WWE Raw results, recap, grades: Nikki A.S.H. cashes in Money in the Bank Contract, Goldberg returns – CBSSports.com
Monday night’s edition of WWE Raw was a night of surprises and odd decisions before the show closed with a successful Money in the Bank cash-in by Nikki A.S.H. as she pinned Charlotte Flair to end the night as Raw women’s champion.
In addition to the shocking finish to the show, Bill Goldberg returned to WWE, issuing an informal challenge to WWE champion Bobby Lashley. Plus, NXT champion Karrion Kross made his Raw debut, losing to Jeff Hardy in one of the night’s stranger moments. Keith Lee also made a surprise return after being out of action since January, losing to Lashley before Goldberg’s arrival.
CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Nikki A.S.H. cashes in the Money in the Bank contract
Charlotte Flair was out for an in-ring promo to celebrate her Raw women’s title win over Rhea Ripley at Money in the Bank. Ripley came to the ring after Flair said she could beat her any night of the week. Ripley then challenged Flair to prove it and face her in a championship rematch later in the night. This eventually brought out Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville, with the duo making the match official for the main event, at which point Flair kicked Ripley in the same knee she’d injured the previous night.
Raw Women’s Championship — Rhea Ripley def. Charlotte Flair (c) via disqualification. Midway through the match, Flair took Ripley to the outside, hitting a chop block to again impact Ripley’s knee. Ripley managed to fight back before locking in a figure-four to nearly score a submission before Flair was able to reverse the hold. Ripley hit Riptide, but Flair managed to get her foot on the bottom rope to break the pin. Flair then rolled out of the ring, grabbed her belt and tried to walk to the back. Ripley gave chase and Flair hit her with the title belt to force the disqualification, retaining her title in the process.
Raw Women’s Championship — Nikki A.S.H. def. Charlotte Flair (c) via pinfall to win the championship. Ripley and Flair brawled outside the ring before Ripley hit Riptide and Nikki A.S.H.’s music hit for a Money in the Bank cash-in attempt. Nikki went to the top rope and hit a crossbody to score the pinfall and win the championship, celebrating with the fans as the show went off the air.
A shocking end to the night with the Nikki cash-in. WWE has established an odd pattern with the women’s Money in the Bank. Outside of Carmella, the first women’s Money in the Bank holder, no other winner has hit the 48 hour mark before cashing in — or, in the case of Asuka, being awarded the title. Still, a feel-good moment is always welcome and you’ll find very few people who have a bad word to say about Nikki Cross. It will be interesting to see how committed they are to letting her have a run instead of this being a fleeting moment. Grade: B+
Goldberg confronts Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley def. Keith Lee via pinfall after a spear. Lashley and MVP came to the ring to say that Kofi Kingston was right that Lashley had lost his edge because of the women and champagne as he lived the good life as champion, but Lashley was now “back to business.” Lee answered the open challenge and gave Lashley a bit of a run early before Lashley took over on the outside of the ring before he managed to get the win with the spear.
After the match, Goldberg’s music hit and the 54-year-old made the walk to the ring. Goldberg got in Lashley’s face before screaming, “I’m next.” Lashley tried to get at Goldberg but was held back by MVP.
Lee looked off in the match with Lashley, which could very well be ring rust. It also makes little sense to have Lee make his return from six months on the sidelines to eat a clean pin in his home state. All that said, the true story here is the return of Goldberg, who will always get a pop when he appears but, as the saying goes, then the bell rings. I can’t imagine too many people are looking forward to seeing another Goldberg match at this point but it’s happening and we just have to live with it. Grade: C-
What else happened on WWE Raw?
- John Cena opened the show with an in-ring promo. Cena said he came back for the WWE fans, to become universal champion and to shut up Reigns, calling him “an asshole” who was overhyped and overexposed.
- Riddle & The Viking Raiders def. John Morrison, AJ Styles & Omos via pinfall after the Raiders hit Morrison with The Viking Experience. Some miscommunication from the heels, with Omos attacking Morrison and pursuing Miz at ringside set up the finish.
- Jaxson Ryker def. Elias via pinfall in a Symphony of Destruction match after a suplex from the second rope through two tables set up on the floor. Ryker and Elias used a variety of instruments as weapons before the table finish.
- Natalya & Tamina def. Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax via pinfall after Tamina hit Baszler with a superkick after Reginald accidentally caused a distraction. After the match, Baszler began yelling at Jax that they were unstoppable before she brought Reginald into the mix. Jax hugged Reginald before delivering a headbutt and leaving him in the ring.
- 24/7 Championship — Reginald def. Akira Tozawa (c) via pinfall to win the title. Tozawa ran into the ring to escape his pursuers only to be pinned by Reginald, who escaped from the rest of the pack with some impressive flips.
- Sheamus def. Humberto Carrillo via pinfall after a Brogue Kick. Carrillo was battling to secure a shot at Sheamus’ United States title but punched Sheamus’ steel facemask to lead to the finish.
- Drew McIntyre attacked Jinder Mahal after Mahal, Veer and Shanky were in the ring for a promo. McIntyre delivered tons of chairshots to Mahal’s henchmen as well as a few to Mahal himself.
- Jeff Hardy def. Karrion Kross via pinfall with a rope-assisted jackknife pin. Kross was making his debut and got outmaneuvered by Hardy. After the match, Kross claimed Hardy had made the biggest mistake of his life.