WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from August 17

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2020

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from August 17

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    Credit: WWE.com

    This week is the final Raw before SummerSlam on Sunday, but it may also be the final Raw we see take place at the Performance Center.

    WWE has confirmed that future tapings will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, which WWE has started calling the ThunderDome.

    Management teased an appearance from Rey Mysterio ahead of his son Dominik's match with Seth Rollins at SummerSlam. Did the Master of the 619 show up to support his son or talk him out of it?

    We also saw more from Raw Underground this week as Shane McMahon continued his strange fight club and Shawn Michaels made a special appearance.

    Let's take a look at everything that happened on Raw.

Retribution Takes Control

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    The usual Raw intro featured some graphical glitches this week before we went live to the arena for Drew McIntyre's entrance and a recap of the segment between Ric Flair and Randy Orton last week.

    The Scottish Psychopath spoke about how The Viper took out Flair last week and how it made him sick to see Orton attack a man who loved him like a son.

    The glitches continued as graphics and videos flashed on the screen. We then went to a backstage shot of Retribution destroying one of the production trucks until one of the crew was forced to cut the feed.

    We returned to see several Superstars talking about Retribution as McIntyre walked up and said they need to deal with Retribution. Rollins joined the conversation and said he should be the one leading the locker room.

    Back in the ring, MVP issued a warning to Retribution. He even tried to blame Apollo Crews and mentioned how the group showed up around the same time he and Crews began feuding.


    Grade: D



    The Retribution storyline is getting worse by the week, and WWE seems committed to pushing it for some reason.

    The random chaos only works if there is an underlying goal, but management has done nothing to tell us what that goal might be because it probably doesn't know where this is going yet.

    The backstage interaction between McIntyre and Rollins was fine for what it was. The first 25 minutes of Raw featured no wrestling and a lot of talking that accomplished nothing. This is not the way to start the go-home show before SummerSlam.

Apollo Crews vs. Shelton Benjamin

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    We returned from a break to see this match already taking place. Shelton Benjamin took it to Crews and cornered him for some hard right hands.

    The champ tried to come back, but Benjamin spiked him with a DDT out of nowhere for a near-fall. R-Truth ran through the middle of the ring as he tried to avoid Akira Tozawa and his ninjas.

    The distraction allowed Crews to roll up Benjamin for the victory. MVP and Bobby Lashley pounced before Ricochet, Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali made the save. It took all three men to get Lashley to break his full nelson.

    Truth ran back down, and Benjamin was able to pin him to regain the 24/7 Championship.


    Grade: C-



    The announcers quickly added that if Crews won this bout, The Hurt Business would be banned from ringside during his U.S. title match against MVP at SummerSlam.

    Benjamin and Crews could have had an awesome match, but the way this whole thing was booked did not give them much time to work with. MVP challenged Crews to find two partners for a six-man tag match later in the show.

    The only good thing to come out of this was Benjamin regaining the 24/7 title and the possibility of a better match at some point.

Angel Garza vs. Ivar

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    Demi Burnett from Bachelor in Paradise returned this week in a backstage segment with Angel Garza and Ivar that resulted in the two wrestlers having a match.

    Surprisingly, Garza took control right away and kept the big man grounded for a little bit. What he didn't know was Angelo Dawkins was backstage talking to Burnett.

    Ivar quickly made a comeback and ran Garza from corner to corner. Andrade provided a small distraction so his partner could hit a brutal dropkick for the pin.

    Dawkins and Burnett appeared on the big screen to taunt the challengers. They hinted at a video being played, but nothing showed up on the screen.

    After the break, we saw a shot of what looked like Zelina Vega poisoning Montez Ford's drink.


    Grade: C+



    This was a short but decent match that made Garza look strong heading into his tag title match with El Idolo against The Street Profits.

    Dawkins mocking Garza after the match was funny, but it ended a little abruptly. This whole segment was rushed.

    When the video was shown after the break, Ford rushed in and attacked Andrade and Garza. The video didn't prove anything, but it is heavily implied that Vega was responsible.

Mickie James vs. Natalya

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    This match started the moment WWE transitioned back to the ring from the backstage segment with The Street Profits, Vega, Garza and Andrade.

    This was Mickie James' first match in months, and she started off strong by taking Natalya down with a Thesz press. The Queen of Harts had Lana in her corner, but it didn't stop James from dominating the first couple of minutes.

