WWE towers, she will find the success she probably should have achieved back at WrestleMania 36.
With Bayley and Sasha Banks playing the more traditional heel role and Asuka becoming the eccentric babyface of sorts, the women's division needs that imposing threat, and Baszler is exactly that. Her return could not have come at a better or more opportune time.
Kevin Owens Interrupts Seth Rollins, Chaos Ensues
With the first-ever Eye for an Eye match against Rey Mysterio on Sunday at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules, Seth Rollins took to the squared circle for his WrestleMania 36 rematch against Kevin Owens. Before that, he took the mic and addressed his PPV match.
He admitted that he thought it was a metaphor but now realized Mysterio meant it literally, that the only way to win is to remove the opponent's eyeball. He reiterated that he never meant to harm Rey, that he was simply trying to fulfill his prophecy for the greater good.
Rollins vowed there would be a new beginning after Sunday, only for KO to interrupt.
"I think what I find more disturbing is that you're such a scumbag," Owens said before reminding Rollins that he savagely attacked a genuinely nice guy and pissed him off to the point that he wants to gouge out the eyes of The Monday Night Messiah. Owens invoked the name of Jean-Pierre LaFitte before pulling out an eye patch.
This brought out Murphy, whom Aleister Black cut off as the show headed to break.
This was elevated above average status by Rollins admitting the ridiculousness of the Eye for an Eye match and the fact that he thought Mysterio was simply using a metaphor.
Otherwise, this was every other back-and-forth that has descended into chaos and will seemingly give us Murphy vs. Black.
Given how many times they have clashed this year, it certainly fits the "grudge" theme of tonight's broadcast.
Aleister Black vs. Murphy Gives Way to Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins
Back from the commercial, Murphy worked over the knees of Aleister Black, looking to negate his quick-strike advantage. Every time the Aussie built momentum, Black answered with a stunning knee or kick.
Just as Murphy sought to suplex Black into the ring, the enigmatic antihero of Raw escaped and obliterated Murphy with Black Mass.
Before he could make the cover, Rollins pulled Black to the floor, drawing the disqualification.
Rollins scurried into the ring to check on Murphy while Rey Mysterio's music played and the masked icon and his son Dominik arrived, heading into another break.
After the timeout, Owens and Rollins' WrestleMania rematch was underway, the babyface dominating the action as Black, Dominik and Mysterio surrounded the ring. Owens rocked The Monday Night Messiah with a cannonball for a count of two.
Constantly distracted by his rivals, Rollins continued to endure a beating at the hands of Owens. That is until an alert Rollins clipped the leg out from under his opponent and followed with a tope suicida to turn the tide heading into another timeout.
Rollins controlled the pace, forcing Owens into the defensive. That changed when KO blasted his opponent with a superkick. A DDT followed for two. Rollins answered with a blockbuster for a near-fall of his own.
The match crescendoed with Rollins raking Owens' eye, only to be distracted by his rivals at ringside. Owens recovered, dropped him with a stunner and picked up the win.
Black defeated Murphy via disqualification; Owens defeated Rollins
This would have worked so well as the pay-per-view culmination of a long-term feud.
Rollins has made enemies of so many that them costing him the win is exactly the sort of comeuppance a storyline of this sort demands. Instead, this is just the setup for a ridiculously hokey, unnecessarily violent match at Extreme Rules that will probably leave fans cringing for all the wrong reasons.
With that aside, Rollins and Owens are seemingly unable to have a bad match at this point. Their in-ring chemistry is so damn good that they can make just about anything work, regardless of what is going on around them. This was no exception.
The booking does raise one question: How can WWE justify Rollins beating Mysterio in the blowoff to their rivalry when everything about this program has pointed to Rey getting his revenge on PPV? After all, 50-50 booking suggests Rollins losing here all but ensures a win Sunday.
R-Truth vs. Randy Orton
After a blistering promo in which he teased a potentially devastating split between him and Ric Flair and threatened another chapter in the story of The Legend Killer, Randy Orton took to the squared circle for his showdown with 24/7 champion R-Truth in a non-title match.
Flair said in a pre-match promo in honor of Truth's career that Orton would not punt his head into the stands. Instead, he would only drop him with the RKO.
