Ricochet Stuns Samoa Joe, Wins 1st-Ever Title at WWE Stomping Grounds 2019

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2019

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Ricochet beat Samoa Joe in his first singles title match on the main roster at WWE Stomping Grounds on Sunday to become the new United States champion.

Joe rolled out of the way the first time Ricochet attempted his 630 splash. The titleholder then went for a clothesline, which The One and Only somehow countered.

Joe was as surprised as everybody else in the moment, and Ricochet connected with a Codebreaker on the stunned champion. His 630 splash then found the mark and he captured the U.S. title.

After celebrating in the ring after the match, The One and Only was warmly congratulated by other members of the main roster and NXT founder Triple H backstage.


6️⃣3️⃣0️⃣ = NEW CHAMP @KingRicochet has defeated @SamoaJoe to claim his FIRST title in @WWE! #WWEStompingGrounds #AndNew https://t.co/1PJ8dyBe4L

WWE Network @WWENetwork

Take it all in... champ. #USTitle #AndNew #WWEStompingGrounds @KingRicochet https://t.co/DzZBrLeamf

Many fans circled this match when it was formally announced, and the wrestlers involved largely delivered.

Mike Killam 🏳️‍🌈 @MikeKillam

On-the-rise babyface wins his first WWE title, with a clean win, in a fantastic match, over one of the best veterans in the business. Awesome. #WWEStompingGrounds

Sean Waltman @TheRealXPac

Joe & Ricochet out there showing everyone what's up. #WWEStompingGrounds

Denny Burkholder @DennyBurkholder

Great match between Ricochet and Samoa Joe. Ricochet gets a chance to keep climbing & Joe comes out of it still looking dangerous. Well done. #WWEStompingGrounds

Joe entered the pay-per-view having juggled the U.S. title in recent months. After retaining against Rey Mysterio in one minute at WrestleMania 35, the tables were turned in quick and controversial fashion at Money in the Bank.

However, Mysterio had to relinquish the title because of a shoulder injury, and since Joe's shoulders technically weren't on the mat during the pinfall at Money in the Bank, The Master of the 619 handed the belt back to his rival.

With The Samoan Submission Machine installed as the United States champion once again, several prospective contenders stepped up. During a "Miz TV" segment featuring The Miz and Joe, the likes of Ricochet, Braun Strowman, Bobby Lashley and Cesaro interrupted.

That led to a six-man tag in which Ricochet, Miz and Strowman beat Joe, Lashley and Cesaro.

The next week on Raw, an elimination Fatal 5-Way was held to determine the No. 1 contender for Joe's United States Championship. Ricochet last eliminated The Miz to earn the right to face the champion for the title at Stomping Grounds.

It was a huge win for The One and Only, who has been attempting to establish himself as a top singles star since his team with Aleister Black dissolved as part of the Superstar Shake-up.

Ricochet was one of the faces of NXT during his time with WWE's developmental brand, and he even held the NXT North American Championship at one time. He was relegated to tag team action alongside Black upon getting called up to the main roster, but he has gotten a chance to shine individually as of late.

Sunday's match was a true clash of styles since Joe is a hard-hitting brawler and submission specialist, while Ricochet is arguably the greatest high-flying wrestler in the world.

It was a fresh matchup that caught the attention of the WWE Universe going into the show, and with Ricochet winning, there is likely enough interest in the feud to keep it going entering Extreme Rules on July 14.


Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).