    Rollins interrupted the match and demanded Joe reveal how he knew Mysterio would be there tonight. It took all of the attention off the action in the ring.

    Natalya ended up winning by count-out thanks to a distraction from Lana.


    Grade: D



    This was James' first match in several months, and WWE not only didn't let her win, but also made this bout the background of a conversation between Rollins and Joe.

    Everything about this was poorly executed, and it brought a disastrous first hour of Raw to an end. James and Natalya deserved better.

The Golden Role Models vs. Asuka and Shayna Baszler

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    Bayley and Sasha Banks gave a promo talking about how both women will beat Asuka at SummerSlam. Shayna Baszler came out and said no matter who wins Sunday, she gets the next shot.

    Asuka and The Boss started for their teams. Baszler saw Nia Jax in the crowd and went to confront her. Jax knocked down a piece of the plexiglass barrier on her before several officials came down.

    The Queen of Spades and Jax fought to the back while Asuka managed to keep Baylay and Banks at bay in the ring. We returned from a break to see The Empress of Tomorrow on defense.

    The Boss came close to winning with a meteora before bringing in The Role Model to keep up the onslaught of offense. Asuka was locked in the Bank Statement when Baszler ran down to make the save and keep the match going.

    Baszler ended up getting the win for her team by making Bayley tap out to the Kirifuda Clutch.


    Grade: B+



    This was the best thing to happen on the show up to this point. They were given enough time to work a good match and tell two different stories at once.

    The feud between Baszler and Jax was started while the storyline of Asuka pursuing both titles took center stage.

    Asuka and Baszler make an interesting combination. They are two of the toughest women on the roster, and if they decided to form a tag team, they would be nearly unstoppable.

    The action in this match was solid, and the ending made The Queen of Spades look better than she has in months.

Ruby Riott vs. Peyton Royce

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    Billie Kay was originally scheduled to face Ruby Riott this week but she claimed her shoulder wasn't feeling right and offered up Peyton Royce as her replacement. This seemed to surprise Royce, but she did not look upset.

    Riott tackled Royce after the bell and took her down with a standing STO. She was clearly angry and took out her frustrations on the Australian Superstar.

    Liv Morgan and Kay watched from ringside as their partners continued to battle. Royce hit a huge knee to the head to turn the match in her favor. She ended up shoving Riott into Morgan before hitting her finisher for the victory.


    Grade: C



    WWE has several different feuds in the women's division right now, and it has highlighted how deep the roster is at this moment in time.

    This wasn't a long match, but it did allow both women to have a few moments to shine. It was a little weird to see Kay offer up Royce as an opponent just like Banks and Bayley have done with each other, but WWE has never shied away from reusing its own ideas before, so why start now?

    The IIconics are underrated, and seeing them string together a series of wins is a welcome change to their booking, even if it has to come at the expense of two other women who need their own push.

The Mysterios

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    Rey and Dominik Mysterio came out together so Rey could talk to his son about his upcoming match with Rollins at SummerSlam.

    He said seeing his own son suffer was worse than what happened to him at Extreme Rules. He said not being able to protect his son filled him with more rage than he has ever felt before.

    The Master of the 619 said he would be in Dom's corner Sunday so he could see his son beat Rollins in a Street Fight. Dom said he will be ready.

    The Monday Night Messiah appeared on the big screen and admonished Rey for putting his own son in danger. He and Murphy made their way to the ring, but the Mysterios had a plan. While Rey distracted them, Dom attacked them from behind with a few kendo sticks.

    This led to the Mysterios unloading on The Messiah just like he did to Dom last week. Murphy saved him before Rey and Dom could do any serious damage.


    Grade: B



    Rey is a legend who knows how to make a promo emotional. Dom still has a lot of work to do, but working with his father helps make everything feel a little more real.

    Rollins has evolved as a heel more in the past few months than he did during his first run as a villain following the breakup of The Shield. Some of his promos have been weird, but this segment made him look good.

    Seeing Dom get a small measure of revenge a week away from SummerSlam makes it look like Rollins may end up winning in the end.

The Hurt Business vs. Ricochet, Mustafa Ali and Apollo Crews (Elimination)

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    Before the match, MVP was shown talking to Cedric Alexander. He seemed to get inside of Alexander's head a little when he questioned why Crews didn't choose him as a partner tonight.

