WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from July 19

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Sunday’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view was a huge night for WWE as live crowds returned in full force. The WWE Universe was electric during what is often considered one of the year’s most exciting events.

    Nikki A.S.H. won the women’s Money in the Bank briefcase after overcoming seven other Superstars. She shocked the crowd and beat the odds when she climbed over six other women on three ladders to grab the case and claim victory.

    On the men’s side, Big E won the MITB briefcase in one of the most emotional moments of the show. He looked as excited as we have ever seen him, and both wrestlers and fans took to social media to congratulate the powerhouse of The New Day.

    AJ Styles and Omos retained the Raw Tag Team Championships, and Bobby Lashley kept the WWE title with a decisive victory over Kofi Kingston. Charlotte Flair also became the new Raw women’s champion by beating Rhea Ripley.

    After Roman Reigns defeated Edge to retain the Universal Championship, John Cena made his return to one of the biggest pops of the night. He seemed to challenge Reigns by stepping up to him but also promised to be on this week’s Raw during a post-show speech to the live crowd.

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    As Raw began with a silent crowd, John Cena’s music hit and made everybody stand up to cheer for the Peacemaker as he returned to the red brand for the first time in over a year.

    He hyped up the crowd and joked about his role in the upcoming Suicide Squad. He then spoke about Sunday and ruining Reigns’ celebration. He said returning to WWE only happened because the crowd is back and he wanted to share his love with the WWE Universe.

    He said Reigns was also responsible for his return because he is after the Universal Championship, and he wants his shot at SummerSlam. He talked some trash about The Tribal Chief before Riddle made his way to the ring. They said “Bro” to each other several times and then Cena just left.

    Grade: B+

    Analysis

    Few Superstars can hype up a crowd like Cena. Real passion comes through when he speaks. It was a smart move to bring him back right as crowds returned.

    Unfortunately, this segment didn’t accomplish much. We already knew he was going after Reigns. All this did was set a date for SummerSlam, which was something we all saw coming.

    Riddle’s presence got a pop from the crowd but ultimately did nothing to make the segment better. Cena was the star. Riddle was just an extra.

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    Riddle and AJ Styles started this six-man tag match for their teams with a quick exchange that ended with Styles on the receiving end of a big backdrop.

    John Morrison tagged in, but Riddle took him down into a submission right away. JoMo countered and hit a few strikes before The Bro unloaded on him with some hits of his own.

    Erik and Ivar took over and double-teamed Morrison to keep him isolated. We got to the obligatory spot when everyone got involved, and it ended with Omos launching Styles onto everyone else.

    We returned from a break to see Riddle taking a beating from Omos. Johnny Drip Drip came in and failed to make Riddle tap out to a submission. Erik got the hot tag and blocked every strike Styles threw at him.

    After a few more tags and close calls, Riddle tricked Omos into thinking The Miz sprayed him with a drip stick. This allowed Erik and Ivar to hit the Viking Experience for the win.

    Grade: B-

    Analysis

    Considering Morrison and Ricochet were feuding the past few weeks, it was surprising to see Riddle on the babyface team instead of the high-flyer.

    The match was good if a little predictable. It followed a well-tested formula for six-man matches. The Viking Raiders get to stay in the hunt for the tag titles with this win, and Riddle may begin a feud with Morrison and The Miz.

    The crowd was into the action, and the match had a few fun moments. It wasn’t a bad way to get the action going.

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    We returned to see Elias sitting in the ring to play his first song in front of a live Raw crowd in over a year. The “Walk with Elias” chant still worked like a charm.

    Jaxson Ryker gave a quick promo before he came out for this Symphony of Destruction match. Elias got the first hit, but Ryker was the first to use an instrument as a weapon.

    Elias hit a flying knee to prevent Ryker from hitting him with a guitar. He followed up with a keyboard to the back before Ryker sent him into a gong. It didn’t make the sound WWE hoped it would.

