On Monday afternoon, Big E tweeted that he intended to cash in his Money in the Bank contract during Raw. Throughout the show, Big E continued to make it clear to Bobby Lashley and Randy Orton that he would be cashing in after their WWE championship match. He proved good to his word, cashing in on an injured Lashley to end the night as world champion.
Lashley received a stiff test from Orton but managed to survive with a little help from MVP. Lashley's aggression would be his undoing as he continued to attack Orton and Riddle after the match, injuring his leg in the process and leaving himself open to the cash-in Big E had already said was coming and sending the Boston crowd home on a big high.
CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from TD Garden in Boston.
Big E wins the WWE championship
The show opened with Big E, Randy Orton and Bobby Lashley exchanging words in the ring. Big E made it clear he still intended to cash in his Money in the Bank contract either during or after Orton and Lashley battled for the title later in the night. Lashley delivered a warning to Big E not to come anywhere near him with the contract before the segment ended with Orton laying out the WWE champion with an RKO.
WWE Championship -- Bobby Lashley (c) def. Randy Orton via pinfall to retain the title. Orton opened the match by rolling from the ring repeatedly, frustration the champion before finally attacking. Lashley quickly came back, working Orton over in the corner before throwing him from the ring, damaging Orton's leg. The action continued to swing back and forth with Orton putting the champ on his heels for a long stretch in the middle of the match. Lashley countered the RKO into a spear for a near fall. Orton came back with the RKO but MVP pulled Lashley from the ring, drawing Orton out to also hit MVP with an RKO. Orton returned to the ring only to be hit by another spear, this one getting Lashley the victory.
WWE Championship -- Big E def. Bobby Lashley (c) via pinfall to win the title. Lashley continued his attack on Riddle and Orton after the match, eventually driving Orton through a table but injuring his leg in the process. As Lashley hobbled back to the ring, Big E ran to the ring with a referee to cash in his Money in the Bank contract. Lashley tried to refuse to defend the title before Big E hit him with a slap. Lashley started to go on the attack before Big E hit a chop block and tried for a Big Ending. Lashley slipped out and hit a spear but Big E kicked out at two. Big E hit the Big Ending and scored the three count to win the match and become WWE champion as the crowd erupted.
One of the most common complaints from WWE fans for years has been that Big E has not been given a chance to be "the man." On Monday night, the waiting came to an end and in a refreshing way. Money in the Bank contract holders rarely call their shot anymore, instead relying on big surprise cash-in moments. Big E said he was going to do it and did and it was a smart move by WWE, building anticipation all day. WWE teased something and followed through and it was arguably the best moment of the year in the promotion and one that any fan should get behind. Nobody deserves this moment more than Big E. Grade: A+
What else happened on WWE Raw?
- Charlotte Flair def. Shayna Baszler via pinfall after a big boot. Nia Jax interference led to Baszler losing as payback for the reverse happening the week prior. After the match, Alexa Bliss came to the ring and offered Flair a gift ahead of their title match at Extreme Rules. The gift was a Lilly-style doll named Charlie. The two ended up brawling before Bliss hit a code red to send Flair from the ring.
- Drew McIntyre & The Viking Raiders def. Jinder Mahal, Veer & Shanky via pinfall after McIntyre hit Shanky with a Claymore.
- United States Championship -- Damian Priest (c) def. Jeff Hardy via pinfall after hitting Reckoning. Priest was attacked by Extreme Rules opponent Sheamus after the match.
- Nikki A.S.H. def. Tamina via pinfall after a tornado DDT.
- Rhea Ripley def. Natalya via submission with an inverted cloverleaf.
- Omos, AJ Styles, Mace & T-Bar def. Mustafa Ali, Mansoor & New Day via pinfall when Omos hit Ali with a chokebomb.
- Doudrop def. Eva Marie via pinfall after a seated crossbody.