WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from August 24

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistAugust 24, 2020

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from August 24

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Less than 24 hours after a blockbuster SummerSlam, WWE Raw focused on setting up Payback, yet another pay-per-view extravaganza the sports-entertainment empire will present this Sunday night.

    What rivalries spilled over from The Biggest Party of the Summer, which Superstars sought to establish themselves leading into the final third of 2020 and what impact did former NXT champion Keith Lee make in his first night with the brand?

    Find out now with this recap of the August 24 episode of the flagship.

Match Card

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Segments previously announced for the broadcast:

    • WWE champion Drew McIntyre kicks off the show.
    • Keith Lee makes his Raw debut.
    • Mark Henry officiates an arm-wrestling contest between Apollo Crews and Bobby Lashley.
    • Aleister Black returns as guest on "The Kevin Owens Show."
    • Ivar vs. Dolph Ziggler on Raw Underground

    Conspicuous by its absence at SummerSlam, Retribution figured to make its presence felt at some point Monday night. What the group had planned for the brand would indicate how significant a role it would play moving forward or if it would ultimately go the way of the SmackDown hacker and disappear.

    And who would join Ivar and Ziggler on this week's edition of Raw Underground?

Randy Orton's Retaliation on Drew McIntyre

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    Credit: WWE

    Fresh off a victory in a physical battle with Randy Orton, WWE champion Drew McIntyre kicked off Monday's broadcast, accompanied by impressive pyro inside the WWE ThunderDome.

    McIntyre attributed his win over The Viper to being hungrier and more driven than Orton. He said he understood what it was like to experience hard times, but not Orton. He was always so coddled and protected.

    Orton spent so much time bragging about being the best wrestler in the world, The Scottish Psychopath wondered what that makes him now that he beat the third-generation star. He challenged Orton to step up for one more battle because he would do what he did not at SummerSlam: send him to Claymore Country.

    McIntyre headed up the ramp and held his title high overhead, only for Orton to attack him. A brawl spilled into the production center, where Orton delivered a sickening punt before producers and referees arrived on the scene.

    A second punt left the WWE champion lying as Orton looked on, clearly proud of his actions.






    This was a relatively standard victory speech from McIntyre, followed by a predictable attack.

    What elevated it above the standard fare was the consecutive punts that left McIntyre stunned and his well-being in question. What if he suffered a concussion and couldn't defend his title at Payback? It was a question the show would likely address and the sort of angle fans could invest in for the remainder of the show.

    Kudos to McIntyre for bringing energy to his promo, even if he did try a bit too hard to put over the ThunderDome.

Shayna Baszler vs. Bayley

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    Credit: WWE

    Despondent SmackDown Women's champion Bayley, joined by tag team championship partner Sasha Banks, made her way to the ring for a showdown with "The Queen of Spades" Shayna Baszler. The Role Model's match comes one night after she failed to help The Boss defeat Asuka for the Raw Women's Championship.

    Before the match between Bayley and Baszler could get started, the newly reinstated Nia Jax made her presence felt, just moments after engaging the latter in some trash-talking backstage.

    Baszler repeatedly outwrestled Bayley, only for Banks to provide a distraction that allowed the blue brand's top female competitor to seize control of the match.

    Nia Jax eventually got involved, targeting Baszler and drawing a disqualification. The Irresistible Force dropped Baszler with a hard right hand but quickly turned her attention to Bayley and Banks. The Golden Role Models quickly found themselves hightailing it up the ramp as Jax and Baszler presented a united front.



    Baszler defeated Bayley via disqualification






    They're totally doing the "wacky tag team partners who hate each other" trope, aren't they?

    Baszler and Jax started the night by trading barbs, but by the time this segment ended, they stopped beating each other up and focused their energy on Bayley and Banks. It stinks of rushed booking and one of the most tired storylines in wrestling.

    That fans don't have a real reason to care or want to see Baszler and Jax dethrone the heels makes the decision that much more questionable.