Truth feigned having to talk to Flair as a way to sucker The Viper in, but it failed and Orton leveled him with the RKO for the win.
After the bell, Orton teased a punt, but Big Show interrupted. Orton challenged Big Show to an unsanctioned match on next Monday's show, to which the giant reluctantly accepted.
Orton defeated Truth
Orton suckering Big Show into accepting the match was a nice touch, and his sudden and uncontested victory over Truth was exactly what it needed to be.
Throw in another killer promo from The Viper prior to the match and the added element of tension between Orton and Flair, and you had a simple yet effective bit of storytelling that continued Orton's extraordinary 2020.
Ricochet vs. MVP
As MVP continues to recruit Ricochet's tag team partner Cedric Alexander, Ricochet squared off with Bobby Lashley in a battle between former United States champions.
The All Mighty negated a lightning-quick start by The One and Only by tripping Ricochet up on the apron and tossing him into the guardrail. He overwhelmed his smaller opponent with the obvious strength advantage, but Ricochet's resiliency proved frustrating.
The high-flying babyface dropped Lashley with an enzuigiri and standing shooting star press for a near-fall. A superkick stunned Lashley, but Ricochet left himself open for the Full Nelson as the heel earned the victory.
After the match, Alexander tried to make the save but found himself in the same submission hold.
MVP and Lashley, now dubbed "The Hurt Business," stood tall to close things out.
Lashley defeated Ricochet
This was a surprisingly competitive, fun match.
Ricochet looked like the bright, electric star who took WWE by storm last summer and had some thinking he was the breakout performer the red brand needed. Since then, he has inexplicably faded into the background. Given how over he was, the things he can do that no one else can and the lack of babyfaces you can actually get behind in WWE, it seems like an enormous waste of talent to continue using him in the manner the company has.
He has already proved himself in big-match situations and really should be above this.
He is not, though, and as someone tasked with putting over The Hurt Business (solid name), he succeeded. MVP and Lashley have the makings of a great midcard heel act, and this continued their hot streak.
Women's Tag Team Title Match: The Kabuki Warriors vs. Golden Role Models
Ahead of their defense of the Women's Tag Team Championships against The Kabuki Warriors, Sasha Banks and SmackDown women's champion Bayley re-aired a video tribute to themselves, just days before they hope to assume control of the division as part of The Horror Show at Extreme Rules.
Asuka and Kairi Sane thwarted an attack by The Golden Role Models heading into the commercial break.
The challengers had Banks and Bayley reeling early as Sane exploded into the match and wiped out both opponents before delivering the sliding elbow in the corner for a near-fall. A double hip attack by The Kabuki Warriors drove Banks and Bayley off the apron.
The Blueprint dropped Asuka off the apron and then stunned Sane with a kick that allowed the champions to seize control of the match for the first time. They sent The Pirate Princess into the plexiglass surrounding the ringside area heading into the break.
The champions grounded Sane, cutting off an attempt at a comeback and double-teaming her in their corner. As much as they worked over Sane, they failed to put her away and pick up the win as frustration set in.
A big backfist created separation and allowed Sane to tag in Asuka, who unloaded on Bayley.
Bayley slowed the onslaught by pulling Asuka off the top rope, hanging her up. Banks delivered Meteora but failed to put away The Empress.
Late in the match, Asuka countered a crossbody into the Asuka Lock. Bayley made the save. A double-team gave way to the InSane Elbow, but Bayley made the save again. With Asuka fighting Bayley at ringside, Banks countered a sliding elbow right into the Bank Statement for the submission victory.
The Golden Role Models defeated The Kabuki Warriors to retain their titles
A longer, uninterrupted pay-per-view match really should be a thing WWE Creative gives its fans.
This was really good, really fun and would have been even better on both fronts without the commercial interruptions.
That is a minor gripe for what was a stellar showing, particularly by the underrated Sane. She sold to perfection and fired up late in the match when appropriate. Bayley and Banks made her look even better, something they have done for anyone they have shared the ring with over the last two months.
While this did not really put Banks vs. Asuka over, it did continue both women's streaks of superb in-ring work. Given the fact that WWE Creative completely dropped the ball with the build to Extreme Rules, this at least gave the incredible women's division another fantastic platform.
Sometimes, that is all that is needed to ensure a successful segment.