WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from June 21
Sunday's Hell in a Cell pay-per-view didn't feature any titles changing hands, but it did see one Superstar lose his ability to challenge for the WWE Championship for the foreseeable future.
When Drew McIntyre lost to Bobby Lashley inside Hell in a Cell, he also lost any right to fight for the belt while The All Mighty has it around his waist. Seeing as how Lashley has been a dominant champion, that could be quite some time.
We also saw Alexa Bliss defeat Shayna Baszler, Rhea Ripley retained the Raw Women's Championship over Charlotte Flair, and Natalya picked up a singles victory over Mandy Rose.
Last week's Raw featured the return of Eva Marie and her new protege, Doudrop. The woman who ended up wrestling for Eva is actually Piper Niven from NXT UK, so she is not a total stranger to the WWE Universe.
This week's Raw dealt with all of the fallout from Hell in a Cell while beginning the buildup toward the Money in the Bank PPV on July 18.
Let's take a look at everything that happened on Monday's show.
Opening Segment and Ricochet vs. AJ Styles
Raw opened with MVP, Lashley and their entourage celebrating The All Mighty's win at HIAC. They were quickly joined by The New Day for a toast, which meant Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods threw toast at them.
Kingston said his win over Lashley last month should make him the No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship and played the footage to rub it in. Lashley accepted the challenge and also agreed to face Woods tonight inside Hell in a Cell.
The night's first match was a singles bout between AJ Styles and Ricochet. We saw a clip of Styles having a backstage confrontation with The Viking Raiders earlier in the day before the bout began. This was a Money in the Bank qualifier.
The Phenomenal One took control almost immediately and kept the upper hand throughout the break. The One and Only was able to hit a pair of suplexes to get a near-fall. Styles fired off a Pele Kick and a unique slam for a close two-count.
The Viking Raiders ran down and started fighting with Omos at ringside. The big man ended up getting sent through the barricade. This distracted Styles long enough for Ricochet to recover and counter the Phenomenal Forearm with a knee to the face for the win.
Grade (Opening Segment): A
Grade (Styles vs. Ricochet: B-
The opening segment with Lashley and The New Day was almost perfect. They didn't go too long, everyone did great work on the mic and it set up the main event in a logical way.
The match between Ricochet and Styles was just a small taste of what these two men are capable of together. Everything they did looked smooth, but they only had so much time to work. With five more minutes, this would have been a banger.
The interference from Erik and Ivar was obvious from the moment we saw them backstage with Styles, but their involvement is likely going to set up a future tag title bout between the two teams, so it wasn't just some random attack.
Asuka and Naomi vs. Eva Marie and Doudrop
This was going to be a tag team match, but as soon as Eva tagged out to Doudrop, she went down to the floor and this became a handicap match in all but name only.
Asuka was able to hit a few good moves before she brought in Naomi. Doudrop whipped her into the corner and hit a standing splash followed by a cannonball.
As soon as Doudrop had Naomi in a precarious position, Eva tagged herself in and made the cover for a two-count. When she tried to tag back out, Doudrop refused and dropped from the apron. Naomi rolled Eva up for the win.
This was another Money in the Bank qualifier, so both Asuka and Naomi will be in the women's bout at the PPV. That's the biggest takeaway from this.
Why WWE would have Piper Niven, sorry, Doudrop, turn on Eva in their second appearance together boggles the mind. Did management already sour on the combo, or is this all part of some bigger plan? We will have to wait to find out.
The match itself was short and uneventful. The three women who did the heavy lifting simply didn't have enough time to make an impact in any way. On the plus side, what they did do looked good.
Randy Orton vs. John Morrison
Another MITB qualifier took place this week with Randy Orton against John Morrison. The Miz sat with the commentary team, but Riddle remained backstage.
Johnny Drip Drip used his speed to get an early advantage and grounded The Viper with a sequence of holds and strikes. He hit a nice kick to the face for a quick two-count.
Orton turned things around when the fight spilled out of the ring. He slammed Morrison on the table and then turned his attention to The Miz as the show cut to a commercial.
We returned to see The Legend Killer still dominating the action. JoMo started going after Orton's knee to cut him down to size. Orton began to build momentum, hitting the draping DDT while a helpless Miz looked on from his wheelchair.
Riddle rode his scooter down to chase The Miz away after he used one of Morrison's drip sticks. The distraction allowed Morrison to hit Starship Pain for the win.
This is a combination we haven't seen a million times before, so they were able to have a fun match without worrying about any baggage from previous feuds.