Aleister Black Joins 'The Kevin Owens Show'

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    Credit: WWE

    Aleister Black returned to Raw as the special guest on this week's "Kevin Owens Show."

    Black ordered the footage of his attack at the hands of Murphy and Seth Rollins aired. Owens attempted to reason with him, explaining that Rollins has a history of manipulating his rivals with mind games.

    Before Owens could continue, Black feigned a dizzy spell of some sort and then blasted him with a big back elbow. He finished him off with Black Mass before stomping off, his motivations unknown to the commentary team and the WWE Universe.






    The traumatic experience that was Black's eye injury at the hands of Murphy causing him to take on a darker, more sinister persona is a storyline development to get behind.

    Black has been missing the edge he had in NXT, and if that means he has to turn heel to discover it, then so be it.

    And Owens is absolutely the right first opponent for him. He is likable and established. Beating him would mean something for Black.

    A solid start to what is, hopefully, the star-making program Black has earned.

Fatal 4-Way Match for the 24/7 Championship

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    Credit: WWE

    24/7 champion Shelton Benjamin defended his title in a Fatal 4-Way match against Cedric Alexander, Akira Tozawa and R-Truth in the night's next match.

    A spirited back-and-forth quickly and suddenly broke down into a melee that saw Tozawa's ninjas interfere and the former cruiserweight champion pick up the win and title with a sunset flip on Truth.

    Benjamin retaliated, beating down the ninjas as the new champion hightailed it out of the arena.



    Tozawa defeated Truth, Benjamin and Alexander to win the title






    Why are we still doing this?

    The title is traded back and forth between the same handful of guys on a weekly basis with nothing in the way of storyline development or character evolution. It exists solely to get the guys on television, to remind fans that the title is a thing and to spotlight the great Truth.

    Beyond that, the show could easily lose this whole ordeal and not miss a beat.

Keith Lee Interrupts Randy Orton

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    Credit: WWE

    Randy Orton entered the WWE ThunderDome less than an hour after a brutal assault on WWE champion Drew McIntyre to start the show.

    Orton took exception to McIntyre offering a rematch out of pity, chalking up his actions from earlier in the show to that one reason. He started to call himself the best wrestler on the planet before Keith Lee's music played and The Limitless One interrupted, making his Raw debut.

    Lee introduced himself and then, with all due respect to McIntyre, challenged Orton to a match right here, right now.

    "Maybe later," Orton faked him out before exiting the arena, leaving the challenger hanging.






    A fired-up Orton taking exception to what he considered pity from McIntyre was great. Even at this point in his career, he still seeks out motivation, not unlike an elite athlete in any other field. It helped give a look into the psyche of The Legend Killer, something we aren't always privy to in WWE's more one-dimensional promos.

    Keith Lee looks like a major star right out of the gate by interrupting The Viper and issuing a challenge for the night's main event. That, coupled with the promo package that announced his arrival during last night's PPV, is all the evidence you need that WWE has big plans for The Limitless One.

    Update: Lee vs. Orton was made official after the commercial break.

Montez Ford vs. Angel Garza

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The never-ending rivalry between Raw Tag Team champions The Street Profits and Angel Garza and Andrade continued this week as Montez Ford battled The Latin Lothario in singles competition. Bachelor contestant Demi Burnett watched from ringside as Garza sought a much-needed win.

    As Garza built momentum, Ivar appeared at ringside and won Burnett over with a turkey leg. This provided a distraction that Ford took advantage of with a stiff kick. He fought Garza off the top rope and delivered a frog splash for the win.



    Ford defeated Garza






    Garza, a talented young star with limitless potential, is feuding with a Viking Raider over the affections of a reality TV star when Charly Caruso is right there.

    This was more about that story than anything that happened in the match. Hopefully, Ford's victory ends this particular feud because it has certainly run its course.

    Where that leaves Andrade, who could use a few wins to re-establish credibility, is the question.

Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and Bianca Belair vs. Zelina Vega and The IIconics

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    Credit: WWE

    The newly reunited Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan teamed with Bianca Belair to battle The IIconics and Zelina Vega in Six-Woman Tag Team action.

    The heels isolated Riott until a hot tag brought The EST and Vega together. A vengeful Belair, looking to punish Vega for the perceived drugging of her husband Montez Ford, unleashed on Vega.

    Morgan and Riott wiped out Billie Kay and Peyton Royce with step-up enzuigiris while Belair finished Vega off with the K.O.D.



    Riott, Morgan and Belair defeated The IIconics and Vega






    Belair was rather subdued for someone who believes another woman drugged her husband. Sure, she got a measure of revenge, but are we really supposed to believe her payback would be limited to the confines of an official, multi-woman tag team match?

    That this was only a few minutes of rushed in-ring action did not help matters.

    Considering none of the three had a match at SummerSlam, would it have killed the creative team to slow the pace of the show ever so slightly and let them have more time to tell a story rather than having to sprint through the match?

Arm Wrestling Competition: Apollo Crews vs. Bobby Lashley

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    Credit: WWE

    WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry introduced Bobby Lashley and United States Champion Apollo Crews for a special Arm Wrestling Competition.

    Lashley threatened to beat Crews and then beat him up, but not bad enough to keep him out of Payback and their title match Sunday. Crews vowed to beat his opponent.

    Lashley stalled and then tried to cheat by putting his foot under the podium. Crews beat him to it, though, defeating The All Mighty in short fashion.

    The U.S. champion escaped a potential attack by The Hurt Business and celebrated with his title on the entrance ramp.



    Crews defeated Lashley






    This was inoffensive and continued Crews' string of successes over The Hurt Business.

    Unfortunately for the champion, that may not bode well for his title reign.

    WWE's 50-50 booking style would seem to suggest Lashley will win the match Sunday, and if that is the case, it would be massively disappointing for Crews, whose run with the title has consisted of a few wins over MVP and not much else.

    At some point, though, WWE has to legitimize The Hurt Business, and that may come at the expense of Crews.

Mickie James Silences Natalya and Lana

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    Credit: WWE

    Natalya and Lana addressed their ongoing rivalry with Mickie James, saying they would retire "The Chick with the Kick" on tonight's show.

    After Natalya threw to a video package (with zero highlights) of James' career, the seven-time women's champion hit the ring and leveled both women.

    She left as the heels struggled to recover in the ring.






    This was a totally meaningless segment that could have been saved for a less-bloated broadcast.

    If ever there was a segment that should have been conducted quickly and inoffensively backstage, this was it.

    Even if it is always nice to see the great James back on television.

Keith Lee vs. Randy Orton

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    Credit: WWE

    After a brief trip to Raw Underground, where an infuriated Bobby Lashley laid waste to an unknown competitor and then Dolph Ziggler, Randy Orton headed back to the squared circle for his showdown with Keith Lee.

    Lee wasted little time establishing his raw strength advantage, bowling over The Viper and then blocking a punch and delivering an overhead suplex that sent Orton to the floor. The alert veteran, though, escaped a powerslam and sent Lee shoulder-first into the ring post.

    Orton worked over Lee and set up for the RKO, only for Drew McIntyre to arrive and pull his rival out of the ring. The No. 1 contender escaped through the stands, leaving a clearly hobbled WWE champion to stare him down.



    Orton defeated Lee via disqualification






    It was nice to see Lee confront Orton early and then show off at the start of this match, but the remainder of the contest and the finish itself did the newcomer no favors. If anything, Lee looked like an also-ran, a bit player in the bigger story of McIntyre and his foe.

    There will be those who argue that Lee sharing the ring with Orton was all he needed to be taken seriously as a threat on Raw, but to be dismissed as a side character, filling a role that literally anyone from Ricochet to R-Truth could have, is certainly disappointing and questionable use of a relatively hot new star.

