WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from June 14
We're in the final stretch before Hell in a Cell this Sunday, so this week's Raw spent a lot of time making sure the big storylines were in order.
Monday's show featured the return of Eva Marie after weeks of video packages hyping her comeback. Naomi served as her first opponent.
We also saw AJ Styles battle Drew McIntyre while The New Day took on Randy Orton and Riddle in tag team action.
Can Orton and Riddle continue to coexist?
Did the Eva-lution get off to a good start?
Was McIntyre able to overcome The Phenomenal One with Omos at ringside?
Let's take a look at everything that happened on this week's Raw for answers to these questions and much more.
Nikki Cross vs. Charlotte
After a brief backstage segment with Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss, we saw Nikki Cross make her entrance for a match against Charlotte. The Queen said in an interview that she wanted this bout to prove she shouldn't have lost to Cross in the two-minute challenge.
Less than a minute into the match, Rhea Ripley came out and distracted Charlotte long enough for Cross to roll her up for a two-count. The Queen kicked out and sent Cross out of the ring and into the barricade.
We came back from a break to see Charlotte still treating this match as a warmup. Cross found a moment of offense before Charlotte hit a fallaway slam on the floor. As she taunted Ripley, Charlotte didn't realize the ref was counting. Cross rolled back in the ring to win by countout.
As she ran around the ring to celebrate, Charlotte took her down with a boot to the face. She beat Cross down until Ripley made the save with a Riptide.
Cross used to be one of the most feared women in all of NXT. To see the way she has been portrayed ever since she came to the main roster has been disappointing, to say the least. Her brief run as a tag team champion with Bliss was the high point.
Having her play an underdog is not the issue. WWE makes her look like someone who doesn't belong in the ring with The Queen despite her skill, which is a problem.
This match was uneventful and didn't need to go as long as it did just to end with a countout. Nothing about this segment was new or satisfying. It was filler to waste time until Sunday.
Jeff Hardy vs. John Morrison and Cedric Alexander
As Jeff Hardy was making his entrance, John Morrison sprayed him in the face with his drip stick, which is not nearly as dirty as it sounds. It's just a squirt gun.
JoMo used the early advantage to get in a few high-impact moves before Cedric Alexander decided to come out for some reason. He watched as The Charismatic Enigma started to make a comeback.
Johnny Drip Drip hit Starship Pain for the pin and the win. Alexander grabbed a mic and said he wanted to apologize to Hardy for not showing him the respect he deserved last week. He said he replayed their match from last week and saw how Hardy taunted him after the bout was over.
Hardy offered him a rematch and said he would retire if Alexander beat him. We returned from a break as the bell sounded to start the match. After a quick salvo from Hardy, Alexander began focusing on Hardy's knee to keep him grounded.
The former 205 Live standout hit a Michinoku driver for a near-fall but missed his attempt to steal Hardy's Swanton Bomb. Hardy nailed him with a Twist of Fate and a Swanton for the win.
Hardy and Morrison have been in many matches together going back more than 15 years. Unfortunately, they didn't have enough time to make this bout anything special. The stuff they managed to fit into the match looked good, but it wasn't much.
What happened next was strange. Hardy lost a match and then decided to put his career on the line. It might be the dumbest thing his character has ever done. Even if it made him look like a valiant fighter, it also made him look like a fool.
What was the point of him losing to Morrison just to win his next match? Why did WWE break up the Hurt Business if it wasn't going to push Alexander or Shelton Benjamin properly?
The in-ring action in these segments was fine, but the storytelling that surrounded it was not great.
Eva Marie vs. Naomi
Naomi was out to take on Eva Marie, but instead of getting the debut of Eva, she had Piper Niven replace her without warning.
Niven easily overpowered and destroyed Naomi in a few short minutes. She slammed Naomi with a Michinoku driver to get the pin and the win. Eva grabbed the mic and declared herself the winner.
While we may have had the rug pulled out from under us, seeing Niven face Naomi likely produced a better match than we would have gotten with Eva, so that's something.
That being said, this was another match that was too short to be memorable. If this is what Eva's character is going to be, at least it will lead to Niven getting more screen time. She is a talented wrestler who might be able to make this gimmick bearable.
The New Day vs. R-K-Bro
Xavier Woods and Riddle locked up to get things going. Woods broke a sleeper by slamming Riddle into the corner before he tagged Kofi Kingston.
Randy Orton watched helplessly as his partner was double-teamed. Riddle made the tag and Orton took Woods down in a headlock. Kingston made a bling tag and The New Day took control momentarily.
We returned from a break to see Woods and Riddle trading stiff forearms. The Bro planted him with a fisherman's buster for a two-count.
Woods spent a long time on defense before he made the hot tag to a fresh Kingston. Riddle tagged in and unleashed a tornado of kicks to the body. He set Kingston up and hit the Floating Bro. Orton prevented Woods from getting back into the ring, but Kingston kicked out anyway.
Woods had Riddle on the top rope when we returned from a second break. Kingston tagged in and they hit a combo superplex and splash for a near-fall that was broken up by The Viper.
The New Day almost had Riddle pinned with a double stomp Doomsday Device. The match ended with Orton hitting Woods with an RKO when he went for the Honor Roll.