Morrison is one of the most athletically gifted Superstars in WWE, and Orton is a veteran with a reputation for being reliable, so it came as no surprise to see them do a good job together.
This could be argued as the biggest win Morrison has had since returning to WWE. It may have been due to a distraction, but it was basically a clean pin.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross paired up again for this tag team match against Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. The winners earned spots in the women's MITB match.
Bliss debuted a new theme song, but Cross upped her by having new music and a new look with a superhero-inspired outfit.
Cross channeled Mighty Molly as she posed like a comic book character at different points during her initial standoff with Baszler. She ended up wiping out Jax, Baszler and Reginald at ringside with a crossbody from the top rope. Bliss helped a little by putting Reggie in one of her trances.
Bliss tagged in after a commercial and got a two-count on The Queen of Spades. Jax came in and took control with some clubbing blows. Cross got the tag and took it to Jax with a flurry of offense. One big boot put her down immediately.
A miscommunication led to Jax dropping off the apron. Bliss made Reggie almost slap Jax in the face while Cross took advantage of the situation to roll Baszler up for the win.
This is one of those segments you are either going to love or hate. There won't be a lot of middle ground on this one.
Bliss being able to put people in a trance will never be something that everyone likes, but Cross being a superhero is something that could actually work. Molly Holly did it, and it became her most beloved persona.
The in-ring action in this bout was decent with a few highlights from Cross. It was great to see her get the win for her team so they could qualify for MITB even if WWE did gloss over her history with Bliss.
Riddle vs. Drew McIntyre
A battered and bruised McIntyre came out to battle Riddle for a spot in the men's MITB match. The wounds from his fight with Lashley looked nasty.
The Bro took advantage of those bruises with a kick to the back. McIntyre almost went down but managed to stay standing. He cornered Riddle and threw him across the ring with ease.
They went back and forth with strikes until The Scottish Warrior hit a shoulder tackle for a two-count. Riddle hit an overhead belly-to-belly suplex on the floor as we went to a commercial.
We returned to see McIntyre counter the Broton. He started throwing The Bro from one side of the ring to another but still showed signs of being injured. He almost collapsed after his kip-up.
After several counters, McIntyre hit the Future Shock DDT for a close two-count. They went back and forth until Riddle scored the upset with a victory-roll pinning combination.
There was great physicality in this match, and they did a good job making McIntyre's injuries from Sunday appear to hinder his performance.
These two had enough chemistry that WWE may want to consider this for a potential feud down the line. Even if Riddle is still with Orton, they could make time for a couple of rematches at some point.
McIntyre did an excellent job selling his injures from Hell in a Cell. The way he winced in pain every time he was hit in the back looked so convincing.
Riddle's character can be annoying and he is problematic in other ways, but it's hard to deny his in-ring ability. He was bumping like a mad man in this one.
Xavier Woods vs. Bobby Lashley
After agreeing to this match in the opening segment, Woods and Lashley met in the main event inside Hell in a Cell. This is arguably the biggest singles match of Woods' career in WWE.
Woods hit a running dropkick as soon as the ref called for the bell. Lashley quickly cornered him for some shoulder thrusts and a neckbreaker. MVP and Kingston watched from outside the cage as Lashley ran Woods over with a clothesline.
The All Mighty went for a running Spear and ended up hitting the ring post. Woods began to rally with some dropkicks that sent him into the cage and a chair shot to the head.
We returned from a break to see Lashley trap Woods under the ring skirt so he could unload on him. Woods grabbed a kendo stick and went to work on Lashley's back.
He hit a tornado DDT for a two-count. Woods put Lashley on a table and put him through it with a diving elbow, but he still couldn't get the pin.
The All Mighty sent him into a chair that was wedged into the corner before he nailed a Spear. Lashley applied the Hurt Lock for the submission victory. MVP locked Kingston out of the cage, and he watched helplessly as Lashley continued to punish Woods in the Hurt Lock.
This whole thing was such a pleasant surprise. Seeing Woods get a singles match inside the cell on Raw was not how anyone saw this night going, but it ended up being the best option.
Woods, as always, did an amazing job both on offense and defense. Seeing him get more opportunities recently has been one of the few bright spots on Raw.
The way it ended with Kingston watching his friend be tortured was perfect because it makes his feud with Lashley that much more personal. It used to be just about titles. Now, it's about getting retribution.
This was one of the best episodes of Raw in recent memory from an in-ring perspective. We even saw a few upset wins that made the show more unpredictable.