    We came back from a commercial to see them trading offense. They used every instrument around the ring, including a grand piano near the ramp. Ryker slammed Elias on top of it for a two-count.

    Elias beat Ryker with a huge cello for another near-fall. The musician ended up bleeding from the head. Ryker hit a superplex through two tables to get the win.

    Grade: B-

    Analysis

    This feud is stale and needs to end, but this was a decent final chapter. They gave the crowd some fun moments and found interesting ways to use a few of the instruments.

    The crowd still seemed to prefer Elias over Ryker, so WWE may want to consider turning him into a tweener or babyface again. As for Ryker, we’ll see if this win gets him anywhere.

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    We returned from a break to see this match already in progress. Shayna Baszler scored a two-count on Natalya after Nia Jax sent Tamina into the barricade with a Samoan drop.

    The former champions double-teamed Nattie but still couldn’t keep her down for the pin. The Queen of Spades stomped on her arm to soften her up. The Queen of Harts took Jax down with a series of clotheslines for another near-fall.

    Tamina hopped onto the apron and tagged in. She kicked Jax off the apron and hit Baszler with a body slam before climbing to the top rope. Reginald distracted her so Baszler could recover.

    Tamina superkicked Baszler’s face off for the pin and the win. Jax took out Reginald with a headbutt to end their relationship for good.

    Akira Tozawa ran to the ring to escape some people chasing the 24/7 title. Reginald took him out with a couple of acrobatic moves to win the 24/7 Championship.

    Grade: C

    Analysis

    This was quick and somewhat pointless. We have seen this match several times in recent months. The good news is it looks like this bout has led to Baszler and Jax ditching Reginald once and for all.

    The match was short but had good energy and some nice exchanges. The mayhem after the match might be the only good thing WWE has ever done with Reginald because he was allowed to use his athleticism for his own benefit for once.

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    Sheamus was forced to battle Humberto Carrillo again this week after what he pulled last week, but instead of this being a rematch for the U.S. title, Carrillo had to win this bout to earn another shot.

    The high-flyer used his speed to avoid Sheamus and send him out of the ring. He hit a slingshot crossbody to the floor to take down The Celtic Warrior. He hit a crossbody from the top rope for a quick two-count.

    Damian Priest was shown watching from backstage as Carrillo kept the upper hand with some kicks to the body. He tried to pull Sheamus’ mask off but ended up having to let go.

    Sheamus grabbed him for a powerbomb onto the apron as we went to a break. We returned to see the Irishman in control with a headlock. Carrillo fought out but ended up on the receiving end up a backbreaker.

    Carrillo made a comeback and hit a hurricanrana from the top rope followed by a suicide dive. He nailed Sheamus with a missile dropkick, but he still couldn’t get the three-count. Sheamus drilled him with a Brogue Kick to get the win.

    Grade: B

    Analysis

    These two have had several matches, but this may have been the best of their feud. Carrillo looked great, even in defeat. Sheamus getting the win was surprising, but it seems as if WWE already has Priest pegged as his next opponent.

    On a night when the WWE Universe returned to Raw for the first time in over 70 weeks, it was disappointing to see so many rematches. This was arguably the best of the bunch.

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    Lashley came out with MVP to issue an open challenge to anyone brave enough to face him. He gave a promo and said destroying Kingston was all the talking he needed to do. He handed the mic to MVP so he could put him over.

    They told anyone to come out who wanted to battle the champ. Keith Lee made his long-awaited return to answer the call and received a huge ovation.

    The bell rang, but they were slow to make contact. They locked up and fought for control until they came to a stalemate. They went for it again, and The All Mighty backed Lee to the corner. He took a cheap shot instead of making a clean break, but Lee picked him up and planted him in two different corners.

    Lee hit a leapfrog before taking Lashley down with a crossbody. Lashley came back with a vengeance and beat him down as MVP talked loads of trash.

    Lashley picked up Lee but ended up being shoved into the ring post when he couldn’t keep him up. MVP distracted Lee so his client could take control again. The WWE champion got a running start to hit a huge spear at ringside.

