Randy Orton kicked off Monday Night Raw, furious that he isn’t getting a direct rematch against WWE Champion Drew McIntyre. He quickly found himself at odds with Keith Lee, another Superstar taking part in the series of matches to determine McIntyre’s next challenger. However, Lee was quickly ambushed by Dolph Ziggler, kicking off the night of action immediately.
Dolph Ziggler threw everything he had at Keith Lee, but The Limitless One was nearly unstoppable, and he put The Showoff down for the three-count with a huge Spirit Bomb to advance once step closer to his first WWE Championship opportunity.
Raw Women’s Champion Asuka said she’s ready for everyone, and she was quickly confronted by two potential challengers: Mickie James and Natalya. The bad blood between James and Natalya spilled over into physicality, as they quickly engaged in fisticuffs.
The brawl quickly turned into a match between James and The Ravishing Russian. With The Empress of Tomorrow watching, Mickie made her case for a title opportunity by putting away Lana with the Mick Kick.
Kevin Owens never had a chance. Before he even made it to the ring, KO was ambushed by Aleister Black, who dropped him with Black Mass. Still, KO demanded to fight The Viper, despite the referee’s insistence, and he even landed a few strikes. But Orton soon dropped Owens with an RKO to cement his place in the Triple Threat Match and get one step closer to a rematch with Drew McIntyre.
MVP’s “VIP Lounge” was poppin’ as The Hurt Business attempted to celebrate Bobby Lashley’s United States Championship victory at WWE Payback, but Cedric Alexander soon interrupted the proceedings to confront MVP, Lashley & Shelton Benjamin. He had a plan, as well, with The Viking Raiders dropping The Hurt Business from behind.
MVP has pleaded with Cedric Alexander to join The Hurt Business, saying only good things will happen for him if he does. Cedric proved he doesn’t need MVP in his corner, pinning the former United States Champion to get the win for his team.
Everything was on the line in this battle, where the winning team gets a crack at WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax, and the losing team was no more.
Despite a shaky beginning to their reunion, Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan got on the same page when it mattered most. Ruby Riott came out on top of a series of pinning predicaments with Billie Kay, getting the three-count and putting an end to The IIconics’ partnership, which dates back to high school for the two Australians. Billie Kay & Peyton Royce did not take the loss well, throwing a temper tantrum in the middle of the WWE ThunderDome.
The Monday Night Messiah tore into his disciple, Murphy, before the match, placing the blame for their loss at WWE Payback on his shoulders and booting him from ringside before the match. Not wanting to take any chances, Dominik Mysterio dropped Murphy from behind before rushing to the ring to go right after Rollins.
The son of Rey Mysterio brought the fight to The Monday Night Messiah, hoping not only to get payback for his family, but also to move closer to earning a WWE Championship opportunity mere weeks into his WWE career. But it was not meant to be. After Rollins evaded a frog splash from the rookie, The Monday Night Messiah connected with a Stomp to get the victory and advance to the Triple Threat Match. Rollins only made things worse after the bell, connecting with another Stomp on Dominik.
As Raw Underground kicked off, Titus O’Neil unleashed a new side of himself, ruthlessly picking apart two opponents in rapid succession. Looking for more competition, Titus demanded more competition and got it in the form of Riddick Moss. O’Neil brought the fight in a brawl that spilled out of the ring, but he quickly learned how fast the tides can turn in Raw Underground, as Moss dropped him with a big right hand to get the knockout victory.
Akira Tozawa ran into some trouble upon his arrival to WWE ThunderDome. While checking in with security, the 24/7 Champion and his ninjas were “not on the list.” That turned out to be a ruse, as the security guard was a referee, which allowed R-Truth to roll up Tozawa and recapture the 24/7 Title, starting his 39th reign.
The next chapter in the rivalry between Raw Tag Team Champions The Street Profits and Andrade & Angel Garza was brought to an abrupt end with the arrival of RETRIBUTION. As the lights flickered, Angel Garza grabbed Demi Burnett and bolted out of the arena, leaving Angelo Dawkins, Montez Ford, Andrade and Zelina Vega to be picked apart by the masked mob.
After their loss earlier in the night led to their disbanding, The IIconics headed to Raw Underground to cheer themselves up. They got a close-up look at Jessamyn Duke, who dominated her opponent to pick up her first Raw Underground win, and Marina Shafir, who quickly jumped into action and forced her opponent to tap out. Their night did not end there, as Peyton Royce surprisingly shoved Billie Kay into the ring and into the path of the fierce Duke, who dropped the Aussie with a kick to the head as Royce watched.
What started out as an anything-goes battle between Apollo Crews and Shelton Benjamin in Shane McMahon’s fight venue turned into an all-out throwdown between Crews, Ricochet & Cedric Alexander and The Hurt Business. MVP, Bobby Lashley & Shelton Benjamin were relentless, overpowering their three rivals and leaving them laying.
Keith Lee found himself fighting seemingly insurmountable odds, as Seth Rollins and Randy Orton formed an alliance to take him out. However, The Monday Night Messiah may have been too trusting of The Viper, who quickly planted Rollins into the canvas with a DDT as soon as they thought Lee was neutralized at ringside.
But The Limitless One did not stay down after being driven into the announcers’ table, chasing Orton down and pouncing him into the guardrail, then snatching The Monday Night Messiah out of mid-air and hurling him over the table, showing why there is no Superstar like him.
Lee looked to have his first WWE Title Match wrapped up after driving Rollins into the mat with the Spirit Bomb, but The Apex Predator struck Lee down with an RKO out of nowhere, then pinned Rollins, snatching the golden opportunity out of Lee’s hands and setting himself up for a rematch with WWE Champion Drew McIntyre.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Keith Lee defeated Dolph Ziggler (11:00)
- Mickie James defeated Lana (w/ Natalya) (2:30)
- Randy Orton defeated Kevin Owens in a WWE Championship #1 Contendership Qualifying Match (0:16)
- Cedric Alexander & The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) defeated The Hurt Business (MVP, Bobby Lashley & Shelton Benjamin) in a Six Man Tag Team Match (6:20)
- The Riott Squad (Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott) defeated The IIconics (Billie Kay & Peyton Royce) to become the #1 Contender for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship (3:30)
- Seth Rollins defeated Dominik Mysterio (9:55)
- R-Truth defeated Akira Tozawa (c) to win the WWE 24-7 Championship
- The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) vs. Andrade & Angel Garza (w/ Zelina Vega) ended in a No Contest (9:30)
- Randy Orton defeated Keith Lee and Seth Rollins in a Triple Threat Match to become the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship (11:05)
Other on-screen talent