WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from June 24
Following up on Sunday's WWE Stomping Grounds, a night that largely lived up to lackluster hype, Raw promised major fallout to the event in the form of a triple main event.
First, coming off a victory over Drew McIntyre, Roman Reigns was forced to battle both The Scottish Psychopath and Shane McMahon in a handicap match. The odds were stacked against The Big Dog again in this long-standing rivalry.
In the second major match of the night, AJ Styles returned to action by challenging newly crowned United States champion Ricochet in a non-title bout. This potential dream match had an opportunity to blow everyone away.
Finally, coming off pay-per-view victories, Kofi Kingston and Sami Zayn went to war once again in a non-title singles match. While The Critic of the Critics has yet to defeat the WWE champion, he had more momentum this time around than ever before.
Stomping Grounds also committed to the pairing of Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch as the power couple of WWE after The Man made sure The Architect was not cheated out of the WWE Championship. The show was set to open with the two addressing the situation.
While most will forget Stomping Grounds in the long term, this was the night for WWE to right the direction of the brand, looking forward to Extreme Rules on July 14 rather than back.
Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans Challenge Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch
Rollins talked about his victory Sunday before Lynch interrupted to remind him that she saved the WWE champion.
Baron Corbin attempted a sneak attack alongside Lacey Evans, but The Man and The Beastslayer fought them off.
The heels then challenged the faces to a match at Extreme Rules, a winners-take-all mixed tag match for the Universal Championship and Raw Women's Championship. Rollins and Lynch accepted as long as their challengers understood this is their last shot at the titles.
This felt like the only natural progression after Sunday even if it leads to a lackluster title match at Extreme Rules.
Lynch and Rollins work well off each other, and it will be interesting to see what they can do in the ring together.
That said, it will be a shame to sit through three more weeks of Evans and Corbin in title contention despite losing every opportunity they have gotten.
The Revival, Daniel Bryan and Rowan vs. The Usos and The New Day (Elimination)
Daniel Bryan was on a roll until The Revival took exception to his arrogance. Dash Wilder caught him with an uppercut to set up Xavier Woods to steal a roll-up. Woods then dived right into the Shatter Machine for the second elimination.
While the Raw tag team champions looked to stay in control in the final tag pairing, The Usos outmaneuvered them.
Jey Uso stole a tag and then caught Scott Dawson with a diving splash off Wilder's back to take the win.
Usos and New Day def. Revival, Bryan and Rowan by pinfall
The inclusion of the SmackDown tag teams felt unnecessary, but it allowed WWE to state this was a special moment, as both tag team champions were on the same team. It also allowed the company to stop the action for a commercial break after the first two eliminations.
What made this good was great work from both The Usos and The Revival. They had a fantastic sprint after the "restart." These teams continue to prove they deserve more of a spotlight.
'Miz TV' Sets Up Drake Maverick's Redemption; 24/7 Champion R-Truth vs. Maverick
The Miz announced that the 24/7 Championship rules would be suspended until the end of his interview with R-Truth and Carmella. Drake Maverick refused to sit back, though, and challenged the titleholder to a match.
Everyone else on the roster was banned from ringside for this rematch. It didn't last long, as the champion connected with a flatliner to retain his belt. Raw stars chased Truth out of the ring and to the back.
Left alone in the squared circle, Maverick was speechless while the crowd taunted the former champion.
Truth def. Maverick by pinfall to retain the 24/7 Championship
This was a strong segment from Truth and Maverick, who continue to deliver in spades. However, it was a shame they couldn't have a real match together. They deserved a chance to show what they can do, especially the 205 Live general manager.
Still, it is hard to complain about an angle that has been so consistently entertaining. Hopefully, Maverick comes up with a strategy to get his true love back and maybe his wife, Renee Michelle, as well.
Roman Reigns vs. Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre
It was announced beforehand that this handicap match would not have tags, as both men were allowed to compete at the same time. Reigns came out strong at first, but he was overwhelmed in a matter of minutes.
McIntyre hit a Claymore, and then McMahon connected with a Spear. After a second Claymore, the two set up The Big Dog to take a Coast-to-Coast, but The Undertaker appeared to save Reigns and send the heels running up the ramp.
Reigns vs. McMahon and McIntyre goes to a no-contest
While it was the right move to have Reigns overwhelmed in this match rather than having him overcome the odds, it made no sense to have The Deadman save him. 'Taker is barely in shape for his regular Saudi Arabia appearances, let alone intermittent spots with WWE again.
Anyone else would have benefited from this spot more than 'Taker. Miz was set up for this spot. Many stars are barely used and would have gotten a huge pop saving Reigns. Instead, WWE added another old man to the story.
Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley (Tug of War)
After showing off their strength backstage, Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley looked ready and focused in this tug of war.
The All Mighty looked in complete control at first, but The Monster Among Men revealed he was playing possum before easily pulling Lashley right over the line.
Afterward, Lashley attacked Strowman with strikes and forearms and then injured him using the rope, leaving The Monster in pain despite his victory.
