WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from November 16
November 16 marked the final night of Monday Night Raw before WWE Survivor Series 2020. This show promised title matches that could change the complexion of that big show as well as the likely appearance of various SmackDown stars looking to get an edge for their brand.
Drew McIntyre demanded his WWE Championship rematch against Randy Orton. While The Viper did outsmart and defeat The Scottish Psychopath at WWE Hell in a Cell 2020, McIntyre has more often than not had Orton's number.
New Day may be the most dominant tag team in WWE history, but fans have not gotten a chance to truly see what Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods can do without Big E. Their biggest test to date was The Hurt Business' Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin, who already held a victory over the Raw tag team champions.
Team Raw has had a rocky start, but the red brand looked to get the group on the same page. Keith Lee, Sheamus, Braun Strowman and Riddle took the fight to the cohesive unit Retribution. They hoped to show that they could work together and win, even against a dominant faction like the one Mustafa Ali leads.
This night had the typical air of the go-home show before Survivor Series. SmackDown and Raw have often sought an upper hand by invading the other brand before Sunday. It was likely someone or a whole group would appear to cause trouble.
Raw had a monumental task of elevating Survivor Series after a month of lackluster build. Luckily, this stacked card could certainly pull it off.
Drew McIntyre Refuses to Let Randy Orton or The Miz Intimidate Him
Drew McIntyre opened the show to address what was to come. He called out Roman Reigns for putting himself on a pedestal over everyone else. Randy Orton appeared on the TitanTron, explaining that he was too good to lose or be fazed by any suspension he faced.
The Miz and John Morrison interrupted as McIntyre headed to the back. They explained that they would make an impact regardless of who won in the main event. The A-Lister and The Shaman of Sexy said Bray Wyatt was afraid of them as they held control over the WWE Championship that no one else did.
This was an overlong reminder of everything that has already been done on Raw recently. The red brand is cycling without direction. Every week, it is the same story. McIntyre said it clearly that he and Orton have said the same things over and over without resolution.
Especially with a huge show ahead, this should have been a much better opener. The Scottish Psychopath tried his best to elevate the content, but even his natural charisma can only go so far. This was flat and uninteresting, amounting to wasted time.
Asuka, Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke vs. Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax and Lana
Lana put on a brave face as she agreed to team with the women who had tormented her, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. The WWE women's tag team champions did not let Lana do much early as they isolated Mandy Rose, badly injuring her elbow on the steel steps.
After Jax and Baszler dominated Asuka and Dana Brooke as well, Lana found an opportunity to potentially pin the Raw women's champion. However, The Empress of Tomorrow kicked out and then trapped her in the Asuka Lock to force a submission.
Jax feigned respect for her partner and then grabbed Lana and sent her with a Samoan drop through the announce table for the ninth time.
Backstage, Reckoning attacked Brooke as she was trying to explain the extent of the injuries Rose had suffered at the hands of Baszler and Jax. Peyton Royce and Lacey Evans replaced Brooke and Rose for Sunday.
Asuka, Rose and Brooke def. Lana, Baszler and Jax by pinfall.
The commercial break during this match was longer than the actual in-ring action, and it barely felt like anyone benefited in this contest. Once more, Lana plays the heel in trying to steal a win, but she failed. She does not earn the Samoan drops. However, she also has not earned anyone's sympathy.
At best, this story has kept Lana relevant without overexposing her weekly. Maybe WWE can make her a middle-of-the-road babyface for the red brand. It will take a seriously impressive effort at Survivor Series to make it happen.
Raw Tag Team Championships: New Day (c) vs. The Hurt Business
MVP explained that The Hurt Business needed to represent Raw because the group was the best of the best. Shelton Benjamin promised he and Cedric Alexander would defeat The Street Profits at Survivor Series while Bobby Lashley takes out Sami Zayn. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods were not impressed.
Hurt Business started out trying to slow down and dominate Kofi, hitting an impressive top-rope Famouser/powerbomb combination. The former WWE champion fought out with a tilt-a-whirl DDT to get the tag to Woods.
Woods went off with momentum that allowed him to clear the ring of both men. An impressive missile dropkick on Alexander nearly took the win. Kofi survived an Angle Slam and brainbuster and then set up Daybreak for the pinfall win on Alexander.
Woods and Kofi def. Alexander and Benjamin by pinfall to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships.
This match attempted to save the show, but the pacing with commercial breaks was awkward. It never felt like the teams got going until the second commercial break. From that point on, the teams truly shined in what became a great athletic showcase.
If this were on pay-per-view, it would have been fantastic. Instead, the start and stop held the teams back. The contest was better than anything else on the show to this point, though, which is worth quite a bit.