    Did the booking hurt him so badly that he cannot possibly recover? Absolutely not.

    It was a momentous night for him. With that said, it is exactly this sort of booking WWE Creative must avoid going forward if it hopes to make Lee the star his talent and charisma suggest he can be.

Lumberjack Match for the Raw Women's Championship

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Prior to the commercial break, McIntyre endured a third punt to the head by the relentless Orton. Charly Caruso reported that the WWE champion may very well have endured a fractured skull.

    In a SummerSlam rematch, Sasha Banks challenged new Raw Women's Champion Asuka in a special Lumberjack match.

    With the women of the Raw brand surrounding the squared circle, The Blueprint entered the ring amid a pyro display as the commentary team discussed the threat Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax pose to The Golden Role Models on Sunday at Payback when they challenge for the tag team titles.

    Back from the break, Banks unloaded on Asuka and benefited from a cheap shot at the hands of Bayley. Back inside, Asuka caught a charging Boss with a superkick and then delivered a jumping DDT off the middle rope for two.

    Banks escaped an ankle lock, sending Asuka to the floor. She looked to follow up but accidentally wiped out The Riott Squad with a Meteora. Asuka stalked Bayley, who threw lumberjack after lumberjack in her path until Banks shoved her into the ring steps.

    Back inside, the challenger delivered a frog splash, but Asuka still kicked out.

    Bayley attempted to introduce a steel chair, but Shayna Baszler cut her off. Back inside, Asuka tapped out Banks with the Asuka Lock as Bayley watched on.



    Asuka defeated Banks






    This was an overbooked mess but did have a few things working in its favor.

    First, it put Asuka over in her first night back as champion. Secondly, it continued to create division between Banks and Bayley, who failed to help her friend and tag team partner for the second night in a row. Thirdly, it adds heat to the tag team title match between The Golden Role Models and Baszler and Jax for Payback.

    Despite the match's in-ring shortcomings, it did everything it set out to and at least earns an above-average grade as a result.

Rey Mysterio and Dominik vs. Seth Rollins and Murphy

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    Credit: WWE

    We returned to Raw Underground, where Bobby Lashley and The Hurt Business' dominance continued as The All Mighty earned TKOs over Cedric Alexander and Ivar.

    In the main event of the night, Rey Mysterio teamed with son Dominik to battle "The Monday Night Messiah" Seth Rollins and his disciple, Murphy. The heels attacked before the bell, beating down the father and son tandem.

    The bell finally rang, and Dominik took the fight to Murphy. Mysterio wiped out Rollins at ringside before joining his son for a two-on-one assault on Rollins.

    Murphy rescued Rollins from further attack, but Dominik dove from the top rope onto both opponents as the show headed to the final break of the night.

    The heels isolated Mysterio during the break, but a hot tag to Dominik sparked the babyface comeback.

    A distraction by Rollins allowed Murphy to clip the knee of Dominik. Before Rollins could deliver the buckle bomb, Dominik escaped and tagged his father into the match. A blind tag to Murphy nearly cost the babyfaces, but Rey joined his son for a double 619.

    The lights flickered and Retribution appeared.

    Rey tried to help his son out but endured a beating at the hands of the masked invaders for his trouble. All while Rollins and Murphy watched on from atop the entrance ramp.

    Two of the masked villains sent Rey face-first into the ring post before positioning him alongside his son.

    Retribution stood on the ring apron to close out the show.









    It does not appear as though the Mysterio-Rollins feud is over yet, and that is not necessarily a good thing.

    Yes, the babyfaces have to go over at some point, but is it really possible to sustain interest for another pay-per-view match? Do people want to see Dominik beat Rollins that badly? Will Rey ever truly get his revenge for losing his freaking eye back at Extreme Rules?

    The invasion of Retribution was necessary to keep that faction at the forefront of fan consciousness, and Monday's beatdown worked well.

    It was far from a perfect show, with way too much going on to remember by the end of the night, but it was entertaining and never overstayed its welcome.