Strowman def. Lashley by pulling him across the line
This remains a distinct waste of both men. They are strong, so WWE has to show just how strong they are. But they have no chemistry together, and the games only work to kill what little heat they have.
The two would need to have a spectacular match at Extreme Rules to salvage this entire rivalry.
The Viking Raiders vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
Charly Caruso interviewed AJ Styles, who quickly got distracted by Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson partying with No Way Jose and the conga line. He told them to get focused rather than being complacent.
While they brought their most hard-hitting offense to a match with The Viking Raiders, Erik and Ivar were too much for The Good Brothers. The Raiders hit The Viking Experience for the win while The Phenomenal One looked on disappointed backstage.
Viking Raiders def. Gallows and Anderson by pinfall
While this story has the potential to help The Good Brothers return to a featured role, it has not led to great matches yet. The veteran tag team could have a strong bout with Erik and Ivar given time, but the two got little of that in what ultimately amounted to a squash.
Due to a month of non-use, Viking Raiders have quietly remained undefeated without any hype. They feel like an afterthought when they should be feuding for the tag titles.
R-Truth Escapes as a 8-Time 24/7 Champion
Before Mojo Rawley vs. Heath Slater could start, Truth ran back into the ring and was caught with a neckbreaker from Slater for the first title change.
Slater could not escape the masses before Truth sneaked in with a pin to take the title back.
Cedric Alexander caught the champ with a Lumbar Check to take the belt, but he ran into a One Percenter from EC3 to lose it.
Carmella stole the title from The Top One Percent's grasp, and the distraction allowed Truth to roll him up and steal back the belt.
Slater def. Truth; Truth def. Slater; Alexander def. Truth; EC3 def. Alexander; Truth def. EC3 to become the new 24/7 champion
This was a bit much, but it was an inevitable segment for the 24/7 Championship. Once again, it was entertaining, but it was a shame certain stars did not get a chance to stand out.
Slater, Alexander and EC3 didn't really do anything, as their wins mostly served to increase Truth's numbers. He is being fast-tracked to the most title reigns with a single championship in WWE history, taking down Raven's 27 Hardcore Championship runs.
Kofi Kingston vs. Sami Zayn; Kingston vs. Kevin Owens
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens interrupted Kingston's interview, questioning if the WWE champion could win on his own. He proved he could, taking down The Critic of the Critics by reversing a Blue Thunder Bomb into a roll-up.
KO challenged The New Day member to defeat him too, and Kingston accepted. The champion proved himself again by surviving The Prizefighter, sending him into the barricade to win by count-out. To put an exclamation mark on it all, he laid out both heels with a diving plancha.
As Kingston celebrated on his way up the ramp, an enraged Samoa Joe laid out the champion. He brutalized him before hitting a uranage and then locking in the Coquina Clutch.
Kingston def. Zayn by pinfall; Kingston def. KO by count-out
These two matches were more problematic attempts to boost Kingston's status by shoving down KO and Zayn. Just a day after defeating Woods and Big E clean, they lost back-to-back matches. This was not necessary for either side.
Luckily, it ended strong, as Kingston got an exciting rival again. While Joe is far from the most credible heel because of his frequent losses recently, he is a monster who will deliver big time in the spotlight. He and the WWE titleholder can be great together.
Alexa Bliss vs. Naomi; Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. Natalya and Naomi
After a disagreement backstage where Natalya and Naomi tried to convince Nikki Cross to leave Alexa Bliss, The Goddess fought Naomi.
Bliss won with a DDT thanks to a distraction from the Scot. Afterward, The Goddess kept attacking Naomi until Natalya made the save.
An impromptu tag match was booked on the spot. Cross managed to catch Natalya with a swinging neckbreaker after a blind tag from Bliss, which allowed The Goddess to steal the pinfall.
Bliss def. Naomi by pinfall; Bliss and Cross def. Naomi and Natalya by pinfall
This felt disjointed, as it would have made more sense to just book the tag team match from the start. To make sure one continuous match was shown through each segment, though, it was split up. Naomi suffered the most from this, taking two losses to a dysfunctional heel alliance.
Bliss and Cross remain an interesting pairing, but it feels more likely than ever that Bliss will turn on Cross as she has on every other partner. If she does, it will waste the whole angle.
Ricochet vs. AJ Styles
Before Ricochet and AJ Styles could get going, Gallows and Anderson came out, and The Phenomenal One stopped the match and told them to leave.
The contest that followed was an athletic showcase from two of the best in the business. While The One and Only pushed Styles to his limit, the former WWE champion was still too much for the younger star.
Styles ducked a 630 splash and landed a Phenomenal Forearm for the win.
Styles def. Ricochet by pinfall
Forgiving the awkward start to the match, this was a strong main event. Ricochet and Styles got time to deliver with no interruptions, and they absolutely delivered. That said, they have better in them.
It was obvious The Phenomenal One was a bit rusty after his time off. Ricochet let him take it slow. With Styles taking the win, the company can build to a rematch in which the two can go all-out on a major stage.
What mattered most was Ricochet getting that spotlight. He was treated like a star in this spot even if he isn't quite ready to defeat Styles clean yet.