New Day vs. Street Profits needed to happen to sell Survivor Series. At the moment, the card is flat, but that tag team match could be the absolute selling point of the entire night.
Team Raw vs. Retribution
Jeff Hardy was angry about a flier floating around on Elias' accident. He found the musician backstage and attacked him, telling him to drop the accusations.
AJ Styles handed out matching Raw T-shirts to Team Raw, but no one was interested. The Phenomenal One then found out that his bodyguard could talk based on comments from Riddle.
Styles started on commentary, but he had to go meet Braun Strowman and Sheamus as the two argued. The tempers calmed as Retribution isolated Riddle for a bit and he faced the aggressive energy of T-Bar, Mace and Slapjack, guided by Mustafa Ali.
Keith Lee got the hot tag and ran over Retribution with full focus. Once Sheamus and Strowman got back into the fight, the two could not stop fighting. Ali managed to roll up The Original Bro after knocking him into The Monster Among Men to steal the win.
Retribution def. Riddle, Strowman, Sheamus and Lee by pinfall.
As a negative, this was a messy match that never really got going. Despite all the talent involved, no one found his rhythm. The arguments told more of a story than anything in the contest, and Retribution played bystander in this match.
As a positive, Retribution finally picked up a win. Following up Ali's solo victory over Ricochet the previous week, the group finally has a small amount of momentum. It may be a little too late, but every win counts.
Bray Wyatt vs. The Miz
Bray Wyatt called out The Miz on "Firefly Fun House" after his comments to start the night. Nikki Cross was still looking for Alexa Bliss, sure that her friend could still be saved.
Miz tried to talk Wyatt out of this match, but Bliss arrived to make clear that the "Firefly Fun House" host was not backing down. Cross tried to interrupt The Goddess, and Bliss slapped her. A fight broke out that was calmed by the arrival of Wyatt.
The A-Lister took control early, but he just couldn't keep Wyatt down. The "Firefly Fun House" host rallied, especially after Bliss launched herself at John Morrison. Wyatt caught Miz in the corner and hit Sister Abigail for the win.
As Wyatt and Bliss held hands up the ramp, The Fiend appeared to stare down at them.
Angel Garza cut a promo about protecting the beautiful women of the world. Asuka promised that she would defeat Sasha Banks for Raw at Survivor Series.
Wyatt def. Miz by pinfall.
This was not a classically great match, but the story of it all worked so well. Everything Wyatt has done recently has been phenomenal. He and Bliss carry an energy that no one can match. Miz knew exactly how to sell his fear as things turned against him.
The segment around this match was just as good. Cross vs. Bliss has been developed into a fascinating rivalry that needs a major blowoff match down the line. Wyatt and The Fiend finding themselves at odds adds another fascinating layer to his complicated two-face tale.
WWE Championship: Randy Orton (c) vs. Drew McIntyre
Sheamus gave Drew McIntyre a kilt and an impressive sword to help him remember his Scottish roots. Randy Orton was not interested in talking before his match with The Scottish Psychopath.
The Viper tried to walk out on this match early after McIntyre clearly had him off balance. However, Adam Pearce announced that this match would have a winner, so there would no longer be any count-outs or disqualifications.
Orton shifted his focus and took advantage, grabbing every weapon he could to take down McIntyre. With a steel chair and the steel steps, The Viper wore down The Scottish Psychopath and then blasted him repeatedly on the announce table.
While the challenger had taken a beating, he refused to stay down for the champion. The two battled back to the ring where McIntyre nearly caught Orton with a backslide followed by the Future Shock DDT. McIntyre knocked him off the apron through a table, finally feeling the momentum as he closed in on the win.
The champion countered the third failed attempt at the Claymore into a powerslam and then planted the challenger with a draping DDT off the announce table followed by a second in the ring. However, Orton could not save himself from a fourth Claymore, taking the loss.
McIntyre def. Orton by pinfall to become the new WWE champion.
This was a fantastic end to the show. WWE gave the champion and challenger 30 minutes, and they used it all. The shifts in the contest highlighted the two incredible performers. McIntyre dominated early until Orton saw his opening with the allowance of weapons.
The contest was physical from start to finish. Both men sold the contest as back and forth, yet they did not over-rely on big moves. It was call and response, driven by focused use of weapons. Even at its length, the contest never lagged.
The Scottish Psychopath walked into this match feeling destined for the victory, and the two men sold it. This was McIntyre's night, and he earned this win with one of the best matches of his career. McIntyre vs. Reigns will be a match to remember at Survivor Series.