WWE RAW looked to celebrate Randy Orton’s 20th anniversary with the company. His best friend Riddle took to the ring to kick off the celebration while many from the RAW locker room joined him in the middle.
Bianca Belair was also set to defend her RAW Women’s Championship on the show. She was booked to face Sonya Deville after the latter attacked her on the show a couple of weeks ago.
Becky Lynch made her return to the show and cut a passionate promo. The former champion was quickly interrupted by the returning Asuka. The Empress of Tomorrow was looking to enter the RAW Women’s Championship picture herself.
Meanwhile, Veer tore through another local wrestler to make a mark on RAW. Omos also looked to showcase his power against Bobby Lashley in an arm-wrestling match this week.
It was an entertaining episode of RAW filled with a few surprises and returns. Let’s take a look at the five things WWE RAW got right on Monday night.
#5. Bianca Belair retained her RAW Women’s Championship against Sonya Deville
Bianca Belair defended her WWE RAW Women’s Championship against Sonya Deville in the first match on Monday night. The action spilled to the outside early as both women looked to punish each other.
Belair threw Deville over the announcer’s desk, and the WWE official ended up getting counted out early. She grabbed a mic and declared that the match would be restarted as a no count-out bout.
Deville brought a steel chair into the mix and got herself disqualified for her actions. However, she restarted the match once more and turned it into a no disqualification match. Carmella and Zelina Vega rushed to the ring to help the WWE official and attack the champion.
The EST fought off the heels and managed to stay alive in the competition. She took down Vega and Carmella before hitting the KOD to Deville for the win.
It wasn’t the best match of the night, but it helped put Belair across as an unstoppable force. She defeated the WWE official thrice through different means while fighting out Vega and Carmella.
#4. Bobby Lashley defeated Omos in an arm-wrestling match
Bobby Lashley and Omos squared off in an arm-wrestling bout on WWE RAW. It was the first arm-wrestling contest on the show in a long time.
Both the big men made their way out to the middle and prepared to score a win. MVP took the mic and trash-talked Lashley as he tried to focus during the competition. The All Mighty showcased his superior strength by eventually putting Omos down and picking up the win.
The Colossus attacked Lashley after the match and sent him headfirst into the table. He took the former WWE Champion down with a clothesline before crushing him with the table as per MVP’s instructions.
The writers picked the right superstar to win the competition. Lashley has been great over the past couple of years, and it would have dented his value if he had lost to Omos.
#3. Finn Balor restarted his rivalry against Damian Priest
Edge and Damian Priest appeared in a backstage segment to declare that the latter would reignite his rivalry with Finn Balor. The Rated R Superstar also claimed that they were better than The Undertaker before sending a warning to AJ Styles.
After an elaborate entrance, Priest took to the ring to fight The Prince. Balor used his speed to get the better of The Archer of Infamy early on and sent him out of the ring. The former United States Champion responded with a Razor’s Edge on the apron to punish The Demon.
Priest looked to end Balor with a chokeslam, but he reversed it. He took down the big man and went to the top rope for the Coup de Grace. The Rated R Superstar stood up from his throne just enough to distract The Prince on the top rope, allowing Priest to take him down a big chokeslam.
The match was decent and gave both superstars a chance to shine. It’s interesting to note that WWE waited to take the United States Championship off Finn Balor before putting him in a rivalry with Priest again.
The only good thing that can come out of this booking is the potential partnership between AJ Styles and Finn Balor. The two superstars are known to be good friends behind the scenes and could join forces to take on Edge and Priest in the coming months.
#2. Mustafa Ali returned to pick up a big win
The Miz hosted Austin Theory on this week’s Miz TV. He put over the new United States Champion before Mustafa Ali made his much-awaited return to WWE RAW.
The Miz and Theory made fun of Ali before the latter demanded a United States Championship match later in the night. After Theory refused, he taunted both men and got a match against The A-Lister instead.
The two competed right away, and Miz took the early advantage. Mustafa Ali fought back with some kicks but was soon sent into the turnbuckles. The two men exchanged some quick moves before The A-Lister hit Ali with a dropkick. The returning superstar ended up winning with an improvised pinning combination to counter a Figure Four submission hold.
The match was fast-paced and fun. The Miz looked good in the ring and sold Ali’s offense well. The former 205 Live star didn’t get much time to celebrate as Ciampa came out of nowhere to attack him.
WWE seems to have found a worthy challenger for the United States Championship. However, fans will likely get a rivalry between Ciampa and Ali before one of them moves into the mid-card title picture.
#1. Randy Orton celebrated his 20th anniversary with a series of RKOs and a big victory
Riddle opened WWE RAW to celebrate Randy Orton’s 20th anniversary in WWE. After a video package, Cody Rhodes came out to congratulate The Viper. Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins got involved in a war of words before Ezekiel was confronted by Kevin Owens and The Usos joined in on the fun.
Adam Pearce announced that the eight men involved would compete in a tag team match later in the show. RK-Bro teamed up with Cody & Ezekiel to take on The Usos, Rollins & Owens. A brawl broke out in the ring before the bell, and the babyfaces cleared the ring.
Ezekiel fought off Jimmy Uso and brought Riddle into the ring. Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes teamed up to hit some moves to give fans a throwback to their Legacy days. An inverted Falcon Arrow by Rollins nearly ended Riddle’s defense, but he somehow managed to kick out.
The heels isolated The Original Bro for some time before Orton took the fight to the heels. He went on an RKO frenzy before catching Jey mid-flight with one to pick up the win. It was an entertaining match that sent the fans home happy.
WWE made the right call by giving The Viper some good moments in the contest. He hit the final finisher to pick up the win for his team. It was good to see Rhodes team up with Riddle and Orton. Meanwhile, Ezekiel also got a good rub by competing in the main event with several top superstars of the brand.