    Ali and Benjamin started with a basic exchange of holds and counters. The good guys controlled the pace early on with quick tags, but as soon as Lashley was brought in, he took out everyone on the opposing team.

    Ali was the first to be eliminated when The All Mighty hit a Dominator for the pin. Benjamin was able to score another elimination with Paydirt on Ricochet, leaving Crews all by himself against three opponents.

    The U.S. champion quickly eliminated Benjamin with a powerbomb. As he was leaving up the ramp, Alexander came out and rolled him up to win the 24/7 title.

    After a commercial break, MVP and Lashley were in firm control. They kept the champ reeling as they tagged in and out, but Crews was still able to hit MVP with his signature powerbomb to get a second elimination before Lashley put him away with a Spear.


    Grade: B+



    The first few minutes of this match made The Hurt Business look like the most dominant trio in WWE. Then it all went downhill for the group as Benjamin was quickly eliminated and lost his 24/7 title in the span of a minute.

    If this match were designed to make Crews look like a strong champion, it worked. Overcoming two talented Superstars before being pinned by Lashley prevented The Hurt Business from suffering too much while maintaining Crews' momentum.

    This was a fun match, but it would have been nice to see Ali and Ricochet get in a little more offense before being eliminated. That is the only major criticism.

Raw Underground

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    Erik of The Viking Raiders demolished some guy in the first fight of this week's Raw Underground segment. Dolph Ziggler rated his win a 4/10, and it led to Erik calling him out.

    This is the first time we have seen two established former champions fight in this new format. The Showoff tried to use his amateur wrestling skills to take the powerhouse down early, but Erik planted him with a slam.

    Ziggler was able to lock in a sleeper hold and used a thumb to the eye to secure the win. Ivar came out of nowhere and knocked Ziggler off the platform onto a group of onlookers.

    Later in the show, Arturo Ruas and Riddick Moss had a physical fight that ended with both men getting into fights with other people around the ring. There was no definitive winner.

    Marina Shafir defeated another woman in a quick fight before Jax appeared and took out her and Jessamyn Duke. Baszler confronted her, but Jax left before anything happened.


    Grade: B+



    This was the best week for Raw Underground so far. The fights were more convincing, and the segments were used to further storylines that exist outside of the fight-club setting.

    This concept is still new, so it will take time to develop, but if WWE keeps using it like this, it will become one of the major highlights of Raw moving forward.

    Having Duke and Shafir join Baszler on Raw is an exciting possibility. They fit well into the Raw Underground gimmick and give Baszler some enforcers to help her assert her dominance over the division.

Montez Ford vs. Andrade

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    The usually jovial Ford was out for blood as he went after Andrade as soon as the bell rang. He sent El Idolo out of the ring and hit a dive to take him out.

    Andrade was in control, but Bianca Belair taking out Vega at ringside distracted him long enough for Ford to roll him up for the pin.


    Grade: C-



    A match with two athletes like Andrade and Ford could usually steal the show, but that won't happen if it is only booked to be three minutes long.

    This storyline includes what could be considered attempted murder in many courtrooms. WWE is treating it like any other feud, and that is a mistake. We need to see Ford, Dawkins and Belair show a lot more anger to sell this program.

Shawn Michaels Speaks

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    The final segment of the night saw Shawn Michaels come out to speak about what happened last week between Randy Orton and Ric Flair.

    The Heartbreak Kid put The Nature Boy over as being a trailblazer and said Orton doesn't appreciate what it was like to have Flair as a mentor.

    As he tried to leave the ring, The Viper hit him with an RKO out of nowhere and immediately followed up with a Punt Kick before McIntyre chased him away.

    Orton tried to return when the champion had his back turned, but The Scottish Psychopath saw him coming and beat him all around the ring. He went back to check on Michaels, and that gave Orton the opportunity he needed to hit the RKO to end the show.


    Grade: B



    The Legend Killer strikes again. Orton attacking Michaels was predictable, but it was still a good way to end the show.

    Orton hasn't looked this dangerous in years, and it would not be surprising to see WWE capitalize on his momentum by having him win the WWE title Sunday.

    WWE trying to force a connection between McIntyre and these legends aside, this feud has developed quite a bit in recent weeks thanks to strong booking and memorable promos.