    Lee’s shoulders were too wide for the Hurt Lock, but Lashley was able to hit a slam instead. He drilled Lee with another spear for the pin and the win. As he celebrated, Goldberg’s music hit and he marched down to the ring. He laughed in Lashley’s face and declared he is next.

    Grade: B+

    Analysis

    This is the kind of thing we expected for the first Raw with a live crowd again. Big returns and fresh matches. As expected, Lee and Lashley delivered a fun, hard-hitting performance.

    The outcome was genuinely surprising, as most would have expected Lee to win or lose dirty in his first match back. While MVP played a small role, this was mostly a clean pin for the champ.

    Let’s hope this is not their last encounter because they had great chemistry together. The Goldberg rumors had been flying for days. We’ll see if WWE can make this more interesting than his last run.

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    Karrion Kross made his main roster debut this week in a match against Jeff Hardy. Instead of letting this be a surprise, WWE hyped it throughout the night.

    Jeff Hardy brought back his old “No More Words” entrance music to the delight of the live crowd. The WWE Universe was in Hardy’s corner, but that wasn’t enough to stop Kross from taking him down with a few suplexes.

    The Charismatic Enigma avoided him in the corner and hit the Twist of Fate. He climbed up but missed the Swanton. Kross got up and went for his signature elbow, but Hardy countered and ended up pinning him with a little help from the middle rope.

    Grade: C+

    Analysis

    WWE opted not to have Scarlett accompany Kross for this match. Hopefully, this is a mistake that is rectified during his next appearance.

    Hearing Hardy’s old music was great, but seeing him get what many might call a surprise win was the best part. This match was short and nothing special, but the moment itself went over huge with the live crowd.

    Kross gave an interview after the match and said Hardy just made the biggest mistake of his life. We’ll see if this becomes a real feud or if this was a one-time thing.

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    Charlotte came out to celebrate becoming an 11-time women’s champion halfway through the show. She bragged and taunted the crowd until Rhea Ripley joined her in the ring.

    She challenged The Queen to face her tonight, but Charlotte said she didn’t want to hurt Ripley’s knee more than she did last night. This brought out Sonya Deville and Adam Pearce.

    Pearce booked a rematch for the title to take place tonight. Charlotte kicked Ripley in her bad knee before making her exit. The bout took place in the main event spot.

    The bell rang and Ripley immediately scooped up Charlotte for a slam. The Queen stayed strong and made it a competitive fight until she was able to take control with a stiff chop. The Aussie responded with a German suplex and a running dropkick for a two-count.

    The Queen hit a chop block at ringside, and the ref refused to let her continue the attack as he checked on Ripley’s knee. We returned from a break to see the champ continuing to focus on Ripley’s injured leg.

    The former champion hit another German suplex to give herself a little breathing room. She blocked a moonsault with her knees and put Charlotte in her own Figure-Four. The Queen reversed the pressure and escaped quickly.

    Ripley hit her finisher, but Charlotte got her foot on the rope to break the count. Charlotte tried to take her title and leave, so Ripley gave chase. The champ nailed her with the belt to lose by disqualification.

    After Ripley took out The Queen, Nikki A.S.H. ran down and cashed in her Money in the Bank contract. She climbed up to the top rope and hit a big crossbody for the pin to become the new Raw women’s champion.

    Grade: C

    Analysis

    Rematches are not bad as a concept, but doing them week after week, night after night has made Raw such an odd show to watch regularly.

    Ripley and Charlotte work well together because they are two sides of the same coin. They have a lot in common and just as many differences, which makes them perfect rivals. Their feud has gotten better over time, but having them run it back again 24 hours after their last match seemed like a strange call.

    The first two-thirds of this bout was great, but the finish was another in a string of weird booking calls by management. Nikki winning the title was something a lot of people predicted on social media, but it was still the best part of this whole segment.

    This week’s show could have been a slam dunk for WWE, but it just ended up being uneven.

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