This feud has been one of the bright spots on Raw in recent weeks and has produced some decent matches and segments, so it was nice to see them given enough time to put on a good match.
Woods continues to prove he is one of WWE's best-kept secrets with each passing week. Everything he did in this bout looked fantastic, especially the belly-to-belly suplex he used to send Riddle out of the ring.
All four guys put on a great show for the LED screens in attendance. This is one of the rare cases when either team could have won based on the buildup to the match.
Riddle and Orton is not a combo everyone enjoys, but it would be hard for anyone to deny the quality of this bout.
Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley
Since Charlotte had to work a match six days before Hell in a Cell, it's only fair that Ripley had to do the same. Her opponent for the night was Asuka.
The Empress controlled the first couple of minutes by using her quickness to avoid Ripley's grasp, but the Raw women's champion eventually found a way to overpower her. She no-sold a clothesline and hit Asuka with a headbutt in retaliation.
The submission specialist applied a few different holds before Ripley slammed her for a two-count. She dropped Asuka across the barricade as we went to a commercial.
We returned to see The Empress nail the champ with a missile dropkick. After a series of counters, Ripley hit the Riptide for the win. As soon as it was over, Charlotte attacked Ripley out of nowhere. They brawled until officials broke them up.
A little more than two months ago, Asuka was the Raw women's champion. This week, she served as the warmup match for Ripley before she faces Charlotte at HIAC. Something about that doesn't add up.
It's not like Asuka can't afford to put people over, but WWE has never fully invested in her as a top star like it did when she was in NXT. She went from breaking Goldberg's undefeated streak to being one of the most inconsistently booked people on the roster.
She and Ripley had a good, competitive match. Even if she isn't being booked well, we can always rely on Asuka to get the best out of her opponents. The post-match fight had good energy and made the feud feel more personal. It did more to hype their upcoming match than all of the previous segments combined.
Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax
Nia Jax approached Alexa Bliss at the top of the show to let her know that Shayna Baszler would face her at Hell in a Cell. They ended up agreeing to have their own match after Jax questioned why Bliss has been acting this way.
Bliss took control by going after Jax's leg to chop her down to size. The Irresistible Force knocked her over with one big shot to turn the tables.
Bliss sat up like The Undertaker to avoid a leg drop. She climbed to the top turnbuckle but Reginald distracted her for a moment. She still managed to spike Jax with a DDT. She hit Twisted Bliss but Reggie pulled her off of Jax to cause a disqualification.
She stared at Reginald until he seemed to be in a trance. When Jax got to her feet, she broke her stare and he seemed to recover.
The match we saw here wasn't bad, but it's hard to make heads or tails out of the storyline that goes with it. It feels like WWE has no game plan for Bliss and is just doing random things to see what works.
The DQ finish was unnecessary after it was Clear Bliss was going to win anyway. Let's hope the match with Baszler this weekend has a more decisive outcome.
Elias vs. Jaxson Ryker
The former tag team partners met for a rematch this week after their encounter last Monday ended without a satisfying conclusion.
Elias came out of the gate hot with a running knee and a flurry of strikes. Ryker rebounded after an Irish whip into the corner to hit a big clothesline.
The fight spilled out of the ring and Elias allowed himself to be counted out for a second time.
Did they mix up last week's script with this week's? Why would WWE book the exact same match and finish again? What does it accomplish? Who does it help?
The match started off with a lot of energy but the short runtime and ending killed it.
Drew McIntyre and Viking Raiders vs. AJ Styles, Omos and Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley, MVP and their group of companions sat on the stage to watch Styles take on McIntyre. The women gave Styles a nice ovation as he made his entrance.
Styles backed McIntyre to the corner after their first lockup. The Scottish Warrior overpowered him and nailed a huge chop to the chest followed by a back body drop that defied gravity.
As it looked like Lashley was about to get involved, The Viking Raiders came out. When we returned from a commercial, McIntyre was in firm control while everyone else watched from ringside. He scored a two-count with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker.
The Phenomenal One dumped the No. 1 contender out of the ring and rammed him into the ring post. For the next several minutes, both men dished out a lot of punishment. As McIntyre began to build momentum, Lashley attacked him to cause a DQ. The Viking Raiders made the save while Omos pulled Styles out of the ring.
We returned from a break to see this turned into a six-man tag match. Lashley was not at ringside because he was changing into his ring gear. Erik and Ivar were in control until Lashley ran down and attacked McIntyre before getting on the apron.
He tagged in and beat down Erik in the corner. Omos and Ivar ended up as the legal men and the giant knocked the Viking down with a shoulder block. We came back from a third commercial to see Lashley tag Omos back in to deliver a crushing blow in the corner.
McIntyre and Omos had a staredown before the big man grabbed the Scottish Warrior by the throat. Omos took out Erik and Ivar by throwing them over the barricade, leaving McIntyre to fend for himself.
Despite the disadvantage, McIntyre ended up getting the pin on Lashley to get the win.
Sometimes we complain about matches being too short, but in this case, cutting it back by about 10 minutes would have made this much better.
Everything we saw in the singles match and the six-man bout that followed looked good, but they didn't need the last 40 minutes of the show to tell this story.
Seeing McIntyre get the win here almost guarantees Lashley will retain on Sunday. It was fun to see Ivar and Omos square off. It was a nice preview of their eventual tag title match.