The big story heading into WWE Raw on Monday night was a Tag Team Turmoil match to determine the next challengers for the Raw tag championships held by RK-Bro. By the end of the show, not only were those next challengers named but also Randy Orton was set to challenge for the WWE championship at the upcoming Extreme Rules pay-per-view.
Bobby Lashley and Orton both have their sights set on becoming double champions and Lashley offered Orton a shot at the WWE title at Extreme Rules. Lashley wasn't only offering up opportunities, however, as he also entered himself and MVP into Tag Team Turmoil in an attempt to earn a shot at the tag belts held by Orton and Riddle.
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Bobby Lashley and Randy Orton set for pair of title matches
The show kicked off with Randy Orton and Riddle in the ring ahead of watching Tag Team Turmoil to determine the team that would challenge for the Raw tag titles on next week's Raw. WWE champion Bobby Lashley and MVP came to the ring before Lashley and Orton exchanged words about both wanting to become double champions. Lashley said he'd give Orton the opportunity at Extreme Rules but that he and MVP would enter themselves in Tag Team Turmoil in an attempt to get to the tag titles.
Bobby Lashley & MVP won Tag Team Turmoil to earn a tag title shot. The New Day eliminated The Viking Raiders to start the match, with Kofi Kingston hitting Erik with Trouble in Paradise. New Day kept it rolling by next eliminating the team of Jinder Mahal and Veer, bringing out Lucha House Party as the third team in the match. New Day's impressive run continued by scoring another pinfall, this coming more than 40 minutes into the show. Mace and T-Bar were the next team eliminated by New Day but the losers attacked after the pin, leaving New Day vulnerable as Mansoor and Mustafa Ali were the next team out, with Mansoor trying to make the save only to also get attacked by the former Retribution members. Sonya Deville announced that the two teams would be given the opportunity to recover after the attack, leading to a break in the match.
The action started up again during the final half-hour of the show, going back to the pairing of New Day against Ali and Mansoor. New Day managed to pull off the elimination despite the damage suffered earlier in the night. AJ Styles and Omos finally ended the New Day run to lead to the final pairing with Lashley and MVP for a title shot next week on Raw. The crowd popped loudly when Lashley and Omos entered the ring to face off before Omos dominated the champion and tossed him from the ring. Still, Lashley managed to finish off Styles with a spear to win the match and the shot at RK-Bro next week. Orton got the last laugh before the show went off the air, laying out Lashley with an RKO before celebrating with Riddle.
Tag Team Turmoil took up more than an hour of the show. That isn't automatically a bad thing but splitting it up took a lot of steam out of the match. The bigger issue is the decision to go with Lashley vs. Orton at Extreme Rules. The pairing largely comes out of nowhere and halts the momentum being built by Riddle and Orton in favor of a random one-off title match with Lashley. This is a continuation of the aimless approach of Raw, which was a show building to Lashley vs. Sheamus two weeks ago before abandoning it despite having advertised a match. Grade: B-
What happened on WWE Raw?
- Sheamus def. Drew McIntyre via pinfall after a schoolboy pin with a fistful of tights. This was a good, lengthy match featuring some hard-hitting action before McIntyre got caught with the cheap in after ripping off Sheamus' steel facemask. McIntyre hit Sheamus with a Claymore after the match. Sheamus earned a match with Damian Priest at Extreme Rules with the win.
- Rhea Ripley & Nikki A.S.H. def. Tamina & Natalya via pinfall after Ripley hit Natalya with Riptide.
- Karrion Kross def. John Morrison via submission with the Kross Jacket. Kross was on Morrison's "Moist TV" before vowing to end Morrison in something of an impromptu match. Kross then made very quick work of Morrison to get the win.
- Raw Women's Championship -- Charlotte Flair (c) def. Nia Jax via pinfall after hitting Natural Selection. Jax lost after seemingly intentional interference from Shayna Baszler. Alexa Bliss appeared on the Tron after the match, asking Flair to come to "the playground." When Flair refused, Bliss said she'd bring it to Flair instead and the lights went out before revealing Bliss already in the ring. Flair offered Bliss a title match before leaving the ring.
- 24/7 Championship -- Reggie (c) def. Akira Tozawa via pinfall after hitting a flipping senton in an extremely short match.